AT 2009 Volume 29 Issue 2

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  • ItemOpen Access
    God as father: the representation of the tenth plague in children's Bibles
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Du Toit, J. S.
    English: The Book of Exodus’ account of the ten plagues as moment of Israelite liberation from Egyptian servitude is particularly poignant. The troublesome nature of the story’s climax — the slaying of the firstborn — proves difficult to relate to a contemporary child audience in light of the nature and seeming injustice of the punishment meted out to their innocent peers. Along with the death of all Egyptian firstborn, Israelite deliverance is ultimately attained by the inclusion of even the pharaoh’s own son in this final act of devastation. The latter’s death through the direct agency of God presents a problematic perspective on the portrayal of the deity as loving father in light of the anti-hero, Pharaoh’s, loss. This article investigates children’s Bibles’ multiple approaches to this narrative. It is considered in light of current societal emphasis on non-violent behaviour and as commentary on the manner in which contemporary society negotiates moral-ethical quandaries in the transfer of religious meaning to children.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The centuries-old dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Clasquin-Johnson, M.
    English: This article examines the pre-history of today’s dialogue between Buddhists and Christians. Contrary to what one might think, pre-modern Europeans did have some understanding of Buddhism, however limited and distorted it might have been. Asians during the same period had a far better chance of understanding Christianity, because of the widespread presence of the Nestorian Church from Arabia to China. We do have evidence that interaction between Buddhists and Christians lead to some creative synthesis between the two.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die verhouding tussen “poort” en “pad” in Matteus 7:13-14: ’n oorsig van die moontlikhede
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Van Zyl, H. C.
    English: The relationship between “gate” and “road” in Matthew 7:13-14 has always been a crux interpretum. There are basically three options in viewing the relationship. In the case of the first two the point of departure is that the metaphors differ in meaning; each metaphor therefore makes a unique contribution to the text. The two options are: the gate is at the beginning of the road, and the gate is at the end of the road. The third option regards the metaphors as synonyms, thus both conveying the same meaning. This option renders the relationship as of secondary importance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Theft and robbery in Chrysostom's time
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Stander, H. F.
    English: The aim of this article is to study what Chrysostom said about theft and robbery in his community. His homilies on the New Testament will be scrutinized for information on this negative feature of the ancient world, since homilies are always important sources for information on social issues. It becomes clear that house-breaking was quite common, and that robberies were often associated with violence. Even tombs were robbed and were plundered of valuables. Robbers were severely punished and for a single theft one could spend the rest of one’s life in prison. Prisoners were also dependent on their family or on the charity of Christians for food. But Chrysostom also looked at robbery from a theological point of view. He ascribed it to the working of demons. When we are robbed, we are confronted with various choices: we can curse the robber, or we can plot against him, or we can thank God. This study will make a contribution to our knowledge of the social history of the ancient world.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die liefde van God as aanknopingspunt vir ’n gesprek met Moslems: die rol van Joh. 3:16
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Verster, P.
    English: Christian and Muslim relations are under tremendous strain. The political situation makes it very difficult to proclaim the love of God to Muslims. It is, however, possible to reach out to Muslims from the explanation of the love of God. John 3:16 is of utmost importance in this regard. In this article the love of God for the whole world is portrayed and in his love He reaches out to all and not only to Israel. The difficult concept of “Son of God” must, however, be explained to Muslims who often are offended by the concept because of a biological understanding of it. The confession of the Trinity is of importance to fully explain the love of God and must be proclaimed in the dialogue with and the proclamation of the Gospel to Muslims.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Soos ’n hamer wat ’n rots vermorsel”: die Afrikaanse Bybel van 1933 as vertaling
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Naudé, J. A.
    English: The first complete Bible translation in Afrikaans was published in 1933. This article describes and analyses this translation. Given the new developments in translation studies, one should not evaluate a translation normatively, but rather describe it. Any new translation constructs a domesticated representation of a foreign text and culture, which simultaneously keeps intelligibility and ideology in mind. The representation refers to the linguistically inscribed preferences regarding the selection and construction of discourses in the Bible translation. The 1933 translation is analysed and explained in terms of the formation of particular cultural, political and religious identities. Some of the fixed perceptions of the 1933 translation are revisited by dealing with issues like the context of the translation, its source text, the translation team, the translation process and the sociocultural impact of the translation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    If Jeremiah wrote it, it must be ok: on the attribution of Lamentations to Jeremiah in early rabbinic texts¹
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Kalman, J.
    English: Despite the absence of any formal attribution of the book of Lamentations to the prophet Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible, the rabbis of the Talmudic period chose to perpetuate and reinforce this idea. The question explored is how this benefited them. Using Jorge Gracia’s discussion of the “pseudo-historical author,” the influence of the rabbinic assumption of Jeremiah’s authorship of Lamentations on their exegesis of the book is explored. The rabbis were troubled by a number of theologically challenging verses and the claim of authorship opened the door to their use of the book of Jeremiah to explain away these difficulties.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reading the Psalms historically: antiochene exegesis and a historical reading of Psalm 46
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Van Rooy, H. F.
    English: The Antiochene exegetes, most notably Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia read the psalms against the historical background of Israelite history, reconstructing a historical setting for every psalm. This paper presents a brief survey of Antiochene exegesis of the psalms in general. The Antiochenes reacted against the allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament by the school of Alexandria. They were influenced in their approach by Aristotelian logic, by the Greek-Christian culture of their time and by the method propagated by Aristarch. This survey is followed by a discussion of the interpretation of Psalm 46 by Diodore, Theodore and Išô`dâdh of Merv. Diodore laid the foundation on which Theodore built. Išô`dâdh followed the interpretation of this Psalm by Theodore. They linked this psalm to the events of the Syro-Ephraimite war.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The referent of egeusasthe (you have tasted) in 1 Peter 2:3
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Van Rensburg, Fika J.
    English: In 1 Peter 2:2-3 the addressees are exhorted to “yearn for the unadulterated milk of God’s word ... like newborn babies” (ajrtigevnnhta brevfh). This exhortation is motivated by: “since you have tasted that the Lord is good” (ejgeuvsasqe o{ti crhsto;~ oJ kuvrio~). This article attempts to establish the referent of ejgeuvsasqe. Viewed as part of the “rebegetting” and resultant new birth (cf. ajnagennhvsa~ hJma`~ in 1 Pet 1:3), 1 Peter 2:3 suggests that God has given the ajrtigevnnhta brevfh “something” to sustain them in their salvation. The paper concludes that the implicit object of ejgeuvsasqe is colostrum. The referent then is that God has given the addressees colostrum as part of the beget/rebirth process, to sustain them in their salvation. Having tasted the colostrum they now know that the Lord is good. This experience of the goodness of the Lord becomes the reason why they (must) yearn for (more) milk, so that they can grow up in their salvation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The interpretation and translation of Galatians 5:12
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2009) Tolmie, D. F.
    English: As is evident from commentaries on Galatians and from various English translations, scholars do not agree on the meaning, rhetorical labelling and translation of the wish expressed by Paul in Galatians 5:12 ( O[felon kai ;apjokoyvontai oi Janja sta toun` te~ umJa`~). In this article various interpretations of this verse are considered; its rhetorical labelling is discussed; and suggestions are made as to the best way in which it may be translated into English.