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Viczián István428 -- 448

This is the third, closing section on the life of Countess Anna Teleki (1783-1851). In Part I we dealt with her youth, in Part II with her marriage to Simon Kemény, and in this last section with her widowhood. After the death of her husband, Anna Teleki moved to Enyed (Aiud), where her home, the “Burg”, became not only a centre of her family life but also of cultural and political life. She was responsible for the financial support of Farkas Bolyai. Her sons and sons-in-law played a nationally important role in the Union and during the War of Independence (1948). They were forced to flee from Enyed because of the attack of the Romanian Moț groups. After the War of Independence, the family went into hiding in Tiszaroff and Érmihályfalva (Valea lui Mihai). Here she received a letter from Farkas Bolyai evaluating the recent events of those days. She died on her return to Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in 1851. Her life and moral example deserve respect even by biblical standards.

Református Szemle 114.4 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Ambrus Mózes709 -- 720

As a consequence of the Second Vienna Award of 30 August 1940, the Transylvanian Reformed Church was split into two parts. Broadly 240 000 Reformed believers in Southern Transylvania came under the jurisdiction of the Romanian state. Bishop János Vásárhelyi and the Council of Church Directors of the Transylvanian Reformed Church entrusted Ferenc Nagy and Count Bálint Bethlen with the task of organising the administration of the congregations in Southern Transylvania. The church also had to decide on how to organise the training of pastors in the South Transylvanian Reformed Church District. In the spring of 1941, a training course was organised for theologians, after which they could complete the theological studies they had begun. In September 1941, the Bethlen Theological Academy in Nagyenyed was opened, with four departments and four full-time teachers.

Református Szemle 114.6 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Viczián István304 -- 338

After presenting the youth of Anna Teleki in Part I. of our study, in this second part, we deal with her marriage to Simon Kemény. Count Anna Teleki married Br. Simon Kemény Jr in 1801, who had previously studied at the University of Göttingen with his fellow student, Farkas Bolyai. Simon Kemény later remained Bolyai’s friend and spiritual companion. The young couple lived in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş), Apanagyfalu (Nușeni) and in Csombord (Ciumbrud) in Lower-Alba county. They had six children, five of whom reached adulthood. Anna Teleki raised her children to virtues such as kindness, honesty, diligence, modesty. Her prayers and writings on educating of children have survived the centuries. With the support of the family, most of them had reached an outstanding career: Dániel Vajda, the later winemaker expert, János Szabó, portrait painter, Miklós Barabás, painter, and Károly Szász Sr., a mathematician and a lawyer. From 1823 until his death in 1826, a period considered by contemporaries the golden age of the county, Simon Kemény served as the administrator (chief lord) of Lower-Alba county.

Református Szemle 114.3 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Mezey Mónika487 -- 495

The Mishnah tractate Avodah Zarah (Idolatry) contains a list of items that are forbidden to be sold to pagans. This study discusses whether these items played such an important role in pagan cults as it was suggested by the rabbis, or they were special ingredients of magical recipes.

Református Szemle 114.5 (2021)Research articleAntiquity studies, Judaica
Steiner József5 -- 31

Did the Jews engage in missionary activities in the New Testament era? Since most of the first Christians were of Jewish background, with their centre in Jerusalem, and considering the relevance of missionary activity in early Christianity, this is a highly significant question. Before the ministry of Apostle Paul, Christians of (primarily) Jewish origin were those who defined the circle and practice of potential followers of Christ. For this reason, it is crucial to identify the motivations of the continuously intensifying and purposefully mission-focused efforts with regard to the Gentiles. Could this dynamic be rooted in the missional character of Judaism towards the non-Jewish people?

Our research shows that (a) Judaism had not become a religion deliberately focused on missionary activities during New Testament times. They did not initiate missionary efforts since they were not convinced to have been their duty from JHWH to convert non-Jewish people to Judaism. (b) However, the Jews were aware of their election, and believed that, as a consequence of this, they needed to proclaim – by exposing their faith and ethical lifestyle – JHWH’s rulership to everyone. They knew the prophecies about the future that the Gentiles would eventually turn to JHWH as the only God and King of the Universe and would worship Him together with the Jews. (c) The Jews opened possibilities to the Gentiles, who felt attracted to their faith, to get closer to Judaism. Those who had shown stronger commitment came to be accepted to (on different levels) and integrated into the Jewish faith community.

Furthermore, during the New Testament era, the Jewish national existence was under threat by the Roman Empire. This urged them even more to popularise their faith in order to secure their national subsistence. This dynamic shaped the spiritual and cultural background of the ever-increasing intentional missionary efforts of the Early Church towards the Gentiles.

Református Szemle 114.1 (2021)Research articleOld Testament, New Testament, Antiquity studies, Judaica
Buzogány Dezső409 -- 427

The election, education and ordination of future ministers has always been a responsibility of church officials, such as teachers, ministers, deans, respectively the assembly of the deanery. Teachers and ministers have also had the responsibility of identifying bright and talented students and church youth who can be directed to higher education to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for pastoral ministry. In addition to the usual biblical and theological subjects, they had to learn Latin grammar, dialectics and rhetoric, and after completing their secondary education, they had to consolidate what they had learned at university level. Young people applying for the ministry first had to acquire the necessary practical skills as assistant ministers under the guidance of ordinary ministers, and only then were they ordained as ordinary ministers in a congregation.

Református Szemle 114.4 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Viczián István223 -- 238

The life of Anna Teleki (1783–1851), wife of Count Simon Kemény is presented in 3 parts. Part I deals with his youth, Part II with his marriage to Count Simon Kemény, Part III. with her widowed years.

The father of Anna Teleki was Count Domokos Teleki Sr., the later chancellor and memorial writer of Turda, her mother was Countess Judit Bethlen of Bethlen. Her mother dies when she was one years old, and her two brothers follow their mother soon. Until the age of six, she was raised in Apanagyfalu (Nușeni) and Cluj-Napoca by her maternal grandmother, Countess Júlia Wass from Czege, wife of Count Elek Bethlen. When her father remarries, she moves to Sárpatak (Șapartoc). At the age of 15, in 1798, she became the bride of the famous mineral collector, Count Domokos Teleki Jr., but her fiancé tragically died the same year.

Református Szemle 114.2 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Biró István687 -- 708

In our study, we examined a significant change of administration and power: what was the impact of the Second Vienna Award of 30 August 1940 on the Faculty of Theology of the Transylvanian Reformed Church in Cluj/Kolozsvár? This historical turn of events was not only a cause for joy, but also a major change and challenge for theological education.

We were able to gain insight into the challenges the faculty and its leadership faced in the new situation and the solutions they sought to address them. After the second Vienna Award, the integration of the faculty into the ecclesiastical higher education of the Hungarian state was one of the primary tasks. The academic situation of the students also had to be sorted out, and the Faculty had to face a significant reduction in its staff and the financial crisis. These influences changed the internal and external life of the faculty; consequently, we see that social, administrative and political changes had a particular impact on the functioning of the institute and on the training of ministers.

The writings of the theological teachers in ecclesiastical publications have provided a basis for understanding the processes of power change in Transylvania in their ecclesiastical context. They helped to develop a correct vision and to identify the perceived and expected consequences of the decision. Our study also shows that during this period, ecclesiastical and public activities were deeply intertwined.

Református Szemle 114.6 (2021)Research articleChurch history
Borsi Attila János294 -- 303

The concept of “the Other” seems crucial for Bonhoeffer’s dealing with human reality. While he addresses this question by applying traditional terms, at the same time, Bonhoeffer intends to broaden the significance of these terms through different means: he either reads the biblical text simply theologically, or he provides a larger theological frame for his purposes. Either way his intention is the same: to present a Christologically oriented understanding of the “Other”, the individual. This article intends to trace this intention in Bonhoeffer’s major works. The concept of the “Other” appears with respect to various aspects such as creation, sin, to be in Christ and to be in communion with others. The basic concept is that the “Other” is a limitation in the context of God’s grace which can be experienced in the presence of Christ. Individuals must therefore relate to each other through Christ.

Református Szemle 114.3 (2021)Research articleSystematic theology
Borsi Attila János398 -- 408

This short text discloses Karl Barth’s idea on confession and prayer as it is presented in his Church Dogmatics III/4. Confession of faith and prayer are central to Christian thought, but most often they appear in theological literature only as a topic of Christian confessional piety. This short paper seeks to answer the question of whether prayer and confession of faith carry both an outward and an inward ethical charge in Christian thought. Barth treats the question of confession and prayer in his Dogmatics as belonging to the domain of special ethics. The confession of faith, whether implicit or explicit, always points to Christ and as such cannot avoid affirming and critically evaluating the reality of the world. By doing this, it becomes essentially an expression of ethical awareness. Likewise, prayer, rooted in the revelation of God, by its actualising the relationship between God and man it becomes in every situation an occasion for a decision in favour of God and neighbour. By these means Christians can show that they take Christianity seriously.

Református Szemle 114.4 (2021)Research articleSystematic theology
Kulcsár Árpád553 -- 593

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Reformed Church District of Király- hágómellék, this paper examines the work of alliances within the church (Women’s Alliance, Men’s Alliance, Youths’ Alliance, etc.), with special focus on the social and diaconal work. The paper builds on articles, reportages, footages, and shorter studies of the Reformátusok Lapja (Reformed Magazine), published by the celebrating church district. A synthesis of the available data reveals the difficulties involving the organisation of these alliances and the limited results achieved. 

Református Szemle 114.5 (2021)Research articleChurch history
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
Orosz Otília Valéria569 -- 587

The congregations of the Reformed Church District of Királyhágómellék and Transylvania replaced the older hymnbooks twenty years ago. The replacement of 1921 hymnbook, previously used in the Partium region, and of the 1923 hymnbook used in Transylvania, opened a new chapter in the church singing practice. When comparing the origin and style layer of the songs in the two hymnbooks, the difference is striking, especially with respect to the 19th century melodies and the amount of 18–19th century ad notam songs in the 1921 hymnbook. From a structural point of view, the Hungarian Reformed Hymnbook focuses mostly on the hymns of the Reformation era and the German choral melodies, quantitatively closely followed by the Anglo-Saxon and Romantic hymns. The other valuable medieval, baroque and 20th century hymns are present in a merely symbolic proportion. During a hymnbook revision, it is not enough to drop rarely used or undervalued hymns. Rather, hymns with weakened influence need to be replaced. This is how we should approach our new hymnbook published nearly a quarter of a century ago. Its substantially new material should be regarded as a “profit” that needs to be discovered repeatedly and adopted in our worship services.

Református Szemle 113.6 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology, Hymnology
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
Juhász Zoltán452 -- 481

The present study examines from the perspective of dogmatics Eduard Böhl’s book entitled Christologie des Alten Testamentes oder Auslegung der wichtigsten Messianischen Weissagungen published in 1882. The study deals mainly with the introductory chapter. E. Böhl, professor of Reformed Systematic Theology at the Protestant Theological Faculty in Vienna from 1864 to 1899, was strongly influenced by the theological vision of H. F. Kohlbrugge (1803–1875), a Reformed pastor from Elberfeld, Germany. As a systematic theologian he followed the orthodox Reformed position which emphasised the inseparable unity of Scripture. From this hermeneutic stance he defended the Christology of the Old Testament. Böhl testified that God in Christ, in fact, repeated, confirmed, and accomplished on a higher level what had happened in the lives of Old Testament confessors. Old Testament writings legitimize Jesus’ coming, incarnation, salvation, suffering, death, and resurrection. The essence of Böhl’s standpoint is that some of the messianic texts do not refer directly to Christ, but above all to “types”, figures who carry the promise of salvation. Other parts, however, such as the psalms discussed in detail in his book, are unequivocal pieces of evidence of the promises of the Messiah who is embodied in Jesus Christ. In support of his view, he cited “the exegesis of the New Testament,” the apostles and evangelists, and the Targums, the Book of Enoch, and the Talmud among the Jewish religious literature. With his theological vision and writings, through his Hungarian disciples, Böhl exerted a decisive influence on the Reformed theological thinking and the New Orthodoxy in Hungary. This theological trend took up the fight against the spread of theological liberalism with its centre in Debrecen during the second half of the nineteenth century. Böhl, as a defender of traditional Calvinism, was a sure point of reference with respect to important theological issues.

Református Szemle 113.5 (2020)Research articleSystematic theology
Adorjáni Zoltán182 -- 182Református Szemle 113.2 (2020)ReportSystematic theology
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
Steiner József534 -- 537

Translated by Székely György, Gondáné Kaul Éva, Pálhegyi Kriszta, Daray Erzsébet. Harmat–KIA, Budapest 2020, ISBN 978-963-288-034-1, 568 old.

Református Szemle 113.5 (2020)ReviewPractical theology, Missiology, 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
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
Marjovszky Tibor549 -- 568

Der Para-Traktat der Mischna erklärt unter dem Titel die „Die rote Kuh“ die Bestimmun­gen bezüglich 4 Mose 19. Nach einer kurzen Einleitung folgt die Übersetzung von drei Kapi­teln mit kurzen Sacherklärungen. Dies ist die erste ungarische Übersetzung des Textes.

Református Szemle 113.6 (2020)Source editionJudaica
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
Márton János429 -- 451

This is a Hungarian translation of the tractate Chagigah from the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud emerged from the Mishnah. Our translation is based on Koren Talmud Bavli, The Noé Edition, Moed Katan, Hagiga (commentary by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz), a Hebrew/ English Edition published by Koren Publisher, in Jerusalem (2014). In contrast to its name, this tractate’s central theme is the sacrifices brought for the festival days. One of those sacrifices is the peace offering of joy. The Jewish believer is endorsed to be joyful before his God when he appears before Him in his sanctuary.

Református Szemle 113.5 (2020)Research articleJudaica
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
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
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
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
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
Kulcsár Árpád523 -- 528

Translated by Fazakas Enikő, Kovács Zoltán, Kun Lajos, Némedi Gusztáv, Oláh Attila. A Debreceni Református Hittudományi Egyetem Gyakorlati Teológiai Tanszéke, Debrecen 2001, 132. old.

Református Szemle 113.5 (2020)ReviewPractical theology