The study of supernatural powers is fraught with vexing hermeneutical challenges, which aggravate further in the African context. While on the one hand Western anthropology tends to discount the idea of supernatural powers by attempting to 'explain them away', on the other Western biblical scholarship has mainly worked from the premise of 'demythologizing' them. But none of these approaches make tangible sense to African scholars for whom supernatural powers constitute an integral component of their spiritual psyche.
The Pauline Concept of Supernatural Powers, based on an examination of over a thousand documentary sources (both classic and modern), attempts to address the issue of interpreting supernatural powers from an African worldview. The author analyzes, identifies, and critiques major hermeneutical errors and offers a 'bridging hermeneutic' using the method of reader-response criticism.