Scielo RSS <![CDATA[In die Skriflig ]]> vol. 55 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>By everyone and for everyone: The principles underlying 'justice' in Deuteronomy 16:18-20</b>]]> In Deuteronomy 16:18-20, Moses instructs the people of Israel to appoint judges and officials in their various towns upon entering the Promised Land. Strikingly, not much is said about the qualifications of these judges and officials, or the method of their appointment. Rather, the passage is devoted to what these judges and officials were, and were not to do, and also what the community's share in justice was to be. Despite the emphasis in the passage on the principles the community and its judges and officials were to embody, no comprehensive study has been published that relates what exactly was expected of both parties when it comes to justice. The primary objective of the current article was to investigate what principles these judges and officials were to embody, and what was expected of the community when it came to justice. The secondary objective was to give some suggestions on how these principles can be applied to modern citizens and judiciaries. This article investigates the possible literary, historical and canonical context of the passage by means of a detailed literature study and an independent exegetical study. Making use of these findings, the principles underlying justice in the passage were deduced. This article revealed that the appointment of judges and officials was the task of the whole community; that judges and officials were to judge fairly; that the community had to appoint judges and officials who were wise; that the appointment of judges and officials was for the whole community; that the pursuit of justice were to be the aim of everyone and that the blessing of the Lord would ensue where justice prevails. In conclusion some suggestions were given on how these principles can be applied to modern citizens and judiciaries, briefly reflecting on judicial progress and challenges in South Africa. CONTRIBUTION: This article therefore contributed to the discussion of the Old Testament in Africa. It argued that one possibility of meeting the challenges and setbacks of the South African judiciaries is to (once more) emphasise the principles deduced from Deuteronomy 16:18-20 to the country's citizens and judiciaries. The (re)implementation of these principles by the Rainbow Nation could ensure that justice is served by everyone and for everyone <![CDATA[<b>The (mis)interpretation of the Bible in South Africa: Towards a better hermeneutic</b>]]> The Bible continues to have a prominent place in the South African discourse. Unfortunately, however, it is often poorly interpreted. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of the misinterpretation of the Bible. We aimed to uncover the specific interpretive methods responsible for this misinterpretation, considered generally in the South African milieu. Specifically, we discussed the role of biblical fundamentalism. Essentially fundamentalism fails to account for the reader's place in the process of biblical interpretation and so operates under the guise of false objectivity. We then discussed three examples of this phenomenon: the way in which Scripture has been interpreted by the African Christian Democratic Party, Peter Hammond's view in his Biblical principles for Africa, and the scriptural interpretation of Deuteronomy by Dutch Reformed theologians in the 1930s-1960s. This essay demonstrated that the primary problem with the fundamentalistic method is its failure to account for the reader's role in the interpretive process. Fundamentalism presents itself in several ways as 'biblical' without recognising the problems inherent in such a formulation, especially in the assumption of objectivity. This result illustrated the necessity for a more reader-centred approach to Scripture that takes note of prior ideological commitments. As a result, it is imperative that we embrace a hermeneutic that is firstly 'critical', that means willing to interrogate ideological pre-commitments. Secondly, we proposed that the hermeneutic focus on 'eschatology', whereby Scripture is considered primarily based on its redemptive trajectory. The emphasis is then placed on the Christ event, especially the resurrection as the culmination of the story. Biblical ethics are then grounded in an understanding of the people of God as the eschatological community. This approach is also termed 'redemptive-historical'. As one example of such an approach, we discussed N.T. Wright's Five-act model. In this view, biblical ethics are grounded upon knowing where we find ourselves in the overall drama and what is appropriate within each act. God's people are to imagine themselves as players in a later stage of the same grand drama of Scripture. This hermeneutic provides, so we argued, a better approach to applying Scripture in the modern context. If we wish to reduce the misinterpretation of Scripture in the South African milieu, we need to identify fundamentalist hermeneutics and continually strive towards a more reader-centred and eschatological approach to its interpretation. CONTRIBUTION: This article attempted to contribute towards our understanding of the way Scripture is used in public discourse, and it also suggested a way forward to a better interpretation <![CDATA[<b>Oral-based Bible translation: A contextualised model for the nomadic Himba people of southern Africa</b>]]> Historically, the work of Bible translation has involved multiple disciplines in a commitment to translate Scripture with integrity and faithfulness to the original Greek and Hebrew texts. Translating Scripture for primary oral societies has added another dimension to the need for accuracy, beauty and clarity in Scripture translation. It has been widely accepted in Western literate society that the Bible is accessed in written print in the form of a book. For oral-preference societies, such as the nomadic Himba and San peoples of southern Africa, a printed Bible has presented a challenge. Few people read or wish to read as their primary means of communication. In the case of the San family of languages, complex phonemic systems of up to 85 contrastive clicks have presented a challenge in developing 'readable' orthographies. This article has highlighted the rationale for oral-based Bible translation. The research aimed to address the translation needs of oral societies - some of whom are nomadic or semi-nomadic people groups. The recent missiological positioning of certain Bible translation practitioners has led to an oral-based approach to Bible translation which validates the cultural identity of modern oral communicators. Orally crafted translations of Scripture passages have been recorded and made available to oral societies through a range of media, including MP3 players, SD cards and mobile phone applications. The effectiveness of oral-based Bible translation among the Himba people has been seen in their response. What began as a three-year pilot project to explore the potential impact of oral-based Scripture among oral societies has led to a unanimous demand for a second three-year phase, and an expressed desire for a full oral-based Bible in the Himba language. The oral-based approach as described is currently used in nearly 20 other oral Bible translation, which reflects a felt need for oral-based Scripture among oral societies in southern Africa. CONTRIBUTION: Insights from the emerging practice of oral-based Bible translation in southern Africa provide valuable data for missiological approaches to communicating the gospel in the context of modern oral societies <![CDATA[<b>The reliability of the apostles and their testimony according to 2 Peter 1:3-4 and its significance for the writings of the New Testament: An exegetical study</b>]]> In this exegetical article, it is shown that, in 2 Peter 1:3-4, Peter indicates that the apostles were reliable witnesses of Jesus Christ. As the New Testament writings are bearers of the apostolic testimony, 2 Peter 1:3-4 also provides important testimony regarding the Bible and, in particular, regarding the New Testament. The aim of this article is to show that, according to 2 Peter 1:3-4, the apostles and their testimony are reliable and that these testimonies are significant for the writings of the New Testament. This study follows an exegetical method and follows the grammatical-historical model. From 2 Peter 1:3-4, it is clear that the reliability of the apostles is the result of divine power. Jesus Christ worked through his Spirit with divine power in the apostles. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ provides the apostles with everything that leads to true life, as well as to godliness. To the apostles, this was all given within their intimate and personal relationship with the glorified Christ. According to 2 Peter 1:3-4, Jesus Christ himself called his apostles to proclaim the message of God's grace. As eye- and earwitnesses of Jesus Christ's divine power, they could reliably reveal the meaning of what they witnessed of him. In 2 Peter 1:3-4, Peter testifies that the apostles received promises from Jesus Christ. These are great promises that have profound significance for anyone who accepts them in faith. CONTRIBUTION: The contribution of this article is to show that 2 Peter 1:3-4 gives important information about the reliability of the apostles and their testimony <![CDATA[<b>Scripture use and Scriptural authority in the postmodernist context</b>]]> This article focused on the burning issue of the authority of Scripture and the way that it is currently used in the Christian and theological community. The research was necessitated by the gap between academic epistemology and the use of the Bible in religious activity. The research illustrated how a different understanding of the authority and interpretation of the Bible caused a clear division in church and society, particularly in the Reformed churches. The aim of the research was to illustrate the current abuse of the Bible in religious debate to legitimise pre-conceived convictions on theological and ethical issues. It was found that, even within the Reformed tradition, the opposing use of Scripture has caused diversity in the church community; thereby causing a serious break in the unity of the church. During the research process, it became clear that a radical new approach to Scriptural interpretation opposed the traditional Reformed understanding of the application of the Bible as per the three main confessions of the Reformed faith. What influenced such a radical new way of Scriptural authority? It was found that an analysis of philosophical systems, leading to the postmodern era, clearly prepared the way for an approach to search for the so-called true meaning of the text behind the text. This new approach was juxtaposed against the Reformed use of Scripture in the immanent text of the Bible and application thereof in the Reformed confession. CONTRIBUTION: All over the world and also in South Africa, the church community seems to be drawn into a battle for survival. Many church members have lost their faith, abandoned the church membership or moved on to other religions, mainly due to the way Scripture is currently viewed and applied. Unless the confusion in the understanding of the Bible is cleared, the process will deteriorate rapidly. In particular, the theological training of ministers and pastors needs careful consideration. Some academics have denounced their faith in the existence of God in favour of a post-theistic conviction. Students are taught that the Bible is not the Word of God, but human words about God. Such convictions have caused great confusion in church communities. It is envisioned that this research, published in a scientific journal, will underline the urgent need for the church, in general, and the Reformed faith, in particular, not to ignore the seriousness of the matter <![CDATA[<b>Translating psalms for Africa today: Involving the community and transmitting through performance</b>]]> Psalms, being poems, need to be translated as poems using the poetic features of the receptor language. Official translators are not always poetically sensitive, but many community members are highly skilled word-artists, keen to participate in the translation process. Further, poems are always performed before an audience, and thus translated psalms need to include performance features as part of the translation. These two aspects of translating psalms offer advantageous possibilities for those translating biblical poetry. The notion of community involvement challenges the idea of 'authority resting with the trained translators or consultant', but the Skopos Theory reminds us that there can be many translations of a psalm, serving different purposes. This article describes the results of an empirical study including Zulu youth (interested in poetry and music) in the translation of some praise psalms. The idea of interpreting and communicating psalms as oral performances was also tested by presenting the translations as performances before an audience. Four Zulu youth groups participated in the study, each spending five days learning the principles of translation, poetic devices (in Hebrew and isiZulu), features of local music and oral communication style. They studied, translated and presented through oral performance three praise psalms before an audience of adults and peers. The isiZulu translations were evaluated primarily using Wendland's criteria for a literary-rhetorical translation (viz. artistry, aurality and acceptability), but attention was also given to the traditional criteria of faithfulness to the Hebrew, naturalness and clarity. Many of the translations showed creativity balanced with accuracy and gave insights into the exegesis of the psalms. They also used traditional rhythm and features of local poetry and music, and engaged the audience using aspects of performance art. The study highlighted the opportunity available to a translator of psalms to engage local oral artists to participate in the process, either in a parallel project which can feed into the official project, or as a valuable means of Scripture Engagement. Being able to experience the translation process and present psalms in a way meaningful to the local culture has many advantages which need to be explored. CONTRIBUTION: Engaging the local community in a significant way is key to the success of a translation project. Beyond simply being 'reviewers', this methodology offers opportunity for greater involvement in the translation of poetry. Further, using oral performance to present psalms actively, engages the community, resulting in far higher acceptability, memorability and perceived relevance <![CDATA[<b>Exegesis of 2 Peter 3:1-2 and its significance for contemporary Christians with specific reference to views of the so-called New Atheists</b>]]> DIE BYBEL: 2020-vertaling, in Afrikaans translation of the Bible, has been introduced at a time when the Bible, the God of the Bible and believers who accept the Bible as the Word of God are seriously under suspicion. The question is how Christians are supposed to act and react in the light of these developments. The religious conviction of Peter's first readers was under great pressure as a result of false teachers. This article exegetically indicates the guidance that Peter gives to his readers according to 2 Peter 3:1-2 and points out its significance for contemporary Christians. The exegesis in the article is concentrated on 2 Peter 3:1-2 within the context of the letter and is done according to the grammatical-historical model as practised in the Reformed tradition. The article cites examples of the New Atheists' questioning of the Christian faith. Reference is then made to 2 Peter 3:1-2, regarding what believers must do when their faith is questioned. The article found that Christians today, like Peter's first readers, are still under great pressure because of atheists' hostile actions. Like Peter's first readers, modern-day believers need guidance so that they do not succumb to the pressures on their steadfastness. Christians must think purely of the Old Testament prophets and the apostles of Jesus Christ and the revelation they received from God and Jesus Christ. When Christians think purely about prophets and apostles, they will understand the meaning of these people's message in their present circumstances and will be able to act appropriately. 2 Peter 3:1-2 provides guidance to Christians whose faith is under pressure due to the hostile actions of unbelievers CONTRIBUTION: The article contributes to the understanding of the guidance that Peter gave to his first readers according to 2 Peter 3:1-2 and provides guidance to Christians whose faith, like Peter's first readers, is being questioned <![CDATA[<b>To what extent did the Bible translations into indigenous languages of Southern Africa produced since 1966 reflect the purpose of providing meaning-based translations?</b>]]> Since the Bible was intended by die first authors to be understood by all believers, it is important to have an idea of the extent to which different translations succeeded in this respect. The author noticed that some of the latest Bible translations in Southern Africa are inconsistent with respect to the translation policies they followed, sometimes translating according to the meaning, and sometimes literally, distorting the meaning. He then selected a number of theologically important terms from the Bible for the purpose of comparing the way those were translated in the different translations. CONTRIBUTION: It was found that some of these translations, particularly the 1983 Afrikaans translation, the Venḓa translation of 1998, and the Xhosa translation of 1996, consistently translated according to the meaning, and two of them, to wit the latest Southern Ndebele and Zulu translations, very literal, and the rest somewhere in between these methods, sometimes translating quite literally, and sometimes more meaningfully, but generally not consistent. <![CDATA[<b>The 2020 direct translation into Afrikaans: Why and how?</b>]]> The Bible Society of South Africa's commission that the new 2020 translation of the Bible into Afrikaans should be soundly source-text orientated and at the same time easy to understand, set a difficult task to the translators. The 2020 translators would have to dig deep to make these two almost opposing goals meet. The ways by which the translators eventually put their commission into practice, was investigated in this article. The method of investigation was to inspect the decisions of the translators' steering committee about how they planned to execute the commission they received from the Bible Society, and to test their decisions to its execution in practical examples from the 2020 translation itself. The investigation brought to light that the translators' success in the execution of their task, to a large extent, resulted from the fact that they, from the outset, made a clear distinction between the linguistic characteristics and the textual characteristics of both the source and the reception language. This enabled them to make a directly reflecting type of translation without giving way to either formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence. The translators decided not to translate into modern terms typical historic-cultural matters such as measures and weights, currencies and military ranks. By retaining the Hebrew and Greek terms, they tried to conserve the local colour of the source text and to provide a historical credibility to the translation. Moreover, the language and linguistic register of the translation was brought into line with a pre-identified target audience thus contributing to the dignity of the translation text and, simultaneously, making sure that it would be easily understood. CONTRIBUTION: The investigation led to the conclusion that the translators rather successfully dealt with the difficult task that the Bible Society had put before them. They made every effort to present their readers with a directly reflecting type of translation in a neat, stylistically meticulous and clear Afrikaans. Therefore, readers can receive this new contribution to the treasure of Afrikaans Bible translations with gratitude, and use it freely as a welcome addition to the already existing translations <![CDATA[<b>'I am Cain': A hermeneutics of vulnerability in response to decolonial discourse</b>]]> Given the theological justification of apartheid by past influential theologians such as Totius, a hermeneutics of vulnerability is presented in response to the experiences of those who suffered heavily under apartheid in an attempt to render accountable those who benefited from apartheid. The effect of acknowledging the negative influence apartheid had on the black Other, places the white Bible reader in the position of an implicated evildoer or a sinful human being. The author wants to put this awkward position on the table by looking at Cain's position and whether there is any empowerment in his story. In the first part of the article, after the introduction, a brief account is given of certain aspects of Reformed hermeneutics with which the author, as reader, wants to map himself. In the second part, Cain's role is linked to whiteness under apartheid and colonialism, and to the German adaptation of the Holocaust in World War II under the rule of the National Socialist Party in Nazi Germany. Finally, the reader pays attention to the figure of Cain in Genesis 4 under the heading 'I am Cain!' As part of a final word, I seek to connect his interpretation to Reformed hermeneutics. CONTRIBUTION: With this, the author hope to draw attention to the role of whiteness (and masculinity) of the reader in the Bible reading process in a period where people within the Reformed religious tradition must reposition themselves in a post-apartheid and decolonial society. It makes the white male reader uncomfortable, but within a hermeneutics of vulnerability, it contributes positively to change