Spirits & the Proclamation of Christ

1 Peter 3:18-22 in Light of Sin & Punishment Traditions in Early Jewish & Christian Literature
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Teastament 2. No. 305


By Chad T. Pierce
July 2011
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161508585
289 pages
$137.50 Paper original

1 Peter 3:18-22 records Christ’s proclamation to “imprisoned spirits.” Scholars from the beginning of the twentieth century through the present have read these verses through the lens of the fall of the watchers tradition first recorded in the Book of Watchers , thus reckoning these spirits as imprisoned angels. Yet contemporary scholarship has failed to acknowledge the conflation and multiplicity of the fallen angel sin and punishment myths that are found throughout early Jewish and Christian literature.

Chad Pierce traces the major developments concerning the fallen angel, giant, evil spirit, and human sin and punishment traditions throughout 1 Enoch and other relevant works and attempts to ascertain the identity of imprisoned spirits, what Jesus’ message would have entailed, the relevance of these questions to the original readers of 1 Peter, and the relationship between baptism and the warding off of evil spirits.


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