Prof Fika J van Rensburg was born 12 September, 1951 in Frankfort (Free State Province). He grew up on a farm in the Standerton District and went to school at Val Primary School (District Standerton), and Standerton High School, after having completed std 6 at Eshowe High School in KZN. He is married to Sunette (Nel), and they have three children (all three married) and three grandchildren.
Prof Fika specialises in New Testament Hermeneutics in which he has a doctorate and New Testament Greek, in which he has a master’s degree.
After being chairperson of the SRC of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) (1973-1974), he assumed the post as lecturer in Greek at the PU for CHE (1973-1980). For 2½ years he was the pastor of the Reformed Church Frankfort (1981-1983). Since July 1983 he has been a professor in New Testament at the North-West University (NWU), as well as the Theological School Potchefstroom. For five years he has been Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the NWU (2010-2014), and for 2015 he served as the Vice-Rector Research and Planning, and for 2016 as Rector of the Potchefstroom Campus. From July 2017 he is the Vice-Principal of the NWU and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Potchefstroom Campus.
He is editor and co-author of seven comprehensive resources for the understanding of the Bible, inter alia Die Bybel in Praktyk [An Afrikaans Study Bible] (1993); Die Bybellennium. ‘n Eenvolume kommentaar op die Bybel [A one volume commentary on the Bible] (1999 and 2009), having been awarded the Andrew Murray Prize in 2000 and received the CBSA-Prize as the best publication of 2000; Die Multivertaling Bybel [The Multi Version Bible] (2004), having been awarded the CBSA-Prize as the best publication of 2004; Die Nuwe Lewende Vertaling (2006) [The New Living Translation in Afrikaans]; , and the Interliniêre Grieks-Afrikaanse Nuwe Testament [Interlinear Greek-Afrikaans New Testament] (2012).
He has published 62 scholarly articles, as well as numerous articles of a more popular nature. To this day 21 Masters Students and 17 Doctoral Students have completed their studies under his guidance, with several more registered at present.
Besides the Andrew Murray Prize that was awarded to two publications (Die Bybellennium and Die Bybel A tot Z), he was also awarded the Rev. Pieter van Drimmelen Medal by the South African Academy of Arts and Science in September 1999 for his contribution to Bible translation and theological textbooks.
For the term 1995-2000 he was the President for the New Testament Society of South Africa (NTSSA). He was elected in 1999 by the Committee for University Principals as the representative for all the South African Universities on the government’s National Standards Body (SAQA) for Human and Social Studies.
In 2007 he, together with Prof John T Fitzgerald from the Notre Dame University in Chicago started a new wide ranging international research project: Early Christianity and the Economy in Antiquity: Implications for present day societies. This project engages researchers from Europe and the USA and has since been a ”Program Unit” of the Society of Biblical Literature, a scholarly society based in the USA.
Prof Fika deems it his task and calling to apply his expertise in training ministers, interpret and apply the Bible for our time, empower persons for independent interpretation of the Bible, and develop and publish resources for the interpretation of the Bible. For the past couple of years, however, his focus has shifted to the management of the NWU, having served as Dean, as Vice-Rector Research and Planning, as Rector and now as Vice-Principal of the NWU and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Potchefstroom Campus.