Although the Synoptic Gospels treat exorcism as a significant aspect of Jesus’ ministry, other parts of the New Testament (e.g., John and Paul) say little to nothing about exorcism. Which is more reflective of early Christian belief and practice? The answer to that question has relevance both for biblical scholars and for the contemporary church.
Graham Twelftree explores this debated issue by examining exorcism in the New Testament world before embarking on a chronological study of all relevant New Testament passages. He supplements his New Testament exploration with an analysis of how second-century Christians and critics viewed exorcism. This comprehensive study yields a nuanced view of the early Christian church and its view of Jesus as a model for ministry.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Graham Twelftree has proved himself, by several top-level monographs, as the expert of the day in his cautious, meticulously detailed examination of Jesus as an exorcist and miracle worker. He now judiciously extends the examination to the early church’s view and practice of exorcism from Paul through to the Greek Apostolic Fathers. There is no better, nor even comparable, treatment. This will dominate a generation of study.
—Max Turner, professor emeritus of New Testament, London School of Theology
Contemporary accounts of exorcisms abound but there has been very little written on the practice from a rigorous biblical and historical perspective until now. In the Name of Jesus fills this gap and provides the reader with numerous helpful insights into the text of Scripture and into the practice of the church in the second century. This book is exceptionally well researched and will prove to be an indispensable source for biblical scholars as well as anyone interested in the theme of spiritual warfare. I cannot think of anyone better suited to write this volume than Dr. Twelftree.
—Clinton E. Arnold, professor of New Testament language and literature, Talbot School of Theology
For over two decades Graham Twelftree has closely studied the question of exorcism. This stimulating and graciously provocative work is essential reading for anyone working in the field.
—Rikk Watts, professor of New Testament, Regent College
This excellent study . . . helps to anchor the Christian phenomenon of exorcism within the wider cultural milieu of the first and second centuries.
A meticulously detailed exegetical study on exorcism in the early church. . . . The major strength of the book is the inclusion of literature from the second century, whereby Twelftree is able to demonstrate that the function of Jesus in early Christianity was much more varied than we might conclude from the New Testament. I was also impressed at the breadth, depth, and rigor of Twelftree’s research. . . . Twelftree’s case for the place and practice of exorcism among early Christians is convincing overall and a must-read for anyone interested in the subject. . . . It is undoubtedly the best academic work on the subject. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to delve deeper into the issue of exorcism to understand its nature and place in the church—then and now.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
The historical treatment is precisely what makes this book a rich and helpful contribution. No one else has covered the same territory to the depth that Twelftree does in this volume. . . . We are greatly indebted to Twelftree for his careful historical work on this important and neglected topic. . . . This volume needs to be read not only by biblical scholars, but those involved in the ministry of the church.
Scholars will be indebted to Twelftree for his career-long interest in, research on, and publications about this topic. His meticulous studies include revisions of previously published opinions and thereby provide up-to-date, rich overviews of possession, exorcism, and related topics.
—Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Graham H. Twelftree received his BA from the University of Adelaide, MA from the University of Oxford, and PhD from the University of Nottingham. He is a distinguished professor of New Testament at the School of Divinity at Regent University. Twelftree has written many scholarly articles and reviews and he is the author of a number of books, including People of the Spirit: Exploring Luke’s View of the Church.