By Daniel Segraves
The Holy Spirit is Daniel Segraves’s latest book published in September 2020. Here he shares the book’s inception.
In 2018 I accepted an invitation from missionary John Nowacki to teach a course at the French Bible Institute. Susan, my wife, traveled with me. When the week ended, we spent a few days in Paris. Someone recommended that we not limit our sightseeing to the well-known tourist spots, so we spent some time just walking around. We discovered interesting places at every turn.
The Inception of My Latest Book The Holy Spirit
When we came upon a bookstore, I didn’t try too hard to resist the impulse to enter. Most of the titles were in French, and my high school French is a bit rusty. But I came upon a display filled with small volumes all subtitled something like A Short Introduction to . . . . in English. Each was about 100 pages. Then I saw one titled A Short Introduction to Miracles. The bibliography included a book on miracles written by Graham Twelftree, an Australian scholar who was one of my professors in my Ph.D. program.
The display gave me the idea to write short books on topics relevant to biblical studies. I mentioned this in a post on my blog at danielsegraves.com.
After we returned home, Susan and I attended a 90th birthday celebration for Lorene Foster, a founding member of The Sanctuary UPC. We sat at a table with Robin and Marsha Johnston. Robin is the editor in chief for the United Pentecostal Church International. He told me he had read my post and said, “We need a book on the Holy Spirit.”
My newest book, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary is the result of that conversation. It didn’t turn out to be a short book because it was my plan to address every reference to the Spirit in Scripture. There are more than 330 of them, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation.
Since there are 1,189 chapters in the Bible, this means the Spirit is mentioned on average about once every 3.6 chapters. In the Old Testament, the Spirit is referred to about once every 11.6 chapters. In the New Testament, with 260 chapters, the Spirit is referred to on average almost once per chapter.
In this and the next several posts, I will share brief excerpts from The Holy Spirit: A Commentary. I pray the book will be helpful to all its readers.The first reference to the Spirit of God appears in the second verse of the Bible: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Click To Tweet
An Excerpt from the Book
The first reference to the Spirit of God appears in the second verse of the Bible: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The word translated “God” is the Hebrew noun Elohim, which appears thirty-three times in Genesis 1. Although Elohim is plural in form, the referent is singular. This is because in the Hebrew language, the verb governs the number of the noun. When there is a singular verb with a plural noun, the noun does not refer to more than one of something; the plural form is used for other reasons. Elohim must be accompanied by plural modifiers and plural verb forms to function as a plural noun. If accompanied by singular modifiers and singular verb forms, it functions as a singular noun.
Interview with Dr. Segraves and Kaleb Saucer
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