A Christological Hermeneutic: Crisis and Conflict in Hermeneutics

Article by Donald G. Bloesch

This is a test of the discipline of biblical hermeneutics, which deals with the principles governing the interpretation of Scripture, is presently in crisis. For some time it has been obvious in the academic world that the scriptural texts cannot simply be taken at face value but presuppose a thought world that is alien to …

A New Quest of the Biblical Jesus

Book by James M. Robinson

(ENTIRE BOOK) A respected New Testament scholar indicates the impossibility of the nineteenth-century German quest for the historical Jesus, and describes a different kind of quest based upon new premises, procedures and objectives. This quest calls for a total encounter with the person of Jesus, and calls upon the seeker himself to make a radical decision.

Approximate Chronology of the New Testament Writings  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Early collections of the sayings of Jesus and notes on his life, written shortly after his death, possibly in Aramaic, and afterwards used in the compilation of the Gospels. First and Second Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, 50-51 A.D. The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, 57-58 A.D., date contested. The Corinthian correspondence, probably …

Approximate Chronology of the Old Testament Writings  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Approximate Chronology of the Old Testament Writings 1. Before the time of David, 1000 B.C. Songs and lyrics, such as the song of Deborah (Judges, chap. 5); the song of the well (Numbers 21:17-18); the song of Lamech (Genesis 4:23-24); the taunt against the Amorites (Numbers 21:27-30); etc. Oracles, such as Balaam’s (Numbers, chaps. 23-24); …

Battle for the Bible

Article by Mark A. Noll

In October 1845, two able theologians debated the Bible’s view of slavery in a public event in Cincinnati that went on for eight hours a day through four long days. Jonathan Blanchard spoke for the abolitionist position, Nathan L. Rice for the position that while the Bible pointed toward the eventual, voluntary elimination of slavery, …

Biblical Authority

Article by Walter Brueggemann

The authority of the Bible is a perennial and urgent issue for those of us who stake our lives on its testimony. This issue, however, is bound to remain unsettled and therefore perpetually disputatious. It cannot be otherwise, since the biblical text is endlessly “strange and new.” It always and inescapably outdistances our categories of …

Can You Get There from Here? Problems in Bible Translation

Article by Roger L. Omanson

The most recent report from the United Bible Societies states that at least one biblical book has now been translated into 1,884 languages, the New Testament into 670 languages, and the complete Bible into 303 languages. All translators of the Bible must confront certain exegetical problems. There are, for example, textual problems. In I Samuel …

Chapter 1: Preface to Bultmann  in  Essays on Biblical Interpretation

Book Chapter by Paul Ricoeur

The hermeneutic problem in Christianity is that it seeks an interpretation of a text that is itself an interpretation of the kerygma, which in turn is a proclamation about God in Christ. Ricoeur enters a dialectic with Bultmann’s hermeneutic that includes references to deLubac, Jonas, Kant, Hermann, Barth, Dilthey, Heidegger, Frege, Husserl and Luther.

Chapter 1: The Bible as the Word of God  in  Toward Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

Though the Bible is a very human book, it is also a divine book. By common consent the Church for centuries has called it the Word of God. The Bible does not call itself that, for it reserves this term for the message or revelation of God spoken to the prophets and apostles, while in the New Testament the word is "the Word made flesh" to dwell among us as the incarnate Lord. The divine message will shine through with greater richness and power if we understand something of the channels of human fallibility mixed with high insights through which the message comes.

Chapter 1: The Idea of God  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

From the beginnings of the Bible to the end, the advance in the idea of God was extreme: Beginning with a territorial deity who loved his clansmen and hated the remainder of mankind, it ends with a great multitude out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, worshiping one universal Father; beginning with a god who walked in the garden in the cool of the day, it ends with the God whom "no man hath seen…at any time."

Chapter 1: The Letters to the Thessalonians  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Paul began Christian literature with these two short letters. Before he was finished with his missionary journeys he had written more than one-fourth of what is now included in the New Testament. In these first letters we see the difficulties that already were besetting the small new groups of Christians, and the patience, skill, and boldness with which their founder looked after their development.

Chapter 1. Introduction  in  A New Quest of the Biblical Jesus

Book Chapter by James M. Robinson

From a survey of current German discussion we may conclude that the proposal of a new quest of the historical Jesus, originally made within the context of the ‘post-Bultmannian’ direction of leading pupils of Bultmann, has broadened itself, not only in traditionally conservative circles, but also by support from the Barthian side as well as from Bultmann himself.

Chapter 10: The Gospel According to Luke  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Luke traces the ancestry of Jesus not simply to David and Abraham, but back to Adam the son of God, thus emphasizing his human nature more than his Jewish blood, and preparing the way for his later emphasis on the universal elements in Jesus’ ministry. More than any other evangelist Luke claims to have a historical purpose. His aim is to acquaint himself with all the sources, oral and written, for his work, and to set forth in order the results he ascertains.

Chapter 11:<B> </B>The Acts of the Apostles  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Some were still alive who knew what courage and perseverance and faith it had taken to bring about the spread of Christianity through the Roman world, and they felt that it would strengthen the faith and stimulate the zeal of the Christian believers around them to hear the story from the beginning. In such a spirit the physician Luke, perhaps in some city on the Aegean Sea like Ephesus, began to write the story of the Greek mission.

Chapter 12:<B> </B>The Revelation of John  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

So symbolic and enigmatical is the language of the Revelation of John that few outside of Jewish or Christian circles can have understood its meaning, or guessed that by Babylon the prophet meant the Roman Empire. Its value to the frightened and wavering Christians of Asia must have been great, for it promised them an early and complete deliverance, and cheered them to steadfastness and devotion.

Chapter 13:<B> </B>The Epistle to the Hebrews  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

To show his readers the extraordinary value of what they are in danger of throwing away, the writer proceeds to explain to them the messianic priesthood of Christ and its superiority to the old Jewish priesthood. To Jesus’ religious significance the writer couples the practical lesson of drawing near to God through the new and living way which Jesus has opened.

Chapter 14: The First Epistle of Peter  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

The Empire’s condemnation of the Christians put a peculiar strain upon the churches all over the Roman world. The ignorant masses already regarded the Christians as depraved and vicious and credited them with eating human flesh and with other monstrous practices. But quite aside from this the Empire had adjudged being a Christian a crime punishable by death. In this situation a Christian elder of Rome wrote to his brethren throughout Asia Minor a letter of advice and encouragement.

Chapter 16:<B> </B>The Letters of John  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Who the writer of these letters was, the Asian Elder, is uncertain. There is no need to identify him with the prophet John of the Revelation, although to him the letters have always been ascribed. Perhaps he could have been the one sending them out from Ephesus, one to Gaius, one to the church to which he belonged, and one to that and other churches with the assurance that the Christian experience and belief in Jesus as the Christ would save them from the mistakes of Docetism.

Chapter 17: The Gospel According to John  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Early in the second century a Christian leader of Ephesus, well acquainted with the early Gospels and deeply influenced by the letters of Paul, put forth a new interpretation of the spiritual significance of Jesus in terms of Greek thought, for Christianity and Judaism by then had parted company. Christianity found itself now, almost totally Greek, Gentile. As a result, Paul had laid great emphasis upon faith in Jesus the risen Christ, glorified at God’s right hand, and had attached little importance to knowing the historical Jesus in Palestine.

Chapter 18: The Letters to Timothy and to Titus  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

The value of these letters lay in the practical direction they gave the churches of their time, showing them how to readjust their high hopes of Jesus’ return and to set themselves to the task of establishing and perpetuating their work. In these little letters we see the church after the lofty enthusiasm of its first great experience settling down to the common life of the common day and grappling with its age-long task.

Chapter 2: An Easter Sermon by G. W. H. Lampe  in  The Resurrection: A Dialogue

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

The Easter experience, that Jesus is the living Lord who claims us as his followers, cannot be demonstrated to be true like a scientific proposition. If the Easter story depends on a corpse come back to life on this physical plane, it would be better to be forgotten. Christ is not a revived corpse. He lives in the fullness of God’s life. He is the life, the truth and the way.

Chapter 2: The Idea of Man  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The Old Testament starts with social solidarity so complete that the individual has practically no rights, and achieves at last profound insight into the meaning, worth, and possibility of personal life. The New Testament starts with personalities as in themselves supremely valuable, and conceives the "beloved community" in terms of their free cooperation and the social hope of the kingdom of God the crowning evidence of their faith and loyalty.

Chapter 2:<B> </B>The Letter to the Galatians  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

The demand of the newcomers in Galatia that the Christians there should undertake some of the practices of the Jewish law, such as circumcision and the religious observance of certain days, Paul denounces as unreasonable and dangerous. In opposition to these claims, he affirms with his very first words that he is an apostle, divinely commissioned, with an authority quite independent of that of the apostles at Jerusalem.

Chapter 3: The Idea of Right and Wrong  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

There were three main limitations on early Hebrew morals: the field of ethical obligation was tribally constricted; within the tribal circle certain classes were denied full personal rights; and the nature of moral conduct was interpreted in such external terms of custom and ritual as to make small demand on internal insight and quality. The progress made, therefore, in the later stages of the Old Testament, in the inter-Testamental period, and in the New Testament, may be interpreted as the overpassing of these three inadequacies. The thought expressed here is adverse to those who claim apocalypticism as the real creator of the new Testament’s ethic.

Chapter 4: Easter: A Statement by G.W.H. Lampe  in  The Resurrection: A Dialogue

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

While the Resurrection was a fact, attested to by those who experienced it in so far as it could be described in human language, it is not possible to say precisely what the nature of these experiences were. We cannot say that Jesus was actually seen with bodily eyes in a physical form capable of being photographed. But in any case, these “appearances” cannot be “proof” that God exists, but were the way the risen Lord called people to his service and to be a witness that God is, and is a gracious and loving God. Lampe details why he does not take the story of the empty tomb as factual history.

Chapter 4: The Idea of Suffering  in  A Guide to Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

All concepts of suffering found in the Old Testament are also found in the New Testament. Both saw that some human pain and torment are punitive, that some trouble is disciplinary was taken for granted, that in one way or another the cosmic process should not in the end be ethically unsatisfactory, that the whole experience of suffering remained mysterious, but that the climactic element in the New Testament’s contribution to the understanding of suffering is to be found in its treatment of vicarious self-sacrifice.

Chapter 5: The Procedure of a New Quest  in  A New Quest of the Biblical Jesus

Book Chapter by James M. Robinson

Jesus’ thought centers in a call to the present on the basis of the eschatological event of the near future. He pronounces divine judgement and blessing, and explains God’s other mighty acts (such as exorcism) which he does on the basis of the nearness of the kingdom. This call to the present in terms of the nearness of the kingdom is so central a theme as to produce something approaching a formal pattern.

Chapter 5: The Resurrection: A Meditation by D.M. MacKinnon  in  The Resurrection: A Dialogue

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

The Resurrection of Jesus can be seen as the revelation of the nature of his dying. He died the death of a criminal, the death of the cursed. On the other hand, he imposed upon his execution the style of self-oblation. He took the ghastly business of dying and converted it into an act of wholly obedient love. He died, and he was raised.

Chapter 6: Good Friday And Easter by D. M. MacKinnon  in  The Resurrection: A Dialogue

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

Where an understanding of the Resurrection of Christ is concerned, historical, philosophical and theological problems are inextricably intertwined. But they do not concern simply the relative lateness of the emergence of the empty tomb tradition They concern much more Christ’s approach to his Passion, the intention with which he confronted his supreme hour.

Chapter 6:<B> </B>The Letter to the Philippians  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Amid the divisions and differences — with Barnabas, Mark, Peter, the Jerusalem pillars, the Corinthians, the Galatians and their teachers — which attended the career of Paul, it is refreshing to find one church that never misunderstood him, but supported him loyally with men and money when he was at the height of his missionary preaching and when he was shut up in prison.

Chapter 7: The Letters to Philemon, to the Colossians, and to the Ephesians  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Paul’s belief in the speedy return of Jesus made him attach little importance to freedom or servitude. Hence his attitude towards Philemon’s slave, Onesimus. Still a prisoner at Rome, Paul could not visit Colossae and instruct the Christians there in person, but he could write a letter and send it to them by one of his helpers, who was also to conduct Onesimus back to his master Philemon. The letter to the Ephesians is a general letter to all Christians, and was written by some gifted and devoted follower of Paul, to introduce the collected letters to the churches everywhere, and strike the great note of unity in Christ which the times so demanded.

Chapter 7: The Reader in Dialogue  in  Taking the Bible Seriously

Book Chapter by Leander E. Keck

Scholarly work has both a negative and a positive function. Negatively, it makes certain interpretations impossible, for it insists that we listen to what the text actually says and not simply to what we think it says or ought to say. Positively, it helps us to hear what the writer wants to say; in fact, this is the only real justification for the whole discipline.

Chapter 8: The Gospel According to Mark  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Mark saw at once the great loss the churches would sustain if Peter’s recollections of Jesus perished, and at the same time he saw a way to preserve at least the best part of them for the comfort and instruction of the Roman believers. Despite the richness of the more comprehensive works of Matthew and Luke, no more convincing or dramatic account has been written of the sublime and heroic effort of Jesus to bring forth the great task of the Kingdom.

Chapter 8: Two Examples of Dialogue  in  Taking the Bible Seriously

Book Chapter by Leander E. Keck

The tensions between the ethos of our society and the ethical mandates in the Bible provide an important occasion for the reader to carry on his dialogue with the Bible. Only the Word of God is absolute, and the Spirit of God enables it to work through the Bible. This is the place to learn how to recognize the Word and how to listen for it. This is why the Bible is still Scripture.

Chapter Five: Homosexuality and the Evangelical  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

There is no Biblical support for singling out homosexuality as uniquely offensive to God or harmful to people.. Evangelicals must eliminate homophobia if the Bible is to remain the sole norm of faith and life in the church. Although evangelicals might have been correct in their basic assessment of homosexuality’s sin, they have been guilty of false argument and misstatement in much of their theological discussion. Until evidence surfaces, evangelicals should gratefully receive the corrections gay advocates can offer, while continuing to assert in love that the traditional position concerning the sinfulness of all homosexual activity is true to the Biblical norm.

Chapter Four: Evangelical Social Ethics: The Use of One’s Theological Tradition  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

Evidence from the conflicting theological heritages of evangelicals reveals polarities Evangelism and social justice, political power and the power of servanthood, the individual and the community, love and justice] — all show a need for dialogue between the competing traditions. The traditions in play are illustrated by the editorial content of four evangelical journals: Moody Monthly, Christianity Today, The Reformed Journal, and Sojourners.

Chapter One: The Nature of the Impasse  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

Evangelicals are those who believe in (1) the need for personal relationship with God through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and (2) the sole and binding authority of the Bible as God’s revelation, but they are at an impasse over the interpretation of major theological matters. The writings of Harold Lindsell, Francis Schaefer, Bernard Ramm, Carl Henry, Clark Pinnock, Dick France, James Packer and others present a range of contradictory theological formulations on such issues as the nature of Biblical inspiration, the place of women in the church and family, the church’s role in social ethics, and the Christian’s response to homosexuality.

Chapter Six: Constructive Evangelical Theology  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

The evangelical’s task is to seek prayerfully and humbly within the believing community a consensus theology, one arising out of Biblical, traditional, and contemporary data. Only in this way can the current impasse in regard to Biblical authority be overcome and the evangelical church prove itself to be a continuing authentic witness to the Christian faith in the days ahead.

Chapter Three: The Role of Women in the Church and Family: The Issue of Biblical Hermeneutics  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

The creedal stance of evangelicals is that Scripture’s purpose – its message of salvation – is accessible to all and is not limited to the clergy. This chapter addresses the need for a correct methodology (hermeneutic) so that private interpretations can be corrected and fresh stimulus gained for the ongoing theological task of the church.

Chapter Two:The Debate over Inspiration: Scripture as Reliable, Inerrant, or Infallible?  in  Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

To deal with issues involving inspiration is more than to make an apologetic appeal to the character of Scripture’s autographs which we no longer possess. It is. instead, to take seriously the issue of theological interpretation. If discussion of inspiration is to prove fruitful in evangelical circles it must move from dogmatic statement to matters of concrete theological judgment. With Scripture’s autographs no longer extant, “Inerrancy” has become a shibboleth, to be defended even at the expense of theological discourse which, however, must be pursued if Evangelicals are to move beyond the impasse.

Conclusion  in  The Bible in Human Transformation

Book Chapter by Walter Wink

This book is an appeal by the author to his colleagues in the community of biblical scholars to change their focus from the paradigm of professional success in their discipline to a more human personal involvement with the Bible’s intent as well as its content.

Counterscript

Article by Walter Brueggemann

I have been thinking about the ways in which the Bible is a critical alternative to the enmeshments in which we find ourselves in the church and in society. I have not, of course, escaped these enmeshments myself, but in any case I offer a series of 19 theses about the Bible in the church. …

God’s Way of Acting

Article by N.T. Wright

Jesus’ birth usually gets far more attention than its role in the New Testament warrants. Christmas looms large in our culture, outshining even Easter in the popular mind. Yet without Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 we would know nothing about it. Paul’s gospel includes Jesus’ Davidic descent (Rom. 1:3), but apart from that could exist …

Going Creedless

Article by John P. Burgess

  Book Reviews: Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas. By Elaine Pagels. Random House, 241 pp. Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. By Bart D. Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 294 pp. Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. By Bart D. Ehrman. Oxford …

Hang Tough

Article by Browne Barr

No one who has been hindered from participating in the joy and fulfillment of sexual union by a constricting view of sexuality handed down in the name of religion will object to the work of those who have liberated sex. So also with the Bible.. But in both cases a further step is in order …

History or Legend

Article by J. Maxwell Miller

What did the biblical writers know and when did they know it? That question formed the title of a recent book by William G. Dever. At issue is the historical veracity of the so-called historical books of the Hebrew Bible, particularly the early parts of the narrative that begins in the Book of Genesis with …

Honest to Jesus: Giving the Historical Jesus a Say in Our Future

Article by Gregory C. Jenks

Introduction: Historical Jesus Studies as a “School of Honesty” In 1906 Albert Schweitzer commented:”The critical study of the life of Jesus has been for theology a school of honesty.”(The Quest for the Historical Jesus) That is a most revealing observation, and it comes from someone who had just reviewed the efforts by historical Jesus scholars …

How I Have Been Snagged by the Seat of My Pants While Reading the Bible

Article by Walter Wink

Ninth in a Series: New Turns in Religious Thought The otherwise even flow of my life as a scholar-for-the-church has so far hit two snags. Both have irreversibly changed my course. I was hooked by the first snag in 1962. Having completed work on my Ph.D. except for the dissertation, I was at last established …

Important Issues in the Translation of the Bible in the Indian Context

Article by T. Johnson Chakkuvarackal

Introduction The message of the Bible has been distorted through human intervention during the long period of its transmission and translations. This issue of the presence of errors is proved by the historical, theological, linguistic, and critical analyses of different versions. In the modern age, several of the translations are being done without proper analyses …

Introduction  in  Understanding the Kingdom of God

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

What is lacking in the various religious movements of our times is a clear understanding of the life-giving personal and social relevance of the kingdom of God. This gives hope; it calls for repentance and offers renewal; it demands obedience to the will of God; it summons us to love one another. Nothing is more needed in our time or in any other.

Introduction  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

Christianity began its world-career as a hope of Jesus’ messianic return; it very soon became a permanent and organized church. The books of the New Testament show us those first eschatological expectations gradually accommodating themselves to conditions of permanent existence.

Introduction  in  The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology

Book Chapter by Robert C. Dentan

The purpose of this book is to set forth the teaching of the Bible in such a way as to illustrate the consistency and organic unity of biblical thought: the harmony which underlies the all-too-obvious differences between the two Testaments, the threads of interrelationship which tie together their separate parts in a complex and fascinating …

Is the Bible True?

Article by William C. Placher

Whenever there’s a really intense fight among American Protestants, sooner or later it seems to turn into an argument over the truth of scripture. At one extreme, some dismiss any appeal to the Bible out of hand and consider “authority” a dirty word. Others confidently assert that only their literalistic interpretations really count as believing …

Is the End Near?

Article by Robert Bachelder

In 1963 a respected biblical scholar wrote in a popular commentary on Daniel and Revelation, “Should anyone today make minute predictions about events in world history between now and the year AD. 2400, he would not be likely to have an audience. He would merely be labeled a fanatic” (Thomas S. Kepler, Dream of the …

List of Abbreviations  in  A New Quest of the Biblical Jesus

Book Chapter by James M. Robinson

List of Abbreviations: BZ, n.F. Biblische Zeitschrift, neuc Folge ChrW Die Christliche Welt EvTh Evan.gelische Theologie ExpT The Expository Times GuT” Rudolf Bultmann, Glauben und Verstehen, Vol. I, 1933. (Vol. II, 1932, is cited from the Engl tr., Essays Philosophical and Theological, 1955.) JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JTS, n.s. Journal of Theologital Studies, new series KD Karl Barth, Kirchliche Dogmatik, 1932 ff. …

Myth and Incarnation

Article by Jerry H. Gill

When it came out in England earlier this year, The Myth of God Incarnate (SCM Press) raised orthodox hackles and stirred up more public furor than theological works normally do in Great Britain (see Trevor Beeson’s “Debating the Incarnation,” August 3-September 7 Christian Century). Now that Westminster has brought out the book in the United …

Part I – History  in  The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology

Book Chapter by Robert C. Dentan

This part deals with the theological meaning of historical events as seen in the Old and New Testaments. These events are grouped as follows:

i. Paradise Lost

ii. The Covenant of Faith

iii. The Covenant of Law

iv. The Promised Land

v. The Founding of the Kingdom

vi. David—The Messiah King

vii. Solomon in All His Glory

viii. A House Divided

ix. Elijah—The Troubler of Israel

x. Elisha and the Great Revolt

xi. Amos and Hosea—Heralds of Judgment

xii. Isaiah—Prophet of Faith

xiii. Jeremiah and the New Covenant

xiv. Ezekiel and the Exile

xv. Second Isaiah and the Return from Exile

xvi. After the Return—New Troubles and New Hopes

xvii. The Age of the Maccabees

xviii. Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom

xix. Jesus—Himself the King

xx. The Crucified Messiah

xxi. The Risen Lord

xxii. The Birth of the New Israel

xxiii. The Church at Jerusalem

xxiv. St. Paul—The Missionary

xxv. St. Paul—The Pastor

The End of the Story

Part II – Doctrine  in  The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology

Book Chapter by Robert C. Dentan

The Second Part deals with the abiding assertions or teachings about the nature of God and His relation to man to which Biblical history gives rise. This part includes the following sections:

i. God the Creator

ii. God the All-Powerful

iii. God the All-Knowing

iv. God the Inescapable

v. God the Righteous Judge

vi. The God of Love

vii. God as Man’s Helper

viii. Man as God’s Creature

ix. Man as a Sinful Creature

x. The Unity of Man’s Nature

xi. Man’s Capacity for Redemption

xii. Man’s Need of a Redeemer

xiii. Jesus the Fulfillment of Man’s Need

xiv. Christ our Brother

xv. Life through His Death

xvi Victory through His Resurrection

xvii. The Kingship of Christ

xviii. The Deity of Christ

xix. Salvation by Faith

xx. The Gift of the Holy Spirit

xxi. The Holy Trinity

xxii.. The Church

xxiii. The Ministry

xxiv. The Sacraments

xxv. Life after Death

xxvi. The Goal—Fellowship with God

Part Three: Life  in  The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology

Book Chapter by Robert C. Dentan

This part deals with the forms of piety and of personal and corporate existence which Biblical history and acceptance of Biblical doctrine necessarily imply. It includes the following sections:

i. Life under Judgment

ii .Newness of Life

iii. Life in Christ

iv .Worship

v. Hearing the Word

vi .Communion

vii. Working for God

viii. The Moral Struggle

ix. Study

x. Prayer

xi. Faith

xii. Hope

xiii. Love

xiv. Penitence

xv. Thankfulness

xvi. Humility

xvii. Wisdom

xviii. Justice

xix. Temperance

xx. Fortitude

xxi. Marriage

xxii. Family Life

xxiii. The State

xxiv .Corporate Responsibility

xxv. Social Justice

xxvi. International Relations

Preface  in  Toward Understanding the Bible

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

The words of the bible were written by men of deep spiritual insight, and through their words God still speaks to us with a timeless message. If this message is to be most fruitfully grasped, whether for cultural enrichment or the deepening of personal faith, we need to understand the Bible’s structure and content.

Preface  in  The Story of the New Testament

Book Chapter by Edgar J. Goodspeed

New Testament study is not a closed system but a living and vigorous discipline, and its progress during the first quarter of the 20th century has been such that some revision is now necessary if the book is to continue to give its readers a sound historical view of the New Testament.

Resurrection Faith: N. T. Wright Talks About History and Belief

Article by N.T. Wright

New Testament scholar N. T Wright, who has taught at Cambridge, Oxford and Montreal, recently became the canon theologian at Westminster Abbey in London. He is both a vigorous investigator of the historical Jesus and an effective communicator of the gospel. His scholarly works include a two-volume project on the origins of Christianity: The New …

Scripture and the Theological Enterprise: View from a Big Canoe

Article by Russell P. Spittler

Mis – sour – i (mi zoor’ e) n. [<Algonquian, lit., people of the big canoes]. 1. pl.-ris, ri any member of a tribe of Indians … from Missouri [Colloq.] not easily convinced; skeptical until shown definite proof…          -Excerpted from Webster’s New World Dictionary (1970 edition) As in medicine, theology names a whole field by one …

Stimulating Faith by Way of Contradiction

Article by Gaylord Noyce

Theologian Charles Wood, in The Formation of Christian Understanding (Westminster, 1981) , offers a provocative insight regarding the Bible’s multiple perspectives. Far from presenting a mere problem of interpretation, he contends, the differing and even contradictory texts can lead us to a more vigorous, robust kind of faith. "These disparate elements are not to be …

The Battle for the Bible: Renewing the Inerrancy Debate

Article by Donald W. Dayton

Early this past summer “evangelical” magazines carried a striking advertisement for a new book by the editor of Christianity Today, the major organ of the postfundamentalist “evangelical” coalition. In boldface type it quoted the author’s assertion that “a battle is raging today. More and more evangelicals are propagating the view that the Bible has errors …

The Bible as Canon

Article by James A. Sanders

The need for canonical criticism has been addressed elsewhere (for example, in Horizons in Biblical Theology 2 [1980], pp. 173-197). It has emerged in part as a way for the guild of biblical scholarship to respond to a number of stimuli: (1) the increasing charges by many theologians, lay and professional, that biblical criticism has …

The Bible as Scripture

Article by Walter Brueggemann

Book Review: Isaiah By Brevard S. Childs. Westminster John Knox, 555 pp. Since the publication of his Biblical Theology in Crisis in 1970, Brevard Childs (recently retired from Yale Divinity School) has pursued a single-minded interpretive agenda with passion and imagination: that the legitimate interpretation of the Bible is as the scripture of the church. …

The Bible in Human Transformation

Book by Walter Wink

(ENTIRE BOOK) Citing the disconnection if not alienation that exists between the community of biblical scholars and the community of faith, the author calls for a serious reassessment of the driving forces in biblical scholarship, and suggests a new paradigm that holds promise of making the Bible more widely available and humanly applicable.

The Golden Calf

Article by Daniel J. Ritter

The human race is a work in progress.  Man’s perception of his world changes with each generation.  What one generation knew to be right, another discovers to be wrong.  For a thousand years the Bible was a work in progress.  The world as perceived by Jeremiah is not the world as perceived by Ezra.  The …

The Hanna-Barbera Cartoons: Compounding Bible Ignorance?

Article by Helen Lee Turner, Jones & Blazer

The series has already gained widespread home use through both rentals and sales (at a modest $19.95) at video stores, Christian bookshops, and discount stores like K-Mart, along with direct mail order. In fact, almost 45,000 units were "pre-sold" for The Nativity, one of the latest titles, before its release. And according to co-creator Joseph …

The Icon Tree

Article by Madeline L'Engle

Easter: that day which follows the harrowing of hell of Great and Holy Saturday; Easter, which turns a terrible Friday into Good Friday. It is almost too brilliant for me to contemplate; it is like looking directly into the sun; I am burned and blinded by life. Easter completes the circle of blessing, and the …

The Resurrection: A Dialogue

Book by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

(ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Lampe states that the resurrection of Christ certainly was not a resurrection of the physical body and that the “empty tomb” story is as much a hinderance as a help to believing Christians. Professor MacKinnon examines the Easter Narrative in light of the the passion narrative.

Toward Understanding the Bible

Book by Georgia Harkness

(ENTIRE BOOK) A review of the place of the Bible in our culture, examining the crucial question of what is meant by its being the inspired Word of God. Excellent summary of the geographical, social and religious setting within which the Bible emerged, the stages of its development, the literary types in the Old and New Testaments, and the main themes.

Understanding the Kingdom of God

Book by Georgia Harkness

(ENTIRE BOOK) There is a dilemma in understanding the meaning of the Kingdom of God. Various approaches to kingdom study are presented. Among these are included: 1. Dr. Harkness’ own understanding of the kingdom. 2. the Scriptural views of understanding of the kingdom. 3. a theological analysis of the message. 4. The message itself.

Unity and Diversity in Evangelical Theology

Article by Robert K. Johnston

Evangelicals are increasingly recognizing the need to ask methodological questions as they do theology. This is not a capitulation to modernity as a few continue to charge. Rather our growing hermeneutical concern is evidence of evangelicalism’s continuing commitment to the lordship of Christ and the authority of-Scripture. How can we better understand and explicate our …

What to Say About Hell

Article by David Heim

Hell is talked about cautiously, if at all, in mainline churches. Yet the notion of a divinely ordained place of punishment for the wicked after death is deeply embedded in the Christian imagination. How should we think and talk about hell? Why don’t we talk about it? We asked eight theologians to comment. The doctrine …