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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Note (18.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

18. For example let's examine Acts 19:1-3:

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through Turkey and arrived in Ephesus, where he found [about a dozen] disciples.

[The New American Bible , St. Joseph ed.(1970 ed.) explains in a f.n. for Acts 19:1-4: "...Paul discovers other men at the same religious stage as Apollos..." And we see in Acts 18 that Apollos was a Jew (as were all those who had been baptized by John) who was well-versed in the scriptures and had been instructed in the way of the Lord (18:24, 25).]

"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" [Paul] asked them.

"No," they replied, "we don't know what you mean. What is the Holy Spirit?" ['Paul finds that they were not informed about the Holy Spirit all.' - NIVSB f.n. for 19:2.]

"Then what beliefs did you acknowledge at your baptism?" he asked.

And they replied, "What John the Baptist taught." - Acts 19:1-3, Living Bible, 1971, Tyndale House Publ.

These Jews, instructed in the OT scriptures and in the teachings of John the Baptist, could not possibly be ignorant of exactly who the God of the Jews was! Therefore, if they didn't know that the Holy Spirit was God, then the Holy Spirit was not considered to be God by the Jews at this time. Nor was the Holy Spirit considered to be God by John the Baptist himself! And Paul didn't even consider it worthy of comment here to these disciples (where he most certainly would have, if it were true) that the Holy Spirit was actually "God"!

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