Original Research

Paul Kruger – ’n ‘Dopper’ van sy tyd?

Piet J. Strauss
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2565 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2565 | © 2020 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 November 2019 | Published: 01 June 2020

About the author(s)

Piet J. Strauss, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Paul Kruger, who was the president of the South African Republic (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic [ZAR]) from 1883 until 1900, was a symbol of Boerrepublicanism in the 19th century. In the development of this image, he also became an honoured prototype of an Afrikaner for his fellowmen. Kruger was born and bred in the North Eastern Cape as a member of that element of Afrikaners which became known as the ‘Doppers’. They were a group of people from which many, after 1859, became members of the newly found Reformed Churches in South Africa. They based their tenets of faith on the State Translation of the Bible published in 1637 in the Netherlands. The ‘Doppers’ were known as conservative people in their faith, in the customs organised in their church and in their approach of life. They were known for their believe that God should be honoured through life as a whole, that everything in church and in life should be based on Scripture and that theological liberalism was unacceptable in church and theology. They clothed in a simple and peculiar way. In their obedience to God, they were strict in the interpretation of the commands of God they deemed to be biblical. Kruger, as the state president of the ZAR, remained true to his church, but also kept up with new developments in society. He had a reasonable and modernised influence on his church.


Simbool van Boererepublikanisme; Dopper gebore en getoë; Beginsels van Gods Woord vir alles; Lewe bekyk deur bril van Woord; Veelsydige ‘Dopper’ en staatshoof; ‘Dopper’moraal.


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