Despite a growing trend in NT scholarship toward "anti-imperial" interpretations, it is widely debated whether these interpretations are historically valid. An examination of 2 Thess 2:1-17, the most anti-imperial text in the Pauline corpus, demonstrates Paul's theology is anti-imperial only insofar as empire is used as a tool of Satan to oppose God's elect. Using apocalyptic metaphors, Paul invested the Thessalonian believers' suffering with cosmic significance and narrated God's judgment on their oppressors.
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