Original Research - Special Collection: James Alfred Loader Dedication

Creation and covenant in a via media position: The example of J.J.P. Valeton Jr

Bob Becking
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1989 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1989 | © 2013 Bob Becking | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2013 | Published: 20 June 2013

About the author(s)

Bob Becking, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The year 2012 marked the centenary of the death of the Utrecht Old Testament scholar J.J.P. Valeton Jr (1848–1912). He was a representative of the ‘via media’ approach of Dutch theology, which aimed at joining critical scholarship and piety, by avoiding the pitfalls of modernism as well as orthodoxy. Valeton accepted the critical analysis of Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen, but meanwhile remained a pious person. This article will discuss Valeton’s contributions to critical scholarship of Genesis 1–3 as well as his profound ideas on ‘covenant’ as an expression of ‘friendship’. Loader’s distinction between ‘knowledge open to faith’ and ‘knowledge open for scientific approach’ is very helpful in understanding the works and ideas of Valeton.


Old Testament Studies; Utrecht University; J.J.P. Valeton ‘via media’ approach of Dutch theology; James Alfred Loader; interrelationship between critical scholarship and piety and between modernism and orthodoxy; Genesis 1–3; covenant as an expression of


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