0

I was reading through this page about the "Gender of the Holy spirit" in Wikipedia.

"The Holy Spirit was furthermore equated with the (grammatically feminine) Wisdom of God by two early Church fathers, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 180) and by Irenaeus (d. 202/3). However, the majority of theologians have, historically, identified Wisdom with Christ the Logos.

Gregory of Nazianzus in the fourth century wrote that terms like "Father" and "Son" in reference to the persons of the Trinity are not to be understood as expressing essences or energies of God but are to be understood as metaphors. The same position is still held in the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church..

Very interestingly, I was reading Edward Byles Cowell's translation of the Maitri Upanishad published first in 1870 (pg. 259) as to what Oriental religions consider as Holy Spirit. The sacred sound OM, is also masculine, feminine and of Gender neuter form.

To reduce clarity even more, when I was watching "Who is the Holy Spirit?" by Sinclair Ferguson episodes in Prime Video, "The Holy Spirit" was referred to as a man! He was referring to the following
Psalm 139:7,9 -10, and Psalm 104:29-30...unveiling the face of God, and also Ezekiel 39:329 where the pouring out of Holy spirit and Psalm 51. I think they are from Old testament

Be that as it may, I would like to find out what main stream Christians "believe" today? Is the Holy Spirit Presence real, a Person, Ghost/Spirit or is the Spirit poured out like Wine?

  • This question is too broad. Please refine this to a particular faith community, since there is some difference in what Christian faith community profess as their belief in the nature of the Holy Spirit. And some of them don't accept the Trinity. – KorvinStarmast May 2 at 20:49
2

So there are some complicated questions there. Let me try to answer them one at a time according what most Christians believe.

Is the Holy Spirit real?

Yes. The Holy Spirit is one of the three "persons" of God the Trinity - loosely speaking one part of God ( the others are God the Father and God the Son, who is Jesus). He is as real as God.

Is the Holy Spirit a Man?

No. Being 'part' of God, the Holy Spirit is not human.

Is the Holy Spirit a person?

As we said above, the Holy Spirit is not a human. However Christians call the three "parts" of God "persons", at least in part because they are living and intelligent. You might think of him as "more than a person". (They are also not strictly "parts" - it's complicated).

Is the Holy Spirit male?

In general Christians believe God has no gender. However the Holy Spirit is often referred to as "he", because in English the only neutral gender pronoun "it" is considered insulting. A few Christians believe that God and/or the Holy Spirit have male or female genders.

Is the Holy Spirit a spirit?

Absolutely yes. That's why he is called that. He has no body, he is entirely spirit. He is also called the "Holy Ghost", where "ghost" is just an old word meaning "spirit ". The word didn't originally carry the the associations we have today of hauntings, torment, etc.

The Holy Spirit is also likened to many things - wind, fire, water, a dove. These are usually taken as forms the spirit takes, or as metaphors. "Poured out like wine" probably falls into that category.

It should be said that a small number of Christians believe the Holy Spirit to be a name for the "force" or "presence" of God and not an entity in his own right.

| improve this answer | |
  • I like this answer but, coming from a Hindu background the questioner may not have the same understanding of the word 'person'. Perhaps the content under "Is the Holy Spirit a person?" could be caveat-ed slightly? In my understanding person is an appropriate word, but takes on inappropriately individualistic connotations in the contemporary English-speaking world which requires clarification that God is certainly less that 'personal' but beyond our typical meaning by the word. See: catholic.com/qa/why-the-trinity-is-three-persons – ninthamigo May 2 at 0:11
  • Thank you. That does answer my question... – Gopal Anantharaman May 2 at 1:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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