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The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

Dove in the Story of Jesus’ Baptism

Aleksei Somov, PhD in Philosophy
pp. 67–79
The expression “like a dove” in the story of Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:10) can be understood in several ways. It can relate either to the noun “Spirit” or to the participle “descending”. The imagery of a dove as a symbol of the Spirit is not found in the Jewish sources of the period. However, the symbolism of dove taken in its connection with Gen 1:2 is used in b. Hag 15a and in 4Q521. In the latter it is written that God’s Spirit will hover (like a bird) over the righteous. This article deals with such an interpretation, which is connected with the description of the manner the Spirit is descending in the story of Jesus’ baptism: the Spirit is descending upon Jesus just as He hovered over the waters of the primeval world in the first day of creation. In Luke 3:22 the reality of such a descending of the Spirit is emphasized by the words “in a bodily form”.
Keywords: New Testament, Mark, Luke, the Holy Spirit, Jewish literature, Qumran, Judaism, Cognitive Metaphor.

Last Issue2024. Volume 16. Issue 2 (50)

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