Eksegeties-teologiese ondersteuning van die Belydenis van Belhar

  • J.N.M. Hartney


In the NGTT (Section 46, numbers 3 & 4, September and December 2005) ProfessorPiet Strauss of the University of the Free State’s Faculty of Theology, mentioned in anarticle a few reasons why the Confession of Belhar cannot be seen or accepted as aconfession. One of the reasons is that the Confession of Belhar deals with peripheralmoral values only, and not with core Biblical values.This contribution is an attempt to identify and analyse possible underlying Scripturalprinciples of the Confession of Belhar. The Confession of Belhar is structured aroundthree (Biblical) concepts, i.e. church unity, reconciliation and justice. This contributionsurveys the exegetic-theological meaning of these theological concepts. This surveyreflects on:• Church unity as portrayed by John 17, Jesus’ prayer for His disciples;• Paul’s contribution in this regard: (a) the so called Baptism Formula, in Galatians3:28; (b) Paul’s metaphor for the body of Christ, referring to the church;• Reconciliation in the New Testament seen against the background of the OldTestament and as seen by Paul and other authors of the New Testament;• Justice described in the New Testament as seen against the background of theOld Testament; how Paul and other authors of the New Testament describe it.How must we interpret their contributions? The conclusion is that all New Testamentauthors portray these words as core values, not only as believers experienced it inthe early church, but also as stated by the Holy Scripture. This study shows that thesefacts have far reaching consequences for the church of today.