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Theological Seminary

Paul Friedrich Detlev Weiss

Detlev Weiss
1907 - 1999

Author of Theological works
Professor for Semitic Languages
at Stellenbosch University, 1948 - 1962

Paul Friedrich Detlev Weiss was born on 22 October 1907 at Standerton, where he grew up and attended school (1913-1925). His parents were Karl Eugen Weiss and Anna Magdalena Winter.
He participated in rugby (forward for First Team) and swimming (champion in 50m and 100m).
He studied at Stellenbosch University: BA, cum laude (1928), majored in Psychology and Social Sciences, MA in Psychology, cum laude (1930) and BD (1933). Then he continued his studies at the Theological Seminary in Stellenbosch: Final examination for the Ministry cum laude (1933)
and the University of Pretoria: MA in Semitic Languages, cum laude (1943) and D Litt cum laude (1954).

Ecclesiastical positions: 1934-1947

Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) (Pretoria East and Hartbeesspruit, Pretoria)
Served in Presbytery and Synodical Commissions, especially those related to mission work
Chairman of the Commissions of the mission hospitals of
Philadelphia, Groothoek and George Stegmann
Scribe of the Presbytery of Pretoria
Chairman of the Presbytery of Pretoria
Editor of the Presbytery journal Die Herder
Member of Board of Management of Sonop Men's Hostel, Pretoria
Secretary-Treasurer of Manne-Sendingbond of Transvaal
Representative for Transvaal in the Admission Examination Commission of the Cape DRC
Academic Positions:
University of Pretoria:
Temporary lecturer in Hebrew, Syrian and Antique Cultural History (1945-1947)
Acting head of Department of Semitic Languages (1945)
External examiner for doctoral students of the DRC in Semitic Languages and Old Testament
Stellenbosch University:
Founder of Faculty and Professor in Semitic Languages (1948-1962)
Lectured in Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian, Arabic, Accadian, Ugaritic, Sumerian, Egyptian and Coptic, Biblical Geography, Biblical History, Biblical Archaeology and the history and literature of the Middle East
University of South Africa:
Compiled lectures on Ecclesiastical History
External examiner in Ugaritic
Served on panel for appointments
University of the Free State: External Examiner
University of Cape Town: External Examiner in Hebrew
Rand Afrikaans University: External Examiner, Arabic and Hebrew
University of Port Elizabeth: External Examiner, Arabic and Hebrew
Transvaal Department of Education: Principal examiner for Hebrew (1973-1989)

Other Positions:
Stellenbosch University: Visiting Professor and later resident house master at Helderberg Men's Hostel
Africa Institute: Director (1962-1970)
SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns: Chairman (1961-1963)
University College of Fort Hare: Chairman of the Board (19.. - 1969)
South African Broadcasting Corporation: Chairman of the Board (1969-1973)
National Film Board: Chairman (19.. - 1970)
HSRC Advisory Committee on Africa: Member (19 .. - 1973)
South African Government: Research on Middle Eastern and Islamic matters (1974-1987)

Membership of Organisations:
Founder member of the Christelike Kultuuraksie
Honorary member, Translator's Institute
Life member, Simon van der Stel Foundation
Chairman of SABRA (SA Bureau for Racial Matters) till 1969, thereafter lifelong Honorary Chairman
Chairman and honorary member, Afrikaanse Kultuurraad van Pretoria
Chairman, Afrikaanse Musiekklub van Pretoria
Member Genootskap Oud-Pretoria
Member of the Executive, Foundation Netherland-South Africa
Member of the Executive, Afrikaans-Duitse Kultuurunie (Afrikaans-German Cultural Union) ( - 1969)

Other Activities:

Member of Orchestra, Stellenbosch Conservatory of Music, for 23 years and Principal viola player, Pretoria Symphonic Orchestra (Pretoria Technikon), for 15 years

Paul Friedrich Detlev was married to Hymne Naudé. They had three daughters (Ode Krige).


15 Publications, various articles and book reviews, published in various journals, including:
Editorial Contributions:
Bybel met Verklarende Aantekeninge (Reference Bible in Afrikaans)
Founder of project and Chairman of the Editorial Committee
Bybelse Ensiklopedie in Afrikaans (Biblical Encyclopaedia in Afrikaans)
Founder of project, editor of Old Testament sections
Revision of Afrikaanse Bybelvertaling (Translation of Bible into Afrikaans)
Member (1961 - 1979)
Books and contributions to books:

Jubileumgedenkboek van die Ned Herv of eref Kerk van Suid-Afrika 1842-1942 (1942)
Christelike Blydskap. Sermon in Eeufees Preekbundel (1842-1942) (1942)
Die begin van ons sendingwerk. Chapter in Wonderdade van God. (1942)
Die Teofore Geografiese Name van die Ou Testament (1949)
Die Land van Belofte (co-author) (1957)
Nasionalisme en Kommunisme in Afrika (no date)
Various translations, including:
Uit my jong dae by Albert Schweitzer (In collaboration with Hymne Weiss) (1957)
"n Pelikaan Vertel by Albert Schweitzer (In collaboration with Hymne Weiss) (1957)
Niks sal my ontbreek nie. (1970)

Text by Milde Barnard-Weiss

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