Focus: The research of exegetical, hermeneutical, revelation historical and related aspects of the Old and New Testament. 

Subprogramme leader: Dr Albert Coetsee



To undertake exegetical, hermeneutical, revelation historical (theological), canonical and related studies of the Old and New Testament.

Recently completed projects:

A Biblical Theology of Life (2020-2021)

Life is a primary theme in Scripture. The Bible starts with a description of (the living) God creating and sustaining life, and ends with a depiction of life eternal in the new heaven and earth. In-between numerous references are found to both life and death, expressed in the rich diversity of the various books, corpora and genres of Scripture.

Much has been published on what Scripture teaches about life and death. Up to date, however, no comprehensive biblical theology in which the concept of life is traced throughout the different books and corpora of the Old and New Testament has been published. It is this lacuna that a two volume publication aims to fill.

In A Biblical Theology of Life, the concept of life is traced throughout Scripture in order to determine the different nuances of the concept in the various books and corpora of the Bible. This is done by providing the reader with a book-by-book overview of the concept of life in Scripture, and synthesising the findings in order to provide a summative theological perspective of the development of the concept of life through the Old and New Testament.

The aim is to have this project published at the end of 2021 as two volumes as part of the book series Reformed Theology in Africa by AOSIS.

Bible translation (2020-2021)

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Bible Society in South Africa, as well as the launch of the new Afrikaans Bible translation, Die Bybel: 2020 Vertaling, the Theological School Potchefstroom in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology of the NWU organized an academic conference. The theme of the conference was "The impact of the Bible on your society: past, present and future". In keeping with the overall theme, the following sub-themes were discussed: [1] Bible translation in South Africa and / or Africa; [2] Bible interpretation in the South African context; [3] The impact of the Bible on societal structure and faith communities. Due to Covid-19, a shortened version of the conference took place online in January 2021. Various of the originally planned conference proceedings have since been published in In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi (

Current projects:

European Association of Biblical Studies workshop (2021)

Two of the members of the subprogramme are hosting a workshop at the European Association of Biblical Studies in Wuppertal, Germany, scheduled for 3-6 August 2021. Various Old and New Testament colleagues from the NWU and abroad are participating in the workshop. The title of the workshop is "Biblical Theological Investigations into the Attributes of God", investigating how Biblical texts for the First or Second Testament portray the character or character-traits of God.

A Biblical Theology of Prayer (2021-2023)

Much is written about prayers in the Biblical text. Many of these writings attend to specific prayers, or prayers in specific books. Publications with general overviews and perspectives on prayer are numerous. However, it seems that very little in depth studies of prayers in all the corpora of the Biblical text have been done. This research project intends to fill this gap. A Biblical Theological approach is followed, by which a variety of scholars are requested to investigate prayer and worship in specific corpora of both the Old and New Testament. A concluding chapter follows in which the Biblical Theological perspectives will be formulated based on the investigations of the different corpora, to provide the ‘big picture’ from the variety of biblical texts by reading the Biblical material holistically.

The planned publication will consist of two volumes, one volume covering the Old Testament and the other the New Testament. We aim to have the project published in 2023.

Ongoing projects:

Reading circle

The Subprogramme meets once a month to hear a paper of one of the Old or New Testament colleagues (sometimes a paper by one of our extraordinary researchers), to discuss its content and to give some feedback. This normally takes place the last Friday of the month at 12:00-13:00. Other scholars who are interested to form part of the discussion, are welcome to contact the Subprogramme leader for more information.