In the narrowest sense, the study of the knowledge of God; but more widely, in modern usage, the rational account of a religion as serviced by a range of subdisciplines which include the study of sacred texts, ethics, doctrine, history, and liturgy. The word does not occur in the Bible but the practice of theology began as early as Paul, who had himself studied Jewish theology (Phil. 3: 5), which was as much practical directions as details of correct belief. Theological controversy is found in most of the epistles, and the disputants argued about truth and error, including or excluding rival views about the gospel (Gal. 1: 6) or Christ (1 John 4: 2–3).

Every generation requires theologians to assess new issues in order that both scripture itself and Christian tradition remain fresh and relevant. Exegesis responds accordingly.