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Showing posts with label Diognetus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diognetus. Show all posts

Monday 9 May 2022

Reading Isaiah like an Early Christian (3): "It was no ambassador or angel but the Lord himself that saved them" (Isaiah 63:9)

Continuing our series on Christological texts in Isaiah, we turn to the rich and fascinating text that is Isaiah 63:9. We will first look at the text in its context in the Hebrew Bible and its translation in the Septuagint. We will then look at its reception in the New Testament before surveying its interpretation in the early Church.

Isaiah 63:9 in Context 

Isaiah 63:1-6 is a "divine warrior scene" in which a figure comes from Edom and "marches toward Zion wearing red garments, which at first glance appear regal (63:1) but actually are covered with the blood of the nations (63:3)."1 Although the figure is not explicitly identified, the lofty language used of the figure and the connection with the earlier divine warrior scene in Isaiah 59:15b-21 (where the Warrior is explicitly YHWH) leaves no doubt as to his identity.2 The Divine Warrior comes to save his people and to destroy their enemies.

The Divine Warrior scene ends at 63:6 and gives way to a "communal lament" that runs from 63:7-64:11. The lament "begins in hymnic style in verse 7 by urging the people to commemorate YHWH's glorious deeds," an appeal followed by "two historical reflections in verses 8-10 and vv. 11-14."3 63:7-14 as a whole establishes "the covenantal nature of the human-divine relationship," strains in which are lamented in vv. 15-19a, eliciting a petition for God to visit Israel anew as he had once done at Sinai.4 Despite the shift from divine warrior scene in 63:1-6 to communal lament from 63:7-64:11, there are obvious connections between the two passages. Above all, "theophanic themes" involving YHWH's deliverance and judgment, past and present, are evident throughout.5

Isaiah 63:9 is a verse with significant textual difficulties in the Hebrew text. As Bogdan G. Bucur explains, the textual variations hinge on two short words, לא and ער:
In the former case, the question is whether to choose the ketiv לא ('not') or the qere, the homophone לו ('to him'). As for צר, the question is whether to accept the MT vocalization of צַר ('constraint,' 'distress,' 'affliction') or to vocalize it as צִיר, which would yield 'messenger.'6
Depending on the textual decision one makes and how one reads the syntax, one arrives at one of two quite different renderings:7
8 [...] and he became their savior. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. (RSV)

8 [...] and he became their savior 9 in all their affliction. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. (NRSV)
The second of the above readings was followed by the Septuagint translators:
8 [...] And he became to them salvation out of all affliction. It was no ambassador or angel but the Lord himself that saved them, because he loved them and spared them; he himself ransomed them and took them up and lifted them up all the days of old.8
The idea is similar to that in Isaiah 35:4 LXX, the text we looked at in the previous article: "God...himself will come and save us." There is a notable difference, in that Isaiah 35:4 is a prophecy of the future whereas Isaiah 63:9 recalls past events—probably, above all, those of the Exodus. However, given the prominence of New Exodus language in Isaiah, the wider idea in this communal lament is that what God had done in the past, he will do in the future: "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence" (64:1 NRSV).

What is particularly significant about the second reading of Isaiah 63:9 above—the one that the Septuagint followed and that was therefore dominant in early Christianity—is that it contrasts God's direct saving activity with the notion of his working through an agent such as a messenger or an angel. Bucur notes that this contrast also features in rabbinic Jewish exegesis of the Exodus story, with several rabbis insisting that it was the Holy One himself and no agent who undertook certain key acts of deliverance.9

Isaiah 63 in Revelation 19

Isaiah 63:9 is never quoted in the New Testament. The Divine Warrior Scene that shortly precedes it, however, is alluded to in Revelation 19. Interestingly, while the Divine Warrior in Isaiah 63:1-6 is undoubtedly God, Revelation 19 applies this imagery to Christ:
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a scepter of iron; he will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 NRSV)
There is no mistaking that this figure wearing a robe dipped in blood and treading the winepress of the wrath of God is the figure described in Isaiah 63:2-3. And yet Isaiah 63:3-5 contains language similar to 63:9 about God working alone rather than through an agent or messenger: "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me... I looked, but there was no helper; I was abandoned, and there was no one to sustain me, so my own arm brought me victory". It is difficult to understand how Revelation could identify the Divine Warrior of Isaiah 63:1-6 as someone other than God—unless there is someone other than God who is also fully divine, as the names "the Word of God" and "King of kings and Lord of lords" already suggest.10

Isaiah 63:9 in the Early Church

Irenaeus of Lyons, writing c. 180-185 C.E., comments thus on our passage: 
And Isaias says that those who served God are in the end to be saved through His name… And that He was Himself to bring about these blessings in person, Isaias declared in the words: Not an intercessor, nor an angel, but the Lord Himself hath given them life, because He loves them and has pity on them; He Himself redeemed them. (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 88).11
In his better-known work, Against Heresies, Irenaeus offers a similar interpretation: 
So again, that He who was to save us would not be purely a man, nor a being without flesh—for angels have no flesh—Isaiah announced by saying: "It is not an elder, nor an angel, but the Lord himself who will save them; because he loves them and spares them, himself will deliver them." (Adv. Haer. 3.20.4)12
The anonymous Epistle to Diognetus, usually grouped among the Apostolic Fathers but dated to c. 200 A.D., does not quote Isaiah 63:9 but probably alludes to it in the following words:
But the truly all-powerful God himself, creator of all and invisible, set up and established in their hearts the truth and the holy word from heaven, which cannot be comprehended by humans. To do so, he did not, as one might suppose, send them one of his servants or an angel or a ruler or any of those who administer earthly activities or who are entrusted with heavenly affairs, but he sent the craftsman and maker of all things himself, by whom he created the heavens, by whom he enclosed the sea within its own boundaries, whose mysteries all the elements of creation guard faithfully, from whom the sun was appointed to guard the courses that it runs during the day, whom the moon obeys when he commands it to shine at night, whom the stars obey by following the course of the moon, by whom all things are set in order and arranged and put into subjection, the heavens and the things in the heavens, the earth and the things in the earth, the sea and the things in the sea, fire, air, the abyss, creatures in the heights, creatures in the depths, creatures in between—this is the one he sent to them. (Ep. Diognetus 7.2)13
In his work On the Flesh of Christ, Tertullian, writing in the early third century, seeks to refute those who say that Christ was clothed with an angel. At the conclusion of his argument, he writes, "What more do we need, when we hear Isaiah crying out, 'Not an angel nor a delegate, but the Lord himself hath saved them?'" (De Carne Christi 14.6)14

Origen, the great Alexandrian exegete, quotes the passage a few decades later in his commentary on the Song of Songs. He regards the woman's longing for her lover as signifying the Church's longing for Christ himself and no mere minister: 
This is the content of the actual story, presented in dramatic form. But let us see if the inner meaning can also be fittingly supplied along these lines. Let it be the Church who longs for union with Christ… [after the Law] But, since the age is almost ended and His own presence is not granted me, and I see only His ministers ascending and descending upon me, because of this I pour out my petition to Thee, the Father of my Spouse, beseeching Thee to have compassion at last upon my love, and to send Him, that He may now no longer speak to me only but by His servants the angels and the prophets, but may come Himself directly and kiss me with the kisses of His mouth—that is to say, may pour the words of His mouth into mine, that I may hear Him speak Himself, and see Him teaching. The kisses are Christ’s, which He bestowed on His Church when at His coming, being present in the flesh, He in His own person spoke to her the words of faith and love and peace, according to the promise of Isaias who, when sent beforehand to the Bride, had said: Not a messenger, nor an angel, but the Lord Himself shall save  us. (Commentary on Song of Songs 1.1)15

Highlighting the similarity between Isaiah 35:4 (discussed in the previous article) and 63:9, Cyprian of Carthage—a contemporary of Origen—quotes the two texts in immediate succession in his list of proof texts supporting the proposition "That Christ our God should come as the Enlightener and Saviour of the human race" (Ad Quirinum 2.7).16


Isaiah 63:1-6 is a divine warrior scene that depicts YHWH's theophanic deliverance of Israel and wrathful judgment of her enemies. Following on that, Isaiah 63:7-64:11 is a communal lament that petitions God to make just such a theophanic intervention. It recalls how God has done this in the past, and one possible reconstruction of the text of Isaiah 63:9—which the Septuagint follows—emphasises that it was God himself and no mere agent (messenger or angel) who intervened.

Already in the Book of Revelation, the Divine Warrior of Isaiah 63:1-6—who had emphasised that he worked alone, because there was no helper—is interpreted as Jesus, the Word of God. In like manner, the Church Fathers of the second and third centuries consistently interpret the language of 63:9 ("It was no ambassador or angel but the Lord himself that saved them") as a reference to the Incarnation, in which the divine Son of God personally came in human flesh to save humanity from their enemies.
  • 1 Matthew J. Lynch,  "Zion's Warrior and the Nations: Isaiah 59:15b-63:6 in Isaiah's Zion Traditions," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 70 (2008): 245, 256.
  • 2 These two divine warrior scenes "form an inclusio around and are textually joined to chaps. 60-62," which speak of Zion's restoration (Lynch, "Zion's Warrior," 245).
  • 3 Judith Gärtner, "'...Why Do You Let Us Stray from Your Paths...' (Isa 63:17): The Concept of Guilt in the Communal Lament Isa 63:7-64:11," in M. J. Boda, D. K. Falk & R. A. Werline (eds.), Seeking the Favor of God. Volume 1: The Origins of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006), 146.
  • 4 Richard J. Bautsch, "Lament Regained in Trito-Isaiah's Penitential Prayer," in Boda, Falk & Werline, Seeking the Favor of God, 87.
  • 5 Lynch, "Zion's Warrior," 259.
  • 6 Bogdan G. Bucur, "The Lord Himself, One Lord, One Power: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Isaiah 63:9 and Daniel 7:13," in Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism, ed. Andrei A. Orlov (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 241-42. The ketiv refers to the orthographic consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible, and the qere to the suggested vocalisation of the Masoretic Text.
  • 7 In fact two further renderings are possible; see Bucur, "The Lord Himself," 242 for the details.
  • 8 Moisés Silva, "Esaias," in New English Translation of the Septuagint, ed. Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 872. The Greek text reads: 8 [...] καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῖς εἰς σωτηρίαν 9 ἐκ πάσης θλίψεως. οὐ πρέσβυς οὐδὲ ἄγγελος, ἀλλʼ αὐτὸς κύριος ἔσωσεν αὐτούς διὰ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν αὐτοὺς καὶ φείδεσθαι αὐτῶν· αὐτὸς ἐλυτρώσατο αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀνέλαβεν αὐτοὺς καὶ ὕψωσεν αὐτοὺς πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τοῦ αἰῶνος. (Septuaginta, ed. Joseph Ziegler [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983], 14:355.)
  • 9 See Bucur, "The Lord Himself," 243-54.
  • 10 On the latter title, see my article, "Lord of lords" and "King of kings" as Hebraic Superlatives.
  • 11 Trans. Joseph P. Smith, S.J., St. Irenaeus: Proof of the Apostlic Preaching (Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1952), 102.
  • 12 This is my translation of the French translation by Adélin Rousseau: "De même encore, que Celui qui devait nous sauver ne serait ni purement un homme, ni un être sans chair - car les anges n'ont pas de chair -, Isaïe l'a annoncé en disant: «Ce n'est pas un ancien, ni un ange, mais le Seigneur lui-même qui les sauvera, parce qu'il les aime et qu'il les épargne, lui-même les délivrera.»" (Adelin Rousseau, Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies [Paris: Cerf, 2001]).
  • 13 Trans. Bart D. Ehrman, The Apostolic Fathers (2 vols.; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003), 2:145.
  • 14 Trans. Ernest Evans, Tertullian's Treatise on the Incarnation (London: SPCK, 1956), 53.
  • 15 Trans. R. P. Lawson, Origen, The Song of Songs: Commentary and Homilies (New York: Newman, 1956), 59-60.
  • 16 Trans. A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1840), 3:37.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Supernatural Evil in the Apostolic Fathers (10): Epistle to Diognetus

The so-called 'Epistle to Diognetus' (henceforth just Diognetus) is an anonymous text addressed to one Diognetus. It is not really an epistle in the sense of Paul's epistles. In fact, it is generally regarded as a composite work consisting of two sections: an apology aimed at non-Christians (chapters 1-10) and a homily aimed at Christians (chapters 11-12).1 Furthermore, it is probably the latest writing included in the (admittedly artificial) Apostolic Fathers corpus: 'The majority of scholars date it to 200'.2 With such a late date being probable, it is not as valuable for reconstructing early post-apostolic Christian thought as other Apostolic Fathers writings usually dated from the late first to mid second century (e.g. 1 Clement, Ignatius, Barnabas, Didache, etc.) Numerous other proto-orthodox Christian writings from the late second century survive which are not classified among the Apostolic Fathers, such as the works of Irenaeus, Athenagoras, and Theophilus of Antioch. Nevertheless, for sake of completeness let us proceed to investigate supernatural evil in Diognetus.

The apologetic portion of Diognetus (chapters 1-10) contains no reference to Satan, demons or other supernatural evil, in its extant form. However, it would be inadvisable to make arguments from silence about the author's views on this basis because, in addition to the copy break that occurs apparently at the end of the apologetic portion, there is a lacuna (a missing section of text) at Diognetus 7.6 and 'there is no way to know how much of the intervening text has been lost, whether just a few words or a page or more.'3 The lacuna occurs in an eschatological section,4 and since Satan is often mentioned in eschatological contexts in early Christianity,5 it is not impossible that the missing text referred to him. Of course it would be pure speculation to positively claim that the lost portion of text mentioned Satan; very likely it did not. The point is that the possibility cannot be completely discounted, which is yet another reason why arguments from silence carry little weight.

One observes in Diognetus 2.4 that, similar to what we found in the Didache, the author describes idols as 'lifeless.' Since other early Christian writers saw a demonic dimension to idolatry (e.g. 1 Cor. 10:19-21; Rev. 9:20; Justin, 1 Apology 9), does this suggest that the author of Diognetus rejected such a view? Not necessarily. As we pointed out in our discussion of the Didache, there were two traditional Jewish polemics against idolatry. One (found especially in Hellenistic Jewish literature), 'contrasts lifeless idols (along with the "ignorance" in which idolatry is based) with the one, true, creating and redeeming God (along with "knowledge of Him").'6 The other tradition, 'although it agreed that idols are "nothings" and lifeless human products, saw in idolatry the service or the influence of demons (Jub. 2.4-6; 22.16-22; 1 En. 19; 99.6-10; T.Naph. 3.3-4).'7 Thus both polemical strategies agreed on the lifelessness of idols, so the declaration in Diognetus that idols are 'lifeless and dead' is actually compatible with both. Meecham commenting specifically on this passage in Diognetus, states, 'That both views could be held in the mind without a sense of conflict may be seen in Paul.'8 This can also be seen in Justin Martyr, 1 Apology 9, who uses the same language as Diognetus for idols ('lifeless and dead') but also states that they 'have not the form of God...but have the names and shapes of those evil demons which have appeared'.9 Is there any plausible explanation for why the author of Diognetus might have omitted the polemic that linked idols to demons? Perhaps: at the end of his polemic against idolatry, he concludes:
I could say many other things about why Christians do not serve such gods, but if someone supposes that these comments are not enough, I imagine saying anything more would be superfluous. (Diog 2.10)10
Thus, the author explicitly tells us that he is omitting some of his polemic against idolatry. In view of this, it would be inadvisable to make an argument from silence that the writer did not consider idolatry to have a demonic dimension or did not believe in demons.11

Turning to the homily portion of Diognetus (chapters 11-12), there is again no clear reference to supernatural evil, but there are three references to 'the serpent' (ho ophis) in Diognetus 12.3-8 which may refer to Satan. The passage reads as follows:
3 Nor is that which is written obscure, how at the beginning God planted "a tree of knowledge and a tree of life in the middle of paradise," thereby revealing life through knowledge. But those who were there at the beginning made use of it in an impure way, and became naked through the deceit of the serpent. 4 For life cannot exist apart from knowledge nor secure knowledge apart from true life. 5 When the apostle considered this marvel he criticized knowledge that is exercised apart from the true command that leads to life, saying "Knowledge puffs up but love builds up." 6 For the one who thinks he knows anything apart from the knowledge that is true and attested by life does not know; he is deceived by the serpent and does not love life. But the one who has come to know with reverential fear, and who seeks life, plants in hope and expects to receive fruit. 7 Let your heart be knowledge and your life be the true, comprehensible word. 8 If you bear this tree and pluck its fruit, you will always harvest what God desires. The serpent cannot touch such things nor can deceit defile them. Nor is Eve corrupted, but a virgin is trusted [Or: but is believed on as a virgin]. (Diognetus 12.3-8)12
Jefford notes that the writer of Diognetus does not explicitly identify the serpent as Satan in this passage.13 However, he elsewhere states that the serpent seems allegorical and that the writer appears to assume a link between the serpent of Genesis and the great dragon of Revelation (which is explicitly identified as Satan).14

Gokey notes that while the 'deceit of the serpent' in 12.3 (referring to the events in Eden) does not require an active interpretation, the deceit by the serpent in 12.6 'would favour an active interpretation.'15 Similarly 'the serpent cannot touch such things nor can deceit defile them' (12.8) suggests an active meaning. Among lexical authorities, BDAG regards the serpent in v. 6 as 'clearly the devil,'16 while Lampe also identifies the serpent here with the devil.17 Such an interpretation of the serpent of Genesis 3 was already a well-established tradition in the church by the time this text was written (Rom. 16:20;18 2 Cor. 11:3 cp. v. 14;19 Rev. 12:9; 20:2; 1 Apology 28).

It should be stressed, however, that the identification of the serpent with Satan here seems to be allegorical rather than literal. The writer is not necessarily implicating Satan in the events of Eden; rather, he refers historically to the serpent of Eden (12.3), and then proceeds to use Edenic imagery (serpent, tree, Eve) allegorically to describe the present circumstances of the church. Whatever the serpent denotes in the present, it is an active force which can deceive the ignorant (12.6) but cannot touch the knowledgeable and reverent (12.8). It is impossible to be certain about the referent, but the only active force identified with the serpent elsewhere in early Christian writings is Satan, and he is therefore the most likely candidate.


  • 1 Foster states, 'It can be seen that whereas the first ten chapters have an apologetic focus, the final two have inner ecclesial concerns' (Foster, P. (2006). The Epistle to Diognetus. The Expository Times, 118(4), 162-168, here p. 164). See also Jefford, C.N. (2013). The Epistle to Diognetus (with the Fragment of Quadratus): Introduction and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 12. Foster also observes, 'These sections appear to represent two distinct sources that have been combined during the process of transmission. The identification of this seam is supported by a marginal note in the manuscript at the end of chapter 10 which reads "and here the copy has a break"' (op. cit., p. 163).
  • 2 Williams, H.H.D., III. (2015). [Review of the book The Epistle to Diognetus (with the Fragment of Quadratus): Introduction, Text, and Commentary, by C.N. Jefford]. Themelios 39(3), 567-569, here p. 568. Others propose dates in 'the late second century or early third' (Grant, R.M. (1988). Greek Apologists of the Second Century. London: SCM Press, p. 178) or 'to some moment during the 2nd century, with a preference for the latter decades of that period' (Jefford, op. cit., p. 28).
  • 3 Ehrman, B. (2003). (Ed. & trans.). The Apostolic Fathers (Vol. 2). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 124.
  • 4 Jefford states that 'the textual lacuna complicates any interpretation of the eschatological context. One thus cannot know what further materials on this topic may have originally been here or reconstruct the missing words that may once have served to explain what now appears as a sudden turn of theme' (op. cit., p. 232).
  • 5 E.g. Matt. 12:24-32; 25:41; Luke 10:18-19; John 12:31; Romans 16:20; 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 20:2-7.
  • 6 Horsley, R.A. (2004). Gnosis in Corinth: I Corinthians 8.1-6. In E. Adams & D.G. Horrell (Eds.), Christianity at Corinth: The Quest for the Pauline Church (pp. 119-128). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, p. 127.
  • 7 ibid.
  • 8 Meecham, H.G. (1949). The Epistle to Diognetus: Greek Text with Introduction, Translation, and Notes. Manchester: Manchester University Press, p. 33.
  • 9 trans. Barnard, L.W. (1997). The First and Second Apologies. Mahwah: Paulist Press, p. 27.
  • 10 trans. Ehrman, op. cit., p. 135.
  • 11 Having noted that most of the Apologists believed in the malignant influence of demons, Meecham adds, 'The author of Diognetus gives no hint that he held the general view, though we may not, e silentio, conclude the contrary' (op. cit., p. 22).
  • 12 trans. Ehrman, op. cit., pp. 157, 159.
  • 13 Jefford, op. cit., p. 102; cf. Russell, J.B. (1981). Satan: The Early Christian Tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p. 46 n. 49.
  • 14 Jefford, op. cit., pp. 254-255.
  • 15 Gokey, F.X. (1961). The Terminology for the Devil and Evil Spirits in the Apostolic Fathers. Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, pp. 118-119 n. 12.
  • 16 Arndt, W., Danker, F.W. & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature, 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 744.
  • 17 Lampe, G.W.H. (1961). A Patristic Greek Lexicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 989.
  • 18 Those who regard Rom. 16:20 as an allusion to Gen. 3:15 include: Foerster, W. (1967). 'ὄφις', in TDNT V.566-582, here p. 581; Wolff, C. (1989). Der zweite Brief des Paulus an die Korinther. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, pp. 212-213; Mounce, R.H. (1995). Romans. Nashville: B&H Publishing, p. 280; Schreiner, T.R. (1998). Romans. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, p. 804; Dochhorn, J. (2007). Paulus und die polyglotte Schriftgelehrsamkeit seiner Zeit. Eine Studie zu den exegetischen Hintergründen von Röm 16, 20a. Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und Kunde der Älteren Kirche, 98(3-4), 189-212, here p. 195; Williams, G.J. (2009). The Spirit World in the Letters of Paul the Apostle: A Critical Examination of the Role of Spiritual Beings in the Authentic Pauline Epistles. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, pp. 93-94. Regarding Rom. 16:20 rather as an allusion to Ps. 110:1 are Forsyth, N. (2003). The Satanic Epic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 305; Brown, D.R. (2011). The God of This Age: Satan in the Churches and Letters of the Apostle Paul. PhD dissertation, University of Edinburgh, pp. 119-124. Undecided between these two options is Löfstedt, T. (2010) Paul, Sin and Satan: The Root of Evil according to Romans. Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, 75, 109-134, here p. 122.
  • 19 Those who think Paul implicitly identifies the serpent with Satan here include Malherbe, A.J. (1961). Through the Eye of the Needle: Simplicity or Singleness? Restoration Quarterly, 5, 119-29, here pp. 127-128; Furnish, V.P. (1975). 2 Corinthians: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary. New York: Doubleday, p. 158; Wolff, op. cit., pp. 212-213; Garrett, S.R. (1991). "Lest the Light in You be Darkness": Luke 11:33-36 and the Question of Commitment. Journal of Biblical Literature, 110(1), 93-105, here p. 99; Garland, D.E. (1999). Second Corinthians. Nashville: B&H Publishing, p. 462; Lambrecht, J. (1999). Second Corinthians. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, p. 173; Harris, M.J. (2005). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 741; Williams, op. cit., pp. 94-95; Collins, R.F. (2013). Second Corinthians. Grand Rapids: Baker, p. 213; Seifrid, M.A. (2014). The Second Letter to the Corinthians. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 405 n. 281. For counterarguments, see Brown, op. cit., pp. 197-199.