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A Boundless God: The Spirit according to the Old Testament

ISBN: 9781493426164



The word rûaḥ (commonly translated as breath, wind, spirit, or Spirit) occurs in the Old Testament 389 times—more frequently than torah, shalom, or Sabbath. In this volume, a popular Old Testament scholar, whose previous books have received wide acclaim, cracks open the challenging and provocative world of the Spirit in the Old Testament, offering readers cogent yet comprehensive insights.

Grounded in scholarship yet accessible and inviting, this book unlocks the world of the Spirit, plunging readers into an imaginative realm of fresh senses, sounds, and skills. The book gives readers the opportunity to recapture Israel's tenacious sense of the Spirit's energy as it was expressed by a series of vibrant verbs: blowing, breathing, coming, resting, passing, pouring, filling, cleansing, standing, and guiding. Readers will encounter in these pages all of the Old Testament expressions of the Spirit—passages that will challenge the conventional, confront the commonplace, and transport them to a world of wisdom, work, and wonder.

Resource Experts
  • Examines the nature and activity of the Spirit in the Old Testament
  • Explores the use of the verbs blowing, breathing, coming, resting, passing, pouring, filling, cleansing, standing, and guiding
  • Provides a nuanced and exapnsive vision of the Spirit

  • Introduction
  • Spirit Blowing and Breathing
  • Spirit Coming Uponv
  • Spirit Resting Upon
  • Spirit Passed On
  • Spirit Poured Out
  • Spirit Filling
  • Spirit Cleansing
  • Spirit Standing and Guiding
  • Conclusion
In this fluent and elegant book, Jack Levison makes two points of fundamental importance for Christian theology: (1) the Christian understanding of the spirit must be grounded in the multifaceted rûaḥ (breath, wind, spirit) of the Hebrew Bible and (2) the saving spirit of God cannot be divorced from the spirit/breath that gives life. A remarkable and subtle contribution to biblical theology.

—John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale Divinity School

It’s well known that the Hebrew word for spirit is also the word for wind and for breath, but I don't think anyone has done as much with that fact as Jack Levison in this book. He shows how the word rûaḥ speaks of the spiritual and the material not as two separate things but as related facets of the way that God in his liveliness involves himself in the world. It is appropriate that this book on the spirit should be inspiring. A beautiful combination of the academic and the nurturing, it works by careful, thoughtful, life-giving study of whole passages where rûaḥ appears, and it invites measured and reflective assimilation.

—John Goldingay, professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

A Boundless God offers us a careful study of rûaḥ from the Jewish Scriptures that takes the reader on a journey into an expansive vision for what is meant by talk of the breath, wind, spirit, or Spirit of God. Jack Levison demonstrates the depth and breadth of the rich and full experience of God as Spirit and of God and spirit in bringing humanity to the fullness of life. Readers will be challenged to lay down old paradigms and dichotomies and to embrace an understanding of the spirit that is far more nuanced than before, all while being confronted with a vibrant, fresh, and life-filled vision of how God moves among his creation in and by the spirit.

—Lucy Peppiatt, principal, Westminster Theological Centre, United Kingdom

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Jack Levison (PhD, Duke University) is W. J. A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. He previously taught at Duke Divinity School and Seattle Pacific University. Levison is the author or editor of numerous books, including Filled with the Spirit, Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit, and Inspired: The Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith. He has also been a featured blogger for HuffPost.


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