In the second half of the fourth century the mystery of the Holy Spirit was the subject of fierce debate. Those who fought against the Nicene Creed opposed the idea that the Spirit was God. Even some of those willing to accept the equality of the Father and the Son saw the Spirit as more angelic than divine. The first great testament to the Spirit’s divinity—showing how the Spirit creates and saves inseparably with the Father and the son—is St. Athanasius’ Letters to Serapion. Only a few years later, Didymus the Blind penned his own On the Holy Spirit, which is here translated into English for the first time. For Didymus, the Spirit transforms Christians by drawing them into the divine life itself, and must therefore be one with the Father and Son. This volume offers new translations of two of the most powerful Patristic reflections on the work and nature of the Holy Spirit.
“along their request for an epitome. They sought a summary of the first letter ‘so that they might have a brief” (Page 21)
“Therefore, when he said: But if Christ is in you, although your body is dead because of sin [Rom 8:10a], in no way does he mean that the body is a slave to vices and wantonness. Rather, he means that when the body is made dead to sin, it will not be moved to vice and in no way will it be alive to sin. After the body has become dead to sin, Christ, who is present in those who have made their own bodies dead, manifests the Spirit of life when they do righteous works, either when they correct their deadly vices, or when they believe in Jesus Christ and live their lives according to faith in him.” (Page 201)
“But this is not how things are for the divinity. For God is not like a human being [Num 23:19]. Nor does he have a nature that is divisible into parts. Hence he does not beget the Son by being divided into parts, so that the Son may also become the father of another, for he himself is not from a father. Nor is the Son a part of the Father. Hence he does not beget as he has himself been begotten, but is whole from whole, Image [Col 1:15; 2 Cor 4:4] and Radiance [Heb 1:3].” (Page 78)
“The Holy Spirit is not placed among corporeal substances, but indwells the soul and the mind as the producer of speech, wisdom and knowledge. Nor is he placed among invisible creatures, for all such realities are capable of participating in wisdom, the other virtues, and sanctification.” (Page 146)
“So then, in the Spirit the Word glorifies creatures, and after he has divinized them and made them sons of God, he leads them to the Father. But that which joins creatures to the Word cannot be a creature. And that which makes creatures sons cannot be foreign to the Son.” (Pages 92–93)