Jurnal teologic 21.1 (2022)

Amiel DRIMBE, Scriptura și ziarul: receptarea versiunilor Dumitru Cornilescu de către ortodocșii din România în primii ani de la publicare (1920-1926), Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 5-39.
Following the conversion of Dumitru Cornilescu (1917/1918), his transition to Protestantism, and the disputes at the “Stork’s Nest” Church (1922–1923), the attitude of Romanian Orthodox Church leaders and of influential priests in Bucharest changed radically towards Cornilescu and, consequently, towards his translations. As the result of the condemnation by the Holy Synod of the CORNILESCU versions in 24 June 1924, the official periodicals of the Romanian Orthodox dioceses became the means by which the Orthodox priests were forbidden to use the versions and the Orthodox believers were advised to ignore them. Despite these discouragements and discreditation, the interest of the Orthodox believers in the translations of the former monk and hierodeacon Cornilescu continued to grow. This inference explains best the large number of copies of the CORNILESCU versions that were sold in Romania between 1920 and 1926.
Keywords: Dumitru Cornilescu; Bible translations; CORNILESCU versions; Romanian Orthodox Church; Orthodox periodicals; reception

Corin MIHĂILĂ, The Importance of Background Studies in Uncovering the Meaning of a Text: An Argument from Linguistics, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 41-64.
Interpreting the biblical text is a complex process. Rarely do we read a biblical text that has a straightforward interpretation and does not require digging behind the text. This is due to many reasons, but an important one is the nature of the text. Specifically, a text has an author who is culturally conditioned, who speaks within a culture, and who communicates according to accepted cultural norms of communication. All this is to say that a text comes tied to a background from where it originates. The biblical text does not come to us naked and alone, but clothed in its context and conditioned by it. Therefore, the interpreter must read the biblical text being aware of such socio-cultural limitations of language. The reader must accept, according to linguistic rules, that the meaning of a biblical text is combination of at least three factors: authorial intention, linguistic conventions, and shared assumptions. All these factors make up the background and context of a text. It is our understanding that a correct interpretation of the biblical text must take into consideration what the author intended to say, how he said it, and what he assumed the original readers shared in common with him. We do not believe that such a reading of the text will reach an infallible interpretation, but it will help us to stay on a safe course of reading the biblical text.
Keywords: interpretation, background, context, authorial intention, linguistic conventions, shared assumptions.

Daniel FODOREAN, „Biserica Online”: Analiză și Perspective, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 65-92.
The rapid movement during the Pandemic of the church’s activities from the real space to the online environment could not go unnoticed and unexplored. This led me to initiate and coordinate a research project under the Baptist Theological Institute aimed at the online church, focusing on the Roman evangelical churches in Romania and the diaspora. The project was carried out during the Pandemic, after the end of the national lockdown in Romania in which religious activity in-person was forbidden, but still during the period when there were certain health restrictions in relation to church meetings.
The main objectives of this research were: 1) To understand how the Romanian Evangelical Churches used the online environment during the Pandemic; 2) To identify the current conception of the church towards the use of the online environment in the activity of the church; 3) To identify good practices for serving the church online; 4) Identify the church’s perspective on continuing to use the online environment for church activities. This article presents the results and conclusions obtained from this research. Given the global scale of the pandemic, as well as the similarities, at least in Europe, with many of the restrictions applied in each country, including toward churches, I believe the article may be helpful not only to churches and religious leaders in Romania but also churches and religious leaders from other countries.
Keywords: online church; health restrictions; Covid-19 pandemic; online meetings; research project

Calvin GLASS, Racial Reconciliation: A Theological Approach to Building Relationships, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 93-111.
Racism within the Christian community in America has resulted in social unrest and has plagued the Christian church in a way that mandates urgent solutions to this untamed malady. This research focus is centered on learning a practicable methodology based on biblical principles that address racial reconciliation (building God-approved relationships) that will combat racial disunity among Christians. The study method used BBR (Building Better Relationships) consisted of interviewing and teaching a focus group representing a Black pastor and five church participants on racial relations issues within the church context. From the recommendations of the senior pastor, a focus group from the Black church received teaching on biblical racial reconciliation directives through a six-session curriculum. Five individuals, five Black Christians made up the focus group. The objective of the study is to describe the reality of historical racism in the Christian church and to motivate multicultural change that will enhance building theologically, healthy, and loving relationships among all races.
Keywords: racial reconciliation; races and racism; relationships; focus groups; foundations, theological and theoretical

Ion C. Adrian MIHAI, Universalitatea poporului mesianic: observații intertextuale asupra primei grupe din genealogia lui Matei, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 113-130.
The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes, among others, the multi-ethnicity of God’s people. In fact, the author begins with this very point (1:1-6) and closes his Gospel with it (Matt. 28:18-20). In Matthew, Jesus is born of a multi-ethnic lineage, and the purpose of His coming is to establish the universal Israel. As the son of Abraham, He is the one in which God’s promises to the patriarch are fulfilled: that all the nations of the earth will be blessed in His „seed” (Gen. 12:1-3, 7). Yet this plenary fulfillment is anticipated by partial fulfillment even from the primeval history of Israel, as the lineage of Abraham becomes multi-ethnic from the start.
Keywords: Gospel of Matthew, genealogy, multi-ethnicity, Abraham, Judah, Jesus Christ

Daniel ISTRATE, Religious Holidays and National Security in Ancient Israel, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 131-143.
A fairly large segment of the instruction material under the Mosaic covenant deals with Israel’s holidays, and especially with the three major feasts, when all males were commanded to go to the central place of worship. To this end, depending on their location in the promised land, the Israelites would have been away from their homes for weeks at a time, even as much as ten weeks each year. Any military strategist could tell that such a time would be ideal to attack and plunder the Israelite cities, especially those farther away from Jerusalem. However, the LORD closed that loophole, promising the faithful Israelites protection from their enemies during their time away for worship. Would the Israelites trust God and leave their homes in order to draw near to the one true God during the times He ordained at the place He established? The surveyed biblical data show they failed generally this test of faith. The irony is that the One vouching for their security had they obeyed this covenant requirement, He would also become their enemy by virtue of the same covenant if they failed to trust and draw near to Him. New Covenant beneficiaries enjoy the privilege of everlasting promises and security in God’s presence. This communion with God is not only for the life to come, but it is also an earthly ongoing reality, celebrated weekly as the people of God gather together for worship. Thus, those who are truly heirs of the Lord’s precious promises are faithful participants in the corporate worship of God’s people on the Lord’s Day, as their drawing near to God is sanctified by Christ’s special presence in the midst.
Keywords: National security; Holy time; Holy space; Covenant; Lord’s Day; Worship; Holidays

Galina GRANICIA, Emanuel Adrian SÂRBU, Patricia RUNCAN, Remus RUNCAN, Light in the deepest darkness. Understanding fundamental spiritual concepts in people with severe mental disabilities, Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 144-173.
One of the questions that many Christians who have in their families disabled people ask themselves is if they can truly believe to be redeemed, and if these people can be evangelized. Can they really understand the most important concepts of Christianity? Will they be redeemed just like any other person or is there a complementary way? The purpose of this research is to assess the level of understanding of spiritual concepts by adults with severe intellectual disabilities. The study took place in Moldova by applying a questionnaire to three categories of people: specialists in the domain of social work, working with mentally challenged persons, church leaders, and people with severe intellectual disabilities. To deepen the understanding, there was also a focus group with 10 mothers of children with intellectual disabilities. The first phase focused on identifying the level of understanding of people with disabilities, as they are being perceived by the professionals working with them; also, focused on the importance of a spiritual life from church leaders, and on the stimulating factors which can affect the way that people with disabilities are being perceived from the parents‘ perspective. The conclusions based on the specialized literature were confronted with the subject reality of the respondents. Even though there are some discrepancies in the answers provided by the specialists and in spite of the limitations of the sample size, our hypotheses have proven to be valid and open new possibilities to approach a special category of people, which now tends to be mostly ignored.
Keywords: mental illness; people with severe intellectual disabilities; spiritual concepts; salvation; understanding.

Tony A. ROGERS, Faculty and Friends of Old Princeton, The Pastor: His Call, Character, and Work, Banner of Truth Trust, 2021. Book Review. Jurnal teologic Vol 21, Nr 1 (2022): 174-177.