Original Research - Special Collection: Old and New Testament Studies

Reliving the past

Jurie le Roux
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 1 | a3058 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.3058 | © 2015 Jurie le Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 May 2015 | Published: 15 October 2015

About the author(s)

Jurie le Roux, Department of Old Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The awareness of the historical nature of our human existence had a profound influence on Old Testament scholarship. The historical nature of the Hebrew Bible was also realised and historical criticism was the result, but in the 20th century there was resistance against this method. This article is an attempt to emphasise the importance of historical understanding as a means of reliving the experiences of others in the present. To illustrate this we focus on the work of Eckart Otto and his exposition of the golden calf narrative in Deuteronomy 9:9–21; 10:1–5*. The importance of his work for us lies in his blending of synchrony and diachrony in the study of the book of Deuteronomy.


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