misuse these passages to prove the Holy Spirit is not a person:
Anti-Trinitarian proof texts refuted
The Holy Spirit is the personification of God's power.
Holy Spirit is directly called the power of God in Luke 1:35.
Holy Spirit is neuter gender in scripture proving it is an
"it" not a person.
Bible calls the Holy Spirit an "it". John 1:32;
Rom 8:16,26; 1 Pet 1:11
Holy Spirit was poured out, fell upon, filled men. Acts 2:4
could the holy spirit fill 120 disciples at the same time?
Holy Spirit is used to "anoint" people Acts
Whenever the Holy Spirit speaks in one text, another text says other
persons were actually speaking.
actual Greek "The Spirit the Holy" proves the
Holy Spirit is not a person.
The Holy Spirit is always associated with impersonal things which
proves He is not a person.
#1 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The Holy Spirit is the
personification of God's power and is not a person. It is not unusual in the
Scriptures for something to be personified. For example, wisdom is said to
have "children." (Luke 7:35) Sin and death are spoken of as kings.
(Rom 5:14,21) (Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380, Jehovah's Witness
- Personification is "A rhetorical figure of speech in
which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human
qualities..." (American, p.926)
- Personification is found throughout the Bible with endless
examples of mountains clapping and stars singing. But in all these things
we know by way of human experience that they are not really persons. Not
so with the Holy Spirit. No one can know the Holy Spirit is a thing (and
not a person) the way we can know a mountain is not a person from human
- We can prove something is personification by finding a
Bible verse that outright states it is not a person but a thing. We can do
this with hills, wisdom, stars etc. Anti-Trinitarians are at a loss to
find any Bible verse that says the Holy Spirit is a thing and not a
- When referenced, the Holy Spirit is always the masculine
"HE". Not so with mountains and stars.
- The vast majority of times the Bible refers to things like
stars and mountains, they are not personified. Personification is the
EXCEPTION to the usage in scripture.
- The problem for anti-Trinitarians is that the Holy Spirit
IS ALWAYS PERSONIFIED. Personification is not the exception to the general
use, personification is the rule... every time, without exception!
- If anti-Trinitarians are correct, the personification of
the Holy Spirit is so complete and extensive in scripture, that we are
without a guideline to determine the difference between persons and
things. We would have to call into question, for example, the person hood
of Abraham as the personification of the father of God's people. The
personification of the Holy Spirit is as extensive as the personification
of Abraham or many other Bible characters.
- Take Adam for example. Many modernists already dismiss his
personal existence as myth. Could Adam be nothing more than the
personification of all mankind? A simple reading of Romans 5:12-19 and 1
Cor 15:45 will quickly reveal the problem for Arians. Adam is clearly used
as a metaphoric symbol for all of mankind in many places. Could Adam be
nothing more than personification?
- The extent of personification of the Holy Spirit equals
any Bible character.
- Anti-Trinitarian challenge: what verse shows the Holy
Spirit to be a thing or an it? We know of none, therefore we are forced to
the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is a person.
#2 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The Holy Spirit is directly
called the power of God in Luke 1:35
"The Holy Spirit will come
upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" Luke 1:35
- Only to an anti-Trinitarian does this verse outright call
the Holy Spirit God's power. The verse does not say, "The Holy Spirit
is the power of God". It uses a paired statement. Notice Luke 1:35 is
the closest verse Arians can come up with that might suggest the Holy
Spirit is said to be God's power.
- Granted that "Hebrew parallelism" is in fact
common in the Bible, there are so many statements like Luke 1:35 that are
not "Hebrew parallelisms" that no further really needs to be
said. Even still, there are different kinds of "Hebrew
parallelisms". Some where two things are intended to be
interchangeably synonymous and others where two different things are
working together to have a common effect. Arians view Luke 1:35 as two
interchangeably synonymous things: Holy Spirit and Power. But there are so
many examples where different things are linked to have a common effect,
that Arians simply have no firm proof of anything.
- Here is a verse very close to Luke 1:35. God himself and
His power are used in a "Hebrew parallelism". "I will also
cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod ... I will even unleash My power upon
Ekron" Amos 1:8. God is no more mere power in Amos 1:8 than the Holy
Spirit is mere power in Luke 1:35.
- The scriptures are even called the power of God in Rom
1:16, but everyone knows that they are not used interchangeably synonymous
in this verse but are two distinct things: "You are mistaken, not
understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God." Mt 22:29 The
scriptures were the source of their doctrinal misunderstandings and God's
power would raise all men from the dead at the second coming. To demand
that scriptures and God's power are interchangeably synonymous in Mt 22:29
is just as wrong as demanding the Holy Spirit and power are
interchangeably synonymous in Luke 1:35.
- Here we have a similar statement where two different
things are mentioned. God's power is linked to God's hand. Two different
things that are not interchangeably synonymous: "Thou didst redeem by
Thy great power and by Thy strong hand" Nehemiah 1:10
- Here the Holy Spirit and power are differentiated:
"God anointed Him [Jesus] with the Holy Spirit and with power"
Acts 10:38; "demonstration of the Spirit and of power" 1 Cor
2:4. It makes no sense that Jesus was "anointed with power and
#3 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The Holy Spirit is neuter gender
through out the New Testament Greek proving it is an "it" not a
person. No if the Holy Spirit was in the masculine, you would have a point.
But God deliberately chose to use a neuter gender word to show us the Holy
Spirit is a thing not a person.
- Gender of a word has nothing to do with identity. It has
to do with the language. Gender belongs to the language of the word, not
to the case of, or the object of the word.
- Infants (Lk 1:41,44; 2:16; 18:15) and children (Mk
5:39-41) are also neuter in the Greek in exactly the same way Holy Spirit
is neuter gender.
- Girl is a neuter noun in Mt 9:24, 25; Mk 5:41, 42.
- Angels are neuter pneuma " IT " spirits in Heb
- Demons are neuter pneuma " IT " spirits over 45
times in scripture.
- The word "Spirit" is feminine in Genesis 1:2:
"the Spirit of God was moving over the
surface of the waters".
- A masculine pronoun ("He" Greek: ekeinos,
literal "that One") is applied to the Holy Spirit throughout the
New Testament despite the fact that "Spirit" (Greek: pneuma)
is neuter. Is God trying to confuse us? Or is God taking special steps to
make sure we understand the Holy Spirit is a person?
- The word spirit is frequently "neuter gender" when it refers to the Father in Jn 4:24, to Jesus
in 1Cor 15:45, to baby Jesus, in Mt 2:8, 11, 13, 14, 19-21,
- Such an argument displays a dismal understanding of the
#4 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The Bible calls the Holy
Spirit an "it" 7 times proving He is not a person.
John 1:32; Rom 8:16,26; 1Cor
12:11; Heb 10:15,17; 1 Pet 1:11
Jehovah's Witnesses are major promoters of the lie that persons
in the Bible are never referred to as " IT ":
- "But on the other hand, we find Jesus repeatedly
using IMPERSONAL pronouns when referring to God's holy spirit, a most
DISRESPECTFUL thing to do if the holy spirit were the third person of a
trinity, coequal, & cosubstantial with Jehovah God himself.... But
if the holy spirit were the third person of the trinity, equal to God
& Christ in glory & honor as claimed by the creeds, could we
imagine the Scriptures referring to the holy spirit as ' IT '?"
(Watchtower July 15, 1957 p.434)
- "If the holy spirit is a person, IT should always
be referred to as 'he' in the Bible. Jesus is a
person, & is NEVER referred to as 'it'. Nor is Jehovah God.
But at times the Greek word pneuma is in the NEUTER gender. That means
that IT is considered as neither masculine nor feminine." (Canadian
Bethel WTS , personal letter)
- "But nowhere do we read of
Jehovah God and Jesus as being referred to by neuter pronouns,
which is the case in regard to the holy spirit." (w53 1/1 The
Scriptures, Reason & the Trinity, p.24)
- Jesus is referred to as "IT" 5 times in: Mt 2:8,
11, 13, 14, 20, 21
- John the Baptist is referred to as IT 8 times: Lk1:59, 60,
62, 63, 66, 67
- Humans are called "it": "And this is
the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose
nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
John 6:39 Nothing more needs to be said, after quoting this one verse, but
we must address each verse Arians misuse.
- Babies are called "it": We often use it to refer
to babies in the same kind of way today: "What did you name it?"
Here a baby is called literally "the holy thing begotten":
"And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a
man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come
upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore
also the holy thing which is begotten shall
be called the Son of God." Luke 1:34-35.
- The men living in the world are called an "its"
in John 14:17 " Spirit of the truth, whom the
world cannot receive, because it
does not behold Him or know Him"
- The KJV, RSV actually refer to the Holy Spirit as an
"it" in these two passages: Romans
8:16,26 "The Spirit ITSELF beareth witness with our spirit ...
The Spirit ITSELF maketh intercession for us with groanings " (KJV,
RSV) The fault is not in the original text, but in the translation. Vine
says, "The rendering "itself" in Rom. 8:16, 26, due to the
Greek gender, is corrected to "Himself" in the R.V. (W. E. Vine,
spirit) The word means: "(1) self (emphatic) (2) he, she, it (used
for the third pers. pron.) (3) the same" Notice that the word can be
translated, he, she or it. To those familiar with the Greek language, the
fact the Holy Spirit is called "itself" does nothing to prove
the Holy Spirit is not a person.
- Another passage Arians try to use to prove the Holy Spirit
is not a person is John 1:32 "And
John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a
dove, and IT abode upon him." (KJV) The NKJV and NASB translate it
"and He remained upon Him". The NIV simply translates it,
"and remain on him". But even with this using the word it is
really not problematic. Since the word IT refers specifically to the
"DOVE shape" the Holy Spirit took as a form. Not that the Holy
Spirit was a dove, but that he took the form of a dove, hence, using
"it" is quite natural even in English. Example: "My son
dressed up as a gorilla. It was real scary!"
- A final Arian misused proof text is 1 Peter 1:11 "Searching what, or what
manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when IT
testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should
follow." Of course it doesn't say "Spirit of God" but
"Spirit of Christ". Now for Trinitarians, this is no problem,
but for Arians, this is a huge problem. The Holy Spirit is the Father's
"energy" not the "created Son's". If it is Jesus' own
Spirit, Arians have just proven Jesus is not a person by their own
argument of the usage of "it". If it is the Holy Spirit, (God's
power) then they have to explain away the fact God's power is called, "the
Spirit of Christ". We send Arians skidding into the ditch with this
question: Was the Dove that abode on Him the father's Power or his own
power? In the end, 1 Pet 1:11 is exactly like Romans 8:16,26 and John
1:32. The usage of the word "it", is just business as usual in the
Greek language and those who think it proves the Holy Spirit is not a
person are simply misinformed.
- But one final comment on 1 Pet 1:11 and Rom 8:16-26. If is
puzzling that if God was trying to show us that the Holy Spirit was not a
person in these verses, why would He attach "personality
qualities" to the "it"? In 1 Pet 1:11 the "it" is
intelligently revealing prophetic information. Persons do this, not
In Rom 8:26, the very verse that
the Holy Spirit is called an it the Holy Spirit helps us pray, and intercedes
on our behalf: "the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not
know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes
intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered". Wow, that's
some machine, one that helps us pray! Perhaps the Buddhists were on to
something with their prayer wheels!
#5 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
"A comparison of Bible texts
that refer to the holy spirit shows that it is spoken of as
"filling" people: they are "baptized" with it; and they
can be anointed with it. (Luke 1:41; Matt 3:11; Acts 10:38). None of these
expressions would be appropriate if the holy spirit were a person."
(Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380, Jehovah's Witness publication)
Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit was
poured out and fell upon Christians, meaning power not a person. You pour out
a thing not a person. Things fall upon men not other people.
This argument illustrates the utter
desperation Jehovah's Witnesses are in to try to prove the Holy Spirit is not a
person. We notice that they are wrong on every argument because the same kind
of language they say cannot be used of persons, IS USED OF PERSONS! Of course
beware of the New World Translation which deliberately translates the exact
same words in different ways to deceive Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Holy Spirit
were all filled with the Holy Spirit" Acts
"Be filled with the Spirit" Eph.
He [Christ] might fill all things." Eph.
you may be filled with all the fullness of God
will pour forth of My Spirit upon all
mankind." Acts 2:17
has poured forth this which you both see and
hear." Acts 2:33
He [Christ] poured out Himself to death"
[Paul] am being poured out as a drink
offering" Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6
was poured out Psalm 22:14
will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire"
Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16
the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a
jealous God." Deut. 4:24
God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29
Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who
is in you
Cor 13:5 Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you
God and Father of all who is in all Eph 4:6
is He who is in you than he who is in the world 1 Jn 4:4
you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you 2 Cor 13:5
if Christ is in you Rom 8:10
Cor 1:22 gave the Spirit in our hearts as a
3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
Cor 3:16 you are a temple of God...the Spirit
of God dwells in you
Cor 6:16 we are the temple of the Father, I
will dwell in them
Holy Spirit fell upon them Acts 11:15; Acts
10:44; Acts 8:16
to Jehovah our God, lest He fall upon us Ex
hand of the Lord God fell upon me there
Ezekiel 8:1 (metonymy: God really fell not the hand)
#6 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
A "proof" given in the
booklet "Should You believe in the Trinity", published by the
Watchtower and blindly distributed widely by Jehovah's witnesses, is the
caption of a picture on page 41. The picture is of the 120 with "tongues
of fire" resting on them (see Acts 2:3f). The caption asks, "How
could the holy spirit be a person, when it filled about 120 disciples at the
- Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong in Acts 2:1-4 because only
the 12 apostles were filled, not the 120. However, with this correction
their point is unchanged.
- Jehovah's Witnesses view God too small! What do you expect
from a religion who thinks its creator and saviour (Jesus Christ) is
nothing more than an elaborate wind up toy designed to die on the cross.
- We ask this question of JW's, How could the Father or
Jesus be a person when each fills millions of believers at the same time?
"that He [Christ] might fill
all things." Eph. 4:10
"that you may be filled
with all the fullness of God" Eph 3:19
#7 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
"God anointed Him with the
Holy Spirit and with power" Acts 10:38
The Holy Spirit is used to
"anoint" people like oil, He therefore cannot be a Person.
- Jesus is used as a door through which we enter, and go in
and out, and find pasture. He therefore cannot be a Person? Think not!
John 10:9 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be
saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." Unless the person
making the argument is willing to say Jesus is not a Person either because
He is a door, this effective nullifies the argument. If Arians understand
how a person can be a door that we go in and out of, then they should
understand a person can be used to anoint another person.
- Obviously there is a type and antitype that is in play
here. Incense in the Old testament is said to be our prayers in the New
testament. Rev 5:8. It says the incense is the prayers of the saints. The
temple of stone is our bodies in the New Testament.
- God says "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its
temple" Rev 21:22 Does this mean God is not a person? Notice the
antitype of the physical temple is God Himself and Christ!
- Likewise, Holy Spirit is the antitype of the anointing oil
of the Old Testament.
#8 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
"While some texts say that
the spirit "spoke," other passages make clear that this was done
through angels or humans" (Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380,
Jehovah's Witness publication)
- The Watchtower is again up to their deceptive tricks. They
know full well that many texts appear that God is talking when other
passages make clear that this was done through angels. Does this prove God
is not a person? Conversely, angels and men talk when it is clear that God
was actually doing the talking. Are angels and men personification? The
key is that God ALWAYS talks through another PERSON never electricity!
- Jehovah's Witnesses think it is logical that since the
Holy Spirit speaks through people, He can't be a Person Himself. It has escaped
their eyes that if the speech going through a person originates with the
Holy Spirit, it proves personality and intelligence!
- We are reminded that the revealed primary role of the Holy
Spirit is "revelator". If the Holy Spirit were a person, what would
change? He would still speak through others!
- While it is true that God once spoke through a donkey to
Baalam, this was a special miracle. Further, God was merely facilitating
what the donkey was actually thinking, so the miracle is God translating
the donkey's actual and real thoughts so a man can understand it. Further,
animals have both thoughts and freewill, electricity does not. Where is
the passage where God spoke through a thing?
- Jehovah's Witnesses need any example in scripture where
God or anyone spoke through a thing. Take the burning bush. It doesn't
say, "And the bush said, 'Moses take off your sandals'" but
"God called to him from the midst of the bush" Ex 3:4 Arians
simply have no verse where anything other than an intelligent person (or
being with actual thoughts and free will) talked. This one point alone
completely refutes their doctrine!
- It is common for one person to speak through another. In
fact, when one person speaks through another, we naturally conclude both
are persons and that the originator of the through is where the real
intelligence lies. Speech can only originate with a self-conscious,
- But here are a passages where the Holy Spirit does the
speaking all by Himself! There is simply no indication anywhere that God
was speaking through the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:2 "the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me
Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". 1 Ti 4:1
"The Spirit explicitly says" Heb
9:8 "the Holy Spirit is indicating
- But now, lets deal with the Jehovah's Witness view that
God is really the one who is speaking through the Holy Spirit as in these
verses: Jn 16:13 "Whatever He hears He will speak"
Heb 10:15-17 "And the Holy Spirit also bears
witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I
will make with them"". (Quoting Jehovah in Jer 31:33) We can
actually turn the Anti-Trinitarian argument on its head by arguing that it
really was the Holy Spirit who did the talking in Jeremiah 31:33. This
passage doesn't prove that the Holy Spirit is God's personified energy
talking. Rather it proves that the Holy Spirit can rightly be called
Jehovah, just like the Father and the Son can too! But we ask, why would
God go to all the trouble of inventing and personifying what appears on the
surface to be a separate entity speaking? Why not just say "God
sayeth" every time instead of "the Holy Spirit sayeth"?
Look at Jn 16:13, Christ relays a message through the Holy Spirit. If the
Holy Spirit is not a person this makes the Holy Spirit nothing more than a
tape recorder that replays what is said. There are two problem here,
first, Jesus is seen relaying in exactly the same way and second, the Holy
Spirit is pictured as an intelligent person who does the relaying, not
some machine. There are places where Jesus directly speaks to men. Why
confuse the simple matter with the Holy Spirit? The same thing in Heb
10:15f. Why would God say the Holy Spirit said this, if the thought really
originated with the Father? Again the Holy Spirit is clearly portrayed as
a person saying, witnessing and teaching us. Why would God confuse such a
simple matter if the Holy Spirit was nothing more than God's Power?
#9 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The actual Greek structure in
reference to the Holy Spirit is: "The Spirit the Holy". This
construction emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is not a person.
The Greek construction "The
Spirit the Holy" is an exceedingly common and fundamental Greek
construction. It's just a common way of associating an adjective and a noun:
"The Spirit, the Holy [one]" We might think of these phrases as saying,
"the car, the red one..." But it is less cumbersome to simply
translate, "the red car" as we did before. So the construction
"The Spirit the Holy" certainly does not indicate whether Holy Spirit
is a person.
#10 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted
The Holy Spirit used in
association with impersonal things, such as water & fire.
Jehovah's Witnesses falsely
- "Further evidence against the idea of personality
as regards the holy spirit is the way it is used
in association with other impersonal things, such as water & fire
(Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8), & Christians are spoken of as being baptized
'in holy spirit.' (Acts 1:5; 11:16) Persons are urged to become 'filled
with spirit' instead of wine. (Eph. 5:18) So, too, persons are spoken of
as being 'filled' with it along with such qualities as wisdom &
faith (Acts 6:3, 5; 11:24) or joy (Acts 13:52), & holy spirit is
inserted or 'sandwiched in' with a number of such qualities at 2
Corinthians 6:6. It is most unlikely that such expressions would be made
if reference were being made to a divine person." (Jehovah's
Witnesses, Insight p 1020, & Aid p 1543)
- This argument is utterly false,
but what do you expect from a cult that can teach its "door to door
book salesmen" anything and they will blindly accept it without
checking or questioning. Association with other impersonal things doesn't
eliminate anyone's personality!
- God is associated with many impersonal things. In fact God
is directly called "fire" i two places: "our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29 and "For
the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a
jealous God." Deut. 4:24.
- Jesus is associated with impersonal things too. Jesus
directly calls himself: The Bread, The Door, The Lamb, The Life, The
Light, The Rock, The Stone, The Truth, The Vine, The Way, The Word, The
Bread of Life.
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