HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 67, Issue 1, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 1, 2011
(The Markan and Matthean) Jesus' appropriation and criticism of the Torah : the question of divorce : original researchAuthor Eben SchefflerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus functions as a Moses figure who, in the Sermon on the Mount, gave the new law of the kingdom of God. In this article it is argued that Jesus drew his ethic from his Jewish tradition, as manifested particularly in the Pentateuch. However, although being an inspiring source, to Jesus the Pentateuch (or scripture) was not an authority that could not be challenged or criticised. This is illustrated by focusing on the question of divorce (Mk 10:2-12; Mt 5:27-32; 19:3-12). It is argued that Jesus' use of the Pentateuch was guided by an ethic of compassion. In view of Jesus' stance, an uncritical use of the Bible (as manifested for example in many Christian circles) ironically contradicts the Bible's own message and nature.
1, 2 en 3 Johannes : 'n oorsig van die huidige stand van navorsing oor die inleidingsvraagstukke : original researchAuthor Jan Van Der WattSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
1, 2 and 3 John: An overview of the current state of research on the introductory questions
This article has presented an overview of the most important positions taken on certain introductory issues related to 1, 2 and 3 John. The article has not focussed on the detailed discussion of problems, but has rather provided a broad overview of the most important current positions. A typical characteristic of the introductory questions is their interrelatedness. The research inter alia examined the way in which decisions about the relation between the Gospel and Letters of John influence the question of authorship or the place and date of the Letters and how decisions about the level of conflict in the Letters influence their sequence.
'On Earth as it is in Heaven ...' The heavenly sanctuary motif in Hebrews 8:5 and its textual connection with the 'shadowy copy' [ύποδείγματι καί σκι α] of LXX Exodus 25:40 : original researchAuthor Gert J. SteynSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
This study investigates the explicit quotation from Exodus 25:40 in Hebrews 8:5 where the motif of the earthly sanctuary, understood to be modelled on that of the heavenly sanctuary in some circles of early Judaism and early Christianity, is to be found. Hebrews' application and interpretation of Exodus 25:40 - in light of the terms ύπόδειγμα [example or plan or copy] (τύπος [model or design or archetype] by Philo) and σκιά [shadow] - is studied within the context of Hebrews 8:1-5. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the possible Graeco-Jewish background(s) of the 'heavenly sanctuary' motif in Hebrews 8:5, the presence of its key terminology and some of its intertextual occurrences in, amongst others, the Testament of Levi and Colossians 2:17.
Author Gert J. MalanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
In ecumenical circles, John 17:11b, 21-23 has been understood as Jesus' prayer for church unity, be it confessional or structural. This article questioned such readings and conclusions from historical, literary and sosio-cultural viewpoints. The Fourth Gospel's language is identified as 'antilanguage' typical of an 'antisociety', like that of the Hermetic, Mandean and Qumran sects. Such a society is a separate entity within society at large, but opposes it. Read as a text of an antisociety, John 17:11b, 21-23 legitimises the unity of the separatist Johannine community, which could have comprised several such communities. This community opposed the Judean religion, Gnosticism, the followers of John the Baptist and three major groups in early Christianity. As text from the canon, this Johannine text legitimates tolerance of diversity rather than the confessional or structural unity of the church.
Isaiah 1:2-3, ethics and wisdom. Isaiah 1:2-3 and the Song of Moses (Dt 32) : is Isaiah a prophet like Moses? : original researchAuthor Alphonso GroenewaldSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
This article argued that society even today could benefit from the richness of the ethics of the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah 1:2-3 has been used as an example to illustrate the ethics of a biblical text. This text has wisdom traits and literary links with Deuteronomy 32. In a modern, pluralistic society there is a need for a comprehensive ethical view by which one can combine a solid religious foundation, including responsibility towards God, the Creator and Lord of life, with a broad human wisdom gained from a rational understanding of the circumstances of existence for a true human life in a created world of order.
'Praise beyond Words' : Psalm 150 as grand finale of the crescendo in the Psalter : original researchAuthor Dirk J. HumanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
Without doubt the final hymn of the Psalter can be described as the climax, or grand finale, of the Israelite faith's most known hymnbook. In this psalm, sound and action are blended into a picture of ecstatic joy. The whole universe is called upon to magnify Yah(weh), the God of Israel. The text poses various exegetical challenges. In the past, Psalm 150 was traditionally analysed as a single text; but with the advent of the canonical and redaction-historical approaches to the interpretation of the Book of Psalms, Psalm 150 can be interpreted as part of the final Hallel (Pss 146-150), or Book V (Pss 107-150) of the Psalter. This view opens up new possibilities for reading the psalm in broader contexts and its broader literary context(s) illuminate its theological significance. This article is an attempt at reflecting on the psalm's context(s), structure, Gattung and dates of origin, tradition-historical relations to the Pentateuch, Psalms and other Old Testament texts. Ultimately some reflections on the psalm's theological significance will be suggested.
Author Pieter M. VenterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –13 (2011)More Less
Proposing the term 'congruent ethos' for studying Old Testament ethics, this article indicates (in line with existing research) that opposing ethical viewpoints are found in the Old Testament. The modus operandi followed was firstly to compare the penitential prayer in Daniel 9:4-19 with those in Ezra 9:6-15 and Nehemiah 9:6-37. This comparison shows that the phenomenon of conflicting ethics was present in Yehud during the Second Temple period. Whilst the Daniel text reflects a more universal attitude, the penitential prayers in Ezra and Nehemiah propose a nationalist view of God and an exclusivist identity for Israel. Although Daniel can be dated later than Ezra-Nehemiah, the tendency to juxtapose an exclusivist viewpoint with an inclusivist one was already present in the earlier period of the Second Temple. This is evidenced by the literature of Isaiah 56-66, Ruth, Jonah, Esther, Tobit, Judith and even Joshua.
Author James A. LoaderSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
The motif from the Exodus story of Moses as a beautiful infant is considered on several levels. Firstly, the immediate context of Exodus 2 in the Hebrew Bible and in the Septuagint is investigated. Exodus 2 is then related to the reception of the tradition in the New Testament and Jewish sources as well as in a patristic reading and one from the Reformation. The article concludes that the motif of Moses' beauty is part of a relatively infrequent but nevertheless well-established constellation. It is submitted that this finding contributes to a reappraisal of the idea that the motif of beauty has no place in Israel's texts of deliverance and an investigation of the contrary hypothesis is called for.
Augustinus' geschrift 'De stad van God' (De ciuitate Dei) : Een introductie tot de belangrijkste themata : original researchAuthor Johannes Van OortSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
The aim of the article is to present an introduction to the main themes of Augustine's City of God. The key issues concerning the inception and contents of the work are highlighted. The article emphasises that Biblical interpretation played a pivotal role in this work, which is perhaps the most influential of Augustine's oevre. It is probably because of his work, De ciuitate Dei, that the Church Father Augustine is also influential in the field of the history of Biblical hermeneutics.
'Ever old and ever new, keep me travelling along with you' : 21st Century Notae Ecclesiae specifically necessary for churches in southern Africa : original researchAuthor Graham A. DuncanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
The ecumenical marks of the church - unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity - have served it well as defining characteristics since the 4th century CE. The Reformation required that they be redefined in a particular context in terms of the soundness of doctrine preached, celebration of the sacraments and the exercise of discipline. In the 21st century these ecumenical marks are still relevant not only within an ecclesiastical context but in society using Koffeman's quality markers of these marks - conciliarity, integrity, inclusivity and authenticity.
Author Jacobus KokSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
In this article, it is investigated how the concepts identity, ethics and ethos interrelate, and how the ethics of the Pauline communities in Galatians functioned against the background of the missionary context of the early church. The author argued that the missionary dimension originated in the context of the missio Dei, and that God called Paul as a missionary to be taken up in the latter. The missionary process did not end with Paul, but was designed to be carried further by believers who should be, by their very nature, missionary. In the process, the author investigated how the transformation of identity (the understanding of self, God and others) leads to the creation of ethical values and how it is particularised in different socio-religious and cultural contexts in the development of the early church. The author argued that there is an implicit missionary dimension in the ethics of Paul in Galatians. In the process, it is argued that those who want to speak of ethics should make something of mission, and those who speak of mission in Galatians, should speak about the role of identity, ethics and ethos in the letter.
Author Wim A. DreyerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
Since the Ottawa Consultation in 1982, the relationship between the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was nonexistent. In the NHKA it became progressively clear that it would be impossible to travel the road of faith alone. This article examined the factors which contributed to the growing isolation of the NHKA, especially nationalism, a particularistic ecclesiology and the rejection of Apartheid by international ecumenical bodies. It also reflected on efforts of the NHKA to return to the international ecumenical movement.
Author Ignatius W.C Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Africa is a continent plagued with many sicknesses and diseases. Self-evidently health and healing would be major concerns and interests of the inhabitants. Reformed mission has formed a strategic alliance with scientifically tested medicine in the past. Africans do not find this alliance sufficient. They, however, need a medical mission that could deal with 'African sicknesses'. The question is whether we need an alliance with traditional medical practitioners. Because traditional healing is linked to traditional religion, we are confronted with difficult missiological questions. The solution offered in this article concentrates on two dimensions, (1) an openness to and a respect for African culture and religion and (2) a radical rediscovery of Jesus as healer.
Author Piet J. NaudeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
This article outlined key features of prophetic discourse and investigated whether this form of moral discourse adequately addresses issues of economic injustice. It is shown that the strength of prophetic discourse is its ability to denounce instances of injustice whilst at the same time announcing a God-willed alternative future. The 'preferential option for the poor' in Latin American liberation theologies is treated as a case study of the influence of prophetic discourse in contexts of perceived economic injustice. Also the core weaknesses of prophetic discourse are investigated, specifically its incomplete moral argument, weak moral analyses, silence on transition measures, and its inability to take a positive stance on reforms in the system from which itself benefits. In the final section it is concluded that prophetic discourse plays an indispensable role in addressing issues of global economic justice, but - taken by itself - it is not an adequate form of moral discourse to address concrete matters of justice.
Author J. Harold EllensSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
This article reflects on people's presuppositions with regard to God's mental health as it has been recounted throughout history. The article asserts that the dominant report of a 'sick god' has nothing to do with God at all, but is, instead, the manifestation of a sick projection of people who are terrified of the unknown and the unpredictable in life. Such a projection reflects their own fears, which they project upon their own mental image of the mentor who they thought was God. The other, sound, report on God's mental health has encountered many difficulties in competing with the dominant report. The alternative report has met with much resistance, because it seems so humanly unbelievable, in its claim that God is a God of unconditional grace to all humankind.
Judas, the disciple who was known to the high priest : a deconstruction of the betrayal based on John 18:15 : original researchAuthor Patrick Chatelion CounetSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
After his arrest, Jesus is taken to the high priest. According to John 18:15 he is accompanied by 'another disciple'. In this article, I discuss the possibility that this other disciple was Judas. He is the one who was known to the high priest. The arguments to put him in this position are derived from a narrative analysis of the Gospel. What is the actantial role of Judas in the Gospel? Tradition describes him as an opponent of Jesus. Against this, one can see him as a helper who supports Jesus' intention to convince the high priest and the Sanhedrin of his divine mission. In the group of Jesus Judas carries the purse. The text of the Gospel uses a curious Greek word (almost a hapax legoumenon), glôssokomon, for 'purse'. In the Septuagint, this word indicates the Ark of the Covenant. It is highly significant for the role of Judas. It shows that the text of the Gospel sometimes generates meanings that the author cannot control.
Author Sergio RosellSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
The aim of the article is to investigate the function of the symbols and images in the Apocalypse of John. Its aim is to focus on the 'mental scenarios' readers are bringing to the text, rather than on John's supposed lack of ability to convey his message. The article discusses both the symbolic or iconographic and the evocative power within the historical situation which the author of the Apocalypse addresses. The article's intention is to show how John reveals an alternative way of understanding history through the use of his particular imagery, aided by film theory tools and based on previous work that had perceived the Apocalypse's 'theatrical' nature, in order to discover John's use of images, their function and the new world he aims to portray.
Walter Schmithals : his contribution to the theological and historical interpretation of the New Testament : original researchAuthor Piet B. BoshoffSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –15 (2011)More Less
The aim of this article was to explain Walter Schmithals' unique understanding of the unity of the New Testament message. It focuses on his historical en theological interpretation of the New Testament within the parameters of the historical-critical paradigm. This article describes how Schmithals combines historical criticism with the core tenets of Protestant theology. The following facets were emphasised: Gnosticism, gospel studies and Q, Paul, early Christianity, emperor cult, separation from the synagogue, historical Jesus, apocalypticism, historical Jesus, the relationship between the Old and New Testament, ecclesiology and New Testament ethics.
Author Hennie StanderSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
This article looked at hunger and famine in Chrysostom's time. It has always been tragic and ironic that hunger should exist in a world of plenty. This topic has been discussed from an economic, social, theological, philosophical, medical, humanitarian and exegetical perspective. Chrysostom's statements on this issue are studied, but our concern is only involuntary hunger, whilst voluntary forms of self-denial are being excluded. An attempt is made to define a social construct of poverty and hunger in Chrysostom's world.