Original Research - Special Collection: Graham Duncan Dedication

Bible subversion: An ideology critique of the manner and motif behind the use of scriptures by politicians

McGlory Speckman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3185 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3185 | © 2016 McGlory Speckman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2015 | Published: 30 September 2016

About the author(s)

McGlory Speckman, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The use of biblical texts by politicians in recent years has led to a proliferation of critical publications by biblical scholars. Some focus on reconstructing the rhetoric itself, others on analysing the historical context while others still, on why and how the scriptures are used. A lack of an ideology critique dimension makes these analyses appear to be naïve to the extent that they miss the element of the subversion of scriptures by politicians who use them. Biblical texts on the whole, are a product of an anti-establishment culture and where they are appropriated by the establishment, a hermeneutic of suspicion should apply. This paper utilises ideology critique as it reflects on the manner and motif behind the use of scriptures by politicians. It concludes that scriptures are subverted in order to force them to serve ideological ends.


Bible; Ideology; Scriptures; Politians


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