Accordance Blog
May 29, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! New Studies in Biblical Theology (42 volumes)

We are pleased to release 42 volumes of the ongoing New Studies in Biblical Theology series from InterVarsity Press. Edited by D. A. Carson, these titles are now available for the Accordance Bible Software Library as a bundle or by individual title.

Note: click/tap images below for a larger view.

Biblical vs Systematic Theology

What’s the difference between biblical theology and systematic theology? The IVP Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms is a good source for finding descriptions that distinguish between the two. I’ve added a screenshot above for you to read the full definitions of both disciplines. The definition for systematic theology has a key phrase: “an organized system of thought.” The definition for biblical theology describes it as a summary of “a biblical text or of a biblical author without imposing any modern categories of thought on the text.”

Think of it another way: systematic theology begins with just that—a system, and biblical thought is then organized according to that system. Biblical theology begins with describing what the Bible says without concern for systematic categories. Biblical theology can be referred to with subsets such as Old Testament Theology, New Testament Theology, Pauline Theology, Johannine Theology, or theology of Proverbs or Isaiah or Psalms, for instance. Biblical theology will often focus on specific topics or themes: the Holy Spirit in Ezekiel, grace in Deuteronomy, or eschatology in Mark. There’s an effort to make systematic theology avoid discrepancies or seeming contradictions. Biblical theology can sometimes be a bit more “messy.” There’s not as much interest for everything in biblical theology to fit into nice and neat categories. Biblical theology simply lets the data fall where it may.

NSBT Trinity in John Surface Studio

As mentioned earlier, the New Studies in Biblical Theology series (NSBT) is ongoing. The series began in the mid-90s and volumes are still being published. As stated in the series preface,

Contributions to the series focus on one or more of three areas: 1. the nature and status of biblical theology, including its relations with other disciplines (e.g.historical theology, exegesis, systematic theology, historical criticism, narrative theology); 2. the articulation and exposition of the structure of thought of a particular biblical writer or corpus; and 3. the delineation of a biblical theme across all or part of the biblical corpora.

NSBT afterlife iPhone The series itself covers a variety of topics, written by top scholars. Note the titles and subtitles listed below. If you’re still struggling with understanding the distinction between biblical and systematic theology, the focus of these subjects may give you a better grasp of the differences.

The volumes in the NSBT series are for those serious about studying biblical themes, but by design, they avoid being overly-technical. Biblical languages are transliterated, so previous study of Hebrew and/or Greek is not required but may be helpful at times.

NSBT Possessed - Mac

If you’ve been trying to come up with a list for your summer reading, the NSBT series is a great place to start. Purchase the volumes that interest you most, or add the entire series to your personal Accordance Library and read through them systematically—even if they aren’t systematic in their approach to theology!

New Studies in Biblical Theology (42 Volumes)
List Price $931.80
Regular Price $499

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Jan 23, 2017 Accordance Bible Software

NEW! Niehaus' Biblical Theology, Vol 1: The Common Grace Covenants

Niehaus biblical Theology The Early Renaissance Italian scholar and poet Francesco Petrarch said, “Theology is poetry about God.” No doubt, that’s a very appropriate sentiment for someone like Jeffrey Niehaus, who has the rare (these days) combination of backgrounds in poetry and theology. Niehaus, Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has released the first of what will be a two-volume biblical theology. Available beginning today for the Accordance Bible Software Library, the first volume is titled Biblical Theology, Volume 1: The Common Grace Covenants.

Common grace is a theological idea regarding beneficent acts of God towards all of humanity—not just toward those who offer their worship and obedience. An example of common grace is found in passages like Matthew 5:45, where it says of God that “…he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (CSB).

Thus, in this first volume on “The Common Grace Covenants,” Niehaus focuses on the early chapters of Genesis, or the covenants made before the one with Abraham, the covenants made before there was a “people of God.” These common grace covenants include the Creation or Adamic covenant and the Noahic covenant, which Niehaus says are still in effect for all humanity until the end of this age.

Niehaus Biblical Theology I

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of
Niehaus' Biblical Theology, Volume I.

Although the theology of this volume is rooted in the Reformed tradition, Niehaus does at times break with or at least offer alternative suggestions to traditionally held interpretations of some passages. However, whether one agrees or disagrees with Niehaus on some of his points, his dedication to citing both Scripture and other theological works will be quite evident. There are also more than a dozen excurses where Niehaus explores some of the questions less central but still important to his subject matter.

In a day of 1,000-page (and often rambling) theological surveys, Niehaus’ Biblical Theology will be a more concise and focused welcome change of pace for many readers. At nearly 400 pages in print, this volume is less survey and more of a focused biblical theology of the common grace covenants. In his forthcoming second volume, Niehaus will explore The Special Grace Covenants (Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New covenants).

Biblical Theology (Volume 1) (Niehaus)

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Feb 15, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Baker Handbooks on the Old Testament

For the past week, we have discounted our New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments at our lowest offering ever (if you’re reading this blog post on the day I’m posting it, you have until midnight to take advantage of this phenomenal price). Although not often touted as a feature of the NICOT/NT, the fact remains that unlike many commentary series written by multiple authors, this one is uniformly good throughout. And for years, many Accordance users have benefitted from the first two volumes in the NICOT, which are Victor P. Hamilton’s thorough analysis and commentary on the book of Genesis.

If you’re someone who has benefitted from Hamilton’s NICOT commentary, you will be excited to know that today we are releasing all four volumes of Baker’s Handbook on the Old Testament series for the Accordance Library.

Baker OT Handbooks

Victor P. Hamilton, Professor Emeritus at Asbury University, published the first edition of his Handbook on the Pentateuch in 1982. Now, revised in its second edition, Hamilton’s coverage of the first five books of the Bible is not meant to replicate his verse-by-verse coverage in his NICOT volumes, but does work well as a complementary resource. In his Handbook, Hamilton does include commentary, but there is a greater emphasis on sections and themes and how they tie together. Much like a biblical theology, Hamilton focuses on the many intertextual connections that exist among the component sections of the Old Testament. Every chapter contains a bibliography of related works allowing the reader who wants to study further pursue additional avenues of research.

If you’re one of the many Accordance users who has benefitted from Hamilton’s work on Genesis, you will certainly want to read his treatments that go beyond the first book of the Bible. As he explores Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, Hamilton demonstrates not only his insights and knowledge of these books from a lifetime of study and teaching, he is also able to do so in a manner that is engaging without coming across stuffy or dry. Hamilton writes for the undergraduate- or seminary-level student, or even the serious layperson, who wants to gain a better grasp on the structure and themes of the Old Testament. Hebrew is transliterated, allowing access both to those who have studied biblical languages as well as those who have not.

Baker Handbook Pentateuch
Click or tap on the image above for a closer look at
Hamilton's Handbook on the Pentateuch.

With such a wonderful treatment of the Pentateuch, it would be a shame to stop with just the first five books of the Old Testament. Therefore, in addition to Hamilton’s original volume (now revised in its second edition), the entire Old Testament has now been covered using the same methods and style as in the original volume. Hamilton contributes a second volume to the series with his Handbook on the Historical Books, which begins with Joshua and concludes with Esther. Daniel J. Estes writes the Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms, while Robert B. Chisholm Jr. delivers the Handbook on the Prophets.

Not only will students benefit from Baker’s Handbooks on the Old Testament series, but teachers and pastors will, too. Read the volumes to get a better understanding of the overall structure and thematic elements of a section, or simply read them through to gain greater insights into the Old Testament as a whole.

Baker Handbook Prophets
Click or tap on the image above for a closer look at 
Chisholm's Handbook on the Prophets

Baker’s Handbooks on the Old Testament series can be obtained individually or at greater discount when purchased together.

Baker Handbooks

NEW! Baker Handbooks of the Old Testament Set (4 Volumes)

This set includes the four (4) modules listed below (which are all available individually).

  • Pentateuch
  • Historical Books
  • Wisdom Books and Psalms
  • Prophets


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NEW! Handbook on the Pentateuch, 2nd Edition
Victor Hamilton

A chapter-by-chapter journey through the Pentateuch, examining the content, structure, and theology with useful commentary on overarching themes and connections between Old Testament texts.


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NEW! Handbook on the Historical Books
-- Victor Hamilton

Hamilton details the events and implications of each book using rhetorical criticism, inductive Bible study techniques, published scholarship, archaeological data, word studies, and text-critical evidence for Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Esther.


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NEW! Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms
-- Daniel J. Estes

In this work, Daniel Estes introduces students to the Old Testament poetical books -- Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Each chapter explores one of the five poetical books. Estes first summarizes some of the book's key issues. He then devotes the main portion of the chapter to an exposition of the book, interacting with major commentaries and recent studies. Each chapter concludes with an extensive bibliography, allowing for further exploration.


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NEW! Handbook on the Prophets
-- Robert B. Chisholm Jr.

The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament and can prove especially confusing for those new to this corpus. Robert Chisholm guides students through the important and often complex writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, the handbook focuses on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books.


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The Introductory Sale prices listed above are good through Tuesday, February 22, 2016 (11:59 pm EST) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.