Original Research - Special Collection: Old Testament and New Testament Studies

South African Old Testament criticism: Squeezed between an ancient text and contemporary contexts

Esias Meyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a2876 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.2876 | © 2015 Esias Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2014 | Published: 23 July 2015

About the author(s)

Esias Meyer, Department of Old Testament, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The article focuses on a debate initiated by Masenya and Ramantswana in 2012 about the lack of engagement with contemporary issues by South African Old Testament scholars. The article shows with reference to the book of Leviticus that ancient texts grew over time in order to become relevant for later generations. It then asks, if it is possible for Old Testament scholars to construct ancient examples of writers engaging with contemporary issues, why these same scholars are reluctant to make these texts relevant for today? The article then engages with the work of Farisani and describes strong points and weaknesses in the way in which he uses biblical texts to engage with contemporary debates before returning to the central question.


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