Theology of the Holy Spirit: Who or What Is the Spirit?

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(RuachHaKodesh, Session 14)

This episode begins a new section of the RuachHaKodesh series. Having gone through the history of attitudes toward the Holy Spirit in both Christianity and Judaism, having surveyed Scripture on the subject, and having studied in-depth the gifts of the Spirit, the remaining sessions of this series seek to tie up loose ends and address several remaining pertinent topics.

One such topic is the subject of this session: the “theology” of the Holy Spirit. While the larger series focuses primarily on the work of the Spirit, this session dives into what is referred to as the Person of the Spirit. In other words, our goal is to explore the question of Who or What is the Holy Spirit. While to some believers the answer may seem obvious, this is a question that has been a serious point of controversy in Christianity, especially among the Church Fathers.

First, we will briefly explore some of the early Trinitarian debates, which sought to define God and the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Rabbinic Judaism, on the other hand, did not attribute “personhood” to the Holy Spirit like Christianity did. But what does Scripture say on the subject? The latter question will occupy the remainder of this session.

Some of the issues/questions we explore in this episode include:

  • Is the Holy Spirit God?
  • Does the Bible depict the Holy Spirit as a “person”?
  • “Triadic” passages in Scripture
  • What is the gender of the Spirit?
  • Should believers pray to the Holy Spirit?
  • Is the Holy Spirit the same as the Shechinah?

For an outline of all the sessions in this series, click on this link. To subscribe to this podcast, click here.

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