Browsing by Author "Slabbert, Sarel Johannes Petrus"
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- ItemMaranatha as a hermeneutical key to reinterpreting the imprecatory Psalms(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-11) Slabbert, Sarel Johannes Petrus; Jonker, Louis C.; Punt, Jeremy; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Certain Psalms, known as Imprecatory Psalms, cause problems for both academic and devotional readers. They contain curses and prayers asking for vengeance, judgment, and vindication. These Psalms are part of the Bible, creating the question if Christians today can read and study them. Through the years various attempts, ranging from ignoring, censoring, and defending these curses, have been attempted. However, no single methodology can effectively alleviate the problems and questions caused by the Imprecatory Psalms. This thesis looks at the Aramaic cry, Μαράνα θά, in 1 Corinthians 16 as a possible key to help understand the Imprecatory Psalms. Therefore three Imprecatory Psalms are studied to determine the motivations and context behind the vengeful prayers. Psalms 7, 35, and 59 were studied within their cultural and canonical settings according to the Three Dimensional Reading Methodology. The focus is on the inter-, intra-, and extra-textual aspects. It was determined that the psalmists did not curse for vengeful or personal reasons. The curses were expressed in a time of dire need when enemies were out to destroy the psalmists. Within the covenantal relationship between God and the psalmist, the only option left for the psalmist was to call on God to come to their aid: judging the enemies and vindicating the righteous. Studying the curse within the context of the Ancient Near East it became evident that the curse was commonly used in both Old and New Testament times. In the case of Biblical curses it also becomes clear that executing the curse or not was the sole prerogative of God; the psalmist could not enact vengeance himself. Curses are not only found in the Psalms, but also other books in the Old and New Testament. Μαράνα θά is found next to a curse in the New Testament. Although considered by some as separate, reading ἀνάθεμα Μαράνα θά as a unit echoes a similar essence than the imprecatory prayers: the desire that God will come and act. In the Psalms the desire is that God would come and judge the enemies and vindicate the righteous. Μαράνα θά should be read as an imperative, calling on the Lord to come and act. In the New Testament Μαράνα θά has the παρουσία in mind. Analogous to the Imprecatory Psalms, the παρουσία focuses on judgment of the enemies of God and the vindication of his people. Μαράνα θά can become a prayer that offer an analogy between the hopes and desires of the psalmists and the hopes and desires of those calling on the Lord to return.