Why is Biblical Theology important?

Biblical theology is an important discipline for several reasons; first, it helps us to determine what themes and truths of scriptures are really important, and why. As we seek to understand how the scriptures naturally unfold, and how its themes are developed and grow ever more mature, we start to realize what's truly being emphasized. If we relied on systematic theology alone, we might come to know many truths about angels and men and sin and redemption, but which of those truths are the most important? Which are the most emphasized and developed in the history of special revelation? Is it as important to know about cherubim and seraphim as it is to know about justification and redemption?

Second, biblical theology gives us the “big picture,” and shows us how all the truths of the bible cohere and relate to each other, and make sense as a whole. The bible was not given to us as a handbook of various truths and doctrines, but fundamentally as an epic story, in which all truths exist to portray the glory of one great Hero, promised, foreshadowed, and prepared for in the Old Testament, and finally coming to accomplish his magnificent and many-faceted work in the New Testament. Systematic Theology alone does not give this epic, Christ-centered sense of the bible as one great unified whole, testifying to the mighty work of God's redemption through his eternal Son, the triumphant Christ.

Third, biblical theology can be helpful in demanding the application of a rigorous historical-grammatical hermeneutic in exegesis. Biblical theology, by its very nature, must take into account the history and context of special revelation, and answer the questions of why a particular book was written at a particular time, what problems it addressed, how it further prepared the world and the people of God for the coming of Christ, and so on; and for this reason, it can be a healthy corrective to any tendency toward careless “proof-texting”.

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