Some refer to this discipline as discovering the biblical theology of a book. To accurately develop the key thèmes of the writer, one relies upon the previous two disciplines. Seeing the synthesis of the book's structure and decerning the author's argument prepare you for articulating the writer's theology.
The purpose, then, of a biblical theology is to assert what a particular book teaches about topics such as God, man, satan, life, death, heaven, hell, faith, hope, love... They are not forced on the book. Instead, one gleans topics from the book used by the writer to convey the purpose of the book.
How to discover and develop biblical theology for a thème :
During your synthesis and argument studies, emphatic topics will surface either through repetition or unique importance. Comb out one topic at a time from the text. Gather all the references in the book about each particular topic. State the reference and briefly summarize the context's relationship to the topic.
Next, organize the information into categories that serve as sub-themes for the theme. For instance, in a biblical theology for Colossians "Jesus Christ" stands out as a major theme. Within the letter you will observe various details about His pre-existence, incarnation, earthly ministry, death, and resurrection. Each of these should constitute a separate category for the theme of "Jesus Christ"
A single category may include references from different parts of the letter. Give respect to their contexts. Yet do not worry about categorizing the different passages together because they relate to the same topic. The author may have arranged them separately while communicating his full purpose to the readers.
Draw conclusions within each category based on what the text teaches and on the purpose emphasizd in the letter. The conclusion describes the author's theology described by that particular biblical text.
Your conclusions convince us of what the author knew about the particular category. Choose certain key passages in order to validate your conclusions.
Prayerfully ask: "If this were the only book I had in my possession, Lord, what would I learn about the subjects in it and the relationships between them?"
(i.e., God and Man).
As you read the entire book again, watch for different topics to surface and make an informal list.
Keep the purpose of the book in view. This will allow you to see the material with the significance that the author intended.
Devote a separate sheet of paper to each topic. This will allow space to add freely to each page and to report their uances. Otherwise, subjects begin to crowd each other for space on one page.
When you begin to categorize sub-themes on your various pages, use colored markers to distinguish between them. This makes it easier to group them for the conclusions.
Pay close attendtion to the literary structure to see how it effects the theology.
For example, the principle of "proportion" may indicate a certain topic's importance to writer & readers. Consider the theme of the "Holy Spirit" in the Epistle to the Romans.
Paul refers to him 21 times in chapter 8 alone but only 8 times in the rest of the book. The context of the section contains chapters 6-8. It treats the problems with sanctification experienced by Gentile (chp. 6) and Jewish (chp. 7) believers. The Holy Spirit's role dominates the solution to the problems.