AT 1999 Volume 19 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The Book of Ruth as intra-Biblical critique on the Deuteronomic law
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 1999) Braulik, Georg
    The book of Ruth, written in the post-exilic period, constitutes a 'homily on Dt 23- 25', (Michael D Goulder). It is the only biblical example of an entire book systematically subjecting a body of laws from the Deuteronomic code to a sociocritical (Rt 1-2) and sexual-critical (Rt 3-4) relecture through various kinds of allusions. The historical prejudice of the 'community law' against the Moabites, refusing them admission to the 'assembly of Yahweh' (Dt 23:4-7), is disproved (throughout the whole book, especially in Rt 1), by a counter-story aimed at promoting sympathy (against Neh 13:1-3). Through the reinterpretation of the prohibition of incest, the brother-in-law marriage is defended against all suspicions (Rt 3). At the same time, it corrects the accusation of incest, which also lingers about the image of the Moabites (Gn 19:30-38). On the other hand, the narrative about the execution of the right to gleaning (Rt 2) and the right to the Levirate marriage (Rt 4) intensifies the demands of the Deuteronomic code (Dt 24:19 or 25:5-10). The Ruth novelette turns the Law of Deuteronomy into 'narrative ethics' (Reinhold Bohlen). The driving force for its meta-legal stance and critique, but also for its objective, lies in the portrayal of the 'loving-kindness, love' (chesed) of Yahweh and in calling forth the 'loving-kindness' of his people through the narrated praxls of the stranger Ruth.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Religious plurality in Africa: a challenge to the church
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 1999) Dolamo, R. T. H.
    Chriscianity has been a privileged religion in South Africa under the white minority government. However, since the inception of a democratically elected government in 1994 and the passing of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, all religions have politically equal status. Major religions in the country such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and African Traditional Religion have to learn to live harmoniously with one another and importantly, to cooperate in projects of sociopolirital nature. This article examines religious plurality in Africa and the implications thereof for South Africa. Three missionary paradigms, viz exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism are analysed after which a theological perspective is offered. The Church has to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ nonetheless, but leave the dispensing of salvation in terms of Christian eschatology to God.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Interpretasierigting" as eksegetiese hulp: Rut in wyer kontekste
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 1999) Jonker, L. C.
    This article shows how the investigation inco the history of origin of che text itself, as well as the Wirkungsgeschichte thereof, can assist in decermining a possible "direction of interpretation" in terms of which modern readers/hearers may interpret a particular text. The point of departure is chat the Biblical text of rhe book of Ruth was repeatedly placed into new and wider contexts. These wider contexts provide an indication as co rhe process of continuous interpretation of this story. The task of the modern exegete is "to tune onto the wavelength" of chis process. The process of interpretation in modern communities of faith can be proceeded with responsibility in this way.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Barbara Thiering's interpretation of Jesus' life
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 1999) Naude, J. A.
    English: The purpose of this paper is to present arguments to disprove Thiering's claim that documents like the New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of Josephus, etc. might reveal the actual historical Jesus. Her use of the pesher technique is also discussed critically. It is shown that Thiering's pesher method is a misconception of the pesher used in the Qumran commentaries and that she overestimated the importance of pesher as a method of text interpretation. The evaluation of Thiering's attempt to equate Christianity and Essenism, as well as the so-called similarities between the Qumran community and early Christianity, will follow logically.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Divine and human violence and destruction in Jeremiah 20:7 - 13
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 1999) Snyman, S. D.
    Jeremiah 20:7-13 is a texc presenting the interpreter with a multitude of problems. Five main areas of research are briefly highlighted. This paper focuses on the interpretation of hamas wasod in Jer 20:8. Eight different interpretations have been offered but no conclusive answer to the exact meaning of the phrase has been given yet. It is argued that due to the ambiguity and structural features of the text the prophet experienced violence and destruction from the divine side as well as from a human side.