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Biblical Theology
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Book description

In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning.

Reviews

‘Anyone who has thought about how to write a biblical theology will agree that it is a daunting task. There is no one obvious methodology that can begin to do justice to the complex unity and variegated diversity of all sixty-six books of the Bible. It is no wonder that very few biblical scholars have either the competence or the audacity to attempt such a task. Ben Witherington, III, has plenty of both. His whole career as a teacher and writer, wide-ranging in both activities, has prepared him for it, and he relishes the work of moving back and forth between detailed exegesis and big ideas. Rather than trying to sum up how he tackles the task, let me say just that the book is full of refreshing surprises. Highly Recommended!

Richard Bauckham - St Andrews University, Scotland

‘Biblical Theology is a magisterial work, the sort of book that could only have been written by a first-class scholar after decades of reading and reflection, of inquiry and scholarship. In turn, it will stand for decades more as a benchmark in its field.'

Philip Jenkins - Baylor University

‘Biblical Theology argues that to undertake a real biblical theology we must let each Testament speak on its own terms and keep track of the progress and newness of how God revealed his program. Examining texts in context and showing both their message and the distinctions in how themes merge, there is a compelling argument that the two Testaments do converge. This study will suggest the myriad of ways this can be seen while interacting with a host of other key Old Testament and New Testament studies. This is solid resource worth careful study and reflection.'

Darrell L. Bock - Dallas Theological Seminary

‘Biblical theology, an expression used by many in irresponsible and careless ways, needs to be defined: Biblical Theology does that. Biblical theology needs to be demonstrated theme after theme in passage after passage in a manner that respects the Bible's big narrative; Biblical Theology does this, too. And biblical theology, if it is responsible to the deep traditions of the church, must square with classic Christian creeds, and this book does that too. Ben Witherington, III's book will become a standard text for decades, not only for its content but its responsible respect for Bible and creed.'

Scot McKnight - Northern Seminary

‘In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III shares with us the fruits of his many decades of deep reflection on the Bible's ‘symbolic universe, its narrative thought world, and its theologizing proper'. Writing a biblical theology is a daunting task to be undertaken only by those who have been engaged in the study of the Bible both on the macro and the micro level, and Witherington fits the bill having writing many important monographs and commentaries that in-form his present work. I found myself challenged, informed and enriched by his thinking and recommend this book to all who want to grow in their knowledge of Scripture.'

Tremper Longman, III - Westmont College

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