The Breath of God in the Old and New Testament


The Miracle of the Breath
"The link between Spirit and Breath is mentioned throughout the Bible, yet most modern-day Jews and Christians are unaware of this relationship. For example, the ancient Hebrew word ruah not only meant 'spirit,' 'breath,' and 'wind'; it was also used in essentially the same ways as the Greeks, Hindus, and Romans used the words pneuma, prana and spiritus. The ancient Hebrew scribes often linked the word ruah with Yahweh (the name of the God of Israel). Thus, the term ruah Yahweh, which appears often in the Old Testament, can be translated to mean 'the spirit of God,' 'the breath of God,' or 'the wind of God' (God's breath manifested as wind).

In the New Testament, all references to God's spirit, breath, or wind appear as the word pneuma, instead of ruah, because the Gospels were originally written in Greek. In John 3:8 (AV), for example, Jesus appears to be speaking in riddles when he says to the bewildered Nicodemus:

The wind [pneuma] blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of spirit [pneuma]."

Andy Caponigro, The Miracle of the Breath
New World Library (2005) p. 9-11


The Light of the Koran
"But what is meant by the term 'Self-realisation', which many traditions also call 'second birth'? A subtle mechanism inside each human being watches over a latent spiritual energy, located in the sacrum at the base of the spinal column. This energy, known as 'Kundalini' in Sanskrit (from 'kundala' meaning 'spiral'), is the reflection, within each of us, of the 'primordial Energy' - in other words the 'breath of God'. As famous as it is mysterious, this is the energy which created the universe and which Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is able to awaken in all those who desire the knowledge of their true Self, of their role and their place in the play of the universe. In a very simple, natural and harmless manner, as we shall see further on, man gains access to a higher state of consciousness, previously the privilege of only a handful of saints during the course of history. This divine Energy, known to the Holy Scriptures, created the oceans, the mountains and every form of live on Earth. It has now become possible to feel it on the human nervous system. The sincere individual in search of the Absolute is given the possibility, in these troubled yet special times, to witness his own real transformation, thanks to the tangible experience of the 'Breath' on the palms of the hands. Self-realisation is therefore the awakening of the reflection of the Primordial Energy within man, which grants him his connection with the Universal Spirit. It is the final stage in the destiny of mankind announced by all the prophets.”

Flore Descieux, The Light of the Koran
Ritana Books, New Delhi, India 1995, pg. 35




The fulfillment of eschatological instruction promised by Jesus
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2)
An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
“An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apokalypsis ... literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, "A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities". Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology obtained through dreams or spiritual visions.” Wikipedia 2021-01-09

Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
Total number of recorded talks 3058: Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651, and other (private conversations) 1249

“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation,
Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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