A New Testament Biblical Theology

The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New

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Christianity Today 2013 Book Award Winner

In this comprehensive exposition, a leading New Testament scholar explores the unfolding theological unity of the entire Bible from the vantage point of the New Testament. G. K. Beale, coeditor of the award-winning Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, examines how the New Testament storyline relates to and develops the Old Testament storyline. Beale argues that every major concept of the New Testament is a development of a concept from the Old and is to be understood as a facet of the inauguration of the latter-day new creation and kingdom. Offering extensive interaction between the two testaments, this volume helps readers see the unifying conceptual threads of the Old Testament and how those threads are woven together in Christ. This major work will be valued by students of the New Testament and pastors alike.


Endorsements

"The canonical scope and focus on the biblical storyline give Beale's New Testament Biblical Theology a unique place among the many New Testament theologies now available. The book is vintage Beale, creatively making connections between Old Testament and New Testament and pursuing a definite vision of how the Bible hangs together."

Douglas J. Moo, Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College

"Certainly Beale has written his magnum opus, in which he deftly integrates the Scriptures via the new creation theme. The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament forms the backbone of this work so that readers grasp how the storyline of Scripture coheres. We stand in debt to the author for his detailed and profound unfolding of New Testament theology."

Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"A magnificent achievement! Rarely does a volume in biblical studies come along with such breadth, depth, insight, and specificity. It is a brilliant reconstruction of themes that are central to Christian faith. This is a landmark accomplishment."

David F. Wells, distinguished research professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"It is tempting to confess that dogmaticians merely rummage around in the mines of biblical theologians. With this volume, the quarry has been enlarged and deepened, exposing the richest veins. I found it to be not exactly a page-turner, but rather on almost every page I discovered another spot at which to linger before moving on. Drawing on decades of exegetical research and teaching, A New Testament Biblical Theology exists at the intersection of biblical studies and theology. Carrying on the tradition of Geerhardus Vos, Professor Beale has raised the bar for biblical theology in our day. We will be digesting this volume for many years to come."

Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

"This New Testament biblical theology makes the Old Testament storyline the point of departure for exploring the New Testament message. Beale's volume is far reaching, written at a high scholarly level, and conversant with a wide range of scholarship. Even where one may disagree, Beale's treatment is always informative and at times even provocative. A very important contribution to biblical theology that deserves to be widely read."

Andreas J. Köstenberger, senior professor of New Testament and biblical theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Greg Beale's New Testament Biblical Theology is a stimulating read. Beale understands well how the two testaments relate and how essential the redemptive story of the Old Testament is for understanding God's work in Jesus Christ and his church. Readers will find the emphasis on the already-not yet end-time new creation and kingdom very enriching and insightful. What we have in this new biblical theology is an appreciation for the biblical story as a whole, an appreciation that provides a much-needed counterweight to the atomistic tendencies in much of our exegetical and theological work. Beale's book will make an important contribution to a field of study that continues to redefine itself and move into new and interesting directions."

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College

"This is like a New Testament theology but goes far beyond. It does not merely describe a part of Scripture from the outside; the view is rather interior, developing themes and movements from within the whole Bible's own storyline. Beale does full justice to motifs often neglected. Like no other work I know, A New Testament Biblical Theology gives eschatology (and not just futurology) full due. He writes understandably and frequently engages in exegesis, which reduces generalizations and unsupported assertions. The treatment is theocentric, missional, and doxological. Reflecting thirty years of research and with some six hundred books in its bibliography, this volume is unique in our time and in fact without close parallel in a discipline (biblical theology) that split the Old Testament off from the New over two hundred years ago. Beale has brought them back together in a creative and methodical way. The results will provoke a deeper grasp of God's redemptive aims and further research. For some readers, like this one, a major result will be not only appreciation but also awe at such a masterful treatment of so much of Scripture's wealth."

Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

"Some New Testament theologies emphasize the distinctiveness of each author or book; others seek a center or unifying theme. Beale's work is decidedly in the second category as he demonstrates new creation as an umbrella category covering all of the other major motifs not only in the New Testament but also in the relevant Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish background material. Along the way, readers are treated to outstanding up-to-date discussions of most of the main topics they have come to expect and some new ones, especially in light of intracanonical connections. Throughout, Beale is thoroughly evangelical and thoroughly scholarly. This work is a true tour de force."

Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"This volume, impressive for its massive sweep, is the matured fruit of the author's extensive work over several decades in New Testament theology. A biblical theology concerned with showing the unity and coherence of all biblical revelation in its rich diversity, it explores the various ways the New Testament storyline transforms, as it develops and fulfills, the central elements of the Old Testament storyline with the new creation kingdom seen as the comprehensive outcome of the already-not yet eschatological fulfillment effected by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Especially those with interests in biblical eschatology, with some attention to the role of the church and Christian living 'between the times,' as well as in the New Testament use of the Old will profit from the characteristically sound and often stimulating instruction Professor Beale provides."

Richard B. Gaffin Jr., professor of biblical and systematic theology emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

"G. K. Beale has been harvesting the fields of biblical theology in major biblical commentaries and exegetical/theological studies for many years. Here now is his biblical theology magnum opus. A New Testament Biblical Theology draws together and generously supplements many strands of Beale's earlier work into a comprehensive and mature expression of the whole. Beale locates the 'organic progress of supernatural revelation' not in a particular central doctrine or idea, but in the Bible's grand storyline, the story of God establishing his new-creational kingdom through Christ and the Spirit. As with all of Beale's works, this volume is brimming with rich and deeply satisfying redemptive-historical exegesis. This provides an enormous feast for anyone wishing to understand in greater detail the thrust of the Bible's saving story, but it also results in a great contribution to scholarship--a broad, well-researched, and well-constructed foundation for future scholarly endeavors in biblical theology."

Charles E. Hill, professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando

"A New Testament Biblical Theology takes Beale's years of study, teaching, and research and presents his readers with the most thorough and mature work of New Testament biblical theology yet seen in the English language. He has structured the massive volume in a beautiful fashion, focusing nearly half of the work on the eschatological storyline of the Old Testament then moving to the story of the already-not yet latter-day resurrection and new-creational kingdom of the New. His other major themes are sin and restoration, salvation as new creation, the work of the Spirit, and the church and Christian living. The thorough and readable volume demonstrates the contours of the grand sweep of God's great revelation to sinful men and women through the exalted Lord Jesus Christ."

Richard C. Gamble, professor of systematic theology, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

"In your hands is a gold mine of biblical scholarship, a distillation of a lifetime of study by one of the most respected New Testament scholars of our day. Beale treats his subject with devotion, his opponents with charity, and his readers with respect. Beale's arguments and conclusions are presented with such clarity and force that any interested reader, whether pastor, layperson, or professional scholar, will be able to benefit from the rich insights that appear on almost every page. Beale provides the key that unlocks the storyline of the Bible, and with the help of his patient guidance, the reader discovers in one example after another the power of that storyline to highlight the inner coherence of biblical truth across the Testaments and to open up new vistas of understanding of many of the Bible's best-known stories, as well as some of its most obscure texts."

Gordon P. Hugenberger, senior minister, Park Street Church, Boston; adjunct professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Biblical scholars and theologians, after long separation and now perhaps with a healthier sense of their own historical location, have recently found themselves engaged on a common project: what is it that binds the church's canonical texts together? Reflecting its author's situatedness within the evangelical Reformed tradition and firm commitment to exegetical integrity and the priority of the biblical storyline, Greg Beale's extensive and detailed new book is a most welcome addition to the ongoing discussion."

Rikk Watts, associate professor of New Testament, Regent College


The Author

  1. G. K. Beale

    G. K. Beale

    G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the coeditor of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament and the...

    Continue reading about G. K. Beale

Reviews

"We would naturally expect that, regardless of specific mention in the title, any exposition of NT theology would be biblical in that it needs to show how recognition of the use and influence of the OT is essential for explaining what the NT says. But Greg Beale goes much further in tracing and expounding with considerable detail: (a) the salvation-historical story to which the OT and NT both testify; (b) the ways in which the origins of NT thinking lie in the early Christian use of the OT; and (c) the resulting continuity, harmony, and development. . . . One of the strengths of this book [is] its in-depth treatment of many passages and its helpful summaries of the author's earlier works. . . . This volume focuses essentially on the biblical basis for NT theology, and I found so many fresh ideas (well, fresh to me) in it that I have read it with excitement and shall need to keep returning to it for fresh stimulus."

I. Howard Marshall,

Themelios

"The book . . . claims our serious attention on two counts. First, . . . an author should be granted his own presuppositions when they are clearly acknowledged and offered without subtlety. Second, whatever one may think about such a perspective as reflected in this book, we will learn a great deal from it, as it teems with an amazing array of texts that are organized in a variety of tabulations that nearly overwhelm. . . . I have no idea how one can, even with a trustworthy computer, process so much textual work, and we are surely in Beale's debt for doing so."

Walter Brueggemann,

Interpretation

"This is Beale's 'great work,' and will mark his career for many decades to come. He's been working on it for 25 years, and it shows. It is dense, exhaustive, and provides a compelling theological framework for understanding Scripture (Creation, Judgment, New Creation), helping us see what the New Testament is doing with the major Old Testament themes."

Christianity Today

"Beale has written an important book on biblical theology which concentrates on the NT contribution to the teaching of the whole Bible. [The book is] filled with helpful expositions of OT and NT texts that, while offering scholars food for thought, will help preachers and students 'keep their finger on the text.'. . . This book should not be neglected by anyone serious about the notion of the theology of the whole Bible or of the NT for that matter. . . . Beale has done a masterful job of showing that the NT functions as a conclusion to earlier revelation. . . . This book should be on the shelf of every NT scholar and on the shelves and on the desks of many preachers and students. There is a lot to be gleaned here for the good of the church."

David H. Johnson,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"In this engaging treatise, Beale furnishes a brief aid for understanding the manner in which the NT uses OT texts--be they citations or only allusions. . . . Readers may disagree with the author on individual points of interpretation, but this handbook, with its judicious observations, vast bibliography, and copious notes, should prove helpful to its intended audience of amateur and even professional students of the Bible."

Casimir Bernas, OCSO,

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"Talk to any New Testament professor in any evangelical seminary and they'll all say the same thing: PhD programs are packed with students who want to explore the New Testament's use of the Old Testament. But beyond PhD programs we find this interest elsewhere. Pastors everywhere are motivated today to preach through Old Testament books in order to point to Christ. Not long ago many would have felt uneasy or ill-equipped to do so. Part of this growing interest can be credited to scholars like G. K. Beale. . . . Beale's new book, A New Testament Biblical Theology, might be the most celebrated of his distinguished career."

John Starke,

The Gospel Coalition

"Biblical theology is an important topic for preachers as it addresses how the Bible fits together and how any particular text we might preach fits in the storyline of the whole Bible. Getting this trajectory of the Bible story right is what helps us keep our interpretation on the right track. . . . [This book is] very significant."

Ray Van Neste,

Preaching

"A notable feature of the book is the amount of detailed exegesis it contains. . . . Reflecting the Bible's complexity, Beale has produced a complex account of it. Dedicated readers, laity and scholarly, with biblical theological interests will profit immensely from the prodigious number of exegetical, historical, and theological data amassed."

Robert W. Yarbrough,

Bulletin for Biblical Research

"The goal of this massive study of biblical theology is to articulate what the author . . . views as the underlying theology of both the Old and the New Testaments. . . . The reader who perseveres through this study will be enriched by its thoughtful presentation."

Donald Senior, CP,

The Bible Today

"Those who work through this substantial tome will be richly rewarded. In it, Beale . . . exhibits his extensive research . . ., his own expansive publication résumé . . ., as well as his exegetical acumen in this rather unique and important contribution to both biblical studies and biblical theology. . . . [This book is] useful, convincing, and challenging. . . . I find Beale's rendition of the OT storyline and its subsequent NT makeover thoroughly convincing. . . . The book is meticulously organized. . . . Several tables and excurses provide explanations along the way. Another important component of the book is Beale's repeated inclusion of Judaism's perspective on various components of his argument . . . as well as appropriate references from the Apostolic Fathers. . . . Kudos to Professor Beale for this substantial contribution to NT theology. . . . The overall storyline of the Bible is more palpable because of Beale's work. We see more clearly God's grand and glorious plan of redemption as the essential message of Holy Scripture--both OT and NT. Creation, fall, redemption, transformation, and consummation: Beale has helped us understand in more depth how the Bible presents the Grand Narrative."

William W. Klein,

Denver Journal

"[This volume] is encyclopedic; firstly, because it is so tremendously thorough. And secondly, because each of its ten parts can be read and understood in isolation (though of course the entire volume is worth reading and not just its constituent parts). . . . The most useful aspect of this volume is . . . [that] Beale's movement from OT to NT doesn't 'skip' the important 'intertestamental' period and his ability to draw lines of connection between the OT and the NT by means of the products of that period is more than impressive. . . . Beale's brilliant book bounds from 'storyline' to 'storyline' with ease and aplomb. Every page nearly oozes with learning and readers are comforted by the fact that here, in these pages, is evidence that the author really knows both the subject and how to best present it. Not only does Beale treat readers to fantastic facts, he does so in prose that at times is nothing less than enthralling. . . . Persons interested in the New Testament should read this book; as should those in Early Judaism . . . and the Old Testament because Beale shows the interconnection between the OT and the NT better than anyone else to date."

Jim West,

Zwinglius Redivivus blog

"New Testament Biblical Theology will stand with the titans of the genre. . . . Paul wrote to Titus that overseers must hold firmly to the trustworthy word as taught, give instruction in sound teaching, and be able to refute those who contradict it (Titus 1:7, 9). Beale's scholarly work is important and courageous because he is doing precisely these things. Beale is holding firmly to the trustworthy word as he takes pains to understand the Bible. . . . I am so grateful for the stimulating work of G. K. Beale. . . . Anyone interested in biblical theology should read his work."

James M. Hamilton,

Midwestern Journal of Theology

"A New Testament Biblical Theology is the result of [Beale's] more than twenty years of research, writing, and teaching. . . . This book is highly valuable because of its uniqueness among NT theologies. Without doubt, Beale is on the right track by pointing to the continuation of the storyline from the OT to the NT. For a thorough understanding of the NT, it is, therefore, absolutely essential to know the already-not yet concept that is well described and applied by Beale. . . . The book is written in a style that can satisfy theologians, but which is still accessible to a well-trained lay person."

Dominic Bornand,

Andrews University Seminary Studies

"A masterful work on the biblical theology of the New Testament . . . that must be critically engaged, humbly learned from, and practically applied by any serious biblical or theological scholar. . . . Beale is . . . a superb exegete and theologian. He has a grasp of both the biblical text and also of the importance and right use of a theological framework through which to view that text. He handles the text deftly and reverently. . . . His ability to not only see but also demonstrate to the reader the interconnected web of scriptural texts and theological concepts is unparalleled in contemporary evangelical theology. . . . Beale also shows scholarly awareness of his field and of the relevant Second Temple literature. . . . He also carefully and repeatedly shows how ancient Jews may have perceived the same texts or ideas. . . . This book is a must read for those who desire to understand God and his Word more. . . . Graduate students and biblical scholars . . . must engage with this work not only if they want to be considered as current in the field but also if they desire to learn more about what God has said in his Word. I could not recommend it more to any serious student of the Scriptures."

Matthew Y. Emerson,

Southeastern Theological Review

"A wealth of biblical reflection. . . . This work argues persuasively for the already-not yet redemptive historical understanding of redemption and the establishment of the kingdom which Christ inaugurates. The strongest part of this book is the way it exegetically interacts between the New and Old Testaments, showing how all of Scripture speaks of Christ and his work. Beale shows himself to be a master exegete and theologian. It is in the vast application of biblical theology to the exegesis of New Testament texts that the reader will spend many enjoyable hours. . . . The deep mining of so many biblical texts made the reading of this book a devotional refreshment, giving much to savor and examine. I look forward to continuing my study of this massive work, and recommend that it be read and re-read by any who wish a fuller understanding of God and his revealed will for his people."

Wayne K. Forkner,

Ordained Servant


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