Monday, December 23, 2013

"Biblical Theology" as Exegesis Done Faithfully

Simply put, biblical theology is exegesis done faithfully. It is often said that biblical theology lays the groundwork for other disciplines such as systematic theology or Christian philosophy. But this is only true if the goal of Bible study is something other than the meaning or theological message of the Bible according to its own presentation.

It is only possible to be biblical in the purest sense of the term if the present form of the Bible (and not some other arrangement) is allowed to speak and to dictate what is important. The constitution of the biblical texts given them by their prophetic authors is the unique revelation of God (Deut 33:1-15; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:19-21). Explanation or use of the Bible in any other format is a departure from the intended verbal meaning of the Bible itself. . .

The text is already theological. An explanation of the composition of the text in its present shape is at the same time an explanation of the Bible's theology.
—Michael Shepherd, Textual World of the Bible, 1-2.

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