Holy Spirit: Person or Personification?

The bible identifies the Holy Sprit to be a seperate person from the Father & the Son (see our article : Holy Sprit is a person). We see that, just like any other person would speak, God the Spirit speaks.

The Society says in the Awake! December 8, 1973 magazine, "Is the Devil a personification or a person?...these accounts relate to conversations between the Devil and God, and between the Devil and Jesus Christ. Both Jehovah God and Jesus Christ are persons. Can an unintelligent ‘force' carry on a conversation with a person? Also, the Bible calls Satan a manslayer, a liar, a father..and a ruler..only an intelligent person could fit all those descriptions."]Acts 8:29 “the Spirit said to Philip.."Using the Watchtower's reasoning, could an unintelligent ‘force' carry on a conversation with a person?

Following are many instances where, God the Spirit spoke. But before we look into those verses, let's see how the other members of the Godhead spoke:

Jehovah spoke:

Lev. 16:2 And Jehovah proceeded to say to Moses: “Speak to Aaron your brother, that he should not at all times come into the holy place inside the curtain, in front of the cover which is upon the Ark, that he may not die; because in a cloud I shall appear over the cover.

Angel of Jehovah ( who is also Christ) spoke:

Gen. 16:9-13 And Jehovah’s angel went on to say to her: “Return to your mistress and humble yourself under her hand.” 10 Then Jehovah’s angel said to her: “I shall greatly multiply your seed, so that it will not be numbered for multitude.”

Jesus spoke:

Matt 28: 19 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit

Holy Spirit speaks just like any other person:

Ezekiel 11:5 Then the spirit of Jehovah fell upon me, and he went on to say to me: “Say, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “YOU people said the right thing, O house of Israel; and as regards the things that come up in YOUR spirit, I myself have known it.

2 Samuel 23:2 The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, And his word was upon my tongue.

Hebrews 3:8-9 For this reason, just as the holy spirit says: “Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, do not harden YOUR hearts as on the occasion of causing bitter anger, as in the day of making the test in the wilderness, in which YOUR forefathers made a test of me with a trial, and yet they had seen my works for forty years.

Note: The above is another instance where God the Spirit identifies himself seperate from the Father. The use of 'His own voice' referring to the Father and seperating himself by the use of the word 'me' confirms He is not an extension of the Father. Spirit also says 'YOUR forefathers made a test of me'. It was Jehovah God whom the forefathers made a test.

Exodus 17:2, 7 And the people fell to quarreling with Moses and saying: “Give us water that we may drink.” But Moses said to them: “Why are YOU quarreling with me? Why do YOU keep putting Jehovah to the test?” So he called the name of the place Mas´sah and Mer´i·bah, because of the quarreling of the sons of Israel and because of their putting Jehovah to the test, saying: “Is Jehovah in our midst or not?”

More verses on His personality.

John 16:13 However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide YOU into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and he will declare to YOU the things coming.

Acts 1:16 “Men, brothers, it was necessary for the scripture to be fulfilled, which the holy spirit spoke beforehand by David’s mouth about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus

Acts 8:29 So the spirit said to Philip: “Approach and join yourself to this chariot.”

Acts 10:19 As Peter was going over in his mind about the vision, the spirit said: “Look! Three men are seeking you.

Acts 13:2 As they were publicly ministering to Jehovah and fasting, the holy spirit said: “Of all persons set Bar´na·bas and Saul apart for me for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 21:11 and he came to us and took up the girdle of Paul, bound his own feet and hands and said: “Thus says the holy spirit, ‘The man to whom this girdle belongs the Jews will bind in this manner in Jerusalem and deliver into the hands of people of the nations.’”

Acts 28:25 So, because they were at disagreement with one another, they began to depart, while Paul made this one comment: “The holy spirit aptly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to YOUR forefathers, 26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “By hearing, YOU will hear but by no means understand; and, looking, YOU will look but by no means see.

Romans 8:16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Hebrews 10:15 Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness to us, for after it has said:

1 John 5:6 This is he that came by means of water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. And the spirit is that which is bearing witness, because the spirit is the truth.

Revelation 2:7 Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: To him that conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice out of heaven say: “Write: Happy are the dead who die in union with [the] Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.”

Quoting a JW online publication, it reads, “At 1 John 5:6-8 (NE) not only the spirit but also "the water, and the blood" are said to be "witnesses." But water and blood are obviously not persons, and neither is the holy spirit a person”. While it is true the bible uses personification, the Spirit is clearly identified as a separate person from the Father. This throws out the entire idea that Spirit is a force emanting from the Father.

Further, wisdom is personified only once in the entire New Testament. Sin is personified just five times, and death six times, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit is personified in excess of one hundred times. There is positively no valid parallel between the way in which the New Testament writers spoke of the Holy Spirit and their sporadic personification of utterly abstract things.

The Watchtower will also refer to the Greek text to prove their point. In Greek and English, words are either masculine, feminine or neuter. The Watchtower states that since the Bible uses neuter pronouns to describe the Holy Spirit, He must be an it and not a He. They would be correct to say that Spirit (pneuma) in Greek is a neuter form. However, the neuter in Greek does not imply personhood or non-personhood. For example, the word in Greek translated "demon" (daimonion) is also neuter. Demons are persons, though the Greek word is neuter. Also, the Greek word for child is neuter. In Greek, the personal pronoun must match the gender of the object it is referring to. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has neuter pronouns. However, scholars translate the Greek neuter pronouns as the English masculine pronoun "He" in the above verses to keep with the rules of English.

Even if the above was not true, at times, the Bible does use masculine personal pronouns for the Holy Spirit. In John 16:13, the demonstrative pronoun "that one" (ekeino) is used in the masculine to refer to the Holy Spirit. This may seem to conflict with the rule given above about the pronoun agreeing in gender with the noun. However, this is a figure of speech called heterosis. Heterosis is the use of one gender in the place of another to emphasize something. What Jesus is emphasizing here is that the Holy Spirit is a person. (Source : Watchman)

Further, the helper in Gr. paracletos, is used to describe the Spirit in the New Testament by Jesus. This was used in Greek almost always of persons. Holy Sprit without doubt is definitely a person.Scripture demands this truth. (See also - Holy Spirit a mere active force?)