Friday, November 18, 2011

Nine Reasons Beale's NT Biblical Theology Is Unique

In his book A New Testament Biblical Theology, G.K. Beale offers nine ways in which his NT biblical theology differs from other NT biblical theologies:
1) "The approach of this book overlaps with that of a whole-Bible biblical theology in that it addresses more directly the theological storyline of the OT" (5).

2) "The main facets of the OT narrative story are then traced into and throughout the NT" (6).

3) "The bulk of discussion in this biblical theology of the NT consists of attempts to elaborate on the main plotline categories of thought through surveying the places in the NT where that thought is expressed." This is in contrast to the chronological/canonical approach offered by most NT biblical theologies.

4) "[This Biblical Theology] is concerned with how important components of the OT storyline are understood and developed in Judaism. This is significant because it is important to see how the major biblical-theological notions of the NT develop these same OT components and whether they do so in dependence on Judaism or in line with Judaism or in contrast to it" (8).

5) "This approach to NT biblical theology will focus more on the unity of the NT than on its diversity" (9).

6) "It is not usual to find a concise definition of what is a classic NT theology. On the other hand, my working definition of NT biblical theology is the following, in dependence on Geerhardus Vos' definition of a whole-Bible biblical theology: 'Biblical theology, rightly defined, is nothing else than the exhibition of the organic progress of the supernatural revelation in its historic continuity and multiformity.'... This project places the interpretation of NT texts in relation to the preceding epochs found in the OT, which often occurs through analyzing the use of particular OT passages in the NT" (9).

7) "The approach of this book is most in line with Stuhlmacher's and Dodd's theory of NT biblical theology...Nevertheless, this book sets out in a different direction in the way it executes how the two Testaments are related" (11-12).

8) "[Other biblical theologies] conduct their discussions generally corpus by corpus...Also, in contrast, as noted earlier, my approach is organized by the major components of my formulation of the NT storyline" (14).

9) "In light of what I have discussed thus far, I categorize my biblical-theological approach to be canonical, genetic-progressive (or oganically developmental, as a flower develops from a seed and bud), exegetical and intertextual. This approach could be summarized as a 'biblical-theological-oriented exegesis.'" (15)
If you want Beale's book, you can enter our drawing to win a free copy (the drawing will be on December 1st). If you don't have the patience, then you can order your copy from the Westminster Bookstore for 45% off, though that offer is about to expire.


  1. The little I have been able to read is great. I have even used it for my Christology paper!

  2. I think that page 16 is the center of it all. That's where he sums up the meat of what he's doing. The whole book is summed up on that page. I really like where this book is going.


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