LISTEN: Definition of the Term Biblical Theology, Part 1 (The Study of God #1 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. As. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 which reads: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Thomas Aquinas. He said: “We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.”

Our topic for today is titled “Definition of the Term Biblical Theology” (Part 1) from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Moody Handbook of Theology.” It is available on our website for just $50.

The term ‘biblical theology’ can be used in different ways. Although the way we will use it focuses on a special method of theological study, it should be understood that the term is widely used to refer to a movement that is basically antagonistic to evangelical faith. This negative usage is considered and discarded before the legitimate meaning of biblical theology is discussed.

First of all, then, this expression is used to describe the biblical theology movement. This was an outgrowth of liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. It began with the publication of Walther Eichrodt’s first volume of Old Testament theology in 1933 and ended with the publication of von Rad’s second volume of Old Testament theology in 1960. Brevard Childs suggests the movement experienced its demise in May 1963 with the publication of John A.T. Robinson’s Honest to God.

The movement initially was a reaction to liberalism and sought a return to an exegetical study of the Scriptures, particularly emphasizing a study of biblical words. Kittel’s monumental ten-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament is an outgrowth of that. As a movement, however, it never separated itself from its liberal underpinnings; it retained the historical-critical methodology. For example, in studying the gospels, adherents of the biblical theology movement applied the historical-critical methodology in attempting to discover which of the words attributed to Christ were actually spoken by Him.

While the movement recognized the weak message of liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it retained the liberal presuppositions concerning the Bible. Adherents held to the neoorthodox view of revelation, taught evolution as a theory of origins, and emphasized the human aspect of the Bible rather than the divine. As a result, the movement was self-defeating. It was impossible to do a serious, exegetical study of the Scriptures while at the same time denying the authority of the Scriptures.

A second way in which the term biblical theology is used is for that methodology that takes its material in a historically oriented manner from the Old and New Testaments and arrives at a theology. It is exegetical in nature, drawing its material from the Bible as opposed to a philosophical understanding of theology; it stresses the historical circumstances in which doctrines were propounded; it examines the theology within a given period of history (as in Noahic or Abrahamic eras) or of an individual writer (as Pauline or Johannine writings).

Biblical theology in this sense may be called “that branch of theological science which deals systematically with the historically conditioned progress of the self-revelation of God as deposited in the Bible.”

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, all you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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