3

There are many names given in Scripture to a Spirit or Spirits sent to live with and, most especially, live within those who have received the salvation inherent in the Gospel. This is not an exhaustive list but a representative list only and edited additions are welcome.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. - John 14:16-17

For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you - Matthew 10:20

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” - Galatians 4:6

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. - Romans 8:9

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own - 1 Corinthians 6:19

Just in these five verses alone we have 7 different names or titles for this "sending": Helper, Spirit of truth, Spirit of the Father, Spirit of his son, Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, and Holy Spirit.

Do Biblical Unitarians understand multiple names for just one Spirit, multiple names for several different Spirits, individual names of individual Spirits, or something else?

1
  • these are not names - they are titles or roles. The HS has no name.
    – steveowen
    Mar 4 at 20:05
2

A Biblical Unitarian appendix to Biblical commentary Appendix 6: Usages of "Spirit" lists 15 different senses for the term 'spirit' ('pneuma' in the Greek) in the Bible.

However, as Appendix 11: What is the Holy Spirit? says:

"“HOLY SPIRIT” is primarily used in two very different ways: One way is to refer to God Himself, and the other way is referring to God’s nature that He gives to people.

So the first sense is a synonym for God. The second sense itself has synonyms. For example, the 'Helper' mentioned above in John 14:16 is another name for this second sense, so 'holy spirit' as a gift.

"18) The gift of holy spirit as “the helper” [...] The “holy spirit” is identified as a “helper” to believers in John 14:26. [...] The helper (the holy spirit) is sent by the Father (John 14:16-17) and Jesus (John 16:7). It does not speak on its own, but it speaks only what it hears (John 16:13). Thus, the gift of holy spirit is directed by God and Jesus, which is what we would expect since it is God’s nature born in us."

So Biblical Unitarians would understand various uses related to the holy spirit as mapping onto either of the two senses described above, and the second sense of a gift can be directed by either God or Jesus. As examples of both instances of the second sense from your list above, 'Helper', 'Spirit of truth', 'Spirit of your Father', 'Holy Spirit' = gift from God. 'Spirit of his Son' = gift from Jesus.

However, as mentioned, sometimes uses of 'spirit' would map onto other senses as listed in Appendix 6 above.

6
  • Interestingly, Appendix 6 says "pneuma" is never translated as wind in the NT (except perhaps Hebrews 1:7) but it actually is translated both ways in one verse, John 3:8! Mar 5 at 12:41
  • Would BU read all of the different names of the Spirit in Romans 8:9-11 as second sense? Mar 5 at 12:59
  • @MikeBorden These particular Biblical Unitarians believe that would be an incorrect translation of John 3:8. "The Spirit breathes where it wants to, and you hear its voice, but do not know where it comes from and where it goes; this is how it is with everyone who is born by the Spirit." An explanation of why is here revisedenglishversion.com/John/chapter3/8 Mar 5 at 17:40
  • Re Romans 8:9-11, I believe so. You can see the interpretation and click for commentary here revisedenglishversion.com/romans/8 Mar 5 at 17:43
  • @MikeBorden Re John 3:8, looks like Douay-Rheims, Literal Standard, and Young's Literal all translate it as 'the Spirit' instead of 'the wind'. Mar 5 at 21:22

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.