Seven Scriptural reasons the Holy Spirit cannot be a person

  1. First, because many things in the Scriptures are attributed to the Holy Spirit that cannot apply to a divine person. And many of them cannot apply to any person at all. Some examples are that the Holy Spirit is given by God (Acts 5:32; 1 Jn 4:13) either according to measure or without measure (Eph 4:7) that God pours it out and it is sent forth from Him (Acts 2:17, 33) that believers drink into it and are baptized with or into it (1 Cor 12:13; Mk 1:8; Acts 1:5) that it is given in double portions and distributed in parts (Heb 2:4; 2 Kng 2:9) that there are first-fruits of it (Rom 8:23) that it may all be taken away or that a portion may be taken away (Ps 51:12; Num 11:17, 25) that it can be quenched (1 Thes 5:19) and many similar things that can be found in the Scriptures.

    HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

    Holy Spirit – Foix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  2. Second, because it is clearly stated that the Holy Spirit is given by God, and this is even claimed in places where it’s commonly believed to mean a divine person. But a divine person cannot be given or bestowed by anyone since one who is given or bestowed must be under the authority of another. In no way can this be said of a divine person that is the supreme God Himself.
  3. Third, because Christ said that “no one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son and those to whom the Son reveals Him.” (Mt 11:27) But if the Holy Spirit was a divine person, the Father wouldn’t be the only one to know the Son. And the Son wouldn’t be the only one to know the Father – if the Holy Spirit was God it wouldn’t need a revelation from anyone to know both.
  4. Fourth, because in several places such as John 5:17; 8:16; 14:21; 17:3 ; 1 John 1:3, 2:23; 2 John 3 and 9; Luke 9:26; Mark 12:32; 1 Timothy.5:21; and Revelation 3:5 where the Father and Son, occasionally angels, and even humans are mentioned, no notice is taken of the Holy Spirit. If it was a divine person “he” should be named equally with God and Christ, and even more so than angels or humans.
  5. Fifth, because in many places the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of God, but that which is “of” God cannot be God. Thus, the Holy Spirit cannot be a divine person, for to be “of” God and to “be” God are two different things. In addition, the Holy Spirit is called the power or finger of God, which cannot be said of an equal person of the Deity – that is, of the supreme God Himself (Compare Luke 1:35; 24:49; and Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20)
  6. Sixth, because the Holy Spirit is said to be “of” God (1 Cor 2:12) and proceed “from” God (Jn 15:26) and unless it was of God, Paul couldn’t compare the Spirit of God with the spirit of man that is in man as he does when he says “for what man knows the things of a man but the spirit of man that is in him? Even so, no man knows the things of God but the Spirit of God.” Since the Holv Spirit is “of” (or from) God – and it has never been said the Father is “of” the Holy Spirit – it’s apparent the Holy Spirit is not a person of the Godhead. Also, it’s been clearly stated there’s only one person in the Godhead. (Deut 6:4; Mk 12:28-34; Is 43:10-11; 45:5; 1 Chr 17:20; Eph 4:6). Since this is none other than the Father, it should be evident that the Spirit, which certainly isn’t the Father, cannot be a divine person.
  7. Seventh, if the Holy Spirit was a person it would be God Himself, for the things attributed to it only apply to the divine essence. But since it’s already been shown that God is numerically one, He cannot be a plurality of persons, nor can the one numerical essence of God apply to many persons. Therefore, it’s clear the Holv Spirit cannot be a person of the Godhead.


It can also be said that if the Holy Spirit is a person, and that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, it necessarily follows that Christ was the son of the Spirit, not the Father.

 Robert Scott Thomson

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Additional reading

  1. Only one God
  2. God is one
  3. God of gods
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