The Holy Spirit-- in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today

The Holy Spirit-- in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today

The Holy Spirit-- in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today

The Holy Spirit-- in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today


This learned book by eminent scholar Anthony Thiselton is a detailed biblical, historical, and contemporary study of the Holy Spirit. Thiselton presents an up-to-date account of biblical teaching on the topic, including exposition of passages and hermeneutics; offers a comprehensive historical survey from the Apostolic Fathers to Jonathan Edwards; and engages a host of modern theologians.

In the last part of his book Thiselton discusses a remarkably wide range of writings on the Holy Spirit from the nineteenth century to the present day. He interacts explicitly with Pentecostals and the Renewal Movement in a sympathetic, positive, yet critical manner. The book as a whole is at once scholarly and readable, comprehensive and practical.

The Holy Spirit -- in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today offers scholarly work on specific themes such as prophecy, tongues, the miraculous, the range and nature of the Spirit's gifts, and the Holy Spirit in relation to the Trinity, along with practical consequences for worship and life.


This book began as a work on the Holy Spirit solely with reference to biblical teaching. I initially aimed to study the biblical material in its own right, but with the secondary aim of initiating and developing a mutual dialogue with Pentecostals and those influenced by the Renewal Movement. I hoped to write with respect for both sides, to try to reach across a dangerously widening chasm of church practice.

In the event, I discovered more and more material on the Holy Spirit through the centuries and today, and came to realize that, if my work were to be taken seriously, it would be essential to examine the substance and context of historical and contemporary thought as well as biblical teaching. in practice this meant writing a book of three or four times the original size. the work of some Pentecostal and Renewal writers added yet more to the task.

Unexpectedly a double bonus emerged. First, the historical and contemporary material conveys fascinating and sometimes little-known insights. Second, this book now becomes unique in offering a thorough biblical and historical study of the Holy Spirit in systematic form. H. B. Swete had provided a book on the New Testament groundwork, but this was first written in 1909, followed by a historical study of the Church Fathers in 1912, a hundred years ago. Howard Watkin-Jones extended this to the medieval Church in 1922, but this is more variable and now ninety years old. James Dunn does not include historical work but is taken seriously by Pentecostals. Moltmann, Pannenberg, Congar, Lossky, and Zizioulas remain invaluable, but do not attempt the same degree of either specific and systematic biblical exegesis or historical comprehensiveness. Stanley Burgess is helpful on much historical work, but is less systematic and comprehensive than ideally we need.

Pentecostals and exponents of the Renewal Movement have important things to say to the established churches, but self-criticism has emerged only relatively recently among Pentecostals, and seems hardly to have touched the Renewal Movement, with few exceptions, including perhaps Congar, Smail . . .

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