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I know that Trinitarians believe that God exists as one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

That God the Father is God is patently obvious from the entire Old Testament.

That God the Son is God is made forcefully in John, Colossians, and throughout the New Testament.

We also know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, but...

Where in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?

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  • 2
    "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2 (KJV) The "Spirit of God" must be referring to the Holy Spirit (I don't know what else it could be). Jan 25 '12 at 1:43
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In Acts 5:1-4 it says Ananias has lied to the Holy Spirit and has therefore lied to God:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God."

In 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 we see the Spirit is the Lord:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The bold text is my emphasis of course.

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  • Also plenty of other places where the Holy Spirit is described as having 'personal' characteristics. Jan 23 '12 at 14:44
  • In regards to the scripture in Acts, one could argue that the passage could mean the person lied to the Holy Spirit and to God (not that I believe they are separate, but just pointing that out). Jan 25 '12 at 1:35
  • @Shredder: I suppose. The original question had the implication that the Trinity is God in 3 persons so this passage makes sense in that context (by lying to 1 person in the Trinity, you are also lying to the whole: God). An analogy could be parents: by lying to your mother you are also lying to your parents.
    – styfle
    Jan 25 '12 at 4:54
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    Along those same lines, Jesus is recorded as having warned against blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10). This would seem to indicate that Jesus considers the Spirit holy, indeed. There's also the commission from Jesus for the apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), which implies a divine triune unity of the persons mentioned.
    – Steven
    Jan 25 '12 at 17:33
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    @Shredder: I completely agree. I think people could come up with a reason to explain that away if they wanted to, but as far as biblical evidence goes, those examples seem to be along the same vein of styfle's answer...or at least they raise some good questions for people who might deny the Trinity: why would Jesus suggest forgiveness for blaspheming his name, but not the Spirit; and why would Jesus suggest baptizing in the Spirit's name?
    – Steven
    Jan 25 '12 at 19:16
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We can know that the Holy Spirit is God both from his attributes (nature) and actions (function) which are inseparable in the relationship he has with the Father and the Son.In other words, we can know that the Holy Spirit is God within the doctrine known as Trinity.

The Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit ( Greek: Pneuma ” wind, breath, spirit”; Hagios ”Holy, set apart”).

The title Holy Spirit belongs to the third person in the Triune God ( Matthew 28:19).

Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit is the one Spirit of both the Father and the Son.

John 15:26 (NASB)

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

Galatians 4:6 (NASB)

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

The Holy Spirit is a Person

The HS is a person based on the very definition of “Person” as a rational individual who has the following: mind(intellect), volition ( will) and passion ( emotion).

  • The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:27).

  • The Holy Spirit has a will ( 1 Corinthians 12:11).

  • The Holy Spirit has an emotion ( loves, Romans 15:30; grieves, Ephesians 4:30).

The Functions of the Holy Spirit show that He is a Person

  • Comforter (John 14:16).

  • Teacher (John 14:26).

  • Intercessor ( Romans 8:26).

The name of the Holy Spirit shows that He is a person.

The name of the Holy Spirit is Yahweh (2 Samuel 23:2-3; Matthew 28:19).

Premise 1: Yahweh is a person.

Premise 2: The Holy Spirit is Yahweh.

Conclusion: Ergo, the Holy Spirit is a person.

Other biblical proofs that the Holy Spirit is a person:

Can be blasphemed - Matthew 12:39

Contrasted with evil spirits - Mark 3:22-23; Matthew 12:32; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4. If "unholy or evil spirits" are persons, then the Holy Spirit is a person.

In Revelation 22:17, both The Spirit and the Bride say "come." This verse clearly equates the two as persons who uttered a same invitation.

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is equated with ‘God’ in Acts 5:1-10. He is identified as 'Yahweh'(Jehovah) in 2 Samuel 23:2-3 and Matthew 28:19.

The Holy Spirit is God by nature. He has all the complete divine nature:

  • Eternality ( Hebrews 9:14)

  • Omniscience ( 1 Corinthians 2:10).

  • Omnipotence ( Jb 33:4, Psalm 33:6).

  • Omnipresence ( Psalm 139:7-8)

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  • nice try. what about, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matt 24:36 The holy spirit doesn't know either. Unless it is the spirit of the Father as we are told elsewhere and not a separate triune entity.
    – steveowen
    Feb 7 at 10:40
  • The part about the Holy Spirit being a person are totally irrelevant from the question and do not in any way at all show or prove he is God. Mother Teresa is a person, and Abraham was a person. Showing that he is a person is the opposite from showing that he is God.
    – Tennman7
    Feb 14 at 0:37
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What is the Biblical basis for the Holy Spirit being God, or where in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?

The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is referred to nearly a hundred times in the New Testament, 45 times in the Acts of the Apostles and 53 times elsewhere. Our Lord Jesus, knowing he was about to leave his disciples, gave much teaching about the Holy Spirit just before his arrest (John 14-16).

The Holy Spirit is a person

The Watchtower teaches that the Holy Spirit is God’s force or power, something like electricity, and not a person. “An accurate translation of the Bible’s Hebrew text refers to God’s spirit as “God’s active force.” https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/g200607/Is-the-Holy-Spirit-a-Person/

It is valuable, therefore, to establish that the Holy Spirit is a person, and not just a force or power. The Scriptures show the Holy Spirit is a person because:

  1. He is set alongside two other persons:- “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” 28:19). The Father is a person, the Son is a person, so the Holy Spirit must be a person.

  2. Is referred to as “he” and not “it”:-

There are three genders in Greek, masculine, feminine, and neuter.

In John chapters 14 to 16 the Holy Spirit is spoken of as “the Comforter”. The Greek word for comforter is masculine so pronouns referring to “the Comforter” are “he”, “him”, masculine, as expected.

The Greek word for spirit is “pneuma” which is neuter: so we would expect the Spirit to be spoken of as “it”. But in John 16:13-14 the Spirit is referred to twice, not with the pronoun “it”, but with the emphatic masculine pronoun “ekeinos”, “he”:-

But when he (ekeinos), the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He (ekeinos) will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. (John 16:13-14)

William D. Mounce, chairman of the translation committee for the ESV and on the committee for the NIV, argues that the breaking of the grammatical agreement expected by native language readers is an indication of the author's intention to convey the personhood of the Holy Spirit. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_the_Holy_Spirit)

  1. Bears witness. In a court of law electricity cannot bear witness; only people can bear witness, not inanimate forces or powers.

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (John 15:26). See also Romans 8:16, Hebrews 10:15.

  1. Lives.

That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. (2 Timothy 1:14) See also John 14:16-17.

  1. Gives physical life

The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4)

  1. Gives spiritual life

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)

  1. Prays

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

  1. Speaks

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2). See also Acts 28:25, 1 Tim 4:1, Heb 3:7 and Rev 22:17.

  1. Hears and speaks

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13). - How could a force, like electricity, hear? Or speak?

  1. Can be lied to

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? (Acts 5:3) - How can a force be lied to?

  1. Can be grieved

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30)

  1. Can be vexed

But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (Isaiah 63:10)

The Scriptures show the Holy Spirit is Divine, a member of the Godhead

  1. Our Lord Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, and yet Mary was found to be with child “of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18-20). There are no intermediaries in the act of procreation!

  2. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Take this together with Isaiah 42:8.

  3. In some places, the deity of Christ is established and then the deity of the Holy Spirit in order to give honour to Him also. So in Hebrews 3:1-6 establishes the deity of Christ, and then Hebrews 3:7-19 establishes the deity of the Holy Spirit.

  4. In many places the Scriptures draw attention to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together.

a) In the beginning (Gen 1:1-3)

b) At our Lord’s baptism (Matthew 3:16-17, Luke 3:21-22)

c) In greetings at the start of letters (Romans 1:1-4; 2 Cor 1:21-22, 1 Thess 1:1-6; 1 Pet 1:2, 1 Pet 1:3-12)

d) In passages of teaching (Romans 14:17-18, 1 Cor 12:4-6, Eph 2:18, Eph 2:22, Eph 4:4-6, Titus 3:4-6, Hebrews 9:14)

e) Towards the end of letters (Romans 15:16, Romans 15:30, 2 Cor 13:14, Jude 19-21)

  1. The believer in Christ is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?(1 Corinthians 6:19) - Only God or false gods have temples, therefore the Holy Spirit is God. (See also 2 Cor 6:16).

  2. Who did the Israelites tempt in the wilderness (eg Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 14:22, 20:13; Deuteronomy 1:35)? Who did they provoke? It was God as we read in Psalm 78: especially 78:18, 40, 56. It was God as we read in Psalm 95.

But in Hebrews we read the one speaking in Psalm 95 is the Holy Spirit.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said: They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath: They shall not enter into my rest.)

Thus, in the wilderness the one they tested/tempted was the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit whose miracles they saw, being fed and watered, they and their animals, forty years in an arid wilderness. It was the Holy Spirit who they grieved and who was angry with them, and who promised they would not enter into his rest. (Hebrews 3:7-11) Therefore the Holy Spirit is God.

  1. The Scriptures are given by inspiration of God (2 Tim 3:16) but were given by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

  2. The Spirit searches the deep things of God because the Spirit of God is God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Just as a man’s spirit knows what is in a man, because a man’s spirit is the man, so God’s Holy Spirit knows what is in the mind of God because the Holy Spirit is God.

  1. The Lord is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17)

  2. The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed against (Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30). Only God can be blasphemed against.

  3. The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God:

a) The Holy Spirit is everywhere

The Watchtower teaches that:-

Contrary to popular belief, God is not present everywhere at all times. https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/g200607/Is-the-Holy-Spirit-a-Person/

But, contrary to Watchtower belief, God is present everywhere at all times:

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD (Jeremiah 23:24). See also 1 Kings 8:27, Proverbs 15:3, Ezekiel 8:12, Acts 17:28.

The Holy Spirit is also everywhere:-

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! (Psalm 139:7, ESV)

Therefore the Holy Spirit is God.

b) The Holy Spirit is eternal

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:4).

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  • What more can I say? Great answer. +1 from me.
    – Adam
    Mar 25 at 10:54
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In my opinion there's no way to 'prove' that the Holy Spirit is God. But let's use logic here. The first four words of the Bible - "In the beginning, God..." God is the first topic. He is the first and only thing around 'in the beginning.' I think that's clear. If you're a Christian, you believe this. Now Genesis 1:2 says "The Spirit of God hovered over the waters." So apparently the 'Spirit' of God was there, too. So if there is only God, and there is also the Spirit, the Spirit must be God. just logically speaking. I know that doesn't 'prove' that the Holy Spirit is God but it's something to think about.

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  • I like this answer. Simple and logical.
    – Adam
    Feb 6 at 10:11
  • Starting with, In my opinion... sort of takes away from the text you quote. Just give the bible references that you think are important and why they are useful. +1 for the logic. In a sense we don't really care what you think, but how you bring the text to bear on the question. I'd encourage you to edit your answer to emphasise the text more.
    – steveowen
    Feb 7 at 11:10
  • @ user47952, I disagree. I think the answer given is excellent...almost everyone who writes does so from the point of view of opinion.this answer is logical, simple, and comes from a very powerful and to the point text in Genesis. Leave answer exactly as is Hepful For Logic. Well done.
    – Adam
    Feb 8 at 18:28
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*What is the Biblical basis for the Holy Spirit being God?

In establishing truth, the Scripture requires two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”

In regards to the question above - "Is there Biblical basis for the Holy spirit actually being God" the answer is Yes, but we also have multiple passages - more than three that confirm this truth, and extra-Biblical evidence.
Scripture sheds light on, or interprets scripture. This is why it's so important to compare and cross-reference other passages.

    1. 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." John tells us that there are Three in heaven that bear witness of the truth. These Three are the Father, the Word (Son), and the Holy Spirit - and these three are one.
    1. Then, scripture also states that the Holy Spirit is God in the first act of creation, in Genesis 1:1-2 "and the Spirit of God was moving/hovering over the waters." Only God was present - Not only was the Spirit part of the creation process, he co-existed eternally with God. Jesus is also listed as being part of the Creation. "Without him was not anything made that was made."
    1. Also, we have the visual representation of the Trinity at the Baptism of Christ, where we see God the Son being baptized, we hear God the Father's voice from Heaven, and we see God the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus as a dove.
    1. Verses can be interpreted in many ways, but one of the most important points of evidence is that we also have grammatical or linguistic evidence. Hebrew and some other Semitic languages are unique from most other languages in the world, in several aspects, but one of these is that Hebrew grammar has two plural forms. One plural form is called "dual" and is for two nouns, or subjects, and it also has a separate plural form which is exclusively used when there are three or more things It is indicated by the use of the ending "im" or "om" in masculine words. In the Creation account, we see this special plural form used for God. Let us make mankind in our image. [Elohim] *This is extremely significant, because it's not subjective and therefore cannot be interpreted or manipulated. If it's a dual form- it means two. If it's the plural, then it is not two and it's not one. It's three or more.

We see this special Hebrew plural form for three or more again, in Genesis 1:26, where this is even shown in English, - but it's not as clear, because we only have one plural form. 26 Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7465436/Hebrew-Time-10-The-Hebrew-Nouns-Adjectives-Dual-and-Plural-Forms
This grammatical phenomena is cited and confirmed by countless Hebrew courses and textbooks, and is true of Ancient or Biblical Hebrew and also modern Hebrew. https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_Four/Plural_Nouns/plural_nouns.html

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  • @Tenman...great answer with the exception of your quoted text...you won't find that in Sinaiticus codex Bible versions (the oldest known writing of NT)...its a TR addition to the original scriptures! 1 John5:5 Who is he that overcomes the world but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came through water and blood, Jesus Christ: not in the water only, but in the water and in the blood; and it is the Spirit that testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For they that testify are three, 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are one.
    – Adam
    Feb 8 at 18:38
  • -1 for quoting a textual corruption 1 John 5:7.
    – steveowen
    Feb 9 at 1:39

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