Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220110001&lang=es vol. 67 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Foreword to the Van Aarde Festschrift</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Editorial to the Van Aarde Festschrift</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Poem</b>: <b>dedicated to Andries G. van Aarde by Lina Spies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Andries van Aarde - A sideways glance</b>: <b>His theological and hermeneutical contribution to the South African scene</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article pays tribute to Andries van Aarde's theological and hermeneutical contribution. His research unfolds in three phases: a narrative reading of the text, a social scientific investigation of the context and an 'ideal construct' of the historical Jesus. Despite the theoretical nature of these inquiries, Van Aarde indicates convincingly their practical value for the church and society on the whole. <![CDATA[<b>Seeing the world through the eyes of Andries van Aarde</b>: <b>Radical inclusivity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the article the author reflected on her personal and existential experience of a journey to Egypt, and how this highlights radical inclusivity. The article focused on the issues of the violence of poverty, the history of Coptic Christianity and the role of women within this tradition. The article touched on aspects such as 'women monks', ecclesiastical hierarchy in modern Coptic Christianity, and the ordination of clergy. It also considered the perspective of 'social hierarchy' and 'spiritual or divine hierarchy'. <![CDATA[<b>Andries van Aarde as historical Jesus scholar</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article focuses on Andries van Aarde's work on the historical Jesus and especially his book, Fatherless in Galilee, which made an important contribution to historical Jesus study in South Africa. In the first part of the article Van Aarde's historical and social approaches are highlighted, his ongoing reflection on the resurrection described and his work on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas accentuated. In the second part we discuss Van Aarde's depiction of Jesus as someone who grew up fatherless. For Jesus this meant a lifelong struggle against slander and exclusion from the temple and the presence of God. Jesus nevertheless trusted God who filled Jesus' emptiness. Jesus was baptised and then started a ministry, focusing on the outcasts of society. He preached that the kingdom of God had come and that the people of this kingdom could experience God, as well as forgiveness of sins. Jesus died but arose in the kerygma. The article also refers to the struggle of the authors of the New Testament writings to understand and express the Jesus event. <![CDATA[<b>Andries van Aarde's Matthew Interpretation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article focused on Andries van Aarde's interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew. It argues that Van Aarde has changed his approach to Matthew in the course of time. At the beginning of his career he focused on structural analysis and even made a contribution to the Gattung problem from a structural perspective. Then his attention shifted to narrative criticism and social-scientific criticism. Van Aarde's consistent narratological interpretation of Matthew enabled him to identify Matthew's ideology and to determine the way in which it took shape on the surface structure. This narratological investigation also shed new light on, amongst others, the parables, the characters and the problem of direct and indirect discourse. To conclude the article, some critical statements with regard to the historical understanding of the Gospel of Matthew were formulated. <![CDATA[<b>What does the end of traditional metaphysical language about God mean? In conversation with New Testament scholar Andries Gideon van Aarde on his understanding of a post-secular spirituality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es South African New Testament scholar Van Aarde's explorative search for a new direction in theological reflection is explicated in this article with reference to his discussion of Peter Berger and Charles Taylor's contemporary contributions, which Van Aarde takes as vantage point to articulate the meaning of his 'courage to be a religious person today'. The articulation of his 'courage' to pursue a post-theistic understanding of a contemporary Christian religiosity (read: spirituality) that is non-fundamentalistic, non-populist and post-secular is discussed. At the same time, the basic tenets of his explorations are indicated, being constituted - negatively - by a de-centering of the power of institutional religion and, positively, by the enchantment of a Biblical hermeneutics that does not emphasise a proposition-like and moral code-like reading strategy. Finally, his 'new direction', which finds expression in the articulation of a 'spirituality of living faith', is scrutinised. It exposes the shortcomings in his (individualistic) exposition within the new correlation of modernisation and pluralism, causing it subsequently to bypass the necessary contemporary outcome in social embodiment. <![CDATA[<b>The divine favour of the unworthy</b>: <b>when the fatherless son meets the Black Messiah</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article engages with Andries van Aarde's 2001 work on the historical Jesus, Fatherless in Galilee: Jesus as Child of God. It poses the question whether Van Aarde succeeds in overcoming the shortcomings of Western, Euro-centric, male dominated scholarship and making a different kind of conversation with non-Western Christians possible. The article explores the new ways in which Van Aarde speaks of the historical Jesus and interrogates the consequences of his main thesis, namely that to understand the historical Jesus properly, one needs to understand the most determining fact of Jesus' life, specifically his fatherlessness. The article finds that Van Aarde's fatherless Jesus opens up heretofore unexplored possibilities for the ongoing discussion with liberation theologies, in particular Black liberation theology. However, it raises the question whether Van Aarde does justice to his own new insights by interacting with Western theological scholarship alone. The fatherless Jesus and the Black Messiah meet in South Africa, where the cause of the fatherless Jesus has been so shamefully betrayed and where the divine favour of the Black Messiah needs to be gloriously embraced. <![CDATA[<b>A son in heaven, but no father on earth</b>: <b>A note in the margin of a 'Tale of Two Kings'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article is meant to offer a comment on the thesis of Andries G. van Aarde about the so-called fatherlessness of Jesus. The author argues for a more critical disposition towards a historical-psychological approach of ancient texts. Jesus' attitude towards children, which is illustrated in Mark 10:1316, and the story of Jesus' birth and of Herod's reaction to it as told by Matthew, are used as test cases. <![CDATA[<b>Homeless in Galilee</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article has located Jesus' saying about homelessness in the context of the Roman Empire as it was experienced in Galilee. Homelessness is part of a broader picture that translates into loss of access to the resources of the land. The thesis is that in light of a theology of land resulting from the development of Abrahamic covenant traditions and the prophetic hope expressed especially in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Psalm 37, Jesus proclaimed God's kingdom as God's rule over heaven and earth, which implicates restoration of equitable access to the resources of the earth. The Lord's Prayer, presumptions about the water of Jacob's well in John 4 and the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16 are used to demonstrate understandings of violations of equitable access according to Abrahamic covenant traditions and the hope for the restoration thereof. <![CDATA[<b>'What you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven' (Mt 16:19)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article has been a homiletic reflection on the well-known words in Matthew 16:19. The explication and application of these words have been theologically contextualised with respect to current debates amongst theologians in the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk. The original meaning of this verse relates to the rabbinical tradition of interpretation of the Torah. Matthew pictures Jesus as the new teacher (like Moses), who gave a new interpretation of the law. In rabbinical language, his teachings are 'binding' and 'loosening', or, as translated in the Good News Bible (1933), they permit and prohibit. In the history of the reformed tradition, this verse was mostly interpreted from a judicial perspective as the authority to excommunicate or to include. To a great extent and especially in certain circles, the tradition of interpretation became static because of the authority of a 'final' interpretation attached to the creeds of the church. However, the original meaning of this verse is the authority, and commands us continuously to interpret the meaning of the gospel in the context of the present-day situation. <![CDATA[<b>Do not worry in Kinywang'anga</b>: <b>Reading Matthew 6:25-34 in a Tanzanian village</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es One of the presumptions of this article is that most of the people in the nascent 'Christian' communities were ordinary people struggling with questions of living under harsh conditions in a country that was occupied by an enemy force. Another presumption is that the history of these ordinary people from antiquity needs to be heard. The article aimed, with the help of archaeology, cultural anthropology, social history of antiquity, literature of the time as well as other disciplines, to create a social context of Jesus and his disciples. The article approached the Gospels in the New Testament from the poor, the majority of people living in the 1st century Roman Empire. It gives a brief analysis of one of the poverty texts, namely Matthew 6:25-34. By means of interviews, stories of villagers in Tanzania, as well as their interpretations of the Gospel texts, have been documented. The people of Kinywang'anga serve as a test case for reading the 'do not worry' exhortation in the Matthean passage. <![CDATA[<b>The pacifist Jesus and the violent Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Gospel of Matthew presents two starkly different depictions of Jesus. The earthly Jesus of the past is a pacifist who teaches non-violence, compassion, non-retaliation, forgiveness and love of enemies, and he lives his life according to these ideals. The other Jesus is the eschatological figure of judgement who is the antithesis of the earthly Jesus. This Jesus is violent, merciless and vengeful in his treatment of the wicked. The evangelist constructed and promoted this terrible figure of judgement to assist his readers to cope with certain situations of crisis, but in doing so he paid a steep christological price by presenting Jesus in contradictory terms. <![CDATA[<b>'Laat uw Naam geheiligd worden'</b>: <b>Een uiting van eerbied aan God</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Along with Norman Metzler, I will argue that the first petition of the Lord's prayer: 'Hallowed be thy Name' (Mt 6:9b) is not the first petition in proper sense. It rather can be seen as a 'parenthetical doxological phrase' that describes closer the address 'Our Father in Heaven' (Mt 6:9b), following examples in both Jewish and Muslim traditions. The question will be raised whether the devotional address to God is not a stronger base for respectful co-existence and dialogue with each other than a rather general moral demand of 'having respect for each other'? <![CDATA[<b>'Suffering Violence' and the kingdom of heaven (Mt 11:12)</b>: <b>A Matthean manual for life in a time of war</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Matthew's Gospel has much to say about 'suffering violence'. As Jesus comments (11:12, NRSV), 'From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force'. Through his narrative rhetoric Matthew offers multi-layered perspectives on life lived vis--vis ongoing violence. These perspectives reflect (1) the experiences of the righteous as they encounter violence, (2) the words of Jesus depicting or predicting the sufferings of himself and others, (3) the words of Jesus calling people to faithful responses to violence, and (4) Matthew's own narrative rhetoric offering theological reflection on the suffering of the righteous. This study examines the Matthean theme of 'suffering violence'; the first section focuses on the nature and cause of the violence faced by the righteous; the second section focuses both on Jesus' call to faithful responses to violence and on actual lived responses to violence; the final section focuses on the rhetorical strategy of Matthew's narrative in relation to the question of violence and assesses Matthew's theological reflections on the suffering of the righteous. The study concludes with brief reflections on the present-day implications of Matthew's text for life 'in a time of war'. <![CDATA[<b>Memory, collective memory, orality and the gospels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article first explores individual memory as understood from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans to modern-day neurology and psychology. The perspective is correlated with collective memory theory in the works of Halbwachs, Connerton, Gillis, Fentress and Wickham, Olick, Schwartz, Jan and Alida Assmann and Kirk and Thatcher. The relevance of 'orality' is highlighted in Kelber's works, as well as in oral poetry performance by illiterate Yugoslavian bards, as discussed in studies by Parry, Lord and Havelock. Kelber's challenge of Bultmann's theory of oral tradition in the gospels is also covered. The article concludes with observations and reflections, opting for a position of moderate-to-strong constructionism. <![CDATA[<b>Social-scientific criticism</b>: <b>Perspective, process and payoff. Evil eye accusation at Galatia as illustration of the method</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article explores a presentation of the method, emergence and contribution of social-scientific criticism (SSC) as an inter-disciplinary operation of New Testament exegesis. A description of ancient evil eye belief and practice and its appearance in Paul's letter to the Galatians illustrates how the method contributes to a more accurate translation of the biblical text, a clarification of its logic and a fuller understanding of the social dynamics involving Paul and his opponents. <![CDATA[<b>The Jesus of Paul</b>: <b>A contribution from the social sciences</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100019&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The letters of Paul speak more frequently of the resurrected and exalted Jesus than they do of the earthly Jesus. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the apostle and his addressees did not know the teachings and main events of Jesus' life. Their insistence as to the heavenly identity of Jesus is as likely to have been motivated by contextual factors which guided the development of the primitive Christological confessions which Paul received in the years after his conversion. This article will focus on two of these factors: the configuration of the Christian communities of the Diaspora as foreign cults in a context of religious plurality and the new revelatory experiences which triggered the formation of a binitarian faith. Determining the relationship between Jesus and Paul is one of the fundamental tasks of those who, like Prof. Andries van Aarde, study the origins of Christianity and the beginnings of Christian theology. The basic question in this regard, at least as it has been formulated recently by David Wenham (1995), is whether Paul was a follower of Jesus or the founder of Christianity (see also Wedderburn (1989) and Barbaglio (2006)). In this brief article, I would like to consider one aspect of this general topic and to offer a few suggestions that might contribute to a better understanding of the peculiar vision of Jesus that we find in the letters of Paul. In them, in fact, the apostle moves from the incarnation to the death and resurrection, leaving in the shadows the activity and teaching of Jesus to which the gospels subsequently give so much importance. This contrast raises some questions concerning the knowledge which Paul had of the Jesus tradition and the value he accorded to it: What did he know about Jesus? Did he know the traditions which the evangelists later collected? Why does he not refer to them in his letters more frequently? By contrast, why does he give so much importance to the death and resurrection of Jesus and to Jesus' divine condition? <![CDATA[<b>The socio-rhetorical force of 'truth talk' and lies</b>: <b>The case of 1 John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100020&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article canvassed Greek and Roman sources for discussions concerning truth talk and lies. It has investigated what social historians and/or anthropologists are saying about truth talking and lying and has developed a model that will examine the issue of truth and lying in socio-religious terms as defined by the Graeco-Roman sources. The article tracked down the socio-rhetorical force of truth talk and lies, in terms of how they are strategically deployed to negotiate authority, to exert epistemic control, to define a personal and communal identity and to defend innovation in the midst of competing truth claims. It focused on the New Testament writing (1 John) and demonstrated that the author, in his desire to establish and defend his vision of truth, resorts to a style of truth talk endemic to the literary habits of Graeco-Roman antiquity. In so doing, the author established himself as a credible witness, set himself apart from those propounding falsehoods and, to some extent, distanced himself from the vision of truth propounded in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Medical anthropology as an antidote for ethnocentrism in Jesus research? Putting the illness-disease distinction into perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100021&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Medicine often has side-effects or unintended consequences that are more harmful than the original disease. Medical anthropology in general and the illness-disease distinction in particular has been introduced into historical Jesus research with the intent to protect it from medicocentrism and thus to offer ways of comprehending sickness and healing in the world of Jesus and his first followers without distorting these phenomena by imposing the biomedical framework onto the texts. In particular the illness-disease distinction is used for making sense of healing accounts whilst claiming to cross the cultural gap. Based on an analysis of the illness-disease distinction in medical anthropology and its use in historical Jesus research this article suggests that instead of protecting from ethnocentrism this distinction actually increases the risk of ethnocentrism and consequently distorts in many instances the healing accounts of the New Testament. <![CDATA[<b>Salt for the earthen oven revisited</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100022&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The symbolic interpretation of the salt sayings in the New Testament (Mt 5:13; Mk 9:42-50; Lk 12:49-53; 14:34-35) is best based on the long-standing cultural practice of using salt as a catalytic agent to burn dung, the common fuel for the typical earthen oven used by peasants even to this day. Seasoning and preservation are culturally inappropriate. <![CDATA[<b>Disaffiliation in associations and the </b><b>ousting of John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100023&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article tries to understand what might have been at stake for the synagogue from which the Johannine Jesus partisans had been expelled and what was at stake in the coinage of the term ἀποσυναγωγός. It we refuse to accept naively John's overlexicalised and retrospective account of the grounds for expulsions and pay attention to the practices of other groups in articulating a disciplinary code, I suggest that what was at stake was deviant behaviour on the part of the Johannine Jesus-partisans: either failure to comply with the larger group's practices concerning Sabbath observance, or more likely, clique formation. <![CDATA[<b>Gender critique on the narrator's androcentric point of view of women in Matthew's gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100024&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article, from a gender-sensitive perspective, is critical of patriarchal values that are harmful to women and other non-dominant groups. When the focus on women and women's roles is usurped by male control, the androcentric self-interest of interpreters and authors becomes apparent. This is still the case in present-day theological studies, but is especially prevalent in premodern biblical writings, of which the Gospel of Matthew is an example. Recent mainstream Jesus studies demonstrate that women were welcomed in an 'egalitarian' way in the community of the first followers of Jesus. Women's contribution to the first Christian faith community is highlighted. This stands in stark contrast to the silencing and invisibility of women in the surrounding patriarchal world of the ancient Middle East. Although Matthew does view women and other formerly excluded people as part of the faith community and equal recipients of God's love, they are never treated as equal participants. The article focuses on three issues concerning the narrator's point of view, namely that (1) women fulfilled a supporting, rather than an initiating role (Mt 1-2; 9:18-26; 15:21-28), (2) double standards were applied to male and female sexuality and women's sexuality was regarded with prejudice (Mt 5:29-32; 19:2-12) and (3) women were seemingly given the opportunity to live 'authentically' as human beings, but in actual fact they could do so only if this 'authenticity' was sanctioned by men (Mt 20:20-23; 27:38; 27:56). <![CDATA[<b>Back to basics</b>: <b>The 'Almighty Father' revisited</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100025&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article focused on the questions of how male dominance came about in theology and the church, what makes it so persistent and what can be done. It argued that patriarchy is based on androcentric ways of thinking, feeling and acting that colour all of culture and society. Patriarchy and androcentrism perpetuate the status quo through language. They provide a template for attributing meaning to reality. They still have a profound effect on theology and ecclesial institutions. This can be seen clearly in the concept of God, the 'Almighty Father'. The article made a case for a theology that has the courage to analyse how and where it idolises the patriarchal template and that imagines a God other than the patriarchal 'Almighty Father': a God who walks with Her or His friends in gracious, empowering love, not 'almighty' but honouring the responsibility She or He gave them. The article concludes that the life of Jesus as the human being who mirrors God's love, friendship and passion for justice inspires a different way of how God could be imagined. <![CDATA[<b>On pilgrimage with biblical women in their land(s)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100026&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Recent sociological and anthropological studies have provided models for examining pilgrimage both in its ancient and contemporary manifestations. Such models can facilitate an examination of the phenomenon of study tours to biblical lands and the multivalence of the discourses associated with such tours. The first part of the article engaged critically with the literature in order to open up some frameworks for examining the study tour to biblical lands. Feminist critical biblical scholarship with its potential for a feminist hermeneutic of creative imagination contributes to the multivalence around the study tour. Therefore, the second part of the article engaged this scholarship in relation to an imagined tour with women of the biblical lands. The article highlighted significant issues for consideration for those planning a study tour of biblical lands, especially in terms of the consideration that ought to be paid to gender. <![CDATA[<b>Ester</b>: <b>Vroulike durf binne 'n manlike bestel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100027&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article, the Book of Esther was interpreted in a way that was clearly not intended by the author. The article aimed to specifically concentrate on the motives and character traits of the personas, as revealed by their actions. The splendour and pomp of Ahasuerus's banquet reveals his ostentatious nature that Vasthi distances herself from. In spite of the apparent humiliation of losing her position as queen, she retains her dignity as a woman. Esther, on the other hand, deals with the king's appetite for pleasure by pleasing him with her sexual wiles and sumptuous meals. The royal power that she subsequently gains enables her to save her people from extinction. The male personas are shown up by their female counterparts as being obsessed by power and status. In a fierce political struggle, Haman is brought to a fall and Mordechai, a Diaspora Jew who risks his Jewishness for his ambition, replaces him as vice-roy of Persia. God's absence in the Book of Esther is explained in that God might perhaps speak through the weak, the insignificant and the humiliated or that God withdraws in silence from the political schemes of those in power. <![CDATA[<b>Jesus and the law revisited</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100028&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article revisited the issue of Jesus' attitude towards the Torah on the basis of a critical discussion of the most recent extensive treatment of the theme by Meier in his A marginal Jew: Rethinking the historical Jesus: Volume four: Law and love (2009). It engaged Meier's contribution in the light of contemporary research, concluding that, whilst Meier provided an erudite analysis, his thesis that Jesus' teaching on divorce and oaths revoked Mosaic law did not convince, for it did not adequately consider the extent to which the contemporary interpretation of the Torah could encompass such radicalisation. <![CDATA[<b>The Pope's Jesus book and the Christologies of the gospels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100029&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article maps out recent developments in the exegetical investigation of Jesus. It starts with a discussion of the Jesus book by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, in which 'canonical exegesis' is used to argue that Johannine Christology is also present in the other gospels and that this Christology actually goes back to Jesus. In this way, the book narrows the gap between the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. The next section argues for maintaining the multiplicity of images of Jesus as a literary figure that is the fruit of relatively recent approaches: redaction criticism, narrative-semantic analysis and intertextuality. The final section contains a sketch of the current state of research on the historical Jesus and its relevance for Christology. The multiplicity in the literary and historical approaches poses challenges to the further development of Christology. <![CDATA[<b>When neighbours are not neighbours</b>: <b>A social-scientific reading of the parable of the friend at midnight (Lk 11:5-8)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100030&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article presents a social-scientific interpretation of the parable of the friend at midnight. As starting point, attention is given to the history of the interpretation of the parable, as well as to its integrity and authenticity. A social-scientific reading of the parable is then presented. The parable is read against the socio-economic and political backdrop of first-century Palestine village life in which friendship, hospitality, limited good and reciprocity played an important role. The interpretation of the parable hinges on the understanding of a0nai/deian [shamelessness] Luke 11:8. Therefore, special attention is given to honour as a pivotal value in first-century Palestine. The parable tells the story of an alternative world, a world wherein neighbours are kin and practice general reciprocity. The gist of the parable is that when neighbours do not act as neighbours, then nothing of God's kingdom becomes visible. <![CDATA[<b>Show, tell and re-enact</b>: <b>The reason why the earliest followers of Jesus found the Eucharist meaningful</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100031&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The purpose of this article has been to examine how the earliest followers of Jesus experienced the Eucharist. What was their reason for participating in the Eucharist? What kind of value did this rite add to their lives? What was the meaning attached to it? In the end, this approach might assist us to gain a deeper understanding of this 'early Christian' rite, which, in turn, could help us to comprehend what kind of value the Eucharist could add to our lives today. <![CDATA[<b>Avoiding ethnic tension and conflict in South Africa</b>: <b>What can we learn from Paul's experience?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100032&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The dream of a 'rainbow nation' in South Africa appears to be on the wane as ethnic tension and conflict seem to simmer just beneath the surface. This article investigates Paul's approach to the issue of ethnic identity with reference to ethnicity and social identity theory. Initially, Paul adopted a radical approach, which basically rendered ethnic identity irrelevant. However, he came to realise that ethnic differences need to be accommodated within the group of Jesus followers. The article applies these insights in calling for strong, moral, visionary and discerning leadership in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>How much do we really know about the lives of early Christ followers?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100033&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es We know very little about the everyday life of Christ believers in the first years. What can be extrapolated from other ancient sources must be combined with the minimal evidence from Christian sources. The two major rituals, baptism and Eucharist, may have been celebrated quite differently than we imagine. The lives of families must be seen as context for these celebrations. <![CDATA[<b>Festivals, cultural intertextuality, and the Gospel of John's rhetoric of distance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100034&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Imperial and civic-religious festivals pervaded the late first-century city of Ephesus where John's Gospel was, if not written, at least read or heard. How did Jesus-believers as likely members of somewhat participationist synagogue communities negotiate such pervasive and public celebration of festivals? Did they participate in, ignore, or oppose such festivals? And how might John's Gospel have encouraged them to respond? This article engages these questions by focusing on the narrative presentation of festivals in John's Gospel (some 42 times) as, amongst other things, occasions of conflict and condemnation. Employing Sjef van Tilborg's notion of 'interference', which prioritises the Ephesian civic interface of the Gospel's audience, the article argues that the cultural intertextuality between the Gospel and an Ephesian context destabilises and problematises Ephesian civic festivals and shows there to be fundamental incompatibilities between Jesus' work and Ephesian society, thereby seeking Jesus-believers to absent themselves from festivals. The Gospel's presentation of festivals belongs to the gospel's rhetoric of distance vis-à-vis societal structures. <![CDATA[<b>The comforted comforter</b>: <b>The meaning of requesting or conforting terminology in 2 Corinthians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100035&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the Pauline homologoumena, παρακαλέω or παρ άκλησις terminology is used almost two and a half times (in 2 Corinthians even six and a half times) as frequently as in the remainder of the New Testament. In the first part of this article, a survey of the use of παρακαλέω or παράκλησις in the undisputed letters and its three major meanings was given: to request strongly, to exhort and to encourage or comfort. In the second part of the article, the LXX background of the unprecedented use of παρακαλέω or παράκλ ησις in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 and 7:4.5-13, where God is the subject, was discussed. The conclusion was that when writing 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 and 7:4.5-13 Paul made use of the prophet Isaiah's Book of Comfort and in his use of παρακαλέω or παράκ λησις allows himself to be influenced by the way the LXX translator uses πα ρακαλέω to translate םחנ. <![CDATA[<b>Christians reacted differently to non-Christian cults</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100036&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Christians were confronted with many other religions during the expansion of Christianity. What was their attitude towards these other religions? Apparently Christians reacted very differently. Earlier I argued that the Christians in Philippi adopted some elements of the cult of Euephenes, an initiate in the Kabeiric cult of Samothrace. The Kabeiric cult was very much present in Thessalonica as well. In this article I argued that, here too, Christians took over some elements of the Kabeiric cult. In some other cities non-Christian cults were eliminated. These different reactions towards other religions and cults seemed to stem from the local situation. In particular, local religious customs seem to have been adopted and to have taken precedence over well-known national or even international religions. Apparently, it was very difficult for people to abandon strong local rituals. In 1997, Andries van Aarde and Sanrie van Zijl published a very interesting article in which they drew attention to the pagan Hellenistic background that may have played a role in the development of Christology. Though more aspects should be taken into consideration it is self-evident to me that the entire history of the Christian church can be understood only against the background of the whole contemporary world. For example, Christians reacted very differently to non-Christian cults after they had assumed power in the Roman Empire. Sometimes temples and shrines were devastated, sometimes they were reused as churches. And sometimes elements of other cults were adopted in a more or less Christianised form. Recently I argued that in Philippi the cult of Euephenes, an initiate in the cult of the Kabeiroi on Samothrace, was succeeded by the veneration of Paul. In the present article, however, I focused on the cult of Kabeiros in Thessalonica and its impact on the cult of Demetrios that was already thriving there, whereby the latter cult began to incorporate elements of the former. I concluded the article with short remark about the way Christians elsewhere adopted or rejected other cults, touching on the question why, in some cases, an older cult was integrated into the Christian cult and why it was terminated in other cases. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing the economic-historic context of 1 Peter</b>: <b>Exploring a methodology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100037&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article explored a methodology to construct the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter, which could serve as basis for an economic interpretation of 1 Peter and other New Testament books. After discussing 1 Peter as letter, external sources were used to construct the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter. This construction was then refined utilising the letter itself, by identifying, categorising and interpreting the economically relevant portions of 1 Peter. Finally, the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter was concluded and the method summarised. <![CDATA[<b>The moral economy of the <i>Didache</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100038&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article applies the model of the moral economy in the ancient world, as formulated by Karl Polanyi and applied by Halvor Moxnes, to the economic relations reflected in the Didache. The study partly confirms Aaron Milavec's contention that the instructions in the text would provide an 'economic safety net' for members of the community by putting in place a system of generalised reciprocity and redistribution, although Milavec's depiction of the community as an 'urban working class' movement is found to be anachronistic. The 'communion of the saints' is very much an economic system with aspects of resistance to the Roman imperial system. However, the moral economy of the Didache is seen to reflect a number of ambiguities, particularly in its adoption of the Christian Housetable ethic but also in its adoption of the patron client terminology in the dispute between prophets and teachers on the one side and bishops and deacons on the other. <![CDATA[<b>Towards a critique of indigenous African religion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100039&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article, it is argued that a postcolonial critique of the colonial study of religion should not preclude a critique of indigenous African religion itself. The latter may be developed from a human rights perspective and a critique of exclusionary views of indigeneity. The argument is illustrated by means of specific case studies. <![CDATA[<b>Paul and Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100040&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The relationship between Saint Paul and the continent of Africa has never been a significant point of discussion in the New Testament studies. The same can be observed about other continents, even if the study of the Pauline corpus touches on some countries of Europe and the Middle East. The present article was triggered by the invitation of the Catholic Church to celebrate the 3rd millennium of Paul's birthday during the period of June 2008 - June 2009, which was declared as the Year of Paul all over the world. It raises and discusses the question of relevance of Paul to Africa and vice versa in the light of intercultural exegesis. <![CDATA[<b>Hermeneutics in identity formation</b>: <b>Paul's use of Genesis in Galatians 4</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100041&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Paul's hermeneutics, in dealing with the scriptures and traditions of Israel and his concern for a specific identity for the communities he interacted with, require attention for the reciprocal, interrelationship between hermeneutics and identity in his letters. Paul's quotations from and allusions to the scriptures of Israel but also his argument which was a re-interpretation of the traditions of Israel, functions in Galatians 4:21-5:1 at one level as counter-argument to the position of his opponents in Galatia but, at another deeper level, also as a forceful attempt to (re)establish and reinforce the identity of the community of followers of Jesus. His appropriation of the scriptures, his revisionist interpretation of the Abraham narrative and in particular his construal of its lasting implications provided the interpretative map on which Paul plotted an emerging 'Christian' identity. But, reciprocally, Paul's sense of a new or renewed identity in Christ also determined the contours of his hermeneutics. <![CDATA[<b>Angels as arguments? The rhetorical function of references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100042&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The issue investigated in this article is the rhetorical function fulfilled by the references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul. For this purpose all the references to angels in Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans are investigated systematically and thoroughly. This study shows that Paul never uses any of the references to angels as a main argument in these letters. Furthermore, it is shown that Paul refers to quite a variety of (possible) roles that angels might fulfil, or characteristics that angels possess. From a rhetorical perspective, it is evident that Paul mostly mentions angels in contexts that can broadly be typified as hyperbolic - in the sense that the extent or broad scope of the issue under discussion is emphasised. <![CDATA[<b>The future existence of the believers according to 2 Thessalonians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100043&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigated the presentation of the future existence of the believers in Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians. It analysed how the eschatological language of this letter reflects a situation in Thessalonica which has grown worse since the writing of 1 Thessalonians. It went on to explain to readers how this situation is handled by reflecting on it in terms of a divine plan and by portraying a future in which their suffering will come to an end. A close reading of some passages in 2 Thessalonians which speak of the dispensation which will follow on the glorious return of Christ at the end were presented during the course of this article. It investigated Christ's glorification at his return and delineated the way in which this return affects and determines the existence of those who accepted Paul's proclamation of the gospel. The future glory of the Lord is revealed, experienced and shared by believers in a mystical manner. The article ended with a brief discussion on the traditions which determined this perspective, the context in which the eschatological portrait must be understood and how the portrait of the future serves to support the community of saints in their time of suffering. <![CDATA[<b>'Epistemology models ontology'- In gesprek met John Polkinghorne</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100044&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The famous premise of John Polkinghorne, 'epistemology models ontology', has been assessed in this article. It is interpreted that its logic is based on a linear trajectory of knowledge → being. Polkinghorne places much emphasis on the fact that he pursues a 'bottom-up' approach, that is, an inductive way of going about with reality. He opts for a 'critical realist' view of reality that leads him to interpret indeterminacy (Heisenberg) as a sign of actual ontological openness to the future and not primarily as an epistemological deficit. He applies subsequently the doctrine of the Trinity as a hermeneutical tool to understand reality. The author argues that Polkinghorne is inconsistent in this venture and that he should consider a multidimensional approach, where epistemology and ontology model each other mutually, that is, knowledge ↔ being. In order to acknowledge the stratification of reality and the pluriformity of epistemologies, it is suggested that a rather 'constructive-realist' approach would serve better the theology of Polkinghorne; this is a shift from epistemology to hermeneutics. <![CDATA[<b>Shifting frontiers of transcendence in theology, philosophy and science</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100045&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article dealt cursorily with developments in theology, philosophy and the sciences that have contributed to what one might call horizontal transcendence. The premise is that humans have evolved into beings that are wired for transcendence. Transcendence is described in terms of the metaphor of frontiers and frontier posts. Although the frontiers of transcendence shift according to the insights, understanding and needs of every epoch and world view, it remains transcendent, even in its immanent mode. Diverse perceptions of that frontier normally coexist in every era and we can only discern a posteriori which was the dominant one. Frontiers are fixed with reference to the epistemologies, notions of the subject and power structures of a given era. From a theological point of view, encounter with the transcendent affords insight, not into the essence of transcendence, but into human self-understanding and understanding of our world. Transcendence enters into the picture when an ordinary human experience acquires a depth and an immediacy that are attributed to an act of God. In philosophy, transcendence evolved from a noumenal metaphysics focused on the object (Plato), via emphasis on the epistemological structure and limits of the knowing subject (Kant) and an endeavour to establish a dynamic subject-object dialectics (Hegel), to the assimilation of transcendence into human existence (Heidegger). In the sciences certain developments opened up possibilities for God to act in non-interventionist ways. The limitations of such an approach are considered, as well as promising new departures - and their limitations - in the neurosciences. From all of this I conclude that an immanent-transcendent approach is plausible for our day and age. <![CDATA[<b>Postfoundational practical theology for a time of transition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100046&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In reflection on the question as to in what sense is our time a time of transition, the article explores the various transitions in epistemology, advocated by the scholars mentioned in brackets: • modern to postmodern • secular dualism to post-secular holism (Cornel du Toit) • structural to poststructural • positivistic to relativistic • rational-argumentative to narrative • proposisionalistic to cultural-linguistic (Lindbeck) • fundamentalist to postfoundationalist (Schrag and Van Huyssteen) • maintenance to missional. <![CDATA[<b>Mentorship</b>: <b>A process of nurturing others</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100047&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article is dedicated to Prof. Dr Andries van Aarde who has mentored a large number of students during his time as a lecturer at the University of Pretoria. It is written at the time when workers in South Africa are striking. Industrial psychologists are involved in mediation and aim to develop a culture of understanding between workers and management. The article analyses some causes of tension between managers and workers in the South African context and indicates how mentorship may help to foster growth amongst workers and managers. A case study explores the issue of cultural differences which often lead to misunderstandings, especially when managers do not understand the world in which workers live. The aim of the article is to contribute to existing insights that may help to create a healthy working relationship between managers and workers which will benefit both. <![CDATA[<b>'God can only do what God does do'</b>: <b>Peter Abelard's Megarian argument in <i>Theologia 'Scholarium', Opera Theologic</i>a <i>III</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100048&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Peter Abelard's contribution to a constellation of central themes in post-Carolingian medieval philosophy, namely on causation, necessity and contingency, with its discursive undertone of the relation between potentiality and actuality, is worked out in a rather informal way in one of his later works, Theologia 'Scholarium'. Typical of the fusion of philosophical questions and theological premises in medieval philosophy, Abelard addresses the issue by asking whether God can only do what God does. Abelard argues that God can do or not do or omit doing only those things which God does do or does not do or omits doing and that God can do or can not do or omit doing those things only in the way or at the time at which God does and not at any other. Given Abelard's fragmented and restricted access to the Aristotelian corpus regarding causality, how did he come to this Aristotelian-orientated conclusion? This article stresses the ancient quality of Abelard's argument from another angle, reminiscent of the so-called Master Argument of the Megarians, with specific reference to the dialectical legacy of Diodorus Cronus, according to whom what can be is what is: what is, in turn, is what must be. Actuality, for the Megarians, exhausts potentiality. The path of actuality cannot be undermined or compromised by issues of potentiality. God's actions are thus for both the Megarians and Abelard strictly determined and determining. God, in the end, can only do what God does. This article contributes to scholarship in medieval philosophy or theology by making this connection explicit and by thoroughly exploring the link between Abelard and his ancient predecessors. <![CDATA[<b>Origen of Alexandria</b>: <b>the study of the Scriptures as transformation of the readers into images of the God of love</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100049&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es For Origen, the purpose of reading the Scriptures is to be transformed more and more into the likeness of God, who is Love, through the Logos embodied in the Scriptures. This article first situated Origen's approach to the Scriptures in the broad agreement over the centuries that the Scriptures are meant to address the present readers and not merely the original readers. This has led to various approaches to actualise the text up to the present varieties of contextual exegesis. Secondly, the article showed how, for Origen, the aim of actualising the text is the transformation of the readers. It will be necessary, therefore, to briefly present some of the key aspects of Origen's pre-understanding. The third part focused on Origen's understanding of the reading process as a movement from the letter to the spirit, a process that involves the transformation of the reader. This process is a struggle to understand what love, which is both the mystery of God and the aim for which every being is created through the Logos, is. <![CDATA[<b>Post-modern spirituality</b>: <b>experience, rather than explain</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100050&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Cassirer, Jung and Bultmann share at least one principle, namely their appreciation of the role played by myth in experiencing the language of faith. All three of the theorists advocate the reading of mythological texts against the backdrop of a mythological world view. By accentuating the existential and transformational value of myth, they underline the importance of myth for religion. However, they do not promote a positivistic interpretation of myth, which might lead to the rebirth of biblical fundamentalism. This article advanced the perspective that biblical texts, when read as myth, could open up spiritual experiences, even to post-modern readers. <![CDATA[<b>Dignity, religion and freedom of expression in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100051&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The issue that this article dealt with is whether, in South African law, speech that infringes upon the religious feelings of an individual is protected by the dignity clause in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The Constitution, as well as the Broadcasting Code, prohibits language that advocates hatred, inter alia, based on religion and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. Dignity, which is a central Constitutional right, relates to the sense of self worth which a person has. A Court has held that religious feelings, national pride and language do not form part of dignity, for purposes of protection in law. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission has, similarly, decided that a point of view seriously derogatory of ‘Calvinistic people’ blaming (some of) them as being hypocritical and even acting criminally is not protected by dignity. It would have to be accompanied by the advocacy of hatred as defined previously. The author, however, pointed out that on occasion different facts might found a finding in law that religion is so closely connected to dignity, that it will indeed be regarded as part thereof. <![CDATA[<b>Chrysostom on hunger and famine</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100052&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article looked at hunger and famine in Chrysostom’s time. It has always been tragic and ironic that hunger should exist in a world of plenty. This topic has been discussed from an economic, social, theological, philosophical, medical, humanitarian and exegetical perspective. Chrysostom’s statements on this issue are studied, but our concern is only involuntary hunger, whilst voluntary forms of self-denial are being excluded. An attempt is made to define a social construct of poverty and hunger in Chrysostom’s world. <![CDATA[<b>Walter Schmithals</b>: <b>his contribution to the theological and historical interpretation of the New Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100053&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this article was to explain Walter Schmithals’ unique understanding of the unity of the New Testament message. It focuses on his historical en theological interpretation of the New Testament within the parameters of the historical-critical paradigm. This article describes how Schmithals combines historical criticism with the core tenets of Protestant theology. The following facets were emphasised: Gnosticism, gospel studies and Q, Paul, early Christianity, emperor cult, separation from the synagogue, historical Jesus, apocalypticism, historical Jesus, the relationship between the Old and New Testament, ecclesiology and New Testament ethics. <![CDATA[<b>John</b><b>'</b><b>s Apocalypse</b>: <b>dynamic word-images for a new world</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100054&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of the article is to investigate the function of the symbols and images in the Apocalypse of John. Its aim is to focus on the ‘mental scenarios’ readers are bringing to the text, rather than on John’s supposed lack of ability to convey his message. The article discusses both the symbolic or iconographic and the evocative power within the historical situation which the author of the Apocalypse addresses. The article’s intention is to show how John reveals an alternative way of understanding history through the use of his particular imagery, aided by film theory tools and based on previous work that had perceived the Apocalypse’s ‘theatrical’ nature, in order to discover John’s use of images, their function and the new world he aims to portray. <![CDATA[<b>Judas, the disciple who was known to the high priest</b>: <b>a deconstruction of the betrayal based on John 18:15</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100055&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es After his arrest, Jesus is taken to the high priest. According to John 18:15 he is accompanied by ‘another disciple’. In this article, I discuss the possibility that this other disciple was Judas. He is the one who was known to the high priest. The arguments to put him in this position are derived from a narrative analysis of the Gospel. What is the actantial role of Judas in the Gospel? Tradition describes him as an opponent of Jesus. Against this, one can see him as a helper who supports Jesus’ intention to convince the high priest and the Sanhedrin of his divine mission. In the group of Jesus Judas carries the purse. The text of the Gospel uses a curious Greek word (almost a hapax legoumenon), glssokomon, for ‘purse’. In the Septuagint, this word indicates the Ark of the Covenant. It is highly significant for the role of Judas. It shows that the text of the Gospel sometimes generates meanings that the author cannot control. <![CDATA[<b>God</b><b>'</b><b>s health and human health</b>: <b>a proposal for the world of well-being</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100056&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article reflects on people’s presuppositions with regard to God’s mental health as it has been recounted throughout history. The article asserts that the dominant report of a ‘sick god’ has nothing to do with God at all, but is, instead, the manifestation of a sick projection of people who are terrified of the unknown and the unpredictable in life. Such a projection reflects their own fears, which they project upon their own mental image of the mentor who they thought was God. The other, sound, report on God’s mental health has encountered many difficulties in competing with the dominant report. The alternative report has met with much resistance, because it seems so humanly unbelievable, in its claim that God is a God of unconditional grace to all humankind. <![CDATA[<b>Is prophetic discourse adequate to address global economic justice?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100057&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article outlined key features of prophetic discourse and investigated whether this form of moral discourse adequately addresses issues of economic injustice. It is shown that the strength of prophetic discourse is its ability to denounce instances of injustice whilst at the same time announcing a God-willed alternative future. The ‘preferential option for the poor’ in Latin American liberation theologies is treated as a case study of the influence of prophetic discourse in contexts of perceived economic injustice. Also the core weaknesses of prophetic discourse are investigated, specifically its incomplete moral argument, weak moral analyses, silence on transition measures, and its inability to take a positive stance on reforms in the system from which itself benefits. In the final section it is concluded that prophetic discourse plays an indispensable role in addressing issues of global economic justice, but - taken by itself - it is not an adequate form of moral discourse to address concrete matters of justice. <![CDATA[<b>Finding a place for Jesus as healer in reformed mission in Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100058&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Africa is a continent plagued with many sicknesses and diseases. Self-evidently health and healing would be major concerns and interests of the inhabitants. Reformed mission has formed a strategic alliance with scientifically tested medicine in the past. Africans do not find this alliance sufficient. They, however, need a medical mission that could deal with ‘African sicknesses’. The question is whether we need an alliance with traditional medical practitioners. Because traditional healing is linked to traditional religion, we are confronted with difficult missiological questions. The solution offered in this article concentrates on two dimensions, (1) an openness to and a respect for African culture and religion and (2) a radical rediscovery of Jesus as healer. <![CDATA[<b>Journey from isolation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100059&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Since the Ottawa Consultation in 1982, the relationship between the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was non-existent. In the NHKA it became progressively clear that it would be impossible to travel the road of faith alone. This article examined the factors which contributed to the growing isolation of the NHKA, especially nationalism, a particularistic ecclesiology and the rejection of Apartheid by international ecumenical bodies. It also reflected on efforts of the NHKA to return to the international ecumenical movement. <![CDATA[<b>Mission and ethics in Galatians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100060&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article, it is investigated how the concepts identity, ethics and ethos interrelate, and how the ethics of the Pauline communities in Galatians functioned against the background of the missionary context of the early church. The author argued that the missionary dimension originated in the context of the missio Dei, and that God called Paul as a missionary to be taken up in the latter. The missionary process did not end with Paul, but was designed to be carried further by believers who should be, by their very nature, missionary. In the process, the author investigated how the transformation of identity (the understanding of self, God and others) leads to the creation of ethical values and how it is particularised in different socio-religious and cultural contexts in the development of the early church. The author argued that there is an implicit missionary dimension in the ethics of Paul in Galatians. In the process, it is argued that those who want to speak of ethics should make something of mission, and those who speak of mission in Galatians, should speak about the role of identity, ethics and ethos in the letter. <![CDATA[<b> '</b><b>Ever old and ever new, keep me travelling along with you</b><b>'</b>: <b>21st Century Notae Ecclesiae specifically necessary for churches in southern Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100061&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The ecumenical marks of the church - unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity - have served it well as defining characteristics since the 4th century CE. The Reformation required that they be redefined in a particular context in terms of the soundness of doctrine preached, celebration of the sacraments and the exercise of discipline. In the 21st century these ecumenical marks are still relevant not only within an ecclesiastical context but in society using Koffeman’s quality markers of these marks - conciliarity, integrity, inclusivity and authenticity. <![CDATA[<b>Augustinus</b><b>'</b><b> geschrift </b><b>'</b><b>De stad van God</b><b>'</b><b> (De ciuitate Dei)</b>: <b>Een introductie tot de belangrijkste themata</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100062&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of the article is to present an introduction to the main themes of Augustine’s City of God. The key issues concerning the inception and contents of the work are highlighted. The article emphasises that Biblical interpretation played a pivotal role in this work, which is perhaps the most influential of Augustine’s oevre. It is probably because of his work, De ciuitate Dei, that the Church Father Augustine is also influential in the field of the history of Biblical hermeneutics. <![CDATA[<b>The beautiful infant and Israel</b><b>'</b><b>s salvation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100063&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The motif from the Exodus story of Moses as a beautiful infant is considered on several levels. Firstly, the immediate context of Exodus 2 in the Hebrew Bible and in the Septuagint is investigated. Exodus 2 is then related to the reception of the tradition in the New Testament and Jewish sources as well as in a patristic reading and one from the Reformation. The article concludes that the motif of Moses’ beauty is part of a relatively infrequent but nevertheless well-established constellation. It is submitted that this finding contributes to a reappraisal of the idea that the motif of beauty has no place in Israel’s texts of deliverance and an investigation of the contrary hypothesis is called for. <![CDATA[<b>Congruent ethos in the Second Temple literature of the Old Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100064&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Proposing the term ‘congruent ethos’ for studying Old Testament ethics, this article indicates (in line with existing research) that opposing ethical viewpoints are found in the Old Testament. The modus operandi followed was firstly to compare the penitential prayer in Daniel 9:4-19 with those in Ezra 9:6-15 and Nehemiah 9:6-37. This comparison shows that the phenomenon of conflicting ethics was present in Yehud during the Second Temple period. Whilst the Daniel text reflects a more universal attitude, the penitential prayers in Ezra and Nehemiah propose a nationalist view of God and an exclusivist identity for Israel. Although Daniel can be dated later than Ezra-Nehemiah, the tendency to juxtapose an exclusivist viewpoint with an inclusivist one was already present in the earlier period of the Second Temple. This is evidenced by the literature of Isaiah 56-66, Ruth, Jonah, Esther, Tobit, Judith and even Joshua. <![CDATA[<b> '</b><b>Praise beyond Words</b><b>'</b>: <b>Psalm 150 as <i>grand finale</i> of the crescendo in the<i> Psalter</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100065&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Without doubt the final hymn of the Psalter can be described as the climax, or grand finale, of the Israelite faith’s most known hymnbook. In this psalm, sound and action are blended into a picture of ecstatic joy. The whole universe is called upon to magnify Yah(weh), the God of Israel. The text poses various exegetical challenges. In the past, Psalm 150 was traditionally analysed as a single text; but with the advent of the canonical and redaction-historical approaches to the interpretation of the Book of Psalms, Psalm 150 can be interpreted as part of the final Hallel (Pss 146-150), or Book V (Pss 107-150) of the Psalter. This view opens up new possibilities for reading the psalm in broader contexts and its broader literary context(s) illuminate its theological significance. This article is an attempt at reflecting on the psalm’s context(s), structure, Gattung and dates of origin, tradition-historical relations to the Pentateuch, Psalms and other Old Testament texts. Ultimately some reflections on the psalm’s theological significance will be suggested. <![CDATA[<b>Isaiah 1:2-3, ethics and wisdom. Isaiah 1:2-3 and the Song of Moses (Dt 32)</b>: <b>Is Isaiah a prophet like Moses?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100066&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article argued that society even today could benefit from the richness of the ethics of the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah 1:2-3 has been used as an example to illustrate the ethics of a biblical text. This text has wisdom traits and literary links with Deuteronomy 32. In a modern, pluralistic society there is a need for a comprehensive ethical view by which one can combine a solid religious foundation, including responsibility towards God, the Creator and Lord of life, with a broad human wisdom gained from a rational understanding of the circumstances of existence for a true human life in a created world of order. <![CDATA[<b>Does John 17:11b, 21-23 refer to church unity?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100067&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In ecumenical circles, John 17:11b, 21-23 has been understood as Jesus’ prayer for church unity, be it confessional or structural. This article questioned such readings and conclusions from historical, literary and sosio-cultural viewpoints. The Fourth Gospel’s language is identified as ’antilanguage’ typical of an ’antisociety’, like that of the Hermetic, Mandean and Qumran sects. Such a society is a separate entity within society at large, but opposes it. Read as a text of an antisociety, John 17:11b, 21-23 legitimises the unity of the separatist Johannine community, which could have comprised several such communities. This community opposed the Judean religion, Gnosticism, the followers of John the Baptist and three major groups in early Christianity. As text from the canon, this Johannine text legitimates tolerance of diversity rather than the confessional or structural unity of the church. <![CDATA[<b> '</b><b>On Earth as it is in Heaven ...</b><b> '</b><b> The heavenly sanctuary motif in Hebrews 8:5 and its textual connection with the </b><b>'</b><b>shadowy copy</b><b>'</b><b> of LXX Exodus 25:40</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100068&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study investigates the explicit quotation from Exodus 25:40 in Hebrews 8:5 where the motif of the earthly sanctuary, understood to be modelled on that of the heavenly sanctuary in some circles of early Judaism and early Christianity, is to be found. Hebrews’ application and interpretation of Exodus 25:40 - in light of the terms u(po/deigma (example or plan or copy) (tu/poj (model or design or archetype) by Philo) and skia/ (shadow) - is studied within the context of Hebrews 8:1-5. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the possible Graeco-Jewish background(s) of the ‘heavenly sanctuary’ motif in Hebrews 8:5, the presence of its key terminology and some of its intertextual occurrences in, amongst others, the Testament of Levi and Colossians 2:17. <![CDATA[<b>1, 2 en 3 Johannes: </b><b>'</b><b>n Oorsig van die huidige stand van navorsing oor die inleidingsvraagstukke</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100069&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article has presented an overview of the most important positions taken on certain introductory issues related to 1, 2 and 3 John. The article has not focussed on the detailed discussion of problems, but has rather provided a broad overview of the most important current positions. A typical characteristic of the introductory questions is their interrelatedness. The research inter alia examined the way in which decisions about the relation between the Gospel and Letters of John influence the question of authorship or the place and date of the Letters and how decisions about the level of conflict in the Letters influence their sequence. <![CDATA[<b>(The Markan and Matthean) Jesus</b><b>'</b><b> appropriation and criticism of the Torah</b>: <b>the question of divorce</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100070&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus functions as a Moses figure who, in the Sermon on the Mount, gave the new law of the kingdom of God. In this article it is argued that Jesus drew his ethic from his Jewish tradition, as manifested particularly in the Pentateuch. However, although being an inspiring source, to Jesus the Pentateuch (or scripture) was not an authority that could not be challenged or criticised. This is illustrated by focusing on the question of divorce (Mk 10:2-12; Mt 5:27-32; 19:3-12). It is argued that Jesus’ use of the Pentateuch was guided by an ethic of compassion. In view of Jesus’ stance, an uncritical use of the Bible (as manifested for example in many Christian circles) ironically contradicts the Bible’s own message and nature. <![CDATA[<b>Resurrection narratives and the doctrine of resurrection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000100071&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article examined the closing narratives of the four canonical gospels and argued that they should be read as stories and not as historical narratives. These stories, however, show a progressive development and it is evident that the narrators of the later stories embellished the earlier narratives. Christian theologians of later centuries developed these stories into a theology of salvation and linked resurrection to the idea of death being God’s punishment for Original Sin. By doing so, they changed the Gospel of Jesus into the Gospel about Jesus. Currently, people have a different understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. Death is seen as part of the cycle of life and humans, like everything else, will not be resurrected but recycled. That is one of the reasons why Christianity is in dire need of a new paradigm that will take into account the real position of human beings in the cosmos.