The Glory Of God In Salvation Through Judgment -- By: James Hamilton

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 57:1 (NA 2006)
Article: The Glory Of God In Salvation Through Judgment
Author: James Hamilton

The Glory Of God In Salvation Through Judgment

The Centre Of Biblical Theology?

James Hamilton


Does the solar system of biblical theology have a sun? Many conclude from the numerous proposals that one theme cannot hold sway as the centre of biblical theology. This essay briefly discusses the basis for, worth of, and meaning behind the idea of a central concept in the Bible’s theology. Having summarized previous proposals, exegetical and thematic evidence is put forward in an attempt to discern whether the gravitational force and emanating brightness of the glory of God in salvation through judgment can order and enlighten the world of biblical theology.

1. Introduction

The suggestion that the Bible contains a theology within itself, and that its theology has a centre, assumes that the Bible presents a coherent message. David Noel Freedman has presented stimulating evidence, which, in his view, points to the conclusion that the whole of the Hebrew Bible was shaped by Ezra and Nehemiah and argues a coherent thesis.1 The evidence that Freedman provides for the Old Testament is

paralleled by what David Trobisch argues for the New Testament, namely, that the twenty-seven books of the New Testament canon were presented as one unified book very early.2 Further, Trobisch provides good grounds for doing ‘pan-biblical theology’ rather than merely Old Testament or New Testament theology by noting that the editors of the first edition of the New Testament presented it as ‘the second part of the Canonical Edition’3 – the Greek translation of the Old Testament being the first part.4 The historical arguments of Freedman and Trobisch complement the informed presuppositional statement of Paul House, with which I agree, that ‘a biblical theologian must be committed to interpreting the Bible as a coherent whole because it is the word of an inherently coherent God’.5

Building on the conclusions of Freedman, Trobisch, and others,6 and in general methodological agreement with recent approaches to a ‘canonical biblical theology’,7 I am proposing that there is indeed a

centre of biblical theology, a main theme of...

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