DeRouchie, Jason S., Oren R. Martin, and Andrew David Naselli. 40 Questions about Biblical Theology. 40 Questions. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2020.

I am an Old Testament scholar who treasures the Lord Jesus, and because of this I delight in the discipline of biblical theology, which studies how the whole Bible progresses, integrates, and climaxes in Christ. I recently co-authored an introduction to the discipline with two friends who specialize in different disciplines: Oren Martin (Systematic Theology) and Andy Naselli (New Testament).

What Is Biblical Theology?

Biblical theology is a way of analyzing and synthesizing the Bible that makes organic, salvation-historical connections with the whole canon on its own terms, especially regarding how the Old and New Testaments progress, integrate, and climax in Christ.

What Is Distinct about This Volume?


The 40 Questions series is so beneficial because people can choose to read the whole book cover to cover or they can simply find the question that most interests them and read the answer, which almost always comes in 10 pages or less. Not only this, if you just want to know the gist, every chapter ends with a summary, which is then followed by five questions for personal or group reflection.


Our volume stands out because it not only defines biblical theology and explores proper method but also illustrates and applies biblical theology with numerous examples. We have chapters that trace themes from Genesis to Revelation (e.g., the covenants, serpent, the people of God, the Law, the Temple, mission, land, resurrection), while others overview how later Scripture uses earlier Scripture (e.g., the use of Exod 15:2 in Isa 12:2; the use of Isa 40:13 and Job 41:11a in Rom 11:34–35; the use of Lev 18:5 in Gal 3:12). We also have chapters that consider how biblical theology helps us teach and preach the OT, how Christians relate to OT promises, how biblical theology should impact the Christian life, how a church can teach biblical theology, and what should motivate us to engage in it.


We truly try to faithfully overview the different systems that conservative evangelicals have employed for articulating how the whole Bible holds together (i.e., dispensational theology and covenant theology). Nevertheless, we also practice a redemptive-historical, Christo-centric approach to Scripture that we believe is faithful to the Bible’s own claims and makeup, that is reformed and baptistic, and that aligns with what evangelicals in the west are now terming progressive covenantal theology.

What Are the 40 Questions?

Part 1: Defining Biblical Theology
  1. What Do We Mean by “Biblical Theology”? [Naselli]
  2. What Is Scripture’s Storyline? [DeRouchie]
  3. How Does Biblical Theology Help Us See and Celebrate Christ in the Old Testament? [DeRouchie]
  4. Why Must Biblical Theology Analyze and Synthesize How the Old and New Testaments Progress, Integrate, and Climax in Christ? [Martin]
  5. How Should Biblical Theology Trace a Theme’s Salvation-Historical Progression? [Naselli]
  6. How Should Biblical Theology Consider Continuity and Discontinuity between the Covenants? [Martin]
  7. How Should Biblical Theology Track Promise and Fulfillment? [Naselli]
  8. How Should Biblical Theology Approach Typology? [Naselli]
  9. How Should Biblical Theology Approach How Later Scripture Uses Earlier Scripture? [Naselli]
Part 2: Comparing Different Approaches to Biblical Theology
  1. What Are Different Ways That Evangelicals Do Biblical Theology? [Naselli]
  2. What Must We Presuppose to Do Biblical Theology? [Martin]
  3. How Does Biblical Theology Compare to Other Theological Disciplines [Martin]
  4. How Do Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology Differ and Work Together? [Martin]
  5. What Role Does Authorial Intent Play in Biblical Theology? [Martin]
  6. Does the Bible Have One Central Theme? [Naselli]
  7. Is the Order of the Canon Significant for Doing Biblical Theology? [DeRouchie]
  8. How Does Dispensational Theology Understand Biblical Theology? [Martin]
  9. How Does Covenant Theology Understand Biblical Theology? [Martin]
  10. How Does Progressive Covenantalism Understand Biblical Theology? [Martin]
Part 3: Illustrating Biblical Theology: Tracing Themes
  1. How Does Harry Potter Illustrate Biblical Theology? [Naselli]
  2. What Role Does “Mystery” Play in Biblical Theology? [DeRouchie]
  3. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Covenants? [DeRouchie]
  4. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Serpent? [Naselli]
  5. What Is a Biblical Theology of the People of God? [DeRouchie]
  6. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Law? [DeRouchie]
  7. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Sabbath? [Naselli]
  8. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Temple? [Naselli]
  9. What Is a Biblical Theology of Mission? [DeRouchie]
  10. What Is a Biblical Theology of the Land? [Martin]
  11. What Is a Biblical Theology of Resurrection? [DeRouchie]
Part 4: Illustrating Biblical Theology: The Use of Earlier Scripture in Later Scripture
  1. How Does Isaiah 12:2 Use Exodus 15:2? [DeRouchie]
  2. How Does Matthew 2:15 Use Hosea 11:1? [DeRouchie]
  3. How Does Romans 11:34–35 Use Isaiah 40:13 and Job 41:11a [Naselli]
  4. How Does Galatians 3:12 Use Leviticus 18:5? [DeRouchie]
  5. How Do Genesis 1–3 and Revelation 21–22 Relate as the Bible’s Bookends? [Naselli]
Part 5: Applying Biblical Theology
  1. How Does Biblical Theology Help Us Teach and Preach the Old Testament? [DeRouchie]
  2. How Should a Christian Relate to Old Testament Promises? [DeRouchie]
  3. How Should Biblical Theology Impact the Christian Life? [Martin]
  4. How Can a Church Teach Biblical Theology? [Martin]
  5. What Should Motivate Us to Do Biblical Theology? [Martin]

What Are Others Saying?

  • “This volume is a wonderful entry point into the vast and complex field of biblical theology.” —Benjamin L. Gladd, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
  • “The authors have used every means at their disposal to make this the kind of reference book in which every aspect of biblical theology is presented in a format that makes the information easy to find.” —Graeme Goldsworthy, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
  • 40 Questions About Biblical Theology is a terrific resource to keep coming back to.” —Nancy Guthrie
  • “This book helps us see how the whole Bible fits together and points to and is fulfilled in Christ.” —Peter H. W. Lau, OMF International
  • “Get this book, because it not only teaches you biblical theology, but also leaves you with a growing appetite for God’s Word.” —Conrad Mbewe, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia
  • “This lucid and engaging 40 Questions volume is a comprehensive guide to biblical theology’s definition, presuppositions, major themes, and applications.” —Brian S. Rosner, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
  • “DeRouchie, Martin, and Naselli have written a beautifully clear introduction to biblical theology. Their interdisciplinary collaboration gives the book both depth and breadth.” —Thomas R. Schreiner, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
  • “These pastor-scholars have composed a primer to biblical theology that answers some of the most puzzling questions in the field.” —Dieudonné Tamfu, Bethlehem Baptist Church and Bethlehem College & Seminary, Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • “Readers will not escape the intense urge to worship the Triune God as they grow in their understanding of the great salvation that Messiah Jesus has accomplished!” —Frew Tamrat, Evangelical Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • “This book is a valuable resource for all those who want to know Scripture better.” —Stephen J. Wellum, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
  • “This is an outstanding resource for the study of biblical theology.” —Miles V. Van Pelt, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS

More about the Book

  1. Fred Zaspel interview (of DeRouchie, Martin, and Naselli) for Books at a Glance (11/17/2020)
  2. Jason Allen interview for Preaching and Preachers podcast (11/23/2020)
  3. Mike Brooks interview for For the Church (12/15/2020)

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