Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In order to contextualize the question I add the following quote from the wikipedia article concerning Filioque clause:

Filioque, Latin for "and (from) the Son", is a phrase found in the form of Nicene Creed in use in the Latin Church. It is not present in the Greek text of the Nicene Creed as originally formulated at the First Council of Constantinople, which says only that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father"

I've been reading about this issue and cannot find a clear biblical basis either for or against the Filioque clause. However, I think there are some verses that can be applied either for or against.

For example, John 20:22 can be applied for by saying that the Spirit is proceeding from Christ. On the other hand, it can be applied against by saying that the Spirit is actually proceeding from the Father but through the Son.

For that reason I am asking if somebody knows more biblical arguments for and against the Filioque.

share|improve this question
1  
Without the filioque, it is a direct quote from John 15:26. Even the Catholics acknowledge the theology is wrong by adding it in the Greek and Latin texts (to the extent of even encouraging Byzantine Catholics to omit it): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque#Catholicism –  Daи Oct 2 '13 at 16:44
add comment

2 Answers

So Jesus sent the Holy Spirit:

John 15:26 NIV 26“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

And here you see that Jesus needs to go away before the Holy Spirit can come:

John 16:7 NIV 7But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Jesus received the Holy Spirit from God the Father and then gave it to us:

Acts 2:32-33 NIV 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

And here the Holy Spirit came to us through Christ:

Titus 3:5-7 NIV 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

So, some of the early fathers, such as Augustine, took these and other threads, and started to weave a tapestry, to make it into a coherent belief.

So the Holy Spirit came from the Father and the Son.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You have in James Black's answer the standard Roman Catholic view of the filioque. To understand the Orthodox objection to it, consider the difference between eternal and temporal procession of the Holy Spirit.

The Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity regards the eternal relations between the members of the Trinity: God the Son is eternally begotten by the Father, and God the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father. God the Father is the ultimate source of the Son and the Spirit, though the three coexist eternally.

The filioque can be understood in an orthodox manner if it is taken to refer to the temporal procession of the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ to the apostles. If it is taken to refer to the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit, then there are a couple of objections:

  • It makes the Father and the Son both eternal sources. In Orthodox theology, two sources within the Godhead would be equivalent to having two gods, an obvious heresy.
  • The Orthodox believe that traits of the Godhead are either shared by all three, or are particular to one. The filioque (if referring to eternal procession) would make this procession common to the Father and the Son but not the Holy Spirit. As a trait shared by two of the Three, it would distort the unity and balance inherent to the Holy Trinity.

In addition to the theological problems, there's a canonical problem. The filioque was added to the Nicene Creed unilaterally by the West without gaining the consent of the whole Church. The Orthodox believe that only an ecumenical council can alter the Creed shared by the whole Church.

For more reading on the Orthodox view of the filioque, see this page, which has an article as well as links to other reading materials: Filioque (OrthodoxWiki)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.