Friday, September 01, 2017

The god of this world

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Cor 4:4).

Is the referent Satan or Yahweh? I think Satan is included in the reference, and may be the primary referent. On the one hand:

i) Paul seems to use a synonymous designation in Eph 2:2, which parallels the thought in 2 Cor 4:4.

ii) To say "the theos of this age" has a pejorative ring, which evokes dominion of the present evil world order. And it connotes a temporary state of affairs. 

iii) Theos can be a title for angels, as divine deputies. God delegates some "ruling" authority to some angels. And that can carry over to fallen angels as territorial spirits. 

On the other hand, Scripture typically ascribes spiritual blinding and related metaphors (hardening, deafening) to divine agency. 

There may be a false dichotomy in choosing between two different referents inasmuch as Satan is an instrument of God. God may use Satan to blind some unbelievers. 

After all, Scripture doesn't say how God blinds (hardens, deafens) the lost. 

One example might be the relationship between pagan witchcraft and occult bondage.


  1. God* would not keep someone from seeing the light of the Gospel. It really, really bothers me that this would even be a question among Christians.


  2. You've likely already seen this, but here's a treatment of the passage:

    1. Here is an interesting article: