Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Holy Spirit

In the Oct. 1 2010 issue of the Watchtower there is an article entitled “What is the Holy Spirit?”  One of the main purposes of this article is to demonstrate that the Spirit is not a person.  Here are some responses.

The article points out that in Acts 2:1-4 that people are filled with the Spirit.  It is then asked “can a person be filled with another person?”  The filling of the Spirit does not speak to the issue of personhood but of what the Spirit consists of, that is something that can fill humans.  Paul speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)  Can another person be inside you?  Apparently Christ can.  What about the demons?  They possess people and yet they have attributes of personhood including speech, belief, fear and even names.

The article also uses the claim that John the Baptist made that the Christ would baptize with the Spirit and with fire.  It is assumed that since fire is not a person that the Spirit is not a person.  That is not a question that John is addressing at all, he is simply point to future actions.  If I said that I was going to bring my children and my computer, would that mean that my children are not alive, since my computer is not alive?  It is faulty reasoning.

The article also looks to John 14:26 which speaks of the Spirit as a helper.  The article then demonstrates that there are other examples of personification in the Bible and suggests that is what is being done with the Spirit.  That is faulty reasoning in that one could then take personhood for almost everything simple because some impersonal things are personalized.  The question is: how else is the word helper/paraclete used in the Bible?  It is used in 1 John 2:1 in reference to Jesus!

The New World Translation translates ruach as “active force.”  There is no justification for this translation.  It is more properly spirit, breath or wind.  Perhaps those words sounded too personal.

What this article does not do is consider verses such as “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30 NIV)  It is difficult to see how one could grieve an “active force.”

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5 thoughts on “Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Holy Spirit”

  1. The Bible NOWHERE calls the holy spirit “God.” Period.
    Besides, Trinity teaches the holy spirit is a “PERSON OF” a triune God.
    Something the grammar of the Bible does not teach, say or imply.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.

  2. “personhood of the Spirit in that particular article”

    There is no personhood of the holy spirit in the Bible. The Bible NOWHERE uses personal pronouns of the holy spirit EVER. Pneuma is a neuter noun. It is impersonal and never do we find in the greek personal masculine pronouns used of the spirit (pneuma) indicating it is some person!
    Trinitarian Greek Scholar Daniel Wallace (author of Greek Grammar Beyond The Basics) wrote a paper on this very topic in the Bulletin for Biblical Research 13.1 2003 where he wrote: (on pg 125)

    “In sum I have sought to demonstrate in this paper that the grammatical basis for the Holy Spirit’s personality is lacking tin the NT, yet this is frequently, if not usually, the first line of defense of that doctrine by many evangelical writes. But if the grammar cannot legitimately be used to support the Spirit’s personality, then perhaps we need to reexamine the rest of our basis for this theological commitment. I am not denying the doctrine of the trinity, of course, but I am arguing that we need to ground our beliefs on a more solid foundation.”

    So sorry, these are the FACTS. God’s spirit is just that, his spirit. Jesus referred to God’s spirit as God’s “finger” that he uses to accomplish his purpose.

  3. I read Wallace’s paper and I have no problem with the personal pronouns as being irrelevant to the personality of the Spirit. In fact that is not even part of why I believe the Spirit to be personal. In fact this paper contradicts your evidence as pneuma as a neuter noun. Wallace demonstrates that the grammatical gender does not necessarily correspond to the actual gender. You can’t have it both ways. One of the reasons that I believe in a personal Spirit is that Spirit is put along side the Father and Son. According your belief, the formula would literally be baptism in the name of the Father, the Father’s Son and the Father’s Finger. Strange. I do not see how the Spirit could be put together with the Father and Son and still be an impersonal force.

  4. “In fact this paper contradicts your evidence as pneuma as a neuter noun.”

    No it doesn’t. It PROVES my evidence that pneuma IS A NEUTER NOUN!
    You just don’t get it do you? Are you implying pneuma is NOT a neuter noun? You need to proof read before you hit post comment.

    “Wallace demonstrates that the grammatical gender does not necessarily correspond to the actual gender.”

    Actually this is my point. See most try to use the concept of masculine pronouns that appear to be linked to the neuter pneuma, as some sorta proof text of the spirit’s person hood, when in reality there are none. And in fact, gender of a noun has nothing to do with person hood, but grammar. This is Wallace’s point, and mine. I am glad you finally understand the faulty argument of most Trinitarians. Let those scales fall from your eyes!!

    For instance, RUACH in Gen 1:2 is in the FEMININE gender. Not going to tell me the holy spirit is a gal are ya?

    “According your belief, the formula would literally be baptism in the name of the Father, the Father’s Son and the Father’s Finger. Strange.”

    So you are denying the fact that scripture in 2John3 calls Jesus the “Son of the Father?” Is Jesus NOT the Father’s Son? Sounds like you are teaching what the Antichrist teaches, as it is the Antichrist that denies the Father and the Son. 1John 2:22 Which in fact trinity does, as it DENIES the Father has a literal SON, one whom he created or made (as you teach Jesus being eternal, UNCREATED, which also denies Jesus death, as one who is eternal cannot die)

    Then you deny the Son has a FATHER (you know what that word means right: LIFEGIVER) Unless words don’t mean what they mean?
    Trinity is Antichrist.

    Are you denying the holy spirit is the finger of “the Father,” who is the Only True God, the ONE GOD according to Jesus and Paul? John 17:3 1Cor 8:6

    “Lucy, you got lots of splaining to do.”

    “I do not see how the Spirit could be put together with the Father and Son and still be an impersonal force.”

    Matt 28:19 does not have the spirit “put together with the Father and the Son, in some sort of ONE GOD way! What is it with you people reading things into the text that are not there?

    The “stone” is put together with “Joshua” and the “nation of Israel” as a “witness” as it “hears the sayings of Jehovah.” Joshua 24:27
    I guess you have a problem with “the stone” not being a person as well.

    Abel’s “blood” and “crying out” out are put together in Gen 4:10. I guess you have a problem with “Abel’s blood ” not being a person as well.

    The “scriptures” are put together with “seeing in advance” and “preaching to Abraham” Gal 3:8 I guess you have a problem with “the scriptures” not being a person as well.

    You seem to have a lot of problems. I suggest you get some professional help.

    But none of this matters to you does it? You wont respond to all that I write because you truly do not care. You love the lie. Sad

    Again, I am stunned. The saying is true, “there are none so blind as those who will not see.”

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