Theology can have many special themes you may want to dive into. For some, it’s getting the historical aspects of words in the Scriptures. For others, it’s a study of languages – you have both a Hebrew and Greek specialization. Theology can also be the study of how people interact in relationship with the Scriptures, introducing a social study aspect in comparison with the word of God.
Regardless of which specialization you are most interested in, there is no getting around the fact that you have two choices:
You can study theology as some would study literature
Or you can study theology to get in depth into the thinking that lies behind the words in the Bible.
Studying Theology As Mere Literature
Linguistic aspects can be interesting both in the original languages, but also in the various translations that have been made of the Scriptures ever since the King James Bible was completed in 1611. There are many direct versions relating to that “original” translation – mainly the New King James Version and the later Modern King James.
There are catholic versions – mainly the Douay-Rheims translation. There have been ecumenical versions that have tried to cross boundaries of groups – mainly the New International Version and the Good News Bible.
Whichever version you personally prefer, it is agreed upon that each translation has strong points – and each translation has minor linguistic flaws.
The Bible has fascinated all levels of students. The Book of Proverbs can be read by anyone, believer or non-believer, and contains timeless advice on human behavior. Likewise, the Song of Solomon is also enjoyed by many people. The style of translation has often been a good reference point of the language of each translation.
Linguists can get a good grasp of the Bible from their academic studies, but all in all it will only be a group of texts if you study it as you would any other type of literature.
Studying Theology to Find the Thinking Behind the Words
The study of theology can also be more focused upon the moral side of the text. How do people react as a result of reading the Bible? Have people changed for the better – or for the worse? Is there a life-changing element, or is it pure make-believe? Each person can give his own reply to these age-old questions.
For the convicted person, the words are clear. Law is Law, and poetry is poetry. You either believe your Bible, or you don’t. When you are focused upon the thinking behind the words you are looking for a greater meaning, both in the sense of how individual believers react, but just as much in how surprising it can be that one text is so disagreed upon as is the case with the Bible.
All levels of study can be fun, and you choose what level of theology you want to study. But you should realize that this text is like no other. Once you are convicted it’s the Word of God, your life will change. Theology in that perspective can be more than just fun facts.