Book Details

The God of This Age: Satan in the Churches and Letters of the Apostle Paul (by DEREK R. BROWN)
2015. XI, 243 pages. ISBN 978-3-16-153708-0.
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 409


Derek R. Brown sheds new light on a subject often overlooked in New Testament studies – the references to the figure of Satan in the undisputed Pauline letters. He contends that the references to Satan are best understood when considered in light of Paul’s apocalyptic theology and apostolic responsibility to his churches. Drawing on an analysis of these two interpretive categories – as well as a discussion of the various images of “Satan” in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Jewish traditions – the author concludes that Paul fundamentally characterizes Satan in his letters as the apocalyptic adversary who opposes his apostolic labor (κόπος), which, critically, includes his churches. Paul does so, it is argued, because he believes that the success of his apostleship is pivotal for the spreading of the gospel at a crucial point in salvation history.