The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology will quickly establish itself as an essential building block of every library of basic biblical reference books. Building on its companion volumes, the New Bible Dictionary and New Bible Commentary, this work takes readers to a higher vantage point where they can view the thematic terrain of the Bible in its canonical wholeness. In addition, it fills the interpretive space between those volumes and the New Dictionary of Theology.
At the heart of this work is an A-to-Z encyclopedia of over 200 key biblical-theological themes such as atonement, creation, eschatology, Israel, Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God, redemption, suffering, wisdom, and worship. Students and communicators of the Bible will be well served by articles exploring the theology of each biblical book. And for those interested in the wider discipline of biblical theology, major articles explore foundational issues such as the history of biblical theology, the challenges raised against biblical theology, and the unity and diversity of Scripture.
Over 120 contributors drawn from the front ranks of biblical scholarship in the English-speaking world make the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology a work of distinction and a benchmark of evangelical biblical theology at the turn of the 21st century. Bibliographies round out all articles, directing readers to research trails leading out of the Dictionary and into crucial studies on every subject. Cross-references throughout send readers through the varied maze of reading pathways, maximizing the usefulness of this volume.
Comprehensive, authoritative, and easily accessible, the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is certain to establish itself as an essential resource for students of the Bible and theology.
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“What is biblical theology? To sum up, biblical theology may be defined as theological interpretation of Scripture in and for the church. It proceeds with historical and literary sensitivity and seeks to analyse and synthesize the Bible’s teaching about God and his relations to the world on its own terms, maintaining sight of the Bible’s overarching narrative and Christocentric focus.” (Page 10)
“Unlike midrash, pesher, or even allegory, typology is primarily interested in biblical events and not in the biblical text.” (Page 79)
“Similarly, biblical theology may be defined as the cooperation of various disciplines, and with reference to its various processes or methods and its intended product.” (Page 3)
“Thus, there are two main challenges to biblical theology: first, the argument against confining study to the ‘Bible’ as defined in the canon; and secondly, the argument against the basic theological unity of the biblical authors and books.” (Page 20)
“Finally, biblical theology maintains a conscious focus on Jesus Christ, not in some naive and implausible sense, where Christ is found in the most unlikely places, but in noting God’s faithfulness, wisdom and purpose in the progress of salvation history. It reads not only the NT, but also the OT, as a book about Jesus.” (Page 10)
The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is a valuable resource for teachers, preachers, and students. There are excellent surveys of key issues such as ‘The Unity and Diversity of Scripture’ and ‘Relationship of Old Testament and New Testament,’ plus more detailed articles on biblical books, themes, characters, etc. Most of those I have read reflect thorough research and breadth of knowledge. Helpful bibliographies are provided after each article. . . . The emphasis on the theological significance of the topics covered is a distinctive contribution of this work.
—David L. Baker, senior lecturer in Old Testament, Trinity Theological College, Perth, Western Australia
The idea that the writings of the Old and New Testaments form a coherent whole is at odds with current scholarly fashion. The Christian ‘Old Testament’ has become a supposedly more neutral ‘Hebrew Bible,’ only loosely related to the New Testament; and the emphasis on the distinctiveness of the individual biblical texts has led to a systematic neglect of their deep interrelatedness. This fragmentation of the Bible undermines its single though diverse testimony to the action of the triune God in and for the world. Evangelical scholarship has always been concerned with the whole Bible and is uniquely well placed to resist this trend toward fragmentation. The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is a timely challenge to contemporary scholarship to reconsider its prejudice against coherence. It is a welcome sign that biblical theology continues to flourish and that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated.
—Francis Watson, professor, department of theology and religion, Durham University, England
At least once in each generation, change of such magnitude takes place in a field of study that standard reference books have to be revised and new ones written. What Kevin Vanhoozer has called in this volume the ‘second coming’ of biblical theology in the twentieth century is just such a change. It has stimulated fresh interest in the theological unity of the Bible and renewed study of themes across the whole sweep of biblical revelation. The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is keenly attuned to this welcome development and draws on the best of contemporary evangelical scholarship. It is a quality volume, which I’m sure will become a standard reference work for all serious Bible students, especially those committed to teaching and preaching the whole Bible as Christian Scripture.
—Barry G. Webb, senior research fellow in Old Testament, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
The advent of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is both timely and highly significant. It is timely because of the increasing recognition in both scholarly and popular Christian circles of the need to integrate biblical themes, ideas and passages into the message of the Bible as a whole (whatever diversity there may be within it). The volume is important because of the quality and scope of its articles, which are helpfully divided into three sections: those dealing with fundamental issues relating to biblical theology, articles about various books and corpora of the Scriptures, and those on key biblical topics. This dictionary will be an invaluable aid to all students and teachers of the Bible who want to understand the relation of the parts to the whole thrust of the Scriptures.
—Peter O’Brien, senior research fellow, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
T. Desmond Alexander is director of Christian training at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From 1980 to 1999, he was lecturer in Semitic studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast. His main field of research is the Pentateuch, about which he has written extensively in academic journals and books. Alexander also has a special interest in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch and Abraham in the Negev, and he is a coeditor (with Brian S. Rosner) of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000), available from Logos.
Brian S. Rosner is a senior lecturer in New Testament and ethics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.
Donald A. Carson is a research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
Graeme Goldsworthy was formerly a lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology, and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.
Rev. Delwyn and Sis. Lenita Campbell