Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1010-991920090001&lang=pt vol. 22 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The sociological functions of funeral mourning: Illustrations from the Old Testament and Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Funeral mourning is an essential rite of passage in many societies. While there are differences among those aspects peculiar to each culture, there are certain motifs common to mourning in all cultures. Among such common motifs are the sociological functions which in most cultures are served by funeral mourning rituals. Hence this study examines the sociological functions that funeral mourning serves in the Old Testament and in Africa. The fact that mourning serves certain functions in the society has an implication for theology in Africa. <![CDATA[<b><i>What</i></b><b> is an </b><b><img src="/img/revistas/ote/v22n1/Untitled.jpg" height="20"> A philosophical analysis of the concept of generic Godhood in the Hebrew Bible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the Hebrew Bible words like ”‘–•’•– ”’– and ”–•• are often encountered in the generic sense as a classification of the type of entity •••• and other related beings were assumed to be. But what, according to the Hebrew Bible, was meant by calling something an ”’–? Is it possible to define the phenomenon of generic ”’–-hood? What were assumed to be necessary and/or sufficient conditions for being classified as a member of the ”‘–•’•–? What criteria were used to determine whether an entity should be called an ”’– or not? In this paper the author provides an introduction to the concept of generic ”’– -hood in the Hebrew Bible with reference to perplexing questions involved in its understanding, related research and the gaps therein and the need for philosophical (conceptual) analysis in future inquiries. <![CDATA[<b>Psalm 51 and the criticism of the cult</b>: <b>Does this reflect a divided religious leadership?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this publication will be twofold: Firstly, to view Psalm 51, especially those verses which can be designated as cult-critical. Secondly, to indicate that the prophetic critique is part of a larger prophetic rhetoric to convict of sin, to explain God's plan, and to indicate the hope of salvation. The cult criticism of Psalm 51:18-19, however, is not a repudiation of the cult and cultic practices: the fact that a later redactor added the last two verses (Ps 51:20-21) after verses 18-19, proves this point. Therefore, it would be incorrect to see the prophetic critique of the priesthood as a sign that the priests and the prophets were incompatible, or that the prophets wanted to discredit and discard the temple cult. <![CDATA[<b>"From Exile to Zion" - Ethical perspectives from the twin Psalms 127 and 128</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the past psalms were often read and interpreted as single texts. With the redactional-historical approach to psalm interpretation psalm texts are more regularly interpreted within the smaller collections where they are situated? The theological relationship between a single psalm and the larger collection becomes evident when such a text (or texts) is (are) read against the background of the collection's theological programme or intention. To illustrate this relationship the twin Psalms 127 and 128 are eclectically selected from the Sîrê Hama'alôt psalms (120-134) in Book V (107-150) of the Psalter. These wisdom-related-psalms are examined for their Torah ethical thinking as envisaged in Psalm 1. With the theological programme "From exile to Zion" of the Sîrê Hama'alôt collection (120-134) these twin psalms contribute to the ethical reflection of the Yahweh-faith in Book V. <![CDATA[<b>Interpretation is all we have</b>: <b>A feminist perspective on the objective fallacy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Feminist biblical interpretation has the task of finding the most promising reading strategy for dealing with the male bias of the biblical text, since all reading strategies are not equally valid. Feminist histories of women in ancient Israel are often coloured with objective certainty and become influential research resources. This article argues that some of these histories tell us as much about the historian as they do about the subjects of inquiry. The reason being that authors as readers cannot avoid approaching the text from their social location that determines their presuppositions and the way they read the text. Texts do not mirror historical reality; all we have is interpretation. To illustrate this point, the narrative of Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 16 and 21 is examined through the interpretations of nineteenth-century lay women, visual interpretations from the world of art and a resistant feminist interpretation. The objective is to come to terms once again with the indeterminacy of historical inquiry. <![CDATA[<b><i>Ngoma Lungundu:</i></b><b> An African Ark of the Covenant</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Lemba in Southern Africa are a specific group with unique traditions regarding Israelite origins. Their oral traditions also contain significant information on the leading role their priestly family played on their journey from the North into the Arabian Peninsula and eventually into Africa. They blazed their trail southwards into Africa as traders, with the ngoma lungundu ("the drum which thunders") playing a very similar role to that of the Ark of the Covenant. Striking parallels between the two traditions as well as a possible link between these two narratives are scrutinised. This study shows how the Lemba have constructed their own set of beliefs around Biblical myths in the context of marginalisation among other African communities. Their oral culture constitutes their world-view and self-understanding or identity. It incorporates the role of oral traditions, history and historiography. One could draw parallels between orality in early Israelite and African religions. The reciprocity between orality and inscripturation of traditions yields valuable information regarding the possible development of traditions in the Old Testament. <![CDATA[<b>"For better or for worse?" - The (Christian) Bible and Africana women</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In her quest for the continued close connection between the Christian Bible and Africana women's realities, the author uses the folktale of the Rabbit and the Lion (cf. Ndebele 2007) as a background to portray the ambiguous post-apartheid South African reality. The South African context, which is the author's social location, serves both as a point of departure and a connecting link between African women in South Africa, those on the African continent as well as women of the Africa Diaspora regarding the intersection of power, the Christian Bible and Africana women's realities. The main question addressed by the article is: Why do Africana women continue to cling dearly to this Book that has, historically, mostly been used "for worse" in their varying interpretive contexts? The agency of these women in the interpretative processes is also highlighted. As one form of redress, a communal Africana women's reading strategy is employed to read some of the texts from the Hebrew Bible. <![CDATA[<b>"Abomination to Egyptians" in Genesis 43:32, 46:34, and Exodus 8:22</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Available explanations of the causes for Egyptian sense of abomination in Genesis 43:32, 46:34, and Exodus 8:22 are either too general or incorrect. It is suggested that in Genesis 43:32 the sense of abomination possibly stems from the malodorous woolen garments worn by the Hebrews; in Genesis 46:34 it is perhaps a combination of basic farmer/shepherd distaste and hatred stemming from an association of shepherds with the barbaric nomadic chieftains on Egypt's north-eastern border; and in Exodus 8:22 it might be driven by the Hebrews' custom of burning portions of animals sacrificed to a deity. These suggestions, while speculative, have a Sitz im Leben context. <![CDATA[<b>The violent, rhetorical-ideological God of Nahum</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article tries to identify YHWH in the violent text of Nahum as a character and a construct of the ideology of society. God's acts of violence are depicted in a way that reflects the socio-cultural background of the author and his society. Therefore God is violent and chauvinistically gender-ideological. Suggestions are made to consider the options and solutions that a "counter-reading " brings to the problem. A counter-reading challenges the reader to empathise with the pain of the victims and to put modern faces to it. In reading this way readers would be able to act in the world around them in ways that would help to construct a more passive (as opposed to violent) and compassionate image of God. <![CDATA[<b>Challenges in the search for an ecotheology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is the purpose of this article to expose the reasons why ecological issues previously played such an insignificant role in biblical theology and thereby introduce some burning questions which need to be discussed in future by ecotheologians. The Bible is often accused of being hostile or indifferent toward the environment. The main focal points for these accusations were: the idea expressed in Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 8 that humans should subdue the earth and rule over it, an anthropocentric viewpoint, changes in social structure brought about by patriarchal monotheism, the negative evaluation of the wilderness concept and the problematic land promises in the Pentateuch. The absence of a biblical concept of nature and the lack of attention given to the earth in wisdom literature were further identified as reasons why the Bible may seem indifferent to the earth. For various other philosophical and theological reasons, nature and the environment have not featured prominently (if at all) in biblical theology. Various urgent questions are posed to ecotheologians in conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>'n Verkenning van tendense in profetenavorsing</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The purpose of this article is to obtain a general idea of research that was done in recent years on Old Testament prophets and prophetic literature. Due to the vast amounts of material available, the decision was made to rather look at some tendencies and approaches which underlie the research on the prophets than provide an overview of the field. This was done by observing research done by a few prominent scholars in this field of Old Testament prophetic literature, but also to look at some compilations of articles published in book format. This article not only aims at highlighting current tendencies which surface in prophetic research, but also to point to future tendencies that need to be researched with regards to Old Testament prophets and prophecy. <![CDATA[<b>Book Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192009000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The purpose of this article is to obtain a general idea of research that was done in recent years on Old Testament prophets and prophetic literature. Due to the vast amounts of material available, the decision was made to rather look at some tendencies and approaches which underlie the research on the prophets than provide an overview of the field. This was done by observing research done by a few prominent scholars in this field of Old Testament prophetic literature, but also to look at some compilations of articles published in book format. This article not only aims at highlighting current tendencies which surface in prophetic research, but also to point to future tendencies that need to be researched with regards to Old Testament prophets and prophecy.