Re: Simeon's Spirit

From: Thomas Kopecek (
Date: Sat Nov 29 1997 - 14:50:27 EST

Martin Arhelger wrote:
> Thomas and Rolf!
> I was astonished to read your e-mails.
> Acts 2:33 is indeed the "first sermon in the history of Christianity" (as
> Thomas Kopecek wrote).
> Now I will quote from some words of Peter a little later:
> Acts 5:3 - 4: Peter said: "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie
> to the Holy Spirit ... You have not lied to men but to God." Acts 5:9 But
> Peter said to her (that is, Sapphira), "How is it that you have agreed
> together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? ..."
> This verses proof, that Peter had a clear awareness of a Holy Spirit being
> a) a person (How could Ananias have lied to a thing or force ?)
> b) divine (5:4 !)
> As to Luke 2:25, I encourage again to look at the context:
> Luke 2:26 "And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should
> not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ." Its difficult for me
> to imagine somebody (something ?) that is able to reveal something while
> being no person but a thing (force, abillity ?).
> Look also at Acts 8:29; 13:2.4; 16:6-7 etc.

Greetings Martin:

You are right that "force" and "ability" do not convey what the texts
seem to convey. Would "presence" work, as in God's "presence"? Yet there
is a dynamism that "presence" doesn't convey. You have put your finger
on precisely why I asked Rolf to share with us the results of his
comprehensive study of Spirit and Holy Spirit in Lk/Acts. Maybe in the
end one should let it be "breath" or "wind", with the understanding
that one's breath is part and parcel of one's active self. If it were
all that clear to those Greek-speaking Catholic Christians in the fourth
century (some of whom had to be convinced even after Constantinople 381)
that the Holy Spirit in Lk/Acts is "divine" and "person" in the sense of
co-equal to Father and Son, the Trinitarian debates within fourth
century Catholicism would make little sense.


Thomas A. Kopecek
Central College
Pella, IA 50219

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