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Acts 15:28 (ESV):

28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:

Since the pronoun "us" clearly points to the people at the Jerusalem Council (who were persons capable of having personal opinions), and since the whole phrase is "to the Holy Spirit and to us", does it mean that Holy Spirit is presented here as another person (and a very important one) who shares the same opinion as everyone else and, by extension, as a Person capable of having personal opinions about things?

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It seemed good
Ἔδοξεν (Edoxen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1380: A prolonged form of a primary verb, doko dok'-o of the same meaning; to think; by implication, to seem.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

  1. to be of opinion, think, suppose ...
  2. intransitive, to seem, be accounted, reputed

The primary meaning is to think; the secondary meaning is to seem.

Holman Christian Standard Bible

For it was the Holy Spirit's decision--and ours--to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things

Does it mean that Holy Spirit is presented here as another person (and a very important one)?

Yes, he is, in fact, the most important person with the weightiest opinion.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(28) It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us . . .—The measure was, the Apostles were persuaded, one of wisdom and charity, and they could not ascribe those gifts to any other source than the Spirit who gives a right judgment in all things.

The members of the Jerusalem Council were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The words have since become almost a formula for the decrees of councils and synods, often used most recklessly when those decrees bore most clearly the marks of human policy and passion. Here we may well admit that the claim was founded on a real inspiration, remembering, however, as we do so, that an inspired commandment does not necessarily involve a permanent obligation.

This fulfilled Jesus' prophecy in John 16:13

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Is Acts 15:28 evidence that the Holy Spirit is a personal being capable of having opinions about things?

Definitely. Furthermore, His opinions were authoritative to the council members.

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Does the Holy Spirit have personal opinions about things?

Acts 15:28 NKJV
28For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

To whom did James' decision regarding the Gentiles seem good? James said, "the Holy Spirit".

However, does the Holy Spirit speak on His own authority?

John 16:13 NKJV
13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

Does the Holy Spirit speak on His own authority? Jesus clarified, "He will not speak on His own authority".

By whose authority is the Holy Spirit sent?

John 15:26 NKJV
26"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

By whose authority is the Holy Spirit sent? Jesus said, "I shall send to you".

By whose authority also is the Holy Spirit sent?

John 14:26 NKJV
26But 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 things that I said to you.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

By whose authority also is the Holy Spirit sent? Jesus said, "the Father will send". Hence, when something seems good to the Holy Spirit, it merely reflects the judgment of those by whom He was sent.

What is a function of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 5:32 NLT
32We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.”
(Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1996.)

What is a function of the Holy Spirit? Peter said, "We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit is a witness, and the function of a witness is to observe and report, not to make decisions.

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  • @carsonfel - so yes or no? Is Acts 15:28 evidence of personhood or not? It's a yes/no question. Mar 17 at 19:25
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator depends what you mean on "personhood". The Holy Spirit is a separate being from God, but entirely subordinate.
    – carsonfel
    Mar 18 at 9:32
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator the question I answered was: Does the Holy Spirit have personal opinions about things? To which the answer is no.
    – carsonfel
    Mar 18 at 9:41
  • Absolutely - stick to what the bible says!. And, his ‘shadow’ in the O.T. Is always the ‘un-named servant’. That is, He does not draw any attention to himself. He always ‘points’ to Christ.
    – Dave
    Mar 18 at 19:37
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His reference to the Holy Spirit is to the source of power exhibited by the laying on of hands. Have you seen the power of God displayed through yourself or someone else in a significant way? And yet the same exhibit of His power doesn't always happen in that manner?

"It seemed good of the Holy Spirit" is not a reference to the Spirit having an opinion of His own, but rather showing that this laying on of hands exhibited the power of the Holy Spirit as well.

What we know of the Holy Spirit through the culmination of Scripture is that He always points towards the Father and of the Son, and never at Himself. We also know that He expressly and exclusively carries out the will of the Father and Son, particularly the Father's will, as He is the operations manager and planner of God, as described in Scripture.

John 15:26

"26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me."

This verse is an example of many that describe the role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives in this world. He has His own will because He is also a Person of the Trinity (which Ozzie Ozzie incorrectly concludes He's not), but His acts of will and deed always reflect the operation manager's will, that is God the Father's.

Matthew 28:19, 20--

"19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen."

Note the use of all persons, "names". of the trinity into which we are to baptize disciples? The Holy Spirit is an equal, but as the Son was submissive of His will to the Father, so the Spirit submits his will to both and acts on their behalf. Another example of the trinity ("Lord" as in the Lord Jesus Christ) in Scripture from

Ephesians 4:4-6

"4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [c]you all."

These next two show how although they are three persons, and equals, they have different roles and show that through submission.

Philippians 2:5-8

"5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [b]robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [c]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Luke 22:41-44

"41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 [f]Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

Submission in the Trinity is par for the course. Submission is an illustration of Love and Faith and Power. Meekness is not weakness.

FINALLY. We see that the Holy Spirit, as I said before, is expressly communicating and doing per the will of the Father and the Son. So, His Counsel is not His own opinion, but rather the Father's opinion, the Father's will. Whatever the Spirit hears from the Father, that is what He's going to say to you.

John 16:12-15

"12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He [c]will take of Mine and declare it to you."

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Is Acts 15:28 evidence that the Holy Spirit is a personal being capable of having opinions about things?

In Acts chapter 15, the apostle Peter related what had led up to the baptism of the uncircumcised Gentile Cornelius and his household. Peter explained that ‘God bore witness by giving them the holy spirit, just as he did to us also.’ (Acts 15:7-8)) Next, Paul and Barnabas ‘related the many signs and portents that God did through them among the nations.’ (Acts 15:12) Thus, by its operation on Peter, Cornelius, Paul, and Barnabas, the holy spirit indicated that Gentiles did not need to be circumcised.

Acts 15:6-11 NASB

6 The apostles and the elders came together to [c]look into this [d]matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “[e]Brothers, you know that [f]in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Since this is the case, why are you putting God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

Conclusion.

The answer is "No" in just a few verses above (Vs 8)Peter explained that God gave Cornelius and his family the gift of the holy spirit, just us he did to them. How could God give the holy spirit to Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and to Cornelius and his family if the spirit were a person?

Also " τω πνευματι τω αγιω " the holy spirit" is neuter, it is and "it/which" and not a person . Readers in English should not ignore this fact, also that the basic meaning of the Greek word pneuma "πνεύμα" is "breath", "wind". The English word "pneumatic " comes from the word "pneuma".

ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ 15:28 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU)

28 εδοξεν γαρ τω πνευματι τω αγιω και ημιν μηδεν πλεον επιτιθεσθαι υμιν βαρος πλην τουτων των επαναγκες

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  • How could God give the holy spirit to Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and to Cornelius and his family if the spirit were a person? - through omnipresence? Just like Jesus and the Father can make their home in many people despite being persons. John 14:23 Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Mar 17 at 15:59
  • Spirit Realm Investigator; This is my point that the spirit is not a person but the power of the Most High .The Angel Gabriel said :The holy Spirit will come upon you, “The power of the Most High." (J. Moffat Luke 1:35)Also Numb 11:17 " Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take away some of the Spirit who is upon you, and put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it by yourself." Mar 17 at 16:36
  • "We will come to them and make our home with them. " Not physically but just as in John 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love." 1 John 2:24 " As for you, see that what you heard from the beginning remains in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father." Mar 17 at 16:36
  • @spirit "we' is Jesus and the Father. The context excludes the spirit. The spirit is the means of the indwelling - uniting with our spirit, which is also not a separate entity, but goes back to God when we die - just as Jesus' did.
    – steveowen
    Apr 18 at 23:47
  • user 48152: Correct "we" is God the Father and Jesus the Son. Agree on indwelling --As the Apostle, Paul put it:" However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. " (Rom. 8:9 NASB) The spirit of God becomes the motivating force for fine Christian conduct in opposition to the downward drag of the sinful “flesh.” When we die nothing returns to God.Gen. 3:9. "Until you return to the ground Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust, you shall return.” Apr 19 at 6:15

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