New Testament Theology - Introductory Glossaries
Felix Just, S.J.

There is no single definition of "Biblical Theology" that all scholars would agree upon; nor should "New Testament Theology" be treated as an undifferentiated whole. On the contrary, despite some obvious commonalities and significant overlaps, there is a wide variety of different biblical theologies (plural).

Deuteronomistic Theology is very different from Biblical Apocalyptic, and the theology of the Books of Kings contrasts sharply with that of the Prophet Jeremiah. The same is true within the New Testament: there are significant differences between Pauline and Johannine theologies, the theology of the Letter to the Hebrews differs from that of the Book of Revelation, and so forth. The best method of doing biblical theology, therefore, is to investigate the distinctive theological outlook of each biblical author or book (or group of closely related books) separately.

Another possible approach is to look at the biblical foundations of various sub-fields of theology. Due to legitimate developments of theology in the Jewish and Christian religions over the centuries, not all theological terms and doctrines are already explicitly found in the scriptures themselves. All later theological concepts, however, must be based upon biblical foundations. For example, although the word "Trinity" is never used in the New Testament, the Christian doctrines of the divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are clearly found in the scriptures.

The following webpages are based on glossaries written by my students in a recent course on "New Testament Theology", along with a few additional glossaries of my own. More will be added as time and opportunity permits. Please e-mail (replacing --at--with @) with any corrections or suggestions.

Suggestions for addition reading:

Electronic New Testament Educational Resources

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