Kimble and Spellman provide helpful criteria for identifying central themes in the Bible. They suggest the following.
- "A central theme is a theme that shows up and develops across the canon. A central theme shows up multiple times at strategic moments in the Bible’s grand storyline and at strategic locations in the biblical canon."
- "A central theme will interface with several other major and minor themes."
- "A central them is one that is central for the biblical authors themselves."
Jeremy Kimble and Ched Spellman, Biblical Theology: Exploring the Shape, Storyline, and Themes of Scripture (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2020), 239.