Do you know that Genesis contains the first biblical reference to the Holy Spirit?
Even though a specific belief in a triune God did not come until the incarnation of Jesus and the advent of Christianity, there was a closed references to such a belief in the Jewish Old Testament.
According to the first verse of Genesis the author says, (Genesis 1:1), “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters”.
This particular translation explains a “mighty wind,” while other translations mentions it as “the Spirit of God.”
The word Hebrew used by the biblical writer was “ruah” , and Christian theologians repeatedly pointed to it as the first reference to the Holy Spirit.
As one theologian called Lea Sestieri wrote in her article entitled, “The Jewish Roots of the Holy Spirit”: “Although in the scripture of the Jews, the Holy Spirit is never presented as a person but rather as a divine power who is capable of transforming the human being and the world, and the fact remains that Christian pneumatological terminology is rooted in that of the Jewish religion.”
Furthermore, Lea Seatieri continues, “The term: ‘Spirit’ translates the Hebrew word ‘Ruah,’ which in a primary sense means breath, air, or wind. Cause, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (CCC 691) “Jesus uses the sensory image of the wind to suggest to Nicodemus the transcendent newness of him who is personally God’s breath the divine Spirit”.
Furthermore, the Catechism explains how, “The Word of God and his Breath are at the origin of the being and life of every creature: ‘It belongs to the Holy Spirit to rule, sanctify, and animate creation, for he is God, consubstantial with the Father and the Son … Power over life pertains to the Spirit, for being God he preserves creation in the Father through the Son’” (CCC 703).
St. John Paul II however, pointed out this connection during a general audience in 1990 .As he wrote, “In such texts, we can see a distant preparation of the Christian revelation of the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity: God the Father is the beginning of creation; he carried it out through his Word, that is, through his Word and Son and through his Breath, the Holy Spirit.”
However, St. John Paul II continues, “In the Bible, the Hebrew term for the Spirit is “ruah”. The first meaning of this term, and that of its Latin translation ‘spiritus,’ is ‘breath’. Which breath is the most immaterial reality that we perceive; it can neither be seen; nor tangible; it cannot also be grasped by the hand; it always seem to be nothing, and yet it is vitally important.
Cause, a person who does not breathe cannot live.
Above all, the difference between a living person and a dead person is that the former has breath and the latter no longer has life. Because, life comes from God. Hence breath, also, comes from him and he can take it away (see. Ps 104 :29-30).
Viewing breath in this way, we come to understand that life depends on a spiritual principle, which was called by the same Hebrew word, “ruah”.
The trinitarian belief in God is one of the highest mysteries of Christianity, one that we cannot fully understand on this earth.
Still, a clue of God’s marvelous plan can be seen throughout the Old Testament, specifically in the book of Genesis, preparing the way for the ultimate revelation of himself in the person of Jesus Christ and the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.,