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Dictionaries :: Spirit

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g4151 Greek: pneuma


primarily denotes "the wind" (akin to pneo, "to breathe, blow"); also "breath;" then, especially "the spirit," which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful. The NT uses of the word may be analyzed approximately as follows:

"(a) the wind, Jhn 3:8 (where marg. is, perhaps, to be preferred); Hbr 1:7; cp. Amo 4:13, Sept.;

(b) the breath, 2Th 2:8; Rev 11:11; 13:15; cp. Job 12:10, Sept.;

(c) the immaterial, invisible part of man, Luk 8:55; Act 7:59; 1Cr 5:5; Jam 2:26; cp. Ecc 12:7, Sept.;

(d) the disembodied (or 'unclothed,' or 'naked,' 2Cr 5:3, 4) man, Luk 24:37, 39; Hbr 12:23; 1Pe 4:6;

(e) the resurrection body, 1Cr 15:45; 1Ti 3:16; 1Pe 3:18;

(f) the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, Mat 5:3; 26:41; Mar 2:8; Luk 1:47, 80; Act 17:16; 20:22; 1Cr 2:11; 5:3, 4; 14:4, 15; 2Cr 7:1; cp. Gen 26:35; Isa 26:9; Eze 13:3; Dan 7:15;

(g) purpose, aim, 2Cr 12:18; Phl 1:27; Eph 4:23; Rev 19:10; cp. Ezr 1:5; Psa 78:8; Dan 5:12;

(h) the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect:

1st person, 1Cr 16:18; cp. Gen 6:3;

2nd person, 2Ti 4:22; Phm 1:25; cp. Psa 139:7;

3rd person, 2Cr 7:13; cp. Isa 40:13;

(i) character, Luk 1:17; Rom 1:4; cp. Num 14:24;

(j) moral qualities and activities: bad, as of bondage, as of a slave, Rom 8:15; cp. Isa 61:3; stupor, Rom 11:8; cp. Isa 29:10; timidity, 2Ti 1:7; cp. Jos 5:1; good, as of adoption, i.e., liberty as of a son, Rom 8:15; cp. Psa 51:12; meekness, 1Cr 4:21; cp. Pro 16:19; faith, 2Cr 4:13; quietness, 1Pe 3:4; cp. Pro 14:29

(k) the Holy Spirit, e.g., Mat 4:1 (see below); Luk 4:18;

(l) 'the inward man' (an expression used only of the believer, Rom 7:22; 2Cr 4:16; Eph 3:16); the new life, Rom 8:4-6, 10, 16; Hbr 12:9; cp. Psa 51:10;

(m) unclean spirits, demons, Mat 8:16; Luk 4:33; 1Pe 3:19; cp. 1Sa 18:10;

(n) angels, Hbr 1:14; cp. Act 12:15;

(o) divine gift for service, 1Cr 14:12, 32;

(p) by metonymy, those who claim to be depostories of these gifts, 2Th 2:2; 1Jo 4:1-3;

(q) the significance, as contrasted with the form, of words, or of a rite, Jhn 6:63; Rom 2:29; 7:6; 2Cr 3:6;

(r) a vision, Rev 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10." *
[* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp 204, 205.]


(1) For phantasma, rendered "spirit," Mat 14:26; Mar 6:49, AV, see APPARITION.

(2) For the distinction between "spirit" and "soul," see under SOUL, last three paragraphs.

The Holy Spirit

The "Holy Spirit" is spoken of under various titles in the NT ("Spirit" and "Ghost" are renderings of the same word, pneuma; the advantage of the rendering "Spirit" is that it can always be used, whereas "Ghost" always requires the word "Holy" prefixed.) In the following list the omission of the definite article marks its omission in the original (concerning this see below): "Spirit, Mat 22:43; Eternal Spirit, Hbr 9:14; the Spirit, Mat 4:1; Holy Spirit, Mat 1:18; the Holy Spirit, Mat 28:19; the Spirit, the Holy, Mat 12:32; the Spirit of promise, the Holy, Eph 1:13; Spirit of God, Rom 8:9; Spirit of (the) living God, 2Cr 3:3; the Spirit of God, 1Cr 2:11; the Spirit of our God, 1Cr 6:11; the Spirit of God, the Holy, Eph 4:30; the Spirit of glory and of God, 1Pe 4:14; the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead (i.e., God), Rom 8:11; the Spirit of your Father, Mat 10:20; the Spirit of His Son, Gal 4:6; Spirit of (the) Lord, Act 8:39; the Spirit of (the) Lord, Act 5:9; (the) Lord, (the) Spirit, 2Cr 3:18; the Spirit of Jesus, Act 16:7; Spirit of Christ, Rom 8:9; the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Phl 1:19; Spirit of adoption, Rom 8:15; the Spirit of truth, Jhn 14:17; the Spirit of life, Rom 8:2; the Spirit of grace, Hbr 10:29." *
[* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 193.]

The use or absence of the article in the original where the "Holy Spirit" is spoken of cannot always be decided by grammatical rules, nor can the presence or absence of the article alone determine whether the reference is to the "Holy Spirit." Examples where the Person is meant when the article is absent are Mat 22:43 (the article is used in Mar 12:36); Act 4:25, RV (absent in some texts); 19:2, 6; Rom 14:17; 1Cr 2:4; Gal 5:25 (twice); 1Pe 1:2. Sometimes the absence is to be accounted for by the fact that Pneuma (like Theos) is substantially a proper name, e.g., in Jhn 7:39. As a general rule the article is present where the subject of the teaching is the Personality of the Holy Spirit, e.g., Jhn 14:26, where He is spoken of in distinction from the Father and the Son. See also Jhn 15:26 and cp. Luk 3:22.

In Gal 3:3, in the phrase "having begun in the Spirit," it is difficult to say whether the reference is to the "Holy Spirit" or to the quickened spirit of the believer; that it possibly refers to the latter is not to be determined by the absence of the article, but by the contrast with "the flesh;" on the other hand, the contrast may be between the "Holy Spirit" who in the believer sets His seal on the perfect work of Christ, and the flesh which seeks to better itself by works of its own. There is no preposition before either noun, and if the reference is to the quickened spirit it cannot be dissociated from the operation of the "Holy Spirit." In Gal 4:29 the phrase "after the Spirit" signifies "by supernatural power," in contrast to "after the flesh," i.e., "by natural power," and the reference must be to the "Holy Spirit;" so in Gal 5:17.

The full title with the article before both pneuma and hagios (the "resumptive" use of the article), lit., "the Spirit the Holy," stresses the character of the Person, e.g., Mat 12:32; Mar 3:29; 12:36; 13:11; Luk 2:26; 10:21 (RV); Jhn 14:26; Act 1:16; 5:3; 7:51; 10:44, 47; 13:2; 15:28; 19:6; 20:23, 28; 21:11; 28:25; Eph 4:30; Hbr 3:7; 9:8; 10:15.

The Personality of the Spirit is emphasized at the expense of strict grammatical procedure in Jhn 14:26; 15:26; 16:8, 13, 14, where the emphatic pronoun ekeinos, "He," is used of Him in the masculine, whereas the noun pneuma is neuter in Greek, while the corresponding word in Aramaic, the language in which our Lord probably spoke, is feminine (rucha, cp. Heb. ruach). The rendering "itself" in Rom 8:16, 26, due to the Greek gender, is corrected to "Himself" in the RV.

The subject of the "Holy Spirit" in the NT may be considered as to His Divine attributes; His distinct Personality in the Godhead; His operation in connection with the Lord Jesus in His birth, His life, His baptism, His death; His operations in the world; in the church; His having been sent at Pentecost by the Father and by Christ; His operations in the individual believer; in local churches; His operations in the production of Holy Scripture; His work in the world, etc.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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