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In die Skriflig

versión On-line ISSN 2305-0853
versión impresa ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.45 no.2-3 Cape Town jun. 2011

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Het Filemon vandag nog iets vir ons te sê?

 

Does Philemon still have meaning for Christians today?

 

 

J.H. Roberts

Departement Nuwe Testament. Universiteit van Suid-Afrika. Pretoria. E-pos: jhrob@telkomsa.net

 

 


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel wil aantoon dat dit in Filemon ten diepste gaan om ortopraksis, by name die onderlinge gemeenskap van gelowiges in die kerk, met as onderbou die aspekte van onderlinge liefde en respek, gasvryheid en missionêre betrokkenheid. Die brief is uitsluitlik 'n menslike dokument. Dit handel oor die menslike vraagstuk van hoe 'n Christen sy ontloopte slaaf wat ondertussen ook 'n Christen geword het, behoort te behandel. Eienaar en slaaf het immers broers in Christus geword. Paulus rig daarom 'n versoek dat Filemon aan die slaaf, Onesimus, wat nou na sy baas teruggestuur word, dieselfde gasvryheid sal betoon as wat hy aan Paulus sou betoon indien dit hy was wat Filemon kom besoek het. Die versoek word gerig in die liggaam van die brief wat formeel as 'n antieke versoekskrif gekonsipieer is met die gepaardgaande formele eienskappe daarvan.
Wat die betekenis van die brief vir die kerk in die moderne samelewing betref, is die uitdaging dat nie gepoog moet word om etiese kwessies deur 'n stryery oor die interpretasie van losstaande tekste op te los nie, maar dat eerder op die boodskap van 'n boek as 'n geheel gekonsentreer sal word. Dit geld ook vir elke ander Bybelboek.


ABSTRACT

The article purports to show that the main thrust of Philemon lies with orthopraxis, in casu the mutual fellowship of believers in the church, underscored by mutual love and respect, hospitality and missionary enterprise. The letter to Philemon is a very human document, dealing with the very human question of how a Christian should treat his runaway slave who has recently converted to Christianity. Owner and slave have become brothers in Christ. Paul, therefore, makes a request that Philemon should show the same hospitality to Onesimus, who is being sent back to his master, that he would show to Paul himself should he come to visit. The request is made in the body of the letter which is formally framed as an ancient petition, showing the typical features of the form.
As to the contextual meaning of the text in a modern church situation, the challenge of this letter (but also that of every book of the Bible), is to stop trying to solve ethical questions by bickering over the interpretation of proof texts and rather concentrate on the message of the book as a whole. This should result in completely new answers to old and seemingly insoluble questions.


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

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