So I was paid a visit by a couple of witnesses this morning. We've been having really friendly discussions for about two months now. I know the next one is going to be about the Holy Spirit vs God's Active Force. I'm going to be doing my own research but I thought I'd utilize this board.. Anyone have any good verses or references to use? What can I expect from them?
Holy Spirit Scriptural Evidence
I see you got Dean Martin for you Moniker. If your gay.....you might as well stop your study right now.
I wouldn't get on the Holy Spirit kick for conversation pieces. Do some re--search first on how to witness to a witness or on things to ask a witness. Why not say you were reading up on them and tell them what you've heard about their past and current history? Doctrinal arguing usually ends in a dead end. Theres enough smut on them you do not need to disprove them biblically. Besides....what if your wrong doctrinally? The witness at least have a few thing correct in that dept IMO.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things.....
I will ask the Father and He will send you Another.... I too say to one go and he goes, and to Another come and he comes....When Jesus heard this he was astonished
I doubt they'll understand it - but it disturbs them flash a glimpse in spiritual awareness
I'm afraid you've picked the wrong topic.
Personal vs. impersonal is hardly a working category in the Bible texts. You have a feminine ruach in the Hebrew OT (in Biblical Hebrew there is no neuter and the feminine can stand for the neuter, e.g. in abstractions); a neuter pneuma in the Greek NT; personifications (such as what APaduan brought up, unfortunately the identification of paraklètos with pneuma is probably secondary) as well as reifications (being filled with HS, portions of spirit etc.). The results are inconclusive -- as always happens when we ask anachronistic questions from a text.
You may want to ask why the New World Translation refers to God's spirit as a "he" so many times in John 16
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I am telling YOU the truth, It is for YOUR benefit I am going away. For if I do not go away, the helper will by no means come to YOU; but if I do go my way, I will send him to YOU. 8 And when that one arrives he will give the world convincing evidence concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment:
13However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide YOU into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and he will declare to YOU the things coming.14 That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to YOU.
John 7:28,29 would be fun to toss at your expert. Ask them what OT scripture was being quoted (hint there isn't one but likely from now lost Apocrypha). And why does it say that the Holy Spirit had not arrived until after Jesus was glorified, when OT prophets not only claimed inspiration but performed miracles; and the apostles did miracles and raised the dead when jesus was alive according to the Synoptics? There are may be attempts for simple explanation but the point of these questions would be to observe the attitude and reaction of your teacher. Do they wish to dismiss it? Do they quickly redirect you to the material they brought? If they are a more experienced JW they will look in the reasoning book and find nothing then say they will do research and get back to you. If they do this insist they follow through the next time you meet. They will likely present the interpretation that the Spirit here refers to annointing as 144,000. Then ask why it says that all who believe in Jesus would have this Spirit. Again this is all so that you can see the reaction and disposition of your teacher. Then ask yourself if the attitude was one you want to immitate.
Luke 6:40. "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."
Grammatically the masculine refers to the "Helper" or Paraclete (paraklètos, masculine), not to the "Spirit" (pneuma, neuter). There are some reasons to think that the identification of the paraklètos to the "Spirit" represents a secondary stage in Johannine thought. In 1 John 2 Jesus is called a paraklètos; the "other paraklètos" might originally have referred to someone else, e.g. the beloved disciple in his teacher's status. This is hypothetical of course. What is not hypothetical, imo, is that personifying or ascribing personality to pneuma is the exception rather than the rule in the NT.
If the"Helper" is the "Spirit" as the passage suggests, what's the difference?
John 15:26When the helper arrives that I will send YOU from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness about me;
Why would you inject a hypothetical?
Hi Kristofer, Good to know that you have established a friendly basis for a discussion with the JWs Mind you, I dont think you will get far, but that's a seperate issue. The usual policy is:Keep It Simple. [As opposed to the WT dictum, Why keep it simple, when it's so simple to keep it complicated]
The Bible has much to say with regard to the Holy Spirit, but the WTS has devised a clever stratagem to prevent the av. JW from accessing this information. All three major reference works that the JWs use [ Ad book pg785, Inspired book vol 2 pg 1134. [human] Reasoning book pg 447] all say the same thing when the JW looks up the words "Holy Spirit": See "spirit" This means that to the the av JW, The subject of the Holy Spirit is subsumed into a larger theological vortex thus making it impossible to see the information in isolation [Compare this with the Int.Std.Bible Dict. Which has a hefty 32 columns devoted to this single subject]
In keeping it simple stay on this subject:
Is the Holy Spirit a Person? Yes/No It is pointless to argue beyond this [ie as to whether there is any evidence in Scripture to show that the Holy Spirit is God] if that basic premise is not established
If you personally believe that the answer to the question above is "No'' then you will have no disagreement with your visitors so you probably can split a couple of beers and swap yarns instead
If you believe the answer is "yes" then we have a different kettle of fish. How does one go about answering that question? Well, ironically, the simplest way is to compare this with how we go about proving that Satan is a person. When confronted with this question the av JW will resort to the position taken by their literature. The Awake mag of 8/12/73 pointed to the fact that this can be proved from the fact that Satan does things that only a person can do: speak and think for instance - they even quote McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopaedia'' to this effect. [What they avoided saying was that these same scholars use the same argument to prove the Personality of the Holy Spirit because He does things that only a person can do as well!!] You may point out the inconsistency in the WT argument when you show them that they use one method to prove their point yet discard it when it does not support them Their argument is that when these attributes are conferred on the Holy Spirit it merely shows that the the Bible is using these attributes as a form of personalization [ As in when your car does not work you are apt to say: "She is'nt going'' By calling it a ''she'' does'nt make it a person does it? you are merely "personalizing" it] Agreed, so when the Bible confers these SAME attributes on Satan they are "merely" a personalization... right?
Here are some attributes credited to the Holy Spirit: Thinking: Act 15:28; Ro 8:27; Love [Agape] Ro 15: 30; The ability to explain complex theological issues:Heb 9:8 etc
Not only does the NT ascribe personal pronouns to the Spirit, but the Spirit uses them for Himself: at Acts 10:20 He uses the pronoun "Ego" - I - for Himself
It is interesting to note that the major groups that reject the Pershood of the Holy Spirit ALSO reject the personhood of Satan [The Christadelphians, the Christian Scientists] They may be wrong but at least they are consistent
The book of Acts at 13:2 makes this bold statement: "The Holy Spirit said" Now lets just concentrate on those four simple words. If I asked the question: Who said at Acts 13:2? What would you answer? If you said anything else other than "the Holy Spirit" then you were obviously not reading that text
In order to avoid the clear implication that the Holy Spirit has the ability to give commands through audble speech, the WT said in the 1/July/87 WT pg 12: "EVIDENTLY using the holy spirit, jehovah said..." In all due respect, that is not what the Bible actually says
If Satan can be proved by the attributes he possesses it is contemptible to deny this same logic to the Holy Spirit
By the way, they may spring this on you: The Holy Spirit can't be a person because "it" does'nt have a name. By this I presume they mean something like Denzil or even Snookems. In fact the Bible shows that the Holy Spirit DOES have a name!!! Its......[wait for it..... wait for it ....] The Holy Spirit!! Hang on your JW visitor will respond thats not a name its a title. The simple, eloquent truth that has evaded the JWs is this: When a Title is unique IT IS A NAME!! Let me give you an example. Suppose you were here with me in Australia right now and we were splitting a few cans of beer.... and I said: "Hey it says in the papers that The Prince Of Wales is coming to town" How would you react? Would you react by saying "POW??" I don't know who you mean, thats only a title.....I'm confused..I need a name. No of course not Why? because you know that the title is unique throughout all creation. Throughout the entire reaches of the universe there can be ONLY ONE person living today who is entitled to be call The Prince Of Wales!! Not even the god of the WT, JHoover, Esq can claim that title.That is why it identifies him and not his "name" I daresay, if you did adress him with his name "Charles Edward Mountbatten-Windsor" you would in fact be insulting him by demeanig the office he holds
Throught all of Time and Space, throughout all the cosmos, throughout all the parameters of reality, in all the things that ever were or ever will be there will be NO ONE who can claim to be called "THE HOLY SPIRIT" The Title is unique not just for today like "the Prince of Wales" but in all the eons of eternities that are past and future. You cant get any unique than that. Calling Him anything else would not only be insulting but if - as the Bible indictes He is also Deity - it would be blasphemous
Incidently the same can be said for the Father. The OT shows that God has the name Yahweh, but the NT conspicuously avoids that word calling God by the "name" Father. Since the Title is unique [Matt 23:9] it acts as His name
Well here's hoping you get on well with your visitors. keep us informed
If the"Helper" is the "Spirit" as the passage suggests, what's the difference? John 15:26 When the helper arrives that I will send YOU from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness about me; Why would you inject a hypothetical?
I agree this is unnecessary in a discussion with JWs since they would never engage in literary criticism. Without the latter, the discussion is bound to remain in the usual exciting pattern of throwing proof-texts at each other and explaining away the opposite proof-texts.
(Btw, the "spirit of the truth," as opposed to "the spirit of error," 1 John 4:6, is a typical Essene expression, central to the Qumran texts, especially the Rule, in a more abstract than personal way. But who cares?)
What is ascribed to the "Spirit" in Acts 10:20 is ascribed to "an angel of God" in v. 3; I hope it's no problem for your pneumatology...