Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> vol. 34 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Iho Ayo/ Mekgolokwane/Ululations/Festschrift: Dedicated to Prof David Tuesday Adamo, the <i>Decoloniser </i>of Old Testament Studies in Africa</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>David Tuesday Adamo's Academic Context: Nigerian Biblical Studies Navigating between African Interpretive Concerns and Western Scholarly Traditions</b>]]> The essay focuses on some aspects of Nigerian biblical studies, that is, Prof David Tuesday Adamo's immediate academic context. The core question of the essay is how the balance between African interpretive concerns and Western scholarly traditions has developed over the last four decades in the Nigerian guild of critical biblical studies. First, the 1980s were characterised by a more or less Western dominance but it saw the beginning of an institutionally and hermeneutically self-conscious Nigerian biblical studies. Second, the early 2020s are still characterised by Western dominance but it sees an increasing interest for interpretive concerns as those voiced by Nigerian biblical scholars. Professor Adamo has been part of the Nigerian guild of biblical studies throughout these four decades and his academic publications serve as an illustration of the material. <![CDATA[<b>Distinctive African Readings of the Old Testament: A Review of D.T. Adamo's Publications in <i>Old Testament Essays </i>2003-2020</b>]]> Professor David Tuesday Adamo has published widely in various journals, and his contribution to Old Testament scholarship in Africa cannot be underestimated. This article focuses on his publications in Old Testament Essays since 2003. Adamo has been one of the loyal African contributors to our journal and is the first black African Old Testament scholar in Africa to be honoured in this way in this journal. Therefore, this article reviews Adamo's contributions over the years, particularly focusing on the distinctive readings of the Old Testament that he brought to Old Testament Essays through his publications. <![CDATA[<b>The Case of 'Suspected Adulteress': Reading Numbers 5:11-31 from the Perspective of a Married African Woman</b>]]> As studies have shown, marital sexual infidelity is attested in every society of the world.1 In African societies, adultery is not only strictly prohibited on social, moral and religious grounds but is also regarded, in some African cultures, as an abomination. This is rooted, among others, in the sacredness of marriage in Africa and the inseparable link between the use of human sexuality in marriage and the generation of new life for the perpetuation of the family-lineage and the community. In theory, the ban on adultery applies equally to all married men and women but in praxis, there are some hints of gender injustice against women in observing the ban on adultery. The patriarchal context in some African cultures provides the background for such gender inequality and sexual injustice against women. By using bosadi biblical hermeneutics to interpret the Sotah ritual (Num 5:11-31) - a ritual that is gender-specific, meant only for women accused of adultery - this article condemns the sexual injustice endured by married women in some (African) patriarchal societies and advocates the reading of Num 5:11-31 and other biblical texts containing 'oppressive elements' in a way that is liberating and empowering to the oppressed and marginalised. <![CDATA[<b>Amos' Call for Social Justice in Amos 5:21-24: A Model for Prophets in The Apostolic Church LAWNA, Nigeria</b>]]> The book of Amos, particularly his message on social justice, has been of great interest in scholarship in recent times. However, the extent to which social justice issues manifest in the text and how they relate to modern context have not been fully explored. Following a careful reflection on the call for social justice in Amos 5:21-24 and informed by a justice-denying Nigerian context, could the theme of social justice, as reflected in the preceding text, inspire the prophets of The Apostolic Church LAWNA to proclaim a liberating and empowering message to the powers that be (political establishment), in solidarity with the poor and marginalised people of Nigeria? This concern is the main thrust of this article. Over the years, not only has the book of Amos become an inspiration for contemporary struggles against social oppression and injustice, the life and ministry of the prophet himself has become a model for pastors/prophets and crusaders of justice and righteousness today. In view of the prevailing social injustice and oppression in the Nigerian society, can the present-day prophets of The Apostolic Church LAWNA Nigeria be called upon to be as fearless as the eighth-century BCE Israelite prophets were, in raising their voices both within and outside the faith community to demand for a right andjust society? <![CDATA[<b>Culture in Biblical Interpretation: The Use of Yoruba Cultural Elements in Adamo's African Cultural Hermeneutics</b>]]> African Cultural Hermeneutics is an approach in biblical interpretation that makes African socio-cultural context a subject of interpretation. This article shows how Adamo has deployed effectively Yoruba cultural elements in the development of this interpretative grid. This is done with a view to determining the extent to which he has engaged successfully the biblical text in a way that has translated to a better understanding of the Bible in Africa. A descriptive approach is adopted as the basic methodology for the article. Yoruba cultural archival resources such as traditions, songs, oracles, folklores and incantations (potent words) are appropriated to make the Bible come alive and relevant. For Adamo, these traditional resources have helped to elucidate the Bible and make its message meaningful for its average reader in Africa. Employing African cultural elements in the interpretative process should however be done with some measured caution. <![CDATA[<b>Hagar and Epistemic Injustice: An Intercultural and Post-colonial Analysis of Genesis 16</b>]]> Having one's voice heard and being known by one's name are foundational aspects of respect and human dignity. Likewise, being able to contribute to shared understanding is at the core of epistemic justice. This intercultural and post-colonial inquiry of Gen 16 considers the Egyptian Hagar-known by her foreign Semitic name meaning "Fleeing One"-as an example of epistemic injustice. Integrating Miranda Fricker 's work on epistemic injustice, this study espouses the justice of hearing and seeing the marginalised and oppressed, as exemplified by Yhwh. As the Egyptian woman's voice- once ignored-gives testimony within the text to a fuller understanding of God, so also listening to/seeing other contemporary African scholars' voices/writings opens one's ears/eyes to fuller understandings of God today. These voices include the seminal work of David Tuesday Adamo, a vanguard in African biblical hermeneutics, in whose honour this examination is written. <![CDATA[<b>The Literary Motif of Cush in the Old Testament</b>]]> There are 56 references to Cush in the Old Testament and these occur in all the three main corpuses of the Hebrew Bible namely the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Traditional historical-critical scholarship has not showed great interest in the Old Testament texts about Cush. However, the Nigerian biblical scholar David Tuesday Adamo has through his many contributions about the Cush texts made the guild observant of what can be labelled an African presence in the Old Testament given that Cush is applied as a literary motif in the Old Testament. Following a presentation of the Cush texts in the Old Testament, this paper examines how the literary motif of Cush functions in the text, taking Isaiah 18 as a representative example.¹ <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting Translation and Interpretation Issues in the Story of the African Royal Official ("Ethiopian Eunuch") in Acts 8:26-40: The Hebrew Bible (LXX) Background</b>]]> This article investigates the OT/Hebrew Bible background of both the designation Ethiopia and the translation and interpretation of εὐνοῦχος, and designation of "Ethiopian" in Acts 8:26-40. The jumping point is Prof Adamo's own brief chapter that engages the issue. Going further than Adam's brief article does, the argument seeks to establish the royal background of the Ethiopian official and challenges the use of the term 'eunuch' in translation, as it tends to misrepresent the identity of the official. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical Portrayal of Ethiopia as a Challenge to Western Perspectives of Africa</b>]]> Africa has been presented as underdeveloped and backward until the adventure of colonial architects. Archaeological remnants and structures, some of which are still standing to date, portray a different reality seemingly echoed by the biblical account. The endowment of Africa with natural resources, evidence of processing abilities and references to established kingdoms occasionally used as instruments of divine punishment of Israel or provision of refuge suggests a much more advanced situation than has been routinely presented by historians. The biblical record which has been proven for its reliability and historicity provides us with the impetus to re-analyse key texts in order to re-examine the views that have been posited. The Western tendency to undermine Africa's advancements is well known. This article therefore considers the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch as a point of reference to African realities reflected throughout the biblical text. <![CDATA[<b>Resistance of Oppression in Exod 1-15 and Southern Africa: An Intersectional Perspective</b>]]> The article investigates the oppression of people as well as its resistance in Exod 1-15 and Southern Africa, from an intersectional perspective. The Zimbabwean migrant women embody the intersectional struggles of the working-class people (class), women (gender) and immigrants (internationality) in Southern Africa. This scenario might have been the case in the world of the biblical texts. First, the study outlines the lived experiences of the Zimbabwean migrant women in South Africa in order to highlight the multi-layered and intersectional character of and the resistance of their oppression. Second, the essay probes the resistance of oppression in the Exodus narrative, with a specific interest in women. Third and lastly, the study shows how the intersectionality theory assists us in drawing a broader and relative depiction of the oppression of women in Exod 1-15 and in Southern Africa as well as the need to resist such oppression. <![CDATA[<b>A Decolonial (Re)turn to Class in South African Biblical Scholarship</b>]]> South African Black Theology of the 1960-1980s characterised its primary site of struggle as the racial capitalism of apartheid. Intersecting race and/as class has been a distinctively South African contribution to African biblical scholarship. Less common, but equally significant, is the intersection of culture and/as class. This article analyses this trajectory, reflecting on how three South African biblical scholars (Gunther Wittenberg, Makhosazana Nzimande and Hulisani Ramantswana) have discerned the need for the African decolonial project to recognise and recover the class divisions within a culture. A recurring cultural trope across the three scholars is their use of proverbs to discern class distinctions within culture. The works of each of these three scholars and their dialogue partners in South African Contextual Theology and South African Black Theology are interrogated for how they intersect notions of class and culture. <![CDATA[<b>In Search of Biblical Role Models for Mongo Women: A <i>Bosadi </i>Reading of Vashti and Esther</b>]]> The Old Testament world clearly subjected the woman to the will and protection of her husband, but she was also celebrated for performing important roles as wife and mother. Although some of its texts may be considered oppressive in certain ways, the Bible also contains positive examples of liberation stories for women to emulate. The Bible contains stories which may be read to promote the rights of women to be what God wants them to be, a right which needs to be reclaimed. Informed by David Adamo's African biblical hermeneutical reading that encourages the appropriation of the Bible by African women and men by reconsidering ancient biblical traditions and African life experiences with the purpose of finding biblical role models, this essay reads the Bible from the point of view of the marginalised and oppressed in order to draw out a liberation message. In this article, I examine the characters of Esther and Vashti in the book of Esther as they navigate a patriarchal context in light of Mongo women's experiences. Though Esther and Vashti operated on a high-class level, both women can serve as role models to Mongo women. The strategies used by the two queens can also be combined to affirm Mongo women and help them to conceive new identities and roles.¹ <![CDATA[<b>Professor David Tuesday Adamo's Biblical Scholarship on Women: Reflections from an African-South African <i>Mosadi</i></b>]]> One of the prolific writers in the discipline of African Biblical Hermeneutics is the Nigerian Old Testament (OT) scholar, Professor Tuesday David Adamo. In his tireless efforts to unlock the OT reality for African contexts, persuaded by his commitment to decolonise the subject of Biblical Studies, Adamo has made successful efforts to reflect on the African presence in the Old Testament. The present study seeks to engage Adamo's concept of African Biblical hermeneutics in order to investigate whether the author sufficiently discussed the theme of gender in his discourses. This research attempts to respond to the following two main questions in view of Adamo's discourses: (1) In Adamo's concerted effort of confirming the presence of Africa and Africans in the Hebrew Bible, does the woman question feature? (2) If so, how does Adamo navigate the question? <![CDATA[<b>"I Am Black and Beautiful": A Black African Reading of Song of Songs 1:5-7 as a Protest Song</b>]]> Adamo's article on Ebed-Melech's protest brings fresh insight into my earlier article on Song of Songs 1:5-7, prompting me to reread the text as a protest song (essay) against the racial stigmata that continue to bedevil black people in the world. The current article, using hermeneutics of appropriation, maintains the meaning of —“‘••’—’• as a black person, who in the Song of Songs protests against the racism, which transformed her status to that of a socioeconomic other. The study is informed by the contemporary and historical contexts of racial injustices and stigma suffered by Blacks for 'being' while Black. The essay investigates this question: In which ways does Adamo's reading of Jer 38:1-17 influence an African reading of Song 1:5-7 as a protest against racism? The article employs African Biblical Hermeneutics, as part of a creative and literary art in the protests against racism, to read the biblical text as our story-a divine story, which in the language of Adamo, has inherent divine power that can empower oppressed black people. <![CDATA[<b>African Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Socioeconomic and African Hermeneutical Reading</b>]]> In conversation with David Adamo's Africa in the Bible approach, which investigates the presence of Africa and Africans in Scriptures, this article conducts a synoptic search of the named and unnamed "African" women of the Torah and Nebiim with the aim of probing their socio-economic status. We ask, to what extent does a socioeconomic reading of the portraits of these women - from Hagar to the Queen of Sheba - afford us a glance into the lives of women in antiquity in the geographical location called Africa today, many of whom seemed to enjoy a great degree of social and economic independence? The social identity and status of these women may help to counteract some of the modern images of African women as victims of patriarchy under male power. The implications of the findings for African biblical hermeneutics of which Adamo is one of the foremost proponents cannot be over-emphasised. <![CDATA[<b>Jacobus Capitein: Champion for Slavery and Resisting Mimic?</b>]]> Jacobus Eliza Johannes Capitein (1717-1747) was a man of many firsts-the first black student of theology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, the first black minister ordained in the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands, the author of the first Fante/Mfantse-Dutch Grammar in Ghana as well as the first translator of the Ten Commandments, Twelve Articles of Faith and parts of the Catechism into Fante/Mfantse. However, he is also remembered as the first African to argue in writing that slavery was compatible with Christianity in the public lecture that he delivered at Leiden in 1742 on the topic, De Servitute Libertati Christianae Non Contraria. The Latin original was soon translated into Dutch and became so popular in the Netherlands that it was reprinted five times in the first year of publication. This contribution will pose the question: Was Capitein a sell-out who soothed the Dutch colonial conscience as he argued with scholarly vigour in his dissertation that the Bible did not prohibit slavery and that it was therefore permissible to continue with the practice in the eighteenth century; or was he resisting the system by means of mimicry due to his hybrid identity - as an African with a European education - who wanted to spread the Christian message and be an educator of his people? <![CDATA[<b>Psalms 135 and 136: Exodus Motifs Contributing to Israelite Praise</b>]]> The twin psalms 135 and 136 are both hymnic inspired texts with strong cultic features. In both psalms, exodus allusions and motifs play a role in the composers' intention to build their own theological thrust. Both psalms display a plethora of resemblances regarding atmosphere, structure, themes, motifs, content and liturgical importance. Nonetheless, each of them radiates its own identity and theological intent. By reading these two psalms both separately and together, the common denominator places the focus on praise for the Israelite God, Yahweh. By identifying the exodus motifs and determining their function in each psalm, this article aims to contribute to the theological meaning of both psalms.