Masters Degrees (Old and New Testament)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 88
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    The function of APORIAE in John 21 : a media-rhetorical analysis
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03-03) Quimpo, Stephen Gabriel; Nel, Marius Johannes; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There has been an ongoing debate in contemporary studies over the literary disunity and narrative unity in the Gospel of John. Some scholars have used literary aporiae, or seams in the text, to posit a composition history or community history that can be reconstructed from the final text by working backwards through these aporiae. Other scholars have noted that there is narrative unity in John, but debate whether this exists uniformly throughout the book, or only in chapters 1-20, leaving chapter 21 as a text reflecting a later composition history or community history. The approach taken in this study attempted to use a media-rhetorical approach that takes into account the media texture of the text when dealing with literary aporiae. As such, this study looks at the media culture of the time in which John 21 was composed and distances itself from a particular Johannine community history. The study therefore argues that John 21 was composed after John 1-20, reflecting a media culture at the end of the first century CE.
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    Luke's use of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) to construct new social identities
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03-02) Van Groeningen, David Ross; Nel, Marius Johannes; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores Luke’s use of the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31) to create new social identities. The thesis discusses the socio-economic background to Luke’s day, discussing how one’s ascribed and acquired honour contributed to one’s social identity, as well as how one’s social identity and standing was affected by wealth and how it was used. The thesis goes on to use parallel parables to justify the use of the lens of social identity in such parables. Finally, the thesis goes on in chapters five and six to discuss the important social identity markers to which the parable refers: Moses and the prophets (chapter five) and the figure of Abraham (chapter six). The researcher shows how Luke uses these characters to create new social identities. By acting like those opposed to God’s people, Luke shows that the Rich Man and others like him act according to social identities of those opposed to God’s people (those in line with Moses and the Prophets and specifically Abraham), and so can no longer claim such a social identity or the group entitlements granted to one who holds such an identity. Those considered to have low-status social identities were actually the ones with a high-status social identity: “children of Abraham” – the very identity that the Rich Man believed that he held by virtue of his ascribed honour as a physical Israelite; put simply, there is a reversal of social identities.
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    An intertextual perspective on the semantics of hypotassō in the deutero-Pauline and Catholic letters
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03-01) Brown, Joel Stephen; Nagel, Peter; Stellebosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Koiné Greek verb hypotassō (ὑποτάσσω) is a rare term in ancient literature. Traditionally the term is rendered as “submit” or “subject” and features prominently in the “household codes” and parenetic of the deutero-Pauline and Catholic epistles. These so-called “submission” texts are used to justify and legitimize abusive behaviour—and even though literary and inscriptional evidence suggest this rendering is inaccurate, there seems to be resistance to responsibly adopting new terminology. This study asks two pertinent questions: (a) what did hypotassō signify for a first-century recipient of these epistles, and (b) is “submission” or “subject” the most faithful translations of the term. This study is a search for both designative (denotation) and associative (connotation) meaning, and includes a close, literary analysis of each usage of hypotassō found within the deutero-Pauline and Catholic epistles. This is followed by a comparative, semantic analysis of documents that attest to intertextual connections based on a shared conceptual thought-world. In the deutero-Pauline epistles, hypotassō is closely associated with “unity”, “brotherly love” and “partnership”. In the Catholic epistles the term is associated with “honour”, “humility”, and the “sovereignty of God”. Plutarch uses hypotassō to describe mutuality and cooperation in marriage, and Xenophon of cooperation in leadership. Wisdom literature reveals the term’s associations with shepherds, humility, and divinely authorized rule. In the Aesop Romance (Vita G), the term is used of kings creating hegemony, and how their subjects subvert it. In the end, the modern denotations and connotations of “submission” are shown to lack the complexity, nuance, and implicative flexibility of hypotassō—while “submission” is acquiescence to authority, hypotassō creates identity in navigating it. As a term of household and nation, hypotassō needs to be understood through the interpretative lens of the collectivistic, honour-shame cultures of the 1st century. In the nexus of community, honour, and the sovereignty of the divine, hypotassō finds its truest expressions in mutual obligation, not subjugation; respect, not compliance; and unity, contra chaos. Ultimately, hypotassō was not used to “put people in their place”, but to “create identity and connection” in a cultural quagmire. It is my hope that this research helps scholars reimagine and reinterpret the “submission” texts, so these texts can be translated with more fidelity and taught with more humility.
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    Viewing ‘Krotoa’ through a Rahab Prism : a postcolonial feminist encounter
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-10) Davis, Sheurl Valene; Claassens, L. Juliana M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis employs a hermeneutic of suspicion to reread the narratives of two underdog women characters, as it analyses the narrative world of Rahab in Joshua 2 and 6 and the story of Krotoa as portrayed in the 2017 film Krotoa side-by-side. This study argues that decolonising and deconstructing hegemonic interpretations of the biblical texts is the only way the Bible still may possess value to the marginalised. Insights from postcolonial feminist biblical interpretation are employed to show how these two very different narrative worlds collide with each another. To reflect on the stories of Rahab and of Krotoa, Musa Dube’s Rahab’s reading prism is used as a reading strategy to reread the narrative of Rahab as well as the portrayed character of Krotoa in the 2017 film Krotoa. Rahab’s character and portrayals are analysed by means of a postcolonial reading optic. Although most previous interpretations have portrayed Rahab as heroine as well as traitor, this study argues that Rahab was also the victim of the coloniser's pen, a literary construction of Israelite ideology. This study further employs postcolonial feminist film theory as an additional methodological approach to critique the imperial strategies employed in the portrayal of Krotoa in the film Krotoa (2017). Postcolonial feminist film theory shows how the portrayal of Krotoa in the film version possesses a specific form of power which could liberate and at the same time perpetuate imperialising interpretations and ideologies. Instead of revolutionising Krotoa in the history of South Africa by offering a life-giving portrayal of Krotoa, this study argues that the film has perpetuated elements of Afrikaner nationalism. Delineating the various portrayals of Krotoa exposed the patriarchal and imperial ideologies still present in the film especially with a practical application of Rahab’s reading prism. The central premise of this thesis is that both Rahab and Krotoa have much in common. This study, therefore, applies a hermeneutic of suspicion that prioritises alternative perspectives in the pursuit of a transformative understanding of these two women in contrast to their reputation and portrayals as traitors. This study argues that the two women have suffered under the rhetoric of God, glory, gold, and gender. The biblical narrative of Rahab and the film Krotoa (2017), as well as the historiographies that depict them, are a perfect example of how the imperial powers impose their control on foreign lands and on the bodies of women, who have been sacrificed on the altar of unity and imperial control. Moreover, this study explores the possibility that these two women were betrayed by their own people and the colonisers have done what they do best—employing the bodies of women who serve as the contact zones for colonisation. By interrogating, deconstructing, and re-interpreting these two characters, this study prioritises life-affirming interpretations and portrayals of both women. The study demonstrates how the chosen reading optic liberates Rahab and Krotoa from the yoke of imperial and patriarchal interpretations and portrayals.
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    A text-critical study on the Lukan account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:17-20) : the shorter reading and its implications
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-04) Cho, Jeung Un; Punt, Jeremy; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Lukan account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:15-20) involves one of the most challenging problems in New Testament textual criticism. Six different readings have been transmitted, and the two most preferred readings involve further problems of the order: double mention of the cup (cup-breadcup) in the longer reading; inverted order of the meal (cup-bread) in the shorter reading. Whereas the majority manuscripts support the longer reading, the shorter reading being one of nine “Western noninterpolations” cannot be disregarded. Since the text-critical problem was raised by Westcott and Hort (1881), numerous scholars have attempted to solve it with various approaches —both externally and internally— but the problem remains unsolved. This study presents an advanced approach to the textual problem of Luke 22:19b-20 and shows that the shorter account of the Lord’s Supper can be considered a theologically biased text. Based on the assumption that either the scribes of the longer reading or those of the shorter reading has altered the text with some theological concerns in mind, this study has adopted more advanced text-critical methods, the full collation over the whole Gospel of Luke and the Quantitative Analysis. The quantitative result has identified Codex Bezae as the only Greek member of the textgroup (D-text), which supports the shorter reading. In this respect, this study examined the singular readings of Codex Bezae to disclose its theological emphasis. While the most singular readings were stylistic changes, some significant singular readings show five theological concerns: (1) Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and God; (2) anti-Judaic sentiment against the religious leaders and the destruction of Jerusalem; (3) the Gentiles responding to Jesus’ ministry; (4) identification of the kingdom of God with the coming of Jesus and the day of judgement; (5) devotion of the disciples and the discipleship. From these, an inference was drawn that the scribe of Codex Bezae had a great concern about discipleship-living in the eschaton. Given this theological context, the shorter account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:15-19a) accords with the imminent eschatology of Codex Bezae. It designates the resurrection of Jesus as the time for the arrival of the kingdom of God and the day of judgement. Furthermore, the omission of Luke 22:19b-20 removes the commemoration of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, and instead, amplifies Jesus’ identity as the Son of Man who is to come as a judge on the judgement day.