Studia Doctorum Theologiae Protestantis 15.1

Kovács Sándor(7--8)

Kató Szabolcs Ferencz(11--28)

Joseph, the father of Jesus, and Joseph, the son of Jacob. Observations on the Joseph figure in the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew (Mt) connects his texts with the Old Testament in various ways. Beyond the so-called reflexive quotations, Mt alludes to several Old Testament books and episodes with keywords, motifs, and compositional arrangement. This article investigates whether Mt uses a Joseph typology from Genesis in shaping his portrayal of Joseph, the father of Jesus. After a brief survey of the suggested links in this regard, the paper defines the concept of intertextuality at play here and evaluates the alleged parallels between the Joseph of Genesis and the Joseph of Mt. It seems that in the prelude, Mt presents his gospel as “the Book of the Genesis of Jesus Christ”, akin to a second Genesis. Matthew strategically selects a genealogy where Jesus’ father is depicted as the son of a man named Jacob, aiming to draw closer parallels between the Old and New Testament Josephs. Both Josephs communicate with God through dreams, both journey to Egypt for the survival of their kin, reside there with their families, give their children symbolic names, and in both cases, Joseph receives homage from travellers from distant lands. In the first three instances, we can likely speak of intentional usage of the Joseph typology, while Genesis might have had a much more indirect impact on the episodes of naming and homage, where these elements are incorporated more as general literary influences from Old Testament motifs. However, Joseph of Matthew also resembles the figure of Moses, who led Israel out of Egypt and delivered the Law of God. Mt’s intention with this compositional strategy is to allow readers to revisit the story of the escape from Egypt and liberation as a prelude to a grand narrative of salvation, one that not ends with the exodus but only starts with it.

Research articleNew Testamenttüpológia, intertextualitás, József-történetGenesis , Matthew 1
Kustár György(29--55)

“Let the Dead Bury Their Dead”. Jewish Funerary Customs and Matthew 8:21–22. Funerary customs are inseparable from the fifth commandment. They impose strict obligations on relatives, lasting until the end of a one-year period. The practice of ossilegium, that is, the collection of the bones of the deceased, marks the conclusion of this process. When decomposition completes its cycle, the deceased is “survived”. The buried individual finds comfort in the expiatory disintegration he/she undergoes. However, this process causes pain and discomfort, which is why the commitment to the deceased is so crucial: the surviving relatives must care for the body to alleviate the discomforts of its decay. Rituals honouring the departed ensure final peace and secure the transition from the world of the living to the world of the “fathers”. Neglecting these duties results in pain, suffering, and shame—not only for the deceased but also for the careless and negligent kin. Should anyone dare to shirk their responsibilities regarding funerary obligations, they would face punishment: hatred, contempt, and even excommunication. Jesus invites his disciple to follow him, fully aware of the theological and ethical demands of burial customs. The harsh rejection of the follower’s duties renders Jesus’ words intolerable. Yet, with humour, Jesus can alleviate the scandal, and by turning a commonly understood image of family burial chambers—where generations rest together—into a puzzle, he compels the listener to seek understanding. What does it mean for the dead to bury their own dead? How is this connected to discipleship? The answer is not straightforward, as it is not merely an intellectual assertion but an act of following.

Research articleNew Testamenttemetkezési szokások, zsidóság, SeolMatthew 8.21 - 22
Papp György(57--73)

The Camel and the Eye of the Needle. This paper examines Jesus’ challenging statement in the Gospels about the rich entering the Kingdom of God, likened to a camel through a needle’s eye. We explore variations in this saying across the Gospels and consider interpretations aided by literary parallels from Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic sources. These examples highlight the “eye of a needle” as a metaphor for impossibility, contrasted with a large object like a camel or elephant. While the presented examples are post-biblical, the motif’s roots may be older. Regardless of the original animal (camel, elephant, or rope), Jesus emphasises God’s power compared to human limitations. This explains the disciples’ astonishment and Jesus’ reply: human limitations exist, but “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27).

Research articleNew Testamenthiperbola, üdvösségMatthew 19.26, Mark 10.27, Luke 18.27
Czire Szabolcs(75--87)

Apostle Paul and the Scriptures. An overview of current research and the price of progress. Among Dezső Kállay's biblical studies, the letters of the apostle Paul appear with special emphasis. Paul’s interpretation of the Scriptures was deeply rooted in the active Scriptural tradition of his era, not isolated in hermeneutical vacuum. The Scriptures represented not just the written text but also its interpretation, thus the Israelites’ faith was likened to both a solid foundation and spiritual sustenance, as they “drank from the spiritual rock” (1 Cor 10:4). This study aims to map the key research trajectories concerning Paul’s citations of the Bible. It begins by addressing fundamental issues within accepted consensuses, then evaluates the current state of research, informed by the six-year efforts of the Paul and Scripture Seminar under the Society of Biblical Literature and its two resultant publications. We may conclude that we know more and less at the same time. While no definitive conclusions have been reached on the initial six questions, the primary research paths and their methodological interconnections have become more discernible.

Research articleNew TestamentPál apostol, páli szerzőség, kutatástörténet, Ószövetség az Újszövetségben, Ószövetségi idézetek az Újszövetségben
Balogh Csaba(89--125)

“The one who believes in him will not be put to shame”. Reinterpreting Isaiah 28:16 in Romans 9:33 and 1Peter 2:6. This study delves into the meaning of Isaiah 28:16, examining its original context and subsequent interpretation in the New Testament, with a particular emphasis on the stone metaphor. The first part scrutinises text-critical and semantic issues, considering the Masoretic Texts alongside variant non-Masoretic readings. The latter section assesses the incorporation of the Isaianic text within two New Testament excerpts. This process is mediated through the Septuagint, specifically, a revised edition thereof. The study posits that the New Testament authors, with their different contextualisations, did not seek to innovate but rather aimed to integrate their approaches into an established hermeneutical lineage, commencing with Isaiah’s earlier interpreters. The success of the apostolic proclamation is attributed to the fact that their hermeneutics resonated with the reading traditions familiar to contemporary (Jewish-)Christian communities.

Research articleOld Testament, New TestamentÓszövetség az Újszövetségben, Ószövetségi idézetek az Újszövetségben, újraértelmezés, bibliai hermeneutikaIsaiah 28.16, Romans 9.33, 1 Peter 2.6
Geréb Zsolt(127--143)

Family and kinship. Who cares for the family’s concerns today? Practice obedience and love (in the family), for this is pleasing in the Lord (Colossians 3:18–4:1). In an era of secularisation, individuals have drifted from the familial narratives found in the Bible, prioritising personal over communal interests. This shift prompts theologians to consider how they might use Scripture to address contemporary ethical transformations. The early apologists offer a model for engaging with these changes, having adapted their teachings to the Hellenistic context while infusing them with Christian values. This is exemplified by the “Haustafels” (household codes) in the apostolic epistles, which I examine for their Christian ethos and links to ancient economic texts. These codes’ principles—responsibility and mutual respect—remain relevant and vital for harmonious family and community life today.

Research articleNew Testamentcsalád, közösség, családetika, szeretet, felelősség
Éles Éva(145--165)

‘‘Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion”. Diverse traditions in 1 Peter 5:8–9. The recent reevaluation of the Petrine epistles has significantly influenced the study of the interplay between text and tradition. Scholarly consensus suggests that the First Epistle of Peter is unparalleled in the New Testament for its reliance on tradition. This study explores the implications of this reliance, particularly in relation to 1 Peter 5:8–9. The paper aims to analyse the traditional depiction of the devil in 1 Peter, considering its significance and function within the text’s framework.

Research articleNew Testamenthagyomány, sátán, gonosz1 Peter 5.8 - 9
Adorjáni Zoltán(167--185)

The hermeneutics of István Tőkés. Following the First World War, the theological stance of the Transylvanian Reformed Church underwent a significant shift. Faculty members at the Reformed Theological Faculty of Cluj-Napoca embraced a “confessional, biblical, constructive” approach, realigning with core Reformed principles, and subsequently, in 1925, they began to follow Karl Barth’s New Reformed theology. István Tőkés, a New Testament professor at the Protestant Theological Institute in Cluj from 1973 to 1983, was mentored by these teachers. This paper explores the evolution of Tőkés’ hermeneutics and exegesis, particularly influenced by Albert Maksay.

Research articleOld Testament, New Testament, Church historyhermeneutika, hermeneutika történet, erdélyi teológia, Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológiai Intézet
Koppándi Botond Péter(189--217)

Liturgical renewal attempts in the Unitarian church from the early 20th century to the present. This research examines the liturgical reform efforts within the Unitarian Church from the early 20th century to today. Analysis of relevant literature reveals a consistent call for renewal among ministers and parishioners, though translating this desire into action is fraught with challenges. The study concludes by highlighting essential components of successful liturgical renewal to guide and motivate those contemplating such changes.

Research articlePractical theology, Church historyliturgia, liturgia-történet, liturgiai reform, unitárius egyház
Székely József(219--235)

Preaching as an instrument for teaching Christian doctrines. In the last three decades, Transylvanian society and church members have experienced a shift toward secularisation, particularly within the Reformed Church. This trend has made it difficult to engage with younger congregants drifting from organized religion. Despite this, there’s a vital need to re-emphasise Christian teachings, especially considering the current state of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Transylvania, where many lack a deep understanding of biblical and Reformed doctrines. Christian education should be more than just imparting knowledge; it’s about fostering spiritual growth. Ministers, alongside church elders and congregations, should actively teach Christian values, ensuring members develop a strong, knowledgeable faith. Ultimately, faith is more than learning; it’s about a personal connection with God. By focusing on education in preaching and investing in educational initiatives, the Church can nurture a generation of well-informed, devout believers.

Research articlePractical theologyigehirdetés (prédikáció), prédikáció műfajok, tanító igehirdetés, kátés prédikáció
Somfalvi Edit(237--259)

Bibliolog as scriptural interpretation. Modern “midrash” as a possible method in catechesis. This research delves into the bibliolog approach to interpreting the Holy Scriptures, a technique often termed as “modern midrash” and not widely recognised in Hungarian-speaking regions. Originating from America, bibliolog diverges from the European tradition of bibliodrama or Biblical drama, focusing instead on a narrative-driven method. It offers an immersive experience where individuals seeking to grasp the biblical narrative can simultaneously embody the roles of active participants and keen observers, fostering personal introspection in real-time. The paper elucidates how the bibliolog method can serve as a potent instrument in both religious and ecclesiastical pedagogy, enhancing catechetical practices. It underscores the method’s potential to cultivate a conscious connection with God and to nurture a community of devoted followers of Christ across diverse age groups, all while fostering self-awareness and spiritual commitment.

Research articlePractical theologyhitoktatás (katechézis), bibliodráma, bibliolog, bibliamagyarázati módszerek
Visky Sándor Béla(263--271)

The objective of this study is not to provide an exhaustive theological analysis, but to explore the multifaceted implications—biblical, historical, theological, ecumenical, and ecclesiastical—that are essential for forming a well-rounded perspective on the contentious issue of rebaptism that has sparked considerable debate within our Church community.

Research articleSystematic theologykeresztség, anabaptizmus, újrakeresztelkedés
Füsti-Molnár Szilveszter(273--296)

The paper discusses the challenges of Christian identity in a (post)modern context in relation to fundamental elements of theology. It explores the role of doctrines in the life of the church, emphasising their importance in relation to worship and the authority of the Word of God. The paper highlights the importance of corporate identity as Christian and Reformed, emphasising the significance of cultural identity in the context of Christianity. It addresses the question of what makes the church and the conditions of being a church, reflecting on the essence of Christianity.

Research articleSystematic theologyidentitás, identititásvesztés, vallásosság, hitvallásosság, népi vallásosság, ekkléziológia, krisztológia, posztmodern
Horváth Levente(297--206)

The anthropological challenges and perspectives. of the missionary image of man, in particular on the pastoral vocation. In this study, we scrutinize whether the revolutionary changes in mission theology suggested by David Bosch three decades ago have indeed taken root in the distinct context of Transylvania, through a blend of theological and philosophical discourse. Simultaneously, we endeavor to make sense of the rapid transformation occurring globally and within our own borders, interpreting it through contemporary anthropological theory and aligning it with missiological insights. The paper will also dissect the systematic theological implications of developing a Reformed theological anthropology, and then consider the pastoral ramifications and vocational prospects for fostering a more biblically accurate portrayal of man.

Research articleSystematic theologyantropológia, missziológia, humanizmus, transzilvanizmus, pneümatológia
Juhász Tamás(307--320)

Do Christians need to be socialists? Karl Barth and socialism. In this article, the author deals with a “shadow side” of the life and work of Karl Barth. From the perspective of many Eastern and Central European people who have experienced “real” socialism, the right to ask the question posed in the title is evident. It examines under what influences Karl Barth’s inclination towards social democracy and socialism arose. Three circumstances are mentioned: 1. The traditional Swiss solidarity and social sensitivity for the cause of the weak and oppressed. Karl Barth received this sensitivity, so to speak, in his parents’ house. 2. The three theologians of “religious socialism” (Christoph Blumhardt, Hermann Kutter, and Leonhard Ragaz) had a great influence on Barth. 3. It is described in more detail how Barth’s attitude towards socialism was kindled, so to speak, as a counter-reaction to the “raging” anti-communism in Switzerland (but generally throughout Western Europe and North America). In this context, the problem of “Barth’s silence on the Hungarian Uprising of 1956” is also addressed. In the final chapter, the author attempts to theologically justify Barth’s attitude towards socialism based on some quotes from the section “The Active Life” (Das tätige Leben; KD III/4).

Research articleSystematic theologyszocializmus, kommunizmus, egyház és kommunizmus
Tallon Jonathan(321--349)

John Chrysostom uses military metaphors from Romans to help believers understand their relationship with God and engage in spiritual warfare. He compares circumcision and baptism to expand their meaning. By likening body parts to weapons, he teaches that individuals choose whether to serve truth or sin. In this analogy, God is the commander, and believers are soldiers fighting sin, stressing obedience and trust. Chrysostom urges obedience to God akin to soldiers obeying their leader, connecting it with faith-based trust. Military imagery encourages active participation in battling sin, emphasising commitment beyond formal duties. Overall, Chrysostom’s metaphors aim to deepen the congregation’s faith through active engagement and obedience.

Research articleSystematic theologybaptizmus, engedelmesség, militáns keresztyénség
Rezi Elek(351--363)

Moral evaluation of the goals and action of today’s climate protection groups. This study traces the evolution of contemporary climate protection movements, delineating their objectives and methodologies. Through a moral lens, I scrutinise the alignment between their ends and the means employed. The concluding remarks acknowledge the commendable aspirations of these collectives towards global climate preservation. However, it is highlighted that the tactics they resort to often veer towards counterproductive outcomes.

Research articleSystematic theologyökológia, környezetvédelem, erőszak, társadalmi mozgalmak
Ősz Sándor Előd(367--380)

Works of Protestant reformers in the collections of the Lutheran High School in Mediaș. Since 2018, our research has been conducted in the historical libraries of Transylvania, focusing on the works of fifteen Western European Protestant theologians, known as reformers, who were active in the 16th century. At the Lutheran Gymnasium library in Mediaș, we discovered 58 theological texts by these authors. This number is representative of the average size of the collections we have examined. Notably, three-quarters of the works we reviewed are attributed to just three of these authors: 19 works by Melanchthon, 16 by Calvin and 10 by Luther. The number of writings by the other authors is much smaller: 4 from Musculus, 3–3 from Aretius and Brenz, and 1–1 from Bèze, Chyträus and Zanchi. Almost three quarters of these publications, 43 in all, were brought to the Carpathian Basin before 1601, mostly in the second half of the 16th century. The collection boasts a number of intriguing finds, including Melanchthon's "Loci Communes," once owned by Bartholomäus Altenberger, the reformer of Mediaș. Additionally, it features two volumes penned by Calvin, associated with Péter Csókás Laskó, who notably co-edited the Calepinus-dictionary. The majority of the Reformed texts were incorporated into the collection during the latter parts of the 17th century, serving prior to that as essential handbooks for the local clergy.

Research articleChurch historykönyvtörténet, olvasmánytörténet, erdélyi református egyház, erdélyi evangélikus-lutheránus egyház, Medgyesi Evangélikus Gimnázium
Kolumbán Vilmos József(381--395)

The text above is the Regulations of the Reformed College Teachers drawn up in 1786 by the board of the College of Kolozsvár (Cluj). The 1780s heralded the era of educational reform, marked by the Habsburg Empire’s ruler mandating a centralisation of the educational system. In response, the Reformed Church of Transylvania embarked on an extensive overhaul of its collegiate structure and public education. These regulations were distinctive, echoing the spiritual heritage bequeathed by nobility and monarchs. Notably, they were exclusively designed for the youth of noble lineage, which likely led to their limited application.

Research articleChurch history erdélyi református egyház, Kolozsvári Református Kollégium, egyház és iskola, felvilágosodás, oktatástörténet, Habsburg Birodalom
Kovács Sándor(397--419)

Through an exploration of the editions of the hymnal published in 1924 by Márton Pálffi, this study provides insight into the reverence for tradition surrounding the hymnal, as well as the arduous but unsuccessful efforts made by those aiming to rejuvenate it. Politics often encroached upon the life of the Church, evident in the evolution of the hymnal. The changes of political power and country borders, as well as the imposition of communist censorship, have also significantly influenced the Unitarian hymnal. Despite all efforts, errors persisted in editions published post-1989. This research endeavours to trace these changes across a century of history.

Research articleChurch historyerdélyi unitárius egyház, énekeskönyv, unitárius énekeskönyvek