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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Biblical Theology: The Convergence of the Canon
Witherington III, Ben

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019 pp. xi + 495. $34.99

Description: In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Sensitive to do a more than merely thematic reading of the Bible which strips texts out of their original context, Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning. The result is a Biblical theology that allows Jews and Christian's to dialogue about and appreciate the sacred scriptures in both testaments. The capstone work of an internationally known theologian, Biblical Theology also offers new insights on key theological issues, including the character of God, grace, covenants, salvation, election, and eschatology as they relate to the doctrine of God.

Subjects: Bible, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology

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Review by John Goldingay
Published 5/21/2020
Citation: John Goldingay, review of Ben Witherington III, Biblical Theology: The Convergence of the Canon, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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