Original Research

The drum and its significance for the interpretation of the Old Testament from an African perspective: Part one

Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1395 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1395 | © 2016 Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2014 | Published: 11 May 2016

About the author(s)

Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen, Centre for Theology and Religion, University of Fort Hare, South Africa


Recent developments in South Africa opened the doors of opportunity for Old Testament scholars to position themselves in terms of Africa and to allow the African context to play a more explicit role in the interpretation of the Bible. An awareness of the significance of the (South) African context for the interpretation of the Old Testament in South Africa can inform the construction and refinement of the comparative paradigm as a reading strategy. In consequence, it might not only serve the communication of the message, but also facilitate a dialogue between the text and the contemporary reader and imbue the comparative method as a reading strategy. Being aware of the significance of music and its function regarding expression of African religion and spirituality, the article explores aspects of music and its potential to inform a particular ‘reading’, with specific reference to the drum. (Whilst the focus in Part 1 is more on some hermeneutical aspects as pertaining to a specific reading strategy, Part 2 is to explore the significance of music for the interpretation of the Old Testament with specific reference to Psalm 150).

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The contribution attempts to illustrate that, in our encounters with the biblical text, we need to move beyond a historical descriptiveanalysis of the text or defining its significance in linguistic terms only. In so doing, the ‘comparative paradigm’ is augmented by allowing insights from various disciplines to inform the reader.

Keywords: Music; 'Hemeneutics'; 'African Reading' of the Old Testament


Music, 'Hemeneutics', 'African Reading' of the Old Testament


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