Friday, September 22, 2006

A Pauline Pneumatology reading list: a guest post by Volker Rabens

The most influential works in alphabetical order:

1) Dunn, James D.G., Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament (London: SCM Press, 1975).

2) Fee, Gordon D., God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994).
* The most comprehensive treatment on Pauline pneumatology available, and the first one to consult on exegetical questions.

3) Gunkel, Hermann, The Influence of the Holy Spirit: The Popular View of the Apostolic Age and the Teaching of the Apostle Paul (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979); orig. publ.: Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes nach der populären Anschauung der apostolischen Zeit und der Lehre des Apostels Paulus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1888, 1909[3]).

4) Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm, Das Angeld des Geistes: Studien zur paulinischen Pneumatologie (FRLANT 154; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992).
* In contrast to all of the foregone scholars, Horn denies the experimental dimension of the reception of the Spirit in early Christianity. He also proposes that Paul significantly developed his pneumatology over the years of his ministry.
* For a summary and critique (as well as some own ideas), see Rabens, Volker, ‘The Development of Pauline Pneumatology: A Response to F.W. Horn’, BZ 43 (1999), 161-79. [Download]

Further works of interest, this time not in alphabetical order but in order of importance (to my mind):

1) Turner, Max, The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts – Then and Now (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1996, 1999[2]).
* A brilliant book not just on Paul’s pneumatology.

2) Christoph, Monika, Pneuma und das neue Sein der Glaubenden: Studien zur Semantik und Pragmatik der Rede von Pneuma in Röm 8 (EHB 813; Frankfurt: Lang, 2005).
* While Christoph focuses on Romans 8, she has lots of insights on the Spirit in Paul in general. The slight weakness of the book is that it does not have a strong original thesis and lacks indexes. For more details, see: Rabens, Volker, ‘Review of Monika Christoph, Pneuma und das neue Sein der Glaubenden’, RBL 08/07 (2007),

3) Fatehi, Mehrdad, The Spirit’s Relation to the Risen Lord in Paul: An Examination of Its Christological Implications (WUNT II/128; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000).
* Again a more specific monograph, but with strong originality.

4) Philip, Finny, The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology: The Eschatological Bestowal of the Spirit upon Gentiles in Judaism and in the Early Development of Paul’s Theology (WUNT II/194; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005).
* Philip has a wide coverage of literature on the Spirit in Paul but somewhat lacks originality.

5) Vollenweider, Samuel, ‘Der Geist Gottes als Selbst der Glaubenden: Überlegungen zu einem ontologischen Problem in der paulinischen Anthropologie’, ZThK 93 (1996), 163-92.
* A philosophic approach to Pauline pneumatology that has been well received in Germany.

6) Bertone, John A., ‘The Law of the Spirit’: Experience of the Spirit and Displacement of the Law in Romans 8:1-16 (SBL 86; New York: Lang, 2005).
* See: Rabens, Volker, ‘Review of J.A. Bertone, ‘The Law of the Spirit’: Experience of the Spirit and Displacement of the Law in Romans 8:1-16’, RBL 07/07 (2007),


At 9/23/2006 1:29 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Great list -- many thanks for this!

At 9/23/2006 4:39 AM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

CT you earlier promised a Motyer article. Thanks for nothing.

No seriously, if you don't post it, could you at least give us the publication details? (I couldn't find them in your earlier posts.)

At 9/23/2006 6:33 AM, Anonymous rjm said...

Thanks for a helpful list - what aspect of Pauline pneumatology does Volker's dissertation concentrate on?

At 9/23/2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Volker said...

Hi rjm,
my dissertation focusses on the ethical aspect of Pauline pneumatology. I seek to answer questions like: how (according to Paul) does the Spirit bring about ethical change in the believer? How does the Spirit help the individual to overcome sin, to be strengthened in temptation and to display the fruit of the Spirit?
I think these are question of relevance for both NT scholars as well as the church.

At 9/23/2006 11:16 AM, Anonymous Exiled Preacher said...


Has you research included the writings of the English Puritan John Owen on the Holy Spirit? His Discourse on the Holy Spirit, Works Vol 3 and On the Mortification of Sin, Works Vol 6 address the believer's struggle with sin and temptation with characteristic depth and thouroughness.

At 9/23/2006 12:16 PM, Anonymous Volker said...

Hi exiled preacher,
thanks for the suggestion, I'll check that out. I have mainly dealt with exegetical works on Paul in my dissertation, but I also have a large section dealing with the philosophical and systematic theological prolegomena to my thesis.

Hi j.b. hood,
Steve Motyer has not published on Pauline pneumatology, but I'm sure Chris will upload Steve's article in one of his posts on Christian Zionism. If you can't wait, check out his book:
S. Motyer, Israel in the Plan of God: Light on Today’s Debate (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1989).

At 9/23/2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous rjm said...

Sounds fascinating. I'm working on a dissertation exploring the significance of the Spirit for Paul's argument in Galatians 3-6 in light of Second Temple Jewish restoration eschatology, so your list will be very helpful (particularly the Philip volume).

At 9/23/2006 5:24 PM, Anonymous Volker said...

Welcome to the club, rjm!
It certainly sounds wise to me to limit the study to (a) certain passage(s) as you did. I've been working on all of Paul's epistles and it has cost me an awful lot of time.
Another book of interest for you could be this one: Bertone, John A., ‘The Law of the Spirit’: Experience of the Spirit and Displacement of the Law in Romans 8:1-16 (SBL 86; New York: Lang, 2005). I shall write a review of it for RBL in a couple of months. It is not as thorough as the books in the reading list, but it discusses the relation of Spirit and law from the New Perspective. That could be valuable for your exegesis of Gal. 4 (although the book is on Rom. 8).

At 9/23/2006 5:30 PM, Anonymous Volker said...

Two more studies dealing with the Spirit in Galatians:
Barclay, John M. G., Obeying the Truth: A Study of Paul’s Ethics in Galatians (SNTW; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988).
*A brilliant book!

Russel, Walter Bo, III, The Flesh/Spirit Conflict in Galatians (Lanham: University of America Press, 1997).

At 9/23/2006 11:31 PM, Anonymous rjm said...

Thanks for the multiple references. I agree that Barclay's book is fantastic. I actually had the privilege of working with him last spring in Durham as part of an exchange program. He is a kind and gracious man, and a model scholar and advisor. I've read an article by Russell and wasn't sure whether his dissertation had been published - now I know. Thanks again!

At 9/24/2006 9:29 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

For that lack of patience, JB, I have e-mailed everyone who visits here a copy of Motyer's paper, except you.


Post a Comment

<< Home