Defense of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit

 Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, the third person of the Trinity. They believe that he is an impersonal force (like electricity) that Jehovah uses to perform actions. The following texts demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person.

(The hyper-linked references will open an online NAS Bible to the chapter cited).

  • Scripture

John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7-14– The Holy Spirit is referred to with the personal pronoun he rather than it.

The Holy Spirit speaks – (Luke 2:26, John 16:13,Acts 8:29, 10:19-20, 11:12, 13:2, Hebrews 3:7)

The Holy Spirit can be offended – Hebrews 10:29– "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?" – How can electricity be insulted?

The Holy Spirit can be lied to – Acts 5:3– "But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?" – Electricity doesn’t choose.

The Holy Spirit can choose – 1 Corinthians 12:11– "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." How can electricity decide?

The Holy Spirit searches - 1 Corinthians 2:10-11– "For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." – How can God’s power search and know God?

The Holy Spirit is God -Matthew 12:31-32 (alsoMark 3:29-30; Luke 12:10); Matthew 28:19; Romans 8:26– "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. " Objects cannot intercede.

  • Tradition / History

"Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and so will you know in what sense this is said. Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each Other. This statement is taken in a wrong sense by every uneducated as well as every perversely disposed person, as if it predicated a diversity, in such a sense as to imply a separation among the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit...Happily the Lord Himself employs this expression of the person of the Paraclete, so as to signify not a division or severance, but a disposition (of mutual relations in the Godhead); for He says, 'I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter. ... even the Spirit of truth,' thus making the Paraclete distinct from Himself, even as we say that the Son is also distinct from the Father; so that He showed a third degree in the Paraclete, as we believe the second degree is in the Son, by reason of the order observed in the Economy." (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, 9 written AD 213

  • Summary

The Holy Spirit is a divine person (See CCC 687 – 747). Scripture attributes much more to the Holy Spirit than it would an impersonal force. He is spoken of with person pronouns. The Holy Spirit can be insulted, lied to, glorified and blasphemed.