Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies

Prof GF Snyman

College of Human Sciences
School of Humanities
Department: Biblical and Ancient Studies
Tel: 012 429 4642
Fax: 012 429 4495


  • DTh (Old Testament) Unisa (1991).
  • ThM (Old Testament) NWU (1987).
  • ThB NWU 1984.
  • BA Honours (Semitic Languages) NWU 1984.
  • BA Honours (French) UJ 1980.
  • BA (Law) UJ 1978.

NRF Rating


Fields of academic interests

  • Old Testament.
  • Narrative readings of the Old Testament.
  • Hermeneutics: Western, African, Decolonial.

Field of Specialisation

  • Old Testament.
  • Early Second Temple Literature: Esther, Chronicles, Obadiah, Malachi.
  • Hermeneutics, African vs Western hermeneutics, decolonial theory, racism, critical whiteness studies, rhetoric, reception theory.


Book chapters:

  • 2016.   “‘Utopia where it is to be hoped the coffee is a little less sour’‒ Doctor Who’s “Utopia” and Chronicles. ” Pages 36-56 in Worlds that could not be (ed. Steven MacKenzie and Frauke Uhlenbruch, Bloomsbury: London).
  • 2016.   “Obadiah and a hermeneutic of vulnerability,” Pages 45-63 in Obadiah. Readings: A New Biblical Commentary (ed. Bob Becking, Sheffield Phoenix Press: Sheffield).
  • 2012.   Collective Memory and Coloniality of Being and Power as a Hermeneutical Framework: A Partialised Reading of Ezra-Nehemiah. Pages 359-380 in Postcolonial Perspective in African Biblical Interpretations. Global Perpsectives in Scholarship 13. Edited by Musa W. Dube, Andrew M. Mbuvi and Dora Mbuwayesango; SBL, Atlanta, 2012.
  • 2011.   “Why Asa was not Deemed Good Enough. A Decolonial Reading of 2 Chronicles 14-16.” Pages 241-269 in Contexts and Readings: Explorations into Historiography and Identity Negotiation in Persian Period Yehud (Ed. Louis Jonker; Mohr Siebeck, Tubingen). Peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

Journal articles

  • 2017.   "Read as/with the Perpetrator: Manasseh’s vulnerability in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20," Scriptura 116(2): 188-207.
  • 2017.   “Figuring out Cain: Darwin, Spangenberg, and Cormon," OTE 30(2): 421-442.
  • 2016.   “A Hermeneutic of Vulnerability: Edom in Malachi 1:2-5,” JSEM 25(1): 595-629.
  • 2016.    “Cain and Vulnerability: The reception of Cain in Genesis Rabbah 22 and Targum Onkelos, Targum Neofiti and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan,” OTE 29(3): 601-632. Doi:
  • 2015.   “Totius: die ironie van vergewe en vergeet,” LitNet Akademies (Godsdienswetenskap) 12(2): 211-235. Online :
  • 2015    “Responding to the decolonial turn: Epistemic Vulnerability,” Missionalia 43(3): 266-291. DOI:
  • 2015    “A Hermeneutic of Vulnerability: Redeeming Cain?” Stellenbosch Theological Journal 1 (2/3): 633–665. DOI:
  • 2014.   “Esther and African Biblical Hermeneutics: A Decolonial Inquiry,” OTE 27 (3): 1035-1061.
  • 2013.   ‘Sensed fittingness between act and consequence: The last acts of Esther in the book of Esther and Grace in the film Dogville’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 69(1), Art. #1972, 9 pages.
  • 2013. “When the Maidens Were Gathered for a Second Time” – Some Notes on the Text of Esther 2:19a, Journal for Semitics 22(2) 2013: 480-501.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • General editor Old Testament Essays (New Series) (2009-present)
  • NRF Rated researcher: C2
  • Member of Old Testament Society of South Africa, New Testament Society of South Africa, American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature
  • Visiting researcher: Milieux Biblique, Collège de France (March-April 2016)
  • Visiting researcher: School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway (May 2016)
  • Visiting researcher: Catholic University, Leuven (October-December 2016)
  • Visiting researcher: Catholic University, Leuven (October-December 2012)


  • Apartheid Perpetrator discourse:
    • How does the biblical text depict perpetrators?
      • Cain, Edom/Esau, Judas
  • Decoloniality and critical whiteness studies:
    • Cain and masculinity