The Book of Jonah and the Hermeneutics of Ferdinand E. Deist
Festschrift for Willie van Heerden
Keywords:Ferdinand E. Deist, hermeneutics, heresy, heresy trials, history, salvation history, historical research, Jonah, historical-critical methods, narrative criticism, paradigm, paradigm change
Ferdinand E. Deist (1944–1997) was a critical scholar and a prolific author, and had an immeasurable influence on Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern scholarship in South Africa during the last quarter of the previous century. Although he never claimed to be working within the new paradigm which dawned in Old Testament studies towards the end of the nineteenth century, it is evident that he was fully at home within this paradigm. The article does not discuss all Deist’s publications in order to vindicate the claim. It only discusses his earliest publications. His treatment of Jonah opened the doors for many of his students to follow in his wake and to acquaint themselves with historical-critical methods of studying the Bible. Willie van Heerden, who is honoured with this essay, is but one of many postgraduate students who benefitted from Deist’s expertise, courage, and wisdom.
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