Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Reconsidering Deuteronomy 26:5–11 as a ‘small historical creed’: Overtures towards a ‘migrant reading’ within the Persian period

Hendrik L. Bosman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5090 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5090 | © 2019 Hendrik L. Bosman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 May 2018 | Published: 28 March 2019

About the author(s)

Hendrik L. Bosman, Department of Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch,


Against the backdrop of recent scholarship related to Deuteronomy 26:5–11, the influential hypothesis formulated by Gerhard von Rad that this verse entails a ‘small historical creed’ will be re-evaluated. In addition to recent Old Testament scholarship, attention will be paid to migrant theory and a rereading of 26:5–11. It will be suggested that this ‘creed’ addressed the identity concerns of returning migrants or exiles from Babylon, as well as the peasant farmers who remained behind in Palestine. Thus, the creed is not understood as an early cultic starting point of a theological tradition, but as a later synthesising framework that responded to theological challenges and tensions prevalent in Persian Yehud.


Deuteronomy 26; Historical creed; G von Rad; Migration Theory


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