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Towards A Biblical Theology of Satan’s Kingdom

By J. Alexander Rutherford (PhD Candidate at Moore Theological College)

Author: J. Alexander Rutherford
Journal Title: Teleioteti Journal for Christian Ministry
Journal Abbreviation: TJCM
Volume: 01
Issue: 01
Date Published: 2023
Pages: 42-52

Abstract: The Reformed and Anabaptist traditions ignore each other at the best of times, yet there are genuine contributions to be gained from bringing elements of these traditions into dialogue. Perhaps the Anabaptist attention to the association of Satan with earthly kingdoms in Scripture may enrich the Reformed understanding of antithesis. In this paper, the author makes efforts towards a Biblical Theology of Satan’s kingdom by examining the instances where Satan or the Devil is associated with earthly states in the Bible. For the purpose of this paper, a state refers to refer to a socio-political organisation of human beings in a physical location structured hierarchically and characterising an inward and outward dimension. It is argued that Scripture pervasively identifies not only unbelievers but also unbelieving institutions with Satan. The paper concludes with a reflection on the relationship between churches and the State via 2 Corinthians 6:15-7:1.
Keywords: Satan, the Devil, the State, Church and State, Biblical Theology, political theology.

Perhaps more than any years in living memory, 2020 and 2021 gave Western Christians many reasons to think seriously and deeply about their relationship as individuals and corporately as the Church to the state. This compounds with a similar need engendered by what many see as the imminent demise of Western culture.1 In their reflections on these issues, Christians have turned to many sources. In this paper, I want to dig a new well. I intend to investigate a different line of thinking that may, perhaps, shed light on Christian interaction with the state. I intentionally titled this paper “Towards a Biblical theology,” for like the essays of the early modern period, it is not intended to be a definitive treatise but “a cautious first step.2

            The line of investigation I will take is not wholly new. Indeed, it has significant precedence in Augustine’s The City of God and more recent Neo-Calvinist literature, but I offer to build on these works in a manner that has, to the best of my knowledge, yet to be done.3 The Reformed tradition has spoken of many antitheses, between the regenerate and unregenerate, between those in Christ and apart from Christ, yet it has not drawn the same associations with the state, a move more commonly associated with ancient and modern Anabaptists.4 However, the antitheses developed in the works of those in the Reformed tradition have a spiritual dimension, a spiritual dimension aligned with Satan: an unbeliever is said to be a follower of “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2), who is “the god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4).5 This last claim, in particular, is provocative to the modern mind. Elsewhere, such as in Daniel, satanic forces are associated with particular nations, such as Persia (Dan 10:20). On many interpretations of Revelation, one state—if not the idea of the state—is associated with the dragon or the “ancient serpent” (20:2). To this author, these associations suggest that it would be worthwhile to investigate the “kingdom of Satan,” or the earthly activities of Satan in relation to peoples and nations, across the biblical canon to see if this might shed light on the Christian posture towards an ethic of the state. Thus, I am proposing to use the tools of Reformed theology, with its emphasis on biblical theology and the antithesis between believers and unbelievers, to explore a theme alien to that tradition.

            One conceptual issue that confronts us at first is the lack of one-to-one correspondence between the ancient and modern “state” that would justify a simple equation. Without committing to any normative conception of the state, I will be using “state” to refer to a socio-political organisation of human beings in a physical location structured hierarchically and characterising an inward and outward dimension. In the latter sense, a “state” implies that a relationship exists between the individuals constituting the state towards one another and together as a unified entity (a particular state, e.g. the United States) towards outsiders. Thus, on this account, the city of Babel and the family of Abraham would both be considered “states,” though neither corresponds closely to contemporary nation-states.6 We will thus be asking, how is the “kingdom of Satan” (loosely conceived of as Satan’s rule and activity in relation to the earth and its inhabitants) characterised across the 66 books of the Protestant canon?((The Hebrew order as printed in the BHS will be followed for the Old Testament.)) This investigation will be biblical-theological, indicating a diachronic presentation of synchronic exegesis.7 That is, a theme is traced across the canon (diachronic), from text to text, each text interpreted in their canonical context (synchronic). It may concern some readers immediately that I would speak of Satan in association with both the Old and New Testaments. It must be acknowledged that there is a lengthy scholarly discussion about the emergence of the concept of Satan in the history of Israel.8 However, by stating that this essay is towards a “Biblical Theology,” I am trying to be cautious with my claims. I intend this to be an essay concerning a whole-Bible theology, that is, reading it as a canonical whole. Read in this way, John permits us to think of Satan as a single individual across the Testaments, regardless of our conclusion regarding the historical emergence of the concept (e.g. Rev 12:9). If Jesus, through John (Rev 1:1), is comfortable making this identification, I believe we should be so as well.

            Thus, in this paper, I intend to track the connection between the Devil, or Satan, and states across the Bible, with an eye to the implications of the Satan-Sate association for Christian ethics. This will not, of course, be all there is to say about the relationship between church state. There is much more that can and should be said; I have touched on these issues elsewhere, and others have gone to much greater depth.9 I am concerned, however, that this particular connection has been neglected, so this is the lacunae that this paper seeks to remedy. I will attempt to show that the Bible pervasively identifies earthly nations with Satan, as entities under his rule and authority. However, I will argue that this association does not lead us to an ethic of complete separation, for Satan, though an adversary of God’s people, is nevertheless “God’s Devil,” as Luther purportedly put it.10 He is in chains and under the authority of God, even if he may not like to be so. There will be ethical implications for the Satan-Sate relationship, but these implications do not override nor contradict Jesus and the Apostle’s teaching, and Old Testament examples such as Jeremiah 29:1-23, that Christians are to pray for, submit to, and honour earthly rulers. Furthermore, we will not directly address every text that deals with Christians and the State, Satan, nor Satanic symbolism. We will turn to such texts to fill in the identity of Satan, yet our focus will be on texts that connect Satan with the State. Readers may be disappointed that I will not, for example, consider the role of Satan in Job 1-3, nor the potential the implications of Leviathan imagery in Job 41. The constraints of space demand a cursory treatment of the texts in question, able only to point us to the potential for a more thorough investigation of this sort (hence “towards”).

1.   Satan’s Kingdom in the Old Testament

The first instance of a “state” conceived in the above sense is found at Babel. But we must begin our investigation a touch earlier. The Serpent’s first appearance is, of course, in the woman’s temptation and the fall of humanity. The Serpent is not presented as necessarily hostile towards God or man in this narrative, but the Lord’s curse casts such a perspective on this narrative and all that follows. In Genesis 3:15, God tells the Serpent,

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
            and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
            and you shall bruise his heel.

Though it is possible for the singular pronoun to be used in a collective sense, the development of this theme across the canon and, especially, Paul’s explicit comment on the offspring’s identity in the more ambiguous narratives of Abraham (Gal 3:16) associate the offspring of the woman singularly with Christ.11 However, before this offspring finds its fulfilment in Christ, the line is associated with Abel and then Seth. Already with Abel, the conflict anticipated in Genesis 3:15 is manifest in Cain’s fratricidal actions.12 It is Satan’s offspring, Cain and his descendants (1 John 3:12), that seem to have the upper hand throughout the narrative. They are the ones that multiply and develop the earth (Gen 4:17-22, cf. 1:28). In Babel we find the first indication of large-scale socio-political organisation, reminiscent of the state. Here, the organisation and efforts of humanity are associated opposition towards God and, as such, with Satan (Gen 11:1-9). It is significant that “Babel” becomes the prototypical opponent of God’s people and embodies hostility towards God, with Satan at its helm.13 This is clear in Revelation, but it is anticipated in the Psalms and the Prophets. In Isaiah and Ezekiel, Egypt and perhaps Assyria are represented as serpents, dragons, or Leviathan (Isa 27:1, 51:9; Ezek 29:3-5, 32:2; Ps 74:14). Though Motyer takes Isaiah 27:1 as figures of immense power, the creation “infested with alien powers,”14 the immediate context suggests that the Serpent is connected somehow with “the inhabitants of the earth” (27:1). The broader context involves the restoration of the people of Israel from the nations to which they were taken (27:12-13); given the use of the imagery elsewhere for nations, this suggests that a nation or nations are intended.15 Isaiah 51:9 uses similar imagery to describe the Arm of the Lord’s victory over Egypt. In Ezekiel 29:3-5, Pharaoh is portrayed as a great dragon, and in 32:2 the language is used again. Finally, Psalm 74:13-14 uses תַּנִּין (tannin, sea monster, sea dragon) and לִוְיָתָן (livyatan, Leviathan, sea dragon) as figures for Egypt whom God defeated at the Red Sea.16

            Leviathan may not imply Satanic association in its Old Testament context, but the language of a “dragon” and “serpent” certainly does (Job 41 is one possible instance where Leviathan symbolises Satan). Furthermore, δράκων (drakon, serpent, dragon) is the term used to translated לִוְיָתָן in the Septuagint, so “Leviathan” also invokes Satanic imagery in its canonical context. In Daniel, the beasts that represent nations and their kings emerge from the sea, with which the imagery of “dragon,” “Rahab,” and “Leviathan” are all associated. They are fierce and, at least the fourth beast, is postured in opposition to God and his saints (Dan 7:21-22). Daniel also associates demonic spirits with these nations and angels with God’s people (Dan 10:18-21).17 Especially given the connection drawn between the sea, Satan, the dragon, and the Serpent in Revelation, these pages suggest that at least some nations, those who are particularly associated with opposition to God’s people, are identified with Satan. They are opposed to God and his purpose through his people, yet they are fundamentally under God’s control, evidenced by God’s use of both Babylon and Medo-Persia (Hab 1:6; Isa 44:28, 45:1).

            Though tantalisingly sparse in details, the Old Testament suggests that the fundamental opposition between the woman and the Serpent is manifest in God’s purposes unfolding in his people, Israel, and the Serpent’s opposition manifest in surrounding nations. Though these nations manifest opposition to God under Satan and the influence of demonic spirits, they are nevertheless under the ultimate control of God. What is sparse and perhaps uncompelling in the Old Testament becomes far more evident in the New Testament.

2.  Satan’s Kingdom in the New Testament

Three lines of New Testament data suggest that Satan is connected with the state: 1) the rulers of Judah are identified with Satan and God’s people with Christ the Serpent crusher; 2) all unbelievers are identified with Satan; 3) and Revelation connects the deception of unbelievers and socio-political and religious entities with Satan’s control.

            Perhaps the most apparent allusions to Genesis 3:15 in the New Testament are Matthew 3:7, 12:34, 23:33, Luke 3:7, John 8:39-47, and Romans 16:20. In the three texts from Matthew and Luke 3:7, there is a clear semantic parallel in Greek with Genesis 3:15, though there is no exact correspondence in word use. The phrase is γεννήματα εχιδνῶν (gennemata echidnon), “the descendants of (poisonous) serpents.” That this phrase is intended to identify the Jewish leadership with Satan and his kingdom is strongly suggested in each context by the contrast with “children for Abraham” (Matt 3:10, Luke 3:8) and “hell” or judgement.18 In John 8:39-47, the Jewish leaders who oppose Christ are identified as children of the Devil, a murder from the beginning (Gen 4:1-16, 1 John 3:12), and a liar (Gen 3:4). If the Devil is identified with the Serpent, as the allusions to Genesis, 1 John 3:12, and the book of Revelation indicate, then to be a child of the Devil is to an offspring of the Serpent. Thus, the Synoptics and John portray the Jewish opposition to Jesus in these passages as opposition from Satan. Furthermore, the Synoptics portray the conflict between Christ and sickness, the demons, and Judas as a conflict between the Son and the Serpent (Matt 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13, 3:22-27; Luke 4:1-13; 10:18-20; 11:17-23; 13:6; 22:3; cf. John 13:27).19 When Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness, he claims to have possession of the kingdoms of the world (including Israel apparently), “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will” (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus neither denies nor confirms this claim, addressing the necessity of proper worship (4:8). However, Satan’s claim is certainly plausible given the language used of him throughout the Bible (see above and below). Furthermore, if Satan did not possess this authority, there would be no substance to the temptation. The temptation is to bypass God’s plan of suffering before the throne for a genuine throne, though over the opposing kingdom. Finally, in Romans, this conflict is extended to Christ’ body; it is the people of God whom God will use to finally crush the Serpent (Rom 16:20). In this way, the earthly ministry of Christ and the work of his people are postured in opposition to the work of the Devil. The Devil’s work is identified with sickness, demonic activity, the betrayal of Christ, and opposition of the Jewish leaders towards Christ. In the latter association, the Jewish people, via their leadership, are associated with Satan and his kingdom.

            That some leaders would be associated with Satan is consistent with the teaching found later in the Gospel of John and in Paul’s letters, namely, that the entire unbelieving world is the domain of Satan. In Jesus’s ministry as portrayed by John, Jesus speaks three times of the “ruler of the world,” who is defeated by Christ’s ministry culminating in the Cross (John 12:31, cf. Luke 10:18-20; John 14:30, 16:11; cf. Col 2:15, Heb 2:14). Paul describes all unbelievers as followers of “the prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2, and in 2 Corinthians 4:4 he describes the work of the “god of this world” to “blind the minds of the unbelievers.” In this way, all unbelievers are portrayed as servants, unwitting or otherwise, of Satan or the Serpent. The picture painted by Jesus, John, and Paul is that the whole world apart from Christ is thralls of Satan’s power. This power is particularly oriented in opposition to Christ. Correspondingly, the entire Christian life is warfare (e.g. Eph 6:10-20). In this way, the conflict of Genesis 3:15 is cast over the whole Biblical narrative as the people of God over against the world. When nations are identified with this struggle, they are associated with Satan’s kingdom, with one exception, God’s people through the line of Abraham. Babel represents the first organised attempt to usurp God; the national opponents of Israel are serpents, beasts, and dragons with demonic princes; and the leaders of Jews in the first century are Satan’s offspring. Therefore, it is not extraordinary to find the systems of socio-political and economic structures of the world aligned with Satan in the book of Revelation.

            The book of Revelation is notoriously complex. However, it should not be overlooked that in nearly every position, a significant aspect of the book is the portrayal of Satanic opposition to Christ’s people in the form of a nation or nations. From the very beginning, in the letters to the seven churches, we find religious institutions and cities, perhaps kingdoms, associated with Satan’s rule—some are the “synagogue of Satan,” and believers live “where Satan’s throne is” (Rev 2:9, 13; 3:9). Whether they are identified with ancient Rome, a future world government, the idealised state, or Satan’s kingdom manifest in humans and their socio-cultural products, the beasts and the harlot Babylon are associated with Satan and with nations. I am most persuaded by the interpreters that see this imagery not as concrete historical but in some sense idealist, portraying nations as Satanic chess pieces in a cosmic war between Christ, manifest in the Church, and Satan, manifest in the world.20 Adopting this interpretation for the sake of argument, we find a fundamental coherence between the Biblical data we have already seen and Revelation as it concerns Satan’s kingdom. A significant aspect of Revelation is that all Satanic opposition to the saints is allowed by God (Rev 13:5, 7-8; 20:7-10) and unleashed by the Lamb’s actions (Rev 5:1-6:1).

            This coheres with God’s use of Egypt, Babylon, and Medo-Persia in the Old Testament. This also coheres with Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 (cf. 1 Tim 2:1-2): in both cases, we honour the Emperor and the Empire because God appoints and uses them, but we are not encouraged to put our hope in them, nor do these texts seek to overturn the negative portrayal of the state elsewhere. The relationship remains that of God’s work in the Old Testament: God raises up and uses Babylon for his purposes (Hab 1:5-6), but they are utterly terrible nevertheless (Hab 2:6-3:19).21 The picture is consistent: God is entirely in control of created history, yet created history consists of a cosmic conflict between Satan as he works among nations, spirits, and individual humans and Christ as he works among the Church, spirits, and individual humans. All human individuals and institutions are thus sharply demarcated along this antithesis. In the Old Testament, God’s people existed as a state, so this opposition was inter-national, between Israel, God’s kingdom, and the nations, under the rule of Satan (cf. Rev 20:3).

            In the New Testament, things are more complicated. In several places, New Testament Christians are described as sojourners and aliens, citizens of a different kingdom than any on earth (1 Pet 1:1; 1 Pet 1:17; 1 Pet 2:11; Heb 11:10, 13; 12:22-24; 13:13-14). They are citizens an eschatological city, the New Jerusalem (Eph 2:19; Heb 11:10; 12:22-24; 13:13-14). In Jesus is Lord of this kingdom, but in his words, “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). According to our definition, the Church is a state, yet its location is eschatological. Its citizens are in a foreign land, looking for a city yet to come (Heb 11:10; 12:22-24; 13:13-14).22 As the writer of the second-century Epistle to Diognetus writes, “[Christians] live in their own homelands, but as aliens: they participate in everything as citizens but endure all things as strangers. Every foreign land is their homeland, and every homeland is foreign.”23 Therefore, God’s people are part of an eschatological state with its only present manifestation in local churches, set over against the Satanic world system, which encompasses all other states.

3.   Implications

If this association is correct, the implications for such an antithesis are profound. Generally, the state is prima facie hostile towards the Church, even if God grants reprieve through sympathetic governments. God uses the state to administer a sort of good, through stability and justice, but they are fundamentally apposed to the people of God qua the people of God. The state would not, therefore, be a trustworthy companion in fulfilling God’s purpose through the Church. We are to submit and pay taxes to, pray for, and honour our governments. However, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 becomes a significant text for considering the role of Christians and churches with the state:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
            and I will be their God,
            and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
            and be separate from them, says the Lord,
            and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
            and I will be a father to you,
            and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Cor 6:14-7:1)

            If this passage prohibits, as I believe it does, entering into a partnership with an unbeliever or Satanic entity,24 then it would prohibit Christians and Christian institutions from entering into a partnership with the state as a satanic entity. That is, the image of “yoking” suggests not just relationship but also the connotations of purpose, supposing some level of unity and/or intimacy. Paul does not restrict the prohibition to one sphere but casts the net broadly, setting up the opposition as fundamentally between Christ and Satan. Though interpreters often restrict this passage to a specific instance,25 Paul has intentionally cast the net broadly with its prohibition: “Paul leaves the matter undeclared and thereby allows the principle of separation to be as broad as possible but specific enough to help them understand the direction in which such separation must move.”26 While there is no contextual evidence that Paul is directly addressing issues like “business partnerships,”27 such relationships seem to fall within the broad net Paul casts. As such, we would need to consider the Biblical propriety of every relationship between our Churches and Schools and the state that involve obligations and unity of purpose. As Guthrie puts it, “[Believers and unbelievers] have no common ground on which to build their most intimate relationships.”28 Things are more complicated in the case of those who are already involved in such relationships before they become Christians (1 Cor 7:12-24), and under a form of the state where submitting to and honouring the governing authorities requires involves voting and petitioning the government.29 However, the correlation of the state should certainly caution us against optimism about the possibilities of and benefits of a Christian state before the eschaton and against relying on the state to further God’s purpose in the Church. We cannot baptise the nations, as some would call us to.30 However, we cannot and must not withdraw from the world, lest we fail to be lights shining the darkness (Matt 5:14-16; John 17:14-19; Phil 2:14-16), and we cannot withdraw from every relationship with unbelievers, for we would have to leave the world entirely (1 Cor 5:10). But as for the way we strategies and plan to accomplish God’s purpose in the world through our lives and churches, we must be cognizant of the fact that there is no accord between Christ and Belial (2 Cor 6:15).

  1. E.g. Gene Edward Veith, Post Christian: A Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020); Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (New York, New York: Sentinel, 2017). []
  2. Peter Walmsley, The Rhetoric of Berkeley’s Philosophy (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 146–47. []
  3. In Neo-Calvinism, see Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, ed. K. Scott Oliphint, 4th ed. (Phillipsburg: P & R Pub, 2008); John M. Frame, Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1995). []
  4. E.g. John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 194–96; Ted Grimsrud, “Chapter 6: Jesus to Paul,” in John Howard Yoder: Radical Theologian, ed. Earl Zimmerman et al. (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2014) []
  5. Unless stated otherwise, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV. []
  6. Cf. John Frame, “Toward a Theology of the State,” The Westminster Theological Journal 51.2 (1989): 199–226. []
  7. Cf. D. A. Carson, “Systematic Theology and Biblical Theology,” New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 89–103. []
  8. E.g. Ryan E Stokes, “Satan, YHWH’s Executioner,” Journal of Biblical Literature 133.2 (2014): 251–70; Ryan E Stokes, The Satan: How God’s Executioner Became the Enemy (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2019). []
  9. In The Gift of Purpose and my forthcoming book on ecclesiology, On the Being of Churches: A Neo-Congregational Polity. J. Alexander Rutherford, The Gift of Purpose: Orienting the Christian Life in Western Culture, God’s Gifts for the Christian Life – Part 3 1 (Ardrie, AB: Teleioteti, 2020). []
  10. This certainly reflects Luther’s thought, and sounds like something Luther would say, but I cannot identify the actual source. []
  11. Cf. John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992); C John Collins, “A Syntactical Note (Genesis 3:15): Is the Woman’s Seed Singular or Plural?,” Tyndale Bulletin 48.1 (1997) 139–48; T. Desmond Alexander, “Further Observations on the Term ‘Seed’ in Genesis,” Tyndale Bulletin 48.2 (1997); C. John Collins, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary (Phillipsburg, N.J: P & R Pub, 2006); Jason S DeRouchie and Jason C Meyer, “Christ or Family as the ‘Seed’ of Promise? An Evaluation of N. T. Wright on Galatians 3:16,” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 14.3 (2010): 36–48. Contra Andrew T. Abernethy and Greg Goswell, God’s Messiah in the Old Testament: Expectations of a Coming King (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2020). []
  12. On this conflict in Genesis, see Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012); Stephen G. Dempster, Dominion and Dynasty: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible, New Studies in Biblical Theology 15 (Leicester: Downers Grove: Apollos; InterVarsity, 2003), 68. []
  13. T. Desmond Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem: Exploring God’s Plan for Life on Earth, 2018, s.v. The Temple Garden of Eden, The Ruler of This World, The Ancient Serpent. For a short exposition of the contrast between Babel and God’s city, Jerusalem, see T. Desmond Alexander, The City of God and the Goal of Creation, Short Studies in Biblical Theology (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018). []
  14. J. Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 222. []
  15. Cf. Geoffrey W. Grogan, “Isaiah,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 169. []
  16. Willem VanGemeren, Psalms, ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, Revised Edition., vol. 5 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), vol. 5, s.v. “Ps 74:14.” []
  17. Cf. Craig Evans, “Defeating Satan and Liberating Israel: Jesus and Daniel’s Visions,” J Study Hist Jesus 1.2 (2003): 161–70, []
  18. On the Lukan instance, Darrell L. Bock, Luke – 1:1-9:50, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), 303. Whether or not Keener’s argument is accepted concerning the historical parallels, the present canonical context invokes these connotations. Craig S. Keener, “‘Brood of Vipers’ (Matthew 3.7; 12.34; 23.33),” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 28.1 (2005): 3–11, []
  19. Cf. Craig A Evans, “Inaugurating the Kingdom of God and Defeating the Kingdom of Satan,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 15.1 (2005): 49–75 []
  20. Cf. G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids; Carlisle: Eerdmans; Paternoster, 1999); Alan F. Johnson, “Revelation,” in Hebrews – Revelation, ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, Rev. ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006). []
  21. Cf. J. Alexander Rutherford, The Book of Habakkuk: An Exegetical-Theological Commentary on the Hebrew Text, A Teleioteti Old Testament Commentary 1 (Vancouver, BC: Teleioteti, 2019). []
  22. I deal with several of these themes in my book, The Gift of Purpose. []
  23. The Epistle to Diognetus, my translation. []
  24. Webb lays out the arguments for ἀπίστοις as unbelievers. William J Webb, “Who Are the Unbelievers (Άπιστοι) in 2 Corinthians 6:14?” (1992): 19. []
  25. Often to the idolatry, the pagan temples, and their associated activities. See the survey in William Webb, Returning Home: New Covenant and Second Exodus as the Context for 2 Corinthians 6.14-7.1 (Bloomsbury Publishing, 1993), 200ff. []
  26. Donald G McDougall, “Unequally Yoked – A Re-Examination of 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:4,” TMSJ 10.1 (1999): 132. []
  27. Webb, Returning Home, 213. []
  28. George H Guthrie, 2 Corinthians, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert Stein (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015). []
  29. I attempt to address some of these issues in my book, The Gift of Purpose. []
  30. Douglas Wilson, Empires of Dirt: Secularism, Radical Islam, and the Mere Christendom Alternative (Moscow, Ida.: Canon Press, 2016). []