„To tie the strong man” – the battle of Jesus and Beelzebub. Ancient exegesis of Matthew 12, 29 and parallel texts

Agnieszka Bastit-Kalinowska

Université de Lorraine , France


Although Peter seems to echo the opinion commonly held when he says that Jesus „went about doing good” (Act 10, 38), Jesus was accused of „casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Mt 12, 24). In answer, he pro­poses a very short parable, the one of the „Strong one” tied up to seize his goods (Mt 12, 29). The present article studies the influence of this verse in the early Christian literature. The victory of the Saviour over evil is interpreted as the result of a cosmic fight (Origen) or as the merciful redemption of the human being and his restoration and vivification by the Holy Spirit (Irenaeus).


strong man, exegesis, Mt 12, 29

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Bastit-Kalinowska, A. (2013). „To tie the strong man” – the battle of Jesus and Beelzebub. Ancient exegesis of Matthew 12, 29 and parallel texts. Vox Patrum, 59, 113–127. https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.4017

Agnieszka Bastit-Kalinowska 
Université de Lorraine


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