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Discerning the Spirits
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  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 227/.06
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: BV5083 .M86 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Discernment of spirits--Biblical teaching
    • Paul,--the Apostle, Saint--Theology
    • Paul,--the Apostle, Saint--Ethics
    • Bible.--N.T.--Epistles of Paul--Criticism, interpretation, etc

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521875943)

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DISCERNING THE SPIRITS




How did Paul determine ethical and theological truth? Were all believers expected to be able to ‘discern the spirits’ (1 Cor. 12.10)? In contrast to previous studies, this conceptual investigation examines all the significant terms referring to discernment, leading to the insight that for Paul ethical and theological knowledge are inherently related. Understanding the will of God requires noetic and existential transformation, in short, the ‘renewal of the mind’ (Rom. 12.2). Munzinger argues that Paul implies a process of inspiration in which the Spirit sharpens the discerning functions of the mind because the believer is liberated from a value system dominated by status and performance. The love of God enables all believers to learn to interpret reality in a transformed manner and to develop creative solutions to questions facing their communities. Authentic discernment – as this study demonstrates – effectuates a comprehensive new sense of meaning.

DR ANDRÉ MUNZINGER teaches at the Institute for Protestant Theology, University of Köln, and is Academic Assistant to the Director, Professor Dr Konrad Stock.






SOCIETY FOR NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES:
MONOGRAPH SERIES

General editor: John Court



140
DISCERNING THE SPIRITS


SOCIETY FOR NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES:

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Discerning the Spirits

Theological and Ethical Hermeneutics in Paul

ANDRÉ MUNZINGER




CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521875943

© André Munzinger 2007

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2007

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Munzinger, André, 1972–
Discerning the spirits : theological and ethical hermeneutics in Paul / by André Munzinger.
p. cm. -- (Society for New Testament studies monograph series ; 140)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13:978-0-521-87594-3 (hardback)
ISBN-10:0-521-87594-3 (hardback)
1. Discernment of spirits – Biblical teaching. 2. Paul, the Apostle, Saint – Theology. 3.
Paul, the Apostle, Saint – Ethics. 4. Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul – Criticism, interpretation, etc. I. Title II. Series.
BV5083.M86 2007
227\prime.06 – dc22
2007001749

ISBN 978-0-521-87594-3 hardback




Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs
for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.






For
Maria-Theresia Pinger
and
Hermann Eyl






Contents




  Preface page xiii
  Abbreviations xv
 
Part I   Introduction
1   The Conceptual Approach 3
  A.  Why Discernment? 3
  B.  Delineating the Conceptual Approach 6
  C.  Focal Theory and Organisation of the Study 17
Part II   What Requires Discernment? The Objects of Evaluation
2   The Discernment of Ethical Questions 21
  A.  Introduction 21
  B.  Is Ethical Discernment defined by Eschatology? 24
  C.  Discernment and Normativity 26
  D.  Conclusion 43
3   The Discernment of Spirits 45
  A.  Introduction 45
  B.▤ιάκρισις/διακρίνω: Interpretative Evaluation 46
  C.  The Interpretative Evaluation of Prophecies and Spirits 60
  D.  The Subject of Discernment 70
  E.  Conclusion 74
4   Discerning All Things: The Structure of Paul’s Epistemology 75
  A.  Introduction 75
  B.  The Question of Coherence in Paul’s Theology 76
  C.  Paul’s Epistemology: Contingent and Comprehensive 79
  D.  The Role of Discernment within Paul’s Epistemology and Theology 90
  E.  The éνευματικ▤ς: Exempt from Judgement but not Discernment 95
  F.  Conclusion: Discernment as Theology 97
Part III   How Can and Should True Discernment Take Place?
5   The Context and Background of Paul 101
  A.  Introduction 101
  B.  Judaism 101
  C.  Philo of Alexandria 107
  D.  The Stoics 121
  E.  The Combination of Traditions 138
  F.  Conclusion 139
6   How Does Paul Believe True Discernment Can and Should Take Place? 141
  A.  Introduction 141
  B.  The Question of Criteria and External Norms 141
  C.  Spirit versus Mind 145
  D.  The Juncture of Mind and Spirit 154
  E.  Remaining Questions 185
  F.  Conclusion 187
Part IV   Conclusion
7   Recapitulation and Implications for Theology 191
  A.  Recapitulation 191
  B.  Conclusion 193
  C.  Implications for Contemporary Theological Deliberation 194
 
  Bibliography 197
  Author Index 222
  Passage Index 227
  Subject Index 236




Preface




This is a revised and updated version of my thesis, which was accepted by Brunel University and London School of Theology in June 2004.

Discernment had long been a topic of interest to me. Various interpretations of ‘Spirit guidance’, ‘promptings’ and ‘words of the Lord’ had accompanied me throughout my schooling, church life and theological activities. I was consequently intrigued when Professor Max Turner mentioned that there was scope for research in this area and quite surprised by the extent to which Paul challenged the concepts I had previously encountered. The spiritual discernment that I found in Paul was dependent on a liberated perception of reality and mature self-understanding. This research reflects the attempt to elucidate this new perception.

It is a privilege to be allowed to name a number of people and organisations which have contributed to the completion of this work.

First of all I am greatly indebted to Professor Max Turner for his supervision of this work. His patience, his probing and his trust allowed me to develop freely and experience the conditions for the type of discernment described below.

I would like to thank the Laing Trust, which granted a generous scholarship over a number of years, hence making this work possible.

Similarly, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Hilverkus family and Heidrun Helmer for their support. Very special thanks go to my sister and brother-in-law for sharing their home with me.

Annette Glaw, Desta Heliso, Cor Bennema and Volker Rabens enriched my studies in countless stimulating discussions, whereas Beate Killguss and Jenny Heimerdinger proved of enormous help in various details of the work.

I would like to express my appreciation to Dr John M. Court, the Society for New Testament Studies and Cambridge University Press for their willingness to accept this study and for their beneficial advice and kind assistance throughout the production procedure.

The work is dedicated to Hermann Eyl and Maria-Theresia Pinger for their enlightening guidance, which helped me learn what ‘renewed thinking’ can mean.

André Munzinger
Köln, February 2006




Abbreviations




Unless listed below, abbreviations are taken from S. Schwertner, Theologische Realenzyklopädie. Abkürzungsverzeichnis (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 19942) and R. M. Ritter, The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 20012).

AB Anchor Bible
CNT Commentaire du Nouveau Testament
DPL G. F. Hawthorne and R. P. Martin (eds.), Dictionary of Paul and his Letters (Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1993)
EDNT H. Balz and G. Schneider (eds.), Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament Ⅰ–Ⅲ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993)
HTR Harvard Theological Review
ITP Intertestamental Period
Int. Interpretation
JEThS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
JPT Journal of Pentecostal Theology
L-S A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley (eds.), The Hellenistic Philosophers Ⅰ. Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary; Ⅱ. Greek and Latin Texts with Notes and Bibliography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987; cited by volume and page number)
NICNT New International Commentary on the New Testament
NIDNTT Brown, C. (ed.), New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology Ⅰ–Ⅳ (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1976)
PNTC The Pillar New Testament Commentary
SNTW Studies of the New Testament and its World
ThBLNT Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament
Unpubl. Unpublished
WBC Word Biblical Commentary
ZNT Zeitschrift für Neues Testament

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