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The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit

Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology

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Kyle Hughes

In The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, Kyle R. Hughes offers a new approach to the development of early Christian pneumatology by focusing on how Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian linked the Holy Spirit with testimony to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son. Drawing extensively on recent studies of prosopological exegesis and divine testimony in the ancient world, Hughes demonstrates how these three pre-Nicene Christian writers utilized Scripture and the conventions of ancient rhetoric and exegesis to formulate a highly innovative approach to the Holy Spirit that would contribute to the identification of the Spirit as the third person of the Trinity.

Series:

Kyle R. Hughes

Abstract

In Haer. 3.6.1, Irenaeus of Lyons further refines Justin’s understanding of the Trinitarian testimony of the Spirit, clarifying and expanding the precise nature of this testimony by expanding the range of terms used to describe this action of the Spirit and by setting out contrasts with other forms of testimony from the Father and the Son. Irenaeus would, however, shift its application to a different polemical context from that of his predecessor, focusing on limiting rather than expanding the potential referents for the terms “God” and “Lord.” In addition, Irenaeus moved beyond Justin by identifying the Spirit as the source of revelation concerning the divine economy and the means by which human beings are prepared to share in the Trinitarian life of the Godhead. These theological developments resulted from Irenaeus’s competition with the Gnostics over the question of religious authority; to the extent that Irenaeus offered access to a Holy Spirit who would in turn offer some degree of access to the true fount of divinity, he turned the tables on the Gnostics and their own claims to have exclusive access, by the Spirit, to knowledge of the true God.

Jubilee in the Bible

Using the theology of Jürgen Moltmann to find a new hermeneutic

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Lidija Gunjević

The biblical message of Jubilee is becoming more credible in our days in dealing with the socio-economic and moral-spiritual issues of today’s world. It continues to exercise a powerful influence on the religious thoughts and actions of God’s people. In addition to that, this book reveals a new hermeneutical code of reading and interpreting the message of Jubilee. The synthesis of the exegetical analysis of the biblical texts regarding the Jubilee and Sabbath/Sabbath year and Moltmann’s understanding of this subject reveals the meaning and significance of the topic, how it is recognized, as well as its implications in today’s world. This synthesis reveals a new vision and starting point for socio-economic and moral-spiritual reform in our time.

“The biblical Sabbat / Jubilee-traditions are much richer than we thought. This book shows it. Theologically often neglected they are a source of new ideas to solve problems of human community and the ecology of the earth. That my theological works can be used to apply them today, is a surprise to me, a happy surprise.”
Jürgen Moltmann


Series:

Kyle R. Hughes

Abstract

In Dial. 56.14–15, Justin Martyr presents the Spirit as testifying to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son on account of his prosopological reading of the Old Testament. This pneumatological innovation was rooted in various New Testament ideas, which Justin was the first to synthesize in this particular manner. Justin’s portrayal of the Spirit’s Trinitarian testimony most likely emerged in the context of his engagement with Judaism, with Justin desiring to fashion a Christian self-identity that was distinct from Judaism as he constructed it. Indeed, by identifying the Spirit, which held such a significant role in the worship and life of his Christian community, as the source of testimony to the beliefs that would come to distinguish Christians from Jews, Justin solidified the theological distinctives of his religious community while paving the way for future pneumatological developments in this regard.

Series:

Kyle R. Hughes

Abstract

In Prax. 11.7–8, Tertullian of Carthage employs, with significant modifications, his predecessors’ understandings of the Trinitarian testimony of the Spirit. Unlike Justin and Irenaeus, when Tertullian portrays the Spirit as participating in intra-divine dialogue, the testifying function of the Spirit is only implicit in the quotations themselves and not in Tertullian’s own introduction or explanation of those quotations. Instead, Tertullian’s understanding of the Trinitarian testimony of the Spirit is most clearly stated apart from his portrayal of the Spirit’s prosopological speech. This pneumatological advance was inextricably linked with his support of the New Prophecy, which contributed to a more explicit portrayal of the Spirit as a Trinitarian person. Thus, because his use of prosopological exegesis only implicitly brought out the Spirit’s testifying role, as well as on account of his association with Montanism, Tertullian paved the way for the eventual diminishment of this aspect of the Spirit’s ministry in the later pre-Nicene Latin tradition. Still, Tertullian’s clear identification of the Spirit as a distinct divine person tasked with leading believers into a better understanding of the mystery of the Trinity both demonstrates thematic continuity with his predecessors as well as sets the stage for later pro-Nicene Trinitarian theology.

Sola Scriptura

Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics

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Edited by Hans Burger, Arnold Huijgen and Eric Peels

Sola Scriptura offers a multi-disciplinary reflection on the theme of the priority and importance of Scripture in theology, from historical, biblical-theological and systematic-theological perspectives, aiming at the interaction between exegesis and dogmatics. Brian Brock and Kevin J. Vanhoozer offer concluding reflections on the theme, bringing the various contributions together.