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

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Mon Jun 15 17:29:38 EDT 2009


On Jun 15, 2009, at 5:02 PM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:

>
> On Jun 15, 2009, at 1:12 PM, Vasileios Tsialas wrote:
>
>> I forgot to
>> say that the most elementary thing is that the word “spirit” is
>> neuter and
>> means “the thing blown, wind”
>
> Are you suggesting that "wind" would be a useful semantic prototype
> for PNEUMA in the GNT?
>
> Take a look at BDAG under PNEUMA. The overwhelmingly predominate use
> in the GNT is for a conscious agent of some sort. Not some inanimate
> force.

Yes; even when PNEUMA means "wind," Jesus speaks of it in John's  
gospel as having a will of its own:

John 3:8 τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ καὶ  
τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ ἀκούεις, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ  
οἶδας πόθεν ἔρχεται
TO PNEUMA hOPOU QELEI PNEI KAI THN FWNHN AUTOU AKOUEIS, ALL' OUK OIDAS  
POQEN ERCETAI

Some PNEUMATA, moreover, are AKAQARTA,

I'm not sure that a dichotomy of "conscious agent of some sort" and  
"inanimate force" is adequate for categorization of GNT usages of  
PNEUMA. It might come naturally to 21st-century sensibilities to to  
draw a distinction between "persons" and "things," but I wonder if it  
is appropriate to attribute the same sensibility to the authors of the  
GNT.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)






More information about the B-Greek mailing list