2.21.1 The philosopher’s response against the Holy Spirit: “This is indisputably trustworthy: The Son, as you say, created, or rather created with God the Father, as the passages demonstrate, and is not a product of God but rather begotten of him—begotten by nature of him. We accept this.

2.21.2 But surely you can’t say anything about the Spirit, can you? Who would dare to say that the Holy Spirit is the creator of any created beings? Where do the passages say about him that he has crafted any creatures, seen or unseen? Moreover, who wrote about him as about the Son? Any of you may speak up if you can answer.”

2.21.3 The fathers’ answer through Protogenes, bishop of Sardica: “Philosopher, it is no challenge to show you the passages about the work of the Holy Spirit in which our fathers outlined the fact that he created. Let us repeat what was said about creation: ‘God said, “Let us make man in our image and likeness.”’ It continues, ‘God made man; in the image of God he made him; male and female he made them.’

2.21.4 The Father, who said to the Son, ‘Let us make,’ is God. In the same way, the Son made man, for he is God. Therefore, if we call the one who spoke and the one who made Adam and Eve God, listen now about the Holy Spirit: Was the one who made Adam God, or not?”

2.21. The philosopher: “Yes, he is God.”

The bishop: “In the book of Job, Elihu the Buzite says to Job, ‘The Spirit of God made me’ [Job 33:4]. Therefore, if the one who made Adam is God, what would you call the one who made Elihu? Or do you think Elihu was of a different essence than Adam? The uniformity of the final product in the person of man naturally reveals the equal skill of the craftsmen.

2.21.6 What, then, would you call the one who made Elihu, philosopher? Isn’t he God, the maker of man? Just as it says about the one who made Adam, ‘God made Adam,’ so also we are right to say that the one who made Elihu, the Holy Spirit, is God. The product of their craftsmanship is equal; the title of the craftsmen is also equal, for the Holy Trinity has one divine essence, apprehended in three perfect and equal persons [ὑπόστασις].

2.21.7 In the Assumption of Moses, the archangel Michael, while disputing with the devil, says, ‘We were all created by his Holy Spirit.’ Again he says, ‘God’s Spirit went out from his presence, and the world was made.’ This is the same as saying, ‘All things were made through him.’

2.21.8 The divine, indescribable Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—is always indivisible. The Trinity together crafted all creation, conceivable and perceivable.

2.21.9 He also says in Psalm 32, ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; all their power by the Spirit of his mouth’ [Psalm 33:6, LXX 32:6]. Moreover, listen to what God says in Isaiah: ‘I am the Lord your God. I, the God of Israel, will listen to you’ [Isaiah 41:17].

2.21.10 After listing his kind acts to the people, he continues: ‘…that they may together see, consider, and understand that the hand of the Lord made all these things and that the Holy One of Israel made them known’ [Isaiah 41:20]. ‘Hand’ signifies God’s Holy Spirit, and ‘the Holy One of Israel’ signifies his Son.

2.21.11 He also said to Jacob, ‘My hand laid the foundation of the earth; my right hand made the heavens firm’ [Isaiah 48:13], as Ezekiel also says, ‘The hand of the Lord was upon me’ [Ezekiel 3:22].

2.21.12 Philosopher, Scripture usually calls God’s Holy Spirit either his hand or his arm and calls the Son his right hand.”

2.21.13 Moreover, the holy fathers spoke through Bishop Leontius of Caesarea in Cappadocia: “What has been said about the work of the Holy Spirit is sufficient to persuade you, philosopher, that the Holy Spirit is co-craftsman of all created beings with the Father and the Son and has the same divine nature and essence as the Father and the Son.

2.21.14 Therefore, meditate on what has already been said to you and now hear even clearer proof about him from the Holy Scriptures. The prophet David says in Psalm 97, ‘Sing to the Lord a new song.’ Why? ‘The Lord has done marvelous things. His right hand’ (meaning his Son) ‘and his holy arm’ (meaning the Holy Spirit) ‘have wrought salvation for him’ [Psalm 98:1, LXX 97:1].

2.21.15 In the general epistles, John the Evangelist proclaims that the Holy Spirit is God, as all the others do: ‘The Spirit testifies, for the Spirit is truth’ [1 John 5:6]. A little later he says, ‘Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony of God’ (meaning the Spirit of God) ‘in him, but whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar’ [1 John 5:10].

2.21.16 The great rock of the apostles, godly Peter, says to Ananias, ‘Why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit?’ [Acts 5:3]. Then he says, ‘You have not lied merely to humans, but also to God’ [Acts 5:4]. Moreover, in the Old Testament it says, ‘“I fill heaven and earth,” declares the Lord’ [Jeremiah 23:24]. Solomon shows who fills them when he says, ‘The Spirit of the Lord fills the world.’1

2.21.17 Therefore believe that the Holy Spirit is also Lord. Accept the passages about him, believing that the Holy Spirit has the same divine nature and essence and the same substance as the Father and the Son, always coexisting with the Father and the Son. Do you understand, philosopher?”

2.21.18 The philosopher’s response to our holy fathers: “Yes. As you assert, and as the passages of Scripture you have cited make clear, one must call the Holy Spirit God as well. This conclusion would seem forced to me, had you not cited Scripture.

2.21.19 However, while the proof is clear as regards Elihu the Buzite, I’ve never heard about the Assumption of Moses, concerning which you just spoke, until now. I therefore ask you to present a clearer explanation of what you said.

2.21.20 What you have said thus far is not enough for me to be completely certain about the Spirit. This subject requires clearer, nobler language, for our discussion is not about trifling matters.”

2.21.21 Our holy fathers’ answer to the philosopher through the same Bishop Leontius: “Since there is much proof of what we have explained to you and since these clear passages of Holy Scripture can convince you of the present subject, philosopher, we are amazed that you keep doubting even though you seem to be full of such great understanding.

2.21.22 But since we want you to see the truth and pray for that to happen, we exhort you, wise as you are, to begin to apprehend that uncreated, unchangeable being by faith. Furthermore, we exhort you not to presume that you can use human reasoning to meddle with things beyond reasoning, as we have said many times. Do not involve yourself in the perverse, ungodly opinions of Arius any longer, philosopher, if you are, as you say, a lover of wisdom. Instead, as we just said, accept with faith what has now been said to you and what is about to be said.

2.21.23 Accept that the Father, who begot the Son in an indescribable way, the Son, who was begotten of him, and the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and is the Son’s own Spirit, have one divine nature. As the apostle Paul says:

2.21.24 ‘If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him’ [Romans 8:9]. Elsewhere he says, ‘The Lord is the Spirit’ [2 Corinthians 3:17]. Again, ‘There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord; there are different kinds of working, but the same God works everything in everyone’ [1 Corinthians 12:4-6]. Not much later he says, ‘One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing them to each individual as he desires’ [1 Corinthians 12:11].

2.21.25 See, philosopher, this clearly and directly calls the Holy Spirit God and demonstrates his autonomy. Notice how he says, ‘There are different kinds of working, but the same God works everything in everyone,’ and, ‘One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing them to each individual as he desires.’

2.21.26 As you know, in the Gospels the Lord speaks clearly with the Samaritan woman. What does he say? ‘God is spirit’ [John 4:24]. Therefore, if God is spirit, the Spirit is certainly also God. But they are not two different beings; rather, the two persons have one divine nature in the sense of subsistent entities.

2.21.27 But when we hear ‘person’ [πρόσωπον], let us not suppose that God has a human form, for he is formless and not composite, as you yourself confessed at the beginning of our debate, and as we also confess.

2.21.28 For the Lord himself testifies in the Gospels that heaven and earth also have a ‘person’ [πρόσωπον] while speaking with the scribes and Pharisees: ‘You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance [πρόσωπον] of the heavens and the earth’ [Luke 12:56], and so on.

2.21.29 Everything which exists, insofar as it exists, is said to have a ‘person’ [πρόσωπον] or form of its own nature [φύσις]. Indeed, heaven and earth are created, as are all beings which have been made, but the indescribable divine essence is uncreated since it is simple, not composite, formless, eternal, and immortal.

2.21.30 But let us return to the topic at hand. We demonstrated through many passages from the Holy Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is co-craftsman with the Father and the Son of all creation, both perceivable and only conceivable, since he is always inseparable from the Father and the Son, just as the Son is inseparable from the Father and the Father from the Son.

2.21.31 Now, if it seems good, come receive useful instructions through examples, even if they are rather weak. Your word, just like the word of every man, is uttered, and it is indivisibly begotten of your mind. In the same way, your breath [πνεῦμα] also proceeds from you, and you would not alienate your word or your breath from yourself.

2.21.32 You would not deny understanding this with humans. But with the indescribable, incomprehensible, unfathomable essence of God, his Word is not uttered but is always ‘living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword’ [Hebrews 4:12]. He is judge of all since he is craftsman of all. ‘Nothing in creation is hidden from him; rather, everything is bare and open before his eyes’ [Hebrews 4:13].

2.21.33 And his Holy Spirit searches ‘even the depths of God’ [1 Corinthians 2:10]. Would anyone dare to alienate the Word or the Spirit from God, or to embrace those who alienate them? Would they, philosopher?”


Next Chapter – 2.22 The philosopher’s response to the shared belief of the holy bishops

Previous Chapter – 2.20 The philosopher’s counter-question

Click here to read Book 1 in its entirety.


Created by RR 7-28-21

  1. Wisdom of Solomon 1:7

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