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What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible's Story, Symbolism, and Patterns

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  626 ratings  ·  127 reviews
How Do You Read the Bible?

The Bible recounts a single story--one that began at creation, encompasses our lives today, and will continue till Christ's return and beyond. In What Is Biblical Theology?, Jim Hamilton introduces us to this narrative, helping us understand the worldview of the biblical writers so that we can read the Old and New Testaments as the ori
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Paperback, 127 pages
Published November 30th 2013 by Crossway Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  626 ratings  ·  127 reviews


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Scott
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the summer of 2011, I took up a post as a counselor at Pine Cove Christian camps. Going into the summer, I didn't know what the Lord would have for me, but I knew that whatever it was it would be a good gift from Him. So, I packed up some things -- a mandolin, some clothes -- but most importantly, a stack of books. On my off days, I planned to work through the stack. On the top of the list was a book that struck me the first time I saw it, both from the title and the superb book cover. The bo ...more
Michael Boling
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a new year quickly approaches, many will begin the year with all of the best intentions of making it all the way through the Bible next year even if that means crawling their way through Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Unfortunately, as it goes with a lot of New Year’s resolutions, when March hits or the first confusing element of Scripture is engaged, the journey through Scripture stops. I often wonder if more people had access to a resource that would provide them insight into those areas that a ...more
Becky Pliego
Loved this little book! "... the best way to get yourself out of the world's way of thinking and into the Bible's is to study the Bible itself. Don't make this harder than it needs to be. Read the Bible. A lot." (P.115)
Jim
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, net-galley
“What we think and how we live is largely determined by the larger story in which we interpret our lives. Does your story enable you to look death in the face? Does your story give you a hope that goes beyond the grave?”

In his soon to be published book, What is Biblical Theology? (Crossway Books) James M. Hamilton, Jr begins his study of Biblical theology (“the primary aims” of which “is to understand and embrace the worldview of the biblical authors,”) with a question to the reader about the
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Matt Pitts
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best introduction to biblical theology available-especially for those new to the idea. If you have never read anything in the field of biblical theology, this book is full of insight into Scripture that will help you read the Bible in a richer, fuller way. I just finished reading this for the second time (for school this time). I read it for the first time in November of 2013. My original review is below:

Many people attend church and even Bible studies for decade
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James
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, bible-study
Taken for what this is, this is a very good book. So what is it? It is a short introduction to Biblical Theology--the theology of the biblical authors. Hamilton describes the Bible's 'big story,' its symbolic universe, and the place of the Church within the biblical story.

My favorite part of the book was part two, which focus on the 'symbolic universe.' Discussing the Bible's symbols, Hamilton gives a brief overview of some important biblical imagery (i.e. trees, roots, floods, etc). He also ta
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Matthew
I had the privilege of taking Dr. Hamilton for an Old Testament class in seminary, and it was one of my favorite classes so far. This book is a fantastic summary of much of what I learned from him in that setting. His skill in showing the connections between OT authors that are picked up in the NT is astounding at times. He really shows you how to read your Bible the way the Biblical authors read it, seeing the big themes and symbols that make up the worldview of the Bible. Simply fantastic, and ...more
Dottie Parish
This is an excellent, convincing, and easy-to-read book describing the Bible’s over arching story. Hamilton says that the stories in the Old Testament hint at a mystery resolved in Christ. The Bible from beginning to end is one story. He outlines key patterns, symbols and themes that unite the Bible into One Story. Finally he delineates the part the Church plays in the Bible’s story. This is an excellent reference that can and must be read over and over again.
J Anthony
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such an enjoyable read. I am ready to read more from this author. I highly recommend this book.
Gabriel
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great introduction to biblical theology. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Harley
Apr 26, 2014 rated it liked it
It's good, but it read like some seminary student's term paper.
Jerry Hillyer
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Title: What is Biblical Theology?

Author: James M. Hamilton, jr.

Publisher: Crossway

Year: 2014

Pages: 130 (e-book)

Additional: For His Renown

[Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Crossway Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review of the the book What is Biblical Theology? I hope this clears up any confusion.]

Happily, this book was a quick and not terribly difficult read. I took me all of an
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Dr. Trent
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute (www.desertbibleinstitute.com).

What Is Biblical Theology is an excellent book not only for an introduction into biblical theology, but also for understanding the literary elements of the Bible. A combination of James Hamilton’s writing style, his examination of symbolism, and clear application of literary devices makes this book easily accessible and immediately applicable
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Becky
When I hear the term, "biblical theology," I think of it in terms of meaning "theology that is biblical." That is doctrines which make up a person's theology being biblical, biblically sound, finding their source in the Bible, clearly for the most part with perhaps a little wiggle room here and there, or, a bit more wiggle room on the non-essentials. But. That is not how the phrase is used in this one. In fact, he seems a bit annoyed with those who interpret the phrase differently*. He interpret ...more
Luke Schmeltzer
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Phenomenal! Dr. Hamilton's intro to Biblical Theology is concise, helpful, informative, and transformative. It excellently communicates the basic tenants of tracing redemptive history through Scripture, understanding narrative, themes, and patterns. A wonderful book I will definitely recommend to others!
Bob
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I really love this little book. Reading it now for the second time in a month. Hamilton's brief summary of the Bible's big story (in chapter 3) is nothing less than breathtaking!
David Kakish
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
It stands to reason that when one sets out to write a book entitled What is Biblical Theology? the thrust of the book would aim to define, explain, and elaborate on the uses of the term. In his latest publication, Jim Hamilton not only accomplishes this feat, masterfully I might add, but winsomely conveys the benefits and necessity of adopting this perspective.

Biblical theology is described numerous times throughout the course of this book. My favorite definition (preferentially and
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Coleman Ford
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
James Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, concludes his primer on biblical theology with these insightful words: “Make no mistake about it: people all around us are living their lives in light of a larger story.” (Loc. 1061-2). Whether the story is evolutionary science or a particular political ideology, some sort of story shapes the life of every person on the planet. What is Biblical Theology? is about a story—the true story of God’s ...more
Spencer R
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You can read my full review here: http://wp.me/p3JhRp-4C


James Hamilton, Jr. does a wonderful job on simplifying the Bible’s grand, overarching story in his new book. I often hear about how the Bible is a continuous story, but I often forget just how much of it really is a unified story. I forget to picture it with story qualities: episodes, themes, conflicts, victories, mystery, symbols, a protagonist, an antagonist, and many other mini-characters in other mini-settings.

Typology
Hamilton explains
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Mike Chitwood
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
What is Biblical Theology? By James Hamilton

Most people don’t like arguments. This is because some avoid conflict, others don’t want to seem negative, and many more feel when arguments arise that their words are grossly misrepresented. What they have said seems to get twisted by the person they are arguing with than truly representing the meaning they truly intended. This twisting of words and intentions is what author James Hamilton is concerned about in the book What is Biblical Th
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Spencer R
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can read my full review here: http://wp.me/p3JhRp-4C


James Hamilton, Jr. does a wonderful job on simplifying the Bible’s grand, overarching story in his new book. I often hear about how the Bible is a continuous story, but I often forget just how much of it really is a unified story. I forget to picture it with story qualities: episodes, themes, conflicts, victories, mystery, symbols, a protagonist, an antagonist, and many other mini-characters in other mini-settings.

Typology
Hamilton explains
...more
Josh
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. Actually, it is a book I have wanted to and attempted to read multiple times. It has just been a bit overwhelming. It is long and it covers a topic, biblical theology, that is a bit foreign to me. I have been intrigued by the topic and especially his premise of the unifying theme of Scripture. But it has just been a mountain of a book that I have not been willing/able to ascend.

Boy was I excite
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Jimmy
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Crossway Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Here is an introductory text to the subject of Biblical theology by a professor who teaches it at Southern Seminary. Some might ask what Biblical theology is and secondly, why is it important.
The author James Hamilton define biblical theology as “the interpretive perspective reflected in the way t
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Joshua Breland
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns, Jim Hamilton gives his definition of biblical theology and attempts to explain the Bible’s message through three parts: The Bible’s Big Story, The Bible’s Symbolic Universe, the Bible’s Love Story.

Hamilton begins by explaining what he means by biblical theology:

“What is biblical theology? The phrase biblical theology is used here to refer to the interpretive perspective of the biblical a
...more
Doug Hibbard
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the pitfalls of book reviewing is addressing books written by people that are obviously incredibly smarter than you are as a reviewer. While this may have never happened to you, it hits me from time to time, and today’s book is certainly one of those. What is Biblical Theology? by James M. Hamilton Jr., (Ph.D., professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), is from one of the sharper minds currently active in evangelical theology.

What is Biblical Theology? addresses the
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Roger Leonhardt
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The love of typology drew me to this book. It is hard to find a balanced book on the subject. This one was just right. Hamilton takes us through an overview of the major themes of the Bible using symbols and types. It is a fascinating subject that builds faith.

To see the same symbols throughout the Bible, which was written over thousands of years, shows us it is truly inspired by God.

The author breaks his book into three parts:

1. The Bible's Big Story
2.
...more
Coyle
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
"In What Is Biblical Theology?, Hamilton focuses on three key concepts relevant to the discipline: story, symbol, and church. The “story” section discusses the Bible as a narrative, with plot, themes, characters, and so on. “Symbol” is about how the Bible uses images and types to bind together the various components of the story. The “church” section is about those whom the Bible is for, the group to whom God is revealing Himself. The point of each of these concepts is to teach us how to better ...more
Corey Hampton
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best short intro to Biblical Theology for those who are beginners in this particular field of theology. I would definitely recommend it to many people to help them have an introductory understanding of the storyline of the Bible, and its symbolism and patterns. Recently, I have been working through how to share the gospel with Muslims. The Islamic understanding of Deuteronomy 18:15-19's "Prophet like Moses" is Muhammed, explaining that it could not be Jesus. They use clever ...more
Joe Hyink
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very basic and helpful overview of Biblical Theology. Like most Biblical Theologies that I read, I find too much of a "necessity" of sin for the accomplishment of God's purposes in history (and thus in the message of the Bible). This history is all about salvation through judgment, then God's purpose could not be fulfill apart from sin coming into the world. There is some truth in this, of course, because sin did not catch God by surprise. However, there was a trajectory of history established ...more
Paul Wichert
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
This is a very brief introduction to biblical theology, which the author defines as, "the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors." The books expands on this to cover topics such as narrative, plot, imagery, typology, and patterns. It's a solid introduction to the subject, written at an entry level, but does include hints of dispensational and non-covenantal views of the church. For an introduction to BT I prefer T. Desmond Alexander's From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to ...more
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James M. Hamilton Jr. (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. He is the author of God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment and the Revelation volume in the Preaching the Word commentary series.
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