Hierdie brief is ook in Afrikaans beskikbaar Back to Dept. of Old Testament Theology Home Other editions UP Home OLD TESTAMENT NEWSLETTER An Electronic Magazine of the Department of Old Testament, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa Nr 13 8 October 2001 compilor/editor jurie le roux firstname.lastname@example.org jler/up Contents IOSOT congress in Basel Pro Pent Seminar A book to have IOSOT congress in Basel The IOSOT congress (International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament) took place in Basel (Switzerland) during 5 – 10 August 2001. Many scholars attended this international congress which assembles every successive third year somewhere in Europe. Approximately five or six hundred people attended this year. Ernst Jenni, the president of the congress who is a retired professor of the Old Testament at the University of Basel and his organizing committee worked hard to make a success of this congress. Beat Huwler, the secretary of the congress worked especially hard to accommodate the many visitors and to schedule all the lectures. top This congress was the seventeenth one of IOSOT. The first IOSOT congress was held in 1953 in Copenhagen (Denmark). The first president was Aage Bentzen. Three years later the congress took place in Strassbourg (France) and the renowned Roland de Vaux was the president. Later in 1982 and 1977 the congress took place in Germany and the presidents were Martin Noth and Walter Zimmerli respectively. The next IOSOT congress will take place in 2004 in Leiden and prof Arie van der Kooij from the University of Leiden is appointed as the president. The IOSOT congress of this year was celebrated by a special edition of the ‘Theologische Zeitschrift’. In 1965 when IOSOT assembled in Geneva for the first time, a special edition of ‘Theologische Zeitschrift’ appeared. This edition, supervised by Johann Jakob Stamm who was the congress president at that time, contained several contributions by Swiss Old Testament scholars. Klaus Seybold prepared the 2001 edition likewise. Many themes are covered. Amongst these are: Walter Dietrich’s article on Jehu’s struggle against the Baal of Samaria; Martin Klopfenstein’s new translation of Hosea 9:7-9; Klaus Seybold on the Psalms; Thomas Kruger’s theology on Ecclesiastes; Thomas Romer on the end of the Deuteronomistic History and the Redaction of the Hexateuch. An article of Hannes Odil Steck is especially remarkable. He passed away on 30 March 2001 and his article reflects on his scholarly career. The editors and the different authors of this special edition of ‘Theologische Zeitschrift’ aimed at portraying an image of Old Testament scholarship in Switzerland to all who participated at the congress. top Sunday evening, 3 August 2001 at 20h00 in the Martinskirche, the congress commenced with music. Mozart’s quartet for flute, violin, viola and cello (KV 311) was performed as a start. Thereafter the Faculty of Theology of the University of Basel spoke a word of welcome. Once again we listened to music, this time the performance was “The Jet Whistle” by Hector Villa-Lobos. The Ernst Jenni delivered his presidential address on Hebrew linguistics. After this address the above mentioned quartet concluded in an appropriate way with Rossini’s ‘Wilhelm Tell’ overture. After these proceedings all congress participants were entertained in the Munster Hall. Pleasant experiences were enhanced by meeting old friends once again and by establishing new relationships. top During the past years these congresses were shaped in a particular way: main papers were delivered in the mornings during joint sessions, but in the afternoons the different groups split up to listen to various short papers. The main areas that were covered during the morning sessions were usually: linguistics, history of the text, exegesis, theology, archaeology, and research history. The important papers that were delivered during these morning sessions conveyed the present state of scholarly affairs. To mention but a few of these: Bernd Janowski commented on the nature and the significance of Old Testament Theology. Such a theology deals with two main issues (Yahweh and Israel), but focuses primarily on one aspect (Yahweh who calls Israel and Israel who replies to this call); this is a historical discipline which has to account for the whole development as regards Old Testament scholarship and which has to take into account the many ways in which Yahweh is portrayed. Israel Finkelstein emphasized the tension between ‘archaeology’ and ‘biblical archaeology’ once again. Archaeology without the prefixed ‘biblical’ could contribute significantly towards a reconstruction of the history of Israel. Therefore archaeology needs to be severed from its biblical or theological bonds. The importance of research history became obvious once again in a reading of Thomas Willi: he discussed the study of Hebrew linguistics as well as the study of the Hebrew Bible at the University of Basel since 1492 up to the present; this fascinating path was trod by persons such as Johannes Frobenius, to Walter Baumgartner and Ernst Jenni today. top The afternoon provided the opportunity for short papers. These pertained to various issues such as the Pentateuch, the prophets, the psalms, wisdom, ethics, exegetical models, Hebrew lexicography, Old Testament theology and the history of interpretation. Various venues were available for these papers, and one could attend according to one’s own interest. Twelve South Africans attended the congress, and they also delivered short papers during the afternoon sessions. An exciting part of these IOSOT congresses is to meet and to become acquainted with all the important Old Testament scholars during the tea breaks. Our subject acquires content and significance. A name on a book or on an article becomes a face, someone whom one greets or to whom one has a chat. A certain fraternity tends to develop at these IOSOT congresses, connecting all by a passion for and an interest in the Old Testament on the one hand, and on the other an eagerness to study the Old Testament scholarly, in the same way as those generations before our time applied themselves. This IOSOT fraternity follows this scholarly path in order to understand the Old Testament. By means of scholarly involvement and by means of appropriating scholarly insights we may understand something of the Old Testament. top Every IOSOT congress remains a special intellectual experience. (jler) Pro Pent Seminar The first Pro Pent Seminar took place during 31 August to 3 September 2001 at the conference centre of the University of Pretoria in Hammanskraal (cf Old Testament Newsletter, no 12). This seminar was presented as a working seminar. Approximately twenty people attended per day and everyone worked hard. All agreed that the experience was extremely informative and should be continued on a yearly basis. We were also extremely privileged to welcome prof Eckart Otto. His unique insights are basic to the future activities of the Pro pent Seminar. During the Seminar other papers were also read. Jurie le Roux emphasized the value of Pentateuch theories; Andries Breytenbach expounded critically Eckart Otto’s views on Deuteronomy, especially his views on Deuteronomy 13; Ellen van Wolde pointed out that the text could be read in ways other than historic critically; Hendrik Bosman placed Eckart Otto’s ethics critically under the magnifying glass and Jan Wagenaar lectured informatively on the Priestly document. That Sunday morning we listened to the first part of Haydn’s ‘Schöpfung’ and discussed his interpretation of the creation (and the Genesis narrative). On Monday morning before our departure, the group analyzed critically all that had happened during the weekend and debated the future of the Seminar. top As Jan Wagenaar rightly remarked, an examination into the Pentateuch is where the boys are separated from the men. Perhaps Pentateuch research would remain the crowning event of Old Testament scholarship, however, its research requires high standards. Consequently a decision was taken to rather expand the activities of Pro Pent, and the guidelines were the following: This is a joint project of two universities, especially the Old Testament departments of the two theological faculties of the University of Pretoria and the University of Münich (Germany). Eckart Otto and Jurie le Roux are the coordinators of the project. Future planning and organization are to be carried out by both institutions. Pro Pent (‘Projek vir Pentateugstudies/Project for Pentateuchal Studies’) endeavours to stimulate and to facilitate Pentateuch research of high standing in South Africa. This task is to be accomplished amongst others by means of seminars (workshops) as well as by mediating information and knowledge electronically. The importance of Pentateuch theories has been emphasized repeatedly. No one makes much progress without a theory. Theories are all we have. The words, concepts and theology of a text only make sense within, by means of and with the help of a theory. We cannot do without one. Only reading the text may be important and an immanent reading of the Pentateuch might bring some interesting perspectives, but Pro Pent endeavours to read and to understand the Pentateuch within the historical critical framework of the past two hundred years. Because the text of the Pentateuch does not speak by itself, reading it from a particular theoretical perspective would make sense. Or, to put it in other words: in our study of the Pentateuch we wish to take Pentateuch research of the past two ages seriously. This research history of the Pentateuch contains many valuable insights into the text, perspectives on Israel’s religious history and wisdom as regards the study of the Old Testament, therefore we wish to appropriate and apply these anew amongst the Pro Pent fellowship. top The Pro Pent coin has another side to it: the ethical relevance of these themes should be taken into account. It is not Pro Pent’s aim to study Pentateuch theories in itself and for its own sake, or to merely identify different layers of tradition in the text. The requirements (for Pro Pent) are more: the ethical consequences (also for South Africa) of a specific theory needs to be explored. As Hendrik Bosman stressed in his lecture, the word ‘ethic’ has many angles to it and we should reflect carefully upon all its implications. Therefore some suggested we use ‘theology’. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the ethical (or theological) implications of every Pentateuch theory, also for today. Therefore Pro Pent refrains from theorizing only, but also takes into account the ethical consequences of a theory. In view of the above, a decision was made to appropriate the theory of Eckart Otto as a working theory. This theory should be of use for coming to grips with Deuteronomy 12 – 26 (the point of focus for the 2002 Pro Pent Seminar). Persons with another view on the Pentateuch are by no means excluded. The only prerequisites as yet are: a historical orientation (text and context are inseparable and both are to be understood by means of Pentateuch research) and a possible relevance (a description of the ethical consequences of a theory should have present value). top The value of Otto’s theory is exactly that it aims at integrating Pentateuch theory and ethics, the historical context and the ethical questions of the time. Every redactional phase in the origin of the Pentateuch addresses a specific ethical question or problem. An example is Israel’s confrontation with neo-Assyrian influences during the seventh century BCE.1 According to Assyrian custom the god Assur was enforced upon defeated nations. This god was to be honoured and worshipped.2 A counter concept was developed against the politics of the Assyrians. This resistance was executed brilliantly: Assyrian ideas and terminology were borrowed and rewritten in such a way as to honour Yahweh alone. Whilst resisting in this way, Israel discovered her own identity and realized the uniqueness of her God. This deed of resistance is to be noticed is the beginning of Deuteronomy and of the Pentateuch.3 Consequently this event gives rise to many ‘ethical questions’ on the relationship between religion and the community, the nature of the resistance, the nature of Israel’s faith in Yahweh, the attitude of the church towards governmental power and many other issues. 1 Otto, E 1999. Das Deuteronomium. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 15-109. 2Albertz, R 1992. Religionsgeschichte Israels in alttestamentlicher Zeit, 1 & 2. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 291-304. 3 Otto, E 1998. Die Ursprünge der Bundestheologie im Alten Testament und im Alten Orient. ZAR 4, 1-84; 1999. Das Deuteronomium. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1-90; 2000. Mose und das Gesetz. Die Mose-figur als Gegenentwurf Politischer Theologie zur neuassyrischen Königsideologie im 7. Jh. v. Chr, in Otto (red), 2000. Mose. Stuttgart:Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk GmbH, 43-83. Another example is evident in a comparison between the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) and the Pentateuch redaction (PentRed). Both redactions reflect the main ethical and theological problems of the post exilic community. Country and land are central to the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) comprised by the books Genesis to Joshua. After 538 BCE tension mounted as different people started to make claims on the land. These disputes developed into a crisis concerning landownership. The Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) regarded the land as Yahweh’s gift of grace. From Genesis 1 to Joshua 24, known as the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed), everything is destined towards Israel’s possession of the land. These claims on the land appeal to many Africans, however, Yahweh’s promise of the land is but one side of the coin.4 top The Pentateuch redaction (PentRed) also carries a message. In the Pentateuch redaction (PentRed) the voice of the diaspora is heard. What about those people who do not regard the land of utmost importance, or those who have no share at all in the land? They are told that the Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy) is the most precious of Yahweh’s gift of grace. The Torah is put over against the emphasis of the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) on the land. The Torah is the real gift that Israel should cherish. Consequently the Pentateuch was detached from the book Joshua, and the legislation (e.g. in the Book of the Covenant, the Holiness Code and Deuteronomy) began to play an important role. Israel needed to focus continuously upon these laws and delight therein, and to mediate day and night in His law (cf Ps 1:2). Once again the ethical consequences are important. Especially with regard to the debate on landownership in Africa the tension between the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) and the Pentateuch redaction (PentRed) is significant.5 (jler) top A book to have Title: Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Author: Eckart Otto Date: 2000 Publisher: J C B Mohr: Tubingen. Obtainable at: Protea, Box 35110, Menlo park, Pretoria 0102, South Africa. E- mail: email@example.com 4 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 108,247-248,261. 5 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 93,108. The title conveys that this book examines the connection between Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch as well as its link with the Hexateuch. The author attempts to describe the ways is which the Pentateuch and the Hexateuch developed from the sources in the book Deuteronomy. Otto’s book is important and may become one of the major works on this theme. He dedicated this work to the University of Pretoria: ‘Ich widme diese Monographie der Hochwürdigen Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Pretoria, die mich mit der Ernennung zum Honorary Visiting Professor in ihre Mitte genommen hat’.6 Evidently Deuteronomy plays a key role in Otto’s views on the origin and development of the Pentateuch (and of course the Hexateuch). He is of the opinion that all research into the Pentateuch should start at Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is the cradle of the Pentateuch (and the Hexateuch). Otto accuses recent Pentateuch studies of ‘Deuteronomiumsvergessenheit’.7 Knowledge of the origin of Deuteronomy is indispensable for understanding the Pentateuch. This is the Archimedes point of all Pentateuch research. 8 top Over the years students at the University of Pretoria became acquainted with the work of Gerhard von Rad. His discussion of the origin of the Pentateuch also acknowledges that Deuteronomy plays an important role. Von Rad was of the opinion that the Hexateuch should be the point of departure: from the larger section (the Hexateuch) one should proceed towards the core (the credo or creed of faith in Dt 26:5-9), and then once again return to the larger section or final shape. The credo contains the core of Israel’s faith in Yahweh: He is the God of history; He intervenes in the lives of people; this intervention is obvious (according to the credo) in the lives of the patriarchs, the exile from Egypt and the entrance into the promised land. The Jahwist in David and Solomon’s time took these basic lines as point of departure, elaborated upon them and thus laid the foundations for the Pentateuch: the creation and the fall are prefixed; the patriarchal narrative is developed in terms of Abraham-Isaac-Jacob; the exodus is 6 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, VIII. 7 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1. 8 Vgl Otto, E 1994. Theologische Ethik des Alten Testaments. Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 175-219; 1995. Kritik der Pentateuchkomposition. ThR 60, 163-191; 1996. Neuere Einleitungen in den Pentateuchkritik. ThR 61, 332-341; 1997. Das Deuteronomium als archimedischer Punkt in der Pentateuchkritik, in Vervenne, M & Lust, J. Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic literature. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 175-219. linked to Sinai. More developmental phases of the Hexateuch followed after the Jahwist.9 Although Von Rad acknowledged the central position of Deuteronomy, Eckart Otto is the one who focused intensively on that book. The trigger point was an event in the seventh century BCE, namely a resistance movement against the neo-Assyrian abuse of political power. This resistance movement is echoed in Deuteronomy 13:2a; 3a; 3b; 4a; 6a; 7a; 9a; 10a (cf above)10, furthermore, the origins of the Pentateuch lie in this resistance movement. The redactional processes towards the final Pentateuch redaction are summarized as follows: top A late pre exilic reform program was first (Dt 6:4 vv; 12:13 – 28:44*). As explained above, this was a reaction against Assyrian domination. The theology of the pre exilic reform program (Dt 6:4 vv; 12:13 – 28:44*) sharply criticizes the neo-Assyrian rule. Resistance is effected brilliantly: the dominating Assyrian ideas and motives pertaining to governmental power and religion were adopted: however, they were adapted to suit purposes and meanings that were radically new and different. Two Deuteronomistic redactions proceeded to rework the above mentioned late pre exilic reform program (Dt 6:4 vv; 12:13 - 28:44): Deuteronomy 5; 9 – 10; 12 – 26 * testify to the first redaction which took place during the exile. Otto calls this first Deuteronomistic redaction ‘DtrD’. DtrD transformed the late pre exilic reform program (Dt 6:4 vv; 12:12-28:44) into a Moses discourse (Dt 5; 9-10) which took place at Horeb, the mount of God at the time when the decalogue and Deuteronomy (the legislation in Dt 12 – 26) were transmitted. The narrative of the golden calf follows (Dt 9:9-21; 10: 15). Israel failed to adhere to the main commandment. However, Yahweh keeps his part of the deal. The exiles did not lose everything during the exile. By realizing the decalogue, they already had the opportunity to lead a righteous life. But Deuteronomy 12-26 was destined for the new Israel in a new country; and the new Israel could be realized only after the exile. top The second Deuteronomistic redaction DtrL (Dt 1-3*; 29-30*) needed to address an important question during the post exilic time. In what way could the new Israel (the post exilic community) prevent a devastating catastrophe like the exile from ever happening again? DtrD could not provide an answer. DtrL ventures by retaining DtrD, but frames this part simultaneously with 9 Von Rad, G 1958. Theologie des Alten Testament. München: Chr Kaiser Verlag, 111-134; 1971. Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch, in Gesammelte Studien zum Alten Testament. München: Chr Kaiser Verlag, 9-86. 10 Otto, E 1999. Das Deuteronomium. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 57. other sections. In other words, DtrL renders a meaning totally different to the work of DtrD (Dt5; 9-10*; 12 – 24*) by framing these sections with Deuteronomy 1-3* and 29-30* and by linking them to the book Joshua. The promised land becomes significant. However, the promised land could be lost. What is to be done in order to avoid such a catastrophe? Deuteronomy 12-26 must be obeyed. The post exilic generation was fully equipped to do so as they had received Deuteronomy (12-26*). Thus DtrL provides a clear answer to the post exilic community: adhere to Deuteronomy (12 – 26) in order to live and to prevent yet another exile. The theological reflections and concepts of DtrD and DtrL influenced the origins of the Hexateuch and of the Pentateuch to a great extent. Both developed from Deuteronomy. According to Otto: ‘Das Deuteronomium ist die Wiege des Pentateuch, und in diesem Sinne ist von Deuteronomium als “Konstitionsbuch” der restaurierten Gemeinde des nachexilischen Israel zu sprechen’.11. In this way both the Hexateuch and the Pentateuch are shaped. This event took place during the fifth and the early fourth century midst the circles of the Zadokite priests. The Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) reflects the problems of the post exilic community. Country and land were the main issues. As the exiles returned, different people were claiming an own land which gave rise to a crisis on landownership. The theology of the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) stresses the possession of the land, the actual gift of the grace of Yahweh.12 top According to the Pentateuch redaction (PentRed) the Torah (the Pentateuch) is of utmost importance. Over against the emphasis of the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) on the land, the Torah gains significance. Interestingly the Pentateuch ends with the death of Moses (Dt 34). At the death of Moses the Torah takes over. Moses has no substitute, except for the Torah. Otto’s words are moving: ‘Mit dem Tod des Mose wird aus die Sicht der Pentateuchredaktion der Pentateuch geboren. Mose hat den Jordan nicht überschritten, wohl aber die von ihm verschriftete Tora. Mit ihr wird an seiner Stelle die Geschichte des Volk Israel weitergehen’.13. 11 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 265. 12 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 196-211, 246,249,250,255,257,261. 13 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 232-233. Otto grounds his exposition of the origin and development of the Pentateuch on substantial exegesis. For example, his book starts with a thorough literary examination of the spy narratives in Deuteronomy 1:19-46 and Numbers 13:114:45. A detailed analysis is made for every word and for every verse in order to discern the development from the early to the later stage. By means of his profound work on the text, Otto was able to typify the unique way in which the theology of the Hexateuch redaction (HexRed) portrays the spy narratives of Numbers 13:1-14:45. The spying of the land is described in such a way that the necessary links with Joshua are already established, because the possession of the land was according to this redaction the most important gift of Yahweh. In this way Caleb becomes part of the story line that reaches from the spying (Num 13:26-33; 14:24) to the entrance into the land (Jos 14:6-15); he becomes a link in a chain which connects various events to the possession of the land. Otto’s profound work on the text supports his viewpoints in a significant way. top The work of Eckart Otto challenges us to think differently about some issues. We mention two examples. One of these is the Deuteronomistic history. Only DtrD and DtrL refer to the Deuteronomist; a text is only Deuteronomistic if it reflects the language and the theology of DtrD and DtrL.14 Further editions of the ‘Old Testament Newsletter’ will return to problematic issues such as these. Another example is the way in which Otto deals with synchrony and diachrony. He chooses to synthetize: synchrony, diachrony, the final text and the development of the text intertwine.15 These works of Otto are extremely important for the further activities of Pro Pent. They are the preliminary horizons of understanding against which the Pentateuch, the Hexateuch and Deuteronomy should be read and understood. (jler) top Greetings Jurie le Roux firstname.lastname@example.org top 14 Otto, E 1999. Deuteronomium. RGG 4/II, 693-696; 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 266-273. 15 Otto, E 2000. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 266-273.