Apuri, Joseph W. “Human Sacrifice, Isaac and Jesus: A Study of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East and Ashante and Related Tribes, in the Light of the Blood of Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” ThD diss., Pontifical Urban University, 1983.
Mvunabandi, Shadrack. “The Communicative Power of Blood Sacrifices: A Predominantly South African Perspective with Special Reference to the Epistle to the Hebrews.” PhD diss., University of Pretoria, 2008.
AbstractIn this dissertation, the researcher discusses the topic: The Communicative Power of Sacrifices: A Predominantly South African Perspective with Special Reference to the Epistle to the Hebrews'. It investigates blood sacrifices among Xhosa people, and includes some Zulu and Tsonga thoughts, as well as a few examples from elsewhere in Africa. The research findings support the fact that both animal and human blood sacrifices are still performed today. The comparison between biblical blood sacrificial rituals and African ones reveals striking similarities and a few differences. The existence of such similarities poses a pertinent question: to determine whether or not African traditional religious sacrifices, like biblical sacrifices, could also be acknowledged as originating from God. This seems indeed difficult, because such an affirmation would suggest that God has revealed Himself through African traditional religious sacrificial rituals, and would therefore call into question the unique and exclusive biblical claim to revelation. Neyrey's (2005) model of benefactor-client, benefactor-patron has been instrumental in illustrating the mutually influential communication and exchange existing between deities and their worshippers. In order to obtain benefactions from superiors, subordinates have to use inducement and influence - inducement has to do with all sorts of gifts and services, while influence refers to reasons for doing what one does, hence requests, petitions and the like. In religious terms, inducement is called sacrifice, and influence is called prayer. The intensification of the materialisation of anticipated benefits by worshippers entails the multiplication of interactive contact through blood sacrificial rituals, as well as the strengthening of ties between deities and their worshippers, creating a seemingly unbreakable bond. The results of this study's qualitative, empirical research in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and North West provinces have substantiated the above ideas. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the communicative power of the blood sacrifice of Jesus provided worshippers with eternal salvation, forgiveness of sins and the removal of guilt feelings. Unlike Old Testament animal blood sacrifices, Jesus' once and for all blood sacrifice has communicated powers for soteriological, psychological and sociological benefits. This superior power should be scholarly defended through amicable dialogue.
Mwombeki, Fidon R. “Biblical Interpretation in a Current African Situation: The Case of Blood.” PhD diss., Luther Seminary, 1997.
Wendland, Ernst. “From ‘Death’ to ‘Life’ – דָּם in the Psalms: A Lexical-Semantic-Cultural Survey, with Special Reference to the Translation of ‘Blood’ in a Western and an African Setting.” Journal for Semitics 25, no. 2 (2016): 503–22.
AbstractAfter a brief lexical-semantic summary of the principal senses of דָּם in the Hebrew Bible (HB), our focus shifts to this word’s 21 occurrences in the Psalms. How widely and diversely was the notion of “blood” employed in the psalmists’ manifold prayers to the Lord? We then consider the practice of translation in two greatly contrasting sociocultural settings – Western versus African. What are some of the main challenges that translators confront when they attempt to convey the distinct “meanings” of דָּם meaningfully – with functionally equivalent content, intent, impact and appeal – in these two disparate contexts? In a Western setting, as expressed in English, the biblical, symbolically sacred understanding of “blood” is virtually non-existent, thus necessitating significant paratextual supplementation, whereas in an African linguistic environment, Chichewa for example, the ancient symbolical sense of “blood” and its contemporary connotations remain so powerful that it requires great care in translation in order to avoid possible misunderstanding or offense in the vernacular text. In the latter case and in certain Psalmic passages, it turns out that instead of some expression relating to “death”, one that rather conveys the notion of “life” may well be more accurate and acceptable, especially when uttered in prayer or praise to the Lord.
Sign up here to receive the ATW Newsletter, which provides updates about the platform and showcases valuable resources, as well as special announcements related to the field of African Christian Theology.