|Part of a series on the|
|Philosophy of religion|
|Philosophy of religion article index|
In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicate with people or act on them.[ citation needed ]
The word spirit (from the Latin spiritus meaning "breath") appears either alone or with other words in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. Combinations include expressions such as the "Holy Spirit", "Spirit of God", and in Christianity, "Spirit of Christ".
The word spirit is rendered as רוּחַ (ruach) in Hebrew-language parts of the Old Testament.In its Aramaic parts, the term is rûacḥ. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, translates the word as πνεῦμα ( pneuma – "breath"). This is the same word that is used throughout the New Testament, written originally in Greek.
The English term spirit comes from its Latin origin, spiritus, which is how the Vulgate translates both the Old and New Testament concept.The alternative term, "Holy Ghost", comes from Old English translations of spiritus.
The Hebrew Bible contains the term "spirit of God" (ruach hakodesh) in the sense of the might of a unitary God. This meaning is different from the Christian concept of "Holy Spirit" as one personality of God in the Trinity.
The Christian concept tends to emphasize the moral aspect of the Holy Spirit more than Judaism, evident in the epithet Holy Spirit that appeared in Jewish religious writings only relatively late but was a common expression in the Christian New Testament.Based on the Old Testament, the book of Acts emphasizes the power of ministry aspect of the Holy Spirit.
According to theologian Rudolf Bultmann, there are two ways to think about the Holy Spirit: "animistic" and "dynamistic". In animistic thinking, it is "an independent agent, a personal power which like a demon can fall upon a man and take possession of him, enabling him or compelling him to perform manifestations of power" while in dynamistic thought it "appears as an impersonal force which fills a man like a fluid".Both kinds of thought appear in Jewish and Christian scripture, but animistic is more typical of the Old Testament whereas dynamistic is more common in the New Testament. The distinction coincides with the Holy Spirit as either a temporary or permanent gift. In the Old Testament and Jewish thought, it is primarily temporary with a specific situation or task in mind, whereas in the Christian concept the gift resides in persons permanently.
On the surface, the Holy Spirit appears to have an equivalent in non-Abrahamic Hellenistic mystery religions. These religions included a distinction between the spirit and psyche, which is also seen in the Pauline epistles. According to proponents of the History of religions school, the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit cannot be explained from Jewish ideas alone without reference to the Hellenistic religions.And according to theologian Erik Konsmo, the views "are so dissimilar that the only legitimate connection one can make is with the Greek term πνεῦμα [ pneuma , Spirit] itself".
Another link with ancient Greek thought is the Stoic idea of the spirit as anima mundi – or world soul – that unites all people.Some believe that this can be seen in Paul's formulation of the concept of the Holy Spirit that unites Christians in Jesus Christ and love for one another, but Konsmo again thinks that this position is difficult to maintain. In his Introduction to the 1964 book Meditations , the Anglican priest Maxwell Staniforth wrote:
Another Stoic concept which offered inspiration to the Church was that of "divine Spirit". Cleanthes, wishing to give more explicit meaning to Zeno's "creative fire", had been the first to hit upon the term pneuma, or "spirit", to describe it. Like fire, this intelligent "spirit" was imagined as a tenuous substance akin to a current of air or breath, but essentially possessing the quality of warmth; it was immanent in the universe as God, and in man as the soul and life-giving principle. Clearly it is not a long step from this to the "Holy Spirit" of Christian theology, the "Lord and Giver of life", visibly manifested as tongues of fire at Pentecost and ever since associated – in the Christian as in the Stoic mind – with the ideas of vital fire and beneficent warmth.
The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, "holy spirit" also transliterated ruacḥ ha-qodesh) is a term used in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH (רוח יהוה).The Hebrew terms ruacḥ qodshəka, "thy holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ), and ruacḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשׁוֹ), also occur (when a possessive suffix is added the definite article ha is dropped).
The Holy Spirit in Judaism generally refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It also refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.
For the large majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, from Old English gast, "spirit") is the thirdperson of the Trinity: The "Triune God" manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each Person being God. Two symbols from the New Testament canon are associated with the Holy Spirit in Christian iconography: a winged dove, and tongues of fire. Each depiction of the Holy Spirit arose from different historical accounts in the Gospel narratives; the first being at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River where the Holy Spirit was said to descend in the form of a dove as the voice of God the Father spoke as described in Matthew, Mark, and Luke; the second being from the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Pascha where the descent of the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as tongues of fire as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1–31, as promised by Jesus in his farewell discourse, John 14-16. Called "the unveiled epiphany of God", the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers the followers of Jesus with spiritual gifts and power that enables the proclamation of Jesus Christ, and the power that brings conviction of faith.
The Holy Spirit (Arabic: روح القدس Ruh al-Qudus, "the holy spirit") is mentioned four times in the Qur'an,where it acts as an agent of divine action or communication. The Muslim interpretation of the Holy Spirit is generally consistent with other interpretations based upon the Old and the New Testaments. On the basis of narrations in certain Hadith some Muslims identify it with the angel Gabriel (Arabic Jibrāʾīl). The Spirit (الروح al-Ruh, without the adjective "holy" or "exalted") is described, among other things, as the creative spirit from God by which God enlivened Adam, and which inspired in various ways God's messengers and prophets, including Jesus and Abraham. The belief in a "Holy Trinity", according to the Qur'an, is forbidden and deemed to be blasphemy. The same prohibition applies to any idea of the duality of God (Allah).
The Baháʼí Faith has the concept of the Most Great Spirit, seen as the bounty of God.It is usually used to describe the descent of the Spirit of God upon the messengers/prophets of God who include, among others, Jesus, Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh.
In Baháʼí belief, the Holy Spirit is the conduit through which the wisdom of God becomes directly associated with his messenger, and it has been described variously in different religions such as the burning bush to Moses, the sacred fire to Zoroaster, the dove to Jesus, the angel Gabriel to Muhammad, and the Maid of Heaven to Bahá'u'lláh (founder of the Baháʼí Faith).The Baháʼí view rejects the idea that the Holy Spirit is a partner to God in the Godhead, but rather is the pure essence of God's attributes.
The Hindu concept of Advaita is linked to the Trinity and has been briefly explained by Raimon Panikkar. He states that the Holy Spirit, as one of the Three Persons of the Trinity of "father, Logos and Holy Spirit", is a bridge builder between Christianity and Hinduism. He explains that: "The meeting of spiritualistic can take place in the Spirit. No new 'system' has primarily to come of this encounter, but a new and yet old spirit must emerge."Atman is Vedic terminology elaborated in Hindu scriptures such as Upanishads and Vedanta signifies the Ultimate Reality and Absolute.
In Zoroastrianism, the Holy Spirit, also known as Spenta Mainyu, is a hypostasis of Ahura Mazda, the supreme Creator God of Zoroastrianism; the Holy Spirit is seen as the source of all goodness in the universe, the spark of all life within humanity, and is the ultimate guide for humanity to righteousness and communion with God. The Holy Spirit is put in direct opposition to its eternal dual counterpart, Angra Mainyu, who is the source of all wickedness and who leads humanity astray.
In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias is a saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of mashiach, messianism, and of a Messianic Age originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible; a mashiach (messiah) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. Messiahs were not exclusively Jewish: the Book of Isaiah refers to Cyrus the Great, king of the Achaemenid Empire, as a messiah for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine persons". The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is collectively known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as Nontrinitarianism. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets.
Messianic Judaism is a modern syncretic religious movement that combines Christianity, most importantly, the belief that Jesus is the Jewish messiah, with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition. It emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.
Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal, coequal, and indivisibly united in one being, or essence. Certain religious groups that emerged during the Protestant Reformation have historically been known as antitrinitarian.
Pneumatology refers to a particular discipline within Christian theology that focuses on the study of the Holy Spirit. The term is derived from the Greek word Pneuma (πνεῦμα), which designates "breath" or "spirit" and metaphorically describes a non-material being or influence. The English term pneumatology comes from two Greek words: πνεῦμα and λόγος. Pneumatology includes study of the person of the Holy Spirit, and the works of the Holy Spirit. This latter category also includes Christian teachings on new birth, spiritual gifts (charismata), Spirit-baptism, sanctification, the inspiration of prophets, and the indwelling of the Holy Trinity. Different Christian denominations have different theological approaches on various pneumatological questions.
Christianity and other religions documents Christianity's relationship with other world religions, and the differences and similarities.
The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but does not include the term "Kingdom of God".
God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son, and the third person, God the Holy Spirit. Since the second century, Christian creeds included affirmation of belief in "God the Father (Almighty)", primarily as his capacity as "Father and creator of the universe".
Gordon Donald Fee is an American-Canadian Christian theologian and an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God (USA). He currently serves as Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In folk belief, spirit is the vital principle or animating force within all living things. As far back as 1628 and 1633 respectively, both William Harvey and René Descartes speculated that somewhere within the body, in a special locality, there was a ‘vital spirit’ or 'vital force', which animated the whole bodily frame, such as the engine in a factory moves the machinery in it. Spirit has frequently been conceived of as a supernatural being, or non-physical entity; for example, a demon, ghost, fairy, or angel. In ancient Islamic terminology however, a spirit (rūḥ), applies only to pure spirits, but not to other invisible creatures, such as jinn, demons and angels.
Genesis 1:2 is the second verse of the Genesis creation narrative. It is a part of the Torah portion Bereshit.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called Abrahamic religions because they all accept the tradition of the God that revealed himself to Abraham. The theological traditions of all Abrahamic religions are thus to some extent influenced by the depiction of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, and by the story of Abraham, acclaimed as the Father of monotheism in the history of Judaism.
In Christianity, God is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both transcendent and immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation.
In the context of Christian theology, Christian anthropology is the study of the human ("anthropology") as it relates to God. It differs from the social science of anthropology, which primarily deals with the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity across times and places.
In Judaism, the Holy Spirit refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over God's creatures, in given contexts.
Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul". It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of ruach רוח in the Hebrew Bible, and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche (ψυχή), which originally meant "breath of life", but is regularly translated as "spirit" or most often "soul".
In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate in recent times.
Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:
For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Trinity, the Triune God manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each entity itself being God. Nontrinitarian Christians, who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, differ significantly from mainstream Christianity in their beliefs about the Holy Spirit. In Christian theology, pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. Due to Christianity's historical relationship with Judaism, theologians often identify the Holy Spirit with the concept of the Ruach Hakodesh in Jewish scripture, in the belief Jesus was expanding upon these Jewish concepts. Similar names, and ideas, include the Ruach Elohim, Ruach YHWH, and the Ruach Hakodesh. In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.
Patriology or Paterology, in Christian theology, refers to the study of God the Father. Both terms are derived from two Greek words: πατήρ and λογος. As a distinctive theological discipline, Patriology or Paterology is closely connected with Christology and Pneumatology.