Wisdom speaks: The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old… When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth… Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him… Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Proverbs 8, King James Version

There are a number of places in the Bible (both Old and New Testament) that mentions Wisdom (Sophia in Greek). If you read, for example, Proverbs 8, it seems that Wisdom is a “person” in the sense that she (references use the feminine form of the word) was there with God before the universe was created.

This led some early Jews and Christians to conjecture that there is a female God (or demigod) who has the ear of God the Father. This integrated well with the various dualistic views of God, including the Earth Mother traditions and Zoroastrianism.

Later, some theologians tried to identify Sophia with Christ, saying that the early writings were about him. This seems to me to be a stretch, mostly based on their notion that (1) there couldn’t possibly be a female “person” of God, and (2) we already have three such “persons” (the Trinity), and there isn’t really room for any more.

I believe that most people, when reading the Proverbs passage, can tell that the personification of Sophia/Wisdom is being used as a poetic device in order to make a point. I invite you to read the passage and decide for yourself before proceeding.

If you agree that the personification of Sophia is used as a poetic device, then I propose to you to do an Internet search on the phrase “Bible passages about the Holy Spirit” and read every one of these.

If you keep an open mind and use the same understanding you did when reading about Sophia, you will see that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and not a separate “person” of God. I urge you to read carefully about the fallacy of reification (for example, here) and then re-think your notion of the Holy Spirit.

TAKE AWAY: The map is not the territory, and the Holy Spirit is not God but — just as the name implies — the Spirit of God.