Michael Thomson, an editor for Eerdmans, is sending me a copy of John R. Levison’s Filled with the Spirit to review here! This is the blurb provided by Eerdmans:
This perceptive and well-crafted book takes readers on a surprising 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.
Filled with the Spirit has a uniquely comprehensive scope: it treats more ancient texts concerning the Spirit than any other book does. Levison’s up-to-date scholarship incorporates the Dead Sea Scrolls and an expansive awareness of Early Judaism less influenced by the latent anti-Semitism present in earlier German scholarship. His fascinating fresh theses include delineating how the notion of “filled with the Spirit” — what it involved and when it occurred — underwent a significant historical change in the ancient world. Levison uncovers the intertwining strands of ecstasy versus inspired intellect, and he shows how the Spirit’s filling was seen as applying both to individuals and to communities.
Though his meticulous scholarship makes Filled with the Spirit an extremely significant academic offering, Levison writes in a flowing, enjoyable literary style, with a clear narrative arc from the inbreathing of Adam to the isolated community encapsulated in 1 John.
I am excited about reading this book. It should make for a fine contribution to early Christian pneumatology! For more information on the book click here.
You are truly one of the elite to be receiving review books from Eerdmans! Welcome to the club! 😉 Perhaps we can compare notes on this one after we’ve both read it. It looks very interesting but I’m a bit taken aback by one of his theses, namely the human spirit being the same as the holy spirit.
Have you already received your copy? That is an odd theses! Have you read enough to summarize where he is going with that idea? I will have to read his argument because I find such a proposal surprising.
Brian: I have received my copy but I haven’t read enough to know how he supports the idea. I have a few books ahead of this one but I’m looking forward to getting into it.
I am very excited about reading it. Scot McKnight is saying that is will now be the “benchmark ans starting point for all future studies of the Spirit”: http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2009/10/book-comments-levison-and-case.html
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