Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scriptura]]> vol. 118 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>African Christianity and the ecological crisis - tracing the contours of a conundrum</b>]]> There has been a hot debate around Christianity's complicity in environmental destruction for some fifty years. The reasons are mainly to do with the so-called dominion mandate in the book of Genesis and the propensity for Christianity to "disenchant" the environment, that is rid it of spiritual agency. This has led to a comparison between Indigenous Religion and Christianity with respect to the environment with the former being the saint and the latter the sinner. Eco-theologies have emerged during this time in order to mitigate the negative influence of Christianity. These have in many cases attempted to emulate some aspects of Indigenous Religions. In the African context there are signs that the Christian mission continues to have negative effects on the environment and this raises the question of what would constitute an appropriate African Christian theology of the environment. <![CDATA[<b><b>The restoration of the "dry bones" in Ezekiel 37:1-14:</b><b> an exegetical and theological analysis</b></b>]]> The visionary presentation of "Dry Bones" in Ezekiel 37 presupposes the possibility of the restoration of Yahweh's covenant people to their ancestral land in ancient Palestine. What, therefore, is the underpinning theological significance? Using an exegetical and theological analysis, this article argues that the Babylonian captivity had a divine retributive and punitive purpose for a dissident covenant people, and, ultimately, achieved the recognition of the prophetic formula in Ezekiel. It concludes that only Yahweh, acting in his divine economy, and through his divine method, reserved the prerogative to reverse the unfortunate exilic condition of Israel. Bewildered and pessimistic readers should therefore acknowledge the display of this unitary divine sovereignty. <![CDATA[<b>Die gelykenis van die verlore seun: eerste-eeuse ekonomie en die hoorders van Jesus / The parable of the prodigal son: First-century econmy and the hearers of Jesus</b>]]> Jesus het die koninkryk van God verkondig, met die beginsel van algemene wederkerigheid as 'n kardinale aspek daarvan. Vir Jesus was dié koninkryk 'n alternatiewe sosiale wêreld teenoor en die onderdrukkende en uitbuitende sosiale stelsel van die Grieks-Romeinse wêreld. Hierdie artikel poog om die gelykenis van die Verlore Seun (Lukas 15:11-32), met as fokus Lukas 15:11-13, te analiseer teen die sosio-ekonomiese agtergrond van Palestina in die eerste eeu. Spesiale aandag word gegee aan die jongste seun se besluit om die huis te verlaat en moontlike motief daaragter. Daar word van die standpunt uitgegaan dat tekste die produkte is van die spesifieke sosiale stelsels waarin hulle ontstaan het, en daarom word die sosiaal-wetenskaplike benadering gebruik om dié teks te analiseer. Die konklusie waartoe gekom word, is dat die politieke- en belastingstelsel van die Grieks-Romeinse wêreld uiters uitbuitend was, terwyl die koninkryk van God, as alternatiewe sosiale orde, die beginsel van algemene wederkerigheid en die deel van hulpbronne voorgestaan het.<hr/>Jesus preached the kingdom of God, with the principle of general reciprocity as a cardinal aspect. For Jesus, this kingdom was an alternative social world to the oppressive and exploitative social system of the Greco-Roman world. This article seeks to analyse the parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32), focusing on Luke 15:11-13, against the socio-economic background of first century Palestine. Special attention is given to the youngest son's decision to leave the house and his possible motive for doing so. The view is that texts are the products of the specific social systems in which they originated, and therefore the social scientific approach is used to analyse this text. The conclusion reached is that the political and tax systems of the Greco-Roman world were extremely exploitative, while the kingdom of God, as an alternative social order, advocated the principle of general reciprocity and the sharing of resources. <![CDATA[<b>The essence and content of the work Of the <i>Diakonos </i>according to the New Testament</b>]]> The word διάκονος is used for a large variety ofpersons in the New Testament. The question can be asked why this specific word was also used for some of the leaders (deacons) in congregations. The first step to answer this question, is to determine the essence and content of the work of a διάκονος (not as leader) according to the New Testament. The aim of the article is a close study of the meaning of the διάκον words in five New Testament texts to determine the essence and content of the task of the διάκονος. The conclusion is that the results of this study cannot on their own determine the essence and content of the work of the deacon, but they lay the foundation for further study about the leader διάκονος (deacon). In further study it will be important to also look at the texts where the διάκονος functions in a position of leadership. <![CDATA[<b>Zulu youth interpret and translate metaphors in Hebrew poetry: An empirical study</b>]]> Biblical poems make extensive use of metaphors which related to the culture of the original writers. This study explores how Zulu youth in South Africa interpret some of these metaphors from their context. It also gave them the opportunity to translate some biblical metaphors for their peer-group, using images that are more meaningful to them. Their compositions show some insightful interpretation of the Hebrew texts, particularly with respect to their use of new metaphors (often in an expanded form). These new metaphors tend to be within the same domain as those in the original text. The ambiguity inherent in metaphor offered space for the Zulu youth to introduce new (and insightful) imagery in translating metaphors from another culture. The process is worth extending to other communities to enrich our understanding of how people from different contexts perceive and think. <![CDATA[<b>Resistance or compliance: Reading Daniel 1 as a faux-hidden transcript</b>]]> This article examines imperial and economic forces of colonisation surrounding post-exilic Israel, specifically the late Persian period (334-330 BCE) transitioning into the Hellenistic era (332-64 BCE), to do a suspicious reading of Daniel 1 as a text of imperial resistance. Using a paradigm constructed from elements of James Scott's theory of hidden transcripts from "Domination and the arts of resistance ", Daniel 1 becomes a Hellenistic text capable ofplacating and appeasing as much as (or perhaps more than) opposing and resisting empire. This work emphasises suspicious tensions to examine socio-economic class structures in and around the composition of the book of Daniel to interpret Daniel 1 through a hermeneutic of suspicion with a focus on postcolonial theory. <![CDATA[<b>The role of the church in the land debate</b>]]> The issue of land is emotive and controversial. The colonisers allotted themselves land ignoring the African emotional and religious attachment to land. Churches ended up owning tracts of land from which original inhabitants had been mercilessly removed. Landlessness has become a mark of various population settlement patterns. The church is called on to be prophetic by partnering with victims for land re-allocation. The paper suggests four decisive steps that the church should take. These are firstly to advocate strategies to clarify, and secondly to entrench rights for the victims - bilateral agreements - with which the church is conversant with current policies regarding land in order to assist the dispossessed. Thirdly, to reach degrees of consensus which may contribute to amicable settlement of disputes that satisfy both parties and where majority decisions are respected. Finally, the church should promote dialogue, where dissenting parties should synergise towards a unified action to address the situation; or clarify any misunderstanding. <![CDATA[<b>The water of life: Three explorations into water imagery in revelation and the Fourth Gospel</b>]]> This article is comprised of three separate yet related explorations regarding the image of water in Revelation and the Fourth Gospel. It first explores the attempt to tabulate examples of water terminology in the New Testament and how that tabulation has proven incomplete. A fresh assessment is provided that includes an expanded lexical domain for water and notes its high frequency of usage in Revelation and John when compared to the rest of the New Testament. The next section examines four pericopae in Revelation and in the Fourth Gospel where water imagery is prevalent. Old Testament backgrounds for language are examined along with the intertextual relationship between texts in Revelation and John. A theological understanding of water imagery for Revelation and the gospel is proposed. In the final section, the Asian cultic practice of using water-the hydrophoros in the Artemis cult-is presented. While a Jewish background is commonly posited as the background for understanding water imagery in Revelation and the Fourth Gospel, the Greco-Roman polytheistic cults are posited as the primary religious background for Gentile believers in the Asian congregations.