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Biblical Theology


The Bible in Twenty Passages (OT)

Ten Old Testament passages as part of twenty biblical passages that encapsulate the heart of Biblical Theology.

Doomsday Prophets: The Difference between Prophetic and Apocalyptic Eschatology

A contrast of prophetic and apocalyptic perspectives on the future work of God, the confusion of which can lead to distortion and perversion of the biblical message.

Day of the Lord: Metaphors of Accountability

Various phrases and terms that refer to intervention by God in the world in a "coming" or "visitation," with brief reflection on the theology associated with the coming of God.

Day of the Lord and Related Metaphors:  Biblical Passages

The English Term "Perfect": Philosophical and Biblical Perspectives

Short analysis of the Hebrew and Greek words translated "perfect," suggesting that the popular meaning is shaped more by philosophical categories and doctrine than by biblical meanings.

Old Testament

Two Theories of Creation: Creation out of Nothing - Creation out of Chaosmos

A short article in outline format that compares the classical philosophical idea of ex nihilo ("out of nothing") creation with a more biblical model of creation out of chaos.

The "Fall" -  A Literary Analysis of Genesis 2:4-3:24 [Available in .pdf ]

A detailed exegesis of Genesis 3, placing the passage against the background of Israelite culture as well as religious and theological concerns, concluding that the passage is more about grace than it is about a "fall" from grace.

A Limited God? Genesis 18:20-33 and 22:1-12

An examination of two Old Testament passages that deal with God learning something about humanity, against the background of the traditional concepts of God's omniscience. Concludes that the biblical witness portrays a God who is dynamically interactive with humanity.

Torah as Holiness: Old Testament "Law" as Response to Divine Grace

A detailed paper analyzing the Old Testament concept of torah from the biblical traditions, concluding that torah is not properly equivalent to "law," but to lifestyle as a response to God's grace, and can be seen as analogous to the Wesleyan concept of holiness of heart and life.  Footnotes for "Torah as Holiness"

Hexateuch, Tetrateuch, and the Deuteronomic History

Brief review of the various ways scholars have understood the literary and theological relationship between Deuteronomy and the surrounding biblical books.

Old Testament Sacrifice: Magic or Sacrament?

A theological analysis of the Old Testament practice of sacrifice, concluding that it differed from magical appeasement of the gods or a physical means to forgiveness, but was a sacramental response to and celebration of God's grace.

Naaman, Dirt, and Territorial Gods: The Canonical Function of 2 Kings 5:17-19

An examination of the canonical function within the Deuteronomic History of Namaan's request to take dirt back to Syria in order to worship God (2 Kings 5:17-19).

Social Ethics in the Prophets

The prophetic concern to ground social ethics in the revelation and experience of God in human history; suggesting that the main prophetic guidelines for social ethics are included in the concepts of "righteousness" and "justice."

Metaphors for God: The Plural "us" in Cultural Context

An analysis of four Old Testament passages that use 'us' to refer to God, concluding that they are cultural metaphors drawn from the imagery of God as a high king.

Psalm 51 and the Language of Transformation

An exegetical analysis of Psalm 51, noting how the psalm moves from using language of forgiveness to language of transformation as a perspective on biblical holiness.

The Third Generation: Nehemiah and the Question of Identity

A reflective article based on Nehemiah 13 addressing the tendency of religious traditions to drift from their original purpose and vision as they move further away from their origins; suggestions for maintaining religious identity.

Biblical Realism as Faith: The Wisdom and Psalms Traditions

An essay on the role and function of the Wisdom and Psalm traditions, which provide a basis for dealing with the realities of life from a basis of Faith.

New Testament

Did Jesus Have to Die?

Analysis from New Testament passages as well as reflection on the presuppositions and assumptions of certain theories of the Atonement of the implications of assuming that Jesus was predestined to die to pay the penalty for humanity's sins. An abbreviated and popularly written version of The Death of Jesus: Historically Contingent or Divinely Ordained?

The Death of Jesus: Historically Contingent or Divinely Ordained?

A detailed essay examining from a biblical perspective the tension between the death of Jesus as predestined by God, or as the result of human decisions; concludes by examining the implications of this tension for theories of the atonement.

Discovering Jesus

A series of four articles discussing the tension between traditional confessions of Jesus as the divine Son of God and Jesus as a human being.

Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ of Faith: Retracing the Journey
Jesus, Religion, and Politics
The Social Relationships of Jesus
The Self Understanding of Jesus

-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2013, Dennis Bratcher - All Rights Reserved
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