Jesus and the Powers– Dialogue Part 2

Jesus and the Powers– Dialogue Part 2 April 21, 2024

Q. How was the book parceled out?  Were there chapters that you mainly wrote, with Tom adding a bit, or where Tom mainly wrote and you added a bit?


The book is very much a joint project. Tom wrote the largest chapter of the book about the “powers” of this age. I also helped re-work some earlier material of Tom’s which he then curated further. I did the opening chapter about church and empire as well as the final three chapters about liberal democracy and the dangers of autocracy, but Tom had a hand in commenting and correcting them too.


Q.  One of the things I found odd about the book is no attempt to actually deal with the lexical question of what does basileia actually mean in various contexts?  For example, it seems to mean the divine saving activity of God coming through Jesus, and so as a verbal sense of ‘having dominion over something’, but when texts in Jesus or Paul talk about entering, inheriting, or obtaining the basileia then it seems to refer to a place, a future place on earth, and so has a noun sense.  I personally prefer the term dominion since it can have either a verbal or a noun sense, where as kingdom cannot.  What would you say to this?


A. I tend to think that basileia varying invokes a semantic domain of concepts related to divine dominion, deliverance, and domain. Or, as Graeme Goldswrothy put, God’s reign over God’s people in God’s place.

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