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Biblical Reasoning

Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis

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Biblical Reasoning shows how Christology and the doctrine of the Trinity are grounded in Scripture and how knowledge of these topics is critical for exegesis. It focuses on the continuity of Scripture's judgments with later doctrinal formulations, promoting a mutually informative relation between exegesis and theology born from attention to Scripture's primary acting subject: God revealed in Christ.

The authors explain that evangelical theology still maintains too sharp a divide between reading Scripture and formulating doctrine. A necessary means for overcoming this divide is attending to the grammar of Scripture's speech about Christ and the Trinity. Biblical Reasoning outlines key theological principles and rules for the exegesis of Christian Scripture. The authors explore how the triune God revealed in Christ shapes Scripture and its readers and how doctrinal rules intrinsic to Scripture help guide exegesis. The goal of biblical reasoning is the goal of Scripture itself: to shape readers into disciples who pursue the vision of the triune God in Christ.

Biblical Reasoning helps readers understand that theology should be more exegetical than many theologians think, and that exegesis should be more theological than many exegetes allow. It enables students to integrate what they learn in their biblical studies and systematic theology classes, making it an ideal textbook for hermeneutics and interpretation courses.


Introduction: Theology for Better Exegesis
Part 1: Biblical Reasoning
1. Seek His Face Always: The End of Biblical Reasoning
2. The School of Christ: The Pedagogical Context of Biblical Reasoning
3. The Curriculum of Christ: The Source and Practice of Biblical Reasoning
Part 2: Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis
4. Worthy Are You: Understanding Scripture as Honoring God
5. The Lord Is One: The Trinity's Unity and Equality in Scripture's Twofold Discourse
6. Varieties of Activities but the Same God: The Trinity's Inseparable Operations and Scripture's Appropriation
7. One and the Same: The Unity of Christ and Scripture's Communication of Idioms
8. Greater Than Himself and Less Than Himself: Christ's Two Natures and Scripture's Partitive Discourse
9. God from God: From Missions to Processions
10. Putting the Rule-Kit to Work: Reading John 5:17-30
Conclusion: From Glory to Glory
Appendix: Table of Principles and Rules


"In content, this book is a profound study of the triune God and the incarnate Son. But in form and method, it's a master class in how to read the Bible directly and accurately, aided by classic, doctrinal wisdom. Introducing readers to clear rules and proven tools, Jamieson and Wittman put theology where it belongs: in service of knowing God through his Word. Biblical Reasoning is a triumph, a gift given to equip the saints for the work of interpretation."

Fred Sanders, professor of theology, Torrey Honors College, Biola University

"Does biblical exegesis, when done with modern tools, collapse the classical dogmatic consensus on the Trinity and Christ? Jamieson and Wittman show us why the answer is no through a careful introduction to what Scripture is, what hearing Scripture's truth involves, and why the realities of the Trinity and the incarnation are biblical. This book requires the attention of all catholic (and Catholic) Christians. The movement founded by the great John Webster rises to new heights with this book!"

Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"Over the last few decades, believing scholars within both theology and biblical studies have been trying to retrieve and reappropriate the riches of the Christian tradition that have fared poorly in the modern era. Well versed and deeply rooted, Jamieson and Wittman represent this vision with wisdom, beauty, verve, and practicality. These writers and this book give me hope and courage for the ongoing task of a robust ecclesial life guided by Holy Scripture and biblical reasoning."

Jonathan T. Pennington, professor of New Testament, Southern Seminary; pastor of spiritual formation, Sojourn East Church

"God's self-presentation to us in Scripture is the path to God's self-presentation to us in the beatific vision. For this reason, biblical interpretation is never merely a matter of attending to the various historical, literary, and theological features of the text. If biblical interpretation is to fulfill its divinely appointed end, we must learn to recognize the face of God in Holy Scripture (Ps. 27:8). In this profoundly learned, instructive, and helpful work, Bobby Jamieson and Tyler Wittman outline and exemplify a number of well-tried exegetical principles and tools for discerning in Scripture the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is a book of generational significance that deserves to be read by all teachers and serious students of the Bible."

Scott R. Swain, president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida

"This book is an invitation to another book: Holy Scripture. In Biblical Reasoning, Jamieson and Wittman make what might be called an exegetical confession: Scripture is God's word that reveals and redeems to the end that readers are brought into relationship. God speaks so God's creatures finally see God. Trinitarian and christological doctrine, in this economy, is not a movement away from the biblical texts but rather the theological grammar that flows from and returns the reader to the canonical voice of God, the Father who sends the Son and the Spirit. Tolle lege, tolle lege: take up and read this book, for the sake of taking up and reading the other one."

Jonathan A. Linebaugh, associate professor, University of Cambridge; fellow, Jesus College

"Theology needs to be exegetical and contemplative, though a whole host of pressures draw attention elsewhere. Biblical Reasoning helps alert us to where we should focus and equips us to do so with competence and care. I hope it's read widely by students and those who long to go back to school with the Scriptures."

Michael Allen, John Dyer Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary

The Authors

  1. R. B. Jamieson
    © Karl Magnuson

    R. B. Jamieson

    R. B. Jamieson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is an associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He is the author of several books, including The Paradox of Sonship: Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

    Continue reading about R. B. Jamieson

  2. Tyler R. Wittman
    Jessie Wittman

    Tyler R. Wittman

    Tyler R. Wittman (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is assistant professor of theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is the author of God and Creation in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas and Karl...

    Continue reading about Tyler R. Wittman


The Gospel Coalition 2022 Book Award (Academic Theology)

Southwestern Journal of Theology
2022 Book Award (Honorable Mention, Hermeneutics/Bible Reference/Biblical Backgrounds)

"The book is a triumph. It is a work of rich scholarship that remains accessible, stylishly written, spiritually nourishing, even devotional, while offering useful practical guidance for serious readers to avoid error and seek the living God in Holy Scripture. It does so not only by talking about the text but by exegeting it, with attentive care, on just about every page. One can only hope this book will become assigned reading in seminaries until such time as historical criticism releases its chokehold on the hermeneutical imaginations of pastors and scholars alike."

Brad East,

International Journal of Systematic Theology