Barry Newman's Blog

September 5, 2010

The Essence of Spirit (part IX)

Filed under: Spirit — barrynewman @ 2:43 am

The Categorisation of Pneuma in the New Testament

There are 372 instances of pneuma in the New Testament.  In categorising 106 instances were duplicated, 32 were triplicated and two were quadrupled giving 548 category items.  As with ruach, it was hoped that such multiple classifications would be few.  However, the diffuseness of the use of pneuma, given the categorization scheme, made that difficult.  A further problem was always the difficulty in understanding particular texts.  For the major categories, there were only ten category multiplications.

Table 9 indicates the major categories in which the minor and sub-categories were developed.  Unlike the situation with ruach, there were no instances of pneuma involving animals.

Major Category Total % based on 382 % based on 372
The Pneuma of God 230 60 62
The Pneuma of creatures – neither Mankind nor Animals 59 15 16
The Pneuma of the Natural Physical World 2 1 1
The Pneuma of the Abstract 19 5 5
The Pneuma of Mankind 72 19 19

Table 9 – The Categorisation of Pneuma

Category multiplications occurred among the major categories in 4 different combinations, the main one involving the Pneuma of God and the Pneuma of the abstract – 6 instances.


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