1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (NRSV):

6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7 But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.

16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

My personal impression upon reading this passage is that the Spirit of God appears to possess cognitive capabilities and be an essential part of God, just like the human spirit is an essential part of a human (I get this from the analogy in verse 11). But what about a more "formal" ontological look on the matter? Is the Spirit of God part of God, in the sense that God consists of his Spirit plus possibly other things? Or are "God" and "the Spirit of God" just labels pointing to the exact same entity? Or are God and the Spirit of God ontologically independent entities? Are these questions answerable to any extent from this passage?

Related: Who distributes spiritual gifts? God or the Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12

  • 1
    As asked, this question was prejudiced by the rendering of [πνεῦμα] as "spirit". I edited it to make it less prejudicial. The Greek has no prejudice toward the Catholic-invented term "spirit". It is impossible to discuss the matter objectively within such a compromised linguistically prejudiced discussion.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 23:47
  • 1
    "spirit" is a word invented by the Catholics specifically to accommodate their dogma of Trinity and completely muddies the waters the question is supposedly designed to address.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 0:03
  • 2
    @Ruminator - I used "spirit" because that's the word that appears in the NRSV. It is also used in the NIV, KJV, ESV, etc. Is there a specific translation that you would use instead? If there is no Bible translation that makes you happy, you are more than welcome to share your own rendering and the implications thereof in an answer.
    – user38524
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 0:09
  • 1
    @Ruminator - why don't you post an answer? I'm honestly curious about what you can bring to the discussion.
    – user38524
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 0:33
  • 2
    I have decided that it isn't a good investment of my time to invest very much energy into research projects with such people as @curiousdannii in positions of control.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 0:43

8 Answers 8


I would say, No.

Your questions, in this place, cannot be answered from this particular passage.

Human spirit/human nature is different from Divine Spirit/Divine nature.

Comparison is drawn here, between the two, but in a limited way, explaining something which is true of Deity by comparing that same thing with one certain aspect of humanity. One aspect compared to that similar aspect, wherein Divine nature and human nature share something in common.

But it is a limited comparison, of only one aspect of nature, wherein humanity and Deity share a particular feature.

The differences, not covered here, require further passages to clarify the matter of Divine Person/Divine Nature/Divine Unity.

That cannot be done from here. No. There is insufficient information about Divine Person and Divine Unity.

  • 1
    True. The real question is about a doctrine, where the title limits scope to a single pericope. A basic rule is that a doctrine must sum up and include all that is said about a matter. On the face of 'bait and switch' the answer is "No." Now if the question were modified to ask what contributions to a doctrinal discussion are found here, then we can discuss it.
    – Bob Jones
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 12:47

Capitalization: The Small Detail with Big Influence

In reading that passage in the original Greek, the first thing I notice is that the modern Greek variants have capitalized the word πνεῦμα / "pneuma" (spirit) which is not capitalized in the majority text, e.g. Masoretic, Byzantine, etc. (I will refer to capitalization from here on as a means of distinguishing between upper/lower case; however, Koine Greek, in which the New Testament was written, was actually ALL capitalized, making no case distinction at all.)

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10, KJV)

ἡμῖν δὲ ὁ θεὸς ἀπεκάλυψεν διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ τὸ γὰρ πνεῦμα πάντα ἐρευνᾷ, καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ (1 Corinthians 2:10, TR)

As can be seen in comparing the texts above, the KJV also chose to capitalize the word in English, even though the Greek was not capitalized.

The next verse shows the distinction made in the KJV between the "spirit" of man and that of God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11, KJV)

Again, both of these "pneuma" are in lowercase in my (digital) copy of the original Greek TR (it's ALL lowercase), but the KJV has converted one of them to uppercase. If we treat them both the same, however, we find the translation of this verse to be a little nuanced. If a man cannot know something apart from his spirit knowing it--what does this actually mean? Perhaps this is a big clue to what Paul understands and means by the use of these terms. No Biblical scholar would assert that the spirit of man is a separate entity or being within the man himself who knows things in the man's stead; nor should such an application be made for the spirit of God to which the spirit of man is likened.

Intriguingly, when the grammar presents the word in a slightly different contextual arrangement, the KJV leaves it as-is, without capitalization.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:12, KJV)

Yet again, there is no capitalization for these "pneuma/spirit" words in the Greek (TR).

The KJV translation actually changes the word in the following verse:

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13, KJV)

ἃ καὶ λαλοῦμεν οὐκ ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνης σοφίας λόγοις ἀλλ᾽ ἐν διδακτοῖς πνεύματος ἁγίου, πνευματικοῖς πνευματικὰ συγκρίνοντες (1 Corinthians 2:13, TR)

The Greek word was still "pneuma" (in its genitive neuter singular form), but the KJV changed it from "spirit" to "Ghost." (Modern textual variants drop the Greek word for "holy" out of this verse.)

Capitalization makes a big difference. For example, we do not capitalize the word "hand" in texts like the following:

Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. (Job 19:21, KJV)

Why not? If God's hand is as divine as God Himself, why not capitalize it? In multiple Asian languages, for example, special royal terms must be used with any deity or royalty, and this would include any body part or action associated with that entity. One cannot simply say "the hand of God"; one must say something like "the royal manus of God" (with both the royal honorific and the royal vocabulary for that body part).

In English, to capitalize God's "Hand" is to give it the status of an entity to itself, as if it might exist separately from God. The same might be said for other expressions. Consider how the following text might appear with "eyes" or "horns" capitalized.

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6, KJV)

Once again, the word "Spirits" here is not capitalized in my copy of the Greek TR. Why is this aspect of God selectively capitalized in the English? It seems it can only be because the translators' understanding had been shaped by the Trinitarian dogma.

Corinthian Context

Within the same book of First Corinthians we find clear evidence that Paul, who wrote this epistle, did not hold the spirit to be a separate being or entity, but rather an influence or ideology.

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:3-5, KJV)

By the words "as though I were present," Paul indicates plainly that he is not to be present. Having just indicated that he will not be there, the next verse indicates that his spirit will be there.

  • Is Paul a spirit? No.
  • Will Paul be there? No.
  • Will Paul's spirit be there? Yes.
  • Do we capitalize "spirit" here? No.
  • Should God's spirit be considered differently from Paul's spirit?

Before one answers that last question, it is important to understand that the Greek does not treat the spirit of God any differently, grammatically, from the spirit of Paul or anyone else. There is no textual support for thinking that God's spirit is a separate entity, worthy of calling "God the Spirit," while Paul's spirit is not, precluding all reference to "Paul the Spirit."

It follows, then, that the spirit of God should not be considered as separate from God Himself. The Father is God, and God has a spirit, just as Paul did and we do.

Paul's "spirit," his influence, was to be present in Corinth at that meeting. The people there were to "have" his spirit with them. Having the spirit of Paul did not make them become Paul. By the same token, we may have the spirit of God (God's influence working in us) without becoming or being God. Consider Paul's own usage again.

But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 7:40, KJV)

The "spirit" can be "had" or felt by persons other than its owner. If you catch my spirit, you take on the same state of feeling, attitude, or determination in which I am found. To have my spirit does not make you me. Nor is my spirit a being separate from me.

Understanding the Bible's use of the term "spirit" helps us answer the original question:

What can we learn about the relationship between "God" and "the Spirit of God" ontologically from 1 Corinthians 2:6-16?

God's spirit is the omnipresent influence of God through which He touches every heart and mind. God IS spirit (see John 4:24), a spiritual being, and, those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. But God's spirit is not some extra-Father or extra-Son existence (being). It is not an entity that can be separated from the Father and the Son. Through God's spirit He is present with us. If the spirit were separate from God the Father or from our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul must not have known about it, for he wrote:

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)

Paul does not mention the spirit here. This is instructional to us in understanding the relationship of the spirit to God. The spirit is inseparable from God--for the spirit is of God.

And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:32, KJV)

The spirit is subject to its owner. Ultimately, whether I am in good spirits or bad is a matter of choice; my "spirit" is but a reflection of my mind.


God has a spirit, and God IS spirit; but God's spirit is not a separate sentient entity from that of God Himself. Paul's writings show that he used the term "spirit" in a manner consistent with an influence, an ideology or philosophy, or a presence; yet Paul does not separate the spirit as an existence apart from its source, whether referencing the spirit of man or that of God.

  • If the spirit were separate from God the Father or from our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul must not have known about it - what about 2 Corinthians 13:11-14? See hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/55344/38524
    – user38524
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 19:28
  • Actually, the original Greek MSS were all uncial - meaning that ONLY capitals were used. However, they all included "nomina sacra" (special abbreviations of names considered divine which had an over-bar) which is tantamount to the use of capitals in English. These demonstrate that the divinity of the Holy Spirit is believed by the scribes of all the earliest MSS. The designation for "Spirit" would be ΠΝΑ with a line over the top.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 9:13

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 Literal Standard Version (LSV)

10but God revealed [them] to us through His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God, 11for who of men has known the things of the man, except the spirit of the man that [is] in him? So also the things of God no one has known, except the Spirit of God. 12And we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that [is] of God, that we may know the things conferred by God on us, 13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things,

14and the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know [them], because they are discerned spiritually; 15and he who is spiritual, indeed discerns all things, and he himself is discerned by no one; 16for who knew the mind of the LORD that he will instruct Him? And **we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 8:26-27 Literal Standard Version (LSV) 26And in like manner also, the Spirit helps our weaknesses; for what we may pray for, as it is necessary, we have not known, but [this] One—the Spirit—makes intercession for us with unutterable groanings, 27and He who is searching the hearts has known what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because according to God He intercedes for holy ones.

  1. The mind of the LORD (1 Corinthians 2:16a)
  2. The mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b)
  3. The mind of the Spirit (Romans 8:27)

Paul spoke of the mind of the LORD, the mind of Christ and the mind of the Spirit, which meant that he regarded these three as persons, or rational beings, that can know things.

Also, in 1 Corinthians 2, the Spirit ''searches'' (v. 10) and ''teaches'' (v. 13). Then in Romans 8:26, the Spirit ''intercedes'. All of these activities were done by persons in the Bible

In verse 11, (''the things of God no one has known, except the Spirit of God''). Here the Spirit of God is analogous to the spirit of man in man in the same verse (''who of men has known the things of the man, except the spirit of the man that [is] in him?''). In thise case, the Spirit of God is in some sense the mind of the LORD in verse. 16. But verse 16 also says that we know the mind of the LORD because we have the mind of Christ. This logically shows that both the Spirit of God and Christ know the mind of the LORD.


We have access to the mind of the LORD because we have the mind of the Spirit and the mind of Christ. They might overlap in some aspect when speaking about their relationship with humans but them being distinct persons (each having one's own mind) is also found in the text.


  1. Both 1 Corinthians and Romans were earliest Pauline epistles. Romans was written in A.D. 57 whilst 1 Corinthians was written in A.D. 56.

I hope to clear more the question. It's a deep one, naturally, however we can have some connections between the Holy Spirit and G'd He Himself in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 in an ontological way, this is, what concerns to the ontos (όντως), i.e., the existence analysis of Them.

First, we find in John 14:26 the following:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (ESV)

So, we can claim, Holy Spirit is the Helper.

According to jewish philosophy, when something is inside another we can say that we are covering something, and we can see this in 1 Corinthians 3:16 as follows:

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (ESV)

So, the cover would be the body (the earth in jewish philosophy), and this is better explained in the Romans 8:9:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (ESV)

Here, there is a distinction between flesh and also Spirit, the verse doesn't ask anyone to leave the flesh, it explains however a concept, it says that the being someone is to be in the Spirit, if the Spirit of G'd dwells inside him. We have to admit that the Spirit of G'd is indeed different from Him, for the Spirit is one attribute of G'd. Again, we can see in Romans 8:26 the role of the Spirit as helper as in:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (ESV)

And Peter says in 2 Peter 1:21:

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

Even though, we said the Spirit of G'd is different from Him, we can't comprehend G'd without the Holy Spirit, it's as if we have just the mind but not the spirit of something or even, the goal of it. Then it's a unity on it (which can be seen in 1 Corinthians 2:11 ):

For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (ESV)

So, clearly the mind is associated with the Spirit, such that, the Spirit helps the mind to comprehend G'd. Ontologically, it's evident that in matter of Salvation, there is no Salvation without the Holy Spirit, so we can argue that for us, G'd and the Holy Spirit is One, it's we that see a difference between Them, a separation, that's why we need the Holy Spirit, but for G'd there is just Him. But we have to think, in this manner, that it's G'd that need us, for we will become more like Him, for He wouldn't need anything. So the answer is that the only one that exists, or the Existence, is G'd.


"Are these questions answerable to any extent from this passage?"

Let me try to answer that drawing solely from the Bible. I would say yes, but the extent is somewhat limited. As Paul writes later in the book, “we see through a glass darkly.”

2:11 ...So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.

What can be more truly God’s than his own nature? But only the Spirit understands it and there doesn’t seem to be much widespread revelation about it, since there is much controversy and disagreement about the true nature of God. God is mystery and he reveals what he chooses to reveal. Few people had much of an idea about the existence of the Word, until he became flesh. Rev. 5:6 speaks of the seven spirits of God. Where do they fit into the ontological picture? We will one day have a much clearer understanding as John promises, but for now let us be circumspect.

1 Jn 3 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Perhaps we shouldn’t try too hard to fit God’s nature into a neat little package, or into a doctrine informed by human philosophy. We simply do not have enough information and that is probably by design.

Col. 2 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.., 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ... 12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Part of faith is believing in a God we don't fully comprehend. I suggest we try to understand God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as much as we can by what we read in scripture without relying too much on outside sources. Just because something has been accepted for a long time, doesn’t mean that it is correct. So, what can we learn about God and the Holy Spirit in this passage?

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

God could reveal himself to us as himself if he so chose, and he could search inside himself if he wanted, but what he has allowed us to understand is that he uses his Spirit for that. There are two entities with different roles. One sends and one reveals as directed to. One searches and one allows himself to be searched. I don’t think it is helpful to say that Spirit is just a different label for God. God created a distinction between himself and his Spirit, so let’s respect that. The fact that the Father has a separate spirit should not affect how we relate to him. In fact, his Spirit, who has his own mind, will help us relate to God the Father better.

Rom. 8 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

There appears to be a hierarchy because the one being sent is not greater than the one who sent him. The one who intercedes is not greater than the one who is petitioned. Even Jesus has the authority to send the Spirit of the Father to be with us.

Jn 15 26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

The Father and Son (subordinate by definition) are emphasized much more in scripture than the Spirit. The hierarchy remains to the end and culminates in this manner.

1 Cor 15 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. NASB

I don’t think the human analogy is very helpful to our understanding here, even though it is true. We are not consciously aware of the distinctiveness of our spirit. We can’t send our spirit to do things for us (I wish!) But our spirit does things for us that we may not even be aware of. We may call it intuition, for example. The Spirit of God may also be revealing things to us and we may or may not be aware of the source. But “Those who are spiritual discern all things...,”

Yes, we do have the mind of Christ, so

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Phil 2 5 KJV

Jesus humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. Let us beware of becoming too presumptuous and dogmatic about what he think we know about the unsearchable nature of God. Let us just accept that he is far beyond our limited capacity to understand at this point.

1 Cor 8 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. NASB

We may also say, based on the text in question, that there is one Spirit, who searches everything, even the depths of God, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

Let us, therefore, be one in the Spirit, using the gifts he has bestowed, and work together as brothers and sisters to spread the good news of the kingdom of God. That is what God has called us to do. Most theological differences are quite secondary. I leave you with this benediction in which 3 distinct roles/defining characteristics are emphasized.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 2 Cor 13:14 NASB


The position or proposition put by the OP, that the Holy Spirit is simply the divine influence or the "mind" of God and NOT a separate person is the principle contention of Arians. This does not make it wrong, just important; that is, I record this to make clear that it on this precise matter that Arians (with Binitarians) and Trinitarians part company.

Therefore we must clarify two matters:

1. The Greek word πνεῦμα (pneuma = wind breath spirit) is used in an almost bewildering array of meanings in the NT as BDAG's long list shows. ONE of those shades of meaning is:

  • BDAG: "spiritual state of mind, disposition", eg, 1 Cor 4:21, Gal 6:1, Eph 4:23, 1 Peter 3:4, etc.
  • Thayer: "the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire,"

This real issue here is - Can such a meaning be extrapolated to all instances in both man and God? Arians say "yes" and Trinitarians say "no".

Another way to pose the same question is - What is the evidence of the personhood of the Holy Spirit?

2. Personhood of the Holy Spirit

The usual evidence for the independent personhood of the Holy Spirit consists of the following:

  • The passages in John 15:26 – 16:14 repeatedly talk about the Holy Spirit as a separate person from either the Father or Jesus. Further, this same passage also repeated used the masculine first person demonstrative pronoun, ἐκεῖνος.
  • 1 Cor 2:10, 11 (see also Isa 40:13, 14) also identifies the Holy Spirit as a separate person because of His teaching and instructing function. See also Rom 15:19 and Ps 104:30.
  • In Matt 12:31, 32, Mark 3:28, 29, and Luke 12:8-10 the unforgivable sin is defined as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is an expansion of Isa 63:10-14 where people grieved the Holy Spirit. Such a sin would not be even possible if the Holy Spirit were not both a person and divine. Note further, that these passages make a clear distinction between sinning against the Son or Father as opposed to the Holy Spirit, again, shown that the Holy Spirit is distinct.
  • The Holy Spirit is called ἄλλον Παράκλητον, that is “another comforter” (or advocate or helper), John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7 (compare 1 John 2:1). Note that Jesus uses the adjective ἄλλος (allos) meaning another one similar to Jesus; as distinct from ἕτερος (heteros) meaning another of a different kind. Thus, the Holy Spirit is called a “comforter” and was to be a divine being like Jesus (1 John 2:1).
  • In 1 Cor 12:11 it is the Holy Spirit who decides about spiritual gifts and their distribution. This passage attributes volition and sentience to the person of the Holy Spirit.
  • Possibly the best verses to demonstrate the individuality, personhood of the Holy Spirit is found in Rom 8:26, 27, which says –

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Now, there are two features about the important passage in 1 Cor 2 about the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit is called, "the Spirit of God" consistent with lots of other such passages, eg, Matt 3:16, 12:28, Rom 8:9, 14, 15:19, 1 Cor 3:16, 6:11, 7:40, 12:3, 2 Cor 3:3, Eph 4:30, Phil 3;3, 1 Peter 4:14, etc. The Holy Spirit is called the "the Spirit of Christ" in Rom 8:9, Phil 1:19, 1 Peter 1:11. This latter designation is consistent with the Holy Spirit's primary function to teach us about, and make us like Jesus Christ:

However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.

  • The passage in 1 Cor 2 is parallel to Rom 8:26, 27 (quoted above) about the independent work of the Holy Spirit in revealing the thoughts and intention of God to humans in the various ways that He does this such as:
  1. To produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22 & 23, see especially v24-26) and so to sanctify (make distinct) the church members.
  2. The above changed life is to be a distinguishing sign or seal of God’s ownership of our lives and a guarantee of better things to come (Eph 1:13, 4:30).
  3. To provide specific guidance for the church (John 16:7-12, 14:17, 15:26 – see also Ecclesiology) namely (a) Convict of sin, (b) Instruct in Righteous (= right doing), (c) Convict of judgement to come
  4. To build up the church with spiritual (supernatural) gifts and abilities, 1 Cor 12:7, 14:12, and to influence/teach others John 7:37-39. See Rom 12:6-8, 1 Cor 12:8-10, 28-30, Eph 4:11, 1 Peter 4:10, 11, 1 Tim 4:14, Ex 35:30-33, etc.
  5. To strengthen the members in their daily walk to live the Christian ideals, Eph 3:16, 17, Heb 2:4, and maintain unity in the Christian community (Eph 4:3-6). The Christian must be born of the Spirit (John 3:5) by receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38) and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25, John 6:63, Phil 3:3, John 4:24). In fact the whole life of Christian is to put aside the “psychical” mind and live by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14, 1 Cor 15:44-46, Gal 5:17, Jude 19, John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18). In short, the Holy Spirit is the only way we can know God, 1 Cor 2:10, 11, 14, John 16:13.
  6. To teach the church more of the character and work Jesus and thus, imitate Jesus, John 7:38, 39, 15:26, 16:12-15, Rom 8:4, 11, Eph 3:17, 18, 4:3-6, 1 Thess 1:6, 4:8, 1 Cor 2:14.
  7. The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to write Scripture, and explains such spiritual truths to us. John 14:16, 17, 15:26, 1 Cor 2:6-16, Eph 1:17-19, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Tim 3:15, 16, 1 Thess 1:5, Heb 9:8, 1 Peter 1:12, Ps 119:18.

In conclusion, all this shows the extremely close and mysterious relationship between the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father.


God reveals the truth of this very basic concept of His spirit through the Apostles.

for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:12

for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matt 10:20

There is no need for fancy words and vivid imaginations that force all kinds of meaning onto the scriptures. The Father is the "one true God" 1Cor 8:6, and the spirit of the Father IS the holy spirit.

Is the "spirit of adoption" (Rom 8:15) a separate spirit? Or the spirit of grace, wisdom or glory? NO. It is the presence of God in those things, just as it was God's spirit present in Mary to conceive Jesus.

these things God has revealed to us through the spirit; for the spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the spirit of God. v10

We can read a person in here too if we must, but that is not what Paul is expressing. Those are God's people - how? Because His spirit dwells in them as a gift, a deposit of a future immortal, holy life. How do we know the important things? God's spirit in us reveals the depths of God to us - so we understand what we are becoming, how to live and think, how to reject the wicked selfish life and embrace the new. (Do we really imagine a separate person Spirit searching the depths of God when he IS God too? This imaginative theory, like many truths expressed in other answers that impose a dogma onto the text that is not warranted)

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Luke 10:22

Another plain revelation that requires no interpretation - if there was a holy spirit person he would be included in this matter. Again and again Jesus is made a liar by adding to his holy words with human wisdoms. The only holy spirit person is the one of men's imaginations.

And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 1 Cor 2:13

As is the custom of many, the human wisdom has magnified abundant theories about the Spirit of God which has not made truth any clearer but rather generated confusion.

What can we learn about God and His spirit?

They are one! They are not ontologically independent entities? The Holy Spirit IS God, God IS spirit, everything He does is expressed spiritually - either through word, action or presence. Just as the logos does nothing of itself, neither does a separate holy spirit.


There were four questions and I shall try to answer on each of them:

  1. Is the Spirit of God part of God, in the sense that God consists of his Spirit plus possibly other things?

No, for in Paul’ language “God” usually, but not always, refers to the Person of the Father (as it is the case here also), rarely to the Person of the Son, and never to the Spirit (if only implicitly cf. 1 Cor. 6:19). Now, given that Spirit in this particular passage has a clear personal feature of examining/knowing, then He must be a distinct person from the God (i.e. Father). But what sort of person? No created person can know “the depths”, that is to say, the entirety of God, be that person angel, super-archangel, or super-duper-arch-arch-angel, but only the one equal to God, like human spirit can know what is in depths of human heart, for the knowledge of human spirit is equal to and can encompass the content of the human heart. Therefore, we are necessitated to put the Person of the Spirit in capital letters as the Persons of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, for He can be but equal to God the Father, for epistemological equality entails necessarily also ontological equality.

If so - and of course so! - then your initial intuition that according to this passage the Spirit is of the same essence with the Father, sharing with the Latter the same ον-ticity or beingness, albeit retaining His personal distinctness, is totally warranted. And the same is upheld by the mainstream Christian - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant - traditions, not to mention also Coptic, Armenian an even Nestorian traditions.

Wanted to answer also the other three questions, but incidentally all of them happened to have been answered here!

All in one, like in some shampoos that both clean and extinguish dandruff, and moreover, also prevent hair loss :)

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