Wednesday, April 19, 2006

J.P. Gabler on Biblical Theology

What is Biblical Theology?

"There is truly a biblical theology, of historical origin, conveying what the holy writers felt about divine matters; on the other hand there is dogmatic theology of didactic origin, teaching what each theologian philosophises rationally about divine things, according to the measure of his ability or the times, age, place, sect, school, and other similar factors. Biblical theology, as is proper to historical argument, is always in accord with itself when considered by itself - although even biblical theology when elaborated by one of the disciplines may be fashioned in one way by some and in another way by others."

How is Biblical Theology Done?

"Above all, this process is completed in two ways: the one is in the legitimate interpretation of passages pertinent to this procedure; the other is in the careful comparison of the ideas of all the sacred authors among themselves."

What Relation is Biblical Theology to Dogmatic (Systematic) Theology?

"And finally, unless we want to follow uncertain arguments, we must so build only upon these firmly established foundations of biblical theology, again taken in the stricter sense as above, a dogmatic theology adapted to our own times."

1 comment:

Daniel Kirk said...

I was never a big fan of Gabler's program--I thought his definition of Biblical Theology was too static. It read to me as, basically, "unorganized systematic theology." It brings the definition of ST to the biblical text, assuming from the outset that ST type data is what we do/should find in the Bible.