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Spirit & Creation in Paul

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Series No. 2, Vol. 251

By John W. Yates
December 2008
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161498176
218 pages, 9 1/8 x 6 1/8"
$102.00 Paper Original

John W. Yates explores the meaning and significance of the Apostle Paul’s description of the divine Spirit as "life-giving". He argues that with this designation Paul develops a tradition present in the literature of Ancient Judaism and identifies the Spirit as the divine agent who brings about a new creation through resurrection of the dead. In the first half of his work, the author assesses the origin and development of the "breath of life" tradition in Ancient Judaism, with particular focus on the use of Genesis 2:7 and Ezekiel 36-37.

In the second half, he demonstrates how Paul develops this strand of tradition and elevates it to a place of prominence in his description of the divine Spirit. This begins with an analysis of Paul’s citation of Genesis 2:7 at 1 Corinthians 15:45, is followed by an examination of the letter/Spirit contrast in 2 Corinthians 3 and concludes with a careful reading of Paul’s most thorough description of the life-giving Spirit in Romans 8. Yates offers final reflections on the significance of this study for understanding divine identity in Paul’s letters and on the possible implications of this study for Pauline scholarship more widely.