The Spirit’s Presence from the Old to the New Testament

Whether in the Old Testament or in the New Testament the Spirit indwells believers.

Perhaps when Jesus said that the Spirit was with the disciples He did not actually mean that the Spirit only hovered around them but rather the Spirit was with them in a special way because He was with Jesus.

 

There is an interesting view that circulates around the church about the Holy Spirit.  It goes something like this. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit did not indwell anyone but only remained with people.  However, in the New Testament the Spirit literally dove into His work.  In other words, He indwelt the people of God. He made His home in them.

Now, at least one of the Biblical texts used in support of this idea comes from John 14:17.  There Jesus is in the midst of his upper room discourse.  It is the night of the Passover celebration.  And Jesus has come to the place in the discourse wherein He tells the Disciples that another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, will come to them upon His departure. This is what He says of the Spirit, “[for] he dwells with you and will be in you.” Well, there it is.  Case closed. It looks like a slam dunk passage.  But is it?

It is true that the words “will be in you” could be translated “he is among you.”  However, most agree that the textual evidence leans heavily toward a future reading or “he will be in you.”  And it is clear that the preposition used in the first part of the phrase is para, which is correctly translated “with.” But is there an alternative way to understand the idea that the Spirit is with the disciples? Yes, there is.

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