(Taken from Tom Wright’s bible study guide)
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‘When people in the ancient world thought of heroic leaders, rulers and kings they often thought of Alexander the Great (356-3 23 BC). At the age of twenty he succeeded his father to the throne of Macedonia, quickly made himself master of all Greece and then set about the task of conquering the rest of the world. By the time he died just shy of age thirty-three, he had succeeded to such an extent that it made sense for him to be regarded as divine. In Paul's world the closest equivalent to Alexander was the emperor Augustus, who had put an end to the long-running Roman civil war and had brought peace to the whole known world. It wasn’t long before many grateful subjects came to regard him, too, as divine. Only when we grasp this do we see just how deeply subversive, how utterly countercultura