AT 2002 Volume 22 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    'Woorde in die mond gelê'? Psalmomdigting en die proses van kanonvorming
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Kloppers, E.
    In a previous article (HTS 2000/1:192–204) I have examined the process of versifying the Psalter and have questioned the principle of a so-called ‘reproductive’ versification, the lack of a sound hermeneutical approach, the necessity of versifying all 150 psalms — especially in one form and style as metrical psalms that are meant to be sung, and the liturgical function of many of the texts that had been versified in this manner. In this article the origin and history of these views are investigated and are evaluated against the background of the formation of canons on various levels. Some canonised views and traditions that need critical rethinking are indicated at the end of the article.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A literary-historical analysis of Daniel 2: two powers in opposition
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Nel, M.
    This article investigates some aspects of Daniel 2 and attempts to demonstrate the value of the literary-historical approach to biblical texts. The literary-historical approach consists of three elements: a structural, a historical and a narrative analysis of the text. Firstly, the structural investigation uses Propp’s model for a functional analysis of the text, followed by a semiotic analysis to identify the functions and qualifications in the text. A description of the functions and qualifications is essential in order to identify the text’s pertinent transformations as well as its underlying semiotic squares. The latter enables the researcher to formulate the theological values or persuasions which the writer wished to convey to her readers. Secondly, synchronic and diachronic insights are integrated in an analysis of the text. Lastly, the results of the study are concluded in a narrative synthesis, in terms of the narrator, setting, characters, plot and style. In Daniel 2 the Babylonian king, shortly after being enthroned, dreams about his political insecurity. The narrator emphasises that it is God who appoints and dethrones kings. He reveals the future (Dan. 2:29, 47). He rules over the world (Dan. 2:21, 37, 44), and He cares for His people (Dan. 2:48-49). Israel will rule over the world once God destroys all other kingdoms (Dan. 2:44-45). The narrator of Daniel 2 conveys two persuasions to her readers: she emphasises the sovereign rule of God, not only in Jerusalem but also in Babylon, and the responsibility of the faithful.3 Most researchers accept that the tale in Daniel 2 is not literally true. It should be read as a literary text. However, the tale has also functioned in various historical contexts and should be read from a historical-critical perspective
  • ItemOpen Access
    Theologen van de twintigste eeuw en de Christologie
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Van de Beek, A.
    De twintigste eeuw is theologisch wel de eeuw van Karl Barth genoemd. En met recht. Evenzeer is deze eeuw de eeuw van de christologie. Sinds de vroeg-kerkelijke christologi-sche strijd zijn de vragen over Christus niet meer zo centraal geweest als in de afgelopen eeuw. Nu hangen beide samen: Barth en de aandacht voor de christologie. Barth besefte als geen ander de geslotenheid van de wereld van de Verlichting met haar einde van de metafysica. Daaraan kunnen mensen niet ontkomen. Ze worden er alleen van bevrijd doordat God van zijn kant zich openbaart.2 Zo werd de christologie het centrum van de openbaring. De Schrift kon dat na het historischkritische onderzoek niet meer zo direct zijn. Barth neemt dat serieus en ziet dan ook de Schrift als een afgeleide vorm van het Woord van God: ze is dat alleen omdat ze getuigt van Christus die het eigenlijke geopenbaarde Woord van God is.3 Het grootste deel van de christelijke theologie van de tweede helft van de twintigste eeuw stemt hiermee in: Jezus openbaart God. Maar onmiddellijk komen dan de verschillen op: Hoe openbaart Jezus God? Wat is de betekenis van zijn geboorte, van zijn leven, van zijn prediking, van zijn dood en van zijn verrijzenis? Wat is de inhoud van zijn openbaring? En ook openbaring wordt gevangen in de gesloten cirkel van de Verlichting. Daarom komt de vraag op: Hoe kan de mens Jezus openbaren over God? En wat openbaart Hij van Godswege?
  • ItemOpen Access
    Is it possible to do theology without philosophical presuppositions?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Strauss, D. F. M.
    Particularly in connection with the doctrine of God the unavoidability of philosophical presuppositions becomes apparent. The uncritical theological practice to speak about a concept of God is in need of the epistemological distinction between concept and idea, which is philosophical in nature. If this foundational distinction is ignored one easily ends up with a theo-ontological duplication of the diversity within creation. Terms which are actually employed within the context of an idea (in the sense of exceeding the limits of concept formation) may then be misunderstood. Such (creational) terms are then lifted from their given creational context and in an “original” sense positioned with/in God (as “essential properties”). The (theo-ontological) circle is completed when these “properties” (for example the infinity of God) are then, in a derivative sense, brought back to the domain of creation from where it was “kidnapped” in the first place. The fact that concept formation always proceeds in terms of universalia, on the other hand implies that one can only talk about a concept of God if God is no longer unique (in the biblical sense that there is but one true God). Alongside many other “gods” God would then have to conform to a universal law for “being God”. But since it is only characteristic of created entities that they are subject to the order which God as Creator has set for them, this ultimately entails that grasping God in a concept subjects God to a creational law. The distinction between concept and idea is also elucidated with reference to conceptual and idea-usages of the term constancy (inertia). All in all our argumentation fits within the context of a new account to address in a meaningful way (also in scientific theological parlance) the possibility to employ creational terms in talking about God while at the same time honoring God’s transcendence.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'Gelukkig hij die uw kinderen zal grijpen'
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Peels, H. G. L.
    “Happy is he who seizes your infants…”. Hermeneutical and biblical-theological positioning of the Old Testament imprecations The Old Testament contains many prayers for the shaming, punishment or destruction of the godless, especially in the Psalms. This imprecatory prayer, which still forms one of the most troublesome dimensions of Scripture for modern Bible-readers, is usually explained very negatively as a human but intolerable expression of personal or national rancour/hostility, and as such put in sharp contrast with the New Testament message of love for the enemy. This article makes a plea for a more hermeneutically responsible exegesis, by paying attention to the background, context and intention of the imprecatory prayer itself. After having delineated the indigenous horizon of interpretation of the Old Testament imprecatory prayers, a comparison with New Testament data is made, leading to the conclusion that on the one hand the condemnation of Old Testament imprecatory prayer from the perspective of New Testament ethics is incorrect, but on the other that it is also impossible within the New Testament situation to raise the imprecatory prayer in the same manner as was done by the psalmists of the Old Testament.
  • ItemOpen Access
    De-automatisation in Romans 1-5
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Snyman, A. H.
    In Romans 1-5 Paul foregrounds certain main themes by way of stylistic devices, which effectuate a retardation in the reading process and thus an intensified perception. These devices can all be described as devices of de-automatisation, and include paradoxon, rhetorical questions, anacolouthon and parenthesis, as well as ambiguous sentence structures, newly coined words and a sudden change in person. By way of these devices, Paul draws the attention of his readers/listeners to important themes in his argument, such as justification through faith alone; God’s judgement on what man does, not who he is; the benefits of justification through faith; and life for all, who believe in Christ. These themes are foregrounded, due to a careful balance between automatisation and de-automatisation. It is proposed that, with a view to effective communication, translators should, whenever possible, honour these devices in translating Paul’s letters.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bridging the cultural gap: Bible translation as a case in point
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Nord, C.
    Translation practitioners have always been aware of the fact that translation is not a purely linguistic operation but a means of facilitating communication between members of different cultures. Translation scholars have only recently discovered this fairly obvious aspect of their field - and the functional approach to translation — or skopos theory — was instrumental in turning it into one of the main concerns of modern translation studies. New Testament and early Christian texts refer to a culture from which we are separated by a huge cultural gap. They have been translated and re-translated many times during the past (almost) 2000 years and into almost all languages on the planet. In spite of that, we do not always feel that the cultural gap has really been bridged. Does this justify yet another translation? Together with my husband, Klaus Berger, who is a New Testament scholar at Heidelberg University, I was engaged in a fascinating project: We translated the texts of the New Testament plus a large number of apocrypha from the original Greek (and Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Arabic) into German. It was the first translation of these texts that involved a theologian and a translation scholar, and it was the first translation based on modern functional translation theory. Using a few examples from our translation and comparing them to several translations into other modern languages (such as Afrikaans, English, and French), I would like to show how we went about in order to bridge the cultural gap, making the texts understandable to modern German readers without taking away their strangeness.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'n Kritiese evaluering van die kompromie as etiese figuur in die teologiese etiek van J. Douma, J.A. Heyns, S.J. Ridderbos en W.H. Velema
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Lategan, L. O. K.
    Although the concept of a compromise is known in ethics, very little attention has been paid to the meaning of this concept in Reformed Ethics. In this article the author looks into the meaning of the compromise in the theological-ethical frameworks of J. Douma, J.A. Heyns, S.J. Ridderbos and W.H. Velema. In analysing this concept, it is pointed out that a compromise has to do with the choice between two conflicting norms in a borderline situation. In a borderline situation these norms are in conflict with each other and a conflict of interest is created. It then necessitates a choice between one of the norms in a borderline situation. To this choice is then referred to as a choice between the lesser of two evils. This is where the compromise comes into play.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die Tweetoringkerk as een van die NG-gemeentes van Bloemfontein gedurende die Anglo-Boereoorlog 1899-1902
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2002) Britz, R. M.
    This article focuses on the local Dutch Reformed congregation of Bloemfontein during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. As such it deals with a rather neglected, though very important, theme concerning this destructive war in South Africa. In the Boer Republics the church and Christian faith played a constitutive role. The article thus makes a significant contribution to the recent research on the Anglo-Boer War. It tells the story of the life and times of a local congregation during war-time. Lead by the remaining consistory (elders and deacons), it survived the war. It had to adapt to the war situation and to a new dispensation when the Orange River Colony, replacing the Republic, was instituted during March 1900. This caused tension among the members of the congregation. Some accepted the new dispensation, and acted accordingly. Others were much more sceptical. Its members were involved in, and supported, the newly formed congregation in the concentration camp. It also related to its (non-white) Dutch Reformed Mission congregation in the same city.