Aug 4, 2013

Biblical Theology and the Book of Hebrews

"By now it will be clear that we shall not get anywhere with this until we have defined what we understand by Biblical theology. If we take it to mean the theological content of the Bible, and in particular the common outlook that binds the New to the Old Testament, we might be able to trace it back to the Epistle to the Hebrews. That epistle can plausibly claim to have been the first systematic attempt to demonstrate that the true meaning of the Hebrew Bible can only be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ, to which it bore witness “at many times and in many ways,” as its opening sentence so memorably states. Few analysts of modern Biblical theology would go that far back, but there is little doubt that virtually all serious Christian writers from New Testament times to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment took the approach of Hebrews as axiomatic for their interpretation of the Bible and their understanding of what Christian theology is. Systematization, which began with what we now call scholastic theology in the thirteenth century and was adapted to both Protestant and Eastern Orthodox needs after the Reformation, may have gone beyond the Bible but it did not go against it, at least not intentionally."

Gerald L. Bray, "Biblical Theology and From Where it Came," Southwestern Journal of Theology 55.2 (2013): 194.

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