Tony Wiyaret Fangidae
I’m Tony Wiyaret Fangidae. I took my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia. Now, I’m pursuing a Ph.D. program in the Hebrew Bible at Yonsei University, Global Institute of Theology, South Korea. My study focuses on the violence in the Hebrew texts. Several articles regarding the issue of violent texts in the Old Testament have been published by some journals.
Tony Wiyaret Fangidae, “Anti-Violent Hermeneutic: A Proposal to Deal with Violent Texts in the Old Testament”
This paper explores the traces of violence in the Old Testament and offers an anti-violence perspective for understanding such texts. The Old Testament has been cited for a long time to justify certain acts of violence such as violence against women, children, people with disabilities, slavery, and racism. That means violent texts are interpreted to terrorize women (Phyllis Trible), suppress children (Ams. 13: 24), segregate people with disabilities (Lev. 21: 17-23), promote slavery (ex. 21: 1-16; Lev. 25: 39-43, 47-55; Deut. 15: 12-18), and motivate racism.
This paper offers hermeneutic principles for dealing with violent texts in the Old Testament, which are often used to justify and legitimize violent acts. Firstly, the reader interprets violent texts by “trying” to remove the frame of his negative judgment of violent texts, friendly with violent texts; secondly, the reader investigates the text by exploring the purpose of the author of the text, the context of his audience, and the context in which it is written; thirdly, the reader reconstructs the meaning of violence into the meaning of non-violence, such as reading the story of the war with the Pharaoh’s Army as the story of Israel’s liberation and independence for his locus theologicus.