Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice
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Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice

Zondervan / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Understanding Biblical Theology clarifies the catch-all term 'biblical theology,' a movement that tries to remove the often-held dichotomy between biblical studies for the Church and as an academic pursuit.

This book examines the five major schools of thought regarding biblical theology and handles each in turn, defining and giving a brief developmental history for each one, and exploring each method through the lens of one contemporary scholar who champions it.

Using a spectrum between history and theology, each of five 'types' of biblical theology are identified as either 'more theological' or 'more historical' in concern and practice. They include:
  • Biblical Theology as Historical Description (James Barr)
  • Biblical Theology as History of Redemption (D. A. Carson)
  • Biblical Theology as Worldview-Story (N. T. Wright)
  • Biblical Theology as Canonical Approach (Brevard Childs)
  • Biblical Theology as Theological Construction (Francis Watson)
Concluding reflections suggest how any student of the Bible can learn from these approaches.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 0310492238
ISBN-13: 9780310492238

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Publisher's Description

Understanding Biblical Theology clarifies the catch-all term “biblical theology,” a movement that tries to remove the often-held dichotomy between biblical studies for the Church and as an academic pursuit.

This book examines the five major schools of thought regarding biblical theology and handles each in turn, defining and giving a brief developmental history for each one, and exploring each method through the lens of one contemporary scholar who champions it. Using a spectrum between history and theology, each of five “types” of biblical theology are identified as either “more theological” or “more historical” in concern and practice:

  • Biblical Theology as Historical Description (James Barr)
  • Biblical Theology as History of Redemption (D. A. Carson)
  • Biblical Theology as Worldview-Story (N. T. Wright)
  • Biblical Theology as Canonical Approach (Brevard Childs)
  • Biblical Theology as Theological Construction (Francis Watson).

 A conclusion suggests how any student of the Bible can learn from these approaches.

Author Bio

Edward W. Klink III, Ph.D. (University of St. Andrews) is Associate Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is the author of The Sheep of the Fold: The Audience and Origin of the Gospel of John), editor of The Audience of the Gospels: The Origin and Function of the Gospels in Early Christianity, and is currently writing a commentary on the Gospel of John for the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


Darian R. Lockett, Ph.D. (University of St. Andrews) is Associate Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is the author of Purity and Worldview in the Epistle of James, and is currently writing an introduction to the Catholic Epistles for the T. & T. Clark Approaches to Biblical Studies series. He has contributed several chapters on James and Jude to the SBL Methodological Reassessments of the Letters of James, Peter and Jude series.

Endorsements

A useful map of the field. It will provide readers with much help in finding their way around this disorienting landscape.
-John Goldingay

A point of entry into the whole discussion that is as accessible as it is valuable.
-Joel B. Greene

This much needed work fills a large gap and will be received gratefully by both professors and students.
-Thomas Schreiner

A ground-breaking work. It calls the academy and church alike to give renewed attention to, and make serious attempts to say what it means for biblical theology to be biblical (and theological!).
-Kevin Vanhoozer

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  1. Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Book That Defines the Issue!
    November 16, 2017
    Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Edward Klink and Darian Lockett join forces to guide us in defining the term biblical theology. In doing so, they will divide the scholarly world into five major schools of thought on the subject. In addition, they will compare theory and practice as well as the origin of it being the church or the academy. Both authors have already published major works. In particular, I greatly admire Klinks recent commentary on the Gospel of John in ZECNT. I see him as a theological and scholarly writer to keep an eye on in the future.

    The introductory chapter surveys what the authors call the spectrum of biblical theology. Though I read widely, I was a little surprised to see what I thought was a commonly accepted term so exactly defined and widely debated. Along the way, they will further try to separate the concept of biblical theology from systematic theology. As will become important as you read the rest of the text, in this introductory chapter they define the issues involved that divide scholars. How the Old Testament connects to the New Testament, whether we should look for historical diversity or theological unity, the impact of the scope and sources of biblical theology, what the actual subject matter of biblical theology is, and finally, whether biblical theology should be defined by the church or the academy. Make sure you linger over the small chart on page 22 that shows a logical way to view the five schools of thought. Spoiler alert: theres an outstanding summary chart at the end of the book that will make it possible for you to review and make sure you followed the line of thought given in this book.

    The design of the book is simple. Theres a chapter of defining the particular school of thought followed by a chapter that fully examines one of its major proponents. In a nutshell, you have biblical theology as historical description with James Barr, as history of redemption with D. A. Carson, as worldview-story with N. T. Wright, as canonical approach with Brevard Childs, and as theological construction with Francis Watson. Please dont ask me where I land even after reading this book, though I find myself vacillating between the first two schools of thought. Strangely, each point of view had some aspects worth considering, even if some of them had more serious drawbacks.

    Some might find this subject a hair too finally split, but I cant imagine a resource that could more capably define the parameters of this subject. Believe it or not, the authors were so faithful to their task of explaining why this issue is hard and how its been viewed that they never championed one viewpoint over the others. This is THE book on the subject.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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