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About UP

Prof J.P. Louw

(1932 - )

Prof Johannes Petrus Louw was waarnemende Dekaan van die Universiteit van Pretoria se Fakulteit Lettere en Wysbegeerte.Hy was ook van 1973 tot sy aftrede in 1992 hoof van UP se Departement Grieks. ‘n Ontmoeting met die beroemde klassikus, Prof Eugene Nida, van die Verenigde State van Amerika (VSA) in die vroeë sewentigerjare lei tot die aanpak van sy grootsteakademiese werk – enig van sy soort en van onskatbare waarde vir Griekse Nuwe Testamentiese studies – naamlik die leksikografies-georiënteerde Grieks-Engelse woordeboek oor die Nuwe Testament. In 1953 voltooi Prof Louw sy BA-graad (cumlaude) en twee jaar later sy MA-graad in Grieks (cum laude). Kort hierna is hy aangestel as lektor aan die destydse Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat. Intussen het hy sy studies voortgesit en in 1959 verwerf hy sy DLitt-graad aan UP. Van 1960 tot 1961beklee hy ‘n navorsingspos aan die Universiteit van Utrecht in Nederland onder die groot taalkundiges van dié tyd, Prof De Groot en Prof Gonda, wat sy belangstelling in taalkunde verder stimuleer. Gedurende systudietyd in Nederland fokus hy veral op die semantiek van die perfektumsisteem in Grieks en bestudeer ook moderne Grieks, Sanskrit en algemene taalwetenskap. Benewens sytalle wetenskaplike publikasies, waarvan baie ‘n groot invloed uitgeoefen het op die studie van die Nuwe Testament, het Prof Louw ook in die laaste dekade van sy akademiesewerksaamhede talle pryse ontvang vir sy navorsing, insluitende die Bill Venter-prys vir die beste publikasie aan ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse universiteit in 1989, die Pieter van Drimmelen Goue-medalje van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, die Claude Harris Leon, die Percy Fox Stigting se Prestasietoekenning en drie eredoktorsgrade van onder meerUP, die Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys en die Universiteit van
die Oranje-Vrystaat. Prof Louw het ook op verskeie rade en komitees gedien, insluitendedie Klassieke Vereniging van Suid-Afrika, die Suid-Afrikaanse Vereniging vir Patristiese en Bisantynse Studies en die Linguistevereniging van Suider-Afrika. Hy was redakteur van die internasionale tydskrif Estudios de Filologia Neotestamentica, konsultant vir die Nuwe Afrikaanse Vertaling, Direkteur van dieSentrum vir Intertale Kommunikasie en konsultant vir die hersiening van die Goeie Nuus Bybel (American Bible Society).

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Prof Johannes Petrus Louw was acting dean of the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. He was also headof UP’s Department of Greek from 1973 until his retirement in 1992. A meeting with the famous classical scholar, Prof Eugene Nida, of the United States of America (USA) in the early seventies led to him tackling his greatest academic work – unique and of immeasurable value for Greek New Testament studies – namely the lexicographically-oriented Greek-English dictionary of the New Testament. In 1953, Prof Louw completed his BA degree (cum laude) and two years later his MA degree in Greek(cum laude). Shortly afterwards, he was appointed as a lecturer at the University of the Orange Free State. In the interim, he continued his studies, and in 1959, obtained his DLitt degree from UP. From 1960 to 1961, he occupied a research position atthe University of Utrecht in The Netherlands under the great linguists of that time, Prof De Groot and Prof Gonda, who further stimulated his interest in linguistics. While studying in The Netherlands, he focused particularly on the semantics of the perfectumsystem in Greek and also studied Modern Greek, Sanskrit and general linguistics. In addition to his many scientific publications, many of which had exerted a great influence on the study of the New Testament, Prof Louw also received many prizes for hisresearch in the last decade of his academic activity, including the Bill Venter Prize for the best publication at a South African
university in 1989, the Pieter van Drimmelen gold medal of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, the ClaudeHarris Leon Foundation Prize, the Achievement Award of the Percy Fox Foundation and three honorary doctorates from UP, the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and the University of the Orange Free State. Prof Louw also served onvarious boards and committees, including the Classical Association of South Africa, the South African Association for Patrician and Byzantine Studies and the Linguist Association of Southern Africa. He was editor of the international journal Estudios deFilologia Neotestamentica, consultant for the New Afrikaans Translation of the Bible, Director of the Centre for Inter-language
Communication and consultant for the revision of the Good News Bible (American Bible Society).