Up till the 1980s it was the accepted view that the “rulers of this age” who crucified the Lord of Glory were spirit beings. Several scholars explained that they crucified Jesus by influencing their earthly counterparts to nail him to the cross, but those human agents were not themselves the “rulers of this age”.
This post looks at the consensus arguments up until the 1980s and begins to examine an article by Miller that proved to be a stepping stone for the change in that consensus and the more general acceptance that the rulers of this age were the human powers responsible for the crucifixion.
Begins to address the details of Gene Miller’s 1972 argument that when Paul wrote that the “rulers of the age” crucified “the Lord of Glory” he meant human, worldly authorities, viz. Pilate, crucified Jesus. In particular the focus is on the meaning of “rulers/ἀρχαὶ” both in Paul’s and the wider literature.
Examines seven arguments used by Gene Miller to establish his case that “rulers of this age” refer to human powers.
This post sets out the weaknesses that Robert Ewusie Moses sees in the prevailing view that Paul’s “rulers of this age” who crucified Jesus Christ is a reference to human authorities. REM’s discussion is found in his doctoral thesis, Powerful Practices: Paul’s Principalities and Powers Revisited (pages 123-131). The post concludes with a comment on the view that “rulers of this age” could refer to both human and spirit powers.
5. What they used to say about Paul’s “rulers of this age” who crucified the “lord of glory” (2018-07-09)
Looks at the arguments for “rulers of this age” being spirit power that were made prior to Gene Miller’s article by Otto Everling, Martin Dibelius, Ulrich Wilckens.
Sets out further arguments for “rulers of this age” being spirit powers by Charles Kingsley Barrett, Hans Conzelman, Judith Kovacs, Raymond Collins.
7. Once more on the “Spiritual Rulers” in Paul’s Cosmic Drama (2018-07-13)
Takes a broader look at the references to the activities of spirit powers in the wider literature, both canonical and extra-canonical (1 Enoch). In particular the post focuses on five arguments by Guy Williams (Spirit World in the Letters of Paul) in favour of “rulers of this age” meaning spirit authorities, and compares these to Miller’s opposing argument.
8. “Rulers of this Age” as part of an Interpolation into 1 Corinthians (2020-05-20)
All sources in the New Testament referring to the “revelation schema” (i.e. the “mystery” had been decreed by God from eternal ages, but remained hidden, and now is revealed) are in passages of disputed Pauline authorship. The post addresses most specifically the evidence fro 1 Cor. 2:6-16 being an interpolation.
Links to earlier post by Roger Parvus in the Simonian Origin of Christianity series, specifically to an argument being made for a certain source for Paul’s gospel.
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