Is Man a Two-Part or Three-Part Being or Both?

Is man a two-part (dichotomous) or three-part (trichotomous) being? Could he in fact be both? Is it possible that God made Adam to be a three-part being but at the fall he became a two part being?

Genesis chapter one gives us the overview of creation, all the way from the creation of space until the pinnacle of God’s creation: Adam. The other creatures, fish, birds, or land animals, the creeping things; all the creatures that God made are lumped together in a few verses. However, the text spends much more time on Adam and in fact, we are told that God said:

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds God Created Man In His Imageof the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27).

Genesis chapter two then focuses solely on the creation of Adam and the privileges and responsibilities that God gave him. Concerning his creation, the text elaborates and states that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. However, that was not all that God did. The text says:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, (Genesis 2:7).

This verse demonstrates that Adam was made (physically, earthly) from the dust (he and we are carbon-based life forms). However, God also breathed into Adam. What we must not miss is that the animals (see Genesis 7:15) also have breath in their lungs but God did not breathe into them. There is something special about the breath that Adam received directly from God. Adam receiving the breath of God is unique and thus he is also spiritual. To put it another way, Adam had a material (physical, earthly) part, that is to say his body, and he also possessed an immaterial (soulish, spiritual, heavenly) side, that is to say his soul or spirit.

Man’s Non-material Makeup

Over the centuries scholars of the Bible have debated whether or not man consists of two parts (dichotomous – “cut in two”) just body and soul/spirit or in three parts (trichotomous – “cut in three”), body, soul and spirit. A. H. Strong in his book, Systematic Theology, articulates the essence of the essential elements of human nature:

Man has a twofold nature,—on the one hand material, on the other hand immaterial. He consists of body, and of spirit, or soul. […]Man is as conscious that his immaterial part is a unity, as that his body is a unity. He knows two, and only two, parts of his being—body and soul.

Strong notes that I Thessalonians 5:23 (“may your whole spirit and soul and body”), which is the principle passage relied upon as supporting the trichotomous view, may be better explained in that “soul and spirit are not two distinct substances or parts, but that they designate the immaterial principle from different points of view.”[i] After all, there are many verses where soul and spirit are used interchangeably. If we are to divide the immaterial make up of man into soul and spirit, then what are we to do with the heart, mind, and conscience? They are also immaterial parts of man that Scripture repeatedly makes reference to. Lastly, there are verses that speak of only two parts of a man, as though it constitutes the whole of his being. The following list demonstrates how soul and spirit are used interchangeably.

  • his spirit was troubled, (Genesis 41:8)
  • my soul is cast down within me, (Psalm 42:6)
  • now is my soul troubled, (John 12:27)
  • he was troubled in the spirit, (John 13:21)
  • give his life [soul – psuekhen ψυχὴν] as a ransom for many, (Matthew 20:28)
  • yielded up his spirit, (Matthew 27:50)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 emphasis mine)
  • spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12: 23)
  • I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, (Revelation 6:9)

The Place of the Holy Spirit

What we are observing is that man was created as a three part being. God created Adam to be a three part being; the material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) were uniquely his and the third part was the “compartment” for the Holy Spirit. At the time of Adam’s creation, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually indwelt Adam. However, when Adam disobeyed God through sin, he lost the Spirit of God that had up until that point indwelt him. Thus he truly began to die physically; corruption (data loss) of his genetic code (on a physical level) began and the spiritual connection that he shared with God was immediately broken. Thus, the Holy Spirit that was to that point dwelling in Adam departed, leaving him spiritually empty and dead; therefore man was left as a two-part being with a “God-shaped hole in his heart” (cf. Pascal). The Holy Spirit is the one who comes and dwells in us when we turn from darkness to light and receive the Lord Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. Let’s go back to our text and understand how that could be possible.

When God Breathed the First Time

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [vayipakh וַיִּפַּ֥ח] into his nostrils the breath of life [nishmat khayim חַיִּ֑ים נִשְׁמַ֣ת]; and man became a living soul [l’nephesh khaya לְנֶ֥פֶש חַיָּֽה] (Genesis 2:7).

The obvious feature to note is that God Himself did the breathing. What beautiful imagery: After having created the universe with the stars, sun, moon, animals, vegetation etc., God bent over Adam’s body which he had just formed, (like a potter molds the clay), and breathed into Adam’s nostrils. Both the Hebrew word yatzar (יצר) and the Greek word plasso (πλάσσω) carry the idea of forming or fashioning wax or clay.[ii] This may have taken God but a moment – however, if we consider the fact that God could have created the world and all therein in less than a microsecond but decided to go slowly and create in six whole days, then when it came to the creation of man He would have given the greatest care! In fact, we could envision the Word of God[iii], Jesus the Son, in His preincarnate state[iv], carefully taking the dust (carbon atoms and such) of the earth in His hands, pushing, shaping, and molding Adam as a potter would do. Once Adam looked like God, that is to say he resembled the image (shadow) of God; He then gently leaned over this beautiful but still lifeless formation. Opening His mouth, God breathed deep into the nostrils of Adam and then Adam opened his eyes to see the tender but glorious face of the One who had just made him!

This breath of God animated Adam’s body in a manner similar to the animals in that they also have breath (neshama[v] נשׁמה) in their nostrils. But it was also so much more, for we know that God did not breathe directly into the animals. Thus the breath that God breathed into Adam must have been so much more than the mere animation of the body (spark of life). It was also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.[vi]

When God Breathed Again

To see evidence of this picture we must fast forward approximately four thousand years to just after the resurrection of Jesus. We find the disciples after the crucifixion behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leadership. Jesus makes a sudden appearance and walks through a wall in his resurrected body. “And when he had said this, he breathed (literally “inbreathed”) [enephusesen ενεφυσησεν] on[vii] them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22).

The Greek word enephusesen (stem: emphusao εμφυσάωused in the passage above is the same exact word and form of the word that the Greek Septuagint in Genesis 2:7 uses to translate the Hebrew word (vayipakh וַיִּפַּח root naphakh נפח)This correlation is noted in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

This word used only once by the LXX translators in Gen 2:7 where God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul. Just as the original creation was completed by an act of God, so too the new creation, was completed by an act from the Head of the new creation, (Thayer’s εμφυσάω entry).

The same root (emphusao εμφυσάω), though slightly modified, also shows up in Ezekiel 37:9 (37:8 in Greek) and is the same exact Hebrew word as in Genesis 2:7.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath [ruakh הָרוּחַ]; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe [naphakh נפח, Greek εμφυσάω emphusaw] on these slain, that they may live,” (Ezekiel 37:9).

It would truly seem that when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, He was in fact doing the same thing that He had done to Adam those many thousands of years ago, (the text in Ezekiel 37 will ultimately be fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead – to be discussed in my next book.) Thus, while Adam consisted inherently of two parts, material and immaterial, Jesus Himself breathed not only the life force but also the Holy Spirit; the point at which Adam sinned is when the Spirit departed leaving him all alone. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, appears to document that as well: “Concerning the formation of man, says thus: […] God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. This man was called Adam,” (Josephus Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 1:2, emphasis mine). The notes from the NET Bible also give a hint at this:

The Hebrew word נְשָׁמָה (n’shamah, “breath”) is used for God and for the life imparted to humans, not animals (see T. C. Mitchell, “The Old Testament Usage of N’shama,” VT 11 [1961]: 177-87). Its usage in the Bible conveys more than a breathing living organism (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה, nefesh khayyah). Whatever is given this breath of life becomes animated with the life from God, has spiritual understanding (Job 32:8), and has a functioning conscience (Proverbs 20:27), (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7, emphasis mine).

The Targum of Onkelos (Genesis 2:7) also hints at the idea that the Spirit indwelt him: “And the Lord God created Adam from dust of the ground, and breathed upon his face the breath of lives, and it [“the breath of life”] became in Adam a Discoursing Spirit.”

John in his Gospel makes an interesting observation “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,” (John 7:39). Thus, because Jesus had not yet been crucified and raised from the dead (glorified), no one as of then had received the Holy Spirit. We have seen already that Jesus showed up and inbreathed the Holy Spirit (in) the disciples.

When the Spirit Comes On and Not In

However, just before Jesus ascends to the Father, He tells them “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (επί) you,” (Acts 1:8). We know that the Spirit came upon men of the Old Testament for specific times and purposes. The Spirit came upon Jephthah for a time in order for him to route the Ammonites (Judges 11:29). He came upon Samson (Judges 14:6, 19) to defeat the Philistines but left due to Samson’s sinful life (Judges 16:20). The Spirit also came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13) and others. However, the imparting of the Spirit before Jesus’ death and resurrection was a temporary and transient experience. The Spirit was not actually in the ancient men. He came upon them but not in them; the Lord came upon them for a specific job, but not to indwell.[viii]

Adam a Son of God

Remember that Adam was the only person who was created directly as a son of God. John stated that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, but those who would believe would receive Him. By believing in the name of Jesus one can become a son of God (John 7:39 and 1:12). Thus sons of God today are marked by those who have the Spirit:

  • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, (Galatians 3:26).
  • You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:15-16).
  • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, (1 Corinthians 2:12).
  • And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
  • Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you, (Romans 8:11).

Paul says that we have become a new creation in Christ. As new creations we are adopted by God becoming sons of God. The down payment of the Holy Spirit is evidence that we are new creations and are now waiting for the “full package” when we get to heaven. Therefore we conclude that the Holy Spirit must have indwelt Adam prior to his fall because he was classified as a Son of God. We are sons of God because we are direct creations of God “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation,” (Galatians 6:15). We share that feature with the angels, whom we shall be like in heaven. However, God did not form them from the earth, nor did He breathe into the angels and so we possess something that sets us apart from them as far as being sons of God is concerned. The work of the cross was the correction of what had been lost 4000 years before. The Spirit was breathed into Adam, the first (earthly) son of God, he lost it, and now the Spirit dwells in the sons of God who we have become by believing in Jesus’ name. The Spirit is the guarantee or down payment of what is coming.


[i] Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology, 1893, 243.

[ii] πλάσσω Thayer’s Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.

[iii] According to the Targumim, one called the Memra [word], who was in the beginning with God creating with Him. According to the Jerusalem Targum the Word created man. “And the Word [Memra] of the Lord created man in His likeness, in the likeness of the presence of the Lord He created him, the male and his yoke-fellow He created them,” (Targum Jerusalem, Genesis 1:27).

[iv] “For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son?” (Theophilus, To Autolycus. Book 2, ch 13-30 Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2).

[v] “Human life is described here as consisting of a body (made from soil from the ground) and breath (given by God). Both animals and humans are called “a living being” (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה) but humankind became that in a different and more significant way. The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often translated “soul,” but the word usually refers to the whole person. The phraseנֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה  (nefesh khayyah, “living being”) is used of both animals and human beings (see 1:20, 24, 30; 2:19),” (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7).

[vi] See also: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men,” (John 1:4); “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will,” (John 5:21); “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,” (John 5:26); “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit,” (1 Corinthians 15:45); “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life,” (1 John 5:12).

[vii] In the Greek text enephusesen (ενεφυσησεν) is followed by the dative which is complementary to the word en εν which follows the Hebrew in Genesis 2:7 extremely well.

[viii] Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again, (Numbers 11:25, emphasis mine). But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon (Judges 6:34 emphasis mine). Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, (Judges 11:29 emphasis mine). And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart (Judges 14:6 Emphasis mine). Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, (Judges 14:19 emphasis mine).

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed […] and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David, (1 Samuel 16:13 emphasis mine). See also: Judges 3:10; 15:14; 2 Chronicles 20:14; 24:20.

Is Man a Two-Part or Three-Part Being or Both?

Genesis chapter one gives us the overview of creation, all the way from the creation of space until the pinnacle of God’s creation: Adam. The other creatures, fish, birds, or land animals, the creeping things; all the creatures that God made are lumped together in a few verses. However, the text spends much more time on Adam and in fact, we are told that God said:

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds God Created Man In His Imageof the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27).

Genesis chapter two then focuses solely on the creation of Adam and the privileges and responsibilities that God gave him. Concerning his creation, the text elaborates and states that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. However, that was not all that God did. The text says:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, (Genesis 2:7).

This verse demonstrates that Adam was made (physically, earthly) from the dust (he and we are carbon-based life forms). However, God also breathed into Adam. What we must not miss is that the animals (see Genesis 7:15) also have breath in their lungs but God did not breathe into them. There is something special about the breath that Adam received directly from God. Adam receiving the breath of God is unique and thus he is also spiritual. To put it another way, Adam had a material (physical, earthly) part, that is to say his body, and he also possessed an immaterial (soulish, spiritual, heavenly) side, that is to say his soul or spirit.

Man’s Non-material Makeup

Over the centuries scholars of the Bible have debated whether or not man consists of two parts (dichotomous – “cut in two”) just body and soul/spirit or in three parts (trichotomous – “cut in three”), body, soul and spirit. A. H. Strong in his book, Systematic Theology, articulates the essence of the essential elements of human nature:

Man has a twofold nature,—on the one hand material, on the other hand immaterial. He consists of body, and of spirit, or soul. […]Man is as conscious that his immaterial part is a unity, as that his body is a unity. He knows two, and only two, parts of his being—body and soul.

Strong notes that I Thessalonians 5:23 (“may your whole spirit and soul and body”), which is the principle passage relied upon as supporting the trichotomous view, may be better explained in that “soul and spirit are not two distinct substances or parts, but that they designate the immaterial principle from different points of view.”[i] After all, there are many verses where soul and spirit are used interchangeably. If we are to divide the immaterial make up of man into soul and spirit, then what are we to do with the heart, mind, and conscience? They are also immaterial parts of man that Scripture repeatedly makes reference to. Lastly, there are verses that speak of only two parts of a man, as though it constitutes the whole of his being. The following list demonstrates how soul and spirit are used interchangeably.

  • his spirit was troubled, (Genesis 41:8)
  • my soul is cast down within me, (Psalm 42:6)
  • now is my soul troubled, (John 12:27)
  • he was troubled in the spirit, (John 13:21)
  • give his life [soulpsuekhen ψυχὴν] as a ransom for many, (Matthew 20:28)
  • yielded up his spirit, (Matthew 27:50)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 emphasis mine)
  • spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12: 23)
  • I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, (Revelation 6:9)

The Place of the Holy Spirit

What we are observing is that man was created as a three part being. God created Adam to be a three part being; the material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) were uniquely his and the third part was the “compartment” for the Holy Spirit. At the time of Adam’s creation, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually indwelt Adam. However, when Adam disobeyed God through sin, he lost the Spirit of God that had up until that point indwelt him. Thus he truly began to die physically; corruption (data loss) of his genetic code (on a physical level) began and the spiritual connection that he shared with God was immediately broken. Thus, the Holy Spirit that was to that point dwelling in Adam departed, leaving him spiritually empty and dead; therefore man was left as a two-part being with a “God-shaped hole in his heart” (cf. Pascal). The Holy Spirit is the one who comes and dwells in us when we turn from darkness to light and receive the Lord Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. Let’s go back to our text and understand how that could be possible.

When God Breathed the First Time

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [vayipakh וַיִּפַּ֥ח] into his nostrils the breath of life [nishmat khayim חַיִּ֑ים נִשְׁמַ֣ת]; and man became a living soul [l’nephesh khaya לְנֶ֥פֶש חַיָּֽה] (Genesis 2:7).

The obvious feature to note is that God Himself did the breathing. What beautiful imagery: After having created the universe with the stars, sun, moon, animals, vegetation etc., God bent over Adam’s body which he had just formed, (like a potter molds the clay), and breathed into Adam’s nostrils. Both the Hebrew word yatzar (יצר) and the Greek word plasso (πλάσσω) carry the idea of forming or fashioning wax or clay.[ii] This may have taken God but a moment – however, if we consider the fact that God could have created the world and all therein in less than a microsecond but decided to go slowly and create in six whole days, then when it came to the creation of man He would have given the greatest care! In fact, we could envision the Word of God[iii], Jesus the Son, in His preincarnate state[iv], carefully taking the dust (carbon atoms and such) of the earth in His hands, pushing, shaping, and molding Adam as a potter would do. Once Adam looked like God, that is to say he resembled the image (shadow) of God; He then gently leaned over this beautiful but still lifeless formation. Opening His mouth, God breathed deep into the nostrils of Adam and then Adam opened his eyes to see the tender but glorious face of the One who had just made him!

This breath of God animated Adam’s body in a manner similar to the animals in that they also have breath (neshama[v] נשׁמה) in their nostrils. But it was also so much more, for we know that God did not breathe directly into the animals. Thus the breath that God breathed into Adam must have been so much more than the mere animation of the body (spark of life). It was also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.[vi]

When God Breathed Again

To see evidence of this picture we must fast forward approximately four thousand years to just after the resurrection of Jesus. We find the disciples after the crucifixion behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leadership. Jesus makes a sudden appearance and walks through a wall in his resurrected body. “And when he had said this, he breathed (literally “inbreathed”) [enephusesen ενεφυσησεν] on[vii] them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22).

The Greek word enephusesen (stem: emphusao εμφυσάω) used in the passage above is the same exact word and form of the word that the Greek Septuagint in Genesis 2:7 uses to translate the Hebrew word (vayipakh וַיִּפַּח root naphakh נפח). This correlation is noted in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

This word used only once by the LXX translators in Gen 2:7 where God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul. Just as the original creation was completed by an act of God, so too the new creation, was completed by an act from the Head of the new creation, (Thayer’s εμφυσάω entry).

The same root (emphusao εμφυσάω), though slightly modified, also shows up in Ezekiel 37:9 (37:8 in Greek) and is the same exact Hebrew word as in Genesis 2:7.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath [ruakh הָרוּחַ]; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe [naphakh נפח, Greek εμφυσάω emphusaw] on these slain, that they may live,” (Ezekiel 37:9).

It would truly seem that when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, He was in fact doing the same thing that He had done to Adam those many thousands of years ago, (the text in Ezekiel 37 will ultimately be fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead – to be discussed in my next book.) Thus, while Adam consisted inherently of two parts, material and immaterial, Jesus Himself breathed not only the life force but also the Holy Spirit; the point at which Adam sinned is when the Spirit departed leaving him all alone. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, appears to document that as well: “Concerning the formation of man, says thus: […] God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. This man was called Adam,” (Josephus Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 1:2, emphasis mine). The notes from the NET Bible also give a hint at this:

The Hebrew word נְשָׁמָה (n’shamah, “breath”) is used for God and for the life imparted to humans, not animals (see T. C. Mitchell, “The Old Testament Usage of N’shama,” VT 11 [1961]: 177-87). Its usage in the Bible conveys more than a breathing living organism (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה, nefesh khayyah). Whatever is given this breath of life becomes animated with the life from God, has spiritual understanding (Job 32:8), and has a functioning conscience (Proverbs 20:27), (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7, emphasis mine).

The Targum of Onkelos (Genesis 2:7) also hints at the idea that the Spirit indwelt him: “And the Lord God created Adam from dust of the ground, and breathed upon his face the breath of lives, and it [“the breath of life”] became in Adam a Discoursing Spirit.”

John in his Gospel makes an interesting observation “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,” (John 7:39). Thus, because Jesus had not yet been crucified and raised from the dead (glorified), no one as of then had received the Holy Spirit. We have seen already that Jesus showed up and inbreathed the Holy Spirit (in) the disciples.

When the Spirit Comes On and Not In

However, just before Jesus ascends to the Father, He tells them “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (επί) you,” (Acts 1:8). We know that the Spirit came upon men of the Old Testament for specific times and purposes. The Spirit came upon Jephthah for a time in order for him to route the Ammonites (Judges 11:29). He came upon Samson (Judges 14:6, 19) to defeat the Philistines but left due to Samson’s sinful life (Judges 16:20). The Spirit also came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13) and others. However, the imparting of the Spirit before Jesus’ death and resurrection was a temporary and transient experience. The Spirit was not actually in the ancient men. He came upon them but not in them; the Lord came upon them for a specific job, but not to indwell.[viii]

Adam a Son of God

Remember that Adam was the only person who was created directly as a son of God. John stated that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, but those who would believe would receive Him. By believing in the name of Jesus one can become a son of God (John 7:39 and 1:12). Thus sons of God today are marked by those who have the Spirit:

  • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, (Galatians 3:26).
  • You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:15-16).
  • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, (1 Corinthians 2:12).
  • And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
  • Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you, (Romans 8:11).

Paul says that we have become a new creation in Christ. As new creations we are adopted by God becoming sons of God. The down payment of the Holy Spirit is evidence that we are new creations and are now waiting for the “full package” when we get to heaven. Therefore we conclude that the Holy Spirit must have indwelt Adam prior to his fall because he was classified as a Son of God. We are sons of God because we are direct creations of God “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation,” (Galatians 6:15). We share that feature with the angels, whom we shall be like in heaven. However, God did not form them from the earth, nor did He breathe into the angels and so we possess something that sets us apart from them as far as being sons of God is concerned. The work of the cross was the correction of what had been lost 4000 years before. The Spirit was breathed into Adam, the first (earthly) son of God, he lost it, and now the Spirit dwells in the sons of God who we have become by believing in Jesus’ name. The Spirit is the guarantee or down payment of what is coming.


[i] Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology, 1893, 243.

[ii] πλάσσω Thayer’s Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.

[iii] According to the Targumim, one called the Memra [word], who was in the beginning with God creating with Him. According to the Jerusalem Targum the Word created man. “And the Word [Memra] of the Lord created man in His likeness, in the likeness of the presence of the Lord He created him, the male and his yoke-fellow He created them,” (Targum Jerusalem, Genesis 1:27).

[iv] “For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son?” (Theophilus, To Autolycus. Book 2, ch 13-30 Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2).

[v] “Human life is described here as consisting of a body (made from soil from the ground) and breath (given by God). Both animals and humans are called “a living being” (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה) but humankind became that in a different and more significant way. The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often translated “soul,” but the word usually refers to the whole person. The phraseנֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה  (nefesh khayyah, “living being”) is used of both animals and human beings (see 1:20, 24, 30; 2:19),” (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7).

[vi] See also: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men,” (John 1:4); “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will,” (John 5:21); “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,” (John 5:26); “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit,” (1 Corinthians 15:45); “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life,” (1 John 5:12).

[vii] In the Greek text enephusesen (ενεφυσησεν) is followed by the dative which is complementary to the word en εν which follows the Hebrew in Genesis 2:7 extremely well.

[viii] Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again, (Numbers 11:25, emphasis mine). But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon (Judges 6:34 emphasis mine). Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, (Judges 11:29 emphasis mine). And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart (Judges 14:6 Emphasis mine). Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, (Judges 14:19 emphasis mine).

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed […] and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David, (1 Samuel 16:13 emphasis mine). See also: Judges 3:10; 15:14; 2 Chronicles 20:14; 24:20.

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Ever wondered what the book of the prophet Ezekiel holds for us today? Ezekiel received some incredible visions from God that tell us a great deal about who God is, who Satan is, the advent of World War III and conditions in the millennium and beyond

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Ancient Israelite Hypostasis Introduction

Triunity

Ancient Israelite hypostasis - hints of the trinity

The nature and role of Wisdom in Proverbs 8 is the central text of this study.  The passage has been debated for centuries.  There are at least two words in it which render the interpretation extremely difficult (qanah and amon).  How one decides to understand these terms affects how one views God’s nature.  In the passage, Wisdom speaks to humanity in the first person and even claims to have attributes like God.  Wisdom declares that she was in the beginning with God.  Before anything at all was made, she was there.

I believe that unlocking the two enigmatic words, especially amon, will thereby enable us to see that Wisdom is more than a poetic device; YHWH, though one, was not exactly alone in the beginning.  The New Testament affirms that God is manifest in three distinct persona also known as hypostasis.  In fact, hypostasis was a word that the early church adopted in order to help clarify the nature of God as a trinity.

It is a common assumption that the idea of a God with hypostases (variable manifestations of attributes) began with the Christian age.  The concept underlying the trinity is commonly assumed to be a new type of theology invented by the Church – something foreign to Judaism.   I have also heard it said whether in the university setting or in the streets of Jerusalem and beyond, that Jews could accept Jesus if he hadn’t claimed to be the Son of God.  In other words, the fact that God could in any way be made manifest on earth is somehow thought to be foreign to any true Jewish thinking.  This, however, is not the case.

Proverbs 8 and its interpretation are central in this issue in that it was later interpreted in Second Temple Jewish writings as God having a hypostasis.  In other words, the notion that God’s nature was a complex unity was already a reality before the Church or even the New Testament Writers.  The concept, as will be demonstrated in the body of this paper, is of great antiquity.  The ancient believer seems to have always tended to regard God as possessing some type of intermediary, which was not simply an angel; the intermediary was dependent and yet somehow distinguished from God.  It was both God almighty and yet separate from him.  What is important to notice about the phenomenon in Israel is that the hypostases did not become deities in their own right.  What began as a hypostasis in other cultures often became a deity entirely distinct from the original god.

The Importance to the Believer

Understanding that the ancient Israelites believed God to have a hypostasis shows that the Church’s stance was rather more of a new title than a new concept.  The concept itself is very ancient.  Furthermore, if Wisdom was indeed a hypostasis of God, then it further strengthens the case made by John, Paul and just about all of the New Testament writers that namely: in the beginning, a prototype –logos, Torah – was next to God the father.  This paragon, archetype was next to God during the process of creation and perhaps as John suggests, was the one through whom all was made.

And so, the central theme of this thesis is to show that the notion of hypostasis was not a new invention of the Church, but was rather something that had its roots in antiquity and was very Jewish.  This will be done through the examination of extra-biblical and biblical against Proverbs 8.  Based on the environment in which it was written and the language employed, there are good reasons to believe that the author(s) was writing more than one meaning in mind.  One of those, however, was the same belief underlying the words of Jesus, “I and the Father are one.” (John, 10:30)

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The following is my M.A. thesis that I submitted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2000. My intent was to demonstrate that the concept of the triunity of God was not an idea that originated with the early Christians but was subtly understood by the ancient Israelites. I debated whether or not to publish this (here on my site), because, like many things in life, we learn more with time. There may be some things that I would state differently today from eleven years ago when I wrote this. I certainly have an even greater love for God’s Word today than I did then. I believe that my writing style has also improved since then. So, I guess just read this with caution – there are typos, the Hebrew and special characters didn’t come through and my tenor was academic – to rework parts of it would take just too much time.    I hope you enjoy. – Doug March, 2011

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ANCIENT ISRAELITE HYPOSTASIS

A Study of the Continuum of Hypostasis in Ancient Israel

Douglas M Hamp
MA Thesis
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
July 2000

Preface

The Identity of Wisdom in Proverbs 8.

Introduction:

The Bible is an eclectic book containing many different traditions and stories.  Its diversity is part of its attraction.  There is one axiom, however, from which the Bible, taken as a whole, does not seem to deviate – only the God of Israel is worthy to receive glory and worship.  Though the Bible may not deny the existence of other gods (Ex. 20:3),[1] neither does it give any place whatsoever to other gods to receive glory, honor or praise alongside YHWH, the God of Israel.

The thesis of this study is to show that, despite the strong biblical and Second Temple period injunctions against worshiping other deities, the worship of God’s attributes and or cultic objects (hypostasis) was native to ancient Israel.[2]

Exodus 20:3-5 provides an excellent example of how God himself, as understood by the author, prohibits the worship of any other gods.

You shall have no other gods before Me.You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. 

Isaiah would go so far as to deny the existence of any other god besides the God of Israel (Isa. 43:10,11; 44:6; 45:6).  He emphatically states that God will in no way share his glory with another.

I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.  (Isa. 42:8)

Thus, we can see from these two texts, (two major representatives of biblical tradition – Torah and Isaiah demonstrating various eras of composition), that God is depicted as not willing that another receive worship in his stead.[3] The writers of the Pseudepigrapha were also well aware that their God was a jealous God.  The Apocalypse of Zephaniah, written sometime between 100 BC and 100 AD,[4] reminded its audience of the importance of worshipping God alone.  The seer of the vision saw a ‘great angel’ like the angel in Daniel 10:5.  In fact, he was so over-taken by the figure that he said, “I rejoiced, for I thought that the Lord Almighty had come to visit me.”  The seer believed that he had seen the Almighty and fell on his face to worship.  Upon doing so he was cautioned “He said to me, ‘Take heed.  Don’t worship me.  I am not the Lord Almighty…’”[5] Obviously, the injunction against worshiping creatures was still clear in the mind of the Second Temple period Jew and moreover, the Talmud specifically prohibits such worship.[6] This is not to say that people never worshiped angels.[7] Regardless of what they actually did, however, the Jewish cultic conscience still regarded it as not normative in the Jewish faith.

In the Similtudes of Enoch (48:5), people fall down and worship a being other than YHWH.[8] “All those who dwell upon the earth shall fall and worship before him [the Son of Man]…”  J. Collins suggests that there was an assimilation of the Son of Man and the Deity.  “While the title messiah plays a minor role in the Similitudes, it is all the more significant that the identification of Messiah and the Son of Man can be assumed …  In many respects he seems to be assimilated to the Deity (who also sits on the throne of his glory).”[9] Many of the examples in the late Second Temple period portray him as assimilated to God.  While Collins’ is not the only view on this complex issue, and while the Son of Man is not always assimilated, I nevertheless, agree with his point.  Many texts ascribe glory and adulation to some one other than YHWH; behavior normally reserved for God.  Some texts indicate that the ‘anointed one’ will dwell in the midst of God’s people as their King.  (I Enoch 45)  And still other texts indicate that it is a figure other than God who will purge the impurity of God’s people.[10]

Sometimes, however, the figure was not the ‘anointed of YHWH’ but rather an attribute of YHWH (Wisdom of Solomon 7:22-27).  Rabbinic literature, most probably recording an older tradition, shows that even the altar of God was praised.[11] In the religions of the ANE, these claims were not so incredible; polytheism had existed for many years and was considered the norm.  In fact, Jews and subsequently Christians were occasionally thought of as not having religion since they believed in only one God.[12] Thus, why would a society so deeply moved to acclaim that there was only one God, envision that other entities and even inanimate objects could actually have a share in God’s praise?  The many martyrs during and after the time of the Maccabees should be recalled as a case in point.  Rather than yield to the religious atrocities of the Greeks, many preferred to die than to eat pork and offer sacrifices to the gods.  Thus, one cannot conclude that the worshippers of YHWH took their beliefs lightly.  And so we are left with the dilemma of how this plethora of dissident texts arose.  Did these seemingly radical ideas of polyvalent worship come from an origin foreign to Judaism?  Did they originate in the Second Temple period?  Were they primarily Greek in origin?  The study of ancient Israelite hypostasis seeks to answer these questions.

Plan of Study

Method: In order to determine if a given text contains a hypostasis, it must meet the following criteria: 1) Is the entity in question an attribute, abstract quality or cultic object of another entity?  2) Is the entity in question understood to have the ability to act autonomously of the original entity?  3) Is the entity still considered to be a logical part of the original entity?  If these three criteria are met then we know that we are dealing with a hypostasis.

Structure: In order to argue the above proposals, many issues need to be examined: 1) non-Israelite hypostases, 2) Israelite-extra-biblical hypostases 3) biblical hypostases 4) and a brief survey of Second Temple hypostases.  Hypostasis outside of Israel will be the first issue to be addressed.  This is important so that we may see what polytheistic cultures understood hypostasis to be in contradistinction to a culture claiming to be monotheistic.  Next, examples of Israelite extra-biblical hypostasis will be considered to show how religion outside of the pages of the Bible related to God in order to show that cultic practice and belief was congruent both in and outside of the Bible.  Once we understand what was happening outside of the textual witness of the Bible, we shall turn inward to see the parallels between the biblical and extra-biblical evidence.  And finally, to demonstrate the prevalence of hypostasis, a brief survey of Second Temple texts will be conducted.

Once we have seen what hypostasis was in the various contexts above, an examination of Proverbs 8:22-31 (a transitional text) shall ensue since Wisdom was so often interpreted as a hypostasis – evident in Second Temple literature (discussed in this paper).  I believe that this passage is perhaps the most salient example of hypostasis in the Bible.  Demonstrating it to be an example of hypostasis will, in my opinion, seal the case for hypostasis in Ancient Israel and Second Temple Judaism.

Issues to be addressed: 1) ancient and modern debate over Proverbs 8 including a discussion of the key words – qªnªh and especially amon, 2) source of the word amon and its meaning in Proverbs 8 and 3) how the meaning which I propose enhances the claim that Wisdom is an example of Ancient Israelite hypostasis.

The central question underlying the study of Proverbs 8: did its author intend Wisdom to be an Israelite hypostasis?  After discussing the various debates concerning its interpretation, I will discuss the context of the passage which I consider to be an important clue for its understanding.  Item 2, therefore, will deal with the Egyptian context that scholars generally agree underlies Israelite Wisdom texts.[13] While it may, however, seem that an Egyptian background to Israelite Wisdom literature would naturally preclude the proposal that hypostasis was native to Israel, it in fact does not.  Israel, like every nation of old (and modern as well), was affected by its surroundings, including Egypt just as she was affected by Israel and her neighbors.

Once all of the proposed material has been surveyed, it is hoped that we will understand that the author of Proverbs 8 was referring to Wisdom as a hypostasis of God and consequently, the conflicting ideas of the late Second Temple period will be recognized as representations of hypostasis rather than solely a borrowing of pagan elements (Hellenistic, Persian etc.) which were incorporated into Israel’s faith (including Second Temple Judaism).  Moreover, the seemingly ‘unorthodox’ statements ascribing praise, glory and exultation to one other than God, were not heresy; rather they were a very ancient form of understanding God’s presence in this world – a conception native to Judaism.

Terminology

Personification

In the ancient Near East, there was a phenomenon whereby an attribute or cultic object was personified, that is to say, it had characteristics of a person.  A biblical example of personification is Exodus 15:14-15.

The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab, Trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.

Here the personification is not of a divine attribute, but is sorrow (or writhing) itself.  Furthermore, the poet continues by saying not simply that the people will tremble, but that “trembling” will take hold of them.  This type of speech is a device to add excitement and suspense to the account.  There is no reason to assume that the author had in mind an entity such as Trembling who would literally take the people into its arms. [14] Another example, perhaps more convincing, is Ps. 98:8:  “Let the rivers clap their hands…” Here too the poet is using personification to exalt God – a device which the author uses to brings to life an otherwise inanimate idea or thing for the sake of embellishment and elaboration.

Hypostasis

There is a subtle, but important difference between a personified object and a hypostasis.  A personification was never equated with god, (though it may have been considered a god in extra-biblical mythological texts).  In the Bible, the personified object was not equal to God.  Hypostasis on the other hand was thought to be an accurate representation of the deity.

The term hypostasis is a term which has been in use for millennia.  The word is Greek in origin and was used in several contexts.  Its basic meaning was standing under, supporting.[15] By the time of the Church Fathers it was used to designate the three persons of the Trinity.[16] The word also was employed in Platonic and Stoic philosophy[17] as well as everyday usage.  Bible and Ancient Near East (ANE) scholars have employed the term to describe the process of regarding an abstract quality of a deity[18] as a real entity, e.g. wisdom, glory, presence, name (see especially Ex. 33); or a cultic aspect of the god, e.g. the temple, or cultic apparatus e.g. the sacred tree etc…  Though the actual Greek word hypostasis, does appear 21 times in the LXX and once in the New Testament (signifying substance, ground, hope, foundation, and burden), it never denotes, however, any type of abstraction which stands in the place of another.  Currently, it is used to describe the process whereby the essence of the deity is assimilated into another form or manifestation.  One Biblicist suggests this understanding: “a quality, epithet, attribute, manifestation or the like of a deity which through a process of personification and differentiation has become a distinct (if not fully independent) divine being in its own right… Such local manifestations, or hypostases, were not understood to be foreign gods adopted into a polytheistic pantheon.  Rather they were abstract aspects of Yahweh that were personified and given substance.”[19]

And so, hypostasis in this paper will be defined thus: an attribute or cultic object of a god (or man)[20], that is regarded as a supernatural being which is distinct from the original and is invoked (or cursed) alongside a god (or in place of) and is given the same reverence and honor (or fear) which the particular god is given.[21] The phenomenon of hypostasis can be observed by the fact that a worshipper addresses a cultic object and/or attribute of a god either independently or in conjunction to the primary god as a worthy and comparable substitute for the primary deity.  That is to say, the worshipper seeks a relationship with the deity’s hypostasis in addition to or as a proxy by which he may access the primary deity.[22]

How is hypostasis different than polytheism?  The dividing line between the two is perhaps thin, but nonetheless important.  Polytheism admits that there are many deities in the cosmos.  The various gods act independently of one another and have different levels of power.  However, to worship one is not to worship another.  The important distinction is witnessed in particular, in the relationships of the gods of Mesopotamia.  The gods can beget, hate, deceive and war against one another just as humans do.  So, worshiping Shamash (the sun god) is not same as worshiping Nergal (the god of pestilence).  These gods could plot against and hold one another hostage, which could ultimately result in death.[23] Hypostasis, especially in the Hebrew Bible, is very different from polytheism in Mesopotamia[24] and elsewhere.  Both the biblical and extra-biblical examples of hypostasis in Israel never addressed the hypostasis as an entity entirely independent of YHWH.  There was always a nexus between the two.

 

Summary and Conclusion to Thesis

Our study has been concerned with Hypostasis in ancient Israel.  We have sought to discover whether or not this phenomenon was something that was native to Israel or was rather an element imported into her borders.  While there is no doubt that hypostasis existed outside of her borders, Israel definitely had its own version of hypostasis.  Foreign influence aside, Israel had a native belief that God was a God who could be made manifest in several forms.  However, unlike the surrounding pagan countries, the Bible never incorporated these hypostases as entities that should receive praise, worship and honor in God’s stead.  Rather, they had a place next to him, and according to Proverbs 8 even assisted God in the creation of the world.  They did not, however, become the central focus of worship.

Having concluded that hypostasis was an occurrence which existed in ancient Israel and in our core text of Proverbs 8, we may now also conclude that the intermediary figures in the Second Temple Period, were also regarded as hypostases.  For after all, they were regarded as entities which came from heaven, sat on God’s throne, were endowed with God’s power and like God, received worship and praise.

And so the three intentions of this study have been met.  It has been demonstrated that God from very early times of the Israelite cult was regarded to have hypostases, despite the strong injunctions against worshiping other deities. The phenomenon of hypostasis was not the incorporation of foreign gods into an Israelite pantheon.  The hypostases were regarded as separate entities and yet considered to be YHWH.  Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that Wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-31 was understood by its author to be a hypostasis – who helped with creation and yet was hidden from it – thus demonstrating that the author, like the other biblical authors reviewed, understood God to have a hypostasis.  And lastly the entities of the Second Temple period were hypostases of God mostly native to Israel\Judaism and were not sole borrowings of Greek ideas.  Hypostasis was a phenomenon which pervaded many areas of religious life and was a means by which the worshipper could address a distant god locally.  Understanding the reality of ancient hypostasis helps the modern person better understand the message of ancient religious texts (non-Biblical), the Bible and perhaps, ones own desire to have a mediator between oneself and the transcendent.

Hypostases in the Ancient Near East Part One

Hypostasis in Biblical Literature Part Two

Hypostasis in the Second Temple Period Part Three

Hypostasis, Proverbs Eight, and Wisdom Part Four

Ancient Israelite Hypostasis Bibliography Part Five


[1] McCarter relates to the  (ëemaÿ) (Deut. 6:4) “as if it were a polemic against the practice of worshiping local manifestations.”  He states that “the context shows clearly that the concern of this verse is not with the unity of Yahweh himself or even the centralization of his worship.  The subject is the exclusiveness of his worship, as Deut 6:5 shows: ‘You shall love Yahweh, your god, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.’  Israel has one god, and he is a ‘jealous god’ (Deut 6:15).” P. K. McCarter, (1987), p. 142.

[2] The appearance of Wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-31 (a transitional text) illustrates a biblical example of hypostasis and serves as a transition point in the continuum of hypostasis which then emerges in the Second Temple period thereby making Israelite hypostasis of that period a native idea and not a sole borrowing of Greek ideas  I am not suggesting that they may not have borrowed from other cultures to shape the thought.  Rather, the history of hypostasis in Israel is ancient enough to render the need to find the kernel in the Greek culture unnecessary.

[3] See also Exodus 34:14; Deut. 5:6-9; Isa. 2:8; Rev 22:8,9 for other examples of created beings refusing praise.

[4]Charlesworth, (1985), notes that this text has a surprising lack of ‘Christian elements’

[5] Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 6:15.

[6] See Yeruëalmi BeruÊot, 9:13

[7] L. Stuckenbruck, (1995), offers further discussion concerning the worship of beings.

[8] J. Collins, (1995), p. 181.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (8-11).  The author suggests that, via him (the priest to come), sin shall be destroyed ‘in his priesthood sin shall cease’, lawless men shall repent ‘and lawless men shall rest from their evil deeds’ and ultimately through him the saints will obtain eternal life ‘and he will grant to the saints to eat of the tree of life’.  Generally these are attributes reserved for God Himself.

[11] See: Mishnah Suk. 4:5, and J. H. Tigay, (1986), p. 11.

[12]See: Kenneth, Scott, Latourette, (1953), for further discussion.

[13] Since Egypt seems to have been so influential on Israelite Wisdom literature, it stands to reason that the source of the enigmatic word amon may have an Egyptian background, which will hopefully shed light on its meaning.  Investigating the source of this word is in fact very important to the question of ancient Israelite hypostasis.  Since Proverbs is a transitional book, demonstrating that the author believed Wisdom to be a hypostasis will de facto confirm that its interpreters understood thus also.  I believe the word amon to be the crucial key to unlocking the meaning of the whole text.  Therefore, I will attempt to explain amon in light of the Egyptian semantic range of the word to clarify the author’s intent, which in my opinion, was nothing less than hypostasis.

[14] That is not to say that there are no mythological features here. Outside of the Bible Trembling may well have been a deity (the same being true for River in Ps. 98:8).  A reading of the passage in its entirety reveals the lack of a definite article on the word yam (Ex. 15:8).  This suggests a personal name: i.e. the Ugaritic sea goddess.

[15] See: Liddel and Scott, (1968).  See also: The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, (1975).  Other meanings include: some thing that stands under and supports; foundation b) the underlying or essential part or anything as distinguished from attributes; substance, essence, or essential principle; Greek; hypostasis – that which settles at the bottom; substance, nature, essence.

[16] Kenneth, Scott, Latourette, (1953), p. 161. It was adopted by the Christian forum of Nicene to help define the three persons (substance – substantia) of the trinity.

[17] Ibid.

[18] It may occasionally be used in relation to humans e.g. the evil eye.

[19] S. Dean McBride, (1969), p. 5.

[20] As will be demonstrated, the Evil Eye was considered a supernatural being derived from a person.  The eye stems from someone else’s supernaturally powerful ill will and psyche.

[21] I reject the idea as proposed by Meir, (1983), p. 39, that Satan in the book of Job is a hypostasis of God on the grounds that the hypostasis is in direct conflict with its originator.  A hypostasis of a god was considered to be a suitable substitution for the original deity.  Addressing the hypostasis was to address the original deity, as will be seen.

[22] As will be seen in the first example, hypostasis was not limited to the divine.  However, it is considered the comparable representation of the entity in question.

[23] See for example, the Descent of Iëtar.  Ereëkigal holds Iëtar prisoner in her realm of the netherworld and Iëtar eventually dies.  See: B. R. Foster, (1993), pp. 403-428.

[24]Of course in first millennium Mesopotamia there are texts that treat all gods as hypostases of one god, such as Aëëur.  See S. Parpola (1997) and K. Van Der Toorn (1997), for a discussion.

Zohar Three In One – Evidence of the Trinity from a Jewish Writing

ZOHAR THREE IN ONE HASHEM’S KEDUSHAH HAMESHULLESHET IN THE ZOHAR

The Ancient Holy One is revealed (found) with three Heads, which are united in One,and that Head is threefold exalted. The Ancient Holy One is described as being Three; it is because the other Lights (i.e.,two Lights) emanating from Him are included in the Three. Yet the Ancient One is described as being two (Daniel 7:13).The Ancient One includes these two (i.e.the two are found in Him). He is the Crown of all that is exalted; the Chief of the chief, so exalted, that He cannot be known to perfection. Thus the other Lights (Shining Ones) are two complete ones, yet is the Ancient Holy One described and complete as One, and He is One, positively One; thus are the other Lights united and glorified in One; because they are One.

האי עתיקא סבא דסבין . כתרא עלאה לעילאדמתעטרין ביה כל עטרין וכתרין . מתנהרין כלבוצינין מניה ומתלהטין  ומתנהרן) והוא הואבוצינא עלאה טמירא דלא אתידע . ( וכל שארבוצינין מניה מתלהטן ומתנהרן) . האי עתיקאאשתכח בתלת רישין וכלילן בחד רישא . והוא (נ” א והוא) רישא עלאה לעילא לעילא . ובגיןדעתיקא קדישא אתרשים בתלת אוף הכי כלשאר בוצינין דנהרין מיניה כלילן בתלת . עודעתיקא אתרשים בתרין . כללא דעתיקא בתריןהוא. כתרא עלאה דכל עלאין רישא דכל רישי .וההוא דהוי לעילא מן דא דלא אתידע . כך כלשאר בוצינין סתימין בתרין . עוד עתיקא קדישאאתרשים ואסתים בחד והוא חד וכלא הוא חדכך כל שאר בוצינין מתקדשין מתקשריןומתהדרין בחד ואינון חד

 

Bible truth

The Triune Nature of God

Bible truth
How can it be that so many, including the leaders of Israel, saw God? There are undeniable passages in the New Testament, spoken by Jesus Himself, that no one has seen God. “No one has seen God at any time,” (John 1:18). “And the Father Himself, […] You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form,” (John 5:37). In Exodus 33:20 YHWH said: “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” How do we explain these clear passages in light of the many times that prophets have seen God including Exodus 24:9 “and they saw the God of Israel”? Do we have contradictions in the Bible?

When Jesus is saying that no one has seen God, He is referring to two things: Firstly, no one had seen the Father but they were obviously able to look upon Jesus, who was the Word made Flesh, that is, the Second person of the Triune God. This is why Jesus responds to Philip by saying: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).

According to Jesus, if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Secondly, no one has or can see God in all of His glory. Moses came the closest to it when God hid him in the cleft of the rock and then passed by allowing Moses to see His “afterwards” (that which came after Him). Thus, it was understood that no one could see God’s face, in all of His glory. Therefore when Moses makes the request (in light of his close relationship with God) for God to show him His glory God says:

So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen, (Exodus 33:22-23).

The fact that the prophets did in fact see God’s face and live and yet Moses could not is due to the fact that the prophets saw a vision of God and Moses was in God’s very presence. The difference could be likened to a person getting in a spaceship and flying to the sun versus examining the sun through a computer screen or virtual reality. If the person in the spaceship gets too close he will burn up because the heat and energy is too great. However, the sun can be studied in great detail if one uses a camera and projects the image via television or a computer screen. In fact the meaning of television conveys the idea of what was happening for the prophet. The Online Etymological Dictionary defines television as: “the action of seeing by means of Hertzian waves or otherwise, what is existing or happening at a place concealed or distant from the observer’s eyes.” [i] Therefore, God’s face was possible to see causing Isaiah to declare: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). However, to actually be in God’s presence was just not possible not even for someone as close to God as Moses. Therefore the prophet’s experience was very much like a virtual reality experience where the “seer” sees and can even interact with the things on the screen, but is not bodily there.

Christophanies

When God visits earth in the Tanakh (Old Testament), He comes as a Christophany – that is, Jesus is actually the one being seen and not the Father. Consider just a few examples in which the Angel of the Lord is also called God. These serve to show us that while God the Son has been seen, God the Father has not been. This is consistent with Jesus’ words: “Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him,” (Matthew 11:27).

And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire [b’labat esh בְּלַבַּת־אֵשׁ] [note: Jesus appeared in a flame and not as a flame] from the midst of a bush. […] So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God, (Exodus 3:2, 4-6).

The angel of the Lord in the Tanakh is the Second person of the Trinity, Jesus. Thus, of the many places where he makes an earthly appearance, the viewer was not seeing God the Father, but God the Son. Let’s continue our investigation with Gideon who was visited by the Angel of the Lord:

And the Angel of the LORD [יְהוָה] appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” […] And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, […]” Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. […] Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, […] and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. […] Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.” Then the LORD said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die,” (Judges 6:12-17, 20-23).

Once Gideon realized that he had just seen the angel of the LORD (YHWH) face to face he became terrified to the point of death. The LORD, the very one that he had just had the encounter with, then calms him stating that he would not die. Gideon did in fact see God – and in fact even saw the face of the LORD, according to the text. However, the LORD in this instance, just like in Exodus three and many other passages, is not God the Father, but is a Christophany – that is an appearance of the pre-incarnate Jesus. Thus, it was possible to see God so long as that was God the Son and not God the Father and so Jesus’ declarations are true (as He said in Matthew 11:27).

Paul elaborates on Jesus being the image of God:

Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them, (2 Corinthians 4:4).

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, (Colossians 1:15,).

The Triunity

From these verses we see that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Understanding the triune nature of God is challenging for us and various illustrations have been suggested to understand how that can be. Some suggest the three parts of the egg: shell, white and yolk. Others suggest the three phases of water: ice, water and steam. While both of those give a minor glimpse, they break down quickly and tend to confuse the nature of God. God does not exist in different phases nor is He dissect-able.

The Nicene CreedWhile no illustration is perfect, we might do well to consider the sun as analogous to the triunity of God. We can think of the sun as three in one: The sphere or ball of the sun is likened to the Father, the light rays to the Lord Jesus and the heat to the Holy Spirit. The sun itself is the source of light and without which no light would emit. However, at the same it is impossible to imagine the sun without light and heat proceeding from it. If it were not for the light the sphere of the sun would be invisible. It is precisely the light which allows us to see the sphere or ball of the sun. In a parallel manner, Paul tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Without Jesus, we could not see God the Father; but also as the light is generated from the sphere of the sun, so too Jesus is generated from the Father. That is not to make Jesus created, however. To carry our illustration further proves that the sun could not at any point in its history have existed without emitting light and energy. Thus, the light that comes from the sun is co-equal in origin to the sun. Of course, God has no beginning and hence neither does Jesus. The Holy Spirit represented by the heat is analogous to the light; just as the sun emits light, it also emits heat. The heat is dependent on the (ball of the) sun itself but it is impossible to divorce the ball of the sun from the heat that it emits.

The Nicene Creed codified this concept in an effort to clarify the nature of God:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son [μονογενη] of God, eternally begotten [γεννηθέν] of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten [γεννηθέντα], not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. […]  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. […] [ii] Πιστεύομεν εις ένα Θεον Πατερα παντοκράτορα, ποιητην ουρανου και γης, ορατων τε πάντων και αορατων. Και εις ένα κύριον Ιησουν Χριστον, τον υιον του θεοθ τον μονογενη, τον ει του πατρος γεννηθέν τα προ πάντων των αιώνων, φως εκ φωτος, θεον αληθινον εκ θεου αληθινου,γεννηθέντα, ου ποιηθέντα, ομοουσιον τωι πατρί· δι’ ου τα παντα εγένετο· […] Και εις το Πνευμα, το Άγιον, το κύριον, (και) το ζωοποιόν, το εκ του πατρος εκπορευόμενον [coming out of], το συν πατρι και υιωι συν προσκυνούμενον και συν δοξαζόμενον. [iii]

The Greek text demonstrates this understanding by the use of the words “eternally begotten of the Father” [gennethen ta pro panton ton aionon γεννηθέν τα προ πάντων των αιώνων]. The root of the word “begotten” has to do with human fathers engendering (generating) children. So just what is meant by that in relation to Jesus? In light of the clear statement that He is “God from God” we can go back to our sun illustration to help us grasp the concept. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. It is only through the light of the sun that we can see the sun. So too with Jesus, only through Him can we see the Father. Jesus then is the eternally generated from the Father. Thus He is dependent on the Father but still without a beginning. He is co-eternal and is the image by which the Father is manifested. [iv]


[i] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=television&searchmode=none.

[ii] International Consultation on English Texts translation as printed in: The Lutheran Book of Worship, The Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal).

[iii] The Greek Church Greek text from the Acts of the First Council of Constantinople and in The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm.

[iv] Therefore when God the Father declares concerning the Son: “You [are] My Son, Today I have begotten You” (Psalms 2:7), we can understand that God is in the eternal now and hence He is eternally begetting the Son.

The Spirit of God in Adam

(Appendix to Corrupting the Image. Footnotes in final edition of the book)

Genesis chapter one gives us the overview of creation, all the way from the creation of space until the pinnacle of God’s creation: Adam. The other creatures, fish, birds, or land animals, the creeping things; all the creatures that God made are lumped together in a few verses. However, the text spends much more time on Adam and in fact, we are told that God said:

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27).

Genesis chapter two then focuses solely on the creation of Adam and the privileges and responsibilities that God gave him. Concerning his creation, the text elaborates and states that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. However, that was not all that God did. The text says:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, (Genesis 2:7).

This verse demonstrates that Adam was made (physically, earthly) from the dust (he and we are carbon-based life forms). However, God also breathed into Adam. What we must not miss is that the animals (see Genesis 7:15) also have breath in their lungs but God did not breathe into them. There is something special about the breath that Adam received directly from God. Adam receiving the breath of God is unique and thus he is also spiritual. To put it another way, Adam had a material (physical, earthly) part, that is to say his body, and he also possessed an immaterial (soulish, spiritual, heavenly) side, that is to say his soul or spirit.

Man’s Non-material Makeup

Over the centuries scholars of the Bible have debated whether or not man consists of two parts (dichotomous – “cut in two”) just body and soul/spirit or in three parts (trichotomous – “cut in three”), body, soul and spirit. A. H. Strong in his book, Systematic Theology, articulates the essence of the essential elements of human nature:

Man has a twofold nature,—on the one hand material, on the other hand immaterial. He consists of body, and of spirit, or soul. […]Man is as conscious that his immaterial part is a unity, as that his body is a unity. He knows two, and only two, parts of his being—body and soul.

Strong notes that I Thessalonians 5:23 (“may your whole spirit and soul and body”), which is the principle passage relied upon as supporting the trichotomous view, may be better explained in that “soul and spirit are not two distinct substances or parts, but that they designate the immaterial principle from different points of view.” [i] After all, there are many verses where soul and spirit are used interchangeably. If we are to divide the immaterial make up of man into soul and spirit, then what are we to do with the heart, mind and conscience? They are also immaterial parts of man that Scripture repeatedly makes reference to. Lastly, there are verses that speak of only two parts of a man, as though it constitutes the whole of his being. The following list demonstrates how soul and spirit are used interchangeably.

  • his spirit was troubled, (Genesis 41:8)
  • my soul is cast down within me, (Psalm 42:6)
  • now is my soul troubled, (John 12:27)
  • he was troubled in the spirit, (John 13:21)
  • give his life [soulpsuekhen ψυχὴν] as a ransom for many, (Matthew 20:28)
  • yielded up his spirit, (Matthew 27:50)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 emphasis mine)
  • spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12: 23)
  • I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, (Revelation 6:9)

The Place of the Holy Spirit

What we are observing is that man was created as a three part being. God created Adam to be a three part being; the material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) were uniquely his and the third part was the “compartment” for the Holy Spirit. At the time of Adam’s creation, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually indwelt Adam. However, when Adam disobeyed God through sin, he lost the Spirit of God that had up until that point indwelt him. Thus he truly began to die physically; corruption (data loss) of his genetic code (on a physical level) began and the spiritual connection that he shared with God was immediately broken. Thus, the Holy Spirit that was to that point dwelling in Adam departed, leaving him spiritually empty and dead; therefore man was left as a two-part being with a “God-shaped hole in his heart” (cf. Pascal). The Holy Spirit is the one who comes and dwells in us when we turn from darkness to light and receive the Lord Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. Let’s go back to our text and understand how that could be possible.

When God Breathed the First Time

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [vayipakh וַיִּפַּ֥ח] into his nostrils the breath of life [nishmat khayim חַיִּ֑ים נִשְׁמַ֣ת]; and man became a living soul [l’nephesh khaya לְנֶ֥פֶש חַיָּֽה] (Genesis 2:7).

The obvious feature to note is that God Himself did the breathing. What beautiful imagery: After having created the universe with the stars, sun, moon, animals, vegetation etc., God bent over Adam’s body which he had just formed, (like a potter molds the clay), and breathed into Adam’s nostrils. Both the Hebrew word yatzar (יצר) and the Greek word plasso (πλάσσω) carry the idea of forming or fashioning wax or clay. [ii] This may have taken God but a moment – however, if we consider the fact that God could have created the world and all therein in less than a microsecond but decided to go slowly and create in six whole days, then when it came to the creation of man He would have given the greatest care! In fact, we could envision the Word of God [iii], Jesus the Son, in His preincarnate state [iv], carefully taking the dust (carbon atoms and such) of the earth in His hands, pushing, shaping and molding Adam as a potter would do. Once Adam looked like God, that is to say he resembled the image (shadow) of God, He then gently leaned over this beautiful but still lifeless formation. Opening His mouth, God breathed deep into the nostrils of Adam and then Adam opened his eyes to see the tender but glorious face of the One who had just made him!

This breath of God animated Adam’s body in a manner similar to the animals in that they also have breath (neshama [v] נשׁמה) in their nostrils. But it was also so much more, for we know that God did not breathe directly into the animals. Thus the breath that God breathed into Adam must have been so much more than the mere animation of the body (spark of life). It was also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. [vi]

When God Breathed Again

To see evidence of this picture we must fast forward approximately four thousand years to just after the resurrection of Jesus. We find the disciples after the crucifixion behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leadership. Jesus makes a sudden appearance and walks through a wall in his resurrected body. “And when he had said this, he breathed (literally “inbreathed”) [enephusesen ενεφυσησεν] on [vii] them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22).

The Greek word enephusesen (stem: emphusao ἐμφυσάω) used in the passage above is the same exact word and form of the word that the Greek Septuagint in Genesis 2:7 uses to translate the Hebrew word (vayipakh וַיִּפַּח root naphakh נפח). This correlation is noted in Thayers Greek Lexicon:

This word used only once by the LXX translators in Gen 2:7 where God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul. Just as the original creation was completed by an act of God, so too the new creation was completed by an act from the Head of the new creation, (Thayer’s ἐμφυσάω entry).

The same root (emphusao ἐμφυσάω), though slightly modified, also shows up in Ezekiel 37:9 (37:8 in Greek) and is the same exact Hebrew word as in Genesis 2:7.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath [ruakh הָרוּחַ]; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe [naphakh נפח, Greek ἐμφυσάω emphusaw] on these slain, that they may live,” (Ezekiel 37:9).

It would truly seem that when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, He was in fact doing the same thing that He had done to Adam those many thousands of years ago, (the text in Ezekiel 37 will ultimately be fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead – to be discussed in my next book.) Thus, while Adam consisted inherently of two parts, material and immaterial, Jesus Himself breathed not only the life force but also the Holy Spirit; the point at which Adam sinned is when the Spirit departed leaving him all alone. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, appears to document that as well: “Concerning the formation of man, says thus: […] God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. This man was called Adam,” (Josephus Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 1:2, emphasis mine). The notes from the NET Bible also give a hint at this:

The Hebrew word נְשָׁמָה (n’shamah, “breath”) is used for God and for the life imparted to humans, not animals (see T. C. Mitchell, “The Old Testament Usage of N’shama,” VT 11 [1961]: 177-87). Its usage in the Bible conveys more than a breathing living organism (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה, nefesh khayyah). Whatever is given this breath of life becomes animated with the life from God, has spiritual understanding (Job 32:8), and has a functioning conscience (Proverbs 20:27), (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7, emphasis mine).

The Targum of Onkelos (Genesis 2:7) also hints at the idea that the Spirit indwelt him: “And the Lord God created Adam from dust of the ground, and breathed upon his face the breath of lives, and it [“the breath of life”] became in Adam a Discoursing Spirit.”

John in his Gospel makes an interesting observation “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,” (John 7:39). Thus, because Jesus had not yet been crucified and risen from the dead (glorified), no one as of then had received the Holy Spirit. We have seen already that Jesus showed up and inbreathed the Holy Spirit (in) the disciples.

When the Spirit Comes On and Not In

However, just before Jesus ascends to the Father, He tells them “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (ἐπί) you,” (Acts 1:8). We know that the Spirit came upon men of the Tanakh (Old Testament) for specific times and purposes. The Spirit came upon Jephthah for a time in order for him to route the Ammonites (Judges 11:29). He came upon Samson (Judges 14:6, 19) to defeat the Philistines but left due to Samson’s sinful life (Judges 16:20). The Spirit also came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13) and others. However, the imparting of the Spirit before Jesus’ death and resurrection was a temporary and transient experience. The Spirit was not actually in the ancient men. He came upon them but not in them; the Lord came upon them for a specific job, but not to indwell. [viii]

Adam a Son of God

Remember that Adam was the only person who was created directly as a son of God. John stated that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, but those who would believe would receive Him. By believing in the name of Jesus one can become a son of God (John 7:39 and 1:12). Thus sons of God today are marked by those who have the Spirit:

  • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, (Galatians 3:26).
  • You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:15-16).
  • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, (1 Corinthians 2:12).
  • And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
  • Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you, (Romans 8:11).

Paul says that we have become a new creation in Christ. As new creations we are adopted by God becoming sons of God. The down payment of the Holy Spirit is evidence that we are new creations and are now waiting for the “full package” when we get to heaven. Therefore we conclude that the Holy Spirit must have indwelt Adam prior to his fall because he was classified as a Son of God. We are sons of God because we are direct creations of God “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation,” (Galatians 6:15). We share that feature with the angels, whom we shall be like in heaven. However, God did not form them from the earth, nor did He breathe into the angels and so we possess something that sets us apart from them as far as being sons of God is concerned.

The work of the cross was the correction of what had been lost 4000 years before. The Spirit was breathed into Adam, the first (earthly) son of God, he lost it and now the Spirit dwells in the sons of God who we have become by believing in Jesus’ name. The Spirit is the guarantee or down payment of what is coming. The other thing that Adam apparently lost and we shall gain is a covering of light.