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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Religious Experience of the Pneuma: Communication With the Spirit World in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14
Tibbs, Clint

TŁbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007 pp. xxii + 368. $137.50

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2/230

Description: Clint Tibbs explores the Christian religious experience of the Pneuma given in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. First Corinthians 12 and 14 is often read as concerning "spiritual gifts". This heading, however, does not make clear the scope of Paul's text because it highlights only one component of Paul's polemic, "gifts", to the neglect of other and equally important terms. The experiences Paul mentions in these texts, "speaking in a spirit," "prophecy", and "glossolalia", as well as the mention of "spirits" in three different places, suggest that Paul was actually writing about communicating with the spirit world. The main religious experience of the earliest Christians was communication with the spirit world that fulfilled the promise of the sending of the Spirit in the Gospel of John, that which officially began the Christian movement abroad in Acts 2, and through which the gospel was meant to be preached as recorded in 1 Peter 1:12. Spirit communication of a Christian nature is also recorded in the Didache 11, Shepherd of Hermas, Mandate 11, and the accounts of Montanism. The author uses these texts, as well as those from Plutarch, Josephus, Philo and Pseudo-Philo, to illustrate the kind of spirit communication that Paul depicts in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, that of spirits speaking through mediums.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 1 Corinthians, Literature

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Review by John Poirier
Published 4/27/2012
Citation: John Poirier, review of Clint Tibbs, Religious Experience of the Pneuma: Communication With the Spirit World in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2012).

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