Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220100001&lang=en vol. 66 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The development of the human consciousness</b>: <b>Ken Wilber's AQAL theory</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Kenneth Earl Wilber III, an integral philosopher, psychologist and mystic with an intelligence quotient of 160, was born on 31 January 1949 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the United States of America, and is considered by some as one of the most important philosophers of the 21st century. He developed his integral philosophy over 30 years, which can be divided into five phases. The most important aspects of his philosophy for the purposes of this article are the AQAL integral map of reality, and the evolution of consciousness. AQAL stands for 'all quadrants, all levels, lines and stages'. Wilber divides reality into singular and plural interiors and exteriors; or art, morals and science. Also deriving ideas from Developmental Psychology, he sees the evolution of consciousness unfolding in seven stages: archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, holistic and transpersonal. This theory could add value to pastoral care by enabling pastors to support believers' own spiritual growth in pursuit of the kingdom of heaven. <![CDATA[<b>The target group of the Ultimate Commission (Matthew 28:19)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The inclusion of 'all nations' as the mission target in the Ultimate Commission of Matthew 28:19 somehow comes as a surprise. The Gentiles seem to have been excluded from Jesus' and his disciples' mission in two passages (10:5-6; 15:24). In an attempt to establish the target group of the great commandment, this article investigates the meaning of the phrase panta ta e|qnh as used in 28:19 and subsequently the literary contexts of the commandment. <![CDATA[<b>Reading Philemon as therapeutic narrative</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article analysed the different narratives implied in Philemon by utilising the narrative therapeutic approach, as developed by Epston and White (1990). A dominant narrative (the harsh treatment of slaves in the early Christian environment) and a challenging narrative (a more humane conduct of slaves) were clearly distinguished. The article showed Paul's attempt to bridge the gap between these two narratives by using certain pointers, possibly taken from mystery religions and Jesus' example. In conclusion, the narrative therapeutic approach proved to be a new and unique way of looking at Philemon's narrative world. <![CDATA[<b>The development of the human consciousness</b>: <b>can a 'postmodern church' accommodate 'mythology'? Ken Wilber's contribution to pastoral care</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Postmodern theologians like Hal Taussig are not very optimistic about the future of Christianity. To them, the theistic (mythological) understanding of God is of little use in the postmodern world of the 21st century. Taussig prefers the grassroots Christianity, which has room for persons of all sexual orientations, and advocates ecological sensitivity. The question is: What do the followers of this spirituality teach their children about God? The solution is what Wilber calls 'the conveyer belt' and God's 'Kosmic address'. Everyone starts at square one, 'traditional' and grassroots Christians alike, and move along this conveyer belt. Along the way, there are seven stages and three perspectives, i.e. the first, second and third-person perspective, through which human consciousness could evolve. That means that any given person could have one of 21 different possible understandings and experiences of God. A questionnaire could assist pastors to determine at which stage or level of evolution an individual is, as well as the 'Kosmic address' that God has for that individual. Through spiritual exercises, pastors could then support the individual's further growth towards mature human consciousness. <![CDATA[<b>Worship and preaching in missional congregations</b>: <b>homiletic-liturgical perspectives on missionary congregational ministry</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the context of changes in society, and the resulting paradigm shifts in theological thinking, this article explores the development of a missional ministry praxis for church services in the reformed theological tradition. This is done through a basic overview of recent theological developments in missional ecclesiology, homiletics and liturgy, and a case study of a congregation who shifted to missional ministry praxis by renewing its church services. Opportunities for further research are identified, and the conclusion is reached that churches who make the theological paradigm shift to missional ministry should inherently change the character and planning of their church services to reflect and enhance this shift. <![CDATA[<b>The theological responses to the socio-economic activities that undermine water as a resource</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses, from a theological perspective, on both the ecological crisis and the politico-economic dealings in relation to water - especially with regard to the unsound ways in which governments deal with this resource. Texts are read from an anthropogenic perspective, as opposed to an anthropocentric one. Such a reading scenario calls for responses from theology with regard to the human position in creation. Humans are not a grand master plan of creation, but the completion and fulfilment of it, given an enormous sense of responsibility for the earth.The article argues that the human-earth relation should be understood from the point of responsibility based on solidarity, interdependency and stewardship. Theologians are challenged to embrace eco-ethics. <![CDATA[<b>What is religion? an African understanding</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Western thought has influenced the way that religion is understood. Western philosophy supported the separation between the sacred and the profane. Modernism, focusing on human rationality, reduced religion to a set of correctly formulated dogmas and doctrines. Western thought, dominated by Christianity, created a hierarchical structure of world religions through a theology of religions. Can an African understanding of religion make a contribution to the understanding of what religion is? Such a question requires an African understanding of religion, as well as an understanding of African religion. From an African perspective, religion emphasises the human effort to systematise, in society, the continuation of a religious experience relevant to a specific context. Tradition, expressed in rituals and ethics, becomes the social expression of these religious experiences. African religion tends not to differentiate the transcendental from the earthly. African scholars do not present one unified understanding of religion. Some scholars would even argue that an African understanding is nothing more than an internalised form of Western perspectives. To characterise African Traditional Religion as a separate type of religion minimises the contribution that an African understanding can make to religion. <![CDATA[<b>The role of refugee-established churches in integrating forced migrants</b>: <b>a case study of word of life assembly in Yeoville, Johannesburg</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The increasing embeddedness of religious issues within contemporary global phenomena has increased the role religion plays in migrants' spiritual, social, and economic lives. Drawing on the findings of the study, conducted within one of the Pentecostal migrant churches in Johannesburg, this paper explored ways in which a (migrant) church shapes a refugee's motivation to integrate and his resultant quest for a transient alternative belonging and inclusion within diasporic communities through church affiliation. Through interviews with members of the Word of Life Assembly (WOLA), one of the independent churches established by forced migrants in Yeoville, the study revealed that refugees tend to integrate themselves within their own churches, while the refugee church itself - labelled a 'foreign' entity by South African community members - works to garner approval and acceptance from South Africans and faith-based institutions. Cultural and linguistic problems were identified as major barriers to a refugee's attempts to integrate into local churches, thereby becoming important issues that need to be considered in the establishment of migrant churches within the South African host community. <![CDATA[<b>Empire as material setting and heuristic grid for New Testament interpretation: Comments on the value of postcolonial criticism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Using postcolonial analysis to account for the Roman Empire's pervasive presence in and influence on early Jesus-follower communities (early Christians), as depicted in New Testament texts, is both evident (given its usefulness for analysing situations of unequal power relationships) and complicated. The complications are due partly to the material and conceptual potential and constraints inherent in postcolonial biblical studies, as well as to the complexities involved in dealing with empire and imperialism. The study of the Roman Empire, as far as its impact on early Christianity and (in this article) on the letters of Paul is concerned, requires attention to Empire's material manifestation, ideological support for Empire, and religious aspects - issues that are identified and briefly discussed. Empire can be understood in many different ways, but it was also constantly constructed and negotiated by both the powerful and the subjugated and therefore attention is required for its possible reach, uses and the purposeful application of discursive power in New Testament texts that were contemporary with Empire. <![CDATA[<b>A psychological perspective on god-belief as a source of well-being and meaning</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reports on a qualitative exploration of the well-being and meaning that second- and third-generation Christians from an African context experience because of their integration of religion in their life and being. A textured, integrated tapestry is created of the participants' understanding of God (God-concept), experience of their relationship with God (God-image) and understanding of life as coloured by their belief systems. The contribution of their God-belief to their sense of meaning and psychological well-being frames the tapestry of this article. <![CDATA[<b>Acts for today's missional church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article investigated the challenges associated with being a missional church in an everchanging world and possible patterns to live missionally in new contexts. The need for Christian missions to be radically contextual in facing up to these changes provided the basis for this study to build on the importance of context and the ways in which the early church in Acts reinvented itself continually in facing up to new challenges, opportunities, peoples, cultures and questions. The way in which the faith community emerged as a church when it became aware of its boundary-breaking mission was explored by using the seven phases in the development of the mission of the church, as identified by Bevans and Schroeder in their groundbreaking theology of missions. By reflecting on these seven phases, this article formulated patterns for a missional church. <![CDATA[<b>Die Skrif is aan ons toevertrou</b>: <b>Die Skrif is aan ons toevertrou: Die implikasie van τὰ λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ</b><b></b><b> </b><b>in Romeine 3:2</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In Paul's Epistle to the Romans, the expression τ<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char01.gif" align="absmiddle"> λóγια το<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> θεο<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> refers to speech of God that was entrusted to the Jews as a people. This includes everything He spoke through Moses and the prophets. The apostle presents this as a matter of the greatest privilege to his readers, both for its authoritative contents and the personal involvement of the God of the Covenant it represents. Paul uses these 'oracles' or 'very words of God' as a collective reference (indicated by τ<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char01.gif" align="absmiddle">) to all divine speech that was entrusted to the Jews before the revelation of God's righteousness in Christ, to which these λóγια το<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> θεο<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> bore witness in advance. This article consequently argues that τ<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char01.gif" align="absmiddle"> λóγια το<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> θεο<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/char02.gif"> refers to the Bible as phenomenon, the revealed Word of God that was entrusted to the Jewish people. <![CDATA[<b>Can the chasms be bridged? Different approaches to Bible reading</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Reality confronts theologians with the fact that they themselves and believers across the world read and interpret the Bible in diverse ways. Understanding the reason for this is part of the solution. The essence of the problem is that the quest for meaning is an unending journey with frequent ravines to cross. Invariably, a linguistic, historical, cultural and social chasm opens up between current readers of Biblical texts and the cultural, as well as historically layered, settings in which the documents originated. This review article is a discussion of the ways in which several authors approach the Bible from their different theological vantage points and from different fields of application. It assesses the way in which they understand this problem and how they see a solution. An assessment is made from the historical-literary and social-scientific approach to biblical texts, as practiced in the Netherdutch Reformed Church in Africa. Solutions suggested and applied in this situation are compared to solutions proposed by various authors. There may be a positive outcome: the chasms might be bridged, but only when certain criteria are met and when all parties concerned are willing to work with patience, trust and fearless diligence <![CDATA[<b>A scriptural, theological and historical analysis of the concept of the Zambian Christian nationhood</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article contributes to an understanding of the notion of Zambian Christian nationhood, which was first officially expressed in a presidential decree. The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation was made by Fredrick Chiluba, the second President of the Republic of Zambia, on 29 December 1991. In June 1996, an amendment to the Constitution of Zambia Act of 1991, which included the Zambian Christian nation declaration, was effected, from which moment Zambia officially became regarded as a 'Christian nation'. The current article proposes that a country cannot attain its Christian nationhood by presidential decree, but only by means of cultural determination. However, an extensive evaluation of the culture concerned is needed in order for the task to be theologically feasible. To achieve a comprehensive analysis of the current situation, the article takes into consideration some of the historical paradigms and models of regions which were once Christian, but which have since failed to stand by such principles. The point of the present argument is that religion emanates from the culture of the people and not from a declaration that is made about them. The article also takes into consideration Niebuhr's fivefold typology of models of the relationship of Christ with culture, to which this article refers as that existing between church and state. The ultimate conclusion is that the declaration of Zambia as a 'Christian nation', despite being a uniqu <![CDATA[<b>Speaking the language of the kingdom of God in the context of a society in transition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Venturing to speak the biblical language of the kingdom of God, with its distinct covenantal intensity, in the context of a South African society in transition from paternalistic power structures to liberal democratic structures is not easy. How should the language of the kingdom of God be spoken in a society that demands 'non-intrusive' and 'politically correct' speech without - in the process - rendering the intense intentionality of its covenantal roots to that of a speech without zeal? Having to face the daunting task of 'translating' kingdom language into a type of language that suits the present-day context without sacrificing or diminishing its powerful intentionality demands the development of a new sensitivity. Such a sensitivity is required to incentivise the accommodation of the dimensions of truthful, authoritative and authentic communication in spoken language. In this research article, the implications of the speech act theory, as pioneered by scholars such as J.L. Austin and J. Searle, are utilised to identify possible markers for such a venture. Insight into the locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary dimensions present in speech acts is indicated as a relevant starting point for attempting to obtain a more comprehensive and perspective-rich understanding into speaking the language of the kingdom of God in a way that fits the present South African context. <![CDATA[<b>The <i>Laos tou Theou</i> - an orthodox view of the 'people of God'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The creation of the Ekklesia by the incarnate logos of God created a new and unique relationship with God's people that allows humanity to enter into the Covenant and to become part of the 'people of God' (Laos tou Theou). Who is the Ekklesia? Is it the entire body of believers in Christ? Who are the chosen race, the royal priesthood and the holy nation of God? If the Ekklesia is the new Laos tou Theou, does its being so cancel out the initial covenant given to the nation of Israel? Is the nation of Israel still 'God's people'? This article strives to provide answers to the above questions by providing a discourse analytic approach to the theme. It is clear from the research that the Ekklesia remain the Laos tou Theou, comprising the entire corpus of Christ and the entire communion (or fellowship [koinonia]) of all of the disciples of Jesus. Essentially, all baptised believers are part of the chosen race and the royal priesthood, which form the holy nation of God. All of us are equally called by God to belong to his 'people'. <![CDATA[<b>The <i>Irrglaube</i> in Colossae</b>: <b>worshipping of or with angels in Colossians 2:18?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, the Colossian heresy will be discussed. This is, however, a very troublesome epistle to use in any assessment of a Pauline theme, due to the uncertainty of who the author of Colossians could have been, as well as the unclear nature of the heresy in question. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the false teachers in the congregation encouraged the worshipping of angels (cf. Col 2:18). As it will transpire from the discussion, this is indeed the case when this verse is read in an objective genitive sense. This investigative discussion will help us to discern what part angels played in certain religious circles in the early church (for example as mediators of revelation). The link between the <img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/2char01.gif">γγέλων in Colossians 2:18, and the στοιχείων το<img src="/img/revistas/hts/v66n1/2char02.gif"> κόσµου in Colossians 2:20, will also be investigated. In Colossians, the author presents Jesus as the crucified, cosmic Christ (see Col 1:15-20), which will help us to understand the early Christian reaction to heresies such as this one in Colossae, and investigate the relationship between angelology and Christology. <![CDATA[<b>An eco theological reflection on Christian-ethical implications of stem cell research and therapy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The new biotechnological context in which in vitro fertilisation, the human genome project, and stem cell research have become realities, confronts both society and theology with unique challenges. These realities compel us to revisit ethical questions regarding human life. The main aim of this study is to contribute to the transversal debate about Christian ethics, natural sciences and biotechnological development, from a post-foundational perspective. The research results do not aim to lay down ethical rules as absolute truths, but rather to reflect on different viewpoints, values, characteristics, virtues, moral narratives and perspectives with regard to these complex ethical dilemmas. The broadening of moral narratives, and the revaluing of relational Christian-anthropological perspectives, are being presented as an alternative to the strict monolithically orientated ideas of truth, objectivity and reason. <![CDATA[<b>Loving God... unto death</b>: <b>the witness of the early Christians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article focuses on the social and theological dynamics that drove early Christ-followers to understand martyrdom as being a legitimate and honourable way by means of which to demonstrate love for God to the uttermost limits. Martyrdom is rooted much earlier in the Jewish tradition, though it received new impetus from the second century AD onwards. The study seeks to trace its raison d'être within the pages of the New Testament, both in the sayings of Jesus and the letters of Paul. It is argued that the apostle's theology of suffering provided sufficient grounds for such an understanding, which finds in Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, one of its major representatives. Finally, the study seeks to reflect on the plausible actualisation of non-bloody martyrdom for today's Christian discipleship, if it has any relevance at all. <![CDATA[<b>Matthew studies today - a willingness to suspect and a willingness to listen</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The aim of the article is to describe the state of Matthean studies by means of Paul Ricoeur's notion of the 'hermeneutical arc'. The focus will be on the relationship of women in Matthew's gospel to the male disciples. The article's point of departure is that Matthean exegesis is at a crossroads. Pivotal to proceeding beyond the crossroads is the hermeneutical aspect of a willingness to suspect and a willingness to listen. Such a willingness includes suspicion with regard to outdated values explicitly advocated by the text and a genuine listening to unarticulated voices that remain hidden because of ideologies that render them inaudible. In the process of understanding, the focus should be on issues of morality rather than on the mere accumulation of knowledge. Seen from this perspective, the article provides a preview of facets in Matthean studies that could become prominent in future. <![CDATA[<b>A triadic construct in Jubilees 30</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Publications on Old Testament ethics often use triadic constructs to explain the moral impact of Biblical passages. In Genesis 11:27-50:26, Ezra 9:6-15, Nehemiah 7:72b-10:40, Damascus Document (CD) V:1, 2-6 and Jubilees 8-9 and 23, constructs of three interrelated concepts are used, all related to the issue of marriage. This paper investigates the story of Dinah's ravishment in the book of Jubilees 30:1-25 and compares it to the original rendition in Genesis 33:18-34:31. The conclusion is drawn that both renditions use a construct of three interrelated concepts. Genesis uses a triad of progeny, marriage and land. The book of Jubilees uses an interrelated construction of Law, identity and marriage. In Jubilees the focus is shifted from the shame of Dinah's rape to the shame of intermarriage between different groups in Jubilees. Here a cultic-oriented person links the laws revealed to Moses with his particular view on intermarriage and purity/impurity. His purpose is to propagate a new purified identity for the Jews of his day. <![CDATA[<b>Theological training in the AFM church</b>: <b>investigative and developing (perspectives) for the new millennium</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article will focus on the findings of two Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastors in their research concerning theological training. It may help role players in the AFM, as well as in the broader church context, to evaluate current theological training material, and indicates the importance of a continuous theological training programme for pastors. The need to equip pastors to be more effective in their different roles, poses an enormous challenge in these times. At the AFM's General Business Meeting in May 2008, constitutional amendments were approved that pave the way for having a single institution for theological training in the AFM. This new theological institution faces a major challenge, namely that of establishing relevant theological training for the South African context, in order to avert the danger of being identified as an elitist, irrelevant work group with its own pastor's language that is understood by a small group of insiders only. <![CDATA[<b>A generous ontology</b>: <b>identity as a process of intersubjective discovery - an African theological contribution</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The answer to the question 'who am I?' is of fundamental importance to being human. Answers to this question have traditionally been sought from various disciplines and sources, which include empirical sources, such as biology and sociology, and phenomenological sources, such as psychology and religion. Although the approaches are varied, they have the notion of foundational truth, whether from an objective or subjective perspective, in common. The question of human identity that is the subject of this paper is germinated from the title of a book by WITS academic, Ivor Chipkin, entitled, Do South Africans exist? Nationalism, democracy and the identity of 'the people' (2007). This paper does not discuss Chipkin's thoughts on nationalism and democracy; however, it considered the matter of human identity that is raised by his question. The approach taken by this paper on the notion of identity was significantly influenced by Brian McLaren's postmodernist approach to Christian doctrine as outlined in his book A generous orthodoxy (2004) - a term coined by Yale Theologian, Hans Frei. The inadequacies of traditional approaches to human identity and consciousness that are based upon 'foundational knowledge' were thus considered. Both subjective and objective approaches to identity were touched upon, showing the weaknesses of these approaches in dealing with the complex nature of true human identity. The paper then presented an integrative framework for individual consciousness that is not static or ultimately quantifiable, but rather formulated in the process of mutual discovery that arises from a shared journey. The approach presented here drew strongly upon the groundbreaking work of Ken Wilber and Eugene de Quincey and related their ontological systems to the intersubjective approach to identity that can be found in the African philosophy and theology of 'ubuntu'. This paper focused on how the ethics and theology of this indigenous knowledge system can contribute toward overcoming the impasse of validating individual identity in contemporary academic debates on human consciousness. <![CDATA[<b>Cultural comparisons for healing and exorcism narratives in Matthew's Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100024&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Majority World readings of Matthew (and the Gospels generally) often help us to appreciate the very sorts of stories that seem most alien to readers in the West: stories of unusual cures and exorcisms of hostile spirits. Rather than simply allegorising these narratives, many Majority World readers treat them as models for experiencing healing and deliverance. Accounts of these experiences appear in a wide variety of cultures; in addition to a range of published sources, the article includes some material based on the author's interviews with people claiming first-hand experiences of this nature in the Republic of Congo. Such readings invite a more sympathetic hearing of some Gospel narratives than they often receive in the West. <![CDATA[<b>Five loaves and two fishes</b>: <b>an empirical study in psychological type and biblical hermeneutics among Anglican preachers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100025&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking (SIFT) method of biblical hermeneutics and liturgical preaching has its roots in three fields: a theology of individual differences situated within the doctrine of creation, an application of Jungian psychological-type theory and empirical observation. The present study tested the empirical foundations for this method by examining the psychological-type profile of two groups of Anglican preachers (24 licensed readers in England and 22 licensed clergy in Northern Ireland) and by examining the content of their preaching according to their dominant psychological-type preferences. These data provided further support for the psychological principles underpinning the SIFT method of biblical hermeneutics and liturgical preaching. <![CDATA[<b>Suggestions for future study of rhetoric and Matthew's Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100026&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Because the Gospel writers addressed audiences in the Graeco-Roman world with various degrees of familiarity with standard rhetoric, rhetoric provides a helpful check on modern speculations about ancient speech and argument. Nevertheless, parallels with such rhetoric in Matthew, helpful as they are, tend to occur at a more general level and rarely on the level of specific wording. A more fruitful endeavour may be a comparison with rhetorical techniques in other ancient biographies. Beyond general urban Mediterranean rhetoric, however, a specific style of rhetoric emerges within Jesus' teachings. Because Matthew contains so much material about Jesus the Galilean sage, examining Jewish sage rhetoric proves particularly helpful for understanding his work and that of the traditional material on which he draws. <![CDATA[<b>An analytical perspective on the fellowship narrative of Genesis 18:1-15</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100027&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The narrative in Genesis 18:1-15 deals with God's visit to Abraham at Mamre. The general tendency in the interpretation of this narrative is to focus on Abraham's hospitality. It is usually interpreted as an example of his righteousness, in line with Hebrews 13:2, or with the test motive of the Greek myth of the birth of Orion. These interpretations, however, seem to be in conflict with the narrator's own theological views. This study, therefore, attempts to explore the view point of the author of the Fellowship Narrative (Gn 18:1-15) within the context of the larger Abraham narrative (Gn 11:27-25:11). The method used for the investigation is mainly that of narrative criticism. Attention is paid to the narrator's various literary skills: 'linking structure with preceding episode' (Gn 18:1a), the 'sandwiched structure' of the larger context (Gn 18:1-21:7), the unique plot sequence, as well as repeated clue words and phrases (such as 'laugh', 'Sarah' and 'this time next year'). These literary aspects are used by the narrator to depict the faithfulness of the Lord who fulfils what he promised. The conclusion of this study overturns the traditional interpretations of the Fellowship Narrative. <![CDATA[<b>Jesus the village psychiatrist</b>: <b>a summary</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100028&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper was a response to a panel discussion on the author's book, Jesus the village psychiatrist, published by Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, 2008 which formed part of the Society of Biblical Literature's Psychology and Biblical Studies Section, 21-24 November 2009, New Orleans, LA. The response consisted of an explanation of somatoform disorders, a summary of the book and the following case studies: the case of Fraulein Elisabeth, the case of paralytics, the case of blind persons, the demon-possessed boy, the case of the woman with a haemorrhage, the healings of lepers and the woman who cared for Jesus. The paper concluded with a discussion on words and their power to cure. It illustrated how symptomatology had changed from paralysis in the 19th century to chronic fatigue in the first half of the 20th century to stress today. <![CDATA[<b>Understanding Jesus healings</b>: <b>shrinking history and Donald Capps's different thinking cap</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100029&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is a critical appraisal of Donald Capps's interpretation of the significance of Jesus' healings for today. It focuses on Capps's recently published book, Jesus the village psychiatrist. Capps sees Jesus as the 'forerunner' of the modern psychological profession. In his book he demonstrates that mental illnesses were known in antiquity. Referring to Sigmund Freud's insights into the psychological phenomenon, hysteria, Capps interprets mental illness as 'somatoform disorders'. According to Capps, Jesus' deeds of healing should not be considered 'miracles' because this implies that they contradict natural laws. Building on the insights of historical Jesus research, Capps shows that these deeds of Jesus were performed 'at the tension points between village and city, family and parents and children and between siblings'. Capps believes Jesus was a 'psychiatrist' because he 'studied', 'treated' and 'prevented' disorders of the mind. This article investigates the possibility whether Capps falls into the trap of 'psychological fallacy'. The finding is that he does not; he deliberately avoids individualistic and ethnocentric anachronism. Nevertheless, the article criticises Capps's indifference with regard to the social-scientific distinction between illness and disease, and curing and healing, respectively. Capps's interpretation could be augmented by medical and anthropological insights and current studies on alternated states of consciousness. <![CDATA[<b>Church discipline - <i>semper reformanda</i> in reformation perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100030&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Church discipline - is semper reformanda in a time and space warp? Church discipline has become an anachronism in the life of the Christian faith community. In part, this results from a misunderstanding of the fundamental meaning of the term. Its early emphasis was on spiritual nurture, discipling people into the faith and into a relationship with one another and God. By the time of the Reformation, it took on a legalistic and rigid form that militated against its earlier approach. This resulted from a misunderstanding of key reformers from the Reforming tradition such as John Calvin and John Knox, who were concerned to build up individuals within the Christian community to become responsible members of society. In this way, discipline is transformative of individuals and society. The work of discipline was closely related both to pastoral care and Christian education and offered a corrective to Medieval discipline, where the concept of discipline was distorted when the use of punitive discipline as a last resort was elevated to become the norm. This situation was replicated in the post-Reformation period. Consequently, it now needs to be rehabilitated in the form of discipling or mentorship in order to restore its usefulness as an educative tool in the process of the pilgrimage towards the kingdom of God. <![CDATA[<b>Oracle against Israel's social injustices</b>: <b>a rhetorical analysis of Amos 2:6-8</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100031&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article applied rhetorical analysis to an analysis of Amos' prophetic oracle against Israel's social injustices in Amos 2:6-8. The prophet uses a major rhetorical genre, namely judicial rhetoric, and several smaller rhetorical devices including the oracle against the nations, geographical chiasmus, numerical formula (the N+1 formula), the sevenfold structure, rhetorical entrapment, repetition, the war oracle, parallel structure and chiasms. These devices are utilised by Amos to make a persuasive appeal to his audience to respond to divine indictment. <![CDATA[<b>The crumbling of the Augustinian paradigm of theology? A critical discussion of Cornelis Blom's book <i>Zonder grond onder de voeten</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100032&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The book Zonder grond onder de voeten (i.e. Without any foundation) is the published doctoral thesis which Cornelis Blom submitted at the Free University of Amsterdam. It focuses on evil in creation, and addresses the question: Who is responsible - God or humans? Christian theologians used to conclude (after reading Genesis 1-3) that humans are responsible. Blom, however, takes his cue from the book of Job, and comes to a totally different conclusion. According to his reading of Job and Genesis 1-4, there was no 'fall' from a perfect world. Evil existed right from the beginning, and God did not banish it from the world in which humans have to live. The article raises a number of questions concerning Blom's approach, analyses and conclusions. <![CDATA[<b>Holistic redemptive pastoral ministry in the fragmented transit hall of existence</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100033&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The grand narratives have all but gone - what is left are numerous narratives, each addressing a certain aspect of our lives; there is a different narrative for our professional lives, another for our family lives, for our social lives and yet another for our spiritual lives. We find ourselves in this 'transit hall', forever changing flights or trains, depending on which narrative sphere we are entering or leaving. In each narrative we take on a different character, defined and shaped by the specificities of that narrative. Thus, 'transition' in the sense of change can no longer be understood as only linear, but as constant and multidimensional. With the use of Lacan's discourse theory, this fragmented existence will be unpacked and a redemptive alternative sought. This paper is an attempt to address this multi-narrative existence without imposing yet another grand narrative. Thus it focuses on offering a narrative space that is, (1) holistic, in the sense that it addresses all the different narratives, (2) pastoral, in that it addresses the person and (3) redemptive, in that it offers something new, meaningful and hopeful. Such a narrative space moves the church from its 'ghetto mindset', where traditions and values are maintained, to being fully open and vulnerable to the present reality, whilst yearning for the Messianic to reveal an alternative future. <![CDATA[<b>Römisch-katholische Kirche und mediale Kommunikation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100034&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Since the world today is so significantly shaped by media technologies, it has become crucial for organizations, institutions and political parties to embrace this phenomenon in order for them to be able to communicate their message and programmes effectively. If they fail to do so, they in effect fail to exist in the public consciousness. Mass media hugely influence how culture is created: intelligence, artistic talent and technological innovation become visible through the media. The Roman Catholic Church, the world's largest religious organization has, for the longest time, on the one hand denied the influence of the media, while on the other hand calling it 'the work of evil'. When the Church eventually came to acknowledge the media as a powerful force, it proceeded to use this power as a mouthpiece for its authorities. The Catholic Church is still not wholly at ease with the media. The question is whether the Catholic Church has sufficiently familiarized itself with how the media function, in order to utilise the media to communicate the Church's message to a large public audience. Against the background of ecclesial documents this article investigates the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the media as it has developed over the past 50 years. <![CDATA[<b>The forming of a contemporary understanding of church office</b>: <b>Jesus' calling to discipleship</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100035&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article aimed to examine the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika's (NHKA) understanding of church office, and measure it against 'office' or ministries in the New Testament, and more specifically against Jesus' calling to discipleship in Mark 8:34. The relevance of the historical Jesus for contemporary church theology is indicated by the 'essential' (Sache) continuity that exists between the historical Jesus and the church today. The article concludes that Jesus' calling to discipleship in Mark 8:34 implies a certain understanding of office. The essence of this calling is servitude based on self-denial, the taking up of one's cross, and the following of Jesus. Subsequently, a few remarks are made on the NHKA's understanding of church office, as described in the NHKA church ordinance. The aim is for these remarks to serve as a guideline for the NHKA to form a contemporary understanding of church office. The concluding remarks have been derived from the results of the study on Jesus' calling to discipleship, with the aim of ensuring that the NHKA serves and works in correspondence with the Word of God. This service occurs in a world very different from the one in which Jesus lived and served. <![CDATA[<b>The impact and effects of trauma resulting from excommunication</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100036&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article will attempt to critically analyse various aspects of the state of trauma. It will analyse the impact, consequences and effects of trauma resultant from excommunication of clergy and how the practice has been handed down through the ages. The ultimate aim of the authors is an understanding of how excommunication evolved throughout the ages and the nature of its impact on the victims or survivors thereof. The author's own first-hand encounter prompted him to research this subject. It is imperative to look at the scientific application of the ritual as it affects all the stakeholders and participants, active or passive. An overview of various biblical eras will be given, including the Old Testament prophets, Christ's own views as well as the period of St Paul in the New Testament. <![CDATA[<b><i>Midrash</i></b><b> as exegetical approach of early Jewish exegesis, with some examples from the Book of Ruth</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100037&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article deals with the exegetical approach of the early Jewish school. It discusses the meaning and definition of midrash as a distinctive approach in Jewish interpretation. The relationship between midrash and exegesis is also examined. It is shown how the process of interpretation is affected by the use of midrash principles. It is also pointed out that the ancient interpretative method of midrash had social relevancy. The midrashic interpreters maintained the interest of the community and fulfilled the needs of their generation. The conclusion is drawn that early Jewish exegetes did not explain the text for its inherent meaning, but rather for its use in personal purposes. They tended to read some agendas and issues into the text from the exegetes themselves and their surrounding backgrounds. They aimed to meet the requirement of the social and political expectations of their reader community. Interpretation was used as a tool for this purpose. This exegetical trend is finally illustrated with some examples of interpretation of the Book of Ruth. <![CDATA[<b>Religion in the public sphere</b>: <b>what can public theology learn from Habermas's latest work?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100038&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The complex and problematic role of religion in the public sphere in modern, democratic societies raises many questions for a public theology. The aim of this article is to contribute to the ongoing debate about the task and methods of public theology by asking what we can learn from the ideas of Jürgen Habermas. Habermas was a leading participant in the thinking process on the secularisation thesis in Western societies. His view was that religion will eventually disappear from the public scene due to the rationalisation of society. In recent years he seems to have changed this view in the light of new developments in the world. He now maintains that religion has something important to offer in the public sphere. Religion could thus participate in this public discussion, provided that it satisfies strict conditions. We argue that public theology can learn from Habermas's recent ideas regarding religion in the public sphere: attention should be paid to the cognitive potential of religion, especially regarding the importance of the lifeworld and the role of religion in social solidarity with the needy and vulnerable; hermeneutical self-reflection is important; a distinction should be made between the role of religion in faith communities and in public life; we have to accept that we live in a secular state; and we have to learn the possibilities and impossibilities of translating from religious vocabulary into a secular vocabulary in order to be able to participate in the discussions in the public sphere. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness and public discourse in European societies - a German perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100039&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The role of prophetic witness of the churches in the public discourse of modern civil societies is analysed on the basis of three public memorandums of the German Protestant churches on economic questions and their impact on the public. Among the ten systematic conclusions which are drawn from this case study is the importance of the specific context for the role of prophetic statements. The article tries to show how prophetic witness is a necessary element of a public theology, which is not based on fundamental criticism, but develops both critical and constructive perspectives for politics and society. If such public theology is liberation theology for a democratic society it is the task of the church to get involved in the public debate in a 'bilingual' way, that is, on the basis of its biblical-theological sources but at the same time with the ability to engage in the secular language of pluralistic societies. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness</b>: <b>an appropriate mode of public discourse in the democratic South Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100040&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The question asked in the heading was answered in this article in four steps. In the first step, an attempt was made to find an accurate account of biblical prophecy by means of a critical discussion of certain influential interpretations of it. In the second step, the extent to which biblical prophecy could serve as a model for contemporary Christians was discussed and an acceptable Christian model of prophetic witness was formulated by drawing on the views of different authors. In the third step, the impact of democracy on the prophetic witness of the church was discussed. The Dutch theologian, Gerrit de Kruijf's view that the public prophetic witness of the church is not appropriate in democratic societies was criticised and the legitimacy of certain forms of prophetic witness in such societies defended. In the final step, a number of examples of the prophetic witness that is needed in the present democratic South Africa were provided. <![CDATA[<b>The origin of prophetism in the Ancient Near East</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100041&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article aimed to give an overview of the early attestations to prophecy in the Ancient Near East (ANE) in order to stimulate reflection on what could be understood by 'prophetism'. The most extant sources for prophetic oracles in the ANE were uncovered at the royal archives of Mari and Nineveh, therefore some evidence of these sites has been indicated. Consequently the distinction between 'inductive' and 'non-inductive' forms of divination was also discussed. Furthermore it was questioned whether the critique against ANE-prophecy as 'Heilsprophetie' ('salvation') as opposed to the 'Unheilsprophetie' ('doom') of Old Testament can still be upheld. Finally some notes of caution were raised with regard to the careless appropriation of the term 'prophetism' in the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>Is prophetic witness the appropriate mode of Christian participation in public discourse in the Netherlands?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Dutch Protestantism is characterised by a hidden tension between a theocratic tradition and the endorsement of democracy. In this article it is argued that the idea of prophetic witness has its roots in the theocratic tradition, and that it is not compatible with the endorsement of democracy. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness in the Hebrew Bible</b>: <b>from prophetic word to prophetic books</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100043&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Although prophecy as a phenomenon is recognised as being common to Mari, Mesopotamia and other Near Eastern contexts, the huge process of collecting, editing and interpreting prophecy that took place as part of the formation of the Hebrew Bible (HB), is virtually without precedent in the rest of the Ancient Near East. The prophetic books in the HB are written texts. They claim to be, and were considered to be, the word of YHWH. Beginning with an overview of the prophets and prophetic literature, including an explication of the different terms used for 'prophet' in the HB, this article focused on the different images for the prophets as used in the biblical tradition and particularly on, (1) the prophet as individual against the establishment, (2) the prophet as a false prophet and (3) the prophet as a true servant of Yahweh. It seems that most of the traditions in the HB concerning the prophets are not descriptions of the actuality of prophecy, but, rather, they reflect later perceptions of prophecy in the development of the tradition. Although they are not entirely imagination, images of the prophets in the HB should not be taken as descriptions of prophecy in Judah and Israel. The characterisations of the prophets are ideological constructs of the later tradents of the texts projected onto Israel's and Judah's past. <![CDATA[<b>Is prophetic witness the appropriate mode of public discourse on the global economy?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100044&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article critically addressed various aspects of prophetic ministry and its impact on public life, especially within the context of the global village. Prophetic ministry was shaped by Jesus' prophetic role in his own ministry, which was portrayed in language by Luke, who wrote that Jesus began his ministry by saying: 'The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, and recovery of sight to blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed' (Lk 4:18). These words open up a way of challenging ministers in engaging in prophetic ministry in the public arena. Prophets always address injustices that isolate and destroy God's image in others. In other words, the role of prophetic ministry becomes an important element that needs to be addressed, especially with regard to the economic structures that oppress the poor in the global village of today. This kind of ministry also focuses on the often unheard voice of the oppressed. Finally, the main question that this article posed was whether prophets can play an important role in today's community. <![CDATA[<b>The prophetic witness of the church as an appropriate mode of public discourse in African societies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100045&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A discussion on the prophetic witness of the church is relevant in many respects. Firstly, most African countries have embraced democracy, without defining its contents; hence, democracy practised in Africa varies from one country to another. Secondly, democracy, itself, has left unpredictable consequences in African societies, where its leaders have cherished what they gain from leadership, rather than thinking in terms of community development. Thirdly, many people have lost confidence in the church in times of misery. The need for a solution to social crisis has created room for alternative modes of public discourse that compete with the church's prophetic voice of: 'Thus says the Lord'. Fourthly, churches seem to have established a dichotomy between theology and societal realities. Fifthly, the church has, so far, concentrated most of its efforts on evangelising to the regular faithful who attend the Sunday service and other meetings and have rather neglected those on the streets. Lastly, 'armchair sermons', coupled with the effect of democracy seem to have moulded passive and expectant citizens, rather than challenge them to strive for a committed and responsible stewardship. These reasons, and others, account for the situation of misery and underdevelopment of African societies; hence, the need for the development of a 'relevant theology' that marches with African realities. <![CDATA[<b>A prophet of old</b>: <b>Jesus the 'public theologian'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100046&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article the argument is put forward that Jesus' parables portray him as a social prophet, as many of the issues addressed by Old Testament prophets (such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea) are common themes in Jesus' parables. As proof for and further elaboration on the abovementioned argument, two of these themes from Jesus' parables, religious inclusivity and social injustice, are discussed. It is concluded that if public theology is understood as public theologians doing theology in public, Jesus was a 'public theologian' par excellence. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic Theology in Black Theology, with special reference to the <i>Kairos document</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100047&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The 'Protest' and 'Confessing' Models in the streams of Black Theology of liberation provide a creative link between the Prophetic Theology in the Kairos document (KD) and the Black Theology of liberation. Launched in a distinct moment of history - an 'opportune moment' - the KD propagated the best responses among some and the worst among others as a rapturous critique of State and Church theologies. In this article, I argued that the KD, which remains a version of liberation theology par excellence, offers a methodology that is still appropriate to our democratisation processes in South Africa. The KD is the product of a theology that did not only expand the contours of traditional theology, but also understood confession as a political praxis. Thus, the interest of the poor should still mitigate forth-telling in our democratic vision in dialogue inspired by the alluring prophetic vision of an alternative community based on the principles of the reign of God. <![CDATA[<b>Review article</b>: <b>Jesus' resurrection in Joseph's garden</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100048&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article is a lengthy review of the book Jesus' resurrection in Joseph's garden by P.J.W. (Flip) Schutte. The book represents a quest to trace the relationship between Jesus' resurrection, myth and canon. Schutte finds the origin of events underlying the biblical canon in proclamation. His focus in the book is the proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ, which, in its developmental stages, hinged on the life and death of the historical Jesus. Proclamation developed into a mythical narrative that became the foundational myth for the Christ cult, validating its existence and rituals. With the growth and institutionalisation of the faith community (church), came an increased production of literature, causing the power-wielding orthodoxy to identify a body of literature containing the 'truth' and 'correct teaching', thus establishing the authoritative canon. In, through, behind and beyond Jesus of Nazareth, Schutte has perceived a canon behind the canon: a God of love. In Jesus, the man of myth with historical roots who has become to us the observable face of God, Schutte confesses the kerygma to open up before him. The proclamation therefore extends an invitation to join in a mythological experience and an encounter with God whose love is preached in the metaphor called Easter. <![CDATA[<b>Review article</b>: <b>the mountain motif in the plot of Matthew</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000100049&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reviewed T.L. Donaldson's book, Jesus on the mountain: A study in Matthean theology, published in 1985 by JSOT Press, Sheffield, and focused on the mountain motif in the structure and plot of the Gospel of Matthew, in addition to the work of Donaldson on the mountain motif as a literary motif and as theological symbol. The mountain is a primary theological setting for Jesus' ministry and thus is an important setting, serving as one of the literary devices by which Matthew structured and progressed his narrative. The Zion theological and eschatological significance and Second Temple Judaism serve as the historical and theological background for the mountain motif. The last mountain setting (Mt 28:16-20) is the culmination of the three theological themes in the plot of Matthew, namely Christology, ecclesiology and salvation history.