The Holy Spirit in the New Testament
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

A) Introduction: The ancient Greek word pneuma / pneuma has a variety of meanings and translations: wind, breath, ghost, spirit.

Greek English Matt Mark Luke John Acts Paul Heb Cath 123Jn Rev NT Total
πνεῦμα spirit, breath, wind 19 23 36 24 70 146 12 13 12 24 379
πνεῦμα ἅγιον Holy Spirit 5 4 13 3 41 15 5 3 0 0 89
πνεῦμα κυρίου

Spirit of the Lord

0

0

1

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

4

πνεῦμα [τοῦ] θεοῦ

Spirit of God

2

0

0

0

0

13

0

0

1

[3]

16

πνεῦμα χρίστου

Spirit of Christ

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

0

3

πνευματικός spiritual 0 0 0 0 0 24 0 2 0 0 26
πνευματικῶς spiritually 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2
πνέω + ὑποπνέω

to blow + blow gently

2

0

1

2

1+1

0

0

0

0

1

7+1

ἐκπνέω

to breathe out

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

 
B) Various Meanings of pneuma in the New Testament:

C) The Holy Spirit (and other spirits) in the Gospel according to MARK:

D) The Holy Spirit (and other spirits) in the Gospel according to MATTHEW:

E) The Holy Spirit (and other spirits) in the Gospel according to LUKE:

F) The Holy Spirit (and other spirits) in the Gospel according to JOHN:

G) The Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles:

Just as in Luke's Gospel, the Spirit of God inspires and guides most of the action within the Acts of the Apostles.  Some scholars even suggest that this book should be named "The Acts of the Holy Spirit":

H) The Holy Spirit in the Pauline Letters:

Since Luke was almost certainly a companion of the apostle Paul, it is not surprising but noteworthy how important the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus, and spiritual gifts also are in the Letters of Paul. The Spirit of God does several different but interrelated things, in Pauling thought:

God’s Spirit dwells in believers, making us adopted Children of God:

God’s Spirit helps us to pray, and to understand God’s ways:

We are the “Temple” of God’s Spirit:

God’s Spirit provides a diversity of gifts, but unity in the community, the Body of Christ:

Paul contrasts the “Works of the Flesh” with the “Fruit of the Spirit”:

I) The Holy Spirit (and other spirits) in the rest of the New Testament:

The Letter to the Hebrews:

The Catholic Epistles:

The Book of Revelation:


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Electronic New Testament Educational Resources


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