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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.43 n.1 Cape Town Jan. 2009

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Paul's use of slavery imagery in the Hagar allegory

 

Paulus se gebruik van slawerny as beeld in die Hagarallegorie

 

 

P. Balla

School of Ecclesiastical Science & Ancient Languages, Potchefstroom Campus. North-West University. Potchefstroom. E-mail: balla.peter@kre.hu

 

 


ABSTRACT

In this article it is examined how Paul used slavery imagery in Galatians 4 when dealing with the theme of God's "children". The use of words related to the semantic field of slavery in Galatians is briefly discussed. Paul uses these words both with their literal meaning and in a figurative sense. This is also true for the main passage to be discussed in this article - the Hagar allegory. In Galatians 4, Paul first speaks about a real slave woman, and then uses this imagery to describe those who do not accept God's promises to have been fulfilled in Jesus. The way Paul uses the term "allegorise" is examined. It is argued that in Galatians 4 Paul uses the slavery imagery in order to speak about aspects of one's relationship to God. The background of his use of the Hagar allegory is his "salvation historical" view concerning God's covenantal relationship to his people. He uses allusions to Old Testament texts to express his view regarding who belongs to God's people in the era of the new covenant.


OPSOMMING

In hierdie artikel word Paulus se gebruik van die slawerny-beeld in Galasiërs 4 ondersoek. Eers word ander woorde in Galasiërs uit die slawerny-betekenisveld kortliks bestudeer. Paulus gebruik hierdie woorde letterlik sowel as figuurlik. Dit geld ook van die deel van Galasiërs wat in hierdie artikel bespreek word, naamlik die Hagar-allegorie. In Galasiërs 4 praat Paulus eers van n werklike slavin, en dan gebruik hy dit as beeld om die-gene te beskryf wat nie aanvaar dat God se beloftes in Jesus vervul is nie. Die wyse waarop Paulus die term "allegoriseef' gebruik, word ook ondersoek. Die argument is dat Paulus in Galasiërs 4 slawerny as beeld gebruik om aspekte van 'n mens se verhouding met God te beskryf. Die agtergrond van sy gebruik van die Hagar-allegorie is sy openbaringshistoriese benadering van God se verbondsverhouding met sy volk. Met toespelings op Ou-Testamentiese gedeeltes gee hy uitdrukking aan sy beskouing oor wie deel uitmaak van die volk van God in die nuwe verbond.


 

 

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