Skip to content
Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Prof Izak Spangenberg

Prof I J J Spangenberg

Fields of interests and specialisation

Prof Spangenberg is first and foremost a theologian and his study of the Second Temple literature, the religion of Israel and early Judaism contributes to his theological viewpoints. He does not feel comfortable in the traditional Christian paradigm of theology and is planning a book which will serve as a follow-up to the book Jesus van Nazaret published in 2010.

Says Prof Spangenbegr, "The latter book can be classified as a deconstruction of the traditional Christian paradigm of theology. The old “Augustinian paradigm of theology”, as Philip Kennedy calls it, does not make sense to a large number of Christians in the Western world anymore. There was no Fall at the beginning of creation and to interpret Jesus’ crucifixion as an event to appease God’s wrath, is to absolve the Roman authorities for using state terrorism to control conquered nations. A number of biblical scholars in the USA are researching the issue of religion and empire and they compare the current USA political policies with that of the Roman empire. Jesus’ resistance to the empire and his care for the “underdog” make them critical about the role which the USA is currently playing. I have been sensitized by these scholars and the planned book will cover the issue of religion and empire. The book will also reflect on “the greening of Christianity”. The ecological crisis which we are experiencing should be linked to the empire and its policies, especially its economic policies. We need to re-assess what we are doing to the earth and how traditional Christianity has always supported empires as well as their policies in the Western world."

Fields of interest and specialisation:

  • The Jewish literature of the Second Temple period
  • Wisdom and apocalyptic literature
  • The religion of ancient Israel
  • Old Testament theology
  • Christianity and the ecological crisis
  • Religion and empire
  • Interreligious dialogue

Publications

Books

  • Purper en flenterlap: Rykdom en armoede in die Ou Testament.  Pretoria: J L van Schaik, 1991. (Bosman, HL, Gous, IGP & Spangenberg, IJJ [reds])
  • Plutocrats and paupers: Wealth and poverty in the Old Testament. Pretoria: J L van Schaik, 1991. (Bosman, HL; Gous, IGP & Spangenberg, IJJ [eds]) (English translation of no. 1.)
  • Die boek Prediker. Kaapstad: NG Kerk-Uitgewers, 1993. (Skrifuitleg vir Bybelstudent en Gemeente.)
  • Perspektiewe op die Bybel: God se woord in mensetaal. Pretoria: J L Van Schaik, 1998.
  • Ancient Israelite Literature in Context. Pretoria: Protea Book House, 2000. (Boshoff, WS; Scheffler, EH & Spangenberg, IJJ)
  • Perspectives on the Bible: God’s Word in ordinary language. Pretoria: Protea Book House, 2002. (English translation of no. 4.)
  • Teologie op die markplein: ’n Post-apartheid teoloog dink na oor sy geloof en leefwêreld. Pretoria: Unisa, CB Powell Bybelsentrum, 2003.
  • Geskiedenis en geskrifte: Literatuur van ou Israel. Pretoria: Protea Boekhuis, 2008. (Boshoff, WS, Scheffler, EH & Spangenberg, IJJ) (Afrikaans translation of no. 5.)
  • Jesus van Nasaret. Kaapstad: Griffel Media, 2009.

Articles in accredited journals

  • Daniël 9: 'n Voorspelling van die kruisigingsdatum van Jesus Christus? Ned Geref Teologiese Tydskrif 26 (1985), 271–281.
  • Die Christologiese uitleg van die Ou Testament en die implikasies vir die prediking. Scriptura 16 (1985), 29–46.
  • Who is the wise one in 2 Samuel 14:1–14? OTWSA/OTSSA 27/28 (1986), 272–279.
  • Die Prediker se uitsprake oor en uitkyk op die dood. Scriptura 27(1988), 29–37.
  • Die struktuur en strekking van Prediker 4:17–5:6. Ned Geref Teologiese Tydskrif  30 (1989), 260–269.
  • Quotations in Ecclesiastes: An appraisal. Old Testament Essays 4 (1991), 19–35.
  • Old Testament Theology and Wisdom literature. Theologia Evangelica (SA) 25 (1992), 2–7.
  • Galileo Galilei en die boek Prediker: 'n Les uit die kerkgeskiedenis. Theologia Evangelica (SA) 26 (1993), 121–131.
  • Op die voetspoor van Harold Henry Rowley (1890–1969). Hervormde Teologiese Studies 50 (1994), 669–686.
  • Paradigmaveranderinge in die Bybelwetenskappe: ’n Bydrae tot die gesprek tussen die Bybelwetenskappe en Sistematiese Teologie. Religion & Theology 1 (1994), 144–184.
  • Om te teologiseer oor God en lyding: Opmerkings na aanleiding van Harold Kushner se interpretasie van Job 40:9–14. Hervormde Teologiese Studies 50 (1994), 990–1004.
  • Paradigm change and Old Testament theology: Death-blow to a non-existent beast? Old Testament Essays 7 (1994), 435–452.
  • Paradigm changes in the Biblical Sciences and the teaching of Biblical Studies in the new South Africa. Scriptura 52 (1995), 1–10.
  • Kritiese realisme, die Bybel, die Gereformeerde belydenisskrifte en die Christelike geloof: Kanttekeninge by ’n aantal terugblikke oor die Bybelwetenskappe. Religion & Theology 2 (1995), 191–205.
  • Jonah and Qohelet: Satire versus irony. Old Testament Essays 9 (1996), 495–511.
  • Irony in the book of Qohelet. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 72, (1996), 57–69.
  • Psalm 49 and the book of Qohelet. Skrif en Kerk 18 (1997), 328–344.
  • Die Westerling se worsteling met Afrika. Woord en Daad (Winter, 1998), 26–28.
  • A Century of Wrestling with Qohelet. The research history of the book illustrated with a discussion of Qoh 4:17–5:6. In Schoors, A (ed), Qohelet in the Context of Wisdom, 61–91. Louvain: Peeters, 1998. (BETL 136).
  • Op pad na 2000 — oftewel, oor al die dinge wat gebeur het. Old Testament Essays 11 (1998), 534–566.
  • A bridge too far: Response to Gerrie Snyman’s article ‘Will it happen again?’ Religion & Theology 6 (1999), 411–414.
  • Die Suid-Afrikaanse navorsingsgeskiedenis van die boek Daniël en die eksegetiese spel. Old Testament Essays 12 (1999), 591–608.
  • Voëls van eenderse vere? Oor die Israelitiese en Egiptiese wysheid en voëlsimbole. Skrif en Kerk 21 (2000), 641–653.
  • Beleef die Christelike Teologie soos met die vorige eeuwending weer ’n paradigmaverandering? Hervormde Teologiese Studies 58 (2002), 100–117.
  • Hoe dink vandag se mense oor die Bybel? Verbum et Ecclesia 23 (2002), 183–195.
  • Kerk en teologie in die postmoderne tyd. Hervormde Teologiese Studies 58 (2002), 1134–1153.
  • Wat moet ons weet en wat kan ons nog glo? Ned Geref Teologiese Tydskrif  44 (2003), 147–160.
  • The Christian Canon a Palimpsest? In Auwers, J-M & De Jonge, H J (ed) The Biblical Canons, 287–293. Louvain: Peeters, 2003. (BETL 163.)
  • Om oor God te praat: ’n Kritiese oorsig van gesprekke onder Afrikaanssprekende Christene van die gereformeerde tradisie (1998–2003) Verbum et Ecclesia 25 (2004), 274–293.
  • Joodse narratiewe van die Persiese tydvak: Ideologie? Hervormde Teologiese Studies 60 (2004), 791–813.
  • Sonder verhale vaar niemand wel. Hervormde Teologiese Studies 60 (2004), 1373–1381.
  • In celebration of James Alfred Loader’s sixtieth birthday (12 July 1945 – 12 July 2005). Old Testament Essays 18 (2005), 165–171.
  • Constructing a historical context for the Ruth novelette: Dovetailing the views of Rainer Albertz and James Alfred Loader. Old Testament Essays 18 (2005), 345–355.
  • The Septuagint of Daniel 9: Does it reflect a messianic interpretation? In Knibb, M A (ed) The Septuagint and Messianism, 431–441. Louvain: Peeters, 2006. (BETL 195.)
  • Oor doodloopstrate en omweë: Kanttekening by die boek Doodloopstrate van die geloof – ’n Perspektief op die Nuwe Hervorming. Verbum et Ecclesia 27 (2006), 361–373.
  • Reformation and Counter-Reformation or, What are Old Testament scholars doing at universities in South Africa? Old Testament Essays 19 (2006), 982–992.
  • Postmoderne Bybelwetenskap en die Christelike godsdiens — kanttekeninge by die boek Geloof sonder sekerhede: Besinning vir eietydse gelowiges. Ned Geref Teol Tydskrif 48 (2007), 188–201.
  • Constructing a historical context for Psalm 49. Old Testament Essays 20 (2007): 201–214.
  • Can a major religion change? Reading Genesis 1–3 in the Twenty-First Century. Verbum et Ecclesia 28 (2007), 259–279.
  • The doctrines of original sin and the virgin birth: divine revelation or human construct? Verbum et Ecclesia 30 (2009), 221–242.
  • Darwin, Du Plessis, Dooie Seerolle en Demokrasie: Stroomversnellings in die studie van die Ou Testament in Suid-Afrika (1859–2009). Old Testament Essays 22 (2009), 662–676.
  • Die verkrummeling van die Augustiniaanse paradigma in die teologie? ’n Kritiese bespreking van Cornelis Blom se boek Zonder grond onder de voeten. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 66(1), 2010. art. #848, 7 pages. DOI:10.4102/hts.v66i1.848
  • Die Jesus Seminaar vier sy eerste kwarteeu: nabetragtings van ’n buitstander. LitNet Akademies 8(1), Maart 2011. http://www.litnet.co.za/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&cause_id=1270&news_id=103440&cat_id=1905.
  • Opstandingsverhale en opstandingsdogma. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(1), 2011. Art. #874, 8 pages. doi.10.4102/hts.v67i1.874
  • Psalm 24: Reading from right to left and from back to front. Old Testament Essays 24(3), 2011:746–766.
  • Ses dekades Ou Testament teologie (1952–2012): Van één Spreker tot verskeie menslike sprekers. HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 68(1), 2012.

Articles in conference proceedings and academic books

  • Ironie in die boek Prediker. In Coetzee, J H, Nortjé, S J, & Viviers, H J (reds), 'n Vriend in ons poorte: Studies opgedra aan prof P J du Plessis, 183–201. Johannesburg: RAU, 1990.
  • ‘The poor will always be with you'. Wealth and poverty in a wisdom perspective. In Bosman, H L; Gous, I G P & Spangenberg, I J J (eds), Plutocrats and paupers: wealth and poverty in the Old Testament, 228–246. Pretoria: JL van Schaik, 1991.
  • Job and the powerless God. In Wessels, W J  & Scheffler, E H (eds) Old Testament Science and Reality: A Mosaic for Deist, 304–316. Pretoria: Verba Vitae, 1992.
  • Poverty in the Old Testament: the social crisis in Judah in the Persian era. In Du Toit, C W (ed), Empowering the poor, 114–128. Pretoria: Unisa, 1996. (Miscellanea Congregalia 52.)
  • Daniël, in Vosloo, W & Van Rensburg, F J (reds), Die Bybellennium: Eenvolumekommentaar, 961–993. Vereeniging: CUM, 1999.
  • The literature of the Persian period (539–333 BCE), in Boshoff, W S, Scheffler, E H & Spangenberg, I J J, Ancient Israelite Literature in Context, 168–198. Pretoria: Protea Book House, 2000.
  • The literature of the Hellenistic period (333–63 BCE), in Boshoff, W S, Scheffler, E H & Spangenberg, I J J, Ancient Israelite Literature in Context, 199–236. Pretoria: Protea Book House, 2000.
  • Who cares? Reflections on the Story of the Ostrich (Job 39:13–18). In Habel, N C & Wurst, S (eds) The Earth Story in Wisdom Traditions, 92–102. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. (The Earth Bible Volume 3.)
  • Die Bybel en die nuwe hervorming, in Muller, P (ed) Die Nuwe Hervorming, 88–111. Pretoria: Protea Boekhuis, 2002.
  • Will synchronic study of the Pentateuch keep the scientific study of the Old Testament alive in the RSA? In le Roux J. & Otto, E., South African Perspectives on the Pentateuch between Synchrony and Diachrony, 138–151. London: T & T Clark. (Library of Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament Studies 463.) 2007
  • Yahwism, Judaism and Christianity: religions do evolve! in Du Toit, C.W. (ed.), The Evolutionary Roots of Religion: Cultivate, Mutate or Eliminate?, 119–143. Pretoria: Unisa. (SASRF Series, 13.) 2009.
  • Van onverwoesbare binnestander tot onverwoesbare buitestander, in Van Wyk, Diek, Nolte, Coenie & Atterbury, Leon (reds), Hier staan ek, 194–208. Kaapstad: Griffel Media. 2011.
  • The Book of Daniel, the Canon and the Grand Narrative of Christianity, in Burns, D. & Rogerson, J.W. (eds), Far From Minimal: Celebrating the Work and Influence of Philip R. Davies, 410–418. London: T&T Clark/Continuum, 2012. (Library of Hebrew/Old Testament Studies 484.)

Book reviews

  • Fox, MV. Contradictions in the book of Qohelet. Sheffield: JSOT, 1989. In Old Testament Essays 3 (1990), 370–372.
  • Assmann, J. 1999. Ma'at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im alten Ägypten. München: C.H. Beck, 1990. In Old Testament Essays 4 (1991.), 277–280.
  • Gammie, JG & Perdue, LG. (eds). The sage in Israel and the ancient Near East. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1990. In Old Testament Essays 5 (1992), 446–448.
  • Schoors, A. The Preacher Sought to Find Pleasing Words: A Study of the Language of Qoheleth. Louvain: Peeters, 1992. (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 41).  In Old Testament Essays 7 (1994), 97–99.
  • Ord, DR & Coote, RB. 1994. Is the Bible true? Understanding the Bible today. New York: Orbis. In Old Testament Essays 8 (1995), 313–316.
    6. Bandstra, B L. 1995. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont: Wadsworth. In Old Testament Essays 11 (1998), 195–196.
  • Bybelgenootskap van Suid-Afrika. Verwysingsbybel (1983-Vertaling). Bybelgenootskap van Suid-Afrika: Kaapstad, 1998. Skrif en Kerk 20 (1999), 255–257.
  • Koch, K. 1997. Europa, Rom und der Kaiser vor dem Hintergrund von zwei Jahrtausenden Rezeption des Buches Daniel. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. In Old Testament Essays 12 (1999), 202–204.
  • Barr, J. 2000. History and ideology in the Old Testament: Biblical Studies at the end of a millennium. Oxford: Oxford University Press. In Old Testament Essays 14 (2002), 544–545.
  • König, A. 2001. Die helfte is my nooit oor Jesus vertel nie: ’n Nuwe kyk op die Een wat jou lewe verander. Wellington: LuxVerbi.BM. In Verbum et Ecclesia 23 (2002), 266–269.
  • Labuschagne, C.J. 2000. Zin en onzin rond de bijbel: Bijbelgeloof, bijbelwetenschap en bijbelgebruik. Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum. www.litnet.co.za.
  • Den Heyer, CJ. 2001. Ruim geloven: Een theologisch zelfportret. Zoetermeer: Meinema, 2001. www.litnet.co.za.
  • Sullivan, C 2002. Rescuing Jesus from the Christians. Harrisburg: Trinity Press. www.nuwe-hervorming.org.za
  • Fokkelman, JP. 1999. Reading Biblical Narrative: A practical guide. Leiderdorp: Deo Publishing. In Religion and Theology 11(2004), 187–188
  • Collins, JJ & Sterling, GE. (eds) 2001. Hellenism in the Land of Israel. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame. In Shofar 22 (2004), 147–149.
  • Mollett, T, Grundling, E & Van Heerden, E. (reds). 2004. Die Omstrede God: Bestaan God of nie? Stellenbosch: African Sun Media. & Coetzee, J. 2004. Ek en die Bybel: Op soek na die waarheid. Stellenbosch: Japie Coetzee. In Insig November 2004, 63.
  • McGrath, AE. 2002. The Future of Christianity. Malden: Blackwell. (Blackwell Manifestos). In Religion and Theology 12 (2005), 194–195.
  • Harris, Sam 2006. Letter to a Christian Nation: A Challenge to Faith. London: Bantam. In Beeld 14 Mei 2007, p 15.
  • Schoors, Antoon 2004. The Preacher Sought to Find Pleasing Words: A Study of the Language of Qoheleth, Part II Vocabulary. Louvain: Peeters. (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 143.) In Old Testament Essays 20 (2007), 202–204.
  • Snyman, G F 2007. Om die Bybel anders te lees: ’n Etiek van Bybellees. Pretoria: Griffel. (NHN-webbladsy: www.nuwe-hervorming.org.za)
  • Ayala, FJ 2006. Darwin and Intelligent Design. Minneapolis: Fortress. In Old Testament Essays 22 (2009), 228–233.
  • Grabbe, Lester L. 2007. Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? London: T& T Clark. 306 pages. Published in Hervormde Teologiese Studies 2008.
  • Oop gesprek oor ’n turksvy-onderwerp. Resensie van God? Gesprekke oor die Oorsprong en Uiteinde van Alles, George Claassen & Frits Gaum (reds.), Kaapstad: Tefelberg, 2012. Beeld, Maandag 19 Maart 2012: p. 11.

Postgraduate student supervision

  • E Decker (MA): “Prediker — ’n wysheidsgeskrif deurspek met aanhalings.” November 1996.
  • FG Laiu (MTh): “An exegetical study of Daniel 7–9.” November 1999.
  • TW Dingman (DLitt et Phil): “The influence of the angelology of 1 Enoch on Judaism in the Second Temple Period.” January 2001.
  • MEDS Lawman (MTh). “Responsibility in the Joseph Narrative (Gen 37–50).” September 2009.
  • D Taylor (DTh): “A narrative critical analysis of Israel’s wilderness rebellion as recorded in Numbers”. April 2010.

Ongoing

  • SM Jacobs (MTh): “The Impact of Roman Imperialism on social Conflict in Early Roman Palestine.”
  • AJ le Roux (MA) “Beskouings oor die dood in die Ou Testament.”
  • MEDS Lawman (DTh): “Reading the Book of Daniel in an African Context: The Issue of Leadership.”
  • LJ Bookholane (DLitt et Phil): “Self-identity and Construction of the Other: Judges 12:1-6.”