If you’ll be visiting sunny San Diego (a huge improvement from blustery Baltimore, I expect) later this month for SBL, consider yourself invited to what I expect will be a very interesting session on “Spirit and Bible: The Development of Early Accounts of the Spirit in the Christian Scriptures.” I’m certainly looking forward to presenting alongside such a distinguished group of scholars. Here’s the details:
Finally, I’m pleased to share the news that the full-length version of this project is scheduled to appear some time in 2015 in the journal Vigiliae Christianae. Here’s the abstract:
This paper considers the role of the Spirit within early Christian writers’ use of prosopological exegesis, an interpretive method which seeks to identify various persons (prosopa) as the “true” speakers or addressees of a Scriptural text in which they are otherwise not in view. While scholars are increasingly recognizing that, for some early Christian writers, the Spirit could himself be a speaking agent, there remains no systematic analysis of the texts in which the Spirit speaks from his own prosopon. After making just such an analysis, focusing on key texts in the writings of Tertullian and Justin Martyr, this paper concludes that the need for divine testimony concerning both the Father and the Son was the central motivating factor for assigning OT quotations to the prosopon of the Spirit. In particular, this paper argues that this emphasis on the Spirit’s role as one who testifies is a direct outgrowth of the portrayal of the Spirit in the Johannine corpus, and arose in the context of conflict with Judaism concerning the cessation of the Spirit. By making this connection, we have a new means by which to glimpse the theological dynamics at work in the pre-Nicene period that would contribute to the development of a distinctively Trinitarian, and not merely binitarian, view of God.