In the subjective concrete sense a practical, God-given ability, aptitude, habitude, quality, competence, or sufficiency (cf. 2 Co 3:56) by which one may understand, accept, expound, impart to others, and defend the truth of Scripture as containing the way of salvation. In the objective, abstract sense the whole body of knowledge pertaining to the understanding and exposition of Scripture. This knowledge is commonly divided into (1) exegetical theol., sometimes called Biblical theol. which includes Biblical isagogics* and the hist. of the Bible canon* and Bible* versions, hermeneutics* and textual* criticism, and OT and NT exegesis*; (2) systematic* theol., which includes dogmatics* or doctrinal* theol., study of Symbolic* Books, moral* philos. and Christian ethics (see Ethics, 2), and often Christian apologetics* and polemics*; (3) hist. theol., which includes Biblical archaeology* and hist. of the Christian* ch., hist. of Christian doctrine* and confessions (see Creeds and Confessions), and patristics*; (4) practical* theol., which includes pastoral* theol. and ecclesiastical. polity,* catechetics,* homiletics,* diaconics* and missions,* liturgics* and Christian hymnody,* and ecclesiastical and religious art* and church* architecture.
A. L. Graebner, Outlines of Doctrinal Theology St. Louis, 1898); pp. 13; F. Pieper, Christliche Dogmatik, I (St. Louis, 1924), 4449; J. T. Mueller, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis, 1934), pp. 3033.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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