Kyle Hughes – The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit

Episode: Is the Holy Spirit properly called God? Yes, Christians are eager to say. But how and when did this development take place? The early church sensed the Spirit’s full divinity, but struggled for centuries to find a grammar. Kyle Hughes, The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, advances an exciting new argument. He shows that the key is the Spirit’s role as a divine person who could bear witness to other divine persons. Everyone who is interested in bible and theology–take note!–and grab a listen. Trigger warning: we also dream of eating large quantities of smoked meat. If that is more than your stomach can handle, beware. Hosted by Matt Bates.

Kyle R. Hughes

Guest: Kyle R. Hughes is History Department Chair at Whitefield Academy and Adjunct Professor of Bible and History at Belhaven University Atlanta. He is the author of The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit (Brill, 2018) and has published articles in Novum Testamentum, Vigiliae Christianae, and Journal of Early Christian History. His primary theological interests include early Christian scriptural exegesis, spiritual formation in the Anglican tradition, and Christian educational practice. Hughes has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Radboud University Nijmegen. He lives in Smyrna, Georgia with his wife and two children. He is an avid fan of Star Wars and strategic board games.

The Book: Kyle R. Hughes, The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit: Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 147; Leiden: Brill, 2018). In The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, Kyle R. Hughes offers a new approach to the development of early Christian pneumatology by focusing on how Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian linked the Holy Spirit with testimony to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son. Drawing extensively on recent studies of prosopological exegesis and divine testimony in the ancient world, Hughes demonstrates how these three pre-Nicene Christian writers utilized Scripture and the conventions of ancient rhetoric and exegesis to formulate a highly innovative approach to the Holy Spirit that would contribute to the identification of the Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. (Publisher’s description).

The OnScript Quip (our review): Scholars have long agreed that the answers to vital questions about the development of the doctrine of the Trinity are ‘no’. But Kyle Hughes’ extraordinary study will shatter this consensus. The questions are: Can we show the Spirit was regarded to be a distinct divine person before the third century? Can the Trinity be successfully rooted in the Old Testament as well as the New? The answers must now be ‘yes’. The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit is one of those rare breakthrough books that will reshape both historical and systematic theology. Read it. — Matthew W. Bates, Quincy University, OnScript

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