It is well known that the seeds from which the modern discipline of OT theology grew are already found in 17th and 18th century discussion of the relationship between Bible and Church, which tended to drive a wedge between the two, regarding canon in historical rather than theological terms; stressing the difference between what is transient and particular in the Bible and what is universal and of abiding significance; and placing the task of deciding which is which upon the shoulders of the individual reader rather than upon the church. Free investigation of the Bible, unfettered by church tradition and theology, was to be the way ahead. OT theology finds its roots more particularly in the 18th century discussion of the nature of and the relationship between Biblical Theology and Dogmatic Theology, and in particular in Gabler's classic theoretical statement of their nature and relationship. The first book which may strictly be called an OT theology appeared in 1796: an historical discussion of the ideas to be found in the OT, with an emphasis on their probable origin and the stages through which Hebrew religious thought had passed, compared and contrasted with the beliefs of other ancient peoples, and evaluated from the point of view of rationalistic religion. Here we find the unreserved acceptance of Gabler's principle that OT theology must in the first instance be a descriptive and historical discipline, freed from dogmatic constraints and resistant to the premature merging of OT and NT — a principle which in the succeeding century was accepted by writers across the whole theological spectrum, including those of orthodox and conservative inclination.