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Dear Phil,

Thanks for your letter [6th Sept. 99]. Nice of you to reply, but what’s happened to my study course? Perhaps you forgot to include the next lesson with your letter? I’ve been looking forward to it. You wrote,we believe it is better to clarity I discuss one subject at a time”. That’s alright by me. We might agree to disagree but there’s plenty else to discuss and learn. You wrote,

>>“…the Holy Spirit does do exactly what God does. So why separate God and his power into two different identities?<<

The Bible indicates that God is ‘three in one’ [Mtt.28:19]. The three are not “different identities” but the one God who has revealed Himself in three persons. The Holy Spirit, is called God [Ac.5:3-4]. If He’s God, then He cannot be impersonal [“God is Spirit” Jn.4:24]. Lesson 20 separates the power from the person, then denies the person, just as pantheism destroys personality.

>>“…Do you and [your] wisdom need separating, since it is spoken of in Proverbs 3:13-18 as being a separate character. Personification is used in the Bible.”<<

This wisdom in Proverbs is the teachings given to man by Divine revelation or the voice of the Holy Spirit to the heart. I agree it’s personalized, as a female. Lesson 20 wrongly alleged John 14 was picturesque language [not personalized]. Yet that’s unbelievable in the light of Proverbs. I’m amazed you can see personification in Proverbs but not in John 14:16,17 15:26 16:7,8. Why ?

Jesus also refers to “wisdom” as female [Lk.7:35] but the Holy Spirit in the masculine because the Holy Spirit is the point at which God becomes personal to the believer. Through the Holy Spirit we experience God. What’s unusual about Jn.14:16 etc., is the deliberate change of the neuter into the masculine pronoun. This emphasizes Jesus is referring to a person not a thing. Yet even if you still disagree, the Bible says the Spirit has knowledge [1 Cor.2:10-11] a mind [Rom.8:27], a will [1 Cor.12:11] He guides [Rom.8:14] speaks [Rev.2:7] teaches [Neh.9:20] directs men [Rom.8:14] commands [Ac.16:6-7] calls and appoints [Ac.20:28] cries-out [Gal.4:6] has love [Rom.15:30] grief [Eph.4:30] and intercedes for others [Rom.8:26]. Are all these just picturesque speech and not
personifications?

Regarding ‘Counsellor’ you wrote –

>>“You are also correct that the word for Counsellor / Comforter can be translated as counsel for defence; legal assistant; etc; but it has two other meanings and these are the meanings that are used in the Bible (the previous meaning is not)”<<

And you are correct with thetwo other meanings”. But check Acts 25:12 forthe previous meaning”. Festus [governor] pronounces a legal judgment on Paul. See Jn.11:47, the Sanhedrin acted as legal advisers. So you can see myprevious meaning” is used in the Bible”. You wrote,

>>“You probably have a point that this is never applied to an impersonal thing, but it's not it's applying directly to God”<<

Jesus applies ‘Counsellor’ not to God’s power[Lesson 20] and not directly to God butdirectly tothe Holy Spirit [see Jn.16:13-14]. He says, “another Counselor”. Not another of a different kind but similar nature. How could "an impersonal thing" [to use your words] be “…one who pleads another’s case with one; an intercessor 1 John 2:1…a helper, succourer, aider, assistant John 14:16 ? Can you see the problem? If I interpret the Holy Spirit to be only God’s power [not a person] then words don’t mean what they say. It’s obvious from an nonbiased reading John’s gospel that the word ‘Counsellor’ is applied to the Holy Spirit and no other person or thing. You write -

>>“But your translation of John 14:16-17 is not correct (you may argue that you've taken the quote direct from the NIV, however the translators, because of their beliefs and biases have incorrectly translated it) v16. 'he' refers to-the Father – correct. v17 your 'it' refers to the world - correct. v18. Your 'him' should be translated as 'it'…”

To support - 'him'... translated 'it' you quote the Emphatic Diaglott [a Jehovah’s Witnesses translation]. Where the Greek text disagrees with JW theology they have translated to suit their beliefs and biases”. The most bias version ever. I have a copy there's thousands of places of text tampering. To quote that indicates your scholarly support is non-existent.

You say the NIV is
incorrect”, then so are all other Bibles but your NWT. See KJV RV GNB NAS LB AB NKJV AB NEB NBB etc. Also check the Nestles, Textus Receptus, AEthiopic, Vulgate, Nonnus, Itala. There’s no text or manuscript with your reading because John changed the neuter into the masculine pronoun. The noun ‘pneuma’ is neuter in Greek, yet John emphases personality by ignoring grammatical procedure and using the emphatic pronoun ‘ekeinos’ - “He”.  In numerous instances a masculine pronoun is used, so the personality of the Holy Spirit dominates grammatical construction. Buy a copy of Vines Dictionary of NT Words, look-up the words Spirit, Counsellor, Christ, and God. Bible scholars of the Greek don’t support your rendering him should be it’.

I hope this covered your letter.  I would be interested in your comments. And conclude with a verses from the Amplified Bible –

He will not speak His own message but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father]…He will give the message that has been given to Him Jn.16:13 "He will take what is Mine [Jesus] and will reveal it to you” Jn.16:14.

I suggest Phil, this is
personification and not a nebulous impersonal thing. To pretend it’s only “picture language” is unconvincing.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Purchase


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