Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (Powers, #1)
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Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (Powers #1)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Book annotation not available for this title...Title: .Naming the Powers..Author: .Wink, Walter..Publisher: .Augsburg Fortress Pub..Publication Date: .1983/09/01..Number of Pages: ...Binding Type: .PAPERBACK..Library of Congress: .83048905
Paperback, 181 pages
Published January 5th 1984 by Fortress Press (first published January 5th 1983)
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Wink spends the first two parts of this book going through a word study and the interpretation of various passages of the new testament that include words relating to "the powers". Wink points out that these powers are not always good and many are opposed to the will of God. He does not believe it is helpful or correct to say that some that appear to be evil are simply following some mysterious unknown divine purpose.

He also argues that we must avoid the modernist tendency to reduce the powers t...more
A few years ago I read Wink's The Powers that Be, the one volume summary of his comprehensive trilogy that begins with this book, Naming the Powers. The summary electrified me and altered my thinking on a handful of theological issues.

Wink is largely responsible for recovering the language of powers from the scripture. He contends that there is a spiritual reality to systems and institutions and that when we struggle for social justice, we don't just struggle against physical manifestations of...more
Garland Vance
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. I had to read this book for a class that I am taking, so the timing of reading the book was not the best. In other words, I think that this book could have been excellent if the timing of reading the book were a bit different--for example, if I were preparing to fight against some institutional evil and wanted to better understand the social and spiritual forces and how they collude with each other.

The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 portrays an o...more
I liked the first two sections of this book very very much. Wink does a great job exploring the textual evidence of the language of "Powers", and is convincing in his interpretation of the inter-related reality of the "heavenly" and "earthly" powers (or the "spiritual and material" powers). This does significant justice to the text and the early Christian's sense of what the powers were in the ancient world.
He is not convincing in the 3rd section, however. He asserts, without much argument, tha...more
Jul 09, 2010 J.D. added it
This book was excellent in starting the Powers Trilogy by beginning to set the stage for a biblical understanding of the powers and their implications then and now(whether earthly or spiritual; good or bad, etc.). Unbeknownst to me I actually read The Powers that Be first several years ago and only discovered after the fact that it was a summary of the trilogy. While at first I felt silly for it, I'm glad that I had that and so the language was familiar as I approached this book. I don't believe...more
Another book I wish I had read decades ago. Wink tackles theological issues that most shy away from. His is both a scholarly and compassionate look at how we think about the forces of evil and of good. He addresses the scandal of our calling ourselves monotheistic while naming a plethora of spiritual beings alongside of God. He closes with significant work around the power and usefulness of the stories and myths that we use to think about the powers.

This should be mandatory reading for every yo...more
Sub title: "The Language of Power in the NT". Excellent treatment of the use of the language of "powers" in the NT which often have been not understood or badly interpreted. With this first of three volumes Wink not only gives a clear and forceful interpretation but shows how the often esoteric language of many of texts written as codes in times of persecution can provide for our age the same hopeful and challenging guidance as they did for our ancestors.
Dec 12, 2013 Josh added it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm very interested in what Wink has to say about power, but I'm not sure that this book would be of much interest to someone who isn't a New Testament scholar. I might recommend that those who are not skip this volume. Not that there's nothing interesting here. Mostly, I just feel unqualified to comment on Wink's exegesis.

so thoughtful and helpful in de-mystifying the confusing, shadowy language of the powers. I recently incorporated some of Wink's ideas in church ministry, and it has proved quite effective.
Thom Foolery
Oct 18, 2012 Thom Foolery marked it as to-read
Recommended to Thom by: <a href="">Dr. Bryan Miller</a>
In an odd synchronicity, it turns out that SF author Neal Stephenson has also been turned on to Wink's work.
Feb 09, 2013 Tony added it
Shelves: demons
Economic and power elites are demonic forces that oppress the people.
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Dr. Walter Wink is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. Previously, he was a parish minister and taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 1989-1990 he was a Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.

His newer works include:

The Human Being: Jesus and the Enigma of the Son of the Man
(Fortress Press, 2001.)

More about Walter Wink...
The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Powers, #3) Unmasking the Powers: The Invisible Forces That Determine Human Existence (Powers, # 2) Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for Churches

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