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Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament

Author(s): Keith Warrington

ISBN13: 9781565638716

ISBN10: 1565638719


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  • The role of the Holy Spirit in the development of the early church was absolutely crucial as the New Testament documents were being written and circulated. However many first-century believers, often unacquainted with the Old Testament, had little knowledge of the work of Gods Spirit. Therefore the New Testament writers sought to explain his character and mission in the events they recorded and through the letters they penned. Nevertheless, many Christians today have only a vague understanding of the Holy Spirit - the comfort he offers, the gifts he imparts - but few could articulate his vital role in the life of every believer.

    Taking a text-driven approach, Warrington moves beyond the controversy and sensationalism associated with charismatic phenomena, to examine the third person of the Trinity himself. Progressing from Matthew to Revelation, this in-depth study allows the scriptures to speak out of their original contextual situations and into our lives today.

    Readers will gain an appreciation of the Spirit as a complex, wise, creative, powerful, and personal member of the Godhead who is sent to equip, empower, affirm, inspire, gift, and ultimately transform the people of God. Each chapter concludes with helpful study questions and a useful bibliography.

  • Keith Warrington

    Keith Warrington is a Research Fellow in New Testament and Pentecostal Studies and lecturer in New Testament Studies at Regents Theological College, Cheshire, England. He is the author of Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

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    This book is about the Holy Spirit, to whom Christians often refer in their prayers but of whom they may understand little. The author is director of post-graduate studies and a New Testament lecturer at Regents Theological College in Cheshire, England. It was in his work there that he realized there had not been a systematic study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, as revealed book-by-book in the New Testament, since 1909. In clear and understandable language, Warrington addresses each book of the New Testament, writing each chapter in a uniform way that makes it easy for the reader or student to follow and compare. In each, he asks what the writer of the book says about the Spirit; what the significance was for the original readers; and what its significant is for readers today. Each chapter ends with a selected bibliography. This is a book of great interest that is easily read. I would highly recommend it to all church libraries as an excellent choice for study.

    - Church and Synagogue Library Association

    Every NT reference to the Spirit is included in this very thorough study. Each chapter deals with one or more books of the NT, giving a brief setting, overview of issues concerning the Spirit, exposition of texts and significance for the original readers, thus allowing the texts to speak for themselves. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography and questions relevant to life today. It is impressively comprehensive and will appeal to any reader or student wanting to know more about the Holy Spirit.'

    - Christian Marketplace

    'In this slender volume, Warrington surveys each NT document for references to the Spirit. Five do not have references, but must arc given individual chapters, all considered n canonical order. Warrington looks first at the selling of the book then gives summary points for each chapter before turning to the texts supporting each point. Each group of texts receives a brief exposition followed by an assessment of their significance for the original readers. Chapters end with an indicative bibliography, followed by questions under the heading Significance for Readers Today.

    'Warrington addresses several controversial points with judicious care. The Spirit is crucial in the church, both corporately and personally. The Spirit exalts Jesus, inspires worship, transforms people, confirms believers as children of God, gives gifts, expects and enables unity, and guides believers who listen. Warringtons treatment of Acts and 1 Corinthians, texts that have been particularly influential in the modern Pentecostal and charismatic circles, draws helpful attention to the significance of these texts for the original readers on that basis. On that basis, the questions asked by modern believers are understood in a different light. This book does not break new ground but offers a sure guide through many difficult passages. Although scholars may wish to press Warrington at several points and others may find their favorite interpretation absent, Warringtons irenic approach to these controversial issues should be widely welcomed. '

    - Journal for the Study of the New Testament

    'I believe Warrington has produced a very useful book that provides, in one volume, a helpful examination of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. His decision to listen to every New Testament voice is, in my opinion, an extraordinarily important methodological step, as is his desire to make clear the implications of this study for Pentecostal believers. For this we are all in his debt.'

    - Pneuma: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

    'This book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Spirit in the New Testament. As Warrington informs, it developed out of his postgraduate course on Pauline pneumatology, his course on the Spirit in Luke-Acts and because, according to many of Warringtons students, of limited analysis of the Spirit and his work. The author clearly states that he does not intend his book to, function as a commentary on individual books (viii), but to elucidate the significance of the Spirit to a first-century readership with implicit relevance and application to a contemporary readership (ix). Warrington is, interested in the practical application of knowledge of the Spirit (1). Useful study questions concluding each chapter support this purpose. The author aims to take a balanced approach, avoiding the extremes of both academia and popular writing (vii). In this task he seems to have done admirably well.

    'The book is comprised of nineteen chapters following the general order of the New Testament canon. The letter to Philemon, that of James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John are absent as they do not contain, in the authors view, any references or any pertinent references to the Spirit. This should not deter the reader as Warrington strives to be consistently text centered and generally remains so. He illuminates the text with abundant, well researched cultural and OT background information. The material is concise and highly readable, under-girded by a healthy theology. In the gospels, Warrington finds that the Spirit inspires speech, preaching, worship, prophecy and prayer. He is associated not only with Jesus birth but also, affirms the uniqueness of Jesus and facilitates his supernatural ministry (26) thus exalting him and his nature (36, 37). The Spirit plays a greater part in the Acts of the Apostles than in the other New Testament books. This being the case, Warringtons examination of the texts, though good, could have been more penetrating. For instance, in Acts 8:14-19 the role of apostolic authority in the believing community is not noted (57-58), neither is the Spirits capacity to bring judgment in the case of Acts 5:3, 9; 7:51; 28:25. Warrington finds that the Spirit in Acts operates in a similar mediatory role to that of Jesus in the gospels (50). The Spirit is the catalyst for change (59) empowering, guiding, and fulfilling Gods plan.'

    - Themelios

    'This survey of Holy Spirit texts in all of the NT (including the gospels, the Pauline letters, Jude, and the book of Revelation) is based, in part, on Gordon Fee, Gods Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the letters of Paul (1994). Each chapter has a bibliography and a summary entitled significance for readers today.'

    - International Review of Biblical Studies

    'Every pastor should have in their library this reference on the work of Holy Spirit in the New Testament. It is a scholarly and a practical book; it is not for casual reading, although it would be good to skim through to know what you will want to refer to later. . . This book will be helpful to provide a will-rounded biblical understanding of the ministry of the Spirit as it takes us through every book in the New Testament.'

    - The Pneuma Review


Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament