Biblical Theology of Holiness

Course code: BITH 612

Using biblical-theological methods, students in this course will study Old and New Testament teachings on holiness, God’s ethical expectations, humanity’s problem, and God’s solution. Attention is given to evaluating systematic-theological articulations of the doctrine of holiness from a biblical-theological standpoint.

Note: this course is the capstone for both MA degrees. As such, enrollment is limited to second-year graduate students (or equivalent).

Intended Outcomes

  • Knowledge of
    • the contexts, senses, and significance of the Old and New Testament vocabulary for holiness.
    • the key texts and contexts addressing the fallen human condition.
    • the relationship of holiness vocabulary to biblical ethical expectations.
    • the relationships between New Testament texts on being filled with the Holy Spirit, consecration, and the fallen human condition.
    • the methodological and practical relationships between the four domains of theology in studying the doctrine of holiness.
  • Appreciation for
    • the clarity provided by use of biblical-theological methods of analysis.
    • the coherence of Scripture’s metaphors for sanctification.
    • the contribution each theological domain brings to one’s understanding of doctrine.
  • Motivation to pursue holiness personally and to challenge others to pursue it as well.
  • Ability to
    • write a graduate-level critical review of a published essay.
    • apply biblical-theological methods to subjects outside the scope of this course.
    • articulate the biblical doctrine of sanctification, including the relations of positional, personal, corporate, initial, progressive, and entire sanctification.
    • teach others how believers pursue holiness both personally and corporately.

Assignment Overview

  • Weekly readings are assigned.
  • Each week the professor meets with the class via live synchronous Google Hangout to discuss the material assigned for that week.
  • Students will read and critique presentations of the doctrine of entire sanctification; of sanctification as a whole; of sin; and of inherited depravity.
  • There are several major projects, including a survey of every instance of each word in the semantic domain of holiness and several research papers.


Dr. Philip Brown


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