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G.K. Beale – The Search for Biblical-Theological Centers

17 Jan

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It is perhaps best not to speak of “centers” because, as we will see, such proposals tend to be reductionistic. This kind of suggested scheme for the OT has the same problems as similar proposals for the NT. A focus on a single theme can lead to overlooking other important notions, which sometimes can happen when systematic theological categories are appealed to. Some who are discontented with referring to centers nevertheless eventually end up positing their own center or essential principle. Instead, it is more fitting and suitable to the Bible as narrative and literature to talk of a “storyline” that is woven throughout the various genres of the OT (historical narrative, prophetic, poetic, wisdom, etc.), from which most other significant ideas are derived and are to be seen as subordinate and explanatory of parts of the storyline.

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 86.

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G.K. Beale – Regrounding Our Hermeneutical Lenses

26 Dec

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It is important to say that our understanding of most of the traditional doctrines is not so much changed as radically enriched by seeing them through end-time lenses. But how are some of the crucial doctrines of our faith so enriched when seen as eschatological doctrines? To put it another way: how can our hermeneutical lenses be reground in order to see better the end-time reality of the NT?…

We should think of Christ’s life, trials, and especially his death and resurrection as the central events that launched the latter days. These pivotal events of Christ’s life, trials, death, and resurrection are eschatological in particular because they launched the beginning of the new creation and kingdom. The end-time new-creational kingdom has not been recognized sufficiently heretofore as of vital importance to a biblical theology of the NT and it is this concept that I believe has the potential to refine significantly the general scholarly view of the eschatological already-not yet.

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 18-19.

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G.K. Beale – The Eschatological Tint of the New Testament

17 Dec

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The great end-time predictions have already begun the process of fulfillment. William Manson has well said,

When we turn to the New Testament, we pass from the climate of prediction to that of fulfillment. The things which God had foreshadowed by the lips of His holy prophets He has now, in part at least, brought to accomplishment….
The supreme sign of the Eschaton is the Resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is not simply a sign which God has granted in favour of His son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into history, of the times of the End.
Christians, therefore, have entered through the Christ into the new age…
What had been predicted in Holy Scripture as to happen to Israel or to man in the Eschaton, has happened to and in Jesus. The foundation-stone of the New Creation has come into position.

Therefore, the apostles understood eschatology not merely as futurology but as a mind-set for understanding the present within the climaxing context of redemptive history. That is, the apostles understood that they were already living in the end times, and that they were to understand their present salvation in Christ to be already an end-time reality. Every aspect of their salvation was to be conceived of as eschatological in nature. To put this another way, the major doctrines of the Christian faith are charged with eschatological electricity. Just as when you put on green sunglasses, everything you see is green, so Christ through the Spirit had placed eschatological sunglasses on his disciples so that everything they looked at in the Christian faith had an end-time tint.

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 18.

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G.K. Beale – What Are the “End Times”?

6 Dec

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The popular understanding that the latter days refer only to the future end of the world needs radical adjustment. On a scholarly level, NT research over the past decades has made great strides in increasing our understanding that the beginning of Christian history was perceived by the first Christians as the beginning of the end times but not their consummation…

The NT writers assert that Christians experience only a part of what will be completely experienced in the final form of the new heavens and earth. There is what has become famously called an “already and not yet” dimension of the end times. In this respect, Oscar Cullmann has metaphorically described Jesus’s first coming as “D-day” because this is when Satan was decisively defeated. “V-day” is the second coming, when Jesus’s enemies will totally surrender and bow down to him. Cullman says it this way: “The hope of the final victory is so much the more vivid because of the unshakably firm conviction that the battle that decides the victory has already taken place.”

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 17.

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G.K. Beale – The Storyline’s of the Old & New Testaments

4 Dec

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The OT storyline that I posit as the basis for the NT storyline is this: The Old Testament is the story of God, who progressively reestablishes his new-creational kingdom out of chaos over sinful people by his word and Spirit through promise, covenant, and redemption, resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to advance this kingdom and judgment (defeat or exile) for the unfaithful, unto his glory…

The NT transformation of the storyline of the OT that I propose is this: Jesus’s life, trials, death for sinners, and especially resurrection by the Spirit have launched the fulfillment of the eschatological already-not yet new-creational reign, bestowed by grace through faith and resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to advance this new-creational reign and resulting in judgment for the unbelieving, unto the triune God’s glory.

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 16.

Books by G.K. Beale

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Other Beale Quotes at the Cross Quoter