Wat is die reg en die vryheid van die eksegeet?

  • BJ Engelbrecht


What is the right and ireedom of the exegete?
The themes centring around Scripture, i e the 'right' way or ways to interpret it, its usage in the church and its authority is very much in discussion in theology today. It is no wonder because the maxim sola Scriptura is so basic to protestant theology that it is called the prindpium fundamentale vel cognoscendi. The question of the freedom of the exegete of the Bible, arises from the very nature of the Bible itself. Protestantism confesses that the Bible is God's Word to man and yet this Word comes to us in the form of (fallible?) human words written through many ages and sometimes receiving more than one redaction. This situation is further complicated: (a) By the fact that we have no 'original text' of the Bible. From this fact follows the task for the exegete to reconstruct by scientific means the most probable, reliable 'original' text; (b) By the fact that between the present Bible-word and the original Word of God to man, there exists at least two hiatuses, i e between the writing down of the word of the 'prophet' or 'apostle' and the specific situation wherein it was spoken and heard. The truth of words does not lie in themselves, but often in the (psychologic, literary and historic) situation in which they were spoken. The historic and literary criticism tries to bridge this gap. The second hiatus is between the 'prophet' and the revelation, the Word of God Himself. The theological criticism tries to bridge this gap and amongst others to give due weight to the fact that the Bible, human in form and content, is simultaneously Word of God. This article proceeds to discuss the various phases in the exegetic process and their connection with (and limitation by - if any) the church-dogma.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-8050
print ISSN: 0259-9422