HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Fasting, justification, and self-righteousness in Luke 18:9-14 : a social-scientific interpretation as response to Friedrichson : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1957More Less
This article provides a social-scientific interpretation of the role of fasting in Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. Specifically, the article considers such social realia as honour and shame, collectivism, and purity in the interpretation of the text. The textual and social contexts of the text are considered. It is contended that in the parable Jesus presents a caricature of both the Pharisee and the tax collector to make a larger point, in which fasting is not a major consideration. The article also evaluates Friedrichson's interpretation of this text, which depicts the Pharisee as fasting vicariously, resulting in the justification of the tax collector. Finally, the significance of this text in a holistic theology of fasting in the New Testament is considered.
'Forming identity through Song' : how our songs in worship shape our theological identity : a study of Lutheran hymns and how they shaped German descendent Lutheran congregations : original researchAuthor Gertrud TonsingSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1303More Less
How do songs and Christian hymns shape the identity and theology of Christian communities? How does the identity and theology of a Christian community shape the hymns that are written, sung and collected in song books and hymnals? This article explores these questions from the point of view of the author's community, the German-descendent Lutheran communities in South Africa, and studies their main hymn book, the Lutheran hymnal from Germany (Evangelisches Kirchengesangbuch [EKG]) which was used from the 1950s until the early 1990s in the congregations. It shows up the strengths and the gaps of these hymns which come from a theology with a strong focus on faith and trust, but a rather narrow personal morality, with the social ethics restricted to doing one's Christian duty and praying for the government. Comparing this hymnal to the later hymnal published in 1990, the article shows, that some of the blind spots of one generation can be filled in by the next generation of songwriters.
Jericho : from archaeology challenging the canon to searching for the meaning(s) of myth(s) : original researchAuthor Eben SchefflerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1918More Less
Joshua 6 functions as a test case for the idea of Biblical Archaeology par excellence. In this article it will be probed (by referring amongst others to the work of Garstang and Kenyon) to what extent the archaeological excavations at Jericho have been influenced by a literal reading of Joshua 6 (e.g. Garstang) and to what extend the excavations (by Kenyon) had compelled exegetes to read the text of Joshua 6 historical critically. In the consideration of a wide range of possible approaches to Joshua 6, some recent conservative opinions in which there is a continued search to harmonise the archaeological and textual information in order to secure a 'historical' reading of the text, will also be noted. Arguing not for the abolition, but rather for a broader interpretation of the concept 'canon', some hermeneutical remarks will be made regarding Joshua 6 as a 'cultic myth', in view of its positive communication.
An exploration of the symbolic world of Proverbs 10:1-15:33 with specific reference to 'the fear of the Lord' : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2008More Less
Alternative approaches to text interpretation have introduced an opportunity to understand the biblical text afresh. One such an alternative approach is a Ricoeurian hermeneutic. Ricoeur's understanding of the referential intention of poetic texts will be drawn on to explore its interpretive contribution to a reading of Proverbs 10:1-15:33 with specific reference to the phrase 'the fear of the Lord'. It is suggested that the proposed reading strategy is a most productive effort.
Trajectories of scripture transmission : the case of Amos 5:25-27 in Acts 7:42-43 : original researchAuthor Gert J. SteynSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2006More Less
It is the intention of this study to explore the trajectory of the transmission and reception of three elements from Amos 5:25-27 through the stages of its history in ancient religious literature. Four stages in its trajectory are explored, namely in the Amos Masoretic Text (MT), the quotations from the Jewish Damascus Scroll sect, the Jewish-Hellenistic context of the Septuagint (LXX) Amos, and the Early Christian context of Stephen's speech by Luke in Acts 7:42-43. The astral Mesopotamian deities of Amos MT changed to symbols which now stood for the law, the congregation, the prophets and the interpreter of the law in the sectarian context of the Damascus scroll. The LXX, in turn, understood these to be 'the tent of Moloch' and the 'star of your god Raiphan'. This version is used in Acts 7, but whereas the LXX shows traces of a connection with the Heaven-and-Sun god, particularly with the planet Saturn, Luke now places the same elements within the context of the exodus narrative in Stephen's speech. The investigation shows how the mutation of scripture becomes clear in the trajectory of its transmission and how it is constantly being reinterpreted to be relevant within the context of its time.
Author Johann-Albrecht MeylahnSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2005More Less
The article will focus on the role of faith in post-foundational epistemology and the extent to which our knowledge constructions are only possible in a context of faith. One inherits a language, a house of being, and this inherited language creates the world in which the various beings-of-one's-world find their place and have meaning. It is in this inherited world-of-meaning that knowledge is constructed. Epistemology is therefore based on faith, believing in the linguistically socially created world, in the sense of believing in the world created by the silent speaking of language that creates the world-of-meaning in which one finds oneself. One unconsciously accepts this world created by language without taking into consideration the role of faith as one believes this created world to be the 'real' world. One takes for granted the world (worldview) into which one is born as the way things are. Life and knowledge are made possible by believing this world-of-meaning: language. In a global world where differing worlds-of-meaning come into contact with each other, faith can be disappointed and can lead to anger and violence. If one acknowledges the role of faith in one's epistemology, doors can be opened to multidisciplinary and multicultural dialogue as a multi-faith conversation.
Fear as dread of a God who kills and abuses? About a darker side of a key, but still forgotten biblical motif : original researchAuthor Pieter G.R. De VilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2018More Less
This article investigates the motif of fear of God in biblical texts and contexts by discussing its use to indicate dread and by analysing the implications and consequences of such a reading of this key motif. After a brief overview of research on and contextual information about fear of God, it investigates fear as an intense and extreme human emotion and considers the reason why the motif is used by biblical authors in their discussions of the divine-human relationship, especially in the light of the fact that dread of God implies that God is a threatening force and dangerous power. It then evaluates how biblical authors embed fear within a configuration of thought that contains crucial themes of justice and holiness, without moving beyond this dimension of dread. Finally it investigates some hermeneutical considerations to cope with the challenges that an understanding of fear of God as dread brings with it.
Confessional Lutheran commitment in the International Lutheran Council - a conservative contribution of Lutheranism to the Ecumenical Age : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1984More Less
The contribution of confessional Lutheran churches, especially those affiliated to the International Lutheran Council of the ecumenical movement was regarded more or less as marginal, compared to the mainstream Protestant churches. Rooted in the 16th century Reformation, relating to the confessional writings of the Lutheran Church as comprised in the Book of Concord (1580), these churches in the 19th century rediscovered what might be labelled 'confessional identity'. Looking at the European scene as a paradigm of secularisation (in spite of necessary differentiations), it is observed how traditional faith, trying not to sever its biblical and confessional roots, approached and reacted to 'modern' developments in society and the church. A historical survey, combined with a systematic reflection on Lutheran identity in a post-Christian context, served to diagnose the problems of Christian responsibility in a globalising world. Through the changes and challenges that confront Christianity at the beginning of the 21st century, the confessional Lutheran churches - affiliated to the International Lutheran Council - came to face their ecumenical responsibility. The mission of the Church ought to be reconsidered in terms of its biblical foundation, its historical identity, its confessional self-understanding, and its ecumenical obligation.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2002More Less
This article will be concerned with the question whether the books of Job and Ecclesiastes can be viewed as (postmodern) wisdom in revolt or not. Three questions underlie this title: firstly, are the books of Job and Ecclesiastes wisdom books? Secondly, if so, is their wisdom revolutionary in nature? And thirdly, are there any similarities between the thoughts of Job and Ecclesiastes on the one hand and that of postmodern thinkers on the other hand? It will be argued that there are various similarities to be cited between the ideas of the ancient wisdom writers of Job and Ecclesiastes and more recent postmodern thinkers. This does not, however, necessarily justify a postmodern tag for the books of Job and Ecclesiastes, but points to a similarity in thought development between the ancient societies of Job and Ecclesiastes and the present-day societies. Such similarities are viewed as a clear indication of the meaningful role which Old Testament wisdom, or wisdom in revolt for that matter, can play in current intellectual and theological debates.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2030More Less
This article investigates the criteria for the disposal of the sin offering in the book of Leviticus, the function of the different ways of disposal and the meaning of the disposal with regard to Leviticus 10:17. It is indicated that this sacrifice is intended to eliminate the offerer's sin and the sanctuary's impurity. The eaten hattat offering retains minor contamination by human sin or impurity, whilst the burnt hattat offering is contaminated by more severe and major sins and impurities, in appropriation with either the offerer's socio-religious status or the gravity of the sin.
Author Jean-Claude Loba-MkoleSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2056More Less
This article raises the question of the balance between prayer and work. This topic is discussed through an intercultural approach of Paul's recommendation about praying and working without ceasing (1 Th 1:9; 3:10). The main hypothesis postulates that constant prayer and work are associated with the concepts of thanksgiving and exemplarity. It is argued that Pauline recommendations about praying and working without ceasing prove to be supported not only by an original biblical culture, but also by a church culture as well as a currently emerging African culture.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2055More Less
Homophobia and heterosexism.
The article investigated phenomena such as fear, aversion and hatred as a result of heterosexism and homophobia. This is done from three angles. The first is that of the individual relationship with the Other. The second is a reflection on prejudice concerning homosexuality in the context of a cultural, social and religious environments. Perceptions with regard to sexuality and power are the result of social constructions. These two perceptions influence relationships. The third angle concerns individual reactions to fear as emotion and affect. The article considered a contra discourse to redress aversion and hatred. It argued that a shift should take place from being a perpetrator to being tolerant and from being a victim to becoming an agent of hope.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2053More Less
Numerous attempts have been suggested regarding the structure of First John. The only nearly unanimous agreement amongst commentators is concerning the prologue (1:1-4) and the conclusion (5:13-21). The lack of unanimity can be frustrating for the majority of those who seek to understand the macrostructure of the First Epistle of John. Consequentially, some commentators have opined that it is impossible to determine a notable structure of First John, and the epistle is thus regarded as a relatively imprecise series of various thoughts that were composed on the basis of mere association. Many exegetes have therefore proposed suggested outlines to aid the understanding of First John as opposed to providing genuine efforts to articulate a discernable structure of the epistle. The final part of this exegetical analysis seeks to demonstrate that exegetes need not succumb to such pessimism because there does appear to be a discernable structure to First John. Providing and stating resolve concerning the First John structure is fundamental for understanding the revealed contents of the epistle.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2023More Less
Surveying commentaries and introductions to the Johannine epistles reveals a multiplicity of methodology with regard to the structure of the epistles. Proposals have generally emphasised characteristics of content (doctrine and paraenesis), style (antithesis and repetition) or outline divisions. If the intent of the author is connected to the structure of the text, commentaries and introductions may not adequately discern the authorial intent. The lack of agreement amongst commentators as to the division of the First Epistle of John has resulted in numerous interpretative conclusions. As a consequence of difficulty in ascertaining the structure of the text, interpretations are frequently formulated upon theological persuasions and historical reconstruction. The purpose of the article is to overcome such persuasions and reconstructions.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2042More Less
Archaeology of homophobia: Building blocks of power.
The article investigates present-day discourses which demonstrate coercive power with regard to sexuality according to which people are attributed an identity. Such hegemony restricts existential authenticity. The article shows that, although sexual minorities could have public rights according to constitutional law, they still experience marginalisation because of victimisation on account of a heteronormative societal discourse. The article consists of an introductory section in which Michel Foucault's notion of 'the archaeology of knowledge' is used to explore levels of perceptions in society which illustrate perceptions and ideas on homophobia. The first section focuses on the phenomenon of stigmatisation. The second section describes the process of stereotyping taboos that result in the phenomenon of internalised homophobia. The article concludes with a deconstruction of homophobia by emphasising the recognition of the Other by means of a contradiscourse to heteronormativity.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2049More Less
Biblical perspectives on family ministry in a postmodern church.
The aim of the article is to reflect on biblical-theological perspectives on family in order to enrich postmodern faith communities. In the post-biblical period the biological family was central to the process of the institutionalisation of the church and the spiritual aspect of family was underplayed. The church father, Augustine, indowed marriage with sacramental status. This emphasised the presence of God in the family, but 'procreation' dominated his theology of marriage. The sacramental status of marriage along with the dominance of patriarchy made marriage indisputable. This obstructed any possibility of thinking creatively about marriage in a postmodern context. In his reformation of marriage Martin Luther succeeded in deconstructing the sacramental status of marriage, but did not succeed in overturning patriarchal dominance. The reality of postmodern families differs vastly from that of biblical times and the times of Augustine, Aquinas and Luther. The challenge of the church in a postmodern world is to reflect in a responsible biblical theological way on the relationship between adults and children from the perspective of the kingdom of God. This article aims to contribute in this regard.
Author Zorodzai DubeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2019More Less
Biblical scholars tend to see the Ethiopian eunuch and court official through the eyes of Philip the evangelist, which is also what the author of the text wants us to do. However, the narrative about the Ethiopian court official is also a story about the experiences of an ancient traveller, and as such, the story invokes the tales of contemporary migrants. In this study, I explore how the story about a sojourning court official intersects with contemporary immigration and identity issues. My study demonstrates how the travelling court official can be used as a figure to think with and how his story mirrors challenges faced by migrant workers today.
The Spirit and the meal as a model for Charismatic worship : a practical-theological exploration : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2025More Less
The purpose of this article is to present one aspect of a larger research project. The Spirit tradition (Charismatic) and its liturgical rituals as well as the Meal tradition (Liturgical Movement) and its liturgical rituals through history were researched as well as the concomitant theology. The aim was to gain a better understanding of whether the future of Charismatic worship can benefit from a somewhat closer integration of aspects of the meal tradition, especially the celebration of the Lord's Supper. This article will mostly be focused on the empirical research done in this project within three Charismatic churches in Gauteng, South Africa. This research seeks to contribute to Robert Webber's model of bringing old and new together in synergy. In the end, this article poses a new model for Charismatic worship when liturgical-rituals of the Spirit are combined with the celebration of communion in a way that worshippers experience as being more meaningful.
The young adult's perception of religion and formal structures : a postmodern perspective : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2016More Less
The postmodern era has an impact on different dimensions of the contemporary young adult's social functioning which incorporates perceptions regarding religion and formal structures. This contemporary young adult refers to an individual between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Therefore the goal of this article was to report on research results regarding the perceptions of young adults on religion and formal structures. Within a mixed methods research approach, the exploratory mixed methods research design was utilised. Qualitative data was collected from 47 young adults by means of focus group interviewing. Quantitative data was collected from 1019 respondents utilising a questionnaire. Both groups were selected through the utilisation of purposive sampling. Qualitative data were analysed through thematic analysis, whilst a range of descriptive and inferential statistical procedures was used to analyse quantitative data. The findings indicated that the postmodern young adult displays a tendency to value conventional religious norms and practices, but the element of choice is of importance, as young adults seem to choose the aspects of religion that suit them. An increased interest in and a need for spirituality or a form of transcendence was found. Guidance by formal structures was favoured, but did not necessarily refer to 'church' or religious structures. The results illustrated that the contemporary young adult explores and experiments in terms of identity and lifestyle. Views and values seem to be person-specific and based on emotions and experiences with a tendency towards 'own authority' and an emphasis on the self. The rise of individualism which characterises the postmodern era has led to the creation of meaning by drawing on personal resources and on own personal moral beliefs and values.
Contextualising biblical exegesis : what is the African biblical hermeneutic approach? : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2011More Less
This article responded to the question about the right methodology needed for the reconstruction of a viable African Christian theology. It equally contributed an answer to earlier concerns by Appiah-Kubi, Stinton and Nyiawung, who had grappled with an African response to the question of Jesus' identity: 'Who do you say I am?' (Lk 9:20). It also attended to Aben's remark that Africans contribute minimally to biblical theology especially in the domain of biblical exegesis. Finally, it proposed an African biblical hermeneutic approach, a shift of paradigm from the text, its author as well as its context to the context of the subject of exegesis as a contextual approach of biblical criticism. Three main conclusions emerged from the article, namely, (1) the African context contains enormous potentials that can enhance the understanding and interpretation of biblical texts; (2) from the perspective of biblical interpretation, there is no superior context or culture; and (3) the African biblical hermeneutic approach is a possible route to the development of an authentic African Christian theology.