Jesus in South Africa—Lost in Translation?

In: Journal of Reformed Theology
Dirkie Smit Professor of Systematic Theology, Stellenbosch University

Search for other papers by Dirkie Smit in
Current site
Google Scholar
Elna Mouton Professor of New Testament and Dean of the Faculty, Stellenbosch University

Search for other papers by Elna Mouton in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Within South African circles, Jesus is seen, interpreted, and understood in diverse and complex ways. It is almost impossible to provide any representative overview of these many ways in which the message concerning his person and work has been and still is being appropriated and claimed in South African churches and communities. This paper briefly surveys four of the dominant discourses about Jesus in contemporary South African society; namely, Jesus in the popular news and newspaper debates, academic circles and scholarship, the worship and spirituality of congregations and believers, and public opinion concerning social and political life. In all cases, major trends are pointed out, which raises the question of whether these developments perhaps involve forms of betrayal, and ways in which the figure and message of Jesus may be lost in these diverse forms of translation.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 151 24 6
Full Text Views 142 4 0
PDF Views & Downloads 162 6 0