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Prof Hansie Wolmarans

Emeritus Professor
Name: Hansie Wolmarans
Location: B Ring 709 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Greek and Latin Studies Academic Staff  Staff Members

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About Prof Hansie Wolmarans

Professor Hansie Wolmarans (Ph.D.—Greek) has been a member of the Department of Greek and Latin Studies for the past 33 years. His basic area of specialization is semiotics applied to Greco-Roman studies (visual as well as literary). He has published 83 articles on subjects as diverse as textual criticism, the Greek New Testament, Greek Linguistics, Rhetoric and the Science-Religion debate. He has published or co-authored 12 books mainly on topics related to the New Testament or Post-Modern Christian theology. Currently he is doing research on the motif of the resurrection in the Greco-Roman mystery cults. His teaching areas are Greek Grammar, Greco-Roman philosophy, New Testament, Classical Mythology, and Greco-Roman mystery cults. Six doctoral students and thirteen MA students finished their studies under his supervision. About 194 articles appeared in various newspapers, magazines and online, mostly on religious topics (popular scientific). A large number of international scholars have been hosted by Prof Wolmarans at this Department.


BA Admission (RAU); Hons Classical Languages, Greek and Latin (RAU); BD (University of Johannesburg); MA Greek (University of Pretoria); Ph.D. Greek (University of Potchefstroom)

Teaching Experience

Full Time

1974-1975: Research Assistant, Dept of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, UP
Part-time lecturer for Greek 1 (1975)
1976-1977: Lecturer, Dept of Greek, UP, teaching Greek 1 (Grammar), Greek 2 (New Testament), Greek 3
1978-1993: Lecturer, Dept of Greek & Latin Studies, RAU (teaching Greek language, translation, New
Testament, Patristics, Drama; Roman History, Latin Grammar)
1993-1996: Senior Lecturer, Dept of Greek & Latin Studies, RAU (teaching Greek language, grammar,
translation, New Testament, Patristics, drama, Classical Culture).
1996-2000: Associate Professor, Dept of Greek & Latin Studies, RAU ((teaching Greek language, grammar,
translation, New Testament, Patristics, drama, Classical Culture)
2000: Promoted to Full Professor Dept, Greek & Latin Studies, RAU. (teaching Greek language, grammar,
translation, New Testament, Patristics, drama, Classical Culture)
2002-Current: Appointed Head of Dept of Greek & Latin Studies, RAU / University of Johannesburg (teaching
Greek language, grammar, translation, New Testament, Patristics, drama, Classical Culture)


Lectured in Latin, Greek, introduced and expanded program in Classical Mythology (Religion). This applied to pre- and post-graduate.
Member of Faculty of Arts
Member of Senate
1996-2004: Member of the Organising Committee, Gespreksgroep: Kerk-Universiteit.
2002: Faculty Representative of RAU’s Quality Care Committee.


Delivered 6 D-graduates. Delivered 10 MA graduates. Evaluation for lecturing capabilities by bureau for tertiary education, being evaluated as outstanding.

Post Graduates

Master’s Students Completed

Landon, CH. 1987. A Semiotic Analysis of James, Chapter One (MA, Greek, RAU).
Jordaan, PJ. 1991. ’n Semiotiese Ondersoek na Jakobus 2:1-13. (MA, Greek, RAU).
Nolte, SP. 1991. ’n Semiotiese Analise van Jakobus 3:1-12. (MA, Greek, RAU).
Smith, SM. 1992. Die Mensbeeld in die Jakobusbrief (MA, RAU).
Taljaard, NW. 1992. Kohesie in Markus 5:1-20. (MA, RAU). Semmelink, JW. 1994. ’n Semio-Strukturele Analise van die Jakobusbrief. (MA, Greek, RAU).
Oliphant, A. 1995. Die Funksie van die Epiloog van die Jakobusbrief. (MA, Greek, RAU).
Doyle, A.H. 2002. Husbands and Wives: Dysfunctional Marital Relationships in Greek Tragedy. (MA, Greek, RAU).
Dutton, J. 2006. The Rape of the Sabine Women in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria 101-134. (MA, Latin, University of Johannesburg).
Miles, AC. 2007. Conflicting Aspects of Character in Euripides’ Medea. (MA, Greek, University of Jhb).
Steyn, R. 2008. Archangel Michael as “Icon” in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Periods. (M.A. Greek, University of Jhb).

Doctoral Students Completed

Jordaan, PJ. 1998. ’n Semiotiese Analise van die Kolossensebrief. (D.Litt. et Phil. RAU).
Van Zyl, SM. 2000. Intertekstualiteit in Jakobus 3:13-4:12. (D.Litt et Phil, RAU).
Oliphant, A. 2000. ’n Semiotiese Analise van die 1 Petrus brief. (D.Litt. et Phil., RAU).
Katramadou, K. 2000. The Greek Diminutive. (D.Litt. et Phil., RAU).
Doyle, A.H. 2008. Archetypal Simulacra: The Women of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. (D.Litt. et Phil., Greek, UJ).
Athanasopoulou, E. 2008. The Motif of Love in The Helen and The Alcestis of Euripides (D. Litt. et Phil., Greek, University of Jhb).

Current Post Graduate Students Enrolled: Seven MA students; Three Doctoral students

Subject Related Activities

1993-1994: Treasurer of the Classical Association of SA.
1994-2000: Treasurer of the Workgroup for the Teaching of Greek.
1993-2004: Chairperson of the subgroup, “General Literary Theory and General Linguistics” of the New Testament
Society of SA.
2002-2006: Executive secretary of the New Testament Society of SA (two terms).
1993-2004: Served on the editorial board of Neotestamentica (official journal of the NTSSA).
1993-2001: Editor in Chief of Lewende Woorde, journal promoting the sermon as art form.
2000-2009: Acts as external examinaner for Magisterial and Doctoral students of the University of Pretoria,
University of Natal, University of South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, and Potchefstroom University
(Now University of the Northwest). Acts as evaluater for various scientific journals.
2003-2009: Founder member and vice-chair of the New Reformation Network (a scholarly society aimed at the
reformation of Christian Theology).

Membership of Scholarly Societies

Member of the Classical Association of South Africa.
Member of the New Testament Society of South Africa.
Member of the Society for Patristic and Byzantine Studies of South Africa.
Member of the South African Society for General Literary Theory.
Member of the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion.
Vice President: New Reformation Network (2003-2008).

Visiting Scholars

Was instrumental in the visits of the following scholars to RAU: Proff. John Fitzgerald en Abe Malherbe (1996: Yale Divinity School), Prof Caroline Osiek (1997: Chicago, Catholic School of Theology), Prof. David Aune (Loyola) as well as Prof. John Fitzgerald (Yale) in 1999. Prof Heinrich von Staden (then Yale, now Princeton); Prof John Dominic Crossan (2002); Prof HFJ Horstsmanhoff (Leyden) in 2003; Prof Jos Verheyde (Leeuven) in 2003; Dr John Cairns (Queen’s chaplain, Edinburgh) in 2003; Prof Wentzel van Huyssteen (Princeton Theological Seminary), 2004. Prof John Fitzgerald (Miami) in 2006; Prof David Richerson (University of California) in 2006; Prof John Fitzgerald (University of Miami) in 2007; Dr John Shelby Spong (Newark) 2007; Prof John Fitzgerald (University of Miame, 2008).

External Examiner

Acts as external examiner for MA and Doctoral candidates for the Potchefstroom University, the University of Pretoria, UNISA, as well as the University of Stellenbosch.

Related Activities

Minister (part-time) in various congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church of Africa (Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk) from 1977 to 2002. Founded the first multicultural congregation of this church in Leondale, during 2000. Since 2004 minister in association of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of St Columba’s in Parkview. Chair of Christian Education Committee 2005-current.

Since 1984, takes part in religious and actuality programmes on radio (RSG and SAFM) and TV (SABC, CNW), inter alia, The Big Question, Carte Blance, Kompas, Kruis en Kroniek, en Oop Gesprek.

Community Service

Served on the Management Committees of various schools.
Served on the Management Committee of the JCE Music School 1995-1998.
Served as vice-chair of WARM (Local Residents’ Ratepayers Association) 1998-1999; 2004-2009.
Serves as secretary of the local Ward 69 Committee, and represents religious organisations (2001-2003).
Delivers papers on various popular scientific themes at study groups of church ministers and enthusiastic church members.


First recipient of a bursary from the Greek community in 1971 and 1972 (RAU).
Awarded the second prize in the annual CNW-Kerkbode competition for the best religious broadcast during 1998.
Co-receiver of the Andrew Murray award for CUM’s Bybellennium (2000).
Awarded the prize for the best student in Strategic Management (Entrepeneurship, 26 March 2001 at the Dept of Business Management, RAU).

Research Activities

National Conferences

Delivered 33 papers at national conferences since 1986 (Mainly Classical Association of SA, and New Test. Soc. of SA, but also Medieval Association of SA, Hellenism and Africa). On the 27th September 2002 I was invited to give a lecture at the Sol Plaatje Discourse Series (Aardklop Arts Festival) at the then University of Potchefstroom. (“The New Reformation”).

International Conferences

Delivered a paper at the international conference of the Society of Biblical Literature in Philadelphia in 1996.
Delivered a paper at the international conference, Orthodoxy in Africa, Johannesburg, 2001, as well as the international conference, “Orthodoxy: Facing the Social and Economic Problems of Africa. The Contribution of Monotheistic Religions to their Solutions.” (Johannesburg, 2005).
Attended the Sea of Faith conference at Liverpool, 25-27 July 2008.

Articles (Scientific)

The following articles appeared mainly in Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, Akroterion, S.A. Journal of Linguistics, Religious Studies Review, Neotestamentica, Hervormde Teologiese Studies, In die Skriflig, Acta Patristica et Byzantina, and Ekklesiastikos Pharos. Where my name appear in squared brackets, the article emanated from a dissertation of which I was the supervisor.

Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1982. Primêre Taalversteuring en die Onderrig van Klassieke Grieks. Akroterion 27/3&4:15-27.

1983. Towards the Interpretation of James 1:9-11. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 65:27-34.

1984. The Text and Translation of Hebrews 8:8. Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche vol. 75 1/2:139-144 [Quoted in the new Bauer Lexicon on the New Testament, under memphomai].

1984. Semiotiek en die Bestudering van die Nuwe Testament. S.A.V.A.L. Kongresreferate: 113-135.

1988. Aristoteles se Verlore Werk oor die Komedie. Middeleeuse Studies. (Publikasiereeks van die Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, C50:13-23.)

Landon, C.H. [& Wolmarans, J.L.P.] 1990. Concatenation in James 1:2-4. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 72:70-75. [Publikasie van M.A.-student).

Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1990. Imperativum pro optativo? Ekklesiastikos Pharos 72:7-10.

1990. Resensie van: Burger, C.W., Müller, B.A. & Smit, D.J. 1985. Riglyne vir die Eskatologiese Prediking. Kaapstad: N.G. Kerk-Uitgewers. Resensie verskyn in Hervormde Teologiese Studies 47/2:592-3.

1991. Making sense out of Suffering. James 1:2-4. Hervormde Teologiese Studies 47/4:1109-1121.

1991. The List of Names in Acts 1:13. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 73:21-26.

Jordaan, P.J. & Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1991. The Structure of James 2:1-13. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 73:36-43.

Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1992. The Tongue Guiding the Body: The Anthropological Presuppositions of James 2:1-13. Neotestamentica 26/2:523-530.

1992. The Art of Survival in the Epistle of James. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:86-88.

1992. Why the Gerasene Demoniac saw Jesus apo makrothen (Mark 5:6), Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:86-88,

& Landon, C.H. 1992. Towards a Holistic Model of Text Interpretation: a New Approach from Michael Lafarque. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:1-13.

& Smith, S.M. 1992. Factors Governing Text Reception: A Case Study of James 2:1-14. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:77-89.

& Nolte, S.P. 1992. The Interrelationship Between the Similes of the Horse and the Ship in James 3:3-4. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74/1:15-18.

& Taljaard, N.W. 1992. The Use of gar and the Chronology of Mark 5:6-10. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:73-76.

& Jordaan, P.J. 1992. The Meaning and Function of the Phrase Tês Doxes in James 2:1, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 74:93-97.

1993. Intertextuality in the Prologue to Acts, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 75:92-105.

1993. Ad Diognetum 3:3: A Study in Ambiguity. Acta Patristica 4:34-41.

& Smith, S.M. 1993. The Destination of Man According to James, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 75:106-119.

1993. Demons Making People Sick: De Morbo Sacro and Mark 5:1-20, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 75/2:44-54.

& Jordaan, P.J. 1993. James 2:2-4. Icon, Index or Symbol? Ekklesiastikos Pharos 75/2:31-34.

& Smith, S.M. 1993. Man in a State of Alienation: James 1:1. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 75/2:40-43.

& Nolte, S.P. 1993. The Tongue as a Fire (James 3:5-6), Acta Patristica 4:81-88.

1994. Who Asked Jesus to Leave the Territory of Gerasa (Mark 5:17)?, Neotestamentica 28/1:87-92.

1994. Structuralism, Semiotics and Sermons, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 76/1:16-24.

1994. Ho Theos Apeirastos estin Kakôn, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 76/1:65-67.

& J.W. Semmelink. 1994. Daniel Patte’s Semiotic Model Applied to James, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 76/1:31-47.

& J.D.N. van der Westhuizen. 1994. Rhetoric and Logic, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 76/1:58-64.

1994. Male and Female Sexual Imagery: James 1:14-15, 18. Acta Patristica 5:65-72.

1994. The Rhetoric and Logic of Romans 13:1-7. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 76/2:187-199.

1995. Language and Ideology or How Shouting can Change Things (Matthew 15:21-28), Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Taalkunde 28:141-254.

& Oliphant, A. 1995. Waiting Patiently for the Coming of the Lord (James 5:7-11), Ekklesiastikos Pharos, 77/1:44-53.

1995.Peter in the Gospel of John: A Study of Character, Ekklesiastikos Pharos, 77/2:24-29.

1995. Resente Navorsing oor die Jakobusbrief. Acta Patristica et Byzantina 6:180-191.

1996. & Van Zyl, S.M. 1996. Cosmic Dualism in the Epistle of James, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 72/1:34-42.

1996. Patterns of Thought in the Epistle of James, Ekklesiastikus Pharos 72/1:49-56.

& Jordaan, P.J. 1996. A Semiotic Reading Strategy: Text and Ideology, Ekklesiastikus Pharos 72/1:63-74.

1996. Asclepius of Epidaurus and Jesus of Nazareth, Acta Patristica et Byzantina, 7:117-125.

1996. The Art of Survival in the Epistle of James, The Semiotics of Political Transition, (Port Elizabeth: Vista Universiteit), pp. 422-430.

& J.J.J. v. Rensburg. 1997. Die Argumentatiewe Funksie van Jakobus 1:9-11. In die Skriflig. 31/3:283-290.

1997. An Experiment in Post-Modernist Preaching: 1 Kings 3:16-28. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 79/1:28-35.

[& Jordaan, P.J.]. 1997. The Inscriptio Colossians 1:1-2. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 79/1:62-69.

1997. Jesus the Cynic. Acta Patristica et Byzantina 8:95-107.

1998. The Wedding Feast as Allegory: Matthew 22:1-14. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 80/1:13-20.

1998. 1 Corinthians 15: The Argument. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 80/1:28-38.

[& Jordaan, P.J.] 1998. The Function of the Household Code in Colossians 3:18-4:1. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 80/1:39-46.

& Van Zyl, S.M.] 1998. Intertextuality: Restrictive Tool or Opening up Endless Possibilities? Ekklesiastikos Pharos 80/1:47-55.

Van Staden, P.J. & [Wolmarans, J.L.P.]. 1998. Jesus and Asklepios. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 80/1:84-111.

1999. Organisational Behaviour in the Didache. Acta Patristica 10:177-189.

1999. Texts Make Strange Bedfellows: The Case of James and Calvin and Hobbes. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:45-63.

[& Botha, D. vd. M.)1999. Eve and Pandora. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:1-11.

[& Van Zyl, S.M.) 1999. Intergesis: Reading James from a Post-modern Perspective. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:64-73.

[& Jordaan, P.J.) 1999. The Pragmatics of Greeting: A Note on Colossians 4:7-18. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:74-78

2000. Mythological Argumentation: Acts 2:14-42. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:19-28.

[& Jordaan, PJ.]. 2000. The Macro-Structure of Colossians. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:44-49.

[& Oliphant, A.] 2000. Enduring Suffering. A Look at 1 Peter 4:12-19. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:62-71.

[& Van Zyl, SM]. 2000. The Theory of Intertextuality. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/1:72-86.

[& Doyle, A.] 2000. Marital Relationships in the Trachiniae and the Medea. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/2:87-113.

2000. Harry Potter: Christian Hero or Demonic Satanist? Ekklesiastikos Pharos 81/2:254-263.

[& Katramadou, Z.] 2001. The Analysis and Teaching of Gender in Greek Nouns. South African Association for Language Teachingk Journal for Language Teaching 35/4:307-326.

[& Jordaan, PJ.] 2001. Virtues and Vices in Colossians 2 and 3. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 82/1:92-96.

[& Van Zyl, SM.] 2001. Rereading James 4:11-12. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 82/1:112-113.

2001. Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis: Some Remarks in the Light of James 2:14-26, Ekklesiastikos Pharos 82/2:253-261.

67. Katramadou, Z & [Wolmarans, JLP]. 2001. Gender in Greek Nouns. SAVTO Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig / SAALT Journal for language Teaching 35/4

2002. The Limits of Discourse Analysis: John 21:15-19. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 85/1.

& Doyle, A. 2002. Dysfunctions in the Family: Reading Mark 6:14-29 Anew. Ekklesiastikos Pharos 85/1.

Wolmarans, JLP. 2003. Head-coverings for Women: The Circumstances and Logic of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Ekklesiastikos Pharos , vol. 84.

Jordaan, PJ & Wolmarans, JLP. 2003. Preaching Modern Theology: An Experimental Sermon on 1 John 4:7-21. Ekklesiastikos Pharos, vol. 84.

2004. A Millennium Experiment in Bible Translation: Matthew 1:18-25. Ekklesiastikos Pharos vol. 85:206-214.

De Wet, C.L. [& Wolmarans, J.L.P.]. 2004. A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis of Paul’s Refutatio in 1 Corinthians 15:35-49. Ekklesiastikos Pharos vol 85:215-224.

Wolmarans, JLP. 2005. In Dialogue with The Da Vinci Code. Ekklesiastikos Pharos (B) New Series 16, Volume 87:178-190.

2005. The semiotics of the ritual meal in the Didache. Acta Patristica et Byzantina (B), Volume 16:308-324.

2006. James 1:19-27: The Hidden Message. Ekklesiastikos Pharos vol. 88.

2006. Misogyny as a Meme: The Legacy of James 1:12-18. Acta Patristica et Byzantina, vol 17.

2007. Biblical Principles of Church and Ministry. Ekklesiastikos Pharos vol. 87 (N.S. 18), pp. 148-163.

2007. The Protestant Churches and the Great Problems of Africa. In Orthodoxy and the Great Social and Economic Problems of Africa. The Contribution of the Great Monotheistic Religions to their Solution. International Conference of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy. Athens: Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, pp. 63-66 Conference Proceedings.

2008. Narrative Perspective in Acts 4:23-31. Ekklesiastikos Pharos, 90:176-100.

Scientific Books

Van Rensburg, J.F.J. & Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1987. Van Lessenaar na Preekstoel. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters .
Wolmarans, J.L.P. & Windell, J.H. 1988. Euripides Alkestis: ‘n Moderne Vertaling. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1988. Die Bybel as die Onfeilbare Woord van God. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1988. Die Uitleg en Toepassing van Romeine 13:1-7. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1991. Biblical Anthropology. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 1991. The Origin and Function of the Sacraments. Johannesburg: Woordmeesters.
Vosloo, W. & Van Rensburg, FJ (Reds), 1999. Die Bybellennium Eenvolumekommentaar. Vereeniging: CUM. Wolmarans, JLP behartig die kommentare op 1 Korintiërs (pp. 1492-1525), Hebreërs (pp. 1677-1703) en Jakobus (pp. 1704-1712).


Cronjé, J., Oliver, W., Swart, G., Van Rensburg, F.J., Wolmarans, J.L.P. 19954. Grieks met Begrip. Potchefstroom: P.U. vir C.H.O. Sentrale Publikasies.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 2000. Classical Mythology in Context. Johannesburg: Dept. of Greek & Latin Studies, RAU.

Chapters in Books

Wolmarans, J.L.P. 2002. Die Nuwe Hervorming. In Müller, P. (Ed.). Die Nuwe Hervorming. Pretoria: Protea Boekehuis, pp. 63-66.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 2002. Jesus, die Heroïese Patroon, en Ons. In Müller, P. (Ed.). Die Nuwe Hervorming. Pretoria: Protea Boekehuis, pp. 196-224.
Wolmarans, J.L.P. 2008. Die Libido in die Brief van Jakobus. In Nortjé-Meyer, L. (Ed.). KykWeer! Gender-kritiese kommentaar op geselkteerde bybelse tekste. Singapore: Tien Wah Press.

Popular Scientific

More than 190 articles appeared since 1978 in various magazines and newspapers, e.g. Die Hervormer, Beeld, and, especially, Lewende Woorde.