History

[Image: OTWSA 1999]

The OTSSA conference in 1999. / Die OTWSA-konferensie in 1999.

The OTSSA was established in 1957 by professors and senior lecturers who were responsible for teaching Old Testament and/or Semitic languages at South African universities. It was decided that conferences will be held annually and that papers read at these conferences will be published under the aegis of the OTSSA. For the first thirty years the papers were published as conference proceedings and had the heading OTWSA/OTSSA, the date, and the theme of the conference on the title page (e.g. OTWSA/OTSSA 27 [1984] Studies in the Succession Narrative). These publications soon found their way to overseas colleagues and libraries. The executive also set itself the task of inviting distinguished overseas scholars to read papers at these conferences. This contributed to the establishment of good relations with overseas colleagues. Since 1988 the journal Old Testament Essays (New Series) took over the task of publishing the conference papers. The journal was initially established by colleagues at the University of South Africa but in 1988 it became the journal of the OTSSA and now reflects the kind of research which is done at South African universities.

The society was relatively small at the beginning (consisting of not more than twenty members) but it soon grew and these days the membership runs into three digits. The OTSSA currently has a membership of almost two hundred. The growth in membership can, inter alia, be attributed to scholars from the rest of Africa now joining the society and attending the conferences.

Previous chairs of the OTSSA:

  • Ferdinand Deist: 1986-1992
  • Willem Prinsloo: 1992-1997
  • Herrie van Rooy: 1997-2004
  • Jurie le Roux: 2004-2013
  • Sakkie Spangenberg: 2013-2016

Between 1957 and 1986 two General Secretaries guided the activities of the OTSSA. They were Prof AH van Zyl and Prof WC van Wyk.


Geskiedenis

The last four Chairs of the OTSSA, photographed in Stellenbosch at the IOSOT Conference in 2016 / Die mees onlangse vier voorsitters van die OTWSA, afgeneem tydens die 2016 IOSOT-kongres in Stellenbosch.   V.l.nr/F.l.t.r: Willem Boshoff (2016-), Izak Spangenberg (2013-2016), Jurie le Roux (2004-2013), Herrie van Rooy (1997-2004).

The last four Chairs of the OTSSA, photographed in Stellenbosch at the IOSOT Conference in 2016 / Die mees onlangse vier voorsitters van die OTWSA, afgeneem tydens die 2016 IOSOT-kongres in Stellenbosch.
V.l.nr/F.l.t.r: Willem Boshoff (2016-), Izak Spangenberg (2013-2016), Jurie le Roux (2004-2013), Herrie van Rooy (1997-2004).

Die OTWSA is in 1957 gestig deur professore en senior lektore wat by die dosering van die vak Ou Testament en/of Semitiese Tale aan Suid-Afrikaanse Universiteite betrokke was. Daar is besluit om jaarliks ’n kongres te hou en om die referate wat gelewer is onder die vaandel van die OTWSA te publiseer.  Vir die eerste dertig jaar is die referate as kongresverrigtinge gepubliseer en dit het die titel OTWSA/OTSSA, die datum, en die tema van die kongres op die titelbladsy gehad (b.v. OTWSA/OTSSA 27 [1984] Studies in the Succession Narrative). Hierdie publikasies het gou hul weg gevind na oorsese kollegas en biblioteke. Die bestuur het hulself ook die taak opgelê om vooraanstaande oorsese Ou-Testamentici te nooi om referate te kom lewer. Dit het bygedra tot die daarstel van goeie ’n verhouding met oorsese kollegas. Sedert 1988 word van die referate in die tydskrif Old Testament Essays (New Series) gepubliseer. Hierdie tydskrif wat aanvanklik deur kollegas aan die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika begin is, is in 1988 deur die OTWSA oorgeneem en het nou die toonvenster geword van navorsing wat aan Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite gedoen word.

Die werkgemeenskap was relatief klein aan die begin (nie meer as twintig lede nie), maar die lidmaatskap het oor die jare aangegroei tot ’n drie syfergetal. Die OTWSA is tans byna tweehonderd lede sterk. Hierdie groei in ledetal hou onder andere verband met kollegas uit die res van Afrika wat deesdae by die werkgemeenskap aansluit en van die kongresse bywoon.

Voormalige voorsitters van die OTWSA:

  • Ferdinand Deist: 1986-1992
  • Willem Prinsloo: 1992-1997
  • Herrie van Rooy: 1997-2004
  • Jurie le Roux: 2004-2013
  • Sakkie Spangenberg: 2013-2016

Tussen 1957 en 1986 het twee Algemene Sekretarisse die werk van die OTWSA gelei. Hulle was Prof AH van Zyl en prof WC van Wyk.