Thursday, January 24, 2008

Q: Theology or Biblical Studies?

Before I got to seminary (or before I began reading for seminary), I thought that Theology and Biblical Studies were the same thing. I was mistaken. There seems to be a difference between the two that I'm not sure I understand. For example, my Greek professor (a "Biblical Scholar") also teaches New Testament Surveys and Exegesis Courses, both of which discuss the theology of the New Testament in varying degrees of intensity. However, he doesn't teach Theology courses, and the same guys that teach the Exegesis courses don't teach the Hermeneutics courses. Those are taught by the "Theologians," not to be confused with the aforementioned "Biblical Scholars." Of course, Systematic Theology is taught by the Theology guys, not the Biblical Studies guys. So, guess who teaches the course called "New Testament Theology": it's not the "Theologians," but the "Biblical Scholars." (My head is spinning.) So, who would teach a course on Biblical Theology?

In all seriousness, is a distinction between "Biblical Studies" and "Theology" helpful? Where did it come from?