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Biblical Theology


Biblical Theology: Definition

(Source: Excerpt of Article - What is the Discipline of Biblical Theology? By Graeme Goldsworthy)

There is an inevitable difficulty in formulating a definition of biblical theology that will find general acceptance. The history of the discipline and the present debates show us that there are differing opinions as to what is meant by the term. Most seem to agree on these points:

a. biblical theology can be distinguished from systematic theology; and

b. it is in some sense descriptive of what is in the Bible.

We can define Biblical Theology only in dynamic terms because it does not look so much at the permanence of theological truth as at the process by which truth is revealed. At its simplest it is theology as the Bible reveals it (that is, within its historical framework).

G. Vos defines it thus: "[Biblical theology is] that branch of Exegetical Theology which deals with the process of the self-revelation of God deposited in the Bible."[2] This involves:

a. the historic progressiveness of the revelation process;

b. the embodiment of revelation as the word of God within history; and

c. the organic nature of the historic process observable in revelation.

Vos's relating of biblical theology to exegetical theology (exegesis with a view to getting at the theological content of the text) reminds us that it is one of the first fruits of exegesis of the biblical text. It may be helpful to some to compare and contrast the nature of biblical theology with other theological disciplines. In doing this we should not overlook the difficulty in strictly defining the parameters of each, or in assessing the relationship they bear to one another.

To read more on Biblical Theology Click Here
















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