Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520090001&lang=pt vol. 30 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Two Instances of <i>Mundus Inversus</i> in Psalm 113</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The psalms often praise Yahweh for his transformative and restorative interventions both in the past and in all times. They portray the deity as the one who offers protection to the weak and defenceless members of society. He uplifts the downtrodden and affords them a place in structure where they gain a new status. In Psalm 113:7-9, Yahweh changes the circumstances of the poor and needy and the childless woman. Social outcasts have their dignity and honour restored. This article explicates these divine acts in terms of the topos of mundus inversus (world-upside down). This cultural phenomenon, which finds expression in artistic, socio-political and religious spheres, accentuates the possibility of another reality by inverting the status quo. Psalm 113 praises Yahweh as the incomparable God who inverts the situation of those condemned to a life of suffering. His incomparability is linked with his power to create a mundus inversus in which the poor and needy have a banquet with nobles and a barren woman takes pleasure in motherhood. <![CDATA[<b>Wisdom and Ethics - The contribution of sapiential ethics for Old Testament ethics</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Old Testament sapiential literature is often described as "ethical literature", however, when concepts on Old Testament ethics are formulated, this literature is often overlooked. Furthermore, there are almost no monographs on the ethics of Old Testament wisdom. Could this perhaps be due to not only the claim that Old Testament wisdom thinking lacks divine revelation or reference to other Old Testament traditions (cf Nel 2002:435), but also to the opinion that there are no "ethics", but only "ethos" in this kind of literature? This article tries to show that "ethics" by definition can be found in Old Testament wisdom literature. Two recent German articles are introduced to the reader: Kaiser (1997) and Zimmermann (2002) reflect on the implicit and explicit ethics of Old Testament wisdom. These articles and other observations underscore the fact that the sapiential literature of the Old Testament contribute significantly to Old Testament ethics - and therein continues the efforts of authors like Nel (2002). <![CDATA[<b>Karl Barth's understanding of mission: The Church in relationship</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt As the Church is moving towards its 21st century of existence, it is confronted by challenges it has never known before. This changing world demands self-reflection within the Church. It has to consider its place, identity and function, thereby giving rise to the exploration of its mission. In this article, the ecclesiology of Karl Barth is explored. By considering Barth's understanding of the Church's relationship with different parties such as God, other religions, those outside the Christian faith, the State and its own inner dynamics, the Church will be reminded of its missionary function in the world. <![CDATA[<b><i>Fides Quaerens Corporalitatem: </i></b><b>Perspectives on liturgical embodiment</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the light of a number of paradigm shifts that have taken place in practical theological methodology, this article proposes an integrative approach that takes the fundamental role of embodiment into account. A brief discussion of the theological understanding of embodiment is followed by a reflection on certain liturgical implications, inter alia liturgical embodiment as immediate participation; as multi-sensory interpretative act; and as broken presence and celebrated absence. <![CDATA[<b>Some notes on writing a commentary: Isaiah 1-12</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt I was requested by the editors of the "Historical Commentary on the Old Testament" (HCOT) to contribute two volumes on Isaiah in this series. This present article, however, focuses only on volume I: Isaiah 1-12. The aim of this article can be summarised in six points. Some introductory remarks are made with regard to the genre of commentary writing. Secondly, the viewpoint of the HCOT series is outlined; in other words its methodological and epistemological viewpoint. Thirdly, recent developments in the study of the book of Isaiah are discussed. Fourthly, my own objectives and hypothesis with regard to this project are outlined. Fifthly, a short overview of Isaiah 1-12 on a synchronic level is given. Sixthly, my research methodology is defined as a "diachronically reflected synchronic" reading of the Isaianic text. In the last section some concluding remarks are made. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing Protestant and Catholic Peters: A comparative study in the literary use of the New Testament and ecclesiastical tradition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Just as literary authors have long taken liberties with the biblical accounts of Jesus Christ and shaped Him to fit their own agendas, they have also appropriated considerable artistic licence in enhancing the meagre information about Peter in the New Testament when constructing fictional narratives about him. A comparison of The Big Fisherman by the theologically liberal American Congregationalist Lloyd C Douglas and Simon Peter the Fisherman by the Austrian Catholic Kurt Frieberger illustrates how two accomplished novelists, drawing in part on similar sources, created markedly different and to some extent predictable images of this apostle. Neither novel is fully faithful to the New Testament evidence; both evince the influence of extrabiblical sources. <![CDATA[<b>Die opstanding van Jesus as kulminerende genesings-handeling in Johannes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt ABSTRACT John views the death and resurrection of Jesus as an inseparable unity (cf 10:17-18). In this article it is then argued that the resurrection of Jesus in John could be understood as a Johannine annexa (cf 2:18-22), as well as the culminating healing act in John. It also serves as the most important anyela against which the other angela and the rest of the Gospel should be understood. In the resurrection as the culminating healing act, John's Jesus restores his own brokenness (and death) and proves that He is the source of life (cf 1:4; 11:25), also by bringing healing and restoration to the spiritually blind (cf 9:40-41; 12:40). This article is a result of the writer's PhD thesis². <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality and the University</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is not often that we witness the birth of a new discipline; the academy is slow to open its doors to "newcomers". Yet, within the last few decades, we have seen the introduction of the "new" discipline of Spirituality into the revered corridors of higher education, not without some raised eye-brows from those within the established disciplines, in particular that of theology and religion. Spirituality is difficult to define and its inter-disciplinary nature does not allow for easy classification. There are diverse spiritualities, each one culture-specific, expressing its own historical, sociological, theological, linguistic and philosophical orientation. Post-patriarchal and telluric, contemporary spirituality affects all areas of society, and is a force for personal and societal transformation. The important role of the academy in this endeavour is increasingly coming to the fore. Spirituality can no longer be considered a "Cinderella" discipline; on the contrary, it has returned to its rightful place and is exerting considerable influence both within and outside the walls of the university. <![CDATA[<b>A biblical death-wish: Paul celebrating dying in Phil 1:21</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Death features as an important concept in the Pauline writings in the New Testament for a number of reasons. However, the intriguing way in which the apostle at times addressed death as positive notion in itself, was traditionally related to Paul 's theological convictions and his understanding of the death of Christ in particular. The remarkably pointed way in which Paul positively celebrated death in Philippians 1:21 borders on invoking a martyrological paradigm, and raises questions about his convictions regarding life, and bodily existence in particular. Interesting analogies emerge when Paul's celebration of death is compared in a concluding section with contemporary, popular instances where death is - even if for different reasons - presented as "gain". <![CDATA[<b>Narrative-critical approach as hermeneutical framework for a creative dialogue between biblical sources and secular extra-biblical sources: The Lord of the Rings as an entry into the Book of Revelation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This essay is motivated by the challenge that biblical texts have very often lost their affective power to address and transform the lives of readers today, because they are either not read at all or they are not fully understood as the world of the text is too far removed from the world of the reader. There are however wonderful contemporary texts that do affect readers' lives and the question arose if the contemporary texts cannot be read together with the biblical texts, to bring them "to life" again? A hermeneutical approach needed to be found that could create the necessary space for non-biblical literary texts to be used to interpret and elucidate biblical texts. The narrative approach provides this space for the two texts to enter into creative dialogue, given that the two texts coincide sufficiently in the significance for the two implied authors, the reference of the texts and in the situation of the implied readers. <![CDATA[<b>The doctrines of original sin and the virgin birth: Divine revelation or human construct?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Two South African theologians, Ben du Toit and Anton van Niekerk, recently published books in which they argued that postmodern believers can no longer subscribe to the doctrines of original sin and the virgin birth. According to them both these doctrines reflect a premodern world-view which should be regarded as outdated. However, they would not like to take leave of the grand narrative of Christianity. There are some fundamental flaws in the reasoning of both scholars. The doctrine of the virgin birth is intertwined with the doctrine of original sin, and both are important to the orthodox doctrine of salvation. As it is not viable or consistent to tamper with some of the orthodox doctrines and try to keep the rest intact, we are left with two options, either to discard the whole system and start afresh, or to try and keep the whole package intact. However, biblical research since the Enlightenment has ruled out the second option. The paper argues in support of this case and attempts to offer a different way forward for Christians living in the twenty-first century than the one offered by Du Toit and Van Niekerk. <![CDATA[<b>Challenging Biblical fundamentalism by seeking the influence of the synagogue in the formation of the synoptic gospels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Taking cues from Michael Goulder 's book Midrash and Lection in Matthew the author argues a case for taking the context of the synagogue seriously as the place were the story about Jesus was recalled and passed on for a minimum of forty years. By using primarily the gospel Mark as frame of reference he illustrates how this context left its mark not only on the gospel of Mark but on the other two synoptic gospels as well. In the synagogue the Hebrew Scriptures were "wrapped around" the story of Jesus. Readers should therefore not read the gospels as historical accounts of his life but as interpretations of his life and acts. A historical-literal reading of the synoptic gospels distorts the message which the authors tried to convey about Jesus. <![CDATA[<b>Personality types as an ecclesiological key</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Personality types can be understood as a key in the ecclesiological positioning of members of the church. The aim of this article is to emphasise the possibilities for the church of addressing members of different personality types as well as utilising them in order to build a bridge to the world. Personality types are not only a key in understanding members but also in engaging and utilising them in the church's orientation to and task towards the world. To be a church of character in these times is a challenge in which personality types can be of help. In this article Gerben Heitink's ecclesiological matrix is combined with the sixteen distinct MBTI® personality types to form a dynamic perspective as to how specific types can be addressed and utilised in order to be a church of character. <![CDATA[<b>Onesimus - a runaway slave? The origin of the Letter to Philemon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is often assumed that Onesimus (mentioned in Paul's Letter to Philemon) was a runaway slave, but in many instances the arguments supporting such a hypothesis are neither provided nor critically examined. A scrutiny of research in this regard indicates the complexity of the matter. In this article various theories on the origin of the Letter to Philemon are discussed and evaluated. The article is concluded by suggestions for making a well-founded decision in this regard. <![CDATA[<b>Andrew Murray's theology of divine healing</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article critically discusses Andrew Murray's contention that when Jesus Christ spoke of sickness it was always as of an evil caused by sin and that believers should be delivered from sickness, because it attacks the body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wrote that Christ took upon Himself the soul and body and redeems both in equal measure from the consequences of sin. Murray contrasts low level Christians who enjoy no close fellowship with God, no victory over sin and no power to convince the world with those who are "fully saved", who enjoy unceasing fellowship with God and are holy and full of joy. Justification and sanctification are thus divided as two separate gifts of God where sanctification is obtained through a new and separate act of faith. He taught that sickness is a visible sign of God's judgment and that healing is granted according to the measure of faith of the believer. <![CDATA[<b>The dispute about the resurrection at the Faculty of Theology at UP: A discussion with Prof Julian Müller</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In recent years some of the lecturers at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria were confronted with the question whether they believed in the historical and physical resurrection of Jesus. This article focuses on a book on the resurrection in which one of these lecturers, professor Julian Müller of Practical Theology, responds to this question. He refuses to answer with a simple "yes ", because he feels the question originates from a fundamentalist and modernistic theology, in which the aim is to take control of the truth. He offers a postmodern interpretation. In this article an effort is made, from the viewpoint of Missiology, to understand his views as he wishes them to be understood, and to respond to it. In Missiology, through the theological rediscovery of Biblical eschatology, the physical and historical resurrection of Jesus has become of central importance again, also in a postmodern paradigm. In conclusion, an effort is made to understand the role of our Faculty of Theology within our Southern African context. <![CDATA[<b>Augustine and the Jews: An introductory overview</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article explores how Augustine of Hippo (354-430) deals with the Jews and Judaism. First it investigates the occurrence and meaning of the word "Iudaeus" in Augustine's works. It turns out that Augustine, unlike many a predecessor, does not make a sharp distinction between "Hebrew", "Israelite", and "Jew". Mainly on the basis of The City of God the role of the Jews in history is discussed. According to Augustine, all true believers (even those living before the time of Jesus) are "Christ believers" and are considered to belong to Christ's body, the Church. The diaspora of the Jews is evaluated both negatively and positively: negatively as a consequence of "their putting Christ to death"; positively since through the dispersion of the Jews their Scriptures have been dispersed as well and so provide "testimony to the truth taught by the Church". The so-called "mark of Cain" can not be interpreted as a predominantly positive sign: it provides protection indeed, but this divine protection is, once again, "for the benefit of the Church". Contrary to some current opinion, it is stressed that Augustine knew contemporary Jews in Roman North Africa quite well. <![CDATA[<b>An ethics of forgiveness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article investigates the argument that the Christian idea of forgiveness can and should be translated into a socio-political context, from a Reformed perspective. It furthermore endeavours to provide guidelines that can be applied in the sphere of a political transition of the basis of an ethics of forgiveness. The new post-Apartheid society of South Africa is a good example of such a political transition. The central theoretical argument of this investigation is that the Christian theological perspective of forgiveness can indeed be translated into a socio-political praxis. Seen within the context of major biblical themes, this can provide a valuable, if not indispensable, contribution to the quest for reconciliation and nation-building in countries troubled by histories of colonialism, ethnocentrism, tribalism, racism and xenophobia. <![CDATA[<b>Boekresensies </b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000100019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article investigates the argument that the Christian idea of forgiveness can and should be translated into a socio-political context, from a Reformed perspective. It furthermore endeavours to provide guidelines that can be applied in the sphere of a political transition of the basis of an ethics of forgiveness. The new post-Apartheid society of South Africa is a good example of such a political transition. The central theoretical argument of this investigation is that the Christian theological perspective of forgiveness can indeed be translated into a socio-political praxis. Seen within the context of major biblical themes, this can provide a valuable, if not indispensable, contribution to the quest for reconciliation and nation-building in countries troubled by histories of colonialism, ethnocentrism, tribalism, racism and xenophobia.