[B-Greek] Spirit or spirit

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Feb 26 11:31:00 EST 2003

> Thanks for the response, what will you say about the verse below:
> Rom 8:10   And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but
> the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
> I think that word Spirit here, refers to the spirit of man. Because it
> would not make sense to say "the Spirit of God is life because of
> righteousness". The Spirit of God is God in Himself because of who He
> is. The spirit of man is life (made alive) because of righteousness is
> more appropriate.
> Now it has being represented as Spirit instead of spirit. This is
> similar to the initial issue I brought up. All I need is a clear
> indication of when it should be Spirit and not spirit and visa versa.

The Greek text will not tell you whether it should be written with a capital
S or not, nor will the word in itself tell you whether the reference is to
Spirit or spirit.

Rom 8:10 is open to various interpretations which you can see in some of the
English translations:

RSV: But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin,
your spirits are alive because of righteousness.

NLT: Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because
of sin, your spirit is alive ‡ because you have been made right with God. (‡
note: Or the Spirit will bring you eternal life.)

GNB: But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you ‡ because you
have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die
because of sin. (‡ note: or your spirit is alive.)

Greek text:
Literal rendering: But if Christ (is) in you, the body on the one hand (is)
dead because of sin, but the spirit on the other hand (is) life because of

There is actually no verb, so it is up to the reader to supply the
connection between the various nouns from context. Notice also the
parallelism between body - dead - because of sin and spirit - life - because
of righteousness.
>From what Paul has said earlier in Romans, the first part probably means
that because we all have sinned, our bodies shall die physically one day
even if Christ lives in us. (Sin brought death into the world). On the other
hand, because we have been declared righteous - provided Christ is in us -
then our spirits have come alive and will continue to live when the body

So, I would agree with you that spirit because of the parallelism probably
refers to the human spirit after it has been made alive through faith in

A possible, somewhat expanded translation (with the added words made
explicit from previous chapters in Romans) could be:
If Christ lives in you, even though your bodies shall die because sin
brought death into the world, your spirits shall live because God has
declared you righteous.

Iver Larsen

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