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

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 16 02:51:44 EDT 2009


On Jun 15, 2009, at 9:59 PM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> I suppose you are being sarcastic here?

Yes, sarcastic.

> When Cooper can use 200 pages to discuss the usage of the article,  
> it shows that
> it is a complex issue.

Very complex.

> However, it has nothing to do with the personality.

I agree.

> It is
> related to definiteness and uniqueness, which is better treated  
> under discourse
> and pragmatics. If you only look at the syntax, you cannot perceive  
> the subtle
> distinctions.

Well, the quote from Cooper out context doesn't do him justice. I was  
amazed at the subtlety and insight he brought to the topic. I found  
that a lot of what Levinsohn talks about in Discourse Features was  
addressed by Cooper who doesn't do text linguistics even though he  
published recently. I think Carl has pointed out on occasion that  
numerous insights that linguists bury under obscure meta language have  
been expounded by traditional grammar people for eons, perhaps using a  
less "scientifically rigorous" framework, I am not sure about that,   
but none the less getting the job done by other means. I think Cooper  
has covered the territory of the greek article reasonably well.

> If your quote "As a result the article is used, or omitted,
> usually though not always without any distinction" is Cooper's  
> conclusion

It is only his conclusion on a very minor point having to do with QEOS  

> Usually, when it is part of a genitive construction, there is no  
> article, since
> the genitive in itself supplies a certain definiteness and  
> uniqueness. (Consider
> also in English the difference between "the Spirit of God" and  
> "God's Spirit" Is
> the Spirit of the first more personal, because it has the article?).

That is an interesting suggestion. That would explain a host of  
genatives w/o the article which I discovered.
> It is useful to compare the instance of PNEUMA QEOU with TO PNEUMA  
> the GNT. As far as I can tell, the form without article is used when  
> it is clear
> from context that the Spirit of God is being referred to and there  
> is no
> particular focus on God's Spirit as opposed to any other spirit.
> Paul uses both, but the form with article only in 1 Cor 2:11, 12,  
> 14; 3:16;
> 6:11.  In 2:11 TO PNEUMA TOU QEOU is compared to and contrasted with  
> TOU ANQRWPOU. In 2:12 the contrast is to TO PNEUMA TOU KOSMOU. The  
> whole section
> deals with such contrasts between human/worldly spirits and God's  
> Spirit.
> In 3:16-17 the topic is the temple/sanctuary of God, and only one  
> Spirit should
> live there, namely God's Spirit.

Elizabeth Kline

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