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De Moor V:23: The Truth of the Spirit's Person Defended, Part 1

Since ancient and recent Heresy concerning the Holy Spirit varies more greatly, it is to be distinctly held: First, that He is a True Peron, which is proven;

α. By His Personal Names, to be reviewed at greater length in § 26, so that the true Deity of the Spirit might also be proven from them. Thus the Spirit with some frequency goes by the name of Παρακλήτου/ Paraclete/Comforter, which, as it is attributed to Christ in 1 John 2:1,[1] indicates a Personal Office in Him, insofar as He performs the role of Intercessor and Patron before our Father: and thus similarly used of the Spirit, it sets Him before us as a true Person, and declares His Personal Office, which is to act as the Paraclete of the Father and the Son among us; concerning which compare WALCH, Appendice Miscellaneorum Sacrorum, Meditation X, pages 825-832.

They Object that God’s Rod and Staff also comfort us, Psalm 23:4. I Respond, so it is: yet these are not said to be our Comforter, nor a Comforter differing from the Father and the Son, yet of the same order with them.

Indeed, the very proper Name of the third Person, Πνεῦμα/ Spirit, if it be taken in a corporeal sense, denotes breath, wind, which is not a mere quality, but a true Substance: thereupon it is used of Angels,[2] who verily are Persons; indeed, God, considered οὐσιωδῶς/essentially is called a Πνεῦμα/spirit, John 4:24, which no one denies to be true Substance and to enjoy Personality.

β. By the Pronouns joined to Πνεύματι/Spirit in the Masculine Gender. Individual passages that bear upon this, considered separately, do not prove demonstratively what is to be proven. Thus, for example, Ephesians 1:13, 14 is cited upon this matter, in which to τῷ Πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ ἁγίῳ, the Holy Spirit of promise, is subjoined the relative Pronoun ὅς/which in the Masculine Gender. But upon this passage an exception is able to be taken, that that Grammatic observation is not adequate here; because a Relative placed between two Substantives of diverse genders does not always agree with the antecedent, but sometimes, albeit rarely, with what follows. Upon this matter there are well-known examples out of Latin Syntax: Animal[3] plenum rationis, quem[4] vocamus hominem,[5]there is an animal, full of reasoning ability, which we call man.[6] Est locus[7] in carcere, quod[8] Tullianum[9] appellatur, there is a place in the prison that is called Tullian.[10] But the same also obtains in the Greek Language, specifically in the text of the New Testament, especially in the Epistles of Paul, where, for example, you read in Ephesians 6:17, δέξασθε—τὴν μάχαιραν[11] τοῦ Πνεύματος, ὅ[12] (instead of ἣ[13]) ἐστι ῥῆμα[14] Θεοῦ, take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. In 1 Timothy 3:15, ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ[15] Θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἥτις[16] (in the place of ὅστις[17]) ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία[18] Θεοῦ ζῶντος, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God: compare GLASSIUS, Philologia Sacra, book III, tractate II, canon XVIII, page 207. Likewise, appeal is wont to be made to John 14:26;[19] 15:26,[20] upon which places follows ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, in the Masculine Gender after the neuter Name Πνεῦμα/Spirit. But in both places, at the beginning of the verse before Πνεῦμα/Spirit, precedes ὁ Παράκλητος, the Paraclete/Comforter, to which that ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, could be referred, and the intervening word be considered as read in parentheses, which words in the former place are τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, ὃ πέμψει ὁ Πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, and in the latter place, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father. But this is made so much the more likely, since in both passages to the Name of Πνεῦμα/Spirit is immediately subjoined a relative Pronoun, not in the masculine, but in the neuter Gender, ὃ πέμψει, etc., which He will send, etc.; ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, which proceedeth from the Father. In addition, there is appeal to John 16:13, 14, ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς, etc. ἐκεῖνος ἐμὲ δοξάσει, etc., howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you, etc.: He shall glorify me, etc. But also in this passage the ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, is able to have respect unto the promised Παράκλητον/Paraclete/Comforter in verse 7, concerning whom then, verse 8, it had also been said, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖνος, etc., and when the same is come, etc.; and thereafter unto verses 13 and 14 the operation of that Paraclete was described. And, when after ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, at the beginning of verse 13, the Person of the Paraclete was again described by that accustomed title, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, the Spirit of truth, therefore of revelation and of the avoidance of error; the text proceeds to discourse concerning that Paraclete, and relatively to that that ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, is repeated at the beginning of verse 14. At the same time, 1. it is not without significance that that ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, recurs so many times and emphatically concerning the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, in the Words of the Lord in John, with the intervention of the Name Πνεῦμα/Spirit not preventing. And, just like Παράκλητος/Paraclete/Comforter, so also the Pronoun ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, to be referred to it, of themselves lead us to the Person, which repeatedly there in context is declared to be τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, the Spirit of truth. 2. Additionally, in other examples also, it is observed by GLASSIUS, Philologia Sacra, book III, tractate II, canon XVI, pages 204, 205, that a change of Gender in a Pronoun from the feminine or neuter to the masculine in the New Testament is an indication that the speech concerns a Person, when this manner of speaking is able to be attributed to a Synthesis: for example, Matthew 28:19, τὰ ἔθνη,[21] βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς,[22]the nations, baptizing them; John 17:2, ἵνα πᾶν[23] ὃ δέδωκας αὐτῷ, δώσῃ αὐτοῖς[24] ζωὴν αἰώνιον, that all which thou hast given Him He may give to them eternal life; Galatians 4:19, τεκνία[25] μου, οὓς[26] πάλιν ὠδίνω, my little children, of whom I travail again in birth; Colossians 2:19 concerning Christ, τὴν κεφαλήν,[27] ἐξ οὗ,[28]the head, from whom; Acts 15:17, τὰ ἔθνη,[29] ἐφ᾽ οὓς,[30]all nations, upon whom; 2 John 1, τοῖς τέκνοις[31] αὐτῆς, οὓς,[32]to her children, whom. So also in the Septuagint of Genesis 3:15, after σπέρμα[33] αὐτῆς, her seed, follows αὐτός[34] σου τηρήσει κεφαλήν, He shall watch against thy head. Also, in a similar manner, in the book that is called Ecclesiastes, the feminine קֹהֶלֶת/ Qoheleth/Preacher, in the place of which adjective the substantive חָכְמָה/ Wisdom appears to by understood, is indeed construed, in a manner consistent with the termination, with a feminine verb, Ecclesiastes 7:27, אָמְרָ֖ה קֹהֶ֑לֶת, saith the Preacher: but, because by קֹהֶלֶת/Qoheleth/Preacher is denoted the Person speak in this book, furnished with wisdom and masculine indeed, namely, King Solomon; with this name, as it were proper to the Person, is joined a verb, or even another adjective, in the masculine gender, אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת, saith the Preacher, and הָיָה קֹהֶלֶת חָכָם, the Preacher was wise, Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:8-10: see GEIER on Ecclesiastes 1:1; RAMBACH[35] in his Preface on Ecclesiastes, § 1, in MICHAELIS’[36] Adnotationibus in libros Hagiographos, volume II, page 829. For the same reason, HOMER, Iliadχ, verse 84, has φίλε[37] τέκνον,[38]dear child, instead of φίλον.[39] And hence the occasion of conjunction arises in Ephesians 1:14, that the ὅς/who at the beginning of verse 14 does not necessarily borrow its Gender from ἀρραβὼν/earnest, but that masculine is also able to derive its rise from the Person understood by the Spirit: and that it is not anything altogether unusual, if ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, elsewhere in John is judged to pertain to Πνεῦμα/Spirit, on account of the true Person understood by Πνεῦμα/Spirit; which is abundantly evident, 1. from the Title of Παρακλήτου/Paraclete/Comforter, 2. the Personal ἐκπορεύσει/procession of the Spirit παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς, from the Father, and, 3. the Operations ascribed to Him in John in the passages cited. But if we should wish to urge that those Pronouns, ὅς/who and ἐκεῖνος/He, that one, ought to be referred to the Name Πνεῦμα/Spirit, then the Personality of the Spirit would depend on that, and it would rest on a very uncertain foundation: to this compare the argument of MARESIUS, Systemate Theologico, locus III, § 58; GERHARD’S Loca Communia, tome I, locus concerning the Holy Spirit, chapter V, § 99, page 165; LAMPE on John 14:26, pages 179, 180, on the word ἐκεῖνος, and in the Notes, letter u.

γ. By the Attributes that agree to a Suppositum, indeed, to an intelligent Suppositum, ascribed to this Spirit: namely, Understanding, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; Judgment, Acts 15:28: compare BECMANN’S Exercitationes Theologicas, XI, page 154: Will, 1 Corinthians 12:11, καθὼς βούλεται, as He, namely, that Holy Spirit, wills, not God the Father, as Samuel Clarke wrongly pretends: see LAMPE, de Spiritu Sancto, chapter IV, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, chapter VIII, § 14, page 159: Power of working, Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13; the Affection of Grief, Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30.

[1] 1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (παράκλητον) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…” [2] See Hebrews 1:7. [3] In the neuter gender. [4] A relative in the masculine gender. [5] In the masculine gender. [6] Cicero’s De Legibus, book I, section 7. [7] In the masculine gender. [8] A relative in the neuter gender. [9] In the neuter gender. This underground cell was said to have been built by Servius Tullius, the lengendary sixth king of Rome (sixth century BC). [10] Sallust’s Cataline, book LV, section 3. [11] In the feminine gender. [12] A relative in the neuter gender. [13] A relative in the feminine gender. [14] In the neuter gender. [15] In the masculine gender. [16] A relative in the feminine gender. [17] A relative in the masculine gender. [18] In the feminine gender. [19] John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα, καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν).” [20] John 15:26: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ὁ παράκλητος, ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ πατρός, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ)…” [21] In the neuter gender. [22] In the masculine gender. [23] In the neuter gender. [24] In the masculine gender. [25] In the neuter gender. [26] In the masculine gender. [27] In the feminine gender. [28] In the masculine gender. [29] In the neuter gender. [30] In the masculine gender. [31] In the neuter gender. [32] In the masculine gender. [33] In the neuter gender. [34] In the masculine gender. [35] Johann Jakob Rambach (1693-1735) was a German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. He worked with Michaelis on Michaelis’ edition of the Hebrew Bible, writing commentaries for Ruth, Esther, Nehemiah, and others. [36] Johann Heinrich Michaelis (1668-1738) was a German Lutheran Theologian, Orientalist, and Philologist. He served as Professor of Oriental Languages (1699) and of Theology (1709) at Halle. Michaelis published an annotated edition of the Hebrew Bible and works on Hebrew grammar and accentuation. [37] In the masculine gender. [38] In the neuter gender. [39] In the neuter gender.

1 Comment

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 05, 2021
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