LAST TUESDAY (May 28th) saw the end of a special three-lecture course given to the Highgate Theological Fellowship Group by the Revd Maxine West, a former curate at St Michael’s who has worked with the Fellowship over many years. The series, entitled, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, traced the use of these terms and the nuanced uses they had in the three synoptic Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke (acts).
In the second of the series Maxine dwelt on the reasons different Apostles had used a number of terms to refer to Jesus: Son of Man; Son of God; Saviour, and Messiah – though she noted that the latter term, although Aramaic in origin, does not appear in the Old Testament. She also found it noteworthy that Son of God is not used as frequently as one might suppose – even Paul (not within the scope of these lectures) used it only four times in all his letters, most notably when he refers to (Rom 1: 4) designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.
On more than one occasion these thoughts led to discussions both about the continuity, or lack of it, between the Old and New Testaments, and the different perspectives the three writers would have had concerning their subjects.
The final lecture considered the different occasions and circumstances that the Holy Spirit is mentioned, most notably at Jesus’ baptism and at Pentecost. Different Apostles used different words at different times to describe the Spirit’s activity. Sometimes we are `in’ the Spirit. At others events occur `by’ the Spirit and `with’ the Spirit.
Throughout Maxine stressed that the Synoptic Gospels were written before a fully developed doctrine of the Trinity emerged, but while one clearly was emerging.
Maxine will be continuing working with the Fellowship later this year when she will hold a series of four fortnightly lectures in the Autumn. All are welcome. For further details contact: email@example.com