[B-Greek] Absent Definite Article strips Personality from The Holy Spirit

Will Dilbeck will.dilbeck at gmail.com
Sat Jun 13 17:59:32 EDT 2009


The statement in all caps in inaccurate. According to Wallace, in spite of
some difficulties determining the nature of a noun/adjective with or without
an article, it can definetely be said that, "a proper noun with or without
the article is definite" (p. 246). Obviously, this begs the question that
"holy spirit" is a proper noun. However, the lack of the article certainly
does not necessarily mean that it indicates its "lack of personality." Other
considerations must be weighed. It seems that the question raised in the
text you quoted is whether or not "definiteness" is to be assumed from
whether the article is there or not. In this case, when the article is
present, it ALWAYS indicates definiteness. However, when an article is not
present it may or it may not be definite. For example, in 1 Corinthians
8:4f, we have three anarthrous datives (EV KOSMW, EV OURANW, EPI GHS). Now
is this referring to just any "world, heaven and earth?" Of course not, it
is talking about THE world, THE heaven, and THE earth. When a construction
is arthrous, other considerations must be taken into account to determine
"definiteness", it simply cannot be affirmed just because the article is
lacking.

Will Dilbeck
Minister and Graduate Student in N.T. Greek
On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Robert George <4examp at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Watchtower's 1st Bible "dictionary" (1971) was titled "Aid to
> Bible Understanding". It was superseded by "Insight on the Scriptures"
> (1988).
>
> 1. Please provide professional comment on the text that I capitalized.
> 2. I would like to quote your comments (so please let me know if I may
> ALSO include your name & title).
>
> "Lacks personal dentification. ~ Since God himself is a Spirit and is
> holy and since all his faithful angelic sons are spirits and are holy,
> it is evident that if the "holy spirit" were a person, there should
> reasonably be given some means in the Scriptures to distinguish and
> identify such spirit person from all these other ‘holy spirits.’ It
> would be expected that, at the very least, the definite article would
> be used with it in all cases where it is not called "God’s holy
> spirit" or is not modified by some similar expression. This would at
> least distinguish it as THE Holy Spirit.
>
> But, on the contrary, in a large number of cases THE EXPRESSION "holy
> spirit" APPEARS IN THE ORIGINAL GREEK WITHOUT THE ARTICLE, THUS
> INDICATING ITS LACK OF PERSONALITY.
>
> -— Compare Ac 6:3, 5; 7:55; 8:15, 17, 19; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9, 52; 19:2;
> Ro 9:1; 14:17; 15:13, 16, 19; 1Co 12:3; Heb 2:4; 6:4; 2Pe 1:21; Jude
> 20, Int and other interlinear translations."
> (Insight p.1019 / Aid p.1543)
> ---
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