oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Powers of darkness : an evaluation of three hermeneutical approaches to the evil powers in Ephesians

Volume 5, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



The Book of Ephesians remains one of the main sources for understanding Paul's doctrine of the nature, influence and conquest of the evil powers. Yet, the process of applying this teaching into the contemporary setting has been fraught with difficulties. The continental differences in worldviews significantly affect the hermeneutical process. This article aims to review a number of current hermeneutical approaches to understanding the nature and influence of the evil powers in Ephesians. Though Paul's teaching is timeless, it is salutary that he refrained from over systematizing the doctrine. The interpretation in the African, Asian and Southern American contexts therefore require a modest appreciation of the shared understanding with the biblical worldview of spirits. Yet, it also necessitates cautious discernment against reinventing superstition.

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