HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 63, Issue 2, 2007
Volume 63, Issue 2, 2007
Author J.S. KrugerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 409 –430 (2007)More Less
The place of Empedocles in metaphysical-mystical tradition
This article argues that Empedocles was more than a pre-Socratic philosopher. His thinking was also essentially mystical and should be situated on a large map of metaphysical-mystical continuities with the following dimensions: A historically discernable cultural and religious pool, encompassing not only South-Eastern Europe, Asia Minor and Mediterranean Africa, but also the north-eastern Eurasian shamanic tradition, and India; an historically largely inaccesible esoteric tradition; a set of structural elements of the human psyche, running under and across historical religions through time; and the development of a new convergence of previously historically unconnected mystical traditions in the social and cultural circumstances of today. In particular, the article investigates similarities and differences between Empedocles and Indian (specifically Buddhist) views on various issues, such as the four roots and the cyclical dialectic of love and strife. In that context the article notes the remarkable interpretation of Empedocles by Peter Kingsley which seems to draw Empedocles closer to Buddhism, but without explicating this implication of his reception.
Author Johannes (Hans) Van OortSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 431 –443 (2007)More Less
The Gospel of Judas : introductory notes on its contents and meaning
This article introduces the reader to the newly discovered Gospel of Judas (Codex Tchacos, pp 33-58): It discusses its sensational (and evidently sensationalized) discovery, its place in the context of a number of other writings in Codex Tchacos and the main lines of its contents. With reference to the Gospel of Thomas, among others, the author briefly discusses the question "What is a Gospel?". It seems to be quite possible to discern some so-called agrapha or "new words of Jesus" in the Gospel of Judas. Though the Gospel of Judas is undoubtedly a Gnostic Gospel, presenting some sort of "pre-cabbalistic" message, its mentioning of Jesus as "the Name" and "the Prophet" seems to fit well with very ancient Jewish-Christian tradition.
Marriage in the theology of Martin Luther - worldly yet sacred : an option between secularism and clericalismAuthor Johan BuitendagSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 445 –641 (2007)More Less
Marriage, according to Martin Luther, is an institution both secular and sacred. It is secular because it is an order of this earthly life. But its institution goes back to the beginning of the human race and that makes marriage sacred, a divine and holy order. It does not - like the sacraments - nourish and strengthen faith or prepare people for the life to come; but it is a secular order in which people can prove faith and love, even though they are apt to fail without the help of the Word and the sacrament. The author applies this view of Luther in terms of two unacceptable extremes: the creation ordinances of Brunner and the analogy of relation of Barth. The dialectic of Law and Gospel should never be dispensed.
Author Pieter M. VenterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 463 –480 (2007)More Less
The second century BCE Book of Jubilees presents the contents of Genesis-Exodus in a new form. This article studies the techniques used in Jubilees 23. It indicates how Psalm 90:10 was used to link the death of Abraham to a declining-inclining scheme of longevity. This scheme was then combined with a heptadic jubilee scheme. To this the author added a Deuteronomistic retributive scheme of sinpunishment- repentance-salvation. On this combination an apocalyptic framework was finally superimposed.
Author Ernest Van EckSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 481 –513 (2007)More Less
Marriage in the first-century Mediterranean world (III) : Jesus and marriage
This article is the third in a three-part series that aims to stimulate the hermeneutical debate in the church regarding marriage as Biblical institution. In the first article attention was given to the relevant cultural scripts that are necessary to understand the institution of marriage in the time of Jesus. In the second article a description of what marriage, betrothal, adultery, divorce and remarriage in the first-century Mediterranean world entailed was given. In this article Jesus' point of view on marriage is investigated. The conclusion reached is that Jesus' stance towards marriage was negative. This, however, does not mean that Jesus had nothing to say as far as marriage as institution in a postmodern society is concerned.
Die sosiaal-wetenskaplike kritiese eksegese van Nuwe-Testamentiese tekste : 'n Kritiese oorsig van die eerste resultateAuthor Andries G. Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 515 –542 (2007)More Less
The social-scientific critical exegesis of New Testament texts : a critical assessment of the first results
The article is the second of a series that aim to introduce social-scientific exegesis of New Testament texts. Social-scientific criticism represents an exegetical approach by means of which the rhetoric of texts is interpreted in light of their cultural environment and the social interaction that determines this context and semeiotic codes. The first article focuses on the initiators in the field of historical-critical exegesis who paved the way to social scientific criticism and it explains key facets of the "new" exegetical approach. This article explains some models and methods of social-scientific criticism and focuses on some advantages of social scientific criticism.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 543 –560 (2007)More Less
Social and civic conflict inspired by the fundamental convictions of different religious groups seems to be rife all over the world, also in schools. One way of addressing this problem is to promote interreligious dialogue. To establish the viability of this solution, the authors take several steps. They analyze the phenomenon "religion" and discover that it is constituted of several layers or levels that have to be accounted for in the proposed inter-religious dialogue in schools. After discussing the term "dialogue" they consider several approaches to religious diversity or plurality to find a suitable basis for the proposed inter-religious dialogue in schools. Based on these analyses, the authors argue that schools (teacher-educators and learners) should be allowed to engage in inter-religious dialogue as part of their pedagogical and civic duty. This will ensure a better understanding of others and their religions, also at the deepest spiritual level. Such comprehension can contribute to the more peaceful co-existence of people in religiously pluralist societies.
Author J. Eugene BothaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 561 –573 (2007)More Less
This article explores the notion that some of the basic assumptions upon which textual criticism is built, like the quest for an "original text", have serious flaws and that much of what has been attempted the last 300 years is actually an exercise in futility. In this sense New Testament textual criticism can be declared dead. However, textual criticism, if viewed from a different perspective, can indeed be reimagined to make a fresh and important contribution to New Testament scholarship.
Author Markus CromhoutSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 575 –603 (2007)More Less
Reconstructions of the historical Jesus are analyzed in terms of a proposed socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity. At first an overview is given of the work of Meier and Crossan to establish the content they assigned to Jesus' Judean ethnicity. Drawing on the insights of ethnicity theory, biblical scholarship and the work of Berger and Luckmann, a socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is proposed and explained. The reconstructions of Meier and Crossan are then compared with the proposed model. It is argued that none of their reconstructions allow for Jesus to be seen as profoundly Judean.
Author B.J. De KlerkSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 605 –624 (2007)More Less
Holy Communion and want of bread
In Africa one out of three people suffers from undernourishment or malnutrition. In this respect the topical question whether Holy Communion and acts of charity to those who suffer from hunger can be linked. Jesus not only endows Holy Communion with a personal dimension of faith, but also foregrounds this aspect in the care for those who suffer from hunger. New Testament material reveals that in the congregation of Jerusalem partaking of Holy Communion developed into mutual diaconal care. It is thus for this reason inter alia that Paul warns against misusing Holy Communion. This kind of misuse was evident because the rich partook of Christ's meal of love without realising that they could only be part of this act of love by bestowing love themselves. In this article some practical guidelines to link the celebration of Holy Communion and the crisis of want of bread are discussed.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 625 –651 (2007)More Less
Biblical models of marriage : a critical perspective
The Christian marriage finds itself in a crisis. Churches worldwide are struggling to find answers to address the problem in their communities. The book of Adrian Thatcher "Marriage after modernity, Christian marriage in postmodern times", is a resent publication which endeavours to formulate guidelines for marriage in postmodern society. This article is an attempt to give an overview of, as well as a critical reflection on the Biblical models as identified in his research. Although Thatcher's "models" are of utmost importance in the recent debate, it is necessary to select certain perspectives within his models that are still applicable in postmodern times. This first article describes and evaluates his models, whilst the second article focuses on the relevancy thereof in postmodern times.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 653 –681 (2007)More Less
A critical-hermeneutical perspective on marriage in postmodern times
This research report consists of two articles. The first part is titled: Biblical models of marriage: A critical perspective. In the first article the book of Adrian Thatcher (1999) Marriage after modernity: Christian marriage in postmodern times, is discussed in conjunction with other relevant studies. His hermeneutical approach identifies five Biblical models of marriage. An overview and discussion of these models lead to the question of whether these models could assist in understanding the essence of marriage in postmodern times. Based on the research of recent studies, this second article is an attempt to modify and implement his models as a possible framework and guidelines to address the complexity of marriage in our context.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 683 –698 (2007)More Less
The purpose of this article is to explore the identity of the recipients at the time of the completion of the Gospel. An effort is made to determine to whom John wrote this Gospel and how he adapted his theological message to reach this aim. It will be argued that John did not only focus on a specific group of people, but had a wide variety of people (i.e., Jews, Hellenists, Samaritans) in mind, which leads to the conclusion that the Fourth Gospel was written with both evangelistic and didactic aims.
Author Gert J. MalanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 699 –715 (2007)More Less
The community of Q1 as prototype of the church in the New Testament
The New Testament bears witness to a wide variety of communities, representing a spectrum of ideas and teachings about Jesus and the meaning of his life. In this article these communities are regarded as prototypes of churches which have a certain bearing on churches and their teachings today. The article aims to investigate communities behind Q as prototypes. It focuses on the community responsible for the first layer of Q material, with the intention of asking whether they might have constituted such a prototype of the church. To achieve this, the "kingdom of God" is studied as their symbolic universe. The result is that, while the Q1 community cannot be called "Christian" or "church" in the strict sense of the word, it challenges the church by representing the kingdom of God in a world of uncertainty, danger, and misuse of power.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 717 –731 (2007)More Less
By the year 2002 14 million children had been orphaned globally because of the HIV / AIDS pandemic. A great number of these have become the heads of households, are forced to look after themselves and siblings, drop out of school, are vulnerable to many forms of abuse and have found work to take care of themselves and their siblings. Misinformation, ignorance and prejudice concerning HIV / AIDS limit the willingness of a community to provide for the orphans who have been affected by the disease. This article aims to address the question why this is also the case in South Africa and why the African philosophy of "ubuntu" (humaneness), does not seem to make a difference. This study build upon fieldwork undertaken in the Bophelong area among HIV / AIDS orphans who function as heads of households and children who have been orphaned due to circumstances other than HIV / AIDS. The article concludes that religious communities can fill the gap left by the lack of "ubuntu" and can play a major role in nurturing HIV / AIDS orphans who function as heads of households. Churches can build a supportive environment where HIV / AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children can feel accepted.
Author Arno MeiringSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 733 –750 (2007)More Less
African theology can be understood as a theology from below - or rather, "as below, so above". This phrase not only reflects the concept of ubuntu and the African partiality towards horizontal relationships, but may help explain African perspectives on shame and guilt, sin and reconciliation, liberation, the ancestors and eschatology. Subsequently, there seems to be some concurrence between African theology and Western postmodern theology. Although these theologies challenge traditional theology, and should in turn be scrutinized, they may offer useful and valid ways of thinking and speaking about God.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 751 –771 (2007)More Less
Rick Warren, purpose driven and the 40 days of purpose campaign
More than 532 churches / congregations in South-Africa have already purchased "The purpose driven campaign kit" and completed the 40 days campaign or are planning to do so. The name Rick Warren is synonymous with "Purpose driven" and the popularity of his work as well as his influence in this country, justifie a study of this nature. This study wants to determine the effect of Rick Warren's 40 days of purpose in the circuit of Klerksdorp of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika. Warren provides five purposes for a believer in the church in his book, A purpose driven life, which according to him is the church's purpose of existence. The hypothesis of this study is that the 40 days of purpose is an excellent project for congregations to discover their purpose of existence, while it also strengthens the process of building the local congregation. Eight congregations participated in the research project.
Author Tiny Van der SchaafSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 773 –786 (2007)More Less
The petition for forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer from a biblical theological pastoral perspective
The Lord's Prayer has a prominent place in the lives and liturgies of Christian faith communities. The petition for forgiveness in the prayer is accompanied by what seems to be a condition: "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us". This "condition" can be a stumbling block for victims of violence perpetrated by people "who sinned against" them. The aim of the article is to provide a liberating perspective on the Lord's Prayer so that it can contribute to the healing of women who have been sexually violated. Firstly, the concept "forgiveness" in the Old and New Testament is investigated. This leads to an investigation of the ethics of forgiveness in light of Levinas' criticism of the Christian ethics of forgiveness. Narrative insights point to the possibility of reinterpreting the "us" in "forgive us our sins". This liberates "victims" of violence to feel included in God's grace and forgiveness, even though they may find it difficult or impossible to forgive the perpetrator.
Author Barry J. Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 787 –803 (2007)More Less
Church polity? The position of church polity and church government
It is generally accepted that John Calvin can be referred to as the founder of the presbyterial-synodal form of church government which is found in the Reformed Churches. It would therefore be appropriate to focus on his views and to indicate to what extent he influenced the notion that Jesus Christ is Head of the Church and Lord of the world. If it can once again be concluded that there is a close relation between Church, Confession and Church Ordinance, then it is quite evident that Church polity occupies a fundamental place in the Reformed Churches which must be treated with greater concern.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 63, pp 805 –833 (2007)More Less
The article compares the victimization that takes place in a dysfunctional abusive household and that which takes place in the household of God (Eph 2:9) where the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2) is abused at the hands of individuals that constitute what we know as the church system. This is often directed at the poor, individuals belonging to minority groups or those who for various reasons are unable to stand up against a system such as the Christian Church. The "analogical-familial theology" of Stephen Post is used as starting point. This "theology" involves four sequential, but nonlinear, stages: covenant, grace, empowering, and intimacy. The article broadens the spectrum of the theory beyond the family unit and to apply it to the broader family that belongs to God, the church. The aim of the article is to use these components from the analogical familial theology as framework and also as the criteria by which the experiences of those who see themselves as victims of abuse in the church are investigated.