Dear Mr. Zukeran,
I do not believe the holy spirit is a person, mainly because it does not have a name. The names you give all have the word "the" preceding it. This indicates that the following word is a title, not a name. (For example "the President", obviously "President" is not a name.) Also, the words "holy spirit" are at times in lower case. Of course you know names are never in lower case.
Thank you for your question. The Holy Spirit gives a command (Acts 13:2), He can be lied to (Acts 5), and He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). This shows the Holy Spirit is an intelligent thinking person. One cannot lie to an inanimate force like electricity or fire. You cannot even lie to a cat or dog--it must be an intelligent cognitive thinking person. Also why does Jesus use personal pronoun "He" and "Him" in addressing the Holy Spirit (John 16)?
Regarding a name. Respectfully, that really is not much of an argument. The previous verses show the Holy Spirit has the qualiites of a person; this makes Him a person. You stated because He does not have a personal name you think he is not a person. Allow me to use an illustration. If I say, "the King of Jordan is coming" what do I mean? Do I mean an impersonal, non-living entity is coming, or do I mean a person who rules over Jordan is coming? Obviously I mean a person is coming. Even if I do not know his personal name, we all know I am talking about a person. Just because I do not know if his name is George, Fred, or John but know him as "The King of Jordan" does that mean he is not a person?
The Holy Spirit has all the attributes of a person. He speaks, He thinks, He can be grieved, He can be lied to, etc. . . . Just because we do not address him as Fred or George but by His title "the Holy Spirit" does not mean He is not a person. I may never know the pesonal name of the King of Jordan, but whenever I speak of the King of Jordan, I am referring to a person.
Thanks for writing.
About the Author
Patrick Zukeran served on the staff of Probe Ministries for 22 years, having received graduate degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and Southern Evangelical Seminary (D.Min). He presently serves on the faculty of the Bible Institute of Hawaii (www.biblehawaii.org) and is the Director of the Pacific Apologetics Center (www.pacificapologetics.org) based in Hawaii. He serves on the faculty of several Christian colleges around the world. He has a national and international speaking and teaching ministry, and also hosts a national and international radio show “Evidence and Answers” (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat has authored several books including The Apologetics of Jesus, co-authored with Norman Geisler, Unless I See, and served as editor of God, Eternity, and Spirituality. Pat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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