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  • For videos, study guides and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    Building Biblical

    Theology

    For videos, study guides and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    LESSON THREE

    DIACHRONIC

    DEVELOPMENTS IN THE

    OLD TESTAMENT

  • ii.

    For videos, study guides and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    © 2012 by Third Millennium Ministries

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any

    means for profit, except in brief quotations for the purposes of review, comment, or

    scholarship, without written permission from the publisher, Third Millennium Ministries,

    Inc., 316 Live Oaks Blvd., Casselberry, Florida 32707.

    Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW

    INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 International Bible

    Society. Used by Permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

    ABOUT THIRD MILLENNIUM MINISTRIES

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    http://www.thirdmill.org/

  • iii.

    For videos, study guides and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    Contents I. Introduction .....................................................................................................1

    II. Orientation.......................................................................................................2 A. Diachronic 2

    1. Contrast 2 2. Interdependence 3

    B. Development 3 1. Divine Purposes 3 2. Divine Providence 4

    C. Example 5

    III. Epochal Developments....................................................................................7 A. Diverse Emphases 8

    1. Universal Covenants 8 2. National Covenants 9 3. New Covenant 10

    B. Organic Unity 11 1. Kingdom Administration 12 2. Abiding Authority 12 3. Extended Application 13

    IV. Topical Developments .....................................................................................14 A. Traditional Topics 15 B. Typology 16

    1. Definition 16 2. Features 18 3. Identification 21

    V. Conclusion .......................................................................................................25

  • Building Biblical Theology

    Lesson Three

    Diachronic Developments in the Old Testament

    -1-

    For videos, study guides and many other resources, please visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    INTRODUCTION

    In my country we have a game called, “Who’s the baby?” The hosts of a party

    pass out photos of their adult guests from years ago when they were all toddlers and

    everyone guesses which picture belongs to which person. Usually, at least some pictures

    can be matched with some of the guests. No adults look exactly as they did when they

    were that young, but often some facial feature — the shape of our eyes, a bright smile —

    continue to be similar enough that we can tell which toddlers grew into which adults.

    Something like this is true of the theology of the Old Testament. The Old

    Testament covers thousands of years during which its theology changed quite a bit. The

    theology, in its more mature stages near the end, is not exactly like the theology of its

    earlier, younger stages. But when we look more carefully, we can still see that the Old

    Testament actually represents the same faith as it grew over time.

    This is the third lesson in our series Building Biblical Theology. We have entitled

    this lesson, “Diachronic Developments in the Old Testament.” In this lesson, we will see

    that biblical theology focuses on how Old Testament theology developed with the passing

    of time.

    In our previous lesson, we saw that Christians have used three main strategies for

    understanding the Scriptures: literary analysis, looking at the Bible as a literary portrait

    designed to convey certain perspectives; thematic analysis, looking at the Bible as a

    mirror reflecting traditional or contemporary questions; and historical analysis, looking at

    the Bible as a window to the historical events that it reports. We also saw that biblical

    theology focuses primarily on historical analysis of the Scriptures, looking especially at

    the ways God was involved in historical events reported in the Bible For this reason, we

    defined the discipline of biblical theology in this way:

    Biblical theology is theological reflection drawn from historical analysis

    of acts of God reported in Scripture.

    Biblical theology focuses on Scriptural accounts of God’s involvement in history and

    draws inferences for Christian theology from those events.

    In the preceding lesson, we saw how biblical theologians create “synchronic

    syntheses” of Old Testament theology by looking at periods of history as synchronic

    units of time, and by discerning the theological structures that resulted from the

    intersections of divine act and word revelations during those periods. In this lesson, we’re

    turning our attention to a second major concern biblical theologians have with Old

    Testament theology: namely, “diachronic development,” the ways theological structures

    grew or developed over time.

    To explore this subject, we’ll touch on three main issues. First, we’ll gain a basic

    orientation toward diachronic development. Second, we’ll explore how epochal

  • Building Biblical Theology Lesson Three: Diachronic Developments in the Old Testament

    -2-

    For videos, study guides and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

    developments took place between major historical periods or epochs. And third, we’ll

    look at how specific topics developed over time in the Old Testament. Let’s begin with a

    basic orientation toward diachronic development.

    ORIENTATION

    One of the best ways to introduce the idea of diachronic development is to focus

    on what we mean by each of these words. We’ll look first at the term “diachronic.”

    Second, we’ll turn to what we mean by “development.” And then third, we’ll look at a

    biblical example of assessing diachronic development in the Old Testament. Let’s look

    first at the term “diachronic.”

    DIACHRONIC

    Our English term “diachronic” derives from two Greek words: first, the

    preposition dia which often means “through,” or “throughout”; and second, the Greek

    noun chronos which means “time.” Diachrony is a concern with the passage of time. In

    the case of biblical theology, the term “diachronic” points to the ways Old Testament

    theology transformed, changed, or develope