HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 71, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 71, Issue 1, 2015
Author Sung U. LimSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2475More Less
Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of double-voicedness and James Scott's theory of public and hidden transcripts, this essay investigates the colonial context of Romans 13:1-7 with particular attention to the Roman imperial cult. It is my contention that Paul attempts to persuade the audience to resist the imperial cult, whilst negotiating colonial power and authority. It is assumed that colonial discourse is, by nature, a double-voiced discourse in that the public transcript of the dominant and the hidden transcript of the suppressed coexist in a continued state of internal tension and conflict. Seen in this light, Paul as a colonised subject parodies the public transcript of the elites in his own hidden transcript. However, Paul's doubled-voiced discourse finally turns out to be subversive against the dominant culture by suggesting that ultimate honour, fear, and authority should not be due to the rulers of the Roman Empire but to God.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2100More Less
This article is derivative of a larger study that discusses God as the centre of an often inarticulate, innate human desire and pursuit to enjoy and reflect the divine image in which every human being was created. The purpose of this article is to affirm the human elemental pursuit, as God's intent, to fulfill this created, intrinsic human desire in the now, or what is referred to here as proleptic, spiritual transformation (PrōST). Moreover, the primary aim of this article suggests investigation of whether individuals must wait for the afterlife to have purification and spiritual transformation fully or largely 'worked out'. That is, the eventual would demonstrate that PrōST, an experience of transformation and kingdom life, usually reserved for heaven in eternity, is greatly available today.
In chains, yet prophetic! An African liberationist reading of the portrait of Paul in Acts 27 : original researchAuthor Ndikho MtshiselwaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2746More Less
New Testament scholars have argued that Luke-Acts presents an apologetic historiography and political propaganda which portrayed Roman officials as saviours of the world. The problem with the discourse on the apologetic historiography and political propaganda in Luke-Acts is that the presence of various forms of oppression behind and in the text becomes hidden. Thus, it is pertinent to highlight the reality of oppression as well as the prophetic voice that responded to them, as illustrated by the text of Acts 27. In this article, Lucky Dube's Mickey Mouse freedom song is employed as a hermeneutical tool to unlock the meaning of Acts 27, and to argue that whereas Acts 27 contains an apologetic narrative, Paul's prophetic voice is equally evident in the chapter. From an African liberationist perspective, lessons are therefore drawn from Acts 27 regarding the liberationist prophetic voice of Paul. In the end, this article sees Paul's prophetic voice as an embodiment of both resilience and resistance in the face of imperialism and chains (oppression).
When an outsider becomes an insider : a social-scientific and realistic reading of the Merchant (Mt 13:45-46) : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2859More Less
This article presents a social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the Merchant, also known as the parable of the Pearl. The parable is interpreted against the backdrop of two cultural scripts that were part of the social world of its first hearers; a negative perception of merchants and mercantilism, and the concept of limited good. As is the case in several other parables of Jesus, the Merchant is about an outsider who becomes an insider, someone who epitomises the values of the kingdom.
A Christological approach to poverty in Africa : following Christ amidst the needy : original researchAuthor Pieter VersterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2090More Less
The serious challenges posed by poverty in Africa call for a new approach. A Christological approach to these issues inspires hope. A Christology from above, or 'high' Christology, has much to offer regarding God's looking after humanity. Christ as the one for others humbled himself to give a life of fullness to the poorest and most ill, thereby bringing hope both for this life and for eternity. The approach followed should not lead to the exclusion of people, but rather to an endeavour to meet the challenge of brokenness. In societies where there is no hope left, the Christ of the wounded leads the way to new healing. Christ, verily God and verily human brings us before him in our totality, to be involved in all the needs of the community. The church should be the hands, feet and eyes of Christ for the needy.
Author Jaco GerickeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2868More Less
An increasing number of studies have seen the light over the last few decades concerning the epistemology of the book of Ecclesiastes. The extant research seems to be limited to try to find a suitable philosophical profile for Qohelet's concept of knowledge whilst ignoring a whole array of topics and theories in contemporary analytic epistemology. The available research thus reveals an 'inside-out' approach that is, reading Qohelet and then seeking to link his thought to a particular epistemological stance. In this study, however, an 'outside-in' approach is opted for that involves noting all the various issues in epistemology and then comparing each with what, if anything, Qohelet assumed in relation to the specific matter at hand.
Revisiting Mary Daly : towards a quadripartite theological and philosophical paradigm : original researchAuthor Hannelie WoodSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2911More Less
I was a tenderfoot in feminist discourse when I started my research on patriarchy, feminism, and Mary Daly. In my thesis, one aspect I engaged was Daly's battle with gender issues in Christian theology. From the beginning I was troubled by Mary Daly's views on God, men, and women in her discourse on Christianity. Daly undoubtedly contributed to the discussion on gender issues in the Christian faith, but her focus on androcentrism and her interpretations of Scripture led her to abandon the Christian faith. Mary Daly has written extensively on patriarchy as it is found in religion - particularly in the Christian faith - and how it filters through society. In her critique of patriarchy she set her course to dismantle the facade of a patriarchal and misogynistic God as the root of patriarchy. Daly did not see any positive qualities of the Christian faith and completely rejected other interpretations of a God whose person embraces both male and female qualities. Against this background I will evaluate Daly's post-Christian feminist theological and philosophical paradigm. I propose that Daly has a quadripartite theological and philosophical paradigm wherein there are four main players. The 'Who is who' in Daly's quadripartite patriarchal theological and philosophical paradigm are the patriarchal male, the patriarchal female, the patriarchal God and the biophilic woman.
Paul's community formation in 1 Thessalonians : the creation of symbolic boundaries : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2804More Less
This article presents how Paul, in 1 Thessalonians, executes the process of the formation of the Thessalonian community. Using the sociological concept of symbolic boundaries, it is argued that the resources - (1) the kerygmatic narrative, (2) the local narratives, and (3) the ethical norms - that Paul incorporates into the letter take an essential role to promote the converts to derive a cooperative identity from the community to which they belong and to strengthen the distinction between them and the larger society. By providing internal consensus and external separation, the resources serve to construct and maintain the Thessalonian community that is internally united and externally distinct.
Sending a boy to do a man's job : hegemonic masculinity and the 'boy' Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2817More Less
Studies of masculinity have shown that masculinity is a socially acknowledged gender status. Rather than automatically attaining such a status simply through physical maturation, boys must 'earn' such status by matching the social conventions associated with masculinity. Boys earn such status through 'doing gender', that is, acting in ways that are assessed by others as meeting gendered norms. Failure to meet these norms can result in suggestions that boys are unmanly. For elite Romans, masculinity was attained through the domination of others, including spouse, children and enemies. Though Jesus is presented as a child in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, his actions lend themselves to interpretation in terms of expectations for elite Roman males. In this text, Jesus is described as behaving in ways normally associated with hegemonic masculinity in the Roman world. He is able to defeat opponents in violent ways through the power of his word, he is able to teach his teachers, and he is able to provide for his family. Throughout the text, Jesus is described more in terms of an adult male than a child.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2837More Less
In the quest for the historical Jesus, memory studies are seen as an important breakthrough in the study of the historical Jesus and the way forward in establishing the historicity of the Gospel traditions. This article evaluates the claim made by memory studies by evaluating memory studies' critique on the methodology of the criteria approach. In this evaluation attention is given to the methodological points of departure of memory studies, including an assessment of the few examples memory studies thus far have produced in their investigation of the historicity of the Gospels and the historical Jesus. The conclusion reached is that memory studies are guilty of what they accuse the criteria approach, and thus far have not yet offered a viable methodological alternative to the current criteria approach used in historical Jesus research.
An unexpected patron : a social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the vineyard labourers (Mt 20 : 1-15) : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –11 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2883More Less
Many readings of the Parable of the Labourers in the vineyard want to treat the owner as representing God. Knowledge of actual agricultural practices relating to the management of vineyards suggest, on the contrary, that the details of the parable obstruct an easy identification of the owner with God, and that he displays unusual behaviour not only by paying all the labourers the same wage, but by his very intervention in the hiring process. The conclusion reached is that the parable constructs the vineyard owner, typically one of the nouveau riche who lived in cities, not only as a 'good employer' but also, contrary to expectation, as a patron who intervened well beyond the strict norms of economic exchange.
Paulus as vredemaker. Oor die resepsie van die brief aan Filemon in die vierde en vyfde eeu n.C. : original researchAuthor Francois D. TolmieSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2899More Less
Paul, the peacemaker. On the reception of the Letter to Philemon in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. By means of his letter to Philemon Paul attempted to make peace between Philemon and his slave, Onesimus. The theological aspects of this endeavour have been discussed often in academic circles, but thus far little attention has been given to what the practical implications of this would have been for Philemon's household. In this article, this issue is addressed from a particular perspective, namely how this aspect was interpreted by Christians in the 4th and 5th centuries CE. The interpretations of the Letter to Philemon by Ambrosiaster, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Pelagius, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrus are then investigated systematically in order to determine what their views were in this regard. It is shown that they all agreed that Philemon would (or would have no choice but to) forgive Onesimus, and that Onesimus would have turned into a better slave. All of these interpreters agreed that there would not be any drastic social changes in Philemon's household although it does seem as if one of them, Ambrosiaster, realised that what Paul expected of Philemon could have had serious consequences for the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus.
Author Lilly Nortje-MeyerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2889More Less
Biblical scholars have given diverse explanations for the Lamb of God metaphor in John 1:29 and 1:36. Most scholars are of the opinion that 'amnos' refers to the Passover lamb. This explanation is not obvious from the context of the Fourth Gospel. To understand the metaphor 'lamb' or 'amnos' of God, one should understand the transferable meaning of the figure or image. In this comparison, only the vehicle, namely the lamb, is given. What and who the lamb is stays open. It can be anything within the limits of the other story elements that have the same qualities as a lamb. To uncover the communicative dynamics of the metaphor, the exegete must have insight into the meaning and function of the original metaphor. Rhetoric provides a clue for the interpretation of the metaphor, namely that it is a Lamb of God. Within the pericope other rhetorical clues like antithesis and varietas are also provided. These clues are important but do not explain the image of the lamb. In this study, these problems will be considered via another medium, namely Hellenistic art and images and their penetration into Judaism and Christianity during the 1st century CE. Hellenistic and biblical images will be used to give an alternative interpretation of the metaphor of the Lamb of God.
Author Albert J. CoetseeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2949More Less
Strive for peace with everyone? Hebrews 12:14 in perspective. What sounds like a simple exhortation in Hebrews 12:14 has caused a great deal of discussion amongst biblical scholars. Does the writer of Hebrews command his hearers to strive for peace with everyone everywhere, or is he exhorting them to strive for peace with all the members of their faith community? Both interpretations have arguments for and against. The main arguments of both interpretations are the interpretation of the place of this exhortation in Hebrews, the meaning of the preposition μετά + genitive and the nuance of εἰρήνη within this context. This article tries to determine to whom the writer of Hebrews is referring with πάντων in 12:14 by doing thorough exegesis of this verse, and by so doing evaluating biblical scholar's interpretation of πάντων. From this analysis certain implications are drawn for the first hearers and believers today.
The rise of China and the time of Africa : gauging Afro-Sino relations in the light of Confucian philosophy and African ideals : original researchAuthor Cornel Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2864More Less
The article focuses on Sino-African relations, with specific reference to South Africa. An outline is provided of recent developments as a roadmap for the unfolding of this relationship. The question of whether China's African interest can be seen as tacit colonisation is discussed. Even if these fears are allayed, the question remains whether the Chinese presence on the continent will make a significant difference to African development. To answer this question, the focus shifts to economic models and the Chinese recipe for economic progress. Confucianism was opposed during the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong, but it now forms the basis for Chinese foreign policy and internal affairs. This is briefly investigated. Some Confucian ideas are related to basic African concepts in an effort to find a common ground in Afro-Chinese relations. The impact of secular Confucianism on African spirituality is discussed.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –11 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2944More Less
This contribution aims at deconstructing a Christian master narrative that interprets Josephus as crucial support for the New Testament message that the Temple had to become a ruin, in line with the will of God. It argues for an alternative interpretation, namely that both Jesus of Nazareth and Josephus considered the Temple to be still relevant, albeit in different ways. For Jesus the Temple was the self-evident cultic centre of Judaism and a special place to experience his relationship with God. None of Jesus' statements about the Temple in their original context necessarily implies that Jesus assumed that the institution of the Temple would stop functioning in the near future or at the end of time. Josephus's perspective on the Temple changes in his works. The elaborate description of Jerusalem and the Temple in War 5 reads as a written monument of the past, but several passages in Josephus's Antiquities and Against Apion imply that the Temple was still important after 70 CE. Josephus may have reckoned with the possibility that the Temple was going to be rebuilt if the Romans allowed for it.
This contribution is dedicated to Pieter G.R. de Villiers, a modest but sophisticated scholar and a good friend.
'If those to whom the W/word of God came were called gods '- Logos, wisdom and prophecy, and John 10 : 22-30 : original researchAuthor Jonathan A. DraperSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2905More Less
Jesus' quotation of Psalm 82:6, 'I said, You are gods', a riposte to the accusation that he had blasphemed by making himself equal to God, has attracted considerable attention. The latest suggestion by Jerome H. Neyrey rightly insists that any solution to the problem should take account of the internal logic of the Psalm and argues that it derives from or prefigures a rabbinic Midrash on the Psalm which refers it to the restoration of the immortality lost by Adam to Israel at the giving of the Torah on Sinai. This immortality was then lost again because of the sin of the golden calf. Whilst agreeing that the Psalm is interpreted in the context of the giving of the Torah on Sinai, this article argues that its reference is directed towards Moses on Sinai rather than Israel in general. This accords with the interpretation of Philo and Josephus and other sources much earlier than the Mekkilta de Rabbi Ishmael that Moses is rightly called a god and is assumed to heaven in glory without dying. Rather than deny this attribution of divine features to Moses due to his reception of the Torah on Sinai, John argues that the Torah was received from the hands of Jesus as the Logos. Therefore, Moses's derivative divine features simply confirm the true divinity of the Logos as the expression of the Father. Moses could be called a god because he knew Jesus as Logos and wrote about him (5:45-5:47), but he sinned and died like any mortal. The corollary is that Moses and his disciples lost their status and died like any mortal, whilst the disciples of Jesus who are 'taught by God' and believe in the Incarnate Logos (6:45), have not only seen the glory denied to Moses but are born from above to become divinised as tekna theou (1:12) and do not die.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2888More Less
The term spirituality is notoriously difficult to define, as is evidenced by the discussions between contemporary sociologists of religion. If there are any central elements to such a definition, they revolve around the search for the sacred, and the view that certain practices or beliefs lead to humans being placed in a position of privileged access to the transcendent dimension. Often such spiritual experiences and insights are the result of practices that seek deeper communication with the divine, or stem from contemplative reflection upon one's purpose in a broader context of universal ontology. This discussion seeks to probe Q for its understanding of spirituality, both in terms of the way the text promotes communication with the divine, as well as offering heightened spiritual experience for adherents to its teaching. In essence, this is an exploration of the way the new religious movement reflected in Q offered its followers contact with the transcendent within the context of everyday human life.
African therapy for a fractured world (view) : the life of founder bishop Johannes Richmond and the invention of tradition and group cohesion in an African Initiated Church : original researchAuthor Cas WepenerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2900More Less
In the book The invention of tradition historian Eric Hobsbawm claims that the process of the invention of tradition serves the formation of group cohesion. The different versions of the life story of the founder bishop of the Corinthian Church of South Africa (AIC), as documented during many years of conducting qualitative field work in this church, are used in this article as a case study in this regard. The article unpacks the way in which the invention of tradition as a process is in this particular AIC currently a work in progress contributing to the formation of a particular type of group cohesion that stretches over racial, religious and denominational boundaries especially by means of the unique liturgical rituals that were influenced by the life story of the founder. The group cohesion that this process fosters is in essence aimed at healing in all its multifaceted dimensions, which includes healing from physical ailments, 'healing' from barrenness, healing from spirit possession to healing as (re-)incorporation of an individual into the larger group, the healing of a nation as well as healing from a dualistic spirit-matter worldview.