Date of Submission
This thesis examines the identity of the Holy Spirit within the thought and experience of the Apostle Paul. Using the methodologies of Richard Bauckham (the framework of The Unique Divine Identity) and Larry Hurtado (Religious Experience), this thesis argues that the structure of Paul’s thought and his religious experience contributed to the emergence of a distinct identity of the Spirit within his Christian monotheism which developed beyond his Jewish roots.
This conclusion is reached by demonstrating that within the Hebrew Scriptures, the literature of Second Temple Judaism, and Paul’s letters, the Spirit is understood to participate in those divine functions that characterise God’s own unique identity as ruler and creator of all things, and to participate in cultic devotion towards God. Furthermore, in these same three bodies of literature, the Spirit is presented as an experiential reality and was identified by its effects. How Paul’s thought and experience develops beyond and is distinguished from his Jewish context is observed in the subtle differentiation that Paul perceives between the Spirit and God – most clearly observed in the Spirit’s unique activity which is distinguished from the activity of God – and in the novel formation of the relation between the Spirit and Jesus Christ, a formation that distinguishes the Spirit from Christ. Consequently, the Spirit is viewed by Paul as both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.
The contribution of this thesis is observed in a) the distinctive presentation of the Spirit within the framework of Bauckham’s ‘Unique Divine Identity’ in the literature of the Hebrew Scriptures, Second Temple Judaism, and in the letters of Paul which has not been achieved previously in any study on the Holy Spirit; b) the impact of Paul’s religious experience of the Spirit upon his perception of the identity of the Spirit, a point much neglected in Pauline studies, and c) a focused study that addresses the question of the identity of the Spirit through a fresh approach.
School of Theology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy
Baker, C. T. (2013). The identity of the Spirit in Paul: did the Spirit come to possess a distinct identity within Paul’s Christian monotheism? (Doctoral thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from http://researchbank.acu.edu.au/theses/475