In his article, “How May we Speak of God? A Reconsideration of the Nature of Biblical Theology,” Tyndale Bulletin 53/2 (2002): 177-202, R.W.L. Moberly offers the following definition of biblical theology (from a Christian perspective): “Biblical theology is thus, in some form or other, the endeavour to speak and/or write truthfully about God via the interpretation of Scripture where God’s self-revelation to Israel and in Christ is to be found” (p. 178). It is, in other words, an attempt to speak about God via the revelation of Scripture. I find this definition helpful on multiple levels. In the first it recognizes the importance of both of the testaments, and the purpose of speaking “truthfully about God” presupposes not only a descriptive function but also a confessional function, for it implies the confession that the revelation of Scripture speaks truthfully about God.
This article is an excellent example of Moberly’s interpretive program and I recommend it highly to everyone. In this post, however, I want to examine one aspect of Moberly’s suggestion: the use of Exod. 34:6-7 to set a paradigm for biblical theology. I find this to be a very helpful exercise and worthy of reflection. (more…)