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Systematic exposition of the teachings of the Bible. There are two principal forms of biblical theology. One stresses subordination to Christian dogmatics. It works through the material furnished by exegesis, correlates ideas with facts, synthesizes them on the basis of an organic principle consistent with their nature and respective value, and places them into the stream of the history of revelation.
The other form of biblical theology sees the development of exegesis into theology as the work of reason enlightened by faith. Its purpose is to enter, through grace, into more intimate contact with transcendent reality as revealed in the sacred text. In this sense biblical theology is an ideal that always tends toward a goal without stopping at the results already achieved.
The two forms of biblical theology, as auxiliary to dogma and as instrument to religious insight, are not incompatible. They are mutually conducive to heighten the value of both Scripture and dogma, by integrating two areas of religious knowledge which derive from a common, divine source.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.