The Sprit of God

by Jim Shuall

In the King James, Gen.1:2b says "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Was this "God the Spirit"- a third of the trinity - or - the power & presence of God Himself? Let’s see how it reads in some other translations. "And God's spirit hovered over the water` (no capital "S" for "spirit") — from the Jerusalem Bible. The respected Revised Standard Version says "the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters" with a footnote for "Spirit" saying "Or wind’. (So if you go with the footnote in the RSV, it says "the wind of God..." An American translation from 1935, out of the Univ. of Chicago, by Smith & Goodspeed, says "with darkness covering the abyss and a tempestuous wind raging over the surface of the waters." To me, as we look through the lenses of these other translators, the "Spirit of God" is looking more and more like a wind/"power" - rather than a "person"! “And God's spirit hovered over the water." Oddly enough the “Spirit of God" is seen very little in the first two books of the Bible! Only once more in Genesis (41:38) "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man (Joseph) in whom the Spirit of God is?" *These are the only two times we see the "Spirit of God" in Genesis — unless we include 6:3 where "the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man..." And in Exodus also, we only find the "Spirit of God" two times! In 31:3 the Lord tells Moses of a man that "l have filled with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship". Moses retells the same information in 35:31. In both of these we have the same Hebrew for God/elohiym and Spirit/ruwach as that of Genesis 1:2, but here the translators give us a small "s". Wouldn’t we like to ask the King James translators why? Isn’t it logical to believe that this man Moses knew was filled with the power of God? Wasn't John the Baptist filled with this same power? Luke 1:15 says of John "he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine or strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (a.k.a. Holy Spirit), even from his mother's womb". l believe that "God's spirit" (RSV), a.k.a. the "Spirit of God", is the power God uses Himself, as in the act of creation/Genesis chapter 1, and the power with which He empowers individuals.