AT 2016 Volume 36 Issue 2

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Divine darkness in the human discourses of Job
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Schmidt, N. F.; Nel, P. J.
    The Biblical Hebrew text of Job narrates and debates the suffering of an innocent person from various perspectives. The poetic dialogues and discourses between Job and his friends emphasise their experiences of “darkness” (√ (ךשח as Divine interventions in relation to Job’s situation. The article investigates the meaning of Divine “darkness” in terms of various understandings and interpretations linked to the suffering of Job. It illustrates how the characters conceptualise the same term differently, which eventually led to a communicative disintegration in the conversations between Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. Finally, in the YHWH speeches of Job 38-41, the concept of “darkness” is viewed from yet another perspective.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Vyandsliefde of geweld: oor die politiek van die historiese Jesus
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Scheffler, E.
    The fact of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is recognised in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Nevertheless these religions are all in one way or another involved in violent conflicts that still ravages the present-day world. Despite making the proposed task more difficult, in this contribution attention will be paid to the historical Jesus’ stance on violence (as contained in the Gospel tradition), our expressed hermeneutical intent being to address contemporary violence, in interpersonal relationships as well as on a global “political” scale (e.g. war). After some remarks on the possibilities and limitations of historical Jesus research, Jesus’ own stance or teaching on violence (e.g. blessed are the peacemakers, loving the enemy and turning the other cheek), as well as his possible involvement in, or opposition to violence in the Palestinian and Roman context of his day will be scrutinised. A “hermeneutical” reflection on the possibility of the appropriation of Jesus’ (non-violent) stance in today’s world concludes the paper. We don’t want to study the historical Jesus, because then we must do the same. – James Murphy O’Conner There is no way to peace, peace is the way. – Mahatma Ghandi You must have breakfast by yourself, lunch with a friend and supper with your enemy. – Nelson Mandela (as president van Suid-Afrika)
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die Filistynse plaag in 1 Samuel 5-6: medies-teologiese verklarings
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Retief, F. P.; Cilliers, L.; Schmidt, N. F.
    According to the Old Testament (1 Samuel 5 and 6) the Ark of the Covenant was on occasion captured from the Israelites by the Philistines and taken to their own country. Subsequently, a plague, attributed to the Ark, erupted among the Philistines, and led to the Ark being returned to Israel after seven months. The plague consisted of abscesses or tumours, without indicating a specific anatomical location. There have in time been various suggestions of what the plague represented. Bubonic plague has often been mentioned as a possible cause, but the symptoms do not correspond with those mentioned in the Septuagint or the Vulgate, and the first recorded case of bubonic plague was in the 6th century AD. We thus consider that the 1st century AD Jewish-Roman historian, Josephus, was correct when he stated that the Philistine epidemic was dysentery: bacillary dysentery is a disease caused by a micro-organism which spreads from person to person by way of oral-faecal infection in a situation where there is poor hygiene, as was probably the case in 11th century BC Philistia.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Humor, skets en gemoedelikheid in verskillende stylfigure by Johannes Calvyn
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Potgieter, P. C.
    A fairly general perception of John Calvin is that of a gloomy and even cheerless person. In many publications on his life and on his outlook on life, in particular, there is frequently nothing or hardly anything to be found on his humour and bonhomie. The author argues that there are many indications in his writings that show another side of this remarkable man. It is obvious that his contemporary colleagues often found him in a jovial mood, while his writings were certainly not without humour and even jest. It must be borne in mind that the humour of every period in history has its own kind of character. One should not necessarily view sixteenthcentury humour in terms of the twenty-first-century views. In a lighter mood, Calvin frequently expressed himself in various figures of speech, particularly metaphor and irony, which often have a hint of sarcasm.
  • ItemOpen Access
    On reading some of Karl Barth's early sermons in South Africa today?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Laubscher, M.
    The work of Karl Barth has been quite influential in South Africa, but what about the value of his sermons and their influence on Barth’s reading and mainline preaching in South Africa nowadays? After a short introduction, I discern, in four sections, the value and worth of reading Barth’s early sermons in South Africa at present. I first hear anew the value of reading Barth in South Africa nowadays. Thereafter, I discern the current state of homiletics. Against this background, I pay attention critically to some of Barth’s early sermons (1917-1920) while he was still a minister in Safenwil. Finally, I discern some of the value this project may currently have for theology and preaching in South Africa.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Jeremiah 34:8-22 - a call for the enactment of distributive justice?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Terblanche, M. D.
    This article seeks to determine whether the author of Jeremiah 34:8-22, in his critique of the events relating to the manumission of Hebrew slaves in 589/588 BCE during Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem, called for the enactment of distributive justice. Since the book of Jeremiah has a very strong intertextual character, the intertextual link between Jeremiah 34:8-22 and Deuteronomy 15:1-18 is explored. When Jeremiah 34:8-22 is read through the lens of Deuteronomy 15:1-18, it is clear that brotherliness does not tolerate debt slavery. By using Deuteronomy 15:1-18 as a supplementary text to Jeremiah 34:8-22, the author inspires visions of a counter-community, in which the debt slaves should be set free and be enabled to make a fresh start.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die rol van die NGK-leierskap in die aanloop tot die eerste demokratiese verkiesing in Suid-Afrika: 1990-1994
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Van der Merwe, Johan M.
    Piet Strauss played an important part in the leadership of the Dutch Reformed Church from 1994 to 2011. This article focuses on important events and the role of the leadership of the Dutch Reformed Church which prepared the way for Strauss and his generation of leaders. It takes the acceptance of the important policy document Church and Society by the General Synod of 1986 and the Rustenburg Consultation of 1990 as points of departure. It then describes how the leadership of the church engaged with different political leaders between 1990 and 1994. By doing so, the leadership of the church, which became known for the Biblical foundation of the notorious policy of apartheid, played an important role while South Africa was on the brink of civil war. Their efforts contributed to a peaceful first democratic election in 1994.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teologie en konteks: vraag na 'n teologie vir Suid-Afrika
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Venter, R.
    This article addresses what it implies to do theology with a “sense of place”. The question is raised about a responsible theology for South Africa and it is situated methodologically within the contemporary imperative of considering “context” as a major source for theology. The article acknowledges various theological attempts at taking the South African reality seriously. The central argument of the article consists of three moves. A suggestion is given as to what might constitute “responsible theology”; a brief profile presents the multifaceted character of the present South African horizon, and a constructive proposal stresses hermeneutical revisionings of Trinitarian theology, soteriology (Gospel), ecclesiology (identity and community), and spirituality.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Johannes Hoornbeeck, a monumental 17th century Dutch theologian: continuities in his thinking on doctrine and life
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Hofmeyr, J. W.
    In this article on the 17th-century Johannes Hoornbeeck, the initial focus is on the Further Reformation of which Hoornbeeck was a representative. The focus then switches to Hoornbeeck himself: the story of his life, of his written legacy and of Hoornbeeck as a 17th-century theologian and representative of the Further Reformation. This first article focuses especially on his contributions in the field of practical theology and homiletics, polemics and pastoral theology. In a later article, the focus will move to his contributions as a systematic theologian, as an historian, as a missiologist, and as a socially engaged theologian with an irenical and ecumenical orientation, in spite of him being a strong polemicist. Though some aspects related to scholasticism are already raised in the current article, a further and deeper analysis of scholastic aspects in his thinking will be highlighted in the second article.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Book review
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Du Rand, J.
    Abstract not available
  • ItemOpen Access
    Voorwoord: huldigingsbundel Prof. P. J. Strauss
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Snyman, S. D.
    Abstract not available
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kerklike gesag herbesoek: met verwysing na die kerklike proses om 'n belydenis of belydenisgrondslag te wysig
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Celliers, A.
    This article will show that the Christocratical understanding of church authority means that each of the official governing bodies of the church can make its own decisions based on the norm of the Word of God. This implies that the congregation or individual members of the congregation only have an advisory role in important church matters. This also means that synod and the General Synod cannot be held captive by lesser governing bodies. In any process in the Dutch Reformed Church to change Article 1 of their Church Order to include another Confession, for example the Belhar Confession, in their confessional base, this viewpoint on church authority should have an impact on the way in which church-governing bodies come to decisions on matters at hand. The civil court can revise decisions of churchgoverning bodies. Therefore, the church must confirm the correct formulation of relevant articles in the church order in order to ensure the Christological understanding of Church authority.