Pneuma In Hebrews: Prophet And Interpreter -- By: Martin Emmrich

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 64:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: Pneuma In Hebrews: Prophet And Interpreter
Author: Martin Emmrich


Pneuma In Hebrews: Prophet And Interpreter

Martin Emmrich*

[*Martin Emmrich is a teaching fellow in NT Greek at Westminster Theological Seminary and adjunct professor at Eastern University and Reformed Theological Seminary (Washington, DC).]

I. Introduction

There are three passages in the epistle to the Hebrews where the author has the Holy Spirit speak through scriptural texts (3:7–11; 9:6–10; 10:15–17). His pneumatology in these pericopes evinces some rather unique concepts that we shall try to develop in this article. Two of the texts deal with the (Spirit’s) citing of the LXX (3:7–11; 10:15–17). The third passage (9:6–10) does not feature an actual quotation. Here the Spirit functions as the interpreter of Scripture, in that he reveals the true significance of Yahweh’s tent of meeting and the sacerdotal service on the day of atonement.1 The texts will be treated in corresponding order.

Before we can appreciate the Holy Spirit’s function in the respective passages, the author’s (in some ways) unique use of quotations should be elucidated. First of all, it has virtually been ignored that quotations in Hebrews (give or take a few, depending on what criteria are employed to identify them)2 are almost always instances of divine utterances (1:5a, 5b, 6, 7, 8–9, 10–12, 13; 4:3, 7; 5:5, 6; 6:13–14; 7:21; 8:8–12; 10:37–38, etc.).3 Conversely, when the author activates a text that does not consist of direct speech (such as narrative prose, cf. 3:1–6; 7:1–19) he

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