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As I noted in my exploration of Biblical Theology, there are 5 types of Biblical Theology. My question is: how do I ask questions from Type 1 and Type 2 perspectives?

From reading Caleb's answer and Dan's BH.SE Migration Test with the accompanying flowchart it seems that the community defining the demarcation would apply the following mapping to Type 1 and Type 2 questions:

  1. Since Type 1 seems to stop short at exegesis + history the question belongs to BH.SE

  2. Since Type 2 seems to add a little bit of theology, but it's theology of each book of the Bible (historical perspective of the book author) combined with minimal hermeneutical Christian assumption of progressive revelation culminating in the early church period (as early as St. Paul's & St. John's understanding and as late as maybe the Apostle's Creed), the question belongs to Christianity.SE with the following hints added:

    • Tag should include biblical-theology
    • Some indications in the Question title
    • Some indications in the Question description

My question is how to provide the indications within the Question for Type 2 in such a way that the community wouldn't block it? Three ways of defining the perspective that I think is IN SCOPE for Type 2 are:

In "The Shape of Sola Scriptura" chapter 1, Keith Mathison provided a summary for individual church father's view of scripture vs. tradition, and identifies a "Transitional Period". From chapter 1, "Transitional Period" section:

Thus far the testimony of the early Church fathers regarding the question of authority is consistent. Scripture is the authority, but it must be interpreted according to the apostolic regula fidei. As noted by G.L. Prestige, “The voice of the Bible could be plainly heard only if its text were interpreted broadly and rationally, in accordance with the apostolic creed and the evidence of the historical practice of Christendom.” In a number of historical studies, the church historian Heiko Oberman describes the characteristics of this early patristic position. As he explains, this one source concept of “tradition” has two primary qualities:

  1. The immediate divine origin of tradition together with the insistence on a clearly circumscribed series of historical acts of God in the rule of faith or the rule of truth.
  2. The rejection of extra-scriptural tradition.

For the sake of clarity, Oberman terms this “single exegetical tradition of interpreted scripture ‘Tradition I’.” It is this view which was universally held for the first three centuries of the Church. During the fourth century, however, a transitional period began as several prominent fathers started to hint at a two-source concept of tradition. [emphasis mine]

In Mathison's scheme, the views of Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertulian, Hoppolytus, Cyprian, Athanasius, Hilary of Poitiers and Cyril of Jerusalem are BEFORE the transition period while the views of Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysotom, and Augustine belong to the TRANSITION PERIOD (transition period = beginning of the two-source concept of tradition).

So my question is how to ask questions from a "Biblical Theology Type 2" perspective since the theology does not have a label (like Reformed, Lutheran, etc.) but YET is identifiable and has a clear boundary:

  • In theological terms, as how the 5 ways article defines Type 2
  • In hermeneutics, as how exegesis is governed by strict "rule of faith" principle. Example: how the "before transitional period" church fathers would have practiced it. So the interpretation would NOT include later doctrines that Eastern Orthodox church, Western Catholic church, Reformation era Protestant denominations would bring to the text. Nor the interpretation would be cast by medieval & modern philosophies.

One way to answer the question is to provide a clear guideline on how to provide standard indications in the questions for Christianity.SE.

Another way is to kick the question over to BH.SE but then the community there needs to be prepared to welcome minimal theology.

Since I personally believe Type 2 is the trend among evangelicals and conservative Christians of any denominations nowadays, we'll see more visitors asking from this perspective (myself included). I also personally believe that C.S. Lewis's priority of Mere Christianity would have identified himself with Type 2, or with a church father no later than the Transitional Period (which includes St. Augustine).

Some past related meta questions:

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In my experience Sola/Prima Scriptura is not a useful scope for anything other than questions about those doctrines themselves. It's too broad and sets no rules or guidelines on questions concerning Biblical theology.

Instead I think you should simply scope the questions according to the type of Biblical theology or the author who has taught it. So you could ask how dispensationalism, covenant theology, or new covenant theology understands a matter, or how theologians in the Vos, Goldsworthy, Beale, etc schools of BT understand a matter.

Type 2 questions can be asked either here or at BH.SE. If you're focusing on a specific passage BH.SE would probably be better, if you're focusing on how many passages work together, or what a whole BT system teaches, then this would be the better site I think.

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Since I personally believe Type 2 is the trend among evangelicals and conservative Christians of any denominations nowadays, we'll see more visitors asking from this perspective (myself included). I also personally believe that C.S. Lewis's priority of Mere Christianity would have identified himself with Type 2, or with a church father no later than the Transitional Period (which includes St. Augustine).

Questions should still be scoped appropriately to the subset. If that Zondervan reference is that perspective you're going to use to ask questions make sure people know it. That's OK. But it's not going to change the overall makeup of the website. I don't know what you'd use for a tag though. (try and we'll see if it sticks) We still have multiple teaching authorities to deal with and it's very impossible to moderate a website where anybody can answer a question validly using their own perspective. This is easy for Catholics where it is expressly forbidden for a layman to offer up his or her opinion as truth about what the Bible means.

This website was best described by as "About Christianity" and that's the defining trait. It's about Christianity and heresies and practices. There are, obviously, lots of Biblical questions. But, if we've avoided Biblical Theology it's because it attracts too much personal interpretation. We probably need 10 or 20 more people on the review queue rooting out everything that looks like original-research answers and ignoring all the multitudes who says everybody should understand Sacred Scripture like they do.

Right now, we say, OK fine - leave your rambly piece, we'll just close the question we'll deleted your post after the question is edited and then you'll see how the site really works.

  • Quite pragmatic and practical approach. I'm ok with it. As I said elsewhere, I want to find the right venue to help me research the questions I have while contributing in a way that's appropriate to the site. Thanks for taking the time to answer. – GratefulDisciple Oct 28 at 18:06

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