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Jews and Christians share the heritage of the biblical testimony of God's relationship with the human family throughout history. Our Scriptures bear witness to both individuals and the people as a whole being called, taught, guided and protected by Divine Providence. In light of this sacred history, Catholic and Jewish participants in the meeting responded to emerging opportunities and difficulties facing religious belief and practice in today's world.

Why is in the official writing above, signed by Catholic Church and Jews, 'Divine Providence' used, and not 'Holy Spirit'?

Perhaps, is there an ontological difference between 'Divine Providence' and 'Holy Spirit'? If so, can anyone explain what the difference is?

Thank you, and the peace be with you.

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2 Answers 2

One Theory: It's possible that the Jews (which Jews? There's not just one body of "orthodox" Jews.) do not wish to endorse the Christian idea of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is not exactly described as a divine person in the OT. "Spirit" and "Spirit of God" are used, but not really in the same sense as "Holy Spirit" is used in the NT.

Perhaps alluding to the Holy Spirit is not a concession that the Jews wish to make, and for the sake of expressing positive things in common, "Divine Providence" was something both groups could agree on.

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In the Christian tradition, the "Holy Spirit" refers specifically to the "advocate" Jesus promises God will send to his followers after Jesus' crucifixion, see John 14:26.

While it seemingly makes sense to equate the Holy Spirit with the Old Testament manifestations of God's presence, I assume the neither the Catholics nor the Jews who prepared the paper you quote wanted to make a leap of that magnitude.

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