Invitation to Biblical Theology provides a thorough overview of biblical theology that is accessible for those new to the topic but substantial enough for advanced study. Defining biblical theology as the study of the whole Bible on its own terms, Jeremy Kimble and Ched Spellman begin with a brief history of the discipline followed by a survey of contemporary approaches. They then lay out their own approach, built on the framework of the canon, the covenants, and Christ.
Taking God’s plan of redemption in Christ as the uniting theme of Scripture, Kimble and Spellman survey the grand storyline of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, showing how each division of the canon moves the overarching story forward. The following ten chapters survey central and recurring themes of Scripture including kingdom, worship, Messiah and atonement, God’s glory, and mission. The authors conclude with reflections on how biblical theology can serve the church as well as the academy.
“We begin with a working definition of biblical theology, which we define as the study of the whole Bible on its own terms.” (Page 16)
“On the other hand, a more specific or narrow understanding of the phrase biblical theology is the theology presented in the Scriptures. In this sense, biblical theology represents ‘the Bible’s theology,’ or the ‘theology that we find in the Bible.’ In other words, when doing biblical theology, the goal is to first present the theological reflection that occurs within the Scriptures before producing theological reflection that accords with the Scriptures.” (Page 17)
“We want to consider not only that the whole Bible is about Christ, but also how the whole Bible is about Christ.” (Page 49)
“Rather, we seek to introduce some of the central aspects of biblical theology as a discipline, explain some of the strategic tools that are used in the practice of biblical theology, and provide a series of studies that highlight the payoff to this approach for understanding the Scriptures. In these discussions, we do take certain positions and make several specific proposals, but the overall aim of the endeavor is to orient you to this type of study and way of thinking about the Bible’s message as a whole.” (Page 9)
“One of the motivating factors in seeing Christ in all of Scripture is the theological conviction that Jesus is the apex of the self-revelation of God.” (Page 81)
It is no small thing to be asked to organize the contents of Scripture on its own terms as a coherent story. In so doing, Kimble and Spellman effectively demonstrate that the reports of biblical theology's death have been greatly exaggerated. Here is a proposal to do biblical theology in partnership with exegesis and systematic theology, with a focus on canon, covenant, and Christ, in and for both the academy and the church. I accept the invitation, as every serious reader of the Bible should.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
A gift to the church and the academy! This would be a wonderful book for an upper level college class on hermeneutics or a seminary class. Well written, engaging, thorough, and practical.
Stephen G. Dempster, Professor of Religious Studies, Crandall University
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Jeremy M. Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of theology at Cedarville College. Kimble served in pastoral ministry for eight years and currently serves as an elder at Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, Ohio.
Ched Spellman is associate professor of biblical and theological studies and lead developer of online Bible programs at Cedarville University.