The Spiritual Powers Of Ephesians 6:10–18 In The Light Of African Pentecostal Spirituality -- By: J. Ayodeji Adewuya
BBR 22:2 (2012) p. 251
The Spiritual Powers Of Ephesians 6:10–18 In The Light Of African Pentecostal Spirituality
Pentecostal Theological Seminary
Ephesians 6:10–18 remains one of the most important passages in the Pauline corpus that deals with the issue of spiritual warfare. Yet the referents of the spiritual powers remain somewhat unclear due to the differences in the continental world views of various interpreters. This article, in addition to reviewing some current hermeneutical approaches, suggests there is a shared understanding of the African Pentecostal world view of spirits with that of Eph 6:10–18. It cautions against an uncritical application of Paul’s teaching.
Key Words: spirituality, mythologization, inculturation, supernatural
It has been suggested that “in order to validate its claim to universal validity, the biblical text is dependent on the appropriation of readers with different orientations in different contexts.”1 This suggestion is right. It is akin to what Ukpong describes as “inculturation biblical hermeneutic,” an approach by which interpreters consciously and explicitly seek to interpret the biblical text from sociocultural perspectives of different people.2 This article is an attempt to do just that.
Without much hesitation, one could say that Eph 6:10–18 is perhaps the clearest and most detailed description in the NT of the nature of the spiritual warfare that believers face. It does not assume but pointedly asserts that the people of God are engaged in a spiritual warfare. But its interpretation, particularly the identity of the enemy and the nature of the warfare, is less than clear due to cultural influences. This article is one among many in this trajectory. It demonstrates how the reading of Eph 6:10–18 in an African Pentecostal sociocultural and spiritual context3 not
BBR 22:2 (2012) p. 252
only enhances understanding of the text but also compliments its scholarly interpretation. It consists of a brief review of some of the hermeneutical approaches to understanding the nature of spiritual warfare in Eph 6:10–18 and proffers an alternative reading approach that derives from my African and Pentecostal background. In highlighting my background, I seek to show the distinction between Pentecostalism in ...
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