DIGGING DEEP – 11 by Abidan Paul Shah
Biblical Theology of the New Testament:
- Hermeneutical Triangle of Literature, History, and Theology
- Historical development in biblical theology: Biblical Theology was given a subordinate role to church dogma for centuries. The “rule of faith” became the guiding principle. With the coming of the Reformation and the replacement of dogma by sola scriptura, biblical theology regained its place in the interpretation of the Bible.
- OT Biblical Theology
How does NT theology help in studying the Bible?
It keeps us from focusing on smaller and smaller parts of the Bible and helps us to get the bigger picture.
Some Major Issues in NT Biblical Theology
- Unity and Diversity of the New Testament
- Relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament
Is there a key or center to the NT Theology? Many different centers have been proposed:
- Anthropology (Rudolph Bultmann)
- Salvation History (O. Cullmann, George Eldon Ladd, L. Goppelt)
- Covenant, Love, and Other proposals (W. Eichrodt, Herman Ridderbos)
- Christology (Bo Reicke, F.C. Grant)
- God and Christ or Christocentric (Hasel)
For OT Biblical Theology we turned to Kaiser’s view, so also for the NT.
Kaiser proposes what is known as the “promise-plan of God” as the center of biblical theology. It epangelical view.” It comes from the word for “promise” in Greek. It is a mediating position between the Reformed Covenantal view and the Dispensational view. It is not a flawless view but it does provide us with a peg to hang our biblical theology.
Kaiser offers the following 10 stages of the Promise (For New Testament)
- The Arrival of the Promise (John the Baptist, Zechariah, Mary, Simeon, Anna)
- The Promise-Plan and the Law of God (James, Galatians)
- The Promise-Plan and the Mission of the Church (1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans)
- The Promise-Plan and Paul’s Prison Epistles (Colossians, Philemon, Philippians, Ephesians)
- The Promise-Plan and The Kingdom of God (Matthew, Mark)
- The Promise-Plan and the Promised Holy Spirit (Luke-Acts)
- The Promise-Plan and Purity of Life and Doctrine (1 & 2 Peter, Jude)
- The Promise-Plan and The Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus)
- The Promise-Plan and the Supremacy of Jesus (Hebrews)
- The Promise-Plan and the Gospel of The Kingdom (John, 1-3 John, Revelation)
- Matthew 28:16-20
- John 4:42
- Ephesians 4:5-6
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Hebrews 11:1
- James 3:1-12
- I Peter 3:18
DIGGING DEEP – 10 by Abidan Paul Shah
Biblical Theology of the Old Testament:
Why is it needed? To help keep the study of the OT from being fragmented by biblical exegesis; “to describe the inner unity of the Bible on its own terms”; and to “deepen our understanding of the shape, complexity, and unity of Scripture on its own terms.” – Kevin Vanhoozer
History of biblical Theology – It began in 1787 through a speech given by Johann Philip Gabler. Although the concept existed prior to it, he distinguished between biblical theology and systematic theology.
Is there a key to the OT theology? Were the OT writers aware of the key? The key or center of OT theology must satisfy four conditions simultaneously (Walter Kaiser):
- The subject of that unity must be everywhere in evidence throughout the whole OT corpus;
- The object(s) to whom the action, plan, or ideas pertain also must be clearly in the limelight;
- A predicate that links the subject and the object must be clearly stated in key teaching passages that acts as sedes doctrinae (i.e., chair passages) and that set the grand goals and objectives for everything the subject is going to be and do for the object(s) specified in the text; and
- The linking of the previous three conditions must be set forth explicitly in the OT rather than brought in from external sources, such as philosophical grounds, historical considerations, theological preferences, or critical allegiances.
Promise-plan of God (Kaiser):
- Subject is Yahweh;
- Object is primarily Israel, and then, secondarily, all the nations of the earth;
- It’s predicate involves both who and what God will “be” and what He will “do” (in His verbal declarations and in His mighty saving acts in the history of Israel); and
- It is strategically placed numerous times in the OT in large blocks of teaching texts, but best epitomized in Genesis 12:1-3.
Terms used for the key:
In the OT – word, oath, covenant, house, kingdom, etc.
In the NT – promise (Acts 26:6-7; Romans 4:13-14, 16-17, 20; Hebrews 6:13-15, 17; 11:9, 39-40). This is how the early church saw the OT – Acts 2:38-39; 3:25-26; 13:23, 32-33; Galatians 3:22). The promise was not just to Israel but also to the whole world – Galatians 3:8, 14, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 2:12; 3:6-7; 4:23, 28).
How does OT theology help in studying the Bible? It adds the necessary depth to the study and interpretation of each passage in its context. Based on where a person is studying in the OT, the key/center will help in shedding light on the text in a whole new way. It will open the understanding of the text in its proper larger context of God’s promise-plan. This will prevent the student from running to the NT or other passages in the OT and allow that passage to speak in its theological context.
Kaiser offers the following 11 stages of the Promise (The book assignments are mine):
- Prolegomena to the Promise: Prepatriarchal Era (Genesis 1-11, Job)
- Provisions in the Promise: Patriarchal Era (Genesis 12 – end of the book)
- People of the Promise: Mosaic Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers)
- Place of the Promise: Premonarchical Era (Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges)
- King of the Promise: Davidic Era (Ruth, Psalms, Samuel, Chronicles, Kings)
- Life in the Promise: Wisdom Era (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)
- Day of the Promise: Ninth-century Prophets (Joel, Obadiah)
- Servant of the Promise: Eighth-century Prophets (Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, and Jonah)
- Renewal of the Promise: Seventh-century Prophets (Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Lamentations)
- Kingdom of the Promise: Exilic Era Prophets (Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel)
- Triumph of the Promise: Post-exilic Era Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah)
- Genesis 4:1
- Exodus 19:5-6
- 2 Samuel 7:16
- Proverbs 10:27; 14:27; 19:23; 24:4
- Joel 2:11; 3:14-15
- Habakkuk 2:4
- Daniel 7:9-14
- Malachi 3:1-5
In this fifth episode of Hoi Polloi, Abidan Shah interviews Dr. L. Scott Kellum, professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest. In this episode we discuss the issue of the New Testament Canon. In recent years the view that has found much publicity is that the NT canon developed much later and after a process of great struggle. Is this historically true? This episode will cover this and related issues. If you have any questions or topics you would like to be discussed, tweet them to @hoipolloiradio.