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Levison's Filled with the Spirit: A Brief Appreciation and Response

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Levison's is a magnificent contribution to the History-of-Religions analysis of the Spirit from OT to NT times, with a positive-but-also devastating analysis of Gunkel's earlier analysis (1888!) which has since then reigned. This response-review examines Levison's answer to Gunkel's case that the Spirit (in the NT period) is always the blatantly supernatural Spirit, rather than the (OT) Spirit/breath of God immanent and active in all (approximately Levison's well-argued view). The article finds Levison's perspective more convincing in OT texts, but increasingly marginal as we approach the NT period, where the writings restrict the Spirit (as Gunkel suggested) to believers, and dominantly as charismatic presence (which Levison nevertheless illuminates creatively and with entrancing originality).


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