By A. Wesley Carr
St Paul and his contemporaries - so runs a as a rule permitted scholarly opinion - inhabited a global believed to be ruled through opposed superhuman powers, of whom Jews and Gentiles alike cherished in worry. Dr Carr demanding situations this common assumption via an in depth exam of assorted types of proof. First there's the hot testomony itself. the overall Mediterranean cultural heritage of the 1st century can be very important, and the writer appears to be like at facts from the early Church Fathers and gnostic fabric. He concludes that the suggestion of effective forces of evil ranged opposed to guy was once no longer a part of the earliest Christian figuring out of the area and the gospel. His argument has particular importance within the mild of the idea present-day interpretation could be given to the belief of adverse powers and their conquest by way of Christ, therefore assisting political, social and moral considering in the Christian Church.
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Additional resources for Angels and Principalities: The Background, Meaning and Development of the Pauline Phrase hai archai kai hai exousiai (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series)
42 On the basis of our study of the attitude of Asia towards Rome in the first half of the first century it would appear that the same principle applied there at the same time. Old cults were encouraged and indigenous religion with a bias towards Rome and the emperor revived. It is here that we should look for evidence of popular belief in the first part of the century and not to any fear of the stars. In general there is evidence for the swift increase in the importance of astrology outside Africa and the Orient from the second century onwards, culminating in its dominance under Antoninus Pius.
The rising of Bar Kochba, however, had a religious reason Background to Paul's thought on the powers 40 behind it and the Jews of the Diaspora responded to this threat to the religious unity of all Jews. 46 Clearly it has such a connection by the time of its coupling with dyyeXot by Paul in Rom. 8: 38. The probable explanation is similar to that offered for Swayed. The singular word dpxn is only used as a definition or name for God in some Stoic thought, and a development of the plural in Jewish angelology cannot depend upon this.
However, even if Luke invented it to give Paul's argument a starting point after the initial captatio benevolentiae, it is not unreasonable to suppose that we have here an early reference to one of the known marks of religious devotion in Athens, namely worship Background to Paul's thought on the powers 20 at altars to unknown or unnamed gods. Wycherley's attractive suggestion that this reference is to the rebuilding of altars for the dead whose graves had been disturbed during the rebuilding of Athens would certainly fit what we know of the city in the mid-first century.
Angels and Principalities: The Background, Meaning and Development of the Pauline Phrase hai archai kai hai exousiai (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series) by A. Wesley Carr