ACADEMIA

Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Walsh. Biblical Theology. Past, Present and Future 2016

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Dec• 27•16

Walsh, Carey, and Mark W. Elliott, eds. Biblical Theology: Past, Present, and Future. Cascade Books, 2016. Pages: 233. ISBN: 978-1-4982-3443-6

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9781498234436This book is a collection of sixteen papers presented at the SBL sessions held between 2012-2014 in the Biblical Theology sessions. All papers are reworked after the presentation taking into account the comments at the sessions.
The papers are divided into three sections. The first section titled ‘The Past: Historical Developments’ offers a critical overview of the development of Biblical Theology. There are five papers that look at this from different angles. The second section takes stock of the present state of Biblical theology, particularly the methodological issues. Six essays are including in this. The fix articles in the third and last part are about the future of Biblical Theology.
The contributors are significant scholars in the field. For example, John Goldingay, N.T. Wright, et. al. I also feel that all the pertinent issues are also dealt with. It is thus a comprehensive reader for any foundational course on Biblical Theology class.

Hamilton Jr. What Is Biblical Theology? (2014)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Nov• 18•13

Hamilton Jr., James M. What Is Biblical Theology? A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns

9781433537714Hamilton proposes a new method of doing biblical theology. In his opinion most of the biblical theologies that are written enforces a modern, rationalist world-view on the bible which mutes the biblical authors. The conservative scholars, those who stand for the unity and coherence of the Bible also used the tools and methods use by those whom they oppose. Both are wrong because they failed to see the world-view of the biblical authors.

In his opinion, biblical theology is done by sharing the world-view of the biblical authors and by trying to understand the scripture in that perspective.

The author’s convictions are deeply rooted in the divine inspiration of the Bible. This leads him to argue that the biblical authors share the same world-view. In other words, there is only one world-view that is shared by all the authors, though they lived in different places, different times and addressed different issues. That is the bible’s one story.

His treatment of biblical theology follows a three-fold pattern. To quote, “The rest of it falls into three parts: the first sets out the Bible’s story, the second looks at the way the biblical authors use symbols to summarize and interpret that story, and the third considers the part the church plays in that story. So the three parts of the books can be put in to three words: story, symbol, and church.

This book is innovative in its approach to biblical theology. Its attempt to navigate a third way between the “liberal” and the so called “conservative” biblical theologians let in a lot of fresh air. However, the assumption that all the biblical authors share one world-view ignores the multiple voices (sometime even contradictory but certainly complementary) that we find in the Bible. Moreover, though this method very well can accommodate the narrative sections, the poetry of the Bible and especially the wisdom tradition seems to fall out of its scope.