Pray for faithful engagement with OT in Egypt
Langham Scholar Rania Hendy, from Egypt, is pursuing a PhD in Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in the US. She seeks to revive interest in, and faithful engagement with, the Old Testament across the Middle East. For the Church in Egypt, the Old Testament can be a challenging text, in which Egypt is often portrayed as the oppressor. Rania hopes to show how the Old Testament can serve as a liberating and empowering resource for Egyptian Christians, who face marginalisation in society.
Prior to her studies, Rania served in Cairo as Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at the Evangelical Theological Seminary. Rania and her husband Sameh have a son, Andy, who is attending college in the US.
“Through my research and studies, I have come to understand how Egyptian Christians may inadvertently contribute to the injustice of our people by interpreting the Bible in ways that have greatly hindered a number of human rights and liberation movements throughout Egypt’s history. This has led to my dissertation topic: “Towards a Formation of a Hybrid Identity: A Comparative Analysis of the ‘Oracles Concerning Egypt’ in the Major Prophets.”
My dissertation will analyse the “Oracles concerning Egypt” in the Major Prophets, connecting Israel’s exilic situation to the current circumstances and context of Egyptian Christians. It will consider the adoption of a “hybrid identity” that can hold on to both our Egyptian “religious” and “political” identities, so that contemporary Egyptian Christians can identify themselves as the oppressed, even as we also accept self-criticism as the oppressor.
Recognise the riches
Given the relative neglect of the Old Testament in Middle Eastern congregations, my vision as an Old Testament professor is to help future pastors and lay leaders to recognise the riches and resources of the Old Testament. In addition, I want to help the Church reach out to those who have difficulties with the Old Testament and the God it portrays. I hope to help them comprehend how in Jesus Christ we are, in the fullest sense, looking at the heart of the God of the Old Testament.
I also hope to advance the quality of Biblical scholarship in the wider Arab World. I hope to do that through publishing contextualised academic materials presented from the context and experience of the marginalised, since many existing resources are from the perspective of those espousing inherited and imported interpretations. These materials will target faculty and seminary students, as well as support the spiritual and intellectual formation of church leaders.
1) I am in the first phase of my PhD studies. Please pray for strength and wisdom to handle all my coursework requirements.
2) I have one son who is currently studying at a university in the US. Please pray that he would be able to adjust quickly to the different education system, and that his time in the States would be a great opportunity for him to deepen his relationship with God.
3) Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t leave Egypt and come with me due to his job obligations. Without his support and sacrificial love, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I would like to ask for a special prayer for him as he stays by himself back home.Asbury Theological Seminary, Egypt, Langham Scholars, Scholars