Cornelis Bennema, «Spirit-Baptism in the Fourth Gospel. A Messianic Reading of John 1,33», Vol. 84 (2003) 35-60
The various ways of understanding "baptism in the Holy Spirit" has caused much division in both academic scholarship and the church. Most theories have been based on the Synoptics and Acts, but the phrase o( bapti/zwn e)n pneu/mati a(gi/w| is also present in the Fourth Gospel (1,33). However, Johannine scholarship has hardly given attention to this concept. This paper will seek to establish that o( bapti/zwn e)n pneu/mati a(gi/w| is a programmatic statement for Jesus’ nexus of soteriological activities in relation to people by means of the Spirit. "To baptize with Holy Spirit" refers to Jesus’ programme of cleansing people through revelation by means of the Spirit. Moreover, this concept is rooted in Jewish messianic traditions, which were able to expect a messiah who would judge, restore and cleanse by means of his Spirit-imbued word.
Hence, we shall examine those texts that evoke the concept of a messiah, even if the literal term xy#$m or xristo/j does not occur. We will neither elucidate Jewish messianism at large28, nor attempt to homogenize the diverse messianic ideas, but merely examine specific aspects of the Messiah, namely whether among the activities of a messianic figure are those of revelation and cleansing by means of the Spirit, within a context of "salvation" and judgement. An additional difficulty is that the majority of "messianic" texts "merely" mention that a messiah will come, and only a few texts actually attribute specific functions to the messianic figure. Although we are not focused on one particular type of messiah — messianic hopes were very diffuse and messianic figures could have traits of a priest, prophet, king or any combination of these — we are nevertheless especially interested in those texts that allude to Isaiah 11 (and 42) since the Fourth Evangelist himself alludes to these texts in 1,32-34 29.
From our examination of Jewish literature we will only present the results found in the Palestinian literature (non-rabbinic and non-Qumranian literature written in Palestine) and Qumran literature, because the Diaspora literature (literature written in Greek and/or outside of Palestine) seems little interested in messianic ideas, and rabbinic writings are notoriously difficult to date and rarely attribute specific functions to a messiah.
1. Palestinian Literature
Messianism developed primarily in Jewish apocalypticism, viz., the Psalms of Solomon (which reflect apocalypticism), the Similitudes of Enoch, 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch (and possibly the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs). One reason might be that this literary genre is characterized by revelation, esoteric wisdom and its eschatological/end-time scenarios