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Hvordan kan Mosebøgerne bruges i bibelsk etik?

Forelæsninger, debat og forskerseminar tager i løbet af to dage i juni fat på aktuelle etiske temaer som flygtningespørgsmålet, homo­sek­su­alitet, skilsmisse og slaveri.

Hvordan kan Mosebøgerne bruges i bibelsk etik?

Vi ser på, hvordan Mosebøgernes etisk udfordrende tekster bruges i andre dele af Det Gamle Testamente og dermed kan inspirere os i dag på samme måde.

Linjerne trækkes også op til Det Nye Testamente og til dagens aktuelle diskussion.

Forelæserne Markus Zehnder og Kenneth Bergland – se nedenfor – vil forelæse på engelsk, men der vil være indlagt diskussioner på dansk.

Arrangør: Fjellhaug International University College Denmark
Sted: Dansk Bibel-Institut, Leifsgade 33, 6, 2300 København S


June 6: Lectures and discussions

Migration, homosexuality and the use of Scripture in biblical ethics

9:15: Welcome, by Carsten Elmelund Petersen
9:30-11.30: The use of scripture in biblical ethics by Kenneth Bergland
Bergland will argue for the concept of Torah as intended to be “memorized covenantal instruction”. This helps readers to understand better the dual phenomena of intentional and creative reuse of the ethical passages in Torah that we find in the Hebrew Bible. This explains how biblical authors reused ethical passages or reused passages for ethical purposes. Bergland’s approach gives a new perspective on legal material and scribal culture, it also problematizes the categories of ‘cultic’ and ‘ethical’ material.

11.45-12:30 Discussion in Danish: Do we need a biblical-etic thinktank? Professor Dr. Nicolai Winther-Nielsen leads the discussion.

12.30   Lunch

13.15-16.30: Migration in biblical ethics. By Markus Zehnder

Professor Dr. Markus Zehnder presents his current research. Presentations of the following topics will be responded to by Pastor, PhD, Niels Nymann Eriksen, and there will be room for questions from the floor:

  • What are the different categories of “foreigners” in the Hebrew Bible, and how are they to be treated according to the biblical texts?
  • What do various traditions in the Hebrew Bible say about migration, both positively and negatively?
  • How are the New Testament´s perspectives different from those found in the Hebrew Bible?
  • How is the present situation (migration to the West) different from the situation reflected in the biblical texts?
  • How can a “biblical response” to the current challenges in the field of migration look like?

18.00-20.00: Homosexuality in biblical ethics. By Markus Zehnder 

  • The biblical assessment of same-gender sexual activity and biblical ways of relating to persons with same-sex attraction: a basic outline.
  • A better understanding of homosexuality as a precondition for an biblical ethical response: some empirical data.

JUNE 7: Ressearch seminar

The use of the Torah

9.15-12.30 The Use of the Torah in the Prophets. By Kenneth Bergland
20–30 min presentations on four cases of reuse in the prophetic corpus followed by discussions in between. The four topics could be:

  1. The Divorce Instruction in Deut 24:1–4 as Metaphor for Covenantal Unfaithfulness in Jer 3:1–10
  2. Jer 7:1–15 as a Pastiche of Torah
  3. Isa 58 and the Ethical Surprise in Yom Kippur
  4. Jer 34 and the Ethical Appropriation of the Manumission Instructions in Lev 25 and Deut 15

13.15-14.00 Exegetical Workshop. By Nicolai Winther-Nielsen

Slavelaws in Ex 21:1-11 as a challenge for biblical etics.


Markus Zehnder grew up in Switzerland and is an or­dained minister of the Reformed Church of Switzerland. After the com­pletion of his doctorate at the University of Basel (on way metaphors in the Bible and in ancient Near Eastern literature), he moved to Jerusalem and then to Boston for postdoctoral studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Harvard University. He com­ple­ted his Habilitations­schrift on dealing with foreigners in ancient Israel and Assy­ria at the University of Basel in 2003. He has hold teach­ing positions in Switzerland, Germany, Nor­way, and Belgium. His cur­rent main teaching position is at Talbot School of Theo­logy, Biola Uni­versity (Cali-for­nia). He has published on several topics in the field of Old Testament ethics, especially questions relating to homo­sexuality, mi­gration, and violence. Further areas of re­search include messianic expectations in the Hebrew Bible and the literary relationship between the biblical law collections.


Kenneth Bergland completed his cand.phil. in the history of ideas at the University of Oslo, with special focus upon phil­osophical ethics in the 20th century. He is now finis­hing his ph.d. in Old Testament Studies at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Semnary, Andrews University. His topic is the reuse of Torah’s instructive passages in the prophets. His wife Marianne and daughter Åsne help him to remember where life primarily needs to be lived.