The Moody Handbook of Theology

The Moody Handbook of Theology

by Paul P Enns
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The study of God, His nature, and His Word are all essential to the Christian faith. Now those interested in Christian theology have a newly revised and updated reference tool in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Moody Handbook of Theology.

In this classic and timeless one-volume resource, Paul Enns offers a comprehensive overview

Overview

The study of God, His nature, and His Word are all essential to the Christian faith. Now those interested in Christian theology have a newly revised and updated reference tool in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Moody Handbook of Theology.

In this classic and timeless one-volume resource, Paul Enns offers a comprehensive overview of the five dimensions of theology: biblical, systematic, historical, dogmatic, and contemporary. Each section includes an introduction, chapters on key points, specific studies pertinent to that theology, books for further study, and summary evaluations of each dimension. Charts, graphs, glossary, and indexes add depth and breadth.

Theology, once the domain of academicians and learned pastors, is now accessible to anyone interested in understanding the essentials of what Christians believe. The Moody Handbook of Theology is a concise doctrinal reference tool for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A reference to fundamentalist Christian theology from an evangelical point of view, divided into biblical, systematic, historical, dogmatic, and contemporary studies. Includes a glossary and indices of subjects, people, and scriptures. For the truly called rather than the simple believer or scholar. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802491152
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
03/27/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
816
Sales rank:
405,606
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

THE MOODY HANDBOOK OF THEOLOGY


By Paul Enns, Jim Vincent, Allan Sholes

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Paul Enns
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1198-3



CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL THEOLOGY


Definition

THE TERM BIBLICAL THEOLOGY can be used in different ways. Although the usage adopted in this volume 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 here 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 neoorthodoxy. 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 the above-defined 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."

Several elements are important to observe in this definition:


Systematization

Biblical theology investigates the periods of history in which God has revealed Himself or the doctrinal emphases of the different biblical writers as set forth in a systematic fashion. Biblical theology, while presented in a systematized form, is distinct from systematic theology that assimilates truth from the entire Bible and from outside the Scriptures in systematizing biblical doctrine. Biblical theology is narrower. It concentrates on the emphasis of a given period of history as in the Old Testament or on the explicit teaching of a particular writer as in the New Testament.


History

Biblical theology pays attention to the important historical circumstances in which the biblical doctrines were given. What can be learned from the Old Testament era of revelation? What were the circumstances in the writing of Matthew or John? What were the circumstances of the addressees of the letter to the Hebrews? These are important questions that help resolve the doctrinal emphasis of a particular period or of a specific writer.


Progress of Revelation

An orthodox doctrine that evangelicals have long held is the belief in progressive revelation; God did not reveal all truth about Himself at one time but revealed Himself "piecemeal," portion by portion to different people throughout history (cf. Heb. 1:1). Biblical theology traces that progress of revelation, noting the revelation concerning Himself that God has given in a particular era or through a particular writer. Hence, God's self-disclosure was not as advanced to Noah and Abraham as it was to Isaiah. An earlier book of the New Testament, such as James, reflects a more primitive view of the church than books written later, such as the pastoral epistles.


Biblical Nature

In contrast to systematic theology, which draws its information about God from any and every source, biblical theology has a narrower focus, drawing its information from the Bible (and from historical information that expands or clarifies the historical events of the Bible). Biblical theology thus is exegetical in nature, examining the doctrines in the various periods of history or examining the words and statements of a particular writer. This enables the student to determine the self-disclosure of God at a given period of history.


Relation to Other Disciplines

Exegetical Studies

Biblical theology has a direct relationship to exegesis ("to explain; to interpret"), inasmuch as biblical theology is the result of exegesis. Exegesis lies at the foundation of biblical theology. Exegesis calls for an analysis of the biblical text according to the literal-grammatical-historical methodology. (1) The passage under consideration should be studied according to the normal meaning of language. How is the word or statement normally understood? (2) The passage should be studied according to the rules of grammar; exegesis demands an examination of the nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc., for a proper understanding of the passage. (3) The passage should be studied in its historical context. What were the political, social, and particularly the cultural circumstances surrounding it? Biblical theology does not end with exegesis, but it must begin there. The theologian must be hermeneutically exacting in analyzing the text to properly understand what Matthew, Paul, or John wrote.


Introductory Studies

Although it is not the purpose of biblical theology to provide a detailed discussion of introductory matters, some discussion is essential since interpretive solutions are sometimes directly related to introductory studies. Introduction determines issues like authorship, date, addressees, and occasion and purpose for writing. For example, the dating of the book of Hebrews is significant in that it relates to the extent of the suffering of the audience to whom the book is written. Persecution became severe after the burning of Rome in A.D. 64. Even more critical is the issue of the addressees in Hebrews. If the audience is understood to be unbelievers, the book will be studied in one fashion; if the audience is understood to be Hebrew Christians, the book will be understood differently. By way of other examples, the audiences of Matthew, Mark, and Luke also determine how these writers are evaluated. For example, Matthew's theological viewpoint ought to be understood from the standpoint of having been written to a Jewish audience. The theological viewpoint of the writer is clearly related to introductory issues.


Systematic Theology Studies

There are both similarities and differences between biblical and systematic theology. Both are rooted in the analysis of Scripture, although systematic theology also seeks truth from sources outside the Bible. In noting the relationship of these two theologies, numerous distinctions can be observed. (1) Biblical theology is preliminary to systematic theology; exegesis leads to biblical theology, which in turn leads to systematic theology. (2) Biblical theology seeks to determine what the biblical writers said concerning a theological issue, whereas systematic theology also explains why something is true, adding a philosophical viewpoint. (3) While biblical theology provides the viewpoint of the biblical writer, systematic theology gives a doctrinal discussion from a contemporary viewpoint. (4) Biblical theology analyzes the material of a particular writer or period of history, whereas systematic theology investigates all materials both biblical and extrabiblical that relate to a particular doctrinal matter.

Contrasts between biblical and systematic theology are portrayed on the following page.


Methodology

Biblical theology of the Old Testament is best understood when examining the Old Testament for a "center" or unifying principle. Many different proposals have been suggested concerning a unifying theme of the Old Testament. Waiter Kaiser has suggested "promise" as the unifying theme; Elmer Martens suggests "God's design" as the focal point; whereas Eugene Merrill suggests "kingdom" as the underlying theme of the Old Testament. Whatever theme is emphasized, biblical theology of the Old Testament should be able to see the unfolding of that theme in the different periods of the Old Testament (progressive revelation). (See further discussion of methodology under "Introduction to Old Testament Theology," chap. 2.)

Since the writing of the New Testament books probably encompassed less than fifty years, biblical theology of the New Testament must concern itself with the viewpoint of the different New Testament authors. Thus, the biblical theology of the New Testament is studied according to Pauline theology, Petrine theology, Johannine theology, and so forth. This study evaluates what particular doctrines the writers of the New Testament emphasized and how they developed those doctrines. (See further discussion of methodology under "Introduction to New Testament Theology," chap. 9.)


Importance

Shows Historical Development of Doctrine

Biblical theology is important in that it prevents the study of doctrine apart from its historical context. In the study of systematic theology it is entirely possible to ignore the historical context of doctrinal truth; biblical theology serves to avert that problem by paying attention to the historical milieu in which the doctrine was given.


Shows Emphasis of the Writer

Biblical theology reveals the doctrinal teaching of a particular writer or of an entire period. In that sense, biblical theology systematizes the Scriptures pertinent to a writer or period and determines the major teaching or doctrinal focus of the writer or period of time. It enables the student to determine what was emphasized during the Abrahamic era or what was emphasized by the apostle John, providing a different perspective from that normally attained through the study of systematic theology.


Shows Human Element in Inspiration

While it is true that the Bible is verbally inspired and inerrant, it is also true that the writers of Scripture each wrote according to their distinctive style. Biblical theology emphasizes the human factor in the writing of Scripture (but not to the exclusion of inspiration). Thus biblical theology is intent on discovering what John or Paul taught or what was emphasized during a period of Old Testament history. Biblical theology "points up the individual backgrounds, interest, and style of the authors. Biblical theology emphasizes the part that the writers had in the composition of the Word of God, while, of course, building on the divine superintendence of the writings."

CHAPTER 2

INTRODUCTION TO OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY


THE STUDY OF OLD TESTAMENT theology is a complex task. There is no unanimity among Old Testament scholars on which approach to take. The discussion under "Methodology of Old Testament Theology" will introduce the reader to the varying approaches that are taken. It is possible to study the Old Testament under the topics of God, sin, salvation, and so forth, but that is limiting inasmuch as it is little more than a systematic theology of the Old Testament. Because of the span of time involved it is profitable to study the Old Testament dealing with the differing eras it records in which God has revealed Himself. Within that framework it is possible to study the major doctrines within each era (as Chester Lehman does)—which is helpful, but it fails to tie the study together. It is also possible to see a common theme in the different eras as does Kaiser in his helpful work. This is important in seeing a unity in Old Testament theology.

It seems best to see the unity of the Old Testament as developed around the theme of "kingdom." The theme is emphasi7ed throughout the Old Testament—in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. Throughout the Old Testament God dispensed His theocratic kingdom through mediators. God appointed human leaders through whom He revealed His will and made Himself known. The final, ultimate form of God's theocratic kingdom is the millennial kingdom governed by Jesus Christ. It is ultimately that kingdom to which the Old Testament looks forward.

By way of introduction, then, Old Testament theology should see the unfolding of God's revelation; it should be based on a study of the Old Testament text; and it should draw the study together around the developing focus of the theocratic "kingdom."


History of Old Testament Theology

Early Developments

There is no evidence of an organized study of biblical theology in the Old Testament or New Testament. The earliest evidence is found with Irenaeus (c. A.D. 130–200) who recognized the progressive revelation of God. Later, Augustine (A.D. 354–430) suggested five historical periods of divine revelation. During the Reformation the issues were basically soteriological, and thus biblical theology as a science did not develop during that time.


Nineteenth Century

The modern beginnings of biblical theology can be traced to John Philip Gabler, who described biblical theology as "the religious ideas of Scripture as an historical fact, so as to distinguish the different times and subjects, and so also the different stages in the development of these ideas." Gabler denied the supernatural, however, and the first conservative work did not appear until E. W Hengstenberg's Christology of the Old Testament (1829–35). Earlier, Geerg Lorenz Bauer (1755–1806) published the first Old Testament theology, dividing it into theology, anthropology, and Christology. Many Old Testament theology works followed, including Gustave Friedrich Oehler's monumental work in 1873–74.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from THE MOODY HANDBOOK OF THEOLOGY by Paul Enns, Jim Vincent, Allan Sholes. Copyright © 2014 Paul Enns. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

DR. PAUL ENNS has served as Minister, Biblical Training&Leadership Development at Idlewild Baptist Church since July 1995. He attended Dallas Theological Seminary, obtaining his Th.D. (Bible Exposition) in 1979. In addition to his teaching position at DTS, Dr. Enns also held positions at: Luther Rice Seminary, Talbot Theological Seminary, and Word of Life Institute. He was instrumental in establishing the Tampa Bay Extension of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently is Professor of Systematic Theology and Director.Dr. Enns has served as Scholar in Residence for the Lockman Foundation, since 1989, as editor and translator of the New American Standard Bible.An accomplished author, Dr. Enns has written twelve books including The Moody Handbook of Theology (Third Edition); Approaching God: Daily Reflections for Growing Christians; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John Gospel Commentary; Heaven Revealed and Everything Happens for a Reason. Dr. Enns enjoyed 45+ years with his beloved wife Helen before her homegoing to heaven in 2005. He resides in the Tampa area and has two sons.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >