Masters Degrees (Old and New Testament)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 90
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    The tragic mask of death : a comparative study of murder in classical tragedies and the New Testament
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-11-24) Potgieter, Nanine; Nagel, Peter; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study into the murders of the New Testament has not taken into consideration the ancient methods of civic punishment. This study aims to reach a better understanding of the methods and motives behind these murders in both the New Testament and the ancient Greek and Latin tragedies. The murders in question are the beheading of John the Baptist, the crucifixion of Jesus, the stoning of Stephen, the killing of Agamemnon, and the poisoning of Creon’s daughter. The murders in the ancient tragedies were intended to be for entertainment, whereas the murders in the New Testament were seen as religious punishments. It was thought that there must be a deeper understanding of the murders and that there must be a driving force behind them. Therefore, each murder was separately analysed to distinguish the motive and ulterior motive behind each murder. It was discovered that there were various motives behind every murder, but the ulterior motive was superior to the motives. This means that each murder in both the New Testament and the classical tragedies was committed due to petty reasons and therefore, can be seen as petty murders.
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    "Issi my kindt nie" : an ideological study of Matthew 2:16-18. Socio-cultural perspectives of children as sanctioning of violence against them
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-11-16) Muller, Whitney Caroline; Punt, Jeremy; Muller van Velden, Nina Elisabeth; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is a socio-rhetorical reading of Matthew 2: 16 – 18, which seeks to understand how the reality of the Roman empire and the hierarchical social structures of the Matthean context intersect to create an ideological environment in which the massacre of the babies described in the pericope could occur. Matthew 2: 16 – 18 narrates an account commonly referred to as the “Massacre of the Innocents,” a dark element in the Matthean birth narrative wherein King Herod, perceiving his position to be threatened, orders every child under the age of two, the vicinity of Bethlehem to be killed. Vernon Robbins’ socio-rhetorical analytic allows for a dynamic and multifaceted reading of the text and enables the investigation of imperial and hierarchical social interactions to construct and fill out the disastrous ideological environment behind the violent account depicted in the pericope. Robbins’ analytic furthermore allows for ideological analysis such as Postcolonial interpretation of the text. As the infants of Bethlehem were the children of subjugated people living in the context of the Roman Empire, Postcolonial analysis is appropriate to analyse domination and subjugation in its many manifestations throughout history, gaining insight into how the past informs the present. Postcolonial studies have been further advanced and made richer by such introductions as African Feminisms to the optic. From this perspective, scholars such as Musa Dube make us aware of the complexities and the intersectionality of oppression faced by colonised women under the foreign colonial systems of oppression as well as the foreign and domestic patriarchal systems of oppression. This point of contact is referred to as “double oppression,” It is the lens with which I attempt to read the pericope in question. Accordingly, I propose that the children of Bethlehem suffer under two different yet interconnected forms of oppression: the first from the imperial oppression as children of the dominated and the second from the hierarchical, patriarchal structures that dominate their cultural and social lives. Ultimately, this study asks questions about the imperial and socio-cultural influences inherent to the Gospel and how the narrative helps to paint a nuanced picture of the vastly unjust interaction between the powerful and the powerless, as depicted in Matthew 2: 16-18. It also provides insights into the underlying ideological environment of the pericope, its place in the nascency account, and the theology of the Gospel as a whole.
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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.