Can Biblical theology be covered fully enough in just over 100 pages? The simple answer is no, but that is not the aim of this book. Jim Hamilton knows there is much more to the topic, so he does not dig as deep as you can, but stays at the surface to keep the book simple but effective. The question this book addresses is “How do you read the Bible?” Jim Hamilton sets out to help people see the Bible as a whole instead of simply as parts. As I have grown older, I have come to understand the Bible was written to be taken wholly as one complete book about God and His plan for the world, and not just little parts. Too often, when I was younger, as I would read the Bible, I would read it as a self-help book. I would believe the Bible was written to simply help me become a better person and to make something of my life. I thought it was all about me. However, the Bible is not all about me, it is all about God. God is the center and when we put ourselves at the center, we miss the whole point of the Bible.
The back of the book has this to say:
The Bible recounts a single story – one that began at creation, encompasses our lives today, and will continue until 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 Testament as those authors intended. Tracing the key patterns, symbols, and themes that bind the Bible together, this book will help you understand Scripture’s unified message and find your placein the great story of redemption.
This book is written to help people understand Biblical theology, and thus, be better able to read and understand the Bible as a whole. In the book, biblical theology is “the interpretive perspective reflected in the way the biblical authors have presented their understanding of earlier Scripture, redemptive history, and the events they are describing, recounting, celebrating, or addressing in narratives, poems, proverbs, letters, and apocalypses” (p. 16).
This book would be a great addition for someone who does not have the time or money to attend a Bible or theology school. What is Biblical Theology is not written to be an “end-all” book on theology, but in my opinion, this book would be great for the person who desires to understand the Bible on a deeper level while they read. It is simple enough for the casual reader to understand but deep enough to give the reader a beginning grasp of biblical theology.
If you are someone who has not had the Biblical education you might have wanted or desired, pick this book up as it will help you in your understanding of the Bible and grow your devotional life along the way. If you are a seasoned pastor who has been in the ministry for years, this book would be worth your time as it might help you find ways to make the Bible come alive to the people in your congregation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.