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New Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Exploring the Unity & Diversity of Scripture (IVP Reference Collection) Hardcover – December 7, 2000
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"The advent of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is both timely and highly significant. It is timely because of the increasing recognition in both scholarly and popular Christian circles of the need to integrate biblical themes, ideas and passages into the message of the Bible as a whole (whatever diversity there may be within it). The volume is important because of the quality and scope of its articles, which are helpfully divided into three sections: those dealing with fundamental issues relating to biblical theology, articles about various books and corpora of the Scriptures, and those on key biblical topics. This dictionary will be an invaluable aid to all students and teachers of the Bible who want to understand the relation of the parts to the whole thrust of the Scriptures." (Peter O'Brien, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia)
"At least once in each generation, change of such magnitude takes place in a field of study that standard reference books have to be revised and new ones written. What Kevin Vanhoozer has called in this volume the 'second coming' of biblical theology in the twentieth century is just such a change. It has stimulated fresh interest in the theological unity of the Bible and renewed study of themes across the whole sweep of biblical revelation. The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is keenly attuned to this welcome development and draws on the best of contemporary evangelical scholarship. It is a quality volume, which I'm sure will become a standard reference work for all serious Bible students, especially those committed to teaching and preaching the whole Bible as Christian Scripture." (Barry G. Webb, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia)
"The idea that the writings of the Old and New Testaments form a coherent whole is at odds with current scholarly fashion. The Christian 'Old Testament' has become a supposedly more neutral 'Hebrew Bible,' only loosely related to the New Testament; and the emphasis on the distinctiveness of the individual biblical texts has led to a systematic neglect of their deep interrelatedness. This fragmentation of the Bible undermines its single though diverse testimony to the action of the triune God in and for the world. Evangelical scholarship has always been concerned with the whole Bible and is uniquely well placed to resist this trend toward fragmentation. The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is a timely challenge to contemporary scholarship to reconsider its prejudice against coherence. It is a welcome sign that biblical theology continues to flourish and that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated." (Francis Watson, Durham University, England)
"The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is a valuable resource for teachers, preachers and students. There are excellent surveys of key issues such as 'The Unity and Diversity of Scripture' and 'Relationship of Old Testament and New Testament,' plus more detailed articles on biblical books, themes, characters, etc. Most of those I have read reflect thorough research and breadth of knowledge. Helpful bibliographies are provided after each article. . . . The emphasis on the theological significance of the topics covered is a distinctive contribution of this work." (David L. Baker, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio)
About the Author
T. Desmond Alexander is senior lecturer in biblical studies and director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From 1980 to 1999, he was lecturer in Semitic studies at the Queen's University of Belfast. His main field of research is the Pentateuch, about which he has written extensively in academic journals and books. Alexander also has a special interest in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch and Abraham in the Negev, and he is a coeditor (with Brian S. Rosner) of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000).
Brian S. Rosner is Principal of Ridley Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. He formerly taught at Moore Theological College, Macquarie University and the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of several books, including Paul, Scripture and Ethics: A Study of 1 Corinthians 5-7 and Greed as Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor. He is also co-editor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and co-author of a volume on 1 Corinthians in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.
D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican and Old Testament scholar. He was formerly lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia and continues to teach there part time. Goldsworthy is the author of According to Plan, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Gospel & Kingdom,The Gospel in Revelation and The Gospel and Wisdom. He has an MA from Cambridge University and a ThM and PhD from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
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For most of the 20th century the dominant approach to Biblical interpretation, even among Evangelicals was based on higher critical assumptions about the independence of each book of the Bible. Therefore, rather than look at themes as they develop in the Bible, atomistic, and sometimes even deconstructing approaches were preferred.
Source critcism, while still popular in some circles is now less credible, and where credible less popoular and this has opened the door for a new generation of scholars to look at the Bible as a whole without getting laughed out of town. This approach of looking at themes as they develop throughout the canon is known as "Biblical Theology." The editors of this book are the leaders in the evangelical wing of that movement.
What this means to the layperson or pastor is that this book is worth a cover to cover read. Here you have scholars developing and examining the themes of the Bible in a way that rarely occurs in other kinds of resources. This kind of thematic development, if you are not accustomed to it will open up a whole new world in your preaching and Biblical Interpretation. One of the most important references on my shelf.