Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles

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A 14th century copy of the Book of Acts in Minuscule 223

The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the Acts of the Apostles, leading to the use of the titles "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" for that book of the New Testament.[1][2] Of the about seventy occurrences of the word Pneuma in Acts, fifty five refer to the Holy Spirit.[2]

From the start, in Acts 1:2, the reader is reminded that the Ministry of Jesus, while he was on earth, was carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit and that the "acts of the apostles" are the continuing acts of Jesus, facilitated by the Holy Spirit.[2] Acts thus presents the Holy Spirit as the "life principle" of the early Church and provides five separate and dramatic instances of its outpouring on believers in 2:1-4, 4:28-31, 8:15-17, 10:44 and 19:6.[1]

References to the Holy Spirit appear throughout Acts Acts 1:5 and 8 stating towards the beginning: "For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit ... ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you" referring to the fulfillment of the prophecy of John the Baptist in Luke 3:16: "he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit".[3]


  1. ^ a b The Acts of the Apostles by Luke Timothy Johnson, Daniel J. Harrington 1992 ISBN 0814658075 pages 14-18
  2. ^ a b c A Bible Handbook to the Acts of the Apostles by Mal Couch 2004 ISBN 0825423910 pages 120-129
  3. ^ Reading Acts: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles by Charles H. Talbert 2005 ISBN 1573122777 pages 24-25