Journal index

Bak Áron587 -- 606

Áron Bak (1945–2012) reformierter Pfarrer, Theologe und Maler prüft zunächst aus wirkunggeschichtlichem Gesichtspunkt, wie in der bildenden Kunst und Literatur das Thema des Menschenopfers, genauer Isaks (1. Mose 22, 1–19) und Iphigeneias Aufopferung dargestellt und gedeutet wird. Nachher werden von ihm die eigenartigen Züge der von dem Jahvisten stammenden Erzählung hervorgehoben, er skizziert deren Struktur, und erörtert den Zusammenhang zwischen dem ritualen Opfer und der nichtintellektuellen alttestamentlichen Glaubensauffassung, und der unerschütterlichen Sicherheit. Die Studie endet mit folgender Zussammenfassung: „Der Mensch trachtet eifrig Gottes wirklichen oder gewähnten Befehlen Genüge zu tun und möchte seinen eigenen Glauben beweisen.Aber er denkt nicht immer daran,dass er, während er unter seelischen Qualen seinen Glauben beweisen will, auch dem anderen, den er sich als Opfer für Beweis seines Glaubens in Anspruch genommen hat, Qualen bereitet. Gott brauchte es niemals und er wird es auch niemals brauchen im Interesse der Beweisung unseres eigenen Glaubens andere aufzuopfern.“

Református Szemle 111 / 6 (2018)Research articleArt history
Szász Tibor András607 -- 624

This paper is a revised version of a lecture presented on October 16, 2018, in a conference entitled “Diminishing Church, Increasing Responsibilities”, organised by the Union of Reformed Ministers in Transylvania. The author, who is also trained in church law, experiments with interdisciplinary methods. He is active as a spiritual counsellor and mentor even outside the church. He argues that the main danger for the church is not its diminishing numbers but rather its disintegration and dissolution, loosing it main traits, attractiveness and impact. He points to fields where the church needs to change its perspectives and be more effective.

Református Szemle 111 / 6 (2018)Research articlePractical theology, Spirituality
Adorjáni Zoltán451 -- 465

Dieser Vortrag wurde 2019 im Rahmen der Pfarrerweiterbildung zum Thema „Auch der Pfarrer ist ein Mensch“ gehalten. Es wird auf Grund Galater 1,2–2,10 erörtert, was hinter fol-genden Worten des Apostels verborgen ist: „…das Evangelium, das von mir gepredigt ist, nicht von menschlicher Art ist. Denn ich habe es nicht von einem Menschen empfangen oder gelernt, sondern durch eine Offenbarung Jesu Christi.“ (11–12) Der Vortrag möchte auch auf zwei Fragen Antwort geben: a) Wie sich Saulus’, d. h. Paulus’ persönliches Gotterlebnis, seine Bekehrung und der Traditionsinhalt des verkündigten Evangeliums zueinander verhalten? b) Wie Paulus die Gewißheit seiner Berufung durch die beweisende Haltung der kirchlichen Gemeide erhält?

Református Szemle 112 / 5 (2019)Research articleNew Testament
Herczeg Pál5 -- 13

Diese Studie hebt aufgrund Kolosser 2,8–15 hervor, daß sowohl die alttestamentliche Beschneidung, als auch die neutestamentliche Taufe character indelibile sind. Wer an Beschneidung teil hatte, lebt erstens in der Gemeinschaft Gottes Erwählten, zweitens wird er dadurch verpflichtet nach Gottes Willen zu leben. Die Taufe bedeutet Gemeinschaft mit Christus, mit seinem Tod, seiner Begrabung und Auferstehung. Die Taufe ist nicht bloß Freisprechung von den Sünden, sondern auch eine Befreiung aus der Gewalt geistiger und kosmischer Mächte. Auf diese Weise schließt die Taufe jede andere Knechtschaft, jeden Dienst und etwaige Gehorsamkeit aus. Im Briefe an die Galater 2, 20 wird die neue Existenz der Getauften folgendermaßen zusammengefaßt: Mit Christus bin auch ich gekreuzigt: ich lebe aber doch nun nicht ich, sondern Christus lebt in mir.

Református Szemle 113 / 1 (2020)Research articleNew Testament
Orosz Otília Valéria14 -- 31

For centuries, our hymnbooks bring to the fore not only the issue of musical literacy but also tradition. The Reformed church singing in Transylvania and the Partium was determined by traditions rather than by the sheet music itself. From the beginning of the 19th century the Transylvanian hymnbooks were created under the influence of the spirit of the time. A typical example of this is the hymnbook edited under the influence of theological rationalism in 1837. The hymnbook, edited by Seprődi János in 1908, only partially corrected the melody deterioration while the edition of 1923 further preserved the sorting of cut and leveled melodies, which lacked psalms and old Hungarian songs. If we compare the 1837 hymnbook with the one published in 1921 in Debrecen, which also provides balanced melodies, we can see that melodies enriched with melisma remain in practice in Transylvania and this tradition is still preserved in many places to this day.

Református Szemle 113 / 1 (2020)Research articleHymnology
Kulcsár Árpád32 -- 52

In this paper I examined one of the effects of László Ravasz’s theological thinking, namely the development of his spiritual life and its impact on his position as a scholar of theology. Due to the limitations of the scope of this paper, I present the lesser known views of Ravasz’s work on mission. Among others, John R. Mott’s lecture in Cluj-Napoca provides clues that the young Ravasz approached the tasks of pastoral ministry, preaching, dissemination of the gospel, theological education in a modern and relevant manner. This approach was not perfect, but it helped to bring about a new impetus for the Hungarian Protestant worldview that was stuck in rationalism and liberalism and for Protestant theology in general to start off towards the dialectical theology. Ravasz was an authentic representative of this transition

Református Szemle 113 / 1 (2020)Research articlePractical theology
Buzogány Dezső53 -- 62

When speaking of Reformation and Humanism, we tend to connect them to each other. But as we come closer to the essence of each, we discover their substantially different nature. The gist of Humanism is the human nature. On statues and paintings of the Renaissance the man is portrayed as a great, powerful, almost almighty person. On the other hand, Reformation places God, Christ, salvation, reconciliation etc. at the centre of its teaching. Humans are included too, but only as sideliners, as weak, infirm, needy, helpless figures. Nevertheless, Reformation has benefited to a significant extent from Humanism via its emphasis on the grammar for mastering the languages of the Scripture (Hebrew and Greek), dialectics striving to a better understanding of the scriptural message, and rhetorics as a substantial technical help spreading the Gospel. Therefore, teaching these disciplines at the universities of the Reformation has become of major importance during the 16th century.

Református Szemle 113 / 1 (2020)Research articleChurch history
Magyar Norbert101 -- 117

In his well-known metaphor, the Book of Hosea describes the relation between YHWH and the people of Israel through the marriage imagery. Contemporary scholarship treats this metaphor in different ways. The diverging interpretations derive, on the one hand, from the dissimilar understandings of the cultic circumstances of Hosea’s age, involve high uncertainty. Moreover, the text of Hosea is regarded as one of the most challenging compositions in the Hebrew Bible. Finally, from a redaction-historical point of view Hosea is again a very complex book that needs careful approach. The most debated question concerning Hosea and the fertility cult seems to be the existence or absence of an institution of sacred prostitution within the ancient world. A decisive conclusion in this regard is impossible at the moment. While recent studies tend to question the existence of this practice, our analysis allows interpreting Hos 4,14 as a description of a sacred prostitute. The proposal that this woman, termed ‎ קְדֵשָׁה, should be regarded as person having a devoted cultic role, is worth considering. Nonetheless, based on the meagre amount of data at our disposal, this study argues that her sexual activity did not stem from this role itself, but from her loose morals and willingness of attracting partners. Within the necessary limits of a case study, the resources and texts reviewed by us hig

Református Szemle 113 / 2 (2020)Research articleOld Testament
Pleșu Andrei118 -- 143

Jesus’ speech is not mere utopia but an acting force. It is this basic recognition along which the authoritative contemporary thinker interprets the parables of the Gospel. The interpretation faithfully reproduces the text, being original at the same time. In the view of this author, intellect instilled in our hearts, the unavoidable commitment, acting according to hearing, and breaking down ideological thinking reconquers for us precisely that inner space “which is essential to find our homes outside this world.” (S. Béla Visky, translator). Andrei Pleşu refuses to subordinate the parables of Jesus to philosophy, to any of the newer methodologies, or to contemporary political-ideological attitudes. Unlike many former and current church leaders, he seeks to be a follower of the Master by turning against the temptation of ideology (including those haunting intellectuals today) and attempting to stay away from all institutional “sedentarism” (including the academic one). (István Berszán)

Református Szemle 113 / 2 (2020)Research articleSpirituality, New Testament
Herczeg Pál144 -- 155

Auf Grund von Markus 16,16 konnte festgestellt werden, daß der Inhalt des Glaubens folgendes ist: Erkennung der Person und der Taten des geschichtlichen Jesus und vor allem die Erkenntnis und der Empfang des Heils, das uns von ihm gereicht wird. Der Glaube gewinnt offensichtliche Stärkung und „Dokumentation“ in der Taufe. Das ist nicht „weniger“ als all jenes, was wir an anderen biblischen Stellen über die Taufe lesen können. Das hier Gesagte entspricht nur der Grundlage des Evangeliums von Markus: Ich glaube, …hilf meinem Unglauben! (9,24) Nach Matthäus 28,18–20 werden in der Taufe vor allem die Gemeinschaft mit Jesus Christus, bzw. die Gemeinschaft mit Gott der Heiligen Dreienigkeit samt allem Dazugehörenden und allen Forderungen zum Ausdruck gebracht. Ein Jünger Jesu zu sein bringt die Zugehörigkeit der menschlichen, empirischen Gemeinschaft mit sich. Das kann man nicht aus individueller Veranlassung und Sehnsucht erreichen, sondern nur durch die Tätigkeit der Jünger, der Apostel und Missionare. Obwohl wir da, in dieser Perikope, buchstäblich nicht über die Kirche lesen, ist hier doch, ihrem Wesen nach, die Rede über die Kirche.

Református Szemle 113 / 2 (2020)Research articleNew Testament
Papp Zsolt156 -- 164

The correct definition of sin is one of the main goals of Niebuhr’s theology. According to Scripture, sin is basically rebellion against God, meanwhile in society the same act generates injustice. The petty worry is considered the foreshadow of sin. By speaking of the myth of failure, Niebuhr does not intend to integrate sin into history but to portrait its constant reality and temptation. He distinguishes the morality of the individual in fighting against sin, from the morality of the community. At the same time, Niebuhr argues that pride is the source of man’s rebellion against God. He discovers human pride in every area of life unveiling fear of the finiteness of life as its main cause.

Református Szemle 113 / 2 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology
Buzogány Dezső165 -- 172

The Reformation highly esteemed the classical scientific disciplines as far as they contributed to a better understanding of the gospel. The method was delivered by the Humanism and Renaissance. Consequently, the reformers, whose primary concern was studying the word of God in original (Hebrew and Greek), started to master both languages right from the beginning. Hebrew helped them to learn and understand God’s will in the Old Testament in its original setting, while Greek improved their grip on the message of the New Testament. When preparations for ministry had started in the Protestant universities, both languages were self-evidently taken over in the educational process. The present paper deals with Melanchthon’s appreciation of the Greek language.

Református Szemle 113 / 2 (2020)Research articleChurch history, Systematic theology, New Testament
Pleșu Andrei193 -- 223

Jesus’ speech is not mere utopia but an acting force. It is this basic recognition along which the authoritative contemporary thinker interprets the parables of the Gospel. The interpretation faithfully reproduces the text, being original at the same time. In the view of this author, intellect instilled in our hearts, the unavoidable commitment, acting according to hearing, and breaking down ideological thinking reconquers for us precisely that inner space “which is essential to find our homes outside this world.” (S. Béla Visky, translator). Andrei Pleşu refuses to subordinate the parables of Jesus to philosophy, to any of the newer methodologies, or to contemporary political-ideological attitudes. Unlike many former and current church leaders, he seeks to be a follower of the Master by turning against the temptation of ideology (including those haunting intellectuals today) and attempting to stay away from all institutional “sedentarism” (including the academic one). (István Berszán)

Református Szemle 113 / 3 (2020)Research articleNew Testament, Spirituality
Simon János224 -- 241

According to Josephus Flavius, the first Roman procurator of Judea, Coponius (AD. 6-9) was sent by Augustus with power, including a “power to perform executions”. This power has been questioned regarding his successors. Some of the prefects in Judea seem to have lacked full authority in this respect. Historical sources seem to suggest that Judea was a subdivision of the larger province of Syria. The current study addresses the question of relationship between the legate of Syria and the governor of Judea, as well as the limits of the authority of the governor of Judea. Besides, we offer a presentation of the provincial governance in the Roman Empire, and a short introduction into the development of several institutions and judiciary matters. This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the provincial governance and justice in Judea in which Jesus was condemned to death.

Református Szemle 113 / 3 (2020)Research articleVarious
Juhász Zoltán242 -- 265

Eduard Böhl (1836–1903), a scholar of the second half of the nineteenth century, was professor of dogmatics at the Protestant Theological Faculty in Vienna for 35 years. His lifework was his “Dogmatics”, which he wrote for 23 years. In this unfairly forgotten work, he formulates cardinal Reformed beliefs providing the reader with accurate guidance regarding theology, anthropology, soterology, and eschatology. This study analyses Böhl’s teaching based on the last major chapter of his book, concerned with the “End of Times”. In order to gain a better understanding of the theological issues discussed by Böhl, this work parallels Gábor Szeremlei’s chapter on “Eschatology” which can be found in his book of Dogmatics entitled “Christian Religious Science”. A study of this issue provides insights into what theologians of the nineteenth century formulated in relation to this question, and how biblical approaches and ideas emerged within the debates of orthodox and liberal theology.

Református Szemle 113 / 3 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology
Buzogány Dezső266 -- 275

First and foremost, the Protestantism sought to incorporate the first three disciplines of the seven liberal arts into the methodologies of scholarly theology and the curricula of school education. It also served the purpose of preparing seminary students for preaching the Word in their mother-tongue. Once they mastered the languages of the Two Testaments, dialectics (or logic) aided them in decoding the meaning (or the message) of the passage, while rhetorics guided them in composing a structurally sound sermon. (This threefold unity is still applied today in Hungarian theological education, albeit under a different name.) Dialectics is the foundation for the study of all sciences. Indeed, the potential benefits of certain scientific disciplines cannot be fully achieved without a thorough understanding of its principles. Therefore, as religious sermons are modelled after secular rhetoric, their structural features cannot be correctly assembled without resorting to the laws of philosophical dialectics

Református Szemle 113 / 3 (2020)Research articleChurch history
Józsa Bertalan309 -- 352

The current study aims to investigate the procedure of metaphorical creativity in the Gospel of John, using the “living bread” linguistic metaphor as a case study. The article is structured into three main sections. Following a brief introduction, the first section deals with the conceptual metaphor theory which serves as the methodological framework of the analysis; the second section carves out the background and textual analysis of the “living water” and “living bread” metaphors; and the third section demonstrates the interaction of the two metaphorical networks and points to the main argument that “living bread” was created through and stimulated by the well-known conventional metaphor “living water” in the conceptual system of the Gospel.

Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)Research articleNew Testament
Bekő István Márton353 -- 376

Der Autor legt den Text von Mk 6,34–44 mit Hilfe des rezeptionskritischen Modells aus. Die rezeptionskritische Tetxtanalyse benutzt neue und alte hermeneutische Begriffe auf der Frontlinie der Schöpfung. Die leserorientierten Aspekte der Auslegung sind mit den historischkritischen Ergebnissen der Exegese verbunden. Die Vielfältigkeit der theologischen Fragestellung des Textes ist in Zusammenhang mit der Lebenssituation der Adressaten präsentiert. Dadurch ist zwischen den heutigen und den ersten Lesern/-Innen des Evangeliums ein aktiver Dialog zustandegekommen.

Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)Research articleNew Testament
Debreczeni István377 -- 393

Jürgen Moltmann unfolds the creative dialogue of theology and natural sciences along the subjects of creation and evolution. The earlier mechanistic and deterministic worldview collapsed as a result of the scientific discoveries of the 20th century. Moltmann observes a surprising parallel between the scientific theory on the one hand, and the Christian teaching about creation eschatologically oriented towards the future of God, on the other.

Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology
Buzogány Dezső394 -- 400

A syllogism (Greek: συλλογισμός – “conclusion, inference”) is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true. Aristotle defines the syllogism as “a discourse in which certain (specific) things having been supposed, something different from the things supposed results of necessity because these things are so”. The Aristotelian syllogism dominated Western philosophical thought for many centuries in the Middle Ages. But the history of syllogistic thinking does not end with the Middle Ages. It continued to be used even by the church reformers of the 16th century. Thus, alongside a dialectic way of thinking, it contributed to the development of the new dogmatics coined by the church reformers in the 16th century

Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology, Church history
Simon János401 -- 415

The current article is the second part of a wider project, which aims to offer a systematic overview of the finance and accounting regulations in Romania pertinent to the churches, as well as of the church’s internal regulations regarding financial and accounting obligations and customs, and some accounting principles. In this part we focus on cash management, banking and budget. This paper is written primarily for Reformed ministers, students preparing for ministry, as well as church auditors working in church bookkeeping, accounting and finances.

Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)Research articlePractical theology
Steiner József416 -- 419Református Szemle 113 / 4 (2020)ReviewNew Testament, Systematic theology
Adorjáni Zoltán7 -- 24

Diese Arbeit ist eine redaktierte Version eines Vortrags. Darin werden die Eroberungen von Alexander des Großen und die palästinischen Ereignisse in der Regierungszeit der Ptolemaischen und Seleukidischen Könige skizziert. Es wird hier, auf dem Grunde des 1 Makkabäer dargestellt, wie sich die typologische Schriftauslegung im Laufe des 2. Jahrhunderts nach Christus erneuert und verstärkt hat.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleOld Testament, Judaica
Kovács Krisztián25 -- 35

Following the democratic transformations of 1989, the churches in Hungary had to face the altering of their former social position. While the churches were not neglected anymore, they were unprepared to occupy their places in the civil society. The change was especially challenging for local congregations who had to fight the eroding folk church structures. Should the church wish to occupy a prominent position in the civil society, serious social commitment and proper mediation of the Gospel are both equally important. The church needs to take a proactive role.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleSystematic theology
Visky Sándor Béla36 -- 46

This paper is an analysis of the text entitled Pardonner?, published in 1971 by the French philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch. This paper is, to a certain extent, a counterpoint, to Jankélévitch’s earlier writing, Le Pardon (1967). This earlier publication is a calm indicative, while the later publication poses a question: Pardonner? Of course, this latter is not a suspension of what had been written before, but it shows that the creative yes of forgiveness can easily be made irrational and, thus, questionable by a lack of repentance, the tormentor’s arrogance which leads him to think he is indeed worthy of the immeasurable gift offered to him by the victim.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleSystematic theology
Tonhaizer Tibor47 -- 55

Even though the ancient solar cult goes back to the early days of the Roman Republic, it had to wait for a long time to gain far-reaching acceptance. Emperors were fond of increasing the influence of Deus Sol in society on both political and religious grounds. Initially, they took great care to ensure that their personal prestige remained more important than that particular influence. However, during the late Principate-period, with the continuous growth of syncretistic and monotheistic tendencies, the cult of the Sol Invictus increased the people’s reverence towards the ‘creators’ of the cult. The purpose of this study is to examine this process in the light of religious policy and philosophical research.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleChurch history
Kolumbán Vilmos József56 -- 61

The attack against the ideas of illumination was at the same time the last desperate attempt of the Transylvanian reformed orthodox theology at the Synod of Küküllővár in 1791, when János Zilahi Sebes and János Bodola were indicted for spreading the teachings of arminian, socionian and pelagian theology. He defended himself in an exhaustive testimony and also defended the book of the German reformed professor, Samuel Endemann, used in Transylvanian schools as manual of dogmatic theology.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleChurch history
Kolumbán Vilmos József62 -- 78

This paper presents the apology of János Bodola, professor of Nagyenyed, accused of heresy in 1791. Like his accused associate, Bodola also dismissed the charge of heresy, but did not deny that theological thinking should be renewed. In his letter, he also rejected Arminian, Pelagian, and Universalist accusations, stood up to Samuel Endemann’s orthodoxy, and condemned the lack of consensus among the confessions. According to his letter, Bodola was a supporter of the Reformed liberal orthodoxy who in matters of principles of faith remained devoted to the creeds of reformed confessions, without secluding himself from the innovations within theology.

Református Szemle 111 / 1 (2018)Research articleChurch history