Original Research - Special Collection: Perspectives on Peace in the Bible

Die Gees (πνεῦμα) en vrede (εἰρήνη) met God teenoor die Vlees (σάρξ) en vyandskap (ἔχθρα) met God in Romeine 8:6–8

Dirk Venter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 1 | a2993 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2993 | © 2015 Dirk Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2015 | Published: 27 August 2015

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Dirk Venter, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

The Spirit (πνεῦμα) and peace (εἰρήνη) with God as opposed to the Flesh (σάρξ) and hostility (ἔχθρα) with God in Romans 8:6–8. A surprising number of exegetes do not address the question to what exactly εἰρήνη refers in Romans 8:6. The rest seem to be divided between interpreting it as an unspecified (eschatological) state of peace (šalôm), peace with one’s fellow humans, or peace with God. Based on the textual context, this article argues that the latter interpretative option is best. In terms of metaphor, the relevant target domain here is that of the relationship with God, while the source domain reflected probably is that of diplomatic relations. In addition, peace (with God) here must be understood in relation to the rule of the Spirit, the decisive influence upon those who live κατὰ πνεῦμα (Rom 8:4–5). Antithetically, personified flesh rules over those who are ἐν σαρκί (Rom 8:8). This leads to a disposition of enmity toward God as well as the inability to submit to his law. For Paul being ruled by the Spirit, as a consequence of being reconciled with God through Christ (Rom 5:1, 10; 8:3–4), is a crucial aspect of being at peace with God.

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