“Theology” is language (logos) about God (theos). We can distinguish two broad kinds of theology: Biblical Theology and Ecclesiastical Theology. Biblical Theology concerns the way God presents himself and his actions in the Bible itself, while Ecclesiastical Theology concerns how the Church has applied the content of the Bible since the close of the canon of Scripture. Biblical Theology is concerned with matters internal to the Bible itself: what the Bible says and how it says it, in its own terms. In Biblical Theology we subordinate our special Church language and categories to the inspired language and categories of the Bible itself.
Biblical Theology is often defined as the historical unfolding of God’s revelation, or of God’s revelation and of the history of his covenantal redemption and transformation of humanity and the world. In practice, Biblical Theology is usually broader than this, and also includes the study of literary structure and of Biblical themes. We shall include these in our understanding also. For our purposes, Biblical Theology includes the following large areas of concern: Covenant Theology, Literary Theology, Typology, and Ritual Theology.
This essay will explore and unfold each of these areas of Biblical Theology, and will better prepare you to read your entire Bible.