After the resurrection of Jesus
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet (given), because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:37-39  NASBu

22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit …”

John 20:22  NASBu 1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:1-4  NASBu

Before the resurrection of Jesus
36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit,
Mark 12:36  NASBu

15 [About John the Baptist] For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.
Luke 1:15  NASBu

(Other examples: Luke 1:41, 67, 2:25, Acts 1:16)

SAB Contradiction 186

How is this possible?
It is pretty surprising that we read in the gospels about the importance of the Holy Spirit already before and during Jesus’ ministry and also about a central promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ministry. How is this possible? How could the Spirit be given after Jesus’ ministry while the Spirit was at work during that ministry? Not only critics of the Bible, but also Christians as well are sometimes confused about this state of affairs. However the problem is less complicated than it seems.


The Holy Spirit before Jesus’ resurrection
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  Luke 11:13 NASBu

Jesus stressed here an important point of view. People can receive the Holy Spirit within their heart and experience the joy of that by simply asking God for that in faith. The place of the indwelling of the Spirit was according to Jesus: “in the heart”, or “in the believer”: “… that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:17 NASBu
So Jesus taught the dwelling of the Spirit of God inside the heart of his followers. This was all connected with “being born again” or “born of the Spirit” (John 3:3,6)
First conclusion: The Spirit was given to people before his resurrection.

The Holy Spirit after Jesus’ resurrection
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit …”  John 20:22  NASBu

This was said by Jesus to his disciples on the evening of the day he resurrected. They already possessed the Spirit inside and now Jesus wanted them to accept the Spirit outside: "He breathed on them … " That was the clear illustration of what he meant. The time was near that the Spirit would come upon them, over them. That happened on the day of Pentecost.
Second conclusion: The Spirit was also given after his resurrection.

Two spiritual centers
The critic is apparently not aware of the fact that there are two important spiritual centers for every human being: inside (the heart) and outside (the body, the flesh, Acts 2:17). They are both in need of the Spirit. After Jesus’ disciples had accepted the Spirit inside, they experienced a second acceptance of the Spirit outside, “upon them”: “From their innermost [inside] being will flow [outside] rivers of living water.”

Bible Contradiction?
Is this contradicting? On the contrary, not only is there no Bible Contradiction, but instead there is perfect Bible Harmony. The Spirit was given (inside) before Jesus’ resurrection as well as (outside) after his resurrection.

Already in the Old Testament we see the two spiritual realities: the Spirit that dwelled in the people and that could come over them. The reverse was that fear could live in the heart of the people, but it could also fall upon the people and in the last case it was extremely heavy.

No Bible Contradiction