Cover Image: Out of Egypt

Out of Egypt:
Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation, ed. C. Bartholomew, et al

Zondervan, Paternoster: 2004

Blurb Review


This book is the fifth volume to appear in the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar series, a highly valuable initiative attempting ‘to reassess the discipline of biblical studies from the foundations up and forge creative new ways for reopening the Bible in our cultures'. This volume engages with modernity's tendency to stress the diversity of Scripture to such an extent that any expression of its overarching unity is regarded with skepticism. The demise of the Biblical Theology Movement in 1961 played into the tendency, and since then biblical theology has not recovered its place as a major element in biblical interpretation. However, any approach to the Bible as Christian Scripture must recognize the need to articulate the inner unity of the Bible and hence must employ biblical theology. Furthermore, situated as we are in ‘postmodernity', we are better able to see how untimely the demise of biblical theology is. This volume assesses the current state of biblical theology and sets forth in a smorgasbord of creative ways fresh directions for doing biblical theology and thus biblical interpretation. From where we're standing, a book like this is obviously to be welcomed and it is brilliant to see a number of respected Christian scholars tackling the academy head on and putting some rigorous orthodox thinking about the unity of Scripture on the table. Like the other volumes in the series, this book's real value lies in its protesting voice about the implicit assumptions of much of the historical-critical approach to the Bible, very often simply methodological atheism operating under a different name. At the same time, this volume does not say everything we would want to say about a fully confessional evangelical biblical theology and, in assessing the current state of play, it largely seems to take its cues from more recognizable academic voices in the field (such as Scobie and N. T. Wright). Ironically this arguably keeps the rules of the game in the academy's corner as biblical theology has flourished at a popular level in many churches and evangelical partnerships throughout the last few decades so places like this seem a good place to look for assessment as well. The term ‘smorgasbord' here is the editors' and it is worth keeping it in mind as you read. Some chapters seem only tangentially connected to biblical theology, some chapters are better than others, some more conservative then others (cf. for instance James Dunn's chapter, originally from the mid 1990's, which feels rather out of place in a volume attempting to forge constructive ways forward). But read, digest, critically interact and this book, which is warmly endorsed for its aims and objectives, will provide rich stimulation for further thought.


Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation: Introduction (Craig G. Bartholomew) 

Approaches to Biblical Theology 
1. The Church Fathers and Biblical Theology (Gerald Bray) 
2. The Nature and Genre of Biblical Theology: Some Reflections in the light of Charles H. H. Scobie's ‘Prolegomena to a Biblical Theology' (Karl Möller) 
3. Some Directions in Catholic Biblical Theology (Francis Martin) 
4. ‘The The Theology of the Old Testament' by Marco Nobile: A Contribution to Jewish-Christian Relations (Nuria Calduch-Benages) 
5. Mission as a Matrix for Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology (Christopher J. H. Wright) 
6. Story and Biblical Theology (Craig Bartholomew and Mike W. Goheen) 
7. The Problem of ‘Biblical Theology' 

Great Themes of the Bible 
8. Biblical Theology and the Problems of Monotheism (Richard Bauckham) 
9. The Unity of Humankind as Theme in Biblical Theology (Stephen C. Barton) 

Parts of the Bible and Biblical Theology 
10. Zechariah 14 and Biblical Theology: Patristic and Contemporary Case Studies (Al Wolters) 
11. Paul and Salvation History in Romans 9:30-10:4 
12. Hebrews and Biblical Theology (Andrew T. Lincoln) 

Theological Interpretation and Biblical Theology 
13. Systematic - In what sense? (Trevor Hart) 
14. Biblical Theology and the Clarity of Scripture (John Webster) 
15. Biblical Theology and Theological Exegesis (R. R. Reno) 
16. Imaginative Readings of Scripture and Theological Interpretation (Stephen B. Chapman) 
17. Biblical Theology and Preaching (Charles H. H. Scobie)

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