John 20:21 Jesus said to them: “May you have peace. Just as the Father has sent me forth, I also am sending you.” 22 And after he said this he blew upon them and said to them: “Receive holy spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any persons, they stand forgiven to them; if you retain those of any persons, they stand retained.”
Did Jesus here blow out of his mouth the 3rd person of the same God that he is on his disciples OR did he breathe HOLY breath(which conveniently is the definition of spirit!) and power and influence that God dispenses THROUGH the agency of the Messiah so that the disciples could have the power of God to forgive sins like Jesus did?God forgives sin through Yeshua.He can likewise forgive sin through the disciples in the very same fashion.Not by their being possessed by a person in a fictional "godhead,"but rather by means of God working through them by means of his spirit.Even OUR spirits are magnificent,indescribable,and unfathomable.How much more GOD'S!Ours animates us and cause us to breathe,move and exist.God's is HOLY and inimitable,it being His after all.If ours is so overwhelming,how much more our Creator's who the very heavens cannot even contain!!
How can Jesus have the spirit so fully and magnificently if he isn't the same God his father is?
John 3:34:For the one whom God sent forth speaks the sayings of God, for he does not give the spirit by measure.
What these texts tell me is that Yaheweh,Yeshua's father,is the SOURCE of the holy spirit..He GIVES it to Yeshua without measure and Yeshua,as mediator and due to authority afforded him from his superior,dispenses measures of it to his followers so that they TOO can accomplish what he or his father would,EVEN FORGIVE SIN!Significantly,the spirit was given by Jesus BREATHING upon them,.Think about it.Did he breathe a PERSON?The text,verse 2 of John 20, could have just as easily and appropriately been translated "And after he said this he blew upon them and said to them: “Receive sacred breath."I'm not suggesting the spirit doesn't imply much more than God's breath. Even our spirits imply more than that because they animate us and keep us alive.
We would not be able to breathe or live if God didn't afford us the opportunity with a dispension of his holy spirit.Remember he blew spirit,or breath, into Adam's nostrils.(Gen 2:7)He didn't breathe a person into Adam's nostrils,nor did a person live in Adam's nostrils.Keeping in mind the REAL definition of our spirits and also God's spirit,and Adam having spirit in his nostrils the holy spirit being given it's real definition makes much more sense!
The holy spirit,being of the Almighty God,owned and operated by him,would be appropriately personifiable.Don't assume it is a person because it is personified sporadically..otherwise you are assuming something the whole of the bible fails to support and also recognizing wisdom and trees etc. must be people by these easily disprovable standards.It's clearly a bias to say that it's personified and therefore a person.I'm not presupposing it's a person like trinitarians are because of an entrenched tradition but rather simply recognizing the definition of spirit,that we all have a personifiable one,and that translations with arbitrary use of "he" and "who" as opposed to "it" and "which" and also arbitrary capitalization are bias.It always amazes me when trinitarians say the NWT is clearly a horrific translation when it has no more error than other translations that are also bias.Time to extract the rafter.
"The occasional personifications which he(Paul) employs do not go beyond the personifications found in the OT and in Judaism."-John L. Mckenzie Bible dictionary p. 883
"When the spirit is the mode of God's presence in the hearts and minds of His people ,then there is a good case for personal language."-C.F.D Moule "The Holy Spirit" p.50
To quote Christian author Ray Franz from the essay "What is the Holy Spirit:"
"It is true that the Holy Spirit is spoken of as speaking,teaching,guiding,being grieved etc.However..anyone who has read the bible as whole would realize that it is EXTREMELY common to personify objects and forces..."
Then Ray goes on to list many examples where things like the desert,earth,mountain,rivers,the gates of Jerusalem etc. do things like rejoicing,singing,clapping hands,lamenting,mourning etc..He also points out that Wisdom is spoken of as if it were a woman and FAR more is said about personified wisdom than is said about personified Holy Spirit.She(Wisdom) raises her voice,exhorts,reproves,rejects,ignores,despises,mocks,guards..can be loved and embraced.She has a mouth and lips,attains knowledge,loves and hates,slaughters animals,offers bread and wine.The list goes on!As Ray says,trinitarians won't fail to offer such a list as supposed proof that the Holy Spirit OF God is actually a person.I would point out that if I described MY spirit as speaking,crying,grieving etc NO ONE would assume "her spirit is an extra person in her being apparently!"The list of Wisdom's personifications far exceeds that of the spirit of God.Personification was just as tenable a reality in the NT than the OT.(Matt 11:19,Luke 7:35 etc.)One text trinitarians like to use to say it's a person is 1 John 5:6 & 7,inexplicably,where the spirit testifies,completely ignoring or being blinded to the fact that in the SAME texts water and blood testify.Are they two other people too?At Romans 10:6 righteousness speaks!To quote Ray:
"How different is it to speak of the Holy Spirit as guiding and to speak of wisdom as reproving,guarding,and keeping?How different is it to speak of the holy spirit as being grieved and to speak of love as being patient,enduring,not quick to take offense or irritable?"-from essay "What is the Holy Spirit" by Ray Franz
It is a weak argument to say that something that speaks and grieves etc. has to be a person given the definition of spirit,that we all have one that isn't a person within us and that God has one too..He is composed of it,is omniscient by means of it,indwells us by sharing it with an appointed mediator who he loves.
"Because it carries the personal presence of Christ into the life of every believer ,the use of PERSONIFICATION is highly appropriate."-Graeser,Lynn,Schoenheit "One God One Lord p.596
Even our spirits,because of how dynamic they are,considering they animate us with breath along with life,are appropriately and highly personifiable!How much more God's Holy one!
It IS "of God"(HIS and therefore sometimes rightfully personified in relation TO him)..Here are a few more examples of non-people being personified(it's not uncommon):
Luke 7:35,Romans 7:8,Romans 5:14,21,1 John 5:6-8,1 Corinthians 12:15,16,Ps. 96:11,12,Is. 55:12
**Luke 7:35-Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children."
**Romans 7:8-11:sin dies,revives,deceives and slews.
**Rom 5:14,21-death reigned from Adam to Moses21just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.
**1 John 5:6-8- water and blood bear witness too
**I Cor. 12:15,16-If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body.... And if the ear shall say, because I am not of the body .
**Psa. 96:11,12-Let the heaven rejoice, and let the earth be glad. …let the field be joyful . . then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
**Isa. 55:12-the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees shall clap their hands
There are many more examples than that,just making a point.
When angels would speak Yah's messages as his messengers,they didn't enter or possess people.They appeared before them.They can be SEEN AS ANGELS..When has the holy spirit ever been seen as a person or given a personal name?By trinitarian standards,wisdom,knowledge,trees,etc. could all be people because they are sometimes ,even though inanimate non-persons given personification in a poetic way.Trinitarian standards are easily refuted at many turns.For instance,we as Christians can have the "fullness of God" by means of the holy spirit as well,just as Christ did.The difference is we aren't said to have it "without measure"..If fullness of God,which I maintain is accomplished by a generous and lovely dispension of the holy spirit unto believers,means one IS the True God,then we really have a problem.Yet trinitarians won't hesitate to say it makes Jesus the same Only True God that he said only his father was!
Now to cover a text those who believe God's spirit is God's third person love to use to prove that it is:
Acts 13:2:While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Put quite simply God IS speaking through others by means of His spirit,representing his divine presence wherever he measures it and pours it out,in essence,his agency of accomplishment.Similar to how I could use my arm to lift something..my arm did it,but ultimately it was ME using my arm.OBVIOUSLY the teachers and prophets are speaking in this text who HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.It is personified in relation to who is talking with it.God pours it out on his servants.Does God split up and pour out his third person all over the map and portions of this person appear as doves and such?..OR does God influence the righteous by means of his breath..his power,the REAL definition of his spirit?Can you show me in Acts 13:2 where the holy spirit is seen..are you sure it isn''t God using his power and force to talk through others and the means by which he does is speaking through others by MEANS of his spirit,his power,his influence,his "breath"..therefore "He said"
*While some texts refer to the spirit as "witnessing","speaking" or "saying" things ,other texts make it clear that it spoke THROUGH other persons having no personal voice of it's own(heb 3:7,10:15-17,ps 95:7,Jer 31:33,34,acts 19:2-6,21:4,28:25)(from Insight on the Scriptures vol. 2,a JW publication)
With just a little reasoning with the texts that talk about the holy spirit talking,it becomes simple to comprehend that it IS God speaking through others,by means of HIS holy spirit.Another easy concept.What do you think Jesus meant when he said his words were not his own?(John 14:10,John 3:34)