The development of early Christian pneumatology with special reference to Luke-Acts
The author seeks to demonstrate that Paul was the first Christian to attribute soteriological functions to the Spirit and that this original element of Paul's pneumatology did not influence wider (non-Pauline) sectors of the early church until after the writing of Lk-Acts. Three interrelated arguments are offered in support of his thesis. In Part One he argues that soterological functions were generally not attributed to the Spirit in intertestamental Judaism. The Spirit was regarded as the source of prophetic inspiration, a donum superadditum granted to various individuals so they might fulfil a divinely appointed task. The only significant exceptions to this perspective are found in later sapiential writings (1QH, Wisd). In Part Two he argues that Luke, influenced by the dominant Jewish perception, consistently portrays the gift of the Spirit as a prophetic endowment which enables its recipient to participate effectively in the mission of God. Although the pimitive church, following in Jesus' footsteps, broadened the functions traditionally ascribed to the Spirit in first-century Judaism and thus presented the Spirit as the source of miracle-working power (as well as prophetic inspiration), Luke resisted this innovation. For Luke the Spirit remained the source of special insight and inspired speech. The important corollary is that neither Luke nor the primitive church attribute soteriological significance to the pneumatic gift in a manner analogous to Paul. In Part Three he argues, on the basis of his analysis of relevant Pauline texts, that the early Christian traditions used by Paul do not attribute soteriological functions to the Spirit, and that sapiential traditions from the Hellenistic Jewish milieu which produced Wisd provided the conceptual framework for Paul's distinctive thought. Thus he maintains there were no Christian precursors to Paul at this point and that Paul's perspective represents an independent development.