Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Projects: Bible Interpretation

During the past decade or longer the emphasis in the Biblical Sciences has undergone a strong shift to the ethical aspects of interpretation.

When Biblical scientists interpret the Bible, the following two aspects must be balanced in their interpretations (see Patte):

  1. Responsibility: This aspect points to the fact that the biblical texts and their originating events should be taken seriously in the process of interpretation, and that it should be explored in a scientifically responsible way, which takes the interpretation process into account.

  2. Accountability: During the past decades biblical scientists have also become sensitive to the fact that interpretation does not happen in a vacuum. For 'successful' interpretation it is necessary that Bible interpretation, when working with hermeneutical models and practices, takes the different contexts in which interpretation is done into consideration. By viewing these contexts in a serious light, the Biblical Sciences show accountability towards these contexts of contemporary interpretation.

From this 'ethics of Bible interpretation' it becomes clear that the following will be taken into consideration in the research, training and services that we provide:

  1. Thorough, scientific exegesis of both OT and NT texts and their originating circumstances which have to keep up with the most recent developments in the various specialist fields;

  2. Taking into consideration the role of gender in Bible interpretation;

  3. Taking into consideration the role of culture in Bible interpretation;

  4. Bridging the gap between 'ordinary' and 'academic' Bible interpretation.

Current projects

  • Ancient Persian inscriptions and the Bible (LC Jonker)

  • Postcolonial biblical hermeneutics in Africa (J Punt)

  • Religion, sacred writings and identity (J Punt)

  • Biblical hermeneutics and the Pauline epistles (J Punt)

  • The interpretation of the ethics and theology of Matthew (MJ Nel)

  • A Commentary on the Pastoral Letters (MJ Nel)