Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)

First Advisor

S. Joel Garver, Ph.D., La Salle University

Second Advisor

Dr. Justyn Terry, Oxford University

Third Advisor

Dr. John Macdonald, Trinity School for Ministry


The understanding of the early Christians of the Holy Spirit is a topic that has not been fully explored and is occasionally thought of as an addendum to the authoritative Christological understanding of the Council of Nicaea. This dissertation challenges that perspective and contends that the early Christians had a high pneumatology based upon the understanding of divinity present in Second Temple Judaism. This dissertation extrapolates from the work done by Richard Baukham in his book Jesus and the God of Israel with its exploration of the Second Temple Jewish Divine Identity Theology and develops a Pneumatology of Divine Identity. This work includes a discussion of the historical context of Second Temple Judaism and development of a model of Divine Identity Pneumatology. It explores the sacred Scriptures to ascertain that the model fit the narrative. The model then explores the Apostolic Fathers and two of the major thinkers of the early Western Church, Irenaeus and Tertullian. The research found that the model fits the materials and documents examined, though the works of Tertullian have a diminished dependence upon the earlier model and there can be observed a shift in the understanding of divinity. As a result, the research substantiated that the earliest pneumatology was a high pneumatology within the cultural milieu of early Christianity.