Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> vol. 38 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Introduction</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Interview with Fanie Snyman</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Facilitating interpretive resilience: the Joseph story (Genesis 37-50) as a site of struggle</b>]]> This article argues that the notion of the Bible as a site of struggle offers resources that may facilitate interpretive resilience for communities/sectors that have been marginalised by dominant biblical theologies. While the notion of the Bible as a site of struggle had its conceptualisation within historical-critical redaction criticism, literary-narrative and literary-rhetorical criticisms provide similar kinds of "critical" recognition of ideo-theological contestation within the biblical text, whether the final form or a socio-historically reconstructed redactional edition. This article uses the Joseph story in Genesis as a case study. Central to the understanding of interpretive resilience in this article is the recognition that marginalised sectors themselves build their interpretive resilience as they navigate and negotiate the (additional) kinds of resources biblical studies might offer. <![CDATA[<b>Water as motif in Exodus 14-15; 2 Kings 2 and Matthew 14:22-33: a comparative study</b>]]> In the Canon of Scriptures, three decisive turning points (epochs) mark their course with the intensification of miracles. These miracles are craftily described in micronarratives that are, in turn, imbedded within macronarratives. Many of the written miracle stories in the three main macro-narratives (or rather, epochs) have noticeable resemblances when compared to each other. Narratological features such as structure, settings, themes and motifs have striking similarities. In some instances, it appears that one story was built upon another. If this is the case, the question arises as to how far the story can go. This paper will ponder over this question by comparing one miracle story in each of the three main epochs, respectively. The main focus will be on the narrative motif of water found in Exodus 15, 2 Kings 2, and Mathew 14:22-33. <![CDATA[<b>Transmission history and biblical translation: the case of Deuteronomy 9:24</b>]]> Transmitting a source text into a target language always implies, to some extent, that the translator must interpret the text that is being translated. However, contemporary Bible translations regularly significantly deviate from the Hebrew text they pretend to render, even if the source text is not at all problematic. In this article, I will analyse Deuteronomy 9:24 from this perspective. I will argue that the rendering by several actual Bible translations seems to be influenced by the transmission history of the text, as it can be found in some of the ancient versiones. <![CDATA[<b>The </b><b><img align="absmiddle" data-src-orig="/img/revistas/at/v38s26/06ii9.jpg" src="/img/revistas/at/v38s26/06ii9.jpg"></b><b> in Joshua 6 and 7, influenced by P?</b>]]> The article engages with the old question of Priestly influence in the book of Joshua and is, to a large extent, a response to Dozeman's most recent commentary on Joshua 1-12. The article focusses specifically on the and argues that there are more intertextual links between the understanding of in Joshua 6 and 7 and texts from Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets than with Priestly texts. <![CDATA[<b>"Trauma is suffering that remains". The contribution of trauma studies to prophetic studies</b>]]> Although the study of trauma has been common practice in several fields, biblical scholars have, since only a few years ago, used the concept of trauma as an important tool to interpret biblical texts. This article aims to provide a brief overview of the history of trauma studies in order to understand its impact on theology and biblical studies. The last section of the article focuses on trauma studies and the interpretation of prophetic literature. <![CDATA[<b>Interpretation, ethics, and the complex relationship between a prophet and an </b><b>ֵ֤<img align="absmiddle" data-src-orig="/img/revistas/at/v38s26/08ii1.jpg" src="/img/revistas/at/v38s26/08ii1.jpg">ם</b>]]> The ontological turn in hermeneutics made it increasingly clear that an interpreter's "inner self" is not detached from the world in which s/he lives. This had a profound impact on not only how one conceives of the process of interpretation, in general, but also how one thinks of ethical evaluation and appropriation, in particular. In this regard, the narrative of Hosea's marriage to Gomer (Hos. 1-3) presents an interesting test case for how an interpreter's previously established moral framework influences his/her current understanding of the biblical text. To illuminate this matter, three prominent ethical theories (consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics) are used as interpretative frameworks. Finally, the author reiterates that pre-understanding plays an important role in biblical interpretation. This matter is often more complex than simply focussing on theological presuppositions in terms of dealing with different ethical questions and challenges. <![CDATA[<b>Jeremiah 8:8: why are scribes accused of corrupting the Torah?</b>]]> Why are scribes accused, in Jeremiah 8:8-9, of corrupting the "tôrah"? The article contemplates possible answers to this question against the background of what is presupposed in the Book of Jeremiah with regards to "tôrah" and being a scribe. Does this confront one with a response triggered by the reformation of Josiah (older interpretation) or by an indication of what took place much later during the gradual combination of Torah and Nebi'im as authoritative scripture in Persian and Hellenistic times (recent interpretation)? The article distinguishes between oral common law and written statutory law, in order to rectify anachronistic interpretations of all biblical laws as statutory laws (Berman 2014). The change from oral to written law, facilitated by the scribes, caused a legitimacy crisis and can be explained against the background of a new understanding of what "word of God" or "revelation" entailed (Van der Toorn 2013). <![CDATA[<b>The order of the oracles against the nations in the book of Jeremiah</b>]]> The textual tradition of the Book of Jeremiah shows two different orders of the collection of the Oracles Against the Nations (OAN). Recently, an increasing majority of scholars have given preference to the sequence of the OAN collection in JerLXX as being the more original one. It remains uncertain, however, whether this growing consensus is, in fact, valid. In this article, I develop four arguments that question the preference for the Greek order of the OAN collection in Jeremiah. Alternatively, I present a hypothesis for the originality of the MT order and a possible reason for its reworking at a later period. <![CDATA[<b>Jeremiah 51:1519 (MT): an "unintentional" link between the oracles against Babylon and the remainder of the book of Jeremiah</b>]]> The oracles against Babylon seem to be an anomaly in the Book of Jeremiah. The doxology in Jeremiah 51:1519 (MT) does, however, serve as a link between these oracles and the remainder of the book of Jeremiah. By giving the impression of being a deliberate quotation of 10:12-16, 51:15-19 takes the reader back to 10:1-16, a composition in which the contrast between the idols of the nations and YHWH is emphasized. YHWH has the power to execute his plan to destroy Babylon. 51:1519 did, however, attain a distinct identity through its close connections with the oracles against Babylon. It paradoxically functions as a link between these oracles and those against Judah. In contrast to YHWH's actions, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, his future dealings would result in the fall of Babylon and the return of his people from exile. <![CDATA[<b>Agreement between the Peshitta and Old Greek and the textual criticism of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible</b>]]> Of the fifteen examples discussed in this contribution, a different Vorlage is likely to underlie the Old Greek and the Peshitta in Ezekiel 10:1, 10:2 (second example), 11:7, 12:4-7 and 12, 16:23, 17:22, 21:17 and 23:43. For this last example, a new proposal is made for a reconstruction of the common Vorlage for the two versions. A different Vorlage is possible, but less certain, for Ezekiel 7:2, 11:2 and 12:25. The differences between the Masoretic Text, on the one hand, and the two versions, on the other, can be ascribed to a similar translation technique, or other factors in the case of Ezekiel 10:2 (first example), 11:15, 13:5 and 17:7, although a different Vorlage may be considered. In light of these examples, agreement between the Peshitta and the Old Greek against the Masoretic Text must be evaluated for every instance, bearing in mind the possibility of a different Vorlage. <![CDATA[<b>Peace amidst violence: various views in the twelve minor prophets</b>]]> Amidst many perspectives on violence in the Twelve Minor Prophets, there also exist various views on peace. The article focusses on the major peace traditions in the Dodekapropheton and explores the differences in perspectives by the various authors. Of note is the relation between peace and (corroborated) violence, and the context(s) under which conditions for peace are possible. The article also reflects on the psychological issue (referring to Freud's concepts of eros and thanatos) of how human prophets advocate both peace and violence, involving the concept of God in the process. <![CDATA[<b>The crimes of the nations in Amos 1-2</b>]]> In the oracles against the nations in Amos 1-2, several acts of the nations are condemned as "transgressions" or "crimes". The text mentions "threshing" one's enemy, deportations and slave trade, acting in wrath and anger, expanding one's territory by conquest, ripping open pregnant women, and desecrating corpses. Although these are clearly acts of violence, they are viewed as legitimate in some contexts. Gods and kings are practising them. It depends on the perspective. The author of Amos 1-2 sides with the victims and identifies the perspective of the victims with God's perspective. This lays solid ground for the Book of Amos, in which the social violence of the powerful against the weak and vulnerable in Israelite society is judged in the same way as a crime against God. <![CDATA[<b>From traumatic to narrative memories: the rhetorical function of birth metaphors in Micah 4-5</b>]]> This article proposes that trauma hermeneutics and, in particular, greater theoretical reflection on the relationship between trauma and metaphor may help explain the birth metaphors in Micah 4:9-5:3, where the woman-in-labour metaphor has been transformed quite dramatically. In the context of Micah, which I propose could also be characterized as trauma literature, there is evidence of a movement from potentially debilitating traumatic memories, associated with the woman-in-labour metaphor, to memories that have been integrated into some kind of narrative framework and that may potentially be considered to be a sign of healing and recovery. <![CDATA[<b>The avenging God of Nahum as comforter of the traumatized</b>]]> In this article dedicated to my esteemed colleague Fanie Snyman, I want to contribute to the fascinating field of the study of biblical literature and the hermeneutics of trauma. Instead of focussing on the more common reference to prophets such as Jeremiah who helped people cope with the traumatic experience of the Babylonian exile, I will pay attention to the very different message of Nahum to the Judeans who suffered under Assyrian tyranny. This prophecy is less popular and often condemned for the way in which it portrays YHWH as a violent god. This even seems to approve of, and therefore also incite sexual abuse of women. I will attempt to demonstrate that the trust in YHWH as both a good god and an avenger of the evil deeds of the Assyrians functions as a prerogative to restore the faith of the traumatized Judeans. The way in which YHWH's revenge is presented has an important function within this framework. Modern interpreters should be reluctant in criticizing it, because it can have a healing function in the specific situation of the traumatized. <![CDATA[<b>Once again the term <i>maśśā </i>in Zechariah 9:1; 12:1 and in Malachi 1:1: what is its significance?</b>]]> The article argues that massä' in Zechariah 9:1; 12:1 and in Malachi 1:1 refers to written prophecy. The phrase debar yhwh, which follows this term, gives authority to this phenomenon, as do the frequent occurrences of formulas marking divine speech in the Book of Malachi, and to some degree in Zechariah 9-14. In addition, the lack of divine revelation in these materials indicates that prophecy in the old sense of the word changed some time after the prophets Haggai and Zechariah conveyed their message. However, some features of Malachi 1:1, Zechariah 11:4, and Malachi 1:2-5 provide continuity with these prophets and with pre-exilic prophecy (Hos. 12:11, 14; Zech. 7:7; Hag. 1:1, 3; 2:1), as well as with Moses and the law. Maeeä' in Zechariah 9:1; 12:1 and in Malachi 1:1 covers these aspects of prophecy and connects to the oracles concerning the nations in Isaiah 13-23, which are introduced by the same term. <![CDATA[<b>A position of honour or shame? YHWH as an armour bearer in Psalm 35:1-3</b>]]> The imagery of a shield in the Psalms is applied to YHWH in many instances: from YHWH as the shield of salvation or as the shield of refuge, to the destroyer of the shield. In Psalm 35:2, YHWH takes on the position and duties of an armour bearer (or shield bearer) for the king. This article raises the question as to whether or not the position of armour bearer for the king is a position of honour or shame? To answer this question, the article evaluates the function and duties of an armour bearer from the context of honour and shame, using inter- and extra-textual sources. <![CDATA[<b>Mindful happiness nowadays: a new perspective from ancient biblical wisdom</b>]]> Our current times are characterized by a strange paradox. The secularized world we live in no longer embraces Christianity as such nor its concrete praxis in churches. Simultaneously, however, our times are very remarkably searching for the things that "do really matter", for "happiness", "meaning" and "wisdom". This occurs in a real plethora of different ways and against the background of distinct traditions. Nevertheless, many of the intrinsic beautiful elements in this plethora of contemporary approaches simply are and have for ages been as much Judeo-Christian thinking and living. Indeed, we discern them in the monastic tradition, in medieval mysticism, in the (re-)new(ed) tendencies of Christian meditation, in the Biblical texts, and especially in Biblical Wisdom Literature. All too often, however, they have been forgotten beneath the dust of times. We should rediscover them and situate them in this new and actual context. <![CDATA[<b>Black am I and beautiful - rhetorical irony in Song of Songs</b>]]> This article argues for an ironic understanding of Song of Songs 1:5-6. The linguistic irony carries a second meaning contrary to the first more obvious one, being expressed as verbal and situational irony. The rhetorical structure and the figures of speech are analyzed. The stereotype conceptualizations of "blackness" and "beauty" in the Old Testament are evaluated. It is demonstrated that she boasts of being black and beautiful. The text is explained by the stylistic device of rhetorical irony. This leads to the result that she is also a city woman and that the vineyard-episode with her brothers (1:5-6) cannot be understood as a serious explanation for her skin colour, as it commonly happens. Perhaps she is associated with Pharaoh's daughter. Finally, the second conflict with her brothers (8:8-12) is taken into account and it is shown how the "Kipp-Phänomen" is used to turn around the expectations of those involved in comic and irony. <![CDATA[<b>Anything new under the sun?! Exploring further avenues for writing another commentary on Chronicles</b>]]> Over the past two decades, there has been an explosion of new commentaries on Chronicles. Scholars may justifiably ask whether there is anything new under the sun to investigate in another commentary on this book. Having been contracted to produce a commentary for the Old Testament Library series (as follow-up to Japhet's majestic commentary), I am investigating some new avenues for this endeavour. Three potential areas are discussed: utilizing Achaemenid royal inscriptions and written records for the interpretation of Chronicles; revisiting theories on the composition of Chronicles, and bringing Chronicles and Pentateuchal studies into conversation with one another.1