Biblical Bibliographies
Charles Conroy [www.cjconroy.net]



The Origins of Biblical Theology
up to Johann Philipp Gabler (1753–1826)


The bibliography is divided into two sections as follows:

I.    "Biblical Theology" prior to Gabler

1.   Works from the 16th to the 18th centuries

À Diest, H., Theologia biblica (Daventriae: apud Ioannem Janssonium, 1644).

Christmann, W. J., Teutsche biblische Theologie (Kempten 1629) [nothing else is known of this work, no copy of which apparently has survived].

Cocceius, J. (Johannes Koch), Summa doctrina de foedere et testamento Dei (Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: Elseviriorum, 1648) [and several later editions].

Ernesti, J. A., Institutio interpretis Novi Testamenti (Lipsiae [Leipzig]: Weidmanniana, 1761). English translation from the fifth edition of 1809: Elements of Interpretation. Trans. by M. Stuart (Andover, Mass.: Flagg and Gould, 1822).

Melanchthon, Ph., Loci communes rerum theologicarum seu hypotyposes theologicae (Wittenberg: Lotther, 1521) [with many subsequent editions]. The final definitive redaction was entitled: Loci praecipui theologici nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti multisque in locis copiose illustrati (1559).
Critical edition: Melanchthon, Ph., Werke in Auswahl. Hrsg. v. R. Stupperich. 7 tomi in 9 vol. (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann / Gerd Mohn, 1951-1975): the 1521 and 1559 editions of the Loci are in Vols. II/1 (1952) and II/2 (1953), edited by H. Engelland.

Semler, J. S., Abhandlung von freier Untersuchung des Canon. 4 vol. (Halle: Hemmerde, 1771-1775).

Spener, Ph. J., Pia Desideria (Frankfurt am Main: Zunner, 1676); = [English trans.], Pia Desideria. Trans., edited and introduced by T. G. Tappert (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1964); = Pia desideria: il «manifesto» del pietismo tedesco (1675). A cura di R. Osculati. Postfazione di P. Ricca (Riforma protestante nei secoli; Torino: Claudiana, 1986).

Spinoza, B., Tractatus theologico-politicus (Amsterdam: Jan Rieuwertsz, 1670) [in the first edition the name of the author was omitted, and false publication data (Hamburgi, Apud Henricum Künraht [sic: for Künrath]) appear on the title-page.]. The standard critical edition is: Spinoza, B., Opera, herausgegeben von C. Gebhardt. 4 vol. (Heidelberg: Winters, 1925) III 1-267.
English translation: Spinoza, B. de, Tractatus theologico-politicus (Gebhardt Edition, 1925). Translated by S. Shirley, with an introduction by B. S. Gregory (Leiden: Brill, 1989). Versione italiana (con testo latino a fronte): Spinoza, B., Trattato teologico-politico. A cura di A. Dini (Testi a Fronte, 80; Milano: Rusconi, 1999); ristampa (Bompiani Testi a Fronte, 33; Milano: Bompiani, 2001).

Wigandus [Wigand], J. – M. Iudex [Richter], Syntagma, seu Corpus doctrinae Christi, ex novo Testamento tantum, methodica ratione, singulari fide & diligentia congestum (Basileae: ex officina Oporiniana, 1575) [later edition in 1585].

Zachariae [Zachariä], G. T., Biblische Theologie, oder Untersuchung des biblischen Grundes der vornehmsten theologischen Lehren. 5 vol. (Tübingen: Frank und Schramm, 1771 / 1772 / 1774/ 1775; Göttingen: Brose, 1786) [The 5th vol. of 1786 was edited posthumously by J. C. Vollborth after Zachariae's death in 1777].

2.   Background studies by modern scholars on that period

Asselt, W. J. van, The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603–1669). Trans. by R. A. Blacketer (Studies in the History of Christian Thought, 100; Leiden: Brill, 2001).

Bray, G., "The Church Fathers and Biblical Theology", in C. Bartholomew – M. Healy – K. Möller – R. Parry (eds.), Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation (Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, 5; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004) 23-40.

Congar, M.-J., "Théologie", in E. Amman (ed.), DTC 15/I (1946) 341-502 [the article was published in fascicles in 1938-39]; = Y. M.-J. Congar, A History of Theology. Translated and edited by Hunter Guthrie, S.J. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968).

Ebeling, G., "Was heißt 'Biblische Theologie'?", in G. Ebeling, Wort und Glaube (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1960) 69-89; = "The Meaning of 'Biblical Theology'", in G. Ebeling, Word and Faith (London: SCM; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1963) 79-97.

Hornig, G., Die Anfänge der historisch-kritischen Theologie. Johann Salomo Semlers Schriftverständnis und seine Stellung zu Luther (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1961).

Kaiser, O., "Johann Salomo Semler als Bahnbrecher der modernen Bibelwissenschaften", in A. H. J. Gunneweg – O. Kaiser (eds.), Textgemäss. Aufsätze und Beiträge zur Hermeneutik des Alten Testaments. Festschrift für Ernst Würthwein zum 70. Geburtstag (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979) 59-79; = O. Kaiser, Von der Gegenwartsbedeutung des Alten Testaments. Gesammelte Studien. Herausgegeben von V. Fritz et al. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984) 79-94.

Kolb, R., "The First Protestant 'Biblical Theology'. The Syntagma of Johannes Wigand and Matthaeus Judex", in T. Johansson – R. Kolb – J. A. Steiger (eds.), Hermeneutica Sacra. Studien zur Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert – Studies of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Historia Hermeneutica. Series Studia, 9; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010) 189-206.

Lüder, A., Historie und Dogmatik. Ein Beitrag zur Genese und Denkentfaltung von Johann Salomo Semlers Verständnis des Alten Testaments (BZAW 233; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1995).

Reventlow, H. Graf, Bibelautorität und Geist der Moderne. Die Bedeutung des Bibelverständnisses für die geistesgeschichtliche und politische Entwicklung in England von der Reformation bis zur Aufklärung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980); = The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World (London: SCM, 1984). [The English version has many additions, especially in the notes, and is practically a second edition.]

Sandys-Wunsch, J., "G. T. Zachariae's Contribution to Biblical Theology", ZAW 92 (1980) 1-23.

Sandys-Wunsch, J., "Spinoza, the First Biblical Theologian", ZAW 93 (1981) 327-341.

Sandys-Wunsch, J., "Theology, Biblical (to 1800)", in J. H. Hayes (ed.), Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1999) II (K-Z) 553-556.

Spicq, C., "Thomas d'Aquin (Saint), VI: Saint Thomas d'Aquin exégète", in E. Amman (ed.), DTC 15/I (1946) 694-738.

II.    The contribution of Johann Philipp Gabler (1753–1826)

1.   Gabler's inaugural discourse (1787)  [click here for some downloadable PDF texts]

The original Latin text

Gabler, J. Ph., De iusto discrimine theologiae biblicae et dogmaticae regundisque recte utriusque finibus (Altdorf: Monath, 1787); reprinted in Io. Phil. Gabler, Opuscula academica: Kleinere theologische Schriften. II. Band (Die opuscula academica enthaltend). Ediderunt Theo. Aug. Gabler et Io. Godofr. Gabler (Ulm: Stettin, 1831) 179-198. The 1831 version was then reprinted in K.-W. Niebuhr – C. Böttrich (eds.), Johann Philipp Gabler (1753-1826) zum 250. Geburstag (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2003) 15-41 (together with the German translation by Merk [see below]).


German translation

Merk, O., Biblische Theologie des Neuen Testaments in ihrer Anfangszeit. Ihre methodischen Probleme bei Johann Philipp Gabler und Georg Lorenz Bauer und deren Nachwirkungen (Marburger Theologische Studien, 9; Marburg: Elwert, 1972) 273-284; partial reprint (omitting sections not directly relevant for the question of biblical theology) in G. Strecker (ed.), Das Problem der Theologie des Neuen Testaments (Wege der Forschung 367; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1975) 32-44. Full reprint in K.-W. Niebuhr – C. Böttrich (eds.), Johann Philipp Gabler (1753-1826) zum 250. Geburstag (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2003) 15-41 (together with the original Latin text).


English translation

Sandys-Wunsch, J. – L. Eldredge, "J. P. Gabler and the Distinction between Biblical and Dogmatic Theology", SJT 33 (1980) 133-158 [translation and commentary]. The translation only (not the commentary) was reprinted in B. C. Ollenburger – E. A. Martens – G. F. Hasel (eds.), The Flowering of Old Testament Theology. A Reader in Twentieth-Century Old Testament Theology, 1930-1990 (Sources for Biblical and Theological Study, 1; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992) 493-502; reprinted again in B. C. Ollenburger (ed.), Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future, 2nd revised edition (Sources for Biblical and Theological Study, 1; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004) 497-506.


Italian translation (extracts only)  [click here, however, for a full downloadable (unpublished) Italian version]

Kümmel, W. G., Il Nuovo Testamento. Storia dell'indagine scientifica sul problema neotestamentario (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1976) 138-141 (only short extracts) [from the original German edition of Kümmel's work: 21970]

2.   Modern scholars on Gabler

Boers, H., What is New Testament Theology? The Rise of Criticism and the Problem of a Theology of the New Testament (Guides to Biblical Scholarship, NT; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979) 23-38.

Boers, H., "Gabler, Johann Philipp", in J. H. Hayes (ed.), Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1999) I (A-J) 425-426.

Knierim, R., "On Gabler", in R. Knierim, The Task of Old Testament Theology. Substance, Method, and Cases (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995) 495-556.

Kratz, R. G., "Auslegen und Erklären. Über die theologische Bedeutung der Bibelkritik nach Johann Philipp Gabler", in K.-W. Niebuhr – C. Böttrich (eds.), Johann Philipp Gabler (1753-1826) zum 250. Geburstag (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2003) 53-74. Reprinted [same title] in R. G. Kratz, Mythos und Geschichte: Kleine Schriften III (FAT 102; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015) 18-38.

Merk, O., Biblische Theologie des Neuen Testaments in ihrer Anfangszeit. Ihre methodischen Probleme bei Johann Philipp Gabler und Georg Lorenz Bauer und deren Nachwirkungen (Marburger Theologische Studien, 9; Marburg: Elwert, 1972).

Merk, O., "Anmerkungen zur Gablers Altdorfer Antrittsrede", in K.-W. Niebuhr – C. Böttrich (eds.), Johann Philipp Gabler (1753-1826) zum 250. Geburstag (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2003) 42-52.

Morgan, R., "Gabler's Bicentenary", ExpTim 98 (1986-87) 164-168.

Niebuhr, K.-W. – C. Böttrich (eds.), Johann Philipp Gabler (1753-1826) zum 250. Geburstag (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2003).

Ollenburger, B. C., "Biblical Theology: Situating the Discipline", in J. T. Butler – E. W. Conrad – B. C. Ollenburger (eds.), Understanding the Word. Essays in Honor of B. W. Anderson (JSOTSup 37; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985) 37-62.

Saebø, M., "Johann Philipp Gablers Bedeutung für die Biblische Theologie. Zum 200-jährigen Jubiläum seiner Antrittsrede vom 30. März 1787", ZAW 99 (1987) 1-16; = "Johann Philipp Gabler at the End of the Eighteenth Century: History and Theology", in M. Saebø, On the Way to Canon. Creative Tradition History in the Old Testament (JSOTSup 191; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press 1998) 310-326.

Schaper, J., "The Question of a 'Biblical Theology' and the Growing Tension between 'Biblical Theology' and a 'History of the Religion of Israel': from Johann Philipp Gabler to Rudolf Smend, Sn.", in M. Sæbø (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament. III: From Modernism to Post-Modernism (The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries). Part I: The Nineteenth Century – a Century of Modernism and Historicism. In co-operation with Peter Machinist and Jean Louis Ska SJ (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013) 625-650.

Smend, R., "Johann Philipp Gablers Begründung der biblischen Theologie", EvT 22 (1962) 345-357; = R. Smend, Epochen der Bibelkritik. Gesammelte Studien, Band 3 (BEvT 109; München: Kaiser, 1991) 104-116.

Stuckenbruck, L. T., "Johann Philipp Gabler and the Delineation of Biblical Theology", SJT 52 (1999) 139-157.

Wittenberg, G. H., "Johann Philipp Gabler and the Consequences: In Search of a New Paradigm for Old Testament Theology", OTE 8 (1995) 103-128.