by: John R. Levison
In The Holy Spirit before Christianity, John R. Levison’s latest book, he focuses on the face and foundation of Christian belief in the Holy Spirit. Christian pneumatology―belief in the Holy Spirit―is less about an exclusively Christian experience or doctrine and more about the presence of God in the grand scheme of Israel’s history, in which Christianity is ancient Israel’s heir. Levison traces the essence of our pneumatology deep into the heart of the Hebrew Scriptures. The priority of Israelite tradition at the headwaters of pneumatology means Christians can no longer hold to the Holy Spirit as an exclusively Christian belief. Levison offers Christians a rich history, a renewed vocabulary, a shared path with Judaism, and the promise of a more expansive and authentic experience of the Holy Spirit.