Father and Spirit beget the Son


If the Father and Son are together the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds; and if this is believed to be backed by Scripture when Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his Apostles; then wouldn’t it also seem to make Scriptural and logical sense that the Father and the Spirit together as a single principle beget the Son, the confirmation of this being texts on the Annunciation and other texts, such as the Baptism of Our Lord, where the Holy Spirit as a Dove hovers over Jesus, and God the Father speaks of his only-begotten Son?



I wasn’t aware that Jesus’ breathing of the Holy Spirit is biblical proof that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Is this statement accurate?

In regards to the second part of the question, the Prologue of John reveals that Jesus was there from the beginning.


You are on to something here. The reasoning traditonally used to defend the additon of the “Filioque Clause” to the Creed is flawed. The breathing of the Spirit from Christ is indeed often used as a vinidcation of the eternal procession of the Spirit from both the Father and the Son. The problem is that this confuses the economic reltaions between the Son and the Spirit (“economic” in the sense of the “economy of salvation”, which takes place in time) from the eternal innate relationhips. As you point out, if one were going to use the temporal relationships of the Persons as revelaed in scripture as direct indications of the eternal relationships among the Persons, one could just as easily conclude that the Son was begoten of both the Father and the Son, which of course isn’t true.
There is one scripture verse which speaks of the eternal origin of the Spirit- John 15:26, “The Spirit of Truth who comes from (Greek ekporouetai, “proceeds”) the Father, and who I myself will send” (different word in Greek). That is the verse which should govern. Joe


Logically, two things cannot produce one another. I cannot be the father of my own father, because that is illogical.

If the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, then the Father and the Son must eternally engage in this act, which Ludwig Ott defines as ‘spiration’, the eternal procession of the Spirit. If the spirit proceeds from the Son, then He cannot also produce the Son, just like I cannot be the father of my own father.


The Father is the Lover, Jesus is the Beloved and the Holy Spirit is the Love that proceeds from the Father to the Son and back from the Son to the Father.

It is the Father who begets the Son. I don’t think it is the Spirit who does.


As the one great operation of [God’s] spirit, knowing, produces the second person, so the other, loving, produces the third. But be careful upon this - the second proceeds from, is produced by, the first alone; but the third, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from Father and Son, as they combine to express their love. Thus in the Nicene Creed we say of him who proceeds from the Father and the Son…
The above is taken from Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners, page 36.


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