What is the Bible? Is it just a random collection of old stories? Just another book from thousands of years ago with a few good lessons for us to learn? Or is there something more going on within the pages of Scripture? Is it possible that the ancient books of the Old and New Testaments are part of a single, unified story, begun long ago but extending into our world today?
James Hamilton shows us how the 66 books of the Bible follow an overarching story line, helping Christians to read and interpret the Bible through the worldview of the biblical writers and as the early Christians read it. Hamilton examines key symbols, patterns and themes that are found throughout Scripture. He helps readers to really grasp and be transformed by the theology of redemption contained in and revealed through God’s Word.
While not always seen on the surface, the biblical narrative (sixty-six books written by numerous authors and including stories, poems, proverbs, letters, and apocalypses) possesses a deep inner unity. Hamilton’s focus is for the reader to be shaped and conformed by the biblical story. Instead of making it all about us, we are to find ourselves in the story of redemption.
Why Study Biblical Theology?
Hearing the word theology can be like hearing your teacher tell you to work out a Gaussian distribution (bell curve) in your Statistical Analysis class. “….what?” Often times our brains shut off. But Jim Hamilton is an author who does a good job of clearly presenting the thematic threads that run throughout Scripture. The Bible is a story; God is the Storyteller. Reading the Lord of the Rings is different than working out the inverted bell curve of a skewed plane. Just typing that gives me chills.
Disoriented Bible reading leads to disoriented living. Too often the Bible reader parachutes into a passage without understanding the immediate context or the overall context of the entire Bible. Getting oriented to the whole story of the Bible is the only way to right interpretation, and right interpretation equals right living. The reader will be able to better understand God’s Word, know the mind of Christ, and glorify God.
Hamilton offers the reader an aerial view of the forest before we can begin to walk among the trees. What Is Biblical Theology? provides a very helpful start for beginning students, and students of all levels will be blessed in the reminder of the patterns and themes that make Scripture such a deep and glorious book.