I post papers I have written, some during my graduate and post-graduate studies, some in response to other papers, and some written for other purposes like Sunday school classes or Bible studies. I also post observations on whatever comes to my mind and videos from teaching sessions.
For quite a few years I have used BibleWorks software as my primary resource in the original languages. I had four semesters of Koine Greek and three semesters of Hebrew, and BibleWorks is an excellent software to quickly search not only in translations but in the original languages themselves. BW also made use of some of the best language tools like lexicons and grammars.
But BibleWorks has closed its doors, so to speak. Those who have the software can continue to use it, as I will. But there will be no further updates or support.
Someone recently asked what software I recommend. I’ve been using Logos Bible Software for some time, and I highly recommend it. It includes the language component but goes far beyond that to integrate a wide variety of research tools. I’m finding it quite helpful in my writing.
You can check it out by downloading the free version at logosbiblesoftware.com. If you like it, you can upgrade to whatever components you wish.
Today I finished my examination of the uses of the term “My Spirit” in the Book of the Twelve. This included references in Joel, Haggai, and Zechariah.
A study of the connections between Joel and Peter’s use of Joel 2:28-29 on the Day of Pentecost is always fruitful, but a close reading of Acts 1-2 with Joel reveals both that Peter had more in mind than just these two verses from Joel and that Luke, who wrote Acts, also linked the events of the first two chapters of Acts with prophecies in Joel. Peter’s Pentecostal sermon included not just direct quotes from Joel, but also verbal links and allusions, including what we read in Acts 2:38-39.
In Haggai, the LORD compares His presence with His people to His presence with them during the Exodus, once again showing His self-identification as the Spirit.
In Zechariah, two poles of the Spirit’s work are revealed: constructive, in the building of the Second Temple; destructive, in the judgment brought about by the captivity of Israel.
Only nineteen references to the Spirit remain in the Latter Prophets. Some are simply under the descriptor “the Spirit” and the remainder “His Spirit.”
As a reminder, I am in the process of writing a book on Apostolic Pneumatology, which I hope will serve the purpose of filling a gap in our literature. On my blog, I am posting brief summaries of my studies. These observations will be fully fleshed out when the book is published.
Today I finished my study of every mention of “My Spirit” in Isaiah and Ezekiel. I continue to be energized by this work, both by the challenges the text presents and by the discoveries of what are, to me, new insights.
Here are some of my observations for today: Isaiah 30:1 and its pneumatological oneness; Isaiah 42:1 and its messianic significance; Isaiah 44:3 and its thematic connections with Numbers 11:29; Joel 2:28-29; and Acts 2:16-21; Isaiah 59:21 and its multigenerational “Pentecostal” fulfillment, along with its use by Paul to provide prophetic support for his assertion that “all Israel shall be saved”; Ezekiel 36:26-28; 37:14; 39:29 and the idea that spiritual renewal comes first; all other renewal follows.
Tomorrow I plan to look at every reference to “My Spirit” in the Book of the Twelve, which will involve Joel 2:28-29; Haggai 2:5; and Zechariah 4:6; 6:8.
I have completed an examination of all references to the Spirit of the LORD in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Micah. There is one reference to the Spirit of God in Ezekiel.
Here is some of what I’ve seen in this section of the Latter Prophets:
The terms “the Spirit of the Lord” and “the Spirit of God” are used as synonyms. They reinforce the observation that it is not unusual for the coming of the Spirit to result in supernatural vocalization. They demonstrate again that Scripture draws no sharp distinction between the LORD and the Spirit of the LORD.
Several texts offer insight about the coming Messiah. What is sometimes called the “seven-fold” Spirit rests upon Him. The forerunning ministry of John the Baptist is anticipated. Jesus Himself quotes from Scriptures and announces that they are fulfilled by Him.
The Spirit of the Lord has a destructive influence on those who reject Him and provides defense against the enemies of His people. In an interesting statement of the Lord’s care for His entire creation, we discover that the Spirit gives rest to animals and leadership to His people.
Next, I will study the twelve uses of the term “My Spirit” in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Haggai, and Zechariah. We will see some interesting comparisons between Joel, identified by some scholars as the “anchor” of the Book of the Twelve (i.e, Minor Prophets), and Acts 2.
I have finished examining the six references to “the Spirit of the LORD” in Isaiah. Of these six, three are prophecies of the coming Messiah.
I will next examine the references to “the Spirit of the LORD” in Ezekiel and Micah and the one reference to “the Spirit of God” in Ezekiel.
The books we are studying now are all included in the Latter Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. Jeremiah is part of this section, but the only time the word “spirit” appears in Jeremiah is in a reference to the “spirit of the kings of the Medes” (Jeremiah 51:11).
By the way, the scroll above is “[t]he earliest known complete scroll of the Book of Isaiah found among the library of the Qumran community.” It is included in the Media Resources of Logos Bible Software, which I recommend.
There are three references to the Spirit of the LORD in I and II Kings. They involve Obadiah, the manager of Ahab’s house, a false prophet named Zedekiah, and the sons of the prophets.
Since Zedekiah was a false prophet, the only thing we learn from him is that he understood that the Spirit of the Lord spoke to true prophets. He claimed, falsely, that this had been the case when he prophesied military victory for the king of Israel.
Obadiah feared the Lord, and his reference to the Spirit of the Lord shows that he believed it possible that the Spirit could carry a person from one place to another, as happened in the New Testament era in the case of the evangelist Philip. (See Acts 8:39-40.) The sons of the prophets also believed the Spirit of the Lord could transport a person.
Now I turn my attention to the forty-one references to the Spirit in the Latter Prophets, which include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve [Hosea – Malachi]. Keep in mind that I am conducting this study by following the order of the books in the Hebrew Scriptures.
I have finished my study of the Spirit of the Lord and the Spirit of God in I and II Samuel, with some interesting observations. First, both terms are used as synonyms. Second, the idea of “supernatural vocalization,” as seen in Numbers 11, is reinforced. Third, as in the book of Judges, we can see that the coming of the Spirit does not endorse a person’s character, lifestyle, or theology. We will also see this when we look at Paul’s corrective for the abuse of spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12-14. Fourth, the LORD sometimes sends an “evil” or “distressing” spirit. Fifth, in David’s last words, he claimed divine inspiration and identified the Spirit of the LORD as the LORD Himself.
I have long marveled at the book of Judges. It has been my privilege to consider this book when teaching Old Testament Foundations at Urshan Graduate School of Theology. As I look at it afresh now and focus primarily on references to the Spirit of the LORD, some new insights have emerged.
Only Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson are said to have encounters with “the Spirit of the LORD.” Of these four, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson are mentioned as examples of people of faith in Hebrews 11. The primary reason the Spirit of the Lord came upon various judges was to enable them to deliver the Israelites from their enemies.
A clue in Judges 2:18 prepares us to know that the Spirit of the Lord is the Lord Himself: “The Lord was with the judge.” Samson’s prayers also indicate that we are not to think of the Spirit as a mere force or as an entity in any way separate from the Lord.
The character of judges like Jephthah and Samson shows that the work of the Spirit in their lives was not a reward for good behavior. We must remember, however, that they are included among other flawed people in Hebrews 11 as examples of people of faith.
Today I finished my study of every reference to the Spirit of God in the Pentateuch and began my work on the Spirit in the Former Prophets [Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, following the canonical order of the Hebrew Scriptures].
I was quite surprised to discover that there are no references to the Spirit of God in the book of Joshua! We do know, however, that Joshua was filled with the Spirit before Moses’ death (Numbers 27:18-23; Deuteronomy 34:9). This work of the Spirit in Joshua’s life prepared him to lead God’s people into the Promised Land.
An invitation: If you find any reference to the Spirit of God in Joshua, I would sincerely appreciate it if you would let me know. There are a couple of references to the human spirit, but that is not the topic of our study.
Today I completed a study of the use of the descriptor “the Spirit” in the Pentateuch. I’ll share two insights with you.
First, it seems quite clear that Numbers 11:29 anticipates the Day of Pentecost. After the Spirit rested on the seventy elders, Moses said, “Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” Joel 2:28-29 is God’s prophetic response to this prayer, and Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21).
Second, the work of the Spirit in Numbers 11 is the beginning of a pattern that emerges throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament, leading up to the Day of Pentecost. When the Spirit rested upon the seventy elders, they prophesied. Although it is not always noted, it is not unusual from this point for those moved upon by the Spirit to respond with what I call “supernatural vocalization.” This pattern is finalized on the Day of Pentecost when all those baptized with the Holy Spirit spoke in languages they had never learned. This had never before occurred, and it indicates that the work of the Spirit that began on Pentecost is above and beyond anything previously experienced.