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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What about scriptures that seem to show the Holy Spirit being personified?

What about scriptures that seem to show the Holy Spirit being personified?

Scripture is also personified but is not a person:

   Scripture "say(s)": Ro. 4:3

   Ro. 9:17 - "scripture says to Pharaoh, 'I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.'" - NRSV.

   "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.'" - Gal. 3:8, NRSV.

Other things are "personified the way the spirit is":

   "Abstract and inanimate things are frequently personified" and then gives a long list of such things found in the Bible, including "a will [attributed to] the flesh and mind .... knowing, rejoicing [attributed] to the sun..." - "Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation," #2. (Also see Jn 3:8 where "the pneuma ['wind' or `spirit'] blows where it wills.") - Young's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

   Is. 24:4, 7 literally says that the earth and wine are mourning. (cf. NASB; RSV; KJV; JB; NJB; NAB, 1970 ed.; and MLB.)

   Is. 24:23 also literally says that the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed. (NIV, RSV, NASB, KJV, MLB.)

   Trees are rejoicing at Is. 14:8 and "all of creation" [`everything made' - ETRV; `the created universe' - NEB]) waiting "with eager longing .... [and groaning] with pain" - Ro. 8:19, 22, GNB).

  Even the trinitarian A Catholic Dictionary admits that the personification of the holy spirit in the New Testament certainly does not mean that it is a person:

   "Most of these places furnish no cogent proof of personality....We must not forget that the NT personifies mere attributes such as love (1 Cor. xiii. 4), and sin (Rom. vii. 11), nay even abstract and lifeless things, such as the law (Rom iii.19), the water and the blood (1 John v.8)."

   So, it is certainly no surprise to find that holy spirit can be "grieved" in New Testament figurative language: "do not be grieving God's Holy Spirit." Eph. 4:30. Certainly anything you do to (or against) God's direct active force you are also doing to (or against) God himself."

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