Inaugurating the Kingdom of God and Defeating the Kingdom of Satan -- By: Craig A. Evans

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 15:1 (NA 2005)
Article: Inaugurating the Kingdom of God and Defeating the Kingdom of Satan
Author: Craig A. Evans

Inaugurating the Kingdom of God and Defeating the Kingdom of Satan

Craig A. Evans

Acadia Divinity College

IBR Jesus Project Paper 3. The exorcisms of Jesus constitute an essential component in his proclamation of the kingdom (or rule) of God’. It is increasingly recognized that Jesus’ message and ministry cannot be adequately understood if the exorcisms are not taken into account. The present essay argues that the exorcisms signify the reduction and destruction of Satan’s kingdom, as God’s kingdom breaks into the world.

Key Words: kingdom of God, eschatology, exorcism, Satan, Beelzebul, Belial, Beliar, Mastemah

Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God and casts out demons (Mark 1:15, 23-27, 32-34). That his message is closely bound up with his ministry of exorcism is seen in a striking saying, “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20), and in his instructions to the disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God and to cast out demons (Matt 10:7-8; Mark 6:7). The present essay is concerned with the relation of the proclamation of the kingdom of God and the exorcisms. It is argued that these elements are closely linked, for the exorcisms demonstrate the reality of the presence of the kingdom (or rule) of God,

There is broad consensus that the central datum of the proclamation of Jesus is the “kingdom of God” Its antecedents, referents, meaning, and context in the teaching and activity of Jesus, however, are much debated. Traditional interpretation has found the roots of Jesus’ proclamation in the Scriptures of Israel and its context in the hopes of Israel’s restoration. The work of the late George Beasley-Murray and the more recent studies of Bruce Chilton and Thomas

Wright, though emphasizing different features, are illustrative and among the better examples.1

It is also now generally recognized that Jesus was perceived by his contemporaries as an exorcist, and as a successful exorcist at that.2 This recognition is consistent with a greater openness in current critical study to the importance of miracles in Jesus’ ministry3 and with serious efforts to assess signs and miracles in a Judaic context.

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