Does the Bible say the Holy Spirit is a person?

Reasons given for answering "Yes"
  • Acts 13:2 - “Holy Spirit said… ‘Me… I…’”

      It says in Acts 13:2 -- “the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ This and similar verses are relevant because only persons issue commands (calling others for work they intend for them) and express thoughts with words.1

      1. Similar verses include:
        • Acts 8:29 -- “Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
        • Acts 10:19 -- “the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you
        • Acts 11:12 -- “The Spirit told me to go with them”…
        • Revelation 14:13 -- “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write,… "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."
        • 1 Timothy 4:1 -- “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons
        • Hebrew 3:7 -- “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear…’”
        • Hebrew 10:15-17 -- the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,“This is the covenant that I will make with them…” He then says,…
        • Revelation 2:7 -- “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…
        • Revelation 2:17 -- “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…
        • Revelation 2:29 -- “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…
        • Revelation 3:22 -- “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…
        In fact, the Holy Spirit speaks through people (cf. 2 Pet 1:21):
        • Acts 1:16 -- “the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David
        • Acts 2:4 -- “the Spirit was giving them utterance.
        • Acts 28:25-27 -- “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying…
        • Mark 13:11 -- “do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
        • 1 Peter 1:11 -- “the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
  • Acts 5:3 - “Why… lie to the Holy Spirit?”

      It says in Acts 5:3-4 -- “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… you have not lied to men but to God. This is relevant because only persons can be lied to.

  • Jn 14:16f - “another Helper…will teach”

      It says in John 14:16-26 -- “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you… the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you…1 This is relevant because only a person would be described as “another helper,” in the context of Jesus, a person, being the first teacher and helper. This conclusion is arguably supported by the fact that the Greek word translated “another” is the word for “another [of the same kind]” (allos, ἄλλος) rather than for “another [of a different kind]” (heteros, ἕτερος).

      “But wait, couldn't it be that these are non-literal personifications of the holy spirit?”3

      1. Similarly, 1 Cor 2:13 -- which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit
      2. As noted by Greg Harris: “The word for another is allos in Greek and refers to another just like Jesus. It is reasonable to conclude from this that the Spirit is a person since Jesus is clearly a person. Further, Jesus referred to him as a parakletos (enabler, encourager, comforter, etc.) which requires that he be a person since the functions of a parakletos are personal; Jesus functioned as a parakletos to the disciples.” [Pneumatology: The Holy Spirit, online at bible.org]
      3. Jehovah's Witnesses would want to note here that “[John] used masculine personal pronouns such as ‘he’ or ‘him’ when referring to that ‘helper.’ …because the Greek word for ‘helper’ (pa·ra′kle·tos) is a masculine noun and requires a masculine pronoun according to the rules of Greek grammar.” [online at jw.org]
  • Jn 16:13 -“[Holy Spirit's] own initiative”

      It says in John 16:13 -- “He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” This is relevant because only persons (like "he")1 have their own “own initiative” from which they choose not to speak from.2

      1. A number of Christian apologetics sites claim that there is powerful linguistic evidence here that the author understood the Holy Spirit to be a person. The argument runs like this: In Greek, a pronoun's gender must agree with that of its antecedent noun. This is relevant because πνεῦμα (Grk. “Spirit”) is a neuter noun, and yet John here chooses to employ the demonstrative masculine pronoun (ekeinos) rather than the neuter pronoun (ekienio, meaning “it”). The linguistic choice is stark enough to be clear to any Greek reader, and can only be explained by the author's commitment to attribute personhood to the πνεῦμα. For example
        Charles Ryrie: “The Greek word for spirit is pneuma (from which we derive English words that have to do with air, like “pneumatic” and “pneumonia”) and is a neuter gender word. According to every rule of grammar, any pronoun that would be substituted for this neuter noun [pneuma] would itself have to be neuter. However, in several places the biblical writers did not follow this normal procedure of grammar, and instead of using a neuter pronoun in place of the neuter noun pneuma, they deliberately contradicted the grammatical rule and used masculine pronouns… This shows that they considered the Spirit to be a person and not merely a thing.” [The Holy Spirit (Moody, 1965) 14.]
        There is a problem, however, as noted by a specialist in his book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics
        Dan Wallace (NT studies professor at DTS, Founder & Director of Center for Study of New Testament Manuscripts): “The use of ekeinos here is frequently regarded by students of the NT to be an affirmation of the personality of the Spirit. Such an approach is based on the assumption that the antecedent of ekeinos, is pneuma … But this is erroneous. In all these Johannine passages, pneuma is appositional to a masculine noun. The gender of ekeinos thus has nothing to do with the natural gender of pneuma. The antecedent of ekeinos, in each case, is paraklatos, not pneuma. Pneuma not only is appositional to paraklatos, but the relative pronoun that follows it is neuter! This hardly assists the grammatical argument for the Spirit's perosnality. In John 16:13-14 the immediate context is deceptive: … (“whenever that one comes-the Spirit of truth will guide you in all truth… he will glorify me”). The ekeinos reaches back to v 7, where paraklatos is mentioned.43 Thus, since paraklatos is masculine, so is the pronoun. … Indeed, it is difficult to find any text in which pneuma is grammatically referred to with the masculine gender.” [Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Zondervan, 1997), 331-33.2]
      2. As noted by Craig Keener: “That is, not ‘on his own authority’ (T. Ab. 15:8; 19:4A; Philostratus Hrk. 8.2). This is also characteristic of the role of prophets (2 Pet 1:21; cf. Num. Rab. 18:12); disciples should also speak what they hear (Socrates Ep..20).” [The Gospel of John, vol 2 (Baker Academic, 2003), 1038.]
  • Mt 28:19 - “name of… Father, Son, Spirit”

      It says in Matthew 28:19 -- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. This is relevant because “The Greek word for ‘name’ (onoma) is used some 228 times in the New Testament, and except for four places (Mark 14:32; Luke 1:26; 24:13; Acts 28:7; cf. Revelation 3:12) always refers to persons.”1 Moreover, the formula of being baptized into one's name is technical one, and is only applicable to personal agents. Moreover still, contextually, the author would expect readers to sooner interpret the name of “the Holy Spirit” to be naming a person, just as much as the name of “the Father” and the name of “the Son.”

  • Mt 12:32 - “speaks against the Holy Spirit”

      It says in Matthew 12:31-32 -- “a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him… This is relevant because “speaks against the Holy Spirit” is contextually best fits speaking against a person in the same way that speaking against “the Son of Man” is speaking against a person.

      1. Side note: As an additional argument here, consider that speaking against the third person of the Godhead sounds more like the _ kind _of thing that might plausibly be unforgivable, at least when compared to speaking against a mere impersonal force or power!
  • Heb 10:29 - “has insulted the Spirit”

      It says in Hebrews 10:29 -- “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled… and insulted the Spirit of grace This is relevant because only a person can literally be insulted.

  • Rom 8:14 - “being led by the Spirit”

      It says in Romans 8:14 -- For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.1 This is relevant because only a person can literally lead and guide you (or at least, that is the most natural interpretation).2

      1. Similarly:
        • Luke 4:1 -- Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness” (cf. Ps 143:10)
        • Galatians 5:18 -- “if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law
        • John 16:13 -- “He will guide you…”
        Relatedly, the Holy Spirit forbids actions.
      2. One might speak in terms of letting your conscience or instinct lead you (and “forbidding” you), but the “leading” in these situations is arguably non-literal. More often then not, when we hear of x leading you, x refers to a person. Moreover, contra Witness theology, a “power” is not the kind of thing that leads/guides.
  • Rom 8:16 - “Spirit himself bears witness”

      It says in Romans 8:16 - “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” This is relevant because only persons literally bear witness. Important note: Contextually, the “blood and water” also bear witness in 1 John 5:8 insofar as they are evidence, but this is because they too serve as evidences from witnesses. It is enough to point out that normally when x is a witness, x is a person.

      1. It is at least worth noting that “the Lord Jesus Christ” and “God” both being persons fits slightly better with the hypothesis that the last member of the list (“the Holy Spirit”) is also a person.
  • Rom 8:27 - “knows… mind of the Spirit”

      It says in Romans 8:27 -- “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit This is relevant because only persons literally have minds that can be known. (Moreover, it is persons who most naturally “intercede” for others.)

  • Rom 15:30 - “by the love of the Spirit”

      It says in Romans 15:30 -- “by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit”. This is relevant because only persons can literally love.

  • Acts 15:28 - “seemed good to the Holy Spirit”

      It says in Acts 15:28 -- “…For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials”. This is relevant because only a person can literally having a seeming that something else is good. Valuational judgments come from persons

  • Acts 16:7 - “forbidden by the Holy Spirit”

      It says in Acts 16:6-7, “…having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.… they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” This is relevant because only a person can literally forbid you from doing something (or at least, that is the most natural interpretation).2

      1. One might speak in terms of letting your conscience or instinct lead you (and “forbidding” you), but the “leading” in these situations is arguably non-literal. More often then not, when we hear of x leading you, x refers to a person. Moreover, contra Witness theology, a “power” is not the kind of thing that forbids.
  • Acts 20:28 - “Spirit made you… to shepherd”

      It says in Acts 20:28 , “the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God”. This is relevant because only a person can literally assign someone else a duty or office, and to do it for a particular reason (in this case, for shepherding the church).

  • Eph 4:30 - “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit”
  • 2 Cor 13:14 - “fellowship of the Holy Spirit”

      It says in 2 Cor 13:14 -- “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”1,2 This is relevant because only persons can be fellowshipped with.3

      But wait
      • …it says fellowship of the Holy Spirit, not with the Holy Spirit.
      • …couldn't it be that these are non-literal personifications of the holy spirit?”

      1. Similarly, Philippians 2:1-2 -- Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ,…, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit. Verses like this are harkening back to John 14:16-17 -- “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever
      2. Note: The Jehovah's Witnesses's infamous “New World Translation” of 2 Cor 13:14 reads “of… of… in” rather than “of… of… of.” Their translation is misleading because the Paul used the same Greek word in each instance, and clearly intended the pattern to be preserved (as all scholarly translations from Christians and non-Christians recognize).
      3. It is at least worth noting that “the Lord Jesus Christ” and “God” both being persons fits slightly better with the hypothesis that the last member of the list (“the Holy Spirit”) is also a person.
  • 1 Cor 12:11 - “Spirit works… as He wills”

      It says in 1 Corinthians 12:11 -- “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. This is relevant because only persons literally have a will.

      But wait, couldn't it be that…
      • …‘as He wills’ means ‘as God (the Father) wills’
      • …these are non-literal personifications of the holy spirit?”

  • Reasons given for answering "No"
  • “A ‘spirit’ (πνεῦμα) can't be a person”

      “The Greek word translated Spirit means wind or something impersonal.”1This is relevant because, according to the Biblical authors, the Holy Spirit is just a spirit.”

      But wait… the New Testament word translated “Spirit” (pneuma, πνεῦμα) is frequently used by Biblical authors to denote personal agents as well. For example, in Matthew 8:16 -- “many who were demon-possessed; and [Jesus] cast out the spirits with a word”.2 In fact, “Holy Spirit” is meant to stand in juxtaposition with these personal “unholy spirits.” (For example, Acts 19:15 -- the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”)

      1. Some Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to secure this by noting that pneuma is grammatically neuter. This is confused, however. As noted by J.W. Wenham: “in Greek, gender has to do with the form of the words and has little to do with sex. There are masculine, feminine, and neuter forms, but ‘break’ [in the Greek] is masculine, ‘head’ is feminine, and ‘child’ is neuter.” [The Elements of New Testament Greek (Cambridge, 2003), 8.]
      2. Also: Timothy 4:1 -- “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons; 1 Corinthains 15:45 -- “[Jesus] became a life-giving spirit.” (cf. John 4:24), and 2 Corinthians 3:17 -- “Now the Lord is the Spirit”,
  • “It has no personal name in the Bible”

      “The Bible nowhere gives a proper name to ‘the holy spirit.’ This is relevant because the Biblical authors would identify the holy spirit by its proper name if it were a person (as they did for the Father [YHWH] and the Son [Jesus]).”

      But wait, couldn't it be that…
      • …YHWH was a name shared by each member of the Trinity?1
      • …the Holy Spirit's name wasn't known to the Biblical authors?2
      • …the Holy Spirit simply didn't need/have a personal name?3

      1. See arguments for Trinity; also 2 Corinthians 3:17 - “Now the Lord is the Spirit” is contextually referring to “the LORD [YHWH]” (v. 16, cf. Exodus 34:34)
      2. This answer seems easy and plausible. If the Spirit had a pronounceable name, it does not follow that we would know it within the amount of scripture we have. Perhaps it would only show up in letters of Paul that he would write later on especially advanced issues.
      3. This answer seems easy and plausible. Consider that The Son's name was not given a pronounceable name in the entire Old Testament, plausibly because He did not have one.
  • “It is poured/fills etc. like a liquid”

      “In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is in several respects likened to a liquid: pouring out on people, 1 filling people;2 one can reportedly also be baptized in it3 and drink it.4 This is relevant because a person can in no way be like a liquid, and would not have such language ascribed to them.”

      But wait… spirits (like God, Christ, or even demons) can make their abode in other persons, filling/indwelling them.5,6 This is relevant because the liquid and “pouring out” language (of the Holy Spirit) traces back to Isaiah 44:2-3, where Isaiah prophesies God's giving the Spirit, as a gift, to indwell believers en masse. This in turn is relevant because “pour out” language is a great way to communicate the concept of the Spiritual reality of this mass indwelling, and cleverly fits Isaiah's “pour out” theme in Isaiah 44:2-3 -- “I will pour out water on the thirsty land... I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and blessing on your descendents

      1. Scriptures on the Holy Spirit's being poured out on us: • Isaiah 44:3 --I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”
        • Romans 5:5 -- the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
        • Acts 2:17 -- [Peter quoting the OT:] ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
        • Acts 10:45 -- the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
      2. Scripture on the Holy Spirit's filling us: • Luke 1:15 -- he will be filled with the Holy Spirit
        • Luke 1:41 -- Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
        • Luke 4:18 -- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
        • Luke 4:1 -- Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit
        • Acts 2:4 -- they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
        • Acts 4:8 -- Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said
        • Acts 4:31 -- they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God
        • Acts 6:3 -- full of the Spirit and of wisdom
        • Acts 7:55 -- being full of the Holy Spirit,
        • Acts 9:17 -- sent me so that you may… be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
        • Acts 11:24 -- good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.
        • Acts 13:9 -- Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit
        • Acts 13:52 -- filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
        • Ephesians 5:18-20 -- Do not get drunk with wine,… but be filled with the Spirit [Note: Clearly, the meaning is going after something like “influence.”]
        Similarly it speaks of the Spirit coming upon or falling upon persons (Acts 1:8 -- when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; Acts 11:15 -- the Holy Spirit fell upon them); Judges 3:10 -- The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel.
      3. Scriptures on being baptized in the Holy Spirit (or being anointed with it):
        • 1 Corinthians 12:13 -- by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,… we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
        • John 3:5 -- unless one is born of water and the Spirit
        • Mark 1:8 -- I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
        • Matthew 3:11 -- I baptized you with water… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
        • Luke 3:16 -- I baptized you with water… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
        • Acts 11:16 -- ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
        • Acts 1:5 -- John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now
      4. Scriptures on "drinking" the Holy Spirit:
        • John 7:37-39 -- “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
        • Hebrews 6:4 -- have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
        • Ephesians 5:18 -- And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
      5. Scriptures on the Holy Spirit dwelling in us:
        • 2 Tim 1:14 -- through the Holy Spirit who _dwells _in us,
        • 2 Corinthians 1:22 -- gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
        • 1 Corinthians 6:19 -- your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
        • 1 Corinthians 3:16 -- you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
        • 1 John 4:4 -- greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
        • Ephesians 3:17 -- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
        • 2 Corinthians 1:22 -- gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
        • Galatians 4:6 -- Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
      6. Other Spiritual beings filling other persons:
        • Ephesians 1:13 -- you were sealed in Him [God] with the Holy Spirit of promise, John 14:19-20 -- because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
        • Ephesians 3:17-19 -- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;… be filled up to all the fullness of God.
        • Colossians 1:27 -- the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you • John 14:23 -- Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.) oh • John 15:1-5 -- “I am the true vine, … I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
      7. As another side point here, consider Gal 3:27 -- “you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” God in general has been identified as water (for example, Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13).
      8. In responding to Nicodemus (John 3:5), Jesus, and subsequently Christians, started playing off of Isaiah 44:2-3 -- “I will pour out water on the thirsty land. … I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and blessing on your descendents” to denote the particular indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers. Here Isaiah used the phrase “poured out” to denote the giving of three gifts: (a) literal water, (b) “my Spirit” (for example, the indwelling of “the Helper” [John 14:16f]) and (c) the blessing. Clearly, (b) and (c) are non-literal, but a water-like “pouring out” is as good a metaphor as any denote the en masse impartation of (b) and (c). With the liquid “filling” language in place, it is not surprising that water language would continue, being regularly attributed to the Holy Spirit's indwelling in believers. Curiously, some have argued that the Holy Spirit's being described as a gift is a challenge to the Holy Spirit being a person. However, being indwelt by the Sipirt (the “helper”) is a blessing, there is no issue with describing the en masse indwelling of the Spirit in believers as a gift to them.
  • “It can be ‘quenched’”

      “It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 -- ‘Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances_’1 This is relevant because any Biblical author would know that it is impossible for a _person _to be ‘quenched.’”

      But wait… couldn't this simply mean “do not suppress/resist the influence and gifts imparted to you by the _person _of the Holy Spirit who indwells you”?1 Recall that (a) the Holy Spirit indwells believers, imparting spiritual gifts (e.g. prophecy, tongues), and that (b) the Holy Spirit is also likened to fire (2 Timothy 1:6), and has manifested Himself as tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).

  • “Absent from Father-Son visions/formulas”

      “The holy spirit is regularly absent from discussions/formulas on the heavenly Father-Son relation.1 This is relevant because if the holy spirit were a person, it would be part of the Godhead, but if it were part of the Godhead, it would be included in episodes which discuss the relationship of the Father and the Son (Jesus).”

      But wait,… the doctrine of the Trinity (and therefore the personhood of the Holy Spirit), if true, would have been an unnecessary and relatively advanced doctrine which many early Christians would not know of. (For example, the apostles were only given knowledge of the Holy Spirit at the _end _of Jesus's ministry. This emphasizes the advanced nature of the doctrine, but also straightforwardly accounts for the so-called absences referred to prior to that time [E.g. in Mark 13:32, John 8:16-18, 10:30]). Similarly, in Paul's standard salutation (which he wanted to keep consistent, since it was used to help authenticate his letters), it is not surprising that Paul would refrain from making references to doctrines that much of his readership would be puzzled at. There is also an easy explanations for the absence in Stephen's vision (Acts 7:55).2

      1. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned in: • Paul's standard salutation, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (see Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3) • Multiple fellowship verses: John 10:30 -- I and the Father are one.; John 17:11 -- Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 1 John:1:3 -- “indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” • 1 Corinthians 8:6 -- there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. • Mark 13:32 -- But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. • John 8:16, 18 -- But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me… -- I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” • Acts 7:55 -- But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
      2. In Acts 7:55, the author prioritized saying Stephen was "full of the Holy Spirit," and so it would be odd to say Stephen saw the Spirit in heaven as well. The Father has no literal form which can be seen; this was a vision and plausibly giving a physical form to the Spirit in this heavenly vision could imply that the Spirit was in heaven rather than on Earth as promised.)
      3. Note: The Holy Spirit is often included in so-called "Trinitarian formulas": • Matthew 28:19 -- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” • 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 -- Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. • 2 Corinthians 3:14 --The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. • 1 Peter 1:2 -- the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ • John 14:16 -- I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; John 15:26 -- “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,
      4. What is taken today in a Christianity-inundated culture would have been largely foreign to early Christians. Many would echo the Ephesian Christ-followers reported in Acts 19:2 -- “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
  • 2 Cor 6 - “in purity, in kindness, in the Spirit”

      “It says in 2 Corinthians 6:6 --_ ‘commending ourselves as servants of God... in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love’. This is relevant because the pattern in this list is that they are impersonal virtues that one can exemplify; they are noble ways to be.”

      But wait… one can be “in Christ” and Christ is a person.1 Moreover, there is no pattern of impersonal virtues in the fully expanded list of 1 Corinthians 6:6. Instead, it is a free-for-all of things which Christians might be or can be said to be “in,” and Paul has a habit of saying we are “in” the Holy Spirit.

      2 Corinthians 6:4-6 -- commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God

      1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, Eph 2:13 -- But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near
  • 1 Jn 5:8 - “Spirit and water and blood”

      “It says in 1 John 5:8 -- ‘the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement._’ This is relevant because “the water and the blood” are impersonal, so it is contextually most natural to interpret the third item (“the spirit”) as similarly impersonal.”

      But wait… John here is listing evidences (as testifiers) for belief in the Gospel, and it is not surprising if evidences for a conclusion come in the form of both one direct expert testimony as well as two material evidences (For example, “the surviving victim and the knife and the video; and these three are in agreement”).1, 2

      1. In fact, John immediately contextually identifies “the testimony of God” (v.9) with that of “the Spirit” (v.8), and “the testimony of men (v.9) with that of “the water and the blood” (v.8). The testimony of the men and water-blood are co-identified because it was John and those “men” in his community who saw that main material evidence of Jesus's work on the cross:

        John 19:34-35 -- “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; Still, John predictably comments that his “testimony of men” here is inferior to the direct “testimony of God,” i.e. “the Spirit” witnessing to them from in their hearts: 1 John 5:6-11 -- “This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (cf. John 14:16-17, 16:13)

      2. Technically, John is giving legitimate testimony from agents in all three instances (see footnote above). He gives direct testimonial support for conclusion, as well as indirect testimonial support for data that supports the conclusion. (For example, “The victim and the knife and the video; and the three are in agreement.” The victim [a surviving eyewitness] can provide direct support for the event. Report that the suspect's knife was found there, can be indirect testimonial support for the suspect's [Freddy's] guilt, as well as testimony about reviewed video footage showing a Freddy-resembling individual attacking the victim.)
  • In the form of a “dove,” “fire”

      “The Holy Spirit is regularly represented by impersonal objects (e.g. a dove, fire, oil).1 This is relevant because a person would not (or at least not frequently) be represented as an impersonal object.”

      But wait… God (and angels) appeared in the form of fire more than the Spirit did,2 and God and Christ are both frequently represented by impersonal objects (For example, fire,3 water,4 bread,5 door,6 vine,7 light,8 truth.9)

      1. The Holy Spirit reportedly comes in the form of:
        Wind and Fire (Acts 2:2 -- suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit)
        Water John 4:14 -- but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 7:37-39 -- “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
        An earnest (a down payment) (2 Corinthians 1:22 -- who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 5:5 -- who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Ephesians 1:13-14 -- you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance,)
        A dove (Matthew 3:16 -- he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,)
        Oil (Acts 10:38 -- God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power)
      2. • Exodus 19:18 -- “…Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire”
        • Exodus 13:21 -- “The LORD was going before them… in a pillar of fire by night”
        • Exodus 3:2-4 -- “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush… When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
      3. • Deuteronomy 4:24 -- “Lord your God is a consuming fire,” Hebrews 12:29 -- “for our God is a consuming fire.”
      4. • Jeremiah 2:13 -- “…they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.” Jerermiah 17:13 -- “…they have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters,”
      5. • John 6:35 --“I am the bread of life” John 6:41 -- “He said, ‘I am the bread that came down out of heaven.’”, John 6:48-51 -- I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;”
      6. • John 15:1-5 -- “I am the true vine, … I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
      7. • John 8:12 -- Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world;” John 9:5 -- I am the Light of the world.”
      8. • John 14:6 -- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life (cf. 11:25 -- “I am the resurrection and the life”)
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