More On The Spirit

Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Tonight, we’re going to finish looking at the Holy Spirit. There’s just three sections remaining and I’d like to tie them all in together. Our discussion is coming from the Watchtower’s “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Thus far, we have not found much in their arguments. Let’s sum up the look they have of the Holy Spirit tonight.

To begin with, we are told the writers of the Old Testament never considered the Spirit a person. Okay. I’d be willing to grant that. So what? Their doctrine was developing. The writers of the Old Testament never conceived that a new set of books would come and be called the New Testament.

They also state that it is not unusual for something to be personified. In this, they are correct. However, that does not prove that personification is taking place in the case of the Spirit. Its not enough to say “Here are some examples of personification.” What must be done is to demonstrate that the descriptions of the Spirit are personifications.

The Watchtower also tells us that in 1 John 5:6-8, the Spirit, water, and blood are said to be witnesses. Blood and water aren’t persons, and thus, neither is the Spirit.

Very well.

In John 5, those that testify of Jesus are Jesus Himself, the Father, John the Baptist, the miracles Jesus was doing, and the Scriptures.

So which is it Watchtower? Are miracles and the Bible persons or are the Father, Son, and John the Baptist non-persons? There is no problem putting personal and non-personal sources together.

In actuality, 1 John 5 makes great sense. Water and blood could refer to Christ’s human nature, a counter to gnostic tendencies, or they could point to the baptism and crucifixion, or they could just point to the crucifixion. The Spirit meanwhile is a witness for Gnostic teachers who were making much about “spiritual claims”. John would be saying that the Spirit they have is sufficient to know Jesus came in the flesh.

What about language of filling which the Watchtower says would not be used if the Spirit was a person.

Then based on Ephesians 1:23 which says Christ fills all things and Ephesians 4:10 which says Christ fills the universe, Christ is not a person.

The idea of filling is most likely meant to convey the immediate presence of God in the life of a Christian through the Holy Spirit.

When we are told the Spirit speaks, that’s said to be done through humans or angels. Unfortunately, a text like Acts 13 is not dealt with in this case and it would be interesting to see the Watchtower demonstrate that that was through humans or angels.

And in fact, even if it was, so what? God can speak through humans and/or angels. What conclusion can be drawn then about the Spirit speaking through humans or angels? None whatsoever.

In commenting on Matthew 28:19, the Watchtower states that name does not mean a personal name. We agree. They state it is more like we ask someone to stop in the name of the law. We also agree. Finally, they state that the Spirit is included to show that the Spirit is from God and acts by divine will. We also agree.

If we are to say that the Spirit is impersonal however, will we not say the same of the Son? Could it be all three have divine authority because all three are fully divine?

As for neuter pronouns being used for the Spirit, this is because the word for spirit is a neuter word. Too much is made of grammar in this case, but I suggest the reader seek out those skilled in Greek grammar on this point.

As for the final point, some references would be nice. However, any Catholic source would readily state that the Bible does teach the personality of the Spirit and the deity of the Spirit. Without references, one really cannot tell. Surely it cannot be that the Watchtower wants it that way….

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