18. A Third Person is “born”

The Understanding of Genesis 1:2 in the time of Christ

The Hebrew word RUAH can be translated as wind, breath or spirit.

The Psalmist wrote, “You send out your RUAH and they are created and you renew the face of the earth” (Psalm 104:30). This described the RUAH of God in Genesis 1:2, and Genesis 8:1, that created and restored the face of the earth, which the Targum called a merciful wind or breath that blew over the waters.

In 30 AD, the Jewish theologian Philo wrote,

why, since he knew the name of the Spirit when he says, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters,” he now speaks of breath, and not of the Spirit. 1

God Himself was always identified in the Old Testament as the Spirit of YHVH. This is what Philo meant by “the name of the Spirit.”

Elihu Equated the Spirit of God to the Breath of God

Elihu also equated the Spirit of God to “breath,” in Job 32:8,

But there is a Spirit in a man,
and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.

Here, the Targumist recognized that “breath” meant the Spirit of God, who was “the Word.”

And he translated Job 32:8 as,

It is the Spirit of Prophecy in a human being,
and the Word of the Almighty which makes them understand.

Elihu equated the Spirit and breath of God again in Job 33:4, and Job 34:14-15, where he described the RUAH of God in Genesis 1:2,

If He should gather to Himself His Spirit,
and His breath,
all flesh would perish together.

Psalm 33:6 Explained the RUAH of God in Genesis 1:2

The most famous verse that explains the RUAH of God in Genesis 1:2, is Psalm 33:6,

By the Word of YHVH the heavens were made
and all the host of them by the RUAH of His mouth

The Psalmist described creation by the speaking of the Word, and by the RUAH, the breath or Spirit that proceeded from God’s mouth.

The Zohar said that all creatures had the Holy Spirit

Isaiah used feminine pronouns to describe the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of YHVH on the Messiah, who became the first of many Sons of God.

The Jews wanted to destroy this message of the kingdom of heaven, which Paul told us, would drive them to jealousy (Romans 10:19). The Zohar, attributed to Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, in the Second Century, said that all creatures had the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that first appeared in Genesis 1:2.

Justin Martyr said the Prophetic Spirit was born on the waters in Genesis 1:2

In 150 AD, Justin Martyr wrote his First Apology to the Roman Emperor, and used the writings of Plato to prove that the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of prophecy” was “born on the waters” in Genesis 1:2. He said that all the good angels, including “the Spirit of prophecy,” should be worshipped, and ranked the Spirit of prophecy as “third place,” after the Word.

Justin Martyr’s idea that the Spirit of prophecy, was one of the Spirits who came into being in Genesis 1 was explained by Origen in 229 AD, “We believe that…only the Father is unbegotten…all things were produced through the Word.” From here, came the Latin expression “filioque,” “from the Father and the Son,” the phrase that divided the Churches of the East and West.

There is no Third Person

Paul told us that every person, like God, has a spirit. But of course, their spirit is not another person. The Eastern churches understood Paul’s message, and they knew all the “He” references to the Holy Spirit, in the New Testament, were only a function of the Greek grammar.

Today, Trinitarian theologians who understand the Greek language, will admit there is no evidence in the Bible, of a third person called “the Holy Spirit.” The seemingly personal description of the Spirit of truth in the Gospel of John, was explained in his first epistle as “the anointing that teaches you all things” (1 John 2:27).

The Holy Spirit that “proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26), could not be described better than in Daniel 7:10, where we see “a river of fire flowing and coming out before” the Ancient of Days. From here, the Spirit of God was described as a “river” and as “fire” throughout the New Testament.

 


  1. Allegorical Interpretation, XIII (33).