• ANTI-JUDAÏSME IN ’N JOODSE TEKS? DIE GEVAL VAN OPENBARING

      Anti-Judaism; Revelation; Stereotyping; Synagogue of Satan; Van Henten, Jan Willem; Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands; Universiteit Stellenbosch, South Africa (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      This article offers a critical discussion of Peter Tomson's approach to Anti-Judaism in the New Testament (see his 'If this be from Heaven...' from 2001). Tomson rightly defines Anti-Judaism as hatred of Jews and characterizes key passages in John's Gospel as anti-Jewish, but he assesses similar passages in Revelation differently because, in his opinion, Revelation would be a Jewish text and a Jewish text cannot be anti-Jewish. All relevant passages in Revelation are surveyed and a re-reading of two key passages, Rev 2:9 and 3:9, is offered. Tomson's argument about Revelation is refuted - also with the help of modern analogies, which suggest that a Jewish text can be anti-Jewish. The article ends with a brief personal note that calls for a reading of Revelation in Christian communities that is not hurtful for Jews. doi: 10.7833/108-1-3
    • God in Translation. Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World

      Bosman, H. L.; Old and New Testament Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      Mark S Smith is the Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University and has received scholarly acclaim for previous books on the religion of ancient Israel, such as The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities in Ancient Israel.
    • CONTEMPORARY FUNDAMENTALISM AND FJM POTGIETER’S THEOLOGY

      Engdahl, Hans S. A.; University of the Western Cape (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      In this article Afrikaner theology articulated by FJM Potgieter is compared to contemporary fundamentalism. Potgieter’s theology is built on certain biblical principia that represent revealed truth and therefore are irreducible principles applicable in all spheres of life. These principles are also confirmed by common grace in the God-given dispensation of peoples and races. Contemporary fundamentalism would often begin with a select tradition that is strictly applied to the present. Often it is about a religious tradition that is used as a means to a political outcome. The article argues that Potgieter’s theology has unmistakable elements of such contemporary fundamentalism.
    • A NAMA ‘EXODUS’? A POSTCOLONIAL READING OF THE DIARIES OF HENDRIK WITBOOI

      Bosman, Hendrik; Old and New Testament, Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      This contribution attempts to interpret the personal diaries and papers of Hendrik Witbooi, an icon of the struggle for liberation in Namibia, in view of postcolonial criticism. It is argued that Witbooi's diaries and papers indicate how he responded to colonial discursive practices by means of assimilation and resistance. Special attention is given to the possibility that an 'exodus theme' was employed as a rhetorical strategy to mobilize the Witboois to relocate to new territory and eventually used to resist colonialism by inciting an uprising against the German authorities. The question will also be posed what type of Bible interpretation Captain Witbooi employed to come to such an understanding of the exodus theme in his diaries within the nineteenth century theological context of providentialism. The article forms part of a research project on "The negotiation of identity and narratives concerning origin and migration in Africa." doi: 10.7833/108-1-6
    • INTERPRETING THE EXODUS AMONG THE NGONI PEOPLE

      Zulu, Edwin; Research Associate: Stellenbosch University; Rector: Justo Mwale Theological University Lusaka (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      The interpretation of the Ngoni of Exodus 14:21-31 makes a comparison with the Israelites possible. Both the Israelites and the Ngoni crossed an expanse of water to reach their new land; The Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the Ngoni crossed the Zambezi River. Moreover, just as God provided the Israelites passage by facilitating the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land in a miraculous way, the Ngoni were aided by the locals, the Chikunda people, by carrying them in their canoes to cross the river. The Egyptians perished in the sea; the Ngoni killed the Chikunda after being aided by them. The role of the King is also mentioned; in the biblical story Moses plays a significant role as the agent of God. In a similar manner, King Zwangendaba's role is highlighted in the entire episode. These narratives of origin and migration (both Biblical and Ngoni) are important for the formation of identity amongst the Ngoni in Zambia. doi: 10.7833/108-1-9
    • REFLECTING ON PAUL’S (NON-)USE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS

      Scheffler, Eben; Department of Old Testament and ANES, University of South Africa (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      In endeavouring to contribute towards a better understanding of the letter to the Romans, as well as the Old Testament, attention is paid to Paul's expressed views on the Old Testament; the centrality of the Christ event in his thinking; his use of contemporary exegetical techniques; his employment of quotations, general references and allusions to the Old Testament; his use of the LXX; his reading of the Old Testament in (and out) of context; his understanding of the law; his view of justification by faith as Paul's own creative thinking; the difference between Paul and Jesus' view of the Old Testament and Paul's non-use of the Old Testament. Concluding remarks are made about an 'empathetic' reading of the Old Testament and the letter to the Romans, accounting for both texts' true nature. doi: 10.7833/108-1-2
    • ‘HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD, BUT WOMAN ...’ (1 COR 11:7): ‘UNVEILING’ THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMAGO DEI

      Williams, David T.; Department of Historical and Contextual Theology, University of Fort Hare (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      The reference to the imago Dei in 1 Corinthians 11:7 has been largely ignored, probably because what it seems to say is hardly popular. Can it be that women are not in the image of God? Nevertheless, if the passage is taken seriously, it provides a fresh understanding of the meaning of the image, complementing the preferred interpretations of the meaning of the image in the ideas of dominion and interpersonal relations. It may be suggested that its focus must fall on the difference in creation of men and women in Genesis. The image of God resides in the direct bestowal of life from God. Notably, the New Testament locates the image only in Christ, which is consistent with this view. Emphatically, if a person, man or woman, accepts the offer of new life, he or she then becomes in the image. In this case, there is total sexual equality. doi: 10.7833/108-1-5
    • THE CAUSE OF UNHAPPINESS IN QOHELET 3:11

      Pinker, Aron; Silver Spring, Maryland, USA (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      The difficult Qoh 3:11 is emended to read אֶת־הַכֹּל עָשָֹה יָפֶה בְעִתּוֹ גַּם אֶת־הָעֶלֶם נָתַן בְּלִבָּם בַּל יְאֻשָּר לֹא־יִמְצָא הָאָדָם אֶת־הַמַּעֲשֶֹה אֲשֶר־עָשָֹה הָאֱלֹהִים מֵרֹאש וְעַד־סוֹף (“all he made well in its time, yet he placed the unknowable in their heart, not to make him happy, man cannot find out the work which God made from beginning to end”). It is argued that 3:11a is better understood as referring to the creation of the world, rather than to the catalogue of times in 3:2-8, and new biblical and post biblical support is provided for the reading הָעֶלֶם (or הָעָלֻם ). The minor emendation of the MT, בַּל יְאֻשָּר instead of מִבְּלִי אֲשֶר , provides a good unforced sense, which is in line with ancient wisdom thinking.
    • DIE EERSTE BEGINSELS VAN DIE WOORD, DIE IMPLIKASIE VAN HEB 5:12 VIR KERK EN TEOLOGIE

      Zuiddam, Benno A.; Skool vir Bybelwetenskappe & Antieke Tale Noordwes Universiteit (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      Hebrews uses the words λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ to denote authoritative Divine speech. These are treated as oracles from heaven with an inherently divine quality. Hebrews’ use of λογίων as such implies a divine source and this is reinforced by τοῦ θεοῦ. Both the wider and narrower context of Hebrews 5:12 show that this expression is used in a context of revelation. God reaches out and speaks. In this context God’s oracles are presented as instrumental for maintaining this relationship with the divine and particularly portrayed as promoting spiritual growth and maturity. It is from this literary context, and the specific use of λογίων in Hebrews 5:12 that this article argues that the phrase τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς ἀρχῆς τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ refers to the very elementary knowledge, or basic understanding of the “Word of God” or his collective “Oracles”. Even the practice of these Oracle-basics is considered potentially life-changing and spiritually empowering by the author of Hebrews. Knowledge of God’s revelation, even a thirst for more, is presented as a basic requirement for Christian life.
    • THE ENVIRONMENT AS PROMISE AND PROBLEM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

      Lawrie, Douglas; Department of Religion and Theology University of the Western Cape (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      The article argues that discourse about the Bible and the environment is often insufficiently materialistic and insufficiently theological. Ideas are not the motive force of history, but arise in a complex dialectic in which humans create and are created by their environment (Marx). This is briefly illustrated by examples from the Old Testament, focusing on how Israel encountered her environment as promise and problem. When it comes to disinterested concern for the earth, however, we have to go beyond this – closer to God, not closer to nature which offers no unambiguous moral resources. This too is implicit in the Bible.
    • ‘ZIMBABWEAN POVERTY IS MAN-MADE!’ DEMYSTIFYING POVERTY BY APPEALING TO THE PROPHETIC BOOK OF AMOS

      Vengeyi, Obvious; Bamberg University, Germany (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      This article serves as a critique of the gospel of prosperity in general although particular focus is on Zimbabwean Pentecostal churches. The model for this critique is the prophetic book of Amos. The article assumes that Amos dethroned a theology similar to the gospel of prosperity – a system that legitimised ill-gotten wealth and condemned the poor for their predicament without critically assessing historical and economic policies militating against their advancement. Pentecostalism is equally blind to historical and economic policies that stand in the advancement path of the poor in Africa. With Africa being one of the fertile grounds for Pentecostalism, the critique of the gospel of prosperity becomes important
    • INDIGENOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES IN ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION: RESPONSE OF THE CHURCH

      Adu-Gyamfi, Yaw; School of Theology and Ministry Ghana Baptist University College (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      The Akan people of Ghana’s beliefs and practices, enforced by taboos regarding ecosystem conservation, foster a sustainable use of the environment. Akan beliefs and practices highlight their moral import, are crucial in preserving the environment, and protect water sources, the natural vegetation and wildlife and endangered nonhuman species. However, the church has not taken the indigenous beliefs, practices and taboos seriously. The decline of these has led to the degradation of the Ghanaian environment. This article aims at drawing the church’s attention by arguing that the indigenous beliefs and practices are more earth-friendly and consistent with biodiversity than modern or Western ways of life and that they represent the best chance for successful ecological practices that enhance ecosystem conservation.
    • THE EXODUS AND IDENTITY FORMATION IN VIEW OF THE YORUBA ORIGIN AND MIGRATION NARRATIVES

      Olojede, Funlola; Old and New Testament, Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      Certain elements of the origin and migration narratives of the Yoruba such as a common ancestor, common ancestral home, common belief in the Supreme Deity provide a basis for identity formation and recognition among the people. It is argued that the narratives help to bring to light the memories of the Exodus and Israel's recollection of Yahweh as the root of its identity. The juxtaposition of cosmogonic myths and migration theories foregrounds the elements of identity formation of the Yoruba people and have a parallel in the blending of both cosmic and migration elements in Exodus 14-15:18. This blending also points out clearly the role of Yahweh as the main character in the Sea event. doi: 10.7833/108-1-7
    • FIDES QUAERENS PULCHRUM: PRACTICAL THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE DESIRE FOR BEAUTY

      Cilliers, Johan; Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      In this article, the notion of 'desire' is critically interpreted in terms of the classic theological notion of 'quaerens' (as for instance in: fides quaerens intellectum; faith in search of understanding). 'Quaerens' indicates the quest for (or paradox of) something that is not yet attained, although already experienced, here understood as a quest for beauty - fides quaerens pulchrum. The concept of beauty is multi-layered, but traditionally it is viewed in a romanticized sense, as something (or an experience) that is fine, excellent, noble and honourable. In this article this romanticized view is critiqued within an aesthetical understanding of practical theology, in which beauty is understood as the quest for a radically different (and paradoxical) form of proportion within the experience of pain, horror and destruction. In this sense beauty is not contradicted by the notion of ugliness, but rather indicates the quest for the healing of proportions and the connection between the visual and transcendent meaning. The article takes a brief look at the development of some paradigmatic shifts in practical theological methodology, before discussing possible aesthetical practical theological meanings of beauty. doi: 10.7833/108-1-1
    • THE THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK OF EXODUS AS NARRATIVES CONCERNING ORIGIN AND MIGRATION AS AN ONGOING NEGOTIATION OF IDENTITY BY THE TIV PEOPLE OF NIGERIA

      Weor, Jonathan; Old and New Testament, Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      In his search for the components or aspects of dialogue with the Bible particularly in Africa, West (2008:48) mentions five comparative approaches of Ukpong (2000:17-18). Using the third approach, which deals with the interpretation of biblical texts against the background of African cultures, religions and life experiences aimed at new understanding of the biblical text that would be informed by the African context and circumstance, this article argues that the Tiv people of Nigeria read and interpret Exodus as an ongoing identity negotiation and not merely as a historical, literary, liberating, postcolonial and feminist text as it has been read and interpreted over centuries by different exegetes. The article describes the narratives of origin and migration of the Tiv and establishes their relevance and/or impact on the theological apparition and interpretation of Exodus traditions amongst the Tiv as an ongoing progression of identity formation. doi: 10.7833/108-1-8
    • ASPECTS OF A RHETORIC OF THE BODY AND THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS

      Vorster, Johannes N.; New Testament and Early Christian Studies, College of Human Sciences, School of Humanities, University of South Africa (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      Although the expansion of New Testament Studies to formal studies in Early Christianity and Late Antiquity have significantly changed modi of interpretation concerning Pauline material, the Cartesian effect has not been laid to rest. In addition, despite the problematisation of knowledge production which was initiated during the eighties of the twentieth century, the subject as primary originator of knowledge, born during the nineteenth century, is still haunting the production of knowledge within the field of Pauline studies, with little concern for the variety of diverse discursive practices compelling and enabling the production of a writing. Both these tendencies have infused the rhetorical paradigm within which Pauline letters have been read. I argue that a rhetoric of the body, functioning within the implicit tradition of Rhetorical Criticism, can enable the detection of discursive traces constituting a rhetoric of the body in the Graeco-Roman world. If a rhetoric of the body is used as interpretative framework for the letter to the Romans, no resistance against the Roman Empire can be discerned but rather an identification with a habitus that made a radicalisation of the Roman regulatory body possible. doi: 10.7833/108-1-4
    • THE CHURCH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: SEVEN STATIONS TOWARDS THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE WHOLE EARTH

      Conradie, Ernst M.; Department of Religion and Theology University of the Western Cape (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      This contribution offers a broad orientation regarding theological discourse on the church and the environment. The question is what the church as church can do in addressing environmental threats. The eschatological uniqueness of the church is taken into account, as well as the different dimensions of Christian witness (marturia), namely kerygma, diakonia, koinonia and leitourgia. The argument is structured in the form of seven spiritual ‘stations’ towards the sanctification of the whole earth. The thesis is that the ‘and’ in the phrase ‘church and environment’ requires theological reflection. If we also reflect on the situatedness of the church in the environment, this opens up possibilities to see the distinctive place of the church within the larger household of God – which would then also offer a theological re-description of the term ‘environment’.
    • THE CHURCH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: ON BEING DOWN TO EARTH IN A CONSUMERIST ERA

      Pillay, Miranda N.; Department of Religion and Theology University of the Western Cape (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2012-08-14)
      Based on the premise that both anthropocentricism (humans over the environment) and patriarchy (men over women and children) operate as hierarchies to oppress and subjugate ‘others’, this article makes a connection between patriarchy and prosperity preaching by arguing that in both instances, biblical texts are used to ‘sanctify’ and sustain hierarchies of power. In order to develop my argument as it relates to hierarchical power, I engage insights gained from Feminist theology. Two case studies are presented as examples from popular current religious/ spiritual movements to illustrate how a hierarchy of power ‘presents itself’ as ‘naturally right’. I then explore the relationship between prosperity preaching and consumerism, and between BRICS2 and consumerism, respectively. Finally, an argument is made for the church to take seriously the fact that hierarchies such as patriarchy and anthropocentrism are made ‘palatable’ by a theology of prosperity - by exploring theologies that will bring Christians ‘down to earth’.
    • TENSION BETWEEN LINGUISTIC SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS: THE TRANSLATION OF THE WORD ‘WOMAN!’(GUNAI) INTO ‘MOSADI!’ IN THE SETSWANA BIBLE

      Tabalaka, Abel; Department of Theology and Religious Studies University of Botswana (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2013-06-12)
      This paper attempts to explore the tension between semantics and pragmatics as evidenced in the translation of one Greek word gunai (woman) in the Setswana Bible. Translators of the Setswana Bible have generally used the word mosadi to translate gunai. This word, however, causes problems for readers of the Setswana Bible.
    • REVERENCE FOR ANCESTORS IN AFRICA: INTERPRETATION OF THE 5TH COMMANDMENT FROM AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE

      Zulu, Edwin; Guest Lecturer: Stellenbosch University Justo Mwale Theological College Lusaka, Zambia (Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology., 2013-06-12)
      The thesis of this article is that, moral instruction is related to popular wisdom. It is consequently believed that moral instruction serves various functions in an African community, to order the community, to direct the community relationships, to propagate community, tribe, clan, family ideals and bind the community tribe, clan, and family together. It is in this light that the fifth commandment is analysed and interpreted