[b-greek] Re: Eph 5:18, EN PNEUMATI

From: Dennis Hukel (hukel@bhiinc.com)
Date: Fri Jul 21 2000 - 11:24:40 EDT

Dear Paul,

Back in the 1980's I did a handwritten study on how PNEUMA was used in the NT and how it related to The Holy Spirit,
the spirit of Christ, the spirit of the Father, the human spirit, as well as qualities of the human spirit (such as the
spirit of timidity, a courageous spirit, etc.).

I found the usage of PNEUMA exasperatingly complicated. There are places where I would venture to argue for "a holy
spirit" quality of the human spirit and "holy spiritual matters", especially where PNEUMA and hAGION are separated by
interviening words; but I really doubt if I could convince anyone who is already sure the reference is to the person of
the Holy Spirit.

I genuinely believe that in most translations PNEUMA by itself is identified with the Holy Spirit way too often. But I
have no tangible proof, and even my better arguments are weakly supported. Of course, there is no proof at all that
most of these questionable ones do refer to the Holy Spirit, but since they are already established as part of
traditional interpretation, they need no proof.

Besides its literal meaning of "blast of air", PNEUMA's use as "spirit" in some way is confusing because the author
seems to think we know what he is referring to, but he gives insufficient clues for us to be certain. Does PNEUMA TOU
QEOU and PNEUMA TOU CRISTOU always refer to the Holy Spirit? That would be absurd! There are contexts which suggest the
Father's own spirit and Christ's own spirit, and some which do suggest the Holy Spirit. But what about the contexts
which do not give any clues?

I have tried to become as familiar as I can with how the scriptures use PNEUMA and what they reveal about our human
spirit, the person and working of the Holy Spirit, and His relation with the Father and the Son, so I can judge these
more obscure references better. After 16 years, there has been only minor progress.

Dennis Hukel

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