Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Daniel Russell


hamartiology, sin, cosmic, cosmos, chaos monsters, apocalyptic Paul, hermeneutic


Practical Theology | Religion


Ancient mythology, precisely that of the Ancient Near East, includes the treacherous characters of chaos monsters who cause disorder due to their destructive supernatural influence in the natural world. Scripture includes chaos monsters of various sorts that cause the same destruction in the wake of their cosmic work. While an array of methodologies has been developed to study chaos monsters in the Ancient Near East considering their sources—i.e., Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Akkadian, etc.—there is a lack of a Biblical hermeneutic to adequately exposit chaos monster passages in Scripture. In the Apocalyptic Perspective on Paul, scholars have sought to develop a way to study the Pauline corpus considering the “unveiling” of the cosmic work of Christ in terms of his militant and cosmic mission in setting God’s people, as captives, free. Such work has led to developments in Biblical interpretation, exegesis, and exposition regarding the cosmos and the defeat of evil. Additionally, the cosmic work of Christ has revealed a unique perspective in understanding and facing evil, specifically of sin—identifying it as a cosmic reality that needs to be supernaturally handled. Regarding this study, scholars of the Apocalyptic Paul have developed a means to approach Scripture that can be utilized outside of the Pauline corpus to exposit chaos monster passages considering cosmic sin. In short, this dissertation exposits chaos monster passages using an Apocalyptic Paul hermeneutic to reveal sin’s cosmic nature and prove that the life and work of Jesus served, in part, as the redemption of humanity through the restoration of order by his triumph over cosmic sin.