Author(s)

David AbbottFollow

Date

1-2018

Department

Rawlings School of Divinity

Degree

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Chair

Stephen D Lowe

Keywords

Acts, Ancient Near East, Holy Spirit, Numbers, Old Testament, Prophecy

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

The passage of Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 is an important passage in understanding the work, role and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. It also is a passage that sends ripple effects throughout the rest of the Bible, most notably through Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2, 10, and 19, and in Paul’s teachings in Galatians 3:28 and 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1. Although this work does not settle any theological debate about speaking in tongues, it does look into the gifts of the Spirit from an Old Testament perspective. The resting of the Spirit that appears in the Old Testament revolves around the theme of leadership and is closely linked with prophecy. Although, as seen in the case of Eldad and Medad, the resting of the Spirit of the Lord is not limited to leaders. In Israel’s early history this resting resulted in ecstatic behavior that is also seen at Pentecost and in early Church history. In this passage, in prophecy, and in all His works, the Holy Spirit works for the glory of God and is a part of the redemptive history and salvific process. It is also argued that the Holy Spirit played an important part in people’s lives before the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In His working in peoples’ lives, both before and after the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit leads believers into a calling of holiness. The methods of the Holy Spirit may differ somewhat between the Old and New Testament eras, but the purpose has always been the same. This work focuses on the contribution of the Old Testament, particularly Numbers 11:16-17 and 24-29, to our understanding of the role, work and gifts of the Holy Spirit.