Is the "Holy Spirit" a person or a "force"?

by booker-t 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Carmel

    Jesus claimed to be the "image" of His Father. An image in the natural world is only possible when rays of light strike a surface capable of "reflecting". If we equate the sun as the "Heavenly Father" and the Son the "image" then completing the metaphor, the Holy Spirit would be the light rays that strike the mirror creating an "image" for humanity to observe.

    " In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created..."
    (King James Bible, Colossians)

    "... whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
    (King James Bible, 2 Corinthians)


  • Corvin

    For me, the Holy Spirit(s) is 15 year-old bottles of single malt Glenmorangie. alt

  • Brummie

    I think Acts 13:2 demonstrates the Holy Spirit is a person, a "me" with a choice.


  • MerryMagdalene

    Upon considering Acts 13:2 where "the holy spirit said"-- maybe, since Jesus was described as the "image" of God and His visible representative, no one being able to look directly on God and live (like the moon reflecting the light of the sun), then the Holy Spirit was considered to be the "voice" of God (above and beyond His other angels/messengers), inferring that no one can hear God directly and live (as explained by God's Voice, Metatron, in the movie Dogma) and so, like Jesus, could well be an individual "person" that somehow is one with the Divine Essence yet specially set apart...

    But what about later on in verse 9 where Paul/Saul becomes "filled with the holy spirit?" If the holy spirit is a seperate entity or personality like Jesus then does this became a case of angelic possession?

    There's also Matthew 1:18 where Mary finds herself "pregnant by holy spirit." Yikes. I guess Metatron should have been shown with genitals after all. And Mary was pregnant with "the Word," right? Could Jesus gestation thus be considered a pregnant pause?

    --Merry of the "no-I'm-not-well-educated-and-yes-I-watch-a-lot-of-movies" class

    I console myself with the knowledge that there are a lot better posts than mine for you to seriously consider Good luck...

  • Narkissos

    I think many texts in Acts (4:25; 5:3f,9; 8:29,39; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2ff; 15:28; 16:6f; 20:23; 21:11) imply literary personification rather than real personality. But, as already discussed on the thread Leolaia referred us to, there are many personal mythological characters behind such figures of speech: in addition to the Wisdom tradition one could think of the "angel of Yhwh" which often occurs with "Yhwh" in OT narratives as interchangeable subjects (he also appears in Acts 5:19; 8:26, with a narrative role very similar to the Spirit's in v. 29,39; 12:7ff,23; 27:23).

    As a general note: there is no unified doctrine about the Holy Spirit and its/his relation to God or Jesus in the NT (as on virtually anything else).

  • Narkissos

    Just to quote the texts I mentioned in Acts 8:

    Then an (or, the) angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
    Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over to this chariot and join it."
    When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

    According to a reconstitution (Boismard / Lamouille), the Western edition of the last verse might have read:

    The Holy Spirit descended upon the eunuch, and an angel of the Lord snatched Philip away from him.
    I find this is a fascinating example of the early connection between pneumatology (the Spirit) and angelology (the angels), as a clue to the later personal conception of the Holy Spirit.
  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    ...I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you.....

    ... the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things....

    ...profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace....

    Can forces become outraged ?

  • AlmostAtheist
    As a general note: there is no unified doctrine about the Holy Spirit and its/his relation to God or Jesus in the NT (as on virtually anything else).

    This is really the troublesome point for me when talking to a dub about the Bible. I really believe I got sucked into this whole mess to start with because the JW's could disprove what everybody else believes (by showing scriptures that contradict their teachings [with appropriate interpretation, of course]) and could prove what they believe. So in my naive sixteen-year-old mind, I had just seen something "proven" to me.

    But now I believe that you can show scripture to prove pretty much whatever you want. So how do you "refute" doctrines?


  • Narkissos


    But now I believe that you can show scripture to prove pretty much whatever you want. So how do you "refute" doctrines?

    Actually refuting is the easiest thing to do: just point to the texts that don't fit with the doctrine and call them the "clear Biblical teaching".

    Refuting "Christendom's doctrines" was the easiest point of the WT from its very beginning: no trinity, no hell, no immortal soul -- because there are Bible texts incompatible with those dogma (even though there are also many other texts which could be quoted in favor of it and have then to be explained away).

    But the WT has a much harder time proving its own positive doctrines (1914, the "two hopes", the FDS, etc.). They use a patchwork of Bible verses out of context, declare it the "clearest Bible teaching," and then try to explain away whatever appears as an outright contradiction.

    The sad thing is JWs don't read the Bible, at least not before they have accepted the WT consistent picture of what "Bible teaching" is.

  • JosephMalik

    The Holy Spirit or Spirit as it is used in scripture is neither a Person or a Force. It is a word without any specific definition in and of itself, a word like the wind that it represents. It cannot be seen but can be felt, interpreted and applied. Yet how this word should be understood largely depends upon the context in which it is used. So its real meaning varies from text to text and few are grasping it.

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