Original Research

Missio hominum in missio Dei: Biblical embodiment of missio hominum

Jonas S. Thinane
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2583 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2583 | © 2023 Jonas S. Thinane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 2022 | Published: 09 February 2023

About the author(s)

Jonas S. Thinane, Institute for Theology and Religion, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa


Recent efforts to introduce and develop the concept of missio hominum, first by Prof. Nico Smith, followed by Dr Jonas Thinane, are equally plausible and commendable. However, these efforts leave untouched the question of the biblical roots of the missio hominum as a missiological framework in the context of the missio Dei. For the missio hominum to stand up to scholarly criticism, it is important to first restore its biblical basis. This objective is achieved through a literary analysis of Noah in the Old Testament, probably as the first biblical model of a missio hominum framework encompassing human participation in the missio Dei. The extraordinary personality of Noah initiating human participation in the missio Dei, while not comparable to the perfect human nature of Jesus Christ, nevertheless contributes significantly to the task of constructing or reconstructing the missio hominum from a biblical perspective. Missio hominum is presented here as one of the important frameworks of missiology, and it is perhaps somewhat surprising that it has been neglected by previous studies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to fill this gap through further research.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Missio hominum is introduced here as a biblically rooted framework that encompasses human participation in the work of the missio Dei, and as such, it enriches both the field of theology in general and missiology in particular with the knowledge and understanding of human participation as mandated by the missio Dei.


missio Dei; missio Christos; missio Spiritus; missio hominum; missio ecclesiae; mission; human beings; God’s mission.


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