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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: June 2014

6 - From inspiration to sanctification: discerning the work of the Holy Spirit



The wind stirs the trees, it spirits waves on the waters and jinns in the desert sand, coming from nowhere, a hidden force of inspiration.

The kids, full of high spirits, set off on their hiking expedition; while the football coach struggles to instil spirit into the team; and the barmaid releases strong spirits from the optic into the glass for the customer.

The ancient Egyptian traced the outline of a mummy on the papyrus and then the bird-shaped ka-spirit of the dead person hovering over it.

The dictionary lists apparently disconnected meanings: vital principle: the principle of thought: the soul: a disembodied soul: a ghost: an incorporeal being: enthusiasm: actuating emotion, disposition, frame of mind: a leading independent, or lively person: animation: verve: courage: mettle: real meaning: essence, chief quality: a breath of wind: a breathing: a distilled liquid . . .

The teacher notes that in Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac, the word for spirit is feminine, in Greek neuter, and in Latin masculine, all basicallymeaning ‘wind’ or ‘breath’, acquiring less materialmeanings through metaphor which then becomes so dead that the dictionary entry reverses the order!

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