|Tryouts for the Trinity -- Supplement|
The Trinity may seem a complex idea at first, but it is really a very simple idea. It CAN get more complicated as we research the history...but that's hardly extraordinary.
Here are some principles to start...
Jesus, as God's Word and Wisdom, was and is eternally an attribute of God the Father.
Just as our own words and thoughts come from us and cannot be separated from us, so it is that Jesus cannot be completely separate from the Father.
We speak of Christ as the "Word" of God, God's "speech" in living form. In Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern thought, words were not merely sounds, or letters on a page; words were things that "had an independent existence and which actually did things."
This agrees with Christ's identity as God's living Word, and points to Christ's functional subordination -- meaning, he is under the Father's authorioty and orders (just as our words and speech are subordinate to ourselves) and his ontological equality, meaning, he is equal to the Father in terms of what he is (just as our words represent our authority and our essential nature). A subordination in roles is within acceptable Biblical and creedal parameters, but a subordination in position or essence (the "ontological" aspect) is a heretical view called subordinationism.
It is not sufficient to object that because Jesus is a person, he cannot be an "attribute" of the Father. Personhood is not incompatible with being an attribute of another person. Moreover, we should not presume that our inability as humans to have a personal attribute also means that God cannot have one.
The background with Wisdom Christology is found in the concept of hypostasis. What is a hypostasis? Broadly defined, it is a quasi-personification of attributes proper to a deity, occupying an intermediate position between personalities and abstract beings.
Wisdom in Proverbs
Wisdom in Proverbs 8, and Wisdom in Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon, all fit hand in glove with these. Now let's look at some cites, starting with Prov. 8.
Proverbs 8:22-30 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him...
This passage is one of several in the Old Testament (see Ps. 58:10, 107:42; Job 11:14) in which abstract qualities are personified, following an Ancient Near Eastern tradition of personification. Here, and in other parts of Proverbs, Wisdom "makes claims for herself which are elsewhere made only by, or for, God." Also: "Wisdom is intended to be understood as an attribute or heavenly servant of the sole God Yahweh to whom he has delegated certain powers with regard to his relations with mankind."
Finally, to complete the picture, Proverbs 2:6 tells us, "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." God is the source of Wisdom; Wisdom is one of God's characteristics and attributes.
Context Between the Testaments
"What pre-Christian Judaism said of Wisdom and Philo also of the Logos, Paul and the others say of Jesus. The role that Proverbs, ben Sira, etc. ascribe to Wisdom, these earliest Christians ascribe to Jesus." This conception of Wisdom parallels a less significant, general Jewish explanation of how a transcendent God could participate in a temporal creation. The Aramaic Targums resolved this problem by equating God with His Word: thus in the Targums, Exodus 19:17, rather than saying the people went out to meet God, says that the people went out to meet the word of God, or Memra.
Ecclesiasticus 1:1-4 All wisdom cometh from the Lord, and is with him for ever. The sand of the sea, and the drops of the rain, And the days of eternity who shall number? The height of the heaven and the breadth of the earth And the deep and wisdom, who shall search them out? Wisdom hath been created before all things, And the understanding of prudence from everlasting.
The book of Ecclesiasticus was written by Jesus the son of Sirach in about 100 B.C. It describes Wisdom as having been "created before all things," as being "from everlasting" and as comparable to "the days of eternity." In this we are in harmony with the Trinitarian view of Jesus as created or generated by the Father eternally, that is, finding his source in the Father and having no existence apart from Him, yet also having existed eternally as God does. Sirach writes further:
I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, And covered the earth as a mist. I dwelt in high places, And my throne is in the pillar of the cloud. Alone I compassed the circuit of the heaven, And walked in the depth of the abyss. (Ecclesiasticus 24:3-5)
He created me from the beginning of the world, And to the end I shall not fail. (Ecclesiasticus 24:4)
This is another speech of self-praise of the sort found in Proverbs, only this time, the speech takes place in the heavenly court -- a place where only God would offer self-praise. Wisdom says of herself: "I came forth from the mouth of the Most High" (the "Word" of God) and "my throne was in the pillar of the cloud" -- an allusion to the Old Testament sign of the divine presence.
Wisdom also says that it has "encircled the vault of heaven, and walked in the depths of the abyss...ruled over the waves of the sea and over all the earth, and over every people and nation." In the book of Job (12, 28), these things are what God asks whether Job can do, with the implication that only God can do them.
Finally, Sirach says, "(God) searches out both the deep and the heart, and he perceives all their cunning devices. For the Most High knows all, and he sees the signs of the age. He declares changes that occur, and reveals the searching out of hidden things. He does not lack insight, and nothing escapes him. The might of his wisdom he measures out, He is the same from eternity. Nothing is added and nothing is withdrawn, and there is no need for anyone to instruct him." (42:18-21)
Wisdom is an attribute of God, and is co-eternal with Him -- otherwise, Wisdom is a thing "added" to Him, or someone has "instructed" Him.
The Wisdom of Solomon
In this intertestamental work written under the persona of Solomon, Wisdom is described as the artificer of all things (7:22), "the breath of the power of God and a pure effluence flowing from the Almighty" (7:25), and is spoken of as the "image" of the goodness of God (7:26), able to do all things and make all things new.
"Wisdom" was also envisioned as sharing God's throne, having been present with God from all eternity, and was thought of as proceeding from God. God's Wisdom and Word are equated in verse 9:2 -- "O God of my fathers, the Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, and ordained men through thy wisdom." Wisdom is also credited with performing miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea (Wisdom of Solomon 10:18-19).
The Jewish philosopher Philo was a contemporary of Jesus and the author of several philosophical and historical works. Philo calls Wisdom (which he also refers to as the logos) the "image (eikon) of God," refers to the Wisdom of God as the one through whom the universe came into being, and describes Wisdom as God's "firstborn son," as neither unbegotten like God or begotten like men, as Light and as "the very shadow of God." He regarded the logos as one of several attributes of God which he referred to collectively as "powers," with the logos as the chief power in the hierarchy.
On to the New Testament
Now that we have concluded our brief survey of Jewish intertestamental literature, some observations are in order before proceeding to the New Testament evidence. As we will show, what these writers said of Wisdom, the authors of the New Testament also said about Christ.
But we are not necessarily arguing for direct dependence by Paul or John or any New Testament writer on Philo or any particular writer. Rather, we are establishing that there existed in Judaism certain set motifs about Wisdom with which the writers of the New Testament worked, and that "ancient Judaism provided the first Christians with a crucial conceptual category" that was applied to the risen and exalted Jesus.
We will now show that Jesus identified himself with Wisdom, and thereby identified himself with its qualities, including co-eternality, functional subordination, and ontological equality with God.
The Synoptic Gospels
Matthew 8:20//Luke 9:58 Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
Witherington notes that the image of this saying "had been used earlier of Wisdom having no place to dwell until God assigned her such a place (cf. Sir. 24:6-7 to 1 Enoch 42:2), with Enoch speaking of the rejection of Wisdom ('but she found no dwelling place')." Witherington also notes the parallel to Sirach 36:31, "So who can trust a man that has no nest, but lodges wherever night overtakes him?" The use of these allusions "suggests that Jesus envisions and articulates his experience in light of sapiential traditions..." (Jesus Quest, 188)
Matthew 11:16-19//Luke 7:31-2 To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'"For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon. 'The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
Proverbs 1:24-28 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-- when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. "Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
This passage provides some important clues once we have the social data in hand, and add in the factor of Jesus' communal meals with the dregs of society. Witherington notes passages like Proverbs 9:1-6, "which speaks of a feast set by Wisdom herself where she invites very unlikely guests to the table" for the sake of helping them acquire wisdom. Witherington therefore argues that Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors because he was "acting out the part of Wisdom." (187-8)
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Sirach 6:19-31 Come to (Wisdom) like one who plows and sows. Put your neck into her collar. Bind your shoulders and carry her...Come unto her with all your soul, and keep her ways with all your might...For at last you will find the rest she gives...Then her fetters will become for you a strong defense, and her collar a glorious robe. Her yoke is a golden ornament, and her bonds a purple cord.
Sirach 51:26 Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction: she is hard at hand to find .
Jesus is clearly alluding to the passages in the very popular work of Sirach. His listeners would have recognized that he was associating himself with Wisdom.
Matthew 12:42//Luke 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
Noting the association of Solomon with the Wisdom literature, Witherington writes (186, 192):
If it is true that Jesus made a claim that something greater than Solomon was present in and through his ministry, one must ask what it could be...Surely the most straightforward answer would be that Wisdom had come in person.
Matthew 23:34//Luke 11:49 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city... Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute...
In Matthew's version, Jesus says, "I will send them prophets..." Luke specifically identified Jesus with Wisdom.
The Gospel of John identifies Jesus with Wisdom in a number of ways. Jesus speaks in long discourses characteristic of Wisdom (Prov. 8, Sir. 24, Wisdom of Solomon 1-11). John's emphasis on "signs" mirrors that of the Wisdom of Solomon, and John uses the same Greek word for them (semeion). Finally, John's overwhelming use of the term "Father" (115 times) matches the emphasis on that title in the late Wisdom literature.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The prologue to John's gospel makes a precise identification of Christ with Wisdom, describing the Logos' Christological role (1:3), its role as the ground of human knowledge (1:9) and as the mediator of special revelation (1:14) -- the three roles of the pre-existent Logos/Wisdom. In calling Jesus God's Logos, John was affirming Jesus' eternality and ontological oneness with the Father by connecting him with the Wisdom tradition.
Now consider these parallels with John's prologue and the Wisdom literature:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Wisdom of Solomon 9:9 With you (God) is Wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Proverbs 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (1:11)
1 Enoch 42:2 Wisdom went forth to make her dwelling among the children of men, and found no dwelling place.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Sirach 24:8 The one who created me assigned a place for my tent. And he said: 'Make your dwelling in Jerusalem.'
John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
Wisdom of Solomon 16:26 On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. So that your children, whom you loved, O Lord, might learn that it is not the production of crops that feeds humankind but that your word sustains those who trust in you.
John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Wisdom of Solomon 16:18 And love of Wisdom is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality.
The letters of Paul continue the identification of Jesus with God's Wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30 is the most clear: Christ is explicitly identified as "the power of God and the wisdom of God." Elsewhere in 1 Cor. of relevance:
Colossians 1:15-18 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
This passage is full of allusions to the Wisdom literature. Note the following parallels:
Colossians 1:15a He is the image of the invisible God...
Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 (Wisdom is) a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.
Colossians 1:15b ...the firstborn over all creation.
Philo's reference to Wisdom as the "firstborn son" and offspring of God. For more on this matter see here.
Colossians 1:16a ...by him all things were created..
Wisdom of Solomon 1:14 "for he created all things that they might exist"
Sirach 1:4 and Philo refer to Wisdom as the "master workman" of creation.
Colossians 1:17b He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Wisdom of Solomon 1:7 ...that which holds all things together knows what is said...
The book of Hebrews, while never identifying Jesus directly as Wisdom, does indicate an equivalence. In verse 3 the rare Greek term apaygasma is used to describe Jesus as the "brightness of God's glory," just as the word is used in Wisdom of Solomon (7:25-26) to describe Wisdom's radiance.
Hebrews ascribes to Jesus the same functions that the Philonic/Alexandrian Wisdom literature assigned to Wisdom: mediator of divine revelation, agent and sustainer of creation, and reconciler of God and man (Wisdom of Solomon 7:21-8:1). For more on this word see here.
Hebrews also says of Jesus what Philo says of the Logos. Philo referred to Wisdom as the "charakter of the eternal Word" just as Hebrews uses this term of Jesus. Hebrews also "asserts the superiority of Jesus over a group of individuals and classes that served mediatorial functions in Alexandrian thought," including angels, Moses, Melchizidek, and the high priest.
Finally, in Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, though universal in scope, by God's decree rests in Jerusalem, and is regarded as having the role of the priesthood: "In the holy tabernacle I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion." (24:10) Compare this proclamation with what is found in the Book of Hebrews chapters 3-10 describing Christ as our "high priest" ministering at a heavenly tabernacle.
The Holy Spirit
As the film notes, Judaism before Christianity might best be described as binitary. But as I did in the case of Jesus and Wisdom, a Jewish conceptual category that fit the Holy Spirit. If the NT writers had followed their Jewish forebears regarding the Holy Spirit as they followed them on Wisdom, we would not today be Trinitarians but Binatarians, for "before the incarnation Logos and Spirit were hardly to be distinguished."
We begin with these quotes from the OT:
Gen. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
This verse contributes our first glimpse for understanding: The word "spirit" is the Hebrew ruwach, and it is the usual word for any spirit, human or divine, but it is also the word used for wind (Genesis 8:1 God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged...)
The clue we gather here is that "spirit" is a moving and active thing -- not stagnant. We will see the application of this later on.
Exodus 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship...
Here the Spirit of God is tied directly to the possession of wisdom and knowledge. (See also Ex. 35:31) We can already sense that there will be a close relationship between Wisdom and the Spirit. But the Spirit is responsible for other types of insight as well:
Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.
The Spirit of God is also tied in with prophecy. The alert reader will anticipate that this carries over into NT times as well. (See also 1 Sam. 10:10, 2 Chr. 24:20, Ezek. 11:24) But we will also see that there is a synonym for the Spirit in the context of prophectic activity:
1 Kings 18:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Is. 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people...
Jer. 15:17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
Ezekiel 1:3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
The imagery of God's "hand" is found in these passages associated with prophecy; but it is also found in other contexts which give us further insight:
Deut. 2:15 For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.
1 Sam. 12:15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
These are examples of places where "hand" is used to refer to activity or action as a whole, as it is in these examples:
Gen. 16:6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee.
Ps. 31:15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
The hand signifies action and power. The "hand of God" signifies God's action and power. This lays the foundation for an understanding of the Holy Spirit as God's action principle in the world (which acts in accordance with God's Word, or instruction).
There is a final set of quotes we need to look at:
Judges 3:10 And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD
Judges 11:29 Then the spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
Judges 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
2 Kings 2:16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
Isa. 40:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
Is. 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
The "spirit of the Lord" is another synonym for the divine principle that inspires prophecy and inspires action.
We are now ready to look at what commentary is available from between the Testaments. As noted, and in accordance with the first Exodus quote above, there appears to have been no distinction made between God's Wisdom and God's Spirit:
Wisdom of Solomon 9:17 Who has learned thy counsel, unless thou hast given wisdom, and sent thy holy spirit from on high?
Wisdom/Logos and Spirit overlap. This is also found in Philo (De plantatione 18).
Our study now moves to the NT evidence, and it is here where we encounter our key issue of diversion from Christianity's Judaistic roots. Christianity developed a "bifurcation" between the Wisdom and the Spirit that was not paralleled in Judaism; and yet, we also see that a close relationship remains between the two.
Let's work through the NT and see how the "Holy Ghost" (as it reads in the KJV) parallels the role of the Spirit or hand of God in the OT.
Matthew 3:11-12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Here the Holy Spirit is associated with God's actions -- in judgment and cleansing, in creative power. (Note especially the parallel to Is. 40:7.)
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mark 12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied...
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jonn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me...
Here the Holy Spirit is associated with prophetic inspiration, and with knowledge imparted by God. However, it is possible to read too much into this; the Spirit is not a dispenser of propositional truth. There is also no indication that such revelation is normative for the Christian, nor that the Spirit reveals any and all things we might want to know.
As we move into the post-resurrection church, these roles paralleling the OT continue -- and we also see a tight relationship between Word and Spirit:
Acts 2:17-18 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Here Peter has explicitly connected the Holy Spirit with the prophetic and eschatological spirit reported in Joel. But now see an example of the "tight relationship":
Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Compare this to the Exodus cite above.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
The Spirit is not mentioned here, but this is a good place to note that in a time and place before what we call "conscience" was known (see here) it is possible that the Spirit operated in the same sense as a conscience would for us.
Acts 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Compare this to OT passages above from Judges.
Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers...
The Holy Spirit is identified with the Spirit of God in the OT that inspired prophecy.
1 Cor. 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
The Spirit here offers an "experiential identification" [Dunn, 79] with Christ for the believer. Through the Spirit, the believer experiences Christ; yet they are still distinct. Another relevant contribution:
Romans 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Here the "Spirit of God" and "Spirit of Christ" are synonymous. Now another "role" verse for the Spirit:
1 Cor. 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Peter 1.2: who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood
The Spirit is a washer, a justifier, a sanctifier. It is God's principle of action, and "the medium by which Christ is known to and united with his followers." [Dunn, 337]
So it is clear by now that the NT teaches an equation of the Holy Spirit with the Spirit, or hand, of the Lord/God in the OT. This emerges quite clearly in these parallel verses:
Matt. 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Luke here is clearly influenced by the passage in Exodus in which the magicians of Pharaoh, defeated, attribute miraculous power to the "finger of God." But we can also see a relationship overall to passages speaking of the "hand" of God. In essence, the Spirit's presence signifies the presence of God's ruling power.
The divinity of the Holy Spirit is not in question based on the Scriptures. It is also clear from the Wisdom connection that the Spirit is in relation to God in a thoroughly Trinitarian sense -- it is not a separate being, but like Wisdom, proceeds from God.
For even more information.....
You can discuss this more here.