What is Biblical Theology? by Dr. Jim Hamilton

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I received a copy of What is Biblical Theology by Dr. James M. Hamilton Jr. I started reading the book last night and will finish it this afternoon. Thus far, it is a book that I hope thousands pick up and read. Not only is it succinct, clear, and compelling, but it moves the heart to worship. This has been the real delight of the book. What Hamilton writes seems to flow out of a heart that is singing. Dr. Hamilton has seen glorious things and wants the rest of us to see them as well. So, as he sings about what he sees I find that my heart begins to sing as I begin to see. Thus, I have loved the book because I have been moved to worship as my eyes have seen the glory in the story. May I see and sing more and more as the book continues.

Now, I plan to offer a fuller review of the book at some point in the near future. Here, however, I simply offer a few quotes from early in the book along with the outline of the book.

From the chapter 1:

“The world does have a true story. The Bible tells it. This book is about the Bible’s big story, and it’s about how we become people who live in that story. To do biblical theology is to think about the whole story of the Bible.” (pg. 12)

“One of the primary aims of biblical theology is to understand and embrace the worldview of the biblical authors.” (pg. 12)

“The phrase biblical theology is used here to refer to the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors.” (pg. 15)

“Our aim is to trace out the contours of the network of assumptions reflected in the writings of the biblical authors. If we can see what the biblical authors assumed about the story, symbol, and church, we will glimpse the world as they saw it. To catch a glimpse of the world as they saw it is to see the real world.” (pg. 19)

“If biblical theology is a way to get into another world, the world inhabited by the biblical authors, you have a right to understand my intentions. My hope is that you cross the bridge into their thought-world and never come back. I hope you will breathe the air of the Bible’s world, recognize it as the real Narnia, and never want to leave.” (pg. 22)

The books outline:

1. A Better World Breaks Through

2. What Is Biblical Theology?

Part 1

The Bible’s Big Story

3. The Narrative

4. Plot: Conflict, Episodes, and Theme

5. The Mystery

Part 2

The Bible’s Symbolic Universe

6. What Do Symbols Do?

7. Imagery

8. Typology

9. Patterns

Part 3

The Bible’s Love Story

10. A Song for the Lady in Waiting: The Bride of Christ and Biblical Theology

11. The Church’s Identity in the Story

12. The Church’s Setting in the Story

13. The Church’s Plot Tension and Its Resolution


For Further Reading


General Index

Scripture Index

Once again, I heartily commend the book to you. It is accessible and clear and would be beneficial to any student of the Scriptures that engages with the contents.




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