In writing Filled with the Spirit, John R. Levison, has produced a ground breaking and definitive study on the Holy Spirit. Encompassing the literature of Ancient Israel, Early Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, and the New Testament, Levinson provides a historical picture of how people have encountered and documented the Holy Spirit, and how they have interpreted those encounters theologically. What he reveals is that each era is related to the others, but that each era also expresses those realities in unique ways. More specifically, Levinson examines the use of the phrase "filled the Spirit" in each context and how this concept fundamentally changed the ancient world. Finally, Levison engages with Herman Gunkel's short studies The Spirit and the Impoverishment of Judaism and The Spirit and Diversity in Early Christian Literature providing summary and critique for each, while building upon these early, but highly, formative studies.
Containing meticulous, up-to-date scholarship yet written in a flowing, enjoyable style, this comprehensive book takes readers on a journey through a breathtaking array of literary texts, encompassing the literature of Israel, early Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, and the New Testament. John R. Levison's skill with ancient texts -- already demonstrated in his acclaimed The Spirit in First-Century Judaism -- is here extended to a myriad of other expressions of the Spirit in antiquity.
John R. (Jack) Levison is W. J. A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. His other books include Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life and The Spirit in First-Century Judaism.
An impressive and provocative study that is sure to be a significant voice in the evolving discussions regarding the Spirit of God in the literatures of early Israel, Second Temple Judaism, and early Christianity.
Review of Biblical Literature
Levison has provided a compelling, eloquent, sensitive reading of texts related to Gods Spirit. . . . Filled with the Spirit is a category-altering book with the potential to reshape how one ministers and lives as a spirit-empowered agent in the world.
Word and World
There are many books on the Holy Spirit, but few historical studies of the development of pneumatology (as the study of the Spirit is called), and this is a good and subtle one. It takes the reader into ancient Jewish and pagan texts as well as the Bible, and shows how variegated and complex was the background against which Paul could speak of the fruits of the Spirit.
An impressive study.
Journal of Ancient Judaism
A remarkable read.
[Here] is a new book that will become, and perhaps already has become, the benchmark and starting point for all future studies of the Spirit. The effusiveness of the endorsements match what I have seen in the book: a full study of the evidence in the Old Testament, the Jewish literature, Greco-Roman materials and the New Testament, and a comprehensive re-evaluation of the state of the art. . . . This book is eloquent and exceptional. Buy it and read it.
on the blog Jesus Creed: Scot McKnight on Jesus and Orthodox Faith in the 21st Century
Levisons scholarly book is worth buying for the wealth of his research on Greco-Roman literature, for his extensive use of the Qumran writings that cast light on the biblical texts, and for multiple precious insights into both testaments, all presented in a delightful, engaging style.
Catholic Biblical Quarterly
This insightful and meticulous research is addressed to fellow scholars, but graduate students and pastors will find that it rewards patient application. It deserves a prize.
The Bible Today