May 27, 2017

Relationships between Brothers in Genesis

As I was wrapping up a study of Genesis, I was struck by the fact that the final restoration scene between Joseph and his brothers ends well (Gen 50:15-21). This is unlike most of the brotherly relationships in Genesis that tend to end in dysfunction or death. Consider Cain killing Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, and the animosity between Jacob and Esau, and the earlier conflicts between Joseph and his brothers might suggest to the reader a similar conclusion. But happily, the story of Joseph and his brothers ends in forgiveness and grace! Perhaps this foreshadows the ultimate reconciliation to be found in Christ.

May 26, 2017

Ten Theses on Biblical Theology

Scott Hafemann along with Richard Schultz developed the following “Ten Theses on Biblical Theology.”

1. Biblical theology should be biblical, taking the canon in its entirety as its starting point and criterion.

2. Biblical theology should be theological, aiming at making synthetic assertions about the nature, will, and plan of God in creation and redemption, as well as their corresponding implications for the nature, will, and purposes of humanity.

3. Biblical theology should be historical, contextual, and thematic in its methodology, integrating historical development, literary structures, sociocultural factors, and theological concepts within an understanding of the history of redemption.

4. Biblical theology should develop its theological categories inductively from the biblical text, not from a predetermined systematic framework.

5. Biblical theology should be exegetically based, taking intertextuality as its starting point., including both the “OT” use of the “OT” and the “NT” use of the “OT” as preserved in the MT and LXX traditions.

6. Biblical theology should be intentionally bi-testamental and unifying, so that neither the OT nor NT are read in isolation from each other nor from the standpoint of a “canon within a canon.”

7. Biblical theology should work toward a unity of canon, going beyond the traditional disciplines of OT and NT theology and beyond providing simply descriptive accounts of the various theological emphases within its individual writings.

8. Biblical theology should strive to incorporate the diversity of the biblical writings within the unity of its theology, without sacrificing either its historical particularity or its overarching history of redemption.

9. Biblical theology should be both descriptive and prescriptive in order to be faithful to its theological task of providing an enduring contribution to the self-understanding of God’s people within their contemporary context.

10. Biblical theology should be pursued by means of an intentional dialogue within the body of Christ in order to overcome the lamentable specialization of biblical scholars and be viewed as a profoundly spiritual calling in order to be faithful to the biblical witness.

Scott Hafemann, “What’s the Point of Biblical Theology? Reflections Prompted by Brevard Childs,” in BiblicalTheology: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Corey Walsh and Mark. W Elliott, (Cascade: Eugene, OR, 2016), 118-19.

May 25, 2017

Biblical Theology Books

Paul Henebury evaluates a number of biblical theology books here.

May 24, 2017

Genesis 1 to Exodus 40 as Prelude to Leviticus

L. Michael Morales’ biblical theology of Leviticus is an interesting read. The following quote sets up where Morales sees Leviticus going." target="_blank="As the fiery glory of YHWH fills the tabernacle at the end of the book of Exodus, the drama of redemptive history thus far comes to a culminating pinnacle. There is even a sense in where one could read Genesis 1 to Exodus 40 as a complete narrative, a story about being expelled from God’s Presence in Eden, then, finally being brought back into that Presence through the tabernacle cultus – a story about Paradise lost and regained. Fittingly, the tabernacle and its furnishings are pervaded in the Edenic imagery. The tabernacle narrative crowning Exodus 40, then, not only forms a bookend with the creation accounts of Genesis 1 – 3, both pertaining to life in the Presence of God, but, further still, the tabernacle cultus is presented as a mediated resolution to the crisis introduced in Genesis 3 with humanity’s expulsion from Eden.
L. Michael Morales, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of Leviticus, New Studies in Biblical Theology 37, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015), 75.

May 21, 2017

Resources on Acts

Mike Bird lists his top ten resources on Acts here.