"Die Vrees van die Here" in die Pentateug : 'n kritiese evaluering
Coetzee, Johannes Cornelius Jacobus
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The purpose of this study is to determine if research on the concept “the fear of the Lord” can lead to a better understanding of the message of the Pentateuch in different times and contexts. The study begins with a discussion regarding the shortcomings of studies done on “the fear of the Lord” in both Old Testament theology and the Pentateuch research. These studies are often dated or deal insufficiently with the problem. The place and function of the concept “the fear of the Lord” in the Pentateuch has not yet been determined. In chapter two a discussion follows on “the fear of the Lord” in relation to education and the retelling of “history”. The concept “the fear of the Lord” is compared with historical developments in biblical interpretation. This section of the study comes to the conclusion that “the fear of the Lord” emphasises the meaning the Scripture has for the reader and does not necessarily present an objective/rational reading thereof. Chapter three discusses the developments in semantics. The different words that can be translated with “fear” are discussed according to their semantic domains. This chapter also discusses the possible development of the concept “the fear of the Lord” within the Old Testament. The idea of the fear of the gods in Middle Eastern texts is also considered. Chapter four is a discussion of the composition of the Pentateuch. The history of its research is discussed and conclusions are drawn with regard to the different sources in the Pentateuch. This chapter comes to the conclusion that “ the fear of the Lord” is present in the Elohist, J material, Deuteronomist source as well as the Holiness code, but is absent from the Priestly material. Chapter five is an exegetical study of texts that contain references to fear directed towards God. Words translated with “fear” are discussed according to their semantic domains. The exegetical study also involves a study of other terms or subjects in the Pentateuch which are used in close relation to “the fear of the Lord”. The study concludes that research based on the concept “the fear of the Lord” and its function in the Pentateuch in its final form as well as its different sources, does indeed lead to a better understanding of the message of the Pentateuch in different times and contexts.
- Theology