Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820080002&lang=en vol. 28 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Towards the design for a new Bible translation in Sesotho</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The purpose of this article is to suggest a means of translating the Bible and other religious texts to provide for the needs of a community consisting to a large extent of members not able to read written texts. Colonialism in Southern Africa introduced the Bible and Western text-based literacy. Bible translators have focused their efforts on preparing a clear, natural and accurate written/printed text, with the expectation that audiences will understand the message if it is in their own language. Such translations depend on the reader's ability to understand a written text. Literacy is essentially about control of information, memory, beliefs and distribution. Users still living in an oral culture are excluded. Continuing oral traditions and indigenous forms of cultural expression were and still are beyond the control of literacy. Within these communities, the African oral story-telling tradition survived in several forms within the narrative discourse. In view of the fact that these religious communities consist predominantly of members not able to read writen texts, another vehicle for the transfer of religious thought in Bible and religious translation is suggested. A new trend in Bible translation will consider the requirements of the hearer as well as those of the reader. (The translation has to be read out aloud, heard and listened to.) This trend is reflected in the recently published Contemporary English Version (1995), Das Neue Testament (1999), The Schocken Bible, Volume 1 (1995) and the Nieuwe Bijbel Vertaling (New Dutch Version) (2004). This article's key issue is that of a translation strategy applicable to the audiences in question. Walter J. Ong mentions nine qualities of oral culture in which he characterises orally expressed thought and expression as opposed to literate thought and expression. The implementation of the features pertaining particularly to the Sesotho oral culture is suggested for the Bible and the religious translation process in Sesotho. These features will assist hearers to grasp the meaning when the translation is read out aloud to them in church or privately. <![CDATA[<b>Morality and religion in African thought</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article deals critically with current discourses on morality in African thought. These discourses reflect the ambivalence between those scholars seeking to define African morality within the parameters of a conventionalised, Western, religious episteme, and those pursuing an "Africanist" (Afrocentric) explanation which embraces an authentic mode of African knowledge construction within indigenous communities. The assumption that faith or religion is the foundation of African morality can only be partially endorsed when one grants space for hybrid moral constructions between Christianity and indigenous religion. However, African morality is not necessarily based on religion or faith, but on the beneficiary values of collective family and community well-being, without dissolving the individual's character. In African thought, the "best" rational justification of the moral imperative is less of an issue than in current moral discourse. <![CDATA[<b>Symbolism in the Samaria ivories and architecture</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Situated at the crossroads of great nations, the Land of Israel was exposed to numerous external influences. Samaria, the capital city of Northern Israel, was also situated on a major trade route. Various expeditions uncovered approximately 500 pieces of carved ivory in the palace complex at Samaria. According to the motifs carved in them, these pieces can be divided into two main groups. The first group is categorised by the Harpocrates medallion. The Hah and Isis and Nephtys plaques are also relevant in this case. The second group consists mainly of the so-called Woman at the Window, the Winged Sphinx, Winged Figures in Human Form, Horus and Ma'at, the Lion and Bull Plaques, as well as the Tree of Life Motif in ivory. The latter is also represented in the Proto-Ionic capitals uncovered at many different sites, including Samaria. This article discusses the different cultural influences and motifs, and explains their presence. <![CDATA[<b>Calvyn oor die leiding van die Heilige Gees in die verklaring van die Skrif</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Many theologians are unmistakenly reluctant to acknowledge the guidance of the Holy Spirit as a hermeneutic key in explaining Scripture. This article examines the role of the Spirit in John Calvin's exegetical method. While he firmly believed in the divine inspiration and clarity (claritas) of the Bible, he also recognised the total depravity of mankind. He therefore concluded that only by illuminating their minds through the Holy Spirit will human beings be able to understand the true meaning of Scripture. By investigating relevant sections of his published works, in particular those in his commentaries on Biblical passages referring to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this article explores the way in which Calvin established and applied his modus operandi. <![CDATA[<b>When a text quotes others texts. Malachi 1:6-14 as an example</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The problem posed in this article is a fairly straightforward one: Do Pentateuch traditions occur in Malachi 1:6-14 and if so, how are they used? The problem is approached by searching for quotations, shared terminology, inversions and common themes that occur in both the Pentateuch and Malachi. This investigation reveals that there are mainly three ways in which Pentateuch traditions function in this pericope: The vocabulary or phrases in the text allude to recognisable Pentateuch traditions; interpretations are applied to a new situation and utilised in creative ways (new applications were made applicable to the period in which the prophet lived at the time), and the combination with other known traditions from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. <![CDATA[<b>The church order of the Dutch Reformed Church: Points of departure with regard to the Scriptures, confessions of faith and the church order</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Church Order of the Dutch Reformed Church puts the position of the Scriptures, its confessions of faith and its order for the church in a truly reformed perspective. In some instances this can be traced to the famous Synod of Dordt of 1618-1619. Supported by resolutions from the General Synod, these points of departure indicate the official stance of this church on these issues - a stance which can only be changed, be it officially, by changing the formulations in the Church Order. The Scriptures are regarded as the objective Word of God. With regard to the confessions, quia does not necessarily mean that one supports every reference or remark, but it indicates that the doctrine it confesses and formulates is according to the Scriptures. With regard to the offices, the assemblies and the relationships of the church, this Church Order differs from an attitude which has been accepted over many years by other reformed churches. Two dangers lie ahead for the Dutch Reformed Church. On the one hand, conservatism with a confessionalism that regards the confessions as canonical for all practical purposes. On the other hand, the church may endeavour to keep up with the times to such an extent that it exchanges Scriptures as a point of departure for humankind itself: It chooses to be liberal in the sense of an unrestricted freedom for humankind. <![CDATA[<b>An embodied spirituality: Perspectives for a bodily pastoral anthropology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Important new developments within practical theology and, in particular, within pastoral theology have taken place over the past decades. In terms of a post-foundational practical theology, this article endeavours from a hermeneutical perspective to explore overlaps between various domains of sciences. As part of a re-described spiritual embodied anthropology, it is claimed that the mind-body dualism is outdated and that the roots of human corporeality are to be rediscovered. The article investigates the effect of an emphasis on the biological for a pastoral anthropology in terms of its implications for one's concept of God, one's view on personal identity, the affirmation of being relation-orientated, and the importance of context. Taking these perspectives to the marketplace, the article considers the meaning of the spirituality of an embodied soul at work. In formulating these perspectives, the emphasis is on an engagement with the other and his/her world. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the New Testament from a theological perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article argues that, from the perspective of the faith community, it is not enough to read the Bible only from a "technical" point of view; a theological perspective is also required. Subsequently the article deals with what a theological reading entails: A reader-orientated and a text-orientated view are presented. <![CDATA[<b>God images, ethical effects and the responsibility of Systematic Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article registers an important shift that is occurring in contemporary theistic reflection: greater sensitivity to the function of God images, and the consequent ethical impacts. Three texts by Gunton, Johnson and McFague are discussed that exemplify this focus in an emphatic way. From this treatment the implications for Systematic Theology crystallise clearly. The rest of the article entails an exploration of the dynamics of the causal relationship between a specific God image and its corresponding effect. The ramifications for the task and responsibility of Systematic Theology are identified and in conclusion some normative guidelines are suggested. <![CDATA[<b>The "person of peace" in mission</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582008000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The concept of the "person of peace" plays an important role among evangelicals. To reach a community, such a "person of peace" is often identified. This person can then expose the community to mission. From a theological perspective it is possible to acknowledge the importance of such a "person of peace". In this instance the concept should be expanded to include the notion of the church's task to bring about peace. This peace must visibly elicit people in need to bring about harmony in all spheres of life.