Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology


For anyone wanting a heads up on what BT and ST are and what is the relationship between them, I recommend these articles by D.A. Carson and Richard Gaffin. (I should mention that both articles are hosted by which is a great BT site).

Here is Carson’s conclusion:

The distinctions between systematic and biblical theology are perhaps more striking. Although both are text based, the ordering principles of the former are topical, logical, hierarchical, and as synchronic as possible; the ordering principles of the latter trace out the history of redemption, and are (ideally) profoundly inductive, comparative and as diachronic as possible. Systematic theology seeks to rearticulate what the Bible says in self-conscious engagement with (including confrontation with) the culture; biblical theology, though it cannot escape cultural influences, aims to be first and foremost inductive and descriptive, earning its normative power by the credibility of its results. Thus systematic theology tends to be a little further removed from the biblical text than does biblical theology, but a little closer to cultural engagement. Biblical theology tends to seek out the rationality and communicative genius of each literary genre; systematic theology tends to integrate the diverse rationalities in its pursuit of a large-scale, worldview-forming synthesis. In this sense, systematic theology tends to be a culminating discipline; biblical theology, though it is a worthy end in itself, tends to be a bridge discipline.


8 Responses to “Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology”

  1. theologien Says:

    In many ways biblical theology forms the basis for the investigation necessary to do systematic theology.

    To borrow an image from Karl Barth, ST helps the bible to make sense of my newspaper.

  2. E.C. Hock Says:

    A systematic theology is only as strong and sound as the biblical theology that undergirds it. The structure of theological covenants arises from the fabric of biblical covenants. If consistency is what we look for as a measure for soundness, then let us begin with the consistency of Jesus Christ and His gospel as the center and key to both testaments of Scripture. Elevating Him keeps the relationship of these two disciplines complementary and mutually edifying, according to their distinct purposes.

  3. Suggested Systematic & Biblical Theologies « Theological Says:

    […] Suggested Systematic & Biblical Theologies Posted September 4, 2008 Filed under: Uncategorized | Mark Driscoll just posted on Six Study Essentials. My favorites were #1 and #6–the Bible and Community! Two things that are missing are a good Systematic Theology and a good Biblical Theology. For definitions on the difference between Systematic and Biblical theology, check out this post. […]

  4. Driscoll: 6 Study Essentials « Creation Project Says:

    […] For definitions on the difference between Systematic and Biblical theology, check out this post. Here are my recommendations on those. […]

  5. Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology « SoCal Theologica: Musings from the West Coast Says:

    […] Theology and Systematic Theology Biblical Theology blogger Michael […]

  6. Recent Links Tagged With "rationality" - JabberTags Says:

    […] public links >> rationality Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology Saved by pimplywimp on Tue 14-10-2008 Rationality Does Not Apply Here Saved by KogasLove33463 on […]

  7. Benti Megersa Says:

    our gods bless be on to you the beloved people of I want your help ,please as much as possible for you try to send more about history and interpretatoin of the verses of the bible.god bless you

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