HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 72, Issue 3, 2016
Volume 72, Issue 3, 2016
Investigating the communicative strategy in 2 Maccabees 3 : six scenes which influence the reader throughout the narrative : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –6 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3047More Less
The events in the introduction to 2 Maccabees (2 Macc 3:1-39) undoubtedly centre round the Jerusalem Temple. It is depicted as world-renowned, holy and just. Many scholars have therefore highlighted the theme of the Temple in 2 Maccabees, introduced by 2 Maccabees 3. Yet, the reason for the Temple's centrality is not traditionally seen as more than a mere link to the rest of the narrative. This article, however, asks the question: Why is the author incorporating the Temple in such a specific manner? What is the impact on the implicit reader of this specific depiction of the Temple? In other words, how is the implicit reader's experience throughout the rest of the narrative influenced by the events in this introduction? To answer these questions, the article identifies six scenes in 2 Maccabees 3 and applies a rhetorical analysis in order to establish the communicative strategy and its possible impact on the implicit reader.
Parallelisms and revelatory concepts of the Johannine Prologue in Greco-Roman context : original researchAuthor Benno ZuiddamSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.72i3.3115More Less
This article builds on the increasing recognition of divine communication and God's plan as a central concept in the prologue to the Fourth gospel. A philological analysis reveals parallel structures with an emphasis on divine communication in which the Logos takes a central part. These should be understood within the context of this gospel, but have their roots in the Old Testament. The Septuagint offers parallel concepts, particularly in its wisdom literature. Apart from these derivative parallels, the revelatory concepts and terminology involved in John 1:1-18, also find functional parallels in the historical environment of the fourth gospel. They share similarities with the role of Apollo Phoebus in the traditionally assigned geographical context of the region of Ephesus in Asia Minor. This functional parallelism served the reception of John's biblical message in a Greco-Roman cultural setting.
Reading 'blackface' : a (narrative) introduction to Richard Kearney's notion of carnal hermeneutics : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –9 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3122More Less
Prominent Irish philosopher Richard Kearney's notion of 'carnal hermeneutics' is introduced by applying it to a case study of a recent event that took place at one of South Africa's university campuses. The narrative assists in illuminating some of the core principles of carnal hermeneutics and illustrates the applicability of carnal hermeneutics as a 'diagnostic caring for lived existence'. In the process, an analysis is also given of the event in question, which is connected to what has widely been labelled as 'blackface'. In conclusion, the contextual, philosophical, ethical, and theological implications of carnal hermeneutics are explored with an eye on theological praxes in South Africa today.
Author Wilhelm WesselsSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3162More Less
Jeremiah 23:23-24 is a short passage in the cycle of oracles in which the prophet Jeremiah is supposedly in conflict with other prophets in his society. It is possible that this short passage first had an independent existence before it became part of the collection of oracles in 23:9-40 This article argues that as an independent oracle the passage claims that Yahweh is not just a localised god, but an omnipresent God from whom no person can hide. When read as part of the mentioned cycle, it should be regarded as a polemic against a view held by some prophets that Yahweh's nearness guarantees peace and security. Their domesticated view leads to complacency and disregard. It is argued that Jeremiah opposes their view by stating that Yahweh is also a distant God who is aware of their false and deceitful attempts to provide revelatory knowledge to the people. In this regard chapter 23:23-24 serves as a polemic against so-called false prophets and implies a threat of judgement.
Pedagogy of social transformation in the Hebrew Bible : allowing Scripture to inform our interpretive strategy for contemporary application : original researchAuthor Katherine MoloneySource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3148More Less
The Hebrew Bible itself teaches its readers and listeners how to learn. Its pedagogy of social transformation instructs contemporary Christians how to interpret and apply lessons from Scripture in a manner that is consistent with the orientation, priorities and methods inherent in the text. This article demonstrates that relationship and identity are the necessary precursors to biblical education. It then considers the educational perspective for social transformation within the Hebrew Bible. The analysis explores the purpose and process of education for social transformation and the pastorally oriented pedagogy that the Bible utilises to advance moral development and prevent hermeneutic bias. Lastly, the article considers how the narrative, Law, prophets and wisdom texts in the Hebrew Bible train in social critique. This article helps Christians to develop a biblically based hermeneutic of the Hebrew Scripture's social transformation for application today.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3220More Less
The church has the privilege of participating with God in his saving mission in a broken and suffering world, also known as the missio Dei (Bosch 1991:8-11, 390-393). This is its core, missional identity. However, many local churches are facing an identity crisis at their very core. The reasons are numerous. This article seeks to define, in a theoretical and theological way, the core identity of the local church and in the light thereof to explore two areas: (1) how the local church and particularly its pastor view the core identity of the local church, and (2) whether the identity of the local church is affected through the ministry of preaching - preaching that takes into specific consideration the aspects of hermeneutics and context. The research indicates that while the church may have an understanding of its core identity - certainly when it answers the questions 'who are we?' and 'what are we called to be and/or do' - it lacks significantly in its missional identity. Contributing factors are mentioned and remedial action is proposed.
Author Gert MalanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –6 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3216More Less
A previous article investigated Ricoeur's stance on myth and demythologising. The intersection of Ricoeur and Bultmann's work in this field was noted and a future comparison was envisaged with a view to a possible merger. This study is a follow-up and proposes a way in which Ricoeur and Bultmann's views on myth and demythologisation can be merged in order to gain a broader approach to the understanding of myth and the concept of demythologising. As Ricoeur's understanding of myth was influenced by literary criticism, Bultmann's definition of myth is viewed through the lens of literary criticism, before turning to a comparison with Ricoeur's views. A comparison of their ideas on demythologisation follows. Sociology of knowledge forms the last lens through which a possible merger of their approaches is contemplated.
Christian and Buddhist approach to religious exclusivity. Do interfaith scholars have it right? : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3266More Less
Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars are quick to denounce what they perceive as religious exclusivity. So when it comes to the major views on just how true and salvific the religions can be, it is no surprise that Exclusivism is ruled out automatically. What is surprising is how inevitable it is that when Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars commit to any view - whether Inclusivism, Pluralism, or Relativism - they themselves end up committing the sin of exclusivity. Whatever view they entertain turns out to be too exclusivistic for somebody, by having too particular a saviour (Exclusivism), too particular a salvation (Inclusivism), too particular a metaphysics (Pluralism), or too sceptical a religious outlook (Relativism). To make matters worse, the further the interfaith scholar cycles away from Exclusivism in an attempt to elude exclusivity, the further she wanders not only from Christianity, but from Buddhism as well. Thus, by attempting to unite the two religions, the interfaith scholar finds herself at odds with both sides. Truly, it seems the interfaith scholar has no place to lay her head. By consulting interfaith scholars' own writings, this paper describes their dilemma in finding such a place.
Author Wim A. DreyerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3208More Less
In this contribution, the author reflects on historical theology as theological discipline. After a short introduction to the precarious situation of church history as a theological discipline in South Africa and the question of faith and history, the contribution presents an analysis of Gerhard Ebeling's 1947 publication on church history in which he proposed that church history should be understood as a history of Biblical interpretation. Based on some of the principles Ebeling delineated, the author proposes that historical theology could be applied to five areas of research: prolegomena, history of the church, history of missions, history of theology and church polity. The point is made that historical theology, when properly structured and presented, could play a major role in enriching the theological and ecclesial conversation and in assisting the church in the process of reformation and transformation.
Author Callum ScottSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3180More Less
Scientistic conceptualisations hold to the positivistic positions that science is limitless in its potential representations of material phenomena and that it is the only sure path to knowledge. In recent popular scientific literature, these presuppositions have been reaffirmed to the detriment of both philosophy and theology. This article argues for the contrary position by a meta-analysis of empirical science from a Thomist perspective. Identifying empirical science as limited in its method and bound to the material sphere of being alone, we posit that rather than standing as the sole path to the knowledge of being, empirical science is constrained at its frontiers. It is subsequently contended that far from empirical science having the explanatory ability to respond to all presenting scientific problems in principle, fundamentals without the grasp of the methodology of empirical science exist. To relate the article's meta-analysis to scientific praxis, physical cosmology - as the most foundational empirical science - is exemplified in the discussion.
Canonical understanding of the sacrifice of Isaac : the influence of the Jewish tradition : original researchAuthor Abraham OhSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3000More Less
The Aqedah in Jewish tradition is an alleged theology for the sacrifice of Isaac which has an atoning concept and has influenced the atonement theology of the New Testament (NT), but it has not been proved by the NT. The purpose of this article is to investigate all verses in the NT that are alleged to refer to Abraham's offering of Isaac. The reflections of Genesis 22 in the NT verses do not grant atoning power to the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham's portrait suggests Christ as the Beloved Son, but the vicarious death of Jesus on the Cross is unrelated to Isaac in Genesis 22. Isaac is the type of Christ only in the preparation of death. Jesus as the Tamid lamb (not as the Paschal lamb) refers to Genesis 22 without granting expiation of sin by Isaac. The resurrection motif as well as the promise-fulfilment scheme referring to Genesis 22 also does not validate the Aqedah. Thus, the NT does not assume the Aqedah.
How 'direct' can a direct translation be? Some perspectives from the realities of a new type of church Bible : original researchAuthor Christo H.J. Van der MerweSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3233More Less
The skopos of this new type of church Bible is: 'How would the source texts of the Bible have sounded in Afrikaans in the context envisaged for its hypothesised first audience(s)?' Fully acknowledging the complexities of language as a dynamic and complex system embedded in the culture and conceptual world of its speakers, as well as the wide range of frames that are involved in the process of Bible translation as a difficult form of secondary communication, this article addresses two of the challenges of this ambitious project. In the first section the in congruence between the world of the Old Testament and speakers of Afrikaans is treated. Examples are provided of instances where both the nature of difficult secondary intercultural communication as well as the subjective theories of the host audience constrains the 'directness' of the translation. In the second section, some of the challenges of distinguishing between the formal and functional features of Biblical Hebrew are dealt with. The article concludes that, although the notion 'communicative clue' provides a useful heuristic device to act as point of departure for negotiations on the construal of the meaning of the text in the source language and host language respectively, the notion has to be supplemented by insights from the fields of cultural anthropology, cognitive linguistics and linguistic typology. A better understanding of how meaning 'works' (e.g. how linguistic expressions act as windows into the conceptual worlds of speakers, how the meaning of expressions may shift and develop, as well as processes of grammaticalisation) provides members of a translation team with some criteria to make informed decisions when they negotiate how the meaning of specific Biblical Hebrew constructions are to be construed 'directly' in Afrikaans.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3158More Less
In recent years, schools and education authorities worldwide have been paying increased attention to issues surrounding diversity and religious tolerance. Tolerance constitutes one of the most important preconditions for social justice, fairness and peaceful coexistence. Hence, the authors of this article decided to develop an instrument measuring the degree and nature of religious tolerance among student teachers. It is not this article's purpose to enter into a discussion about how to actually resolve religious, cultural and political conflict, but merely to embark on the process of developing an instrument to measure the degree of religious tolerance among teachers and student teachers.
Religious intolerance is increasingly viewed as problematic, and it appears that education has been assigned the role of inculcating religious tolerance in young people. Teachers are expected to be able to inculcate in their students the respect, empathy, critical thinking and acceptance of differences among people associated with the notion of tolerance. To be able to do this, teachers have to possess the traits of a tolerant person.
Whether teachers are indeed tolerant in practice depends on the extent to which they have mastered the capacity to be tolerant. This article reports on a study that culminated in the construction of a questionnaire for measuring the degree to which students on the threshold of entering the teaching profession displayed a tolerant attitude.
The construction of the questionnaire was based on a theoretical study of tolerance and intolerance. The questionnaire was then applied in three different countries (South Africa, the Netherlands and India). Factor analyses were performed on the data to establish the validity of the instrument. The first round of application revealed a number of shortcomings in the questionnaire. The study therefore recommends a revision of the questionnaire. Among other things, the factoral structure and the reliability of some of the sub-scales require further attention. The study ascribes the lower than expected explanation of variance in the data set to the cultural differences existing among the different groups of respondents in the three countries.
The article closes by drawing a conclusion regarding the degree of religious tolerance among the respondents who participated in this first round of application of the questionnaire.
Author Bradley TroutSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –6 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3201More Less
One of the central arguments in establishing the 'Christian-Jewish' nature of the Matthean community is the argument that Matthew's community was law observant. In particular, Matthew 5:17-19 is said to argue in favour of a community that had not broken ties with Judaism. This paper argues that Matthew 5:17-19 is not primarily about demonstrating law observance, but fulfilment. When ηλήρόω is understood in light of its broader Matthean usage, it becomes apparent that 'to fulfil' means the coming about of what the law and prophets anticipated. What is therefore in focus is not the conservative nature of the community, but the arrival of Israel's hope. This is further demonstrated by the inclusion of 'the prophets', which also points to the coming of Jesus, as well as by the antitheses of 5:21-48, which demonstrates the Christological focus of the passage. More prominent than Jesus' view of the law is the law's (and prophets') view of Jesus. An additional factor pointing in this direction is the prominence of the kingdom in this section of Matthew's gospel. Following on from the declaration in 4:17, the kingdom of heaven remains central throughout the Sermon on the Mount, not least in 5:17-20. When this theological motif is taken into account, it confirms that 5:17-20 has in view the fulfilment of the Jewish hope that God's kingdom would come. What God's people have awaited - as anticipated in the law and prophets - has arrived. Reading this passage as if it were a treatise on the Matthean community's view of the law overlooks the theological context and makes that which is peripheral (conservatism on the law) central, while what is central (fulfilment in that the kingdom has come) is made peripheral. This passage ultimately points to the newness brought about by Jesus and the kingdom of God. Scholars who find support for a conservative community in Matthew 5:17 have failed to reckon sufficiently with the nature of fulfilment in this passage.
Author Andries SnymanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –6 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3076More Less
This article is an attempt to reconstruct Paul's rhetorical strategy from the text itself, rather than applying ancient or modern rhetorical models to his letters. A proposal for such a rhetorical approach is briefly summarised, followed by a discussion of the rhetorical situation of the letter. It is argued that the pericope, Romans 5:12-21, forms an integral part of Paul's rhetorical strategy, aimed at persuading his audience in Rome to share his views on the contrast between Adam and Christ: Adam's sin brought death into the world, but faith in Christ brings eternal life. In the process of persuasion, Paul uses various types of argument and rhetorical techniques to enhance the impact of his communication. To analyse and describe this is the main aim of the article. The conclusion is that a text-centred approach (with its focus on the functional aspects of the text) provides a meaningful alternative to existing approaches (which focus mainly on the formal aspects of the text).
Author Albert CoetseeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3221More Less
In the introduction to his sermon, the writer of Hebrews suggests that God's revelation unfolded from his so-called 'Old Testament' revelation to his 'New Testament' revelation in his Son (Heb. 1:1-2a). By doing a thorough exegesis of Hebrews 1:1-2a, the author's view of such an unfolding revelation is confirmed. From this conclusion, certain hermeneutical implications of the unfolding of God's revelation are drawn for believers and scholars today. Among others, it is determined that God's revelation is progressive, that his revelation in his Son is superior, climactic and final, and that God's final revelation in his Son can only be understood within the context of his Old Testament revelation, and vice versa.
Author Jakobus M. VorsterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3218More Less
New emerging paradigms in Western culture have produced a new ethic. Not only social ethics in general but the ethics of marriage and family life are changing rapidly. This new ethic has inter alia a strong bearing on marriage and family life, relationships explained by traditional Christian ethics.The traditional idea of heterosexual official marriages is challenged by new forms of civil relationships such as cohabitation, temporary relationships and civil unions between gay couples. Scholars even speak of the postmodernist marriage that, according to them, differs entirely from the traditional Christian idea of marriage. This article focuses on the concepts of marriage and family life against the background of the emerging postmodern and post-secular ethic and its consequences for the traditional view of marriage as a biblical institution. The central theoretical argument is that the concept of marriage in the biblical testimony should be defined and developed within the doctrine of the covenant and that such a view, with certain modifications, can still provide ethical directives and new perspectives on marital life for Christians today.
Feeding holy bodies : a study on the social meanings of a vegetarian diet to Seventh-day Adventist church pioneers : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3080More Less
Ten years ago National Geographic magazine reported that the Loma Linda Seventh-day Adventist population is one of the communities in the world that lives longer and with a higher quality of life thanks in part to the biological benefits of a vegetarian diet. Along with National Geographic, other media outlets have reported since then that the Adventist religious community considers a plant-based diet a very important factor for a healthy lifestyle. Adventists have been promoting this type of diet worldwide for more than 150 years. This article is an attempt to understand from a social-scientific perspective the origin of the importance they lend to diet and see whether this helps explain why approximately 150 years after the founding of the church, diet remains crucial for Adventists around the world. The conclusion proposed is that Adventists understood the adoption of a plant-based diet as a special divine instruction in order to nourish their new identity as a special people differentiated from the rest of society. This was possible through a desecularisation of diet that placed food in the moral category of the Adventist belief system.
'n Praktykbenadering tot geloofsvorming vanuit die benadering van Thomas Groome en die Gestaltteorie : 'n Prakties-teologiese dialoog : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3197More Less
The article describes the dialogue between Thomas Groome's approach to faith formation and Gestalt theory in order to develop a practice approach to faith formation. The transversal model of cross-disciplinary dialogue, developed by Wentzel van Huyssteen, is utilised to develop a practice approach to faith formation. The process of faith formation, according to Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis approach, encompassing five movements, is described first. This is followed by a literature study on Gestalt theory. The philosophical roots of Gestalt theory as well as specific Gestalt concepts are explored in order to explain the process of human growth and change. Gestalt theory's paradoxical theory of change, as well as the contact cycle are utilised in order to explain the process of integration and assimilation of faith. The transversal dialogue is continued by relating the insights gained from Groome's approach and Gestalt theory. The context of missional ecclesiology, in which the researcher finds himself, is also accounted for during the dialogue. The process identifies six guidelines for the practice of faith formation. The findings of the dialogue are processed into a practice approach to faith formation. The practice approach is presented in such a way that it can be utilised in a variety of settings.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –9 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3399More Less
This article offers a critique of the contemporary Contemplative Tradition's view of spiritual transformation from the lens of the universally accepted letters of Paul. The article argues that contemporary contemplatives, especially Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, differ from Paul in three principle areas. Firstly, whereas Paul's concept of transformation is based largely on objective realities, representatives of the Contemplative Tradition tend to focus on subjective realities. Secondly, contemporary contemplatives view transformation as coming as one imitates the life of Christ, his daily disciplines and activities, whereas Paul's view centres on the death of Christ as foundational to the Christian's identity and thus vital to the way they live out their faith. Finally, the cornerstone of the contemporary Contemplative Tradition's view of spiritual transformation is the belief that the essential means by which transformation takes place is engagement in the spiritual disciplines. It is argued that many of the activities that are denominated as 'spiritual disciplines' are not in fact 'transformative' activities, and thus do not fit the category of spiritual disciplines. Furthermore, this study insists that Paul seldom links the practice of the disciplines with the means of transformation, offering instead five examples of specific means of transformation that flow out of Paul's accepted letters.