It seems to be universally presumed by commentators and others that the futility (1* Apart from dictionary articles, e.g. Comfort in Dictionary of Paul and his Letters, pp.320ff., Downers Grove/Leicester, 1993, and commentaries on Romans there is a useful essay entitled The Answer to Futility in “The Cross of Jesus by L.L.Morris, Grand Rapids, 1988. Morris, following Markus Barth, p.499, defines futility as emptiness, vanity, foolishness, purposelessness, etc. Regrettably, Morris, who accepts the traditional Augustinian viewpoint, appears at times somewhat at odds with himself. He devotes his attention in the main to actual occurrences of the word ‘futile’ in the NT. However, as doubtless he would have admitted, the teaching of Scripture goes far beyond these.) to which Paul refers in Romans 8:20 is the result of the curse God imposed on creation after Adam fell (Gen. 3:17-19). It should be noticed, however, that Paul does not so much as mention sin here. On the face of it, he seems to be contrasting the present material creation with the glory still to be revealed (8:18). This view of the matter receives ample support in Scripture in general (e.g. Rom. 5:2; 2 Cor. 4:17; Col. 1:27; 3:4).
First, if it is true that the eternal has neither beginning nor end (Heb. 7:3), the very first verse of the Bible which refers to a beginning implies an end (cf. Rev. 21:1), and hence ultimate futility (cf. Ps. 89:47f.; Eccl. 3:19). Thus we are forced to infer that the creation stands in direct contrast with the Creator, and this, needless to add, is the pervasive teaching of Scripture (Ps. 89:11; 90:2; 102:25-27; Isa. 34:4; 40:6-8; 51:6,8,12; 54:10; Mt. 24:35; Heb. 1:10-12; 12:27, etc.). Next, in light of the promise of 2:17 (cf. Lev. 18:5, etc.), it would seem that the destiny of mortal man as one whose origin is the temporal earth but who is made in the image of God (Gen 1:26-28) is escape from his natural physical corruptibility (Ps. 49:12,20; John 11:25f.) to heavenly spiritual glory and the presence of God (cf. Ps. 8:5; Heb. 2:6-10).
Futility is implied in Genesis 1 in other ways. For example, if all flora and fauna, including man, derive from a temporal and corruptible earth, then it follows inexorably that they are given over to futility too, since they cannot transcend their origin or rise above their source. Further, it is scarcely surprising that since plant life is given for food (1:29f., Ps. 104:14), it is by nature perishable (John 6:27) and needs to reproduce (1:11f.) in order to replace itself. But this in its turn implies the natural corruptibility of the animal life that feeds on it (cf. Isa. 40:6-8 and note espec. Ps. 104:21). Again, in verse 28 we are told that man made in the image of God is given dominion in order to subdue the earth. But if the earth is already perfect, as some would teach, why should this be necessary? Clearly, the ‘good’ creation refers, as the word ‘kalos’ in the LXX suggests, not to perfection but to temporal usefulness (cf. Eccl. 3:11, NTSV, REB, etc. See further below.). In any case, the earth remains ‘good’ almost (2* At the end, when it produces thorns and thistles and is worthless, Heb. 6:7f., cf. 2 Sam. 23:6f., it is fit only to be burned, cf. Mt. 22:7; Luke 13:8f.) throughout Scripture and produces the material harvest of food necessary for (biological) life to continue till the end (Gen. 8:22; Num. 14:7f.; Luke 17:27; 1 Cor. 10:26; 1 Tim. 4:3f.).
Throughout the OT it is implied that God created the earth to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18, cf. Gen. 2:5,15). When it is uninhabited and hence lacks men and women to till or cultivate it, that is, exercise dominion over it, it becomes a desolation (Lev. 26:33ff.; Prov. 24:30f.; Isa. 6:11f.;.Jer. 4:7; 33:10; Zeph. 3:6, etc.). In other words, the natural futility of the earth apart from sin is again plainly apparent. Even the Garden of Eden, which according to tradition is the place of perfection par excellence, required Adam to cultivate it (Gen. 2:5,15). The presumption is that once he was cast out of Eden, it too, lacking an inhabitant, endured the curse of desolation like the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey during the exile (Lev. 26:34f.; Dt. 28:15ff.; Ezek. 36:3f.; Zech. 7:14, etc.), though not, it should be noted, while it was inhabited by the Canaanites, sinners though they were.
Contrary to traditional understanding then, Genesis 1 implies the perennial presence of death even before sin entered the world. Plant and animal alike are made to reproduce, and the mere fact that every green plant is available as perishable food ought to prepare us to recognise that grass is a symbol of death throughout the Bible (Ps. 106:20; Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Pet. 1:24; Jas. 1:10f.). Even manna and quail from heaven are corruptible and hence ultimately futile (Ex. 16:20,24). Not without reason are we told in Scripture that death is the way of all the earth (Jos. 23:14; 1 K. 2:2). It requires constant restoration by means of procreation (Gen. 1:28 cf. Heb. 7:23) which is likewise the way of all the earth (19:31).
The book of Ecclesiastes in particular harps on the theme in question. As in Job 13:28-14:2, death, which comes to man and animal alike, underscores the futility of life (3:18-21; 8:8, cf. Ps. 49:7,12,20). While it is true that sin exacerbates the situation in which Solomon finds himself, he is convinced that everything under the sun is vanity by divine decree (3:14, cf. 1:3; 3:9; 5:7; Ps. 89:47f.; 104:29; 146:4). Everything has its time including death (3:1-8). Consequently, he recognizes that his only hope is in the eternal God (12:1ff., etc.) who is the Creator and Sustainer of all created things (Job 12:10; 34:13-15; Eccl. 12:7; Isa. 42:5, etc.).
The Teaching of Jesus
Jesus leaves us in little doubt that the present world or age is futile. In Matthew 6:19f. he refers like the prophets (e.g. Isa. 50:9; 51:6, cf. Job 13:28) to the activity of rust and moth and, as a consequence, warns his hearers to lay up for themselves treasures in heaven where neither sin nor corruption are active (cf. 1 Pet. 1:3f.,7; James 5:2f.). In Luke 12 he again implies the natural corruptibility of the physical side of man. First, he indicates that though the body of flesh may be done to death (cf. Col. 1:22; 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:18), we need to fear Him who has the power to cast even the soul into hell. And in case we have failed to get his message at this point, he goes on in the parable of the rich fool and indeed the rest of the chapter to contrast the futile and fleeting with the profitable and permanent. It ought not to pass notice that in 12:33 he draws attention not simply to the thief and the moth but to the aging process (cf. also 16:9). The latter was something to which he himself was subject in the flesh. Being truly human, even he had a beginning which implied an end (like creation itself, Gen. 1:1. NB Luke 2:41ff., cf. 2 Cor. 4:16,18). As one who was born of woman and hence a genuine son of Adam (Luke 3:38), he would have succumbed to the natural process of physical corruption (John 8:57, cf. Heb. 1:11) and died (cf. Gen. 6:3) had he not inherited life by keeping the law and ascended in accordance with the original promise of Genesis 2:17 referred to above. (In the graphic words of Twelftree, at his incarnation Jesus became “an earth-bound, transient and perishable person”, p.341). Had he not been mortal, he could not have died on our behalf (cf. 1 Pet. 3:18). According to Jesus’ own teaching this world or age is characterized by death and corruption (Mt. 24:35, cf. 5:18; Heb. 8:13) and is hence in stark contrast with the age to come (Luke 20:34-36, etc.).
But Jesus goes much further. In John 4:10-15 and 6:27-35 he clearly indicates what was implied in Genesis 1 that natural (or perishable) water and food have limited value. As he tells the woman at the well, drinking “earthly” water quenches thirst only temporarily and involves constant repetition. (See further below on Hebrews.) By contrast, the living water that he gives leads to eternal life (cf. Isa. 55:1f.). In John 6:22ff. Jesus distinguishes between material and true bread and insists that he himself is the bread of life (vv.33,35). Plainly man can no more live on bread alone (Mt. 4:4) than can the animals even though, whether herbivore or carnivore, they are fed by God (Ps.104:21,27-30). If he attempts to do this, he denies his basic humanity and is reduced, even apart from sin, to the level of the animals whose death is by nature inevitable (Ps. 49:12,20, cf. 2 Pet. 2; Jude) even when food is plentiful (Ps. 147:9). In 6:63 he goes so far as to say that the flesh as such is (ultimately) unprofitable.
There are even other things to say which can easily be missed. Far from being perfect as Augustine taught, creation is characterized by futility in its not infrequent tendency to produce aberrations and variations: blemished animals unfit for sacrifice, human beings who cannot speak properly (Ex. 4:11), eunuchs who cannot reproduce (Mt. 19:12), women who cannot have babies even if they have husbands (cf. Sarah, Hannah, etc.), good and bad trees, fruit (Mt. 7:17) and fish (Mt. 13:48); still-born babies (Num.12:12; Job 3:16; Eccl. 6:3), men born blind (John 9:3) and so on. The blindness of the latter Jesus specifically insists is no more related to sin than the death of Lazarus was: both were for God’s glory (John 9:3; 11:4. The implication of Paul’s thorn is the same though Paul refers to it as a messenger of Satan, 2 Cor. 12:7-9). Good and bad harvests (Gen. 41:14-36), rock and sand (Mt. 7:24-27), wheat and weeds (cf. Mt. 13:25-40), sudden storms (Prov. 10:25; Mt. 8:24-27), rain or lack of it, some famines and earthquakes (Gen. 12:10; 26:1; Mt. 24:8, etc.), accidents (Dt. 19:5), deserts (cf. Mt. 12:43; Mark 6:31), collapsing buildings (Luke 13:4) and the like are all naturally characteristic of this world rendered futile in the main by inherent ageing, subjection to time (Eccl. 3:1-8) and death (Ps. 49:7,12,20; 89:47f.; Eccl. 3:19-21; 12:1-7, etc.) the effect of which is frequently exacerbated by sin (cf. e.g. Hag. 1:5f.). Physical seed, like gold (1 Pet. 1:7,18), is perishable (1 Pet. 1:23), and even physical perfection (maturity) is succeeded by death. The acorn meets its inexorable end as the dying oak. The truth is that creation, like the earthly temple and the law, in fact the old covenant in general, is faulty by nature (Heb. 7:18f.; 8:7,13; 10:9, cf. Mt. 5:18; 1 Cor. 13:10). The end or purpose of all things is Christ who alone, as the exact imprint of God’s very being, is perfect and glorious (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2f.; Rev. 4 and 5). To worship or love (2 Tim. 4:10; 1 John 2:15-17) the temporal and futile creation (cf. Ps. 106:20) as opposed to the eternal Creator (cf. Heb. 3:3) is of the essence of sin (Dt. 4:15-19; Rom. 1:25).
The Teaching of Paul
Paul endorses his Master’s teaching. In Romans 7:18 he tells us that nothing good (agathos) dwells in his flesh (even though as created it is “good”, Gk. kalos) and in 8:6-8 that setting the mind on the flesh and earthly things in general leads inevitably to death (cf. 8:13; Gal. 6:8; Phil. 3:19; Col. 3:1-5, cf. 2 Pet. 2:19). For him to be in the (fleshly) body is to be away from the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6,8, cf. 1 Cor. 15:50). Having already referred to the futility of fleshly man’s thinking in Romans 1:21 (cf. Eph. 4:17) he stresses the limitations of worldly wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1:21 (Col. 2:8,20, cf. John 3:31; 8:23; Jas. 3:15; 1 John 4:5f.). Though in Romans 3:2, 7:12 and 9:4, for example, Paul can extol the excellence of the law as God-given and designed to counter the world, the flesh and the devil (cf. Mt. 4:1-11; Gal. 3:19; 1 Tim. 1:8-11), he is by no means unaware of its inherent weakness and impermanence. It cannot give life (Gal. 3:21, cf. 2:21; Rom. 8:3a) and is in fact in the process of passing away like the world it operates in (2 Cor. 3:11; 1 Cor. 7:31, cf. Mt. 5:18 and contrast 24:35). Here Paul shows himself to be completely at one with the author of Hebrews (8:13) who tells us in plain words that the law cannot perfect (7:18f.). But this had already been implied by Jesus who, having kept the law and received the approbation of his Father, himself went on to fulfil all righteousness as the acknowledged Son of God (Mt. 3:13-17) and thereby to achieve the perfection of the Father (5:48; 19:21, cf. Rev. 3:21).
Finally, Paul clearly concludes that this entire present age is subject to futility. In the words of Gordon Fee, it is “on its way out” and being done away with by God himself (p. 83). Since the rulers of this age are “coming to nothing” (p.103) and are in the process of being abolished, the implication is that that this age is too (1 Cor. 2:6; 7:31; 13:8,10; 15:24,26, cf. 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 2:15-17). It is in fact making way for the presently invisible eternal age to come (Luke 20:34-36, cf. Eph. 1:21, etc.), which is our hope (Rom. 8:18,24f.). So, to love this age (2 Tim. 4:10) or world (1 Cor. 7:31, cf. James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17) by pandering to the flesh (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:7f.) instead of controlling and enslaving it (1 Cor. 9:27) is to court ultimate disaster (Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5, cf. 2 Pet. 2; Jude).
According to Paul, we all need deliverance not simply from evil but from this age (Gal. 1:4). For him, as for the writer of Ecclesiastes, everything in this world is futile apart from faith in Christ (Phil. 3:1-11, cf. Ps. 127:1). In 1 Corinthians he goes so far as to say that even our faith is futile unless Christ has been raised (15:13f.,17). This is hardly surprising since the basic purpose of Jesus’ incarnation was that he should seek life (Gen. 2:17; Lev. 18:5) and immortality (incorruption, cf. Rom. 2:7) for himself as the second Adam and hence representatively for those who believe in him (cf. Heb. 2:9f.). In this he was gloriously successful, and, to quote Paul’s unforgettable words, Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality (Gk. incorruption) to light through the gospel (2 Tim. 1:10, cf. John 5:21; Rom. 4:17; 1 Cor. 1:28). (There is a disturbing failure among translators to distinguish between immortality and incorruption, cf. Vine, pp.131,320. God is said to be incorruptible, 1 Tim. 1:17, and immortal, 1 Tim. 6:16. The distinction is important for our understanding of the resurrection of Jesus. See e.g. my essay Restoration and Resurrection.) All this leads to the unavoidable conclusion that what Paul is teaching in Romans 8:18-25 is that creation, being corruptible by divine decree, is futile by nature and not by any supposed curse stemming from Adam. Escape from it to divine sonship by keeping the law, having proved impossible to transgressors (Gal. 2:16, etc.), is accomplished through Christ. Having uniquely achieved dominion in this age (Heb. 2:9; John 16:33), Christ is now subjecting all to himself (Mt. 28:18; 1 Cor. 15:24-28) and exercising dominion in the age to come (Eph. 1:21, cf. Heb. 1:6; 2:5; 12:22-24; 13:8,14).
For Paul, as for Jesus (Mark 8:35; John 12:25), the way to eternal life is by way of death to all that is earthly (Col. 3:1-5, cf. 1 John 2:15-17; Gal. 5:24; 6:14). Our aim must be to please God (Dt. 6:4f.) not our fleshly selves (2 Cor. 5:9, cf. Rom. 15:3).
The Teaching of Hebrews
The author of Hebrews perhaps lays greater stress on the impermanent and hence futile nature of this world than any other writer in the NT. In 11:3 he underlines the fact that what is (physically) seen finds its origin in the permanent unseen and is by nature impermanent (cf. 2 Cor. 4:18; Rom. 1:20; 8:24f.). Thus he concludes that all created things are subject to destruction so that what cannot be shaken may remain (12:27, cf. 10:34; 13:14). In the very first chapter of his letter he had drawn attention (1:10-12) to the “remaining” nature of Son of God (Heb. 7:24, cf. 7:3,16 and Dan. 6:26) who stands in violent contrast with the perishable cosmos (cf. 1 Cor. 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17) and who, as the precursor of his people (2:10; 12:2), has in fact overcome it (2:6-9). The obsolescent character of creation and of this age in general, illustrated by clothing that is subject to wear and tear or aging (Gk., cf. Mt. 6:19f.; Luke 16:9), is starkly underscored (1:11), as it was by Paul (1 Cor. 7:31; Col. 2:22), and by the passing away of the Levitical cultus including the law (8:7,13, cf. 2 Cor. 3). As Lane, for example, indicates, the latter’s basic characteristic by virtue of its perennial repetition (cf. 9:25f.) was futility (pp.260,266). In 12:9 our author highlights the difference between human fatherhood (cf. John 1:13) and divine fatherhood (cf. 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 John 3:9). From this we are bound to infer the paramount need of those who are born of mortal flesh to be born from above (cf. John 3:1-8), for it is the spirits, not the flesh, of just men that are made perfect (12:23, cf. 12:9; 1 Cor. 15:50).
Peter virtually begins his letter by indicating that it is the new birth that enables believers to transcend the futility that characterizes creation. Like Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 he stresses the resurrection from the dead which provides for and guarantees an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading (1:3f.). Faith, he tells his readers, is more precious than gold which, being part of a futile creation (Rom. 8:20), is necessarily impermanent (1:7,18). Again, at the end of his first chapter he contrasts our perishable fleshly with our imperishable spiritual origin in the new birth and underscores the futility of our earthly nature by distinguishing it from the abiding word of God (1:23-25). On the assumption that the author of the first letter was the author of the second, it can hardly come as a surprise that he first anticipates the putting off of his earthly tent (2 Pet. 1:14) and later graphically describes the fiery dissolution of the created universe (2 Pet. 3:7,10-12). For Peter (2 Pet. 1:4), as for Paul (Eph. 4:22), moral corruption blocked the way of escape from the inevitable futility and corruption of the physical creation, a point heavily endorsed by Jude.
Made by Hand and Not Made by Hand
This brings us to another point of prime importance highlighted by Jesus himself (cf. Mark 14:58; John 2:19), Paul (2 Cor. 5:1, etc.) and the author of Hebrews: the difference between what is “made by hand” (cheiropoietos) and what is “not made by hand” (acheiropoietos). It needs to be stressed here that the point is not, as many commentators and even translators seem to think, the difference between what is made by man and what is made by God (3* See, for example, Lohse, TWNT, Grand Rapids, 1974, 9:436.) This notion is excluded by Hebrews 1:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 5:1 to go no further. Creation, including man (Job 10:8; Ps. 119:73), like OT redemption (Ex. 3:19f.), is the work of the hand of God (cf. Ps. 90:2; Isa. 48:13, etc.), yet it perishes too. Clearly the Creator himself has more honour than what he has made (Heb. 3:3, cf. 2 Cor. 3:7-11). In fact, all that is “made by hand” (4* Cheiropoietos, like acheiropoietos, is an important technical term in Scripture. See espec. Mark 14:58 and 2 Cor. 5:1 and the comment of Hughes, p.164 n.22.), has an old covenant or this-worldly character which is defective by nature (cf. Heb. 7:18f.; 8:7) and can only be rectified by the new covenant which replaces it (2 Cor. 3; Heb. 10:9). Thus our author, like Jesus, pointedly demeans the earthly tabernacle/temple in 9:11,24 by contrasting it with the true tent and the presence of the eternal God (cf. John 2:19; Rev. 21:22). Needless to say, Paul, like Jesus (John 3:1-8) distinguishes between the corruptible natural/physical and the incorruptible spiritual body that will be ours in heaven (1 Cor. 15:35ff.; 2 Cor. 4:7-5:5).
The plain truth is that all “manufactured” things (literally things ‘made by hand’, cf. Job 10:8; 119:73; Isa. 45:12) are ultimately futile. They are by nature impermanent and will be finally removed as surely as the gods of the heathen which were the work of men’s hands (Ps. 115:4; Isa. 2:8; Jer. 1:16; Heb. 12:27; 2 Pet. 1:14; 3:7,10-12).
It is the author of Hebrews in particular who emphasizes perfection. If the goal of humanity is to attain to the glory and perfection of God (Mt. 5:48; 3:15; 19:21, cf. Eph. 4:13; Phil 3:12-15), then only Jesus as man succeeded in doing so. Having been perfected through suffering (Heb. 5:7-10, cf. 2:10; 7:28), he finally took his seat glorified at the right hand of God (1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2, cf. Acts 2:33; Eph. 1:20, etc.). And it is through Jesus alone that we who have failed through sin to inherit the promise of God can hope to sit with him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6; Heb. 2:10; Rev. 3:21), perfected in him (Phil. 1:6; Heb.9:14; 12:2).
Fleshly Infertility and Spiritual Seed
In the OT barrenness for a woman was regarded as a tragedy, as the stories of Sarah, Hannah and others intimate. But we read elsewhere that from another point of view it is not so. With Sarah and Hagar in mind Paul quotes Isaiah 54:1 which reminds us that the desolate woman ultimately has more children than the one who has a husband (Gal. 4:27, 5* Arguably this supports the belief that grace outweighs condemnation, Rom. 5:20, and hence that the number of the saved is greater than that of the damned.) Earlier I drew attention to Matthew 19:12 where Jesus alludes to various types of eunuch (cf. Isa. 56:3ff.). It should be remembered that he himself was notably one who made himself a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God. Though he produced no fleshly seed, he nonetheless became the most spiritually fertile man that ever lived (Rev. 7:9). And the children he rescues from the grip of creation’s corruptibility and futility now live forever in his presence (Heb. 2:9-13; John 10:28f.; 11:25f.; 12:26; 14:2f.; 1 Thes. 4:17).
So the biblical doctrine regarding the futility of the material creation underlines the absolute indispensability of faith in the resurrected and ascended Christ for all who sin (1 Cor. 15:12-20; 2 Tim. 1:10). The attempt to confine this teaching to a few verses like John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 is simply to advertise failure to understand the essence of the teaching of Scripture. Truly is Christ in all the Scriptures as he himself indicated (Luke 24:44f.; John 5:46f.; Acts 17:11, etc.). In the end, at the resurrection of the just and the unjust every knee in the created universe will bow before him (Isa. 45:23; Phil. 2:9-11). Since all things were made through him and for him (Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:10; Rom. 11:36), all creation will finally be seen to have served his purpose and promoted his glory (Rev. 4 & 5); but far from being redeemed itself (6* The idea that Christ died to restore and/or redeem animate and inanimate creation, horses, cows, trees, flowers, fleas, microbes, bacteria, etc. strikes me as being so unutterably absurd as to be unworthy of refutation. NB Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8. It reflects the Augustinian worldview at its worst. Augustinianism has spawned other offspring, however. It must be remembered that the origins of (dispensational) premillennialism are, as Sizer says, p.255, rooted in the Reformation and Puritanism which themselves were strongly Augustinian. Thus when Schofield, following Darby, insisted that Israel’s eternal inheritance would be on earth, Sizer, p.138, which is intrinsically impermanent (!), he was in effect only pursuing the logic of the Augustinian worldview. The truth is that Augustine on account of his enormous influence did more than any other to vitiate our understanding of Scripture. His victory over Pelagius came at a price!
Though the point requires elaboration, it is worth mentioning that premillennialists, like the Reformed, function without an adequate understanding of biblical covenant theology. As a consequence they fail to grapple with the fact that just as the old covenant is provisional and temporary, 2 Cor. 3; Heb. 7 & 8, etc., so is the material world it operates in. Both will eventually be dispensed with, Mt. 5:18, contrast 24:35, cf. Heb. 1:10-12, etc. While restoration features prominently in the OT, removal and replacement characterize the NT as study of the temple in particular makes clear, Heb. 9:11,24, cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-50; 2 Cor. 5:1) it will be finally dispensed with (Rev. 20:11; 21:1,4, etc. See my essay The Harvest of the Earth, etc.). In other words, it is the eternal Creator, not the futile creation, that we worship (cf. Dt. 4:15ff.; Rom. 1:25; Heb. 3:3), for “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever” (The Shorter Catechism).
M.Barth, Ephesians, 2, New York, 1960.
P.W.Comfort in Dictionary of Paul and his Letters, ed. Hawthorne and Martin, Downers Grove, 1993.
G.D.Fee, 1 Corinthians, Grand Rapids, 1987.
P.E.Hughes, Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Grand Rapids, 1961.
W.L.Lane, WBC Hebrews, Vol.2, Dallas, 1991.
S.Sizer, Christian Zionism, Leicester, 2004.
G.H.Twelftree, Jesus the Miracle Worker, Downers Grove, 1999.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Nashville, 1985.