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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.3 Pretoria  2008


Did someone say 'history'? In Africa we say 'His story'! A study in African biblical hermeneutics with reference to the book of Daniel



Hans van Deventer

North-West University





This article tries to make a contribution related to the issue of what constitutes an African approach to the biblical text. While considering previous contributions in this respect it wants to draw attention to the promises hold by an epistemic framework that manifests among others in myths and oral tradition. From these an outline can be established to serve on the one hand as criterion for an approach claiming to be African, and on the other hand to be utilised in synthesising 'traditional' and 'modern' modes of understanding. In this article attention is limited to the first aspect when a contribution to a recent commentary is evaluated against this criterion. It is indicated that the contribution fails to exhibit an African approach because it is informed by an outdated form of modern (Western) epistemology. A further suggestion that this article makes is that when it comes to a practical application of what is proposed here only in theory, a literary approach to the text seems to be a more fruitful point of departure than a historical approach.



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H. J. M. van Deventer
Subject Group Theology, Vaal Triangle Campus
North-West University, PO Box 1174
Vanderbijl Park 1900, South Africa

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