Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kasemann on Christ and the Powers

The great Kaesemann writes:

"The letter itself answers the question at hand in terms of 'Christ alone.' The powers cannot establish a connection with Christ, nor can they separate from him. All that can be said about them is that they who were once rulers of the world have been disempowered by the Christ, who alone as the eschatological ruler of the All [kosmocrator] holds in his hands the governance of the world and the salvation of his own" ("Romer 13:1-7", 359).


Geoff Hudson said...

I suggest Romans 13:1-7, was not originally about submitting to the governing authorities, as the Pauline editors would have wished, no doubt with the approval of their Flavian rulers. But it was about obeying the Spirit's commands. A clue - "he does not bear the sword for nothing" (13:4) is the editor's Freudian interpolation. Thus (13:4) was originally, "the Spirit is God's sword, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the disobedient." And it wasn't a matter of being "free from the fear of the one in authority" (13:3), but is was about being free fear of judgement. Rebelling against the Spirit (not authority) brought judgement (13:2). It could not be forgiven. So he who obeys the Spirit (not his fellow man) "has fullfilled the law." (13:8). The commandments are summed up in this one rule (13:9).

Geoff Hudson said...

Correction. "He who obeys the Spirit (not LOVES his fellow man) has fullfilled the law."