Irenaeus on Pentecost  

Posted by Joe Rawls in ,

Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, Asia Minor. His dates are uncertain but he somehow migrated to Gaul, where he eventually became the bishop of Lyons. He is known mainly for his work Against Heresies (ca 180), in which he defends a fairly mature orthodox faith against Gnosticism and other "alternative" explanations of Christianity. The excerpt below, dealing with the theological interpretation of Pentecost, describes the action of the Holy Spirit using a moisture metaphor instead of the more customary wind image.


This is why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of bread, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at Sunday, May 23, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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