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Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,230 ratings  ·  49 reviews
These valuable pages contain the ripe fruit of the 39 years which Vos spent teaching Biblical Theology at Princeton, until his retirement in 1932.

The aim of this book is no less than to provide an account of the unfolding of the mind of God in history, through the successive agents of his special revelation. Vos handles this under three main divisions: the Mosaic epoch of
Paperback, 436 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Banner of Truth (first published 1948)
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Jacob Aitken
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Vos is the godfather of soul in the Biblical Theology movement among evangelical/Reformed Bible students. This is Clowney on steroids. Vos' method: God's revelation interprets redemption in history. If for nothing else, read the book for this point. Say it plainly: redemption only has meaning in God's context. There is no redemption apart from the plan of God. Vos was the dominant influence on Van Til and John Murray. As the blurb suggests, "The aim of this book is to provide an account of the u ...more
An Idler
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won't pretend I wrung this dry - I didn't wrestle with each word study or every critique of the Ritschlian school. Despite that, Vos serves up enough eurekas to blow my mind. And the linear approach (contra Systematic Theology's 'circles') is itself a bracing change. His analysis of OT revelation up through the Patriarchs and Prophets is excellent. His analysis of Jesus' public ministry is excellent. It's all excellent. Pound-for-pound (it's not a long book) it's the most engrossing and expand ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the classic statements of Reformed biblical theology. Rarely does a theologian produce a biblical theology so in tune with his systematic theology yet clearly distinct from it. Of course it is dated now, but for some purposes it has aged gracefully.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
My first crack at Vos. obscure at the beginning. Phrasing is odd, meaning is at times vague. Much clearer when discussing special revelation under Moses (largest section of book). an ancillary and very brief discussion of the Trinity under the heading "Angel of the Lord" was excellent!
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Vos will stretch your method of reading scripture in a richly orthodox way. This classic work is best read slowly along with scripture. It will deepen your love for the written word of God as self-revelation.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Really good. It is largely hard going, dense and requires lots of concentration. The section on the Mosaic law was tremendous, particularly the section on the Decalogue and the role of the law in redemption. It took me until the section on John the Baptist to realise how good this book is. Once I was into that, I realised that Vos is treating the entire scriptural witness as equally important and weighty in God's condescension and redemption. The division between the OT and NT dissipated. It was ...more
Laurent Dv
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The greatest classic on (reformed) biblical theology of the ancestor of all the reformed giants : Meredith Kline, G. K. Beale, William Dumbrell... An overview of history from the preredemptive epoch (before the Fall) to the inauguration of the Kingodm by Jesus (the Gospels). Don't deal with Paul and the letters but you can find this part in his Pauline's eschatology. Not each developpment (Beale or Kline's insights for example) is clearly in Vos, but most are already in.

If you are not interested
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An overview of the history of the revelation in the Bible that is often dense but is always worth the pain. Some states should deserve to be more detailed while on the contrary some interactions with the critics’ positions will not interest everyone.

I really really appreciated the sections on the Angel of Jehovah, on the Ritual Law and on the Revelation of Jesus’ public ministry !
Lu Tsun
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
The first two chapters are most illuminating in laying out the principles of biblical theology as a distinctive department in theology: biblical theology specializes in the “history of special revelation” which is both “progressively developing” and “organically unified” in character, in which God both “acts” and “speaks” to interpret His acts, as it is verbally revealed to us in Scripture.

As a Calvinist theologian and a defender of the Covenant Theology, Vos takes a fresher approach—he sets the
Peter Krol
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
As far as depth of insight and weightiness of the subject matter, I give it 5 stars. As far as clarity of writing and comprehensibility, I give it 1 star. So I balanced the two with 3 stars.

I'm glad I read this classic text on biblical theology (twice in my life)! But I have no doubt there are more useful and readable treatments of the topic elsewhere.
Eddie Mercado
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an incredible book! Is it the most engaging? No. Is it easy to read? Not by a long shot; but my rating is based on the fact that this is a work that gave modern RH BT a firm foundation that was built upon by theologians like Kline, Gaffin, et al. I greatly appreciate Vos' work, and will certainly go over it again in the future.
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as I was just learning what it really meant to be reformed and loved it. It brought me back to some of what I grew up learning, seeing Christ throughout the Bible. It is all about God and his purpose in redemption.
Christopher Hall
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great work going through the Bible showing how it holds together. The text is dense, and requires work to understand Vos' meaning in several places, but the effort is well rewarded.
John Ellis
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dense at points, but well worth the effort.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much could be said about this foundational volume. Vos’ work in this book serves as a worthy introduction to Biblical Theology and remains an important piece of the Reformed tradition. Vos shows that the key to understanding the Bible lies in seeing it as the inscripturation of revelation in history, structured in various epochs starting with Moses and ending with the New Testament epoch of revelation.

I much appreciated the way Vos consistently deals with the Historical Critical view on many
Kelle Craft
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finally finished! Reading Vos is dense work and a challenge at times. Taking one’s time to mine through a volume like this is well worth what will be found in the process. But because English is not his first language, his writing style is difficult to get used to and at times is not as easily enjoyable to read as someone like C. S. Lewis. But one forgets this as one follows Vos as he expounds on the biblical text to give insight and understanding in ways modern interpreters would never be able ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent stuff here, wresting Biblical Theology away from the liberalism that controlled it in Vos's time. This overview of special revelation throughout history is highly valuable, and probably worth reading several times over, given how dense it is. The chapter on the Mosaic Covenant is perhaps the greatest contribution to the subject overall. I do wish he had continued after the life of Jesus into the period of the Apostles, but that wasn't a deal-breaker. The first section (covering Eden th ...more
A.J. Jr.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
There's gold in this book but you really have to dig for it. Vos is verbose and, because he hoped to be taken seriously by the academic critics of his day, which he wasn't, wastes far too much time explaining and refuting the positions of the critics. This book would have been better -- and shorter -- had he simply stuck to the Bible and left off dealing with the unbelieving critics and their stupid opinions.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was my first introduction to Biblical Theology when I entered Toronto Baptist Seminary in 1998. I learned a lot about how God promises the redemption in Christ in OT and fulfills it in the NT. It's well written and will be a rewarding read for anyone who takes the time with this not so short book. I have good memories of learning from it under the wise teaching of the late Dr. Geof Adams.
Timothy Dragan
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very well versed and full of significant observations and theological implications. The content deserves a 5-star; however, the mode of expression and its difficulty would make it a 4-star. This is definitely a book worth reading—repeatedly!
Paul Kurtz
This book probably deserves a higher rating. I did like the parts I could understand, but the book is very academic in nature and a good bit of it was above me. It is a book I intend to read again at some point.
Peter Kim
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Difficult to maintain a rhythm reading Vos's work.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Read for a class I'm taking. We only had to read the first 40 pages, and I don't have time to read more at the moment, but it would definitely be beneficial.
Sean McGowan
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. Vos is helpful in so many ways.
Tyler Brown
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Vos is The Godfather of Reformed Biblical Theology. This book is dense, careful, and of enormous historical importance. It was a labor to read.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me almost two years to finish it. This book has rightly been foundational for so long in covenant theology and BT courses.
Coram Deo Church
Biblical Theology is not currently available at local libraries.
Helped me to love the Bible as a historical Book which shows the revelation of God of Himself and His work in time.
David Roche
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A very useful book, not the easiest read.
Chad Duke
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
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Geerhardus Johannes Vos was an American Calvinist theologian and one of the most distinguished representatives of the Princeton Theology. He is sometimes called the father of Reformed Biblical Theology.

Vos was born to a Dutch Reformed pastor in Heerenveen in Friesland in the Netherlands. In 1881, when Geerhardus was 19 years old, his father accepted a call to be the pastor of the Christian Reforme

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