Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scriptura]]> vol. 116 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Waiting for the Lord: the fulfilment of the promise of land in the Old Testament as a source of hope</b>]]> This article examines the fulfilment of the land promise in the OT as a source of hope. This is particularly significant in our contemporary context in which land has become a contested issue. The question this article asks is whether the fulfilment of the land promise in the OT can be a source of hope for communities in (South) Africa. In the process of dealing with the question, the article observes that there are different theological interpretations to the Abrahamic promise within the Bible. Premising its line of thought on this observation, the hypothesis is advanced that some theological interpretations render the fulfilment of the land promise a source of despair for some communities in South Africa while others make it a source of hope. Specifically, Ezra-Nehemiah represents the former and the Isaiah tradition, the latter. <![CDATA[<b>Seeing, sighing, signing - contours of a vulnerable homiletic</b>]]> In this article the many in-between spaces of paradox that characterise the society of South Africa, up to this day, are seen as liminal breeding grounds for what could be called a vulnerable homiletic. Three key concepts are discussed as being inherent to such a homiletic, namely seeing, sighing, and signing. These key concepts are exemplified by reference to sermons by former Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Desmond Tutu in particular. The article concludes with a reflection on an art work by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli. <![CDATA[<b>Religiosity in South Africa: trends among the public and elites</b>]]> This article uses statistical data from the World Values Survey (WVS) and the South African Opinion Leader Survey to examine religiosity among the following samples of South Africans: Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa and isiZulu speaking Protestants, Catholics, African Independent Church (AIC) members and non-religious people (public and parliamentarians). We find that mainline Protestant churches have suffered a loss of members, thus changing the denominational face of the country. Additionally, although South Africans remain very religious, the importance of God in their lives has declined. For many people God is now less important although not unimportant. Parliamentarians appear unaffected by these changes: God is still highly important to members of parliament who profess Christianity (the majority). However, the small number of parliamentarians who are not religious now think God is unimportant. <![CDATA[<b>Refiguring Christ, the true vine: an exploration of an Εγώ</b> <b>είμι saying using Ricoeur's concept of 'metaphor'</b>]]> Paul Ricoeur's understanding of metaphorical language is of great importance in reflection of biblical hermeneutics, not the least when it comes to the parables of Jesus. This article first explores Ricoeur's conception of metaphor, and moves to apply it to the metaphor Jesus uses in the seventh Johannine "I am" saying (John 15:1-8). It is argued that the relevance of metaphor understood along the lines of Ricoeur lies therein that it draws focus to the necessity of creative and 'living' metaphor for proper speech about Christ, even though the 'thing' will always have yet another meaning. A condition for such metaphorical language is unpretentious knowledge of both the text and context of the metaphors applied to Christ in the New Testament - as well as those applied to the godhead in the Bible as a whole - and a firm understanding of the context of the contemporary reader. The aim is to sketch some lines for a metaphorical Christology that brings the Gospel close to believers today. <![CDATA[<b>Black theology and the black experience in the midst of pain and suffering amidst poverty</b>]]> Despite promises of a 'better life for all' millions of mainly black South Africans are subjected to pain and suffering as a result of poverty. This calls for black theological reflection in the light of their experience and the Gospel. This also calls for prophetic activism similar to that provided by some leaders during the struggle for liberation, who unfortunately either joined 'party politics' or the civil service or are now focusing only on preaching that is unrelated to the pain and suffering of the poor. The article argues for pastors, theologians and lay leaders with strong organic links with the masses and their organisations to engage in prophetic activism. <![CDATA[<b>An African philosophical analysis of Isaiah 58: a hermeneutic enthused by <i>Ubuntu</i></b>]]> African philosophy is a recognised field both in the Old Testament and philosophy studies in Africa. Jacobus W Gericke argues that "methodological and conceptual debates in African philosophy are things that biblical scholars can learn from when seeking to address the controversy regarding the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and philosophy". On the conceptual debates in African philosophy, Mogobe B Ramose holds that "Ubuntu is not only a word or a concept... On the contrary, Ubuntu is a lived and living philosophy of the Bantu-speaking peoples of Africa". It is argued in this article that African philosophy can shed light on the reading of the ancient biblical text in South Africa, particularly in relation to Ubuntu. First, this contribution examines African philosophy in South Africa with a view to conceptualise a hermeneutic enthused by Ubuntu based on a reading of Isaiah 58. Second, in this article the author attempts to re-construct the Sitz-im-Leben of Isaiah 58 in the light of African philosophy. <![CDATA[<b>The New Testament as political documents</b>]]> The political nature of the NT documents is carefully hidden away in the folds of a centuries-long tradition of Christianising and spiritualising the NT (and the Bible overall). The depoliticisation and demilitarisation of the NT works hand in glove with a long history of its dejudaising and equally long ghettoising of the Bible through narrow spiritual interpretation, obscuring or blurring its socio-political nature. <![CDATA[<b>Beware of the (Westernised) African eyes: rereading Psalm 82 through the <i>vhufa </i>approach</b>]]> This article argues that the African eyes through which we are called to reread the Bible need to be decolonised on two fronts: First, our being African and being socially located in Africa does not automatically imply that we read through African eyes, so we must beware of Westernised African eyes. Second, the current post-colonial environment still retains structures of coloniality which continually destabilise Africa, so we must beware of Westernised Africa. The failure to decolonise African eyes leads to the reduplication of Western-European environments in our African context and the perpetuation of coloniality in our current environment. This article suggests the vhufa approach to reading of Scripture as a way of overcoming coloniality and as a way of bringing African knowledge systems to shape the reading of the biblical text. This approach is applied to Psalm 82 to highlight how the vhufa approach can be applied to reading of the biblical text. <![CDATA[<b>Singing the psalms: applying principles of African music to Bible translation</b>]]> Psalms were composed to be sung, and translated psalms should also be carefully constructed so that they are easily singable. This requires an understanding of the features of (indigenous) song and rhythm. Towards that end, this article seeks to summarise some important principles of African (particularly Zulu) music, and indicates some errors made in the past by translators of biblical material to be sung. Then some examples are given from a recent study which attempted to apply these principles to the translation of some biblical Psalms into isiZulu. The hope is that sensitivity to such musical features will facilitate a translation that communicates all the aesthetic beauty, rhetorical power, and memorability of the original. <![CDATA[<b><i>(VHO) </i>Abel Mphagi - the barefoot native 'prophet' and 'evangelist' of Vendaland: a transition of indigenous belief systems and Christianity</b>]]> This article details Abel Mphagi's life, ministry and contribution to the growth and expansion of African indigenous Christianity in Vendaland. The article adopts a qualitative 'oral histories ' and 'oral traditions ' methodological approach. Snowball sampling techniques were used in identifying key informants from whom data were to be collected. Abel Mphagi was a freelance African indigenous Christian preacher who did mission work in the former Vendaland. His contribution to the growth and expansion of African indigenous Christianity in Vendaland remains obscured. This could be because Mphagi was never affiliated to any church group or even affiliated to the Western missionaries who were operating in Vendaland during his time of ministry. Lawrence Khorommbi located Mphagi' s grave site at Mphego Village where he was allegedly buried. This article has demonstrated that Mphagi' s contribution to the growth and expansion of African indigenous Christianity should receive more attention - especially in academia. Further study should be conducted to deal with certain identified gaps in Mphagi' s life and ministry which this article has failed to address sufficiently.