Monday, December 29, 2014

A neglected prooftext for the deity of Christ

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims” (Acts 19:13).
There are many stock prooftexts for the deity of Christ. However, here's a neglected prooftext. 
In the ancient world it was commonplace to invoke the name of a deity in oaths, incantations, imprecations, and so forth. 
This passage follows that pattern. What's interesting is that it hails from a hostile source. This appropriation assumes that Jesus was reputedly a divine figure even in Jewish circles, so that invoking his name would summon his power and authority to expel demons. 
At one level it's clearly inconsistent or syncretistic for a Jewish exorcist to use the name of Jesus this fashion. But by the same token, it bears witness, from a hostile source, to Christ's reputation as a divine figure.

1 comment:

  1. If anyone is interested, I have a blog where I've written blogposts to re-examine and reaffirm the reasons why I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. Trinity Notes.