South African New Testament scholar Gert J. Steyn, who spent majority of his scholarly career on research in the intertextual field of “Septuagint Studies and the New Testament”, considers his New Testament research similar to “laboratory work”. It was my rare opportunity to have a two hour interview with him at the Radboud Universiteit Guest House in Nijmegen, Holland. Our discussion was mostly about topics such as: New Testament scholarship in South African and Indian contexts in particular and the global scenario in general, the need of trans-boundary scholarly initiatives, Septuagint studies and the book of Hebrews, John and Johannine dialogues, as well as theological publications and New Testament scholarship.
Prof. Steyn currently serves as the Head of the Department of New Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria and as the chair of the NTSSA (see the link here). Alongside these responsibilities, he was also a member of the Editorial Board of NT Studies. He is a former DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and Alexander von Humboldt scholarship holder. He started his theological pursuit as a Masters in Greek student at the University of Pretoria and completed his work, entitled “Septuagint Influence on the Language and Style of Luke’s Gospel” (written in Afrikaans), in 1988 under the supervision of renowned scholar J. P. Louw. From then onward he never left the field of Septuagint studies. His first PhD was completed in Pretoria under the supervision of Prof. Cilliers Breytenbach in the year 1995. His research work entitled “Septuagint Quotations in the Context of the Petrine and Pauline Speeches in Acts” was primarily emphasizing the subject-matter of ‘interpretation of the LXX in the New Testament’. Steyn’s second PhD, entitled “A Quest for the Assumed LXX Vorlage of the Explicit Quotations in Hebrews”, was completed at the University of Stellenbosch in the year 2008 (see the link here). Then his supervisors were Profs. Johann Cook and Johan Thom. At present, he works on his third PhD at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, under the supervision of Profs. Martin Karrer and Hermut Loehr, and now works on “Torah Quotations Common to the Corpus Philonicum and the New Testament”. His future plans include research projects on “Quotations from the Minor Prophets in the New Testament” and “A Synopsis of Textual Variants of the Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament”.
Steyn is author of several scholarly articles and has authored and co-authored several books. His books include the following: Septuagint Quotations in the Context of the Petrine and Pauline Speeches of the Acta Apostolorum (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1995); Friendship and Love Where There Were None: Biblical Perspectives on Reconciliation (Pretoria: ISWEN, 2005; Co-editors: D. J. Human and Jan G. Van der Watt); Psalms and Hebrews: Studies in Reception (London: T & T Clark, 2009; Co-editor: D. J. Human); and A Quest for the Assumed LXX Vorlage of the Explicit Quotations in Hebrews (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011). His major research interests include: Luke-Acts, Hebrews, Early Jewish and Early Christian Hermeneutics, Septuagint Studies, Textual Criticism, and OT quotations in the NT.
As a scholar from the Third World context, I was privileged to interact with esteemed scholars like Prof. Steyn. I am challenged by him to seriously take up the subject matters like “The Old Testament/Septuagint Quotations in the New Testament” and “The Interpretation of Hebrews” in my future studies.
For more details about Prof. Gert J. Steyn and his research works, go here.
By Johnson Thomaskutty, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Holland