In Rom. 1:4, it is written,

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: KJV, 1769

τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν TR, 1550

What is the meaning of the phrase «πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης»? Does it refer to the Holy Spirit or to something else?

1 Answer 1


According to three different Greek Church Fathers, Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit here.

Cyril of Jerusalem refers to this verse in his 17th Catechetical Lecture ("Continuation of the Discourse on the Holy Ghost"):

Thou wilt find many other titles of the Holy Ghost besides. Thus He is called the Spirit of Holiness, as it is written, According to the Spirit of Holiness1

Basil the Great also refers to the verse in his discourse, On the Spirit:

You expect to be glorified together with Christ; (“if so be that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together;” [Romans 8:17]) but you do not glorify the “Spirit of holiness” together with Christ, as though He were not worthy to receive equal honour even with you. You hope to “reign with” [2 Timothy 2:12] Christ; but you “do despite unto the Spirit of grace” [Hebrews 10:29] by assigning Him the rank of a slave and a subordinate.2

He also paraphrases Romans 1:4 in referring to the Holy Spirit as the "fount of holiness" in one of his Epistles.3

Finally, a later Greek writer, John of Damascus, also interprets the verse in this way, writing:

[Other sayings] again are for the purpose of revealing Him to us and strengthening our faith, as, And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was [John 17:5]. For He Himself was glorified and is glorified, but His glory was not manifested nor confirmed to us. Also that which the apostle said, Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead [Romans 1:4]. For by the miracles and the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit it was manifested and confirmed to the world that He is the Son of God.4

1 Lecture XVII.5
2 Chapter XXVIII, "That our opponents refuse to concede in the case of the Spirit the terms which Scripture uses in the case of men, as reigning together with Christ", Article 70
3 Epistle VIII.10
4 Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, IV.XVIII

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