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The Spirit World in the Letters of Paul the Apostle: A Critical Examination of the Role of Spiritual Beings in the Authentic Pauline Epistles
 9783666530951, 9783525530955, 9783647530956

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© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Herausgegeben von Jan Christian Gertz, Dietrich-Alex Koch, Matthias Köckert, Hermut Löhr, Steven McKenzie, Joachim Schaper und Christopher Tuckett

Band 231

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

Guy Williams

The Spirit World in the Letters of Paul the Apostle A Critical Examination of the Role of Spiritual Beings in the Authentic Pauline Epistles

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über http://dnb.d-nb.de abrufbar. ISBN 978-3-525-53095-5

© 2009, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen. Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Das Werk und seine Teile sind urheberrechtlich geschützt. Jede Verwertung in anderen als den gesetzlich zugelassenen Fällen bedarf der vorherigen schriftlichen Einwilligung des Verlages. Hinweis zu § 52a UrhG: Weder das Werk noch seine Teile dürfen ohne vorherige schriftliche Einwilligung des Verlages öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden. Dies gilt auch bei einer entsprechenden Nutzung für Lehr- und Unterrichtszwecke. Printed in Germany. Druck und Bindung: b Hubert & Co, Göttingen Gedruckt auf alterungsbeständigem Papier.

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

Contents

Part One: Interpreting the Spirit World 1. Introduction....................................................................................... 1.1 A Neglected Topic ................................................................. 1.2 What is the ‘Spirit World’?.................................................... 1.3 Methods and Assumptions ..................................................... 1.4 Outline of the Analysis ..........................................................

13 13 14 15 16

2. The Spirit and the Spirit World.........................................................

19

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

The Spirit and the Spirits ....................................................... Doctrines of the Spirit in Judaism.......................................... Paul’s pneuÍma Terminology................................................... A Sign of Salvation and a Supernatural Force....................... Interpreting Spirit ...................................................................

19 20 23 26 29

3. A History of Research.......................................................................

31

3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

Defining the Topic ................................................................. Early Research: The History of Religion School................... World War, Politics, and the Theology of Power .................. Denials and Criticisms of the Spirit World in Modern Research ................................................................................. Renewed Historical Interest in the Spirit World.................... Overview and Conclusion......................................................

43 50 54

4. Early Perceptions of Paul and the Spirit World ................................

57

3.5 3.6

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5

An Old Perspective on Paul ................................................... The Deutero–Pauline and Pastoral Epistles ........................... The Legendary Figure ............................................................ The Heavenly Traveller ......................................................... The Contested Spirit World: Marcion and his Opponents.....

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31 32 39

57 57 60 63 65

6

Contents

4.6 4.7

The Revealer of the Archons ................................................. The Resonance of Paul’s Spirit World Sayings in the Early Church .................................................................................... Early Perceptions and the Problem of Interpretation .............

70

5. Formulating an Approach .................................................................

77

4.8

73 74

Part Two: Angelology and Demonology 6. Analysing Angels and Demons.........................................................

83

7. Satan..................................................................................................

87

7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4

Contextualising Paul’s Satan ................................................. 87 Jewish Views on Satan and Other Evil Figures ..................... 88 Satan in Paul’s Letters............................................................ 92 Satan’s Significance ............................................................... 100

Excursus I: An Angel of Satan................................................................ 105 8. Angels ............................................................................................... 111 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4

Paul and Angelology.............................................................. Recent Developments in the Study of Angels ....................... Angels in Paul’s Letters ......................................................... Assessing the Angels .............................................................

111 112 115 124

9. Rulers, Authorities, Powers .............................................................. 127 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4

The Problem with the Powers ................................................ Rulers, Authorities, and Powers in Ancient Judaism............. Rulers, Authorities, and Powers in Paul’s Letters ................. The Powers in Perspective .....................................................

127 128 132 139

10. Demons ............................................................................................. 10.1 Difficulties with Demons in Current Scholarship.................. 10.2 Idols and Demons in Judaism ................................................ 10.3 The Demons in Paul’s Letters (1Cor 10.20–21) ....................

141 141 142 145

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Contents

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10.4 Paul’s View of Demons ......................................................... 148 10.5 The Demons in Context ......................................................... 149 Excursus II: Gods and Lords................................................................... 153 11. The Elements of the World ............................................................... 157 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5

The Problem of the Elements................................................. Initial Survey: Galatians and Colossians ............................... Magical Texts: The Elements as Astral Spirits? .................... Demonic Materiality in the Second Century ......................... Reconstructing Paul’s Meaning: Material Power? ................

157 158 162 165 169

Excursus III: Sin and Death .................................................................... 173 12. The Role of Angels and Demons ...................................................... 12.1 Assessing the Evidence .......................................................... 12.2 Finding a Pattern .................................................................... 12.3 Conclusion to Part Two..........................................................

177 177 180 183

Part Three: The Integration of Spirits in Pauline Themes 13. Tracing Connections ......................................................................... 187 14. The Spirit World and Christology..................................................... 189 15. Angels and Christology..................................................................... 191 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5

Connecting with Angels......................................................... Chief Angels in Judaism and Christianity ............................. Angelology and the Functions of Christ in Paul’s Letters..... Angelology and the Attributes of Christ in Paul’s Letters..... Paul, Angels, and Christology: Links in Tradition and Culture....................................................................................

191 192 194 198 203

16. Possession and the Spirit of Christ.................................................... 205 16.1 Paul as Possessed? ................................................................. 205

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Contents

16.2 Benevolent Possession and Spiritual Embodiment in Judaism................................................................................... 16.3 Defining ‘Possession’ ............................................................ 16.4 Possession by Christ in Paul’s Letters ................................... 16.5 Vehicles of the Spirit: Human Agents in the Letters of Paul.

206 209 210 216

Excursus IV: The Power of the Lord Jesus............................................. 219 17. The Spirit World and Christology (Conclusion)............................... 221 18. The Spirit World and Soteriology..................................................... 225 19. The Spirit World in Paul’s Soteriological Narrative......................... 227 19.1 Differing Forms of Salvation ................................................. 19.2 Ancient Jewish Soteriological Traditions .............................. 19.3 Paul’s Narrative: Crucifying the Lord of Glory (1Cor 2.6–8) ........................................................................... 19.4 Stripping off the Rulers and Authorities (Col 2.15) .............. 19.5 The Hymn in Philippians 2.6–11 ........................................... 19.6 Christ as the Conqueror of Spirits..........................................

227 229 232 240 243 246

Excursus V: “No Eye Has Seen …” (1Cor 2.9)...................................... 249 20. Healings and Exorcisms.................................................................... 20.1 Miracles on the Margins ........................................................ 20.2 Healings and Exorcisms in Judaism....................................... 20.3 Healings and Exorcisms in Paul’s Letters.............................. 20.4 Paul’s Power in Acts .............................................................. 20.5 The Spirits and Immediate Salvation .....................................

251 251 252 257 261 264

21. The Spirit World and Soteriology (Conclusion)............................... 265 22. The Spirit World and the Community .............................................. 267 23. The Presence and Problem of the Angels (1Cor 11.10) ................... 269 23.1 The Problem in Corinth.......................................................... 269 23.2 Spirits and Sexuality in Judaism ............................................ 270

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Contents

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23.3 “Because of the Angels” – the Pauline Text .......................... 274 23.4 A Socio–Spiritual Threat ....................................................... 278 24. The Spirits, Sex, and Marriage.......................................................... 24.1 The Problem of Desire ........................................................... 24.2 Jewish Traditions of Spirits, Morality, and Marriage ............ 24.3 Sex and Marriage in the Pauline Epistles............................... 24.4 Spiritual and Bodily Order.....................................................

281 281 282 285 289

25. Spiritual Conflict............................................................................... 291 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4

Conflict and the Community.................................................. Spiritual Conflict in Judaism and Christianity....................... Spiritual Conflict in Paul’s Letters......................................... Conflict and the Formation of Identity ..................................

291 291 295 299

26. The Spirit World and the Community (Conclusion) ........................ 301 Excursus VI: The Resurrection Body ..................................................... 303 27. Conclusion ........................................................................................ 307 27.1 Arguments, Analyses, and Conclusions................................. 307 27.2 Outcomes and Consequences................................................. 312 Bibliography 1. 2. 3.

Primary Texts and Translations ............................................. 317 Reference Works.................................................................... 318 Secondary Literature .............................................................. 319

Index........................................................................................................ 334

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

Part One: Interpreting the Spirit World

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

© 2011, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen ISBN Print: 9783525530955 — ISBN E-Book: 9783647530956

1. Introduction

1.1 A Neglected Topic In this study, we take up a neglected but significant task, re–engaging with an aspect of Paul’s letters which has received little attention in recent scholarship. It is now one hundred years since Martin Dibelius gave a comprehensive account of what he called The Spirit World in the Faith of Paul (1909),1 and so it is perhaps time for this to be reconsidered in depth. Here, we examine the approaches of both Paul and his critical interpreters to spiritual beings, offering detailed analysis of the letters and assessing the role and significance of this material. Hopefully, by re–emphasising this somewhat marginalised theme, we may provide fresh perspectives on the apostle and his writings. However, in producing this account we are faced with a fairly strong trend in modern Pauline studies which denies any great role for spiritual beings. NT scholarship has traditionally looked down upon this subject of “comparatively secondary importance”.2 For instance, F.C. Baur’s discussion of ‘the doctrine of angels and demons’3 insists that Paul’s views on the spirits were “altogether vague”.4 They featured in only a small way and their importance was misrepresented by later scribes.5 Most significantly, Baur classifies the spirit world as a sub–category of minor doctrine.6 It is an isolated set of beliefs, unrelated to the trunk of Pauline theology. If one accepts this characterisation of the topic, it seems reasonable to conclude (as many scholars have) that the spirit world may safely be ignored. Therefore, by returning once more to the spirit world, we are not simply dusting–off an old topic and giving it a new airing. We are also offering an alternate account, suggesting that this material is worthy of our attention and may provide important insights for the study of the letters. This may be condensed into a straightforward and mildly revisionist thesis, that spiritual —————

1 M. Dibelius, Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1909). 2 H.St.J. Thackeray, The Relation of St Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought (London/New York: Macmillian, 1900) 143. 3 F.C. Baur, Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ (2 vol.; London: Theology Translation Fund Library, 1873–1875 [German original 1845]) 2.253. 4 Ibid. 2.253. 5 Baur developed the long–running argument that 1Cor 11.10 (“because of the angels”) is a non–Pauline interpolation. Ibid. 2.254. He had no textual grounds for doing so. 6 ‘Special Discussion of Certain Minor Points of Doctrine’ Ibid. 2.234.

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Interpreting the Spirit World

beings form an inherent feature of Paul’s writings. That is to say, spirits arguably are not simply minor asides or rare oddities in the Pauline epistles. Rather, we might consider belief in spirits to be a ‘fact of life’ in Paul’s religious and cultural situation and so something which he presupposes. Indeed, as we shall go on to suggest, this whole topic is reasonably broad and subtle, much more so than some scholars (such as Baur) have allowed.

1.2 What is the ‘Spirit World’? Immediately, though, we must acknowledge that there is some difficulty involved with defining the subject matter. Although this jargon has been taken on from previous scholarship, it is not entirely obvious what is meant by ‘spirits’ and the ‘spirit world’. The main problem of such language is that in modern times it seems to imply some firm distinction or dualism between a spiritual world on the one hand, and a ‘real’ or ‘material’ world on the other. This may reflect current ways of thinking about spirits, but it is artificially restrictive when applied to early Christians like Paul. He may not have thought of angels, or spirits, or Satan as detached and otherworldly forces, but rather as beings present and effective within life here and now. In Paul’s context, the spirit world would not have been separate from this world. Such a world–view seems to be implied, for example, in ancient ritual texts which connect spiritual powers with the manipulation of physical objects.7 The underlying assumption is that spirits operate among all people, rather than in some other sphere of reality. In spite of such observations, though, it is both realistic and necessary for the sake of our analysis to make a distinction between spiritual powers and mundane realities. We cannot help but set these beliefs apart from our own, most commonly naturalistic understanding of the world. Inevitably, since NT scholarship has sometimes regarded the spirit beliefs of early Christianity as odd and a little naïve, it has tended to separate them from Paul’s other concerns.8 Our counter–aim is to draw attention to these beliefs and give —————

7 An example of this from a few centuries after Paul would be the creation of amulets containing the names of NT figures, angels, and invocations of God. For explanation and examples, see M.W. Meyer/R. Smith (ed.) Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999). 8 This is precisely the type of mental association which led Baur to think in terms of a ‘minor doctrine’. He thought of angels and demons as things detached from everyday life, and supposed that the same was true for Paul. This became an influential assumption for German scholarship. For example, in Wrede’s classification of what can and cannot be counted as Pauline theology, he writes: “There is a Pauline doctrine of redemption, a Pauline doctrine of justification, but (to exaggerate somewhat) no Pauline angelology or eschatology.” W. Wrede, ‘The Task and Methods

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Introduction

15

them new definition. So, we probably require a label like ‘the spirit world’, even though it is a form of jargon entirely unknown to Paul himself. Therefore, it seems advisable to work with a very broad definition, rather than run the risk of excluding important and relevant material. So, by ‘spirits’ we do not simply mean immaterial figures, as is assumed in contemporary parlance. Rather, we use this terminology in the widest sense for all those beings and agencies whose nature and existence is not fully perceptible to the naked human eye.9 This, as we shall see, includes quite a wide sweep of reality, possibly giving the spirit world greater scope than has traditionally been assumed.

1.3 Methods and Assumptions Having dealt with the problem of terminology, we turn now to methodology. Our approach will be a critical, historical study of the Pauline epistles. We shall work through contextual and comparative study, attempting to relate Paul’s beliefs to those current in the Judaism and Christianity of the day. The hope is that we may better understand the role of spirits in Paul’s writings if we understand the role they played in the surrounding culture. We shall assume that the Jewish context is of prime significance, although this is not to say that Greco–Roman or Near Eastern data is irrelevant. A focus upon one part of Paul’s cultural context is necessary, if only to keep this study manageable. Moreover, there are at least linguistic grounds for emphasising above all Paul’s Judeo–Christian milieu: the language of Christ, angels, Satan, etc. is typically if not uniquely Jewish. To a certain extent, though, this assumption must be borne out by analysis, for we shall see that Paul makes use of culturally distinctive traditions.10 As we have already stated, our core concern will be with the Pauline epistles. In terms of the scope of these, we shall assume that Paul was the author of the letters traditionally attributed to him, although with some exceptions. We shall regard both 2Thessalonians and Ephesians as early ‘deutero–Paulines’ (composed within 30 years of Paul’s death), preserving a significant quantity of his oral and written teaching. Thus, their testimony ————— of “New Testament Theology”’, in R. Morgan, The Nature of New Testament Theology: the Contribution of William Wrede and Adolf Schlatter (SBT 2nd series 25; London: SCM, 1973) 107. 9 I.e. they could be invisible, but are not necessarily so. For instance, angels may appear in their own angelic form, may be unseen, or may appear in some form of disguise. They are not strictly immaterial; they are just different. 10 To give but one example: “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor 11.14). This text makes good sense in light of Jewish documents which describe precisely this activity. Here, then, the assumption that we must study the Jewish context pays dividends.

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Interpreting the Spirit World

is significant. The letters to Timothy and Titus, meanwhile, were probably composed in the early second century and so are of more limited value. There is insufficient scope to justify these assumptions; they are all at least defensible within the context of modern scholarship.11 As a final point, we should stress that our method does not give us privileged access to Paul’s original intentions. There are limitations to what we may realistically expect to achieve. Historical scholarship does not enable one to explain the objective truth of what Paul was ‘really all about’. Nevertheless, it is possible to employ a method which is culturally sympathetic and sensitive to the subject matter. By setting Paul’s views on spirits within the language and culture of early Judaism and Christianity, it may be possible to formulate distinctive and informed interpretations of the texts. This methodological aim can be clarified by analogy with the linguistic distinction between ‘etic’ and ‘emic’ description. While an etic viewpoint describes behaviour from outside of a particular system, an emic viewpoint seeks to describe behaviour from inside the system.12 We may never completely enter inside a historical culture to provide an emic description, because its system of language and behaviour is only ever partially preserved. Yet, we may still more modestly aspire to explain it as far as possible in its own terms, which is what we shall endeavour to do here. We shall try to avoid passing a modern value–judgement on the spirit world, but instead seek to view it – imperfectly, admittedly – through the eyes of those living in Paul’s own era and society.

1.4 Outline of the Analysis Finally, there is the outline of this study. Here in Part One, we shall concern ourselves with the interpretation of the spirit world, its problems and its complexities. We shall consider how we might define the topic and build an approach. We shall propose that ‘spirits’ include a wide and pervasive range of phenomena. This point in turn means challenging some basic —————

11 These opinions are mostly uncontroversial among scholars. For the arguments for and against the authenticity of the disputed epistles, one may refer to the discussion in R.E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (ABRL; New York: Doubleday) 585. The contentious point here is the authenticity of Colossians, which we shall assume to be a genuine Pauline composition. Opinion is divided on the matter. As Brown puts it: “At the present moment about 60 percent of critical scholarship holds that Paul did not write the letter.” (His italics removed) Ibid. 610. There are good arguments in favour of the authenticity of Colossians, but here is not the place to recount them. In view of the precarious ‘Paulinicity’ of the letter, though, it is perhaps worth stating that we shall avoid basing any grand theory of Paul’s views purely on this letter alone. 12 The distinction was first formulated by K.L. Pike, Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behaviour (Janua Linguarum 24; the Hague: Mouton and Co., 1967).

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Introduction

17

forms of categorisation (such as ‘minor doctrine’) and emphasising the possibility of a different and more open–minded approach to the subject matter. We shall describe the ways in which modern scholars have analysed the Pauline spirit world, and also set out the views of early Christian interpreters. This will allow us to formulate our own approach to the topic, one that attempts to engage in detail with the varied spiritual beliefs of Judeo– Christian antiquity. Completing Part One, we shall then move on to our main analysis. This breaks down into two parts. In Part Two, we shall examine Paul’s angelology and demonology, his beliefs about the most numerous and basic inhabitants of the spirit world. We shall suggest that Paul’s views on these matters may have been more diverse and developed than is sometimes appreciated, and that they may have important connections with the wider experiences and practices of early Christianity. Then, in Part Three we shall attempt to explain how the spirit world fits in with other aspects of Paul’s teaching. Instead of viewing spiritual beings in isolation, we shall observe the ways in which they are connected to some of Paul’s most important beliefs. Spirits are interwoven with many different ideas, which perhaps demands that they be taken a little more seriously in the general interpretation of the letters. The end result of this analysis hopefully will be an original and distinctive portrait of the apostle, taking what has been regarded as marginal and placing it at the centre of attention. We would argue that the spiritual realm has an important role to play, for it opens a door to the unfamiliar, exciting, and imaginative world of the apostle Paul.

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2. The Spirit and the Spirit World

2.1 The Spirit and the Spirits Our first task is to provide a frame for the wider discussion of this study; as we consider the nature of the spirit world in Paul’s letters, we are immediately faced with the question of the scope of this topic. What counts as a ‘spirit’? Does this include the experiential core of Paul’s pneumatology, the Holy Spirit? We may begin with Hermann Gunkel’s famous dictum: For the apostle, his existence was an enigma to which his teaching regarding the pneu½ma gave the solution; for us that teaching is an enigma to which the apostle’s life and only his life can give the solution.1

The Spirit, Gunkel claims, is never abstract, theoretical, or susceptible to logic. In religious life and experience it resists any attempt at strict systematisation. It is not a rational or cognitive principle;2 it is an ancient and mysterious force. In the apostolic age, every gift of the Spirit is “supernatural”.3 In its physical manifestations it is similar to the appearance of demons.4 In other words, the Spirit is a spirit. This may seem a bland truism, but it probably does not reflect common scholarly opinion. Indeed, the majority of NT scholars seem to assume that the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with other (lesser) spirits. The one is important, the others unimportant. Such a distinction is familiar in biblical studies, but would probably baffle any anthropologist. How could an ancient person like Paul persistently refer to something called ‘the Spirit’ and not suppose that it had anything to do with spirits more generally? What could give rise to such an interpretation? The main factor here is Christian theology, of which biblical studies mostly remains a sub–department. This theology is Trinitarian and so it is axiomatic that the NT upholds a doctrine of the Holy Spirit (with capital —————

1 J.F.H. Gunkel, The Influence of the Holy Spirit: the Popular View of the Apostolic Age and the Teaching of the Apostle Paul (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979 [German original 1888]) 105–106. 2 In the preface to the 2nd edition he writes: “The real task of my little work was to ascertain the symptoms by which an “effect” of the Spirit was recognized, and in face of the modernizings of exegetes who, without historical reflection and influenced by rationalism, know nothing of the “effects” of the pneu½ma and render “Spirit” a pure abstraction.” Ibid. 2. 3 Ibid. 35. 4 He draws out some interesting parallels. Ibid. 49.

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Interpreting the Spirit World

letters assigned by English translators). This Spirit is regarded as a different order of being from other spirits; it is divine, but they are merely supernatural. In historical–critical terms, this finds expression in the argument that the attributes of the Spirit set it apart. Its apparent supernatural effects and power are only a secondary aspect, subordinate to its unique theological meaning as a part of God.5 So, we now open our study with this specific interpretive problem, to highlight the complexity and difficulty involved in analysing the spirit world. How far may we go with our talk of the spirits, and how important is this material? The Holy Spirit is obviously of vital importance for Paul, but is this part of the same reality as other spiritual beings? This question demands careful linguistic and exegetical consideration, for it may play a significant role in informing our understanding of what the spirit world is and how it works.

2.2 Doctrines of the Spirit in Judaism We begin by setting out the wider context for this discussion. The Jewish background of Paul’s teaching on the Spirit is perhaps less clear than people realise. To this day, there is no single Jewish doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and certainly no concept of a distinct individual or ‘person’ of the Godhead. Nevertheless, scholars quite frequently suppose that everyone in the time of Paul knew what the Spirit was. This view is probably mistaken. One will seek in vain for evidence of a consistent absolute usage of the word pneu½ma or xwr As we shall see, Jewish beliefs about ‘spirit’ were rather diffuse. 2.2.1 A Jewish View? Since various NT scholars trace the development of the ‘idea’, they often define a Jewish understanding of the Spirit as a forerunner to the NT. This is a feature of Robert Menzies’ study of early Christian pneumatology,6 according to which: “In the diaspora literature the Spirit of God almost —————

5 As we shall explain below, in recent times this position has been advocated in the highly influential work of Dunn. For him, the Spirit is primarily a kind of theological marker: “It is, in the last analysis, that which makes a man a Christian.” J.D.G. Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: a Re– Examination of the New Testament Teaching on the Gift of the Spirit in Relation to Pentecostalism Today (SBT 2nd series 15; London: SCM, 1970) 226. For Dunn, all else falls in behind this basic meaning. 6 See Part One of his study. R.P. Menzies, The Development of Early Christian Pneumatology with Special Reference to Luke–Acts (JSNTSup 54; Sheffield: JSOT, 1991) 52.

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The Spirit and the Spirit World

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always appears as the source of prophetic activity.”7 Similar ideas emerge in Eduard Schweizer’s study of the Spirit,8 while Marie Isaacs asserts that the Spirit in Hellenistic Judaism was always of divine origin.9 These studies share the same basic notion, claiming that the Spirit was a distinct and identifiable sending from God, the general outlines of which were widely accepted in Judaism at the time of the NT. However, surveying the evidence, it is questionable whether one may speak with such confidence of a unified Jewish perspective. Notably, John Levison has raised this concern in The Spirit in First Century Judaism. Even in a study limited to Philo, Pseudo–Philo, and Josephus, he finds a bewildering array of ideas: the Spirit as an invading angel,10 as life itself,11 as a source of physical transformation, power,12 prophecy,13 and biblical interpretation.14 This leads Levison to a conclusion sharply divergent from those emphasising the unity of Jewish beliefs: The writings of first century biblical interpreters, therefore, exhibit enormous creativity and diversity with respect to the effects and the nature of the spirit, depending upon their contextual needs.15

Levison criticises NT scholars for attempting to pin–down Judaism to one position for the sake of comparison with Paul or Luke, etc.16 The Spirit in Judaism, he suggests, is a moving target. 2.2.2 Qumran Even individual texts or groups of texts may present a multiplicity of ideas. A good example of this is found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here one should refer to Arthur Sekki’s The Meaning of Ruah at Qumran. Predictably, xwr can mean a spirit of God or a human spirit.17 More distinctive for the com————— 7

Ibid. 67. Especially in Part Three. E. Schweizer, The Holy Spirit (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980). 9 M.E. Isaacs, The Concept of Spirit: a Study of Pneuma in Hellenistic Judaism and its Bearing on the New Testament (Heythrop Monographs 1; London: Heythrop College, 1976). 10 Philo Mos. 1.274ff. Josephus Ant. 4.108. See J.R. Levison, The Spirit in First Century Judaism, (AGJU 29; Leiden: Brill, 1997) 27. 11 Ibid. 56. 12 L.A.B. 27.9–10. 13 L.A.B. 28.6. Ibid. 99. 14 Philo Spec 3.1–6. Ibid. 190. 15 Ibid. 240. 16 Ibid. 252–3. 17 See ‘III. Ruah as God’s Spirit’ in A. Sekki, The Meaning of Ruach at Qumran (SBLDS 110, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989) 71. (E.g. 1QS 8.16; 1QH 7.6; 9.32; 12.12 etc.). See also ‘IV. Ruah as Man’s Spirit’ Ibid. 95. (E.g. 1QS 2.14; 4.26b; 6.17; 7.18 etc.). 8

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munity is its preference for the term to denote angels and demons.18 Most interesting of all is the highly individual connotation of xwr in the ‘Two Spirits Discourse’ (1QS 3.14ff). ‘Spirit’ here seems to mean “impersonal dispositions within men”.19 We read: He (God) has created man to govern the world, and has appointed for him two spirits in which to walk until the time of His visitation: the spirits of truth and injustice. (3.18–19).

This doctrine is also combined (possibly at a secondary stage of composition) with two pre–eminent angels ruling over men, the ‘Prince of Light’ and the ‘Angel of Darkness’ (3.20–22). Human nature and heavenly powers are felt to be related and compatible concerns. Finally, one finds another belief, distinctive among Jewish texts (but shared with Christianity), that the community receives eschatological spirit. Here too, however, one finds much variation: [I give Thee thanks] because of the spirits which Thou hast given to me! […] [I thank Thee, O Lord, for] Thou didst shed [Thy] Holy Spirit upon Thy Servant. (1QH 4.16, 26).

Notably, the same idea is expressed with plural and singular forms of xwr 2.2.3 Rabbinic Literature Finally, while ideas about the Spirit were diffuse in Second Temple Judaism, we should note that rabbinic Judaism came no closer to creating a single body of teaching. So contends Peter Schäfer in his study of the Spirit in rabbinic literature.20 Unquestionably, the Spirit was considered a major source of prophetic inspiration. We may recall the famous statement that, when the last prophets died, “the Holy Spirit came to an end in Israel” (t. Sotah 13.3).21 However, as Schäfer emphasises, this never led the rabbis to formulate a doctrine of the Holy Spirit; the Spirit was never identified with the divinity, never represented it, and was never a separate hypostasis.22 ————— 18

Ibid. 145. (E.g. 1QM 13.10; 1QS 4.23; 1QH 3.18 etc.). Ibid. 223. 20 “Da das rabbinische Judentum keine systematische Theologie entwickelt hat, finden sich auch keine geordneten Äußerungen über den hl. Geist.” P. Schäfer, Die Vorstellung vom heiligen Geist in der rabbinischen Literatur (SANT 28; Munich: Kösel Verlag, 1972) 15. 21 Text from J. Neusner, The Tosefta (6 vol.; New York: Ktav, 1977–1986) 3.201. 22 “Für das Problem der Beziehung zwischen der Gottheit und dem hl. Geist ergibt sich daraus, daß der hl. Geist niemals mit der Gottheit identifiziert wird oder diese vertritt.” Schäfer, Vorstellung, 62. 19

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Overall, this whistle–stop tour of Jewish pneumatology suggests that there was not any solid doctrine of the Holy Spirit which was regularly set apart from other spirits. Naturally, pneumatological distinctions could be made; one would not confuse a spirit of God with a demon. Yet, these distinctions were not based upon separate vocabularies: one for transcendent ‘Holy Spirit’ and another for lesser ‘spirits’. In Philo and Josephus, the Spirit could be thought of as an angel. In the Hodayot of Qumran, the hymnist thanks God for the spirits and for holy spirit. At least in Paul’s Jewish context, then, there was no true boundary between the Spirit and the spirit world in general.23

2.3 Paul’s pneu¤ma Terminology 2.3.1 Basic Usage As we have stated, our English Bibles confidently distinguish between ‘the Spirit’ and ‘spirits’ in the text of Paul’s letters, doing so by supplying capital letters and definite articles which are lacking in the Greek MSS. Often one finds ‘the Holy Spirit’ or ‘the Spirit’ where Paul simply writes pneu¤ma aÀgion or pneu¤ma. Strictly speaking, Paul tends not to employ the construction ‘the Holy Spirit,’ which is found only in 2Cor 13.13 (tou¤ a¥gi¢ou pneu¢matoj).24 Instead, he prefers anarthrous constructions (pneu¤ma aÀgion: Rom 5.5; 9.1; 14.17 etc.; or pneu¤ma: Rom 8.4, 13 etc.), though just about as common is the simple usage with the definite article, ‘the Spirit’ (to£ pneu½ma: Rom 8.10, 16, 23, 26 etc.). Granted, this vocabulary is mostly focussed upon a distinct entity, which we shall continue to refer to as ‘the Spirit’. Yet, Paul’s flexibility of terminology is not without significance. By favouring anarthrous constructions, he gives no sure method for distin—————

23 Although admittedly, there is a complex legacy from Hellenistic views on pneu¤ma mediated to Paul via Hellenistic Judaism. For instance, Horn observes that the influence of Hellenism may have led to the idea of current participation in the spiritual sphere of the transcendent world. F.W. Horn, Das Angeld des Geistes: Studien zur paulinischen Pneumatologie (FRLANT 154; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992) 40. This may be so, yet key figures in Hellenistic Judaism such as Philo fit with the pattern we have traced above, and we may refer back to the work of Levison in this respect. 24 Fee makes the somewhat misleading statement that the “full name” of the Holy Spirit occurs 17 times in Paul’s letters. G.D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: the Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994) 14. All but one of these instances are anathrous and, of course, there are no capital letters to speak of. It is far from clear why pneu¤ma aÀgion should be considered a name rather than just a noun + adjective, even if the object in mind is something very concrete.

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guishing the one Spirit from spirits in general.25 He was perfectly capable of producing a consistent linguistic distinction if he so chose, but he did not. This point seems to be passed over in scholarship. Without any kind of dogmatic motivation for doing so, Paul made no effort to distinguish between spirits from God and the Spirit of God.26 In general terms, Paul’s use of pneu¤ma presents a bewildering variety. For example, in Romans it occurs in a different construction in 1.4, 9; 2.29; 5.5; 7.6; 8.2, 4, and 6, and it is not until 8.9 (half way through the letter) that the term pneu½ma is used twice in precisely the same way (the phrase e¦n pneu¢mati: 2.29; 8.9). In the letter to the Philippians Paul uses pneu¤ma five times, and each time in a different and distinctive manner.27 A very substantial proportion of his usage is ‘anthropological’ (denoting an aspect of a person).28 Curiously, on one of these occasions, the human spirit of an apostle is referred to as ‘holy spirit’ (pneu¢mati a¥gi¢%, 2Cor 6.6)! 2.3.2 Good and Evil Spirits At times Paul allows that multiple spirits come from God. He commands that the spirits of the prophets (pneu¢mata profhtw¤n) be subject to the prophets (1Cor 14.32). This plural can then inform our interpretation in the rest of that chapter. In 14.2 we may read: “(the one speaking in tongue) speaks mysteries by a spirit” (NRSV: ‘in the Spirit’; NA: pneu¢mati). Meanwhile in 14.12 Paul says that the Corinthians are “eager for the spirits” (zhlwtai¢ e¦ste pneuma¢twn). This common–sense translation is usually avoided by translating “spiritual gifts” (NRSV, NIV, NJB). Paul writes of such gifts in 14.1 but uses an entirely different word: pneumatika¢. Thus, it

—————

25 Fee addresses precisely this problem. Ibid. 14. Correctly, he observes that one cannot use the presence or lack of the definite article simply as a means of distinguishing between a spirit and the Spirit. However, he then suggests that “Paul knows no such thing as “a spirit” or “a holy spirit” when using pneu¢ma to refer to divine activity.” Ibid. 24. This is a dubious inference. More accurate would be the claim that Paul has no linguistic procedure for singling out indefinite rather than definite spirits. The model which Fee uses to analyse the meaning of ‘spirit’ in Paul is taken from the analysis of proper names elsewhere in the NT, and thus includes a strong presumption in favour of a distinct person as Holy Spirit. 26 It is worth bearing in mind that this fits with evidence from elsewhere in the NT. One reads of “the seven spirits of God” (ta£ [e¥pta£] pneu¢mata tou¤ qeou¤) in Rev 5.6. God’s own Spirit is not necessarily one. 27 tou¤ pneu¢matoj I©hsou¤ Xristou¤ (1.19); e¹n e¥ni£ pneu¢mati (1.27); koinwni¢a pneu¢matoj (2.1); pneu¢mati qeou¤ (3.3); meta£ tou¤ pneu¢matoj u¥mw¤n (4.23). 28 Rom 1.9; 8.16; 12.11; 1Cor 2.11; 5.3, 4, 5; 7.34; 14.14; 16.18; 2Cor 2.13; 6.6; 7.1, 13; Gal 6.18; Phil 4.23; Col 2.5; 1Thess 5.23.

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is unlikely that he refers to these in 14.12.29 Overall, then, we see that Paul uses precisely the same terms to designate the spirits as he does the Holy Spirit. Finally, this vocabulary is occasionally also used to designate evil spirits. In 2Cor 11.4 Paul speaks of the Corinthians receiving “another spirit” (pneu¤ma eÐteron), a spirit supplied by the super–apostles, the servants of Satan (11.5, 15).30 Similarly, in 1Cor 12.10 he speaks of the “discernment of spirits” (diakri¢seij pneuma¢twn), which probably means distinguishing between good and evil (as we shall argue later). Most interesting and ambiguous in this connection is 1Cor 2.12: “We received not the spirit of the world (to£ pneu¤ma tou¤ ko¢smou) but the spirit that is from God (to£ pneu¤ma to£ e¦k tou¤ qeou¤).” Is this spirit of the world a kind of ethos and Zeitgeist, or an evil spirit opposed to God? The former interpretation is commonly favoured,31 though we might wonder whether our exegetical question is based upon false alternatives. In the ancient world, how could one tell where ‘the spirits’ ended ‘the spirit of the age’ began? Quite possibly, the general ethos of something and its controlling spirits were not separate issues.32 Thus, the most logical solution may actually be that this is both an evil spirit and the representative characteristic of the times. At the very least, we have to confess that there is much ambiguity in Paul’s use of pneu¤ma here. —————

29 And as Everling and Dibelius point out, pneu¤ma really does mean ‘spirit’ and not ‘spiritual gift’. There needs to be a compelling reason to suppose otherwise. O. Everling, Die paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie: Ein biblisch–theologischer Versuch (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1888) 40; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 74. Fee puts forward the ingenious but ultimately unconvincing explanation that these spirits are the (human) spirits of the Corinthians, through which the one Spirit works. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 227. It seems unlikely that any group of individuals could be ‘zealous’ for their own spirits. Automatically, they completely possess them. This point about pneu¤ma also contradicts the earlier claim of Leisegang that this submission of the pneu¢mata to the prophets (14.32) refers to the subordination of the gift of tongues to that of prophecy. H. Leisegang, Pneuma Hagion: Der Ursprung des Geistbegriffs der synoptischen Evangelien aus der griechischen Mystik (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1970 [first published 1922]) 117. If Paul were referring to gifts instead of spirits, he could only have used

pneumatika¢. 30

Note that 2Thess 2.2 also seems to warn of the danger of a spirit supplying false information. “The Spirit of the world can in fact hardly be distinguished from the wisdom of this age (verse 6), and each suggests a self–regarding wisdom” C.K. Barrett, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1971) 75; also G.D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1987) 113. Contrast Collins: “In 2:12 Paul’s apocalyptic worldview suggests that the contrary world is moved by a spirit other than God’s Spirit.” R.F. Collins, First Corinthians (SP 7; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999) 134. 32 We may thus agree with some of Wink’s general remarks about the spirit world. Every visible manifestation of power has “an inner spirit or driving force that animates, legitimates and regulates its physical manifestation in the world.” W. Wink, Naming the Powers: the Language of Power in the New Testament (The Powers vol. 1; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984) 5. Curiously, Wink does not include this text within that argument. 31

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So, what this brief survey suggests is that Paul had no standardised terminology, with distinct definitions for the Spirit and the spirits. As far as we may tell, he made no attempt linguistically to separate the divine Holy Spirit from the lesser ‘supernatural’ world of spirits, lacking the dogmatic need to do so. What we actually find is a variety of terms and phrases, using the same vocabulary to refer the Spirit, human spirits, and various other good and evil spirits from God or elsewhere. So, the presumption in favour of a separate ‘Holy Spirit’ may be an imposition upon the text. At least on a linguistic level, the distinction between the divine Spirit and the general spirit world seems artificial.

2.4 A Sign of Salvation and a Supernatural Force Having addressed the issue of terminology, we are still left with the questions of what the Spirit is and what it does. One of Hermann Gunkel’s main innovations in this respect was to emphasise both the supernatural effects of the Spirit and what we might call its soteriological function: receiving the Spirit brings one to salvation.33 The Spirit, he claims, developed this role by absorbing certain characteristics of Christ.34 With a fresh burst of scholarly energy in the 1970’s, represented by Johannes Vos and James Dunn, this soteriological aspect of the Spirit came again to centre stage. Indeed, it remains the central focus for scholarly interpretations of Paul’s pneumatology today. Vos presents a tradition–historical analysis of the Spirit in Paul. Contrary to Gunkel, however, he concludes that the Spirit gained its soteriological functions not from Christology, but from ideas current in Judaism35 (a conclusion later accepted by Menzies).36 Meanwhile, Dunn’s first work on the Spirit (Baptism in the Holy Spirit) re–asserts its soteriological role, against

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33 “Paul is therefore convinced that Christians, precisely because they have received the Spirit from God, can be certain he will also give them a share in the heavenly inheritance.” Gunkel, Influence, 82. 34 Ibid. 111. 35 “Die Reinigung, Heiligung und Rechtfertigung in der Vergangenheit, der neue Wandel in der Gegenwart und die Neuschöpfung in der Zukunft lassen sich als solche von der alttestamentlich–jüdischen Tradition her verstehen. Zur Erklärung dieser Funktionen braucht man die christologische Bindung des Geistes nicht heranzuziehen”. J.S. Vos, Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Paulinischen Pneumatologie (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1973) 79. 36 Who traces Spirit soteriology to the book of Wisdom. Menzies, Pneumatology, 303.

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Pentecostal interpretations. Dunn concludes that the receipt of the Spirit in early Christianity is always connected to conversion.37 The significance of these developments is that they lead to the suggestion (originally opposed by Gunkel) that the supernatural effects of the Spirit are its secondary functions, subordinate to its role in salvation. This argument is most clearly set out by Dunn, especially in his second book on pneumatology (Jesus and the Spirit). While he allows that the gift of the Spirit is “the experience of being grasped by an otherly power,”38 this is not of primary importance. The supernatural aspect of the Spirit is restricted by its chief function of making people Christians.39 Dunn ultimately allows only a limited significance for the physical effects of the Spirit: “for Paul there is nothing distinctively Christian in charismatic phenomena as such.”40 This is an important point. While it would be untrue to say that Dunn re– introduces the idealism of nineteenth century Germany, his view of the Spirit has affinities with the older position. The Spirit is again an idea upon which Paul meditated theologically. Unquestionably it has cognitive functions: most significant is what the Spirit is universally recognised as meaning, rather than how it manifests itself. In other words, Dunn suggests, it is not to be regarded like any other spirit. It is more the principle or marker of Christianity.41 Firstly, one underlying point here is correct. The Spirit in Paul is inextricably linked to soteriology. This is crystal clear in Rom 8, where there is an ————— 37 “For Paul it is the Spirit who is the mark of God’s acceptance, and God’s instruments of saving grace are the Spirit and the gospel; the decisive act of grace is the gift of the Spirit to the faith expressed in baptism.” Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 172. 38 J.D.G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament (NTL; London: SCM, 1975) 254. 39 “It is true that when the Spirit thus entered a life in the earliest days of the Church he regularly manifested his coming by charismata and his presence by power (to witness), but these were corollaries to his main purpose – the ‘christing’ of the one who had taken the step of faith”. Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 226. 40 (His italics removed) Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 302. This view echoes the earlier arguments of Bousset that charismatic phenomena were not native to Christianity but imported from the Hellenistic world. His views are discussed in Horn’s account of research. Horn, Angeld des Geistes, 18. 41 And here Dunn’s opinion seems to be a ‘soft’ version of Bultmann’s reading: Paul “means by “Spirit” the possibility of a new life which is opened up by faith. The Spirit does not work like a supernatural force”. R.K. Bultmann, ‘New Testament and Mythology’, in H. Bartsch (ed.) Kerygma and Myth: a Theological Debate (2 vol.; London: SPCK), 1.1–44, on page 22. Similarly, most recently and impressively, Horn has argued for a more ‘theoretical’ reading of the Spirit in Paul which favours theological interpretation over ‘real’ experiences. Horn, Angeld des Geistes. Rabens gives a lengthy critical assessment of Horn’s views, commenting: “One only wonders whether – and if so, why – the different groups that Horn refers to were really so prone to put their trust in theories, especially if their theoretical claims had no (experiential) foundation.” V. Rabens, ‘The Development of Pauline Pneumatology’, BZ 43 (1999) 161–179, on page 173. Most commentators (like Dunn) favour a mixture of theoretical and experiential elements.

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absolute distinction between two modes of life, between flesh and Spirit (8.1–8), where the Spirit is mandatory for belonging to Christ (8.9–11), and where it intercedes for believers in heaven (8.26–27). However, the manner in which Dunn develops his point is questionable. Remaining within the categories of ancient thought, we might ask, on what grounds may one distinguish between the meaning and effects of the Spirit? Dunn does not explain. Possibly, his approach is a little anachronistic, dividing theological Spirit (cognitive, transcendent, divine) from supernatural spirits (superstitious, miraculous, ethereal). In Paul’s context, these distinctions probably do not apply. Viewing matters from within an ancient pneumatological framework, the effects of the Spirit arguably are its meaning. The status of ‘believer’ is itself charismatic. This much is suggested by Paul’s own writings. In 1Cor 14.24–5, the supernatural gift of prophecy held within the community allows the non–believer to say “God is really among you”. The visible effects tell the outsider what it means to be Christian. Similarly, in Gal 3.5 Paul asks: “For is (God) supplying you with the Spirit and working miracles among you from the works of the Law or from the obedience of faith?” The miraculous effects of the Spirit go hand in hand with the quality of a person’s faith.42 Thus, the whole enterprise of separating out the supernatural dimension of the Spirit may be questioned. When Paul speaks of the gifts of the Spirit in 1Cor 12, he does not distinguish between what we might consider to be the mundane and the extraordinary. In one breath he mentions wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy etc. (12.8–10). The Spirit makes people into believers, but in a powerful charismatic way. When Paul reminds the Galatians of that experience, he uses striking language: “did you undergo (e¦pa¢qete)43 such things for nothing?” (3.4). Similarly, Paul came to Corinth as an embodiment of his own message, not with words of wisdom but with Spirit and power (1Cor 2.5). Therefore, it seems that we are not obliged to regard the force of the Spirit as an incidental feature. Rather, for Paul, this may have been fundamental. —————

42 A point which fits with the argument of Vollenweider, that the Spirit should not be considered either as a substance (in identity) or as a force, since for Paul both points are connected. S. Vollenweider, ‘Der Geist Gottes als Selbst der Glaubenden: Überlegungen zu einem ontologischen Problem in der paulinischen Anthropologie’, in S. Vollenweider, Horizonte neutestamentlicher Christologie: Studien zu Paulus und zur frühchristlichen Theologie (WUNT 2nd series 144; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 163–192. 43 This word has a very physical sense. See BAGD pa¢sxw 639: “experience, be treated of everything that befalls a person, whether good or ill. Yet its usage developed in such a way that p. came to be used less and less frequently in a good sense, and never without some clear indication, at least fr. the context, that the good sense is meant […] (3.) in an unfavourable sense suffer, endure.”

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2.5 Interpreting Spirit As we have stated, we face a difficult issue in terms of defining the scope of the spiritual world. Possibly, this covers more territory than some scholars have supposed. Rather than placing strict limitations on the subject matter (e.g. by just producing a catalogue of angels), it may be better for us to emphasise the breadth of the material which we face. Here, this assumption seems to be justified by the observation that the Holy Spirit should not be sharply distinguished from other spiritual beings, exegetically or linguistically. By our understanding of the evidence, the Spirit belongs to the same reality as angels and demons, albeit with its own peculiar role and importance. There is no absolute qualitative distinction here.44 This claim also applies within the context of early Christianity more generally. Particularly notable in this respect is Heinrich Weinel’s application of Gunkel’s conclusions to the post–apostolic era. Certain of his remarks remain instructive: Als „Geistwirkungen“ fasse ich stets die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes und die der Geister, der Engel wie der Dämonen, zusammen […] In der That ist es ganz unmöglich, zumal wenn man aus den engen Verhältnissen der Urgemeinden in die Kirche des zweiten Jahrhundert übertritt, die beiden Gruppen von einander zu trennen.45

Weinel believed that he had to study the effects of the Spirit and the spirits together, for the early church did not really separate the two.46 Thus, we can perhaps appreciate some of the importance and subtlety of spiritual forces in early Christianity. This does not seem to be a very narrow and rigidly defined field of study, but it is rather broad and multifaceted. So, having highlighted this significant and basic point for our interpretation, we may now move on to consider modern scholarly approaches to the spirit world in Paul.

—————

44 And this was essentially Gunkel’s point. Hegelian inspired idealist hermeneutics viewed Geist as an eternal, cognitive process. This was considered to be utterly distinct from the superstition of die Geister. Gunkel attempted to demonstrate that this distinction was arbitrary and unfounded in early Christian literature. 45 H. Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister im nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenäus (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1899) vii. 46 And in this connection we might call attention to the belief in certain sectors of early Christianity that the Holy Spirit was a type an angel: Ascen. Isa. 3.15; 4.21; 7.23 etc. Naturally, it could thus be compared with other angels.

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3. A History of Research

3.1 Defining the Topic Here in Part One, we aim to consider the interpretation of the spirit world, identifying the difficulties and complexities involved with approaching this topic and highlighting the range of perspectives taken by previous scholars and readers of Paul’s letters. This is a key step, for we cannot unquestioningly assume the validity of any one approach to this material; we must first see how others have seen the role of spirits within the epistles. As we emphasised in the previous chapter, it is best if we do not begin with a rigid definition of the world of spirits. Rather, if we are to produce a comprehensive and critical study, we first need to keep an open mind as to what this involves. Considering the role of the Spirit in Paul’s letters (just discussed), we may wish to allow that there is some breadth to this field of study. Furthermore, to give proper consideration to the possible scope of the spirit world, we must now see what previous scholarship has made of it. Possibly the most classic or typical approach of NT scholars has been to give a rather narrow or limited account of the spirit world. In the Introduction, we mentioned the opinions of F.C. Baur, the founding father of modern Pauline studies. In his epoch–making Paulus (1845),1 he described angels and demons as incoherent and insignificant points of minor doctrine. He sought a rational apostle within the text of the letters and put the minor ‘superstition’ of the spirits to one side. Baur was not alone in this enterprise. Similar values were shared in Victorian British scholarship, as can be seen in J.B. Lightfoot’s commentaries.2 Paul, it was argued, was not greatly interested in the strange and mythical beliefs of his contemporaries. It could be assumed that Paul had a clearer (strikingly modern) appreciation of reality. ————— 1

Baur, Paul (ET 1873–1875). E.g. Regarding the catalogue of spirits in Eph 1.21 he writes: “Hence it appears that in this catalogue St. Paul does not profess to describe objective realities, but contents himself with repeating subjective opinions. He brushes away all these speculations without inquiring how much or how little truth there may be in them, because they are altogether beside the question.” J.B. Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: a Revised Text with Introductions, Notes, and Dissertations (London: Macmillan, 1900) 152. Like Baur, Lightfoot projects onto Paul’s thinking a distinction between objective reality and ‘speculative’ beliefs about spirits. Arguably, this imputed rationalism does not fit that well with Paul or his context. 2

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As we have already suggested, our approach will be somewhat different. An alternative to this limited account first presents itself in the critique of Baur offered by the comparative scholarship of the history of religion school.

3.2 Early Research: The History of Religion School 3.2.1 Otto Everling In Die paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie (1888), Everling confronted a dearth of serious research.3 So, he took it upon himself to pioneer a religious–historical methodology, analysing Paul’s beliefs in light of similar ideas in Judaism.4 His programmatic and detailed approach thus contradicted Baur’s assumption that angelic and demonic ideas were sparsely scattered and incoherent.5 He regarded the spirit world as a rather rich and diverse topic, having its own intrinsic interest. His monograph might almost be called a commentary. It progresses through the letters one by one (the “Hauptbriefe” first,6 followed by “der mehr oder minder angezweifelten Sendschreiben”7) and interprets every angel– or demon–related comment as it occurs in the text, ending with a conclusion and summary of the results.8 One must credit Everling for the quantity of data he gathers, without any previous scholarship to support him. A lot of the historical background and argumentation which we take for granted today (for good or for ill!) first appears in his research. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this data gathering lies in its tight focus upon Second Temple Jewish texts rather than upon such other potential avenues as rabbinics or mystery religions. In this respect, Everling’s procedure has more than a little in common with present–day research trends.9 However, despite his novel emphasis upon the lively and experiential nature of Paul’s belief in spirits, Everling did not truly break away from Baur’s definition of the spirit world. It remained a narrow, minor doctrine. ————— 3

As he points out. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 4. A method learned from the commentaries of Klöpper and Spitta: “Sie suchen aus den Anschauungen des apostolischen Zeitalters heraus die paulinischen Äusserungen zu begreifen; eine Methode, der wir uns mit aller Entschiedenheit anschliessen.” Ibid. 5. 5 And makes some fairly strong criticisms of Baur’s claims. Ibid. 15. 6 Ibid. 7. 7 Ibid. 77. 8 Ibid. 118. 9 Indeed, on this point, we may look favourably upon his method. In our own analysis, we shall give priority to Second Temple Jewish texts as providing the most immediate and relevant background, as we stated in the Introduction. 4

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For Everling, the study of angelology and demonology was an intriguing but ultimately unimportant venture.10 He was not concerned to change perceptions of Paul in any significant way. 3.2.2 Related Trends in the School For two decades Everling’s work remained the only major treatment of the spirit world. Still, other notable German scholars made contributions to research during this time. We shall mention only the most prominent of these. In the same year as Everling’s publication (1888), Hermann Gunkel’s Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes (discussed in the previous chapter)11 rejected the idealist interpretation of the Holy Spirit that was predominant in scholarship at the time. By emphasising its physical effects and its place within the views of the age, Gunkel argued for a primitive ‘supernatural’ understanding of the Spirit, placing it alongside angels and demons in the faith of Paul.12 A little later, Wilhelm Bousset found Paul to be an important witness to the demonic myth of the Antichrist in his Der Antichrist (1895).13 Then, soon after, he produced his highly influential Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (1903). Here, Bousset included chapters on angelology and demonology, both of which he related to Pauline themes.14 The NT doctrines of angels and demons were specifically analysed within the context of Judaism. Meanwhile, Bousset’s contemporary Adolf Deissmann pioneered the use of magical papyri in the interpretation of Paul. In Bibelstudien (1895)15 he suggested that “the marks of Jesus” (Gal 6.17) should be understood as magical protections,16 while in Licht vom Osten (1909)17 he interpreted the deliverance of a man to Satan (1Cor 5.5) as a form of curse.18 —————

10 Everling distinguishes between the great historical interest of the topic and what he sees as its relative theological insignificance. Ibid. 3. 11 Gunkel, Influence (ET 1979). 12 “Only the person who is able or desires to think himself into the supernatural world view can understand Paul’s teaching concerning the pneu¤ma”. Ibid. 127. 13 J.F.W. Bousset, The Antichrist Legend: a Chapter in Jewish and Christian Folklore (AAR Texts and Translations Series 24; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999). 14 The third chapter contains an important account of national angels and the ‘elements’ in Jewish angelology. J.F.W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (Berlin, 1903) 313–325. It is followed by a significant treatment of dualism and demonology. Ibid. 326–336. 15 A. Deissmann, Bible Studies: Contributions, Chiefly from Papyri and Inscriptions, to the History of the Language, the Literature, and the Religion of Hellenistic Judaism and Primitive Christianity (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1903). 16 Ibid. 346.

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3.2.3 British Developments This field of research was clearly carried forward primarily in Germany, though British scholars also soon took an interest in the supernatural doctrines of the apostolic age. A fine example of this can be seen in a couple of articles published by F.C. Conybeare: ‘Demonology of the New Testament’ (1896) and ‘Christian Demonology’ (1897). Naturally, these are wide– ranging, though their essential outlook and method is much closer to that of Everling and Gunkel than to Baur. This is expressed with Conybeare’s distinctive secularist style: The Apostles had the same conception of spirit which held its own in philosophy until the age of Descartes and is still entertained by the vulgar.19

More positive in its appraisal was H.St.J. Thackeray’s The Relation of St. Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought (1900), including a chapter on ‘The World of Spirits’.20 Praising Everling, Thackeray offers some distinctive opinions of his own, but is mostly content with communicating the results of German research to a British audience. So, while there was a lack of original research in Britain, there was also a willingness to interpret the spirit world through Paul’s historical context. More sustained British scholarship in this field developed some time later in the 1930’s and 1940’s with the work of Wilfred Knox21 and Edward Langton.22 3.2.4 Martin Dibelius It was during this high period of religious–historical research that Martin Dibelius’ Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus appeared (1909). It still remains the most comprehensive treatment of the topic and so we shall refer to it again and again. Because of its importance, it warrants a slightly longer discussion. Unlike Everling, Dibelius had a long and successful career in NT studies, with numerous publications. This included several commentar-

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17 A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East: the New Testament Illustrated by Recently Discovered Texts from the Graeco–Roman World (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1927). 18 Ibid. 301–2. 19 F.C. Conybeare, ‘Christian Demonology’, JQR 9 (1897) 59–114, on page 595. 20 Thackeray, Relation, 142. 21 See especially W.L. Knox, St Paul and the Church of the Gentiles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939) 90–110. 22 Langton wrote many books on spirits, including a significant chapter on Paul’s angelology. E. Langton, The Angel Teaching of the New Testament (London: J. Clark, 1938) 87–139.

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ies,23 a general book on Paul,24 and two essays on his mysticism.25 Curiously, however, his later Pauline research (with the exception of his commentary on Colossians) made little reference to the work of his youth on the spirit world, and so we shall be mostly concerned with this single monograph. In Die Geisterwelt, Dibelius credits Everling with the first major study of the topic,26 but also offers substantial criticism. Everling, he suggests, relied too heavily upon apocryphal and pseudepigraphical Jewish writings; Paul had a sophisticated rabbinic formation, demanding that attention also be given to the Talmud and midrashim.27 His main criticism, however, is that Everling failed to connect the spirit world to the wider content of Paul’s faith, especially his Christology and eschatology.28 Thus, Dibelius regards the spirit world as a significant general feature of Paul’s teaching, rather than a mere curiosity. Dibelius seeks to relate the spirits to major themes of the epistles. Abandoning Everling’s commentary–style structure, Dibelius employs thematic chapter headings such as ‘spirits in the community’,29 ‘Satan and the demons’,30 and ‘the rulers of this age’.31 True to his word, he adduces a lot of rabbinic evidence in support of his arguments but also includes a large quantity of other Jewish, Hellenistic, and patristic data. This produces a large, detailed monograph. One cannot help but be impressed by Dibelius’ erudition in chasing up so many sources. However, there still remains continuity between his work and that of Everling. Die Geisterwelt is dominated by commentary upon Paul’s more opaque statements about angels and demons. It is still basically an explanatory work. Only in the final section does Dibelius bring all the data together and attempt to assess its significance.32 It is not necessary to recount every one of his conclusions, but the most interesting and influential should be mentioned. In Die Geisterwelt, Paul is understood to be aware of many different beliefs about angels, although he attaches no great importance to the ‘theory’ —————

23 Notably, on Paul: M. Dibelius, An die Thessalonicher I, II, an die Philipper (HNT 11; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1937). Also: An die Kolosser, Epheser, An Philemon (HNT 12; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1953) – published posthumously (Greeven, ed.). 24 M. Dibelius, Paulus, (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1951) – published posthumously (Kümmel, ed.). 25 Both in vol. 2 of his collected essays: M. Dibelius, Botschaft und Geschichte: gesammelte Aufsätze (2 vol.; Tübingen: Mohr, 1953–1956) – published posthumously (Bornkamm, ed.). 26 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 1. 27 Ibid. 2–3. 28 Ibid. 4–5. 29 ‘Die Geister im Glauben und Leben der Gemeinde’. Ibid. 7. 30 ‘Satan und die Dämonen’. Ibid. 37. 31 ‘Herrscher dieses Äons’. Ibid. 77. 32 ‘Herkunft und Bedeutung der Geistervorstellungen des Paulus’. Ibid. 181.

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of angelology as such. Yet, one particular branch of angelology is important, claims Dibelius: the spiritual ‘rulers of this age’. This Paul derives particularly from the Jewish belief in Völkerengel (‘angels of the nations’), and his soteriology is much concerned with these.33 Christ is held to have conquered such powers – a form of cosmic liberation. Meanwhile, Satan is understood to play a lively part in the apostle’s missionary activity but, unlike the rulers of this age, does not acquire doctrinal significance. Satan is an imaginative rather than a cognitive or dogmatic feature of Paul’s religion.34 Finally, Dibelius argues that the spirit world counter–balances realised against futurist eschatology. The hostile spirits of the current era still threaten, but there is a sense that the believer is already delivered from their power.35 Although the spirit world exists, the Christian is said to be finished with it.36 In this rather neat conclusion, Dibelius uses ancient eschatological assurance to justify modern cosmological scepticism. The importance of this study of the Pauline spirit world can hardly be over–stated. Dibelius’ emphasis upon the rulers of this age gave rise to a particular brand of biblical theology: that of the ‘powers’ (see below). Also, Baur’s view of the spirit world as a ‘minor doctrine’ seemed to be at least partially reversed. Dibelius was to some extent offering a new paradigm, claiming that spirits played a role in Paul’s over–arching message of liberation. Believers would no longer be subject to angelic powers. Criticisms of Dibelius immediately followed in the work of Kurze but in spite of these, Die Geisterwelt became a standard treatment and many of its judgments became textbook explanations. Perhaps, if anything, the results of this study were a little too uncritically admired. 3.2.5 Georg Kurze Despite the broadly positive reception received by Die Geisterwelt, Kurze strongly disapproved of Dibelius’ project.37 In his little–known Der Engels– und Teufelsglaube des Apostels Paulus (1915), he set out a conservative and sceptical reaction against the newfound enthusiasm for the history of —————

33 “Während die rabbinische Engellehre offenbar an der Peripherie der paulinischen Religion steht, sich mit originalen, christlichen Zentralgedanken nicht berührt, führt uns der Glaube an die Herrscher dieser Welt in die Gedankengänge paulinischer Theologie tief hinein.” Ibid. 189. 34 Ibid. 190–192. 35 Ibid. 199. 36 Ibid. 201–208. 37 “Dibelius findet in dem Geisterglauben Pauli disparate Vorstellungen, deren Kombination wissenschaftlich unmöglich sei.” G.J. Kurze, Der Engels– und Teufelsglaube des Apostels Paulus (Freiburg: Herdersche Verlagshandlung, 1915) 2.

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religion. Kurze particularly disliked the prominence which Everling and Dibelius had given to apocryphal and pseudepigraphical materials in reconstructing the contours of the Pauline spirit world.38 Kurze too progresses through various comments about angels, Satan etc., each time offering his own particular view of their meaning and significance. Almost without exception he disagrees with Dibelius.39 As a work devoted almost entirely to criticism of previous scholarship, Kurze’s monograph develops little (if anything) in the way of new ideas. However, since at times Dibelius perhaps over–reaches what the evidence allows, Kurze is able to develop a fair amount of judicious criticism. His work also contains a number of eccentricities, such as an apparent regard for the Pastoral Epistles as genuinely Pauline and the inclusion of the epistle to the Hebrews within its scope. Ultimately, Kurze’s monograph faded into obscurity and its criticisms of Dibelius were largely ignored. Much later in the century, when scholars again began emphatically to deny the importance of the spirits for Paul (see below), they largely did so without reference to this long–forgotten and unusual critique of the history of religion approach.40 3.2.6 Affirmations of Dibelius As we have stated, Die Geisterwelt was mostly received as an authoritative piece of scholarship. Yet, whilst scholars largely accepted Dibelius’ account of the spirits, they often ignored his key claim that they formed a major plank of Paul’s teaching. However, some took on board this argument. Albert Schweitzer placed the spirit world at centre–stage. In his Geschichte der paulinischen Forschung (1911),41 he picks out Everling as an outstanding example of ‘Jewish eschatology’ reasserting itself against the influence of Baur.42 He also agrees with Dibelius that Everling was mistaken in not connecting the spirit world to Paul’s other major beliefs, particularly soteriology.43 Schweitzer addressed this failure in his own exposi————— 38

Ibid. 4. E.g. On 1Cor 11.10, he strongly disagrees with Dibelius’ opinion that the angels pose some kind of threat towards the women. Rather, he suggests that the angels in this verse are God’s supervisors, checking up on human propriety. Ibid. 11–12. Many other examples could be given. 40 Only one copy of this work can be found in UK libraries, at the Warburg Institute in London. The British Library once owned a copy but it was destroyed (ironically, with a large amount of the German collection) in a bombing raid in World War II. Hence its obscurity, at least in British scholarship. 41 A. Schweitzer, Paul and his Interpreters: a Critical History (London: A&C Black, 1912). 42 Ibid. 55–57. 43 Ibid. 57. 39

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tion of the eschatological doctrine of redemption in Die Mystik des Apostels Paulus (1930).44 Here, he argues that the target of Paul’s soteriology is the enslavement of the world to the law and angelic powers. So, “the end of the domination of the angels was brought about by the death of Jesus”.45 With Schweitzer’s dual emphasis upon angelic rule and realised eschatology, the influence of Dibelius is writ large. Just while Schweitzer was putting the finishing touches to Die Mystik, Gustaf Aulén published his famous study of the patristic ‘classic’ doctrine of atonement, Den kristna försoningstanken (1929).46 Although seemingly writing independently from one another, Aulén and Schweitzer’s views on redemption are exactly the same, both agreeing with Dibelius. According to Aulén, Paul held the original doctrine of atonement, this being the same as the church fathers who came after him: The same dualistic outlook, the same idea of conflict and triumph; of powers of evil under which mankind is in bondage; of the victory over them won by a Christ come down from heaven – that is, by God Himself come to save.47

According to this view, spiritual powers matter primarily because they form the evil which Christ conquers on the cross. Thus, they have a peculiar kind of doctrinal significance. 3.2.7 Overview In this first main phase of scholarship, we find that tremendous energy and innovation was poured into the study of the spirit world. Many new arguments and interpretations were formulated. The comparative historical method engendered great enthusiasm for relating Paul’s beliefs to those of his contemporaries in Jewish and Hellenistic society. All of this reflected quite a significant departure from the very narrow limitations within which F.C. Baur first defined the topic. Spiritual, angelic, and demonic forces came to be regarded as pervading the ancient cosmos, and Paul’s letters were freshly interpreted within that context. Also during this period, Dibelius’ Geisterwelt rose to pre–eminence as the treatment of the Pauline spirit world. Inevitably, then, our concerns will to some extent be shaped by those set out in this work. However, with the monograph now reaching its centenary, it is also important to emphasise ————— 44

A. Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (London: A&C Black, 1931). Ibid. 72. 46 G. Aulén, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement (London: SPCK, 1931). 47 Ibid. 82. 45

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how far scholarship has moved on since then. Although Dibelius was a brilliant, industrious, and perceptive scholar, we might well question some of his key interpretive decisions. His history of religion method and perspective may need to be updated. Yet, before we consider that possibility and what it may involve, some other (very different) scholarly approaches must first be examined.

3.3 World War, Politics, and the Theology of Power It was just while Dibelius was coming to the end of his life in the late 1940’s that his early research on the spirit world found new outlets. With a terrible and destructive war in Europe having just concluded, many theologians sought new ways of understanding the connection between human political power and powers unseen. This made a natural connection with what Dibelius had argued 40 years earlier, that angelic rulers played a key role in the faith of Paul. Human power was seen as directly dependent upon angelic power. Needless to say, this fitted well with the demands of post– war theology. So, unsurprisingly, the first moves towards a new biblical theology of power were in many ways simply political extensions of Dibelius’ arguments. The first tentative steps in this direction are found in K.L. Schmidt’s ErJb article ‘Die Natur– und Geistkräfte bei Paulus’ (1946). Schmidt did not formulate a political theology as such but saw the war as an imperative to re–examine the biblical teaching of the demonic.48 Significant political theology was soon to follow. 3.3.1 Oscar Cullmann In Christus und die Zeit (1946),49 Cullmann redefined the early Christian concept of time with Christ at its centre. Neither a Greek nor a Jewish view, he claimed, Christianity made redemption the mid–point of history. So, for Cullmann, all world events belong to redemptive history; invisible forces intertwine with the visible. This draws attention to the spirit world. Perhaps influenced by some less well–known German research on ‘authority’ in —————

48 Schmidt criticises D.F. Strauss’ claim that the demonic must be removed biblical theology: “Nun, nach hundert Jahren scheint man, worauf wir schon hingewiesen haben, doch wieder etwas zu wissen von Teufel und Dämonen.” K.J. Schmidt, ‘Die Natur– und Geistkräfte bei Paulus’ ErJb 14 (1946) 87–143, on page 126. 49 O. Cullmann, Christ and Time: The Primitive Christian Conception of Time and History (London: SPCK, 1951).

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Paul,50 Cullmann offers a modification of Dibelius’ analysis of national angels: By “the rulers of this age” Paul manifestly means both the invisible “princes of this world,” who are often mentioned as such, and their actual human instruments, Herod and Pilate.51

Dibelius’ original exposition of these angels is accepted,52 but given a new more political focus. The ‘powers’ are held to be central to the Christian view of the state, offering insight into the demonism of the Third Reich.53 The spiritual is linked organically to the political. However, also agreeing with Dibelius, Cullmann vigorously asserts that the religious significance of these powers is subordinate to eschatology.54 Their significance lies in the fact that they have already been defeated by Christ. So, Cullmann justifies the view that modern Christians need not live in fear of spiritual powers here and now. Curiously, though, following Cullmann’s influential work, German interest in the Pauline spirit world ceased almost completely. A short tour of the subject was produced by Heinrich Schlier: Mächte und Gewalten im Neuen Testament (1958),55 but this did not advance any new historical or theological thesis. German–speaking scholarship also produced general NT demonologies: notably, by Bent Noack (1948)56 and Otto Böcher (1972),57 though neither of these offered a specific, concentrated appraisal of Paul’s understanding of spirits. Still, it was Cullmann’s contribution which had set the tone for things to come.

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50 Cullmann’s views are anticipated by Dehn in his contribution to Karl Barth’s Festschrift. He claims that in Paul’s time there was no concept of ‘secular’ power and in Rom 13: “himmlische und irdische Gewalt als miteinander verbunden gedacht ist.” G. Dehn, ‘Engel und Obrigkeit: ein Beitrag zum Verständnis von Römer 13,1–7’, in K. Barth/E. Wolf (ed.) Theologische Aufsätze: Karl Barth zum 50. Geburtstag (Munich: C. Kaiser, 1936) 90–109, on page 105. 51 Cullmann, Christ and Time, 191. 52 The debt to Dibelius is acknowledged. Ibid. 192. 53 For Cullmann, state power is demonic if it surpasses its God–ordained limits. Ibid. 202–3. 54 “In the Primitive Christian faith in the conquest of the invisible powers through Christ, the significant thing is the very fact that while this faith holds firmly to the existence of powers originally hostile to God, it nevertheless does not concede to this existence any independent significance”. Ibid. 197. 55 H. Schlier, Principalities and Powers in the New Testament (QD 3; Edinburgh: Nelson). 56 B. Noack, Satanas und Soteria: Unterzuchungen zur neutestamentlichen Dämonologie (Copenhagen: G.E.C. Gads, 1948). 57 O. Böcher, Das Neue Testament und die dämonischen Mächte (SBS 50; Stuttgart: KBW, 1972).

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3.3.2 The Powers in British Scholarship J.S. Stewart’s SJT article ‘On a Neglected Emphasis in New Testament Theology’ (1951) brought the powers into British scholarship. Stewart looked to the work of Dibelius and Aulén, but accepted Cullman’s new approach. The theological connection between angelic powers and politics was acknowledged.58 Stewart was soon followed by G.H.C. Macgregor in his NTS article ‘Principalities and Powers: the Cosmic Background of St. Paul’s Thought’ (1955). This was historically focussed, describing what Macgregor considered to be the “gnostic astral” background of the powers.59 Yet, the new theological hermeneutic was again dominant: “With the disappearance of the ‘powers’ will vanish also as we know it the semi– demonic state.”60 The culmination of this trend in British scholarship came in G.B. Caird’s short book Principalities and Powers: a Study in Pauline Theology (1956). A thoroughly researched work, it owes as much to Dibelius as to Cullmann. Caird also reviews the historical background of the angelic powers, finding it not in gnostic cosmology but in 1Enoch and the works of Philo.61 Yet, even the title of this work shows the change which Cullmann had wrought. Caird assumes that Paul was concerned specifically with the ‘powers’ rather than with spirits in general. Definitely, this is described as a politically oriented theology.62 So, while the idea of a Pauline theology of power was a German invention, it was actually British scholars of the 1950’s who most enthusiastically expounded this theory. Ten years after the death of Dibelius, little interest was shown in the variety of spirits in general. Instead, attention was lavished upon impersonal cosmic forces dominating the world.63

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58 J.S. Stewart, ‘On a Neglected Emphasis in New Testament Theology’, SJT 4.3 (1951) 292– 301, on pages 299–301. 59 G.H.C. Macgregor, ‘Principalities and Powers: the Cosmic Background of St. Paul’s Thought’, NTS 2 (1955) 17–28, on pages 19–24. 60 Ibid. 25. 61 G.B. Caird, Principalities and Powers: a Study in Pauline Theology (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1956) 11–14. 62 For instance: ibid. 17. 63 We might also add that in 1964 Whiteley included a chapter on ‘The ‘Supernatural’ Creation’ in his Pauline theology, looking back to the work of Caird and others. D.E.H. Whiteley, The Theology of St Paul (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1964) 18.

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3.3.3 American Developments The new theology of power initially provoked little response in America. Only Clinton Morrison’s The Powers that Be (1960) took up the theological/angelic understanding of the state in a serious way, arguing for an angelic interpretation of the ‘authorities’ in Rom 13.1–7. More recently, however, politically concerned theologians have found new meaning in the topic. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s Walter Wink produced a trio of books forming ‘the Powers’ series.64 Wink accepts the axiom of powers theology, that angelic and human political power reside together under a single vocabulary.65 Yet, his radical political principles hardly allow that these powers are already reconciled in a Christian just state. So, Wink strongly emphasises the on–going struggle against the ‘domination system’: “we wrestle on two planes, the earthly and the heavenly.”66 Wink’s lead has been followed by Neil Elliott in Liberating Paul: the Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle (1995). This book shares the opinion that the powers are yet to be defeated,67 but goes even further along the road. Elliott denies that the crucifixion of Jesus represents any major break in their dominance: “The cross alone does not, cannot, reveal the defeat of the Powers.”68 Manifestly, then, this last perspective is far removed from the original theological context of Cullmann’s realised eschatology, with the cross understood as a complete victory which has already occurred. The spirit world is here deployed as a kind of theological illustration for the on–going struggles which modern Christians should be facing.

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64 Wink, Naming the Powers. Also: W. Wink, Unmasking the Powers: the Invisible Forces that Determine Human Existence (The Powers vol. 2; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), and: W. Wink, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (The Powers vol. 3; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986). Wink has also more recently applied his detailed biblical interpretation of the powers in a popular work of theology: W. Wink, The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millennium (London/New York: Doubleday, 1998). This idea of a (radical) political theology linked to spiritual powers received some impetus from the previous work of Morrison. His ideas were briefly taken up by Stringfellow, who provided an important antecedent for Wink’s theology: W. Stringfellow, Conscience and Obedience: the Politics of Romans 13 and Revelation 13 in Light of the Second Coming (Waco: Word Books, 1977). 65 “Unless the context further specifies (and some do), we are to take the terms for power in their most comprehensive sense, understanding them to mean both heavenly and earthly, divine and human, good and evil powers.” Wink, Naming the Powers, 39. 66 Ibid. 130. 67 N. Elliott, Liberating Paul: The Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) 116. 68 His italics. Ibid. 118.

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3.3.4 Overview In this phase of scholarship, we witness another, rather different approach to the spirit world. By and large, these interpreters (unlike Dibelius) are not concerned with the historical quest for Paul’s ancient Jewish spirituality. Instead, the contemporary theological and political consequences of a perceived teaching on angelic powers has been pushed to the forefront. It is asked, what (if anything) do these powers mean for us now? So, strictly speaking, the theology of power does not offer any general account of spiritual beings in Paul’s letters. The scholars mentioned here have shaped the material in accordance with what they would regard as the enduring importance of the spirit world: a nexus of angelic and political power. The potential problem here is that the desire to address a contemporary context may override the need to examine and re–examine the early Jewish setting of Paul’s letters. Attention must also be given to a more narrowly historical line of inquiry. Therefore, since our stated aim is chiefly to locate Paul within his original cultural and historical context, we will not ourselves be concerned to develop the modern theological value of his writings. This is not to say that they cannot have such a value; it is just that this is not our concern in this particular study. Nevertheless, we may certainly agree with the powers theology on one significant point: spiritual and angelic powers are matters deserving of our attention.

3.4 Denials and Criticisms of the Spirit World in Modern Research Our history of research thus far may be giving the somewhat false impression that Pauline scholarship has actually invested a good deal of energy into studying the role of spiritual powers in the epistles. In fact, this is not the case. Despite the work of scholars in the history of religion school and the vigorous theology of power which we have just described, it remains a common perspective in modern NT scholarship that the apostle Paul did not have any truly significant beliefs concerning the supernatural, angels, demons, or spiritual beings in general. Today, as in the age of F.C. Baur, this may partly be motivated by the apologetic desire for a credible apostle: somebody who is not compromised by the more outlandish beliefs of antiquity. He is seen as a kind of champion of realism, supposedly far removed from the ‘speculation’ of apocalyptic sects, gnostics, or magic users. Many would thus argue that Paul’s gospel was neither mythological nor incredible, but was instead concerned with practical and ethical human affairs. It is this general opinion which we shall now examine in a little more detail.

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3.4.1 Ignoring the Spirit World Before moving on to explicit arguments, we firstly should note that the majority of scholars have nothing at all to say about our topic. It seems not to register even as a minor factor (as it did for Baur). Most general works on Paul make no explicit reference to spirits. Included in this are some of the most influential texts in contemporary Pauline studies.69 To some extent, this simply reflects the preservation of the classic ordering of the material; spiritual beings are regarded as minor and trifling concerns which do not merit a mention in general accounts of the apostle. Arguably, this lack of reference to the spirit world is driven (mostly, unconsciously) by a modern assumption. If we today can theologise without the spirits, then why could not Paul? The average academic biblical scholar probably spends very little time (if any) contemplating the influence of unseen spirits on his/her life, so it is only natural that this thought pattern is projected back onto Paul. Yet, although this interpretive approach is understandable, it does not mean that it is right. The weakness of this supposition is that it seems to ignore a major dimension of the apostle’s early Jewish cultural context. Many Jews and Christians did regard spirits as an important aspect of reality, so it is at least conceivable that Paul did too. 3.4.2 Rudolf Bultmann and ‘Demythologisation’ As we have said, various scholars have attempted to argue explicitly against any real role for spiritual beings in Paul’s teaching. By this line of argument, it is claimed that many ancient religionists did indeed strongly believe in the influence of angels, demons, etc., but Paul’s case is particularly notable because of his rejection of these common notions. Over the last fifty years, there has been an increasing trend of speaking of this apparent spirit world scepticism as a process of ‘demythologisation’. That is, by contrast with his contemporaries, Paul chose to see the world in a non– mythological way. His understanding of reality was governed by ‘real’ or ‘existential’ problems, rather than spiritual flights of fancy. So, beyond simply ignoring spirits, some would say they are significant because they have been almost eliminated by the apostle in his literary output. —————

69 To name but a few: G. Bornkamm, Paul (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1975); J. Becker, Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993); J. Murphy–O’Connor, Paul: A Critical Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); C. Roetzel, Paul: the Man and the Myth (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999). Sanders’ epoch–making Paul and Palestinian Judaism makes only the barest mention (not even a page) of ‘the rulers of this world’. E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: a Comparison of Patterns of Religion (London: SCM, 1977) 498.

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The intellectual and linguistic source for this interpretation may be traced back to the work of Rudolf Bultmann in his Theologie des Neuen Testaments (1948)70 and his work in the ‘kerygma and myth’ debate.71 However, despite the fact that Bultmann’s theology is in many ways the bedrock for this reading of the Pauline spirit world, it is actually questionable whether this attempt to deny the importance of spiritual powers actually fits with what Bultmann himself was getting at. In fact, perversely, the claim that Paul attempted to rid himself of superstitious spiritual beliefs seems to be the exact opposite of what Bultmann claimed. We must begin by appreciating what Bultmann thought the world–view of Jewish and Christian antiquity was like. In Jesus Christ and Mythology, he claims that for the likes of Jesus and Paul, “the whole conception of the world […] generally is mythological”.72 The world of the NT is distinguished from ours by its construction of reality. So, the point develops that the NT view is “different from the conception of the world which has been formed and developed by science”.73 Indeed, Bultmann specifically distinguishes modern approaches to history from ancient approaches by our tendency to discount the possibility of direct interventions by God, the devil, or demons.74 The fact that Jesus and the authors of the NT assumed the influence of spiritual powers is, according to Bultmann, a barrier to our acceptance or understanding of their message. What, then, of demythologisation? In light of what he has said about the ancient world–view, Bultmann then asks whether we may see behind the out–dated cultural assumptions of the NT to find a general or essential message, buried beneath the layers of mythology. In other words, it is our job to get past the mythology of Jesus or Paul. Demythologisation for Bultmann is something which modern readers do to the text; it is not a critique which Paul made of the superstitions of his day. This is expressed simply in Bultmann’s observation that demythologisation “is a method of hermeneutics”.75 We are the demythologisers, not the authors of the NT. In terms of how this applies to the spirit world in Paul’s letters, Bultmann’s views are actually very straightforward. The cosmology of the NT is essentially mythical; history “is set in motion and controlled by su—————

70 R.K. Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament (2 vol.; London: SCM, 1952). Bultmann’s treatment of Paul is found in vol. 1. 71 See especially Bultmann’s contributions to Bartsch (ed.) Kerygma and Myth. 72 R.K. Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology (New York: Charles Schreibner and Sons, 1958) 15. 73 Ibid. 15. 74 Ibid. 15. 75 Ibid. 18.

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pernatural powers”.76 Bultmann does not describe Paul as a critic of the supernatural. On the contrary, the assumption is that the world is held in bondage to a mysterious triumvirate: Satan, Sin, and Death.77 Angels and demons are unquestioned in this world–view. Paul himself did not abandon such beliefs; we must reinterpret them.78 The distinction here is a little subtle, but needs to be recognised. Rudolf Bultmann thought that belief in spirits is out–dated and that modern Christians need to get past it. He also claimed that the modern lack of belief in spirits needs to be integrated into the way in which we read the Bible. However, demythologisation was meant to be a method for readers to see through the cosmology of ancient documents. Nowhere does Bultmann say that Jesus and Paul themselves rejected myth in any decisive way. What this leaves, therefore, is quite a complex legacy for the study of the spirit world in the Pauline epistles. 3.4.3 Developing Demythologisation: James Dunn Bultmann’s own understanding of demythologisation as a hermeneutic places emphasis upon the role of the modern reader. However, as we have said, his approach has been re–deployed to form a different type of argument, one which casts Paul himself in the role of demythologiser. Perhaps, some would claim, the NT itself recognises the weakness of ancient cosmology and tries to offer a message without recourse to mythical accounts of spiritual powers. Perhaps (contrary to what Bultmann was saying) Paul himself eliminated the mythology of the spirit world. An early popular manifestation of this view is found in Trevor Ling’s short book The Significance of Satan (1961), which interprets the NT as moving beyond the common demonology of antiquity towards a less mythological worldview.79 This traces a kind of gradual development: while Jews and Greeks may have thought much of demonology, individuals such as Paul were able to introduce a clearer view of reality by taking these myths out of the message of Christianity. In recent times, the most distinguished scholar to advance this type of argument is James Dunn. The setting for this particular discussion is his Theology of Paul the Apostle (1998), which aims to set out Paul’s main theological themes and arguments by taking Romans as the central epistle. A ————— 76

Bultmann, ‘New Testament and Mythology’, 1. Ibid. 2. 78 By contrast with the NT, “we can no longer believe in spirits, whether good or evil.” Ibid. 4. 79 T. Ling, The Significance of Satan: the New Testament Demonology and its Contemporary Relevance (London: SPCK, 1961). 77

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key aspect of this theology is the negative situation from which Christ is held to deliver believers, what Dunn calls “humankind under indictment”.80 Emphasis is laid upon human responsibility for the origins of evil in the form of sin, an idea which Dunn claims lies at the heart of Paul’s understanding of our world. The factors which promote evil are fundamentally non–mythological ideas; they are aspects of human behaviour. This argument is expressed very clearly in Dunn’s account of demonic forces: Paul refers to such heavenly beings as opposed to God’s purposes, not so much because he had clear beliefs about them himself, but because he needed terms to speak of the all too real supraindividual, suprasocial forces of evil which he experienced and saw at work, and because these were the terms which expressed widely held current beliefs. That is to say, the assurances at the points cited above were probably largely ad hominem, with a view to reassuring those for whom such heavenly powers were all too real and inspired real fear.81

Dunn’s emphasis upon ‘supraindividual’ and ‘suprasocial’ forces may be novel, but his basic position is not so far removed from Baur’s nineteenth century rationalism. Paul’s own view of spiritual realities is here held to be more sceptical and penetrative than that of his more credulous contemporaries. 3.4.4 Jörg Baumgarten One notable work, which expresses this type of demythologisation argument in some detail is Jörg Baumgarten’s monograph Paulus und die Apokalyptik (1975). Examining apocalyptic traditions in Paul, he devotes a chapter to angelology, demonology, and satanology.82 Baumgarten regards the spirit world as entirely inconsequential for theology and as something in which Paul himself scarcely believed. The apostle, it is argued, took pains to separate himself from angelology83 and was deliberately reticent about demonology.84 He purposefully demythologised the spirit world.85 He preserved only ‘relics’ from the tradition, not fully eliminated because of their —————

80 Which is the heading of his third chapter. J.D.G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) 79. 81 Ibid. 109. It is notable how Dunn’s views here resemble those of old German rationalists like Semler, who suggested that “Jesus and the apostles ‘accommodated’ their real enlightened views to the primitive ideas of their hearers.” Morgan, Nature of NT Theology, 5. 82 J. Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik: Die Auslegung apokalyptischer Überlieferungen in den echten Paulusbriefen (WMANT 44; Neukirchen : Neukirchener Verlag, 1975) 147–158. 83 Ibid. 151. 84 Ibid. 155. 85 Ibid. 157.

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popularity in the surrounding world.86 Paul would have liked to ignore spiritual powers altogether, but could not because of their influence in his culture. In other words, rather like Dunn, Baumgarten attempts to separate realistic and valuable Paulinism from the mythical fantasies of other ancient Jews and Greeks. 3.4.5 Questioning Powers: Wesley Carr One of the most important works in this trend of scholarship has challenged the significance of spiritual beings on historical and philological grounds. That is, Wesley Carr’s Angels and Principalities (1981).87 Essentially, this book seeks to argue that Paul held a very limited angelology and certainly did not believe the world to be dominated by spiritual powers. Again, Paul is seen as an anti–mythological figure. In approaching the letters, Carr (like Kurze before him) has concerns about the religious–historical emphasis upon Paul’s Jewish background. He writes: “It is worth recalling that he (Paul) lived and worked in the main in Asia Minor, where even the Jews had to a large extent forgotten their past.”88 This is an interesting, if slightly dubious claim. Still, in essence Carr is determined that Paul should not simply be made to fit in with any so–called ‘typical’ Jewish apocalyptic background, but be treated as an individual in his own right – a fairly worthy ideal. Carr’s main target for criticism is the theology of power (described above), for he vigorously argues that there are no instances of evil angelic rulers in Paul’s letters. Individuals like Dibelius are held to be quite mistaken in bringing this to the forefront. On the one occasion where evil powers seem incontestably to be present, Carr conjecturally emends the text to remove the problematic reference.89 We shall engage with the historical problem of the angelic powers later in this study. For the time being, it suffices to say that Carr too presents a picture of the apostle as someone most definitely free from mythology. This point is explicit in his conclusion: ————— 86

Ibid. 158. W. Carr, Angels and Principalities: The Background, Meaning and Development of the Pauline Phrase hai archai kai hai exousiai (SNTSMS 43; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Also notable for building a similar argument to Carr are two relatively recent JSNT articles by C. Forbes, ‘Paul’s Principalities and Powers: Demythologizing Apocalyptic?’, JSNT 82 (2001) 61–88; ‘Pauline Demonology and/or Cosmology? Principalities, Powers, and the Elements of the World in their Hellenistic Context’, JSNT 85 (2002) 51–73. 88 Carr, Angels and Principalities, 2. 89 Excising Eph 6.12. Ibid. 108–110. 87

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Paul’s ethical position is notable for its interpretation of reality as it was experienced by the Christian Church and for its acceptance of the facts of social life. He did not have recourse to an obscure mythology at a central point of his social thinking.90

By describing belief in spirits in negative terms, Carr promotes Paul as a positive role–model of realism, just as others had done before. 3.4.6 Overview By and large, the scholars in this trend of interpretation have been concerned to distinguish between what they have regarded as fantasy and reality. Support for Pauline theology is boosted by distancing it from the former and aligning it with the latter. Rather as F.C. Baur asserted almost two hundred years ago, the apostle is held to have transcended some of the worst delusions of antiquity. Seemingly, then, this line of interpretation begins by passing a strong (negative) value–judgement upon belief in spirits. So, on this point, NT scholarship can be seen to have come full circle. Having initially separated Paul from beliefs about angels, demons, and other spirits (Baur), historical scholarship then deliberately located Paul within that religious and cultural context (Everling, Dibelius). However, with the initial enthusiasm for the history of religion having died down, the claim that Paul escaped from the myth of the spirit world has come back into vogue. Now, we face a situation in which the spirit world is once again commonly regarded as at most a ‘minor doctrine’. The question which this immediately raises is whether this negative view of the spirit world is really justified historically. The idea that belief in spirits is false, misleading, and unduly speculative might be more a product of modern rationalism than Paul’s own cultural context. Granted, contemporary scholars may be dismissive of angels and demons, but can they really claim that Paul too shared their concerns? This is quite a complex matter, because it is a claim about what is implicit in the letters, rather than anything on the surface of the text. Indeed, because this is not a point which Paul addresses directly, we might wonder how satisfactorily it might be investigated. Quite often, Paul refers to spirits in his letters, but he never stops to pass judgement on these beliefs in their own right. Might it be more appropriate to say that the appraisal of ancient spirituality simply was not on his agenda? As we shall go on to argue later, this seems most likely to have been the case. ————— 90

Ibid. 176.

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3.5 Renewed Historical Interest in the Spirit World Despite the current lack of enthusiasm for spiritual beings in contemporary Pauline scholarship, one development which has moved research along is the discovery of new sources (Qumran, Nag Hammadi) and improved access to other texts which have been known for longer (pseudepigrapha, magical texts, Jewish mystical writings). This material goes beyond that which was available to Everling, Dibelius, et al., and has prompted some new interpretations of references to the spirit world in the epistles. A number of journal articles stand out in this respect.91 Still, the prospects for further research are strong, as the full impact of this extra data is yet to be felt. 3.5.1 Apocalyptic Accounts of Paul One particular branch of recent Pauline studies which may have added some impetus for studying the role of the spirit world in the letters is the development of apocalyptic accounts of Paul and his thought. The term ‘apocalyptic’ here encompasses a number of different perspectives from a variety of scholars, although they are all loosely connected by their rejection of the realised eschatology once proposed for Paul by Bultmann.92 While we do not have sufficient scope here to give a full account of this very substantial field of NT interpretation,93 we may still briefly consider some of the ways in which this kind of approach may impact upon our understanding of spirits. One aspect of this has been an attempt in some quarters to re–emphasise the apocalyptic cultural context of Paul’s writings; his was an age, it is claimed, in which beliefs concerning revelation, eschatology, and angelology flourished. Therefore, it might be argued that as————— 91

For instance, see J.A. Fitzmyer, ‘A Feature of Qumran Angelology and the Angel of 1Corinthians 11–10’, in J. Murphy–O’Connor (ed.) Paul and Qumran: Studies in New Testament Exegesis (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1968) 31–47. Also: A. Yarbro Collins, ‘The Function of Excommunication in Paul’, HTR 73 (1980) 251–263. Also: C.R.A. Morray–Jones, ‘Paradise Revisited (2 Cor 12:1–12): The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul’s Apostolate, Part 1: The Jewish Sources’, HTR 86 (1993) 177–217; ‘Paradise Revisited (2 Cor 12:1–12): The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul’s Apostolate, Part 2: Paul’s Heavenly Ascent and its Significance’, HTR 86 (1993) 265–292. 92 Particularly emphasising this futurist eschatology is the work of J.C. Beker, Paul the Apostle: the Triumph of God in Life and Thought (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1980); Paul’s Apocalyptic Gospel: the Coming Triumph of God (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982). 93 For quite a full account of the ‘apocalyptic’ reading of Paul, see R.B. Matlock, Unveiling the Apocalyptic Paul: Paul’s Interpreters and the Rhetoric of Criticism (JSNTSup 127; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996).

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pects of the letters can better be understood if they are read in the light of this literature, giving prominence to familiar apocalyptic themes.94 Since angelology and demonology are reasonably ubiquitous in apocalyptic literature, the logic might follow that these should receive more attention in studying the writings of Paul the apostle. Implicitly, some scholars seem to have accepted that this is the case. Indeed, some have even made fairly strong claims for the importance of such material. For instance, Ernst Käsemann – one of the most prominent NT scholars of the twentieth century – has found quite a striking role for spiritual powers. His account of Paul’s theology places great emphasis upon a narrative of dualistic conflict between good and evil. The letters, according to Käsemann, are filled with allusions to struggle and the language of unseen powers. So it follows, for example, that his understanding of demonology in Paul’s work is quite at odds with that of the demythologisation interpreters we encountered above. He writes: “We must not overlook Pauline demonology, with its associated metaphysical dualism […] Man, entangled in self–conflict, practically speaking always subject to evil, is not free.”95 The spirit world is here seen as the explanation for a key theological point, that humans are wholly lacking in freedom.96 Spiritual powers in this context are regarded as meaningful, rather than as obscure or speculative fantasies. Käsemann’s views have found some favour among other Pauline scholars. Another notable NT critic, J. Louis Martyn has advanced quite similar arguments across a number of publications.97 He too regards the themes of cosmic conflict and the influence of unseen powers as decisive elements in the Pauline epistles. He sees these as key aspects of theology rather than as trivial, marginal features. By and large, then, this trend of seeing Paul as an ‘apocalyptic’ figure has given extra prominence to the spirit world and inspired some extra reflection upon its significance. Scholars such as Käsemann and Martyn have placed quite a strong theological emphasis upon the coherence of this material, because they regard it as part of an important and central soteriological theme of the letters: unseen powers contend over the world, while —————

94 An excellent example of this with a very clear focus in the Pauline corpus is the work of M.C. De Boer, The Defeat of Death: Apocalyptic Eschatology in 1Corinthians 15 and Romans 5 (JSNTSup 22; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988). 95 E. Käsemann, Perspectives on Paul (London: SCM, 1971) 23–24. 96 Käsemann’s views are also expressed in his commentary on Romans: E. Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, (London: SCM, 1980). 97 J.L Martyn, Theological Issues in the Letters of Paul (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1997). Also in his commentary on Galatians – J.L. Martyn, Galatians (AB 33a; New York: Doubleday, 1997).

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Christians are embroiled in this cosmic conflict. The Christ of Paul’s letters is seen as a figure engaged in combat with evil. Whether these scholars are correct in this judgement is quite a complex matter, and it is one to which we shall return later in this study. Much of what Käsemann and others have claimed regarding the spirit world needs to be thoroughly investigated (more so than it has been thus far), so we shall withhold judgement for the time being. Nevertheless, we may at least agree for now that the aim of giving further consideration to the role of spiritual powers in Paul’s letters is one which we share. 3.5.2 Religious Experience Another trend in recent scholarship has sought to emphasise the importance of Paul’s religious experience. This has included the suggestion that he made some sort of partial or complete entrance into the spiritual world through visions and ascension into heaven.98 By suggesting that Paul had connections with apocalyptic and mystical strands of Judaism, certain scholars have thus opened up the possibility of finding a new and significant role for spiritual beings as an aspect of revelation or personal experience. One of the few scholars to draw attention to the connection between religious experience and the influence of spiritual powers in Paul is John Ashton. In his The Religion of Paul the Apostle (2000), Ashton pursues the figure of Paul through analogy and comparative religion.99 The apostle’s self–understanding is likened to that of a shaman in traditional cultures: ecstatic, charismatic, or even possessed. So, for the shaman’s power with the spirits, Ashton finds a possible analogue in Paul’s relationship with pneu¤ma or indeed Christ. All of this provides quite an original and thought– provoking portrait of the apostle, as one whose religious life brought him into close proximity with the perceived reality of unseen forces, even mak—————

98 A description of Paul’s conversion experience in terms of heavenly revelation is found in the work of S. Kim, The Origin of Paul’s Gospel (WUNT 2nd series 4; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1984). Meanwhile, quite a powerful case for regarding Paul as one who claimed to have ascended into heaven is put forward by A.F. Segal, Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990). 99 Making the important distinction in the history of religion – first set out by Deissmann – between analogy and genealogy. J. Ashton, The Religion of Paul the Apostle (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000) 13–14, Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 265. So, Ashton does not set out to explain where Paul’s religion came from, but rather seeks to describe it in terms of general comparison with other cultures. The fact that there is no direct ‘link’ between one religion and another does not mean that comparison will necessarily be fruitless (a point missed by some of Ashton’s critics).

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ing this part of the creative energy behind the letters. Paul, one might possibly argue, was a figure who drew on the spiritual powers which he believed encompassed his world. 3.5.3 Angels and Christology A further notable development in recent scholarship has been the growing debate concerning the contribution of angelology to Christology. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, works by Alan Segal,100 Jarl Fossum,101 and Christopher Rowland102 gave revised expression to the old argument that early Christian views of Christ may have developed through the influence of Jewish beliefs about angels.103 Fossum has even hailed this development as the birth of a ‘new history of religion school’.104 This idea has also found its way into Pauline studies, and there is now some heated discussion of the influence of angels in Paul’s understanding of Christ. Some see this as a significant feature,105 while others are less than convinced.106 So, depending upon how one interprets the evidence, there is at least the possibility that the concept of angelic beings makes an important contribution here. Naturally, this is a matter which we shall deal with in detail later. 3.5.4 Clinton Arnold Finally, the type of religious–historical study of the Pauline spirit world pioneered by Everling and Dibelius has been to some extent revived in the —————

100 A.F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA 25; Leiden: Brill, 1977). 101 J. Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism (WUNT 2nd series 36; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1985). 102 Especially in his journal articles: C.C. Rowland, ‘The vision of the Risen Christ in Rev 1:13 ff : the Debt of an Early Christology to an Aspect of Jewish Angelology’, JTS 31 (1980) 1–11; ‘A Man Clothed in Linen. Daniel 10.6ff and Jewish Angelology’, JSNT 24 (1985) 99–110. 103 Which received classic expression in the work of M. Werner, The Formation of Christian Dogma: an Historical Study of its Problem (London: A&C Black, 1957). 104 Being hinted at in the title of a seminar paper: J. Fossum, ‘The New Religionsgeschichtliche Schule: The Quest for Jewish Christology’, SBLSP 30 (1991) 638–646. 105 For example: J. Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God: Essays on the Influence of Jewish Mysticism on Early Christology (NTOA 50; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995); C.A. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence (AGJU 42; Leiden: Brill, 1998). See also Reid’s DPL entry Angels, Archangels. 106 Criticisms of Fossum and Gieschen are found in D.D. Hannah, Michael and Christ: Michael Traditions and Angel Christology in Early Christianity (WUNT 2nd series 109; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999), and also by the same author a JTS review (2000) of Gieschen’s monograph.

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work of Clinton Arnold. While also being the author of a popular (evangelical) ‘powers’ theology,107 he has published two academic monographs which discuss the role of spiritual forces in Ephesians and Colossians.108 Added to these are a number of dictionary entries and journal articles.109 What is distinctive here is Arnold’s appeal to a large body of Greco–Roman and Jewish material as the basis of comparative study, placing especially strong emphasis upon the importance of magical papyri for reconstructing Paul’s context. This leads to a ‘maximalist’ view of the spirit world, with Arnold claiming that the defeat of the powers forms a core part of Paul’s theology.

6. Overview and Conclusion To summarise, this history of research has described the process by which F.C. Baur’s initial dismissal of spiritual beings as irrelevancies within Paul’s letters was first overturned by the history of religion school. Otto Everling and Martin Dibelius suggested that the apostle’s views on such matters were comparable to those of his Jewish contemporaries, regarding the spirits as underlying features of his cultural background. A significant off–shoot of this research later developed with the arrival of the theology of power (Cullmann, et al.), linking political authority to angelic influence. However, in course of time, Baur’s categorisation of the spirit world as a ‘minor doctrine’ seems to have stuck, with the majority of today’s scholars making no reference to spiritual forces in their writings on Paul. Indeed, a number of scholars argue specifically against the importance of spirits (Baumgarten, Carr, Dunn), asserting that the apostle had little time for the ‘mythology’ of his contemporaries. The realism of the NT is contrasted with the apparent fantasy of other religious cultures. Nevertheless, this dominant view does not command a complete consensus, and there are signs of a potential return to the perspectives of the old history of religion school, reflected in such themes as religious experience or Christology. —————

107 C.E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: a Thoughtful Biblical Look at an Urgent Challenge Facing the Church (Leicester: Inter–Varsity, 1992). As an illustration of how differently the legacy of Paul’s teaching on the spirit world may be interpreted into modern theology, Powers of Darkness makes for an interesting comparison with Wink’s Powers that Be. 108 C.E. Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic (SNTSMS 63; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); The Colossian Syncretism: The Interface Between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae (WUNT 2nd series 77; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck). 109 Most notably: C.E. Arnold, ‘Returning to the Domain of the Powers: Stoicheia as Evil Spirits in Galatians 4:3, 9’ NovT 38 (1996) 55–76. See also his entries Magic and Power in DPL, and Principalities and Powers in ABD.

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All of this sets the scene for our own study. In the Introduction, we stated our aim of once again picking up the task previously taken on by Dibelius, attempting to provide a comprehensive analysis of the spirit world in Paul’s letters. Specifically, we wish to give an account of Paul which interprets his letters within the framework of his ancient Jewish spirituality. We wish to measure the lines of agreement or disagreement between Paul and his contemporaries by piecing together the appropriate context. As we have stated, our general thesis is that spiritual beings form an integral part of the letters and in this respect we offer quite a different perspective from the likes of Baumgarten, Dunn, and others. Instead of dismissing the spirit world as an irrelevance, we seek to bring fresh emphasis to this somewhat neglected topic. Perhaps we shall even find that a study of spiritual beings adds something to our wider understanding of the apostle. Indeed, as we shall now argue, this prospect fits reasonably well with the manner in which early Christians first saw Paul and his writings.

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4. Early Perceptions of Paul and the Spirit World

4.1 An Old Perspective on Paul As we delve further into the question of how we might approach the interpretation of the spirit world, we arrive at a body of material which has not received the kind of attention which it deserves. While modern scholars may be divided as to the relative significance or insignificance of the spirits in Paul’s writings, few (if any) have stopped to consider what the first Christians thought about such matters. Whatever else Paul may be, he was most certainly a pre–modern figure, untouched by the philosophy, science, and scepticism of our intervening centuries. So, we might suppose, the attitudes of the first Christians could be of some interest and value. Living in the ancient Mediterranean, they could have pictured and interpreted the apostle from a position of some cultural proximity and sympathy. Our aim here, then, is straightforward. By examining early perceptions of Paul and the spirit world, we seek a more refined and informed point of view in terms of how this material may be understood. This could further help us to formulate our own approach to the letters. Indeed, as we shall now see, this early Christian material arguably gives quite a different perspective from that which is dominant in current Pauline scholarship. Rightly or wrongly, many early readers and interpreters regarded the apostle as deeply involved with spiritual beings, in the events of his life and in his teaching of his epistles.

4.2 The Deutero–Pauline and Pastoral Epistles As we stated in the Introduction, not all of the letters traditionally ascribed to Paul may be regarded as his authentic compositions, although there is some dispute as to which texts this actually includes. With a degree of caution, therefore, we may regard certain letters of the NT as early attempts to convey the character and teaching of Paul after his death, by writing in his name. Presumably, references to spiritual beings in these letters were meant to provide a plausible reflection of what the apostle himself thought about such matters, seeking to provide continuity with his teaching. Thus, these texts supply a natural starting point for this chapter.

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4.2.1 Early Deutero–Paulines As far as the letters to the Colossians, Ephesians, and the second letter to the Thessalonians are concerned, there can be no certainty in terms of authorship and provenance. To repeat our assumptions for this study, we regard the letter to the Colossians as an authentic Pauline epistle and the other two as early ‘deutero–Paulines’. Needless to say, these assumptions are entirely challengeable, and so we shall avoid building any grand edifice upon the claim of Pauline or non–Pauline authorship. Nevertheless, however we classify these texts, their evidence remains highly relevant to this study, being early documents which are closely associated with the apostle and his followers. Furthermore, as concerns the spirit world, they contain a wealth of fascinating material. The second letter to the Thessalonians develops themes from the first letter, and gives significant attention to the events of the end times. The Lord will return with mighty angels (1.7),1 but not before the coming of “the man of lawlessness” (o¥ aãnqrwpoj thÍj a¹nomi¢aj, 2.3) – a quasi–demonic figure whose own arrival is prefaced by the working of Satan (2.9).2 So, for the author of this letter, the shape of the eschaton has to be understood by reference to the machinations of the spiritual world. Satan and the angels stand behind the unfolding of significant events. Of particular interest, though, is the fact that this is all presented specifically as Paul’s oral teaching (2.5). The dramatic influence of angelic and demonic forces is presumed to be consistent with his overall message. The letter to the Ephesians, meanwhile, has an extremely close (and thus problematic) connection with the letter to the Colossians.3 However, much of what it has to say about spiritual powers is particularly distinctive, setting

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1 As Dibelius observes, this is the same idea as 1Thess 3.13. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 32. Everling suggests that the angelologies of the first and second letters are very similar, but casts doubt on the authenticity of the second. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 81. Similarity in angelology may suggest the Pauline authorship of both letters or, on the contrary, that the second letter is dependent upon the first in this respect. 2 Whether this letter was composed by Paul or not, it is an open question as to whether this eschatological teaching was originally his own. Baumgarten seems to doubt whether Paul himself would ever have allowed Satan such eschatological significance. Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 156. Yet, there is no external means of verifying this one way or the other. At least, one may say that some very early Christians thought that this was the kind of thing which Paul had been teaching. We shall return to this problem later in the study. 3 See the introduction of major commentaries: M. Barth, Ephesians: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (AB 34; 2 vol.; Garden City: Doubleday, 1974); A. Lincoln, Ephesians (WBC 42; Dallas: Word Books, 1990); E. Best, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Ephesians (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) etc.

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it apart from its sister epistle.4 Christ is seated in heaven, above every angelic ruler and authority (1.20–21). Meanwhile, the world is governed by a spirit (presumably, the devil) known as “the ruler of the power of the air” (2.2). The church has an unusual role in making known the wisdom of God to the heavenly rulers and authorities (3.10). Most striking, though, is the often–quoted suggestion that believers are locked in conflict with the “world rulers of this darkness”, the “spiritual forces of evil” (6.11). This introduces a fairly lengthy exhortation to prepare for the conflict, ultimately being able to “quench the flaming arrows of the evil one” (6.16). The important point to emphasise here is that Ephesians is a very early text, intended to provide an account of Paul’s teaching. Perhaps originating from among his own followers, one might argue that its relatively expansive portrayal of the spirit world is unlikely to be a gross misrepresentation of his views. 4.2.2 The Pastoral Epistles Most likely originating from a generation or two after the apostle’s death, the letters to Timothy and Titus seek to apply Paul’s reputation and teaching to a new situation and set of concerns. Although there are some points of interest in the second letter (especially in the possible allusions to magical practices in chapter 3),5 it is the first letter to Timothy which contains the most significant references to spiritual beings. Fascinating is the statement that two offenders (Hymenaeus and Alexander) have been handed over to Satan (1.20), which has a clear parallel in 1Cor 5.5. The precise meaning of such an action will be considered elsewhere in this study. Still, it is here worth noting the continuity which this phrase implies with the use and re–use of Paul’s language of Satan – a point we shall further develop later in this chapter. Also of great interest are the references made to the qualifications of an “overseer” or “bishop” (e¦pi¢skopoj), who must avoid the “condemnation of the devil” (3.6) and —————

4 So, Arnold (who regards Ephesians as authentically Pauline) is able to construct a distinct historical context for the letter precisely on the basis of spirit world material: ‘power and magic’, as he summarises it. Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic. In another work, he sets out different spiritual concerns – angelic syncretism – as the background of Colossians. Arnold, Colossian Syncretism. 5 Especially in the references to Jannes and Jambres (3.8) and the use of go¢htej (3.13). Perhaps an allusion to opponents “dabbling in magic arts”. J.N.D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1963) 200. As far as the early church was concerned, an association with deceitful magic would involve some form of collusion with evil spirits. For the legend of Jannes and Jambres: W.D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles (WBC 46; Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000) 550. See also Str–B 660–664.

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indeed “the snare of the devil” (3.7).6 Notable too is the reference to Christ, “revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels” (3.16), presumably referring to his exaltation to heaven (cf. Ascen. Isa. 11.23).7 Angels thus fulfil a key role in witnessing who Christ is. Our author also holds out the prospect that some believers will depart from the faith because of “deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons” (4.1),8 assuming spiritual powers to be genuine and present dangers. Finally, the author of this letter also makes passing mention of Christ’s company of “elect angels” (5.21; cf. Odes Sol. 4.8), spiritual figures which lend him authority and power. Overall, it seems that the image of Paul which is presented in the deutero– Pauline and Pastoral Epistles is one of a figure who repeatedly refers to various kinds of spiritual, angelic, and demonic powers, assuming their existence and influence throughout. At this very early stage in Christianity, therefore, we do not find the implication among these authors that Paul created a new sceptical or ‘demythologised’ approach to spirits. In place of this, we find a different assumption; we find that in the pseudonymous attempt to create plausibly Pauline letters, spiritual forces were felt to be typical ingredients of his teaching.

4.3 The Legendary Figure 4.3.1 Paul in Acts Even within the narrative of the NT itself, Paul at times emerges as a figure of spiritual power. In the book of Acts he receives an anti–demonic commission, turning the Gentiles “from the authority of Satan to God” (26.18). He also contends with the sorcerer Bar Jesus (13.6ff), drives out a spirit of divination from a slave girl (16.16–18), performs exorcisms (19.12), encourages the burning of magical books (19.19), and receives the visit of an angel (27.23). When on trial, the scribes of the Pharisees ask (and this is supposed to be a serious question): “what if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” (23.9). It would be fair to say that this is not exactly the Paul fa—————

6 This last image of the devil setting snares is a metaphor taken from Judaism. Compare the “nets of Belial” in CD 4.15. 7 So M. Dibelius/H. Conzelmann, The Pastoral Epistles (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1972) 62. Also Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 229. 8 On the one hand, this connects the letter to the eschatological warnings of deception in 2Thess and Paul’s struggle with rival teachers in 2Cor. On the other hand, this also looks forward to later patristic condemnations of heresy as the teaching of demons (especially in the apologetics of Justin). In a way, then, 1Tim bridges the gap between Paul and later writers.

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miliar to us from critical scholarship. Nevertheless, it might be unwise to dismiss this evidence altogether. Acts is historically uncritical and says little of any theology of Paul,9 but this does not necessarily make it uninformative. After all, Paul himself sometimes displays a high regard for his notable powers (e.g. 1Cor 2.4). Possibly, the material in Acts in some way reflects aspects of Paul’s career. Furthermore, some recent research in Acts actually uncovers a significant quantity of genuine history in its apparent supernaturalism. This is not to say that Acts supplies a record of verifiable objective facts. Rather, in terms of cultural facts – what it tells us about the context of early Christian perceptions – it is incredibly valuable.10 So, it might be argued, we must recognise the different and culturally alien construction of reality presumed by the work.11 Ancient literary sources provide numerous weird and wonderful events and ideas, giving some access to early Christian viewpoints. It is perhaps these attitudes and assumptions which may be helpful for the interpretation of Paul’s letters, rather than the indeterminate and indeterminable ‘facts’ of what he may or may not have exactly said or done in Athens, Ephesus, or Philippi. In other words, then, the author of Acts describes the type of events which early Christians themselves believed characterised their mission. This point is perhaps best illustrated when the document is set in its religious and historical context of Jewish and Greco–Roman belief.12 Such an —————

9 The theological discontinuity between Paul’s letters and Acts was first brought to light in an article by P. Vielhauer, ‘On the “Paulinism” of Acts’, in L.E. Keck/J.L. Martyn (ed.) Studies in Luke–Acts: Essays Presented in Honour of Paul Schubert (London: SPCK, 1968) 33–50 (ET). Acts clearly has no theology of the cross or of justification, which Martin Hengel considers to be “a serious failing”. M. Hengel, Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity (London: SCM, 1979) 67. Naturally, this argument is only valid if one agrees with Hengel that Paul has a core theology of the cross and of justification to begin with. 10 The distinction between objective and cultural facts in this context is owed to Ashton, Religion of Paul, 177. 11 This emphasis upon cultural history informs Strelan’s work on Acts. He applies the distinction between ancient and modern ‘cultural worlds’ to spiritual matters. R. Strelan, Strange Acts: Studies in the Cultural World of the Acts of the Apostles (BZNW 126; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004) 51. 12 There is much distinguished research in this vein. See especially S.R. Garrett, The Demise of the Devil: Magic and the Demonic in Luke’s Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989). See also H.J. Klauck, Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000). This trend may be related to the increased discussion and awareness of magic in classical scholarship, bringing the cultural milieu of works like Acts to life. A volume that has shifted perceptions of magic in this respect is that of C.A. Faraone/D. Obbink (ed.) Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). This work now enjoys a ubiquitous presence in the bibliographies of many studies on Acts. This has also provided impetus for general trends in biblical scholarship, especially reflected in the volume T. Klutz (ed.) Magic in the Biblical World: From the Rod of Aaron to the Ring of Solomon (JSNTSup 245; London: T&T Clark, 2003).

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approach can even give the narrative a ring of plausibility. Magic and exorcisms were practised, rather as our author suggests.13 The type of Paul which Acts describes – one of the religious virtuosi – is a type of figure which did broadly speaking exist in antiquity. Furthermore, current scholarship has also brought sociological tools to bear upon the spirits and the supernatural, analysing the social construction of magic accusations, the legitimacy of spiritual powers, and the situation of their users.14 This analysis presupposes the existence of the spirit world as a kind of cultural and social fact (e.g. there can be no magic accusations without the prerequisite activities and beliefs which provoke them). Simply speaking, Christians seem to have discussed and argued about supernatural matters because they supposed them to be real. So, the author of Acts presents us with an image of the apostle and his behaviour which, for him, more or less makes sense. 4.3.2 The Acts of Paul As with the book of Acts, the apocryphal Acts of Paul presents the apostle as interacting with spirits of various kinds. Again, this legendary figure need not be understood purely as a misrepresentation or reinvention of Paul, but this may be rather a reflection of the common expectations of the time. The value of this text is that it demonstrates what some early Christians thought that Paul should have been like. Although this is not of such great interest as Acts itself (because of the later date and narrative deviations from Paul’s career), the text does set out important and strikingly comparable themes: Paul receives angelic messages (4) and scares away demons (6). In the Acts of Paul and Thecla, the apostle is twice accused of sorcery, on

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13 A point which we have set out elsewhere: G.J. Williams, ‘An Apocalyptic and Magical Interpretation of Paul’s ‘Beast Fight’ in Ephesus’, JTS new series 57 (2006) 42–56. 14 Notable in this respect are Garrett, Demise of the Devil, 2, 11; C.S. de Vos, ‘Finding a Charge That Fits: The Accusation Against Paul and Silas at Philippi (Acts 16.19–21)’, JSNT 74 (1999) 51–63; and also A.M. Reimer, Miracle and Magic: A Study in the Acts of the Apostles and the Life of Apollonius of Tyana (JSNTSup 235; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). Peter Brown pioneered this as an approach to late antique Christianity before it came to the attention of NT scholars: P. Brown, ‘Sorcery, Demons, and the Rise of Christianity from Late Antiquity into the Middle Ages’, in M. Douglas (ed.) Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations (London: Tavistock, 1970) 17–46. Particularly in this kind of research one finds that the dismantling of the Frazerian distinction between ‘manipulative’ magic and ‘supplicative’ religion is beginning to have an effect, bringing down the established boundaries between ‘religious’ NT figures and the ‘vulgar’ magicians of their Umwelt. It is thus at least questionable whether we may use spiritual powers as a point for separating Paul from other (supposedly less enlightened) figures within the ancient Mediterranean.

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account of his encouraging celibacy (3.15, 20).15 Therefore, as the legend of Paul continued to develop, the operating assumption among these early Christians was that his career was tied to the influence of the spiritual world. Naïve as such accounts may be, there was nothing inherently artificial or deceitful in their basic approach.

4.4 The Heavenly Traveller The authors of early pseudonymous ‘Pauline’ letters and the early legends of Paul seem to have shared the assumption that the apostle was concerned with and dealt with spiritual beings of various kinds. That assumption was also developed early on in Christian history with considerable imagination in the description of Paul as a heavenly traveller. The starting point for such narratives was found in the text of Paul’s own letters, especially in the cryptic assertion that he had visited the “third heaven” (2Cor 12.1ff). Accounts of heavenly travels were relatively common in antiquity.16 So, rather than being simply the products of over–heated imaginations, these reflected a fairly widespread understanding of the cosmos.17 It was precisely these opinions – that one could travel through the heavens in the appropriate circumstances – which stood behind the early Christian attempt to expand upon Paul’s own journey. Two texts stand out in this respect, both known as the Apocalypse of Paul: a work long familiar from Latin MSS and a Coptic document more recently discovered at Nag Hammadi. The latter of these is of particular interest. —————

15 Bremmer finds a number of further allusions to magical practices in this text, comparing the accusation against Paul with the charge of erotic magic levelled against Apuleius, described in De Magia. J.N. Bremmer, ‘Magic, Martyrdom and Women’s Liberation in the Acts of Paul and Thecla’, in J.N. Bremmer (ed.) The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla (Studies in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles 2; Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1996) 36–59, on page 45. 16 See, for instance, the overviews provided by J.D. Tabor, Things Unutterable: Paul’s Ascent to Paradise in its Greco–Roman, Judaic, and Early Christian Contexts (Studies in Judaism; Lanham: University Press of America, 1986); M. Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). 17 Particularly, Rowland has emphasised the connection between heavenly journeys and the belief that there is a secret and un–revealed aspect of the world. Of Paul’s own vision he writes: “within the thought–world of Paul’s day that meant the drawing back of the veil to disclose that other dimension of reality which was normally hidden.” C.C. Rowland, The Open Heaven (London: SPCK, 1982) 378. Specifically within Pauline studies one may cite the work of Lincoln, who emphasises that the heavenly world was not conceived as a remote sphere “but was integral to a person’s fulfilment.” A. Lincoln, Paradise Now and Not Yet: Studies in the Role of the Heavenly Dimension in Paul’s Thought with Special Reference to His Eschatology (SNTSMS 43; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981) 190–191. The suggestion among early Christians that Paul travelled through the heavens has to be understood as part of this wider context.

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4.4.1 The Nag Hammadi Apocalypse In this narrative (= NHC V, 2) Paul is greeted by a small child, “the Spirit who accompanies you” (Apoc. Paul 18.22). He is then snatched up and passes through the heavens, seeing angels punishing wicked souls (19–20), a great angel with an iron rod (22.2–4), and a toll collector before the door of the seventh heaven (22.20–23). Here Paul meets an old man, enthroned and dressed in white (22.24–28). The Valentinian nature of the work is then revealed as this ancient of days opposes him, asking: “How will you be able to get away from me? Look and see the principalities and authorities.” (23.19–22). With the Spirit’s assistance, Paul defies this god and his angels, going up to the Ogdoad. He meets his fellow apostles and goes on to the ninth and the tenth heaven where he greets his “fellow spirits.” (24.8). It scarcely needs to be remarked that the spirit world is central to this text’s understanding of Paul. However, Andreas Lindemann has questioned whether there is any genuine concern for the individual figure of Paul himself here.18 Perhaps the text is really directed at cosmology, with Paul being an incidental figure. Yet, such arguments do not truly stand up to scrutiny. Paul the apostle is held in high esteem and there are a number of allusions to his letters in this text. The old man greets him as the one “set apart from his mother’s womb” (23.3), making Gal 1.15 a key source for the apocalypse’s understanding of the apostle and his role in salvation. Paul exemplifies spiritual rebirth and passes beyond the world.19 Still more fascinating is the appropriation of Eph 4.8, where of Christ it is said that he “made captive the captivity” ($¦xmalw¢teusen ai¦xmalwsi¢an). In the Apocalypse of Paul, it is Paul himself who descends to the dead “to lead captive the captivity” (23.13–15). The figure of Paul is seen as a type of Christ in this text (Christ is never actually mentioned); it is he who conquers the underworld.20 —————

18 A. Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum: Das Bild des Apostels und die Rezeption der paulinischen Theologie in der frühchristlichen Literatur bis Marcion (BHT58; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1979) 99. 19 Kaler comments that Gal 1.15 is understood not so much as a predestination text as it is an allusion to gnostic rebirth: “his mother’s womb would then be the cosmos.” J.–M. Rosenstiehl/M. Kaler (ed.) L’apocalypse de Paul (NH V, 2) (Bibliothèque Copte de Nag ammadi Section «Textes» 31; Leuven/Louvain: Peeters, 2005) 260. 20 Lindemann’s argument has a weak point here. Lindemann recognises the allusion to Eph 4.8 but denies its importance for the author; it is “nicht weiter ausgeführt.” Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum, 99. Rightly, he is criticised by John, who connects this text with other Valentinian sayings about the apostle as a redeemer figure. J.P.H. John, The Importance of St Paul and the Pauline Epistles in Second Century Christian Gnosticism (Apart from Marcion) (Doctoral Dissertation; Oxford: Faculty of Theology, 1984) 168–169. Kaler offers the intriguing suggestion that this use of Eph 4.8 is actually based upon a reading of the epistles themselves, particularly Rom 7.22–23 and 2Cor 10.3–5. Rosenstiehl/Kaler, L’apocalypse de Paul, 263.

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4.4.2 The Latin Apocalypse The other apocalypse is a later work, probably first attested to by St Augustine.21 One finds many similar ideas here, when compared with the Coptic document. Paul is caught up by an angel in the Holy Spirit and is carried away to the third heaven (11). He sees the firmament and the spirits which reside there, he looks to the height and sees the angels with shining faces (12), and he witnesses good and evil angels contesting over the dead. The good are handed to Michael (14), the evil to the wicked angels (15). The narrative then continues with a long account of rewards and punishments, and meetings between Paul and various biblical figures. Just as with the Nag Hammadi apocalypse, Paul is made into an important witness of the angelic structures of the heavens, providing readers with a tantalising insight into the world beyond. While there are significant differences between the two apocalypses (especially in terms of cosmology), both of these documents share the conviction that Paul’s journey to heaven was a key moment in his career. The manner in which Paul is perceived by these early Christian authors is defined by his entrance into the spiritual world: his familiarity with angels, the Spirit, and the workings of heaven. In this respect, we might add, the apocalypses certainly are not alone.22 Again, the underlying assumption seems to be that an important figure like Paul would have numerous dealings with spirits of various kinds.

4.5 The Contested Spirit World: Marcion and his Opponents The texts we have considered so far have consisted of narrative attempts to portray the apostle’s career and the literary enterprise of creating pseudonymous ‘Pauline’ letters. Now, we turn our attention to the actual interpretation of Pauline texts, beginning with one of the most important and disputed figures: Marcion. As we explained in the History of Research, much of modern Pauline scholarship regards the spirit world as a matter of little consequence within the scope of his letters. This attitude may be contrasted with the situation found in second century Christianity, when there was scarcely anything ————— 21

See the discussion of Duensing in E. Hennecke/W. Schneemelcher (ed.) New Testament Apocrypha (2 vol.; London: Lutterworth, 1965) 2.755. 22 According to Epiphanius (Pan. 1.38.2), the Cainites possessed a book called the Ascent of Paul which contained the ‘unspeakable words’ of 2Cor 12.4. Paul’s journey to heaven was also definitive of his role as an apostle in Manichaeism (Cologne Mani Codex 60.12–62.20).

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more fiercely contested. Furious debate arose regarding the suggestion that Paul may have taught that the world is governed by a series of evil or inferior gods and angels. In some quarters, it was claimed that spiritual powers dominated reality in quite a negative way. Somewhere near to the heart of this debate regarding cosmology and Paul’s writings lay Marcion of Sinope. 4.5.1 Marcion and Paul’s Letters The details of Marcion’s life story and his opinions are shrouded by misrepresentations and polemic, although the basic outlines may still be discerned. Some time during the early second century,23 this man began to teach a sharp distinction between two Gods. One of these was a good and gracious God of salvation – the God proclaimed by Christ and Paul. The other God he regarded as just and vengeful (and perhaps evil too, depending upon how one interprets the evidence)24 – the Creator God of the OT. This distinction was justified by Marcion’s major exegetical work, the Antitheses, which juxtaposed seemingly contradictory statements from the OT with those of the NT. These incompatibilities were intended to demonstrate the distinction between the two powers. Marcion further backed this up with the text of his Bible, which may have been the first ever NT canon. However, this was much shorter than the canon we know today, including only the letters of Paul (the Apostolikon)25 and a version of what we now know as Luke’s gospel (which he simply called ‘the gospel’). ————— 23

The dating of Marcion’s career is disputed, lying anywhere between 100 and 150CE. For a general account of this problem, see R.J. Hoffmann, Marcion: on the Restitution of Christianity (AAR Academy Series 46; Chico: Scholars Press, 1984) 49–56. 24 The suggestion that Marcion’s inferior God was ‘just’ rather than purely evil was one of the main arguments of Harnack’s definitive study: A. von Harnack, Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God (Durham NC: Labyrinth, 1990 [original German 1921]). Recently, though, this has been criticised as a projected feature of Harnack’s ‘Neoprotestant’ interpretation, deliberately selective in its use of the evidence: W. Löhr, ‘Did Marcion Distinguish between a Just God and a Good God?’, in G. May/K. Greschat (ed.) Marcion und seine kirchengeschichtliche Wirkung, Marcion and his Impact on Church History (TU 150; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2002) 131–146, on page 131. “Even if Marcion had indeed designated the god of the Old Testament as ‘just,’ it would have been only an abbreviation for his being a severe and cruel judge, a petty–minded and self–contradictory legislator.” Ibid. 144. 25 The contents of which are summarised by Knox: “Allowing for some differences in text, the Apostle section of Marcion’s Bible was composed of ten of the fourteen ‘letters of Paul’ which belong to the catholic corpus – that is, of all of these letters except the three to Timothy and Titus and the Epistle to the Hebrews […] Marcion evidently had no epistle called ‘Ephesians’; but it is clear that only the name was missing, for the letter itself was plainly identical with the epistle which in Marcion’s canon bore the name ‘Laodiceans’.” J. Knox, Marcion and the New Testament: An Essay in the Early History of the Canon (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1942) 40.

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The origins of Marcion’s ditheism are disputed, with some tracing this to gnostic influences and others finding its roots in the interpretation of Paul’s letters.26 Indeed, the truth may lie somewhere between these two opinions, with Marcion being indebted both to gnostic cosmologies and a close reading of Pauline texts. At least, the suggestion that Marcion was purely a derivative and un–Pauline gnostic seems to lack hard supporting evidence.27 In fact, although it is possible to exaggerate his indebtedness to Paul, there are some grounds for supposing that Marcion sprang from a culture of reading the letters. For example, Ulrich Schmid suggests that Marcion’s original church in Pontus may already have possessed a radical anti–law text–form before he began his career.28 Tentatively, Schmid traces Marcion’s Pauline texts back to what he calls “eine breite “extrem–paulinischer” Bewegung”.29 4.5.2 Marcion’s Interpretations However we construe the origins of Marcion’s opinions, the fact remains that he was an industrious interpreter of Paul’s letters. What is of particular interest to us here is a key set of interpretive moves within his overall scheme. That is, Marcion appears to have sought out texts which cast creation in a darker light. He believed that Paul (correctly) understood the world to be dominated by a lesser or evil God, with a host of subordinate supernatural powers enforcing his rule. Certain passages within Paul’s letters were held to illustrate this spiritual state of affairs. Through the somewhat garbled account of Tertullian, we may examine a number of the more important texts. —————

26 The view that Marcion’s ditheism was inspired by Paul is advocated by Hoffmann, Marcion, 155, who seemingly accepts Harnack’s claim that Marcion was Paul’s most “devoted pupil”. Harnack, Marcion, 1. Lindemann, by contrast, explicitly identifies Marcion as a gnostic, dependent upon gnostics. Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum, 384. He claims that Marcion seriously misconstrues Paul’s theology, that of justification by faith. Ibid. 390. 27 Certain early church writers attempt (very dubiously) to construct Marcion as the pupil of Cerdo. Irenaeus attempts to lump together a number of heretics in Rome, claiming that Marcion succeeded from Cerdo and Anicetus (Haer. 3.4.3). There is another unlikely genealogy of heretics in Hippolytus, according to whom Marcion was the pupil of Cerdo, the pupil of Simon Magus (Haer. 7.25). Tertullian, by contrast, suggests that Cerdo was a mere acquaintance of Marcion (Marc. 1.2.3). For the weakness of this evidence, see the essay of D.W. Deakle, ‘Harnack & Cerdo: A Reexamination of the Patristic Evidence for Marcion’s Mentor’, in G. May/K. Greschat (ed.) Marcion und seine kirchengeschichtliche Wirkung, Marcion and his Impact on Church History (TU 150; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2002) 177–190. 28 U. Schmid, Marcion und Sein Apostolos: Rekonstruktion und historische Einordnung der marcionitischen Paulusbriefausgabe (ANTF 25; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1995) 308, 311. 29 Ibid. 308.

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Most interesting is 2Cor 4.4: “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers”. This suggested to Marcion that the world is not ruled by the good God, but by the Creator. The importance of this assertion is evident in the lengthy and forthright responses of the early church fathers. Irenaeus devotes an entire chapter to it, while Tertullian twice treats it in detail. Irenaeus disallows what the verse implies, that there is another god (qeo£j) besides the One. He attempts a syntactical solution, claiming a transposed sentence structure: God himself has “blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this age.” (Haer. 3.7.1).30 Tertullian’s response, meanwhile, is forceful but muddled, adducing two contradictory arguments. He advances Irenaeus’ syntactical solution, that God himself blinded “the unbelievers of this age” (Marc. 5.11.9) but then also offers the “more straightforward answer to explain the lord of this world as the devil” (5.11.11). Later on, he settles for the latter solution (5.17.9). Both authors, then, vigorously dispute the meaning of Paul’s comments and the spiritual governance of the world. Perhaps, we might speculate, 2Cor 4.4 was part of a wider trend within Marcion’s interpretation. Certainly, on a number of occasions he found the language of Satan to be applicable to the Creator.31 Another key text is Gal 4.8–9, in which Paul mentions enslavement to “things which by nature are not gods,” the “elements of the world” (cf. Gal 4.3; Col 2.8, 20). Tertullian does not properly explain Marcion’s interpretation, though parts of this emerge through Tertullian’s negative reaction. We shall quote a small part of that: When he (Paul) said just now, “If therefore ye do service to these which by nature are no gods,” he was castigating the error of physical, or natural, superstition which puts the elements in the place of God; not even so did he censure the God of those elements. (Marc. 5.4.5).32

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He may later have recognised the implausibility of his argument; in another fragment of his writings he offers a more likely solution: this god is Satan. W.W. Harvey, Adversus Omnes Haereses (2 vol.; Cambridge: Typis Academicis, 1857) 2.150. 31 “Nor can he who is the Prince of the power of the ages be described as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2.2): no ruler over higher ranks takes his title from the lower, even though the lower also are counted as his.” (Marc. 5.17.8). “If Satan is transformed into an angel of light (2Cor 11.14), this cannot be directed against the Creator: for the Creator is not an angel, but God” (Marc. 5.12.7). 32 Our italics. Marcion’s text diverges from ours in a most interesting way; he has the service of the non–gods as a present condition (Si ergo his qui non natura sunt dei servitis) rather than a past state (e¦douleu¢sate toi¤j fu¢sei mh£ ouåsin qeoiÍj). One would like to know what followed in his text of 4.9. Perhaps Marcion’s text suggested the inescapable servitude of physicality more strongly than our current NT. For a hypothetical reconstruction of the Greek of Marcion’s Gal 4.8, see Schmid, Marcion und Sein Apostolos, 317. For the Latin text of Tertullian’s Adversus Marcionem, we follow the edition of E. Evans, Adversus Marcionem (2 vol.; Oxford Early Christian Texts; Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1972).

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Essentially, Marcion seems to have referred Paul’s comments to the idea that the world is governed by a lesser and hostile spiritual power, to which Tertullian takes great exception. Since one is enslaved to the “elements” (whatever they are), Marcion reasoned, one is also enslaved to their Creator (presumably, the ‘God of the elements’). By implication, these non–gods are the means by which the inferior God governs and dominates the world. Tertullian seeks to evade the dualism which Marcion attributes to Paul by emphasising the human origins of this error. Finally, what we may reconstruct of Marcion’s utilisation of 1Cor 2.6–8 presents some fascinating insights into his reading of Paul’s teaching: The heretic (Marcion) argues that the princes of this world crucified the Lord, the Christ of his other god, so that this too may fall to the discredit of the Creator […] (but) as it appears that he (Paul) was not speaking of spiritual princes, then it was secular princes he meant, the princely people.33 (Marc. 5.6.5–6, 8).

Marcion appears to have claimed that “spiritual princes” (angels?) discredited the Creator by putting the Christ of the gracious God upon the cross. Tertullian counters this with a “secular” reading. He sees that Marcion’s understanding of spiritual powers threatens to justify and reinforce his Pauline ditheism. By interpreting this text as a reference to “the princely people” (i.e. human rulers), he seeks to pull out the rug from beneath Marcion’s feet. Tertullian avoids the implication that the crucifixion was orchestrated through the spirit world and that one God crucified the Christ of another. The key point in all of this material is not who was right, but simply that this debate took place. Within a hundred years of Paul’s death, the god of this age, the elements of the world, and the rulers of this age had become some of the most important things which one could argue about. Applied to the dichotomy of law and gospel, they helped to define the disagreement between the ‘orthodox’ church and its Marcionite rival. While this may not be a hot topic today, in the second century many were seeking to define the true contours of the spirit world. The issue of whether the world was governed by evil powers seems to have mattered to people in quite a profound way. Even still, for all the fierce arguments, Marcion and his rivals held at least one point very much in common: they both agreed – or rather, assumed – that the spirit world was an indispensable part of Paul’s teaching. ————— 33

It seems probable that Tertullian’s confusing account of Marcion’s interpretation here at least partially misrepresents his views. Tertullian suggests that, according to Marcion, the rulers of this age were not ignorant of whom they crucified. In light of Paul’s words in the NT text this hardly seems feasible. It is possible that Marcion’s text was different from ours, but it is more likely that Tertullian misunderstood what he claimed.

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This was simply a feature of their wider understanding of the world around them, even contributing to their understanding of each another. The controversy within the early church was supposed to be a mirror for the struggles of unseen powers. For example, Marcion’s enemies consistently described him through the categories of the spiritual world; they claimed he was the greatest and most wicked colleague of demons.34

4.6 The Revealer of the Archons A little later, in the second and third centuries, the development of belief in archons drew considerable inspiration from Paul’s letters. These (generally evil) angelic rulers of heaven and earth represented a departure from certain common cosmologies of early Judaism and Christianity. While such beliefs are often branded as ‘heretical’, we should note that opinions of this nature were held by a significant proportion of Paul’s readership in the early stages.35 After all, Tertullian famously calls Paul “the heretics’ own apostle” (Marc. 3.5.4). Nevertheless, this common association between archons and heresy may be to some extent misleading. The word ‘archon’ itself can first appear as an alien piece of jargon, but it is actually taken directly from Paul’s own letters (1Cor 2.6–8; Eph 2.2; Rom 13.3). Those who espoused this type of angelology tended to look back to Paul as the figure who revealed the existence of these beings. 4.6.1 Valentinians Archon beliefs were particularly prevalent among Valentinians, who often had a high regard for Paul as a redeemer figure (as we saw with the Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Paul above). This probably cannot be said of the figure of Valentinus himself, though, despite the well–known story that he was a hearer of Theudas, the pupil of Paul (Clement: Strom. 7.17). The fragments known to be of his writings do not even mention Paul and it seems that Valentinus’ own opinions were often different from those of his —————

34 Irenaeus: “And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, ‘Dost thou know me?’ ‘I do know thee, the first–born of Satan.’” (Haer. 3.3.4). The earliest report of Marcion is that of Justin: “And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies” (1 Apol. 26). 35 In Barnett’s study, the popularity of Paul among so–called heretics in the second century is given as a key explanation for the relative lack of ‘orthodox’ interest in his writings. A.E. Barnett, Paul Becomes a Literary Influence (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1941).

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followers.36 Nevertheless, the ‘Valentinians’ who came after him did have distinctive views: Paul is “the type of the Paraclete […] the Apostle of the Resurrection” (Celement: Exc. 23) and the compound of all the Aeons (Irenaeus: Haer. 2.21.1–2).37 Part of what makes Paul great by this account, then, is his access to special knowledge and his ability to reveal the nature of the heavens. The text which brings out that connection between revelation and the archons most clearly is the (probably Valentinian)38 Prayer of the Apostle Paul: Grant what no angel–eye has [seen] and no archon–ear heard and what [has not] entered into the human heart, which came to be angelic and (came to be) after the image of the psychic God when it was formed in the beginning, since I have faith and hope. (25–33).

This represents a clear allusion to 1Cor 2.9, a favourite text of the second century.39 The author here modifies Paul’s text (“what no eye has seen nor ear heard”) by incorporating the preceding verses (2.6–8) and emphasising the ignorance of “the archons of this age” (twÍn a¦rxo¢ntwn tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou). Thus, in Valentinian tradition, the archons who ignorantly crucify the Lord are evil angelic (‘psychic’) beings which, in so doing, seal their own destruction.40

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36 One may cite here Markschies’ rather neat conclusion: “der Valentin der Fragmente war kein Valentinianer” (his italics). C. Markschies, Valentinus Gnosticus? Untersuchungen zur valentinianischen Gnosis mit einem Kommentar zu den Fragmenten Valentins (WUNT 2nd series 65; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992) 406. Also to the point are the strictures of John: “a number of commentators in addition to Pagels have spoken loosely of “Valentinus’ debt to Paul” – a debt for which there is strictly no proof.” John, Importance of St Paul, 27. 37 There is a fascinating connection between the Paraclete apostleship of the Excerpts of Theodotos and the “apostleship of the Spirit, the Paraclete” as understood by Mani (Cologne Mani Codex 46.1). According to Mani, Paul was an apostle, saviour, evangelist, and prophet (62.11–14). A similarly exalted view is found in Teach. Silv. 107.31; Paul is the one “who has become like Christ.” 38 So Mueller: NHL 27. 39 Lindemann denies a significant debt to Paul here. Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum, 99. John counters: “The quotations at vs. 12f. and 27f. are not to be dismissed; but above all the particular choice and treatment of 1Cor 2.9 and the ascription of the Prayer to the Apostle as his own, personal prayer for illumination, imply very strongly that the author shared the Valentinian view of Paul as the Gnostic par excellence.” John, Importance of St Paul, 67. Other appropriations of this saying include the oaths sworn by the followers of Justin the gnostic (Hippolytus: Haer. 5.22.1) and the words of Jesus in the gospels Thomas (36.6–9) and Judas (47). 40 See E. Pagels, The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975) 58. Note, however, that the range of early texts which understand the archons to be angelic/spiritual beings is broad: Ep. Apos. 28.141.38; Princ. 3.3.3; Zost. 130.10–13; Treat. Seth 55.30; Great Pow. 40.24.

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4.6.2 Hypostasis of the Archons Such beliefs about angelic rulers were regarded by some as one of Paul’s key legacies or revelations. Perhaps the outstanding example of this trend in early Christian literature is another text from Nag Hammadi, the Hypostasis of the Archons. Here we read of the “great apostle” who taught the reality (‘hypostasis’) of the “authorities of the darkness” and “the authorities of the universe and the spirits of wickedness” (86.20–27; cf. Col 1.13; Eph 6.12). This particular work is mostly a re–telling of the first chapters of Genesis, emphasising the involvement of the archons. As such, it is not really concerned with the events or characters of the NT, and it is on these grounds that some have judged it to be non–Christian in origins.41 However, besides the citations just noted, one finds plenty of Pauline vocabulary: aeon, pistis, sophia, etc. Also, towards the end, there is a clear allusion to 1Cor 15.25– 26: “And they will trample under foot Death, which is of the Authorities” (97.6–7). Furthermore, the quotation of Col 1.13 actually occurs twice in the work (87.14; 92.22–23). Paul, therefore, also inspires this major discussion of the heavenly powers. Rightly or wrongly, he is seen as a key source for this type of teaching. Numerous writers, both Valentinians and non–Valentinians, seem to have expounded some sort of a connection between the figure of Paul and a teaching concerning the archons. This is particularly pronounced when it comes to the involvement of the archons in the crucifixion.42 Overall, what this brief survey appears to have established is that such ideas about archons grew up in a definite context of interpreting Paul’s letters. Archons were not purely external, imported features from an alien and syncretistic background. Sincere attempts were made to relate these ideas to what Paul himself had taught. What this gives us, then, is one of the most fascinating early perspectives on the apostle: some believed that he had revealed the true nature of the heavenly world and its rulers.

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41 Lindemann sees the citations of Paul as later and redactional. Lindemann Paulus im ältesten Christentum, 329. 42 In Gos. Eg. 64.3, Seth used the body of the man Jesus when he “nailed the powers of the thirteen aeons”. John recognises that this recalls Col 2.14ff. John, Importance of St Paul, 159. Perhaps a more primitive form of this tradition lies behind Treat. Seth 55.34–35, where the archons “nailed their man unto their death”. Compare also 58.17–21, 24–26 in the same work: “When they had fled from the fire of the seven Authorities, and the sun of the powers of the archons set, darkness took them […] They nailed him to the tree, and they fixed him with four nails of brass.”

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4.7 The Resonance of Paul’s Spirit World Sayings in the Early Church Finally, we note that certain of Paul’s sayings concerning the spirit world carried a particular resonance within the early church, especially as they touched upon practical and ethical issues. Paul was remembered as a figure who made authoritative judgments on many and varied issues. Then, as now, distinct words and phrases could be regarded as significant. Included within this scope, sayings about the demons, the spirits, etc. could also be considered valuable and worthy of repetition. This suggests that Paul was perceived as someone who understood such matters; the things he taught about the spirit world were enduring and important. By way of illustration, we shall briefly describe two episodes of interpretation. 4.7.1 1Corinthians 5.5 Here, Paul states that an immoral person should be “handed over to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh”. The man in question will be removed from the church. As we noted earlier, this phrase had some continued usage beyond Paul’s death, particularly in its repetition in 1Tim 1.20. Satan acquired a rhetorical value, and Paul’s words were understood as conveying something important about church discipline. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this practical implementation of Satan as the marker of punishment or excommunication resonates through early Christian life. An interesting example of this is found with the controversy surrounding ethical rigorism and Montanism. How unforgivable should certain sins be? Was there a way back after expulsion from the church? In his shocked reaction to the leniency of the bishop of Carthage, who was gentle in his treatment of returning apostates, Tertullian evokes our text again and again (Pud. 2.9; 13.1; 14.1 etc.). He is much concerned with what Paul understood the role of Satan to be. Tertullian emphasises that there can be no return or restoration from the power of evil; the man in 1Cor 5.5 was delivered “not with a view to emendation, but with a view to perdition, to Satan” (13.22).43 This spiritual power, mentioned by Paul, is assumed to be of great practical relevance. —————

43 “[…] non in emendationem, sed in peritionem tradidit satanae.” Latin text from C. Micaelli/C. Munier, De Pudicitia (2 vol.; Sources Chrétiennes 394–395; Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1993) 1.212. The interpretation which Tertullian opposes in this passage – that deliverance to Satan admits the possibility of restoration – is one which has grown significantly in popularity in recent years, with the suggestion that Paul understands Satan to be an agent of punishment or deliverance, rather than being purely evil. We shall examine this argument later. This kind of ‘leniency’ reading was notably advocated by Origen: “They (sinners) are handed over [to Satan] in order to be disciplined, so that the flesh might be destroyed, that is, the way of thinking characteristic of the

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4.7.2 1Corinthians 7.5 In this text, Paul suggests that husband and wife should not deny one another sexually, “lest Satan tempt you through your lack of self control.” Obviously, with sex being a live issue in the early church, this statement enjoyed a considerable ‘afterlife’ in controversialist writings. A fascinating illustration of this is found in Clement’s opposition to ascetic groups in book three of the Stromata. Curiously, the Victorian editors of the ANF series published this only in Latin because of its racy sexual content, “necessarily offensive to our Christian tastes”!44 Clement opposes the opinion of Tatian (3.12), according to whom Paul allowed sexual intercourse in such a disparaging fashion that he effectively disallowed it: a man having sex with his wife serves two masters (“serviturum duobus dominis”). Any sort of sex, then, would be a capitulation to Satan. Clement’s counter argument is that Paul understands fornication (rather than marital sex) to be the devil’s work; the distinction, he contends, is all important. Paul’s advice offers protection from incontinence, fornication, and the devil (“intemperantiae et fornicationi et diabolo”). Nevertheless, despite disagreeing about his teaching, it is notable that Clement and Tatian both regard Paul as a source of authority on matters of sex and Satan. In the examples given above, one point emerges quite clearly: Tertullian, Clement, and Tatian do not regard Satan or any other spirit purely as a by– product of Paul’s practical ethics. They do not regard Satan as unimportant or supplementary to Paul’s main instruction. On the contrary, in their conflicting interpretations, the actual role and meaning of the spiritual power is an essential informing feature. Paul’s practical teachings were interpreted through his practical understanding of Satan.

4.8 Early Perceptions and the Problem of Interpretation Having surveyed a large amount of early Christian material, we must now consider how this might assist us in our own approach to Paul. Perhaps the main observation we might make is that of the difference between these perspectives are those most popular in contemporary critical scholarship. We have here witnessed a Paul who is portrayed as an exorcist, heavenly traveller, and redeemer. He taught the true spiritual and psychic nature of ————— flesh”. Text from J.L. Kovacs, 1Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (The Church’s Bible; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2005) 85. 44 ANF 2.139.

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the cosmos, distinguishing between the various Gods and archons who created or ruled it. Fundamentally, Paul is cast as one who understood such matters; whatever he taught about the spirits was considered authoritative. This gives us a very different view of the apostle; it offers a different cultural framework in which we can read the letters. The challenge is to relate these multifarious ideas and images to the ideals and demands of a modern, critical study. In response to this challenge, one possible line of argument would be to see the body of early Christian interpretation as a failed attempt to understand Paul, elevating merely peripheral matters (i.e. spiritual forces) to a level of artificial and unreasonable importance. As is clear from our History of Research, such an attitude would be in tune with a significant body of contemporary Pauline scholarship. For instance, certain trends in biblical theology have sought to distance Paul’s overall message from a vivid and out–of–date cosmology.45 Paul, it is claimed, spoke to the human condition and did not float around in a mystical world of archons, demons, and other spirits. Perhaps the early interpreters were just plain wrong. While this view has its obvious attractions for some, it is perhaps a little too swift in its dismissal of the ancient perspectives on Paul. These early texts are undoubtedly un–critical, but this does not necessarily mean that they are useless or unhelpful in advancing our own understanding. We may at least say in their favour that they originate from Paul’s own (ancient Mediterranean) cultural milieu, and may be in sympathy with his basic assumptions. Arguably, they are more able to speak Paul’s own language and read the letters within their original setting. Possibly, they provide a valuable, ‘emic’ perspective – the ideal of reading within the same linguistic and cultural system as the source itself. The early Christians encountered in this chapter were simply trying to produce an account of the apostle which made sense to them, interpreting through the lenses of their own beliefs and expectations. In this respect, they are no worse or less sophisticated than modern interpreters. —————

45 This approach to biblical theology builds upon Bultmann’s strict separation of theological thinking from cosmology. Paul’s basic position “does not take the phenomena which encounter man and man himself whom they encounter and build them into a system, a distantly perceived kosmos (system), as Greek science does, Rather, Paul’s theological thinking only lifts the knowledge inherent in faith itself into the clarity of conscious knowing.” (Our italics). Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.190. Bultmann accepted that Paul worked with an antique cosmology, but claimed that did not affect the core of his message, the kerygma. As we saw in our History of Research, some scholars have extended this to the claim that Paul questioned the validity of the cosmology itself – a kind of sceptical and proto–modern perspective. A philosophical critique of Bultmann’s distinction between the content of a message and its mythical framework is given by K. Jaspers, ‘Myth and Religion’, in K. Jaspers/R.K. Bultmann, Myth and Christianity: An Inquiry into the Possibility of Religion without Myth (New York: Noonday, 1971) 3–56.

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Therefore, what this overview of ancient perspectives chiefly has produced is another frame of reference in which to interpret Paul’s letters. In pursuit of our aim of reading the Pauline epistles in the light of their cultural and religious setting, we find here a number of distinctive and relevant views which we may draw on. In the texts we have examined, we are presented with a different image of Paul, a figure alien to quite a lot of NT scholarship. Presented with an apostle who is both knowledgeable and powerful in the spiritual world, we are reminded of the open–endedness of interpretation and the possibility of seeing a familiar figure in a different light.

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5. Formulating an Approach As we complete Part One of this study, it is worth reminding ourselves of our general objectives. Here, we seek to re–address a neglected topic, examining the role of spiritual beings in the Pauline epistles. Our main thesis is that the spirit world is an inherent feature of Paul’s letters, something embedded in his ancient Jewish culture and thus reflected in his writings. We aim to support this thesis through careful and detailed textual analysis. In light of our discussion in Part One, this approach may now be further refined, and our aims and methods further clarified. First of all, though, we shall summarise the material we have covered thus far. We began this study with the example of a concrete interpretive problem, that of how the Holy Spirit fits with the spirit world in general (chapter 2). This was intended to help frame our discussion and illustrate certain key questions: what is the extent of the spirit world, and how may we define it? Our analysis of Paul’s pneu¤ma vocabulary suggested that the apostle used broadly the same terms to refer to the Spirit of God and a number of other spirits. The Holy Spirit seems not to have been a purely theological principle, but was also considered to be a supernatural power. So, this issue of the Spirit and the spirit world has allowed us to emphasise the breadth of the subject matter, noting that Paul makes no hard–and–fast distinction between the divine Spirit and the world of lesser spiritual powers. It seems that we should be quite open minded about what the spirit world actually encompasses. We then proceeded to consider the contributions of modern scholarship to our understanding of the Pauline spirit world (chapter 3). We explained how research in the history of religion first overturned F.C. Baur’s view that the spirit world was an irrelevant and negligible feature of Paul’s letters. After the War, this was followed up by the formulation of a theology of power, suggesting that a nexus of angelic and political power was a key component of Paul’s teaching. However, we then observed that in recent times the majority of Pauline scholars have ignored spiritual beings altogether, while some have purposefully argued against their importance for our understanding of the apostle. Highlighting the apparent support of some for a return to the history of religion methodology, we then re–stated our aim of giving fresh emphasis to the topic of the spirit world. We seek to re– consider Dibelius’ field of study one hundred years on, giving new life to the subject matter which his previous scholarship has defined.

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Our discussion of modern scholarship naturally led on to a different consideration: what the earliest Christians thought about Paul and the spirit world (chapter 4). Here, we surveyed a great wealth of material, finding that early believers variously perceived Paul to be an exorcist, heavenly traveller, and redeemer. He was at times regarded as a special source of knowledge concerning the workings of the world and its angelic powers. Such an understanding of the apostle obviously contrasts with the views of some contemporary exegetes. Although the texts we examined are uncritical and sometimes naïve, we suggested that it would be wrong to dismiss their testimony out of hand. In fact, they do have a distinct advantage, insofar as they originate from Paul’s own (ancient Mediterranean) cultural milieu and share in some of his assumptions. So, this material gave us another, important type of perspective on Paul, one which allows his letters to be interpreted within the framework of early Jewish and Christian spirit beliefs. One of the main points to emerge from our discussion so far is that the classification of material is all–important. Any analysis of spiritual beings in the letters is likely to match up with an assumed categorisation of what they are and what they mean. For example, in ordering his book on Paul, F.C. Baur relegated his discussion of angels and demons to a short chapter on minor doctrines, and so it is unsurprising that he regarded what he found as insignificant. The same is true for the works of countless other Pauline scholars. Through defining Paul’s work in terms of assumed key theological concepts (such as justification), the unassimilated left–over parts are sometimes banished to the periphery. Perhaps the chief criticism which one could fire at such approaches is that the classification of the material precedes its interpretation. We have to begin with the text of the letters and only then, if Paul himself indicates as much, should we dismiss spiritual beings as trivial concerns. Indeed, the fact of the matter may well be that Paul himself has no interest in setting out the relative importance or unimportance of spiritual beings; that may simply be a modern preoccupation. The unanswered question which follows from all the negative or dismissive accounts of the spirit world considered thus far seems to be, why would Paul care to criticise such beliefs in the first place? Therefore, the safest course of action certainly is to assume that the spirit world can only be treated with a broad and loose definition, as a realm of reality which is not necessarily confined to a narrow and pre–conceived field of doctrine. The apostle himself never distinguishes the relative significance of our subject matter, so we shall have to be very careful about making any such judgements later on. There is no explicit dogmatic hierarchy. This point has emerged particularly strongly in our discussion of the Spirit and the spirit world (chapter 2), in which we found that Paul seems

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not to have been concerned to separate the divine Holy Spirit from other spirits. Arguably, there is no great discernable rift here between major and minor doctrines. Therefore, building upon that, we shall aim in this study to cover as much ground as possible and not place undue limitations upon the scope of the subject matter. In terms of the current situation in Pauline scholarship, our own interpretive approach will have to engage with a range of different opinions. Although, in the majority of studies of Paul we find that there is no explicit engagement with the spirit world whatsoever. This may be a studied theological avoidance of a potentially embarrassing (i.e. ‘primitive’) topic, or rather and perhaps more likely, it has simply become a habit for NT scholars to assume that spirits had no major role to play in Paul’s churches. Whatever is the case, our desire to re–investigate the spirit world will inevitably lead us to question this status quo. In a similar vein, we must engage with the assertion of Dunn, Baumgarten, and others that Paul was a kind of early demythologiser who lacked personal belief in the existence and influence of spirits. There is a contrast here between Paul’s world–view and that of other ancient Jews and Greeks. Our approach in this study will lead us into some conflict with such demythologisation perspectives, since our desire is to situate Paul within the framework of early Jewish spirituality. Our expectation is that it is possible to make at least some sense of the letters by connecting them with wider beliefs about spiritual powers. It is not our concern to distinguish Paul from supposedly anachronistic or mythological perspectives. On the contrary, Paul did not inhabit a world in which a belief in spirits was regarded as either silly or epistemologically untenable. Our standpoint for interpretation is thus different from the demythologised view; we presuppose that a fresh appraisal of spirits may aid our understanding of Paul’s letters. Therefore, as this study progresses, certain criticisms of previous scholarly interpretations will inevitably emerge. There is one final point to make as regards our general approach in this study. That is, the manner in which we understand the apostle is very much led by the type of material which we bring for comparison with his writings. If we relate Paul’s letters to Jewish apocalyptic texts, Paul would probably emerge as an apocalyptically oriented figure. By the same token, if we were to read the letters alongside modern theological works, Paul would probably seem to be in harmony with some modern theology. Our understanding is shaped by the horizons which we impose upon ourselves. As we have stated, our desire here is to locate Paul’s letters specifically within early Judaism and Christianity, and so our focus will naturally fall upon those texts from a century or two either side of the dawn of the Christian era. This is, of course, common practice for the historical study of the NT.

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However, it is important to emphasise that when one chooses a particular range of texts to examine, one also chooses certain beliefs about the workings of reality. This is particularly clear in light of our discussion of early Christian perceptions of Paul and the spirit world (chapter 4). Mostly, in the texts we considered there, we found the influence and power of spirits to be a common assumption. The early Christians supposed that Paul was involved with spiritual powers chiefly because such ideas were built into their own cultural situation. So, in turn, as we read Paul’s letters in light of early Jewish and Christian texts, we should not be surprised if the same assumptions come to the forefront. We now move on to our main analysis in Parts Two and Three. Setting out the broad context of Jewish belief in each chapter, we shall consider a large number of texts, organised in a topical fashion. Ultimately, in Part Three we shall attempt to delve deeper into the significance of the spirit world by relating spiritual beings to certain key aspects of Paul’s teaching: Christology, soteriology, and the life of the community. Firstly, though, in Part Two we shall provide a broad–ranging survey of some of the most basic inhabitants of the spiritual world: the angels and the demons.

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Part Two: Angelology and Demonology

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6. Analysing Angels and Demons

In this second part of our study, we shall analyse the angelology and demonology of Paul’s letters. In doing so, we shall focus upon certain types of spiritual beings which are familiar from Christian tradition: Satan, the angels, the demons, the powers, etc. One of the main tasks facing any modern interpreter of Paul’s letters at this point is that of rendering some of his often rather opaque comments comprehensible to a contemporary reader. What does it mean to say that Satan may be disguised as an angel of light, or that believers will one day judge the angels? Aspects of what Paul has to say need to be properly explicated in context. In this regard, Part Two of our study will have significant overlaps with the works of Everling and Dibelius, who were themselves concerned to translate the cryptic language of the ancient spirit world into something which modern readers of the Bible could understand. However, in light of more recent source discoveries and methodologies, we should be able to produce a much more up–to–date survey of the relevant evidence. However, in any distinct treatment of angelology and demonology in the NT, there is always the risk of a somewhat artificial catalogue of beliefs which has no relevance to the way in which the first Christians thought about such matters. After all, Paul and his followers seem not to have been concerned to distinguish this as a set field of knowledge, or set out in any complete way what is included in the angelic and demonic world. So, to understand angels and demons as beings which stand apart from other realities would probably be a mistake. We might compartmentalise them in the mind in a manner which would make no sense to Paul himself.1 This point strikes a chord with our discussion in Part One. There, we suggested that the spirit world is broad and subtle in scope, not properly encapsulated through the model of a narrow and self–contained doctrine. Paul’s references to the Spirit seem to reinforce this observation; there is no —————

1 Notably, Kurze expresses some dissatisfaction with the category ‘angelology and demonology’ as an artificial distinction between different kinds of spiritual realities. Yet, he decides that angels and demons may be treated separately because they constitute “kreatürliche Geistwesen”. Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 3. This may be quite a helpful observation, although it is doubtful whether Paul would ever have thought in such explicit terms. It is also worth pointing out that by seom evidence, Christ too might be regarded as a created spiritual being (Col 1.15). This is debatable. However, one may still say that the category ‘angelology and demonology’ is really external to the letters, rather than being something inherent in Paul’s own division of reality.

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strict distinction between the reality of this power and other spiritual forces. A similar point might also be made about Christ (whom we shall discuss in Part Three), for he too might properly be called pneu¤ma. So, we would argue, angels and demons are not features which may easily be isolated from other aspects of Paul’s religious culture. They are assumed to inhabit the same heaven and earth as God and humanity. With that warning in mind, we shall explore the angelology and demonology of Paul’s letters, all the while being careful to avoid the trap of isolating this material, as though it reflects a kind of strange parallel world. In fact, one of the issues which we particularly wish to investigate here in Part Two is the extent to which angelic and demonic forces have direct involvement with everyday human concerns. While it is easy for scholarship to get side–tracked with the idea that angels and demons are odd and only quasi–real, we should perhaps instead be asking what these beings might actually have meant to Paul in practical terms. They might not have been simply the objects of ‘speculation’, but rather were a part of personal experience. Hopefully, our interpretation of the texts will reveal whether this is so. The scholarly context we face here is that which we described in Part One. There is a relative paucity of previous studies of angels and demons in Paul’s letters. Moreover, in such discussions as there are, we find the fairly common argument that spirits played little or no role in Paul’s serious thinking. In terms of the specific content of Part Two, we shall find that this translates into the claim that ideas about angels and demons in Paul’s epistles are very much under–developed and marginal. The apostle, we are informed, had no real angelology or demonology.2 Whether this is a fair estimation of the topic remains to be seen. However, in view of our stated aim of finding a new relevance for the spirit world in the study of Paul’s letters, we should be prepared to question the arguments and interpretations put forward. Would Paul’s demythologisation of angelic and demonic beings really be as likely or straightforward as some suggest? Our initial reaction is to doubt this claim. Indeed, surveying the letters, at first sight there seems to be a notable variety and wealth of material; Paul even has the widest angelic/demonic vocabulary of all NT writers.3 At times, he also appears to assume quite a developed understanding of

————— 2

See especially the arguments of Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 147. In the letters we consider to be authentic, this includes: spirit, angel, archangel, holy one, ruler, authority, power, throne, dominion, god, lord, destroyer, demon, Satan, and Beliar. It is sometimes suggested that the elements and the aions are also angelic/demonic beings. 3

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the particular spirits he is referring to.4 So, the suggestion that Paul’s approach to angels and demons is characterised by disinterest and disengagement will have to be carefully examined. The lack on Paul’s part of an explicit doctrine of angelology and demonology per se should not be confused for a subtle type of criticism or commentary on these beliefs. We now move on to our analysis, which is arranged topically by the different types of angelic and demonic spirit, beginning with Satan. We shall marshal as large an amount of early Jewish and Christian textual evidence as possible to illuminate Paul’s letters, much of which was unavailable for the previous studies of Everling and Dibelius. Hopefully, our appeal to this material, coupled with detailed exegetical study, will enable us to produce a distinctive re–reading of the angels and demons of the Pauline epistles.

————— 4

As we shall see, this sometimes emerges with a rhetorical flourish. For example, 1Cor 6.3 clearly implies that the Corinthians should know about the activities of angels – ignorance of such matters is made into an implied weakness or criticism of the Corinthians.

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7. Satan

7.1 Contextualising Paul’s Satan Satan has long been regarded by many as a marginal figure in Paul’s teaching. On occasions, he is notable by his absence, and the letters certainly are not packed with references to him. However, this casual observation is sometimes developed into the stronger claim that Satan is not a real part of Paul’s teaching at all; he is simply part of the scenery, a relic of a half– forgotten Jewish tradition.1 Paul, so the argument goes, did not find any distinctive function or meaning for Satan. He just passed on a certain amount of common Jewish doctrine. We even find Dibelius indulging in this kind of generalisation, asserting that Satan in Judaism is “always the same”.2 These sentiments are common in NT studies,3 and are inherent in the popular literary enterprise of writing a biography of Satan.4 No matter how diverse the evidence or subtle the presentation, this invariably demands a narrative of development for one particular individual or personality. Satan is made into a single character, albeit with a colourful history. However, we might question whether such an approach really makes any effort to situate Satan in his historical context. This is a complex history, without any genuinely agreed Jewish doctrine. In fact, as we shall see, Second Temple Judaism was a rich market place, awash with many different types of Satan and other evil angels. So, if we are to appreciate the role and significance of this figure in Paul’s letters, we need to set out the range of beliefs current in Judaism at the time. This allows for the possibility that —————

1 So Baumgarten: “[…] der Apostel aber dennoch Relikte traditioneller Satanologie erkennen läßt” Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 156. 2 “Im Spätjudentum ist die Gestalt, die mit diesem Wort bezeichnet wird, stets dieselbe.” Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 37. 3 “The picture which emerges from the fragments of evidence preserved in the Pauline letters seems in most respects compatible with that which we find in the common “satanology” of Judaism.” DPL Satan 864. “Das N.T. übernimmt im grossen und ganzen die jüdische Dämonologie.” Noack, Satanas und Soteria, 49. Such sentiments are unconscious of the variety of Jewish belief. 4 Examples include N. Forsyth, The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987); J.B. Russell, The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Chrsitianity (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977); E. Langton, Satan, a Portrait (London: Skeffington, 1945). Perhaps less guilty of ‘biographising’ Satan is E. Pagels, The Origin of Satan (London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1996).

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Satan played a distinct role in a number of different contexts, including the early church.

7.2 Jewish Views on Satan and Other Evil Figures 7.2.1 The Adversary The Hebrew word }+& was originally a common noun meaning ‘adversary’ or ‘accuser’.5 As a supernatural figure, the Satan occurs a number of times in the OT6 and is rendered dia¢boloj, ‘slanderer’ (i.e. ‘devil’) in the LXX. By leaving the word un–translated (transliterating: Satana¤j) and persistently giving it the definite article,7 Paul probably intends this to be a personal name or at least a definite title: ‘Satan’. However, it is far from clear whether this practice found in the Pauline epistles was common in wider Judaism. Much literature from the period makes no specific mention of Satan (notably: Ben Sirach, Philo, and Josephus). Furthermore, even when Satan is mentioned, it is commonly as a type of angel, occurring frequently in the plural (‘the Satans’).8 There was, then, no standard nomenclature for this figure; we find no edifice which we may call the Jewish doctrine of Satan. 7.2.2 Corrupt Angels Generally speaking, though, most Jews in the Second Temple Period did believe in some sort of supernatural evil, but not necessarily an explicit adversary of God. For example, the book of Daniel conceives of the world’s current strife in terms of warring angelic princes (10.13) and a semi– demonic human king (11.20–45), but these are not true rivals to God. Daniel is not alone in this respect, as other notable Jewish apocalypses —————

5 BDB }+& 966: “1. adversary, in gen., personal or national[…] 2. superhuman adversary” For an extensive account of etymology and origins: DDD Satan }+& Sata¢n Satana¤j 1369–1380. 6 Job 1.6; Zech 3.1; 1Chron 21.1. Cf. Num 22.32. 7 With the exception of 2Cor 12.7, where he is not speaking of Satan but his angel (see Exc. I). 8 Jub. 23.29; 40.9; 46.2; 50.5: “The writer evidently conceives of the existence of more than one Satan.” E. Langton, Essentials of Demonology: a Study of Jewish and Christian Doctrine, its Origin and Development (London: Epworth, 1949) 129. Also, in ‘Aramaic Levi’, Levi prays for deliverance “from any Satan”. T. Levi 2.3, MS e: H.W. Hollander/M. de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Commentary (SVTP 9; Leiden: Brill, 1985) Appendix III. Of the Similitudes of 1Enoch, Russell writes: “The functions of the satans and of the Watchers blur, and in effect satans and Watchers are mingled as one group of fallen angels.” Russell, The Devil, 206. See 1 En. 41.9; 65.6.

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contain developed angelologies but lack a concept of a single Satan (including 4Ezra, 2Baruch, and 1Enoch). Meanwhile, a number of Jews conceived of the supernatural origins of evil in terms of a general angelic rebellion, supposedly alluded to in Gen 6.1–4.9 Though this rebellion eventually merged with beliefs about Satan, originally these ideas were entirely unrelated (a point which often gets lost in biographies of Satan).10 The Book of the Watchers in 1Enoch, for example, does not contain a single devil but instead gives the names of a number of evil angels: Semyaz, Arakeb, Rame’el, Tam’el, Ram’el, Dan’el, etc. (6.7–8). Along with Semyaz, Azaz’el11 emerges as something of a leader (8.1; 9.6 etc.). Yet, while these angels may have instigated evil, they are not altogether sinister. They rather pathetically beg for mercy (13.4) and are quickly deposed and punished (10.4). They have no significant rule in the world, which entirely belongs to God. 7.2.3 Temptation in Paradise The process of reading supernatural evil into the mythology of the first things could take on different forms, and certain Jews eventually came to see the first sin of humanity as lying at Satan’s door. Such is assumed in Wis 2.24: “By the envy of the devil, death entered into the world.” Yet, the most significant evidence for this belief comes from the Life of Adam and Eve, found in a Latin and (probably more original) Greek version. A Jewish work from some time during the first two centuries CE,12 it re–tells the temptation of Eve as follows: —————

9 For a short review of the origins of this tradition, see L.T. Stuckenbruck, ‘The Origins of Evil in Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition: the Interpretation of Genesis 6:14 in the Second and Third Centuries B.C.E.’, in C. Auffarth/L.T. Stuckenbruck (ed.) The Fall of the Angels (Themes in Biblical Narrative 6; Leiden: Brill, 2004) 87–118. For more detail, see Wright’s discussion of the early reception of Gen 6.1–4. A. Wright, The Origin of Evil Spirits: the Reception of Genesis 6.1– 4 in Early Jewish Literature, (WUNT 2nd series 198; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck). 10 “The Watcher angels – as they are now called – have a leader, whose name is Semyaza. The names of the devil vary, particularly in the Apocalyptic period: he is Belial, Mastema, Azazel, Satanail, Sammael, Semyaza, or Satan.” Russell, The Devil, 188. The claim that Semyaza is the devil is quite unjustified. 11 The origins of this figure are mysterious, being derived from the cryptic OT text Lev 16.8, 10, 26. Only later did the term denote an angel, with 1Enoch being the first known text to make this connection. See DDD Azazel lz)z( 240–248. 12 The argument that the Greek Life is a Christian composition has been carried forth by M. de Jonge, ‘The Christian Origin of the Greek Life of Adam and Eve’ in G.A. Anderson/M.E. Stone/J. Tromp (ed.) Literature on Adam and Eve: Collected Essays (SVTP 15; Leiden: Brill, 2000) 347– 363; M. de Jonge, Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament as Part of Christian Literature: the Case of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and the Greek Life of Adam and Eve (SVTP 18; Leiden: Brill, 2003) 181. However, recent extensive studies have upheld its Jewish–ness, most nota-

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Then Satan came in the form of an angel and sang hymns to God as the angels. And I saw him bending over the wall, like an angel. And he said to me, ‘What are you doing in Paradise?’ I replied, ‘God placed us to guard it and eat from it.’ The devil answered me through the mouth of the serpent, ‘You do well, but you do not eat of every plant.’ (Greek L.A.E. 17.1–4).

The author’s understanding of Satan colours his reading of Genesis.13 After a number of crafty arguments, Satan persuades Eve to eat the fruit. Obviously, the consequences of this are disastrous. Satan has an on–going campaign against humanity, even taking hold of Eve to tempt Adam: “I opened my mouth and the devil was speaking” (23.3). The Greek Life specifically focuses upon Satan as the cause of evil and suffering. Though this view is not widely attested in Judaism, it makes a further, limited appearance in later rabbinic literature. Most notable is the midrash Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Here we read of Sammael (an evil angel very much like Satan), who: Took his band and descended and saw all the creatures which the Holy One, blessed be He, had created in His world and he found among them none so skilled to do evil as the serpent, as it is said, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field” […] All the deeds which it (the serpent) did, and all the words which it spoke, it did not speak except by the intention of Sammael. (15.A.ii)14

That the same midrashic details have survived in these different contexts suggests an enduring tradition.15 One finds the very same idea that Satan or Sammael uses the serpent as an instrument through which to speak. Satan here develops into a figure who is responsible for the evil in the world. This is someone far darker and more misanthropic that Semyaz and Azazel, or indeed the more basic idea of ‘the adversary’. However, we must be clear that this mythology is not the end of the trajectory in which all Jewish belief was heading. This is only one strand of belief, and there is no evidence to suggest that substantial numbers of Jews have ever adhered to this particular view of Satan. For instance, the rabbinic ————— bly: M. Eldridge, Dying Adam with his Multi–Ethnic Family (SVTP 16; Leiden: Brill, 2001) and J. Dochhorn, Die Apokalypse des Mose: Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar (TSAJ 106; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005). 13 Dochhorn describes this as a demonological hermeneutic: “Durch den Mund der Schlange spricht der Teufel.” Ibid. 339. 14 Text from G. Friedlander, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer: (The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great) According to the Text of the Manuscript Belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna (New York: B. Blom, 1971) 92–3. 15 For Pirque R. El. is not dependent upon Christian sources. See L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (5 vol.; Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998) 5.115. One finds some resemblance between the narrative of Greek L.A.E. and Pirque R. El., and Apoc. Ab. 23.12, where Azazel stands between Adam and Eve as the symbol of their impiety.

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Judaism which emerged towards the end of antiquity did not move far beyond his original function of accusation and prosecution.16 7.2.4 Dualistic Tendencies Finally, completing this survey, we observe that some Jews in the Second Temple Period came to believe in a very powerful and significant enemy of God. The book of Jubilees moves things in this direction by resolving the angelic rebellion with the demonic rule of Mastemah17 (10.7–9). Yet even here, Mastemah first requests permission for his activities from God. A more globally wicked figure seems to be the angelic opponent of the Qumran community, Belial.18 Though the nature of Belial is not consistent through all of the scrolls,19 we still find some significant and distinctive traits: he has his own evil dominion, has the cosmic symbolism of ‘darkness’, and is the final enemy of all the sons of light. To give a fairly clear example: But Belial, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination]. (1QM 13.11–12)

————— 16

While the evidence of tannaitic literature is sparse, ideas about Satan became more developed in the Talmud and midrashim, focused upon the task of accusation. See EncJud SATAN 14.902–905. Yet there are some hints at a more global influence for Satan in rabbinic Judaism: he laughs at the Jewish abstention from pork, perhaps making him a representative figure for the nations (b. Yoma 67b). 17 See DDD Mastemah h+m&m 553: “1. Mastemah appears as a noun meaning ‘hostility’ in OT (Hos. 9:7–8) and Qumran writings. In Qumran literature the word is mostly connected with an evil angel (Belial) and in Jub. Mastemah is always a proper name for the leader of the evil angels.” In his very name Mastemah gives a heightened sense of a supernatural being embodying evil itself. 18 Originally a Hebrew noun meaning ‘wickedness’ or ‘worthlessness’, only later did this develop into an evil angelic figure (perhaps under the influence of Persian religion). The Qumran texts are the earliest to attest this new, supernatural meaning. See DDD Belial l(ylb 322–328. See also P. von der Osten–Sacken, Gott und Belial: Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zum Dualsimus in den Texten aus Qumran (SUNT 6; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1969) 73ff; M.J. Davidson, Angels at Qumran, A Comparative Study of 1Enoch 1–36, 72–108 and Sectarian Writings from Qumran (JSPSup 11; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992) 162ff. 19 “In the War Scroll, the word clearly means a personal being and an evil angel, the leader of the lot of darkness, and enemy of the Prince of Light. On the other hand, in 1QH 2.22, the OT sense of ‘worthlessness’ appears to be correct on the basis of the parallelism of the text. The writer’s enemies ‘are an assembly of vanity and a congregation of l(ylb’ The term in 1QS appears to be used in both ways, though it is not always immediately clear in which way the word is to be taken in a particular instance.” Ibid. 163.

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Though the evidence is patchy, it seems likely that this demonic belief spread further through Judaism than the confines of this one community.20 It appears, therefore, that some Jews (though no more than some) pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be an evil angel on towards the idea of genuine rivalry with God. To conclude, throughout Judaism we find much variety of belief, and there is more evidence besides which we have been obliged to ignore. Acknowledging this variety has to be the first step in interpreting Paul, though it is a step which is seldom (if ever) taken. Paul did not react to or perpetuate a common Jewish concept of Satan. There was no such concept. Thus, the claim that Satan forms part of the generic milieu of Paul’s writings seems misleading. Arguably, Paul held his own opinions in a world populated by many different evil figures. Rather than being non–negotiable, these beliefs were subject to variation, change and reflection. They could be significant ideas in their own right.

7.3 Satan in Paul’s Letters Satan is often targeted as a problem for modern exegesis. At times, theological opposition to belief in such a figure is stated openly in NT interpretation.21 At other times, whether one suspects a theological agenda or not, Satan is simply marginalised through historical–critical arguments.22 By minimising his role in Paul’s letters, we might suppose, commentators reduce the problems which he causes for modern Christianity. This unwanted figure – often seen as medieval, implausible, or immoral – is sent to the margins of the NT. ————— 20

A few other Judeo–Christian texts refer to Belial, though in the Greek form ‘Belia¢r’: 2Cor 6.15; Ascen. Isa. 1.8; 2.4 etc. This is also the standard devil term in the T. 12 Pr.: T. Reu. 6.3 etc. 21 E.g. Wanamaker asks in response to 1Thess 2.18 whether we should think of Satan as a personal force: “Such a practice often leads people to obscure the real causes of evil and results in their failing to deal with those causes.” C.A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians (NIGTC; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1990) 122–3. Best writes of 2Cor 4.4: “Is such a supernatural understanding of unbelief satisfactory? […] If we cling to the supernatural solution, we run the danger of not entering into the minds of those who reject the gospel.” E. Best, Second Corinthians (Interpretation; Atlanta: John Knox, 1987) 38. If Satan is held to be a ‘bad idea’, it is unsurprising that Christian scholars have questioned whether Paul himself really believed in this figure. 22 E.g. R. Leivestad, Christ the Conqueror: Ideas of Conflict and Victory in the New Testament (London: SPCK, 1954) 85; Dunn, Theology of Paul, 109–110; Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 155; Noack, Satanas und Soteria, 131.

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Now, however, as we examine the various points at which Paul mentions Satan, we have to consider whether this view of him as a limited and inconsequential figure is actually demanded by the evidence, or whether another reading is possible. Perhaps Paul did not cut–back on Satan. He may even have held notable and distinctive beliefs in this regard. 7.3.1 Satan in Paradise One of the many motifs mentioned above was the idea that Satan played a role in the temptation of Eve in Paradise. This distinctive narrative is also presupposed by Paul, which gives Satan some implicit place in his account of creation and the first things. This point has been acknowledged before,23 but has perhaps not been accorded due significance. Although of disputed authenticity,24 in Rom 16.20 we find a comment which scholars have often referred back to Gen 3.15 and the promise that the offspring of woman will strike the head of the serpent:25 “Soon the God of peace will tread–down Satan beneath your feet.” Dibelius suggests that this statement refers only to recent disturbances within the community: the nuisance of Satan is thwarted on this one occasion.26 A number of scholars follow him on this suggestion.27 However, we should probably interpret this differently; the text functions as an eschatological promise,28 comparable to 1Cor 15.24–26.29 However, this allusion to Genesis is not direct, for there is quite a remote linguistic resemblance. Gen 3.15 is here mediated through a particular interpretive tradition which is attested in T. Sim. 6.5–6: ————— 23

A view first put forward in detail by Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 10, 52. For the view that Rom 16.17–20a is an interpolation: R. Jewett, Romans: a Commentary (Heremeneia; Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006) 986. 25 In the MT. The LXX reads ‘keep’ the head (3.16). See J.A. Fitzmyer, Romans (AB 33; London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1993) 746; T.R. Schreiner, Romans (Baker’s Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament 6; Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998) 804. 26 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 55. 27 C.H. Dodd, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans (MNTC; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1932) 243; E. Brunner, The Letter to the Romans: a Commentary (London: Lutterworth, 1959) 128; F.F. Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans: an Introduction and Commentary (TNTC 6; London: Tyndale, 1963) 277. 28 As Cranfield recognises, this is the last sentence before the subscriptio and is of broader significance. C.E.B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (2 vol.; ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975–1979 [sixth, entirely re–written edition]) 2.803. Also, if we omit h¥ xa¢rij tou¤ kuri¢ou h¥mw¤n I©hsou¤ meq¡ u¥mw¤n along with D, F, G and Vulgate MSS then these are very much Paul’s concluding words and thus are likely to look beyond the immediate context. 29 So Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 10. 24

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By himself will he (the Lord) save Adam. Then all the spirits of error shall be given over to being trampled underfoot. (cf. T. Levi. 18.12)

The restoration of Adam is read in the light of Ps 91.13 (“the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot”), a Psalm ascribed to the defeat of Satan in Christian tradition (Luke 10.18–20; cf. Irenaeus: Haer. 5.21.1). By combining the Psalm with Genesis, the promise to tread upon the serpent is constructed as a promise to tread upon Satan. There is a presumed connection or identification between Satan and the serpent. So, a subtext lies behind Rom 16.20; it is human feet which strike the first cause of human sin.30 Further evidence also emerges in 2Cor 11.14, where Paul addresses a conflict of views between himself and those who have brought a different message to Corinth: Such (teachers) are false apostles, doers of evil, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.

That angels in general or Satan in particular might transform themselves was well known in Judaism.31 Here, though, the notion specifically arises in the context of an argument about false persuasion and infidelity. Such rhetoric connects with the narrative of the temptation of Eve, as does the specific detail of Satan becoming an angel of light. In the Greek L.A.E. 17.1; 29.15 Satan disguises himself as an angel.32 This parallel was first identified by Everling.33 However, Dibelius recognised that the Latin L.A.E. 9.1 is closer: “Satan was angry and transformed himself into the brightness of angels”.34 While this may imply that Paul had knowledge of a Satan–in– Paradise myth, most commentators hedge their bets on this point.35 However, if we look back 11 verses then things become much clearer: —————

30 Possibly this connects with the first sin of Adam in Rom 5.12–14. Note Sharpe’s claim that: “In the Apoc. Mos. the sinful Adam and the exalted Adam function theologically in a manner similar to the function of the First Adam and the Second Adam used by St. Paul to contrast Christ the redeemer with Adam the sinner.” J. Sharpe, ‘The Second Adam in the Apocalypse of Moses’, CBQ 35 (1973) 35–46, on page 35. Paul’s beliefs about Satan could be based upon wider familiarity with interpretive traditions in the first chapters of Genesis. 31 E.g. Raphael (Tob 6–8), the spirits of the Watchers (1 En. 19.1), Satan (T. Job 6.4; 17.1–2; 23.1). 32 Although the latter instance is only found in some MSS and may be dependent upon the Latin. See Dochhorn, Apokalypse des Mose, 425. 33 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 58. 34 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 49. 35 “Satan’s habitual activity may well have been extrapolated from the story […] (but) the force of what Paul is saying does not absolutely depend upon the readers’ knowledge of its legendary background.” M.E. Thrall, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2 vol.; ICC 34; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994–2000) 2.696. “Paulus wird die Legende etwa in der Form der Vita Ad. gekannt haben, doch muß er auch von anderen

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For I promised you to one husband as a pure virgin, to present you to Christ, but I am afraid that in some way, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be corrupted from a simple devotion to Christ. (11.2–3).

At first sight, this disconfirms our argument: the serpent deceived Eve, not Satan. Yet, one should bear in mind that in others texts it is also the serpent which deceives Eve, at Satan’s instigation. So, looking a little closer, we find that Eve is supposed to have committed some sort of sexual infidelity; she is the counter–example to the “pure virgin”.36 In various forms, this idea occurs in the Talmud, Genesis Rabbah, and Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer.37 It is also found in parts of early Christianity38 and is alluded to in the Greek L.A.E. 25.3, where Eve appeals to God: “Lord, Lord, save me and I will never again turn to the sin of the flesh.”39 The sexual nature of Eve’s sin thus specifically links 2Cor 11 to the midrashic development of Genesis, a development which understands Satan as the source of temptation. Paul describes fidelity and infidelity, deceptive images and false persuasion. Notably, therefore, Paul assumes that his readers know what he is talking about when he suggests that Eve was no chaste virgin or that Satan can transform himself. The fact that this is an unspoken subtext should not diminish its significance. On the contrary, the narratives which Paul can unquestioningly rely on, in which he expects his readers to fill in the blanks, are likely to be firmly established among his followers. Here, he presupposes a distinctive misanthropic Satan, lurking in Eden, with a special propensity for causing sin. 7.3.2 Satan as Tempter This point need only be brief, connecting with the discussion above. In the tradition of Satan in Paradise, the role of ‘tempter’ is axiomatic. Specifically by inducing sin, he assails Adam and Eve. Temptation in general is ————— Erscheinungen derart gewußt haben”. H. Windisch, Der zweite Korintherbrief (KEK 6; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1924) 342. 36 This is the only reasonable explanation of Paul’s rhetoric, as was recognised by the history of religion commentators: Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 52; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 50– 51; and see especially ‘Unzucht im Paradies’: Windisch, zweite Korintherbrief, 323. 37 b. Sotah 9a; b. Sabb. 146a; b. ǥAbod. Zar. 22b; b. Yebam. 103b; Pirque R. El. 25A i. The guilt is divided a little more evenly in Gen. Rab. 19.3, where Eve is unsupervised in the garden because Adam, having had sexual relations, was then sleeping it off. 38 In Irenaeus (Haer. 1.30.7), the teaching of the Ophites (Epiphanius: Pan. 40.5) and most charmingly in Prot. Jas. 13.1: Joseph finds Mary pregnant and fears that the history of Adam is repeating itself! 39 As Dochhorn notes, this unchaste behaviour is understood as lying at Satan’s door. Dochhorn, Apokalypse des Mose, 396.

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one of the most commonly accepted functions of Satan in Second Temple Judaism, going all the way back to the prologue of Job. However, temptation comes in many forms, with certain concepts being quite different from others. Already, we have found Satan leading Eve into sexual sin. This activity is somewhat habitual, for he continues to tempt with such vice in 1Cor 7.5: Do not deny one another, except perhaps by agreement for a period of time […] then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through your lack of self–control.

Possibly, Paul’s reading of Genesis informs these instructions;40 Eve’s weakness was Satan’s opportunity. If that myth were known to the Corinthians, then surely it would resonate here. At least, this sexual tempter is consistent with the tricky and malicious figure presupposed in the Paradise narrative. Satan is once given the specific title of “the tempter” (o¥ peira¢zwn), in 1Thess 3.5. Here, we encounter a different type of sin. Paul does not say what the temptation is precisely but, in the context of persecutions (3.3), the most obvious problem would be abandoning the faith. Thus, temptation shifts from its more familiar place in Judaism. The concern is not that Satan will bring about individual acts of sin but that he will turn people to a condition which is inherently sinful (once again becoming ‘unbelievers’). Further, as Dibelius recognises, Paul presupposes that Satan has sufficient power to orchestrate the persecutions in the first place,41 which suggests that he even has some global influence. 7.3.3 Paul’s Enemy At times, Satan seems to hold personal hostility against the apostle. In 1Thess 2.18, Paul’s desire to visit Thessalonica is deliberately thwarted by Satan (e¦ne¢koyen h¥ma¤j o¥ satana¤j). It is unlikely that this is intended purely as poetic shorthand for illness; Satan is a spiritual being of malicious intent.42 Paul’s mission is the focus of opposition. Similarly, in 2Cor 11.13–14 the ministers of Satan interfere with his apostolic duty. It is an interesting question whether there is anything equivalent to this personal ————— 40

As suggested by Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 282. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 57. 42 An old view of this text – maintained more recently by some: I.H. Marshall, 1 and 2Thessalonians (NCB; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1983) 86 – understands this as a reference to Paul’s mystery illness of 2Cor 12.7. This avoids the implication that Satan directly intervenes in Paul’s life. As early as Everling the flaw in this reading was recognised: Satan also prevents Silvanus and Timothy from travelling. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 77. 41

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hostility in Judaism. One may think of Satan’s affliction of Job,43 though that ancient ‘adversary’ does not match the kind of malign figure which Paul has in mind. Later interpretive traditions, however, perceive Job as a man dogged by enmity cruelty. In the Testament of Job, Satan’s animosity forms part of the construction of Job as a righteous man.44 One could say something similar of Paul’s self–understanding in 2Cor 11. The attention of a hostile spirit helps to define the apostle as a holy figure. In the same way, the afflictions of the angel of Satan in 12.7 define Paul as a better servant of Christ. 7.3.4 Consistently Evil? That Satan is evil may seem to be rather obvious. Yet, a number of scholars have sought to redefine this figure in the NT; he is seen as morally neutral and his activities sometimes beneficial.45 We shall only examine the central plank of this revisionism in Paul, 1Cor 5.5: “You are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be preserved on the day of the Lord.” Dibelius asserts that Satan follows the command of Jesus, just as he obeys God in the prologue of Job.46 Various scholars have expanded upon this, asserting that Satan offers service to God; he is “God’s agent for punishing”47 or “the means of the man’s deliverance”.48 Interpreting sa¢rc (‘flesh’) morally rather than physically, Satan would destroy the ‘fleshly nature’ and bring a reversal in conduct and spiritual salvation. The problem with this is the assumption that a desirable outcome (‘preserving the spirit’) implies positive means by which it is attained (i.e. a good Satan). In 1Cor 5.5 this cannot be the case. In other texts where a comparable motif occurs, Satan is assumed to be entirely evil. In 1Tim 1.20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are handed over, and the wickedness of Satan is ————— 43

As suggested by Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 49. This work contains a very interesting account of Satan taking on a number of disguises in some attempt to trick Job for evil (6–7). When the affliction begins it is with an extra twist of cruelty: Satan attacks Job’s possessions “unmercifully” (16.2). The personal enmity develops, with Satan said to be plotting against Job (17.1) and taking on further disguises (17.2). There is also a bizarre episode in which Satan tricks Job’s wife into selling her hair to him so that he “leads her heart astray” (23.11). Job’s eventual triumph is very much understood as Satan’s defeat (27.1–7). 45 As extensively expounded by Wink, citing 1Cor 5.5, 1Cor 7.5 and 2Cor 12.7. Wink, Naming the Powers, 16–21. 46 Although, he does not doubt that Satan is here considered entirely evil. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 41–42. 47 See T.C.G. Thornton, ‘Satan – God’s agent for Punishing’, Exp. Tim. 83 (1972) 151–152. 48 Wink, Naming the Powers, 16. An interpretation also accepted by Pagels, Origin of Satan, 183. 44

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crystal clear (cf. 3.7; 5.15).49 Compare also deliverance into the hand of Belial at Qumran.50 Perhaps most critically, this positive re–appraisal of Satan misses the central thrust of 1Cor 5; the man is an evil driven out from the community (e¦ca¢rate to£n ponhro¢n, 5.13). Satan is synonymous with the world outside, the evil age (cf. Gal 1.4).51 There is no suggestion of nurturing the sinner but, as many commentators have recognised,52 he is given to the ruler of evil, where evil belongs. The thought here is different from Job, an ancient Hebrew text to which Paul’s views would be quite alien. This Satan is more akin to the Belial of Qumran, where the community would never tolerate the evil one within their midst. 7.3.5 Global Dominion As we saw above, the idea of a global ruler of evil emerged as a distinctive Jewish belief held by a small but significant minority (especially at Qumran). It is most interesting, therefore, that this idea seems to have gained wide acceptance in early Christianity. We find it in Matt 4.8, where Satan offers Jesus dominion over all the kingdoms of the world, and in Rev 12.9, where Satan is “the deceiver of the entire world.” Already, we have seen hints at this in Paul. Certainly the most explicit statement comes in 2Cor 4.4: The god of this age (o¥ qeo£j tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou) has blinded the thoughts of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ.

————— 49

See also our broader discussion of early interpretations of this text (chapter 4). CD 7.21, where apostates “shall be visited for destruction by (or, ‘in’: dyb) the hand of Belial.” Being given to Belial is definitely not a good thing. This text is adduced as important background for 1Cor 5.5 by Yarbro Collins, ‘Function of Excommunication’. 51 This equivalence between Satan and the outside world underpins the not entirely convincing view of Derret that handing over to Satan means deliverance to the civil magistrates. J.D.M. Derret, ‘Handing Over to Satan: An Explanation of 1 Cor 5.1–7’, RIDA 26 (1979) 11–30. 52 As have already noted, Tertullian makes a long case in favour of this text being understood as condemnation to perdition rather than emendation (Pud. 13). Among modern commentators, see Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 208–9; A. Robertson/A. Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1911) 99; J. Moffatt, The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (MNTC; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1938) 56. Perhaps this is best put by Barrett: “To be excluded from the sphere in which Christ’s work was operative was to be thrust back into that in which Satan still exercised authority.” Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 126. 50

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Almost certainly, this refers to Satan.53 We should recognise the radical nature of this text and the phrase “god of this age”; contra certain commentators,54 it is not typically Jewish. While it has some intellectual affinity with the type of things believed about Belial at Qumran, there are no close linguistic parallels for this phrase in Jewish literature. However, it is reminiscent of the epithet “the ruler of this world” in John’s gospel (12.31; 14.30; 16.11). That motif probably reflects a dualistic modification of Jewish ideas about angel princes55 and so, quite possibly, Paul was also aware of such radical re–readings of the Jewish tradition. Nevertheless, it remains surprising that he should invert the word qeo£j so as to apply to Satan. Many commentators seek a way around this shocking development. One solution is to suggest that Paul employs unrealism as a kind of literary device. Satan is not a god in his own right. As C.K. Barrett puts it, he is “accepted as god by his fellow rebels”.56 Perhaps the main problem with such glosses is that they suggest the opposite of what Paul articulates. It is not the deliberate choices of unbelievers which make Satan a god. It is Satan’s dominance of the world which allows him to blind the unbelievers (e¦tu¢flwsen ta£ noh¢mata tw¤n a¦pi¢stwn). His rule is genuine. This conclusion should not be altogether surprising. It fits with a number of Satan’s features which we have already observed. It also fits with the early deutero– Pauline understanding of this figure: Satan is the deceiver of the world (2Thess 2.9–10) and rules the authority of the air (Eph 2.2, cf. 6.11–17). ————— 53

As noted before (chapter 4), this verse made patristic commentators nervous: Irenaeus (Haer. 3.7) and Tertullian (Marc. 5.11). The appeal to a transposed sentence structure (‘unbelievers of this age’) is unconvincing. Similarly, this figure is unlikely to be God himself. This interpretation, going back to John Chrysostom, has recently been advocated by F. Young/D.F. Ford, Meaning and Truth in 2Corinthians (BFT; London: SPCK, 1987) 115–117. However, they fail to recognise the logical problems such a reading causes in this passage and the generally negative connotation of the phrase “this age” in early Christianity. For an extended discussion of the interpretive problems here, see Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 1.306–308. 54 “Paul is reflecting the dualism of apocalyptic Judaism” Furnish, V.P., II Corinthians (AB 32a; Garden City: Doubleday, 1984) 247. “The Jewish doctrine of two ages is important for the apostle”. R.P. Martin, 2Corinthians (WBC 40; Waco: Word Books, 1986) 78. 55 Segal argues that social forces changed the Johannine community’s angelology: “the Johannine church would know that a mediator figure like Michael or Metatron, possibly with titles such as “Lord of the World,” was viewed as Israel’s guardian angel by many Jews […] the guardian angel of Jewish sectarians could become a fitting opponent of Jesus in the supernatural sphere.” A.F. Segal, ‘The Ruler of this World’, in A.F. Segal, The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity (BJS 127; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987) 41–77, on page 65. This may have been the case. However, we should also note that the generic angelological term r&/aÃrxwn (‘prince’) might have been gradually expanding its semantic range at this time, including evil angels within its scope. This could be suggested by Paul’s use of aÃrxwn (1Cor 2.6, 8; cf. Eph 2.2). See also Ascen. Isa. 2.4: “the angel of iniquity who rules this world is Beliar.” 56 Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 130.

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7.3.6 Summary Such, then, are the main outlines of Satan’s place in Paul’s letters. As we hinted at the beginning, it is doubtful that Paul was just preserving the relics of a supposedly ‘common’ Jewish Satanology. Arguably, his views are distinctive and significant, and we have drawn attention to a number of important attributes: (a) Satan is present in Paradise, (b) is a tempter, (c) is personally hostile towards Paul, (d) is consistently evil, and (e) has dominion in this age.

7.4 Satan’s Significance 7.4.1 Paul’s Intentions Naturally, we are drawn to the question of what Paul’s intentions were. It is true that Satan is not really developed or explained as a concept in the letters. His presence in some is patchy or even non–existent (e.g. Galatians), and there is no detailed exposition of who he is or what he does. Yet, it is not immediately clear what we may infer from this observation. Some have been tempted to say that Paul turned his back upon this spiritual and mythological being, reducing his presence to a bare minimum. However, such an attitude risks reading too much between the lines. Paul never actually expresses any doubts about the existence and influence of Satan. Indeed, if he thought that Satan was a ‘bad idea’, then why would he even have mentioned him in the first place? The alternative to this dismissive attitude towards Satan is to suppose that Paul’s limited comments reflect certainty, rather than uncertainty. One is not obliged to discuss matters which are obvious or self–evident, and this may have been how Paul thought about Satan. So, at times we see that Paul takes this figure for granted, without feeling any need to further justify or explain his references. The classic example of this is 1Thess 2.18, with Paul’s statement that Satan prevented him from making the journey to Thessalonica. To us, this is a most peculiar turn of phrase, but Paul seems to suppose that it makes perfect sense. He assumes the activities of Satan as a normal part of life.

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7.4.2 The Issue of Romans Nevertheless, to pass judgement upon the general importance of Satan for Paul would be fraught with difficulties. What criteria could we use, and how could we quantify this? One possible approach (followed by a number of scholars) would be to start with Romans as the theological centre of the letters, with the key concepts of sin and righteousness. Here, the origins of sin are explained in chapter five, but without any explicit reference to Satan as causing or encouraging humanity’s misfortune. This could suggest that Paul’s real theologising in this letter conclusively excluded Satan as an irrelevant or minor problem.57 However, one surely needs to consider this issue in the wider context of dualistic language throughout Romans. The idea that Satan simply has been supplanted by a non–mythological explanation for evil does little justice to the subtlety and complexity of Paul’s presentation. Indeed, what Paul arguably has done here is bring aspects of Satan’s character into his description of the powers of sin and death. Instead of removing Satan, one might even argue that Paul has ‘Satan–ised’ the issues he is addressing. As Martinus de Boer has pointed out, “Paul is responsible for introducing the cosmological characterisations of sin and death into the story of Adam and his trespass in Rom 5.12–21.”58 In a way, Paul is borrowing the language of Satan and deploying this in a new, slightly more conceptual way. So, the claim that Romans 5 reflects a deliberate act of demythologisation thus seems to be a little simplistic. Indeed, if we follow de Boer and look to the language of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we find that Paul has described sin and death as reigning powers, similar in their functions to the powers and angels of Qumran (1QS 3.17–25; 1QM 13.10; 14.9; 17.5–7; 18.1, 11). Furthermore, any attempt to pick out Romans as the most relevant text raises at least as many problems as it solves. True, Satan occurs only once in Romans and not even once in Galatians. Yet, we gain a very different picture from the other Hauptbriefe, the two letters to the Corinthians. If Paul really was in the business of marginalising Satan, then why did he mention him no fewer than five times in the second letter to Corinth?59 Such inconsistency (if part of a deliberate programme) would be baffling; it is difficult to detect any kind of conscious tendency behind this distribution of references. The safest and most obvious answer might simply be that Paul’s

————— 57

So J.D.G. Dunn, Romans (2 vol.; WBC 38a–38b; Waco: Word Books, 1988) 1.272. His italics. De Boer, Defeat of Death, 155. 59 If one includes “god of this age” and “Beliar”: 2Cor 2.11; 4.4; 6.15; 11.14; 12.7. 58

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decision to refer or not refer to Satan at any given moment was not based upon a theological agenda, but happened purely by chance.60 The overall impression given by the letters as a whole, including Romans, is that Satan was something fully accepted as a part of life in the early church. 7.4.3 Conclusion All considered, our reassessment of the material in this chapter suggests that Satan should be taken more seriously in our understanding of Paul and his letters. One may interpret Paul’s views as being distinctive in their own right, rather than just as the ‘relics’ of an irrelevant tradition; Satan is a clear and notable figure, attributed with significant influence in this world. Indeed, thinking in practical terms, Paul probably had to make a deliberate effort to import Satan into his Gentile churches, since Satana¤j is an Aramaism, generally unknown to native Greek speakers at the time. The fact that Paul preserved Satan at all – who would have required a great deal of explanation to new converts – suggests that he thought him to be of at least some importance.61 Ultimately, the most notable point in our reassessment of Satan may be Paul’s casual dualism and the assumed extent of Satan’s power. Commentators have often denied this element, especially with the infamous 2Cor 4.4.62 However, when we place Paul’s comments within the spectrum of Jewish beliefs about Satan and evil angels, we find that he works with quite a ‘strong doctrine’ of a globally influential and absolutely wicked figure.63 Although Paul may not always be perfectly consistent, Satan’s influence is pervasive, from Paradise to the missionary field. Moreover, “the god of this ————— 60

Indeed, the whole question ‘does Satan matter?’ seems not to have occurred to the first believers. There was no debate concerning whether belief in Satan was reasonable and acceptable, as there is between some liberal and conservative Christians today. So, any attempt to make a value– judgement upon the importance of this material is most likely external to the letters themselves. Paul and others had no explicit wish to quantify how high or low Satan was upon the scale of priorities. 61 It is an interesting but unanswerable question as to whether Gentile God–fearers would have known of Satan before they encountered Paul. Certainly, some diaspora Jews (e.g. Philo) seem to have ignored Satan altogether, so it is at least possible that Paul introduced him as an entirely novel concept. Any Greek without significant familiarity with Judaism would almost certainly never have heard of Satan. 62 E.g. C.K. Barrett, A Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1973) 131; P.W. Barnett, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1997) 219. 63 As we have said, Paul’s Satan is not far removed from John’s in this respect. Compare Paul’s “god of this age” with John’s “ruler of this world” (12.31; 14.30; 16.11).

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age” could well be the most exalted epithet which Satan ever receives in Jewish and Christian literature. He stretches his hand far over the world and blinds all the unbelievers.64 Although we are left with an incomplete picture, it is striking that Paul regards this kind of language as appropriate.

—————

64 Pagans complained about what they saw as Christian dualism. Celsus was appalled by this teaching: “Certain most impious errors are committed by [the Christians], due to their extreme ignorance, in which they have wandered away from the meaning of the divine enigmas, creating an adversary to God, the devil, and naming him in the Hebrew tongue, Satan.” (Cels. 6.42).

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Excursus I: An Angel of Satan

Here, we shall briefly examine an interpretive crux which straddles the topics of Satan and the angels, and is sufficiently complex to warrant a separate treatment. In the enigmatic text 2Cor 12.7 we encounter what seems to be Paul’s personal experience of an evil spirit, “an angel of Satan”. Let us first offer a preliminary translation of the verse (excluding the first clause)1: Therefore, to prevent me from rising too high, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, an angel of Satan (aÃggeloj satana¤), to beat me, to prevent me from rising too high.2

It is fair to say that the most common approach has been to focus upon the “thorn in the flesh” as the mystery that needs to be resolved. The angel of Satan is usually felt to be further descriptive (perhaps metaphorically) of what this thorn is. So, one often encounters the view that Paul is focused upon either human opposition (cf. 11.14),3 or a physical or mental illness which dogs his progress (hence, “in the flesh”).4 Generally speaking, then, the angelic aspect of the verse gets short shrift. Here, we simply wish to emphasise that this “angel of Satan” really is a spirit and is connected to the narrative context of the chapter. By only speaking of physical troubles, some interpreters have demythologised this —————

1 The first clause (“on account of the magnitude of the revelations”) may or may not be intended as part of this episode, depending upon our reconstruction of the text (it could be connected with the previous verse). If we omit dio£, along with P46, D, and Irenaeus, then the first clause would have to be taken as explaining why this suffering is imposed –on account of the revelations. However, since the balance of the evidence favours the retention of the dio£ (it is the NA reading), we have retained it in our translation. Therefore, it makes best sense to read the giving of the thorn and the angel as logically connected to what Paul has described before, but not part of the same sentence. 2 It is tempting to see the last clause as being a scribal error, on account of the repetition. Indeed, it is omitted by ʠ*, A, D, F, G, and Irenaeus. The decision is quite a difficult one: P46, ʠ2, and B retain it (and it is the NA text). Though it is quite an even bet, we prefer to see those MSS which omit the clause as engaging in a tidying–up exercise, and thus choose to retain it. 3 This view, once popular, finds few advocates today. However, it has been taken up recently by Barnett; the thorn is “the rise of the Judaizing, anti–Paul movement”. Barnett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 570. 4 The most popular interpretation today: Furnish, II Corinthians, 548; Martin, 2Corinthians, 415; Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2.817–818; M. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: a Commentary on the Greek Text (NIGTC; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2005) 859 etc.

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episode; the aÃggeloj satana¤ has dropped out of view or become shorthand for something not supernatural at all.5 As in the preceding chapter, we need to consider carefully whether there are any grounds for limiting the role and influence of Satan in what Paul has to say. We need to be clear as to what is demanded by this specific text. The older history of religion commentators were the first to give this focus upon the physical suffering of Paul. They delighted in comparison, finding many ancient parallels for psychic and somatic episodes. Indeed, Dibelius (dependent upon the earlier work of Krenkel) was part of this movement, suggesting that Paul manifested the symptoms of ecstasy and demonic possession. In other words, he suffered from epilepsy.6 A little later, an elaborate discussion is found in the commentary of Windisch, who gives a range of possible maladies.7 He ultimately comes down in favour of migraines, finding connections to our passage through pains in the head, pains behind the eyes, and aversion to light.8 Whatever the diagnosis, a strong connection between suffering and the supernatural was maintained; Windisch emphasises that “gewisse Krankheiten von Satan verursacht sind.”9 So, the whole point of the physical illness interpretation was, initially, that it made a good connection with the spiritual aspect of this passage. Therefore, we should now ask ourselves how we too might balance both of the things which are “given”: the “thorn in the flesh” and the much– neglected “angel of Satan”. One such possibility lies in the recent trend of seeking a mystical explanation of this verse, relating it to the heavenly ascent of vv 2 and 4. This view was first put forward by R.M. Price,10 and then developed by C.R.A. Morray–Jones.11 The main thesis here is that we have “quite literally a demon or malevolent angel”12 sent to Paul during his ascent. If we place 2Cor 12.7 in the context of early Jewish mysticism, then we find precedent for the view —————

5 At times this is stated fairly explicitly; the angel of Satan is a metaphor. F.J. Matera, II Corinthians: a Commentary (NTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003) 283. It “concretizes the thorn.” J. Lambrecht, Second Corinthians (SP 8; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1999) 203. 6 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 46–47. 7 See ‘Die Krankheit des Apostels Paulus’ Windsich, zweite Korintherbrief, 385. 8 Ibid. 388. 9 Ibid. 385. 10 In his article: R.M. Price, ‘Punished in Paradise (an Exegetical theory of 2Corinthians 12.1– 10)’, JSNT 7 (1980) 33–40. 11 In his two–part HTR article. Morray–Jones, ‘Paradise Revisited: the Jewish Sources’; ‘Paradise Revisited: Paul’s Heavenly Ascent’. 12 Price, ‘Punished in Paradise’, 37.

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that angels block, punish, and buffet the ascending visionary.13 So, this interpretation makes a strong logical connection between the ascent narrative at the beginning of the chapter and the verse in question. It places weight upon the angel himself. However, this approach to the problem in 12.7 has been criticised in some quarters for artificially combining two separate concerns: the heavenly ascent and its consequences (12.1–7a), and the later imposition of physical suffering (12.7b–10). V.P. Furnish argues that such a connection cannot be made in view of the words of the Lord in v 9: “for the apostle has already said that what he heard there (in Paradise) he was forbidden to repeat.”14 Vv 7b–9, then, are taken as referring to a separate occasion. The imposition of the angel is not part of an ecstatic, mystical event. However, this criticism is not entirely fair. Furnish’s argument about the revelations in Paradise (12.4) takes those strictures too far. True enough, Paul heard “unutterable utterances which are not lawful for a man to speak.” However, he specifically does not say that all of Christ’s words were secret. Indeed, we may assume that at the end of the passage (“my grace is sufficient for you”) Christ is not actually imparting a revelation to Paul but is simply telling him that his ascent is over. The angel of Satan excluded him; he was to be satisfied with his lot. If we may once again dig up the views of Dibelius, the truth of the matter perhaps lies in the combination of both a psychic heavenly affliction and an enduring physical torment. The latter follows from the former.15 So, to reverse our criticisms, we might be less than convinced by an interpretation which is purely mystical and fails to acknowledge the fleshly impact of the thorn.16 The qualification of the angel as Satanic is important because it opens up both of those possibilities. In terms of the heavenly dimension, we may refer to Paula Gooder’s Oxford D.Phil. dissertation (Only the Third Heaven?) as providing the relevant arguments. Gooder suggests that Paul reached only as high as the third of —————

13 Morray–Jones here thinks in terms of a forerunner to “the demonic “angels of destruction” who seek to do violence to Aqiba” in the Hekhalot and Merkabah texts. Morray–Jones, ‘Paradise Revisited: Paul’s Heavenly Ascent’ 283. 14 Furnish, II Corinthians, 550. This seems to be backed–up by Murphy–O’Connor’s view of the divine oracle in v 9: “This does not mean that Paul was conscious of a heavenly voice speaking within his mind.” J. Murphy–O’Connor, The Theology of the Second Letter to the Corinthians (New Testament Theology; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 119. Some claim that Paul is not articulating an actual religious experience, but gives Christ’s message in indirect speech. 15 Dibelius distinguishes the initial visual impact (Satan) from the enduring physical impact (the thorn). Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 46–47. Also Schweitzer, Mysticism of Paul, 153. 16 Indeed, physical death and madness are considered to be likely consequences of heavenly ascent in the famous Pardes narrative of the Talmud (b. H̕ag. 15a).

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seven heavens.17 Paradise, not the highest heaven, was as far as he got, his path being blocked by an angel of Satan. There are good grounds for agreeing with Gooder on this point. The vision of God is notable by its absence here. Moreover, the presence of Christ in Paradise specifically connects with Paul’s Adam typology (Rom 5.12ff; 1Cor 15.45ff), for in Jewish literature the heavenly Adam could reside in Paradise, in the third heaven.18 We should also point to what is probably Gooder’s strongest argument. That is, the most basic meaning which would attach to u¥perai¢rwmai in this text (12.7) would be first and foremost ‘to climb high’ or ‘ascend’. The sense which scholarship most commonly attaches to it – ‘to become proud’ – is secondary.19 So, as we translated in the beginning, the angel was given “to prevent me from rising too high”. This would also have checked Paul’s pride, but only as a consequence of being blocked from the highest heaven and receiving physical affliction.20 In terms of what this suffering (the “thorn in the flesh”) may have been, we can but guess. However, in view of Paul’s incapacity in Galatia, which appeared like demon–possession (Gal 4.14: e¦ceptu¢sate),21 Dibelius’ suggestion of epilepsy is at least possible. That would make a strong connection between the spirit world, heavenly ascent, and physical symptoms. To conclude, we may clarify that the “angel of Satan” in 2Cor 12.7 is intended as a spiritual being. Although by permission of God, it abuses Paul – it beats him (kolafi¢zv) – and keeps him from further ascent. Presumably, this aÃggeloj satana¤ is not Satan himself but one of his minions (that is the ————— 17

Against the views of Tabor in Things Unutterable, she follows Bietenhard’s suggestion that Paul shares the seven heaven cosmology of 2Enoch. H. Bietenhard, Die himmlische Welt im Urchristentum und Spätjudentum (WUNT 1st series 2; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1951) 161; P.R. Gooder, Only the Third Heaven? 2Corinthians 12.1–10 and Heavenly Ascent, (Doctoral Dissertation; Oxford: Faculty of Theology) 236–8. 18 “Take him (Adam) up into Paradise, to the third heaven, and leave him there until that great and fearful day which I am about to establish for the world.” Greek L.A.E. 37.5. 19 Ibid. 248. This point is acknowledged in certain commentaries: “He (Paul) was “all up in the air” after his rapture to Paradise.” Best, Second Corinthians, 119. Paul was “over up–lifted.” Barnett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 568. 20 We should also call attention to a parallel which tends not to be cited in this connection. Rather than framing Paul’s ascent only within the context the Hekhalot and Merkabah, we may also point to Jewish apocalyptic. There is a notable narrative in T. Ab. 13.3ff in which Azazel attempts to prevent Abraham from ascending to heaven, promising destruction at the hands of the angels: “Leave the man who is with you and flee! For if you ascend to the height they will destroy you.” (13.5). It is only by removing Azazel from his presence (14.5; cf. 2Cor 12.8) that Abraham may ascend further. Some may find this type of parallel more convincing, because it stands in closer chronological proximity to Paul’s letters than some of the Jewish mystical texts identified by Morray–Jones. 21 Spitting towards someone possessed being a common form of protection from evil spirits.

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easiest way to interpret the Doric genitive/dative). Presumably, Satan’s retinue included a number of supporting angels. The religious or theological import of this is somewhat opaque; for Paul it means “strength in weakness”. However, what is fairly clear is that the spirit world manifests itself in life and may impose itself in the most direct fashion – a point about the experience of Paul which we only just glimpse in his letters.

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8. Angels

8.1 Paul and Angelology The study of angels in modern NT scholarship has quite often been characterised by hostility and suspicion. Angels have classically been regarded as the speculations of a supposedly decadent ‘late Judaism’. The critical basis for this claim is found in the old historical accounts of Jewish religion, which viewed such beliefs as syncretistic.1 Pauline studies have also assumed these opinions. In Part One we discussed F.C. Baur, who separated Paul from excessive Jewish angelology.2 Later, it was precisely this attitude which fed into Kittel’s TDNT article on angels. Paul, he claimed, sought to curtail their role within early Christianity.3 Similar notions were also expressed in Bietenhard’s influential account of the heavenly world.4 Thankfully, crass anti–Jewish polemic is not so common in current NT studies. Nevertheless, without the polemical intent, the basic argument that Paul minimised or abandoned Jewish angelology remains popular.5 Notable is Baumgarten’s discussion in Paulus und die Apokalyptik. Paul’s eclectic references to angels are often singular rather than developed, which Baumgarten sees as indicative of dislike or avoidance of the topic.6 Furthermore, there is a lack of interpreter angels in the letters, which he understands as a deliberate rejection of the angelology of apocalyptic Judaism. According to Baumgarten, Paul developed a more immanent theology.7 These arguments still presume a negative image of angels. Baumgarten understands them to be essentially ‘cosmological’ beings. They are either the necessary tools of an apocalyptic world–view (i.e. go–betweens for God and men) or the far–off inhabitants of an extra–terrestrial world. In either case, they fail to qualify as significant religious or theological ideas. Thus, ————— 1

The most obvious example here is Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 313–325. Baur, Paul, 2.253. 3 See TDNT aÃggeloj 1.85–86. 4 With the unfortunate conclusion: “Das Kreuz ist die Überwindung des kosmologischen Kerygmas der Apokalyptik und des Rabbinats, es ist die Befreiung der christlichen Botschaft von der Bindung an ein bestimmtes Weltbild.” Bietenhard, himmlische Welt, 263. 5 E.g. Dunn, Romans, 1.507. A nuanced version of this argument is found in Forbes, ‘Paul’s Principalities and Powers’, 64–64. 6 Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 151. 7 Ibid. 152–3. 2

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in modified form, the contrast between Paul and ‘cosmological’ or ‘speculative’ Judaism remains. So, our account in this chapter must consider whether this reflects a fair assessment of angels, both within Paul’s letters and the wider context of Second Temple Judaism. To do so, we must first frame our discussion in relation to recent trends in the study of angelology. How are these beings to be understood, and what role did they play (if any) in daily life?

8.2 Recent Developments in the Study of Angels Necessarily, we must be highly selective here, since there have been a multitude of general and specialised studies of angels in recent decades. Especially in view of the vast quantities of angelic material in the DSS and Nag Hammadi documents, there has been a great demand for scholarship in this area. We shall only examine a few notable trends, which will be particularly relevant to our discussion of Paul’s letters. 8.2.1 Angels in Worship and Cult The study of this aspect of Jewish religiosity has burgeoned in recent years with the discovery and publication of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice from caves 4 and 11 at Qumran and from excavations at Masada.8 These extraordinary texts describe the heavenly worship performed by angels, but do so for the benefit of a human worshipping community.9 The human and angelic cults are seen to be conjoined or combined. This discovery has now yielded a number of studies which rightly recognise this phenomenon as belonging with wider trends within Judaism. Notably, Michael Mach has drawn out what he calls “die Abhängigkeit des irdischen Kultus vom himmlischen” in Judaism, identifying the dependence of the earthly priesthood upon angels for its basic functions and legitimation.10 We may refer to T. Levi 8.2ff and Jub. 31.14 in this respect. Some connection with angels may have added some prestige or importance to human patterns of worship.

—————

8 The critical edition is edited by Newsom. See especially ‘Angelology’: C. Newsom, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice: a Critical Edition (HSS 27; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985) 23–38. 9 “Through these calls to praise and the descriptions of the heavenly worship the earthly community evokes that sense of being present in the heavenly temple.” (Our italics) Ibid. 65. 10 M. Mach, Entwicklungsstadien des jüdischen Engelglaubens in vorrabbinischer Zeit (TSAJ 35; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992) 237–239.

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8.2.2 Human–Angelic Relationships While the existence of liturgical connections between angels and humans is clear, the broader interpretation of angelic–human relationships is more contentious. In All the Glory of Adam, Crispin Fletcher–Louis defines true and original humanity as “both angelomorphic and divine.”11 In other words, there is a strong relationship of identity between man and angel. However, other scholars disagree, or have at least sought to moderate these conclusions.12 The alternative to this description of angelic–human relationships as ‘identity’ remains Mach’s designation, ‘community’ (‘Gemeinschaft’).13 It certainly is not within the scope of this current study to adjudicate in such a complex historical question, nor for our purposes is it necessary. Nevertheless, some general points may be made. Unquestionably, angelic–human relationships could be viewed as very close. Particularly at Qumran, this proximity is expressed in numerous ways: in terms of shared knowledge and wisdom,14 military exploits,15 and liturgical practice (see above). Furthermore, closer ties with angels or a more angelic humanity were commonly held as a cherished ideal. This frequently manifested itself in hopes for the future, with the righteous being transformed into stars,16 or perhaps becoming angelic more generally.17 So, however we may chose precisely to construct this – as ‘identity’ or ‘community’ – comparing and relating humans to angels was in the time of Paul an important feature of —————

11 C.H.T. Fletcher–Louis, All the Glory of Adam: Liturgical Anthropology in the Dead Sea Scrolls (STDJ 42; Leiden: Brill, 2002) 12. He makes this case by arguing against Newsom’s interpretation of the Sabbath Shirot. Ibid. 253–277. For Newsom, the earthly cult corresponds to the heavenly, while for Fletcher–Louis the earthly cult may be the heavenly cult. Ibid. 255–6. 12 Particularly Sullivan: “in those instances when the interaction between humans and angels is particularly close or intimate, there still does not seem to be any indication that separation between angels and humans is not maintained.” K.P. Sullivan, Wrestling With Angels: A Study of the Relationship between Angels and Humans in Ancient Jewish Literature and the New Testament (AGJU 55; Leiden: Brill, 2004) 228. 13 See ‘4. 4 Die Gemeinschaft mit den Engeln als eschatologische Hoffnung’: Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 160–169. Also, ‘4. 5 Die präsentische Engelgemeinschaft’: Ibid. 209–216. 14 E.g. “For Thou hast made known to them the counsel of Thy truth, and hast taught them Thy marvellous mysteries. For the sake of Thy glory Thou hast purified man of sin […] that he may be one [with] the children of Thy truth and partake of the lot of Thy Holy Ones.” (1QH 19.9–10, 12). 15 E.g. “And no man shall go down with them on the day of battle who is impure because of his ‘fount’, for the holy angels shall be with their hosts.” 1QM 7.6. Angelic assistance in military campaigns is hardly a peculiar feature of Qumran. See in Mach ‘Das „Heer des Himmels” und die kriegerische Gemeinschaft’: Ibid. 241–254. 16 Dan 12.3; 2 Esd 7.97; 1 En. 104.2; 2 En. 66.7 (long rec.); T. Mos. 10.9; Matt 13.43. This makes for an interesting comparison with 1Cor 15.35–58, which we shall discuss in detail later. 17 1 En. 71.11; 2 En. 22.8; 2 Bar. 51.1; Luke 20.36; cf. 1Cor 15.51. See further J.H. Charlesworth, ‘The Righteous as an Angel’, in G.W.E. Nickelsburg/J.J. Collins (ed.), Ideal Figures in Ancient Judaism (SBLSCS 12; Chico: Scholars Press, 1980) 135–147.

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Jewish religious life. It helped people to connect their own lives to some higher form of being. 8.2.3 Ritual, Magic, and Adjurations The last fifty years has witnessed an explosion of ritual scholarship, revealing a rich and popular tradition of adjurations for contacting, communing with, and commanding angels. While it is an unresolved question as to what form such practices took in pre–rabbinic Judaism, it is fairly certain that they significantly pre–date the late antique texts in which they first appear. For example, the invocation of angels is prominent in Jewish magical books and may reflect some surprisingly old formulae.18 This invocation is clearly found in other (older) magical works such as T. Sol. (2.4; 4.10 etc.) and certain Greek papyri.19 It is also present in early physical data (inscriptions and amulets).20 Magical practices further connect with the adjuration of angels in early Jewish mystical texts. Gershom Scholem originally argued that the roots of this literature lay in the heavenly travels of early ‘Jewish Gnosticism’, with the adjurations being less original.21 This conclusion is no longer accepted, with David Halperin arguing that the adjurations are the earliest part of the tradition22 and Peter Schäfer contending that neither heavenly ascent nor adjurations can explain the literature as a whole.23 In either case, the adjuration of angels did not find its way into Jewish mysticism at a late stage. Indeed, comparison with other rituals suggests that the wider context of earlier Greek–speaking Jewry lies behind these mystical ————— 18

Especially if one compares them with older Greek texts. Alexander compares the ‘If you wish to do such and such […] take such and such’ formula of Sefer ha–Razim (…t#qb {) xq … inf.+ l) with the e¦a£n de£ qe¢lvj formula of the Greek papyri. P.S. Alexander, ‘Incantations and Books of Magic’, in E. Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, A New Version Revised and Edited by G. Vermes, F. Millar and M. Goodman (3 vol.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1986) III.1.342–379, on page 348. Jewish works were looking back to established patterns. 19 For the identification of Jewish angelology in Greek magical papyri, see Alexander’s discussion: Ibid. 357–361. See also Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 40 and E.R. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco–Roman Period (13 vol.; Bollingen Series 37; New York: Pantheon, 1953– 1968) 2.190–205. 20 A good recent discussion of the physical evidence centred upon Asia Minor is that of Arnold, taking Jewish invocations of angels to be current before late antiquity. Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 61–89. 21 See ‘Merkabah Mysticism and Jewish Gnosticism’: G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (New York: Schocken Books, 1995 [reprint]) 40–79. 22 D.J. Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot: Early Jewish Responses to Ezekiel’s Vision (TSAJ 16; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988) 384. 23 P. Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God: Some Major Themes in Early Jewish Mysticism (SUNY series in Judaica; Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992) 150–157.

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developments.24 So, while the evidence does not allow us to push this point too firmly, it is unlikely that this rich magical–ritual tradition was created ex nihilo in late antiquity. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that angels were a part of practical rituals in pre–rabbinic Judaism. Perhaps what this sketch of recent developments in the study of angels shows above all is the inadequacy of attempts to reduce angelology to a system of cosmological speculation. As contemporary scholarship seems to show, angels could lie behind cultic activity, have close relationships with humans, and form part of practical rituals. They could be an intimate and personal part of Jewish life, for communities and individuals. So, as we now turn to consider Paul’s letters, we should be careful not to assume the irrelevance of angels for ‘real’ human issues. Again, our first duty is to pay close attention to what the texts themselves say.

8.3 Angels in Paul’s Letters Given the prevalence of angels in Jewish culture, we might expect Paul to accept much angelological material without question or major modification. After all, such beliefs were multifarious, multifaceted, and pervasive. It is important to analyse the letters in this historical and religious setting. Nevertheless, we may well also find that Paul rejects, questions, and modifies certain angelic traditions. Yet, any such critical attitudes would surely arise for specific reasons of his own, rather than from the vague idea that Paul was generally less ‘speculative’ than his contemporaries. We turn now to the letters themselves, to see whether this is borne out by analysis. 8.3.1 Angels at the Parousia The presence of angels at the return of Jesus is an unmistakable part of Paul’s teaching, a part of his basic eschatology. In 1Thess 4.16 the Lord returns “with the archangel’s call” (e¦n fwn$¤ a¦rxagge¢lou). Baumgarten —————

24 The most recent study of these adjurations is that of Lesses. See especially chapter 5, ‘The Hekhalot Adjurations in the Matrix of Ritual Practices of Late Antiquity’. R.M. Lesses, Ritual Practices to Gain Power: Angels, Incantations, and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism (HTS 44; Harrisburg: Trinity Press, 1998) 276–366. In her conclusion she suggests: “The Hekhalot texts, both the ascent rituals and the adjurations of angels, are in part a deposit of the traditions of Greek–speaking Jewry.” Ibid. 369. Thus, it seems very likely that they have a footing in pre– rabbinic Judaism. On angels in this literature more generally, see R. Elior, ‘Mysticism, Magic, and Angelology: the Perception of Angels in Hekhalot Literature’, JSQ 1 (1994) 3–53.

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doubly emphasises the singularity of the archangel in Paul,25 suggesting a freak survival from a half–forgotten apocalyptic tradition. However, there is nothing forced in the description of the end here, nor can there be any suggestion that it is meant as anything but in earnest (ou¦ qe¢lomen de£ u¥ma¤j a¦gnoei¤n: 4.13). This mention of the archangel presupposes familiarity with the Jewish tradition of either four (3 Bar. 4.7) or seven chief angels (1 En. 20.1–7). This may indeed be Michael, but there are no compelling grounds for this identification.26 However, it is not just the archangel which accompanies the Lord at the end. In 1Thess 3.13, the Lord Jesus comes “with all his holy ones” (meta£ pa¢ntwn tw¤n a¥gi¢wn au¦tou¤). Despite the resistance of some English translations (NRSV: ‘saints’), tw¤n a¥gi¢wn here are certainly angels.27 This reading is unsurprising, if one compares it with 2Thess 1.7–828: […] when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with the angels of his power (met¡ a¦gge¢lwn duna¢mewj au¦tou¤) in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

This motif is of great interest, though it has received little scholarly attention. It offers us a rare example of Pauline eschatology significantly agreeing with the synoptic tradition, even on points of detail.29 The angels are integral to Paul’s picture of the end and should not be dismissed as a flimsy and unimportant survival of tradition. Indeed, thinking of the way in which ————— 25

Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 149. Numerous commentators regard this as certain: Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 81; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 33; Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 20; Langton, Angel Teaching, 91, etc. Michael is the leading angel in parts of the NT (Jude 1.9; Rev 12.7), but other archangels also feature (e.g. Gabriel: Luke 1.19; 1.26). Michael is the most likely candidate because of his military credentials, but Paul gives no indication in the text. 27 As is recognised by Baumgarten: “1 Thess 3,13 gehören die Engel zur Begleitung des wiederkommenden Kyrios.” Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 148. The point is that these ‘holy ones’ come with the Lord, who arrives from heaven. Attempts to explain why humans might also descend from heaven are convoluted beyond plausibility. Kurze argues that they are first caught up (1Thess 4.17) and then come straight back down again. Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 21. He fails to recognise that the saints are caught up to heaven only after the Lord has already returned (1Thess 4.16–17). The logical solution is that tw¤n a¥gi¢wn denotes angels. This is a common usage, equivalent to {y#dq in the LXX (Job 5.1; 15.15 etc.). 28 Although we regard 2Thessalonians as deutero–Pauline, it is reasonable to suppose that it is related to Paul’s views in 1Thessalonians. 29 The angels dispatch vengeance (2Thess 1.8; Matt 16.27; cf. 25.31) and are holy (1Thess 3.13; Mark 8.38; Luke 9.26). The end comes with power (2Thess 1.7; Mark 9.1). Some have suggested that the eschatological motifs of 1Thess are actually dependent upon the synoptic tradition. However, since 1Thess is so early and the parallels are not exact, it is unlikely that we may speak specifically of dependence. See Tuckett’s essay on this point: C.M. Tuckett, ‘Synoptic Tradition in 1Thessalonians?’, in R.F. Collins (ed.) The Thessalonian Correspondence (BETL 88; Louvain/Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1990) 160–182. Though a direct literary relationship seems unlikely, the connections between these texts are still of great interest. 26

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the parousia is constructed in the synoptics, one finds the angels underpinning the returning Lord’s dignity; they are his royal escorts, conveying his power and glory. The Pauline image of this event, with trumpets and fire, is no less powerful a deployment of angelology.30 8.3.2 The Judgement of Angels In 1Cor 6.1ff Paul demands that the Corinthians take responsibility for judicial affairs; the saints will judge the world (6.2) and angels (6.3), so they should be competent to judge themselves. Certainly, this motif is singular in the letters.31 However, as Dibelius correctly observes, Paul suggests that the angelic judgement was established in his teaching (ou¦k oiÃdate).32 He shames the Corinthians for seemingly forgetting familiar material. The exact nature of this teaching has puzzled commentators. Most commonly, it has been referred to narratives of fallen angels, with the idea that these angels will be judged.33 The problem with this argument lies in the dearth of parallels in Judaism for humans fulfilling this task. Dibelius’ solution was to see these as national angels. Thus, the well–known OT theme of the righteous judging the nations (Dan 7.22 LXX, Wis 3.8, Ps 149.6ff) could be extended to the angels of those nations.34 While we cannot rule this out altogether, we must recognise that it is unsupported in the text. Unless the context demands otherwise (and here it does not) we cannot assume a reference to any specific type or class of angel.35 The correct interpretation probably lies in Mach’s suggestion that the judgement of the angels represents an angelification of the community.36

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30 Potentially, Rom 9.29 is also an allusion to angelic armies: ku¢rioj sabaw£q. Yet, it is an open question as to whether Paul actually understood what the Hebrew word tw)bc meant. BDB )bc 838–839: “army, war, warfare […] 1.b. host (organized body) of angels […] 4. tw)bc in name of 'y as God of war, prob. first in time of warlike David […] (the thought of angels and stars as army of God is later).” 31 As noted by Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 149. 32 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 9. 33 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 16–20; H. Conzelmann, 1Corinthians (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975) 105; Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 234; Collins, First Corinthians, 232 etc. 34 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 9. He draws upon the later rabbinic literature, particularly the Midrash Rabbah. An important proof text for these ideas is Isa 24.21: “On that day the Lord will punish the host of heaven in heaven, and on earth the kings of the earth.” Ibid. 12. See also 3 En. 30.1–2. 35 So Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 26. 36 Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 257.

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Angels judge angels,37 so the Corinthians ideally should also take on this role. Some precedent for this is found in the figure of Enoch, who enters heaven (1 En. 14.25) and is commissioned with a message of judgement against the Watchers (15.2ff). Enoch was famous for his angelic transformations in Jewish lore.38 In the Pauline context, this was probably understood as a hope for the parousia (see above). The Lord returns for judgement at the head of his angels and the believers are “caught up in the clouds” (1Thess 4.17). So, when Paul says that at the last trumpet “we shall all be transformed” (pa¢ntej de£ a¦llaghso¢meqa: 1Cor 15.51; cf. 1Thess 4.16), this means transformation into angelic participants in the Lord’s return (cf. Luke 20.36). This would then account for the use of ‘holy ones’ for the Corinthians in this verse (6.2; cf. 1Thess 3.13). As angels they will judge angels, so perhaps it is time they started acting like angels!39 8.3.3 Satan and Satanic Angels Here we may refer back to our previous discussions (chapter 7, Exc. I). All that we need add with regard to the texts in question (2Cor 11.14; 12.7) is what they specifically presume in terms of angelology. Firstly, in 2Cor 11.14 Paul states that Satan “transforms himself into an angel of light” (aÃggelon fwto¢j). The concern is mostly with Satan, though Paul manifestly is aware of the common Jewish association between angels and light.40 However, it is unclear as to whether Satan himself actually counts as an ————— 37

Angels play diverse roles in the judgement of men and angels, acting as witnesses, scribes and executioners. See in Mach ‘5. 1 Engel im Gericht’: Ibid. 255–257. Angels were especially known for executing judgement against other angels (1 En. 10.4ff; 88.1ff etc.). 38 See J.C. Vanderkam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations (Studies on Personalities of the Old Testament; Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1995); A.A. Orlov, The Enoch– Metatron Tradition (TSAJ 107; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005); and Rowland: DDD Enoch 576– 581. 1Enoch may hint at this tradition, with the disputed 71.14 suggesting that Enoch is the ‘Son of Man’. More explicit is 2 En. 22.8, with God’s command: “Take Enoch, and extract (him) from the earthly clothing. And anoint him with the delightful oil, and put (him) into the clothes of glory.” Some early rabbinic texts are cautious about this tradition, most notably Gen. Rab. 25.1. The most fully–fledged form is found in the Targum Pseudo–Jonathan of Gen 5.24 and in 3Enoch, where Enoch is specifically named as the angel Metatron. 39 Of note in this respect is the Song of Song’s Rabbah (1.2: II.iii), where we read that those of Israel are the god–like beings of Ps 82.6 and thus make decrees over the angels: J. Neusner, Song of Song’s Rabbah: An Analytical Translation (2 vol.; BJS 197–198; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989) 1.66. 40 Famously in Christianity, the angel visits the shepherds and glory shines around (Luke 2.9). This idea is strongly expressed in T. Job, where angels are referred to simply as ‘light’ (3.1; 4.1). The theological importance of the contrast between light and dark angels has only emerged in the last 60 years with the discovery of the ‘Two Spirits Discourse’ in 1QS 3.14ff.

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angel, or whether this is merely a disguise.41 We are not told. Paul assumes that his readers know the narrative context of these transformations. We may simply say that he accepts some loose connection between Satan and angelic beings. This also emerges in 2Cor 12.7, where Paul is beaten by an “angel of Satan”. As we have argued, the aÃggeloj satana¤ is not shorthand for a purely natural phenomenon but is an angel in the full sense of the word. So, as the older history of religion commentators realised, the Doric genitive (or, less likely, dative) suggests that Satan is the leader of a number of angels.42 This conclusion matches up with other NT texts (Matt 25.41; Eph 2.2; Rev 12.7, 9). Again, Paul’s brevity is frustrating, but we hardly need take it as a sign of unrealism or metaphor.43 He holds some unspoken but vivid sense of angels being potentially Satanic as well as holy. 8.3.4 Angels and the Law The extent to which Paul regards angels as the source of the Jewish law is much contested. Those under the law are enslaved to “the elements of the world” (ta£ stoixei¤a tou¤ ko¢smou, Gal 4.3, 9; Col 2.8, 20). The classic religious–historical explanation (Dibelius, et al.) of this phrase is that it refers to the angels.44 Thus, the bond to the law would be a bond to angels. However, as we shall argue later in Part Two, matters are not quite so straightforward and we cannot easily infer from these references that Paul regarded the law as an angelic device. However, there remains an explicit connection in Gal 3.19, where the law is “ordained through angels” (diatagei£j di¡ a¦gge¢lwn). The Jewish background of Paul’s words is readily apparent, for the idea that the law was angelically mediated was well known.45 With an eye on later controversies much concerned with the issue, we could approach this verse through the question of whether these are good or evil angels.46 However, there is no reason to suppose that such a clear moral distinction was even in Paul’s mind; his point is only that angels are inferior to God. In this way, he in—————

41 In the middle voice, metasxhmati¢zw can mean either ‘transform oneself’ or ‘disguise oneself’. See BAGD metasxhmati¢zw 514–5. 42 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 60; Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 53; contra Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 46–7, who treats this as Satan himself. 43 As does Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 150. 44 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 65; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 79 etc. 45 Deut 33.2 LXX; Ps 68.17; Josephus: Ant. 15.136; Jub. 1.27; Acts 7.38, 53; Heb 2.2. Also in rabbinic literature: Str–B 3.554–556. 46 As does H.D. Betz, Galatians (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979) 168–169. Probably the earliest suggestion that Jewish law observance was instigated by evil angels is Barn. 9.4.

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verts the tradition, deploying angels not for the glory of the law but to imply that it was not directly revealed.47 The technique of ‘mirror reading’ this as a critique of Jewish Christian opponents in Galatia may well be accurate on this occasion. The preachers of circumcision stressed the presence of angels on Sinai as a form of glorification, but Paul used this to stress the inferiority of the law.48 Yet, whatever the precise nuance, the apostle cannot here be said to have rejected Jewish angelology outright. On the contrary, he has both accepted and modified it for his own specific (polemical) purpose. This manoeuvre is of great rhetorical significance in Galatians. 8.3.5 Tongues of Angels In 1Cor 13.1 Paul mentions the possibility of speaking “in the tongues of men and of angels”. Today, we are accustomed to thinking of this famous phrase as a pleasant metaphor, although this is unlikely to be how Paul and the Corinthians saw it. They probably shared quite a concrete understanding of angelic speech. Certainly, the belief that angels had distinctive forms of language was common in Judaism.49 More importantly, Paul’s use of the word ‘tongue’ (glw¤ssa) also brings to mind his discussion of ecstatic speech in the following chapter (speaking “in a tongue” glw¢ssv: 14.2, 4 etc.). He thus seems to refer to an established practice of speaking angelic languages within the community, a practice at which he himself excels (14.18), despite reservations about its current use. Further points confirm this conclusion; the speaker in tongue speaks ‘mysteries’ (musth¢ria, 14.2) and this language is incomprehensible without an inspired interpreter (14.5). Paul may have acquired his knowledge of such phenomena on his heavenly journey (2Cor 12.1ff),50 but that conclusion can hardly be verified. —————

47 It is possible that e¦n xeiri£ mesi¢tou also refers to an angel in this verse: Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 26. Generally speaking, however, scholars have taken this to be Moses: especially Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 17; Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 148. It is difficult to see any compelling grounds for deciding one way or the other. However, Dibelius’ argument that o¥ de£ mesi¢thj e¥no£j ou¦k eÃstin in the following verse is unlikely to refer to Moses is yet to be answered. Surely Moses is ‘one’. By contrast, there is assumed to be a plurality of angels. 48 As is the argument of Martyn, Galatians, 356–357 and before him Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 28. Jewish Christians certainly made some connection between angels and the Law: Herm. Sim. 8.3.3. 49 In rabbinic Judaism it was variously believed that angels spoke either Hebrew or their own language. Johanan ben Zakkai distinguished himself by understanding the latter: Str–B 3.449–450. In earlier Judaism angels had a number of distinctive speech forms, especially in praising God (1 En. 40.3; 61.10–12; Jub. 2.3 etc.). The idea of a separate and usually unintelligible angelic language is found in T. Job, where Job’s daughters receive special multicoloured cords from their father, allowing them to speak the heavenly dialect (48.3; 49.2; 50.2). 50 So Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 39; Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 13.

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8.3.6 Rhetorical Usage On a number of occasions, Paul employs angels in his rhetoric and has a particular habit of placing them in couplets with other beings (e.g. as above, “of men and of angels”). Yet, in view of what we have already seen, we should not assume that the angels of the letters reside primarily in the realm of metaphor. Indeed, looking carefully at this rhetorical usage, we see that it presupposes much concerning the nature and significance of these beings. Firstly, in 1Cor 4.9 Paul writes that God displays the apostles last of all, as “a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men”. Though mentioned only in passing, the angels here probably are not just making up the numbers figuratively, to indicate ‘all the cosmos’.51 We should take seriously Paul’s statement that the humiliation of the apostles is one of the last things (e¦sxa¢touj) and see this as a colourful statement of eschatology. The unfolding of the end is of genuine interest both to angels and to men. Paul introduces this distinctive eschatology into an otherwise non–Jewish or Christian (Stoic) rhetorical motif.52 Elsewhere, in Gal 1.8 Paul demands that even if “we or an angel from heaven” should preach another gospel then that one should be accursed. Readers initially might suppose that this angel is entirely formulaic, indicating ‘anyone in the world’,53 and we might doubt whether Paul seriously supposed that an angel could preach another gospel.54 However, many Jews at the time believed that angels brought revelations and messages.55 We must further recognise the serious manner in which Paul binds the angel to a curse. The quality of a curse is dependent upon a careful naming of its potential targets; not including angels within its scope could leave a serious loophole for false preaching.56 Paul may be looking forward to 3.19 and the —————

51 So Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 149; Collins, First Corinthians, 188. Everling criticises Weiss for this interpretation. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 14. 52 Dibelius traces this to the idea of a heavenly council (from Job and the Haggada) and the Stoic image of the wise man as a spectacle for gods and men. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 29–30. Conzelmann identifies the nature of Paul’s modification: “The Stoic picture of the philosopher’s struggle as a spectacle for the world is taken over by Paul into his world–picture (cosmos and angels) and reshaped in terms of his eschatology; “spectacle” has for him a derogatory sense.” Conzelmann, 1Corinthians, 88. 53 So Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 149. 54 “Er will nicht etwa behaupten, daß tatsächlich einmal ein Engel ein mit dem christlichen nicht übereinstimmendes Evangelium bringen könnte.” Kurze, Engels– und Teufelsglaube, 14. This would be “possible, but not probable.” F.J. Matera, Galatians (SP 9; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 46. 55 Ezek 8.2; Dan 10.5; 2 Esd 2.44; 4.1 etc. See especially Rev 14.6: “And I saw another angel, flying in mid–heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim.” 56 The intensity of this curse was rightly emphasised by Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 34. The curse structure receives a full analysis from Betz, Galatians, 53. One may hardly object that Paul has no

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claim of his Jewish Christian opponents to have an angelic gospel. On both occasions, he inverts the value of angelic revelation. In doing so, he is not opposed to Jewish cosmology as such, but has his own concrete and personal motivations. The literal acceptance of angelic revelation, albeit with modified significance, actually forms the basis of his rhetoric here. Later in the same letter Paul recalls that he first met the Galatians while physically infirm (4.13), but still they welcomed him “as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” (4.14). Again, the use of angels in rhetoric does not make them purely rhetorical. Paul is not simply saying ‘you gave me a good welcome’. Considering that humans could conceivably speak angelic languages or judge angels, comparisons with these beings would not be idle. Significantly, Paul presupposes the legitimacy of comparing himself with angels (and indeed with Christ), and presupposes that there is a particular type of welcome which should be accorded to such beings.57 Finally, there is the resounding conclusion of Rom 8: “neither death nor life, nor angels nor powers (ouÃte aÃggeloi ouÃte a¦rxai£) […] will be able to separate us from the love of God.” (8.38–9). The whole point of this list is that all of the items are ‘real’ and could conceivably – though not actually – separate a believer from God. So, the attempt to cast doubt upon Paul’s belief in angels appears not to fit with this argument.58 Naturally, scholars are preoccupied with the moral significance of these angels, suggesting that they might be fallen or hostile.59 However, this explanation is perhaps unnecessary. Already, we have witnessed good, bad, and ambiguous angels. As moral agents, they are capable of all kinds of activities. Throughout this ————— right to put an a¦na¢qema upon angels, especially in light of their impending judgement (1Cor 6.3). Notably, Paul’s use of a¦na¢qema moves away from the broader sense of something dedicated to a deity (that cannot be the meaning here). It is more “along the lines of the LXX ... the word denotes the object of a curse.” TDNT a¦na¢qema 1.355. 57 Though we probably should not go so far as Gieschen, claiming that Paul is an angel. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 315. Dunn, by contrast, muses whether aÃggelon should here be translated ‘messenger’. J.D.G. Dunn, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1993) 234–235. There is admittedly little in the text to decide. However, since Paul implies that the aÃggelon is at least functionally comparable to Christ, the interpretation of this as a glorious angel seems likely. Sullivan offers the interesting suggestion that Paul is thinking of the courteous welcome accorded to angels by Abraham (Gen 18). Sullivan, Wrestling with Angels, 124. 58 So Dunn (wrongly, in light of our arguments here): “What Paul actually believed about heavenly beings and their power over events and individuals on earth is never clear.” Dunn, Romans, 1.513. Better is Barrett: “Paul’s words become merely rhetorical nonsense if it was not believed that these spiritual powers existed and were inimical to the people of God.” C.K. Barrett, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1991) 163. 59 F.J. Leenhardt, The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary (London: Lutterworth, 1961) 239; Käsemann, Romans, 250–251; J.A. Ziesler, Paul’s Letter to the Romans (TPINTC; Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1989) 231; B.J. Byrne, Romans (SP 6; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1996) 280–281 etc.

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list, then, Paul is concerned with the potential of these forces to separate the believer from God, not an on–going programme of hostility. 8.3.7 Ethics and Instruction Finally, one of the most remarkable features of Paul’s angelology is his willingness to give important practical and ethical instructions purely on this basis.60 Already in 1Cor 6.3 we have seen him justify his demands in terms of angelic judgement. Later in the letter (11.10) he requires that women keep e¦cousi¢a on their heads, “because of the angels” (dia£ tou£j a¦gge¢louj). This great puzzle of a comment will receive detailed treatment later. For now, though, we may say that it eloquently proves our point. Paul assumes that his readers have a clear idea of what angels are doing in their community and why they might potentially cause a problem. Such is the force and reality of their presence that he may tell the Corinthians what to do with the simple justification dia£ tou£j a¦gge¢louj. The clearest injunction attached to angels in the epistles is Paul’s prohibition of their veneration (qrhskei¢a tw¤n a¦gge¢lwn, Col 2.18). Kittel suggests that this is a sign of his depreciation of angelology.61 This is doubtful. Paul’s injunction is probably serious precisely because he firmly believes that these beings have influence. As regards what this veneration is, the interpreter normally chooses between subjective and objective genitives. Does Paul prohibit participation in the angelic veneration of God, or the directing of veneration towards angels? The former view was first expounded in Fred Francis’ article ‘Humility and Angelic Worship in Col 2.18’. Francis identifies “ascetic and mystical trends of piety”62 within Judaism, allowing that humans may join in the heavenly worship.63 However, Francis’ views have been challenged in Arnold’s monograph The Colossian Syncretism. Arnold’s objections are based upon lexicographical observations concerning the use of qrhskei¢a64 and local evidence for the syncretis—————

60 As noted by Everling: “Seine Ansichten über die Engelwelt sind also so wenig ein zufälliger alter Zopf oder eine rein theoretische Liebhaberei, dass sie vielmehr einen Einfluss auf sein praktisches Verfahren haben, und er auch dringend wünscht, dass es bei andern so sei.” Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 16. 61 In TDNT aÃggeloj 1.86. 62 F.O. Francis, ‘Humility and Angelic Worship in Col 2.18’, in F.O. Francis/W.A. Meeks (ed.) Conflict at Colossae: a Problem in the Interpretation of Early Christianity, Illustrated by Selected Modern Studies (Sources for Biblical Study 4; Missoula: Scholars Press, 1975) 163–195, on page 166. 63 Examples of this include Ascen. Isa. 7.37; 8.17; 9.28, 31, 33; Apoc. Ab. 17; 1QSb 4.25–26. 64 Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 90.

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tic invocation of angels.65 Essentially, he claims to have removed the main barrier from interpreting tw¤n a¦gge¢lwn objectively; that is, the lack of evidence for such (semi–) Jewish practices. In the main part Arnold is successful,66 especially through his emphasis upon the syncretistic local religion of Asia Minor. Primarily, Paul was concerned that angels might be invoked and venerated. However, a compromise position also remains possible. After all, the invocation of angels can provide access to the heavenly cult, while entrance into that cult can tempt one to venerate its participants.67 Naturally, we shall never know exactly what was going on in Colossae. Whatever the truth of the matter, though, angels emerge as important enough within community life to demand the apostle’s intervention.

8.4 Assessing the Angels In light of our discussion above, we can see that angels appear relatively frequently in Paul’s letters, although they are by no means a dominant theme. Across a number of texts, we find a very interesting mix of material and find that angels are associated with numerous different themes and activities (judgement, eschatology, ethics, etc.). In view of these observations, we might regard the attempt to distinguish Paul from ‘speculative’ Jewish angelology as problematic. One does not gain a clear sense that Paul rejects belief in angels, nor is there any obvious gulf between Paul’s views and those of other Jewish writers. Indeed, while some discussions have been concerned to separate Paul’s thought from apparently primitive angelology, we should not presume too much in terms of the intellectual status of these beliefs. For example, one of the best educated Jews we know of from antiquity (Philo of Alexandria) was also one of its most enthusiastic angelologists. So, in view of the general credibility of angelology in Judaism, it is unclear as to why Paul or anyone else would take any general objection to these beliefs in the first place. To argue somewhat to the contrary, the texts we have examined here actually make rather good sense within the framework of Jewish angelology. ————— 65

‘Part One: the “Worship of Angels”’: Ibid. 8–89. He seems to have convinced at least one recent commentary writer: M.Y. MacDonald, Colossians and Ephesians (SP 17; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000) 112–113. 67 This compromise is advocated by Stuckenbruck: “it is certainly possible that the notion of participating in angelic worship is regarded as dangerous not only on account of its superfluity for the believer, but also, and perhaps especially, because it posed a context in which a seer may be tempted to venerate angelic beings who are encountered during the ascent.” L.T. Stuckenbruck, Angel Veneration and Christology: A Study in Early Judaism and in the Christology of the Apocalypse of John (WUNT 2nd series 70; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995) 119. 66

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As with other Jews, angels seem to have been a part of Paul’s daily life; they form part of the warnings and advice of his letters, his promises and his teaching, and angels also fulfil certain types of rhetorical function. Moreover, the presence and influence of angels within the world is assumed by Paul as an unjustified fact. No apology or explanation is required when he mentions them, and he may even say ‘do such and such, because of the angels’ (cf. 1Cor 11.10) and leave it at that. So, it would appear that angels were an inherent part of Paul’s religious and cultural life, just as they were for most Jews at the time.

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9. Rulers, Authorities, Powers

9.1 The Problem with the Powers In our History of Research, we found a certain body of scholarship which has described the ‘powers’ (as they are conventionally known) as one of Paul’s key beliefs. Indeed, some have even made this a central feature of his message: the world is said to be dominated by evil heavenly spirits from which only the cross of Christ can bring deliverance.1 So, here we face quite a different situation from our discussions of Satan and the angels; these things are not necessarily ignored or dismissed at all, but sometimes are elevated to a position of great importance. However, despite some theological enthusiasm for the powers, they remain a problem area in the study of Paul’s letters, clouded by generalisations. So, we are obliged to ask: what is meant by ‘ruler’ (a¦rxh¢, aÃrxwn),2 ‘authority’ (e¦cousi¢a),3 and ‘power’ (du¢namij)?4 Critical commentators are at times rather vague as regards their philological and cultural origins. Some years ago it was said that such terms were derived from gnosticism, where the archons reigned supreme.5 This seems less plausible now, given the dearth of evidence for pre–Christian gnostic religion.6 Indeed, many of the gnostic texts in question are dependent upon Paul himself.7 Scholars are thus left with the default position: the powers are derived from Jewish angelology. This is a long–standing view, advocated by Everling and his

————— 1

E.g. Cullmann, Christ and Time, 191 etc.; Stewart, ‘On a Neglected Emphasis’, 292–301; Macgregor, ‘Principalities and Powers’, 17–28; Caird, ‘Principalities and Powers’, 1 etc. 2 (Of spiritual beings, here and in the following two notes) a¦rxh¢: Rom 8.38; 1Cor 15.24; Col 1.16; 2.10, 15; cf. Eph 1.21; 3.10; 6.12. aÃrxwn: Eph 2.2. Contested are Rom 13.3; 1Cor 2.6–8. 3 1Cor 15.24; Col 1.16; 2.10, 15; cf. Eph 1.21; 3.10; 6.12. Contested are Rom 13.3; Col 1.13. 4 Rom 8.38; 1Cor 15.24; cf. Eph 1.21. 5 E.g. Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.173; Macgregor, ‘Principalities and Powers’, 19; Lee, J.Y., ‘Interpreting the Demonic Powers in Pauline Thought’, NovT 12 (1970) 54–69, on page 59. 6 Not only that, but the whole process of interpreting gnosticism as a distinct, united, and independent repository of belief seems most dubious in light of recent scholarship. See especially M.A. Williams, Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category, (Princeton; Princeton University Press, 1996). 7 For the importance of Paul in gnostic archon belief, see John, Importance of St Paul, 221. Prominent is Eph 6.12, cited in Hyp. Arch. 86.20–27; Exeg. Soul 131.9–13; Clement: Exc. 76.1.

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predecessors.8 It was expounded more elaborately by Dibelius, who synthesised a great variety of material to produce (somewhat artificially) a common Jewish angelology of the ‘rulers of this age’.9 The problem here (which may perhaps be traced back to Dibelius) is that the powers can be taken for granted as a kind of monolithic doctrine within which Paul supposedly constructs his own rather concrete teaching. There is a certain lack of subtlety in this treatment, which fails to appreciate the possible complexity of what Paul has to say. For instance, if we examine the radical re–assessment of this topic by Wesley Carr, we find that he is able to exploit difficulties which other scholars ignore. He asserts that Paul never refers to evil powers, but uses this vocabulary to refer only to human rulers or good angels.10 Even though this thesis ultimately proves unconvincing,11 Carr reminds us that the meaning and purpose of Paul’s vocabulary of the powers may not be a simple matter. Therefore, our main aim here is to clarify the nature of the powers, contextualising this terminology in relation to Jewish angelology. As we shall see, Paul’s understanding of rulers, authorities, and powers may be rather varied and complicated, with these beings playing some distinctive roles within the letters.

9.2 Rulers, Authorities, and Powers in Ancient Judaism Although we approach these terms chiefly as angelic spirits, we should note that this particular nuance for this vocabulary was actually quite uncommon in Second Temple Judaism.12 Nevertheless, there is still clear evidence to suggest that such usage was current at the time of Paul.

—————

8 Everling derives this interpretation from the commentary writers of his day. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 7, 12. 9 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 77. 10 Carr, Angels and Principalities, 122–123. 11 The sticking point being Eph 6.12, which Carr arbitrarily excises from the text. Ibid. 104– 110. No MSS support the reading. This conjecture is criticised by C.E. Arnold, ‘The “Exorcism” of Ephesians 6.12 in Recent Research: A Critique of Wesley Carr’s View of the Role of Evil Powers in First Century AD Belief’, JSNT 30 (1987) 71–87. Also Best, Ephesians, 176–177. 12 “The terms that are characteristic of the Pauline literature are on the whole insignificant in Jewish literature.” Carr, Angels and Principalities, 42. See also Forbes, ‘Paul’s Principalities and Powers’, 80.

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9.2.1 Powers The most straightforward case is that of the ‘powers’ (duna¢meij). These appear in the LXX as a translation of tw)bc, denoting the angelic hosts of God.13 Although they are not developed as individuals or personalities in their own right within the LXX, the word duna¢meij could easily have become a term for distinct angels on this basis. Obviously, the implication is that they belong to God and thus are, presumably, ‘good’. Philo takes the basic idea of the powers as God’s subordinates from the LXX, although he makes their role more active and better defined. The powers now are the second tier of God’s deputies, beneath the Logos.14 Certain other early Jewish texts also take up the angelic meaning of the word, though without departing significantly from Philo or the LXX. One finds references to either an angel or ‘the angels of the powers’,15 all seemingly subordinate to God. One also finds the ‘commander–in–chief’ of the heavenly powers, though again this too is quite a general reference to angels in the divine service.16 On the whole, then, this bears out Carr’s contention that this terminology broadly refers to the good/neutral angels and archangels of God. However, there are one or two hints that powers vocabulary may have designated less friendly angels or angels not entirely subservient to God. Philo at one point comments that the Gentiles have wrongly made gods from the powers.17 This does not mean that the powers are culpable or evil, but that implication logically could have followed. There is also Matt 24.29, ————— 13

E.g. Ps 23.10; 32.6; 45.7, 11; 47.8 etc. See further HRCS du¢namij 1.350–353. Of the six cities of refuge, the first is the Logos. “The other five, colonies as it were, are powers of Him who speaks that Word, their leader being creative power, in the exercise of which the Creator produced the universe by a word.” (Fug. 95). The Logos is “the charioteer of the powers.” (101). The powers seem to have an archangelic role: “There is, too, in the air a sacred company of unbodied souls, commonly called angels in the inspired pages, who wait upon these heavenly powers.” (Conf. 174). For an index of Philo’s use of this word, see The Philo Index du¢namij 97. P. Borgen/K. Fuglseth/R. Skarsten (ed.) The Philo Index: a Complete Greek Word Index to the Writings of Philo of Alexandria (Leiden: Brill, 2000). 15 ¸O aÃggeloj tw¤n duna¢mewn (3 Bar. 1.8); aÃggeloi tw¤n duna¢mewn (1 En. 20.1). Note however that this last Greek fragment of 1Enoch is not altogether reliable. Black writes of “the carelessness of the copy, its frequent itacisms, misspellings, omissions, etc.” M. Black, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 8. See also Pr. Jac. 4, 7 (=PGM XXIIb). 16 De¢omai¢ sou, a¦rxistra¢the tw¤n aÃnw duna¢mewn (T. Ab. 9.3). This term used of a human: cf. Josh 5.14 LXX. 17 “God is one, but He has around Him numberless Potencies (duna¢meij), which all assist and protect created being […] Through these Potencies the incorporeal and intelligible world was framed, the archetype of this phenomenal world, that being a system of invisible idea forms, as this is of visible material bodies. No, the nature of these two worlds has so struck with awe the minds of some, that they have deified not merely each of them as a whole, but also their fairest parts […] It was the delusion of such persons that Moses spoke, when he says “Lord, Lord, King of the Gods”, to shew the difference between the ruler and the subjects.” (Conf. 171–173). 14

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where at the coming of the Son of Man the stars shall fall and “the powers (duna¢meij) of heaven will be shaken.” Here the powers are astronomical, but the belief that the stars themselves were an angelic host was well– known.18 Thus, the suggestion that angelic powers would be shaken (presumably, as some form of punishment) is not so far away, if indeed it is not the author’s actual intention. The evidence may be limited, but it is plausible that there was at least some variation in the moral reference of the angelic term ‘powers’. 9.2.2 Rulers By contrast with powers, the Jewish angelic usage of ‘ruler’ (a¦rxh¢, aÃrxwn) is limited and obscure. There are actually two words here, though they are related and perhaps not always to be distinguished. Paul’s favoured term a¦rxh¢ refers to anything with primacy, so it may mean ‘beginning’, ‘principle’, ‘rule’, or ‘ruler’.19 It is the personal dimension of the word which yields the possibility of an angelic connotation. In Dan 7.27 LXX we read that every power and kingdom will be given to the holy ones of the Most High “and his kingdom is an eternal kingdom, and every ruler (a¦rxai£) will serve and obey him.” Chapter 7 is mostly concerned with terrestrial kingdoms, so the author may primarily have human rulers in mind.20 However, within Daniel one generally finds an interface between human and angelic authority (especially in chapter 10) which may have influenced people’s readings of this verse.21 Such a usage is probably to be understood as intended in 1 and 2Enoch. Angelic beings certainly are referred to as ‘rulers’.22 However, since this evidence is from non–Greek texts, we cannot be sure whether this specifically applies to a¦rxh¢. Even still, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the word was current, albeit to a limited extent, as a designation for angels. However, there certainly is no evidence for it applying to hostile spiritual forces in the time before the Pauline epistles. —————

18 1 En. 43.3; 72.1 etc. For a survey of this theme, see ‘Exkurs 1 – Die Engel und die Sterne’ Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 173. 19 See BAGD a¦rxh¢¢ 111–112: “1. beginning […] 2. the first cause […] 3. ruler, authority […] 4. rule […]” 20 As argued by Carr, Angels and Principalities, 39–40. 21 As argued by Delling: TDNT a¦rxh¢ 1.481–483. 22 “And he will summon all the forces of the heavens[…] all the angels of governance, the Elect One, and the other forces on earth (and) over the water.” (1 En. 61.10). “And I saw there an exceptionally great light, and all the fiery armies of the great archangels, and the incorporeal forces and the dominions and the origins and the authorities, the cherubim and the seraphim and the many–eyed thrones.” (2 En. 20.1). Somewhat misleadingly, Arnold supplies these texts with Greek terminology unattested in the MSS tradition. Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic, 53.

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Paul’s other ‘ruler’ word (aÃrxwn) is disputed in the exegesis of his letters, and he does not use it often. However, it also happens to be more clearly a proper angelic term. As a verbal noun (‘one who rules’) it is always a personal agent, thus: ‘ruler’, ‘lord’, or ‘prince’.23 Naturally, it refers to human rulers, but also is particularly favoured in the NT as a designation for the devil.24 In the LXX of Dan 10 it is used as a title for angels, the “prince (aÃrxwn) of the kingdom of Persia” and Michael, “one of the princes” (a¦rxo¢ntwn: 10.13). Dibelius argues that this reflects a wider Jewish theory of national angels,25 although he finds no instance of the specific word aÃrxwn being used in the same way elsewhere in Judaism. Indeed, it is doubtful whether this is anything other than a very general term for angels. In the case of Daniel, it translates the word r& (‘prince’), which commonly is used of angels in Hebrew literature without implying any special nuance. It can be used for good and bad spirits, the Prince of the Presence and the angel Mastemah.26 9.2.3 Authorities Finally, there is ‘authority’ (e¦cousi¢a). Again, there is some (limited) evidence for this applying to angels. The strongest pre–Pauline example is 2Macc 3.24, where the Lord appears with “the prince of all authorities” (pa¢shj e¦cousi¢aj). This prince clearly is a chief angelic (probably military)27 figure, which makes it likely that the authorities beneath him also are angels. That usage is further reflected in T. Levi 3.8, where the authorities are understood as angels who praise God in heaven. Once again, there are texts in languages other than Greek which may reflect a broader understanding of authorities as angels, though here too the sense of evil powers is lacking.28 So, while angels could quite certainly be referred to as ‘authorities’ on occasion, to say anything more specific seems impossible. ————— 23

See BAGD aÃrxwn 113. Matt 9.34; 12.24; Mark 3.22; Luke 11.15; John 12.31; 14.30; 16.11; Eph 2.2. 25 Relating this text to Deut 32.8–9 LXX; Sir 17.17; Jub. 15.32. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 10–11. Here he was following Bousset: “Der Glaube an die Schutzengel der einzelnen Menschen erweitert sich zu der Idee von den Schutzengeln ganzer Völker, welcher allerdings andererseits offenbar ihre Wurzeln in Stellen wie Dt. 4.19; 17.3; 32.8 hatte.” Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 318. 26 Frequently encountered in early Jewish mysticism is the {ynph r& (3 En. 1.4, 9, etc.). The reference to Mastemah as ‘prince’ in Hebrew has come to light with the discovery of fragments of Jubilees at Qumran (4Q225 1.10; 2.15–16). Compare also the princes of light and darkness in the ‘Two Spirits Discourse’ (1QS 3.14ff). 27 As suggested by Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 243. 28 Black offers some suggestions, especially in terms of Hebrew and Aramaic parallels from Qumran, as to what the background of these authorities might be. Black, M., ‘Pa¤sai e¦cousi¢ai au¦t%¤ u¥potagh¢sontai’, in M.D. Hooker/S.G. Wilson (ed.) Paul and Paulinism: Essays in Honour 24

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In view of the evidence gathered above, it would seem that a distinct theory or theology of evil angelic powers cannot be described as an obvious part of Paul’s Jewish religious heritage. As we approach the texts, we cannot assume very much in terms of Paul’s basic understanding of these beings. We need to analyse what Paul himself has to say about rulers, authorities, and powers, and see how this fits in with the wider cultural/linguistic context of this terminology. Only then may we make some broader assessment of this material.

9.3 Rulers, Authorities, and Powers in Paul’s Letters Thinking back to Paul’s use of aÃggeloj, we may recall that he did not systematically distinguish between good and evil angels, and references to these beings are quite varied. As regards the powers, then, we may for now leave it an open question as to whether these have any fixed moral definition. It is possible that Paul regards these terms as a generic or neutral set of angelic vocabulary, rather than as technical language for evil spirits. Sometimes, he may have targeted this vocabulary towards a specific religious or theological motif, or he may have invested it with a particular shade of moral meaning.29 This needs to be established. In many cases, we must also consider whether these terms refer to angelic spirits at all, or whether Paul really has human rulers in mind, or perhaps some combination of these forces. Scholarly disputes along these lines are well established, and a number of texts will require rather careful examination. 9.3.1 Potential Hostility: Romans 8.38 We discussed this text in relation to angels (chapter 8). Paul writes that nothing, “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers (a¦rxai£) [...] nor powers (duna¢meij)” will be able to separate the believer from the love of God. Given that the a¦rxai£ are mentioned in the same breath as the angels, it is ————— of C.K. Barrett (London: SPCK, 1982) 74–82, on page 77. None of these parallels are particularly close. As with a¦rxh¢, the Enochic literature (1 En. 61.10; 2 En. 20.1) may preserve evidence for a wider angelic understanding of e¦cousi¢a. So Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic, 53. 29 Here we might note Arnold’s ABD entry for the powers, in which he writes that these words “are used primarily by Paul to designate angelic beings, both good and evil, but most commonly in reference to the realm of Satan.” ABD PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS 5.467. It seems that Arnold is open to a degree of variety in Paul’s usage, though with a point of coherence in evil.

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highly probably that these are felt to be related or comparable beings, and so too with the duna¢meij. To reiterate our earlier judgement, the point of these terms is that they are comprehensive. So, any attempt to refer them solely to evil figures is likely mistaken,30 as is the attempt to exclude evil angels from the frame of reference.31 All the items on this list could attempt to separate a believer from God but would not necessarily do so. The rulers and powers on this list are angelic beings, but it is both difficult and unnecessary to say more than that. This does not obviously display any theology of evil powers and is not manifestly dualistic (although, dualism is a feature of the letters elsewhere). Still, Paul certainly is aware that these beings could be inimical or, at least, problematical. 9.3.2 The Defeat of the Powers: 1Corinthians 15.24 Here we find that Christ will give the kingdom to God when he has destroyed “every ruler (a¦rxh£n) and every authority (e¦cousi¢an) and power (du¢namin).” Carr argues that these are all human rulers, subject to Christ at the end; we are “not in the realm of supernatural powers, but within the realm of history.”32 We should probably be a little nervous about the idea of irreconcilable realms of the ‘supernatural’ and of ‘history’, since this seems to presuppose that Paul himself made such a distinction. Presumably, it was not uncommon at the time to believe that the supernatural did itself intervene directly in the realm of history, without Carr’s epistemological dualism.33 In any case, the suggestion that these ‘rulers’ are human beings seems doubtful, given the wider usage of this scriptural motif in early Christianity. It was fairly common, and Paul himself probably did not invent it. If we follow Matthew Black’s argument, there was an early Christian pesher which combined Ps 110 with Dan 7.34 The idea of enemies as a footstool was linked with the subjugation of every kingdom and authority. As we find ————— 30

Leenhardt, Romans, 239; Ziesler, Romans, 231; Barrett, Romans, 163; Bryne, Romans, 280. Carr, Angels and Principalities, 112. 32 Ibid. 91. 33 An example of this is Acts 12.20–23. Because of his pretensions, Herod is struck dead by an angel of the Lord. For the author of this work, the ‘supernatural’ is quite capable of making history. We may also recall Bultmann’s comments on the NT’s view of history, mentioned in our History of Research. Unlike the most common modern views, ancient Jews and Christians tended to believe in the direct influence of God and the devil upon the affairs of their world. Bultmann, Christ and Mythology, 15. 34 Black, ‘Pa¤sai e¦cousi¢ai’, 74. In Mark 14.62, Ps 110.1 is combined with the coming of one like the Son of Man in Dan 7.13. However, Black is concerned with another aspect of the pesher, with the idea that every ruler is subject to the Son of Man or God (Dan 7.14, 27). 31

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elsewhere in the NT, the meaning of this pesher was explicitly directed towards angelic forces. In Eph 1.20–21 this is obvious; Christ is at the right hand of God, far above every ruler, authority, and power, “in the heavenly places” (e¦n toi¤j e¦pourani¢oij). Even clearer is 1Pet 3.22, where Christ is at God’s right hand, “with angels and authorities and powers (a¦gge¢lwn kai£ e¦cousiw¤n kai£ duna¢mewn) subjected to him”. Here, then, Paul’s discussion of the powers points towards the negative, with these ‘enemy’ spirits being brought into an eschatological motif. However, Paul is still probably aware that he uses broad and comprehensive terms; he qualifies these as every ruler, authority, and power. Also, the conjunction with angels in 1Pet 3.22 suggests that the original motif kept the whole gamut of the heavenly world within view. This is not strictly a typically ‘Jewish’ or ‘apocalyptic’ motif,35 for the defeat of the powers (not to be confused with demons or Satan) is not explicit in non–Christian Jewish texts. So, then, this forms an early Christian (perhaps, ‘mythical’) narrative. Certain angelic powers are assumed somehow to have become estranged from and hostile towards God, thus making their eventual defeat a part of the new Christian message. It is difficult in this context to reduce such a view to an abstract or conceptual notion of power.36 9.3.3 Angelic Powers in Colossians One finds a number of references to angelic powers in Colossians and an interesting degree of variety in their treatment. In the opening hymn we read that all things were created through Christ, visible and invisible, “whether thrones or dominions, rulers or authorities” (1.16). Here we find the common coupling, a¦rxai¢ and e¦cousi¢ai.37 Commentators frequently describe these as ‘evil’ powers, looking forward to Christ’s triumph in 2.15.38 However, if we focus upon the context of the hymn, this interpreta—————

35 “The accumulation of powers hostile to God in the great eschatological show–down is part of the drama in Jewish apocalyptic literature.” Collins, First Corinthians, 553. Conzlemann’s suggestion that “the designation of the demons are Jewish” in this text is misleading. Conzlemann, 1Corinthians, 272. 36 As does Forbes, in his suggestion that the powers are “personified, ‘hypostatised’ salvation– historical abstractions.” Forbes, ‘Paul’s Principalities and Powers’, 61. The problem is, one cannot defeat a salvation–historical abstraction, nor put it beneath one’s feet. Paul’s language must be allowed to stand in all its simplicity. 37 1Cor 15.24; Col 1.16; 2.10, 15; cf. Eph 1.21; 3.10; 6.12; Tit 3.1; human rulers – Luke 12.11. 38 E. Schweizer, The Letter to the Colossians: A Commentary (London: SPCK, 1982) 61; F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1984) 63; J.D.G. Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Commentary on the Greek Text (NIGTC; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1996) 93 etc.

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tion sits uncomfortably, if not illogically. The essential point in 1.16 is that “through him were all things created”. It would be incongruent for Paul to then mention only evil angels. By contrast, if these are angels in the broadest sense, then they naturally fit within the scope of “all creation”. Indeed, if the problem in Colossae is one of people “calling on angels, invoking them, praying to them”,39 there would be no need for further specificity. No angelic ruler, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is worthy of veneration: all were created through Christ.40 Similar remarks may be made about Col 2.10, “a flashback to the Christ hymn.”41 Here, Christ “is the head of every ruler and authority” (a¦rxh¤j kai£ e¦cousi¢aj).42 It is questionable whether we need take this as a reference to a definite category of evil powers, as is sometimes supposed.43 Again, the frame of reference lies with the pre–eminence of the cosmic Christ. Presumably, Paul wishes to express this dominance in the broadest terms possible: Christ is the head of every angelic power. However, Col 2.15 complicates the picture, since it implies a more malevolent understanding of the powers more in keeping with 1Cor 15.24. Naturally, Carr contends that these are not evil angels, supplying a slightly complicated exegetical argument to back this up.44 So, it is first of all worth quoting the Greek text in full: a¦pekdusa¢menoj ta£j a¦rxa£j kai£ ta£j e¦cousi¢aj (kai£) e¦deigma¢tisen e¦n par– rhsi¢#, qriambeu¢saj au¦tou£j e¦n au¦t%¤.

Carr claims that the “rulers and authorities” are good angels, paraded by Christ in a triumphal procession.45 To arrive at this conclusion he denies that they are the objects of a¦pekdusa¢menoj (i.e. they are not stripped–off or disarmed) but connects them only to the second verb (e¦deigma¢tisen).46 So, Christ puts the angels on display. Against Carr, this reading is syntactically ————— 39

Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 89. With respect to this particular text we may therefore agree with Carr that these terms here describe “beings whose status was neutral, requiring definite signs from the context to be interpreted in an evil sense.” Carr, Angels and Principalities, 52. That these are essentially angelic/spiritual, Carr is here happy to allow. 41 E. Lohse, Colossians and Philemon (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971) 101. 42 Some impressive MSS (P46, B, D, F, G) read the neuter pronoun oÀn so that the fullness of the deity (2.9) becomes the head of every ruler and authority. Nevertheless, the masculine should be preferred, being consistent with the Christ hymn. So M. Barth/H. Blanke, Colossians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 34b; New York: Doubleday, 1994) 316. 43 “Colossians 2.15 makes it very clear that the author of Colossians viewed these forces as evil.” MacDonald, Colossians and Ephesians, 99. 44 Carr, Angels and Principalities, 52. 45 Ibid. 65. 46 So he supplies a different object for a¦pekdusa¢menoj, not found in the text: Christ’s flesh. Ibid. 60. 40

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slightly perverse: why place object nouns immediately after a verb if they are unrelated? Also, it is quite possible that a kai£ stands immediately before e¦deigma¢tisen, which rules out his reading.47 Furthermore, the verbs in the previous verse (wiping out, removing, nailing) arguably indicate destructive activities. Thus, they would connect better with Christ overcoming hostile rulers and authorities. We shall discuss this text in more detail later. For the time being, we may say that the powers vocabulary in Colossians generally designates angelic beings in quite broad terms, although there is more definite focus in 2.15. Comparing this with 1Cor 15.24, one sees that Paul has some (not entirely consistent) preference for directing this vocabulary towards Christ’s spiritual enemies and his ultimate conquest of them. He takes a fairly neutral set of terms and finds a specific application for them in this one broadly eschatological motif. 9.3.4 The Rulers of this Age (1Corinthians 2.6–8) It is much disputed whether the “rulers of this age” (tw¤n a¦rxo¢ntwn tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou) who crucified the Lord of glory are human or angelic beings, or whether Paul somehow has both possibilities in mind. Carr is emphatic that these are human political governors, a position he shares with a number of other scholars.48 Given the importance and complexity of this problem, we shall withhold an extensive consideration of these verses for later in this study. For the time being, we may summarise our view (contra Carr) that Paul probably is concerned with the influence of angelic and spiritual rulers in the crucifixion of Christ, although the influence of human powers is not unrelated to this idea.49 ————— 47

It is found in P46, B, and Vulgate MSS. Since this is in both old Alexandrine and Western texts, if it is not original then it must be an ancient variant. Deciding the reading seems a fairly even bet. 48 Carr, Angels and Principalities, 118. Notable too is the article of G. Miller, ‘ARXONTWN TOU AIWNOS TOUTOU – A New Look at 1Corinthians 2: 6–8’; JBL 91 (1972) 522–528. See also the support given to Carr in Horrell’s sociological analysis of 1Corinthians: D. Horrell, The Social Ethos of the Corinthian Correspondence: Interests and Ideology from 1Corinthians to 1 Clement (Studies of the New Testament and its World; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996) 135. Among recent commentators, Carr’s view is also shared by Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 103–104. 49 This picks up the view that Paul speaks of the rulers in a dual–reference to angelic and human political powers together: Cullmann, Christ and Time, 191; Caird, Principalities and Powers, 17; Wink, Naming the Powers, 44. It is questionable whether Paul really uses these terms in such a way, but it is fair comment that political and spiritual powers were felt to be connected in ancient culture.

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The basic grounds for our view are: (a) it is the earliest known interpretation of these verses,50 (b) the verb used here (katarge¢w – meaning ‘destroy’, ‘nullify’) refers to the destruction of angelic a¦rxai¢ by Christ in 15.24 – a highly suggestive parallel,51 (c) the rulers are ignorant of the wisdom which God “established before the ages” – a point of some relevance to immortal angels, but meaningless in connection with humans, (d) the rulers are presently being destroyed, an assertion which might fit with angelic rulers but not with Herod and Pilate, who died long before Paul’s letter was written,52 and (e) Paul writes specifically of “the rulers of this age”, suggesting a narrative of cosmic conflict between certain powers of evil and Christ (cf. Gal 1.4; 2Cor 4.4; also Eph 2.2; Ascen. Isa. 2.4). In early Christian tradition, the ‘current age’ is most commonly associated with the rule of Satan and his subordinates. These arguments suggest that this text is similar in scope to 1Cor 15.24 and Col 2.15. Paul takes what was quite a generic angelic term (aÃrxwn) and applies it specifically to the enemies of Christ. There is a definite soteriological intention here, which we shall explore later. The chief point of interest is Paul’s apparent willingness to relate spiritual powers to Christ’s crucifixion. 9.3.5 Authorities in Romans 13.1 In this disputed case, Paul demands that everyone “be subject to the ruling authorities” (e¦cousi¢aij u¥perexou¢saij). Ever since the work of Cullmann, some scholars have understood this text as a simultaneous reference to both human and angelic rulers.53 This opinion has received a whole monograph’s treatment from Clinton Morrison, his main point being that we should ————— 50

Being the view of Ignatius (Eph. 18–19), Marcion (Tertaullian: Marc. 5.6.5), and the Ascension of Isaiah (11.24). 51 Carr contends that a¦rxai¢ and aÃrxontej need not be related in Paul’s thinking. Carr, Angels and Principalities, 115. However, given that these are cognate forms, both linked to the same verb, both in an apocalyptic setting, and both used for the destruction of Christ’s enemies, it seems more likely that they are connected. See Kovacs, J.L., ‘The Archons, the Spirit, and the Death of Christ: Do we Need the Hypothesis of Gnostic Opponents to Explain 1Corinthians 2.6–16?’, in J. Marcus/M. Soards, (ed.) Apocalyptic and the New Testament: Essays in Honour of J. Louis Martyn (JSNTSup 24; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989) 217–236. 52 And indeed if the human political governors responsible for the crucifixion were still alive, how would it be meaningful for Paul to say that they were currently being destroyed? Were Roman officials dropping dead in the street? Dibelius regards this apparent absurdity as one of the key arguments for maintaining that Paul was concerned with angelic princes. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 90. 53 Cullmann, Christ and Time, 194. As we have said in the History of Research, Cullmann may be dependent here upon on the work of Dehn, ‘Engel und Obrigkeit’.

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change our understanding of political reality in reading this text: “[…] we must enter into a world in which we cannot make radical distinctions between myth and history, material and spiritual, as we do today.”54 These general sentiments may be correct, but it does not thereby follow that Paul was linguistically incapable of distinguishing between angels and humans. While an assumed connection between spiritual and political power may be implicit in what Paul says, it still seems most likely that he has something rather concrete in mind. Given that he refers to the need for Romans to pay their taxes (fo¢rouj) to the authorities (13.6–7), our first assumption must be that he refers to human administrators and not angels.55 9.3.6 Continuity in Ephesians Finally, we may round off this survey with some comments about the continued use of the powers vocabulary in Ephesians. The usage here is broadly consistent with Paul’s own. There is no distinct theory of evil powers per se, though hostile spirits do feature significantly.56 As in 1Cor 15.24, Christ’s exaltation to the right hand of God places him far above the “rulers and authorities” (1.21).57 Naturally, then, this includes the suggestion that these could be the vanquished enemies of Christ. However, this may also be understood as a wide and inclusive reference to any angelic power; Christ is above every heavenly being, great or small, good or bad.58 The same could be said of 3.10, where the church makes known the wisdom of God “to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places”. To understand these as a regimented scheme of evil angels makes it difficult to connect this with the church’s missionary activities. The only conceivable reason for proclaiming God’s wisdom to these powers would be the assumption that they might be receptive to it. So, if the author regards these —————

54 C. Morrison, The Powers that Be: Earthly Rulers and Demonic Powers in Romans 13.1–7 (SBT 29; London: SCM, 1960) 98. 55 Although, occasionally one finds angelic ‘toll collectors’ (Nag Hammadi Apoc. Paul 22.20). 56 We may agree with Arnold’s overall thesis that the preponderance of powers vocabulary in this letter addresses a situation in which the spirit world (perhaps magic) is impinging upon Christianity in Asia Minor. However, his tendency to focus purely upon the “hostile powers” is perhaps a little too clear–cut for what the evidence allows. Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic, 123. 57 The list of powers is a little more extensive: “u¥pera¢nw pa¢shj a¦rxh¤j kai£ e¦cousi¢aj kai£

duna¢mewj kai£ kurio¢thtoj kai£ panto£j o¦no¢matoj o¦nomazome¢nou, ou¦ mo¢non e¦n t%¤ ai¹w¤ni tou¢t% a¦lla£ kai£ e¦n t%¤ me¢llonti”. 58

So, we cannot agree with Muddiman that we are dealing purely with “the doctrine of fallen angels”. J. Muddiman, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians (BNTC; London: Continuum, 2001) 89.

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rulers and authorities simply as angels in a morally neutral sense, the text is somewhat more comprehensible (though still highly enigmatic).59 Finally, in 6.12 we do find clear reference to the powers as evil spirits. The Christian contest is not against flesh and blood, “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world–powers of this darkness.” We should note that these terms are carefully qualified in this verse. These are specifically the powers “of this darkness” (tou¤ sko¢touj tou¢tou), specifically the spiritual beings “of evil” (th¤j ponhri¢aj). So, the author does not assume that ‘ruler’ and ‘authority’ are technical terms for evil spirits; he deliberately qualifies them as such. Generic angelic vocabulary is again given a more precise meaning. On this point, the author of Ephesians works along similar lines to the apostle himself.

9.4 The Powers in Perspective As far as the specific terms ‘ruler’, ‘authority’, and ‘power’ are concerned, we have found no explicit Jewish theory or theology of these as forces of evil as such. Therefore, it is not clear that such an idea was a part of Paul’s letters either. There are quite a few references to these angelic spirits, in a variety of contexts. The powers play an interesting role in Paul’s understanding of the world and the triumph of Christ. They may refer to Christ’s dominion in quite neutral terms or, by contrast, the the direct objects of his conquest. So, to say that Paul uses this vocabulary exclusively for the forces of evil is to go beyond what the evidence allows. In fact, there is more variety and subtlety in the powers than some would suppose. Nevertheless, there are certain specific features of this vocabulary in Paul’s letters which set it apart from the fairly limited use of such terms which one finds in the Judaism of that time. Notable is the role which the powers play in Paul’s Christological soteriology (1Cor 2.6–8; 15.24; Col 2.15). Here, we might understand Paul and his associates as engaged in reshaping the legacy of Jewish angelology to produce a (broadly coherent) narrative of spiritual opposition to Christ and his thwarting of it. A different, more hostile and evil spiritual world is thus envisaged, possibly reflecting the harsh social realities facing the emergent Christian movement. Therefore, the setting of the letters in ancient Judaism enables us to appre—————

59 Thus avoiding slightly convoluted interpretations, such as Muddiman’s claim that “they (the powers) are given evidence of the victory of God […] and therefore of their own inevitable defeat.” Ibid. 161. Similar is Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic, 64. It seems more reasonable to suppose that all angels (good and bad) would learn the supremacy of Christ. That, at least, would fit with the cosmic Christology of Colossians, which may well be known to the author of Ephesians.

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ciate what is distinctive in the apostle’s teaching, without simply ascribing the powers to some vague and artificial repository like ‘gnostic religion’. The powers may be a highly complex and uncertain matter, but probably it remains true that no account of Paul’s letters would be complete without them.

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10. Demons

10.1 Difficulties with Demons in Current Scholarship It is quite commonly argued among scholars that Paul did not much (if at all) believe in demons.1 He mentions them on just one occasion (1Cor 10.20–21) and divulges little as to their nature and activities. Nevertheless, their presence is plain and their existence not openly questioned. How, then, could Paul be sceptical on this point? One suggestion is that he wrote of another, perhaps ‘post–modern’ level of reality. He addressed the invisible world of social construction.2 The reality of demons lay in the culture of Corinth, but their actual existence did not fit with Paul’s theology. This view is succinctly expressed in Baumgarten’s statement that for Paul the demons were “eine unmögliche Möglichkeit.”3 Many Christians today do not believe in demons. Yet, this hardly requires that Paul himself felt the same way. Indeed, by describing his views in terms of ‘social constructionism’, we come perilously close to suggesting that he thought rather like a 21st century academic. In fact, nowhere in the text is there any indication that he speaks of demons on a non–literal level.4 However, this is not to say that Paul’s intentions are immediately obvious. He refers to demons only as part of a fairly complicated discussion of the rights and wrongs of food offered to idols, and we need to consider how these ideas are connected. So, we shall begin by setting out the context of Jewish beliefs about idolatry and the influence of demons. We shall then —————

1 A position notably advocated by E. Brenk, ‘In the Light of the Moon: Demonology in the Early Imperial Period’ (ANRW II:16.3, 1986) 2068–2145, on page 2107. Forbes emphasises the “paucity of references” in Paul’s letters. Forbes, ‘Paul’s Principalities and Powers’, 64–65. 2 There is “a world of social construction which lays participants open to demons.” A.C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NIGTC; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000) 775. Similarly, demons have “an all too real existential reality.” Dunn, Theology of Paul, 37. The same idea, without the philosophical jargon, is expressed by Bruce: “the demons, for Paul, were probably not personal beings but impersonal forces.” F.F. Bruce, 1 and 2Corinthians (NCB; London: Oliphants, 1971) 96. Generally speaking, the claim of these commentators is that Paul was too intellectually sophisticated to allow for the simple and literal existence of such things. 3 Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 154. 4 Contra Thiselton, who claims that Paul’s statement that idols are “nothing” (1Cor 8.5) also applies to demons. Thiselton, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 775. The supposition that idols and demons are the same thing is not demanded by the text and, as we shall see, is unlikely to be Paul’s own opinion.

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examine what Paul himself has to say and finally relate this material to the wider perspectives of early Christianity. As will soon become clear, the demons could at times play quite a distinctive role in Christian attitudes towards the Greco–Roman cult.

10.2 Idols and Demons in Judaism 10.2.1 Idols in the OT From earliest times, Jews forbade the worship of foreign gods (Exod 20.3–5 etc.), but this prohibition allowed for a variety of nuanced explanations and expansions.5 Some regarded idols as mere foolishness (Isa 46.1ff), while others believed that God himself had established other divinities amongst the nations (Deut 4.19). The diversity of OT opinion seems to have further allowed that the foreign gods could even be understood in more sinister terms as ‘demons’ (MT: {yd&, LXX: daimoni¢a. Deut 32.17; Ps 106.37; Ps 95.5 LXX; Bar 4.7).6 10.2.2 Hellenism and Apocalypticism During the Second Temple period, the vanity and nothingness of idols remained a constant theme. An example is found in the works of Philo: What of the worshippers of the different kinds of images? Their substance is wood and stone, till a short time ago completely shapeless […] while their brethren, pieces from the same original source, have become urns and foot–basins. (Contempl. 7).

The book of Wisdom displays similar sentiments (especially chapter 15), as do other Hellenistic texts (e.g. Ep Jer; Bel). On this basis, Richard Horsley has constructed two main foci of Jewish opinion on idolatry; this, the ‘Hellenistic’ view, in contrast with the alternative ‘apocalyptic’ position.7 He —————

5 For a good overview of ancient Israelite opinion on foreign worship, see R. Goldenberg, The Nations that Know thee Not: Ancient Jewish Attitudes towards Other Religions (Biblical Seminar 52; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) 9–27. 6 ‘Demons’ are not necessarily evil in classical Greek, this being quite a general term for spirits or gods. See LSJ daimo¢nion 365. However, in the LXX demons are unambiguously wicked (hence equivalent to d&): “subst. pseudo–divine being, ‘demon, evil spirit: eÃqusan ~ oij kai£ ou¦ qe%¤ De 32.17, sim. Ba 4.7;[…] Ps 95.5; recipient of child sacrifice, 105.37;[…] having no real existence, 65.3; scary[…] Ps 90.6; inhabitant of ruins, Ba 4.35.” Greek–English Lexicon of LXX daimo¢nioj 105. T. Muraoka, A Greek–English Lexicon of the Septuagint: Chiefly of the Pentateuch and the Twelve Prophets (Leuven/Louvain: Peeters, 2001). 7 R.A. Horsley, ‘Gnosis in Corinth: I Corinthians 8.1–6’ NTS 27 (1980) 32–51, on pp. 38–39.

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claims that Jews of the Hellenistic persuasion viewed idols as foolish, while the apocalyptically inclined “saw in idolatry the service or the influence of demons.”8 One may accept with Horsley that some very refined Hellenists (Philo, Wisdom) regarded idols as foolish vanities. Furthermore, the connection between demons and idols does appear in apocalyptic texts (1 En. 19.1; 99.7; Rev 9.20). On the whole, however, understanding these as exclusive alternatives is misleading. Particularly, one must recognise that a number of Jews accepted and combined both positions without any sense of cultural distinction between Hellenism and apocalypticism. Pseudo–Philo, for example, writes of the gods “imagination has invented them” (L.A.B. 44.7) but also that the men of Issachar “make inquiry through the demons of the idols” (25.9).9 The nothingness of an idol does not impinge upon the reality of the demons. Exactly the same attitude is found in Joseph and Aseneth, which understands idols as “dead and dumb” (11.8; 13.11) but also as a scheme of the devil: For behold, the wild old lion persecutes me, because he is (the) father of the gods of the Egyptians, and his children are the gods of the idol maniacs. (12.9).10

So, against Horsley, we should not neatly divide Hellenistic from apocalyptic opinion. Regarding idols as vain was not a sceptical perspective, divorced from supernatural evil. Even the prime exemplars of the Hellenistic view – Wisdom and Philo – betray some traces of the apocalyptic opinion.11 Thus, the belief in the demonic control of idolatry probably should not be confined to a single movement within Judaism, such as apocalypticism. Most likely, this was a view quite widespread throughout Jewish culture. 10.2.3 Developing Demonology Demonic discourse about idolatry became most prominent in Judaism during the Second Temple period. A number of cultural influences may have ————— 8

Ibid. 39. For the nature of idolatry in Pseudo–Philo, see F.J. Murphy, Pseudo–Philo: Rewriting the Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) 252–254. Murphy compares this attitude to idols with that of Paul in 1Corinthians. Ibid. 266. 10 Idolatry and its spiritual causes is a key concern of this work: “The very self–definition of Judaism that emerges from the story is formulated vis–à–vis idolatry and the things associated with idolatry.” R.D. Chesnut, From Death to Life: Conversion in Joseph and Aseneth (JSPSup 16; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) 171. 11 Wis 14.6–7 possibly hints at the apocalyptic view of the giants (from Gen 6.4) as founders of paganism. More explicit is Philo’s opinion that God’s angelic assistants (the ‘powers’) are wrongly deified by pagans (Conf. 171). 9

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contributed to this development, including the Israelite belief that foreign gods should be considered {yd$ and Persian polemic against idolatry.12 Unquestionably, social factors would also have played a role in the mixed cultural and religious environment in which Jews then found themselves. In the Greco–Roman era, they inescapably lived among foreign cults, with all of the associated tensions which that proximity brought. Inter–cultural polemic is clearly at the heart of Joseph and Aseneth’s demonising of idolatry.13 Popular narratives and slogans were created specifically to address cultural disagreements. In 1Enoch, foreign religion is part of the havoc which the Watchers bring upon the earth. They defile the people and lead them into error “so that they will offer sacrifices to the demons as unto gods” (19.1). This enduring tradition found its way into early Christianity.14 The text echoes Deut 32.17 (“to demons and not to God”), though its main function goes beyond that biblical base, offering an aetiology of paganism: it was established by evil angels. This narrative gave Jews a response to the challenge of Gentile cultic activity, and a reason for steering clear of it. Jubilees meanwhile is explicitly dependent upon the biblical tradition, with its suggestion that the Israelites “will sacrifice their children to the demons” (1.11; cf. Ps 106.37). Old biblical slogans are in this text recast in the context of narrative and prophecy, again giving contemporary Jewish concerns a footing in deeper antiquity. Later in the book, this is even given a necromantic spin: “they slaughter their sacrifices to the dead, and to the demons they bow down” (22.17). This makes a broader application of demonology to include ancestor worship. Similarities between this verse and 1 En. 99.7–9 also makes it likely that a common Jewish tradition lies behind both works.15 Finally, we should note that the demonism of idols also features in retellings of the lives of exemplary biblical figures (T. Job 3.3; T. Jud. 23.1; T. —————

12 One thinks especially of the famous inscription of Xerxes the king: “I destroyed the sanctuary of demons and I made proclamation, “The demons, shall not be worshipped!” Where previously the demons were worshipped, there I worshipped Ahuramazda and Arta […]” Text from R.A. Nigosian, The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research (Montreal: McGill– Queen’s Univ. Press, 1993) 26. 13 “This matter of idolatry represented such a fundamental distinction between Gentile and Jew that the author takes pains to accentuate Aseneth’s utter repudiation of the idols she had formerly worshiped […] In her soliloquies, Aseneth links her reluctance to call upon God, as well as her alienation from Joseph and Judaism, directly to her former idolatry.” Chesnut, From Death to Life, 102. Presumably, then, the devil too alienates Aseneth from Judaism. 14 “Apol. II 4(5).3–4 also attributes the introduction of idolatry to the watchers in a passage reminiscent of this verse […] Justin identifies the demons with the offspring of the watchers.” M. Black, The Book of Enoch or 1Enoch: A New English Edition with Commentary and Textual Notes (SVTP 7; Leiden: Bill, 1985) 161. 15 So G.W.E. Nickelsburg, 1Enoch (1) (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 2001) 492.

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Naph. 3.3). Particularly fascinating among these is the narrative in which Asmodeus tells Solomon that men will worship the demons because they “do not know the names of the angels who rule over us” (T. Sol. 5.5). The human folly of demon worship is attributed to a lack of esoteric knowledge. Ultimately, Solomon grieves over his own sins: “my soul became a laughingstock to the idols and demons” (26.7).

10.3 The Demons in Paul’s Letters (1Corinthians 10.20–21) The evidence we have gathered above suggests that the belief in demonic responsibility for Gentile piety was popular among Jews in the Second Temple Period and found its way into many different types of literature. We shall now consider how this fits with Paul’s own references to demons, which occur in the following verses of 1Corinthians (10.20–21): But that which they sacrifice is to demons and not to God (damoni¢oij kai£ ou¦ qe%¤). But I do not wish you to become fellows (koinwnou¢j) of demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot share in the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

10.3.1 The Unity of the Argument in 1Corinthians The immediate interpretive context for Paul’s discussion of demons and sacrifice seems to be a development from his on–going consideration of food offered to idols (chapters 8–10). However, to interpret 1Cor 10.20–22 within that setting means passing over one potential stumbling–block: the disunity posited by some critics between the eighth and the tenth chapters. Doubts concerning the overall integrity of Paul’s first letter to Corinth have been current in scholarship for some time, at least going back to the work of Johannes Weiss.16 The difficulty, some might claim, lies in the apparent tension between the ‘hard’ stance taken in 1Cor 10.20–22 (pagan sacrifice is demonic and should not be acceptable among believers) and the ‘soft’ attitude Paul seems to take in chapter 8 (idols are nothing; the food is unimportant). Despite the persistence of these objections to the integrity of the letter, we probably should still consider 1Corinthians to be a unified document. The most obvious counter argument is simply that there is no textual evi————— 16

See J. Weiss (et al.) The History of Primitive Christianity, (2 vol.; London: Macmillan, 1937) 1.340. Similar arguments are advanced in the commentary of J. Héring, The First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians (London: Epworth, 1962).

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dence for a split between the letters, and it is always best to treat the text as it stands. Yet, more importantly, we may argue that the perceived tension between chapters 8 and 10 has been misconceived. As we have already pointed out, it is a mistake to confused the idols themselves with the demons; it would be quite possible to regard the physical object (eiÃdwlon) as inconsequential and its spiritual manipulator (daimo¢nion) as a real threat. Indeed, judging by what we have seen, a number of Jews seem to have held that this was so. Rather than seeing a contradiction between different letters here, it is safest to assume that we simply have a slightly convoluted argument. 10.3.2 The Reality of Demons So, the impetus for the warnings in 10.20–22 can be seen as deriving from the problem of idol–food (ei¦dwlo¢quton: 1Cor 8.1, 4, 7, 10; 10.19). Various studies have sought to define the specific cultural or social context of Paul’s arguments,17 with the result being that he emerges as something of a practical ethicist. At times, Paul’s mundane concerns have been used to deny the reality of the demons; he could be mentioning them only ad hominem, as a means of communicating with the (slightly credulous) Corinthians. Disbelieving himself, Paul appealed to a useful concept. This view has been advocated by James Dunn, who further remarks that Paul does not write of demons in his other letters and may have done so on this occasion simply as part of a quotation.18 The first part of Dunn’s argument seems dubious. Nobody doubts the ontological intentions of other ancient authors simply on the grounds of statistical infrequency. The book of Revelation has only three instances of daimo¢nion, compared with four in 1Corinthians. Why not doubt whether demons are real in that book too? The second argument, that the demons are just part of a quotation, can also be challenged. Paul only has only four words in common with the biblical text (daimoni¢oij kai£ ou¦ qe%¤: 1Cor 10.20; —————

17 For the cultural/historical background of Greco–Roman Corinth, with a good description of the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore on the Acrocorinth, see P.D. Gooch, Dangerous Food: 1Corinthians 8–10 in its Context (Studies in Christianity and Judaism 5; Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1993). A more recent and detailed study is that of D. Newton, Deity and Diet: The Dilemma of Sacrificial Food at Corinth (JSNTSup 169; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), setting the issue in Hellenistic culture more generally. The sociological approach to the problem in Corinth was pioneered by G. Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity: Essays on Corinth (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982), but his assessment of the social location of the Corinthian community has received some fierce criticism, with reference to idol–food, from J.J. Meggitt, ‘Meat Consumption and Social Conflict in Corinth’ JTS 45 (1994) 137–141. 18 Dunn, Theology of Paul, 37.

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Deut 32.17 LXX; Bar 4.7). He is unaware of the context from which the words are taken (in the OT they apply to Israelites and not pagans), and so is probably repeating a well–known slogan rather than making a precise citation. In any case, Paul uses daimo¢nion a further three times, without any reference to the OT. However, we must still account for Paul’s earlier comments: “we know that an idol is nothing in the world” (oiÃdamen oÐti ou¦de£n eiÃdwlon e¦n ko¢sm%, 8.4).19 The other gods are only “so–called gods” (lego¢menoi qeoi£, 8.5). Is this an alternate, sceptical position?20 Probably not. We have already observed that superficially sceptical language was frequently combined with a vivid sense of the reality of demons. One need only think back to Pseudo– Philo, where the idols are mere ‘imaginations’ but are also used to contact the demons. The scorn which Paul has for idols as useless objects does not reflect upon the existence or non–existence of demons. There is a fundamental distinction between the physical object and the spirit which uses it.21 Idols may be nothing, but that does not demand that the same is true of the demons which lurk behind them. Indeed, demons wait for the opportunities presented by idolatry. If one behaves inappropriately towards that dead object, then they will take advantage.22 It seems to be, then, a matter of —————

19 The NRSV (followed by others) has the curious translation “no idol in the world really exists”. Thus, the ou¦de£n is read ontologically as qualifying the implied verb to be; the idol “is not”. Instead, we should probably see this simply as a noun: the idol is “a nothing”, a thing of no account. Common sense dictates that this is so; the statement that no idol exists is entirely false on the most basic observational grounds. Such objects of wood, stone, etc. manifestly existed and Paul could hardly have denied that this was the case. 20 “In modern conceptual terms Paul means that neither ei¦dwlo¢quton nor eiÃdwlon possesses ontological existence or metaphysical reality.” Thiselton, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 773. 21 As was recognised by Everling. “Für ihn stellt sich die Sache offenbar so: die Götzen als solche sind Wahngebilde, ein Opfer aber, das ihnen dargebracht wird, bringt den Menschen unter den Einfluss dämonischer Mächte.” Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 28. Also Schrage: “Paulus differenziert offenbar zwischen Götzen und Dämonen.” W. Schrage, Der Erste Brief an Der Korinther (4 vol.; EKK; Zürich: Neukirchener, 1991–2001) 2.444. 22 In what is perhaps the best study of the demons in this passage, Lampe has drawn out what he calls the “Verschiedene Grade der Dämonenpräsenz”, arguing that the specific location and type of action determines the extent to which one is at risk from the demons. “Die Dämonen hausen nicht konstant im Opferfleisch, sondern schwirren nur am Altar um das frische Schlachtopfer herum und machen sich dort über es her, so dass eben hier die Gefahr der Gemeinschaft und Kontamination mit ihnen besteht […] Die Realpräsenz der Dämonen ist für Paulus an den Akt des Opfertierschlachtens gebunden, nicht an das Element des Fleisches, so wie die eucharistische Realpräsenz des Kyrios für Paulus an den liturgischen Akt und nocht nicht an die Elemente an sich gebunden ist.” P. Lampe, ‘Die dämonologischen Implikationen von I Korinther 8 und 10 vor dem Hintergrund paganer Zeugnisse’, in A. Lange/H. Lichtenberger/K.F.D. Römheld (ed.) Die Dämonen, Demons: Die Dämonologie der israelitisch– jüdischen und frühchristlichen Literatur im Kontext ihrer Umwelt, The Demonology of Israelite– Jewish and Early Christian Literature in Context of their Environment (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) 595. Similar sentiments are expressed by Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 69: demons lurk in the air above the offering.

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attitude and action which transforms harmless food into something more dangerous. Correspondingly, there is no obvious indication in 1Corinthians other than that the demons are ‘real’ in the most simple and literal sense.

10.4 Paul’s View of Demons As we probe further into Paul’s strictures, their strongly Jewish character becomes obvious. Perhaps Paul is dependent upon a traditional body of teaching. That suggestion fits with the immediate context in 1Corinthians, since 10.1–13 is likely dependent upon a self–contained and traditional literary unit.23 The warnings here have a simple point: idolatry and sexual immorality result in swift and deadly judgment from God, by snakes or by “the Destroyer” (10.9–10). The radical insistence upon judgement is a natural counterpart to the condemnation of demonic idolatry (e.g. 1 En. 99.6). Accepting these contacts with Judaism, Paul also seems to have developed some interesting, peculiarly Christian ideas about demons. Their juxtaposition with the cup and table of the Lord comes very close to a kind of demonic sacramentalism. This notion soon became very popular in the early church. Justin echoes the position of Paul.24 Demons stand behind idol worship (1 Apol. 9) and have invented pagan mythology as a mock mirror image of Christianity (54). The sacramental analogies vex Justin the most; the demons have engineered pagan sacraments in accordance with a Christian pattern (62; 64). The demons have also enslaved the human race through magic and sacrifices (2 Apol. 5). According to Justin, demons have not merely invented idolatry but have made it their own personal cult. Paul’s position is an inchoate form of this more elaborate opinion.25 The demons have their own cup and table as the wicked counterpart of Christianity. This understanding of the demons also connects with other parts of Paul’s letters. In 2Cor 6.15–16 we read: “What accord has Christ with Beliar […] what agreement has the Temple of God with idols?” Again, there is —————

23 So W.A. Meeks, ‘“And Rose up to Play”: Midrash and Paraenesis in 1Corinthians 10:1–22’, JSNT 16 (1982) 64–78, on page 65. He calls these verses a ‘homily’. 24 So Pagels, Origin of Satan, 119. On the inverted sacraments of demons in Justin, see J. Lieu, Image and Reality: the Jews in the World of the Christians in the Second Century (Edinburgh; T&T Clark: 1996) 180–181; E.R. Goodenough, The Theology of Justin Martyr (Jena: Frommann, 1923) 108–109. 25 Patristic opinions on demons and idolatry were greatly dependent upon Paul, but probably also upon the wider context of Judaism. Justin’s demons, lusting after libations, are reminiscent of a view that appears in rabbinic Judaism, that demons desire food, drink, and procreation (b. H̙ag. 16a). With respect to this idea in patristic writings, see E. Ferguson, Demonology of the Early Christian World (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1984) 87–88. In Paul and rabbinics: Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 70. To a certain extent, the physicality of the demons emphasises their limitations.

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an antithesis of holy and demonic cult.26 With the mention of Beliar, there is also an implication of Satanic influence (cf. T. Job 3.3). Dibelius was emphatic that Satan and the demons should be kept as separate issues, with the latter “Augenblicksgötter” being independent of Satan’s kingdom of wickedness.27 However, in light of this text, the alternate view should probably be favoured: the demons are allied to Satan. That opinion has a good Jewish pedigree (e.g. Jub. 10.12) and is the most common view in early Christianity (Mark 3.22 etc.). We might also connect the demons with Paul’s understanding of the ‘elements’. He describes all of non–Christian piety as enslavement (doulo¢w) to these things (Gal 4.3, 8, 9). Some would see this as an extension of the demonic control of the cult.28 Yet, as we shall soon argue, matters are not quite so clear. Indeed, unlike the elements, demons do not enjoy universal dominion. They have a concrete sphere of influence. By contrast with Satan, for example, they are small–time players. Nevertheless, there are still affinities between demons and the elements. Paul’s treatment of both assumes the same general view of unbelievers: through piety and cult they are dominated by things beyond their control.

10.5 The Demons in Context As we have claimed, the balance of evidence suggests that Paul believed in the influence of demons, and perhaps his views were more developed than is usually recognised. By way of conclusion, we may expand on this point by relating Paul’s opinions to the wider context of early Christianity. A narrative worth recalling in this respect is in the book of Acts, where Paul enters Athens and becomes extremely angry, “seeing that the city was full of idols” (17.16). The author may have been familiar with the apostle’s uncompromising attitudes. This is also possible with the account of Paul’s Ephesian ministry (19.1ff). Here, exorcisms combine with an assault upon magic and the cult of Artemis. The conflation of Greco–Roman religion and

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26 As is recognised in Böcher’s NT demonology: “Heiden und Sünder sind identisch (Gal 2,15), denn ihre Götter sind Dämonen (1 Kor 10,20; Offb 9,20) […] Paulus übernimmt mit einem jüdischen Text 2 Kor 6,14–7,1 die jüdische Vorstellung von der ansteckenden Unreinheit der Ungläubigen.” Böcher, NT und dämonischen Mächte, 16. 27 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 69–70. 28 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 74–75; Paige in DPL Demons and Exorcism 210.

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evil spirits here arguably echoes Paul’s own beliefs as set out in his letter to Corinth.29 Paul’s comments about demons also formed a precursor to perceptions of Greco–Roman religion in the early church.30 We have seen this with Justin. However, only a brief perusal of the Biblia Patristica entries for 1Cor 10.20–21 will demonstrate the significance which became attached to this demonology. The same or similar ideas recur over and again; they are found in Clement (Paed. 2.8) but, most prominently, in the Pseudo–Clementina. Here, we find warnings against the table of demons (Homilies 8.20; cf. 7.4; Recognitions 4.36). Amongst early writers, though, this development receives its highest expression with Tertullian. Idolatry becomes the devil’s “false system” and the things of idols “belong to demons” (Cor. 7.8). Such notions also complemented the wider Christian opinion that idolatry was the counterpart of sorcery (Did. 3.6–7) and eventually gave birth to the view that exorcism transferred the believer out from the Greco–Roman cult.31 Therefore, although Paul mentions the demons on only one occasion, this fact may somewhat belie their significance. To suppose that these ideas are morally and epistemologically problematic is probably the wrong starting point for historical exegesis. The texts we have considered regard demons not so much as ideas as cultural axioms. Their existence is basically taken for granted and, chiefly, they are understood to be the beneficiaries of the Greco–Roman cult. Broadly speaking, Paul keeps this Jewish perspective and so too its implied perception of Gentiles. The power of these convictions is evident in his rather tortuous argument in 1Cor 8–10. He emphasises the freedom of believers from idols, but refuses to be complacent about demons.32 It is the strength of these presuppositions which demands the midrash in 10.1–13 and the warnings in 10.20–21. The Corinthians themselves had only asked about e¦dwlo¢quton (8.1). It is Paul who introduces the demons into a discussion in which they need not have been present. Perhaps, then, we may recognise his position as culturally antagonistic, and much closer to the early patristic condemnations of idolatry than —————

29 As we have argued elsewhere: Williams, ‘Apocalyptic and Magical Interpretation’, 53. See also E. Sorensen, Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity (WUNT 2nd series 157; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 149–150. 30 And as far as the early church was concerned these included the warning in 1Tim 4.1 that some would abandon the faith through following the teachings of demons. As we suggested earlier in our discussion of early interpretations of Paul, this text may be understood as bridging the gap between the apostle and the slightly later views of Justin. 31 See ‘6.2 The Utility of Christian Exorcism: Transferral of Cult’: Ibid. 169–177. 32 Freedom from evil spirits does not imply immunity, as argued by Schrage, Erste Brief an Der Korinther, 2.447.

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some would make out.33 Notably, this implies that the demons had an impact upon Paul’s construction of the cultural and religious world of the Roman Empire. As spirits controlled the cult, they influenced all of its participants.

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33 For the claim that Paul had a relaxed view of Greco–Roman religion and was misunderstood by patristic commentators: J. Brunt, ‘Rejected, Ignored or Misunderstood? The Fate of Paul’s Approach to the Problem of Food Offered to Idols in Early Christianity’, NTS 31 (1985) 113–124. For a critique of Brunt: A.T. Cheung, Idol Food in Corinth: Jewish Background and Pauline Legacy (JSNTSup 176; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999) 167. Cheung’s work is unusual in its emphasis upon the Jewish background of 1Cor 8–10, illuminating the role of the demons.

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Excursus II: Gods and Lords

Having just clarified that the demons profit from idolatry, we have suggested that this belief could have significantly impacted upon Paul’s perception of Gentiles and their cultic practices. This raises quite an important side–issue: how, we might ask, did Paul interpret the gods of non–Gentile piety? The nearest thing he gives to an account of the gods is the unfortunately opaque 1Cor 8.5–6: For though indeed there are so–called gods (lego¢menoi qeoi£), whether in heaven or upon the earth, just as there are many gods (qeoi£ polloi£) and many lords (ku¢rioi polloi¢), yet for us there is one God, the father, from whom are all things and for whom we are, and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we are.

The main question here is whether Paul thinks that the gods themselves enjoy any degree of existence. Do they to any extent count as spiritual forces in their own right? The most common scholarly interpretation is that they do not. Paul’s concession (“there are many gods and many lords”) is thus read as referring to the presumed existence of such things purely in the minds of people in Corinth.1 In this case, 8.5 would be taken as a statement of total reality: only God exists, and only Christ exists.2 In terms of religion, there is nothing else ‘out there’. This rigidly ontological approach probably goes beyond Paul’s intentions. The statement about God in 8.5 (h¥mi¤n eiÂj qeo£j o¥ path¢r) is unlikely to be a clarification of existence. That would give a modern subjectivist misreading of the dative (“as far as we are concerned, there is one God”). The h¥mi¤n is

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1 “He does not intend by this that the ‘gods’ exist objectively.” Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 373. “The other gods and lords are real enough in the minds of their devotees.” Bruce, 1 and 2Corinthians, 80. Thiselton gives this view by means of translation: “For even if there really exist, for the sake of argument, so–called gods […]” Thiselton, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 631. Note, however, that this non–literal reading of Paul’s concession is not universally accepted among the commentators: see B. Witherington, Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio– Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2Corinthians (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995) 197. 2 Possibly as an early Christian variation upon the Shema: Ibid. 198; L.W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) 97.

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much better interpreted as relational (“one God is for us”).3 In that sense, the contrast is between the one significant, concerned, creator God and the other qeoi£ polloi£. Furthermore, the purely ontological reading of this passage is rhetorically less comprehensible. Paul’s syntax in vv 5–6 sets up an unfavourable comparison (kai£ ga£r eiÃper ei¦si£n […] a¦ll'). His concern is to contrast different types and qualities of belief (one inferior, one superior), not to contrast one set of things which do not exist with one set of things which do. Paul is not saying that God and Christ are worthy of devotion by virtue of the fact that they exist, which would be a very dubious argument. Finally, the purely ontological reading also seemingly robs the qualification “in heaven or on earth” of its significance. If something does not exist, then why state that it does not exist both in heaven and on earth? Again, this phrase would apply much better to a discourse about so–called gods which is concerned with their negative function or image rather than their non– existence in absolute terms. For Dibelius, this last argument is a key issue. If there indeed are so–called gods in heaven, then this suggests the involvement of spiritual beings.4 Thus, he argues that these gods are nothing other than the angels – ku¢rioi – who rule the world.5 One may say in Dibelius’ favour that angels could be referred to as ku¢rioi at the time of the NT (e.g. Acts 10.4)6 and, indeed, there are some texts in which angels are understood as ruling over the nations (e.g. Dan 10.13, 20). It seems at least possible, then, that this was partly what Paul had in mind. However, the suggestion that his comments point singularly to a definite theory of national angels seems questionable; qeoi£ and ku¢rioi are not in any way qualified in the text. Paul’s language is quite general or even vague.7 Instead, the most likely solution is the most straightforward. Paul’s use of the gods and lords vocabulary is determined by his missionary context —————

3 On this point, Bultmann’s comments are perceptive: “The “uniqueness” of God is His eiÅnai h¥mi¤n, His being “for us”. That is, His being (existence) is understood aright only when it is under-

stood as significant–for–men being.” Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.229. 4 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 78. 5 Ibid. 77–79. 6 This observation forms part of Werner’s argument (against Bousset) that the title ‘Lord’ was adopted into Christology on the basis of angelology rather than pagan religion. Werner, Formation of Christian Dogma, 123–124. Werner interprets 1Cor 8.5–6 as a statement that Christ is the true angel. Ibid. 124. 7 So we cannot accept the (admittedly, interesting) suggestion of Everling that the lords and gods correspond to different ranks: angels and archangels. Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 27. It is more reasonable to suppose that Paul’s choice of vocabulary is determined by his emphasis upon God and Christ, the one God and the one Lord.

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amongst Gentile cults. His reference is broad in character, seeking to construct only quite a loose comparison between Christ and the pagan lords.8 Thus, we should not try too hard to pin Paul down upon the issue of exactly what reality lay behind the gods, though we should not dismiss their existence out of hand. Paul suggests that these beings are wrongly named (lego¢menoi qeoi£), which may allow that spiritual beings lie behind them (compare Ps 95.5 LXX). The gods are perhaps seen as guises for other spiritual powers. Furthermore, thinking of other Pauline texts which speak of gods (2Cor 4.4; Gal 4.8; Phil 3.19), we find that varying types of reality are encountered: Satanic, hostile, enslaving, or metaphorical. So, overall it seems best to avoid characterising Paul’s understanding of non–Christian objects of worship in black and white terms as either purely sceptical or purely demonological. So, to conclude, Paul’s approach to the Gentile gods was most likely polyvalent and pragmatic, employing multiple strategies for impressing non– believers with the superiority of his Lord, Christ. At times this may have been dismissive and sceptical (Rom 1.22–23), or at other times threatening and pessimistic (Gal 4.8). Though 1Cor 10.20–21 suggests that the demons are the beneficiaries rather than the objects of cult, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Paul sometimes placed these in the role of gods. Satan himself could be their chief god (2Cor 4.4). So, in relation to angelology and demonology, the gods and lords stand in a somewhat inconstant borderline position. On the one hand, they could be nothing at all. On the other, however, they could be manifestations of the evil spirits. This supplies quite an important wider lesson concerning the spirit world in Paul’s letters; it is a practical and lived feature of his teaching, thus bearing an inherent element of flexibility.

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8 Perhaps we may still learn something from Bousset’s old interpretation of the early worship of Christ: “It is, in fact, the Hellenistic community in which this development (worshipping Christ as Kyrios) so important for the history of religions took place, through which, out of the future Messiah Jesus, the present cult–hero as Kyrios of his community came into being.” J.F.W. Bousset, Kyrios Christos: A History of the Belief in Christ from the Beginnings of Christianity to Irenaeus (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1970 [German original 1913]) 136. We need not accept his hypothesis concerning the origins of the earliest worship of Jesus. Nevertheless, it remains certain that the earliest worship of Christ as ‘Lord’ would have taken place in a society filled with the Gentile worship of other lords and would always have responded to and interacted with that phenomenon.

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11. The Elements of the World

11.1 The Problem of the Elements What does Paul mean by “the elements of the world” (Gal 4.3, 9; Col 2.8, 20)? The much disputed word stoixeiÍa refers to the parts of a sequence or spectrum.1 Our English/Latin term ‘elements’ is thus a conventional and reasonable translation. However, that basic definition hardly tells us exactly what Paul had in mind. It has been variously suggested that these are elementary instructions,2 the four physical elements,3 or angelic/demonic beings.4 There has never been a scholarly consensus on this point, nor is there any immediate prospect of one. In Martyn’s words, “interpretive disarray remains widespread”.5 Amongst the earlier history of religion commentators, it was widely supposed that these elements should be regarded as angels. Everling took this opinion from Spitta,6 and was followed by Bousset,7 Dibelius,8 and Bieten—————

1 “Belonging to a series” TDNT stoixeiÍon 7.670. Bandstra’s study of this word leads him to the conclusion that stoixei¤on is a “formal word”, i.e. a term with a basic abstract definition which takes its precise meaning from its given context. A.J. Bandstra, The Law and the Elements of the World (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1964) 33–34. Therefore, many of the other definitions of stoixei¤on which one encounters (letter of the alphabet, tone on a musical scale) are actually just contextual deployments of the same basic meaning, a part of a series or spectrum. 2 For Clement, the elements are human philosophies (Strom. 6.8), as for Origen (Comm. Matt. 10.9). More recently, Carr has claimed that the stoixei¤a represent “elementary notions of man’s religion” Carr, Angels and Principalities, 75. This view was popular among older English commentators: Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, 178. 3 So Eusebius (Dem. ev. 4.10). In contemporary scholarship, the most notable advocate of this interpretation is Schweizer, in his commentary on Colossians and in an article: E. Schweizer, ‘Slaves of the Elements and Worshippers of Angels: Gal 4:3, 9 and Col 2:8, 18, 20’, JBL 107 (1988) 455–469. 4 NRSV: “elemental spirits of the universe”. Early evidence for this interpretation of the stoixei¤a is patchy, but it is probably the most popular among modern scholars. The most energetic recent advocate of this view is Arnold, in The Colossian Syncretism and also in his article ‘Returning to the Domain’. His footnotes give what is probably the most extensive list of the modern commentators advocating the various interpretations. Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 159– 161. 5 Martyn, Galatians, 395. 6 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 71. 7 Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 317. 8 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 79–80.

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hard.9 The grounds for this were found in the opinion, common in Second Temple Judaism, that angels governed the earth, winds, and fire.10 The elements were understood as forming another component of the Pauline spirit world. However, this interpretation has been subject to much criticism over the years. The main problem lies in the reliance of these scholars upon general remarks about Jewish angelology, rather than the details of the text itself or the lexical evidence for the meaning of stoixeiÍa. Notably, the early commentators did not trouble themselves with the fact that they found no examples of stoixeiÍa actually designating angels in early Judaism.11 Without a solid linguistic basis, this interpretation of the elements failed to establish itself. Therefore, naturally we are concerned with the questions of what Paul actually meant by ‘the elements’ and whether this has any bearing upon angelology and demonology. Potentially, this is an important and relevant aspect of our study, but it depends upon how we resolve the interpretive puzzle. So, to pursue these aims, we must determine both the inner textual content of Paul’s letters and the linguistic evidence for the meaning of stoixeiÍa. It will not avail us simply to make general observations about angels. We shall proceed firstly by examining the texts in question, to see what is at issue for Paul. Then we shall set out the lexical evidence, to find a potential definition for the elements. Hopefully, despite the complex nature of this problem, we shall be able to learn something of value about Paul’s understanding of angelic and demonic beings. Indeed, the challenge of this complexity may force us again to think through what we think that spirits actually are.

11.2 Initial Survey: Galatians and Colossians The unifying feature of Paul’s discussions in Galatians and Colossians is the suggestion that submission to the elements represents a regression to a former stage of life and practice (Gal 4.8–10; Col 2.20–23). He couches his concerns in general terms, warning about non–gods (Gal 4.8), calendrical observances (Gal 4.10; Col 2.16) and physical purity regulations (Col 2.21). Presumably, Paul had a distinctive set of circumstances in mind in both ————— 9

Bietenhard, himmlische Welt, 102–103. E.g. Jub. 2.2; 1 En. 60.11; 82.10–14; T. Levi 4; Ascen. Isa. 4.18; 2 Esd 8.20; Sib. Or. 7.33– 35; Heb 1.7 (cf. Ps 104.4); Rev 7.1; 14.18. 11 The one potentially significant example is 2 En. 16.7 (long rec.). However, the value of this evidence is disputed, since the text is ambiguous and not in Greek. See Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 59; Bandstra, Law and the Elements, 44. 10

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Galatia and Colossae, but the type of discourse which he uses to address these circumstances is similar. 11.2.1 Galatians The striking feature of Paul’s introduction of the elements is his suggestion that they enslave humanity (dedoulwme¢noi, douleu¢ein: 4.3, 9): Similarly with us; when we were minors, we were enslaved under the elements of the world […] But formerly, you were enslaved to those things which by nature are not gods. But now, knowing God (or, rather, being known by God) how can you return to the weak and beggarly elements? Do you wish to be enslaved by them again? (4.3, 8–9).

Paul continues from 4.1; before the inheritance (i.e. Christ) all were slaves.12 He includes himself within the scope of this slavery (“we” 4.3), suggesting that Jews are no more exempt than Gentiles.13 So, the language of slaves and guardians in 4.2–3 implies a personification of the elements, but this could apply to any of the common exegetical solutions. Less clear but certainly important is the intention behind Paul’s qualification of these elements as the elements of the world (tou¤ ko¢smou). There are essentially two ways of reading this. Firstly, the genitive may be taken as indicating the location and origins of the elements; they exist within the world. Alternatively, if we begin with the core unqualified meaning of stoixeiÍa (the parts of a whole), then the elements would have to be components of or inherent in the world itself; they are physically constituent in reality.14 The first of these options would fit with any interpretation of the elements, but the second possibility would demand that they be understood in cosmological terms. Paul would be thinking about the fabric of heaven and earth. While both options remain open, the second is inherently more —————

12 “Paul applies the comparison in vv 1–2 to the present situation of the Christians.” Betz, Galatians, 204. On the use of the slavery analogy, see also Dunn, Galatians, 212. 13 We may agree with Martyn: “(Paul) refuses to speak of the elements from the Jewish point of view […] prior to Christ’s advent all human beings revered the elements.” Martyn, Galatians, 400–401. They “held sway over Jews as well as Gentiles.” Matera, Galatians, 150. 14 Blinzler argues that the appendage “of the world” itself yields the meaning “basic elements of the physical world”, excluding the other possible connotations of stoixei¤a. This is part of a detailed lexical argument: the nature of the component is defined by its immediate qualification. J. Blinzler, ‘Lexikalisches zu dem Terminus ta£ stoixei¤a tou¤ ko¢smou bei Paulus’, in (various), Studiorum Paulinorum Congressus Internationalis Catholicus (1961) (AnBib 17–18; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1963) 429–444, on page 440. However, we cannot be entirely sure whether Paul himself would be suitably precise in his use of language, and he may have regarded a variety of objects as true components of physical existence.

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likely. It is the very nature of the word stoixeiÍa to demand further specification, and so the cosmos is assumed to be Paul’s deliberate frame of reference. Next, Paul states the means by which believers receive deliverance. This is Christ, “born of woman, born under the law” (4.4). It is tempting to see 4.4–5 as defining the elements as the Jewish law, from which Christ redeems people (e¦cagora¢s$). Clearly, Paul sees the law and elements as related concerns; the purchase motif fits with the slavery motif. However, the law itself cannot be what is intended by stoixeiÍa, since in 4.8–9 Paul states that submission to the elements would be a return to the (pagan) former religious practices of the Galatians (e¦pistre¢fete: 4.9).15 While it is possible that Paul means “elementary teachings” more generally, this would be a confused line of argument in the context of Galatians. In 4.3–5 the focus is the Jewish law, while in 4.8–9 it is pagan piety; the switch in reference for the elements would make for scrambled rhetoric. Paul further implies that slavery to the elements means slavery to “things which by nature are not gods” (toi¤j fu¢sei mh£ ouÕsin qeoi¤j: 4.8). One could argue that slavery to the elements (4.9) is consequent rather than equivalent to slavery to non–gods. However, Paul uses the same verb for both in rapid succession and, moreover, the suggestion of a return to the elements (e¦pistre¢fete) most naturally refers to the condition of slavery to false gods just described (to¢te: 4.8). So, the elements (whatever they are) can conceivably be mistaken for divinities.16 Such a personification continues in the following verse; they are “weak and beggarly” (4.9). To summarise, the key points which emerge regarding the elements in Galatians are (a) they enslave humanity, (b) they are personified as pathetic but oppressive task–masters, (c) they likely have a cosmological frame of reference, and (d) they can be mistaken for gods. Although an uncertain judgement, we may say that Paul probably does not have human laws or conventions in mind when he speaks of the dominance of the elements in this letter. He refers to things of a certain power, inherent in the world, which may attract misdirected devotion.

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15 Paul does not suggest that Jews foolishly return to the elements here, referring only to “you”: “Gentile former slavery is clearly different from Jewish minority sonship.” Dunn, Galatians, 223. 16 This insight leads Dibelius to 1Cor 8.5, arguing that these non–gods are equivalent to the “so–called gods” of that text. Both are angelic/demonic guises. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 80. This is also the view of Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 74. Similar connections have been more recently emphasised by Arnold: the elements are kyrioi and have some parallels with the demons of 1Cor 10. Arnold, ‘Returning to the Domain’, 61, 70.

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11.2.2 Colossians We have already noted the commonalities between Galatians and Colossians, although it remains possible (if unlikely) that stoixeiÍa means something different in each letter. In Colossians, we find that the elements are again introduced with a stern warning: See to it that no–one deceives you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. (2.8).

One might suppose that the elements here operate as an epexegetical comment upon the “tradition of men” (th£n para¢dosin tw¤n a¦nqrw¢pwn) and are thus elementary teachings. However, epexegetical comments are generally made with reference to the subject matter of the sentence, which here is not the tradition of men. Paul refers to “philosophy and empty deceit” and the three items following all comment upon what that philosophy is, rather than upon each other. Otherwise, “not according to Christ” would drop off the bottom of the verse. We might also add that Paul refers to a single practice or custom (th£n para¢dosin), not human customs in general. So, the main point is simply that the elements represent philosophy and deceit, which leaves matters rather open. However, we may note that here too the elements are qualified as being “of the world”. Here too, we may initially suppose that these are inherent components of reality.17 After an extensive detour through cosmic Christology, burial in baptism, the crucifixion, and the sort of practices the Colossians should avoid, Paul resumes with the elements in 2.20. If with Christ the Colossians “died to the elements of the world”, then why should they be dictated to “as though living in the world” (w¥j zw¤ntej e¦n ko¢sm%)? Paul’s meaning here is ambiguous, but he probably refers to the possibility of escaping from the power of the elements through baptism (cf. 2.12–13). The personal constraint of these things may be removed by ritual. Meanwhile, “the world” here is most

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17 Schweizer suggests that Paul was opposing a philosophical doctrine of physical and worldly elements. Schweizer, Colossians, 137. One wonders whether Schweizer may have slightly over– emphasised the philosophical context of Colossians, which is scarcely discernable outside of 2.8. However, he is right to point out the ‘human’ (i.e. naturally limited) nature of these beliefs. It is unlikely that Paul would interpret the Jewish law as a “philosophy” nor call it an “empty deceit”. Gentile religious instructions could conceivably be described as such, although it is difficult to see how they would relate to the festivals, new moons, and Sabbaths in 2.16. Again, combining the two – religious instruction in general – would cloud Paul’s argument, since the Colossians would never be sure which practices he was referring to.

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easily understood in its simplest sense, as the natural place of being.18 So, the implication is that submission to the elements counts as equivalent to life in the world. Inescapably, one is constrained by the fabric of material reality. 11.2.3 Summary of Initial Results Although Paul does not tell us explicitly what he believes that the elements are, certain characteristics emerge fairly clearly, as do a number of important issues. Paul is concerned that his followers may regress to a former stage of religious life, associated with the dominance of these elements. Following redundant beliefs and practices, the slaves of the elements are bound by powers inherent in the world itself. These may be personified as weak but oppressive task–masters, which have at times mistakenly been identified as gods. Such a way of living appears to Paul like a kind of deceitful philosophy. The evidence of this preliminary examination of the letters seems to point us towards the workings and powers of the world, but there is still much to consider before we may draw a concrete conclusion. We now have to consider the wider lexical evidence: in that time and place, what could the word stoixeiÍa have meant?

11.3 Magical Texts: The Elements as Astral Spirits? The chief point of contention as far as the ‘spiritual’ interpretation of the elements is concerned has always been the nature of the lexicographical evidence (or the lack thereof). Can it be proved that a stoixeiÍon could be understood as a type of spiritual power in the Greek spoken by Paul or his near contemporaries? One school of thought argues that Paul cannot refer to spiritual beings in Galatians and Colossians, since there are no unambiguous examples of this connotation in literature until the third century.19 However, we might wonder whether such a strict handling of the lexical data is —————

18 “The world” here may be glossed as some particular feature or function of the world. E.g. “creation insofar as it exerts dominion in concurrence with its creator.” Barth/Blanke, Colossians, 355. Paul simply means the world, in totality, in its most basic sense. 19 Thus the positions of Carr and Schweizer: “What is clear is that the idea of angels or star spirits in connection with the term stoixeiÍa developed subsequently to the time of Paul.” Carr, Angels and Principalities, 73. “Philological evidence shows that up to the second century A.D. ta£ stoixeiÍa was used only in contexts in which it means “letters,” “fundamental principles,” or “elements”.” Schweizer, ‘Slaves of the Elements’, 455.

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realistic. After all, the Greek evidence is incomplete and unrepresentative, and fixing dates for changes in connotation is highly precarious. It is also questionable whether one should date new connotations by the texts in which they first appear. That is, if a certain text were to use stoixeiÍa to denote angels or demons then it would not logically follow that this usage became current at the time of writing. On the contrary, it would mean that the word had been used in this way for some indefinite period in the past. So, at least the possibility that Paul refers to angelic/demonic beings in Galatians and Colossians remains open. 11.3.1 Astral Spirits This more open approach to the lexical data has recently inspired C.E. Arnold to advocate an interpretation of the elements as demonic astral spirits. Instead of dismissing the magical evidence as late, he suggests that it preserves materials from earlier in antiquity.20 Here, the most important texts are the Greek magical papyri and The Testament of Solomon.21 These documents, dating from the third to fourth centuries, understand stoixeiÍa as spiritual beings. The magical papyri refer to star spirits (PGM IV.1126– 35; IV.1301–07), with the outstanding example being a fourth century papyrus which calls the astral decans (rulers of 10° of the zodiac) the stoixeiÍa tou¤ ko¢smou (XXXIX.18–21). This magical astrology likely predates the fourth century, and Arnold suggests that it stretches back to the 1st century and beyond.22 Meanwhile, in T. Sol. 8.2; 15.5; 18.1–2 stoixeiÍa also applies to demonic spirits. The last of these references is of particular interest, since it too refers to astral decans. Chapter 18 is commonly regarded as being dependent upon an earlier Greco–Egyptian archetype, listing the names of the decans.23 Arnold emphasises the antiquity of decan belief and suggests —————

20 A crucial point for Arnold is the potential distinction between the age of a tradition (which may be ancient) and the age of physical evidence (which may be late). Conceivably, 3rd and 4th century MSS preserve traditions much older than the papyrus material. See Arnold, ‘Returning to the Domain’, 57; Colossian Syncretism, 170. 21 See especially ‘b. The Milieu of Magic and Astrology’: Ibid. 166. See also Arnold, ‘Returning to the Domain’, 57–58. 22 “Given the scholarly consensus that most of the traditions in the magical papyri are ancient and the concept of astral decans as pre–dating the first century, it is quite probable that the term stoicheia was used of astral decans in the first century A.D. or prior.” Ibid. 58. 23 An argument going back to Gundel: “der Verfasser des Testamentum Salomonis muß also eine ägyptische Dekanliste gekannt haben.” W. Gundel, Dekane und Dekansternbilder: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Sternbilder der Kulturvölker (Studien der Bibliothek Warburg 19; Glückstadt/Hamburg: J.J. Augustin) 95. Notably, there is also some MS evidence for this: Alexander, ‘Incantations and Books’, 373. For further discussion of the decans in the Testament of Solomon: K. von Stuckrad, Das Ringen um die Astrologie: Jüdische und Christliche Beiträge zum

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that this part of the Testament is rooted in the 1st century BCE.24 This accords with his opinions concerning the Greek magical papyri. Thus, he concludes: In the context of magic and astrology, even in Jewish and early Christian circles the term stoicheia was indeed used of personalized spiritual forces that have significant influence over the affairs of day–to–day existence.25

Arnold then applies this to Paul: the elements are the evil, non–divine powers (Gal 4.8) which enslave all non–believers and lie at the heart of the Colossian syncretism.26 11.3.2 Problems in the Interpretation Arnold deserves credit for engaging with the lexical problem and constructing a much stronger case than did Everling, Dibelius, et al. for their angelic reading. Nevertheless, there are still certain problems in his interpretation. Firstly, all of the magical texts which Arnold appeals to are astrological, mentioning stars, constellations, and zodiacal signs. However, astrology is not obviously on the surface of the Pauline texts, nor is it clear that it is in the background either.27 If Paul was concerned with star spirits, then why not make this plain? Furthermore, Arnold’s dating of the lexical evidence is slightly arbitrary. Granted, the angelic/demonic usage of stoixeiÍa pre– dates the magical texts he mentions, but why should this be by as much as two or three centuries? There are no external criteria for determining how old this usage is. The one early date which Arnold does fix is for the decan list in T. Sol. 18 (1st century BCE). However, we cannot know if that archetype even employed the word stoixeiÍa (there are grounds for supposing that it did not).28 Nor can the dating be regarded as anything other than ————— antiken Zeitverständnis (Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten 49; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2000) 399. 24 Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 171. 25 Ibid. 173. 26 These are “the demonic powers of the present evil age.” Ibid. 184 27 Although, certain references are vaguely celestial: new moons and Sabbaths (Col 2.16), and the observation of passing time (Gal 4.10). Yet, the explicit study of stars is absent in both texts. 28 The elements are referred to along with the suspiciously NT–like phrase: “the world–rulers of the darkness” (cf. Eph 6.12). McCown was thus convinced that the passage had been reworked in light of the NT. C.C. McCown, The Testament of Solomon: Edited from Manuscripts at Mount Athos, Bologna, Holkham Hall, Jerusalem, London, Milan, Paris and Vienna, with Introduction (UNT 9; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich, 1922) 28. Arnold disputes this: Colossian Syncretism, 172. However, importing NT phrases into the decan passage would only be consistent with the editor’s method in the rest of this particular Testament.

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speculative.29 Finally, Arnold’s general appeal to astrological beliefs is inadmissible. Although from earliest times people did regard the stars as greater or lesser divinities, this is not at issue. One cannot use non–lexical data to draw lexical conclusions, which is what Arnold sometimes does. 11.3.3 Uncertainty in the Evidence Despite our objections, we have not disproved Arnold’s reading of Galatians and Colossians. Such a negative proof would not be possible. The lexical evidence simply is not hard enough to say with certainty whether stoixeiÍa definitely could or could not refer to spiritual beings at the time of Paul. That possibility remains open, but it is not demanded by a compelling weight of evidence. In view of this uncertainty, how may we proceed from here? One possibility is to question our need to make a straight choice between the common exegetical solutions. It may be that the demand for strict categorical distinctions in meaning (‘rule’, ‘matter’, ‘demon’) actually misconstrues Paul’s intentions as far as the elements are concerned. Particularly, in our “either– or exegesis”30 of Galatians and Colossians, we sometimes fail to recognise that a dichotomy between the material of the world and the forces governing it may not apply in antiquity. It may be worth considering the connection between the physical elements and the spiritual domination of human life. This leads us to a fascinating account of the stoixeiÍa which has been passed–over in modern interpretation: the opinion of some second century Christians that the physical elements were themselves material–demonic powers.

11.4 Demonic Materiality in the Second Century 11.4.1 The Excerpts of Theodotos Seldom noticed by NT interpreters, this is a fascinating and revealing text for early Christian views of the elements. One passage is of particular interest: And of the material elements (u¥likw¤n) he [the Creator] made one out of grief, which gives substance to the “spiritual things of evil with whom is our contest” (and therefore the Apostle says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom ye were

————— 29 30

It is set by Gundel, Dekane, 45. It is an estimate; he does not really justify this decision. A phrase borrowed from Dunn, Galatians, 212.

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sealed”), and another he made from fear, the wild beasts, and another from terror and need, the elements of the world (ta£ stoixeiÍa tou¤ ko¢smou). And in the three elements (trisi£ stoixei¢oij) fire drifts about and is disseminated and lurks, and is kindled by them and dies with them, for it has no appointed place of its own like the other elements (stoixeiÍa), from which the compound substances are fashioned.31

This excerpt from an unknown second century Valentinian (in this particular passage, not Theodotos)32 describes the material creation as the source of evil in the world, expounding Paul’s comment that it is subjected to vanity (Rom 8.20). Looking back to the Pauline texts, the stoixeiÍa are understood as the physical elements – they form “compound substances”. However, they are also unquestionably demonic forces, created from “terror and need”. The stoixeiÍa are integral to a physical cosmos which itself manipulates and dominates, where the forces of evil and of nature cannot be straightforwardly distinguished. In this particular reading of the elements in Paul, spirits and substances are not divided into separate connotations. 11.4.2 Bardaisan The parallelism between the elements and “wild beasts” in the Excerpts is particularly fascinating, for we find something similar in Theodore bar Khonai’s report on the cosmology of Bardaisan of Edessa. The elements, after violating their origins, “began to bite each other like wild animals”.33 Indeed, Bardaisan (who lived in the mid second to early third centuries) has been appealed to before in connection with the elements in Paul. W.H.P. Hatch once asserted that: In the Syriac work entitled The Book of the Laws of the Countries there are four passages in which ŤƐƃŴźƒĥ, the Syriac equivalent of stoixeiÍa, is used of personal cosmic powers.34

This comment has been of great interest to Arnold, who suggests that it supports his 1st century dating for astral–demonic stoixeiÍa.35 However, there are problems. It is impossible to say what the antecedents were (if any) for Bardaisan’s understanding of the elements in Syriac Christianity. —————

31 Clement: Exc. 48.3 Text cited from R.P. Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria Edited with Translation, Introduction, and Notes (SD; London: Christophers, 1934) 141– 142. 32 Fragments of various authors are preserved in the Excerpts: Ibid. 8. 33 Text from H.J.W. Drijvers, The Book of the Laws of Countries: Dialogue on Fate of Bardaisan of Edessa (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1965) 101. 34 W.H.P. Hatch, ‘ta£ stoixeiÍa in Paul and Bardaisan’, JTS 28 (1927) 181–182, on page 181. 35 Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 165.

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ŤƐƃŴźƒĥ is transparently a loan word (estouksƝ = stoixeiÍa), and is also the Peshitta reading in Gal 4.3, 9; Col 2.8, 20.36 We cannot know whether this term was current in pre–Christian Syriac or whether it originated with the first Syriac NT translations (2nd century). Nor can we tell from where Bardaisan himself derived this word. More substantially, Bardaisan’s ŤƐƃŴźƒĥ belong to a special cosmology (a point which Hatch ignores). Two passages are particularly striking. In one, it is stated that the elements (ŤƐƃŴźƐĥ) will be judged not for what is determined, “but for that in which they exercise free power.”37 In the other, we find that creative power belongs to “God, the angels, the Rulers, the Guiding Signs, the elements (ŤƐƃŴźƐťƆĭ) mankind, and the animals.”38 Quoted out of context, one could take the elements as spiritual beings pure and simple; they have free will like the other agents of the cosmos. Yet, taken in context, this is problematic. Bardaisan believed the world to be composed of four or five original elements: fire, wind, water, light, and (possibly) darkness.39 These were variously referred to as ‘elements’ (ŤƐƃŴźƐĥ) or ‘substances’ (ŤſƦſĥ).40 At the point of creation, darkness found a way of mixing itself with the other elements, producing evil in the world. The elements thus act upon the world and, because of their mixed and imperfect nature, become a problematic force to be reckoned with. Bardaisan’s soteriology therefore addresses a cosmological problem.41 The essential point here is that the physical nature of the four/five elements is maintained alongside a sense of occult power and agency. The fabric of the world is also a kind of moral force, comparable to angels, humans, and animals. The components of reality itself exercise a certain control or domination. —————

36 ŤƐƃŴźƒĥ is the original loan–word, with later versions (notably Harcleon) attempting to bring it closer into line with the Greek: ŤƀƃŴźƒ (stoukiyǀ). B. Aland/A. Juckel (ed.) Das Neue Testament in Syrischer Überlieferung (ANTF 7, 14, 23, 32 (to date); Berlin: de Gruyter, 1986–[in progress]) II.2, 218, 222, 415, 423. All kinds of Syriac words seem to have developed from the Greek stoixeiÍa. See Payne Smith, 1.296. 37 Text from Drijvers, Book of the Laws of Countries, 15. 38 Ibid. 29. 39 For the following, see ‘Chapter III: The Cosmology’ in H.J.W. Drijvers, Bardaisan of Edessa (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1966) 96–126. 40 One of the earliest reports on the Daisanites (that of Barhadbesabba ‘Arbaia) states that: “To the Stoicheia (ŤƐƃŴźƐťƆ) too they give the name of elements (ŤſƦſĥ).” Ibid. 98. ŤſƦſĥ means something that exists, so ‘substance,’ ‘element,’ ‘existent’ are all possible translations. 41 “The pure elements call upon their Lord, who sends the Word of Thought to create some order in the chaos. The world was formed by this Word out of the mixture of the elements, whose constitution is atomic, while their properties differ. Thus the salvation of the pure elements already begins at creation, that chance may be undone. The world thus formed is partly free, partly unfree, because purity and darkness are mingled.” Ibid. 220.

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11.4.3 Tatian The opinion that persons could be dominated by material powers obviously might encourage asceticism: one could avoid the influence of the elements by avoiding physicality altogether. Unsurprisingly, then, the concern that one could be trapped by the elements comes out strongly in Tatian’s Oration to the Greeks. This text probably does not regard the stoixeiÍa as astral spirits.42 Rather, Tatian refers to the physical elements that are falsely divinised in pagan religion and allegory. He would never worship the stoixeiÍa (21.3). While this has its roots in traditional Jewish arguments, Tatian’s verdict is more damning. Those indulging in such notions “wallow in matter and filth” (23.4). Also notable are the demons. They are responsible for sickness and disease (16.3). One of their chief motivations is to fool people into using physical treatments, prescribing roots, sinews, and bones. These objects are according to Tatian the “elemental matter (stoixei¢wsij) of the demons’ wickedness” (17.3). The demons use the things of the world to cause mischief (17.4). So, Tatian’s demonology is entirely materialistic; the elements themselves represent depredation and are instrumental in evil spiritual control. 11.4.4 Marcion The final figure in this discussion is Marcion. Our knowledge of his opinions regarding the elements is entirely dependent upon Tertullian’s account of his interpretation in Gal 4.3, 9: So it was not [Paul’s] wish, by derogatory language about the elements of the world, to alienate people from the God of those elements […] not even so did he censure the God of those elements. (Marc. 5.4.5).

Marcion understood Paul as attacking the Creator, the inferior God. The phrase “God of the elements” is particularly striking; the theme is connected to Marcion’s dualism. By implication, the elements are the means by which one is enslaved to the physical universe. In the earliest known interpretation of the stoixeiÍa in Paul’s letters, then, the material elements of the Creator are referred to a higher power of evil.43 —————

42 As hinted by Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 165–166. The demons establish the animal zodiacal signs: “Their basic principle (stoixei¢wsij) was the giving of life” (9.1). The word stoixei¢wsij (an elementary thing or principle) indicates not the zodiacal signs themselves but the general process of creating them. 43 Marcion’s pupil Apelles attempted to produce a less docetic Christology than his master. The elements were problematic in this enterprise, being flawed, but seemed to be required for the

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11.4.5 Conclusion In light of this evidence, we may say that some very early Christian authors turned their focus not upon the exclusively spiritual or material nature of the elements, but rather presupposed a connection between the substance of the world itself and the powers which influenced it. By this view, physical reality has its own (negative) power and influence, while demonic spirits dominate the world through its material nature. All of this provides an interesting and unusual perspective on the elements, and may suggest a way forward in interpreting Paul’s letters. Could it be that the apostle thought of the world and its elements in a similar or related way?44

11.5 Reconstructing Paul’s Meaning: Material Power? Our initial reading of Galatians and Colossians suggested that Paul has a somewhat cosmological focus, being concerned with the workings and power of the universe. People who live in the world are enslaved by the elements, mistakenly regarding them as divine. These forces act upon all creation and are inherent in reality itself. Such observations open up the possibility that Paul holds a view of the elements similar (though not identical) to the one we have just described. Material and spiritual powers may not be entirely separate issues, but may be conjoined in their governance of the world. This suggestion now needs to be considered in relation to the texts. 11.5.1 Slavery in Galatians The wider rhetorical theme of Galatians is the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit (3.3; 5.16–21, 24–5; 6.8); these are two rival powers which ————— flesh of Christ. Apelles’ solution was to distinguish between terrestrial and celestial elements. (Carn. Chr. 8.4). 44 Which is more or less the view of Betz: “The Greco–Roman (and Jewish) syncretism of the time of Paul is characterised by a very negative view of the world; the ko¢smoj (“world”) was thought to be composed of four or five “elements,” which are not simply material substances but demonic entities of cosmic proportions.” Betz, Galatians, 204–205. It is not particularly far– fetched to suppose that Paul holds a partial and inchoate form of anti–cosmism in his letters. The suggestion that he could only have believed in a pure and perfect creation is probably derived from a presumed conflict with Gnostic dualism. Yet, such later controversies would not reflect his concerns. The question ‘is the world evil?’ simply does not appear to be a matter of heresy or orthodoxy for Paul.

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may control or guide humanity.45 The physical circumcision and the law are fleshly (6.12–13), by contrast with the freedom of the Spirit. The curious aspect of Pauline ‘flesh’ is that in one respect it simply appears to be material stuff, but at the same time is a kind of sinister and domineering force. To live in the world is to be constrained by it, and be subject to various material and spiritual evils. Such rhetoric would in principle allow that Paul thinks of the elements of the world as material and quasi–demonic powers. This would fit with the motif of slavery in Galatians, with all persons (Jews and Gentiles) being subject to this power. The false divinisation of the elements in 4.8–9 also fits with the dominance of material powers. The mysterious influence of the elements is rather like the power of the gods, although in reality this is weak when compared with the true God. These claims are perhaps best understood against a background of Jewish Hellenistic polemic, and the writings of Philo are significant in this respect.46 It is not often recognised that Philo regards the elements as forces at work within the cosmos. The stoixeiÍa “display their several powers at fixed revolutions of time and at their proper seasons” (Mos. 2.120). They die and are made immortal, running back and forth (Aet. 108–109). They are also the “four first principles and potentialities” (a¦rxa¢j te kai£ duna¢meij: Her. 281). However, Philo balances this cosmology with distaste for the suggestion that the elements are worthy of worship. He attacks “those who revere the elements, earth, water, air, fire” (Contempl. 3) and emphasises the weakness of the elements (4; cf. Decal. 53; Gal 4.8–9). Paul’s position in Galatians is probably related to Philo’s (and presumably other Hellenistic Jews). Most likely, he regards the elements as powers and potentialities, grounded in the natural world. However, Paul also departs from Philo’s perspective. His inclusion of Jews within the scope of stoixeiÍa–slavery is an obvious development. More notably, though, the tone of the whole piece is different. Life under the elements is now an oppressive set of circumstances, inescapable and unrelenting, from which one requires deliverance. Paul’s elements belong with the flesh and the current evil age. As a development of a Jewish Hellenistic critique of element– veneration, Paul’s warnings have an added and perhaps slightly novel demonological undertone.47 ————— 45

See Martyn, Galatians, 100. For Philo’s use of stoixeiÍa: TDNT stoixeiÍon 7.675–676; Borgen/Fuglseth/Skarsten (ed.) The Philo Index, stoixeiÍon 314. Arnold briefly mentions Philo, not finding much evidence for his demonic interpretation. Arnold, Colossian Syncretism, 180–181. Philo features more strongly in the discussion of Stuckenbruck, Angel Veneration, 104. 47 So, we could see Paul’s view as a less extreme precursor of Tatian. Both authors look back to a Jewish Hellenistic critique of element–veneration, and both authors have made this more 46

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11.5.2 Empty Deceit in Colossians Whatever the elements of the world are in Colossians, Paul clearly is highly contemptuous of them (2.8). They compare very unfavourably with the power and magnificence of Christ (2.9ff). Paul contrasts the weakness of the fleshly body with the spiritual circumcision wrought by Christ (2.11). As in Galatians, then, the elements seem to represent a whole mode of living as much as they do a concrete set of objects. They are a basic part of life “in the world” (2.20). This gives quite a loose definition to Paul’s problem in Colossians, but still fits well with the suggestion that the elements are demonic material forces. As such, they are dissimilar to Christ, who holds “all the fullness of the deity” (2.9). Finally, we may note that this particular interpretation makes good sense of Paul’s talk of “philosophy”. Admittedly, filosofi¢a was such a broad term in antiquity that it could mean just about anything.48 Yet, it would fit very well here as a reference to a religious or cosmological tendency to elevate and honour the power of the material creation. In fact, Philo specifically describes the veneration of the physical elements as a false philosophy.49 11.5.3 Conclusion Despite all of our analysis above, we must still confess that we cannot be certain of what Paul thought that the elements of the world were. This is not explicitly stated in the text of his letters, and there are a number of options which are more or less credible. Still, we have offered a plausible interpretation that fits with the content of what Paul says and the wider lexical evidence of Greek usage. We have proposed that Paul understood the elements of the world to be material and physical substances which exert a demonic or hostile control over human life. This may seem like a rather strange compromise between ‘material’ and ‘spiritual’ interpretations, but it ————— sinister and more pervasive. Everybody is dominated by the material powers of the world. However, while Paul is seemingly happy to leave matters here, Tatian proceeds to suggest that the world in its totality is inherently evil and dirty. This accounts for Tatian’s asceticism, which exceeds the arguably more moderate opinions of Paul. 48 As noted by Lohse, Colossians and Philemon, 94. Most commentators still attempt to find a specific contextual meaning for the term in Colossians: Pythagoreanism, syncretism, mystery religions etc. 49 Sophists have invented the names of the personified elements (Contempl. 4), while those who do not revere nature prefer to follow “genuine philosophy” (Decal. 58).

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is a view of the elements which was popular in Christianity in the century after Paul. All of this slightly confuses the discussion of ‘angelology and demonology’, since it is not clear whether the elements really belong in this category. The suggestion is that Paul was concerned with the influence of parts of the cosmos itself. However, his was nothing like a modern materialist perspective, and we cannot assume any firm distinction between the fabric of the world and its controlling powers. Evil spirits and the press of the world itself might sometimes be combined in some form of composite power. If nothing else, this point at least reminds us of the subtlety and intricacy of Paul’s beliefs. The reality of angelic and demonic powers is something bound up with the reality of the world as a whole.

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Excursus III: Sin and Death

Having just examined the elements of the world, we can perhaps appreciate that there are some things in Paul’s letters which are not obviously angelic/demonic beings per se, but are nonetheless connected with such realities. So, the physical components of the world itself can be understood as domineering and demonic powers, falsely worshipped. They do not bear the explicit badge ‘angel’ or ‘demon’, though in practical terms they may amount to much the same thing. Our modern dualisms, then, which separate the spirit world from other aspects of reality may hinder us in our attempt to read Paul’s letters within their cultural setting. The angelic and demonic may touch upon all manner of concerns within the world: spiritual and material, theoretical and practical. This point is significant with respect of sin (a¥marti¢a) and death (qa¢natoj) in the Pauline epistles. In the past, these have been interpreted as occupying a kind of border–line position: part abstract nouns, part demonic entities.1 These terms also to some extent challenge our understanding of what angelology and demonology is, and so they are worthy of a short excursus to see how they fit with our broader concerns. Sin certainly is a crucial factor in Paul’s letter to the Romans and, indeed, along with the inverse concern of righteousness (dikaosu¢nh), it is often considered to be the letter’s core theological preoccupation. However, Paul’s understanding of the nature and origins of sin is perhaps a little less than clear, and commentators are obliged to fill in the blanks. One potential avenue of approach has been to suggest that Paul’s concept of sin represents some kind of anti–mythological achievement. Instead of referring evil to the realm of the supernatural, Paul regards it is as a purely ‘human’ phenomenon. The first cause of sin was the free choice of humanity. James Dunn describes this as a kind of special insight:

————— 1

Especially in the work of Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 115. Although, as we shall see, this has been suggested by a number of commentators. A particularly interesting discussion of such ideas is that of Sanders: ABD SIN, SINNERS (NT) 40–47.

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Unlike most of his contemporaries Paul does not speculate about the way in which sin entered the world […] what sin entered was the realm of human beings, rather than creation. This is the language of universal experience, not of cosmic speculation.2

Granted, Paul does indeed regard sin as a part of human experience. However, the attempt to divorce this from “cosmic speculation” is problematic.3 Is this to say that the experience of sin has nothing to do with the workings of the world itself? The picture may be more complex than Dunn suggests; sin may at times be a type of power in the world, influencing and impelling human actions.4 This point is brought out in a number of key texts in Romans. Through Rom 5–6, Paul notably personifies sin: it enters into the world (5.12) and even “reigns” like a king (e¦basi¢leusen: 5.21). Paul comments that sin entered the world “through one man” (5.12), but this does not demand that human beings created sin. Paul does not say one way or the other.5 The essential point in this verse is that the arrival of sin brings with it universal human death. Paul does not suggest that individual transgressions cause individual deaths (though on occasion this might happen). Rather, sin in general causes death in general. Sin is something which is representative and makes sense as a whole. Thus, Leenhardt describes it as a power which “assails and tortures”,6 and Fitzmyer writes that sin is here a “personified malevolent force”.7 Paul does not regard a¥marti¢a only as an umbrella term for all individual acts of human transgression. It also seems to be a thing–in–itself. This is most colourfully expressed in Paul’s famous discussion of the power of sin in the first person, in 7.7ff. Here, even Dunn suggests that “one can speak of a kind of possession”8 or, as Käsemann calls it, a “demonological state of affairs”.9 Sin “took an opportunity” in the command—————

2 Dunn, Romans, 1.272. For this point about culpability, compare Bultmann: “every man brings himself explicitly under it (sin) by his concrete “transgression”, thereby becoming jointly responsible for it.” Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.253. 3 This puts Dunn in conflict with Käsemann’s critique of Bultmann. “Anthropology must then eo ipso be cosmology”. Käsemann, Perspectives, 23. There is no understanding of a person without an understanding of a world, and vice versa. It is questionable whether we may at all separate the realm of human beings from that of creation, as Dunn attempts. 4 And we may at this point refer back to our discussion of the origins of evil in Romans in relation to Satan (chapter 7) and particularly the remarks of De Boer, Defeat of Death. 5 It is doubtful whether Paul would have appreciated the paradox of sin being initially caused by sin. In fact, the suggestion that Adam brought sin into the world possibly implies that sin existed prior to that moment. What (if anything) Paul thought about the nature of sin before creation is indiscernible. 6 Leenhardt, Romans, 142. 7 Fitzmyer, Romans, 411. 8 Dunn, Romans, 1.390. 9 Käsemann, Romans, 204. See also Barrett, Romans, 138; Fitzmyer, Romans, 475.

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ment and, Paul laments, it “deceived me and killed me” (7.12). Like a slave, “I am sold under sin” (7.14). Indeed, Paul says, sin “dwells within me” (7.17). So, whether this passage is targeted at the struggle of all people with sin or specifically at Paul’s own difficulties,10 the startling language attributed to sin here demands that it be taken as a force in its own right.11 It acts upon humans and controls them, rather like an unwelcome spirit. So, curiously, sin in Paul’s letters behaves like a demon but still retains its status as an abstract noun. Dibelius opts for calling it a “ganz persönlicher Zwingherr”.12 As such, it is no simple matter, and it pushes the boundaries of what we may understand as spiritual and demonic forces. It is somehow both a part of the spirit world, and not. In the case of death, this can be understood very plainly as the natural end of human life. However, Paul prefers to avoid the suggestion that believers actually die, claiming instead that they “sleep”.13 This may be partly figurative, but it is not just a pleasant metaphor; death for Paul is something opposed to the life of his followers and can conceivably be avoided through devotion to Christ. It is not merely a process, but is at times a definite entity or power. As with sin, death is described with striking personification in Rom 5–6. It too “reigns” (e¦basi¢leusen) over all (5.14, 17). Yet, with the resurrection of Christ, death loses its mastery (ou¦ke¢ti kurieu¢ei: 6.9).14 The difficulty with such language is that the author’s precise intentions may not be completely clear. Is death to be understood as an independent force? Alternatively, could Paul be referring to its “existential reality”?15 Most likely, the whole distinction between death as a cosmic power and as an aspect of human experience is unknown to Paul; it is both something which exists and something which happens. Our inclination as modern interpreters is to reduce death to a concrete natural event, for that is how we ourselves encounter it (and not as a person, will, or power). However, for Paul it is something opposed to Christ, and so it has another layer of meaning. ————— 10

For a discussion of the ‘Lutheran’ and other readings: Ashton, Religion of Paul, 218. There is an important linguistic connection here: oi¦ke¢in (used of sin, Rom 7.17, 20) may also denote possession by demonic spirits (see especially Matt 12.44–45). Very much like a demon, sin makes its abode within a person and forces him/her to do what is not desired. 12 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 120. 13 Koima¢w: 1Cor 7.39; 11.30; 15.6, 18, 20, 51; 1Thess 4.13, 14, 15. 14 As Cranfield suggests here, “kurieu¢ein is possibly a reflection of the Jewish use of šƗlat in connexion with the angel of death.” Cranfield, Romans, 1.313. See also Str–B 3.232. This does not of itself demand that death be understood as an angelic being in this passage, but it does suggest the possibility that Paul framed his discussion in conscious awareness of such ideas. 15 So Dunn, Romans, 1.276. 11

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The most important Pauline text concerning death is 1Cor 15.26, where it emerges as Christ’s “last enemy”. A little later we are informed that “death has been swallowed down in victory” (15.54; cf. Isa 52.8 LXX). Amongst the vanquished rulers and authorities (15.24–26), it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that death is here a hostile power or angel.16 The conflict between Christ and death is unlikely to be metaphorical in this passage, for Paul is attempting to offer a logical proof for the general resurrection of the dead. That death is someone or something which may literally be destroyed is given as part of the factual basis of the argument. Though not consistent throughout the letters, then, death can be seen to combine the roles of abstract concept on the one hand, and spiritual being on the other. Right at the beginning of Part Two, we warned of the danger of isolating angelology and demonology, compartmentalising it in the mind. It would be easy for us to assume that angels and demons inhabit their own distinct sphere of reality, separate from ‘normal life’. Yet, this kind of narrow understanding of spiritual powers would almost certainly fail to encapsulate the complexity of early Christian beliefs. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the case of sin and death. These terms defy simple classification, having one foot in the realm of concepts and another in the realm of spirits. As such, they suggest that angelology and demonology could be mixed up with other ideas and, in the case of Romans, infiltrate one of Paul’s major literary projects. This further goes to show how the spirit world is generally an inherent aspect of the apostle’s writings.

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16 That death is here a concrete “Geistwesen” was suggested by Dibelius and taken up by Schweitzer. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 115; Schweitzer, Mysticism, 66–67. See also Böcher, NT und dämonischen Mächte, 20. This final conquest receives a notable treatment from De Boer, who argues that Paul thinks of death as a “cosmological power”. De Boer, Defeat of Death, 131–132. Such an opinion is also defended in Van der Horst’s dictionary article DDD THANATOS 1609– 1613. A key factor here is the reasonably well–attested Jewish belief that death could be an angel: T. Ab.; 2 Bar. 21.22–23; Rev 20.13–14.

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12. The Role of Angels and Demons

12.1 Assessing the Evidence Here in Part Two, we have offered a detailed examination of angelology and demonology in Paul’s letters, explaining this material and setting it in its religious–historical context. We have drawn upon a wide range of Jewish and Christian sources, interpreting Paul’s various remarks concerning Satan, the angels, the powers, etc. Now, having completed a broad survey of the topic, we may attempt to draw some wider conclusions about the role of angelic and demonic forces in the Pauline texts. 12.1.1 Paul’s Attitude Firstly, there is the issue of Paul’s general attitude towards angelic and demonic beings. As we have noted at a number of points, various commentators have argued that Paul sought to demythologise early Christianity by removing angels and demons from his teaching.1 Unlike his more superstitious contemporaries, Paul was concerned with the ‘real’ moral/social problems of human existence. In essence, this is a reading which seeks to distinguish Paul from his context; he is made into a critic of ancient myth who is able to stand back from the cultural inheritance of the spirit world and subject it to a clear, negative value–judgement. Does a survey of the angelology and demonology at all support this type of argument? In light of our analysis in Part Two, we can perceive that there are certain problems involved with making any such judgement. Perhaps the main issue is that this ‘demythologisation’ account represents an attempt to read between the lines; it is a reading of Paul’s implied intentions. Naturally, any attempt to reconstruct what somebody has not explicitly said but is supposed privately to have thought is fraught with hazard. One has to take odd (sometimes very terse) comments and invest them with a layer of meaning which is not present on the surface of the text. For instance, one has to take a relatively straightforward statement such as “an idol is nothing in the world” (8.4) and read into that something which is not immediately ————— 1

For a general account, see the History of Research (chapter 3).

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apparent, that Paul is saying ‘demons do not really exist’. That type of approach cannot be anything other than highly subjective and, as we have witnessed, such readings tend to work against the cultural context of the letters and even on occasion fall foul of the logic of Paul’s argument.2 Beyond this problem, there is a further weakness in the ‘demythologisation’ account of Paul’s angelology and demonology in its failure to produce clear criteria for judging the importance of this material. How can we know whether angels and demons are important or not, and what would it take for this to be classified as either a minor or a major theme? F.C. Baur’s description of angelology as a ‘minor doctrine’ gives no justification for this ordering of material; it simply is assumed that this is the appropriate dogmatic model. However, if we were to attempt to plot the significance of angels and demons in terms of Paul’s own expressed intentions, it is difficult to know where we could even begin. On the balance of the evidence we have examined here in Part Two, it seems that any attempt either to minimise or maximise the significance of angels and demons in the letters involves participating in a discussion of which Paul himself seems entirely unaware. There is no conscious evaluation of angelology and demonology as a whole in the surviving Pauline epistles. We ourselves may attempt to pass judgement on its relative importance or unimportance as a religious or theological theme, but we should recognise that this would be our own enterprise. Indeed, as we stated at the beginning of Part Two, the very act of analysing angels and demons as a discreet aspect of belief is itself something quite artificial. Paul does not identify this as a field of study in its own right. It therefore seems that any evaluation of angelology and demonology in the letters would have to approach this indirectly and pick its way very carefully through a number of different issues. 12.1.2 Category and Genre What type of belief is angelology and demonology, and where does it belong in the field of literature? This is a matter which Pauline scholars have hardly touched upon so far, but should feature significantly in our evaluation. Many commentators have tended to treat angels and demons in Paul’s letters as a kind of hypothesis: a set of explanatory ideas which one may or may not choose to believe in, depending upon one’s interpretation of the ————— 2

For example, if Paul had intended the implication that demons do not exist in 1Cor 8.4–6, then his attempt to warn off the Corinthians from idolatry in 10.20–22 would be altogether hollow. Why be afraid of non–existent demons? The argument needs them to be a ‘real’ threat.

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evidence. While it is possible that Paul could on occasion view them this way, the letters seem not to treat angelic and demonic matters as the objects of enquiry. On the contrary, these tend to be things which Paul thinks with rather than about. The overall impression one gets of the apostle is that angels and demons are for him habits of mind or ingrained ideas. With this point in view, the literary role and setting of angels and demons in the Pauline epistles can be clarified. They feature in many different ways in Paul’s rhetoric, instruction, and narrative. Quite frequently, they are part of some topic which Paul is addressing, but are not themselves the subject of discussion. Only Colossians seems to make angelology an explicit concern or problem in its own right, presumably because this was dictated by events in Colossae. Besides that, angels and demons are largely imbedded in what and how Paul writes. This leads us to a further point, which so far seems to have been ignored in the debate concerning the Pauline spirit world: that of genre. One possible line of argument challenges the significance of angels and demons on the basis of literary comparison. Perhaps Paul deliberately cut back on angels and demons by reducing the frequency of their appearance in his prose. For example, the word ‘angel’ occurs only three times in the letter to the Galatians but is found no fewer than sixty–seven times in the book of Revelation. At first sight, this seems an impressive statistic. Perhaps Paul did cut angels down to a bare minimum. Yet, on reflection, we find that this argument does not have a proper literary context; it may be that we are comparing apples with oranges. Revelation is an apocalypse, describing a vision of heaven. We might expect to find a lot of angels. Galatians, meanwhile, is a private letter between Paul and one of his churches. The differences in genre make this type of comparison meaningless.3 When, by contrast, we compare Galatians with other NT letters, the extent of angelic/demonic material seems entirely ordinary; ‘angel’ occurs twice in each of the Petrine letters and once in the letter of James. Although such arguments are hardly precise, it is notable that we could even use genre to make a case in the opposite direction; Paul can appear to make liberal use of references to angels and demons. In the first letter to Corinth, ‘angel’ arises four times, ‘demon’ four times, ‘Satan’ twice, ‘Destroyer’ once, and that is not even to consider whether any pneu¤ma vocabulary is relevant. Compared with other letters of the time, that is quite a lot. Naturally, this single statistic in no way makes Paul into some kind of an————— 3

This is a criticism we could level at Baumgarten’s Paulus und die Apokalyptik. He argues that Paul demythologised apocalyptic Judaism, attempting to remove angels and demons from his theology. However, Baumgarten does not adequately explore the literary dimension of this comparison. There are usually differences in content between letters and apocalypses, but this is not greatly surprising.

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gel–enthusiast, although it does well illustrate that such powers are woven into the fabric of his literary output. 12.1.3 Angels and Demons as Assumptions As we have said, angelology and demonology seems to be imbedded in what and how Paul writes; nowhere in the epistles does this really appear as the object of sustained and theoretical reflection. Perhaps we may extrapolate a broader point from this observation. It seems most likely that for Paul and his followers, angels and demons largely operated on the level of an assumption. Such ideas probably did not require frequent justification or reconsideration. Angels and demons were simply accepted with very little (if any) questioning. Indeed, Paul constantly expects his readers to understand and accept that spiritual powers have influence over their lives, never once doubting that he can take such belief for granted. Quite earnestly he asks: “do you not know that we shall judge angels?” (1Cor 6.3). He may even justify quite a firm moral instruction with the terse and cryptic statement: “a woman should have authority on her head, because of the angels.” (1Cor 11.10). This verse only presents a difficulty to us precisely because Paul assumes that such matters are easily understood. Finally, one of the most telling texts in this respect is 2Cor 2.11. Paul reminds the Corinthians of the importance of not being outwitted by Satan because “we are not ignorant of his schemes.” The apostle always presses on with such material, supposing that these ideas would come naturally to his readers. Needless to say, whatever is axiomatic in one’s thinking has a particular kind of importance. It emerges in casual remarks, allusions, requests, instructions, warnings, and reminders. Ideas which are not subject to overt scrutiny can be very subtle and pervasive in their influence, and can inform and support a range of other ideas. On the balance of the evidence we have gathered here, Paul’s angels and demons should probably be located in this axiomatic role.

12.2 Finding a Pattern 12.2.1 Dualism and the ‘Apocalyptic Paul’ Having completed our analysis of the angels and demons in Paul’s letters, we may now briefly take a wider perspective and consider whether there are any notable underlying patterns or themes in this material. Are there any

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traces of a discernable, coherent scheme? As we suggested earlier in our History of Research (chapter 3), those scholars who have emphasised the ‘apocalyptic’ aspect of Paul’s thought have in some cases claimed to have found such a pattern. In particular, Ernst Käsemann has identified a special importance for angelic and demonic material in what he sees as the key Pauline motifs of dualism and conflict. He has asserted a significant role for demonology in the letters,4 pointing to conflict within the world and conflict over the world. Evil spirits are held to have spoiled creation, which thus demands a cosmically oriented soteriology: Man, entangled in self–conflict, practically speaking always subject to evil, is not free. The earth is a battle open to all comers; it is no longer cosmos but a chaos of rebellion.5

Thus, Paul holds an interventionist Christology; Christ invades the world, the domain of evil. By this account, angels and demons reflect a strong moral order, and a powerful sense of evil permeates Paul’s writings.6 This reading is further supported by J.L. Martyn, who observes that this “reflects a profoundly serious view of evil.”7 12.2.2 Weaknesses in the ‘Apocalyptic’ Perspective We should begin with some words of caution. Firstly, Käsemann has been criticised in some quarters for his use of the term ‘apocalyptic’,8 and to speak of Paul as holding an apocalyptic theology and demonology could create some confusion. Not all demonology is derived from apocalypticism,

————— 4

Käsemann, Perspectives on Paul, 23. Ibid. 24. 6 Here we might also mention Kallas’ little–known study of Pauline theology. Kallas, rather like Käsemann, regards Luther’s emphasis upon man’s domination by forces beyond his control as an authentic reflection of Paul’s own opinions. Man is a beast of burden, always to be ridden. This resolves itself in an emphasis upon cosmology and eschatology: “Paul argues that the cross– resurrection and the return of Jesus at the end of time are great cosmic events. They are the story of Jesus wading into the worst weapon of the devil – death – and emerging victorious, thus assuring the eventual destruction of the cosmic foe and setting men free from their bondage.” J. Kallas, The Satanward View: A Study in Pauline Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) 22. 7 Martyn, Theological Issues, 64. 8 “‘Apocalyptic’, like historical criticism and radical politics, gets sucked into the Protestant universe. ‘Apocalyptic’ is a theological shorthand for virtually every aspect of Käsemann’s self– understanding.” Matlock, Unveiling, 235. A similar, dualistic understanding of apocalyptic in Paul is found in Furnish’s sub–chapter ‘a. The Powers of this Age’: V.P. Furnish, Theology and Ethics of Paul (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1968) 115–118. 5

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nor is it necessarily dualistic.9 The Jewish traditions we have considered in Part Two actually appear to be rather diffuse, and Paul’s interaction with those traditions is not perfectly straightforward. Multiple influences may lie behind Paul’s spirituality and we should be cautious of attempts to offer a unified, total explanation. Furthermore, there is a danger of trying too hard to impose order upon Paul’s angelology and demonology. While conflict between good and evil may be an important theme for Paul (as we shall see later in this study), it is questionable whether this always includes every spirit or power. At times, the spirit world is an ambiguous and chaotic place, without an obvious moral structure. For Paul, angels are not always either ‘good’ or ‘evil’; sometimes an angel is just an angel. This point particularly recalls our discussion of rulers, authorities, and powers (chapter 9). Here we found that the apostle sometimes takes a strong moral and eschatological approach (e.g. 1Cor 15.24), but on other occasions seems not to invest this vocabulary with any obvious degree of good/evil dualism (e.g. Col 1.16). By creating a scheme of cosmic conflict, there is a danger of forcing the text to fit. 12.2.3 Insights of the ‘Apocalyptic’ Perspective Nevertheless, this ‘apocalyptic’ account of Paul still offers some important insights into the workings of the spirit world. While the apostle does not have a disciplined and programmatic procedure of carving up the world into warring forces of good and evil, he arguably does have quite a strong (perhaps, pessimistic) sense of the extent and power of evil. Quite often, and especially when it suits his argument, Paul can be fairly dualistic. From time to time, Satan appears as a somewhat monarchical figure; if the age is evil (Gal 1.4) then he is its god, blinding all the unbelievers (2Cor 4.4). Paul’s attitude towards the demons is also surprisingly stringent, for their table and cup provide a sinister counterpart to the Christian Eucharist (1Cor 10.20–22). Certainly, the apostle does not believe that all is well with the world and it is likely that a fair proportion of the blame is meant to attach to evil spirits. Demonology does therefore have a degree of explanatory power when it comes to unpacking the message of the Pauline epistles – a point which will be developed in Part Three.

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Demonology may actually play a significant role in texts which have no obvious connection with any form of either apocalypticism or dualism. A good example of this would be the book of Tobit, which is a tale of folklore that makes no claims about the world being in conflict.

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12.3 Conclusion to Part Two In the last several chapters we have sought to express some of the variety and complexity of the spirit world, providing an account of many different types of angelic and demonic being. As we have witnessed on a number of occasions, we find that this subject has received little serious attention in NT scholarship. Hopefully, our analysis here has provided an adequate corrective for this deficiency and has shed new light upon the Pauline epistles. All of this contributes to the general argument of this study, that the spirit world is an inherent feature of Paul’s letters. We have challenged the claim of some scholars that Paul banished angels and demons to the margins of his thought, finding that these play a part in various teachings, experiences, and practical instructions. This argument has been advanced by revisiting the ground once covered by Martin Dibelius, setting Paul’s opinions on angelology and demonology within the context of ancient Judaism and Christianity. The outcome of this is that we have found such spirits to be a part of the apostle’s religious culture and have interpreted the Pauline texts in the light of this setting. Our intention now is to extend this type of historical analysis. We have seen that spiritual beings could form part of a person’s understanding of the wider world. They inform a wider set of beliefs and contribute to a sense of self, as well as cosmology. In other words, spirits are connected with many different ideas and different ways of thinking. In Part Three, we shall attempt to develop this point in relation to Paul. We shall argue that the spirit world is integrated into a multiplicity of different concerns. Thus, it has a peculiar kind of significance, intertwined with some important aspects of Paul’s teaching.

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Part Three: The Integration of Spirits in Pauline Themes

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13. Tracing Connections

In any attempt to study the spirit world in Paul’s letters, there is an implied question which lies behind all of the analysis: do spirits really matter? A partial answer to this question has been given in the course of our examination of Pauline angelology and demonology (Part Two). We have responded to the assertion that Paul attempted to eliminate angels and demons from his teaching; there is little evidence to suggest that this was his intention. We have also emphasised the richness and variety of this material, setting it within the context of early Judaism and Christianity. Such points seem to provide an answer of sorts: if we are to understand Paul, then the spirit world does to some extent matter. That is also implied in the general argument of this study, that spirits are inherent features of the epistles. However, a study of angels and demons really does provide only a partial answer to the question of whether spirits matter. Such a response essentially recovers the ground that was once occupied by the old history of religion commentators: Everling, Dibelius, et al. It is a type of analysis largely concerned with explaining what Paul meant by oblique and obscure references to spirits and using those answers to emphasise the interest and variety of the subject matter. To summarise it rather crudely, this is the argument that spirits matter because there are many of them and they do many things. That is a relevant and legitimate point, but it only tells half the story. Here in Part Three, we wish to advance a different type of argument, one which emphasises the integration of the spirit world into important Pauline themes. In other words, we suggest that spiritual powers are significant because of the way in which they fit in with and inform other ideas and beliefs. They have a role in the underlying framework of Paul’s teaching. To illustrate this point, we might call attention to a study of the spirit world in another setting: Stewart Clark’s account of early–modern European demonology, Thinking with Demons. One of the questions facing any modern historian confronted with this subject matter is that of why anyone should believe in demons in the first place. Clark responds by attempting to understand the cogency of such beliefs and the strengths they would have had in their historical context. He finds a method for approaching his topic suggested by the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, who has written that: “To say that a belief is rational is to talk about how it stands in relation to other be-

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liefs.”1 So, according to Clark, we shall only understand demons if we appreciate how they connect with other aspects of a person’s belief system. The meaning lies in the relationship between ideas. That is essentially the progression of the argument which we now wish to make in Part Three. We wish to move on to a more open–ended type of analysis which examines the spirit world in relation to other ideas. So, we shall move on from questions such as ‘what are angels, and what are they doing?’ to the slightly more probing ‘how do angels affect community life?’ or ‘how do they influence Paul’s understanding of Christ?’ It is a matter of seeing spirits as a part of broader themes. This, we might add, picks up a point we made back in Part One. The term ‘spirits’ in early Judaism and Christianity covers a diverse range of phenomena. There are many different types of spirit and many different situations in which they might exert influence. Seen from the perspective of ancient Jews and Christians, there is no separate and discrete sphere of spiritual reality beyond everyday life. Rather, we find that mysterious, unseen, or heavenly powers are assumed to pervade ‘normal’ reality as a whole. We wish to apply this idea in Part Three by refusing to study spiritual beings as a kind of sub–doctrine in the letters. Instead of seeing the spirit world as a singular and minor issue, we should rather see it as an aspect of many issues. That is a suggestion, however, which can only be verified through exegesis. We shall now proceed in Part Three by considering three topic areas, which we shall sub–divide into chapters. These three shall cover key themes of the Pauline epistles (Christology, soteriology, and the community), each illustrating how the spiritual world plays a part in various ideas and issues. All three main areas of investigation will be bracketed by brief introductions and conclusions, to keep the study coherent and remind us of our ongoing analytical aims. This should produce a developing and cumulative sense of the integrated role of spirits in Paul’s letters. Finally, having completed this analysis, we shall review the results of our study as a whole and offer some general conclusions.

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1 Quoted in Clark, S., Thinking with Demons: the Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) viii.

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14. The Spirit World and Christology

Paul’s letters appear not to contain an exhaustive or analytical study of the nature of Christ and in this part of our study we shall not be concerned with a theory of Christology as such.1 As far as Paul is concerned, Christ is regarded as an agent or individual, within a personal frame of reference. Nevertheless, certain ‘metaphysical’ questions do arise in scholarship from time to time: Was Christ purely human? Did he exist before his incarnation, or even before creation?2 Answers may appear to drift out from the letters, although Paul does not address these problems directly. The being and nature of Christ are not controversial issues in their own right; Paul does not self–consciously produce a new ‘Christological monotheism’.3 Indeed, the apostle mostly seems to be concerned with the practical questions of what Christ does for believers and how his presence is experienced. So, throughout the following discussion we shall seek to interpret the figure of Christ in Paul’s letters in terms of his connections with the spirit world. Notably, Paul does say that Christ is a “spirit” (1Cor 15.45), and there a number of linguistic and conceptual links which we may wish to draw. Christ may appear like a spirit, act like a spirit, or be understood as a spiritual force. Such observations should give us a different and distinctive perspective on this familiar Pauline theme.

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1 Although Paul has a clear view of who Christ is, this is not a sustained, theoretical perspective. As a dogmatic term, Christology is “that science whose object is Christ.” O. Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament (NTL; London: SPCK, 1963) 1. In common with most NT studies, in this section we speak of Christology quite loosely with reference to any beliefs and ideas pertaining to Christ. 2 Disputes concerning these issues in contemporary scholarship have largely been stirred–up by the radical and controversial claim of Dunn that there was expressly no doctrine of the incarnation until the gospel of John. For Dunn, Paul did not believe in Christ’s ‘pre–existence’. See J.D.G. Dunn, Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation (London: SCM, 1989). To some extent, Dunn’s opponents have adopted the inverse of his hypothesis: Christ is more ancient even than the world. Naturally, it is also possible that Paul’s views on this matter were not entirely consistent. 3 “Paul recast his perception of God by introducing Jesus as ‘Lord’ and redefining Jewish monotheism to produce a Christological monotheism.” G. O’Collins, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) 137. There is some truth in this statement. Although, to speak of Paul ‘recasting’ monotheism may give the wrong impression; Paul did not deliberately choose to produce a new doctrine of God.

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15. Angels and Christology

15.1 Connecting with Angels In this chapter, we enter controversial territory. As we noted in our History of Research (chapter 3), the suggestion that the earliest faith in Christ may have been indebted to Jewish angelology has again come into prominence in recent scholarship and is now fiercely contested. This debate has focused upon various parts of the NT, including Paul’s letters. Following the lead of earlier scholars, Charles Gieschen has gone so far as to argue that Paul’s Christ is God’s Angel.1 By contrast, James Dunn and (at greater length) Darrell Hannah have taken quite the opposite view: Paul’s understanding of Christ is entirely distinct from angelology.2 Opinions on this matter are fairly entrenched and there is no immediate likelihood of a scholarly consensus emerging. Perhaps the main problem with this debate is that it has focussed upon a question of definition: is Christ an angel? Yet, this is not a concern which Paul himself addresses. Indeed, in Paul’s early Christian setting there is a general paucity of precise dogmatic language with reference to Christ or indeed any other aspect of the faith.3 So, the acceptance or rejection of Christ’s general angelic nature simply is not considered. On these grounds, we shall take a broad–based approach to the problem. Primarily, we shall focus upon the underlying intellectual and cultural links between angelology and Paul’s Christology. We shall avoid the thorny issue of whether Christ is supposed to be an angel, and instead describe the interface between different angelological and Christological beliefs. After all, it is the underlying links with the spirit world which is the focus for this part of our study. ————— 1

Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 315. “In no case can Paul’s language plausibly be taken to presume or presuppose an angel– christology” (his italics removed). Dunn, Christology, 156. “Christ’s superiority to angels was understood by many NT authors as one of kind, and not just of degree.” Hannah, Michael and Christ, 150. See also his review (JTS 2000) of Gieschen’s monograph. Hannah is willing to accept some intellectual links between angelology and Christology, but still regards Christ as clearly and consistently distinct from angels in the NT. 3 As is noted by Werner, Formation of Christian Dogma, 120. However, Werner himself sometimes falls into the trap of dogmatising the NT, speaking of a clear, logical ‘angel–Christology’. 2

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So, we shall now begin by setting out the possible historical context (Jewish beliefs about chief angels) and then consider how this might connect with Paul’s views on Christ. There will be two particular aspects to this: Christ’s functional role (what he does) and his personal attributes (what he is like).

15.2 Chief Angels in Judaism and Christianity 15.2.1 Angelic Functions Beliefs concerning chief angels in ancient Judaism were extremely diverse, and so there is insufficient scope for a complete survey here.4 Nevertheless, we may begin by listing some of their most important functions: they could be the leaders of heavenly armies,5 the guardians of Israel,6 heavenly intercessors,7 heavenly priests,8 and God’s judicial assistants.9 Also, as we suggested earlier (chapter 8), while not being the objects of devotion per se, angels were at times invoked in ritual–magical contexts. They could be a focus for short–term salvation and hope. So, a Jew wishing to understand a —————

4 For this, see chapters 1–6 of Hannah’s Michael and Christ and Part II of Gieschen’s Angelomorphic Christology. 5 See Hannah, Michael and Christ, 38; Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 241. See especially 1QM 13.10: “And the Prince of Light Thou hast appointed from ancient times to come to our support […] all the spirits of truth are under his dominion.” The Prince of Light is commonly equated with Michael: G. Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (London: Penguin, 1998) 85. For Michael as commander–in–chief: 2 En. 22.6 (longer rec.); 3 Bar. 11.4; T. Ab. (rec. A) 1.4; 2.1; etc.; (rec. B) 14.7. In 2 En. 33.10, the longer recension has Michael as commander–in–chief, while the shorter has Enoch. The term here (archistratig) is dependent upon the Greek a¦rxistra¢thgoj, brought into Judaism in Dan 8.11 LXX, possibly referring to Michael from the very beginning. The title is given to Raphael in Gk. Apoc. Ezra 1.4 and to an un–named angel in Jos. Asen. 14.8. 6 See Hannah, Michael and Christ, 33. This may be related to beliefs about ‘national angels’: Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 318; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 9; Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 257. In Dan 12.7 Michael “stands on behalf of your people” (\m( ynb–l( dm(h). See also 10.13; Ep Jer 7; cf. 1 En. 20.5. For the view that the Israel is not given to an angel: Jub. 15.32. 7 See Hannah Michael and Christ, 42. On behalf of Israel: T. Levi 5.5; T. Dan 6.2. For intercession and mediation more generally: Tob 12.15; 1 En. 9.3; 99.3; 104.1. 8 See Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 227 and 229. The Qumran Sabbath Shirot stand out in this respect, where ‘sovereign Princes’ are identified among the angelic priests (4Q403 10ff). Most likely, Jewish beliefs about Melchizedek also included the sense that he was an angelic High Priest, though this is not explicit in 11Q13; see P.J. Kobelski, Melchizedek and Melchiresa (CBQMS 10; Washington: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1981) 54. Perhaps this is hinted at in Philo (Leg. 3.79–82): “For he is a priest, even Reason (lo¢goj) having as his portion Him that is, and all his thoughts of God are high and vast and sublime.” 9 See Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 255. Mostly, one finds angels in the minor court roles of witnesses and keepers of records: Jub. 4.6; L.A.B. 11.12; 1 En. 89.76; 90.14; 2 En. 19.5. A more complete and eschatological judgement is found with Melchizedek (11Q13.9).

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divine or semi–divine figure could conceivably be led to make connections with such ideas and motifs; there is a rich diversity here and a real sense of these beings as active powers. 15.2.2 Monotheism and the Name of the Lord An important development in beliefs about chief angels was the suggestion that an one could bear the Name of the Lord. The most significant text here is Apoc. Ab. 10.1–17, where we meet the angel Yahoel. His name obviously is produced from a compound of the Name of the Lord (Yahweh) and the word ‘God’ (elohim). Yet, in case of any doubt, his bearing of the “ineffable Name” is stated explicitly in 10.8. The impact of this idea on monotheism is much contested. Yahoel could be seen as reaching towards a share in the nature of God. Alternatively, the Name could just be an explanation of “special privileges and capabilities”.10 We should probably favour the former of these two options.11 This angel should be understood in terms of his wider connections in Judaism and Christianity. Particularly notable is the parallel with the later designation of the angel Metatron as “the little Yahweh” in 3 En. 12.5.12 Also, as Rowland suggests, there are major similarities between the physical description of Yahoel here (Apoc. Ab. 11.1ff) and the description of Christ in early Christian literature.13 So, although this is in a most inchoate form, angelology does touch upon the being and nature of God, insofar as an angel bears his Name. 15.2.3 Developments in Second Century Christianity Aspects of Jewish angelology were unquestionably taken up by some early Christians and applied to their Lord. Yet, the earliest evidence for explicit ‘angel–Christology’ is actually found in the second century and beyond, ————— 10

Hurtado, One God, One Lord, 88. Hurtado objects to the idea that Yahoel represents a ‘bifurcation’ of God. Ibid. 85. Yet, there could be an element of this. That is to say, the Name itself represents a part of God’s being, a part of what he actually is. Therefore, the suggestion that his Name is ‘in’ any one individual suggests that his divinity – even to the smallest degree – is spread. 12 Fossum regards Yahoel as a “prototype” for this later development. Fossum, Name of God, 321. This title “the little Yahweh” also emerges in Pistis Sophia 7: Ibid. 301. For the Name of the Lord in gnostic literature more generally: Ibid. 95; 301. Particularly noteworthy are the ideas that the Son “vested himself” with the Name (Gos. Phil. 54.5) and the Valentinian belief that Christ put on the divine Name in the sphere of light (Irenaeus: Haer. 1.21.3). 13 Compare Rev 1.13. See further Rowland, Open Heaven, 101. 11

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rather than in the NT.14 A number of examples may be mentioned. Most significant is Justin, who speaks of Christ as an angel on several occasions. This is his way of explaining how Christ is present in the OT; ‘angel’ acts as a codeword for his appearance (1 Apol. 63; Dial. 56; 58–59; 113; 126). Also notable is Hermas.15 In Herm. Vis. 5 the Shepherd says: “I have been sent by a most venerable angel” (Christ). Similarly in Herm. Mand. 5.1 we read: “all are justified by the most holy angel” (also Christ). This motif further occurs in the Similitude book.16 Finally, we may also note the tantalising report of Tertullian that the Ebionites believed that Jesus had an angel within him (Carn. Chr. 14.5). Here, then, we do find the categorical statement that Christ is an angel, clearly developing in contact with more general Jewish beliefs. However, we should recognise that each discourse has its own context. Justin, for instance, addresses a particular type of problem (is Christ in the OT?) which does not apparently trouble Paul.17 So, we cannot transplant a definition of Christ from one author to another. Nevertheless, this evidence shows that the basic process of connecting Christ with angels eventually developed into a very clear equation in some circles.

15.3 Angelology and the Functions of Christ in Paul’s Letters To a greater or lesser extent, Jewish angelology made some contribution to early Christian beliefs about Christ. However, it remains to be seen whether this issue affects Paul directly and so we must turn to the letters to consider whether angels are relevant to his Christology. Our first concern will now be with the issue of what Christ does.18 Does he act in a manner similar to —————

14 This being the focus for the study of J. Barbel, Christos Angelos: die Anschauung von Christus als Bote und Engel in der gelehrten und volkstümlichen Literatur des christlichen Altertums (Theophaneia 3; Bonn: Hanstein, 1941). 15 Daniélou regards this as exemplifying a typically ‘Jewish Christian’ angel–Christology. His definition of Jewish Christianity, though, is notoriously nebulous. J. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity (The Development of Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicaea vol. 1; London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1964) 119–120. 16 Herm. Sim. 5.4; 7.1. Also as the ‘angel of the Lord’: 7.1; 8.2. This last text contains fascinating parallels with the book of Revelation, which are drawn out by Daniélou: Ibid. 121. 17 Although, Justin’s main exegetical move (promoting a second figure in the OT) may have some parallels with Paul: ku¢rioj operates both as a divine title of Christ and as a key for interpreting scripture. To a certain extent, Justin indulges in what may be called the ‘two powers’ heresy. Angelology provides the means by which Christ or the demiurge can enter into scripture, an approach which rabbinic writers later found objectionable. 18 In Cullmann’s view, this is the most important aspect of NT Christology: “When it is asked in the New Testament ‘Who is Christ?’ the question never means exclusively, or even primarily, ‘What is his nature?’, but first of all, ‘What is his function?’” Cullmann, Christology, 3–4.

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chief angels? We have to consider whether there may be some underlying influence or link in traditions. 15.3.1 Commander of the Angels Here we may refer back to our earlier discussion of angels (chapter 8). In the Pauline epistles, we find a future scenario in which the Lord will come “with all his holy ones” (1Thess 3.13): a reference to angelic, rather than human beings.19 In the later and more elaborate 2Thess 1.7–8, this clearly is a military command; the Lord Jesus descends “with the angels of his power (met¡ a¦gge¢lwn duna¢mewj au¦tou), in flaming fire.” This opens out the comparison between Christ and angels, for in T. Ab. 9.3 we specifically find the office of angelic commander–in–chief (a¦rxistra¢thgoj) as a command over the angelic powers above.20 In a non–angelic context this phrase is used of Joshua as “commander–in–chief of the power of the Lord” (a¦rxistra¢thgoj duna¢mewj Kuri¢ou: Josh 5.14 LXX). These parallels thus suggest that du¢namij in 2Thess 1.7 may be intended in a technical sense: the Lord comes with “the angels of his army.”21 Paul’s eschatology is further expanded in 1Thess 4.16, where the Lord returns “with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the trumpet of God.” Almost certainly, this language is intended to have a recognisable military connotation.22 The most natural reading is to take Christ as the implied subject, giving the cry of command,23 and so the archangel —————

19 See our previous argument. Note also that this interpretation is generally favoured among the commentators: E. Best, A Commentary on the First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1972) 152; Wanamaker, Epistles to the Thessalonians, 145; E.J. Richard, First and Second Thessalonians (SP 11; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press) 177. 20 “I beg you, Commander–in–chief of the powers above (De¢omai¢ sou, a¦rxistra¢the tw¤n aÃnw duna¢mewn) […] to serve me (by delivering) a communication yet once more to the Most High.” 21 BAGD duna¢mij 207: “5. of the externals of power: resources […] Esp. of military forces, even of the heavenly bodies thought of as armies.” 22 “While each of the prepositional phrases could point to military, apocalyptic possibilities […] they do not in this context require such – only in 5.8 does Paul have recourse to explicit military imagery.” Richard, First and Second Thessalonians, 227. This is not so; ke¢leusma is used frequently in military contexts. Its only other biblical use is for a military command (Prov 30.27 LXX). Further, the best known use of trumpets in antiquity was for the giving of orders in war. This is how Paul himself understands them in 1Cor 14.8: “if the trumpet gives an unclear sound, who will get ready for battle?” In Jewish angelic tradition, the trumpet summons the heavenly host (Greek L.A.E. 22.102). A most curious form of this idea is found in Pseudo–Philo, where God diverts the stars and attacks Israel’s enemies. Deborah sings: “And this will be as a testimony of trumpets between the stars and their Lord” (L.A.B. 32.17–18). Most likely, then, these are “three military sounds”: A.J. Malherbe, The Letters to the Thessalonians (AB 32b; New York: Doubleday, 2000) 274. 23 So Malherbe. Ibid. 274.

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and trumpet are supporting the orders he gives. Fitting with what is implied in 1Thess 3.13 and 2Thess 1.7–8, Christ is understood as the commander of an angelic army. This function is in all probability ultimately taken over from Jewish angelology. 15.3.2 Heavenly Intercessor In Rom 8.34 we find it is Christ Jesus, sat at the right hand of God, “who intercedes (e¦ntugxa¢nei) for us”. What exactly is this heavenly intercession? We might look to Heb 7.25, where Christ intercedes as High Priest. The connection with Hebrews is emphasised by Martin Hengel, who regards Rom 8.34 as an echo of priestly functions.24 He dismisses the alternative view that Christ acts as defence counsel in a forensic setting.25 However, there is some evidence to suggest that this might be what Paul has in mind. The legal proceedings of the heavenly court are evoked: “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? […] Who is to condemn?” (8.33–4). As Fitzmyer observes, e¦gkale¢sei (8.33) “is a forensic term”.26 We may allow for a degree of cross–over between these possibilities, for the theme of sacrifice in 8.32 suggests that priesthood may be in the background.27 However, the strongest aspect of intercession here is Christ’s protection of the elect from condemnation. This role of Christ connects with Jewish angelology.28 With Christ interceding on behalf of those suffering violence (8.35–36), we may think of those angels who intercede for the protection of Israel. The most obvious parallel is T. Levi 5.6, where we encounter “the angel who intercedes (paraitou¢menon) for the race of Israel […] for every evil spirit attacks it.”29 The link between intercession and the protection from spirits perhaps matches up with Paul’s assurances regarding angels, rulers, and powers in 8.38. However, possibly of greater interest is the explicitly Christological deployment of the tradition in T. Dan 6.2: ————— 24

M. Hengel, Studies in Early Christology (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1995) 152. “The counsel stood not at the right hand of the judge, but rather at the right side of the accused in front of the judge.” Ibid. 139. This argument is slightly disingenuous, however, given that priests too do not sit at anybody’s right hand. 26 Fitzmyer, Romans, 532. 27 The juxtaposition of sacrifice and intercession is emphasised by Dunn, Romans, 1.511. However, Dunn does not attempt to limit Christ’s intercession to a priestly function. 28 This is acknowledged among certain commentators, including Dunn, who is sceptical of the influence of angelology on Christology: Ibid. 504. See also Byrne, Romans, 270. 29 Here and in the following we use the text in de Jonge, rather than Charlesworth’s OTP: M. de Jonge, (et al.) The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: a Critical Edition of the Greek Text (PVTG 1.2; Leiden: Brill, 1978). 25

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Draw near to God and the angel who intercedes (paraitou¢men%) for you; because he is mediator between God and men for the peace of Israel and he will withstand the kingdom of the enemy.

This text reflects the Christian or Jewish–Christian compilation of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. As Hollander and de Jonge suggest, “At the background we may suppose a primitive Christian angel–Christology.”30 Another parallel worth noting is with the Johannine Paraclete. This holds a forensic function (the very word para¢klhtoj can mean ‘advocate’);31 it will ‘prove wrong’ or ‘convict’ the world that is so hostile to believers (John 16.7). In the gospel, the Paraclete is a figure other than Christ (14.16), but this still is relevant to and resembles what Paul is saying. Both Christ and the Spirit intercede on behalf of a tight–knit and embattled community (Rom 8.26, 34). Notably, however, in 1John 2.1 Christ actually is the Paraclete.32 Here too, angelology helps us to reconstruct the developing Christian beliefs. Though its origins are unclear, it is likely that the Christian para¢klhtoj derived from the Hebrew jlm, a word applied to angels in the DSS.33 Such terms became “virtual titles”34 for interceding angels, applicable to a courtroom and a teaching context. The idea of heavenly intercession, then, implies some influence on Christ’s functions from the wider sphere of Jewish angelology. 15.3.3 Judicial Assistant Paul regards Christ as either judge or as instrumental in God’s judgement (Rom 2.16; 1Cor 4.4–5; 1Cor 11.32; 2Cor 5.10). This variability reflects some interchange between God and Christ (e.g. compare Rom 14.10 with 2Cor 5.10).35 Christ’s role in judgement, then, is at least partly derived from his relationship with God. ————— 30

Hollander/de Jonge, T12P: A Commentary, 291. BAGD para¢klhtoj 623. It has the technical meaning ‘lawyer’, though this is not common. “In the few places where the word is found in pre–Christian and extra–Christian lit. it has for the most part a more general mng.: one who appears in another’s behalf, mediator, intercessor, helper.” 32 “My children, I write these things to you that you may not sin. But even if someone does sin, we have an advocate (para¢klhton eÃxomen) before the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” 33 As suggested by Johnston, following the earlier work of Otto Betz. Johnston regards 1QH 14.13–14 (then known as 6.13–14) as decisive evidence. G. Johnston, The Spirit–Paraclete in the Gospel of John (SNTSMS 12; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970) 101. 34 Ibid. 101. 35 “We will all stand before the judgement seat of God” (Rom 14.10). “We all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ” (2Cor 5.10). The same word (bh¤ma) is used in both texts. This interchange is noted by Matera, II Corinthians, 125. As Thrall suggests, “Paul can represent Christ 31

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Nevertheless, where Christ deputises for or executes the will of God, a connection with angelology is possible.36 Most notable is Rom 2.16, where God judges the secret thoughts of all “through Christ Jesus” (dia£ Xristou¤ I©hsou¤). This may have some connection with other (i.e. not overtly angelic) NT ‘heavenly being’ Christologies, such as the judgement of the Son of Man in Matt 25.31ff. A likely impetus for this development is found in the exalted levels of Jewish Messianism, which at times uses language and imagery akin to that of angelology. One may think of the judgement meted out by the heavenly Melchizedek in 11Q13 or, as Dunn suggests,37 the closest parallel may lie in the Similitudes of 1Enoch: the Elect One “shall judge the secret things” (49.4) by the Name of the Lord of Spirits (61.9) and will sit in glory to give judgement (45.2–6).38 This too may imply some cultural link between the belief in chief angels or other exalted figures and the development of Christological functions.

15.4 Angelology and the Attributes of Christ in Paul’s Letters Having considered what Christ does, our next concern is with what Paul thought that Christ was like: to what extent might Christ bear the image or attributes of an angel? The chief difficulty here lies in Paul’s rather terse language; he never describes Christ’s nature or appearance at any great length. Nevertheless, there are certain points in the letters which may shed some light on this matter, in terms of Christ reflecting the glory of God and bearing the Name of the Lord. Before we turn to that, though, we must first consider a controversial and ambiguous text which some have connected with a type of explicit angel–Christology.

————— as ‘independently’ performing one of God’s own functions.” Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 1.394. 36 Judgement was important for later angel Christologies as, for instance, in Hermas. This is expressed through the image of the branches of a tree (Herm. Sim. 8.1–2). The glorious angel “distinguishes between the just and sinners”: Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 120. 37 Dunn, Romans, 1.103. 38 The identity of the ‘Elect One’ or ‘Son of Man’ in the Similitudes is a notorious problem. This may represent a glorification and angelification of Enoch himself, if we understand 71.14 as implying this identification: “you are the Son of Man”. In his study of Enoch traditions, Jansen concluded that this is a transformation of Enoch and suggested that this process be compared with the exaltation of Elijah. H.L. Jansen, Die Henochgestalt: eine vergleichende religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (Oslo: J. Dybwad, 1939) 125–126. This passage has been much debated since then, though Jansen’s conclusion has been upheld in recent times by Vanderkam, Enoch, 141 and Orlov, Enoch–Metatron, 81.

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15.4.1 Christ as an Angel? (Galatians 4.14) The Galatians welcomed Paul “as an angel39 of God, as Christ Jesus”. Here, Christological and angelic language are brought together, but it is not immediately clear what the connection is. According to Gieschen, this is “an overt reference to Jesus as God’s Angel.”40 A few different pieces of evidence might support this claim. Firstly, a literal reading of Paul’s language could make sense within early Christian history; according to Acts 14.12, the people of (southern) Galatia reckoned Paul to be a divine being.41 The Christ–angel connection here may illustrate this. Secondly, by juxtaposing this welcome with the fear of demon possession (e¦ceptu¢sate), Paul hints that a holy presence is within him. Again, this may suggest literal equivalence (Christ, the Angel, was really there).42 Finally, Gieschen emphasises, Paul does not phrase this hypothetically (‘as though I were’: w¥j aÃn) but uses the simple comparative w¥j.43 Non–literal language was available, but Paul eschewed it. However, while this is an interesting claim, there may be flaws in Gieschen’s argument. We need not assume that the dual comparison suggests that the two points are directly equivalent (i.e. Christ = angel), especially since they are separated by the verb. Moreover, the most natural reading of aÃggelon qeou¤ is to take it as general/indefinite (‘an angel’) and not as the Angel of the Lord. Gieschen’s translation “God’s Angel” is syntactically misleading; God is not given an emphatic possessive position (i.e. before the object ) in the text. Therefore, Christ is not deliberately and explicitly made equivalent to an angel. What, then, is Paul saying? ————— 39

aÃggelon allows the translations ‘angel’ or, in non–spiritual terms, ‘messenger’. Paul should probably be regarded as intending ‘angel’ here, though the matter is uncertain. The grounds for this reading are: (a) it is the meaning of the noun in its other two uses in Galatians: 1.8; 3.19, (b) previously in the letter (1.8) Paul also allows that an angel may be used in an implied comparison with himself, and finally (c) the comparison in 4.14 is with Christ – a glorious figure fittingly compared with angels. 40 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 315. 41 In Lystra, “they called Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes”. Gieschen regards this as important evidence: ibid. 318. The old argument of Emmet here is quite interesting: “On the South Galatian theory the words refer to the incident recorded in Acts 14.11, when the Galatian populace in their warm enthusiasm welcome St. Paul as Hermes, the messenger or angel (in Greek the words are the same) of the gods.” C.W. Emmet, St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (Reader’s Commentary; London: Robert Scott Roxburghe House, 1912) 46. 42 “The Galatians welcomed him as Christ–possessed […] as God’s Angel.” Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 320. 43 Ibid. 323. Here Gieschen makes a good point, since most commentators do (wrongly) supply the hypothetical element: R.N. Longenecker, Galatians (WBC 41; Dallas: Word Books, 1990) 192; Betz, Galatians, 226; Matera, Galatians, 160; etc.

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Almost certainly, Paul does not wish to put forward the opposite of Gieschen’s thesis either, that Christ is not an angel, nor like an angel.44 In fact, Paul is speaking of himself, and seems not to be concerned with saying anything very definite about the nature of Christ. Still, in these verses we find that Christ and angels are strung together in a kind of loose comparison, a comparison which is assumed to be legitimate. Paul was first welcomed in Galatia with all the honours of a glorious heavenly being, and both the image of Christ and the image of angels illustrate this. The stricter question ‘is Christ an angel?’ is off the agenda, but there is a mental association, an assumed interconnection. 15.4.2 Christ as the Glory of God There is more material here than we may cover in this short space, and so we refer to Carey Newman’s study Paul’s Glory Christology. As Newman notes, ‘glory’ (do¢ca) is a key word for Paul, occurring many times in his letters,45 and is often applied to Christ.46 Bearing visual connotations, ‘glory’ expresses the appearance and experience of Christophany.47 Christ is the glory of God. The most important point is the angelophanic connotations of the glory of God. Going back to the book of Ezekiel, we find a human figure with a luminous visage manifesting “the appearance of the form of the glory of the Lord.” (1.28). While the intended meaning of this passage is disputed,48 its influence (along with Dan 7.9–14) upon later angelic manifestations of the glory of God can scarcely be denied. For example, the glory of God is like “the bow in a cloud on a rainy day” (Ezek 1.28), which may be compared with Yahoel’s appearance as a rainbow in Apoc. Ab. 11.3 and a similar ————— 44

Contra Hannah, who suggests that Christ is antithetical to the angels in Galatians, chiefly on the basis of 3.19. Hannah, Michael and Christ, 155–156. This is to assume that angels are meant to operate as (negative) counterparts to Christ throughout the letter. However, whatever the angel is in 4.14, it actually seems to be something rather positive. 45 Newman counts 96 instances, but it depends upon which letters are viewed as authentic: C.C. Newman, Paul’s Glory Christology: Tradition and Rhetoric (NovTSup 69; Leiden: Brill, 1992) 3. 46 1Cor 2.8; 2Cor 3.18; 4.4, 6; 8.19, 23; Phil 3.21; 4.19; cf. 2Thess 2.14. 47 Newman develops the arguments of Kim and Segal as regards Paul’s personal experience of heaven: “In his throne vision, his Christophany, Paul encountered the special agent, Jesus, who is to be equated with the Glory of God.” Ibid. 211. For Newman, this connects Paul’s Christology with ancient Jewish angelology and messianism. 48 According to Rowland, this passage (along with Ezek 8.2–4) represents a shift towards the idea of a divine figure splitting from the throne of God to be an independent quasi–angelic manifestation of the glory: Rowland, Open Heaven, 94. His views are criticised by Hurtado, One God, One Lord, 87.

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Christian angelophany in Rev 10.1. The appearance of the glory is manifest in heavenly beings.49 So, although the visual aspect in Paul’s letters can be slight, we here find that one of Christ’s key attributes – the manifestation of the glory of God – is connected with significant and developing ideas within Jewish angelology. Notably, Newman offers a most interesting conclusion on this very point: The angelic figures of the Jewish apocalypses, so often defined by Glory, are God’s chief agents who execute his mysterious will and plan. Paul parlays this tradition when he speaks of Jesus as the “Lord of Glory”: the powers of evil and the wisdom dependent upon such powers were ignorant of the true (previously hidden) plan of God.50

15.4.3 Christ and the Name of the Lord For many ancient Jews, a name could bear its own reality or power. However, Paul’s understanding of the name Christ is not straightforward. At times, he regards the truest name to be ‘Jesus’ and, indeed, this name is very powerful (e.g. 1Cor 5.4; 6.11). However, on other occasions, Christ possesses the special Name of God (Phil 2.9; Rom 10.13). This suggests a possible duality in Paul’s presentation, with ‘Jesus’ being the earthly name of Christ and the Name of the Lord (hwhy) being a revealed mystery, perhaps a heavenly identity.51 So, in the hymn in Philippians, we find that Christ’s death leads immediately to his exaltation, receiving “the Name which is above every name” (2.9). Christ is installed in heaven, in glory. As Fossum writes of this verse: “There cannot be any doubt that “the Name above every name” is God’s own Name, that is, the nature of the divine.”52 The one who was in the ————— 49

Angels may even be referred to purely as ‘glory’: Apoc. Ab. 19.4; 2Pet 2.10; Jude 8. Newman, Glory Christology, 244. Newman suggests that ‘the Lord of Glory’ in 1 En. 63.2 may refer to a chief angelic figure. 51 Schemes of dual names are known in other ancient contexts. In magical writings, one finds that a god or spirit possesses a common name for general purposes and a secret heavenly name which may be a source of great power. The power of the magician rests upon the ability to gain knowledge of the higher names. See L.J. Ciraolo, ‘Supernatural Assistants in the Greek Magical Papyri’, in M. Meyer/P. Mirecki (ed.) Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (Religions in the Greco– Roman World 129; Leiden: Brill, 1995) 279–298, on page 281. The idea that the Name of the Jewish God is itself a word of power is found throughout the magical papyri (especially in the form ‘IAO’), and this may reflect the basic idea that this is his secret name. On these borrowings from Judaism: M. Smith, ‘The Jewish Elements in the Magical Papyri’, in M. Smith, Studies in the Cult of Yahweh (2 vol.; Religions in the Greco–Roman World 130; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 2.242– 256. 52 Fossum, Name of God, 296. 50

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form of God is brought back to heaven to receive the highest status of all; he is “the mediator between God and man”.53 We could compare this image with the heavenly Melchizedek, who is a ‘god’ {yhwl)in 11Q13.10, 24, 26. All creation is obliged to submit to him. However, the most intriguing parallel is found in later literature, with the installation of a human in heaven, who becomes an angel and gains the Name of the Lord: I (Rabbi Ishmael) said to Metatron, “Why are you called by the name of your Creator with seventy names? You are greater than all the princes, more exalted than all the angels (etc.) […]” (and) he answered, “Because I am Enoch, the son of Jared […] the Holy One, blessed be he, appointed me in the height as a prince and a ruler among the ministering angels. (3En 4.1–2, 5).

Key aspects from the hymn in Philippians are found in this text: (a) someone in human form is exalted to heaven, (b) he receives the Name of the Lord, and (c) he is superior to all the angelic princes.54 The narrative as it stands may be dated to late antiquity,55 but aspects of it are rooted in earlier times. As we saw earlier, in Apoc. Ab. 10.3, 8 the angel Yahoel bears the Name of the Lord. In fact, ‘Yahoel’ is itself one of God’s names (17.13). Perhaps, as with Metatron, this suggests an exalted status among the angels. The most obvious and striking parallel here, however, is that Yahoel descends to earth “in the likeness of a man” (10.4; cf. Phil 2.7). Finally, we note that the Name of the Lord gains Christ a foothold in the OT. In citations, Paul persistently identifies Christ with God. This link is often assumed to be an accident of language; the LXX translation of hwhy as ku¢rioj coincided with the acclamation of Christ as ku¢rioj.56 This may be part of the explanation. However, on one occasion Paul understands Christ to be ‘Lord’ specifically because he is called by God’s own Name. In Rom 10.13 he reassures his readers by quoting Joel 3.5 LXX (exactly): “whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” The appropriation of God’s Name in a prayer to Christ represents a significant departure from common Jewish practice.57 As such, it is highly illuminating of Paul’s ————— 53

Ibid. 295. There is “a significant similarity” between Christ and Metatron: Hannah, Michael and Christ, 144. 55 Although a very late dating has been suggested by some (e.g. J.T. Milik), the late antique (5th–6th century) dating of 3Enoch is rarely contested. For an overview of this problem, see Alexander’s introduction in OTP 1.225–229. Naturally, one cannot claim that 3Enoch is simply a repository for first century traditions, but comparison with the work is still relevant, especially since there are so many parallels between this work and earlier literature. 56 Following Bousset’s view that Christ was hailed as ku¢rioj before he was read back into the LXX. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 146–147. 57 “The fact that Paul can think of prayer to the exalted Christ without the least repugnance is, in the light of the first and second commandments of the Decalogue, the decisive clarification of 54

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views.58 Paul appears to separate the Name of the Lord from God himself and grants it to another heavenly being (Christ). This is, to draw an analogy, not entirely dissimilar from the later approaches of Justin and the ‘two powers’ heretics.

15.5 Paul, Angels, and Christology: Links in Tradition and Culture How are we to understand the relationship between angelology and Christology in Paul’s letters? One level of analysis would be dogmatic, considering the definition of the nature of Christ and whether he is an angel. In the surviving epistles, there is no obvious or unambiguous equation of Christ with angels along these lines. Indeed, Paul seems not to attempt any clarification of the relationship between angels and Christology; the matter simply does not arise. It follows that Paul cannot be said to have upheld an angel–Christology. It is also questionable whether Paul had an ‘angelomorphic’ Christology either, expressing the view that Christ has the form or appearance of an angel.59 There are fleeting hints at such a possibility in the Pauline epistles: Christ is the ‘Glory’ and appears in heaven. However, as we have already pointed out, the letters as they stand actually give little attention to the description of Christ’s outward appearance. There is nothing similar to a classic angelomorphic text such as Rev 1.12–20, for instance, in which the physical form of the Son of Man is described in detail. Therefore, rather than being explicitly and overtly angelic, the Christology of the Pauline epistles seems to be much more angel–inspired. It is perhaps best if we see this relationship in terms of links in tradition and culture. Ideas which we would usually associate with the spirit world are interwoven with the developing faith in Christ. Angels play an important role in supporting and informing what Paul is doing. The apostle describes Christ as the commander of heavenly forces, as an intercessor, as bearing the Name of the Lord, etc. He draws upon a fruitful and legitimate source of ideas, relating the spirit world to the object of his devotion. ————— the significance which he attached to the title ku¢rioj as applied to Christ (e.g. in this verse and in v. 9).” Cranfield, Romans, 2.532. 58 Dunn suggests that Paul writes here not of Christology, but of salvation history. This shores up his argument that Paul’s Christ is not pre–existent. Dunn, Romans, 2.617. However, this may be too fine a distinction; it is more straightforward to suppose that Christ is meant to be found within the OT. 59 This being the term favoured by Gieschen, although at times he seems to be less concerned with the external, ‘–morphic’ element and instead engages with angel–Christology.

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16. Possession and the Spirit of Christ

16.1 Paul as Possessed? Having investigated the cultural links between angelology and Paul’s Christology, we now move on to consider a different type of connection. We shall consider to what extent Paul’s letters suggest that the believer’s relationship with Christ could be characterised by an intimate spiritual presence within. This addresses the possibility that Christology may have been shaped in part through wider patterns of belief concerning the influence of spirits within human life. Such ideas have been explored before in scholarship. Hans Windisch once hinted at this type of connection: Christ is present within Paul, “Er und der Christus sind eins.”1 Windisch suggests a special unity, referring this to a number of possible historical contexts.2 More recently, John Ashton has specifically asserted that Paul was possessed by Christ, drawing upon an analogy with shamanism.3 Ashton’s views have been further developed in a doctoral dissertation by Christine Joynes, The Return of Elijah. Joynes is interested in sequential relationships in the Bible – how one figure succeeds from and re–embodies the presence of another – and includes Paul and Christ within her scope. Accepting Ashton’s model of possession, she argues that Paul “clearly refers to himself as embodying another person, Christ.”4 Furthermore, approaching the topic from a slightly different angle of research, James Davila has proposed that Paul acts as a type of medium, prophetically “channelling” the spirit of Christ.5 ————— 1

H. Windisch, Paulus und Christus: ein biblisch–religionsgeschichtlicher Vergleich (UNT 24; Leipzig: Wilhelm Hoppe, 1934) 233. He also describes Paul as “der Christusmensch”: Ibid. 229. 2 Including the fascinating suggestion that: “(Paulus ist) ein „zweiter“ Christus oder (wie Metatron–Henoch im 3. Henochbuch, der Offenbarung des R. Ismael, ‘kleiner Jahwe’ genannt wird) ein „kleiner Christus“.” Ibid. 252. 3 “The name Paul gives to the spirit that has now taken hold of him is Xristo¢j: the Anointed One.” Ashton, Religion of Paul, 233. Note, however, that anthropologists disagree as to whether shamans should strictly be described as ‘possessed’. E.g. Eliade denies that this is the case: M. Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (London: Arcana [Penguin], 1989) 6. 4 C.E. Joynes, The Return of Elijah: An Exploration of the Character and Context of the Relationship between Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus in the Gospels (Doctoral Dissertation; Oxford: Faculty of Theology, 1998) 202. 5 J.R. Davila, ‘“Scripture” as Prophetically Revealed Writings’, (unpublished research paper, 2006).

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Thus far, the idea of Paul or his followers being ‘possessed’ by Christ or embodying his spirit has failed to register on the radar of mainstream NT scholarship. In part, this may be due to the failure to pin–down the historical context within Judaism for this type of interpretation, or to give an adequate account of what the term ‘possession’ might signify in NT exegesis. So, we shall begin by attempting to address this deficiency. Sketching out the evidence for benevolent forms of possession within Judaism, we shall draw on this material in the interpretation of the Pauline letters. Hopefully, this will shed further light upon the connection between Paul’s Christology and the spirit world.

16.2 Benevolent Possession and Spiritual Embodiment in Judaism Firstly, we should try to avoid the negative connotations usually thrown up by talk of ‘possession’ in biblical studies, assuming this to be a discourse about demons or mental ill–health. What we are talking about here is value– neutral; the moral status of one filled by a spirit depends upon the spirit within. This point is fairly clear in the accusation that Jesus “has Beelzebul” in Mark 3.22. Jesus is not concerned by the accusation that he has a spirit, but is rather angered that the spirit which he does in fact have – ‘holy spirit’ – is being slandered (3.29). The Spirit often manifests itself as a presence; it descends into Jesus (1.10: katabai¤non ei¦j au¦to¢n),6 and throws him into the wilderness (1.12: to£ pneu¤ma au¦to£n e¦kba¢llei ei¦j th£n eÃrhmon). Having a good spirit, at least, is supposed to be a positive thing. 16.2.1 The Spirit of God This mention of the Spirit again calls our attention to the data highlighted in John Levison’s The Spirit in First Century Judaism.7 Levison describes the interpretation of the Balaam narrative from Numbers 22–24 in Philo and Josephus.8 Both describe Balaam as losing mental control and according to Philo, [Balaam] straightway became possessed (eÃnqouj au¦ti¢ka gi¢netai), and there fell upon him the truly prophetic spirit which banished utterly from his soul his art of wizardry. (Mos. 1.277).

————— 6 7

ei¦j is the lectio difficilior, witnessed by B and D, and forms the NA text. MS ) reads e¦p’.

See especially chapter 2: ‘The Spirit as an Invading Angel’. Levison, Spirit, 27–55. We discussed Levison’s work earlier in this study (chapter 2). 8 Ibid. 30–31.

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In this narrative, the individual is taken over, given authoritative and inspired speech, and is transformed by the experience. Notably, both Philo (Mos. 1.274) and Josephus (Ant. 4.108) equate the Spirit with the Angel of the Lord. Even the unwilling, such as Balaam, could potentially be overcome by a divine power. This projection of good spirits into the lives of biblical figures was, as Levison demonstrates, well known in ancient Judaism. It is also powerfully exemplified in the writings of Pseudo–Philo; Joshua is made the spiritual successor of Moses, and is instructed as follows: Take his garments of wisdom and clothe yourself, and with his belt of knowledge gird your loins, and you will be changed and become another man […] And when he clothed himself with it, his mind was afire and his spirit was moved. (L.A.B. 20.2–3).

The connection between internal spiritual change and external transformation is also maintained in the account of Kenaz’s military exploits (cf. Judges 3.9, 11). Kenaz is clothed in the spirit of the Lord, in the spirit of power, and is changed into another man (27.9–10). His life and mind is dominated by a positive and powerful spiritual element. Similar ideas also occur in the real Philo. In Virt. 217, Abraham is possessed and gains physical beauty and eloquence.9 Elsewhere, possession has an ecstatic element. We read that Moses spoke oracles “in his own person, when possessed by God and carried away out of himself” (Mos. 2.188: e¦piqeia¢santoj kai£ e¦c au¦tou katasxeqe¢ntoj). Philo balances sustained mental control (“in his own person”) with an invasive sense of the divine. Possession in this setting does not necessarily eliminate somebody’s own personality. 16.2.2 Magic and Ritual Quite different from spontaneous divine invasions are magical–ritual methods for acquiring spirits. Morton Smith argues for an important parallel here, suggesting that by calling upon the spirit of an executed criminal, early Christians seemingly aligned themselves with necromancy.10 While —————

9 “Thus whenever he was possessed (katasxeqei¢h), everything in him changed to something better, eyes, complexion, stature, carriage, movements, voice. For the divine spirit which was breathed upon him from on high made its lodging in his soul, and invested his body with singular beauty, his voice with persuasiveness, and his hearers with understanding.” 10 A form of magic “by which the recalled spirits (not resurrected bodies) of executed criminals and of persons who had died unmarried or childless were invoked to aid the magician.” Smith notes that: “Jesus belonged to all of these categories.” M. Smith, ‘Pauline Worship as Seen by Pagans’, in M. Smith, Studies in the Cult of Yahweh (2 vol.; Religions in the Greco–Roman World

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this may indeed have formed part of early negative perceptions of Christianity, the comparison is in certain respects superficial. There is no description of equivalent rituals in the Pauline texts. However, one should not ignore the magical evidence altogether.11 Smith, for reasons of his own, chose the most disreputable texts he could find to compare with early Christianity. Yet, by contrast, other texts (often with Judeo–Christian connections) are not at all concerned with the underworld but instead focus on heavenly assistance or revelation. It is notable that in certain of these the summoning of a spirit transforms the ritual’s performer. For example, in the Judeo–Egyptian Stele of Jeu the hieroglyphist (=PGM 5.96–172) the caster gains a spiritual alter ego and thus claims to be “Moses your prophet” (5.109).12 Perhaps, to borrow the language of Pseudo–Philo, the performer of this ritual also ‘becomes another person’. 16.2.3 The Spirit of Elijah Finally, there is the spirit of Elijah. In her study, Joynes traces Elijah traditions in ancient Judaism, emphasising the importance of the book of Malachi13 and the (especially rabbinic) tradition of equating Phinehas with Elijah.14 Ultimately, she concludes that Elijah was not regarded simply as “an ancient historical figure” but was someone who “would return from heaven and could be identified with someone.”15 Such a strong spiritual presence is presupposed by the gospels, where John the Baptist comes “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1.17) and where Jesus is said by some ————— 130; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 2.95–102, on page 97. Examples include PGM 4.333; 1391; 1871; 2730; 5.330; 58. 11 Indeed, it is questionable whether we may neatly distinguish between such ‘magical’ practices and religion in general. Lesses argues that the ritual–magical traditions of early Jewish mysticism reflect the “common belief of Late Antiquity that human action can influence the gods or the angels to fulfil human needs.” Lesses, Ritual Practices, 379. Arguably, we should see ritual texts as connected to general ancient religious culture, and not just as narrow or decadent off– shoots. 12 “In many of these rites the magician, to control an inferior spirit, declares, especially at the climax of a spell, that he “is” a greater one: Iao, or the headless daimon, or Moses, or some other supernatural entity (PGM 5.11–, 145, 147; et passim) […] They show us alteration of personality – deliberate, probably auto–hypnotic, alteration – at its most transient, almost like that of the actor “possessed” by his part, or the conductor by his score, but they are first steps towards the more enduring, but still partial, possession of the sort claimed by Paul.” M. Smith, ‘Salvation in the Gospels, Paul, and the Magical Papyri’, in M. Smith, Studies in the Cult of Yahweh (2 vol.; Religions in the Greco–Roman World 130; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 2.130–139, on page 135. 13 Joynes, Return of Elijah, 123. Mal 3.1 (“I am sending my messenger/angel to prepare the way”) came to be applied to Elijah. 14 Ibid. 130. And in later medieval texts: 135. 15 Ibid. 159.

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actually to be Elijah (Mark 6.15). These comments, Joynes suggests, should not be mistaken for metaphors. Elijah is genuinely supposed to be present; his spirit is within another human being. It is this tradition which later prompts Origen to assert that John the Baptist was “an angel who assumed a body” (Comm. Jo. 2.25). Origen appeals to the Jewish apocryphon The Prayer of Joseph as evidence of such phenomena. Here, we read that the patriarch Jacob was the incarnation of the angel Israel (A.7–8). We may perhaps compare this with the Genesis Rabbah, where Jacob’s features are engraved on high (68.12). The sense is, then, that something heavenly – quite possibly but not necessarily an angel – could manifest itself within a human and become a part of that person’s identity.

16.3 Defining ‘Possession’ At the most basic level, John Ashton and Christine Joynes speak of Paul as ‘possessed’ because Christ is in him. Ashton further hints that this involves some form of compulsion; Christ has “taken hold” of Paul.16 This element of control is picked out in popular usage and in dictionary definitions.17 Perhaps, therefore, if we are just concerned with spiritual presence in a loose sense, then we should avoid speaking of ‘possession’. However, looking at the evidence gathered above, we find a range of phenomena which go beyond this. At times, we find a loss of mental control or, more mildly, the individual is ‘carried away’. We also encounter physical symptoms such as verbal eloquence or an attractive bodily appearance. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we find an impact upon the individual’s personal identity; one may become another person or even a heavenly spirit. This now yields a tighter definition of possession for the purpose of exegesis. The mere presence of Christ within would not itself justify using this term. However, it would be helpful to talk of Paul or another believer being ‘possessed’ specifically if the spirit of Christ within has a strong physical impact, or affects the personality.18 ————— 16

Ashton, Religion of Paul, 233. Oxford English Dictionary (online) possessed: “2. a. Inhabited and controlled by a demon or spirit; demoniac, lunatic, mad, crazy.” 18 To give an anthropologist’s perspective: “[Possession] is a cultural evaluation of a persons’ condition, and means precisely what it says: an invasion of the individual by a spirit. It is not thus for us to judge who is and who is not really ‘possessed’. If someone is, in his own cultural milieu generally considered to be in a state of spirit possession, then he (or she) is possessed.” I.M. Lewis, Ecstatic Religion: A Study of Shamanism and Spirit Possession (London: Routledge, 1989) 40. 17

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16.4 Possession by Christ in Paul’s Letters We must first acknowledge that speaking of possession by Christ inevitably will conflict with other interpretations of his presence among believers. Scholars are at times suspicious of such ‘mystical’ or ‘supernatural’ language.19 Moreover, in our contemporary society possessed persons are quite commonly regarded as cranks or mentally unstable. Language of possession may appear to be unflattering. However, as we may now appreciate, this type of value judgement is not strictly applicable in the NT’s ancient context. Possession by a good spirit was accepted and even respected. Here, therefore, we make no attempt to belittle or pour scorn upon the apostle or the claims he makes in his letters. 16.4.1 Christ in Believers, or Believers in Christ? However, before one may even begin to consider the presence of Christ within, as an embodied or possessing force, a difficult question first arises in terms of what is meant by Paul’s (common) use of the phrase ‘in Christ’ (Rom 3.24; 6.11, 23; 8.1 etc.). It seems reasonable to assume that this important material could be brought to bear upon the issue of how Christ is manifest as a spiritual force in the life of believers. Most likely, the ‘in Christ’ language is to some extent relevant, since it is concerned with broadly the same range of ideas as possession narratives: individual identity,20 connection to a higher spiritual power,21 and a sense of renewal or changed life.22 Indeed, if we accept that Paul’s talk of life ‘in Christ’ should be seen in terms of the giving over of oneself to an external and spiritual force, then this could say a good deal about the importance of the spirit world as an aspect of his teaching. This point opens up many possibilities, although the task of systematically investigating the ‘in Christ’ terminology along these lines would be great and beyond the confines of this study. We might also have a slight reservation, because we are here seeking to focus upon Christology —————

19 This scepticism is well described by Joynes, Return of Elijah, 203. She suggests that scholars have diverted attention from the idea of Christ being present with an “individual bodily focus”. Ibid. 208. A typical negative judgement of possession can be found in Lampe’s claim that the possessed person is “temporarily reduced to the status of a robot”. G.W.H. Lampe, God as Spirit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977) 150. 20 “You must reckon yourselves to be dead to sin but living to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6.11). 21 “Thus, we the many are one body in Christ” (Rom 12.5). 22 In fact, ‘in Christ’ can operate as a kind of shorthand for being a believer: “Greet Andronicus and Junia […] they were in Christ before me” (Rom 16.7).

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and the relationship of Christ to believers. By addressing the inverse pattern of believers identifying themselves ‘in Christ’ (in what Schweitzer saw as the centre of Pauline mysticism),23 there is a risk that we shall lose sight of what we are aiming for: how Christ himself is to be understood. So, it is important that we do not exclude the language of life ‘in Christ’, but this will not be our focus here. The analogy we are drawing is with forces which actively enter, influence, or control the individual. 16.4.2 General Patterns Now turning to the letters, a number of significant texts describe Christ’s presence within all believers (rather than just Paul). Most revealing in this respect is Rom 8.9: You are not in flesh but in spirit, for a spirit of God dwells in you (oi¦kei¤ e¦n u¥mi¤n). ), this one is not But if someone does not have a spirit of Christ (pneu¤ma Xristou… his.

Certain commentators have emphasised a quasi–Trinitarian connection between the Spirit, God, and Christ.24 This probably is not what Paul is aiming at. The most important point is the internal presence. A spirit of God is resident within the believer.25 Most striking, though, is the language of ‘having’ a spirit of Christ, since the verb (eÃxw) is used in the gospels with the technical sense of spiritual possession.26 Paul’s usage here is likely to be part of that same cultural pattern. Meanwhile, in Gal 4.6 (cf. Rom 8.15–16) we read: “God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out ‘Abba! Father!’” Once again, Trinitarian —————

23 With much of the focus upon the action and intention of the believer. The heart of Pauline mysticism for Schweitzer lies in personal identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus, so that ‘in Christ’ language is then seen in terms of sharing “with one another and with Christ a corporeity.” Schweitzer, Mysticism, 116. It is about the self connecting with what is beyond. Our concern in this part of our study, by contrast, is to consider how Christ may affect people directly as an active agent. 24 E.g. “The Spirit is the Spirit of God; and it is only through Christ that the Spirit is known and received.” Barrett, Romans, 149. 25 Paul’s use of oi¦ke¢in is most interesting. Sin dwells in Paul (Rom 7.17, 20), while God’s Spirit dwells in believers (1Cor 3.16). Ashton perceptively picks out the importance of the language of occupancy, comparing Romans 7 with the Roald Dahl poem The Tummy Beast and, more biblically, the return of an unclean spirit to the ‘house’ of a possessed person in Matt 12.44– 5. Ashton, Religion of Paul, 222, 228. See also our previous discussion in Exc. 3. For Cranfield, oi¦ke¢in e¦n denotes “possession by a power superior to the self” Cranfield, Romans, 1.388. 26 ei¦ de¢ tij pneu¤ma Xristou¤ ou¦k eÃxei. Compare eÃxw daimo¢nion (Matt 11.18; Luke 4.33; 7.33; 8.27; John 7.20; 8.48, 49, 52; 10.20) and eÃxw pneu¤ma (Mark 3.30; 7.25; 9.17; Acts 8.7; 16.16).

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theology surfaces in the commentaries.27 Here too, dogmatic formulae are probably not Paul’s concern. Christ is simply pneu¤ma – a type of spiritual reality. This spirit enters into the heart, and so again we find language typical of possession narratives.28 We also find an Aramaic exclamation (“Abba!”) reflecting the point of spiritual apprehension. Involuntary and spontaneous speech forms a sign of possession in other cultures,29 and the specific word here (kra¤zon) is often used of demoniacs.30 One may also compare 1Cor 12.3 in this respect, where we read that nobody curses Jesus when speaking in a spirit of God and, similarly, “nobody is able to say ‘Jesus is Lord!’ except in holy spirit.” Notable too is the conclusion to the Moses typology in 2Cor 3.18: But all of us, with unveiled face, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, just as this is from (the) Lord, (the) spirit.

What exactly the final clause means (kaqa¢per a¦po£ kuri¢ou pneu¢matoj) is very difficult to say. In light of the previous verse (o¥ de£ ku¢rioj to£ pneu¤ma e¦stin), one might see this as an inner unity of the Son and the Holy Spirit.31 However, it is highly unlikely that Paul would compare and equate the ‘persons’ of the deity. Once again, it is best to think in loose terms of the Lord here as spiritual, having a spirit, or manifesting God’s Spirit. As regards what Christ is doing, it is important to relate this text to a Jewish exegetical tradition with which Paul is apparently familiar.32 In certain narratives, Moses ascends into heaven, is overtaken by God, and instructed in his mysteries.33 He gains a celestial appearance, being saturated with the ————— 27

“The soteriological lynchpin of Paul’s argument at this point is the theological claim that the Spirit is ‘the Spirit of God’s Son’.” Dunn, Galatians, 220. 28 E.g. “the unclean spirits came out and entered into (ei¦sh¤lqon ei¦j) the swine” (Mark 3.13). 29 E.g. In Melanesian shamanism: “any person can be possessed by a spirit or the soul of a dead person; when this occurs he speaks in a strange voice and prophecies.” Eliade, Shamanism, 365. 30 “kai£ ta£ pneu¢mata ta£ a¦ka¢qarta [...] eÃkrazon” (Mark 3.11). Also: Mark 5.5–7; Matt 8.29. 31 “The equation of the two nouns at the beginning of verse 17 probably justifies the view that they are here in apposition: from the Lord, that is, the Spirit.” Barrett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 126. NRSV: “the Lord, the Spirit.” NIV: “the Lord, who is the Spirit.” However, some regard the Lord in this passage as God rather than Christ: Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 1.274. 32 See Thrall: Ibid. 243. Also J. Lierman, The New Testament Moses: Christian Perceptions of Moses and Israel in the Setting of Jewish Religion (WUNT 2nd series 123; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004) 167. Alluding to Exod 34.29, Paul understands Moses as bearing the ‘glory’ in his face (2Cor 3.7). This would suggest that Moses was taken up into the dwbk of the Lord. 33 The unification of Moses with God in Philo has long been recognised. Goodenough writes: “He is so united with Deity that his own logos now is in the form of light.” E.R. Goodenough, By Light, Light: The Mystic Gospel of Hellenistic Judaism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1935) 214. For this divinisation of Moses: QE 2.29, 40. For his ascent up “an inaccessible and pathless mountain”: Mos. 2.70. For Moses in heaven in general: 2 Bar. 4.5; L.A.B. 19.10. For a survey of

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divine. In one account, he is even seated upon the throne of God (Ezek. Trag. 70). So, it is this experience which Paul now transfers to himself and his followers. They are being transformed.34 Here, the spirit of the Lord is something which gradually alters the identity of the believer. It is an irresistible power of change. Therefore, Paul seems to suppose that all believers could expect to have the spirit of Christ, to be invaded by it, and, ultimately, to be transformed by it. This is a hope or experience not far removed from that of Kenaz in Pseudo–Philo, for instance. Connecting Christ with the spiritual world here assists our understanding. Indeed, if we think of the invasion of the self, with physical and psychological impact, then it may even be informative and helpful to describe this process in Paul’s letters as a kind of ‘possession’. 16.4.3 The Experience of Paul Enigmatically, Paul writes: “I have been crucified with Christ. But I live – no longer I – but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2.19–20). This is often regarded as a ‘mystical’ statement,35 but the basic point is perhaps rather straightforward: Christ is literally living within Paul.36 At least, the suggestion that Paul is now “no longer I” connects with beliefs about possession. In Christ’s presence, Paul’s identity is negotiable.37 Further, there is Paul’s projected death, his crucifixion. It is this death which explains why Christ is in him and, incidentally, it has a fascinating parallel in shamanism: the novice must ‘die’ (painfully) for the spirits to enter him.38 For Paul, the cross here may be a badge of power. ————— the wider Jewish tradition: Lierman, NT Moses, 90. W.A. Meeks, The Prophet King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology (NovTSup; Leiden: Brill, 1967) 100. 34 Morray–Jones understands this as “transformational mysticism”, the vision of God’s glory reflecting back upon the visionary. C.R.A. Morray–Jones, ‘Transformational Mysticism in the Apocalyptic–Merkabah Tradition’, JJS 43 (1992) 1–31, on page 30. This goes against the view of Lambrecht that Paul is “not thinking of a mystical union”. Lambrecht, Second Corinthians, 56. Whatever we call this process, it seems that the transformation is intended literally and demands some identification – whether complete or not – with the glory of God. Against Lambrecht, in Jewish tradition Moses is sometimes united with God, and so we might expect something similar for Paul and his followers. 35 So Betz, Galatians, 124; Longenecker, Galatians, 92; Schweitzer, Mysticism, 125. 36 So Martyn: “The dominant motif, then, is not a mystical union with divine nature, but rather the resurrected Christ’s powerful invasion, seen on a personal level.” Martyn, Galatians, 258. 37 The interpretation of Paul here as ‘possessed’ makes a surprise appearance in the old commentary of Emmet, Galatians, 25. 38 See Eliade, Shamanism, 53.

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This then may give some insight into Paul’s comment earlier in Galatians that God revealed his Son “in me” (e¦n e¦moi¢: 1.16). Commonly translated “to me”, the secondary (weak) meaning of the preposition e¦n is frequently preferred.39 Yet, this probably cannot be sustained, for in 2.20 and 2Cor 13.3 Christ e¦n e¦moi¢ almost certainly means ‘in me’ and the meaning ‘in’ is the most common in any case.40 There are two points to be made about this internal revelation in Galatians. Firstly, it is part of a prophetic commission; Paul was set apart “from my mother’s womb” (1.15; cf. Isa 49.1; Jer 1.5). This is his spiritual destiny.41 Secondly, Christ’s being e¦n e¦moi¢ may be understood as a part of Paul’s conversion experience; it forms a genuine phenomenological–psychological (rather than metaphorical) event.42 So, Paul apparently attaches individual importance to himself; he mediates the presence of Christ. In 2Cor 13.2–3, Paul gives a warning: “If I do come again I will not be lenient, for you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me.” Windisch regards this as a key text; Paul’s words are literally “Christusworte”.43 On the other hand, certain scholars have sought instead to interpret this as an institutional right to speak on Christ’s behalf.44 However, this latter approach risks ignoring the main point here; Christ is the subject of the verb, he is the one speaking. Paul threatens to come to the Corinthians because the authority of the words in his letters are seemingly in doubt. He implies that his words are given by Christ, which may suggest a link with the phenomenon of automatic writing: the pen is guided by the internal presence of a spirit.45 ————— 39

See BAGD e¦n 260: “4. e¦n w. dat. stands – a. for the ordinary dat.” Cf. Rom 1.19; 1Cor 14.11. 40 For a similar argument: Ashton, Religion of Paul, 230; Longenecker, Galatians, 32; E.D.W. Burton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1921) 50. 41 Note that Windisch regards this prophetic call as a part of Paul’s “Christusähnlichkeit”: “Die Sendung des P. wird im N.T. als Erneuerung und Erfüllung profetischer Berufungen ausgestaltet, insbesondere erscheint P. als ein neuer Knecht Jahwe’s oder als derjenige Profet, an dem sich die Knechtprofezeiungen erfüllen. Ganz dasselbe ist aber auch von Jesus zu sagen.” Windisch, Paulus und Christus, 137. 42 Kim suggests that the Galatians call narrative reflects a ‘throne vision’; Paul “implies with the concepts apokalyptein/apokalypsis (Gal 1.12, 16; Eph 3.3) and mysterion (1Cor 2.1, 6ff; Col 1.26ff; Eph 3.4ff that he received the gospel and God’s counsel from the enthroned Christ in vision.” Kim, Origin, 94. Segal is more circumspect; Paul’s conversion may have been an ecstatic experience, but this cannot be proved. Segal, Paul the Convert, 37. 43 Windisch, Paulus und Christus, 233. 44 E.g. Barrett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 335. Furnish also resists the idea that Christ is ‘in’ Paul, translating e¦n instrumentally, ‘through me’. Furnish, II Corinthians, 570. However, as Thrall demonstrates, the linguistic evidence for such usage is extremely thin. Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2.878–879. 45 Here, we refer to Dobroruka’s dissertation, which compares the practice of automatic writing among Brazilian Kardecist Spiritists with the pseudepigraphy of apocalyptic texts. Dobroruka

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This need not be a purely ecstatic phenomenon, however, and it may be the case that Paul is in dialogue with, rather than controlled by the spirit of Christ.46 Finally, we find that Christ’s presence is externally projected within Paul himself. The execution (ne¢krwsin)47 of Jesus is always carried physically, “that the life of Jesus may be manifest in our body” (2Cor 4.10). Paul’s sufferings are Christophoric. However, of greatest interest in this regard is the end of Galatians, where Paul again states that he is “crucified” (6.14) and claims that “I carry the marks of Jesus in my body” (6.17). Many years ago, in what W.M. Ramsay called the “Dark Ages” of scholarship,48 these sti¢gmata were commonly understood as the very marks of the crucifixion (like the stigmata of St Francis). However, ideas related to this ‘literal’ reading are occasionally expressed in modern scholarship; as J.L. Martyn suggests, Paul’s scars are “nothing other than the present epiphany of the crucifixion of Jesus.”49 This may not go quite so far as St Francis, but an appeal to traditional Catholic piety may uncover some of the truth.50 The connection between the marks of Jesus and the death of Jesus are brought together in the oldest extant commentary on Galatians, where Marius Victorinus glosses: I bear all the suffering, even those sufferings he bore on the cross: his body pierced by nails, a spear–wound through his side, and the other marks of our Lord Jesus Christ in my body.51

————— suggests that apocalyptic authors may have embodied the religious heroes of Israel in their writings, being guided by their spirits. Thus, they could identify with Enoch, Baruch, etc. See V. Dobroruka, Aspects of Late Second Temple Jewish Apocalyptic: A Cross–Cultural Comparison (Doctoral Dissertation; Oxford: Faculty of Theology, 2005). Notably, something like automatic writing is presumed by patristic interpreters of Paul. As Chrysostom puts it, “when I say Paul, I mean Christ, who directed his mind.” (Hom. Gal. 1.9). For analysis of this phenomenon: M.F. Wiles, The Divine Apostle: The Interpretation of St Paul’s Epistles in the Early Church (Cambridge: Cambrdige University Press, 1967) 14. 46 Note that a shaman may converse with the spirits instead of entering a trance. Eliade, Shamanism, 328. This duality of inspiration and control is found in Philo’s suggestion that Moses both retained his faculties and was ‘carried away’ when uttering divine oracles (Mos. 2.188). 47 ne¢krwsin may mean ‘deadness’ or ‘execution’. In light of the reference to execution in the following verse, it almost certainly here means the latter. 48 W.M. Ramsay, A Historical Commentary on St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1899) 472. 49 Martyn, Galatians, 568–9. 50 As proposed by Ensminger, who claims that Paul “experienced a “mystical crucifixion” and thus bears upon his body the actual marks of the event.” C. Ensminger, ‘Paul the Stigmatic’, Journal of Higher Criticism 8 (2001) 183–209, on page 189. 51 Text from S.A. Cooper, Marius Victorinus’ Commentary on Galatians: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) 345.

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Paul, Victorinus claims, writes of a genuine shared experience; his own sufferings and those of Christ are unified (cf. Col 1.24). Philologically, sti¢gmata represent the sign or tattoo of service to a deity.52 It is a ritual symbol of spiritual protection. Not only does Paul manifest Christ, then, but it is also possible that he has Christ for his guardian and protector. Therefore, Paul too – like his followers – seems to have a measure of Christ’s spirit and is transformed by its power. However, there is yet another element here which may be characteristic for Paul. That is, he physically mediates and manifests Christ’s presence. So, for example, as Abraham manifests the Spirit of God through his beautiful face (Virt. 217), Paul manifests the spirit of Christ through his wounds. The body is a mirror for the spirit within.

16.5 Vehicles of the Spirit: Human Agents in the Letters of Paul The material examined above suggests a view of Paul and his followers which for some might be rather difficult for some to swallow: a person’s individuality or autonomy could be affected or compromised by the force of a spiritual power. Reservations about such ideas in NT studies ultimately may spring from old concerns about the influence of pneumatics in the Protestant magisterial Reformation. Martin Luther greatly feared that his project could be tainted by those he regarded as Schwärmer: the Zwickau prophets or the supposedly fanatical Huldrych Zwingli.53 The anxieties of that age, which still resonant in biblical interpretation today, are well summed–up in one of Luther’s favourite books: the Theologia Germanica. Here, with several citations from Paul’s letters, we read that men are possessed by either the Spirit of God or by the Evil Spirit: But I fear that for one who is truly possessed with the Spirit of God, there are a hundred thousand or an innumerable multitude possessed with the Evil Spirit. (22).54

‘Possession’, then, is dangerous; it threatens the aims of magisterial reform and the hope of institutional control. If one encounters the spirit of Christ directly or even embodies it, then one may not be dictated to. This seems to open the door both to freedom and to chaos. So, we could say that the —————

52 Literally, ‘prickings’ with a sharp instrument: TDNT sti¢gma 7.657. This interpretation was first advanced by Deissmann, Bible Studies, 346 and further developed by J. de Zwaan, ‘The Meaning of the Leyden Graeco–Demotic Papyrus Anast. 65’, JTS 6 (1905) 418–424. More recently, it is upheld by Dunn, Galatians, 346 and Betz, Galatians, 324. 53 See D. MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490–1700 (London: Penguin, 2004) 142, 163. 54 Text from F. Pfeiffer, Theologia Germanica (London: Golden Treasury Series, 1874).

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whole issue of how Christ or ‘spirit’ manifests itself within the life of believers has yielded a major episode in the history of NT interpretation. This may well be due in no small measure to the suggestive and sometimes ambiguous nature of Paul’s comments concerning the internal spiritual presence of Christ “in us”, or the life of believers “in Christ”. The important point to come out of this chapter from our perspective is that we have detected certain interesting and important links between Paul’s Christology and the broader context of beliefs about spiritual influence and embodiment. We could even with some legitimacy speak of a form of early Christian ‘possession’ in Paul’s letters, similar to what we found in a number of Jewish texts. By this reading of the evidence, the Pauline Christ emerges as a real and vivid presence within believers, a powerful and invading spirit. Again, this helps to illustrate the integration of spiritual realities into one of Paul’s chief themes and concerns – the experience of the Lord Xristo¢j.

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Excursus IV: The Power of the Lord Jesus

One brief observation, following from the preceding discussion, is that Paul sometimes mentions a special ‘power of Jesus’, a distinctive (possibly hypostatic) manifestation of Christ’s spirit which allows him to achieve definite results. We shall briefly consider two key texts which illustrate this. In 1Cor 5.4, preparing to deliver a man to Satan (5.5), Paul instructs the Corinthians to gather with his own spirit present and “with the power of the Lord Jesus.” Morton Smith interprets this as an attempt by Paul to use the spirit of Christ within him to enforce the man’s expulsion.1 Certainly, Paul’s own spirit and Christ’s power are syntactically arrayed together. The two are meant to be connected. Moreover, Paul regards this as a targeted use of power; it has the specific goal of cursing and expelling a particular individual from the community. The connection between this text and curse formulae has been recognised since the time of Deissmann.2 Though this parallel has more recently been questioned by James South,3 his suggestion that the evidence is too late to be relevant is inaccurate.4 This is not to say that Paul depends upon any particular set of papyri or artefacts. Rather, as John Gager points out, cursing in antiquity was an almost universal phenomenon.5 So, Paul’s spirit and the power of Christ together empower a mini ritual: the sinner is handed to Satan.

————— 1

M. Smith, Jesus the Magician, (London: Victor Gollancz, 1978) 35. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 301–302. These parallels are taken up by Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 40 and more recently by Conzelmann, 1Corinthians, 97. 3 See J.T. South, ‘A Critique of the ‘Curse/Death’ Interpretation of 1Corinthians 5.1–8’, NTS 39 (1993) 539–561. 4 Compare “hand over to Satan” from the 1st century B.C.E., and also “I hand over to Demeter and Kore […]” J. Gager (ed.) Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 190. A 1st century C.E. text mentions destruction and deliverance to Pluto. Ibid. 181–182. For further examples, see also C.A. Faraone, ‘The Agonistic Context of Early Greek Binding Spells’, in C.A. Faraone/D. Obbink (ed.) Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) 3–32. South also fails to account for the parallel in CD 8.2, where the apostate is destroyed in the hand of Belial. As Yarbro Collins points out, this text supplies the communal and eschatological orientation which the curse tablets lack. Yabro Collins, ‘Function of Excommunication’, 256–257. 5 Gager, Curse Tablets, 25. 2

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After speaking of his “thorn in the flesh” in 2Cor 12.9, Paul states that he will boast of his weakness “so that the power of Christ may dwell upon me”. Firstly, we must note the striking language of this power making its abode upon Paul (e¦piskhnw¢skv e¦p' e¦me£). Windisch regards this as the heavenly power descending upon him in strikingly personal terms.6 Alternatively, one could see this as generally epiphanic and alluding to the Lord’s Shekinah, his dwelling among his people.7 However, because of the obscurity of the verb e¦piskhno¢w (unknown in the LXX and the rest of the NT), it is difficult to make a decisive judgement on Paul’s intentions. Yet, the language of residence at least makes the intimacy of this power quite clear. Our second point is that the language of power resting upon Paul echoes magical–ritual texts. A good comparison here can be made with an early Christian invocation of Michael: I shall restrain [the sun] in the east […] until Michael comes [and] places his power upon my power and upon [my] right arm.8

In the case of Paul, therefore, Christ’s power acts as an extension of his spirit, legitimising the his activities and perhaps also enabling his miracles (cf. 2Cor 12.12). In the two texts we have mentioned here, Paul makes special mention of the ‘power of Jesus’ as a force which works with and enables his own self or spirit. It is as though an aspect of Christ has a special, permanent bond with his apostle. This mysterious dwelling power informs the wider parallelism between the figures of Paul and Christ in the letters, a parallelism which Hans Windisch regarded as central to understanding the spirituality of the apostle. How is Paul able to justify himself and his claims to authority? At least in part, the answer is derived from the spirit world, from the special connection he has with the power of the Lord Jesus. What precisely is meant by this du¢namij of Christ (the word used in both 1Cor 5.4 and 2Cor 12.9) is not entirely clear. However, it may well be intended to have a hypostatic element in its meaning, expressing the idea that the heavenly Christ above sends his power down to Paul. We might even see the du¢namij as an angel sent to assist Paul, though it is difficult to know how that reading could be verified.9 ————— 6

Windisch, zweite Korintherbrief, 393. See the discussion of Thrall, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2.827–828. This interpretation is favoured by R.H. Strachan, The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (MNTC; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935) 33; Barnett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 575; Martin, 2Corinthians, 420–421; Barrett, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 317; etc. 8 Text 116. Meyer/Smith, Ancient Christian Magic, 232–233. 9 For du¢namij as a term for an angel, see chapter 9. 7

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17. The Spirit World and Christology (Conclusion)

Our aim here in Part Three is to consider the extent to which the spirit world is integrated into key Pauline themes such as Christology, soteriology, and the community. We seek to explain how ideas about spiritual beings fit in with and inform the wider teachings of the letters. This helps to build the general argument of this study, that the spirit world should be seen as an integral feature of the Pauline epistles. If the spirits can be shown to be inherent in Paul’s understanding of the world and to be connected many different aspects of his writings, then the claim that this material is irrelevant to understanding the apostle seems doubtful. In terms of the potential connection between Paul’s Christology and spiritual beings, one possible approach here would be to juxtapose these ideas: the Christ of Paul’s letters is different from or even opposed to the idea of a spiritual world.1 Christ could be considered a superior, or even a less mythological type of figure. However, in our analysis we have taken quite a different starting point and a different set of assumptions. Instead of constructing a contrast between spiritual and Christological ideas, we have attempted to relate Paul’s beliefs about Christ to the broad framework of the ancient Jewish spirit world. We have emphasised cultural, linguistic, and intellectual links, finding these to be rather significant. In the case of Christ and the angels, we uncovered a number of underlying connections between Paul’s letters and the context of Jewish angelology. In terms of his functions and personal attributes, Christ may resemble chief angels – a point which probably suggests some dependence or link in the tradition. Angelology would have been a rich source of ideas and imagery for anyone with a developing faith in an exalted, heavenly figure. We then examined the relationship between Christ and believers in terms of ‘possession’, setting this idea against the background of benevolent possessions and spiritual embodiments in Judaism. As the spirits of God or great prophets could take hold of someone in Jewish texts, so we found what seems to be a related motif in Paul’s claim that the spirit of Christ lives in ————— 1

This is implied in the contrast which Baumgarten draws between Paul’s Christology and apocalyptic angelology. Baumgarten, Paulus und die Apokalyptik, 153. The former supersedes the latter.

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believers. There is even a strong linguistic parallel here in the idiom of ‘having’ a spirit.2 So, within this web of interrelated ideas about spiritual powers and Christ, the figure of Christ himself at times emerges as a distinct type of spiritual force. He is a spirit of life within believers (Rom 8.9–11; 1Cor 15.45) and is the power that drives Paul ever onwards (2Cor 4.11; 5.13–14; 12.9).3 This perspective may then inform our more general exegesis of the letters. For example, in 1Cor 4.19 Paul states that “I shall come soon, if the Lord wills it.” This is unlikely to be just a colloquial circumlocution (‘God willing’), but may instead be interpreted in light of a text like Acts 16.7: Paul and Timothy attempted to enter Bithynia, “but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them”.4 Christ is assumed to be a power which directly intervenes in Paul’s life. Travel plans are adjusted accordingly.5 The practical impact of Christ here may be better understood if we analyse it within the scope of Jewish beliefs about spirits and mediators. It is possible to interpret Christ in a slightly different way if he is seen in light of his links with the spirit world. Finally, it is important to recognise how the material covered here touches upon the perceived conflict between the ‘spiritual’ and ‘human’ doctrines of Christ. We would suggest that Paul’s Christology might be best understood if we do not regard these as separate and competing interests. In one breath, Paul tells us that Christ is the “last Adam” who has become a “life–giving spirit” (1Cor 15.45); he, the “second man” is “from heaven” (15.47). According to Jacob Jervell, this figure develops from Jewish–gnostic interpretations of Gen 1.26ff, with Christ being the man–spirit–image of God.6 Christ is thus a protological figure, even a creator.7 The difficulty with this ————— 2

Compare eÃxw pneu¤ma Xristou¤ (Rom 8.9) and eÃxw pneu¤ma (Mark 3.30; 7.25 etc.). Notably, in 2Cor 5.13–14 Paul likens his role as apostle to a kind of madness or ecstasy: “if we are beside ourselves (e¦ce¢sthmen) it is for God.” 4 Various MSS, including C*, read ‘spirit of the Lord’. However, as lectio difficilior and supported by P74, ʠ, A, B, etc., ‘spirit of Jesus’ should be preferred. Williams offers some interesting speculations: “possibly a prophet speaking in Jesus’ name, possibly a vision of the Risen Lord Himself, or a blinding flash of inward illumination was the medium of revelation.” C.S.C. Williams, A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1964) 192. 5 As Collins observes, “Paul frequently indicates that his ability to travel to those to whom he is sending a letter depends on God and the Lord.” Collins, First Corinthians, 201. Cf. Rom 15.32; 1Thess 3.11; Philem 22. Fee usefully compares this with the idea that Satan may ruin Paul’s travel plans (1Thess 2.18). Paul is subject to forces beyond his control. Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 191. 6 J. Jervell, Imago Dei: Gen 1, 26f. im Spätjudentum, in der Gnosis, und in den paulinischen Briefen (FRLANT 76; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1960) 268. 7 “Christus ist der Schöpfergeist aus Gen 1, 2.” Ibid. 268. 3

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approach is that it fails to acknowledge a central thrust of the passage: Christ is not the first man, but the second. As Robin Scroggs has argued, Paul is likely aware of a Jewish tradition which understands Adam as an ideal figure, but he inverts this tradition by making the first Adam a “man of dust” (15.47).8 It is the last Adam, Christ who is ideal. Thus, Paul’s Christ represents a heavenly and spiritual humanity. As Scroggs suggests, he has an “angelic” quality.9 Christ seemingly connects different aspects of reality, weaving together both aÃnqrwpoj and pneu¤ma. So, the dichotomy posited by some critics between the human faith in Christ and the supernatural doctrine of spirits is arguably external or even alien to Paul’s own concerns. The human image of God and the form of his heavenly spirit are one and the same thing. The spirit world, we may claim, ties in with the object of Paul’s devotion: the quasi–angelic spiritual man that is Christ.

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8 “It is for no casual purpose that Paul transfers the Jewish ascriptions of Adam’s excellence before the fall to Christ.” R. Scroggs, The Last Adam: A Study in Pauline Anthropology (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1966) 100. More generally, see ‘1Corinthians 15’: Ibid. 82. 9 Ibid. 94.

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18. The Spirit World and Soteriology

In this next part of our study, we focus upon the connection between the spirit world and Paul’s soteriology, his beliefs concerning salvation and redemption. As we observed in our History of Research (chapter 3), Dibelius, Schweitzer, and Aulén all regarded spiritual forces as a core part of Paul’s religious message. By their account, Christ liberates humanity from the angelic powers, vanquishing them upon the cross.1 Evil spirits could be interpreted as a part of the core ‘problem’ which Christ comes to resolve and thus might be considered the key to understanding salvation. In the following, we shall re–examine this position with an analysis of Paul’s narrative of redemption and then, looking to shorter–term hopes, the prospect of deliverance from immediate evil through healings and exorcisms. Potentially, this material may be of particular significance because it assumes a connection between the spirits and the fundamental components of Paul’s teaching: what Christ achieved through his death and how this affects believers.

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Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 77 etc.; Schweitzer, Mysticism, 72; Aulén, Christus Victor, 82.

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19. The Spirit World in Paul’s Soteriological Narrative

19.1 Differing Forms of Salvation It may be agreed that the earliest Christians belonged to a form of salvation cult, but it is perhaps less than clear as to what exactly they thought they were being saved from. A range of different possibilities present themselves. There could be external evils within the universe such as spiritual powers or political and social pressures. There could also be the internal evils within humanity, such as sinfulness, anger, or pride. These latter problems have proved particularly prevalent in the discussions of modern biblical theology. For instance, Bultmann speaks of deliverance from the universal fact of human sin.1 Christ saves us from ourselves, from our false security and striving. The ‘new perspective’ exegesis holds a similar view, albeit as a backwards reading of Bultmann.2 Sin remains the core problem in Paul’s letters, plaguing humanity. Sometimes, scholars have regarded these different accounts of evil and plight as competing, arguing that Paul’s soteriology is really about one thing rather than another. For example, some have suggested that Paul ignored mythical or spiritual accounts of evil, and instead focussed upon the ‘real’ and mundane causes of human misery.3 Yet, as interpreters, we are not obliged to suppose that there is any one total explanation for salvation in Paul’s letters, and it is perhaps not unreasonable to suppose that Paul taught deliverance from a multitude of evils: death, sin, law, the elements, the demons, etc. Here, however, we intend to trace just one particular track in Paul’s soteriology, considering how this may be connected with ideas about the spirit ————— 1

Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.253. “It is certainly true that Bultmann is pointing to an explanation in Paul of how it is that every man sins and is under the power of sin, but it should be equally clear that it was not from the analysis of the weakness of the flesh and the challenge of the commandment that Paul actually came to the conclusion that all men are enslaved to sin. This is a view which springs from the conviction that God has provided universal salvation in Christ” Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism, 475. 3 Dunn is clear here: the spirit world gives way to ‘existential’ problems. Dunn, Theology of Paul, 109. 2

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world. Specifically, we wish to investigate the possibility that Paul taught a concrete narrative of redemption which claimed that Christ defeated certain evil angelic powers through his death on the cross. If genuine, this would reveal an explicit and significant link between the spirits and Paul’s message of salvation. However, it might be objected, this has all (unsuccessfully) been attempted before. Previous attempts to trace Paul’s soteriology back to a key narrative or ‘myth’4 proved to be tendentious and inaccurate. The ‘gnostic redeemer myth’ was nothing more than a chimera.5 So, it might seem futile to recover this old ground. While there may indeed be flaws in previous accounts of Paul’s ‘mythical’ soteriology, we need not make the same mistakes in our own analysis. Indeed, we shall not be concerned to outline a single monolithic myth through all of its history, as though the same primal stories have endured since the dawn of time. Rather, we shall assume that Paul’s account of the cross is an independent and original narrative in its own right, however indebted it may or may not be to a range of different traditions. Indeed, we shall begin our investigation here by examining a range of different Jewish (rather than gnostic) narratives which describe God or an intermediary as delivering the world from evil. This will give us a sense of the context of Paul’s teaching and inform our exegesis of his letters. We shall then proceed to examine three key texts (1Cor 2.6–8; Col 2.15; Phil 2.6–11) which should establish the main contours (if there are such) of Paul’s narrative. Hopefully, this will yield a clearer sense of how the spirit world fits in with a significant aspect of the Pauline epistles.

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4 Generally speaking, myths are statements “about society and man’s place in it and in the surrounding universe.” J. Middleton (ed.) Myth and Cosmos: Readings in Mythology and Symbolism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967) x. While anthropologists tend to emphasise the implied social reality behind a given myth, biblical scholars most often focus upon the cosmological element – how human beings relate to the created world in general. Hence talk of ‘redeemer myths’. 5 For a long time in German scholarship, 1Cor 2.6–8 was regarded as expressing a gnostic redeemer myth: Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 258ff; Bultmann, Theology of the NT, 1.173. This theory later generated heated debate. Wilckens regarded this as a gnostic Sophia myth. U. Wilckens, Weisheit und Torheit: eine exegetisch–religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zu 1. Kor. 1 und 2 (BHT 26; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1959) 60. Schmithals rejected his interpretation. W. Schmithals, Gnosis in Corinth: An Investigation of the Letter to the Corinthians (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971) 140. With later developments in the study of gnosticism, however, this reading has fallen from favour. Notable are McL. Wilson’s warnings over the anachronisms of this approach. R. McL. Wilson, ‘How Gnostic Were the Corinthians?’, NTS 19 (1973) 65–74; also, ‘Gnosis in Corinth’, in M.D. Hooker/S.G. Wilson (ed.) Paul and Paulinism: Essays in Honour of C.K. Barrett (London: SPCK, 1982) 102–114.

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19.2 Ancient Jewish Soteriological Traditions 19(A).2.1 Developing Apocalyptic Narratives In various texts, one may find Jews utilising, assimilating, and modifying traditional materials from the surrounding cultures of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. This is especially the case in apocalyptic literature, as has been argued by John Collins. In a series of publications he has asserted that the use of myth is an inherent feature of apocalyptic texts;6 narratives of the gods and cosmic conflict found a home in ancient Judaism. This is not to say that Jews thought polytheistically and accepted these narratives as they came. Rather, as Collins suggests, the use of such traditions in apocalyptic often bears a different meaning from that of its original context.7 So, we may think in terms of a creative interaction between Judaism and its wider milieu. Narratives were reconfigured and redeployed in a number of different ways. The star example of this phenomenon is the appearance of two divine figures in Dan 7.9ff: an “ancient of days” (}ymwy yt() and “one like a human being” (#n) rbk). Although we cannot know how this material was mediated to its Jewish context, the roots of its imagery lie in Canaanite mythology.8 The chief focus is the judgement and destruction of evil beasts, performed by what is presumably God and his chief angel. The apocalyptic narrative of Daniel is fundamentally soteriological: the world is taken away from evil monsters and returned to its divine ruler. Also, in a later but perhaps related development, at the end of the book, Israel’s enemies are defeated by the protector of the people, Michael (12.1). Exalted figures are described as winning a victory over hostile powers. 19.2.2 The Descent of the God of Glory The motifs of judgement and destruction as found in Daniel developed in different ways in different contexts. In 1Enoch, for example, the focus is —————

6 This is found throughout his commentary on Daniel, but see particularly J.J. Collins, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993) 280; also, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (Bible Resource Series; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998) 18–19. The issue is vigorously debated (against Davies’ suggestion that the mythic material in Daniel is an ‘embellishment’) in an article: J.J. Collins, ‘Apocalyptic Genre and Mythic Allusions in Daniel’, JSOT 21 (1981) 83–100. Here, Collins argues that “the mythological imagery characteristic of that genre (apocalyptic) must be recognised as an integral factor in the message of the book.” Ibid. 94. 7 Collins, Apocalyptic Imagination, 19. 8 “No other material now extant provides as good an explanation of the configuration of imagery in Daniel’s dream.” Collins, Daniel, 291. For his analysis: Ibid. 286.

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upon the corruption of the world by wicked angels and God’s subsequent punishment of them. In the opening of the book this is presented in a prophetic oracle: The God of the universe, the Holy Great One, will come in his camp emerging from heaven with a mighty power. And everyone shall be afraid, and Watchers shall quiver […] He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him. (1 En. 1.3–4, 9).

Though this text was popular in antiquity, its mythical themes have played a relatively minor role in reconstructing the NT’s thought–world.9 Yet, one document particularly demonstrates its worth for analysing early Christian beliefs: the letter of Jude. Here, we find the text we have just quoted presented as a prophecy of Enoch, referring to the author’s own (Christian) times (Jude 14: profh¢teusen de£ [...] ¸Enw£x). This is reconfigured as a statement about Christ descending to earth with myriads of angels, destroying the evil ones.10 This Christological reinterpretation is further suggested in vv 5–6, where it is stated that the Lord (Christ, not God)11 saved a people from Egypt and placed the rebel angels in prison. In the narrative of 1Enoch, then, we find God described in the most glorious terms (indeed, he is ‘the Lord of glory’ cf. 1Cor 2.8).12 He descends to earth in a theophany of judgement. The Watchers are caught unaware and are terrified; God destroys them completely, in accordance with the oracle

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The notable exception is Barker, who emphasises the role of 1Enoch in reconstructing NT views on the origins of evil. M. Barker, The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and its Influence on Christianity (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2005) 33. 10 In the original text of 1 En. 1.9 the protagonist is God. However, Jude suggests that the ku¢rioj rather than the qeo£j descends to earth. Thus, soteriology is Christologically re–oriented. 11 Matters are complicated by the fact that A, B, and various miniscule MSS read ‘Jesus’ rather than ‘Lord’, although this would only verify our point. Placing the (impossibly complicated) textual issue aside, it is unlikely that ‘the Lord’ here designates God, for in the previous verse the author distinguishes between God and the Lord (Jesus). Moreover, the imprisonment of the angels in 1Enoch is performed by angels (10.4). It is intrinsically more likely that Christ would absorb this function rather than God. Fossum emphasises this connection with angelology. J. Fossum, ‘Kyrios Jesus as the Angel of the Lord in Jude 5–7’, NTS 33 (1987) 226–245. 12 In Black’s Greek text o¥ ku¢rioj th¤j do¢chj is found at 22.14; 27.3, 5 (cf. 25.3, 7). In his commentary, he connects this title with the Aramaic fragments of 1Enoch from Qumran. Black, Book of Enoch, 200. Among those texts, 4QEnd 1 xi preserves 1 En. 22.13–24.1, along with this epithet )twbr [)rm]: J.T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1976) 218. As Nickelsburg suggests, this “alludes to the effulgent splendour that envelops the enthroned deity.” Nickelsburg, 1Enoch, 316.

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given at the beginning of the book.13 God’s redeeming action in this work is defined by his conflict with and victory over evil spirits. 19.2.3 The Heavenly Melchizedek The figure of Melchizedek makes only a fleeting appearance in the OT (Gen 14.18ff; Ps 110.4). However, accounts of this figure developed throughout the Second Temple period, such that one may even speak of a ‘mythology’ of Melchizedek.14 These beliefs eventually fed into the (mostly heterodox) Christian tradition of viewing Melchizedek as a heavenly saviour.15 However, it is early Jewish beliefs which interest us most, particularly as expressed in the fascinating Qumran text 11QMelchizedek (11Q13): [And h]e will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgement as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, ELOHIM has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he hold judgement […] And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God […] and he will drag [them from the hand of] Belial and from the hand of all the sp[irits of] his [lot] […] your ELOHIM is [Melchizedek, who will save them from] the hand of Belial. (11Q13 9–10, 13, 25).

Geza Vermes calls Melchizedek here a “heavenly deliverer”, a point one may hardly dispute.16 He is strikingly referred to as a god ({yhwl)).17 The motifs of judgement and destruction are specifically targeted at Belial and the spirits of his lot. Now, however, this angelic/divine figure acts by his own initiative (“by his strength”). He is personally identified with those he saves (“the men of the lot of Mel[chi]zedek will be atoned for”: line 7). Deliverance and destruction go hand–in–hand, both asserting Melchize————— 13

The same idea is found in the Book of Giants from Qumran (4Q530); we read in a dream– report: “the Emperor of heaven descended on to the earth” ()(r)l txn )ym# }+l#): Milik, Books of Enoch, 305. 14 Davila traces a tradition in which Melchizedek is “strangely transmogrified.” J.R. Davila, ‘Melchizedek: King, Priest, and God’, in S.D. Breslauer (ed.) The Seductiveness of Jewish Myth: Challenge or Response? (SUNY Series in Judaica; New York: State University of New York Press 1997) 217–234, on page 220. 15 See particularly Pistis Sophia 3.128–129, the Nag Hammadi tractate Melchizedek (NHL 399), and patristic references to heretical beliefs in Melchizedek as a heavenly being: F. Horton, The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century A.D. and in the Epistle to the Hebrews (SNTSMS 30; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976) 87. 16 Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls, 500. He is “an angelic or divine being.” See also Davila, ‘Melchizedek’, 222. 17 This is sometimes contested: the ‘concerning him’ (\yl() in line 10 may apply to a different subject. This is unlikely, however, given lines 24–25. See Kobelski, Melchizedek, 59; Horton, Melchizedek Tradition, 74–75.

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dek’s dominance in the tenth jubilee. Such a narrative has fascinating connections with the NT18 and, we might add, is a rare Jewish example of a divine being descending to earth for the purposes of atonement.19 Again, the conquest of evil spirits by an exalted figure is a central feature of this soteriology. 19.2.4 The Range of Traditions Within the Judaism of the Second Temple Period, we find a range of soteriological narratives (we have mentioned just three), with many different forms of expression. We have here focussed upon those texts which may help to contextualise the spirit world in soteriology: the intervention of God or another heavenly figure in the world, destroying hostile spiritual forces. These are themes which recurred at various times in early Christianity.20 However, just as Jews themselves reconfigured and redeployed the traditions and myths of surrounding cultures, so too should we expect Christian adaptation and improvisation (as we have seen with the epistle of Jude), and this is something which we must keep in mind in as we now move on to the exegesis of Paul’s letters.

19.3 Paul’s Narrative: Crucifying the Lord of Glory (1Corinthians 2.6–8) Turning to the Pauline epistles, we begin with the most contentious but also perhaps the most important text. We examined this earlier (chapter 9), concluding that the “rulers of this age” (2.6, 8) should be seen as hostile angelic beings defeated by the cross. Here, we shall offer a more detailed exegesis —————

18 Intriguingly, the proclamation of liberty in the jubilee is interpreted as a part of messianic eschatology (lines 4–6), as with Jesus in Luke 4.18. What is this captivity from which Melchizedek and Jesus bring deliverance? In 11Q13 this is deliverance from the hand of Belial. In Luke it is connected to Jesus’ ministry as healer and exorcist and, in the following episode (4.31– 37), Jesus delivers a man from an unclean spirit. The same messianic reading of Isa 61.1 lies behind both texts. 19 “Do we have here a deus descendens myth? We cannot answer in the affirmative without qualification, but the text does suggest the possibility of Melchizedek’s representing such a figure in part.” Horton, Melchizedek Tradition, 80. 20 As suggested by Talbert: “A myth of a heavenly redeemer who descended and ascended in the course of his/her saving work existed in pre–Christian Judaism and alongside first– and second–century Christianity.” C.H. Talbert, What is a Gospel: The Genre of the Canonical Gospels (London: SPCK, 1978) 65. We may accept the general point about the influence of Jewish narratives, although to speak of a single ‘redeemer myth’ may be slightly misleading. There were many such myths and traditions.

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of Paul’s comments, working systematically through the Greek text. Firstly, though, we should quote the relevant passage in translation: But among the mature we speak wisdom, though a wisdom not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are being destroyed. On the contrary, we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God established before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew. For, if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

19.3.1 Second Century Readings Before working through the text itself, it may be helpful to preface this analysis by pointing out that the earliest known readings of 1Cor 2.6–8 (stemming from the early to mid–second century) tend to interpret the passage in ‘spiritual’ terms. That is to say, they find the “rulers of this age” to be angelic or satanic powers conquered by the cross of Christ. We may begin by recalling Marcion’s interpretation, passed down to us by Tertullian; when the spiritual princes crucified the Lord it rebounded upon the Creator, the inferior God (Marc. 5.6.5). As we said of Marcion earlier (chapter 4), whatever we may make of his cosmology or ditheism, it still holds true that he made one of the first concerted efforts to interact with the text of Paul’s letters. The fact that he sees this text in such terms is significant. However, because of his own dubious credentials in the eyes of the ‘orthodox’ church, his interpretations were less likely to receive widespread support. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that his spiritual reading is not supported by the majority of (later) patristic commentators. However, one very ancient and esteemed church father does agree with Marcion’s reading. A similar view of events is found in Ignatius (Eph. 18– 19), who alludes to the wisdom motifs of our text and enumerates the hidden mysteries (cf. 1Cor 2.7) unknown to the “ruler (aÃrxwn) of this world” (the devil),21 including “the death of the Lord”. Finally, with the arrival of Christ, “worldly wisdom became a folly” (cf. 1Cor 2.6) – the devil and his teachings were thwarted.22 —————

21 Seemingly, Ignatius elides 1Cor 2.6–8 with John 12.31; 14.30; 16.11. Note that in John the devil puts it in the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. The evil spirit compels the human agents in the crucifixion. 22 Carr finds this testimony objectionable: “In Ignatius’ writing we observe the fading of concern with the historical that was compensated for by a shift towards myth.” Carr, Angels and Principalities, 142. Yet, there is no earlier stage than Ignatius, so we cannot say that Paul was read ‘historically’ until then. Indeed, as we have stated before, the whole enterprise of distinguishing ‘real history’ from superstitious myth seems to be loaded with modern assumptions unknown to Paul. In early Christianity, the devil himself would count as part of ‘real history’.

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There is one other relevant early Christian text: the Ascension of Isaiah.23 Here, one finds an account of Christ’s descent to earth, hiding his identity from the angels (10.7). The adversary hands the Lord over to the children of Israel and he is crucified (11.19–21). Thus, Christ enters Sheol and ascends once more with his glory revealed. At this ascension, Satan and the angels sorrowfully perceive their mistake: the Lord descended “and we did not notice the glory which was upon him” (11.24; cf. 1Cor 2.8). There are notable verbal parallels between this text and Paul, likely reflecting a reading of 1Cor 2.6–8.24 Naturally, early interpretation is not necessarily accurate interpretation. Nevertheless, the evidence gathered here is important. At the earliest traceable stage, 1Cor 2.6–8 was understood in terms of a conquest of hostile angelic powers. Paul’s soteriology was at this point read in light of the spirit world. That view has a certain degree of coherence, if it is seen against the background of Jewish soteriology set out above. Exalted heavenly figures could be expected to triumph over powers of evil. However, the questions remains: does this fit with the detail of what Paul has written? We shall now consider whether this is so through a close reading of the text. 19.3.2 Verse Six Sofi¢an de£ lalou¤men e¦n toi¤j telei¢oij: Paul here speaks of a wisdom limited to those who are ‘mature’ or ‘perfect’ (telei¢oij), suggesting a disclosure to those of special understanding. Indeed, that is the theme which emerges at the end of the chapter, where Paul draws a contrast between those who are able to see things in ‘spiritual’ terms and those who are not (vv 14–15: pneumatiko£j and yuxiko£j). By deliberately distinguishing between levels of knowing and understanding, Paul points to the idea of seeing what lies behind the surface of the crucifixion, finding the ‘spiritual’ meaning given to those who can receive the revelation. sofi¢an de£ ou¦ tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou ou¦de£ tw¤n a¦rxo¢ntwn tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou tw¤n katargoume¢nwn: Paul continues by further specifying the type of dis-

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23 Knight estimates the date of composition as between 112 and 138 CE. J.M. Knight, Disciples of the Beloved One: The Christology, Social Setting and Theological Context of the Ascension of Isaiah (JSPSup 18; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996) 33. Hall places it at the beginning of the 2nd century. R.G. Hall, ‘The Ascension of Isaiah: Community Situation, Date, and Place in Early Christianity’, JBL 109 (1990) 289–306, on page 306. 24 For the Ascension of Isaiah as a (mis–) interpretation of 1Cor 2.6–8: Knight, Disciples, 298. For the author’s use of Pauline texts more generally: Ibid. 68. Dibelius regards this evidence as significant: “[…] kann man doch fast jedes Wort der paulinischen Stelle mit Sätzen aus dem Apokryphon belegen.” Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 95.

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tinction he is seeking to draw. The wisdom is not “of this age” or its rulers, with the qualification tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou being emphatically reduplicated. This gives a somewhat dualistic point of reference, since the term “this age” is used almost exclusively by Paul as a designation for evil.25 Therefore, what we find here is an absolute contrast between Christ and the rulers. As Luise Schottroff puts it, there is a total “Wesensdistanz” being drawn between the opposing parties.26 It follows, then, that comparisons with Satan here are legitimate; for Paul he is “the god of this age” (2Cor 4.4), while for John he is “the ruler (aÃrxwn) of this world” (12.31, etc.). Indeed, it is most likely that it was this early Christian practice of referring to Satan as the aÃrxwn of the age which first led Marcion and Ignatius to see our text as referring to evil spirits. The latter part of this clause provides some interesting evidence. The “wisdom” of which Paul speaks is contrasted with “this age” and also with “the rulers of this age”. The implication is, then, that these rulers are understood to have their own particular type of wisdom which sets up the negative comparison. Paul speaks of true wisdom; they stand for false wisdom. The rulers play a typological role, representing what is inferior or wrong. On this point, Everling correctly observed that it is very difficult to make a connection with the human rulers who crucified Jesus;27 what could the characteristic wisdom of Herod or Pilate possibly be? By contrast, the idea that the angels are ignorant of what the Spirit reveals is found elsewhere in the NT (1Pet 1.12), while the claim that angels offer “rejected mysteries” is set against God’s wisdom in some apocalyptic literature (1 En. 16.3).28 Finally in verse six, we may add two brief points which we made back in chapter 9. Firstly, the participle here (katargoume¢nwn) is present tense, implying an activity which is currently ongoing. So, this translates into the observation that the rulers of this age are (currently) being destroyed or ————— 25

Miller argues that “this age” simply means the physical world or human society. Miller, ‘ARXONTWN’, 526. However, Paul’s singular usage of ai¦w¢n is consistently negative in reference: “be not conformed to this age” (Rom 12.2); “where is the debater of this age?” (1Cor 1.20); “if you think you are wise in this age, you should be fools” (1Cor 3.18); “the god of this age” (2Cor 4.4); “the present evil age” (Gal 1.4). Cf. also Eph 2.2, which speaks of the ai¦w¢n of this world and its aÃrxwn. 26 L. Schottroff, Der glaubende und die feindliche Welt: Beobachtungen zum Gnostischen Dualismus und seiner Bedeutung für Paulus und der Johannes Evangelium (WMANT 37; Neukirchen: Neukirchen Verlag, 1970) 221. 27 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 11. Miller objects that Paul does not suggest that the rulers are in any sense responsible for false wisdom. Miller, ‘ARXONTWN’, 523. However, if this is so, it is difficult to see what type of contrast Paul is trying to draw. If the rulers of this age are not the source of any type of wisdom, then why juxtapose them with God’s wisdom? Furthermore, the idea that this age has its own particular brand of wisdom clearly is assumed in 1Cor 1.20. 28 Compare also 2 En. 24.3: “For not even to my angels have I explained my secrets.”

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nullified. As both Everling and Dibelius argued, it seems altogether meaningless to apply this expression to the human individuals who crucified Jesus, since they were already long dead at the time of Paul’s writing.29 This statement also makes little sense when applied to the idea of ‘rulers’ in more abstract terms (i.e. the Roman authorities), since Paul was writing at a time of stability and prosperity. However, the claim that angelic powers were being destroyed might have seemed justified to Paul. Indeed, this is hinted at in 1Cor 15.24, which brings us to the second point. The end will only come when Christ has “destroyed every ruler, and every authority and power”. Precisely the same verb used in 1Cor 2.6 (katarge¢w) is here employed for the destruction of angelic enemies.30 19.3.3 Verse Seven ¡Alla£ lalou¤men qeou¤ sofi¢an e¦n musthri¢% th£n a¦pokekrumme¢nhn: Paul re–

emphasises the hidden nature of God’s wisdom. He is not claiming that true wisdom is confusing, or that it is wilfully ignored. On the contrary, true wisdom is hard to grasp because God has deliberately hidden it.31 So, this idea locates Paul’s comments squarely within the context of Jewish apocalypticism: there are truths which through divine will cannot be known in mundane human life but can be given only through a direct and special revelation. For example, the idea that God’s wisdom is hidden in a mystery is precisely what a book such as 1Enoch is about. God’s true wisdom is known to no man or angel, unless it is purposefully revealed.32 ÁHn prow¢risen o¥ qeo£j pro£ tw¤n ai¦w¢nwn ei¦j do¢can h¥mw¤n: This idea that God’s wisdom was pre–ordained “before the ages” has made almost no impact on the critical interpretation of these verses thus far, but it should probably be regarded as an important matter. Fundamentally, the rulers of this age are held to be ignorant of God’s hidden wisdom (2.8), and it is actually in this verse that Paul gives his essential qualification to the nature of this secret. It is older than all the ages, even than creation. So, if we now consider the possible targets of this language, it helps to clarify Paul’s (most ————— 29

Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 12; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 90. A point picked up by Kovacs, ‘The Archons’, 224–225. 31 The curious phrase e¦n musthri¢% th£n a¦pokekrumme¢nhn seems slightly redundant. Paul could have written either just e¦n musthri¢% or th£n a¦pokekrumme¢nhn and still preserved broadly the same meaning. Presumably, this is meant to be double–emphatic with ‘hidden in mystery’ implying something like ‘extremely well hidden’. 32 As we have previously noted (chapter 15), Newman has identified a link in Paul’s Christology with the apocalyptic tradition of God’s chief agent executing a hidden and mysterious plan, leading to the destruction of evil. Newman, Glory Christology, 244. 30

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likely, angelic) terms of reference. If Paul were referring to the human individuals who crucified Jesus, then the qualification that they were ignorant of what was hidden “before the ages” would seem to be overdoing it. Self–evidently, mere mortals would be ignorant of any of God’s secrets, regardless of when they were established. By contrast, keeping a secret from an immortal and heavenly power would be a more difficult matter, and so the observation that it was established even “before the ages” would provide relevant, additional explanation. In fact, the belief that God kept the appearance of his Son from the angels as a long–standing secret is explicitly articulated elsewhere in the NT, in 1Pet 1.12.33 19.3.4 Verse Eight ÁHn ou¦dei£j tw¤n a¦rxo¢ntwn tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou eÃgnwsan: Paul continues with

the point that this wisdom – the deepest secret from the depths of time – was entirely unknown to the rulers of this age. He doggedly maintains the qualification tou¤ ai¦w¤noj tou¢tou (he could simply have written ‘the rulers’), which says something about the importance he attaches to this phrase. By implication, then, these are not just rulers which happen to live in this age; the genitive is more likely to be proprietorial. Thus, the rulers are global in their scale of power, possessing and dominating this age. Again, this type of description fits best with an angelic interpretation of the term aÃrxwn here.34 Ei¦ ga£r eÃgnwsan, ou¦k aÄn to£n ku¢rion th¤j do¢chj e¦stau¢rwsan: If the rulers had known God’s hidden wisdom, they would not have foolishly crucified the Lord of Glory. The key point in this clause is the highly distinctive phrase/title to£n ku¢rion th¤j do¢chj, this being its only occurrence in Paul’s letters. All glory and wisdom are deposited in Christ. Paul chooses a strikingly theophanic designation for the Lord, most likely drawing on traditional material. As several commentators recognise, this title originates in apocalyptic literature.35 Its most notable usage is in 1Enoch, where it applies to God.36 —————

33 The point in 1Pet 1.12 is that this secret information is sent down (a¦postale¢nti) from heaven by holy spirit, passing directly to believers and leaving the angels – perhaps not being entirely worthy – to desire it (e¦piqumou¤sin). Quite possibly, the first letter of Peter maintains a related strand of Christological soteriology (compare 3.22 with 1Cor 15.24–28). 34 So to compare, the Johannine phrase ‘the aÃrxwn of the world’ does not mean ‘the devil, who lives in the world’. Instead, it means ‘the devil, who rules over all the world’. 35 Moffatt, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 29; Héring, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 18; Thiselton, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 247 etc. 36 1 En. 22.14; 25.3, 7; 27.3, 5; 36.4; 40.3; 63.2; 83.8; cf. 75.3. For the Greek and Aramaic evidence for this phrase, see note 12. To this we might add that )twbr )rm is also found once in the Genesis Apocryphon (2.4). See J.A. Fitzmyer, The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20): A Commentary (BibOr 18b; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 2004) 128.

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The linguistic parallels here are of great interest, for the Greek of 1Enoch (o¥ ku¢rioj th¤j do¢chj) matches our phrase exactly. Moreover, the Aramaic Christian acclamation of Christ as }rm connects with the Qumran fragment of 1 En. 22.14 ()twbr [)rm]). There, the Lord descends to destroy the wicked; his revelation of glory pays back the Watchers for broadcasting their rejected mysteries. So, although we cannot be entirely certain, it seems most likely that Paul made deliberate use of a Jewish apocalyptic tradition and, given the manner of his presentation, he probably well understood the context and meaning of such material. However, this seems not to be a simple copy–and–paste exercise, as it is clear that the Jewish material has been reconfigured to fit with Paul’s own emphasis and focus upon the cross. Christ becomes the conquering Lord from heaven.37 Naturally, in light of the traditional association of this motif with the punishment of angels, this is most probably a part of Paul’s intentions here. 19.3.5 Men and Angels Here we have emphasised the ‘spiritual’ reading of 1Cor 2.6–8 and, on balance, it seems most probable that Paul refers to angelic powers which were confounded by the cross of Christ. Thus, the spirit world would feature quite significantly in this aspect of his soteriology. However, we must confess that there is some artificiality in drawing a dichotomy between this and the ‘human’ reading of the text. As various commentators have asserted,38 it was a common assumption in antiquity that angelic and human power would be interrelated. So, although there are strong arguments to support the suggestion that Paul was primarily concerned with an apocalyptic contrast between ignorant angelic powers and a secret heavenly glory, this need not shut–out the influence of human authorities altogether. Common sense dictates that Paul thought that human individuals did actually physically crucify Jesus by nailing him to the cross, just as other early Christian sources indicate that Satan orchestrated this process by means of human agents (e.g. John 13.2, 27; Ascen. Isa. 11.19–21). —————

37 This interface between apocalypse and Christology is also found in a later deployment of the ‘Lord of Glory’ title in Apoc. El. (C) 1.3. In this text, God sends his son into the world without informing any angel, archangel, or principality of when he would come (1.6). We find the same theme of a mystery or hidden wisdom, although here it is very explicitly applied to ignorant angels. On this theme in early Christianity more generally, see Michl’s notes: ‘III. Engel u. Christus. a. Menschwerdung Christi’ in RAC Engel IV (christlich) 5.143. 38 See especially Cullmann, Christ and Time; Morrison, Powers that Be; Wink, Naming the Powers.

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It is this point which helps us to understand the contrast drawn between human and divine wisdom in 1Cor 2.5.39 To make sense of this contrast, it has to be related to the wider theme of apocalyptic disclosure in this passage.40 The underlying contrast is not between God and humans, but between divine wisdom and the current age. An assumed connection between human and angelic wisdom would fit well with this. For instance, the “rejected mysteries” of 1 En. 16.3 are the angelic secrets which underlie human knowledge: weapon–making, ornamentation, alchemy, etc. (8.1; cf. 7.1). Similarly, angels also disseminate the good aspects of human learning;41 in some texts, we even find a group designated as the ‘gods of knowledge’ (t(d yl): 4Q400 2.1; 4Q403 1, i, 31). In much of Jewish angelology, human learning and science is nothing other than the wisdom of angels. Therefore, although scholars will no doubt continue to object to this “very perverse”42 interpretation of 1Cor 2.6–8, it makes fairly good sense of the text. Paul hints at a soteriological narrative. Christ emerges as the repository of wisdom and glory, unknown to the (angelic) rulers of this age. They crucify him and thus destroy themselves. The idea of ‘rebound’ seems to be implied in the narrative, and this would fit with the supposition that Christ descended into the underworld and returned from there (Rom 10.7; cf. Eph 4.8–10).43

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39 A part of this text often appealed to in connection with the ‘human’ reading of the rulers of this age: Carr, Angels and Principalities, 119; Miller, ‘ARXONTWN’, 525. See also Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 104. 40 Various scholars see this apocalyptic element as decisive. 1Cor 2.6–8 reflects Paul’s “apocalyptic worldview”. Collins, First Corinthians, 129. Paul reveals his “apocalyptic vision of the cross”. Moffatt, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 29. See also Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 70. 41 See especially ‘4.1 Die Weisheit der Engel’: Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 133. For the view that Enoch received an angelic education: 1Q20.19–20; cf. Jub. 4.21. 42 Robertson/Plummer, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 37. 43 The meaning of Rom 10.7 cannot be disputed, with its language of depth: “who will descend into the abyss (katabh¢setai ei¦j th£n aÃbusson)? That is, to bring Christ up from the dead.” Yet, scholars generally pass over this verse. Not so with Eph 4.8–10, which is frequently interpreted as a descent onto the earth: R. Schnackenburg, Ephesians: A Commentary (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991) 178–179; P.T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians (Pillar NT Commentary; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1999) 294–295. This interpretation is based upon the (dubious) assumption that the descent into Hades must be a late accretion to a previously non–mythological kerygma. Rom 10.7 shows that this is not the case. Moreover, as Muddiman points out: “To use the phrase ‘the lower parts of the earth’ to mean ‘the lower parts of the cosmos, namely the earth’ is hardly a natural way of speaking.” Muddiman, Ephesians, 193. This descent/conquest motif is also implicit in Heb 1.14.

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19.4 Stripping off the Rulers and Authorities (Colossians 2.15) Another enigmatic text which expresses Paul’s soteriological narrative is Col 2.15: He (God? Christ?) stripped off the rulers and authorities, and displayed them in public, triumphing over them upon it (the cross).

19.4.1 The Subject Again, as we suggested earlier (chapter 9), the a¦rxa£j and e¦cousi¢aj here most likely denote hostile angelic forces.44 However, it is not clear what is happening to them or who is doing it; the grammatical subject could be either God or Christ. Scholarship is divided as to which is preferable.45 In vv 9–12, Christ is mostly the subject, though there are also impersonal and passive constructions. Then, in 2.13 Paul does not explicitly change subject but nevertheless assumes that it is God who “brought you to life with him (Christ)”. So, if we take this to be decisive then God is the one acting in 2.15.46 However, since the syntax is generally confused here, it is perfectly conceivable that 2.13 is a disjunctive aberration in a passage otherwise concerned with Christ.47 Initially, therefore, we must leave this unresolved and perhaps try to make a judgement based upon the verb. 19.4.2 The Verb The rulers and authorities are the objects of a¦pekdusa¢menoj (a middle participle), which would usually mean that the subject of the verb “divests” himself of them. However, the most common view in scholarship today is that the middle here has an active meaning, with the subject “disarming” or ————— 44

Against the argument of Carr, Angels and Principalities, 65. In favour of God: Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 139; Schweizer, Colossians, 151; Lohse, Colossians and Philemon, 112 etc. In favour of Christ: Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, 187; Dunn, Colossians and Philemon, 167–168; R.P. Martin, Colossians: The Church’s Lord and the Christian’s Liberty: An Expository Commentary with a Present–Day Application (Exeter: Paternoster, 1972) 87 etc. Nearly all early interpretation (discussed by Lightfoot) takes the subject to be Christ. 46 “God has been the subject from v 13 onwards”. Schweizer, Colossians, 151. 47 Against Barth and Blanke, who argue that for Christ to be the subject in 2.15 there must be “a change of subject which was not made explicit”. Barth/Blanke, Colossians, 333. It is possible that Paul is instead being ungrammatical and diverted in 2.13, without this being a purposeful change. 45

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“stripping down” the rulers and authorities.48 This would fit with the triumphal motif; the enemies are rendered harmless and brought out in a victory parade.49 Yet, though this solution is temptingly simple, we should reject it.50 Its basis is essentially philological. The reference work (BDF) which apparently establishes it states that NT authors generally distinguish between the middle and active but sometimes use a middle “where an active is expected”.51 Presumably, then, this active meaning was known in Greek (as most commentators assume). However, this is not the case. The only example cited in BDF of a¦pekdu¢omai having an active meaning is Col 2.15. Therefore, it is simply circular reasoning to interpret our verb as active on the grounds that our text establishes that such usage was current. The verb is only known to have a reflexive middle meaning: divesting oneself of something. Furthermore, we should note that a¦pekdu¢omai is used again in Col 3.9. Paul commands the Colossians: “put off the old man, with his practices.”52 This is reflexive–middle in meaning and adds to the certainty that 2.15 also uses the verb in this way. 19.4.3 God or Christ? So, is it God or Christ who divests himself of the rulers and authorities? It is difficult to know how this could possibly apply to God, a point which seems to have decided the early patristic exegesis in favour of Christ. Only he could conceivably strip off something on the cross.53 For the Latin fathers, this meant the removal of the flesh and, more recently, Wesley Carr has argued for this as the assumed object of a¦pekdu¢omai.54 Yet, interpretation must always begin with the text. Syntactically, objects for the verb are already in place. Thus, the only remaining solution (indeed, the only grammatical one) is that of the Greek fathers: Christ divests himself of —————

48 Schweizer, Colossians, 151; MacDonald, Colossians and Ephesians, 103 etc. Also interpreting the middle here as active is BAGD a¦pekdu¢omai 82. 49 “[…] now they are dethroned and incapacitated, and the shameful tree has become the victor’s triumphal chariot”: Bruce, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, 111. See also Lohse, Colossians and Philemon, 112. 50 Here we may agree with Carr, Angels and Principalities, 60. The verb must have middle meaning. 51 BDF §316. 52 As is recognised by MacDonald, Colossians and Ephesians, 103. However, she does not regard this evidence as decisive. 53 See Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, 187–188. 54 This is “putting off his human body”. Carr, Angels and Principalities, 60.

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the rulers and authorities. Naturally, by implication, this probably includes the sense that the flesh (the medium of their power) is also removed. Such an interpretation is well summarised by Lightfoot: “The powers of evil, which had clung like a Nessus robe about His humanity, were torn off and cast aside for ever.”55 19.4.4 The Cross as Revelation This text, along with 1Cor 2.6–8, implies a view of Christ as entering the world with concealed glory (cf. Phil 2.7; Rom 8.3). In this respect, his death on the cross acts as a form of revelation: an unveiling of his true nature. This aspect of Paul’s soteriology connects with that part of Christ which is eternal and heavenly. That heavenly figures could conceal themselves in human form was a tradition well known in Judaism, and it may be that there is some link between this and Paul’s understanding of the cross.56 For example, in the book of Tobit, the angel Raphael descends to earth disguised as a man, that he might save Tobias from the demon Asmodeus. With a familiar turn of phrase, he then re–ascends to heaven “to him who sent me” (12.20). It was also precisely this aspect of Jewish angelology which went on to inform the descent of the Lord narrative in Ascen. Isa. 10.17–31.57 Here, Christ transforms his appearance as he descends through the heavens, becoming like the angels in each until finally he arrives amongst those of the air (10.31).58 With a view to Col 2.15, we find that the angelic powers give a “covering” to Christ as he enters the cosmos. His nativity is thus hidden from the rulers of the world (11.16; cf. Ignatius: Eph. 19). This idea of being clothed in the powers is also found elsewhere in early Christianity.59 So it follows that this idea need not be immediately dismissed as too bizarre to reflect Paul’s true ————— 55

Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, 188. According to Talbert, “in certain circles of ancient Jewish angelology […] there existed a mythology with a descent–ascent pattern, in which the redeemer figure descends, takes human form, and then ascends back to heaven.” Talbert, What is a Gospel?, 61. It is a slight exaggeration to speak of a singly, coherent Jewish ‘myth’. Nevertheless, the basic idea of descending angels was known. 57 Quite possibly, the author knew Col 2.15. See Knight, Disciples, 65. 58 Dibelius regards this motif as the key parallel to 1Cor 2.6–8: “Darauf antwortet die Erzählung: Christus kam nicht als ku¢rioj th¤j do¢chj; er hatte sich seines himmlischen Lichtgewandes (do¢ca vgl. 1Kor. 15.40, 41) entäußert, und so erkannten ihn die Geister nicht.” Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 95. 59 In Origen (Cels. 2.64). Meanwhile, in Gos. Eg. 64.3 the human body of Jesus – like a garment – is the means by which Seth nails the power of the thirteen aeons. 56

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intentions.60 The rulers and authorities who govern the cosmos are in fact attached to all who enter it.61 So, if this reading of the evidence is correct, we may say that Christ’s death in his human body allows him to discard the rulers and authorities which have clung to him since his entrance into the world. Again, it seems to be implied that the crucifixion ‘rebounds’ against the spirits that instigated it. This too suggests the integration of the spirit world into Paul’s soteriological narrative.

19.5 The Hymn in Philippians 2.6–11 This hymn is usually regarded as a self–contained lyric composition, probably pre–dating its inclusion in this letter.62 Nevertheless, it reflects Paul’s own opinions, for he deliberately quotes it with approval. 19.5.1 Transformation and Death He (Christ), being in the form of God, Did not regard it as something to be snatched, To be equal with God. But he emptied himself, Taking the form of a slave, Being born in the likeness of men And found in human form, He humbled himself, Being obedient unto death – even death on a cross. (Phil 2.6–8)

An exchange of forms is the prelude to death upon the cross.63 Seemingly, we again find Christ’s glory hidden. With an eye on later controversies, many commentators assert the non–docetic nature of this passage; “the ————— 60

As suggested by Carr, Angels and Principalities, 60. Here we may agree with Dunn that the spirits “could be likened to a kind of garment draped over the cosmos, lying upon it and dominating it”. Dunn, Colossians and Philemon, 167. 62 Ever since Lohmeyer, who identified a hymn, divided into two stanzas, each containing three triplets. Lohmeyer regarded the composition as Palestinian in origins. E. Lohmeyer, Kurios Jesus: eine Untersuchung zu Phil. 2, 5–11 (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1928). 63 So Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 104. 61

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form of a slave” (morfh£n dou¢lou) is rendered “he became a slave” and “the likeness of men” (o¥moiw¢mati a¦nqrw¢pwn) is transformed into a statement of Christ’s complete humanity.64 Such assertions of Christological orthodoxy largely miss the point. Christ’s basic and true nature was e¦n morfv¤ qeou¤, but he transformed himself through the apparent adoption of physicality. Most likely, Paul himself has no interest in the dogmatic question of whether Christ was purely and strictly ‘human’, ‘pre–existent’, or whatever. Yet, his entrance into the world may be regarded as a deliberate descent from heaven. Christ’s glorious identity is concealed. There may be an implicit counter–example here, since Christ’s actions are characterised by his lack of desire to usurp equality God. All manner of explanations are adduced by commentators as to why a¥rpagmo¢n should mean something other than what it does in almost every circumstance: a thing snatched or stolen.65 However, the common meaning is not truly problematic if regarded as an analogy. After all, numerous heavenly beings did regard equality with God as something worth stealing. The Watchers in 1Enoch are both ambitious and rebellious.66 Michael refuses to represent them because they “quarrelled with the Lord of Spirits, because they act in the style of the Lord” (68.4).67 Moreover, Satan provides this kind of negative analogy with his refusal to worship Adam (the image of God), despite being warned of the anger of the Lord: “If he be wrathful with me, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven and will be like the Most High.” (Latin L.A.E. 15.3; cf. Isa 14.13).68 Christ, by contrast with ambitious or evil angels, had no desire to snatch equality with God. He humbly transformed his appearance so that his heavenly origins would not be manifest. —————

64 “There is no idea here that Christ possessed the external appearance of a slave, or that he disguised himself as a slave […] he became a slave.” G.F. Hawthorne, Philippians (WBC 43; Waco: Word Books, 1983) 86. This approach emphasises a later and less common meaning of morfh¢ against what is easily the most basic meaning: ‘form’ or ‘appearance’. Further, as Bockmuehl observes, the sense of the morfh¢ of God (2.6) in Judaism is generally his outward appearance (e.g. Mos. 1.66): M.N.A. Bockmuehl, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1997) 127. Moreover, this is paralleled by o¥moiw¢mati (2.7), which cannot be read as complete identification. 65 BAGD a¥rpagmo¢j 108: “1. robbery […] 2.a. prize, booty.” According to Fee, this common meaning “can hardly obtain here”. G.D. Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995) 295. But what other meaning is there? “Something to be exploited” (NRSV) is quite mystifying. Hawthorne follows Moule, suggesting that a¥rpagmo¢n be read as ‘acquisitiveness’. Hawthorne, Philippians, 84. Yet, this simply is not what the word means. 66 As argued by Barker: “The angels who sinned through pride and tried to set themselves up as gods are key to understanding Philippians 2.5–11, where Jesus is contrasted with those who wanted equality with God.” Barker, The Lost Prophet, 42. 67 The alternate reading to “make the image of the Lord”: OTP 1.47 note j. 68 A parallel highlighted by J.A. Sanders, ‘Dissenting Deities and Philippians 2:1–11’, JBL 88 (1969) 279–290, on page 285.

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19.5.2 ‘Every Knee Should Bend ...’ Therefore, God lifted him on high, And he gave to him the Name Which is above every name, So that at the Name of Jesus Every knee should bend In heaven, and upon earth, and beneath the earth, And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, For the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2.9–11)

Death leads immediately to exaltation. This humble acceptance, we might say, deliberately leads to the glorious result through the developing narrative. Here, however, the imagery has a different focus from the previous texts we have considered; it is Christ’s instalment in heaven with the Name which is now the centre of attention. Christ reclaims his glorious identity and his heavenly return brings the submission of all creation. It is less fashionable than it once was to seek pre–Christian precedents and prototypes for early Christian compositions. However, the simple pattern of a heavenly figure emptying himself, receiving human form, and being lifted back to heaven is very much the product of its ancient Mediterranean milieu. Indeed, this elevation of Christ as a god (or, at least, the bearer of divinity) intersects with the enforced submission of everything (pa¤n go¢nu ka¢myv) in a way which is not unfamiliar in Second Temple Judaism. Thinking back to the Melchizedek mythology, we find him as a god ({yhwl)), standing in judgement and subjugating the world. We might even say that Melchizedek is confessed: “your ELOHIM is [Melchizedek]” (11Q13 25). The threads of traditional Jewish narratives must to some extent have been re–formed in the production of our hymn. Christ’s exaltation has a clear goal: the bending of every knee in heaven, earth, and beneath the earth. The reference to heaven indicates the submission of angels.69 Again, spiritual beings are subjugated in the act of redemption. This idea runs parallel to the narratives of Christ’s descent and ascent circulating in the early 2nd century;70 after the crucifixion, Satan and the angels were sorrowfully obliged to worship Christ (Ascen. Isa. 11.23). The ————— 69

So Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 83; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 107; Bockmuehl, Philippians, 145–146; etc. 70 As argued by Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 108.

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exaltation was therefore seen as an assertion of spiritual lordship. A similar and basic narrative appears to stand behind both Paul’s letter and these slightly later developments: Christ descends from heaven in the form of a human to judge and destroy the forces of evil. In this hymn in Philippians, perhaps, a narrative is just beginning to take shape.71

19.6 Christ as the Conqueror of Spirits As we suggested at the beginning of this chapter, it is probably both unnecessary and unhelpful to attempt to condense Paul’s soteriology into a single issue or problem. Similarly, it may be unrealistic to suppose that Paul primarily taught a master narrative or ‘myth’ which explained all that Christ did and aimed to achieve. However, there is still plenty of room for a strong narrative dimension within Paul’s soteriology, and we might expect him to have engaged with and utilised a variety of traditions, images, ideas, and myths in his explanation of how and why Christ came to be on the cross. Indeed, this is what the evidence indicates. By examining three key texts in detail (1Cor 2.6–8; Col 2.15; Phil 2.6–11), we have found that Paul’s soteriology is linked to a complex web of material which is used to develop a distinctly Christian soteriology. Christ came to earth with his glory hidden, aiming to destroy the power of the angelic rulers of this age. If this analysis is correct, it suggests a notable connection between the spirit world and Paul’s teaching. In part, at least, the cross is represented as a conquest of spirits. Finally, though, there is one further point: that of chronology. It is sometimes suggested that a ‘human’ image of the cross was the earliest development in Christianity and that motifs of conflict and victory only developed later.72 However, quite to the contrary, there is evidence to suggest that ideas of victory and judgement actually formed some of the most primitive Christian beliefs. For example, possibly the earliest known invocation of Christ is maranatha (1Cor 16.22; Did 10.14).73 Its original use was most —————

71 Lindars describes our hymn as “an application of the apocalyptic myth to the exaltation of Jesus.” B. Lindars, ‘The Apocalyptic Myth and the Death of Christ’, BJRL 57 (1975) 366–387, on pages 385–386. We might clarify this statement by saying that various Jewish traditions, narratives, and myths fed into the early Christian soteriological scheme. There was no such thing as the apocalyptic myth per se. 72 This being, for example, the basic thesis of Carr’s Angels and Principalities. 73 To slightly simplify the problem, it means either “our Lord has come” ()t) }rm) or “our Lord, come!” ()t )nrm). In view of Rev 22.20, we should probably favour the latter. The Palestinian Aramaic origins of the Christian title ‘Lord’ are established by J.A. Fitzmyer, A Wandering Aramean: Collected Aramaic Essays (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1979) 115.

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likely as part of a ban formula;74 in 1Cor 16.22 one is threatened with a curse, while in Did 10.14 one is warned to repent. Moreover, Tertullian regards Paul’s usage as “striking some particular individual through” (Pud. 14.13). At the very outset, then, Christ the Lord is judge and destroyer of evil. Also in terms of primitive confessions, we might add that Ps 110.1, arguably the most cited OT text in the NT, is used to identify Christ as an exalted conqueror, crushing his (mostly angelic/demonic) enemies beneath his feet.75 This is a move which has obvious connections with Jewish tradition.76 The conquest of evil and of evil spirits seemingly formed a significant and early set of beliefs in nascent Christianity.

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74 This interpretation was revived by C.F.D. Moule, ‘A Reconsideration of the Context of Maranatha’, NTS 6 (1960) 307–310. It was then further developed by M. Black, ‘The Maranatha Invocation and Jude 14, 15 (1Enoch 1:9)’, in B. Lindars/S.S. Smalley (ed.) Christ and Spirit in the New Testament (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973) 189–196. 75 It is found in quotation: Matt 22.44; Mark 12.36; Luke 20.42; Acts 2.34; 1Cor 15.25; Heb 1.13; and in allusion: Matt 26.64; Mark 14.62; 16.19; Luke 22.69; Rom 8.34; Eph 1.20; Col 3.1; Heb 1.3; 8.1; 10.12. See particularly Hengel, Early Christology, 119. According to Hengel this forms part of the messianic claims of the “earliest congregation”. Ibid. 155. 76 11Q13 is probably modelled upon a messianic reading of Ps 110: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool […] you are a priest forever according to my word (ytrbd l(), O Melchizedek.’” (110.1, 4). Verse 4 is alternatively attested as ‘according to the order of Melchizedek’, which is the reading of the LXX. Though the Psalm is not cited in 11Q13, both texts speak of an exalted king, the companion of God, ruling in the midst of his enemies. As Kobelski argues, these similarities are too numerous and basic to be coincidental. Kobelski, Melchizedek, 54. So, the destruction of evil spirits – the ‘enemies’ – is a common element in both the Jewish and Christian readings, be it the spirits of Belial or the rulers and authorities.

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Excursus V: “No Eye Has Seen …” (1Corinthians 2.9)

As we have just set out, the spirit world may be understood as integrated into Pauline themes and narratives of salvation and redemption. As a part of our argument, we observed that the most plausible interpretation of 1Cor 2.6–8 is that it makes reference to the angelic “rulers of this age” who were defeated by the cross of Christ. Thus, believers have been delivered from the influence of such powers. However, this motif of conquest is not meant to be isolated from the rest of Paul’s argument, and it is particularly notable how the discussion develops in the verse immediately following (9). Here, Paul builds the positive side of his account of salvation, taking the theme of divine and angelic wisdom in a different direction. He and his followers have access to a secret glory or wisdom: “Which no eye has seen, nor ear heard, and has not ascended upon the heart of man, which God prepared for those that love him.” Because of the importance and interest of this verse within the scope of the apostle’s soteriology, it merits a brief consideration of its own. This enigmatic saying is presented as a quotation; its appearance here is important for our purposes because the promised glory stands in direct contrast with the ignorant and vanquished “rulers of this age”. Most probably, as Gordon Fee suggests, this citation by Paul (ge¢graptai) represents an amalgamation of OT texts “that had already been joined and reflected upon in apocalyptic Judaism.”1 Although Origen claims that Paul quotes an “apocryphon of Elijah”,2 any attempt to link this to the (Christian) Apocalypse of Elijah will not bear fruit.3 Without any other obvious or plausible sources, what we have here is just a well known phrase, an “unattributed, formulaic logion” which circulated independently.4 The question now is, though, what did Paul think that this meant? In most early literary sources, the phrase refers to an angelic identity, secretly prepared by God for the elect. Indeed, this meaning is implied in the only surviving non–Christian (Jewish) citation of the phrase in L.A.B. ————— 1

Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 109. Commenting on Matt 27.9. See D. Frankfurter, Elijah in Upper Egypt: the Apocalypse of Elijah and Early Egyptian Christianity (SAC; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993) 46. 3 Ibid. 47. See also Schrage, Erste Brief an der Korinther, 1.196. 4 Frankfurter, Elijah, 47. 2

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26.13. An angel delivers twelve precious stones to Kenaz, and then God tells him that the just among Israel will go where: […] eye has not seen nor has ear heard and it has not entered into the heart of man […] the just will not lack the brilliance of the sun or the moon, for the light of those most precious stones will be their light. (cf. Dan 12.3)

In the following battle Kenaz is transformed and assisted by the angels (27.10). Similar ideas are found in ancient Christian references to our logion.5 Probably the earliest of these (apart from Paul) is 1 Clem. 34, where the quotation expounds the multitude of the angels and the hope of the glorious promises. Similarly, Mart. Pol. 2.3 speaks of the good things kept for the martyrs “which ear hath not heard, nor eye seen […] (etc.)”, those who had “[…] already become angels.” Clement of Alexandria also understands this as the inheritance “of the glory of God” (Protr. 10.94.4), while Tertullian writes that flesh will be reshaped “like the angels […] which neither eye hath seen […] (etc.)” (Res. 26.7). The same association with angels is found in a number of other texts too.6 The early citations are thus seemingly unanimous in the opinion that our logion speaks of an angelic and glorious inner nature, a secret which God has hidden from the world. Most likely, this theme of transformation and becoming like the angels was known to Paul when he cited the logion in his letter to Corinth. It fits well with the broader emphasis on apocalyptic disclosure in 2.6–8 and provides a suitable point of contrast with the rulers of this age. God’s hidden wisdom represented in his Son was kept secret from the angelic powers governing this age. Their ignorance led them to crucify the Lord and seal their own destruction. Paul then immediately inverts the discussion by referring to the opposite, to the glory of those who do perceive God’s wisdom, those to whom “God gave revelation through the Spirit” (2.10). They now are the projected recipients of a transformed status. While one set of powers are laid low, it seems that Paul intends for others to be exalted.

————— 5

See ‘Fragment III “Eye hath not seen”’: M.E. Stone/J. Strugnell, The Books of Elijah (SBLTT 18; Missoula: Scholar’s Press, 1979) 41. 6 Pr. Paul 25–33; Acts Thom. 36; Gosp. Judas 47.

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20. Healings and Exorcisms

20.1 Miracles on the Margins Interpreters of the NT are accustomed to examining the ‘bigger picture’ of personal salvation for the whole human individual, and so sometimes more immediate hopes for deliverance are ignored. How are people protected or saved from evil here and now? What is the everyday, practical value of salvation and redemption? Along with the grand schemes of conflict and victory, or the liberation of the world from evil, we may also find a series of smaller and yet highly significant battles fought over the lives and well– being of Christ’s followers, or his potential followers. Complementing Paul’s broader soteriological narrative, we shall here consider how the spirit world is linked to the smaller scale soteriology of protection and deliverance from disease, demon–possession, and death. However, as we examine the role of healings and exorcisms in Paul’s letters, we face a situation in which this element is mostly denied by commentators. Indeed, in some scholarship we find a concerted effort to rid the apostle’s career of this supernatural element, or at least to put it in the shadow of his teaching.1 The counter–testimony of Acts is mostly ignored; Paul is understood as a man of words, not actions.2 Obviously, this can dovetail quite neatly with the demythologisation agenda; a preference for a ————— 1

A good example is Best’s assertion of a “decline in the miraculous”: “Thus for Paul a “dramatic display” model of the Christian life has been replaced by a model of gradual individual, social, and spiritual growth. Paul has turned a hermeneutical corner, a corner into our own world of the late twentieth century.” T.F. Best, ‘Saint Paul and the Decline of the Miraculous’, Encounter 44 (1983) 231–244, on page 241. Paul is held to have a modern (i.e. superior) understanding of reality. A subtler and perhaps more critical approach is that of Schreiber, who seeks to play down the significance of any miraculous activity within Paul’s mission by emphasising its supposedly secondary nature, always ranked beneath the task of proclamation: “Die Wunder sind der Verkündigung nachgeordnet, da erst im Wort der Glaube entstehen muß.” S. Schreiber, Paulus als Wundertäter: redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und den authentischen Paulusbriefen (BZNW 79; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1996) 272. 2 Almost every recent account of the life and teachings of Paul ignores the healings and exorcisms he performs in the book of Acts. The notable exception here, Ashton, singles out Murphy–O’Connor’s biography of Paul for criticism in this regard: “Of the exorcisms in particular he seizes every opportunity, if one may be permitted the Irishism, to say nothing at all.” Ashton, Religion of Paul, 175.

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rational or even sceptical apostle is reflected in the denial of ‘superstitious’ pre–modern attitudes. We could perhaps accuse such an approach of internalising its post– Enlightenment presuppositions within the letters, as though Paul takes a ‘scientific’ and hard–headed approach to miraculous phenomena.3 Again, it is difficult to see how such an approach could really be at home in the cultural world of Paul’s letters. Another reading of the evidence might be possible, or even advisable. So, we shall begin our investigation here by examining the practices of healings and exorcisms within Second Temple Judaism. This will then provide the context for our analysis of the Pauline texts. Finally, we shall take these results and reconsider the legendary narratives of Acts which present Paul as a healer and exorcist, considering the extent to which this may reflect the reality of his actual mission.

20.2 Healings and Exorcisms in Judaism Healings and exorcisms in the time of Paul formed a pervasive cultural phenomenon. More than that, they were felt to be matters of life and death. A particular gift for healing and exorcism would mark one out as a figure of spiritual power. In fact, any claim to spiritual power would have been quite hollow if one were incapable of putting it to some such practical use. In a world in which unexpected sickness could quickly kill even the healthiest, the power to ward off evil was no trifling matter.4 As Samson Eitrem puts it: “Exorcisms were practised everywhere by uneducated as well as educated people – in all countries, in all languages.”5 So, in this context, the gulf between the separate practices of healing and exorcism which we presuppose in our modern culture does not apply. Although different vocabularies existed for a variety of practices, the assumption remained widespread that possession had physical symptoms —————

3 Here we may point to Alkier’s account of miracles in Pauline literature. Alkier identifies a context in modern research in which beliefs from natural science have had an impact upon exegesis. See ‘1. Von der naturwissenschftlichen zur hermeneutischen Fragestellung’ S. Alkier, Wunder und Wirklichkeit in den Briefen des Apostels Paulus (WUNT 2nd series 134; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001) 23. 4 Modern NT scholars have most often tended to view magical amulets as tokens of a fetish– ridden poor man’s religion, probably because they live in the age of antibiotics. The huge number of spells and amulets that protect the bearer from disease is eloquent testimony to the dreadful power of the unidentifiable and untreatable in ancient life. E.g. PGM VII.211–2, 213– 4; XXXIII.1–25; XLIII.1–27; XLVII.1–17 etc. 5 S. Eitrem, Some Notes on the Demonology of the New Testament (Symbolae Osloenses 20; Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1964) 68.

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and that physical sickness was symptomatic of evil spiritual intervention. The extent to which we may separate healings from exorcism and apotropaic skill is thus rather slight.6 20.2.1 Qumran In ancient Judaism, we encounter a broad range of evidence.7 Some of the earliest of this material comes from Qumran.8 For example, in the Genesis Apocryphon (=1Q20), God sends an evil spirit against the house of Pharaoh to scourge him and prevent him from approaching Sarai (20.16). Once Pharaoh agrees to return his wife, Abram prays to God on his behalf and the evil spirit is expelled (20.29). This spiritual affliction is intended to be equivalent to the “great plagues” ({yldg {y(gn) from the original account (Gen 12.17). Meanwhile, a less clear but fascinating text is the Prayer of Nabonidus (=4Q242). Here the king tells us: “I was afflicted [with an evil ulcer] for seven years … and an exorcist (engraver/diviner? rzg) pardoned my sins.” (3–4).9 The function of forgiveness is inscrutable here, but again we might note that exorcism appears as a form of healing. Finally, from Qumran we also find fragments of apocryphal Psalms used in the practice of exor—————

6 The connection between medicine and the spirit world had the potential to cause controversy in Judaism, since it raised a difficult practical and religious question concerning the appropriate clinical responses. Which methods were legitimate? Some methods might compromise the individual through the influence of demons. For example, 1 En. 8.3 asserts that alchemical–medicinal techniques constitute the false wisdom of the fallen angels. By contrast, Jub. 10.12–14 suggests quite the opposite view, that the angels taught Noah the activities of the demons and how to cure them, “that he might heal by means of herbs of the earth”. Lange suggests that this difference in attitude represents an attempt to “integrate the medical practices of Hellenism into Jewish monotheistic thought.” A. Lange, ‘The Essene Position on Magic and Divination’, in M.J. Bernstein/F. García Martínez/J. Kampen (ed.) Legal Texts and Legal Issues: Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Cambridge, 1995 (STDJ 23; Leiden: Brill, 1997) 384. 7 For a general overview or exorcistic practices: ‘II Exorcism and Exorcists in First Century Palestine’ in G.H. Twelftree, Jesus the Exorcist: A Contribution to the Study of the Historical Jesus (WUNT 2nd series 54; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1993) 13; ‘Chapter 3: Possession and Exorcism in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism’ Sorensen, Possession, 47; RAC Exorzismus 7.43. In terms of rabbinic evidence, StrB has a useful account of protection practices: ‘7. Schutz vor den Dämonen’ StrB 4.527. 8 For this evidence: Lange, ‘Essene Position’, 379; Sorensen, Posession, 65. 9 Compare DJD 22.83: the translation “diviner” is preferred. The sense, however, is broadly similar in either case: one possessing the power to remove the evil affliction (by forgiveness of sins). On the problem of exorcism in this text, see W. Kirchschläger, ‘Exorzismus in Qumran?’, Kairos 18 (1976) 135–153, on page 144.

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cism,10 along with a few other miscellaneous incantations against demons.11 20.2.2 Solomon The most important Jewish tradition for protection, healing, and exorcism in this era is that centred upon the figure of King Solomon. A hint at his reputation is found in Wis 7.15–22, where he recounts the knowledge which God has given to him. This includes knowledge of raging beasts, violent spirits, the diversity of plants, and the powers of roots (7.20). Probably the best known appearance of the tradition is found in Josephus. In Ant. 8.42, he describes Solomon’s prodigious literary output, his knowledge of trees and animals, and his ability to expel demons. Solomon bequeathed to the Jews various incantations, of which Josephus gives an example. We read that a certain Eleazar performed an exorcism in the presence of Vespasian by placing a ring containing one of Solomon’s prescribed roots beneath the nostrils of a demoniac. With the reciting of an incantation, the demon was forced to flee. The appraisal of Solomon here has to be regarded as positive.12 Knowledge of medicinal craft and exorcism goes hand in hand. On top of this general tradition, we also find a powerful religious view of Solomon as a liberator and protector from evil. According to Pseudo–Philo, David sang to drive out Saul’s evil spirit and addressed it directly: “But let the new womb from which I was born rebuke you, from which after a time one born from my loins will rule over you.” (L.A.B. 60.3).13 Here the power of Solomon (“one born from my loins”) is the subject of prophecy. As the master of demons he is also called the “son of David” in the Testament of Solomon and on certain incantation bowls.14 This further sheds fascinating light upon Jesus’ receipt of the same title in the context of healings and ————— 10

“[The prin]ce of the h[os]t [is against you]; the Lord [will cast] you [to] the nethermost [hell]” (11Q11 4.9). Vermes observes that: “the repeated use of the term ‘demons’ and mention of ‘healing’ suggest the genre of the composition.” Vermes, Complete DSS, 310. 11 4Q510–511; 4Q444; and 8Q5. Noteworthy is 4Q560, which clearly is designed entirely for protection or exorcism: “The magic character of 4Q560 is evident by the phrases hmwm xwr hn)w (“and I adjure you, spirit”; 1 ii 5) and )xwr \tymw) (“I will adjure you, O spirit”; 1 ii 6).” Lange, ‘Essene Position’, 385–386. 12 Duling suggests that, despite his scepticism towards the supernatural, Josephus’ Eleazar narrative can be understood as a positive appeal to Jewish Solomonic “white magic” in the face of Roman criticism. D.C. Duling, ‘The Eleazar Miracle and Solomon’s Magical Wisdom in Flavius Josephus’ Antiquitates Judaicae 8.42–49’, HTR 78 (1985) 1–26, on pages 24–25. 13 Compare Josephus: Ant. 6.166–9. 14 T. Sol. 1.7; 20.1. Duling observes: “At least eighteen (incantation) bowls refer to “King Solomon, Son of David” and twelve or thirteen of them refer to his seal ring.” OTP 1.948.

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exorcisms.15 Solomon was not simply competent in such matters, but was supremely so. His power over the spirits was a gift from God, granting him the image of a glorious deliverer, as a host of apotropaic amulets testify.16 20.2.3 Jesus Naturally, Jesus of Nazareth is the most famous exorcist and healer of the era. However, the hostility of some NT scholarship towards the supernatural has bequeathed a long history of ignoring these powers, despite the super–abundance of the evidence.17 We cannot even begin to encompass his activities in a short paragraph, but may list the important points: his exorcisms are functionally equivalent with healings,18 diverse methods are used,19 the legitimacy of his power is important,20 it is connected with his proclamation,21 it may be bestowed upon disciples,22 or simply come through the use of his name,23 and the surpassing nature of this power is emphasised.24 Thus, Jesus fits quite comprehensibly into a context in which his procedures could be accepted and valued. As Twelftree writes: —————

15 Mark 10.47–8; Matt 12.23; 15.22; 20.30–31; Luke 18.38–39. See also D.C. Duling, ‘Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David’, HTR 68 (1975) 235–252. 16 For ‘Solomon the Cavalier’ amulets, see P.S. Alexander, ‘Jewish Elements in Gnosticism and Magic’, in W. Horbury/W.D. Davies/J. Sturdy (ed.) The Cambridge History of Ancient Judaism, Volume Three: The Early Roman Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 1052–1078, on page 1076. For a detailed overview: C. Bonner, Studies in Magical Amulets (University of Michigan Humanistic Series 49; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950) 208. Most commonly, they bear the inscription Solomon around the rider and sfragi£j qeou on the reverse side. Ibid. 209. They “owe their origin to Hellenized Jews”. Ibid. 210. 17 See the (rather combative) remarks of Smith: “We can understand why the gospels represent Jesus as attracting attention primarily as a miracle worker, and winning his followers by miracles […] These facts have been neglected as unedifying by liberal exegesis; we must look at the evidence.” Smith, Jesus the Magician, 10. The same trend is observed by Twelftree: “in more recent times the exorcism stories and associated themes in the New Testament have been neglected in scholarly New Testament work […] The neglect is also noticeable in the ‘lives’ of the so–called New Quest.” Twelftree, Jesus the Exorcist, 7. 18 Matt 4.24; 8.16; 9.32; 12.22; 15.22, 28; 17.14, 18; Mark 1.32, 34; 6.13; 9.17; Luke 4.40–41; 7.21; 8.2, 35–6; 9.1, 39; 11.14; 13.32. 19 Casting spirits out “with a word” (Matt 8.16), by demanding their names (Mark 5.9; Luke 8.30), by sending them into pigs (Matt 8.32; Mark 5.13; Luke 8.32), by “a spirit of God” (Matt 12.28), by “the finger of God” (Luke 11.20), through a woman’s “faith” (Matt 15.28 cf. Mark 7.29), by imposing silence (Mark 1.25, 34; Luke 4.41), and with prayer (Mark 9.29). 20 Matt 12.22–32 Mark 3.20–30; Luke 11.14–23. 21 Mark 1.27; 1.39; Luke 4.32–33, 36. 22 Mark 3.15; 6.7; Luke 9.1. 23 Mark 9.38; 16.17. 24 Matt 17.16–20; Mark 9.17–18; Luke 4.36.

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We are left in no doubt that he was a “man of his time”. We can see that the twentieth century notion that Jesus healed with a “mere word” is an oversimplification, even misrepresentation, of Jesus’ healing procedure. He was an exorcist who used words or incantations, all of which would have been readily recognized by those around him.25

Perhaps we may not separate the religious figure from his technique, nor his message from his action. Power over the spiritual world and the act of proclamation were not competing interests in this case, but existed in fruitful symbiosis.26 20.2.4 Assessing the Practices Overall, we find no great distinction between exorcism, healing, and other apotropaic methods (see also Tob 6.6–8 in this regard). A figure of genuine skill and power would cover all of these as one. The importance of these practices is often underestimated, since they could be matters of life and death. Ordinary people could protect themselves through various techniques or devices, or could consult those rare individuals who had the saving power within them. Indeed, anyone claiming to possess a divine spirit would most likely have to show it through such physical manifestations.27 Otherwise, why should anyone believe them? The use of such power, it must further be stressed, would also most commonly be perfectly orthodox. For Jews in the time of Paul, healings and exorcisms would not be juxtaposed with meaningful religious discourse, nor condemned as a kind of mechanical non–religious procedure. On the contrary, when such practices are allowed to speak for themselves, they at times do so quite eloquently. For example, an amulet designed to protect against demons and the evil eye concludes with a quotation of Exod 15.26: “I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians. For I am the Lord that healeth thee.”28 So, commentators who challenge the religiosity of amulet–wearers and spirit–adjurers could perhaps pay closer attention to the full range of sources.29 They may not appreciate the risks or burdens of disease and evil ————— 25

Twelftree, Jesus the Exorcist, 172. Sorensen emphasises that the exorcisms and healings were performed in a context of apocalyptic expectation. Sorensen, Possession, 129. They were of wider (i.e. cosmic) significance. 27 And vice versa: “The same people who perform exorcisms also invoke the divine Spirit.” Ibid. 146. 28 Amulet 13 in J. Naveh/S. Shaked (ed.) Amulets and Magic Bowls: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity (Jerusalem: the Magnes Press, 1987) 99. 29 Thraede’s claim is doubtful that in “Spätjudentum […] Exorzismus wie Magie sind durchaus indifferent gegen bestimmte religiöse Bekenntnisse, Kultformen oder geschichtsgebundene 26

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spirits in the ancient world, nor understand the hope for deliverance from them. Such hope, we should stress, commonly and legitimately rested upon particular individuals: the son of David, an angel from heaven, or any mortal human in possession of the power of the Lord.

20.3 Healings and Exorcisms in Paul’s Letters Paul’s letters were written to address specific, mostly practical problems. We should not expect to find a catalogue of miracles and, unsurprisingly, we do not. Necessarily, in the genre of letters, some of the most interesting information is divulged indirectly. Perhaps we should expect this for healings and exorcisms; Paul had no reason to describe these practices in detail but could well allude to them in passing. Examining a number of texts, we shall see whether this is the case. 20.3.1 1Corinthians 12.9–10 Paul lists a variety of spiritual gifts in 12.4ff, which in these verses includes “gifts of healing” (xari¢smata i¦ama¢twn), “deeds of power” (e¦nergh¢mata duna¢mewn), and the “discernment of spirits” (diakri¢seij pneuma¢twn). In light of the discussion above, it seems fairly likely that the healings constitute spirit–adjurations. They certainly cannot be Hippocratic medicine or any other kind of proto–scientific technique;30 that would be incongruous in this context. By recognising the nature of the healings, we may also perceive what Paul has in mind for the “deeds of power”. Almost certainly, they are exorcisms.31 That is the most common and visible manifestation of power known to us from early Christian texts and makes a good pairing with healings (cf. 12.28). Rhetorically, we might also note that these gifts are ranked as being of comparable importance to knowledge or prophecy; all are activated (e¦nergei¤) by the same Spirit (12.11). ————— Traditionen; sie schmelzen aus beliebig deutbare Namen, Gebete u. Vorstellungen ein, ohne Rücksicht auf deren ursprüngliche Bedeutung für Glaube u. Geschichte.” RAC 7.56. 30 The process of healing in antiquity hardly ever excluded the treatment of the spiritual cause of sickness. Hippocratic medicine seems to be something of a rare exception in this respect, as its practitioners actively sought to deny the demonic origins of disease. In doing so, they were attacking the most popular and common opinions. See F. Graf, Magic in the Ancient World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997) 30. 31 As is recognised by Schreiber, Paulus als Wundertäter, 183. Notably, the same vocabulary is applied to the therapeutic ministry of Jesus in the gospels: e.g. Mark 6.5, 14 (cf. Matt 14.2) etc.

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Of great interest is the enigmatic “discernment of spirits” (12.10). We find an analogue to this in 1John 4.1, where believers must “test the spirits” (dokima¢zete ta£ pneu¢mata) to see whether they are from God. There, the concern is with false prophets (yeudoprofh¤tai), and a similar prophetic focus is also apparent in 1Cor 12.10. Presumably, then, these reflect the same idea, common in early Christianity. There was a gift – particularly to be exercised in prophecy – of distinguishing between the influence of the good and evil spirits which might come at times of ecstasy. This falls within the category of protection and is thus relevant to our discussion. The early interpretation of this ‘discernment’ is also most fascinating; there was a strong trend of referring it to hostile and unclean spirits.32 In Athanasius’ Life of Antony it is extended to recognising the role of demons and defending oneself against them. Antony persuaded many monks to despise the devil, such was his gift for the discernment of spirits (44). Dibelius sides with this early church viewpoint in his analysis; discernment implies the ability to protect oneself from demonic influence.33 It is quite curious, however, that he does not think to link this protection to the charisma of exorcism. The two most naturally went hand–in–hand. Finally, it is unlikely that these powers should be understood as possessed only by the Corinthians and not by Paul himself.34 It is an important feature of Paul’s rhetoric here that he is more charismatic than the Corinthians (14.18). He dictates the manner in which gifts are evaluated because he has mastery over them; as apostle he sits at the top of the ladder of charismas (12.28).35 20.3.2 2Corinthians 12.12 Here, Paul states that far from being inferior to the “super apostles” who oppose him, he has performed “the signs of the apostle […] signs and wonders and miracles” (ta£ me£n shmei¤a tou¤ a¦posto¢lou [...] shmei¢oij te kai£ te¢rasin kai£ duna¢mesin). Some would deny that this authentically reflects —————

32 See especially J.T. Lienhard, ‘On ‘Discernment of Spirits’ in the Early Church’ TS 41 (1980) 505–529. John Chrysostom and Theodoret hold this view. Ibid. 509–510. 33 He is critical of Everling, who interprets this as a reference to angelic mediation in prophecy. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 75. 34 So Schreiber: “Paulus spricht an dieser Stelle nicht von sich selbst, von seiner Wundertätigkeit, sonder von Phänomenen, die in der korinthischen Gemeinde auftraten.” Schreiber, Paulus als Wundertäter, 176. Also: “Damit sehen wir also, daß sich über eine Wundertätigkeit des Paulus selbst aus 1 Kor 12 nichts entnehmen läßt.” Ibid.186. 35 So Windisch (correctly): “Nur weil er tatsächlich in der Rangordnung der Charismatiker doch ein Höherer ist als sie, gibt er ihnen bindende Vorschriften I Cor 14.” Windisch, Paulus und Christus, 217.

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Paul’s mission; miracles are a topic foisted upon him by his opponents.36 However, this assertion alienates Paul from his own argument. He is not shy of his own powers and assumes that his opponents are inferior in this respect. All he need do is remind the Corinthians of what they had already seen among them. But what are “the signs of the apostle”? Paul presupposes that they are visible demonstrations of power which have benefited the church. They are unlikely to be conjuring tricks, then, and so we are naturally led in the direction of healing, protection, and exorcism. That conclusion fits well with the wider context of early Christianity. Here, we would draw attention to the appointment of the apostleship in Luke 9.1ff (cf. Matt 10.1ff; Mark 6.7ff), where Jesus commissions the twelve with “power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases” (du¢namin kai£ e¦cousi¢an e¦pi£ pa¢nta ta£ daimo¢nia kai£ no¢souj qerapeu¢ein). These are in effect ‘signs of the apostle’, pointing beyond themselves to the coming kingdom. The healing and exorcistic ministry shows that one is sent by God and Christ. 20.3.3 Romans 15.19 There is little to add here, except that Paul again refers to his miraculous powers in general terms. Christ has accomplished much through him “in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God” (e¦n duna¢mei shmei¢wn kai£ tera¢twn, e¦n duna¢mei pneu¢matoj [qeou¤]).37 The only explicit information we may glean about these feats is that they form a fitting accompaniment to the preaching of the gospel. Though not certain, a ministry of healings and exorcisms is a likely referent. Pointing to the example of Jesus, we find that the proclamation of the kingdom and the therapeutic ministry are two sides of the same coin. 20.3.4 1Corinthians 15.32 Here we may briefly summarise an argument which we have set out more extensively elsewhere.38 In this verse, Paul asks: “If in a human manner I fought with beasts in Ephesus, what would be my profit?” This cannot ————— 36

So Schreiber: “Er erwähnt sein Wundertun hier, weil er es erwähnen muß.” Schreiber, Paulus als Wundertäter, 228. 37 Some ancient MSS read ‘Holy Spirit’. The NA text (‘God’) explains the variant (‘Holy Spirit’ being the more common term in early Christianity) and is well supported: P46, ), D1, etc. 38 See Williams, ‘Apocalyptic and Magical’.

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mean literal fighting in the arena,39 so we must seek an explanation of the verb (e¦qhrioma¢xhsa) which is indirectly descriptive of Paul’s situation in Ephesus. A.J. Malherbe’s suggestion that Paul employs the image of the cynic philosopher fighting the bestial passions is problematic.40 There is no evidence to suggest that Paul struggled with hedonism in Ephesus or anywhere else. Instead, Paul probably refers to the dangers brought by evil spirits among the demon–possessed, sorcerers, and idolaters of Ephesus. The most important component of this interpretation is the extended use of qhri¢on (‘beast’) in Judaism as denoting an evil spirit. This was a very common usage.41 It also corresponds to the language of magical papyri, which frequently invoke demons/spirits by hailing them as wild animals.42 A noteworthy example invokes Artemis (the patroness of Ephesus) as “Bull–faced, horse– shaped […] she–wolf […] mistress of the night” (PGM IV.2548–2551). Putting these observations together, a Jew such as Paul, mindful of wicked beasts, might well have encountered both magicians and ordinary Gentiles in Ephesus invoking spirits or the goddess as a wolf, lion, etc. Under those circumstances, conflict would be inevitable. The strength of this interpretation is that it fits with aspects of the account of Paul’s mission in Ephesus in the book of Acts.43 His stance towards the local practice of magic and the Artemisian cult would most likely have been provocative. By alluding to his mission as a fight with the supernatural, Paul would here have his own powers in view: healings and exorcisms (cf. Acts 19.12). 20.3.5 The Significance of the Evidence It seems almost certain that healings and exorcisms played some definite role in Paul’s mission. He alludes to these powers on a number of occasions and assumes that they are acknowledged by his readers. Assumptions, we —————

39 As is widely agreed: Collins, First Corinthians, 557–60; Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 770; Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 366. 40 See A.J. Malherbe, ‘The Beasts at Ephesus’, JBL 87 (1968) 71–80. 41 Examples of the wild animal/evil spirit connection include: Isa 34.14; Ps 91.13; 4Macc 18.8; Jos. Asen. 12.9–11b (cf. 1Pet 5.8); T. Naph. 8.4; T. Iss. 7.7; T. Benj. 5.2; T. Sol. 2.4. 42 Two particularly clear examples are PGM IV.939; VII.780. 43 Possibly this correlates with the letter to the Ephesians, which understands evil spiritual powers to be a significant challenge for the community there. For a reading of Ephesians in the light of such challenges, see Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic. Our interpretation also receives some early support from Origen’s Commentary on Ephesians: R.E. Heine, The Commentaries of Origen and Jerome on St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) 202.

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must stress, are important. Take, for example, 1Cor 4.18ff. Paul plans to return to Corinth, to deal with the trouble–makers and find out not their words “but their power” (a¦lla£ th£n du¢namin). Paul’s own deeds are renowned and even feared; the kingdom depends upon power (a much neglected assertion: 4.20), and Paul may return to Corinth with the stick in his hand. His rhetoric depends upon an assumed context of spiritual abilities. However, one could still argue that Paul did possess such charismatic powers, but his theology came first; his skill in healing and exorcism was subordinated to it.44 Simply on the level of common sense, it is difficult to imagine that somebody could regard him/herself as an exorcist and healer and yet think it a matter of small significance. Indeed, that suggestion arguably misreads Paul’s intentions. His deeds are not the by–products of the power of God. They are manifestations of the power of God. In other words – and this fits with the wider framework of early Christian eschatology – the deeds are the message (and vice versa).45 Juxtaposing the two is an artificial procedure. We probably do not perceive this so readily because we cannot be eyewitnesses to Paul’s missionary activity. So, healings and exorcisms must have held some particular importance for Paul, though he does not allow us to define what this was. Certain indirect remarks are suggestive, however: the two skills go together and are energised by the Spirit (1Cor 12.9–10), they form part of “the signs of the apostle” (2Cor 12.12), they accompany the duty of preaching the gospel (Rom 15.19), and certain notable uses of these powers could be recalled for exhortation (1Cor 15.32). So, it finally remains now to reassess the evidence of Acts and probe how valuable a perspective it offers.

20.4 Paul’s Power in Acts Earlier in this study (chapter 4), we discussed the value of Acts as an historical source. We suggested that it may yield significant cultural and social information about early Christianity. The types of activities which it as—————

44 E.g. “Although Paul performed such acts in his own missionary work, his letters reveal his concern for a theologically informed faith.” Sorensen, Possession, 158. Also: “Die Wunder sind der Verkündigung nachgeordnet.” Schreiber, Paulus als Wundertäter, 272. 45 “For the word of the cross is foolish to those who are perishing but to us being saved it is a power of God.” (du¢namij qeou¤ e¦stin: 1Cor 1.18). Alkier’s comments are perceptive in this respect: “Die Verkündingung des Apostels Paulus erfolgt nicht nur in Worten, sondern auch mit wunderbaren Geschehnissen (vgl. 1Thess 1.5; 1Kor 2.4; Gal 3.5; Röm 15.18f.). Wie aber seine Worte zwar mit menschlicher Stimme gesprochen werden, aber in Wirklichkeit (kaqw¢j e¦stin a¦lhqw¤j, 1Thes 2.13) Worte Gottes sind, so sind auch die wunderbaren Geschehnisse nicht menschlichen, sondern göttlichen Ursprungs.” Alkier, Wunder und Wirklichkeit, 287.

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cribes to Paul broadly correspond to what was expected more generally within the movement. In other words, putting the search for objective facts briefly to one side, we may still say that the author wrote about healings and exorcisms because such things fitted with the common practices and experiences of the early Christian community. Rather than being pure fabrications, the powerful deeds of Paul in Acts reflect a sincere attempt to explain the apostle’s career within the terms of its ancient religious setting.46 Therefore, as we now briefly consider two key narratives in which Paul appears, we should not assume that miraculous activities represent late and mytho– poetic impositions. Paul’s letters themselves suggest that this need not necessarily be the case.47 20.4.1 Acts 16.16–18 During his stay in Philippi, Paul and his companions are accosted by a slave girl possessing a pneu¤ma pu¢qwna,48 which gives her powers of divination (16.16). The girl cries out: “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who preach to you a way of salvation” (16.17). This activity vexes Paul (diaponhqei¢j), so he drives the spirit out from her (16.18). There is nothing inherently implausible in this narrative. Some would regard it as fictitious invention,49 but the main features make good sense in the world in which Paul lived. The words of the slave girl are important. One might suppose that the author has artificially theologised them with a Christian message. However, as H.J. Klauck points out, reference to “the Most High God” is actually typical for a non–Christian religious figure, just like this girl.50 It might well annoy Paul that his mission was confused with —————

46 I.e. it may be considered an ‘emic’ form of description: internal to the culture of the described object. 47 So, we may regard Acts as a subsidiary but still important source, which we may ‘measure’ in relation to the letters themselves. For this general approach: Hengel, Acts, 38. 48 What is meant by this is rather mysterious (NRSV: “a spirit of divination”). Foerster’s TDNT entry identifies two main meanings for pu¢qwn in antiquity: (1) the snake which guarded the Delphic oracle, and (2) a ventriloquist. Neither is easily applicable here. Foerster complains that our text is “an obvious simplification and is materially impossible.” TDNT pu¢qwn 6.920. Since the intention in Acts is that the spirit grants divinatory powers, it is reasonable to assume that there is some remote connection to Delphic prediction, and the NRSV translation is as good as any. 49 “The author’s freedom, which we encounter here, is strange to the modern reader […] The difference between facta and ficta has not been the same in all ages.” E. Haenchen, The Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary (Oxford: Blackwell, 1971) 504. Against Haenchen, our regard for an event as impossible in material terms does not demand that its recording is ‘fictional’. Phenomenologically speaking, such an event may actually have happened (i.e. it was immediately perceived as happening). Alternatively, the narrative could have developed gradually through oral tradition. 50 Klauck, Magic and Paganism, 68.

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popular pagan reverence for ‘the highest god’. This type of exorcistic conflict is something which could have happened in the ancient Mediterranean, and the narrative may be reflecting some of the difficult times in Philippi which Paul himself mentions (1Thess 2.2). 20.4.2 Acts 19.11–20 In view of our comments concerning 1Cor 15.32 above, we might be inclined to take seriously the account of Paul’s mission in Ephesus. Indeed, there are aspects of this narrative which lend it a ring of plausibility. In basic outline, Paul gains such a reputation for miracles that rags or aprons (souda¢rio hÄ simiki¢nqia) that have touched his skin may heal and exorcise evil spirits (19.12). Local Jewish exorcists copy Paul by invoking the name of Jesus (19.13) but are not recognised by an evil spirit (19.15) and are overpowered (19.16). The net result of these wonders is that believers confess their magical practices (19.18) and numerous magical books are burned (19.19). Commentators often react to this passage with scepticism and hostility.51 Here, there certainly are historical difficulties. The exorcists cannot really be the sons of “Sceva, a Jewish high priest” (19.14). No such priest is known.52 However, the presence of a legendary or inaccurate detail should not be allowed to rule out the possibility of there being other more reliable and useful historical information. For example, the setting in Ephesus is convincingly executed, with numerous parts of the narrative matching up with our knowledge of the city.53 Moreover, the non–Christian attempt to adjure a spirit in the name of Jesus matches the evidence for similar practices in the Greek magical papyri. For example, PGM IV.3019–20 reads “o¥rki¢zw se kata£ tou¤ qeou¤ tw¤n ¸Ebrai¢wn ¹Ihsou¤” (“I adjure you by Jesus, the God of the Hebrews”). A non–Christian here attempts to use the name —————

51 The author “could view Paul only with the eyes of his own time: the Paul, already transfigured by legend”. Haenchen, Acts, 563. “In full agreement with Haenchen’s historical analysis I now go one step further and conclude that the present episode is another example of Luke’s historical “method” – namely, complete and unabashed freedom to invent stories in the service of theological purposes.” G. Lüdemann, The Acts of the Apostles: What Really Happened in the Earliest Days of the Church (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2005) 257. 52 Sceva is “a purely legendary figure”. H. Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987) 164. This seems basically correct. 53 So Trebilco: “What Luke says about magic in Ephesus, the silversmiths, the temple of Artemis […] and much more is all abundantly confirmed as realistic by literary and archaeological evidence.” P. Trebilco, The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (WUNT 2nd series 166; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004) 104–5.

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of Jesus. Similarly, in IV.1227–64 the magician invokes “Jesus Chrestos”.54 Such exorcisms as our narrative describes were attempted (sometimes successfully!), as Christian sources themselves testify.55 So, the narrative itself is not entirely fanciful. It is not unreasonable to suppose that it is rooted in some recollections (however vague) of Paul’s original mission in the city. Therefore, the suggestion that Paul himself healed and exorcised in Ephesus appears to be neither contrived nor unrealistic.

20.5 The Spirits and Immediate Salvation As we have already claimed, the spirit world in antiquity could be a part of daily life and experience. In the specific case of therapeutic powers, it could even have a decisive life–or–death significance. A whole range of beliefs were attached to healings and exorcisms and, as far as we may tell, Paul went along with them.56 This is an important point to make, especially in a context in which the spirit world is at times regarded as a field of decadent and metaphysical speculation. On the evidence here, we might question this perspective; the adjuration of spirits and sickness in the ancient Mediterranean seems to be near enough universal, perfectly orthodox, and fitted to the hopes and fears of daily life. Therefore, in Paul’s mission, beliefs about spiritual beings were very likely integrated into the practical concerns of sickness and death. The hope was that suffering and danger could at times receive immediate relief through the saving activities of Christ and his ministers.

————— 54

I.e. “Jesus the excellent”, certainly a misunderstanding of Christos. Mark 9.38; Cels. 1.6; 6.40. 56 Another example we may briefly cite is Gal 4.14, where Paul reminds the Galatians that they did not spit out at him when he first arrived in physical infirmity. According to Schlier, the verb “is not used here in the metaphorical sense of “to expose,” “to despise,” “to reject” etc., but quite literally in the sense of the ancient gesture of spitting out as a defence against sickness and other demonic threats.” TDNT e¦kptu¢w 2.448. 55

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21. The Spirit World and Soteriology (Conclusion)

As we here consider the place of the spirits within Paul’s letters, we seek to analyse how various beliefs about spiritual beings link up with major themes and features. Instead of isolating the ‘doctrine’ of the spirit world for a purely self–contained analysis, we presuppose that there may be significant interconnections between this and other ideas and traditions. Over the last couple of chapters, then, we have focussed upon Paul’s soteriology, suggesting that his beliefs about salvation and redemption include a notable spiritual dimension, from the conquest of evil spirits on the cross to the deliverance from sickness and death in present life. We have noted that a number of different accounts of Paul’s soteriology may be given. Particularly influential has been the proposal within certain quarters of biblical theology that the apostle focussed upon salvation from the internal, human evil of sin: Christ saves us from ourselves and our evil desires. At times, this has been understood as the more realistic (or, ‘existential’) alternative to seemingly mythological or supernatural accounts of the cross. In place of evil spirits and powers, Paul is said to have turned towards the universal experience of evil.1 However, as we have already argued, a focus upon human–caused sin alone as the problem resolved by Christ is perhaps unnecessarily restrictive. Quite probably, Paul believed that one could be saved from all manner of things: death, sin, the elements of the world, etc. Indeed, to pursue this argument a little further, it is questionable whether we may legitimately distinguish between ‘spiritual’ and ‘natural’ evil at all in this case. For example, we might appeal to a text like Rom 8.3, which expresses ideas similar to Col 2.15. Here, sin is the target: Christ comes into the world “in the likeness of sinful flesh”2 so that God may “condemn sin in the flesh”. Sin is here transformed into an enemy which needs to be defeated, and the physicality of Christ is used to destroy it. Therefore, just the same procedure is used to address the problem of sin as with spiritual/angelic enemies. Sin is destroyed by a heavenly being who enters the world in human form. Being saved from sin and being saved from evil spirits may simply be two different perspectives on the same fundamental problems. ————— 1 2

As is most persistently and robustly argued by Carr, Angels and Principalities. e¦n o¥moiw¢mati sarko¢j a¥marti¢aj. Compare Phil 2.7: e¦n o¥moiw¢mati a¦nqrw¢pwn geno¢menoj.

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Soteriology in Paul’s letters thus appears to be a rather complex matter, although it is quite clear that the spirit world plays some distinctive part within it. This material is integrated into Paul’s teaching on the cross, making this a notable factor in determining how people are to be saved. The spirit world also connects with hopes for deliverance from present day evils, which perhaps gives this more of a footing in everyday life and experience. So, if we accept that spiritual powers are a part of Paul’s soteriology and redemption narrative, then here they may have found some special importance. Arguably, the spirit world is an aspect of the apostle’s message, of what he is trying to say: the conquest of spirits provides some of the explanation for why Christ was crucified and how this liberates believers from evil.

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22. The Spirit World and the Community

Here in Part Three, we are building a picture of how the spirits function within Paul’s letters, judging this by their integration into major themes and issues. Having considered the possible connections with Christology and soteriology, we shall now finally discuss the links between the spirit world and the community of believers. Already, we may partly appreciate how this might work; we have examined a number of texts which allude to the present reality of spiritual powers in the lives of Paul and his followers. For example, Satan is the tempter (1Cor 7.5; 1Thess 3.5), who seeks to outwit believers by stirring up trouble among them (2Cor 2.11). The angels may be known through ecstatic speech (1Cor 13.1) or, to Paul’s great concern, may become the objects of veneration (Col 2.18). Perhaps we gain the strongest sense of the presence of spirits in the first letter to the Corinthians. Here we read of the varying gifts of the Spirit (12.4), of eagerness for the spirits (14.12), and of prophets who keep their spirits in order (14.21). Indeed, we also find that angels are present within the congregation.1 These are all points which may be developed further in the following pages. One other point of particular interest for this next part of our study is the idea that the community might have some collective significance or meaning of its own. As Paul puts it, the bodies of the Corinthians are all Christ’s members (1Cor 6.15). Through questions of conduct, boundary, and identity, there is an issue in terms of how the spirits might affect the integrity of the community as a whole. It may be that we shall find significant underlying connections between the ideas of spiritual powers and community life.

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1 See Sullivan, Wrestling with Angels, 167. He asserts: “Paul and the Corinthian community saw the liturgical space as one where humans and angels could and did interact.” Ibid. 171

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23. The Presence and Problem of the Angels (1Corinthians 11.10)

23.1 The Problem in Corinth One of the most striking and enigmatic expressions of the presence of spirits among Paul’s followers is found in his comments upon the arrangements of men and women praying in Corinth (1Cor 11.2ff). He demands that women should have some sort of head covering (katakalu¢ptw – the meaning of which is disputed)1 when praying or prophesying, to avoid disgrace (11.5–6). Offering some arguments based upon the order of creation (11.7– 9), he demands: “a woman ought to have authority upon (her) head, because of the angels” (11.10). This may seem quite strange to us, but the Corinthians presumably understood what this warning was and how it related to their current practices. So, interpreters today are obliged to reconstruct the background of these instructions, trying to determine the problem presented by the angels to the community at large. One means of interpreting this text is through the evidence of Qumran. Notably, Joseph Fitzmyer has cited a number of documents which indicate that angels in Judaism could be especially present in worship.2 He emphasises those texts which prohibit the presence of persons with bodily defects in gatherings where angels are also present (e.g. 1QM 7.4–7). So, concerning our text, Fitzmyer concludes: We are invited by the evidence from Qumran to understand that the unveiled head of a woman is like a bodily defect which should be excluded from such an assembly, ‘because holy angels are present in their congregation’.3

While Fitzmyer is correct to use parallels among the Qumran texts to highlight the special presence of angels in religious congregations, his suggestion that the uncovered female head counts as defective is less than con-

—————

1 Commentators generally chose between seeing this as a garment – a veil, or a modest hair style. We shall consider this problem shortly. 2 Including Ps 137, 1QM 7, and 1QSa 2. Fitzmyer, ‘Qumran Angelology’, 41–2. 3 Ibid. 43. See also Collins, First Corinthians, 412.

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vincing.4 After all, Paul writes that a woman’s long hair is her “glory” (11.15). The problem seemingly demands some other explanation. The issue, we would suggest, is quite literally one of boundaries and entrance–points into the community. As was put forward by Everling and certain other older German commentators, Paul may have worried that the angels would find the human women to be sexually attractive.5 Thus, they are obliged to cover themselves. In recent times, this reading has fallen from favour. However, much of the criticism directed towards it is arguably misguided and, indeed, there are signs that it may be making a comeback.6 So, here we shall consider the possibility that Paul attempts to defend the community from spiritual intrusion. Firstly, though, we must clarify the basic historical claim which lies behind this interpretation: the suggestion that angels could pose some kind of sexual threat.

23.2 Spirits and Sexuality in Judaism Thinking of the Greco–Roman context of Paul’s addressees in Corinth, we realise that the idea of deities and demons having a sexual interest in humans would be far from foreign. This data need not be recited here; the amorous liaisons of Zeus with Io, Semele, Europa, and Leda, for instance, are well known.7 The question of how a Jew such as Paul would have thought of such matters, however, is complex. It is sometimes suggested that angels cannot pose a sexual threat in 1Cor 11.10 because angels are understood to be good and, as such, incapable of these sins.8 Similarly, it has been argued that lust cannot physically apply to angels more generally.9 ————— 4

As Héring asks: “Why do the angels regard the lack of a veil as reprehensible?” Héring, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 108. Fitzmyer fails to explain. 5 Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 32. For a list of those advocating this view: Schrage, Erste Brief an der Korinther, 2.516. 6 See especially the articles by J. Meier, ‘On the Veiling of Hermeneutics (I Cor. 11:2–16)’, CBQ 40 (1978) 212–26; G.P. Corrington, ‘The “Headless Woman”: Paul and the Language of the Body in 1 Cor 11.2–16’, PRSt 18 (1991) 223–231; and L.T. Stuckenbruck, ‘Why Should Women Cover their Heads Because of the Angels?’, Stone–Campbell Journal 4 (2001) 205–234. 7 In passing, though, we might note Plutarch’s particularly interesting account of the sexual appetites of certain demons in De Defectu Oraculorum 147d–e. 8 “Sensuality is never attributed to any of the good angels in any of the Christian or Jewish writings of the period.” Fitzmyer, ‘Qumran Angelology’, 40. Hooker (mistakenly) claims that angels in the NT are never evil. M.D. Hooker, ‘Authority on her Head: An Examination of 1Corinthians 11:10’, NTS 10 (1964) 410–416, on page 412. 9 “StB prove conclusively that the angels would never have been thought of in contemporary Judaism as being subject to lust for a human female.” W.F. Orr/J.A. Walther, I Corinthians (AB 32; New York: Doubelday, 1976) 260–261. The evidence cited is actually rather limited and focussed upon rabbinic texts: StrB 3.437. Also, by a certain reading of Luke 20.35–36, one could

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There is a questionable assumption here. That is, angels are presumed to be loaded with unbending moral status: good or bad. In reality, however, angels may have been considered moral agents capable of either. As Loren Stuckenbruck emphasises: In relation to the Jewish apocalyptic traditions, it is important to realise that the “fallen angels” were usually considered “good” to start with. It is only after they have departed from their proper place in creation when the trouble beings.10

We could apply this to Paul’s reference to angels. Even if they are ‘good’ to begin with, they still might conceivably sin. If angels desired human females in the past (Gen 6.1–4), this might happen again in the future. 23.2.1 Demons and Other Spirits Before expanding upon the angels, we may begin with wider Jewish beliefs about the sexuality of demons and other spirits. This will give us a sense of context and a broader understanding of the activities involved. Indeed, Philo regards the story of the angel marriages as a narrative about ‘angels’, ‘demons’, and ‘souls’ (Gig. 6, 16), so there may be some fluidity between these categories. Firstly, males demons certainly found human females to be attractive. The classic example of this is Tob 6.14, where Asmodeus slays Sara’s suitors because he “loves” her.11 Though this love is never consummated, the desire is clear. Elsewhere, a Jewish matron tells that she was never corrupted by a “seducer of the desert” or “deceiver in the field”, nor did a serpent rob her of her virginity (4Macc 18.8). Here, the spirits are thought capable of the sexual act and this woman is proud to have avoided such pitfalls. The basic idea of male spirits as incubi, then, was known.”12 Secondly, we find the same to be true of female spirits, acting as succubi.13 The obvious example here is Lilith, who is as much a part of the ————— extrapolate that angels are incapable of marriage. However, this may not be what is intended and, even if it were, this hardly makes it impossible for angels to be subject to sexual desire in other parts of Judaism and Christianity. 10 Stuckenbruck, ‘Why Should Women Cover?’, 231. 11 daimo¢nion filei¤ au¦th£n. This is also preserved in the Aramaic (4Q196). See J.A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003) 215. 12 And here we may recall the later rabbinic view of b. H̙ag. 16a: demons are in three ways like human beings (they eat and drink, they propagate, and they die). 13 Incubi are male spirits which have sex with women and succubi are female spirits which have sex with men. Such ideas are spread through many cultures, including (medieval) England. A good mnemonic is found in the saying of Trevisa, cited in Oxford English Dictionary (online) succubus: “That fend that goeth at nyght, Wommen wel oft to begile, Incubus hatte by ryght; And

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general folklore of the ancient Near East as she is a specifically Jewish demon.14 Though Lilith was a sexual figure from origins, her activities are best known from the evidence of late antiquity.15 However, she was also an evolving figure earlier in Judaism. The LXX takes the interesting decision of rendering ʺʩʬʩʬ (Isa 34.14) into Greek with the term ‘donkey–centaur’ (o¹noke¢ntauroj). Popular speculation on this figure continued to develop, as can be seen with the appearance of the demon Onoskelis in T. Sol. 4.2. Another half–woman, half–donkey, she tells of her activities: “Sometimes I strangle men; sometimes I pervert them from their true natures” (4.5). So, speaking in broader terms, we may say that various types of spirit in Judaism were regarded as potential (and undesirable) sexual partners for human beings. 23.2.2 Angels In terms of angelic desire for humans, the foundational text is Gen 6.2, in which we read that the “sons of God” ({yhwl) ynb) saw the daughters of man, “that they were fair” (tb+ yk) “and took them for wives, from all which they chose.”16 Here, the sons of God may be understood as angels.17 Of greatest interest is the later retelling of this episode, which emphasises the sexual nature of the protagonists: In those days, when the children of man had multiplied, it happened that there were born unto them handsome and beautiful daughters. And the angels, the children of heaven, saw them and desired them. (1 En. 6.1–2).

————— gileth men other while, Succubus is that wight.” An interesting piece of trivia, our common English word ‘nightmare’ originally referred to a succubus: Oxford English Dictionary (online) nightmare 1.a. 14 See the evidence gathered by Hutter in DDD Lilith tylyl 973–976. Lilith is a spirit without a husband who wanders around seeking men to ensnare. Her chief features are quite discernible from the Mesopotamian evidence and she emerges (somewhat obliquely) in two early Jewish texts: Isa 34.14 and 4Q510.4–5. 15 She is a common feature of magic and protection, especially in Mandaic and Aramaic incantation bowls. See E.M. Yamauchi, Mandaic Incantation Texts (Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2005) 22; C.D. Isbell, ‘The Story of the Aramaic Magical Incantation Bowls’, BA 113 (1978) 5–16, on page 12. One even finds a bill of divorce (get) to a Lilith: Naveh/Shaked, Amulets and Magic Bowls, 159. In the Talmud, she is a figure with long hair and wings: b. ‘Erub. 100b; b. Nid. 24b. Most interesting is the warning in b. Šabb. 151b: “Rabbi Hanina said, ‘One may not sleep alone in a house, for Lilith takes hold of whoever sleeps alone in a house.’” 16 On the specific role of marriage in this text, see Wright’s recent discussion: ‘Excursus: Marriage in Genesis 6.2’. Wright, Origin of Evil Spirits, 133. 17 Indeed, certain Greek texts (including Philo: Gig. 6) read oi¥ aÃggeloi tou¤ qeou¤.

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Although the beauty of the human women is stated in the original Genesis narrative, here there is a new element. As George Nickelsburg comments, the verb e¦piqumei¤n brings in the pejorative sense of lust and illicit desire.18 The carnal nature of the angels is clear; they have mingled with blood and flesh (15.4). This narrative was very popular in Judaism and Christianity (it is alluded to in the NT: 1Pet 3.19–20; 2Pet 2.4), and may have been known to Paul himself. Moreover, various traditions suggest that the desires of the angels need not have been confined to this one episode. In the account of Noah’s birth in the Genesis Apocryphon, Lamech is most concerned by the striking appearance of his young son: “I thought then within my heart that conception was (due) to the Watchers and the Holy Ones” (1Q20 2.1). The intention here is probably to enhance the reputation of Noah;19 he looks too good to be human. The important point for us is the assumption that impregnation by an angel is not limited to the birth of giants but is a potential factor in a wider set of circumstances. An angel may have taken Lamech’s wife while he was unaware and so the idea of (not necessarily evil) human–angelic offspring is contemplated.20 Meanwhile, in Philo’s interpretation of Gen 6.1–4 we find his usual technique of allegory. However, he also suggests that the text gives a pattern for ongoing problems in life: pure souls (‘angels’) will stoop to gratify their desires. He is in any case inclined to read aspects of the narrative literally (it is no mu¤qoj), for there really are such things as angels which “hover in the air” (Gig. 6–7). In basic terms, then, Philo accepts that angels continue to desire lower gratifications.21 The story of the angelic fall also provides some with a persistently valid lesson concerning the danger of women with an alluring appearance. One finds a neat illustration of this in T. Reub. 5.5–6, in which Reuben instructs his sons that wives and daughters must not adorn their heads, “for it was thus that they charmed the Watchers, who were before the flood.” The tempting nature of human females is an abiding concern.22 ————— 18

Nickelsburg, 1Enoch, 176. So Fitzmyer, Genesis Apocryphon, 122–125. 20 This is a most distinctive idea: “Gen. Apoc. indicates that, for at least one author, a birth that had been conceived by the mixing of human and divine stock was possible.” Sullivan, Wrestling with Angels, 209. Noah would not be comparable to the evil giants of 1Enoch. 21 “These are the evil ones who, cloaking themselves under the name of angels, know not the daughters of right reason […] Some take the pleasures of sight, others those of hearing, others again those of the palate and the belly, or of sex.” (Gig. 17–18). 22 The idea that humans endangered the angels is found in 2 Bar. 56.11–12, which Sullivan compares with T. Reub: Sullivan, Wrestling with Angels, 220. A related idea is found in Justin’s suggestion that the angels were “captivated by love of women” (2 Apol. 5). Most striking in this regard is the Targum Pseudo–Jonathan of Gen 6.2: the daughters of men had painted their eyes and walked around naked. 19

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Finally, we may note that a number of other miscellaneous narratives and traditions contribute to this sense that angels may be capable of sexual desire. Striking is the Targum Pseudo–Jonathan of Gen 4.1, for here Adam tells us that Eve conceived from Sammael, “the angel of the Lord”.23 Then, in Jub. 15.25–27 we learn that angels are circumcised and thus, presumably, have penises. Also, it is significant that the purveyors and users of magical papyri viewed angels as potential allies in the battle to charm women into sexual acts: Do not allow her to go to bed or to find sleep until she comes and fulfils the mystery rite of Aphrodite […] I adjure you […] by the great MICHAEL ZOURIEL GABRIEL. (PGM XXXVI.305–310)

Therefore, it seems that various spirits were regarded as capable of sexual desire or sexual acts in ancient Judaism. In the case of angels, this was classically referred to the biblical account of the ‘angelic fall’ in which many angels took human wives. However, this myth was not seen as a far– off irrelevance but was felt to be realistic and could even provide the basis for current–day instruction.

23.3 “Because of the Angels” – the Pauline Text 23.3.1 Angels Present in Worship Turning to 1Cor 11.10, we find an early advocate of the ‘sexual interpretation’ of the angelic warning in Tertullian (Virg. 7). However, his opinions may be off the mark, for he suggests that the evil angels of Gen 6.2 are in sight here. This is unlikely, since those angels were usually regarded as imprisoned (e.g. 1 En. 10.4). Instead, we should go along with Stuckenbruck’s suggestion that the angels in 1Cor 11.10 need not be categorised, for: “Whatever their position or nature, angels have the capacity to violate the cosmic order.”24 All we need accept is that such powers are present in the community, and this is most vividly expressed by Tertullian himself, giving a strangel picture of angels in church clapping women on the back of the neck (Virg. 17). Presumably, such beliefs were not uncommon, as they may be traced back to similar ideas in Judaism (see chapter 8).

————— 23

Text from M.J. Maher, Targum Pseudo–Jonathan: Genesis (ArBib 1b; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992) 31. 24 Stuckenbruck, ‘Why Should Women Cover?’, 231.

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23.3.2 Paul’s Demand: Veils or Modest Hairstyles? Although the setting of Paul’s comments may be clearer – expressing concerns grounded in the presence of angels in the community – the meaning of his instruction is perhaps not immediately obvious. The verb which he persistently refers to the women in question is katakalu¢ptw, which in its most common meaning has the sense of ‘cover up’ or ‘veil’.25 Accordingly, many of the major translations interpret Paul as demanding that a veil or some other covering be worn by women (‘veil’: NRSV; ‘cover her head’: KJV, NIV). However, this interpretation has been challenged in recent years, with Jerome Murphy–O’Connor raising the possibility of seeing katakalu¢ptw as a reference to the manner in which hair is arranged, with the expectation being that women should have their hair wound around their heads in an orderly fashion, rather than being loose.26 The significance of such a reading might be that it shifts Paul’s argument away from a claim that women should dress differently (reflecting a special duty of modesty) to a point about observing social and religious convention.27 On balance, there is little to decide the matter. Murphy–O’Connor’s reading has the advantage of connecting with the discussion of long hair in vv 14–15. However, it stands on rather thin linguistic evidence,28 and the appeal to a common association between unbound and disordered hair is not really relevant, since the problem we face is essentially a dispute about the meaning of words.29 So, without claiming complete certainty on this matter, it seems that the more established reading carries a little more weight: Paul probably refers to some sort of covering or veil being worn by the women. Indeed, whatever the outcome in this disputed matter, we may still observe that Paul is requesting decency in appearance – both the covering of hair and the appropriate arrangement of hair support that underlying point. ————— 25

“Covered or veiled to the forehead” BAGD katakalu¢ptw 412. J. Murphy–O’Connor, ‘Sex and Logic in 1Corinthians 11:2–16’, CBQ 42 (1980) 482–500, on pages 488–489. 27 The Corinthian hairstyles “flew in the face of accepted conventions […] the more people they shocked, the more right they felt themselves to be.” Ibid. 490. 28 Murphy–O’Connor appeals to the rather cryptic Lev 13.45 LXX for the Greek ‘head uncovered’ being equivalent to the Hebrew ‘head unbound’. Ibid. 488. This cannot have anything to do with hair, however, since the leper in this text is stated to be bald (13.43). 29 So, it is most interesting that the LXX of Ezek 24.7 renders the MT “your turban bind upon you” as “let not your locks be entangled”. However, it is inappropriate to use this non–lexical material to build an argument about the connotations of katakalu¢ptw (as does Murphy– O’Connor: ibid. 488). Only texts in which the word is used are relevant to the meaning of the word itself. 26

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23.3.3 The Order of Creation The importance of decency and modesty is brought out in Paul’s initial construction of an argument from the order of creation. Here, Everling makes the important observation that verse 10 is “eine Folgerung aus dem vorhergehenden Vers 9.”30 The dia£ tou¤to gives a logical conjunction, tying the covering of the woman to the claim that “man was not created because of woman, but woman because of man.”31 We may extrapolate that, from creation, man was woman’s rightful sexual partner. Something like this is found in 1 En. 15.5–7. God states that he created women to be the wives of men on earth. The angels, however, were created to be spiritual; “I did not arrange wives for you because the dwelling of the spiritual ones is in heaven” (15.7).32 The created order of man and woman is to be kept whole, away from the intervention of angels. 23.3.4 The Meaning of ‘Authority’ Perhaps the main difficulty in 1Cor 11.10 lies in the suggestion that a woman should have “authority upon her head” (e¦cousi¢an eÃxein e¦pi£ th¤j kefalh¤j). The view of certain major translations that this is a passive symbol of subordination is linguistically problematic, since one cannot find this meaning attested elsewhere.33 However, the opposite view, that women have complete freedom of choice, can hardly be what Paul intends either; otherwise, why demand that they accept a covering (11.5–6)?34 What, then, is the solution? Perhaps we may glean something from Dibelius’ opinion that e¦cousi¢a refers to a power which a woman possesses.35 We may not wish to follow his suggestion that it denotes the use of a veil as an apotropaic device, since this is based upon rather disparate evidence.36 However, the more basic idea ————— 30

Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 35. Indeed, the suggestion that Paul was encouraging the Greek custom of bound hair instead of the Jewish preference for a veiled head is somewhat undermined but the fact that Paul justifies his ruling on the basis of Jewish literature (Genesis). 32 The text here is from Knibb’s translation in AOT 169–319. 33 “A symbol of authority” (NRSV); “a sign of authority” (NIV). As Collins notes, “The problem with this approach is that exousia is presumed to connote the authority to which one is subject, rather than the authority one exercises oneself – a meaning of exousia not otherwise attested in Greek literature!” Collins, First Corinthians, 411. 34 See Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 255. Fee glosses “freedom over her head to do as she wishes.” Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 520. This makes good linguistic sense of e¦cousi¢a but seems to rub against Paul’s teaching in the wider passage. Surely his main point is that women should follow his recommendations. 35 Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 15. 36 Ibid. 18. 31

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of power – that the woman is in control – is helpful. In other words, rather than giving women free choice, Paul suggests that they act with authority, that they take the necessary precautions.37 This is in all probability a statement about a woman’s ability to be firm in protecting herself from unwanted spiritual attention. 23.3.5 Beauty and Modesty If we accept that Paul is concerned with the exercise of ‘authority’ in personal protection, then the importance of making oneself decent or wearing a veil is clear, even though this may not necessarily be the type of ‘magical’ device which Dibelius had in mind. A covering expresses modesty and hides what is sexually attractive: the woman’s head. Notably, Paul emphasises female beauty in his argument; woman is the glory of man (11.7), her long hair “is her glory, for long hair is given to her as a garment” (11.15). The woman’s head is itself attractive. As Everling points out, this connects up with the idea in T. Reub. 5.5 that it is specifically the heads and faces of women which attracted the angels.38 Indeed, it is also possible that the idea of ‘head’ here is a physical entrance point by which a spirit may gain access.39 Expanding upon this idea of sexual modesty, we may note that rabbinic literature also recognises the head as a focus of female beauty and consequently demands that females wear a veil. The obvious connection this suggests with Paul is something picked out by Louis Epstein in his classic treatment of Sex Laws and Customs in Judaism: In the early rabbinic period, even during Temple days, the woman was required by the current code of sex morality to be veiled, else her decency was questionable. In a few instances the rabbis imply that this was a distinctively “Jewish usage” but was

—————

37 Perhaps we may follow Schrage, reading this verse in light of 6.12 and 10.23 (all things are lawful, but not all are beneficial). The Corinthian women demonstrate their authority by keeping things in order: “Die e¦cousi¢a der korinthischen Frauen über den Kopf soll sich darin erweisen, daß sie die Haare in anständiger, dem pre¢pon (V13) gemäßer Weise tragen.” Schrage, Erste Brief an der Korinther, 2.514. This view is also accepted by Collins, First Corinthians, 411. 38 “Es wird mithin gerade die Kopftracht der Frauen als Grund zu unkeuschen Begierden hervorgehoben und warnend auf die Verführung der Engel hingewiesen.” Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 37. 39 Corrington views the head as an orifice: “The physical “head” was regarded in antiquity as particularly vulnerable to the entrance of spirit (pneuma).” Corrington, ‘Headless Woman’, 230. She cites Greek medical literature. Martin accepts her suggestion that, in the act of prophecy, the woman becomes ‘open’ to external spirits: D.B. Martin, The Corinthian Body (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995) 244.

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not observed by non–Jews […] In the west that rule of modesty was not recognized, and Saint Paul was much displeased over the fact.40

Interestingly, under certain circumstances an unveiled head could even be grounds for divorce.41 It is notable that the Talmudist Epstein – seemingly unaware of the debate on this point in Christian scholarship – instinctively reads 1Cor 11.2–16 as a question of sex. Most likely, he is correct.

23.4 A Socio–Spiritual Threat After this extended exegetical discussion, it is necessary to clarify how all of this fits with our general aims. While we may sometimes be in the habit of assuming that spirits act as the passive objects of belief, the material encountered above suggests that they can also turn towards shaping the way in which people live.42 Arguably, in 1Cor 11.10 Paul is not referring to a theoretical belief about angels, but addresses a complex kind of socio– spiritual reality. The existence of angels is integrated into Paul’s expectations for community life. Stuckenbruck’s comments here are most instructive: The problem lies less in the sort of angels being referred to than in the assumption of sexual vulnerability of women to pollution […] [Paul’s] reasons for commending head–coverings are unable to break away from the deep–seated assumption that women constitute the locus where boundaries between different parts of the cosmos are most likely to be violated.43

The veiling of women helps to set the Corinthians apart, following Jewish notions about creation (1Cor 11.7–9) and a peculiar teaching about angels (11.10). Paul is thus able to express his concerns about the borders of the group and the threat of intrusion. The projected threat of amorous angels may galvanise the Corinthians to take practical (and socially distinctive) steps towards protecting themselves. Otherwise, different parts of the cosmos may be mingled inappropriately and the integrity of the community be ————— 40

L. Epstein, Sex Laws and Customs in Judaism (New York: Bloch, 1948) 40. Ibid. 41. 42 For this idea, we may point to Brown, which grants to the spirit world a significant practical focus: “Seemingly exotic and removed from the “realities” of Roman social history, the study of demons and sorcerers, of holy men and the modes of divine blessing in this world, soon escapes the shelves of libraries. Nothing less is involved in this debate than the changing quality of life and of social relations in the Mediterranean world of the late second, third, and fourth centuries.” P. Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978) 23. In this type of account, the beliefs themselves are treated as a social force. The same approach might well be applied to Paul. 43 Stuckenbruck, ‘Why Should Women Cover?’, 231. 41

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compromised. Such expectations may seem strange to us, but the threat of pollution within a community would come as a fairly natural consequence of believing in the possible intervention of spirits in the world. Paul’s sense of the holiness or integrity of the group on this point appears to be bound up with his belief in spiritual realities.

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24. The Spirits, Sex, and Marriage

24.1 The Problem of Desire One of our main arguments in this part of the study is that the spirit world played some inherent role in Paul’s understanding of the order, identity, and integrity of the community of his followers. The external sexual threat of angels which we have just discussed provides a simple and vivid illustration of this. The holiness of the group demands that its members not be compromised through the influence of dangerous spiritual beings. Here, we shall extend this discussion, considering Paul’s understanding of sex and marriage. Perhaps the main issue we must address is the extent to which the appreciation of marriage is shaped by fears of the threat of immorality and Satan lurking at the borders of the community. As Dale Martin suggests, the dominant trend in (Protestant) critical scholarship has been to interpret Paul as a supporter of sex and marriage.1 So, the suggestion that desire is provoked by evil spirits struggles to fit with this image of the apostle, as does the general threat of impurity and pollution. However, such concerns are exactly what one finds in the patristic period. Indeed, in Peter Brown’s study of The Body and Society, this later spirituality is laid at Paul’s door: What was notably lacking, in Paul’s letter [1Corinthians], was the warm faith shown by contemporary pagans and Jews that the sexual urge, although disorderly, was capable of socialization […] In the future, a sense of the presence of “Satan,” in the form of a constant and ill–defined risk of lust, lay like a heavy shadow in the corner of every Christian church.2

In the following, therefore, we shall seek to clarify Paul’s position with respect to the connection between sex, marriage, and the spirit world. The threat of Satan and pollution may be significant. Paul’s practical instructions on these matters could be connected to his beliefs about spirits.

————— 1

Martin, Corinthian Body, 209. P. Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (London: Faber & Faber, 1989) 55. 2

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24.2 Jewish Traditions of Spirits, Morality, and Marriage The idea that illicit or unlawful desire originates with evil spirits was relatively common in early Judaism. Going back to the fall of the Watchers, we read that those angels taught women the art of cosmetics (a sure sign of wantonness!)3 and committed adultery with them (1 En. 8.1–2). They did not just impose themselves upon humanity, but introduced the practice of immoral sexual acts. Indeed, this narrative ensured that the giants (the children of the Watchers) became synonymous with improper sex: they were the {yrzmm – the ‘bastards’ (4Q510 5).4 The connection between the supernatural and the sexual was also taken up in early Christianity, finding distinct types of expression. For example, in Rev 18.2–3 we read that Babylon is “an abode of demons […] for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her fornication.” 24.2.1 The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs Of great interest here are the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Their much–debated provenance5 is not of critical importance for our purposes, for we do not wish to posit any genealogical connection between these and other texts. Their significance lies simply in the fact that they present a relevant way of thinking. The Testaments contain a complex demonology, with spirits causing sexual immorality (pornei¢a). For instance, Reuben lists the spirits of Beliar (T. Reub. 2.2) and of deceit (3.2) stating that the spirit of pornei¢a “is seated in the senses”.6 As the story develops, we read that ————— 3

The use of eye makeup (1 En. 8.1) in the Bible is mentioned “only in connection with women of ill repute.” Nickelsburg, 1Enoch, 194. Effectively, the women are made into prostitutes. 4 Cf. 1 En. 10.9: “Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates”. 5 De Jonge, in his dissertation and publication argues that these form a Christian composition. M. de Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Study of their Text, Composition and Origin (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1953). His research upset the previous consensus that the Testaments are Jewish texts with minor Christian interpolations, a view based upon the text and analysis of R.H. Charles, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs Translated From the Editor’s Greek Text and Edited with Introduction, Notes and Indices (London: A&C Black, 1908). However, de Jonge’s opinions are contested, especially by G. Vermes, ‘The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs’, in E. Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, A New Version Revised and Edited by G. Vermes, F. Millar and M. Goodman (3 vol.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark) III.2.767–781. See also J.C. O’Neil, ‘The Lamb of God in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs’, JSNT 2 (1979) 2–30. It is probably most helpful if we do not view the Jewish/Christian nature of the Testaments as an either/or issue but rather see it as a case of both/and, as suggested by H.D. Slingerland, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: a Critical History of Research (SBLMS 21; Missoula: Scholars Press, 1977) 107. 6 Our citation of the Testaments here follows Hollander/de Jonge, The T12P: A Commentary.

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pornei¢a is a tool in the hands of Beliar (4.7) and, “if pornei¢a does not over-

come the mind, also Beliar will not overcome you.”7 Finally, we learn that “women are overcome by the spirit of pornei¢a more than man” – a point illustrated by their relations with the Watchers (5.6ff). The spirit of pornei¢a appears elsewhere in the Testaments. In T. Jud. 14.2 we read: “the spirit of pornei¢a has wine as minister with regard to the pleasures of the mind” (cf. 16.1). An emphasis upon chastity, meanwhile, is found in the Testament of Joseph, in which the “Egyptian woman” seeks to lure Joseph into pornei¢a (3.8). Ultimately, she resorts to magic (6.1) and Joseph perceives the influence of Beliar (7.4).8 Possibly, we should understand the “evil desire” in this story (3.10; 7.8) as a demonic impulse, analogous to the better–known ‘evil inclination’ ((rh rcy).9 The Testaments regard marriage as the practical solution to pornei¢a. Isaac admonishes Levi to “beware of the spirit of pornei¢a” and protect himself by taking a wife (T. Levi 9.9–10). Marriage is a defence mechanism, taken up in youth (as Hollander and de Jonge suggest) “probably in order not to give pornei¢a a chance.”10 Exactly the same pragmatic approach is advocated in T. Reub. 4.1. Reuben’s sons must ignore the beauty of women “until the Lord will give you a wife, whom he wants.” Therefore, in the face of Beliar and the spirit of pornei¢a, marriage is, to borrow the language of the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, “a remedy agaynste sinne […] to avoide fornication.” Yet, at the same time, the charisma of Joseph holds out chastity as a higher ideal.11 24.2.2 Rabbinic Literature Aspects of this demonic view of desire survive in certain parts of rabbinic literature. A curious episode in b. Yoma 69b relates how the evil inclination (which destroyed the Temple and killed the righteous) was forced to manifest itself as a fiery lion. However, when the people imprisoned it, not a single egg could be found in all of Israel. We find a similar menacing image of desire, but simultaneously the text acknowledges its necessity for repro————— 7

Hollander and de Jonge misleadingly render pornei¢a ‘impurity’. We leave it un–translated. This view of the Egyptian woman as promiscuous and impure matches up with attitudes towards Egyptian women in other literature. See for example Jos. Asen. 7.3. 9 Another parallel is further found in the good or evil ‘dispositions’ (diabou¢lia) in T. Ash. 1.3, 8, 9, etc. 10 Hollander and de Jonge, The T12P: A Commentary, 158. 11 The full title of T. Jos. is actually The Testament of Joseph, Concerning Chastity. The example of Joseph is cited in T. Reub. 4.8: “because Joseph guarded himself from every woman, and purged his thoughts from all pornei¢a, he found favour in the sight of the Lord and men.” 8

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duction and life. This tension is best summarised in the famous statement that the evil inclination “is very good” (Gen. Rab. 9.9). Daniel Boyarin suggests that the rabbis effectively made licit and illicit desire into one.12 He also offers an interesting historical reconstruction of this halakic move: My hypothesis is that the Rabbis inherited the term “Evil Instinct” from a first– century Judaism much more averse to sexuality than they were, and unable to dispense with it, they ironized the term – “The Evil Instinct is very good” – and rendered the concept itself dialectical – blind in one eye, as it were.13

The evidence of the Testaments indeed suggests that more negative views of sex may have existed in earlier forms of Judaism. However, rabbinic attitudes towards desire were more likely to have been a source of debate than consensus;14 we should avoid pushing the paradox completely into irony. The suggestion that the evil inclination was retained only through convention ignores the sustained point that desire is both good and evil;15 one must hold it off with the left hand and draw it on with the right (b. Sot́ah 47a). So, rabbinic literature offers a more complex discourse about sex, although the idea that desire is a demonic or spiritual force is retained. Intriguingly, the view of marriage propounded in the Testaments is also found on one occasion in b. Qidd. 29b. Here, Hisda suggests that his virtue is superior to those who marry later, for he was married at sixteen (cf. T. Levi 9.9). However, if he had married at fourteen then he could have said to Satan: “an arrow in your eye!” Marriage, it seems, protects one from evil. The desire that comes from Satan or some other spirit is best thwarted in this way.

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And thus: “killing off desire for illicit sex will also kill off the desire for licit sex, which is necessary for the continuation of life.” D. Boyarin, Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) 62. 13 Ibid. 63. 14 Satlow indicates that some rabbis were more relaxed about sex than others. For example, Palestinian rabbis took a distinctively firm line on the evil inclination, recommending vigorous Torah study for protection. M.L. Satlow, Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality (BJS 303; Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1995) 164. Possibly, as Boyarin also suggests, Babylonian rabbis were more liberal. Particularly emphasising diversity in the rabbinic position is D. Biale, Eros and the Jews: from Biblical Israel to Contemporary America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997) 33. 15 Indeed, some rabbis practiced sexual abstinence, as shown by E. Diamond, Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Asceticism in Rabbinic Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) 33.

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24.3 Sex and Marriage in the Pauline Epistles As we may now appreciate, Paul’s instructions concerning sex and marriage belong in a context in which there was already sustained and varied discussion of the rights and wrongs of such matters. Furthermore, spiritual beings seem to have influenced these discussions. So Paul’s position may be interpreted from within this wider framework. Desire, along with its negative spiritual associations (Satan, etc.) presents a threat to the community. Naturally, our chief focus will be upon the role which Paul ascribes to marriage in 1Cor 7.1ff. However, that text certainly is not written in a vacuum, and it is necessary for us first to set out the background of Paul’s concerns about sexual immorality (pornei¢a) more generally in his letter.16 24.3.1 Evil and Impurity Paul’s discussion of sex begins in 1Cor 5.1, where a man “has” (i.e. has sexual relations with) his father’s wife. Here, the community’s boundaries are defended against evil;17 Paul’s final demand is that the Corinthians “remove the evil one from among you” (5.13; cf. Deut 17.7 LXX). The man in question is a vessel of pornei¢a and thus a bearer of tangible evil or Satan. He is simply to£n ponhro£n (a common term for the devil).18 This strict approach to the presence of evil bears some comparison with community regulations from sectarian Judaism. As Philip Alexander observes, the Qumran community’s defence against demonic intrusion is reminiscent of its defence against impurity and, indeed, some pollutions are severe enough to demand the permanent exclusion of the guilty party.19 ————— 16

As Martin notes, with pornei¢a in 1Cor 7, Paul does not introduce a new subject: “All of these issues – the man sleeping with his stepmother, men visiting prostitutes, and desire – fall under the heading of porneia and pollution. For Paul, then, marriage in the church serves as a mechanism for protecting the boundaries of the church’s body from external contamination through sex with those outside.” Martin, The Corinthian Body, 212. 17 “The condemnation of porneia in Jewish circles was a way of solidifying the boundary between the chosen people and everyone else with their idols and loose morals […] (Paul) invokes issues of boundaries, self–identity, and pollution.” Ibid. 169. 18 BAGD ponhro¢j 698: “2.b. the evil one = the devil Mt 13: 19; J 17: 15; Eph 6:16; 1 J 2: 13f; 5: 18, 19.” Also TDNT ponhro¢j 6.558–9 2.b. ‘The Devil’. Barrett remarks of ponhro¢j: “possibly a reference to the wicked in general; very improbably the Wicked One – Satan” Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 133. What Barrett fails to acknowledge is the (probably deliberate) open– ended–ness of Paul’s wording; ‘the evil one’ contains a measure of all these things. 19 P.S. Alexander, ‘The Demonology of the DSS’, in P.W. Flint/J.C. Vanderkam (ed.) The Dead Sea Scrolls After Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment (2 vol.; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 331–352, on page 348.

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Such concerns match with what is going on in 1Cor 5; Paul takes the impurity of this sexual act as a serious problem.20 Evil is something which belongs outside of the community and pornei¢a may here be understood as an intrusion into the field of holiness. It can only be resolved when the offender is returned to the proper sphere of evil, to Satan (5.5). This ‘infectious’ or ‘supernatural’ view of sexual wrongdoing can, perhaps, be compared with the claim of Reuben (who also had sex with his father’s wife) that impurity is given by Beliar (T. Reub. 4.7). Such a perception of pornei¢a is then maintained in chapter 6, where Paul prohibits sex with prostitutes (6.15). His argument is striking, extrapolating from the fact that man and wife become “one flesh” (Gen 2.24) that a man and a prostitute become “one body” (1Cor 6.16). This compromises the body of Christ. The penetration of the social body entails the penetration of the spiritual body; evil enters into the community. Paul then gives a pneumatic argument against the presence of pornei¢a in the community. The one who unites himself with the Lord becomes “one spirit” with him (6.17), while the body is “a shrine of holy spirit within you” (6.19). This confluence of purity and spiritual presence may be compared with the ‘Two Spirits Discourse’ from Qumran, where lewdness and uncleanness stem from the spirit of falsehood (1QS 4.9–12) and purity from the spirit of truth (4.5– 7).21 Paul’s use of Temple imagery underscores his concern with spiritual presence. As Gunkel once argued, this may be understood as the opposite of impure demonic possession, when a spirit has residence in the ‘house’ of a man’s body.22

————— 20

See especially ‘4.4 Cleansing the community: keeping the Church pure’: M. Newton, The Concept of Purity at Qumran and in the Letters of Paul (SNTSMS 53; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985) 86–97. Countryman contends that Paul has “little, if any, concern with sexual purity in the physical sense”: L.W. Countryman, Dirt, Greed and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and their Implications for Today (London: SCM, 1989) 109. This is probably incorrect, in view of Newton’s research. 21 Davies denies that Paul’s pneumatology is similar to that of Qumran, claiming that “Paul stands in the essentials of his thought on these matters more in the main stream of Old Testament and Rabbinic Judaism than in that of the sect.” W.D. Davies, ‘Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Flesh and Spirit’, in K. Stendahl (ed.) The Scrolls and the New Testament (London: SCM, 1958) 157– 182, on page 182. This focus on ‘mainstream’ (i.e. OT and rabbinic) Judaism is contestable and there is no reason to suppose that Paul cannot also have been influenced by ‘sectarian’ pneumatologies. Kuhn’s essay reads matters very differently: K.G. Kuhn, ‘New Light on Temptation, Sin, and Flesh in the New Testament’, in K. Stendahl (ed.) The Scrolls and the New Testament (London: SCM, 1958) 94–113. 22 “The pneumatic is the “temple” of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 3.16; 6.19). The demon “dwells” in the demoniac (Luke 11.26) and the Spirit “dwells” in the pneumatic (1Cor 3.16; Rom 8.9; 2Tim 1.14; see Jas 4.5).” Gunkel, Influence, 50.

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24.3.2 1Corinthians 7 Paul’s discussion of marriage in 1Cor 7.1ff builds upon instructions about sexual immorality; he has already had much to say. His introductory statement (“it is good for a man not to touch a woman”) is almost universally understood as a quotation from the Corinthians’ letter.23 While this is possible, there is an underlying (pro–marriage) interpretive agenda here which distances Paul from this seemingly ascetic statement. Yet, the comment matches well with Paul’s own decided opinion (“he that does not marry will do better”: 7.38), so it could easily be his own. Immediately, then, Paul addresses sexual desire as the core problem. Because of pornei¢a, “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (7.2). Marriage here offers protection from sin, as is also suggested in a parallel passage found in 1Thess 4.3–4: For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you hold back from pornei¢a: let each of you know how to acquire his own vessel in holiness and honour.

The argument for taking “acquire a vessel” (skeu¤oj kta¤sqai) as a reference to acquiring a wife in this text is fairly compelling.24 Here too, marriage protects from pornei¢a. Despite attempts to find a healthy or positive view of marriage in Paul, it seems inescapable that protection from evil is the only argument he ever allows in its favour. Certain topoi are notably absent. Nowhere can be found a view of sex and marriage and the fulfilment of humanity’s biological, created, or spiritual destiny. There is no sense that marriage completes a person or is God–given. On the contrary, Paul’s gift is chastity (1Cor 7.7). Also conspicuous by its absence is the argument – so common in antiquity ————— 23

Barrett, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 154; Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 274–277; Collins, First Corinthians, 257–258; etc. Notably, this view is upheld in the elaborate reconstruction of the Corinthians’ letter in J.C. Hurd, The Origin of I Corinthians (London: SPCK, 1965) 163. 24 Some maintain that this is a reference to self–control (NRSV: “how to control your own body”); Richard, Thessalonians, 198. Yet the problem here is that that kta¢omai is a verb of acquisition, except in the perfect and pluperfect, where it has a durative sense ‘keep’ or ‘maintain.’ See BAGD kta¢omai 456. The supposed exceptions to this rule, particularly gathered by Smith, are generally ambiguous and can be read both ways. J.E. Smith, ‘1Thessalonians 4:4: Breaking the Impasse’, BBR 11 (2001) 65–105, on page 83. Yarbrough convincingly argues for reading this as a reference to marriage, comparing the linguistic structure of 1Thess 4 and 1Cor 7 with that used in T. Levi 9 and Tob 4. He also gives a careful study of Greek and Hebrew idiom, finding plenty of evidence for the use of ‘vessel’ in reference to wives. O.L. Yarbrough, Not Like the Gentiles: Marriage Rules in the Letters of Paul (SBLDS 80; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985) 68. Best also makes a good case for this reading, as does Malherbe: Best, Thessalonians, 161–4; Malherbe, Thessalonians, 226–8.

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– that marriage is important for procreation.25 This suggests an important difference between Paul and the later rabbis, well described by Boyarin: The very efforts which the Rabbis were to make a century or two later to overcome the negative encoding of sexuality and desire as ipso facto evil provide eloquent testimony to the strength and problematicity of this ideology […] Paul, I suggest, found a different way out […] for Paul encratism was the ideal, procreation of no value whatsoever, and marriage indeed merely a defence against desire for the weak.26

Paul does not perceive the same problem as the rabbis because he no longer regards continued physical existence as a long–term prospect. After all, since “the time has grown short” (7.29), what would be the point in re– populating society? So, Boyarin’s claim that asceticism is an outworking of Platonic strands in Paul’s thinking is not quite correct; Paul’s apocalyptic eschatology informs him that marriage is no longer of lasting significance. So, while there were many different possible responses to the problem of pornei¢a, we see that Paul’s attitude towards marriage has quite a fixed and definite form. Arguably, his opinions are strict and even a little one– dimensional. Somewhat akin to the position of the Testaments, he views marriage (as Martin rightly suggests) as a ‘prophylaxis’.27 It is a ward against the radical and mysterious evil of pornei¢a. This spiritual–sexual ethic clearly emerges in Paul’s instructions to married couples: Do not deny one another, except perhaps by agreement for a time so that you may be free for prayer, and then come together again, lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self–control. (7.5)

Following on from chapters 5 and 6, Satan’s emergence as a sexual tempter28 here is suggestive of the dualistic thought–world of the Testaments, especially the Testaments of Reuben, Levi, and Joseph. Indeed, it is possible that Paul knows or cites a part of the same tradition.29 For instance, there are close parallels between this verse and T. Naph. 8.6–8: —————

25 So Yarbrough, who gives a good general account of these arguments. Yarbrough, Not Like the Gentiles, 60–63, 107. 26 D. Boyarin, A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994) 160. 27 Martin, Corinthian Body, 209. 28 Dibelius regards temptation as key to the Pauline Satan. Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 48. Certainly, we may agree that 1Cor 7.5 is not an isolated motif (cf. 1Thess 3.5). 29 E.g. compare T. Reub. 5.5 (“Feu¢gete ouÕn th£n pornei¢an”) with 1Cor 6.18a (“Feu¢gete th£n pornei¢an”). The targets of Paul’s arguments and those in T. Reub. are near enough identical. On this point, see B.S. Rosner, ‘A Possible Quotation of Test. Reuben 5.5 in 1Corinthians 6.18A’, JTS new series 43 (1992) 123–127. His idea of “quotation” presumes a textual link, which is at least

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But him who does not do what is good […] the devil will appropriate him as his own peculiar instrument […] For there is a season (for a man) to have intercourse with his wife and a season (kairo£j) to abstain (e¦gkratei¢aj) therefrom for his prayer.

The similarity of vocabulary is striking and, indeed, R.H. Charles thought that Paul had cited this text directly.30 We may also, perhaps, compare Paul’s charismatic gift for chastity with the ethical model of Joseph in the Testaments. Since Paul and Joseph are able to resist pornei¢a by themselves, they are not obliged to seek the protection offered by marriage. Rather like Joseph, Paul provides an example for his followers (“but I wish that all men could be as I myself am” 7.7).31

24.4 Spiritual and Bodily Order As modern interpreters, it is natural for us to read apparently ethical concerns in the NT in light of modern value systems such as the rights of the individual, or his/her obligations towards society. It is easy to pass over the idea that actions and behaviour may be sensitive to the influence of spiritual forces. Yet, we would suggest that Paul’s attempt to regulate the lives of his followers kept these matters much in mind. Sexual desire represented an external threat which the individual could bring into the community, thus polluting and compromising its holiness. Satan provided an important image for this process; he was seen as both the source of sexual temptation (1Cor 7.5) and the final destination of those who gave in to it (5.5). The protection of the purity of the congregation and its protection from evil spiritual influence went hand–in–hand. To look at these concerns from an anthropologist’s perspective, we may suppose that the body acts as a microcosm of society. What threatens the former invariably ends up threatening the latter, especially in terms of the risk of pollution.32 So, the threat of illicit sex to the physical body of the ————— possible. However, we could make the more reserved suggestion that Paul and T. Reub. are tied to the same traditions. 30 Charles, Testaments, 147. 31 According to Hollander, the ethical model of Joseph represents one of the core features of the Testaments: “He is a representative of the author’s ideal of man.” H.W. Hollander, Joseph as an Ethical Model in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (SVTP 6; Leiden: Brill, 1981) 93. On Joseph’s chastity: Ibid. 38. For this virtue in Joseph, see also Philo (Ios. 40). 32 E.g. Douglas identifies different kinds of social pollution, concluding: “the symbolism of the body’s boundaries is used in this kind of unfunny wit to express danger to community boundaries.” M. Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Ark Paperbacks, 1984) 122. Of the Israelites, she writes: “The threatened boundaries of their body politic would be well mirrored in their care for the integrity, unity and purity of the physical body.” Ibid. 124.

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individual is a threat to the group; the compromise of the individual compromises the whole. That Paul thinks in such a way is perhaps illustrated by his notable anger in 1Cor 5.1ff, where he holds the Corinthians collectively responsible for pornei¢a. The evil one has to be excluded, otherwise everyone will be polluted. Sex and marriage, then, are not just ‘practical’ problems, but also link in with powers which extend beyond the scope of the human individual. The impact of spiritual forces influences the life of the community. The temple of God’s Spirit (1Cor 3.16; 6.19) needs to be kept whole.

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25. Spiritual Conflict

25.1 Conflict and the Community Thus far, we have considered how the spirit world relates to Paul’s sense of community, especially in terms of the physical body and social relations. There is the seemingly direct threat of unwanted angelic influences at community gatherings (1Cor 11.10), as well as the need to regulate marital and sexual practices to protect believers from Satan and the mysterious power of immorality (pornei¢a). The Pauline community, we might suppose, has a special kind of spiritual identity and integrity which needs to be defended. Here, we wish to examine a slightly different theme, considering how Paul’s understanding of the community of believers is shaped by motifs of conflict. Perhaps somewhat dualistically, we shall find that the image of the group is at times intertwined with a narrative of cosmic battle. Paul tells his followers that they are sons of light, fighting in a kind of spiritual war – a view which has obvious ties to Jewish perspectives in that era. So, it may be that the collective identity of believers is bound up with an understanding of spiritual realities, of different powers vying for supremacy. We have already examined related ideas found elsewhere, with Christ as conqueror and the leader of angelic hosts. Now we shall offer a more expansive discussion, explaining further possible connections between the community and the spirit world.

25.2 Spiritual Conflict in Judaism and Christianity The Jewish idea of spirits as engaged in military activity is a legacy from ancient Israel. We may recall, for example, the destruction of the hostile Assyrian army by an angel in 2Kings 19.35. However, such ideas particularly flourished in the Greco–Roman era, as is reflected in a number of sources. Most interesting is the suggestion found in Pseudo– Philo that the angels account for Israel’s great military successes. We read that the Amorites were defeated because “Zeruel, the angel who is pre–eminent in military might, bore up the arms of Kenaz” (L.A.B.

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27.10),1 while Sisera was defeated because the stars burned his army (31.2), and Goliath was slain because David was assisted by Zervihel, “the angel in charge of might in warfare” (61.5).2 Notions of militant spirits were reflected in Israel’s understanding of its own tradition. 25.2.1 The War Scroll (1QM) The most striking manifestation of this trend is the War Scroll from Qumran. The cultural origins of its conflict mythology, however, are disputed. Peter von der Osten–Sacken sees this as grounded in the traditions of the OT, emphasising the parallels between column 1 and the book of Daniel.3 He traces the scroll’s light/dark dualism back to the day of Yahweh tradition,4 most particularly as found in prophetic literature. As Amos 5.18 suggests, the day of the Lord “is darkness, not light.” However, it is perhaps more likely that 1QM’s holy war ideology developed through contact with external mythology. John Collins argues just this point: 1QM, though connected to Daniel’s eschatology, takes its structure from “the Persian dualism of light and darkness.”5 This mythology, unlike its Canaanite or Israelite counterparts, anticipates a final battle between these forces.6 Collins thus concludes: “The novelty lies not just in a few motifs but in the structure of the world–view […] that evil has a place in the constitution of the world.”7 This ideology of warfare, then, represents a shift in (sectarian) Jewish perceptions of group identity. People now belong to a cosmic narrative of

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1 One of the angels blinds the Amorites and they accidentally kill one another. Murphy suggests that the bearing up of Kenaz’s arms recalls Exod 17.8–13, where Moses’ upheld arms ensure victory over the Amalekites. Murphy, Pseudo–Philo, 128. 2 Zervihel here is the alternate spelling for Zeruel (cf. 27.10). See H. Jacobson, A Commentary on Pseudo–Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum with Latin Text and English Translation (2 vol.; AGJU 31; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 2.1183. 3 Osten–Sacken, Gott und Belial, 33–34. 4 Ibid. 34. He denies that it is rooted in ‘Iranian influence’: Ibid. 81. 5 J.J. Collins, ‘Mythology of Holy War in Daniel and the Qumran War Scroll: a Point of Transition in Jewish Apocalyptic’, VT 25 (1975) 596–612, on page 604. 6 As Collins notes, Plutarch’s account of Persian religion (De Iside et Osiride 45–47) impressively agrees with the Avesta on this point (Yasna 44.15). Ibid. 605. Such influence may not be isolated; Zurvanism may have informed the dualism of 1QS – so J.H. Charlesworth, ‘A Critical Comparison of the Dualism in 1QS 3:13 – 4:26 and the “Dualism” Contained in the Gospel of John’, in J.H. Charlesworth (ed.) John and Qumran (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1972) 76–106, on pages 87–89. 7 Collins, ‘Mythology of Holy War’, 608.

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conflict, having allegiances which go beyond that of tribe or nation.8 A few major points from the text will explicate this. Firstly, there are the titles used in 1QM: “the sons of light” (rw) ynb) and “the sons of darkness” (\#wh ynb). Though not uniform features of the textual history,9 as things now stand they express a cosmic divide in humanity. The work begins with an abrupt statement of the warfare between the camps: the sons of light attack the company of the sons of darkness (1.1). It is self–evident to our author that this war must and will take place; it is inherent in the structure of the world, moulding people into opposing forces. Secondly, the identity of the sons of light is enhanced by their supernatural power. Take, for example, the banners carried into battle (3.12–5.2). Yigael Yadin treats these as practical preparations for combat.10 However, despite potentially practical uses, one cannot ignore the magical and representational inscriptions on these banners. They harness the power of the community as the “Wrath of God”, the “Truth of God”, etc. The same applies to the magnificent weapons (5.3ff). Their measurements curiously correspond to those of holy vessels in the Pentateuch and so, “their specification may be due to faith in the magical properties of these figures.”11 Like the banners, these weapons represent the idealised power of the community; it bears the “Shining Javelin of the Power of God” and “the Flaming Blade to Devour the Wicked” (6.2–3). Finally, we find intimacy between human combatants and spiritual beings; those on the side of light “are in one and the same ‘lot’ as the angels.”12 Crispin Fletcher–Louis suggests that this association extends to an identification of men and angels.13 Less then convincing is his appeal to 7.6 (“holy angels shall be with their hosts”) for, as Kevin Sullivan points out, the angels are only “with” ({() the host, which does not imply the transformation of either party but simply the joining of forces.14 However, more persuasive is Fletcher–Louis’ point that before the end, the sons of light ————— 8

It introduces a new “criterion for the self–identity of the group”: Ibid. 610. While column 1 is replete with references to these groups (1.1, 3, 7, etc.), columns 2–9 – widely regarded as a different stage of composition – are not. This section in 1QM “has no dualistic ideas; it is pan–Israelite in outlook, and there are no major sectarian indications”: P.R. Davies, 1QM, the War Scroll from Qumran: Its Structure and History (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1977) 67. 10 He compares them with banners in the Roman army. Y. Yadin, The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness with Commentary and Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962) 61. 11 Ibid. 114. 12 Ibid. 241. 13 Fletcher–Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 399. 14 Sullivan, Wrestling with Angels, 159. 9

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shine over the earth, as do the wise at the conclusion of Daniel (1.6; cf. Dan 12.3).15 Quite possibly, then, some current or proleptic angelic nature is assumed by the war’s human participants. Whatever is the case, the community identifies with spiritual realities, matching its self–perception to the angelic realm. 25.2.2 Early Christianity Conflict motifs were enthusiastically taken up in early Christianity. The best known example is the heavenly war between Michael and the dragon in Rev 12.7–9.16 Similar themes are also repeated later in the book (19.19; 20.7–10). Thus, Richard Bauckham suggests that there may be a link here with 1QM.17 While some of the traditions are reinterpreted metaphorically, their religious function is still parallel.18 For example, in both texts the conflict is preceded by the re–gathering of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 7.4; 1QM 2.7).19 Though we can scarcely verify the precise connection, we can say that the structure of the war more generally (good and evil, eschatology, etc.) is derived from Christianity’s Jewish matrix. Warfare traditions proved most popular in early Latin Christianity. For example, in Tertullian’s discussion of military service he affirms that there is no agreement between “the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness” (Idol. 19). Elsewhere, “some solider of Mithras” is described as being initiated “in the gloomy cavern, in the camp, it may well be said, of darkness.” (Cor. 15). The linguistic traits of 1QM were still flourishing. Also suggestive is the eschatology of Commodian. This is dependent upon Revelation and the myth of Nero redivivus (Instructiones 41). However, the geographical progression of the anticipated war is more in keeping with 1QM and Daniel; the Whore ————— 15

Fletcher–Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 401. While 1QM envisions a war in Palestine, it is an interesting question as to what Revelation intends in terms of the connection between the war which “occurred in heaven” (12.7) and events on earth. There may be a “symbiotic relationship between heavenly and earthly battles”, as suggested in artistic depictions of Rev 12. See J.L. Kovacs/C.C. Rowland, Revelation: the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ (Blackwell Bible Commentaries; Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004) 139–140. So, the heavenly element need not be interpreted purely as “a dramatic presentation of the defeat of Satan”. W.J. Harrington, Revelation (SP 16; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1993) 133. Quite possibly, the events are supposed to be more or less ‘real’. 17 See his essay: R. Bauckham, ‘The Apocalypse as a Christian War Scroll’, in R. Bauckham (ed.) The Climax of Prophecy: Studies on the Book of Revelation (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993) 210–237. 18 Ibid. 213. 19 Noted by Bauckham. Ibid. 218. However, this pan–Israelite tradition is found in column 2 of 1QM but not in column 1, where the sons of light consist of Levi, Judah, and Benjamin (1.2). 16

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of Babylon, the “Latin conqueror”, advances upon Jerusalem and then retreats to the north to gather his forces (41–42). Most significantly, Commodian presupposes a dualistic contrast between the army of Christ and the army of Belial (53), a sign that Jewish traditions continue to exert an influence.20 Overall, then, ideas about spiritual conflict seem to have enjoyed broad currency. These provided significant future expectations and a means of representing the identity of a Jewish or Christian group. Generally speaking, the conflicts of heaven and earth were integrated or, at the very least, related. This religious–historical context may therefore provide an appropriate setting for interpreting the conflict motifs in Paul’s letters.

25.3 Spiritual Conflict in Paul’s Letters As a first century Jew, Paul would have been able to engage with a vital and flexible tradition of real and metaphorical conflicts to instruct, reassure, and motivate his followers.21 As we examine his letters, we may not find one single theme or theory which orders all such material. Nevertheless, we might expect that the idea of conflict attaches to a relatively consistent view of community identity. However, the obvious question which immediately arises is whether Paul actually anticipated a literal, physical war between the powers of heaven and earth, as was apparently the case with 1QM, Revelation (probably), and Commodian. 25.3.1 Eschatological Conflict Most likely this is so, albeit with limitations and a lack of detail. As we suggested earlier, the parousia motif in 1Thess 4.16 (cf. 2Thess 1.7) is couched in military terms. The end of the world brings Christ at the head of an angelic army. Moreover, in the early deutero–Pauline 2Thess 2.1–12, the Antichrist tradition (which has parallels with Revelation)22 is probably —————

20 Similar ideas are further found in Lactantius, who writes of an evil king besieging the righteous on a mountain. Christ descends from heaven with an army of angels, at which the king flees to gather another army (as in Commodian), but is then captured and burned (Epitome 71–72). 21 Because of its ubiquity in the Empire, military language held a particular rhetorical value; it “could be used either to encourage an individual or to promote social, political, intellectual, or religious unity.” E. Krentz, ‘Paul, Games, and the Military’, in J.P. Sampley (ed.) Paul in the Greco–Roman World: A Handbook (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003) 344–383, on page 347. Presumably, Paul would be familiar with such usage. 22 For instance, Satan performs signs to deceive the inhabitants of the world (2.9), and the Beast does exactly the same (Rev 13.13).

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based upon Paul’s own teaching.23 The end is conceived as a time of strife and evil influence. It is probably this scenario which lies behind Paul’s language of the “day of the Lord” or the “day of Christ” (which amount to the same thing).24 Certainly, this is what the phrase indicates in the Thessalonian correspondence, and in other instances it bears the sense of final judgement.25 This is most likely mediated to Paul (and the rest of Christianity) from Jewish apocalyptic traditions which provided a vision of the end times.26 An interesting variation on the theme is later found in Ephesians; one must wear the armour of God “that you may withstand on the evil day” (e¦n t$¤ h¥me¢r# t$¤ ponhr#¤: 6.13). The meaning of this conflict is expressed in the previous verse, where we learn that the struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and authorities of the darkness. So, the “evil day” is the point at which resistance to these beings reaches its climax.27 The realisation of this idea shocked Adolf von Harnack: The Christian life is a battle with the demons! It is hard to say whether this concept inspired in the Christians of the next generations more in the way of strength or fear and dread; it is certain, however, that the concept never disappeared.28

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23 As Nicholl suggests, the central theme of the day of the Lord binds 1 and 2Thessalonians together. C.R. Nicholl, From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2Thessalonians (SNTSMS 126; Cambridge: Cambridge Univesity Press, 2004) 186. He reads 2Thessalonians as an ‘addendum’ to 1Thessalonians, written soon after the first letter. Ibid. 195. This point is almost impossible to decide, though aspects of the letter seem rather to suggest an early attempt to put down in writing Paul’s oral eschatological teaching (2.5), possibly in the wake of his death. However, the question of whether 2Thessalonians is authentically Pauline need not be pivotal, given that it makes a concerted effort to address Pauline themes and address the problems of the previous letter. It may still be expressing or mediating his teaching. 24 1Cor 1.8; 5.5; 2Cor 1.14; Phil 1.6, 10; 2.16; 1Thess 5.2; cf. 2Thess 2.2. 25 E.g. “that you may be blameless (a¦negklh¢touj) on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor 1.8). 26 Christianity understood the Lord in the Jewish phrase ‘day of the Lord’ to be Christ. As Wendebourg suggests, this change may have been facilitated by traditions which ascribed judgement to mediator figures as, for example, with the “day of the Elect One” in 1 En. 61.5. N. Wendebourg, Der Tag des Herrn: zur Gerichtserwartung im Neuen Testament auf ihrem alttestamentlichen und frühjüdischen Hintergrund (WMANT 96; Neukirchen: Neukirchener, 2003) 160. 27 While 5.16 (“the days are evil”) allows that this may refer to the present time, the definite article here (“the evil day”) recalls the “Pauline inheritance of final eschatology referring to the last outbreak of Satan’s apostasy.” Muddiman, Ephesians, 290. See also Barth, Ephesians, 2.804– 805. Note, however, that Lincoln regards it as possible to have it both ways: “The readers are to realise that they are already in the evil days (cf. 5.16), but that these will culminate in a climactic evil day, when resistance will be especially necessary.” Lincoln, Ephesians, 446. 28 A. von Harnack, Militia Christi: The Christian Religion and the Military in the First Three Centuries (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981 [German original 1905]) 36.

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Displaying similar antipathy towards this tradition, some commentators claim that Paul reinterprets or contradicts it. The war is ‘ideological’ rather than ‘real’.29 This is unlikely, however. Paul may be sketchy on the details (especially regarding the role of believers), but nonetheless presumes that the day of the Lord will come, bringing conflict and judgement. 25.3.2 Light and Darkness While the prospect of a final battle may have helped Paul to galvanise his followers with practical expectations, we also find a more general use of the rhetoric of conflict. Notably, the motif of a war between light and darkness persists. A key text here is 1Thess 5.5–8: For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as others do, but let us stay awake30 and remain sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But, since we are of the day, let us stay sober, wearing the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

It would probably be a mistake to see verse 8 as a transition from one image (day/night) to another (armour).31 Moreover, this cannot be explained purely through the Greco–Roman literary image of philosopher as a soldier.32 Paul likely takes on the traditional Jewish language of a great war between light and darkness.33 Although this military motif is appropriated for the purposes of exhortation (be faithful, be hopeful, etc.) the identity “sons of light” is important. Believers are themselves a part of the eschatological reality which unfolds in 1Thess 4–5, separate from those who sleep and get drunk. Later, we find related sentiments in Eph 5.8: “once you were darkness, but now you are light. Walk in the Lord as children of light.” This verse has a Semitic flavour and may belong to the same stream of tradition as 1Thess

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29 See, for instance, Leivestad, Christ the Conqueror, 147. Naturally, we might question this dichotomy: why cannot the conflict be ideological and real? 30 BAGD grhgore¢w 166: The primary meaning is “be or keep awake”, but by extension it suggests military guard duty, “be on the alert, be watchful.” This could connect with the drunkenness motif; one who fails to remain sober neglects one’s duty. 31 As suggested by B. Roberts Gaventa, First and Second Thessalonians (Interpretation; Louisville: John Knox Press, 1998) 71. 32 As suggested by Malherbe, Thessalonians, 297. 33 So Richard, Thessalonians, 255. Fitzmyer regards this phrase as dependent upon Qumran: “Early Christians seem, then, to have borrowed this expression, “sons of light,” from such a Palestinian Jewish literary tradition to designate themselves.” J.A. Fitzmyer, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000) 36.

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5.5–8.34 Most importantly, as Andrew Lincoln stresses, “the readers are not just surrounded by the light but are identified with it.”35 The contrast between believer and unbeliever is objectified: you were darkness, you are light. Most intriguing, then, is Rom 13.11–12: You know what time it is, that it is already the hour for you to be raised from sleep, for now salvation is closer to us than when we first believed. The night tarries, the day has drawn near. So, let us put off the works of darkness and put on the weapons/armour (Qª R NC) of light. (cf. Eph 6.13).

Paul expresses precisely the same light/dark contrast which we find in 1QM and Tertullian.36 Also, in an interesting parallel to 1QM, he describes the Christian armaments as “light” (the Qumran javelins flash or glitter: brqt – 6.2). While these objects here have a moral rather than a physical force, they too objectify the idealised spiritual power of the community against the forces of evil. So, on the one hand, Paul does not identify a concrete battlefield or distinct human enemies. The nature of the contrast between light and darkness also is not crystal clear. Yet on the other hand, the suggestion that he opposes dualistic thinking seemingly misses the mark.37 Paul restructures this language for a Gentile market, finding its main use in ethical exhortation. A human and angelic war in Palestine simply would not be socially relevant, and it is probably for this reason that he tailors the tradition. At the root, however, remains the conviction that the end will come and that the spiritual–mythological contrast between light and darkness is real and potent.

————— 34

Te¢kna fwto£j. Best notes that the phrase ‘children of light’ “is not unGreek” but most likely derives from Judaism. Best, Ephesians, 488. Lincoln suggests that this verse is derived from early Christian baptismal paraenesis, likely influenced by Qumran texts. Lincoln, Ephesians, 327. 35 Ibid. 327. 36 Note also that the phrase “works of darkness” is Qumran–like (1QM 13.12; 1QS 4.12). This tends to be attached to vice lists (Rom 13.13; Gal 5.19–21) which, as Fitzmyer argues, have their strongest parallels at Qumran: Fitzmyer, Romans, 612. Wilckens also sees these verses as close to the Qumran thought–world; the sons of light struggle against darkness, “so sieht auch das Urchristentum die Christen auf seiten des Lichts im Kampf gegen die Finsternis, die ein dämonischer Machtbereich ist, dem zu verfallen den Heilsverlust bedeutet.” U. Wilckens, Der Brief an die Römer (3 vol.; EKK 6; Neukirchen: Neukirchener, 1978–1982) 3.77. 37 “Paul does not speak of a “Holy War” of God, and in Ephesians (unlike 1Tim 6.12?) he does not suggest that he understands the saints as crusaders. He probably wanted to avoid supporting a dualistic, mythological, and chauvinistic attitude.” Barth, Ephesians, 2.763. This projects a modern value–judgement upon Paul, for whom ‘holy war’ would have had none of the social and historical baggage that it does today. There were to be no crusaders for another thousand years.

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25.3.3 Spiritualised Conflict Finally, we may say that Paul’s letters make creative use of tradition. They do not erase the expectation of a concrete conflict in time and space but nevertheless give this language a different emphasis. This agenda is clearly expressed in 2Cor 10.3–5: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not make war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but are powerful in God so as to tear down fortresses, tearing down arguments, and every proud obstacle raised against the knowledge of God.

While war may be a future expectation, it is also converted into an on– going spiritual process. Partly this is metaphorical,38 but Paul also uses the tell–tale language of power (dunata£ t%¤ qe%¤). God supplies believers with a tangible capability for conquest. They do participate in a conflict of sorts, though it is not really like human wars (hence the peculiar language: ou¦ kata£ sa¢rka strateuo¢meqa).39 So, Paul appears to use conventional warfare terminology with both ‘real’ and ‘symbolic’ intent. The reality is bestowed by the spirit world, where evil is present. The symbolism is derived from the fact that (as yet, at least) humans are not physically participating in war on earth.

25.4 Conflict and the Formation of Identity In our analysis above, we have perhaps clarified some of the underlying assumptions which Paul makes in his dealings with the community of believers. There is a basic (somewhat dualistic) supposition that the faithful are in conflict with the forces of ‘darkness’ or of ‘this age’. There is an implied confrontation with the world, which is cast in quite negative terms – a point we examined earlier (chapter 12). Generally, Paul uses conflict motifs to encourage his followers and give them a sense of purpose as a group. This method is of great interest, for it suggests that his representation of community identity is linked to the conflicting structures of the spirit world. It may well be the case that Paul also assumes a direct conflict with evil spirits, and this point emerges very clearly in the early deutero–Pauline letters (especially Eph 6.12). ————— 38

I.e. Paul has in mind a Roman siege: D.J. Williams, Paul’s Metaphors: Their Context and Character (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999) 216. 39 This sense of ‘unreality’ is inherent in all spiritual conflict tradition, for it is generally God rather than the human process of warfare which decides the conflict. Perhaps, then, one should not emphasise too heavily the distinction between Paul and his contemporaries on this point.

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26. The Spirit World and the Community (Conclusion)

In this final part of our analysis, we have continued in our efforts to identify the connections between the spirit world and the major themes of Paul’s letters, considering whether spirit material is integrated into wider and significant discussions. Over the previous chapters, we have examined a broad range of material, attempting to trace the links between the community of believers and the influence of the spirits. Setting out the Jewish context of the letters, we have described the ethics, exhortation, and imagery which contributed to the collective sense of identity which Paul sought to create. The result of these investigations is that we find reflected in the letters a basic connection between spiritual realities and the concrete social life of the early Christian movement. A few other points follow from this basic observation. Firstly, on the whole, we have found that Paul’s notion of community is not concerned with the free association of human individuals, as in the modern secular sense. Rather, he supposes that there is a definite spiritual reality behind this, a “temple” of Spirit even (1Cor 3.16; 6.19). Believers are held to form a congregation of holiness and are thus required to protect themselves from evil. This manifests itself in direct concerns about spirits (1Cor 11.10), in questions of conduct within the community (i.e. sex and marriage), and much else besides, beyond the scope of this study. We have also found that quite a strong sense of identity and purpose is given to the Pauline community through its participation in a spiritual conflict; the “sons of light” struggle against the forces of this age. In other words, the spirit world is integrated into the collective self–awareness of believers. One further point which particularly connects with our earlier discussion in Part Two is that of the practical impact of spiritual beings. There, we highlighted the experiential, ethical, and rhetorical value of Satan, the angels, the demons, etc. Satan prevented Paul from travelling to Thessalonica (1Thess 2.18), and the demons would make one think twice about eating idol food (1Cor 10.20–22). That is to say, these beliefs seem to affect human behaviour directly. So too with Paul’s wider understanding of the believing community; it must defend itself by avoiding sexual temptation, maintaining discipline, and struggling against the darkness. Beliefs about spirits are bound up with a sense of how one should live.

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Finally, therefore, perhaps one of the main lessons learned from our analysis is that spiritual beings do not operate simply as abstract ideas or hypotheses. In this respect, the whole idea of separating the ‘spiritual’ from the ‘normal’ world may be slightly bogus. Instead, if our analysis is sound, these things may be understood as inherent in the conduct of early Jewish and Christian life. For instance, Satan may be a concrete idea or person, but he also (negatively) represents behavioural norms. So, in terms of the community, and also in Christology and soteriology, we find that the spirits are intertwined with the most basic themes of the letters.

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Excursus VI: The Resurrection Body

Finally, the world ends. Against the Corinthians, Paul argues for the “resurrection from the dead” (1Cor 15.12), citing the future “spiritual body” (sw¤ma pneumatiko¢n: 15.44). We shall briefly examine this idea as a concluding postscript, for it too tells us something interesting about the place of spirits within the letters of Paul. That is, we would suggest that he here has in mind an ideal heavenly, spiritual, or angelic state, a form of existence framed by the spirit world. While these expectations were recognised by Everling and Dibelius, they made very little of them. They were satisfied just to acknowledge an interesting snippet of folklore,1 but this seems to be too narrow a view. As we have proposed throughout Part Three, beliefs about spirits may be integrated into significant themes of the Pauline epistles. Here, the heavenly/angelic state has an aesthetic and idealistic role; it is definitive of what believers may become in the future. Paul sets things off with a rhetorical question: “how is it that some among you say ‘there is no resurrection of the dead’?” (15.12). What exactly were people saying in Corinth? There is not sufficient scope here for a full survey of the options. A large body of secondary literature treats the subject.2 However, we are on firm ground to suggest that the Corinthians were not arguing against any possibility of post–mortem existence, despite this being what Paul seems to suggest (15.19, 32). His arguments are slightly disingenuous or, at least, hyperbolic.3 The Corinthians did not think this life to be all that there is. Most likely, those in Corinth understood the ideal self as a disembodied soul, in accordance with a Jewish Hellenistic teaching.4 Quite possibly this ————— 1

See Everling, Angelologie und Dämonologie, 45–48; Dibelius, Geisterwelt, 85–88. See Sellin’s monograph and his history of research: G. Sellin, Der Streit um die Auferstehung der Toten: eine religionsgeschichtliche und exegetische Untersuchung von 1 Korinther 15 (FRLANT 138; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1986) 17. Hurd reconstructs the development of this problem in the previous letters. Hurd, Origin of 1Corinthians, 195; 229. 3 Or, “exaggerated.” Ibid. 197. Wedderburn suggests that Paul’s strong opposition to disembodied survival blinded him to what his opponents were claiming. A.J.M. Wedderburn, ‘The Problem of the Denial of the Resurrection in I Corinthians xv’, NovT 23 (1981) 229–241, on pages 240–241. 4 Sellin suggests that they were influenced by Jewish wisdom theology, maintaining a dualistic separation of the ideal soul from the profitless body. Sellin, Streit um die Auferstehung, 63–64. This accords with the opinion of Horsley: “The body is viewed as a burden, a corpse (=“dead”) 2

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idea was introduced by Alexandrian intellectuals like Apollos (1.12; 3.4 etc.; cf. Acts 18.24; 19.1). Apart from the linguistic markers of such a Hellenistic influence (te¢leioj, pneumatiko¢j, sofo¢j, etc.),5 we may also note that ‘resurrection’ (a¦na¢stasij) is itself an embodied term; the soul cannot conceivably ‘get up’ from the body. Moreover, Paul argues for resurrection in bodily form (15.35ff) and does not regard it as adequate to argue for life after death in general. This is quite a give–away; Paul argues against the Corinthians for one of his own Jewish cultural assumptions: what is glorious and spiritual can (indeed, must) also have a body.6 Besides the situation in Corinth, the other influence upon Paul’s arguments would be the popular Jewish expectation of the resurrection.7 It is commonly supposed that this belief first developed in the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, possibly as a response to the suffering of the Maccabean wars.8 Of particular relevance to Paul is the suggestion that resurrection hopes were characteristic of Pharisaism (perhaps the source of his views?), although there are significant historical problems with the evidence here.9 It is most important that we understand resurrection as physical, but not merely as a resuscitation of corpses. Generally speaking, Jewish texts place transformation at the heart of the tradition. The most vivid description of this is found in 2 Bar. 51.3: As for the glory of those who proved to be righteous on account of my law […] their splendour will then be glorified by transformations, and the shape of their face will be changed into the light of their beauty so that they may acquire and receive the undying world which is promised to them.

————— weighing down the soul which desires to reach beyond the infantile or earthly stage, to the naked immortality which transcends all corruptibility in its intimacy with Sophia.” R.A. Horsley, ‘‘How can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?’ Spiritual Elitism at Corinth’, NovT 20 (1978) 203–231, on page 231. Horsley draws out analogies between the vocabulary of the Corinthians and that of Philo and the book of Wisdom. Paul is judged to be familiar with and opposed to such ideas. 5 “It is possible to discern some of the self–designations of these Corinthians whom Paul sees as arrogant and divisive.” Ibid. 205. 6 As Segal notes, the very phrases Paul uses oppose certain anthropological assumptions: “soma pneumatikon is a complete contradiction in terms for anyone in a Platonic system.” A.F. Segal, Life after Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West (New York: Doubleday, 2004) 429. 7 “Paul’s message only really makes sense within its Jewish, apocalyptic context.” Ibid. 430. Similarly, Collins, First Corinthians, 541. 8 As argued by G.W.E. Nickelsburg, Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism (HTS 26; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972). This is also accepted by Segal, Life after Death, 266–269. 9 In Acts 23.6, Paul the Pharisee comes out with the sneaky legal defence that “I am on trial for hope and the resurrection of the dead”. Josephus complicates matters, suggesting that Pharisees believe in the immortal soul and that the souls of the good pass on to other bodies (B.J. 2.163).

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The righteous receive the glory of the angels (51.5). The hope is that they will become heavenly spirits, surpassing the angels in excellence (51.12). One distinctive facet of this hope is the expectation that the righteous will become like the stars in heaven. In fact, this goes back to the earliest stage of this belief in Daniel, where we read that the wise will shine like the brightness of the sky (12.3). The astral connections of the angels and the overriding sense of their luminosity compounds with the idea of transformation. Different images are used to explain this basic reality.10 Turning to Paul’s argument in 1Corinthians, we find that his core contention is that the resurrection of the dead is like the resurrection of Christ; one cannot believe in the one without the other (1Cor 15.13–19). As the argument develops (15.42–49), Christ’s representative value becomes clearer. He explains what it means to be resurrected, to have a spiritual body. He is a glorious, some would say ‘angelic’, type of figure.11 Paul here capitalises upon the idea that Christ was resurrected in his body, trying to implant the notion that any human can gain a new, spiritual existence in the body. He presumes that the Corinthians accept Christ’s resurrection12 and extrapolates a heavenly anthropology on that basis. Also indicative of Paul’s understanding of the resurrection are the suggestive analogies he draws in 15.35ff, attempting to broaden the Corinthians’ view of what the body is. There are different types of flesh: for humans, animals, birds, and fish (15.39). Similarly, there are heavenly and earthly bodies: “the glory of heaven is one thing, that of earth another” (15.40). Paul speaks of the sun, moon, and stars. This reflects a subtle use of tradition; Paul is aware that the Corinthians may not fully understand the hopes of apocalyptic Judaism. However, he himself is familiar with the idea of putting on the celestial glory (the key word here), using this for illustration.13 It is the stars – linked with an angelic status in apocalyptic Judaism – which demonstrate the possibility of bodies without flesh, glorious and —————

10 For the righteous celestially shining at the resurrection: 1 En. 104.2; 2Esd 7.97; T. Mos. 10.9; Matt 13.43. At the resurrection, people will be “like angels in heaven” (Matt 22.30). Both opinions can be combined: “they will live in the heights of that world and they will be like the angels and be equal to the stars.” (2 Bar. 51.10). For the stars and angelology: Mach, Entwicklungsstadien, 170. 11 As is often argued. Christ is “an angelomorphic Man.” Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 329. He is “angelic”: Scroggs, Last Adam, 94. Like Gieschen, Segal regards Paul’s understanding of this resurrection identity as rooted in mystical experiences of the risen Christ: Segal, Life after Death, 430. 12 This is what Paul’s rhetoric presumes: Hurd, Origin of 1Corinthians, 200. 13 “The theme of “glory” from vv. 40–41 is used in order to describe the resurrected body […] this reflects Jewish eschatological language for the future state of the righteous.” Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 785. See also Segal, Life after Death, 430–431.

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spiritual.14 Indeed, when Paul speaks of “the glory of heaven” with reference to the stars (h¥ tw¤n e¦pourani¢wn do¢ca), he looks forward to his imminent argument for the “man from heaven” (aÃnqrwpoj e¦c ou¦ranou¤: 15.47). Ultimately, Paul’s argument is grounded in revelation: “I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but shall be transformed” (15.51). His case rests on special insight; he knows about the resurrection body because he knows about the end in general. Elsewhere, he presumes a similar view of these events (Rom 8.29; Phil 3.21). Of particular interest is the comparison between this account of resurrection and that found in 1Thessalonians. There, we read that the dead will rise (4.16) and those who are left will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (4.17). This lacks any specific mention of transformation or a new type of body. Possibly, Paul’s opinions later changed in light of the specific problem faced in Corinth.15 More plausibly, perhaps, his claimed knowledge of this mystery remained stable. After all, it is traditionally Jewish. The presence of the believer “in the clouds” in 1Thessalonians presumes a kind of heavenly/spiritual situation (certainly no mundane existence). To be resurrected is to be of heaven and the glory, both in geographical location and in personal identity. So, we argue, the literal chronological end point for Paul’s letters lies in the moment of transformation, which defies death (ou¦ koimhqhso¢meqa, pa¢ntej de£ a¦llaghso¢meqa: 1Cor 15.51).16 This should not be understood as a moral victory or as the survival of a disembodied soul beyond death. Rather, this reflects the emergence of Paul’s Jewish apocalyptic background, in which images of the angelic realm (stars, light, glory, heaven, etc.) were imposed onto the horizon of human hopes. The righteous hoped to be transformed, to take on a new life which was implicitly or explicitly defined through the status of ‘spirit’ or ‘angel’. Essentially, Paul carries over these ideas in his letter to Corinth, although he now makes Christ the key example of such glory. In this way, the imagery of the spirit world provides a source for Christian self–perception: it is the mode in which believers may one day exist. Ideas about heavenly beings and the end of the world are inter– connected; Paul’s eschatology and spirituality work together.

—————

14 So Conzelmann (rightly): “Paul does not use sa¢rc and sw¤ma synonymously. sa¢rc stands on its own, sw¤ma is combined with a new concept, do¢ca.” Conzelmann, 1Corinthians, 282. 15 So Sellin, Streit um die Auferstehung, 48. 16 ‘Sleep’ here certainly is referring to the status of continued and perpetual death.

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27. Conclusion

27.1 Arguments, Analyses, and Conclusions In this study, we have examined the approaches of Paul and his interpreters towards spiritual beings. In doing so, we have taken up a neglected topic in the history of religion, taking what is most often considered to be marginal and placing it at the centre. We have assessed and analysed various beliefs and motifs, setting the spirits within their ancient cultural background. Seeking to reinvigorate the old historical quest for Paul’s early Jewish spirituality, we have attempted to give a fresh and alternate perspective on the life and teachings of the apostle. We have quite often encountered a lack of interest or even outright scepticism in the current scholarly literature. Perhaps, it is claimed, Paul had nothing much to say about spirits, or disapproved of such superstitions on principle. Our study has generally taken quite a different approach; we have assumed that the spirits were a part of Paul’s religious and cultural background, and so also a part of his understanding of the world. This position is summarised in our basic thesis, that the spirit world is an inherent feature of Paul’s writings. The spirits are worthy of scholarly attention, and may have something to add to our wider understanding of the Pauline letters. So, now that we have completed our analysis, we shall review our findings and attempt to draw out some wider lessons. We shall recap our discussion from each of the three main parts of this study, highlighting our most significant conclusions. Following that, we shall then briefly broaden out the discussion, suggesting more general points and outcomes which may be derived from our investigations. 27.1.1 Part One First we addressed the interpretation of the spirit world. We considered how we might define and approach the subject matter, setting out the ambiguities and complexities of the material. The spirit world, we proposed, covers a wide range of phenomena – a point which seemingly contradicts certain basic definitions of the topic (e.g. as a ‘minor doctrine’). Our aim was to

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examine and engage with Paul’s ancient and modern interpreters and, thereby, to formulate our own approach. We began with the concrete problem of how the Holy Spirit is connected with the spirit world (chapter 2). This illustrated the difficulty of determining the extent of the topic, suggesting that Paul’s pneu¤ma vocabulary is wide–ranging in reference. We found no unbending linguistic or intellectual distinction between the divine Spirit and ‘lesser’ spirits. Paul thinks of God’s Spirit as a supernatural power. This result underscored the importance of taking a broad and open–minded approach to the definition of spiritual realities in the epistles. This was followed by our History of Research (chapter 3), which contextualised our engagement with critical scholarship. We gave an account of the early research of the history of religion school, the theology of power which arose in its place, and of other recent trends pertaining to the Pauline spirit world. Perhaps the dominant view, we saw that numerous scholars have ignored, reinterpreted, or dismissed this element in the letters. Notably, Baumgarten and Dunn have labelled Paul as a ‘demythologiser’, implying that he cut–back upon the illusions of ancient supernaturalism. This point allowed us to define our own study as offering an alternative account, instead suggesting to the contrary that Paul may have shared his contemporaries’ assumptions about the reality spirits. Necessarily, as interpreters, we must bridge a significant cultural and chronological gap between ourselves and Paul. This point emerged particularly strongly in our discussion of ancient perspectives on the apostle (chapter 4). Here, we found Paul described as one engaging in exorcisms, travelling through the heavens, and proving to be a special source of knowledge as regards the spiritual powers. Although this material is obviously uncritical, we suggested that it is valuable insofar as it emerges from Paul’s own (ancient Mediterranean) cultural milieu. Arguably it is able to provide a significant internal (‘emic’) account of Paul as one participating in antique spirituality. Therefore, as we formulated our own approach (chapter 5), we were able to make a number of general points. We highlighted the assumed categorisations which have limited the significance of the spirits in scholarly interpretations, making them out to be secondary, minor, or marginal features of the epistles. Such categorisations are external to the letters themselves, and so we questioned their ability to capture Paul’s actual thinking on these matters. Instead, we assumed a broad and loose definition for the spirit world, one which does not assume a great cognitive distinction between spirits and the ‘real world’. The spirit world was a notable and pervasive part of the apostle’s Jewish culture, and this observation can provide a starting point for the analysis of the letters.

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27.1.2 Part Two We then moved on to examine the role of angelology and demonology. This included discussions of Satan (chapter 7), the angels (chapter 8), the powers (chapter 9), the demons (chapter 10), the elements of the world (chapter 11), and a few other related concerns (Excurses I, II, III). We found that Paul’s views on angelology and demonology are quite diverse and surprisingly complex – more so than is usually appreciated. There was a wealth of material to analyse, all of which we attempted to set in its early Jewish/Christian context. One of our basic aims, then, was simply to explain the contents of Paul’s sometimes opaque statements and what is meant in individual references. Without wishing to recover all of our rather lengthy discussion, there are certain important points which we may summarise. Firstly, in terms of Paul’s general attitude, we encountered the view that he limits as far as possible the role of angels and demons in his teaching, supposing these to be irrelevant or unhelpful ideas. We questioned this judgement, since it is not a view explicit in the letters themselves, nor is it grounded in a detailed analysis of Paul’s literary and historical context. In fact, aspects of our analysis led us to take a very different view. By and large, we found that we were able to make fairly good sense of the letters from within the framework of early Jewish angelology and demonology. Much of what Paul has to say seems to fit with the ideas and assumptions of his contemporaries, who generally presupposed the existence and influence of angelic and demonic beings in the world. Indeed, the letters also seem to accept these beings on the level of an axiom or assumption. It is important to acknowledge what Paul takes for granted; in a way, such ideas are just as significant as what is explicitly articulated. Through odd instructions and remarks (e.g. “Satan prevented me” 1Thess 2.18; “because of the angels” 1Cor 11.10), the spirits can be seen to lie in the background. Sometimes, Paul even expects detailed knowledge from his readers (e.g. 2Cor 2.11). The spirits are, we claimed, assumed to be part of daily life and experience. Angels and demons do seem to be integral in Paul’s literary enterprise. Finally, in our conclusion to Part Two (chapter 12), we briefly considered the merits of the ‘apocalyptic’ appreciation of Paul. We explained the views of Ernst Käsemann and J.L. Martyn, who have asserted that the apostle supposed the world to be in turmoil and dominated by demonic forces. We shall have more to say on this matter shortly. Earlier, however, we decided that Paul lacks a strict or systematic view of the spirit world as a whole but, nevertheless, we agreed that he does have a strong and sometimes dualistic sense of the extent and power of evil. Thus, we might say,

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there is a degree of coherence or pattern in his remarks – a point which became clearer in our later discussion of conflict motifs (chapter 25). Overall, then, we could say that the angelology and demonology of Paul’s letters should be taken a little more seriously by commentators. There is a fascinating mix of material here, which the apostle connects with a variety of different concerns: cosmology, ethics, community relations, and much else besides. 27.1.3 Part Three Finally, in Part Three we developed a distinctive type of analysis, focusing upon the integration of spiritual beings into the major themes of Paul’s letters. Being dissatisfied with the idea that the spirit world forms a kind of self–contained doctrine or sub–set of concepts, we sought to pursue the connections between the spirits and other aspects of Paul’s teaching. The ideas and images of angels, demons, etc. may be important or interesting in their own right but, as we suggested, they are also bound up with a particular understanding of the world. As we acknowledged with a quotation from Alasdair MacIntyre, understanding the inner rationality of something requires appreciating its connections with other beliefs. What we were concerned to do, then, was to trace the relationship between ideas. We also expected that an analysis along these lines would give us a better grasp of the importance of the spirit world as a field of study – does it actually add something to our understanding of Paul the apostle? On the whole, our investigations have suggested that this is indeed the case; we find the language and imagery of the spirit world intertwined with some of the most notable features of the epistles. Specifically, there are three main areas in which we have sought to highlight such intellectual links: Christology, soteriology, and the community of believers. In terms of Paul’s Christology (chapters 14–17), we encountered the suggestion that the person of Christ may be understood as a kind of superior or humanistic alternative to belief in spirits. However, this juxtaposition of Christological and spiritual ideas is perhaps not entirely convincing, and our analysis seemed to reveal a number of possible underlying cultural connections which link the figure of Christ to the ancient Jewish spirit world. In the case of Christology and angelology (chapter 15), we discovered that certain functions and attributes of the Pauline Christ resemble those which are most commonly found with chief angels in Judaism: he is a heavenly intercessor, bearer of the glory of God, etc. Furthermore, we discussed the presence of the spirit of Christ within and among Paul and his followers as a type of ‘possession’ or spiritual embodiment (chapter 16). Rather as the

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spirits of God or great religious figures could take hold of somebody within Judaism, we found that Paul supposes Christ to be alive “in us”. So, we claimed, we do actually learn something of value about Paul’s Christology if we consider its relationship to the spirit world. We then examined Paul’s soteriology (chapters 18–21), describing how his beliefs regarding salvation and redemption have a notable spiritual dimension. In terms of his soteriological narrative (chapter 19), we found that Paul refers on a few occasions to the idea that the death of Christ on the cross actually represented a conquest of evil spirits. Descending to the earth in human form, his glory was revealed on the cross, destroying the rulers of this age and enforcing the submission of every power in heaven and earth. We also focussed upon the more immediate hopes of deliverance in the form of healings and exorcisms (chapter 20). In this case, we noted that Paul refers (somewhat obliquely) to these practices a number of times – a point which connects with the testimony of Acts. Protection from evil and malicious spirits is assumed to be an important part of Christian life. Thus, soteriology too has a number of underlying links with the assumed reality and influence of spiritual powers. Finally, we examined the links between the life of the community and the influence of spiritual beings (chapters 22–26). Here, we found a definite practical dimension to the spirit world, with the presumed presence of spiritual realities directly affecting the life and behaviour of the Pauline communities. This was very explicit in the problem and presence of the angels in 1Cor 11.10 (chapter 23), since Paul is apparently worried by the possibility of inappropriate relationships forming between humans and angelic beings. It is more implicit in the assumed connection between evil spirits and sexual wrong–doing, as became clear in our discussion of sex and marriage (chapter 24). Paul is concerned with the question of how people should live in response to and in contact with spiritual forces. Ultimately, the spirit world is also a point of reference for the construction of a Christian identity, and we found that this is particularly so with the motif of spiritual conflict (chapter 25). Paul instils his follower with a sense of purpose by describing them as “sons of light” and pointing to their conflict with the powers of this age. His sense of what a community is and how it should live is related directly to his understanding of the spiritual powers which influence the world. The main lesson of Part Three, therefore, is that the spirits can be understood as integral within the major themes of Paul’s letters, since they are woven together in a web of interrelated ideas. Arguably, the spirit world is not just an isolated stand–alone doctrine, but it forms part of the whole construction of reality.

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27.2 Outcomes and Consequences In light of all the evidence which we have considered in this study, we are able to conclude that the spirit world really is a matter of some consequence. However, it may be more accurate to say that it is most important for understanding Paul, rather than claiming that this was a matter itself important to Paul. To say that Paul thought the spirit world to be important might be to imply (wrongly) that he tended to elevate it as a distinct concern for conscious reflection, as though it were a ‘problem’ or a ‘doctrine’ which needed to be sorted out. However, most of the evidence of the letters actually suggests the assumed influence of such powers as a standard and accepted part of reality. So, one general conclusion we may draw is that the spirit world largely has an axiomatic and cultural importance in the Pauline epistles, rather than being a dogmatic issue in its own right. In other words, if we are to read these texts in light of their own religious and cultural setting, then this is a matter which we surely must consider. It is integrated into the letters themselves. Such, then, is the main argument of this study. Yet, this is not the only outcome or consequence of our analysis for Paul’s letters, for there are a number of other, wider points which seem to follow. We shall now consider a few key issues beyond the immediate horizon of this work, to see how they fit in with what we have discovered here. 27.2.1 Cosmology On the whole, cosmology has not proved to be a very popular topic in modern Pauline studies. Paul himself does not set out to describe the nature of the world per se, and so there is no explicit cosmology within the letters. Nevertheless, certain of his comments do hint at how things might work, and we have encountered an implied cosmology a number of times in our dealings with the spirits. As regards the basic structure, there seems to be an underworld (Rom 10.7; Phil 2.10; cf. Eph 4.8–10), a land presumably inhabited by the dead. Naturally, there is the earth itself and beyond that the heavens (of which there may be three but, more probably, seven).1 It is important to point out that these different parts are not held to be utterly separate and unreachable; in some circumstances, it is possible to travel between them (e.g. 2Cor 12.1–4; 1Thess 4.16–17). As we have particularly emphasised in this study, Paul also assumes that the cosmos is inhabited by various types of spirit. ————— 1

For the number of heavens, see our comments in Excursus I.

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Although, it is worth noting that almost all of his comments refer to the role of spirits on earth (rather than ‘beneath’ or ‘above’ it). Paul does not think that the spirits live far away, like metaphysical hypotheses. On the basis of our analysis, they seem to be present in the ‘real’ world of everyday life. Yet, the question remains: how important is this cosmology, and how should it affect our interpretation of the letters? One response would be to say that this is not very important at all. Indeed, some scholars have doubted the very validity of reading Paul’s letters from within the framework of an ancient cosmology. We have encountered this perspective in our own research; Paul is said to have entered into a modern understanding of the world by rejecting the mythology of his contemporaries. By thinking largely in ‘human’ or ‘ethical’ terms, the apostle assumes nothing about the workings of reality as a whole. In this current study, we have generally avoided and at times criticised this approach to Paul’s cosmological assumptions. As we have said, there is no such explicit value–judgement in the letters themselves, so this is based upon a reading of implied his intentions. As such, it is quite a subjective claim. Moreover, it has so far not received a proper literary and historical context. That is, it slightly begs the question of how a first century Jew would reject ancient cosmology at all. Having said that, the opposite view could perhaps be too extreme – the idea that the letters make no sense at all unless one somehow completely enters into an ancient worldview. As Rudolf Bultmann urged with the exercise of Sachkritik, it is legitimate to seek an enduring message within Paul’s letters which transcends the boundaries of his specific cosmology. This is not to deny the power of those assumptions, nor ignore the distance between Paul’s worldview and our own.2 Yet, it is still possible to find meaning in the texts without dwelling upon their ancient mode of presentation. On a historical level, this theological agenda is sound enough. It just happens not to have been our concern in this study. Rather, we have deliberately attempted to read Paul’s letters from within their ancient cultural and intellectual framework, and so we have presupposed that there would be some harmony between his views and the most common cosmologies of the age. In that sense, we have brought cosmology to centre–stage, for we have emphasised the value and interest of spiritual beings as a part of a definite worldview. We would claim that this is an —————

2 This is the main distinction between Bultmann in Theology of the NT and Baumgarten in Paulus und die Apokalyptik. Bultmann claims that it is we who must demythologise Paul. Baumgarten claims that it is Paul who demythologised apocalyptic Judaism. Bultmann claims that the reader must bridge a gap between modernity and antiquity by finding something essential in Paul’s works which may be extracted from their ancient assumptions. Baumgarten claims that Paul bridges the gap for us by divesting himself of ancient ways of thinking.

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important and historically justifiable approach. At least, this kind of comparative method can do fair justice to the texts. Perhaps, as we have argued, the spirits are ingrained in Paul’s early Jewish and Christian perspectives. 27.2.2 Evil It goes without saying that the nature of evil has been a major concern throughout the history of western religion and theology. Moreover, as we have seen, a number of Pauline scholars regard this as a key issue: Does Paul have a sense of radical evil in this world? To what extent is creation subject and enslaved to evil spiritual powers? We have already given some attention to these questions, noting that Paul is occasionally quite dualistic and maintains lively beliefs about hostile spirits such as Satan and the demons. Our study of the spirit world has perhaps helped to clarify some of these matters. As we have argued, Paul does not have a single and clear view of the reality of evil as a complete whole; it seems not to be a metaphysical idea or a thing–in–itself.3 Rather, evil for Paul is something quite contextual, and there is only ever this or that evil. Various types of spirit (especially Satan) can represent this idea as manifestations of hostility or wickedness. Spirits, then, can offer quite an effective means of expressing the reality of evil. One of the most important roles for the spirit world in Paul’s ancient religious environment, we would suggest, is to provide a form of imagery to describe this level of human experience. Therefore, Paul and his followers have access to an important kind of everyday theodicy. Why do people worship idols? Because of the demons (1Cor 10.20–22). Why did Paul fail to travel to Thessalonica? Because Satan prevented him (1Thess 2.18). The reality of difficulty, frustration, and pure wickedness finds an outlet in the language and concepts of spiritual powers. Perhaps the most important point, though, is that Paul maintains a soteriological outlook: people must be delivered from evil. Christ enters into the world to save people and deliver them from some form of ‘problem’. A notable part of this, as we have seen, lies in the conquest of certain spirits upon the cross. The spirit world helps to represent one of the more important features of Paul’s teaching, offering an account of the evil which Christ resolves. Partly, then, we may say that the apostle has a notion of ‘radical evil’, in the sense that the world is presumed to stand in need of salvation. —————

3 The word ‘evil’ (ponhro¢j) is actually quite rare in Paul’s letters: Rom 12.9; 1Cor 5.13; Gal 1.4; Col 1.21; 1Thess 5.22 (cf. Eph 5.16; 6.13; 6.16; 2Thess 3.2; 3.3).

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27.2.3 Paul the Apostle Finally, we might ask, who is Paul? This is a challenging and difficult question, and centuries of critical scholarship have failed to produce a single and decisive answer. This is testimony both to the complex nature of the evidence and to the complex nature of person concerned. It may not seem immediately obvious that a study of the spirit world could have anything relevant to add to the discussion of Paul’s personality. However, if our analysis proves to be accurate, the idea of spiritual realities could well be a part of Paul’s own subjectivity and sense of self. As we have seen, personal engagement with the spirits was often presupposed by the apostle’s early interpreters: he emerges as the spiritual apostle and redeemer, the type of the Paraclete and the compound of the Aeons. In his own writings, Paul too seemingly alludes to his unique spiritual destiny. Set apart from his mother’s womb (Gal 1.15), he is the recipient of revelation (1.11–12). His external weakness is juxtaposed with his true spiritual power: “whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2Cor 12.10). Paul even performs the signs of the apostle (12.12), since Christ dwells in him. Indeed, all of this is achieved in spite of the harassment of the servants of Satan (11.14–15). Whether this material gives us access to the ‘primitive’ or ‘real’ Paul is difficult to say. At the very least, though, it is a sobering reminder of the complexity of his character. Ultimately, then, our desire to reinvestigate and reemphasise the spirit world in Paul’s letters has produced a distinctive portrait of the apostle. By describing specific beliefs which were characteristic within early Judaism, we have drawn attention to the different and even alien nature of this figure, relative to modern persons. Certainly, this is not the only way to interpret Paul, and we have given no complete explanation of his character. However, within critical scholarship it is important from time to time that the less familiar parts of early Christianity are brought to light. This is the case with the neglected topic of the spirit world. It is a part of Paul’s religious and cultural heritage. If given due historical recognition, the spirits may provide their own distinctive insights and help us to construct a more complete account of the apostle’s life and teaching.

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Bibliography 1. Primary Texts and Translations Aland, B./Juckel, A. (ed.) Das Neue Testament in Syrischer Überlieferung (ANTF 7, 14, 23, 32 (to date); Berlin: de Gruyter, 1986–[in progress]). Betz, H.D. (ed.) The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996 [updated paperback edition]). Black, M., Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970). – The Book of Enoch or 1 Enoch: A New English Edition with Commentary and Textual Notes (SVTP 7; Leiden: Bill, 1985). Cameron, R./Dewey, A.J. (ed.) The Cologne Mani Codex: English & Greek (SBLTT 15; Missoula: Scholar’s Press, 1979). Casey, R.P., The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria Edited with Translation, Introduction, and Notes (SD; London: Christophers, 1934). Charles, R.H., The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs Translated From the Editor’s Greek Text and Edited with Introduction, Notes and Indices (London: A&C Black, 1908). Charlesworth, J.H. (ed.) The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vol.; London: Darton, Longmann & Todd, 1983–1985). Colson, F.H. (et al.) Philo with an English Translation (10 vol.; Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann, 1929–62). Cooper, S.A., Marius Victorinus’ Commentary on Galatians: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). De Jonge, M. (et al.) The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: a Critical Edition of the Greek Text (PVTG 1.2; Leiden: Brill, 1978). Drijvers, H.J.W., The Book of the Laws of Countries: Dialogue on Fate of Bardaisan of Edessa (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1965). Epstein, I. (ed.) The Babylonian Talmud (35 vol.; London: Soncino, 1935–1959). Evans, E., Adversus Marcionem (2 vol.; Oxford Early Christian Texts; Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1972). Friedlander, G., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer: (The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great) According to the Text of the Manuscript Belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna (New York: B. Blom, 1971). Gager, J. (ed.) Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Harvey, W.W., Adversus Omnes Haereses (2 vol.; Cambridge: Typis Academicis, 1857). Heine, R.E., The Commentaries of Origen and Jerome on St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Hennecke, E./Schneemelcher, W. (ed.) New Testament Apocrypha (2 vol.; London: Lutterworth, 1965). Kittel, R. (et al. ed.) Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997 [fifth, improved edition]). Kovacs, J.L., 1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (The Church’s Bible; Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2005). Maher, M.J., Targum Pseudo–Jonathan: Genesis (ArBib 1b; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992). McCown, C.C., The Testament of Solomon: Edited from Manuscripts at Mount Athos, Bologna, Holkham Hall, Jerusalem, London, Milan, Paris and Vienna, with Introduction (UNT 9; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich, 1922).

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Index

Alexander, P.R. 285 angels/angelology (ext. disc. of) 111–125, 177–183, 191–203, 269–279 and Christology 53–54, 191–203 archangel(s) 116, 192–194 “because of the a.” 269–279 good/evil/corrupted 65, 88–89, 120 in worship/cult 112–113, 123–124 of the nations 35–36, 40, 117, 131, 154 of Satan 105–109, 118–119 relations with humans 112–114, 239 apocalyptic/apocalypticism 43, 47, 48, 79, 88–89, 111, 116, 134, 142–143, 179, 201, 229, 235–239, 249–250, 271, 288, 296, 305–306, 309 Apocalypse of Paul 63–65, 71 ‘apocalyptic Paul’ 50–52, 180–182 Arnold, C.E. 54, 124, 163–165, 166 Ashton, J. 52–53, 205, 209 Aulén, G. 38, 41, 225 authorities, (the) 42, 59, 64, 72, 127–140, 176, 182, 236, 240–243, 296 Bardaisan of Edessa 166–167 Bauckham, R. 294 Baumgarten, J. 47–48, 55, 79, 111, 116, 141, 308 Baur, F.C. 13, 31–32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 43, 44, 49, 54, 77–78, 111, 178 Bietenhard, H. 111, 158 Black, M. 134 Böcher, O. 40 Bousset, J.F.W. 33, 157 Boyarin, D. 284, 288 Brown, P. 281 Bultmann, R.K. 44–46, 50, 227, 313 Caird, G.B. 41 Carr, W. 48–49, 55, 128, 129, 133, 135– 136, 241 Charles, R.H. 289 christology (ext. disc. of) 53–54, 189–223 Clark, S. 187–188 Clement of Alexandria 71, 74, 150, 250 Collins, J.J. 229, 292

Commodian 294 community/church (ext. disc. of) 267–302 conflict, spiritual 291–299 Conybeare, F.C. 34 cosmology 36, 41, 46, 64–66, 75, 111–112, 122, 166–167, 169, 170, 183, 233, 310, 312–314 Cullmann, O. 39–40, 41, 54, 138 Davilla, J.R. 205 death (as a power or abstr. noun) 46, 72–73, 89, 101, 122, 133, 173–176, 227, 251, 265 de Boer, M.C. 101 Deismann, A. 33, 219 De Jonge, M. 197, 283 demons/demonology (ext. disc. of) 162– 169, 177–183, 271–272 associated with Marcion 70 the “teachings of the d.” 60 (see also: healings/exorcisms) Dibelius, M. 13, 34–36, 37–38, 39, 39–41, 43, 49, 54–55, 78, 83, 84, 93–94, 96–97, 106–108, 117, 119, 128, 131, 149, 154, 157, 164, 175, 183, 187, 225, 236, 258, 276–277, 306 dualism 14, 38, 51, 69, 91–92, 98–99, 102, 133, 168, 173, 180–182, 291–299 Dunn, J.D.G. 26–28, 46–47, 55, 146, 173– 174, 191, 198, 308 Eitrem, S. 252 elements of the world, the (ext. disc. of) 68– 69, 157–172 Elliot, N. 42 emic/etic distinction 16, 76 Epstein, L. 277–278 eschatology 35–38, 40, 42, 50–51, 58, 116– 117, 121, 124, 195–196, 261, 288, 292, 294–299, 303–306 Everling, O. 32–35, 37, 49, 54, 83, 84, 128, 157, 164, 187, 235–236, 276–277, 303 evil in Paul’s letters 314–315 exorcism: see healing(s)/exorcism(s) Fee, G. 249 Fitzmyer, J.A. 174, 196, 269

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Index Fletcher–Louis, C.H.T. 113, 293 Fossum, J. 53, 201 Francis, F.O. 123–124 Furnish, V.P. 107 Gager, J. 219 Gieschen, C.A. 191, 199–200 glory (of God/Christ) 117, 136, 198, 200– 201, 203, 212, 230–234, 237–239, 242– 243, 245–246, 249–250, 305–306, 310 gnostic/gnosticism 41, 43, 67, 114, 127, 140, 222, 228 gods/lords (Greco–Roman) 153–155 Gooder, P. 107–108 Gunkel, J.F.H. 19, 26, 29, 33–34, 286 Hades/underworld 64, 208, 239, 312 Halperin, D. 114 Hannah, D. 191 Harnack, A. von 296 Hatch, W.H.P. 166 healing(s)/exorcism(s) 251–264 heaven(s) 28, 38, 70–73, 84, 116, 130, 131, 153, 154, 159, 179, 208, 230, 238, 242, 244, 257, 272, 276, 295, 305–306, 311–12 ascent into 52, 63–65, 105–109, 114, 118, 121, 212, 222, 308 Christ present/seated in 59, 60, 197–197, 201, 203, 245–246 Hengel, M. 196 Hollander, H.W. 197, 283 Horsley, R.A. 142–143 Ignatius 233, 235, 242 Irenaeus 68, 71, 94 Isaacs, M. 21 Jervell, J. 222 Josephus, Flavius 21, 23, 88, 206–207, 254 Joynes, C.E. 205, 208–209 Justin Martyr 148, 150, 194, 203 Käsemann, K. 51–52, 174, 181, 309 Klauck, H.J. 262 Knox, W.L. 34 Kurze, G.J. 36–37 Langton, E. 34 Leenhardt, F.J. 174 Levison, J. 21, 206 Lightfoot, J.B. 31, 242 Lincoln, A. 298 Lindemann, A. 64 Ling, T. 46 magic/ritual 14, 62, 114–115, 162–165, 207–208, 260, 263–164, 274 Macgregor, J.H.C. 41 Mach, M. 112–113 MacIntyre, A. 187, 309

335

Malherbe, A.J. 260 “man of lawlessness” 58 Marcion of Sinope 65–70, 168, 233, 235 Martin, D. 281, 288 Martyn, J.L. 51–52, 157, 215, 309 Menzies, R.P. 20, 26 Morray–Jones, C.R.A. 106 Morrison, C. 42, 138 Murphy–O’Connor, J. 275 mysticism 35, 52, 106–107, 115, 211, 213 Nag Hammadi (documents) 64, 71–72, 112 Newman, C.C. 200–201 Nickelsburg, G.W.E. 272 Noack, B. 40 Origen 209, 249 Osten–Sacken, P. von der 292 Paul the apostle, in the book of Acts 60–62, 259–264 Philo of Alexandria 21, 23, 41, 88, 125, 129, 142–143, 170, 206–207, 271, 273 possession, spiritual 205–217 powers, the (ext. disc. of) 39–43, 127–140, in Paul’s soteriology 229–247 powers (Gk. term: duna¢meij) 129–130 scholarly views of 39–43 Price, R.M. 106 Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls 21–22, 23, 50, 91–92, 98, 99, 101, 112–113, 197, 231– 232, 238, 253–254, 269, 273, 285–286, 292–294, 298 rabbinic Judaism/literature 22–23, 32, 35, 90–91, 95, 208–209, 277, 283–284, 288 Ramsay, W.M. 215 Rowland, C.C. 53, 193 ruler/rulers (or: princes, archons. Ext. disc. of) 35–36, 40, 69, 70–73, 127–140, 232–239, 240–243 “of the power of the air” 59 “of this darkness” 59, 139 Satan (ext. disc. of) 36, 58, 68, 73–74, 87– 103, 149, 155, 182, 244 and sexuality 74, 95–96, 281, 284–289 angel(s) of 105–109, 118–119 global dominion of 98–99, 182 “hand over to Satan” 33, 59, 73–74, 97– 98, 219 in Paradise 88–91, 93–95 Schäfer, P. 114 Schlier, H. 40 Schmidt, K.L. 39 Scholem, G. 114 Schottroff, L. 235 Schweitzer, A. 37, 211, 225

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336

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Schweizer, E. 21, Scroggs, R. 223 Segal, A.F. 53 Sekki, A. 21 sin (as a power or abstr. noun) 101, 173– 176, 227, 265 Smith, M. 207–208, 219 soteriology 27, 36, 37–38, 52, 140, 167, 181, 225–266, 311 South, J.T. 219 Spirit/Holy Spirit, the (ext. disc. of) 19–29, 33, 77, 206–207 and the spirits 19–20, 26, 29, 77 spiritual gifts/power 25, 28, 251–264 spirits “another spirit” 25 “discernment of spirits” 25, 257–258 good/evil 24–25 of prophecy 24 “spirit of this world” 25 spirit world, the and sexuality 270–274, 281–290 and the Holy Spirit 19–20, 26, 29 as contested in the 2nd century 65–70 as insignificant/ignored 43–50, 79 as perceived by early Christians 57–76 definitions of 14–15, 29, 31, 78 scholarly views of 13, 31–55, 75, 79, 84

Stewart, J.S. 41 Stuckenbruck, L.T. 271, 274, 278 Sullivan, K. 293 Tatian 74, 168 Tertullian 68–69, 70, 73–74, 150, 168, 233, 245, 250, 274, 294 Thackeray, H.St.J. 34 tongues, speaking in 24 Twelftree, G.H. 255–256 Valentinians/Valentinus 64, 70–72, 166 Vermes, G. 231 Victorinus, Marius 215 Vos, J.S. 26 Weinel, H. 29 Weiss, J. 145 Windisch, H. 106, 205, 214, 220 Wink, W. 42 Yadin, Y. 293

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