Theology Stellenbosch


Associate Professor in Old Testament

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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-present: Associate 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)


I strive to be a responsible and accountable reader of the Bible (Patte). This can, to my mind, be achieved best when the interpretation process and Biblical texts are viewed multidimensionally. When our understanding, which is facilitated by the interplay among different dimensions (literary, historical and theological), takes place within the context of faith, we experience 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 (the second commandment).

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
• ST/OT 344: The OT background to certain systematic theological notions
• MDiv: Joint module with NT and Homiletics
• Post-graduate seminars
• MPhil in Bible Interpretation (he serves as coordinator of this program)

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.

Academic articles (most recent)

2007 "Reforming history: The hermeneutical significance of the books of Chronicles", Vetus Testamentum 57/1, 21-44.

2007 "On becoming a family: Multiculturality and interculturality in South Africa", Expository Times 118/10, 480-487.

2007 "The Exile as Sabbath Rest: The Chronicler's Interpretation of the Exile", Old Testament Essays 20/3, 703-719.

2007 "Refocusing the battle accounts of the kings: Identity formation in the Books of Chronicles", in: Lubs, S et al (edd.) Behutsamens Lesen. Alttestamentliche Exegese im inderdisziplinären Methodendiskurs. (FS Hardmeier). Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 245-274.

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.

Popular publications (selection)

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

Complete List of Publications

Stellenbosch University

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