Gender of TO PNEUMA

Steven Craig Miller scmiller at
Mon Nov 22 09:48:26 EST 1999

To: Blahoslav Èíèel,

<< Steve, I'm sorry of your reaction to the topic. It is full of disrespect 
to those, who have a different opinion than you have. >>

First of all, I always sign my messages with all three of my names, the 
reason is because "Steve," and even "Steven Miller," is such a common name. 
I would appreciate if one is going to direct a comment to me that one would 
also use all three of my names at least once in the message (after that, 
one can refer to me as "Steve," "Miller," "SCM," or whatever). After all, I 
would hate for any other "Steve" to be blamed for what I have written. 
Surely you can see the wisdom in that, yes?

Second, you claim that my message was "full of disrespect," surely this is 
an exaggeration. For in re-reading my message, I could find only one, or 
perhaps two statements at most, which could be misconstrued to imply 
disrespect. Or could it be that you consider anyone who expresses an 
opinion different from your own to be "full of disrespect"? But I assure 
you that I meant no disrespect,  and I had tried to nuance and properly 
qualify all my statements.

<< Only when the author wanted to stress the very personal (in the modern 
sense of the word) side of TO PNEUMA, he uses masculine pronouns, all the 
other cases it has nothing to do with sex or personality, I guess. >>

It is true that grammatical gender should not be confused with one's sex 
(by nature). But if you would look closely at the question asked, it did 
not ask why TO PNEUMA was neuter, but rather it asked why English 
translations translate a pronoun referring to TO PNEUMA as "he." My message 
was an attempt to answer that question, by presenting historical 
information which I hope helped one to understand why this has been done.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at

"... while steering clear of the Scylla of credulity one must be wary of 
the Charybdis of undue skepticism" (Frederick W. Danker, "A Century of 
Greco-Roman Philology," 146).

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