Jim Hamilton has some really insightful reflections on the difference between biblical theology and so-called “Theological Interpretation of Scripture” (TIS). In short, he says that authorial intent in typology may be the key. He proposes that biblical theology cares about authorial intent in typology while TIS does not. Some people may dispute with Jim whether this is a true distinction between biblical theology and TIS. In any case, I absolutely agree with his bottom line:
I argue that biblical theology is the attempt to understand and embrace the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors… Authorial intent may be out of fashion, but I contend that without it we lack meaningful standards by which to demonstrate or disprove interpretations. Appeals to what the divine author intended seem to be more open to operating at theological levels that hover above the text rather than being embedded in the words that communicate the intentions of the human authors.
Read the rest of this here. If you haven’t already, you should check out Jim’s forthcoming book on the subject, What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns.