1

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

Has Jesus forgotten the co-equal, eternal God, the Holy Spirit here?

Or, is this a confirmation that there is no 'person' called Holy Spirit?

The disciples also suggest this latter option is the case, the so-titled 'Holy Spirit' is another term for the Spirit of the Father.

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

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

6
  • Keep answers to the answers box; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 15 at 6:00
  • 1
    What translation of Luke 12:12 are you using? Both mGNT and TR have τὸ γὰρ ἅγιον πνεῦμα διδάξει ὑμᾶς ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἃ δεῖ εἰπεῖν - "for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (ESV) Apr 16 at 2:30
  • 1
    well spotted - were reversed.
    – steveowen
    Apr 16 at 2:37
  • 1
    I think you should correct the statement: "the so-titled 'Holy Spirit' is another term for the Spirit of the Father" unless you can cite Scripture to support the "Spirit of your Father" as another term for the Holy Spirit. Apr 16 at 2:46
  • 1
    -1 for first inventing a translation of Luke 12:12 and then failing to correct or show "the Holy Spirit" is another term for Spirit of your Father." Apr 16 at 18:22
3

“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will." - Luke 10:21

In context here the little children are the disciples. "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see", Jesus tells them just one verse later. "No one" here (in context) is referring to humanity in general and Israel in particular and is not intended as a reference inclusive of heavenly beings.

The target audience is those people (the Jews) who believed that they already knew the Father:

“We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. - John 8:41b-43 

Jesus is trying to teach them that they can only know the Father through the Son and they can only know the Son by revelation of the Father. "Blessed are you Simon, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven." To grab "no one" out of context and say, "Aha" is not good study...there is immediate context and larger context...line upon line, precept upon precept.

If "no one" excludes every single being except the Father and the Son then we have (just a few examples):

  1. Gabriel not knowing who the Son is even though he announced him.

  2. Satan not knowing who the Son is even though he tempted him in the wilderness.

  3. Various demons not knowing who the Son is even though they call him by name.

And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” - Matthew 8:29

And I will close the answer out with a passage from Mark:

And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. - Mark 3:11-12

If OP is correct then the Father and Son are at cross purposes: The Father revealing the Son to unclean spirits and the Son silencing them. The testimony of Scripture is otherwise. The demons know, and tremble. 

3
  • As to be expected, you have given a fine propositional response. However, I don't think it answers the q. of the text. He said what he said - we cannot justify reasons for it to not be true.
    – steveowen
    Feb 16 at 20:52
  • If I said, "I dropped the coffee mug and it broke but I cleaned it up, replaced it, and no one knows other than myself and you, now that I have told you." would you assume I was including God in the 'no one knows' category? After all, I didn't mention Him. We are supposed to reason from the scriptures and they are crammed full of propositional truths. Feb 17 at 1:56
  • 1
    LOL, well he could have said God - which would have covered them all, but he didn't. In practically every conversation or message the HS is never included except in passing - no welcomes no final thoughts, no recognition as an entity, just as a means to accomplish God's work. Even Jesus says 'one God the Father.' I'm just pointing out what it says, if it doesn't fit the threeology something is wrong.
    – steveowen
    Feb 17 at 2:10
2

I think the answer to this question is rather simple:

Luke 10:22 is talking about PEOPLE not the Godhead, not heavenly beings, etc. I am sure that all the angels in heaven know Jesus and the Father very well indeed - much better than anyone here.

Thus, this verse teaches a very simple fact - we can only know God as He is revealed to us by God. Interestingly, it is the Holy Spirit who does this revealing as recorded in several places:

  • John 16:13, 14 - 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.
  • Rom 8:26, 27 - 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.

See also John 7:38, 39, 15:26, Rom 8:4, 11, Eph 3:17, 18, 4:3-6, 1 Thess 1:6, 4:8, 1 Cor 2:14. This is ample evidence that the Holy Spirit is a real person who knows the mind of God.

3
  • So he is essentially lying - telling a 1/2 truth. That doesn't sound right either. He says no one EXCEPT the Father - that leaves out everyone including a HS person. The angels don't know everything - they long to look at things the church knows! 1 Pet 1:12 Eph 3:9-11
    – steveowen
    Feb 15 at 6:27
  • 1
    @user48152...you misquoted 1 Peter. Read the sentence before the one you quoted in that passage...."when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. "
    – Adam
    Feb 15 at 19:35
  • 1
    @user48152...Also Ephesians actually says the following just a little earlier than the passage you quoted...vs 5 "which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets."
    – Adam
    Feb 15 at 19:41
2

Why does the Holy Spirit not know who Jesus is? Luke 10:22

Or, is this a confirmation that there is no 'person' called Holy Spirit?

It is a confirmation that the holy spirit is not a person. Under inspiration, Luke wrote that the holy spirit is the "Power of the Most High".Luke 1:34-35

J.Moffat Luke 1:34,35

34" Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 "The angel answered her, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence what is born will be called holy, Son of God."

Bible passages help us to establish whether the holy spirit is a person or not, most Christians are aware of the events that took place on the day of the Pentecost. Can a person be filled with holy spirit if the holy spirit were a person?

Acts 2:1-4 NASB

The Day of Pentecost

2 When the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, [b]distributing themselves, and a tongue [c]rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different [d]tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out.

Can God pour out a portion of a coequal God?

Acts 2:17 NET

17 ‘And in the last days[a] it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream

Similarly, with Moses, God took some of the spirit from Moses and put it on the seventy elders.

Numbers 11:25 (NRSV)

25 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on [Moses]him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again."

5
  • Can a person be filled with holy spirit if the holy spirit were a person? Can God pour out a portion of a coequal God?..very good question, you've got me thinking here. But, how about when Jesus said, "baptized them in the name of the Father,Son and Holy Spirit? Now, in this passage for sure, the Holy Spirit is a person, right? Apr 18 at 5:26
  • Jong ricafort: Not necessarily, when a police officer stops you for a violation of the law and says to you, "I arrest you in the name of the law, does this make the law a person? Suggest you look into the aspect of (1) John’s baptism, (2) water baptism of Jesus and his followers, (3) baptism into Christ Jesus and into his death, (4) baptism with fire.), (5) baptism with holy spirit) . If you have any difficulty, you may lodge a question, and I will be glad to answer. All the above are mentioned in the scriptures. Tks. Apr 18 at 7:08
  • Ozzie I agree on some of your answer, But, If the Father and Son is a person, why would the Holy Spirit not a person be included in baptizing? Apr 19 at 23:42
  • 1
    Jong ricafort : Neither is water or fire a person -Baptizing in water- Acts 8:12, 38. It was not until the fourth century C.E. did the teaching that the holy spirit was a person and part of the “Godhead” become official church dogma. So why baptizing in the name of the holy spirit? When, in English, we say, “in the name of the law,” or “in the name of common sense,” we have no reference to a person as such. Apr 20 at 6:51
  • By “name” in these expressions, we mean ‘what the law stands for or its authority and ‘what common sense represents or calls for, hence baptism ‘in the name of the holy spirit’ implies recognition of that spirit as having its source in God and as exercising its function according to the divine will. Apr 20 at 6:51
2

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22 ESV)

πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου καὶ οὐδεὶς γινώσκει τίς ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ πατὴρ εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι

"No one" is the English rendering of οὐδεὶς which means no one. For example:

Now when he looked around this way and that and that, he saw no one, and struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (LXX-Exodus 2:12 NETS)
περιβλεψάμενος δὲ ὧδε καὶ ὧδε οὐχ ὁρᾷ οὐδένα καὶ πατάξας τὸν Αἰγύπτιον ἔκρυψεν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἄμμῳ

Obviously this can not be interpreted to exclude God or any other spiritual entity for that matter.

Moreover, attempting to include the Holy Spirit in οὐδεὶς will contradict other Scripture:

7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16)

Not only does the Holy Spirit know Jesus: He is clearly distinct from the Father.

1

OP: Why does the Holy Spirit not know who Jesus is?

I believe this question is flawed from the start because it assumes as a premise that the Holy Spirit does not know Jesus, and then seeks an explanation for that premise. I claim that the premise is wrong to begin with, in light of what 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 (ESV) says:

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 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. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Basically, the Spirit of God knows everything that God knows. Therefore, if God knows who Jesus is, it logically follows that the Spirit of God also knows who Jesus is. Also notice that the Spirit of God has cognitive capabilities, because it comprehends the thoughts of God (it understands things), which presumably includes things that are way beyond the comprehension of any human or even angelic mind. In other words, you could argue that the Holy Spirit has an omniscient mind. And also, that it is alive (this is a reasonable idea to accept considering that all instances of spirits in the Bible, either good or evil, are living conscious beings, and also considering that spirits are the 'breath of life', i.e. spirits are what make stuff alive).

In short, you could argue that the Spirit of God (1) has an omniscient mind and (2) is alive. Those two attributes alone sound very much like attributes of a person. So, though not a definite proof, at least they can be viewed as compelling reasons to justify a belief in the personhood of the Holy Spirit.


OP: Has Jesus forgotten the co-equal, eternal God, the Holy Spirit here?

Not necessarily, I think there is still room to think that Jesus is implicitly including the Holy Spirit in the conversation. First of all, as we just saw, the Spirit of God knows everything that God knows, so restating this fact every single time would be unnecessary or sound redundant, and maybe Jesus didn't deem it necessary here. Secondly, the Holy Spirit was indeed part of the scene. If you look at the verse right before your quote, you will see that the Holy Spirit is the one who inspired Jesus to say what he said:

Luke 10:21-22 (ESV):

21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Moreover, in Luke 4:16-21 (ESV) Jesus explicitly acknowledges the anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life and messianic ministry, so he was definitely aware, and claiming otherwise (that Jesus somehow "forgot" about the Holy Spirit) would not make much sense:

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
          because he has anointed me
          to proclaim good news to the poor.
        He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
          and recovering of sight to the blind,
          to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19    to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”


OP: Or, is this a confirmation that there is no 'person' called Holy Spirit?

I already offered a couple of reasons why you might think the Holy Spirit has personhood: (1) it (very very likely) has a(n omniscient) mind and (2) it (very very likely) is alive, two attributes that, to the best of my knowledge, only apply simultaneously to persons. You can find other reasons people have compiled to believe in the personhood of the Holy Spirit here: What is the biblical basis for the personhood of the Holy Spirit?. Again, these are not definite proofs, but you will hardly ever see a formal, logical, mathematical proof for anything in Scriptural matters. It's unfortunate, but that's the reality in any discipline that lacks a standard, logical, mathematical formalism.


OP: The disciples also suggest this latter option is the case, the so-titled 'Holy Spirit' is another term for the Spirit of the Father. (Luke 12:12, Matthew 10:20)

Yes, I agree. In fact, both the Son and the Father send the Holy Spirit (e.g. see Who sends the Holy Spirit? The Son or the Father?). However, I wouldn't be so quick to claim that the Holy Spirit and the Father are exactly the same. To be honest, things get philosophically complicated when we try to offer a formal ontological description of the nature of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and I won't do that here. Yet, I still think there are compelling reasons to think that the Holy Spirit and the Father are in some respect distinct from each other (they are distinct entities, beings, persons, whatever you wanna call it). You can find examples of verses pointing to this conclusion in the following question: How do Biblical Unitarians understand verses that appear to identify God (the Father) and the Holy Spirit as different beings/entities?.


Conclusion

In sum, I would say there are compelling reasons to believe that:

  1. the Holy Spirit is omniscient (and therefore knows who Jesus is).
  2. the Holy Spirit has attributes of a person.
  3. the Holy Spirit is not the same as the Father nor the Son (they are different beings, entities, or whatever word or philosophical term you may prefer to use).
-1

The Son knows the Father through the Holy Spirit.

The Father knows the Son through the Holy Spirit.

We know this, for this is how we know the Father and the Son.

In Spirit. Else we know not God at all.

God is [a] Spirit. And they that worship Him must worship [him] in Spirit and in truth.

[John 4:24 KJV]


... who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God ...

[Hebrews 9:14 KJV]

10
  • 3
    That sounds great - except it dispenses with a triune construct. Why would the Father and Son need a third entity to know each other?
    – steveowen
    Feb 15 at 3:40
  • 1
    @user48152 for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 15 at 3:46
  • 1
    @user48152 the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 15 at 3:47
  • 3
    I'm Trinitarian but I too am not convinced that the Father and Son know each other through the Spirit. The three persons are equal and relate unmediated. At least that's what I thought classic Nicene Trinitarianism would have taught.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 15 at 6:03
  • 2
    @NigelJ this answer seems unacceptable on BH - the passages offer no support for your brief proposal.
    – steveowen
    Feb 16 at 6:35
-3

There have been several interesting and novel ideas proposed to answer the apparent ignorance of the Holy Spirit in knowing things or other 'persons' he would be expected to know. Like Jesus for example, who he should have known for like, 'ever'!

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

Let's dispense with the idea that others knew Jesus - thus relegating this verse as insignificant, or even redundant.

Most who encountered Jesus knew who he was - Satan, Gabrielle, the demons etc, etc. Clearly this verse isn't about knowing OF Jesus. The devil knew perfectly well Jesus was the son of God. (not God, as he would be wasting his time trying to tempt God to sin)

But, judging by the inspired text, they didn't know him as the Father did. Only the Father knew him in the intimate and deep manner as the verse suggests - and, only Jesus knew the Father in like manner.

This still leaves the holy spirit out in the cold - if he is a person at all. An eternal, co-equal Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son all happily together for 'ever', and one doesn't count for even a mention and is demoted to ignorance of his co-equal.

If it is not a 'person entity', then the verse makes perfect sense.

no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son... Luke 10:22

Jesus is ruling out everyone - humans, spirits, devils from his statement - 'only the Father knows'. If there was a Holy Spirit entity he would have to be included in this intimate knowing.

By exclusion in this matter of deep, intimate knowing, the case is closed.

The general absence of inclusion of the alleged 'person' of HS in Godly matters is an indication that the person status is fabricated, and this verse in Luke leaves no doubt.

There is abundant biblical revelation showing that the Father is God, Jesus is His human son, and the holy spirit is the power and presence of God and His son. If we are to make more of this Holy Spirit then we must read into the text that which is simply not there, was never there, nor inspired to be there. We add a new dimension to the text it does not call for.

After all that talk of Jesus sending the spirit to be with them, there's this glaring omission of the other so-called 'person'. John 14:20

On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you.

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make a home with him. v23

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Mk 13:32

It's quite clear. There is no biblical instruction, revelation or mandate from Jesus or the apostles for a Holy Spirit 'person or entity'.

To align with inherited dogma, there seems to be a need to make 'him' fit the text wherever possible. Sadly, our bibles have liberally sprinkled 'him' and 'he' everywhere to make the interpretative job easier!

9
  • 3
    I did not know it was possible for the OP to then appoint his or her own answer to their question 'Best Answer'. And that within a day of asking the Q! What's going on here? Is this not unethical? Did you have your mind already made up even as you asked your question, and really asked it to give yourself a platform for gaining 'Best Answer'? Please explain how I am wrong to wonder this!
    – Anne
    Apr 27 at 15:21
  • 2
    @Anne - it's actually explicitly encouraged to ask and provide answers to questions you already understand, so that aspect isn't really at fault. However, you're right that this is only helpful where users are also genuinely open to alternative answers - if users are 'seeking a platform' or just wanting to 'stump the chumps' then that's what would be considered a more 'unethical' aspect.
    – Steve Taylor
    Apr 28 at 8:24
  • 1
    @steve how to reconcile "ask and provide answers to questions you already understand" with "'seeking a platform". I allowed weeks to pass before posting an answer, based not on ideas or theory, but the unambiguous text. With 4 UV and 5 DV, it's clear that some just don't want to see what the text shows. There was plenty of time to post an answer that accurately refutes my Q posit. This is an important topic that deserves some biblical inquiry - that's what we are here for.
    – steveowen
    Apr 28 at 8:31
  • 1
    True - it's great that you allowed that much time, and so @Anne was incorrect to assert that you answered it within a day of asking - I suspect she just saw the '15' and not the month. To me, it all comes back to 'authorial intent'. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I personally suspect you don't have a shred of doubt in your mind about the two questions you've posed, and the Q reinforces your favoured view using two other verses - is this an exegesis of Luke 10 question, or a contradiction? You're asking people to answer a question about the Holy Spirit using a verse that doesn't use the term at all.
    – Steve Taylor
    Apr 28 at 8:45
  • 1
    True - but again it comes back to what the question actually is. If you're primarily exegeting Luke 10, what do other sources or commentaries have to say about it? I think the risk here is that you're asking a question that the text doesn't seem to relate to or try to answer. What is the Holy Spirit, based on a text that doesn't mention the term? Maybe it means what you think it does in an implicit sort of way - but it's difficult to establish whether meaning is being read out of or into Luke 10 when we need to pair it with unrelated passages to find the point you're looking for.
    – Steve Taylor
    Apr 28 at 8:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.