Teaching for Spiritual Formation: A Patristic Approach to Christian Education in a Convulsed Age (Cascade Books, 2021)

This work explores the intersection of patristic theology and contemporary Christian teaching and learning. For K-12 teachers and academic leaders, college and seminary professors, and church educators, this book re-imagines the identities of teachers and students and aims for a deeper level of faith-learning integration with respect to curriculum, pedagogy, and faith development. Church fathers whose writings are introduced and explored include Gregory the Great, John Chrysostom, Basil of Caesarea, Benedict of Nursia, and Cyril of Jerusalem. Features a foreword by David I. Smith of Calvin University. More information to come!


How the Spirit Became God: The Mosaic of Early Christian Pneumatology (Cascade Books, 2020)

“No study is as up to date with early patristic readings of the Spirit in the Bible than Kyle R. Hughes’ new book, How the Spirit Became God. Quite the book!”

—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary, Jesus Creed

“The strengths of this book are legion—from its succinctness to its clarity to its theological precision—but its greatest contribution is its avoidance of generalizing early pneumatological development. […] This book is recommended for anyone seeking to understand how and why Christians confess the Holy Spirit’s full divinity.”

—Brandon D. Smith, Assistant Professor of Theology and New Testament, Cedarville University, Southwestern Journal of Theology

“When did the ancient church recognize the full deity of the Holy Spirit? And what brought it to this conclusion? Hughes not only connects the dots through early patristic exegesis but also through the lived experience of the saints of old. The Triune God is seen, in the end, to be every bit as much the One we know as the One we trust, every bit as much the fount of our Credo as he in whom we find our life.”

—Daniel B. Wallace, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, from the back cover

CASCADE_TemplateHow the Spirit Became God: The Mosaic of Early Christian Pneumatology tells the often-neglected story of how and why the early church came to recognize that the Holy Spirit was a distinct divine person. While the subject of Christ’s divinity is a popular topic in church and academy alike, the notion of the Spirit’s divinity remains a mysterious yet intriguing question for many Christians today. Focusing on major pneumatological innovations from Pentecost through the Council of Constantinople in 381, Hughes examines how biblical interpretation and the lived experience of the Spirit contributed to the development of this important, and yet often overlooked, aspect of trinitarian theology. This book not only explains, from a historical yet accessible perspective, the development of early Christian pneumatology but also challenges readers to apply these insights from the church fathers to engaging with the person of the Holy Spirit today.

Major writers and texts analyzed in the book include the Johannine literature, the Pauline corpus, the Epistle of Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, and Basil of Caesarea. How the Spirit Became God was published by Cascade in April 2020 and features a foreword by renowned New Testament scholar Matthew W. Bates. For more information and to order a copy, click here.


The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit: Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology (VCSup 147; Brill, 2018)

“Extraordinary…one of those rare breakthrough books that will reshape both historical and systematic theology. Read it.”

—Matthew W. Bates, Associate Professor of Theology, Quincy University, OnScript

untitledIn The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, Kyle R. Hughes offers a new approach to the development of early Christian pneumatology by focusing on how Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian linked the Holy Spirit with testimony to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son. Drawing extensively on recent studies of prosopological exegesis and divine testimony in the ancient world, Hughes demonstrates how these three pre-Nicene Christian writers utilized Scripture and the conventions of ancient rhetoric and exegesis to formulate a highly innovative approach to the Holy Spirit that would contribute to the identification of the Spirit as the third person of the Trinity.

See further Brill’s page on the book here.



The Rev. Dr. Kyle R. Hughes (PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen) is a scholar-pastor-teacher specializing in the study of early Christianity and working to bring out the riches of patristic theology for the modern church and for Christian schools. He is the author of two books on early Christian pneumatology as well as several peer-reviewed journal articles, book reviews, and dictionary entries; he is also a frequent presenter at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual and International Meetings. Kyle’s primary theological interests include the development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, spiritual formation in the Anglican tradition, and Christian teaching and learning. Kyle and his wife Karisa live in Smyrna, Georgia, where he serves as History Department Chair and Faith-Learning Integration Coordinator at Whitefield Academy. He is an ordained deacon in the Reformed Episcopal Church (Anglican Church in North America) and is the Director of Catechesis at Christ the King Anglican Church in Marietta, Georgia. Follow him on Twitter @KyleRHughes10.


All updates to this site are published on the “Blog” tab above; be sure to click the “Follow” button on any page to get updates delivered directly to your inbox. The tabs on Anglicanism, Christian teaching, and early Christianity will take you to pages where previous posts have been collected and where helpful links and information on these subjects have been made available. You can also peruse my published work on the publications tab above.

As for why this site is sub-titled “Early Christian Archives,” the name is taken from a famous passage in Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Philadelphians, where he recounts the following exchange with some opponents: “For I heard some people saying, ‘If I do not find it in the archives [τοῖς ἀρχειοῖς] I do not believe it in the gospel.’ And when I said to them, ‘It is written,’ they answered me, ‘That is the point at issue.’ But to me the archives [τὰ ἀρχεῖα] are Jesus Christ, the inviolable archives [τὰ ἀρχεῖα] are his cross and death and his resurrection and the faith that is through him” (Ign. Phil. 8.2). Most scholars understand the first reference to “the archives” to refer to the Hebrew (or Old Testament) Scriptures. As such, this passage provides a glimpse into early Christian attempts to make sense of the sacred texts of Judaism in light of the Christ event, and reflects this site’s interest in early Christian hermeneutics, and how the first Christians read, wrote, and interpreted Scriptural texts.