An Animated Explanation of Holy Spirit by The Bible Project

The “Holy Spirit” is a phrase in the Bible used to describe the mystery and power of God’s personal presence. In this video we explore the original Hebrew meaning of the word “spirit/breath,” and how understanding this can help you see the storyline of the entire Bible in a whole new way. This video by The Bible Project explains more.

 

 

 

 

Video Transcript

0:01
If you have ever heard the phrase “the Holy Spirit”
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and you want to know what it means,
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where do you start?
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Well, you have to start on page one of the Bible.
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Where the uncreated world is depicted as this
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dark chaotic place. But then, above the chaos
0:13
God’s Spirit is there, hovering, ready to bring about life and order and beauty.
0:18
Okay, but what is God’s Spirit?
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Yeah, so the Spirit is the way the Biblical authors
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talk about God’s personal presence.
0:25
The Hebrew word is Ruakh.
0:27
Ruu-a-achh? Yeah, you’ve gotta clear your throat at the end.
0:30
So, what is it?
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Ruakh can refer to a number of different things,
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but what they all have in common is energy.
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Energy? How so?
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So, there’s an invisible energy,
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that makes the clouds move or the tree branches sway.
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Right, wind. So in Hebrew,
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that’s Ruakh. Okay!
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Now, take a big breath, uwwshh!
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So you feel that, inside you.
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Yeah, the air?
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Well, specifically the energy,
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right, the vitality in your body that you get from
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breathing, deeply,
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that too is, Ruakh.
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And this is the same word
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used in the Bible, to describe God’s
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personal presence.
1:03
Just like wind and breath are invisible,
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God’s spirit, is invisible.
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Wind is powerful, and so God’s spirit is powerful.
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And just as breath keeps us alive
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so God’s spirit sustains all of life.
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Yeah! Ruakh.
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Now,
1:18
as we continue on in the story of the Bible
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We see God’s ruakh giving special empowerment to people for specific tasks.
1:25
The first person in the Bible that happens to
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is Joseph
1:27
1:28
God’s spirit enables him to understand and interpret dreams.
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And then it happens to this guy named “Betsaleel” and he’s an artist!
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God’s spirit empowers him with wisdom and skills.
1:37
He’s given creative genius to make beautiful things in the tabernacle.
1:41
And we also see God’s ruakh empower a group of people called “the prophets”.
1:46
They’re able to see what’s happening in history from God’s point of view.
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That’s exactly right!
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And here’s the problem as the prophet saw it.
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While God’s ruakh had created a really good world
1:57
humans have given in to evil.
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They’ve unleashed chaos into it through their injustice.
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A new type of disorder.
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Yes.
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And the prophet said the spirit would come,
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just like in Genesis 1,
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but now, to transform the human heart,
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to empower people to truly love God and others.
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How will this new active God spirit happen?
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Well, centuries past and we’re introduced to Jesus.
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And at the beginning of his mission,
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there’s a beautiful scene where Jesus is being baptized in the waters of the Jordan river.
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Yeah, the sky opens up and God’s spirit comes and rests on him like a bird.
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The story sang that God’s spirit is empowering Jesus to begin the new creation.
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And we see this happening when he heals people or forgives their sins.
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He’s creating life where there once was death.
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Now, Israel’s religious leaders oppose Jesus and they eventually have him killed.
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But even here, God’s spirit is at work.
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The earliest disciples of Jesus who saw him alive from the dead
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said it was God’s energizing spirit that raised Jesus.
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This is the beginning of new creation.
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Yes, and it is still going.
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When Jesus appeared to his closest followers,
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he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
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And soon after that, the Spirit powerfully comes on all of his disciples.
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So that they can become a part of this new creation
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and share the good news and learn how to live by the energy and influence of God’s spirit.
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And so today, the spirit is still hovering in dark places.
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Yes, pointing people to Jesus,
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transforming and empowering them so they can love God and others.
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And the Christian hope is that the Spirit is going to finish the job.
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The story of the Bible ends with a vision of a new humanity
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living in a new world that’s permeated with God’s love and life-giving spirit.