Essentially the opposite of this question:

  1. What is the earliest recorded post-NT instance of a clear and unambiguous denial of the personhood of the Holy Spirit? When was it claimed for the first time that the Holy Spirit is not a Person, distinct from the Father and the Son, in the history of Christianity?

  2. When did this belief reach widespread acceptance among Christians for the first time, if ever?

  • Servetus (~1530) denied the personhood of the Holy Spirit. "He contends that the Bible designates the Holy Spirit only as God’s “activity,” i.e., the power of God, and thus not a person." servetustheevangelical.com/doc/ServetusFromBook.pdf Going back more than a thousand years before that, various writers talked as if the HS was not a 'person', but I don't know if there were explicit denials of this still in writing. Rather, they would be inferences from the way they talk about it. Nov 19, 2021 at 17:36
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    "When did this belief reach widespread acceptance among Christians for the first time" This seems to be the standard belief from the beginning. Instead, the doctrine of '3 persons in one God' with the HS as one of those 'persons' was the new idea. Nov 19, 2021 at 18:08
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    "No theologian in the first three Christian centuries was a trinitarian in the sense of a believing that the one God is tripersonal, containing equally divine “persons”, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html Nov 19, 2021 at 18:14
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    My guess is any such explicit denial would have to be a response to Tertullian (or later writers), who appears to have pioneered the use of 'persons' to describe God, so after ~208. Nov 19, 2021 at 19:00
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    @OneGodtheFather: I take it here you are asking for a denial of 'personhood', not equal personhood? - Yes, that's what I mean. Denial of personhood regardless of whether equality is affirmed or denied.
    – user50422
    Nov 19, 2021 at 19:42


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