Bible Question:

Where did the term “slain in the Spirit” come from and where in the Bible is it mentioned?

Bible Answer:

“Slain in the Spirit” is a term that is used to refer to someone falling down because the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them. Some claim the expression “slain in the Spirit” was started by Kathryn Kulhman. The expression may have also been used prior to her by the Methodists. Yet, it is never referred to by the early church Fathers.

Those who experience being “slain in the Spirit” say their experience is a light, positive emotion. There are many Christians today who seek this experience for a variety of reasons. Regardless of one’s view on the subject, the question we must ask is, “What does the Bible say?”

The expression “slain in the Spirit” does not occur anywhere in the Bible. It is not a biblical term. Some refer to Old Testament passages as examples of being “slain in the Spirit,” but the references are consistently about dreams, visions or a person choosing to lie down on the ground because they were afraid when God or an angel appeared. The closest biblical account of someone being “slain in the Spirit” is Paul, the apostle, in Acts 9:4. What Paul experienced, however, is not being “slain in the Spirit.” We do not see a pattern of this in the Word of God. The concept of being slain in the Spirit is foreign to the Bible.


Remember the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15) is our standard for judging. While scripture does not mention being “slain in the Spirit” it does tell us to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:17-18).

Suggested Links:

Filled With The Spirit
The Spirit's Ministry - Tongues and Prophecy
The Holy Spirit