The Spirit Communicating: Logos Syntax Search

My Bible reading plan had me in Acts 13 the other day (I’m following Carson’s slight variation of the M’Cheyne plan). Verse 2 reads, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” Curious about the nature of the Spirit’s speaking, I wanted to explore the other passages where the Holy Spirit communicates something. It would have been difficult to get a complete list of relevant passages were it not for Logos’s OpenText syntax database.

Here’s the search I constructed:

The Spirit Communicating: Syntax Search

This search yielded 29 hits and supplied me with some good data for analyzing the question I had about the nature of the Spirit’s communication—particularly in Acts.

The Spirit Communicating: Verse List

It looks like the best two options are (1) that the Spirit spoke in an audible voice (as in Acts 8:29; 10:19; 11:12) or (2) that He spoke through a prophet (Acts 1:16; 21:11; 28:25-26), who likely received the prophecy by means of audible revelation. In either case, the Spirit’s speaking was authoritative, inspired revelation. The notion of the Spirit speaking something less than this through inward promptings finds no support in the book of Acts—at least not that I can tell.

The only potential support that I can find is Rom 8:16. But the context suggests otherwise. We are enabled to put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit (v. 13), which is evidence that He is leading us (v. 14). We also have the longing in our hearts to cry out to God as our Father (v. 15). These are the Spirit’s testimony that we are God’s children.

, , , ,

4 Responses to The Spirit Communicating: Logos Syntax Search

  1. Michael Morris June 28, 2007 at 2:50 pm #


    How does one “get started” doing one of these searches…? I only have 6 days of experience with the product thus far, so I’m still stumbling and learning.


    Michael Morris
    [email protected]

  2. Michael Morris June 28, 2007 at 4:12 pm #

    Very nicely done Phil…I finally found it and “hacked” my way through a duplication of your example. This is a VERY powerful tool….thanks for bringing it to my attention.


    • Phil Gons July 3, 2007 at 6:35 am #

      Michael, I’m glad you were able to get it figured out! Working backwards (from solution to problem, so to speak) is the best way to learn. Hope you stumble across some neat findings!


  3. Ken November 26, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    What would this look like in L4?