Theology Stellenbosch


Professor in Old Testament

Tel: +27 21 808 3268 | Fax: +27 21 808 3251 | Email


Louis Jonker was born in 1962 in Riversdal. After his secondary training at Point High School in Mossel Bay, he studied at the University of Stellenbosch where he completed all his qualifications. He completed his Masters studies on a Hebrew language-related topic. His interest in exegetical methodology and hermeneutics prompted him to enrol for a Doctorate in Old Testament studies. After doing research at the Universities of Tübingen (Germany) and Leiden (The Netherlands), he completed his doctoral degree in 1993. His thesis was published in 1996 in The Netherlands.

Career, Degrees, Qualifications


1993-2002: Minister in the Dutch Reformed Church Stellenbosch-Welgelegen

2003-2006: Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, Stellenbosch

2006-2010: Associate professor in Old Testament, Stellenbosch

2010-present: Professor in Old Testament, Stellenbosch


BA (Hebrew and Greek) Cum Laude 1982; HonsBA (Semitic languages) Cum Laude 1983; MA (Semitic Languages) Cum Laude 1986; BTh Cum Laude 1986; Lic. in Theology Cum Laude 1987; DTh (Old Testament) 1993.


Scholarship holder of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Bonn (2000, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011)

Rector's Award for Research Excellence (2009)


I am well aware of the fact that I am not the first to interpret the Old Testament! I stand on the shoulders of those people of faith who have brought about these writings over many centuries, and on the shoulders of those interpreters of the Old Testament who have engaged faithfully with these writings over the past twenty centuries. In order to become part of this dynamic of Bible interpretation and re-interpretation, I consider it very important to bring the literary, historical and theological dimensions of the Old Testament into interplay with one another. Understanding is facilitated by this interplay, and when this takes place within the context of faith, the Old Testament (together with the New) brings us in the presence of the God of the Word, the One who is introduced as 'I am who I am', the God who cannot be confined or defined in terms of our all too human words and efforts..

Research Areas

The following areas form the focus of his present research:
• The relationship between historiography and identity formation in Second Temple literature (mainly in the Books of Chronicles) – writing a commentary on Chronicles for NIBCOT
• Exegetical methodology and Biblical hermeneutics
• Intercultural Bible reading


He teaches the following modules
• OT 212: Pentateuch
• ST/OT 222: Creation and Providence in the OT
• OT 242: Historical Books of the OT
• OT 414: Lyrical literature in the OT
• MDiv: Joint module with NT and Homiletics
• Post-graduate seminars
• MPhil in Bible Interpretation

Selected Publications

Books and anthologies (selection)

1996 Exclusivity and Variety. Perspectives on Multidimensional Exegesis. CBET 19. Kampen: Kok Pharos.

2003 Josiah in the Chronicler's mirror. Late stages of the Josiah reception in II Chr 34f. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlag.

2005 (co-editor with D Lawrie) Fishing for Jonah (anew). Various approaches to Biblical interpretation. Stellenbosch: SUN Press.

2007 (co-editor with S Lubs, A Ruwe & U Weise) Behutsamens Lesen. Alttestamentliche Exegese im inderdisziplinären Methodendiskurs. (FS Hardmeier). Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt.

2008 (co-editor with I Cornelius) "From Ebla to Stellenbosch". Syro-Palestinian religions and the Hebrew Bible. ADPV 37. Wiesbaden: Harrosowitz.

2010 Jonker LC (ed.) Historiography and Identity (Re)formation in Second Temple Historiographical Literature. LHBOTS 534. London: T&T Clark.

2010 Jonker LC & Holter, K (edd.) Global Hermeneutics? Reflections and Consequences. IVBS Proceedings 1. Atlanta: SBL. (elektroniese publikasie:

Academic articles (most recent)

2008. "The disappearing Nehushtan: The Chronicler's reinterpretation of Hezekiah's reformation measures", Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina Vereins (ZDPV – Abhandlungen) 37, 116-140.

2008. "Who constitutes society? Yehud's self-understanding in the Late Persian Era as reflected in the Books of Chronicles", Journal of Biblical Literature 127/4,707-728.

2008. "The Chronicler's Portrayal of Solomon as the King of Peace within the Context of the International Peace Discourses of the Persian era", Old Testament Essays 21/3, 653-669.

2008. "The Chronicler and the prophets. Who were his authoritative sources?", Scandinavian Journal of Old Testament 22/2, 271-292.

2008. "Living in different worlds simultaneously. Or: A plea for contextual integrity", Journal of Religion in Africa (Supplements) 32, 107-119.

2009. "Textual identities in the Books of Chronicles: The case of Jehoram’s history", in: Knoppers, GN & Ristau, K (edd.) Community Identity in Judean Historiography: Biblical and Comparative Perspectives. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 197-217.

2009. "The Exile as Sabbath Rest: The Chronicler's Interpretation of the Exile", in: Becking, B & Human, DJ (edd.) Exile and Suffering: A Selection of Papers Read at the 50ty Anniversary Meeting of the Old Testament Society of South Africa OTWSA/OTSSA, Pretoria August 2007. Leiden: Brill, 213-229. (aangepas van reeds verskene artikel in (OTE) 20/3).

2010. "The Global Context and its Consequences for Old Testament Interpretation", in: Jonker LC & Holter, K (edd.) Global Hermeneutics? Reflections and Consequences. IVBS Proceedings 1. Atlanta: SBL. (elektroniese publikasie:, 47-56.

2010. "David's Officials According to the Chronicler (1 Chronicles 23-27): A Reflection of Second Temple Self-Categorization?", in: Jonker LC (ed.) Historiography and Identity (Re)formation in Second Temple Historiographical Literature. LHBOTS 534. London: T&T Clark, 65-91.

2010. "Revisiting the Saul Narrative in Chronicles: Interacting with the Persian Imperial Context?", Old Testament Essays (OTE) 23/2, 283-305.

2010. "Human Dignity and the Construction of Identity in the Old Testament", Scriptura 105, ###-###.

Popular publications (selection)

Sub-editor of and contributor of various articles to 2008 Christelike Kernensiklopedie. Wellington: Lux Verbi.BM.

Full CV

Stellenbosch University

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