T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology
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T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology

Daniel Castelo, Kenneth M. Loyer, Daniel Castelo, Kenneth M. Loyer

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📖 eBook - ePub

T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology

Daniel Castelo, Kenneth M. Loyer, Daniel Castelo, Kenneth M. Loyer

About This Book

This handbook provides an interdisciplinary and diverse reference work to the Holy Spirit. Daniel Castelo and Kenneth M. Loyer gathered together a wide range of voices that are religiously, geographically, and ethnically diverse, bringing theology into conversation with biblical studies, ethics and morality, and global Christian studies. The T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology examines the Holy Spirit in a variety of sources, such as the Synoptic Gospels, the Catholic Epistles, the Old Testament, and the Hebrew Scriptures. It also includes chapters on key concepts in the field, such as mediation and sacramentality, ecology, and creation. This broad scope enables readers to appreciate how nuanced the field of Pneumatology is, and how it can be relevant for other Christian discourses.

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Information

Publisher
T&T Clark
Year
2020
ISBN
9780567667403
Subtopic
Theology
Edition
1
Laura C. S. Holmes
For those accustomed to reading about the role of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts and Paul’s letters, the paucity of references to the Spirit in the Synoptic Gospels often comes as a surprise. Some interpreters claim that the few references to the Holy Spirit’s work in the Synoptics are due to the Gospels’ christological orientation, while others see a stronger connection between the church’s experience and the work of the Spirit in the epistles.1 Nevertheless, when considered together, the Synoptics bear witness to a consistent portrait of the Spirit drawn from the Old Testament.
The Synoptic Gospels share claims about the expected work of the Holy Spirit in the new age inaugurated by the Word’s incarnation, particularly as it relates to creation, prophetic speech, and the relationship between the Father and the Son. Nevertheless, each narrative shows that the Spirit reveals distinctive christological portraits with unique implications for discipleship. In Matthew, the Spirit highlights the Son’s faithfulness as he serves as a model for his disciples; in Mark, the Spirit plays a key role in anointing Jesus as the Messiah and in indicating the ways in which this unexpected messianic identity is connected to the OT; and in Luke, the Spirit empowers Jesus as a prophet who promises the Spirit’s future work while underlining ways in which current faithful believers participate in this work.
In what follows, we consider the testimony of all the Synoptics together, and then conclude with observations about each Gospel. Fundamentally, the Holy Spirit enables Jesus’s actions and ministry and, by doing so, empowers him to reveal God’s incarnate presence in the world. In this way, chronicling the Spirit’s work across the Gospels provides a revelatory narrative of God’s presence in Jesus.
The Synoptic Gospels: An Overview
The NT’s opening narratives indicate that Jewish eschatological expectations of the Spirit’s presence and action shift for those who believe Jesus is the Messiah. Expectations of the age to come are inaugurated in the present age.
While the term “spirit” (πνεῦμα) is attested seventy-six times in the Synoptic Gospels, most of those usages refer to “unclean spirit[s]” or the human spirit, meaning a person’s character or life. If these uses are excluded, the primary texts under consideration are
Mt. 1:18, 20; 3:11, 16; 4:1; 10:20; 12:18, 28, 31-32; 22:43; 28:19
Mk 1:8, 10, 12; 3:29; 12:36; 13:11
Lk. 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25-27; 3:16, 22; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 11:13; 12:10; [24:49]2
It is easiest to understand the role of the Spirit across the Synoptics in three general categories, all of which have precedence in the OT and early Jewish tradition. First, the presence of the Spirit at Jesus’s birth highlights the continued role in bringing about new life. Second, the Spirit is associated with speech and Scripture, echoing how the Spirit was connected with Israel’s law, prophets, and leaders in the Old Testament. Lastly, the Spirit is clearly the Spirit of God and therefore highlights the relationships of Father, Son, and Spirit. In the Synoptic Gospels, the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the entirety of Jesus’s life shows that the Spirit is consistently active in Jesus’s ministry, just as Jesus promises his disciples that the Spirit will be active in their lives.
Similarities in the Synoptic Gospels
New Life and Anointing
The first references to the Holy Spirit in the Synoptics are in the narratives of John the Baptist (Luke) and Jesus’s conception (Matthew and Luke). Luke claims that John was “filled with the Holy Spirit” while he was in Elizabeth’s womb (1:15). The full presence of the Spirit, as with his parents (1:41, 67), indicates that John’s ministry is authorized and empowered by God.3 He, like them, will be a prophet, but he is set apart even from birth. No part of John’s life exists without the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s conception highlights the work of the Holy Spirit in a unique way in the New Testament. Matthew claims that Jesus is “conceived by the Holy Spirit” (γεννηθὲν ἐκ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἁγίου; 1:20) without providing more detail. However, in narrating Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, Luke says that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and overshadow (ἐπισκιάσει) her (1:35). The same verb describes the coming of the Spirit upon the disciples (Acts 1:8) and the arrival of the cloud that veils God’s presence at the transfiguration (Lk. 9:34, cf. Exod. 40:35, Ps. 90:4). These similar texts indicate that while conception is a new kind of work, the Spirit’s action has a precedent in God’s care and providence for Israel.
Therefore, the Spirit’s work in Jesus’s conception illustrates three different points. First, the Spirit is at work creating new life, just as in Genesis (1:2, 2:7). This new life is unique: the Spirit here “acts creatively upon matter,” producing something new rather than producing visible effects out of things that already exist.4 Second, this work of the Spirit is consistent across Jesus’s life: just as with John the Baptist, the Spirit’s presence in Jesus’s conception illustrates that there is never a moment of his life when Jesus is not directed and empowered by the Spirit.5 Finally, because the “overshadowing” action of the Spirit is consistent throughout Scripture, it is clear that the Spirit plays a central role in tying together the ideas of new creation and redemption. Israel’s new life—indeed, the church’s new life—is integral to God’s own life because it is breathed (Gen. 2:7) or overshadowed (Lk. 1:35, Acts 1:8) by God’s Spirit (Ezek. 37:1-14).6 This marks Jesus’s birth as the beginning of the new age: just as God’s Spirit was active at the beginning of the world, so God’s Spirit is active at its renewal.7
The next event in the Gospels where the Spirit is associated with new life is at Jesus’s baptism. There, newness means a new stage of life: Jesus is anointed in order to fulfill a particular purpose.8 The narration of Jesus’s baptism highlights how the dawning of the new age when the Spirit is tangibly present and active is bound together with the coming of the Messiah.9 Only here in the Gospels is the Spirit described as having a visible form (Lk. 3:22) or as analogous to something visible (Mt. 3:16, Mk 1:12). This appearance links the work of the Spirit to the two aspects of new life we have already discussed: creation and empowerment through anointing. First, later Jewish rabbis used as an analogy to the Spirit’s work at creation a dove hovering over the waters (Gen. 1:2).10 Second, the Spirit is described as coming upon Jesus (Mt. 3:16) or descending upon him (Mk 1:10, Lk. 3:22, cf. Pss. Sol. 17:37). Furthermore, the Spirit’s work is both unique and unifying. As at his birth, the Spirit’s role in Jesus’s baptism singles him out as God’s uniquely beloved Son and Israel’s Messiah. Yet, his participation in baptism unites him with Israel and his disciples to come.
Speech/Prophecy
The Spirit is associated with the inspiration of leaders and prophets in the OT (e.g., Exod. 31:3; Num. 11:25-29; Judg. 6:34, 11:29, 14:6; 1 Sam. 10:6, 16:13) and is the attributed source of prophecy and scriptural interpretation by some Jews in the first century (Jub. 31:12). The NT develops this connection between the Spirit and speech, particularly in the book of Acts. There, Peter (2:14-36, 4:8-12), the believers in general (4:31), Stephen (6:5, 10; 7:55), and Paul (13:9-12) are all described as speaking prophetically by means of the Spirit.11 Therefore, it is unsurprising that the Synoptic Gospels also claim that the Holy Spirit inspires prophetic speech and provides truthful speech to Jesus’s followers in times of crisis and temptation. Nevertheless, the Synoptics attest to the ability of humans to resist the Holy Spirit and the blaspheming consequences of doing so.
The Gospel of Luke highlights the Spirit’s role in prophetic speech at the beginning of the narrative. As noted earlier, John and Jesus are described as being “full of the Holy Spirit,” and they are joined by four others: Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary, and Simeon. The experience of the Spirit elucidates inspired speech, whether blessings (1:41, 45), prophecy (1:67, 2:25-27, 3:16), or scriptural interpretation (4:1-13). At Jesus’s baptism, Matthew and Mark join Luke’s witness by narrating John’s inspired word about Jesus’s ministry (Mt. 3:16, Mk 1:8) and reiterating John’s role as prophet (Mt. 11:13, 14:5, 21:26; Mk 8:28, 11:32; Lk. 1:76, 9:19, 16:16, 20:6).12 The Spirit coming upon these individuals signals “God’s perspective on [these] events” in the content of their proclamations.13 Furthermore, the Spirit’s action in these scenes is consistent with God’s redemptive work in the OT, as the Spirit emphasizes social reversals: the first prophets in Luke are women, the old (Elizabeth and Simeon) bless the young, and God’s favor is brought to those of low social and economic means (1:52-53, 2:24).14
Prophetic speech is integrally related to scriptural interpretation. However, even the biblical prophets did not commonly describe their prophecies as being made under the influence of the Spirit.15 Instead, it is in later Jewish traditions that “rabbis link the Holy Spirit so strongly with prophecy that the two become virtually synonymous.”16 Aspects of this connection are evident in the Synoptics where the Spirit and Scripture are connected. This happens at Jesus’s baptism, as the Spirit descends and the voice from heaven uses scriptural terminology (Ps. 2:7, Isa. 42:1) to profess favor and anointing on Jesus. It also happens during Jesus’s temptation, as the Spirit drives or leads him out into the wilderness, and yet he responds to each temptation with Scripture (Mt. 4:1-11, Mk 1:12-13, Lk. 4:1-13). There is certainly power and authority in Jesus’s words (Mk 1:21, 27), but those words are also grounded in Scripture. This provides a parallel between Jesus and those who believe in him, as Mary and Simeon have both used scriptural language as the basis of their prophecy. This is even more evident at one point in Matthew and Mark, where Jesus claims that David “spoke by the Spirit” (Δαυὶδ εἶπεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγιῷ; Mk 12:36; cf. Mt. 22:43). This is not a claim of David’s personal inspiration; rather, Jesus is saying that because David’s psalm (Psalm 110) is Scripture, it is inspired.17 Inversely, the prophetic speech of the characters in the Gospels, including Jesus, is grounded in Scripture. The overlap between prophecy and Scripture points to the Spirit’s activity in their lives.
Prophetic speech is particularly valuable during times of crisis. The Synoptics attest to the Spirit granting believers the words to speak during these times. While this action is present across the synoptic tradition, each evangelist describes it in a different way. Matthew 10:20 claims that “the Spirit of [their] Father speaks through” the disciples. Mark 13:11 claims that the disciples “will speak by the Holy Spirit.” Finally, Lk. 12:12 says that the Holy Spirit “will teach [them] what [they] should say.” Matthew and Mark emphasize the primary force of the Spirit. In Luke, the Spirit takes a secondary role as teacher. In Acts, Luke’s readers see example...

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Citation styles for T&T Clark Handbook of PneumatologyHow to cite T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology for your reference list or bibliography: select your referencing style from the list below and hit 'copy' to generate a citation. If your style isn't in the list, you can start a free trial to access over 20 additional styles from the Perlego eReader.
APA 6 Citation
Castelo, D., & Loyer, K. (2020). T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/1600028/tt-clark-handbook-of-pneumatology-pdf (Original work published 2020)
Chicago Citation
Castelo, Daniel, and Kenneth Loyer. (2020) 2020. T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology. 1st ed. Bloomsbury Publishing. https://www.perlego.com/book/1600028/tt-clark-handbook-of-pneumatology-pdf.
Harvard Citation
Castelo, D. and Loyer, K. (2020) T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology. 1st edn. Bloomsbury Publishing. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/1600028/tt-clark-handbook-of-pneumatology-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Castelo, Daniel, and Kenneth Loyer. T&T Clark Handbook of Pneumatology. 1st ed. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.