What is Biblical Theology?
A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns
How Do You Read the Bible?
The Bible recounts a single story—one that began at creation, encompasses our lives today, and will continue till Christ’s return and beyond. In What Is Biblical Theology?, Jim Hamilton introduces us to this narrative, helping us understand the worldview of the biblical writers so that we can read the Old and New Testaments as those authors intended. Tracing the key patterns, symbols, and themes that bind the Bible together, this book will help you understand Scripture’s unified message and find your place in the great story of redemption.
“What Is Biblical Theology? confirms Jim Hamilton’s reputation as a top-shelf thinker and a seriously good writer. This slim volume builds on the presupposition that the capacious biblical narrative – 66 books, written by numerous authors and including stories, poems, proverbs, letters, and apocalypses — possesses a deep inner unity. Its unity arises from its divine inspiration, and it is in fact the true story of the whole world. Hamilton teaches his readers to engage in biblical theology, allowing the biblical story to shape us and conform us to God’s will.”
-— Bruce Ashford, Provost, Dean of Faculty, and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Theology is a word that comes with baggage. Most people, like me, find their brains shutting down a little at its mention, mainly because it stirs up the same sort of feelings as words like calculus and dentist appointment. But from the outset of this book James Hamilton assures us he’s not performing mental acrobatics (though I’m sure he could if he wanted to). Rather, he’s showing us that if the Bible is a story, and God is a storyteller, then biblical theology is less like math and more like literature; it’s less like a cold study of the chemical properties of paint and more like gazing at a Van Gogh. This is a book I wish I could have read a long time ago.”
-— Andrew Peterson, singer/songwriter; author, The Wingfeather Saga
Table of Contents
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?
Part 3: The Bible’s Love Story
10. A Song for the Lady in Waiting: The Bride of Christ in 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
About the Author
Jim Hamilton is Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church.