HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 70, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 70, Issue 1, 2014
Author Andries G. Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –11 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2688More Less
Interpreting a parable requires the decoding of the nature of an analogy which will reveal the degree of the deciphering of the riddle communicated through parabolic discourse. In biblical hermeneutics throughout the 20th century Aristotelian logic revived in parable research in that the nature of a 'meta-phor' between the subject and the predicate in a comparison (the so-called Ähnlichkeitsrelation) was understood in terms of either 'epi-phor' (analogy) or 'dia-phor' (disanalogy). This distinction contributes to the disclosure of power relationships concealed in religious discourse by uncovering the subversive dimension of parabolic discourse. This article focuses on aspects from pragmatic linguistics (especially the role of implicature in communication) and antisociety language usage. These two aspects are explained by illustrations from the Jesus tradition (parable of the pearl), Epictetus's dissertations (meal parable), and Paul's comments on marriage (1 Cor 7).
Author Jacobus (Kobus) KokSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2708More Less
In this article the author gives an overview of a relatively new theory in social psychology, namely Social Identity Complexity Theory, and illustrates the heuristic value of the theory for New Testament interpretation. Paul's letter to the Galatians is taken as a case study to illustrate how the theory could shed new light on the Galatian conflict and on Paul's social identity complexity, which might have made him a good facilitator of change and reconciliation.
Author Philippus (Phil) J. BothaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2710More Less
Psalm 32 is considered by the majority of investigators to be a psalm of thanksgiving with a mix of wisdom poetry. In this article, the thesis is defended that it was devised from the beginning as a wisdom-teaching psalm although it simulates the form of a psalm of thanksgiving in certain respects. The case for this is argued on the basis of the complete integration of its parts, as well as its similarity to Proverbs 28:13-14 and some other wisdom texts. The aim of the psalmist seems to have been to argue (on the basis of a personal experience) that stubbornness in accepting the guilt of sin causes suffering, but that Yahweh is eager to restore an intimate relationship with those worshippers who confess their guilt and are willing to accept his guidance on the way of life.
The identity and witness of Arab pre-Islamic Arab Christianity : the Arabic language and the Bible : original researchAuthor David D. GraftonSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2726More Less
This article argues that Arab Christianity has had a unique place in the history of World Christianity. Rooted in a biblical witness, the origins and history of Arab Christianity have been largely forgotten or ignored. This is not primarily as a result of the fact that the Arab Christian historical legacy has been overcome by Islam. Rather, unlike other early Christian communities, the Bible was never translated into the vernacular of the Arabs. By the 7th century the language of the Qur'an became the primary standard of the Arabic language, which then became the written religious text of the Arabs. This article will explore the identity and witness of the Christian presence in Arabia and claims that the development of an Arabic Bible provides a unique counter-example to what most missiologists have assumed as the basis for the spread of the Christian faith as a result of the translation of the Christian scriptures into a vernacular.
Locating 'Contextual Bible Study' within biblical liberation hermeneutics and intercultural biblical hermeneutics : original researchAuthor Gerald O. WestSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –10 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2641More Less
This article uses the occasion of the 70th anniversary of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies to reflect on a particular form of liberation hermeneutics that emerged in the 1980s in South Africa. 'Contextual Bible Study' is briefly defined, but its precise contours are explored by locating this form of liberation hermeneutics within liberation hermeneutics more generally and then intercultural biblical hermeneutics more specifically. The article sets up a dialogue amongst these practices, examining both their family resemblances and their distinctive features.
Author Andries SnymanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2659More Less
Persuasion in Romans 11.
A new trend in the rhetorical analysis of Paul's epistles is to reconstruct his rhetorical strategy from the text itself, rather than applying ancient or modern rhetorical models to his letters. A proposal for such a text-centred approach is briefly summarised in this article, followed by a discussion on the rhetorical situation that Paul wishes to address in his letter to the Romans. It is argued that chapter 11 forms an integral part of his rhetorical strategy as reconstructed from the text itself, and that it is aimed at persuading his audience in Rome to support his view on God's plan of salvation, as well as his forthcoming mission to Spain. The conclusion is that a text-centred approach (with its focus on the functional aspects of the text) provides a better alternative to existing approaches (which focus on the formal aspects of the text).
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2704More Less
This study focuses on the women's stories that imply aspects of anti-Judaism within Matthew's depiction of Christology, which is called Matthew's theology. In fact, Matthew's community opposed the Jewish system and Jewish leaders and parted from its parent body. Even though Matthew's community was still similar to the Jewish system, it had significant differences as well. The study discusses these aspects of anti-Judaism that appear in the woman's stories that include the genealogy of Jesus, the haemorrhaging woman, the Canaanite woman, and the women at the cross and Jesus' tomb. This study shows proof and examples of anti-Judaism within the stories and thoroughly analyses them. Therefore, it can be confirmed that the women's stories imply aspects of anti-Judaism with Christological depictions by Matthew's theological tendency.
Van weerloos tot weerbaar : die Afrikaanse vrouedigter binne patriargale konteks : original researchAuthor Lina SpiesSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –13 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2771More Less
Vulnerability to resilience: The Afrikaans woman poet in patriarchal context. On Elisabeth Eybers's poetry and my own. This article gives an account of the nature and content of my religious poems that form a large part of my poetry. Looking back upon my substantial oeuvre, I realise that it was as a woman that I gave expression to the human condition and to my experience of religion. As a woman poet I identified with the first acknowledged Afrikaans woman poet, Elisabeth Eybers. Although a specific female tradition was never identified in the Afrikaans literary criticism, the Afrikaans woman poet writes from within a patriarchal society of which the Bible and Christian doctrine form the basis. This corresponds with the situation of the English and American woman poet. Feministic American literary critics have reflected in depth on the woman poet's dilemma, and have shown that the woman poet's struggle to find her own identity is not against the strong male or female poets who preceded her, but against the inhibiting voices that live within herself. At deepest it amounts to a conflict between fulfilling her traditional female role as prescribed to her by the patriarchy, and fulfilling her vocation as poet - a theme in both Eybers's and my work. Because of the different courses of our lives, the female identities expressed respectively in our work differ: Eybers's identity is that of woman and mother, and later unattached immigrant, while mine is that of an unmarried career woman. In this article I concentrate on the way in which we give expression to our female identities in our poetry as influenced by the traditional Christian belief system in which we were brought up. I give a comprehensive account of the influence of characteristic scriptural language on Eybers's and my own use of words, and I discuss our poems on biblical figures in detail.
'What is that to us? See to it yourself' (Mt 27:4) : making atonement and the Matthean portrait of the Jewish chief priests : original researchAuthor Dorothy Jean WeaverSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2703More Less
To read the Gospel of Matthew within its 1st century religious context is to read an intensely Jewish narrative. Central to the world of this Gospel are the Jerusalem temple, its administrators, the chief priests, and the sacrificial system which they are charged by Jewish law to officiate. This article assesses the Matthean portrait of the Jewish chief priests of Jesus' day against the scriptural backdrop which lays out their prominent role within Jewish religious life, namely 'making atonement' before God for the 'sins' of the people. In section one I sketch out the Matthean portrait of the scripturally assigned role of the priests, connecting this portrait to its biblical antecedents. In section two I assess the overall performance of the Matthean chief priests against the backdrop of their assigned role. In section three I address the question of atonement. Crucial here is 27:3-10, the account of Judas Iscariot, who returns his 30 silver coins to the chief priests and says (27:4a; emphasis mine), 'I have sinned, because I have handed over innocent blood'. Here I highlight Matthew's ironic modus operandi as he portrays the chief priests' non-priestly response to Judas. Additionally, I contrast Matthew's portrait of the Jewish chief priests with a brief portrait of Jesus' own ministry within the Jewish community, a ministry which fulfils the priestly role abandoned by the chief priests. I conclude my article in section four with brief reflections on the rhetorical impact of Matthew's portrait of the Jewish chief priests within his overall narrative.
Author J. Henk PotgieterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –6 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2725More Less
Psalm 32 is widely regarded as a psalm of thanksgiving with elements of wisdom poetry intermingled into it. The wisdom elements are variously explained as having been present from the beginning, or as having been added to a foundational composition. Such views of the Gattung have had a decisive influence on the interpretation of the psalm. This article argues, on the basis of a structural analysis, that Psalm 32 should be understood as a homogeneous wisdom composition. The parallel and inverse structure of its two stanzas demonstrate that the aim of its author was to encourage the upright to foster an open, intimate relationship with Yahweh in which transgressions are confessed and Yahweh's benevolent guidance on the way of life is wisely accepted.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2655More Less
Insults play a key role in social interaction in the agonistic culture of the Middle East. This article constructs a social scientific model of social interaction regarding face work and insults and then filters the Gospel of Matthew through that model to highlight the prevalence of insult in the biblical world.
Tussen sciëntisme en fideïsme : acceptatie van de evolutietheorie als theologische uitdaging : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2729More Less
Between scientism and fideism: Acceptance of evolution as a theological challenge. In this contribution to the special issue of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies that is dedicated to Prof. Buitendag, I will explore what Prof. Buitendag's notion of a 'revised natural theology' might mean for the theological reception of the scientific theory of biological evolution. I argue that two extremes must be avoided here. One is the fideistic ignoring of (or refusal to take into account) the data that have been placed on the table regarding the evolutionary development of life on earth, as if these do not concern theology. The other extreme that theology must steer clear of is a scientistic over-interpretation of our knowledge of the evolutionary past, whereby the theory of evolution is magnified to a comprehensive philosophy of life ('evolutionism') that is incompatible with Christian faith.
Ecology : its relative importance and absolute irrelevance for a Christian : a Kierkegaardian transversal space for the controversy on eco-theology : original researchAuthor Hermen KroesbergenSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2719More Less
The controversy about the importance of eco-theology or creation spirituality seems to be in a deadlock. Those who support it and those who oppose it do not even seem to be able to communicate with one another. On the one hand, Celia Deane-Drummond, for example, writes in her Eco-theology (2008:x): 'I find it astonishing that courses on eco-theology do not exist in many university departments of theology and religious studies.' Matthew Fox desperately asks in his Creation spirituality (1991:xii): 'Need I list the [environmental] issues of our day that go virtually unattended to in our culture?' On the other hand, evangelical Christians are known for their ecological 'blind spot' (Davis 2000), until recently at least. Pentecostal proponents of the prosperity gospel preach a consumer-lifestyle for all Christians, which is not very eco-friendly (cf. Kroesbergen 2013). Even in more mainline Christianity we find, for example, the well-known theologian Robert Jenson who writes in his Systematic theology: Volume 2 (1999:113, n. 2): 'Recent waves of "creation spirituality" are simply apostasy to paganism. And it is such unguarded, even unargued judgement that is required of the church.' We find eco-theologians, who do not understand that not everyone agrees with them on the one hand, and opposing theologians, who do not even feel the need to argue against them on the other hand. What would be needed to re-open communication between those in favour of eco-theology or creation spirituality, and those opposed to it?
The local church as a non-governmental organisation in the fight against poverty : a historical overview of Bethulie 1933-1935 : original researchAuthor Johan Van der MerweSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –7 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2617More Less
Poverty is one of the greatest threats to society. In South Africa it is also one of the biggest challenges. This article starts with the challenges put to society by Mr Trevor Manuel at the Carnegie 3 conference. It then explores the possibility of if and how the church can act as a non-governmental organisation in the fight against poverty. A historical overview of the actions of Rev. E.P. Groenewald, during the drought of 1933-1934 in the Dutch Reformed Church Bethulie, serves as a case study of how the church can make a difference. It, however, also illustrates the many pitfalls on this challenging road. The article comes to the conclusion that the main challenge of the church in the fight against poverty is to act as a non-governmental organisation, which transforms values and assists society with good organisation and administration.
Author Maake J. MasangoSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –5 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2737More Less
The article focuses on economic structures that crush the poor, especially global economic structures that trap and keep people in poverty. The concept of poverty occupies centre stage in South Africa and many other developing countries. There is no longer a middle class. One is either rich or poor. Globalisation has created a system or program that continues to crush the poor, while also breeding greed and selfishness. The rich always accumulate resources while the poor struggle to make ends meet. These problems are created by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Structural Adjustment Programs, to name a few. These structures have introduced a system of inequality that widens the gap between the rich and the poor because of self-interest, which continues to crush the latter. The end result is that the concept of Ubuntu or Botho among African communities is destroyed. Injustice becomes the order of the day.
Towards restoration of human identity : Practical Theology exploring possibilities of re-imagining the discourse of reconciliation and social cohesion in South Africa : original researchAuthor Semape J. ManyakaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –5 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2624More Less
'Social cohesion' is a concept that many researchers agree is not easily defined. However, all definitions do agree that it is about a combination of processes. In this article I have adopted the Jenson definition (1998:4), as 'a process of developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunities within South Africa, based on trust, hope, and reciprocity among all South Africans'. Through this process the restoration of human identity will emerge out of the fragmentation caused by the apartheid government before the new democratic order of 1994. It is the aim of the new government to engage in this process (Cloete & Kotze 2009:43), with the result that many of those with broken human identities are beginning to participate in the developing new order. I have also chosen to explore transversal discourses in this article. These discourses favour an interdisciplinary approach. They allow different disciplines to have conversations without assimilation, and, while rooted in their own belief systems, they are still capable of sharing with others. In South Africa, we come from different backgrounds, but our backgrounds should have no power to keep us apart or locked in our own prisons. The article follows the tenets of postfoundationalist practical theology, and is based in the interdisciplinary paradigm. It promotes reflection on the 'presence of God' without using force, or judging those who do not share my faith. In this approach all voices receive equal treatment: participants are free to say what they believe and to express themselves openly; it also means theologians can participate freely in the debate on social cohesion. This is a never-ending journey; each one of us must play our role and never give up.
Author Ulrike KistnerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –6 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2618More Less
Between the sphere of civil society associated with the idea of active, democratic citizenship, and the governance of precariously living populations 'in most of the world' (i.e. not simply 'in the margins'), lies the domain, famously outlined by Partha Chatterjee, of 'the political society of the governed'. This article investigates the concept of 'the political society of the governed', starting with its current definition, social and political contexts and a conceptual history. The article then proceeds to problematise the corollary of a bio-political 'overnmentality from below, theoretically questioning the extent of its capacity to inform political agency, and practically examining the forms of such political agency, with special reference to studies on insurgent citizenship in South Africa.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2783More Less
Family ministry in a postmodern church.
The aim of the article is to reflect on the necessity for family ministry in the church today, and to explore different models and methods for doing it. This article must be understood against the backdrop of the challenges facing mainline churches, of which the decline in numbers, the lack of support for programmes and initiatives on behalf of families, and the apparent inability to minister effectively to young people, are the most pressing. Since the early church there has been a close relationship between church and home. Not only did rituals and liturgies spill from the gathered congregation into homes; metaphors from family life also provided images and language to the early church. In the last few decades there has been a rekindled interest in the home as the primary incubator for faith formation. Several books, articles, organisations, programs, consultants and churches have described their approach as 'family ministry'. From a practical-theological viewpoint, there must be a set of criteria by which these approaches could be evaluated. This article aims to contribute in this regard, and to critique different approaches to family ministry.
Author Attie Van NiekerkSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –6 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2648More Less
The term missional has come into use over the last years in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa and the Department of Science of Religion and Missiology of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. This term refers to the role of the local congregation in the local community or communities and is used with, or in the place of, the term missionary, which traditionally referred to the sending out of a missionary to some or other place. The use of the term missional includes specific views on the goal of mission, what mission is and how it should be done. In this article it is argued that this approach can be seen as a new wave of mission within the South African context, and that it is related to developments in many parts of the global church.
Empathy for the psychological underdog : a positive psychological approach to Luke's Gospel : original researchAuthor Eben SchefflerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 70, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2742More Less
Taking the lead from Wisdom of Solomon 7:20, which clearly indicates that ancient authors did engage in the specialised 'scientific' (although contemporary) study of mental processes (διαλοφισμούς άνθρώπων), it is argued that the author of Luke's Gospel paid special attention to the alleviation of human psychological suffering. Employing an approach recently being labelled as 'positive psychology', attention will be paid to general affliction (e.g. Lk 4:18; 6:21, 25), old age (Lk 1:5-80; 2:25-38), grief (e.g. Lk 7:11-17) and the emphasis on mental processes in Luke's portrayal of Jesus' exorcisms (e.g. Lk 4:35; 6:18-19; 9:38), as well as the psychological dimension involved in other types of suffering (e.g. poverty, sickness, enmity and social ostracism). The 'mental process', 'feelings' or 'empathy' that motivate the alleviation of suffering (in the behaviour of Jesus and his followers) will also come into focus in the discussion of the Lucan use of the terms οίκτίρμων (Lk 6:36), έλεος and σπλαγχνίζομαι (e.g. Lk 10:33, 37).