Spirit:Ruach/pneuma/parakletos what is it?
This post is not about how and when the “spirit was given, as my previous post already addressed those issues. What it is, has also been intimated superficially by that post.
This time, the focus is on details about what it really is. And this, because many preachers teach that “ruach” is the Holy Spirit and the 3rd person in the Trinity Doctrine.(1,2,3,4)
And, why and how it was called holy or divine? Moreover, since “ruach” in the Old Testament is equivalent to “pneuma” in the New Testament, could “pneuma” also be the Holy Spirit? It had to be, but in what way really?
The controversy about the nature of the Holy Spirit and its triune connection with the Father and Son have been a constant reminder of how problematic these issues are to many in Christianity, not only in the past but also currently.
Origin of the words
To establish the truth, one can start with the origin and then take up the usage of what was translated as “spirit”. This English word came as translated from a Hebrew word ruach (7307/7304) and Greek pneuma (Strong’s #5141). Both of these words have the same fundamental meaning. But, how is this similar or different from “parakletos”(3875) Comforter/Holy Spirit/Helper/intercessor/Advocate/Called upon?
Usage of the words
The Hebrew “ruach” is translated “wind” in English. The usage, limit and meaning of this word is exemplified in Kings 19:11-12, where the Lord/YHVH was manifesting himself to Elijah, as wind. Notice that this word “ruach/spirit/wind” was not personified. Nor, was the Lord himself in this “ruach”, as in:
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD; And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).
For emphasis, the Lord himself was not in the wind, earthquake nor fire. Yet, he expressed himself through these powerful manifestations. Nothing happens without energy that comes from power. Logically, these manifestations are a product of the power emanating from the person. Notice, though, that “ruach”(wind) was not personified. With mighty powers that he had, yet, is he in the “still small voice”? It follows contextually that he was not in there as well and he can manifest himself in a “big or small way”. The other English translations like “breath, air, blast, mind, thoughts” may likewise be taken as an allegory, a symbolic representation of him.
This “ruach” was breathed into man through the nostrils. Nothing in there was written that this “spirit” enables the Creator to be “in us”. Yet, the “other spirit” (parakletos) from the Father enables Jesus/Lord to be “in us”. It had to be different and unique from that usage, although still a manifestation of Jesus “in spirit”, but he himself was not actually there. As “ruach” is not personified, why should “parakletos” be personified? The Spirit is not another “person”. Instead, by usage, the Spirit is YHVH as in 2 Corinthians 3:17,
“But The Spirit (pneuma) is THE LORD JEHOVAH, and wherever The Spirit of THE LORD JEHOVAH is, there is freedom”
That “spirit/ruach Elohim” that moved “upon the face of the waters” was the “pneuma of the Lord“. Since he is not “in the ruach” and the “Spirit is YHVH”, the logical extension is that, this ruach and pneuma really should not be personified. Rather, it should be taken as manifestation of himself with this power through which YHVH expressed himself by visible effects.
As it is untenable to interpret “ruach” in 1 Kings 19:11-12 as 3rd person, so does it suspend credulity to take “parakletos” in John 16:7 Comforter advocate(1 John 2:1) parakletos, as another “personified spirit-being”. Both are manifestations of the Lord Jesus as “spirit-power” that enabled him to do so. Only after the “parakletos” was given to Jesus Christ by the Father post-resurrection did it says in Matthew 28:18 “all power” he now has, suggesting he did not have all before, i.e., not this unique “parakletos“, as personified EL Shaddai/YHVH/Logos.
Different from “ruach:spirit-in-man”?
This difference between the “ruach/spirit-in-man aka breath-of-life” and “parakletos” is emphasized as distinct from one another in Romans 8:16:
“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children“.
Also in 1 Corinthians 2:11-12
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.“
N.B. There is no upper-case for “spirit” in the early texts
The “spirit-in-man”, the “breath-of-life” came from YHVH-Elohim Creator/Logos/Jesus in Genesis 2:7 who had the power to infuse life into the non-living man formed from the ground/clay. Similarly, the “parakletos”(Comforter:Advocate/Intercessor) came from Jesus/Creator. But, the origin of this “parakletos” was the Father who gave it to Jesus as a promised gift for himself at River Jordan. Notice,
“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:19-20).
And that, was for his empowerment, as a human, against all temptations (even of Satan) and to do miracles. It was given to him post-resurrection as a reward to be given to others(Acts 2:33) as a gift for their empowerment through Jesus, starting at Pentecost. As before in Genesis 1:26, with the power to create man as a human-template, he now has this power, which he did not have before, to create at this time the God-kingdom, all spirit-composed and “one” with the Father. , Man-Jesus became “one” (in mindset, Luke 22:42) with the Father in his earthly life and so shall we be “one” with the Father in this earthly life. This “parakletos”, as promised-gift, is being given to humans to in-dwell in man and binds with the “ruach” to “write the laws in the fleshy tables of our heart”(2 Corinthians 3:3) as a mechanism for achieving a “new creation”(2 Corinthians 5:17).
By spiritual embryology, the parakletos infuses/in-dwells into the ruach in man to fertilize it into a spiritual zygote and through spiritual growth and development will mature to be “born again” as “sons of God” with spirit-composed, immortal body.
Gender of Spirit
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “spirit,” ruach, is in the feminine gender. Whereas, the Greek word for “Comforter,”(John 16:7, Advocate (1 John 2:1) parakletos is in the masculine gender, while pneumais (“spirit“) is in the neuter gender. It appears that YHVH Elohim/Creator/Logos/Jesus in Genesis “breathe into man” the feminine ruach to be a “living being”, flesh-composed. Subsequently, after resurrected-Jesus received the “masculine parakletos”, he then gives this to us in our earthly life, to bond with our “ruach/pneuma/spirit-in-man“, develop and mature to be delivered as spirit-composed members of the God-kingdom at resurrection, at the “last trump”. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
“In some occasions in the Greek text(5), masculine verb endings and pronouns are used with the neuter gender word “Spirit” when speaking about the holy Spirit, and sometimes it is without the definite article – i.e. just “holy Spirit”. Very significant also that the Holy Spirit is never worshipped. “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:13
E.W. Bullinger remarks in Appendix 9 of the Companion Bible:
“The meaning of the word is to be deduced only from its usage. The one root idea running through all of the passages is invisible force. . . . [I]n whatever sense it is used, [it] always represents that which is invisible except by its manifestations.He also shows that ruach is used in nine different ways in the Old Testament, while pneuma is used fourteen different ways in the New. E.W. Bullinger remarks in Appendix 9 of the Companion Bible:The meaning of the word is to be deduced only from its usage. The one root idea running through all of the passages is invisible force. . . . [I]n whatever sense it is used, [it] always represents that which is invisible except by its manifestations. He also shows that ruach is used in nine different ways in the Old Testament, while pneuma is used fourteen different ways in the New Testament.
Is the Holy Spirit the Father or the Son?
Holy Spirit is not God the Father (or the Son). In John 15:26, Jesus said “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about me.” – NASB
In John 14:26, Jesus said “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” – NASB
The preceding 2 verses were stated by Jesus before his death and resurrection. What sense does it make to say that Jesus will send us the Holy Spirit from the Father, if the Holy Spirit is the Father? Note also that both the Father and Jesus send the Holy Spirit, but that does not mean that Jesus is the Father.
God the Father does everything on His own initiative; but John 16:13 informs us that “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” – NASB”
There are verses that were interpreted to mean that Spirit is a person. Here are some examples and my comments:
Ephesians 4:30 “And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.“
Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.“
Comment: That the Spirit is a person because it grieves, seals, intercedes and groans makes the spirit in Revelations 6:9-10 also a living person?“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out(cried) in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
Clearly, these are allegorical as “slain souls” (6) are dead and cannot vocalize. However, while these “ruach/pneuma” have feelings, it merely suggest their capacity woven into their powers, which are diverse (1 Corinthians 12).
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.“
Comment: These verses have been discredited as an addition later and not found in early texts(7; 8).
Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I flee from your spirit? Or where will I run from your presence? If I rise to heaven, there you are! If I lay down with the dead, there you are! If I take wings with the dawn and settle down on the western horizon your hand will guide me there, too, while your right hand keeps a firm grip on me.”
Comment: This refers to God himself, omnipresent, i.e., through his spirit
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth“
Comment: Refers to spirit-power
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
Comment: This Spirit-power comes from God.
The “ruach/pneuma” and “parakletos” are all non-matter, invisible, spirit-composed. They are all holy and divine having originated from a holy, divine and spirit-composed God. Moreover, all are manifestations of God expressed through his powers. They are not personified as living beings any more than in Revelations 6:9-10 with slain/dead beings.
The “ruach” breathed into the nostrils by YHVH Elohim to create a living being is of feminine gender to represent and intimates for us about its future destiny. This is the component of man that remains after death and goes back to God. The promised “parakletos” which has a masculine gender will in-dwell in her in this earthly life to create a “new creation“, by “writing the laws in the fleshy tables of our heart”, guiding, comforting, as a “Helper” to strengthen human weakness. This starts with fertilization into a “spiritual zygote“, then embryologically develop through “overcoming” into a mature spirit-being, manifested/declared/appointed at resurrection as “son of God” (like anthropos/man-Jesus(1 Timothy 2:5) was/is, with “spirit-composed body”.
Jesus Christ, the proximate Creator Elohim/El Shaddai/YHVH/Logos/ has an “ongoing creation” of man, a “temple” (Acts 7:48; 2 Corinthians 5:1)were the “spirit-of-God“, the “parakletos” will in-dwell as gifted-promise. As Adam made a perfect creation to commit sin, God will (Jeremiah 18:4; Isaiah 29:16) remake the “marred clay“.
1.Pneumatolgy, the doctrine of Holy Spirit. Retrieved 3/16/2019 from http://therestoredhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/PNEUMATOLOGY.pdf
2. Who is the Holy Spirit. Retrieved 3/16/2019 from https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-the-holy-spirit-701504
3.God in three persons Retrieved 3/16/2019 from https://www.christianity.com/god/trinity/god-in-three-persons-a-doctrine-we-barely-understand-11634405.html
4. The Trinity Doctrine in a nutshell. Retrieved 3/16/2019 from https://trinitydelusion.org/the-trinity-doctrine-in-a-nutshell/
5. Hebrew roots/Trinity/Holy Spirit. Retrieved 4/1/19 from https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Trinity/Holy_Spirit
6. Death, What is? Retrieved 4/2/2019 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/06/death-what-is-2/
7. Was 1 John 5:7 added to the Bible? Retrieved 4/2/2019 from http://www.trinitytruth.org/was1john5_7addedtext.html
8. Ibid. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/1_john/5-7.html
Original post: 4/3/19 Hyperlink version
Dedicated to a “birthday boy“.
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