HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 71, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 71, Issue 1, 2015
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –5 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2989More Less
This history of exclusion from basic rights in South Africa until fundamental rights of every individual were entrenched in the constitution illustrates that respect for sanctity of every person is the basis of the freedom of all the people of South Africa and that all religious communities should protect the Bill of Rights. Neither confessional nor denominational considerations should be put to the fore; the focus should fall instead on the common concern of all religions for the sanctity of the individual.
Author Herman C. Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2981More Less
The traditional view of the function of relative sentences in the Greek New Testament differed markedly from that in many modern languages. This view was challenged in the mid-1980s and a number of striking correspondences with a variety of modern (and some classical) languages were pointed out, despite some differences. The purpose of this article is, amongst others, to explore functional aspects of the relative sentence against this background, and to provide further substantiation for the new view and some new perspectives in the light of recent literature. The conclusion is that the view of the functions of the relative sentence, as developed in the mid-1980s, still seems valid. The view is also supported to a large extent by recent literature, especially with respect to the relative sentence's adjectival use, despite differences relating to nuances and terminology. However, recent New Testament grammars still distinguish so-called 'conditional', 'concessive', 'causal', 'final' and 'resultative' relative sentences as part of their adverbial use, despite strong evidence to the contrary. The conclusion reached is that relative sentences seem to have the following functions in New Testament Greek, which correspond to their functions in numerous modern languages: (1) Identifying a referent(s) with or without an overt nominal antecedent. (2) Providing background or additional information for a nominal or sentential antecedent in the form of a parenthesis, explanation or concession, or some combination of these. (3) Qualifying a verb with regard to time, location or manner. (4) Functioning as a conjoined sentence.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.3003More Less
'Destroy this temple': Ethical dimensions in John 2:13-22?
The question asked is to what extent could one speak of ethical dynamics in the Gospel of John, even in cases where there is no surface level textual evidence for the presence of ethical material? It is argued that through the process of rereading ('relecture'), which is invited by the Johannine text as performative text, ethical dimensions are highlighted in texts where such emphases were not apparent at the first reading. As example the events at the temple, narrated in John 2:13-22, are analysed.
Genesis 2-3 and Alcibiades's speech in Plato's Symposium : a cultural critical reading : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –6 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2903More Less
The purpose of this article is to discuss some basic problems and methodological steps concerning the encounter between Hebrews and Greeks in the Classical period and its impact on the Hellenistic era. The relationship between the Old Testament and Ancient Greek literature will be examined on the basis of Genesis 2-3 and Alcibiades's speech in Plato's Symposium (212c-223d). The following considerations and models of interpretation can arise from the analysis of Alcibiades's speech compared to M- and LXX-Genesis 2-3: (1) Ancient Greek writers were familiar with Old Testament oral or written traditions through improvised translations. They prepared the way for the LXX and, in their compositions, were in dispute with them although they do not make specific references to the Hebrews and their literature; (2) Hebrew authors knew the works of Ancient Greek authors and used Greek philosophical terminology which they creatively adapted to Semitic models; (3) Both models are possible. One should not rush to any decisions but examine each case individually, in the original language.
The emerging Jewish views of the messiahship of Jesus and their bearing on the question of his resurrection : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2881More Less
This article surveys the beliefs of Jewish scholars who have written about the historical Jesus. Specifically, it explores the modern Jewish scholarship on the person and role of the Messiah and how this relates to the study of the resurrection of Jesus. Many of the traditional beliefs about the messiah preclude a discussion of the resurrection of Jesus. However, with more understanding of the background of Second-Temple Judaism, many long-held beliefs about the messiah are being re-evaluated. The three main issues discussed in this article are the concept of a pagan messiah, the death of the messiah and the possibility of a divine messiah.
Author Johan C. ThomSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –6 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2996More Less
Abraham Malherbe's contribution to Hellenistic philosophy and early Christianity.
Abraham J. Malherbe was one of the most influential New Testament scholars of the past half century. He is especially known for his use of Hellenistic moral philosophy in the interpretation of New Testament texts, especially Pauline literature. Whilst the comparative study of New Testament and Greco-Roman material remains a contentious approach in scholarship, Malherbe's work provides important pointers in how to make such comparisons in a meaningful and reasoned manner, by paying due respect to the integrity of the texts being compared and to the function textual elements have within their own contexts. I discussed the salient features of Malherbe's approach, focusing in particular on his study of topoi. One of the most significant findings was Malherbe's emphasis on the dialectical combination of common and individual elements in such topoi, which enabled ancient authors to embed their own texts within the cultural discourse of their time. His approach opens the way to further research of the New Testament within its philosophical context without requiring proof of a genealogical relationship between the texts or authors concerned.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2942More Less
The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 was an unquestionably traumatic event in the history of the Jewish people. By all accounts it was a social, political, and theological disaster. As such, contemporary Jewish figures wrestled with the meaning of the event. This article analyses the efforts by two figures in this internal Jewish dialogue to provide this meaning, namely, the historian Josephus and Jesus of Nazareth. We will see that in both cases the meaning of the destruction was rooted in the firm conviction of the God of Israel's existence and his self-revelation in Scripture. The temple was destroyed not apart from God or in spite of God, but in full accordance with his will. This will, moreover, was judged to be accessible through Scripture, both in terms of its prophetic value and its establishment of a metanarrative - redemptive history - that provided a framework for historical events. In addition, the reason for the destruction was judged by both to be the sins of (certain) people. The major difference between them lay rather in the question of which sins exactly were judged to be responsible.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –11 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2916More Less
Peace and judgement in the gospel according to Luke.
Quite rightly Luke is called an evangelist of peace and non-violence. It is recognised in several studies that peace, nonviolence and love for the enemy are integral parts of the message of the Lucan Jesus. Yet this statement cannot be made without criticism. In the gospel of Luke there are many texts in which violence is present, which is incongruent with the message of peace and non-violence. Sometimes there is even violence that is excessive. In many of these texts violence has to do with vengeance in the judgement. In some recent studies the relation of the peace-message of Jesus and the retribution in the judgement is discussed. In this article we first examine the problem of violence in Luke's gospel with the help of Luke 19:9-27. In the vision of Luke the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE is a consequence of the refusal to accept the message of Jesus. To understand this it is necessary to place the fall of Jerusalem in the eschatological timetable of Luke. We see here a certain equivalence between the situation of the contemporaries of Jesus within the gospel and the situation of the intended readers in the last quarter of the first century CE. Moreover we propose to reverse the way the question is put. We do not have to enlighten how it is possible that after the peace-message of Jesus there will be vengeance in the judgement. First there is the announcement of the judgement. After that a delay is announced for the contemporaries of Jesus as well as for the intended readers of Luke's gospel: a year of the Lord's favour. This delay gives room for repentance.
Die Gees (πνεῦμα) en vrede (εἰρήνη) met God teenoor die Vlees (σάρξ) en vyandskap (ἔχθρα) met God in Romeine 8:6-8 : original researchAuthor Dirk VenterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2993More Less
The Spirit (πνεῦμα) and peace (εἰρήνη) with God as opposed to the Flesh (σάρξ) and hostility (ἔχθρα) with God in Romans 8:6-8.
A surprising number of exegetes do not address the question to what exactly εἰρήνη refers in Romans 8:6. The rest seem to be divided between interpreting it as an unspecified (eschatological) state of peace (šālôm), peace with one's fellow humans, or peace with God. Based on the textual context, this article argues that the latter interpretative option is best. In terms of metaphor, the relevant target domain here is that of the relationship with God, while the source domain reflected probably is that of diplomatic relations. In addition, peace (with God) here must be understood in relation to the rule of the Spirit, the decisive influence upon those who live κατὰ πνεῦμα (Rom 8:4-5). Antithetically, personified flesh rules over those who are ἐν σαρκί (Rom 8:8). This leads to a disposition of enmity toward God as well as the inability to submit to his law. For Paul being ruled by the Spirit, as a consequence of being reconciled with God through Christ (Rom 5:1, 10; 8:3-4), is a crucial aspect of being at peace with God.
Messiaanse vredestichters : intertekstuele relaties tussen Zacharia 9-4 en het Evangelie van Matteüs : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –11 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2950More Less
Messianic peacemakers : intertextual relationships between Zechariah 9-14 and the Gospel of Matthew.
This article deals with images of war, violence and peace and with the role of messianic leaders in Deutero-Zechariah and the way in which texts from Zechariah 9-14 have been interpreted in the Gospel of Matthew. The first section describes the lines of meaning in Zechariah 9-14 on the basis of word fields related to violence and universal peace. The second section discusses Deutero-Zechariah's own position in the development of messianic expectations in Old Testament texts. In the third section, the question is asked how the meaning of texts from Zechariah 9-14 about messianic leaders has been influenced by earlier prophetic texts, and how these texts in their turn have been transformed and updated in the Gospel of Matthew, which contains explicit quotations from Deutero-Zechariah in 21:5; 26:15; 26:31 and 27:9-10. The fourth section summarises some interesting semantic shifts appearing in Matthew's gospel compared to Deutero-Zechariah. Moreover, some critical comments are presented against the idea defended in some recent studies that there is a sharp tension between Jesus's role in Matthew as the bringer of a peaceful ethical message, and his violent and vindictive role at the final judgement. At the end of this article, the burning question is raised whether Zechariah's and Matthew's messages, both of which are characterised by a certain degree of exclusivity, can play a constructive role in modern multi-religious discussions about common roads leading to global peace.
Swaarde wat in ploegskare verander, is nie vrede nie - vrede (שׁלוס) in Jesaja 40-66 : original researchAuthor Chris Van der WaltSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i.2991More Less
Swords turning into ploughshares is not peace - peace (שׁלוס) in Isaiah 40-44.
'Swords being turned into ploughshares' are often portrayed as being tantamount to peace. Peace though has got a more extensive meaning than only the absence of war. Whilst war and destruction is on the forefront in Isaiah 1-39, the opposite is true in Isaiah 40-66. The intention of this article is therefore to demonstrate the extensive meaning of peace (שׁלוס) as it unfolds as a motive in Isaiah 40-66. Because of a lack of space, only the first three passages directly mentioning שׁלוס [peace] will be discussed. Even though this discussion will be incomplete, it will reveal that peace is not part of man's normal state, that not everyone will experience peace and that there is a direct link between peace and the rule of God.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2947More Less
Peace in the Book of Ezekiel.
The prophet Ezekiel lived in a time when the people of Judah did not experience peace. He was a captive in Babylonia and preached to the exiles about the fall of Jerusalem, and after having heard about the fall, he preached about the restoration of the people. The book does not use the Hebrew word שׁלוס very often; moreover, the Hebrew word does not always denote 'peace'. This article discusses the use of the word in Ezekiel, comparing it with the other prophetic books in the Old Testament. The word occurs only seven times in the book. In Ezekiel 7:25, it deals with a vain search for peace. In Ezekiel 13, the false prophets are admonished for proclaiming peace when there is no peace. In Ezekiel 34:25 and 37:26, a covenant of peace is proclaimed for the time of the eventual restoration of the people. The fact that 'peace' is not mentioned explicitly very often in the book can be related to the reaction of the prophet against the peace-prophets of his time.
Author S.D. (Fanie) SnymanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2984More Less
Aspects of reconciliation in the book of Genesis. This contribution investigates the notion of reconciliation in the book of Genesis. The problem addressed is how the phenomenon of reconciliation between human beings happens in spite of, or perhaps because of, alienation between people. Research on the topic highlights three episodes in the book, Abraham and Lot (Gn 13), Jacob and Esau (Gn 33), and Joseph and his brothers (Gn 37-50). This contribution adds a fourth episode of reconciliation that is between Jacob and Laban (Gn 31). In the end, a few conclusions are drawn and applied to current society.
Hendrina Cecilia Kruger se godsdienstige mentaliteitsprofiel in haar mistieke oordenkingsbundel (ca. 1750-1810) uit die trekboertyd : original researchAuthor Andries W.G. RaathSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.2652More Less
Hendrina Cecilia Kruger's religious mentality profile in her mystical devotional book (c.1750-1810) from the Trekboer period. The religious views of the Trekboers on the frontier were shaped by pietistic religious literature circulating in the Cape interior. The religious ego-text of Hendrina Cecilia Kruger reflects elements of two streams of pietism: Dutch Second Reformation devotional literature and the works of German pietists in the line of Spener and other German mystics. The cumulative impact of experiential faith in Reformed mysticism and the mystical views of German pietism produced a spirituality of exceptional intensity in the pioneering communities of Reformed believers on the frontier. It is concluded that the mystical religious mentality of the Trekboer pietists exhibited exceptional levels of faith amidst dire physical and emotional conditions on the frontier. In spite of high levels of mystical pietism in her devotional book Kruger remained committed to the basic tenets of Reformed spirituality.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2701More Less
In my experience, conflict and other forms of being stuck or (as it is commonly referred to in narrative texts) 'stuckness' are related to actions, behaviour or events. If we consider a narrative paradigm, they happen in the realm of the Bruner's 'landscape of action'. Efforts at escaping these problem-saturated experiences mostly resort to replacing these actions, habits, modes of operation or rules with a different set of rules, without first reflecting on the intentionality or 'why' behind the actions. Most often this only serves to perpetuate the problem. This article will attempt to show that alternating between various initiatives in the 'landscape of action' provides only temporary respite to the problem, if any; that the intentionality behind these actions needs to be revisited and that contemplative practice facilitate such reflection on intentionality. This is therefore an exercise in reflecting on intentionality or even purpose, that is, a teleological question. This process traverses the dimensions of 'what' (actions), 'how' (methodology) and 'why' (intentionality), referring to the biology of human decision-making in the process of doing so. This article posits that this reflection may be facilitated by contemplative practices such as mindfulness and reflecting on soul.
Author Dirk Van der MerweSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –11 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2790More Less
Apophatic theology and cataphatic theology both occur in the corpus Johanneum to describe the character of God. Apophatically the Gospel of John and the first epistle of John state that 'nobody has ever seen God'. Cataphatically, Jesus teaches in the Gospel that, 'Whoever has seen me has seen the Father', and in 1 John we read that after the Parousia has taken place 'we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is'. This article focuses on the cataphatic phrase 'we shall see him as he is' (1 Jn 3:2). This investigation responds to the variety of interpretations of this particular phrase, as well as to the interest in the spirituality that it could have evoked amongst the readers of this epistle. In order to gain clarity on the 'spirituality of "seeing him" in the first epistle of John', this research focuses on the mechanisms used by the elder in the text to create spiritualities in the readers, such as the composition of images in the imagination of these early Christians, the dynamic interactions between the reader and the text, as well as the dialectic of pretension and retention in the reading of a text.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –8 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2939More Less
Male violence against women is at shocking levels in South Africa. According to Faul, 'A woman is killed by an intimate partner every eight hours, a probable underestimate because no perpetrator is identified in 20 percent of killings', whilst 'More than 30 percent of girls have been raped by the time they are 18'. Reeva Steenkamp's killing by her partner, Oscar Pistorius, came 'the day before she planned to wear black in a "Black Friday" protest against the country's excruciatingly high number of rapes' (Faul). The purpose of this article is to reread a key biblical text regarding male violence against women in order to highlight how Jesus would want us to respond to such violence. The text is John 7:53-8:11. The NRSV: Catholic Edition entitles the story 'The woman caught in adultery'. However, this title is problematic as it can lead to misleading readings of the text, as I will show, and so I have given it a different title, namely 'The woman threatened with stoning'.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –9 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2959More Less
Research on the use of the Song of Songs in spiritual direction is rare; yet, the Song of Songs (or Canticle of Canticles) is a highly conducive case as it provides in nuce the poetics, lyrics, erotics, and aesthetics of human and divine love which is found nowhere else in Scripture. This article draws on these unique features, integrates the biblical and the experiential, and offers a poetics-praxis paradigm for use in contemporary spiritual praxis. With the poem's metaphorical vineyard (a figurative term for the beloved herself) serving as hermeneutical key, the beloved's experience of love is interpreted through a multifaceted reading that is intrinsic to the poem, namely: eros [yearning]; mythos [searching]; mustikos [finding]; and kosmos [birthing]. In following the inner dynamism and dramatic tensions across the eight chapters of the Song, the fourfold reading traces the beloved's transformation from a neglected vineyard (Can 1:6) to a generative vineyard (Can 8:12). The article concludes that transformation in love is a journey from depletion (the giving away of self) towards deification (the giving of self in love), and suggests tending one's own vineyard as a living testament to divine love and a living sacrament in the world.
What has Lapland to do with Tshwane? Ethics as the bridge between dogmatics and historical contexts : original researchAuthor John W. De GruchySource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.3068More Less
This article explores the question: what does it mean to do theology in South Africa today? It does so in three parts based on a narrative account of the author's relationship with Johan Heyns from 1972-1990. In the first, the focus is on the reasons for and the significance of the transition of the Dogmatologiese Werkgemeenskap, in which Heyns played an influential role to the Theological Society of South Africa, of which the author was president from 1987-1992. In the second, the author examines the reason for this transition by comparing the role of Beyers Naudé with that of Heyns in doing theology, the one working outside the white enclave of the DRC, and the other from within. He then examines the criticism of Heyns's theology which was expressed by J.J.F. Durand and which gave rise to the title of the article. In the final part of the article, the author reflects on the narrative in responding to the initial question on doing theology in context today. He highlights the importance of social location, of the willingness to transcend boundaries, and the need to regard the task of dogmatics and ethics as an integrated whole in responding prophetically to historical contexts.
'Der Tag des Herrn ist schon da' (2 Thess 2:2b) - ein Schlüsselproblem zum Verständnis des 2.Thessalonicherbriefs : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 71, pp 1 –10 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2874More Less
'The day of the Lord is already here' (2 Thess 2:2b) - A key problem to the understanding of the second letter to the Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians 2:2b, that is, the words ένέστηκεν ή ήμέρα τοΰ κυρίον are a crux interpretum. At the same time their interpretation is crucial for the overall understanding of 2 Thessalonians. Does this text offer a view of early Christian eschatology totally different from Paul's or is it compatible to what we read for example in 1 Thessalonians? The article deals critically with two recent monographs by Norbert Baumertand Maria-Irma Seewann who offered a new interpretation of the passage according to which 2 Thessalonians 2:2 is not concerned with matters of Parousia, but with Christ's presence in the community. It offers an overview of the development of the 'Day of the Lord' traditions in the Old Testament and Early Judaism and shows that Baumert and Seewann's interpretation is untenable. After an analysis of the context of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 the article develops an own interpretation of 2 Thessalonians' 2:2 in light of a parallel in Hippolyt's Commentary on Daniel. The eschatology of 2 Thessalonians 2 finally, provides an argument for the text's pseudepigraphy.