In How the Spirit Became God, Kyle Hughes tells the often-neglected story of how and why the early church came to recognize that the Holy Spirit was a distinct divine person. While the subject of Christ's divinity is a popular topic in church and academy alike, the notion of the Spirit's divinity remains a mysterious yet intriguing question for many Christians today. Focusing on major pneumatological innovations from Pentecost through the Council of Constantinople in 381, Hughes examines how biblical interpretation and the lived experience of the Spirit contributed to the development of this important, and yet often overlooked, aspect of trinitarian theology. This important contribution not only explains, from a historical yet accessible perspective, the development of early Christian pneumatology but also challenges readers to apply these insights from the church fathers to engaging with the person of the Holy Spirit today.
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When did the ancient church recognize the full deity of the Holy Spirit? And what brought it to this conclusion? Hughes not only connects the dots through early patristic exegesis but also through the lived experience of the saints of old. The Triune God is seen, in the end, to be every bit as much the One we know as the One we trust, every bit as much the fount of our Credo as he in whom we find our life.
—Daniel B. Wallace, Senior Research Professor, New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
An exceptionally rich blend of biblical exegesis, theology, and patristics, succinctly and persuasively written for the edification of both the academy and the church. Hughes tells us the story of exactly how and why Christians came to recognize the Holy Spirit as a full-fledged member of the Trinity, and he does so with clarity, depth, and passion.
—Zachary J. Cole, Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Union Theological College
Hughes offers a cogent and compelling story of how the church came to recognize the Spirit as God. With a firm grasp on relevant primary and secondary sources, he makes his case for an early high pneumatology arising in the first centuries of the Christian movement. Hughes has opened a new window on early Christianity.
—David B. Capes, Senior Research Fellow, Lanier Theological Library
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