The “Big Five” are the great animals of Africa: Lion, Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Elephant and Leopard. They constitute the richness of the fauna of the continent.
The Big Five of the New Testament
It is not unusual to speak of the term “Big Five” to understand the leading settings of a certain case or circumstance. For long time the traditional big five of New Testament theology were:
Foundation of the Church
These five standards of New Testament theology had for a long time provided a foundation, the basic security in the Church for personal belief and even for use in national matters. The Bible as the source of inspiration remained for a long period the standard of a stable culture in western countries, despite conflicts and wars.
The Big Five after the Enlightenment
Through the Enlightenment (ca. 1750) a big change occurred concerning the traditional big five of the NT. They were subjected to great changes through the Age of Reason that was introduced in theology in the form of Criticism, in which German theology took the lead. And today, all pillars of the Christian faith have been abandoned and the results for the New Testament are:
Doubt versus Faith
The results of these changes for Christian faith are many and disastrous. Doubt replaced faith:
Results of Criticism
What did Criticism with the big five of the New Testament? They are crippled, blind, their teeth and claws are extracted, their horns are cut off, and the ivory of the elephants is stolen for money. The big five of the New Testament are not only not put in a zoo where people could admire them, no they are maltreated and what has been left over are skins and bones.
Unfortunately, theology doesn’t have a Protection of Animals Act. And so the maltreatment of biblical texts is an ongoing terror against the Christians and it is happening actively or passively through ignorance of those who are supposed to lead them.
Documentation, the Winning Approach
The approach of Documentation can make a difference in the current theological atmosphere for those who want to remain close to the text of the New Testament:
Documentation has the faculty to bring the big five in line with (1) the good things of the past and in line with (2) the content of the NT itself. There is no better alternative. This is the Winning Gospel Approach, that makes the big five of New Testament Theology again the Big Five.
Since I have bought (in 2019) The New Testament in the Original Greek, Byzantine Text form, by Robinson and Pierpont (2018), I got a new insight into the importance of the Byzantine text form instead of the Alexandrian, and I am very happy with it.
For the review I wrote, go to: “Removing a Thick Dust Layer of Christian Thinking”