- BA, University of London
- Th.M. Harvard University Divinity School
- M.A. Harvard University
- PhD, Harvard University
Temba (Themba) Mafico is Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; former Vice President of Academic Services/Provost; ordained minister of the United Church of Christ with long pastoral ministry and administrative skills in rural development and education. He has competency in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, ancient biblical languages, Theology of the Old Testament, history and religions of the ancient Near East and African traditional religions. His special area of expertise in word study and in a comparative study of the Old Testament and African Tradition. In his major publication, The Emergence of Yahweh Elohim as “Judge” Among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Špt, Dr. Mafico has unveiled the multifarious meanings of an enigmatic Semitic root špt with its derivatives, erroneous translated “judge” in Bible versions.
Dr. Mafico’s current literary projects include (tentative titles): “The Divine Call in a New Light.” In this book Dr. Mafico is adding several elements that are missing in the books published on the call so far. In “The Old Testament and African Tradition” he, in part, argues that bible scholars should no longer solely depend on the textual evidence from Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt for the reconstruction of the history and religion of Israel. They should also pay attention to African myths and religiotraditions of the indigenous people south of the Sahara. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition. The book, “This is my Story: An Autobiography of Themba Mafico” traces the impact of the American Board missionary work in Gazaland and its contribution to African liberation from white colonial rule. Below are some of his publications.
“Judge,” “Judging”; “Just,” “Justice” and “Ethics of the Old Testament,” in Anchor Bible Dictionary, “Patriarchs,” in the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4; “Book of Judges,” in The International Bible Commentary. “Book of Joshua,” in The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. He has also contributed chapters in books and articles in local and international journals (The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, and The Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages.
Dr. Mafico has been a visiting scholar in several institutions including: University of Zimbabwe, Duke University Divinity School; Harvard University Divinity School; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Andover-Newton School of Theology; Mellon Scholar-in-Residence at Stillman College; served as adjunct professor at Morehouse College, Emory University: Candler School of Theology.
International Pilgrimage Leader
Since 1994, Dr. Mafico has led student groups, church pastors and laity to the Holy Lands (Israel and Palestine), South Africa, Zimbabwe, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. The goal of the pilgrimages is to immerse participants in intercultural exposure and to guide them on the impact of detachment, rest and reflection in promoting good health and deeper spirituality. For details, visit www.mafcoinstitute.com.