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Ferdinand Deist

1944 -1997

Ferdinand Deist

Author of 9 academic books
- among others Studies on the Old Testament -
and 35 popular religious books

Professor and Head of Department, Near Eastern Studies, University of Stellenbosch until 1977

Ferdinand Etienne Deist was born on 9 August 1944 in Piketberg. He completed all his academic studies, cum laude, at Stellenbosch University.
1972: Licenciate in Theology (cum laude) - US.
1973-1975: Senior Lecturer , Department of Semitic Languages at the University of Port Elizabeth
1975-1976: Senior Lecturer Bibel Studies, UPE
1977-1980: Associate Professor Old Testament UNISA
1980-1991 : Professor Old Testament UNISA
1986-1989: Head: Department of Old Testament, UNISA
1989-1991: Merit professorship UNISA
1990-1991: Vice Dean: Faculty of Theology UNISA
1992-1993: Director: Human Sciences Research Council Project: Bibel translation
1992-97: Head: Department of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of Stellenbosch
1996-97: Director: Centre for Bible Translation in Africa, US.
During the last three years he was actively involved in Bible translation, establishing a center for Bible translation in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Stellenbosch University. Until his death he also wrote a weekly column in a prominent Afrikaans daily newspaper in the Western Cape called "Spiritual values". He was a sought-after orator.
Ferdinand Deist was married to Henrietta, née Mouton, and they had three children. He died on 12 July 1997 in Heidelberg, Germany, while engaged in primary research into cultural aspects of the Ancient Near East.
See Obituary by Johann Cook, University of Stellenbosch

Academic Memberships:

1980-1986: Old Testament Society of South Africa. 1983-1987: Old Testament Essays. 1983-1985: Committee for the Redesigning of Curricula in Biblical Studies
1986-1991: Director: Human Sciences Research Council Team
1986-1992: Director: Old Testament Society of South Africa.
1989: Center of contextual Hermeneutics (US).
1992: Editor: Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages


1966-1971: Bursary of the Human Sciences Research Council
1971: Alexander von Humboldt Bursary
1980 and 1988: The Andrew Murray Prize for religious literature in South Africa
1988: Acacia-prize for tertiary and general publications.
1993: Van Drimmelen Medal of the South African Academy of Arts and Science
2001: "Best Book Relating to the Old Testament" for The Material Culture of the Bible: An Introduction, Edited by Robert Carroll, Sheffield Academic Press, 2000 (Published posthumously. The book was largely complete when Ferdinand E. Deist died in 1997 and was then edited by Robert Carroll, who died in 2000.)


Next to over 100 academic articles and book contributions, Ferdinand Deist wrote a host of popular works: 55 essays for newspapers and magazines, 35 popular books, 22 book contributions. He also translated 3 books from German into Afrikaans.

Mosaïek van Moses. Pentateugnavorsing sedert die Reformasie, Tafelberg, 1976 - English Translation: Pretoria: NG Kerk-Boekhandel, 1978
Historiese heuristiek, teologiese hermeneuneutiek en Skrifgesag, Universiteit van Port Elizabeth, 1976 - English Translation: Port Elizabeth: UPE, 1978
Towards the text of the Old Testament, NG Kerk-Boekhandel, 1978
Verandering sonder geweld? Tafelberg, 1983
A concise dictionary of theological terms, J L van Schaik, 1984
Kan ons die Bybel dan nog glo? , J L van Schaik, 1986
Witnesses to the Old Testament. NG Kerk-Boekhandel, 1988
A concise dictionary of theological and related terms, J L van Schaik, 1990
Ervaring, rede en metode in Skrifuitleg. ín Wetenskapshistoriese ondersoek na Skrifuitleg in die Ned. Geref. Kerk 1840-1990, RGN-Studies in Metodologie, (Co-author: J J Burden), J L van Schaik, 1980 - English Translation: 'n ABC van Bybeluitleg, J L van Schaik, 1981
Van Eden tot Rome (Co-author: W Vosloo), J L van Schaik, 1980
God en sy Ryk (Co-author: I J Du Plessis), J L van Schaik, 1981 - English Translation: 1981
Rewolusie en reïnterpretasie. Hoofstukke uit die geskiedenis van Israel (J H Le Roux), Tafelberg, 1987
Tweebeen diere en ander verskynsels, Tafelberg, 1993

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