Pneumatology in Early Christian Scribal Practices

Todd R. Hanneken and Vanessa Cypert, Saint Mary’s University

Catholic Biblical Association Annual Meeting 2019, North Canton, Ohio

Recent spectral imaging allows new and corrected readings of an erased fifth-century copy of the Book of Jubilees in Latin. Among the new readings, ignored by the 1861 edition, is the scribal distinction known as nomina sacra. Christian scribes copying a Jewish text would condense SPIRITUS to SPS if they thought it referred to the Holy Spirit, as opposed to a human spirit or the wind. The choices they made indicate their understanding of the nature and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and provide for us new insight into early Christian pneumatology and interpretation of Isaiah 11 and Paul.