God’s Empowering Presence is a fresh and original analysis of all the passages in the Pauline corpus that concern the Holy Spirit, including Ephesians, Colossians, and the Pastoral Epistles. Through comprehensive lexical, historical, and grammatical study, Fee provides an exegesis of every Spirit text in Paul’s writings. He investigates the Holy Spirit’s crucial roles in Pauline theology: eschatological fulfillment, divine person of the Trinity, and evidence for and guarantee of salvation.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Fee’s book is the most comprehensive treatment available of Paul’s understanding of the Holy Spirit, a topic that has rarely received sufficient attention in studies of Pauline theology. Fee’s method is exemplary: he first analyzes Paul’s statements about the Spirit in each individual letter and then moves to a synthesis of Paul’s general pneumatology. The result is a book that is deeply exegetical, doing justice both to the particularity of Paul’s writings and to the fundamental unity of his vision for the Spirit’s role in the life of the Christian community. Most importantly, Fee emphasizes insistently that the Holy Spirit must be experienced as a living presence within the church. That message is both faithful to Paul and urgent for the community of faith in our time.
—Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, Duke University
With the energy and care that is a trademark of his work, Gordon Fee here fills a significant gap in Pauline studies. Both those who find talk about the Holy Spirit congenial and those who would happily marginalize it will be instructed by this book. Fee makes a genuine contribution as he examines Paul’s letters in conversation with both the exegetical tradition of the academy and the pressing needs of the church.
—Beverly R. Gaventa, Helen H. P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary
Fee uniquely combines professional competence as a text critic, an exegete, an author and editor of major commentaries, and a foremost evangelical interpreter of Paul with a lifetime of formation and ministry among the Pentecostals—this century’s providential witnesses to the work of the Spirit of God among us. . . . Fee’s work offers an enduring encyclopedia of Pauline pneumatological exegesis, easy to consult for next Sunday’s sermon . . . a must-have, within arm’s reach, for serious interpreters of Paul’s gospel. . . . Fee’s work is the theological crown of a distinguished exegetical career.
—Russell P. Spittler, senior professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
Gordon D. Fee is an emeritus professor at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of several books, including the popular How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, as well as many commentaries.
“The probable solution to these passages lies in Paul’s apparent conviction that the believer’s spirit is the place where, by means of God’s own Spirit, the human and the divine interface in the believer’s life.” (Page 25)
“I understand my task as theologian to be both descriptive and normative. That is, the first task is the exegetical one, to describe as carefully as possible, Paul’s own understanding of life in the Spirit; but I am convinced that such description, if properly and carefully done, should lead to obedience, to our own coming to terms with the role of the Spirit in the ongoing life of the church.” (Page 4)
“First, there is the issue of continuity and discontinuity between the old covenant and the new, between God’s word to Israel, articulated by prophet and poet, and God’s new word through Christ Jesus, articulated by apostles and others. What carries over as theological presupposition? Wherein does continuity lie?” (Page 3)
“Conclusion. All of this is to say that the small case ‘spiritual’ probably should be eliminated from our vocabulary, when it comes to this word in the Pauline corpus. All the more so, when one thinks of the Greek overtones underlying most contemporary uses of this word, where ‘spiritual’ tends to mean either ‘religious,’ ‘nonmaterial’ (a meaning absolutely foreign to Paul), something close to ‘mystical,’ or, even worse, ‘the interior life of the believer.’ In fact, there is not a single instance in Paul where this word refers to the human ‘spirit’ and has to do with ‘spiritual life,’ as this word is most often understood in modern English. For Paul it is an adjective that primarily refers to the Spirit of God, even when the contrasts are to ‘earthly’ bodies and ‘material support.’” (Page 32)
Gordon D. Fee (1934–2022) was a leading expert in pneumatology and textual criticism of the New Testament. He was an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God and served as professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Fee earned degrees from Seattle Pacific University and University of Southern California. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Northwest University. Before teaching at Regent College, Fee taught at Wheaton College, Vanguard University of Southern California, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Fee was a member of the Committee on Bible Translation that translated the New International Version and its revision, the Today’s New International Version.
In addition to Fee’s many highly respected commentaries in series like the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament and The New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT), he is also the author of How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study, and To What End Exegesis?