HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Interactions between hermeneutics and doctrine
The hermeneutics of doctrine, Anthony C. Thiselton : book reviewAuthor Kobus LabuschagneSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
Thiselton is a highly esteemed scholar, a world-leading authority on biblical and philosophical hermeneutics, and truly an expert guide to theories of interpretation. His book, The Hermeneutics of Doctrine, is, in the words of Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury), 'by any standard a major work, deeply necessary in a climate where confusion and indifference about doctrine too often prevail'. In describing the work, N.T. Wright's (Bishop of Durham) assessment of it as 'magisterial, comprehensive ... massively learned and massively relevant, deeply faithful to the Christian tradition yet deeply refreshing in seeing everything from new angles', is a very accurate description. Full of traditional thinking, yet also full of modern and the most recently developed ideas and methods of interpreting, the book is highly recommended for scholars and post-graduate students.
Psychospiritual analysis and appreciation of Vincent van Gogh
Bone Dead and Rising, Vincent Van Gogh and the Self Before God, Charles Davidson : book reviewAuthor J. Harold EllensSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
The Reverend Dr Charles Davidson is a retired Presbyterian preacher and notable Pastoral Theologian. He has given us a volume of psychospiritual analysis and appreciation of the person, life, and work of one of the world's greatest artists. Vincent van Gogh's art is the expression of a deeply sensitive soul working uncompromisingly at the aggressive search for life's authentic meaning as lived out before the face of God. Van Gogh repudiated the scholasticism of 18th and 19th century Reformed Theology, the brazen racism and elitism of the caste structured Dutch culture, and the inauthenticity of the church's claims to represent Christ whilst it hid away in its wealthy and carefully disguised Bourgeois patriarchalism. Vincent would have none of it. Like Jesus Christ, he would not back down on his radical notion of universal and unconditional divine grace, considered rank heresy in his theological tradition. That quest sickened and exhausted him, and like Christ, in that quest he died.
Study Bible on the Old Testament
Bijbelcommentaar : Genesis I Exodus (Studiebijbel OudeTestament), M.J. Paul, G. van den Brink & J.C. Bette : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
This is the first in the Studiebijbel Oude Testament [Study Bible on the Old Testament] series, the companion to the Studiebijbel Nieuwe Testament. The series is unique in its structure, especially with regard to lay-out and presentation. The Hebrew text, as it appears in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia appears on the left pages. The applicable number from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (1890) is printed above each separate Hebrew word. A transliteration of the particular Hebrew word and an interlinear Dutch translation of this word appear below the word. On the same page, in a column on the right hand side, the difference in translation between five different Dutch Bible translations is indicated, ranging from the 1977 edition of the Statenvertaling to the latest, De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling of 2004.
Grappling with rabbinic literature
The literature of the Sages. Second Part : Midrash and Targum, liturgy, poetry, mysticism, contracts, inscriptions, ancient science and the languages of Rabbinic Literature, Shmuel Safrai, Zeev Safrai,Joshua Schwartz & Peter J. Tomson (Eds.) : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
The aim of the Compendia Rerum Judaicarum ad Novum Testamentum is to present a detailed picture of rabbinic literature, thereby introducing the reader to the cultural and ideological background of the New Testament world. The Compendia comprise two sections. The two volumes belonging to Section One, published in 1974 and 1976 respectively, explore the history and social culture of Judaism in the period of the formation of the New Testament. Section Two is titled, The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud. This section consists of four volumes.
The implications of Jesus' radical love
Jesus se radikale liefde verander ons wêreld: 'The politics of Jesus' in Afrikaans, John H. Yoder, Andries Cilliers (Transl.) : book reviewAuthor Hennie J.C. PieterseSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
This book by Yoder addresses the very implications of Jesus' radical love. Although the author uses New Testament scholarly results of not later than 1972, it is still worthwhile to read this excellent book on Yoder's interpretation of the historical message of Jesus and the implications for an ethical and political understanding of this message.
Using 'messiah' as a title
The Messiah in Early Judaism and Christianity, Magnus Zetterholm : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
Christians, including Biblical scholars, almost automatically and without thinking, regard 'messiah' as a title that has a bearing upon Jesus Christ, the Saviour. Yet one should know better, for studies in Hebrew reveal that 'messiah' is derived from a Hebrew word that simply means 'anointed one'. The Messiah in Early Judaism and Christianity, edited by Magnus Zetterholm, reminds the reader that 'messiah' is a term that has been appropriated throughout the history of Judaism and Christianity to various persons and in different ways.
A historical novel with a difference
In the shadow of the Galilean: The quest of the Historical Jesus in narrative form, Gerd Theissen : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
The author, Gerd Theissen, is a renowned New Testament scholar whose field of expertise is the historical Jesus and the early church. In the shadow of the Galilean deals with the historical Jesus, not by means of an academic dissertation, but by using the age-old technique of story-telling, and writes a moving historical novel on the topic.
The iconic significance of the Psalms as a literary genre for speaking about God : a phenomenological perspective : original researchAuthor Daniel P. VeldsmanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
To explore the impossible impossibility of speaking about God and to address, on the one hand, the unacceptable modernistic rational robe of totalisation and the return of the subject in postmodern contexts, on the other, this article pursued the phenomenological approach of Jean-Luc Marion's hermeneutic of the icon. His approach is connected in a creative manner to the literary 'eyes' of the Psalter, focusing on the distinction of idol-icon by Marion in his understanding of the gaze of the worshipper and the subsequent conceptualisation of the infinite God in finite human terms. It was finally argued that the literary genre of the Psalter, viewed from a hermeneutic of the icon, presents not only an exciting perspective on the threshold of the '[im-]possible' for speaking about God, but also on the return of the subject in the broadened horizon of the 'unsayable' and 'unrepresentable'.
'For the tyrant shall be no more' : reflections on and lessons from 'The Arab Spring' in North Africa, the Middle East and the Civil Rights and anti-apartheid struggles : original researchAuthor Allan A. BoesakSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
The revolutionary events sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, called the 'Arab Spring', are of great historic significance. They challenge not only political and social realities in those countries; they confront us, the spectators to these momentous events with serious questions about our own political, cultural and theological perceptions, concepts and prejudices. This article probes, from a Black Liberation theology point of view, these events at several levels: (1) what are the connections between the 'Arab Spring' and the two other historic movements for social change, the Civil Rights struggle in the United States of America, and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa; (2) what lessons are to be learnt from these events?; (3) the article revisits the question of M.M. Thomas, in terms of whether God is at work in events of social upheaval and revolutionary change, and if so, 'how?'; and (4) what is the meaning and consequences of international, and more importantly, inter-religious solidarity with the people of those regions? The article discusses the meaning, complexity and efficacy of nonviolence and choices for violence or nonviolence in such situations of conflict and the questions these raise for theological reflection, prophetic action and Christian integrity.
Author Wouter C. (Jr.) Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
The current debate on Biblical interpretation - a short review and application
The article offers a review of important aspects of Biblical interpretation discussed in four recent books published in Afrikaans by prominent theologians Dirkie Smit, Gerrie Snyman, Gert Malan and Klaus Nürnberger. In the light of challenges to the traditional dogmas of the church and new ethical questions posed by a changing world, factors giving rise to conflict over Biblical interpretation are discussed. A number of untenable approaches to modern day Biblical interpretation are outlined, followed by a discussion of aspects of Biblical interpretation that have become more and more important. These insights are then applied to the current debate on Biblical interpretation within the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa. The article is concluded with a plea for continued concerted efforts to search for valid Biblical interpretation.
Die konstellasie taalbegrip-logika in die Middeleeuse filosofie (1) : Augustinus tot Aquinas : original researchAuthor Johann BeukesSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –15 (2011)More Less
The constellation language-logic in medieval philosophy (1): St Augustine to St Aquinas
This series of two articles provides an in-depth overview of some of the most prominent (and some of the most underpublished) medieval thinkers' stance on the constellation of language and logic, thus as a combined and condensed problem in Western philosophy between the 5th and 15th centuries. The articles form part of a rehabilitating series of modern-critical articles on understated and marginalised themes, texts and figures in medieval philosophy. The positions of the well-known philosophers that are covered in the two articles, St Augustine, Peter Abelard, St Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, are juxtaposed with some less familiar philosophical positions, amongst others those of Boethius, Peter of Spain, John Wyclif and Peter de Rivo.
Rudolf Bultmann : sy mees invloedryke bydrae in die 20ste eeu : 'Urchristentum', 'Jesus', 'Johannes'-kommentaar? : original researchAuthor Andries G. Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
Rudolf Bultmann: His most influential contribution in the 20th century: 'Urchristentum', 'Jesus', 'Commentary on John's gospel'?
This article pays tribute to Rudolf Bultmann as a scholar of faith who fulfilled the most influential role in the interpretation of Jesus and the New Testament during the twentieth century. In the article Bultmann's leading publications are discussed against the background of the question of which one has been the most significant. Three important publications are identified, namely his book on the socio-cultural environment of the earliest followers of Jesus in first-century Semitic-Hellenistic world, his book on the historical Jesus, and his commentary on the Gospel of John. Various criteria are applied to value the significance of these three publications. They are Bultmann's understanding of what the scientific nature of the theological discourse principally would entail; how modern-day believers could adhere to an ancient mythological discourse; the way in which today a historical discourse could existentially been engaged with and why Jesus of Nazareth would be regarded as theologically significant. Both the depth of Bultmann's understanding of the substance of the theological discourse found in John's gospel and the quality of Bultmann's historical-critical analysis of John's gospel lead to the finding that this commentary should be considered to be not only the most significant for the twentieth century but beyond that time even into the current phase of biblical and theological interpretation.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
An intertextual analysis of the character of Achior in the book of Judith shows that the author of the book proposes a changed Judaean identity. The way in which he depicts the character of Judith and her alter ego, Achior, illustrates the author's ideology that people like proselytes and marginalised widows are not only to be included in the society, but can even be the leaders of the community. A nationalistic and exclusivist approach is entwined in the narrative with an inclusivist viewpoint propagating a new identity for the people of that time.
In the kingdom everybody has enough - a social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk 15:4-6) : original researchAuthor Ernest Van EckSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
This article presents a social-scientific and realistic interpretation of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk 15:4-6). Attention is given to the history of the interpretation of the parable, its integrity and authenticity, and verisimilitude. It is argued that the Lukan-version (Q 15:4-6) of the parable represents the earliest layer of the historical Jesus-tradition. Specific attention is given to the social and economic registers presupposed in the parable, as well as certain cultural norms and values of the first-century Mediterranean world in which Jesus told the parable. The conclusion reached is that the parable exemplifies several aspects of the kingdom of God, aspects that are also present in several other parables that Jesus told about the kingdom.
Die Narratiewe terapie en die Gestalt terapie : 'n vergelyking tussen 'n fenomenologiese eksistensiële benadering en 'n sosiaal konstruksionistiese beskouing tot terapie : original researchAuthor Hein DelportSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
The Narrative therapy and the Gestalt therapy: A comparison between a phemenological existensial approach and a social construction approach to therapy
In this article the author takes a bird's-eye view of the background and fundamentals of the narrative therapy as well as the Gestalt therapy to show similarities between these approaches in an attempt to establish a combined or complimentary approach to therapy.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –11 (2011)More Less
Utilisation of forgiveness within a pastoral Gestalt therapeutic intervention
This article is based on a pastoral base theory within the Gestalt therapeutic perspective to guide abused persons in their utilisation of forgiveness as a source of a recovery experience. The formation of the paradigm is based on a multidisciplinary approach, which takes place on the interface between pastoral counselling and Gestalt therapy without the unique content and character of pastoral care or the Gestalt therapy being lost. It appears that forgiveness, as a source of repair experience, can guide abused persons to psychological and physical health, positive emotions and healthy social interaction. Forgiveness can be defined as the unconditional acceptance of God's grace through faith, and release (surrender) of an offender to the mercy of God. It does not deny the pain or change the past, but it breaks the cycle of bitterness that abused people associate with the pain of the past. Through the use of forgiveness as a coping mechanism abused people can be guided to handle unfinished business.
'n Prakties teologiese ondersoek na die betrokkenheid van gemeentes in die gemeenskap waarbinne hul bestaan : original researchAuthor Andre UngererSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
A Practical Theological research on the involvement of congregations in the community where they exist
The study deals with the question about the involvement of congregations of the two traditional Reformational churches in South Africa, namely the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) in their communities. The question posed is whether the love of God is kept for the benefit of the congregation or whether it is also for the well-being of the community. The study comprises two parts, an introduction that deals with the theory of mission and service to the community. The second part is an empirical study where 12 projects were given as examples and congregations were asked about their involvement.
Author Elsabe KloppersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
Faith embodied - Aspects of the authentic communication of the faith
In this article a theological theory for the communication of the faith is addressed from the basic metaphor of the Church as the body of Christ, within the fields of church publications, visual communication, the worship service and church music. It is argued that words (spoken, published or sung), music, art, gestures, visual images, silences and open spaces, are all communicative actions performing on a symbolic or metaphorical level to express and communicate the faith. Through these communicative actions the corporate identity of the community of faith is shaped and the body of Christ is built up. It is argued that in the church the act of communicating should adhere to certain theological principles to be true to its essence and aim: to communicate the faith faithfully and trustworthy.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
This article firstly investigates in what way various main theological figures in the first centuries of the Christian era spoke about the Trinity and thus, also, about the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it investigates how the formulas of Early Christian confessions of faith developed into their mature and final forms. Such (baptismal) confessions often reveal trinitarian expressions and explicit wordings about the Holy Spirit.
What do the heavens declare? On the Old Testament motif of God's beauty in creation : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
The paradox in the famous declaration of Psalm 19 that the heavens 'narrate' the glory of God and that this message of nature is 'inaudible' prompts the question as to the sense of speaking about a striking divine appearance without words (pun intended). In the light of the equally paradoxical presence of the motif of not-seeing in Old Testament theophanies where God himself appears, it seems that wordless speaking and unseen beauty need to be examined in association with each other, especially because the theophanies of Exodus and 1 Kings associate the motifs of not-seeing and silence with both the appearance and the speaking of God. This article investigates the cluster of ideas in Psalm 19 in the light of the theophanies and other texts. It then proposes a way in which this may be understood, notably that God's own beauty is visible in that which he has created beautifully, that is, nature. It is argued that, if this proclaims God's כבוד, the latter must be a divine quality observable in nature.