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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Theologies

This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference ToolsThis series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Basic Description of Theologies

Generally speaking, one can divide theological reference tools into three broad categories.

Systematic Theologies – Seek to present theological material systematically according to specific categories that frame the discussion, e.g., the nature of God, the work of the Spirit, the essence of sin, etc.

Biblical Theologies – Seek to present theological material according to categories more directly related to those of the Biblical authors, books, and corpuses; seek to give special attention to the progressive unfolding of this theological material across Biblical history and the Biblical canon.

Historical Theologies – Seek to present developmnent of Christian theology throughout church history and spanning various theological traditions. Some are organized according to historical period while others are organized topically.

Sample of Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), pg. 1109. * Click image for larger view.

Key Systematic Theologies

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.

Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.

Normal Geisler’s Systematic Theology – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.

Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.

Gordan Lewis and Bruce Demarest’s Integrative Theology – Brief evangelical systematic theology.

Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology – Standard Reformed sytematic theology.

Charles Hodge’s Sytematic Theology – Standard Reformed systematic theology.

A. H. Strong’s Systematic Theology – Standard Baptist systematic theology.

Thomas Oden’s Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology, Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 – Standard Arminian systematic theology.

Rodman Williams’ Renewal Theology – Pentecostal systematic theology.

L.S. Chafer’s Systematic Theology – Classical Dispensational systematic theology.

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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Atlases

This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference ToolsThis series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Cover ArtBasic Description of Atlas

A Bible atlas is a reference tool that systematically and visually (e.g., often through the use of maps and pictures) presents geographical, topographical, historical, archaeological, and cultural information relevant to Biblical studies.

Key Atlases

Sample of Atlas

“The Tribal Distribution of the Land” by Barry J. Beitzel in The New Moody Atlas of the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), pg. 122-123. * Click on photo for larger image.


* This post’s information can be found within Rolfing Library’s research guides. See the guide to atlases here.


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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Greek NT Eclectic Texts

This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference ToolsThis series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Basic Description of Greek NT Eclectic Texts

The main Greek New Testament texts used in New Testament studies are eclectic. That is, their ‘finalized’ forms are compositions of various readings from a variety of manuscripts as opposed to being equivalent to one complete New Testament manuscript. Because the texts of various manuscripts differ at points (these differences are known as ‘varients’), methods are used to conclude which reading is most likely the original one. (This process of determining the most likely reading is known as ‘text criticism’).

Significant Greek NT Eclectic Texts

Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland (e.g., NA28) – Used in Trinity courses.

The Greek New Testament by United Bible Society (UBS).

The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text.

The Textus Receptus Greek New Testament.

Helpful Resources

Greek NT Sample

Eberhard Neslte, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger, eds., Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland, 28th ed. (Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2012), 298-299. * Click on photo for larger image.


* This post’s information can be found within Rolfing Library’s research guides. See the guide to Greek NT Eclectic Texts.


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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS)

This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference ToolsThis series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Basic Description of BHS

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) (BS 715 1990) is an edition of the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text. It is based on the Lenigrad Codex B19A (the oldest known manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible), includes a textual apparatus (provides information relevant for textual criticism), and is the most widely used scholarly text of the Hebrew Old Testament.

Helpful Resources

Online edition of BHS.

For more information on BHS or using BHS, see William R. Scott’s A Simplified Guide to BHS: Critical Apparatus, Masora, Accents, Unusual Letters, and Other Markings (Richland Hills, TX: D & F Scott Publishing Inc., 2007). (BS715 2007)

For a helpful introduction to Old Testament text criticism in general as well as text criticism as it relates to BHS in particular, see Ellis R. Brotzman’s Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Intorduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1993). (BS1136 .B765 1994)

BHS Sample

Elliger, K. and W. Rudolph, eds., Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1998), 17-16. * Click photo for larger image.


* This post’s information can be found within Rolfing Library’s research guides. See the guide to BHS here.