Old Testament Essays
versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919
SPANGENBERG, Izak J. J.. Darwin, Du Plessis, Dead Sea Scrolls and Democracy: Four important events on the road of Old Testament research in South Africa (1859–2009). Old testam. essays [online]. 2009, vol.22, n.3, pp.662-676. ISSN 2312-3621.
The Dutch Reformed Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009. This article takes a look at four important events on the road of the study of the Old Testament in South Africa during this period. The seminary was established in the same year in which Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species was published (1859). Although there is no direct link between the two events, Darwin's theory of natural selection impacted on the Christian doctrines of creation and fall. The second event is the introduction of historical-critical study at the seminary and the dismissal of Johannes du Plessis who was professor during the late 1920s. The third event is the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947-1956) and the impact which this had on the study of the Second Temple period and the idea that Christianity superseded Judaism. The fourth event is the establishment of a proper democracy in South Africa in 1994. The idea that Christianity in its Western dress is the supreme religion does not go unchallenged. Old Testament scholars in South Africa cannot ignore these important events. They need to acquaint theological students with these and assist them in creating a theology which is relevant to the needs of people living in our corner of the "global village."