Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

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Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:56 am

W. Hall Harris III considers himself to be a "scholar" of the Greek with over "30 years of experience" teaching NT Greek at the "intermediate level." Like many trinitarian "scholars" he thinks he has grammatical evidence for holy spirit's "personality" through constructio ad sensum in the following verses. See here:

https://bible.org/seriespage/17-exegeti ... ry-john-14

o} Although neuter pronouns are used to refer to the Spirit in this verse, agreeing with the gender of pneu'ma, later in the Gospel masculine pronouns are used (constructio ad sensum) at 15:26, 16:7, 8, 13, and 14.
Many other trinitarian "scholars" assert the same in their zeal to find such grammatical evidence . Surprisingly enough, Daniel Wallace (himself a trinitarian) does not allow himself to go down this road. Instead he chides this rather sizeable, and powerful contingent of trinitarian Greek "scholarship" for it's abuse of Greek grammar on this score . In his Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit, he makes the following candid observations, to his credit:

https://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_2 ... Spirit.pdf
About half a dozen texts in the NT are used in support of the Spirit's personality on the grounds of gender shift due to constructio ad sen-sum ("construction according to sense" or, in this case , according to natural as opposed to grammatical gender). That is to say, these pas-sages seem to refer to the Spirit with the masculine gender in spite of the fact that pneuma is neuter, and grammatical concord would nor-mally require that any reference to the Spirit also be in the neuter gender. Such gender shifts are attributed to the fact that the Spirit is a person, and hence the biblical authors naturally speak of him as such, even though this manner of speaking is contrary to normal grammatical convention.... The passages adduced for this grammatical argument are John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7, 13-14; Eph 1:14; 2Thess 2:6-7; and 1 John 5:7. These fall into three different groups: the Upper Room Discourse texts all involve a masculine demonstrative pronoun, Eph 1:14 employs a mas-culine relative pronoun, 2 Thess 2:6-7 and 1 John 5:7 use a masculine participle..

Wallace then goes on to explain in detail in his article (I suggest a full read) why each of the above purported verses in fact do not show that the holy spirit is a "person" through the route of constructio ad sensum. His conclusion is quite damning. He notes:
Penultimate Conclusions

There is no text in the NT that clearly or even probably affirms the personality of the Holy Spirit through the route of Greek grammar. The basis for this doctrine must be on other grounds. This does not
mean that in the NT the Spirit is a thing, any more than in the OT the Spirit (xwr—a feminine noun) is a female! Grammatical gender is just that: grammatical. The conventions of language do not necessarily correspond to reality.
And he correctly notes that Evangelicals very often engage in wishful thinking when it comes to finding support for their pet doctrines:


Evangelical defenses of various doctrines occasionally are poorly founded. We sometimes claim things to be true because we want them to be true, without doing the exhaustive spadework needed to
support our conclusions. Regarding the personality of the Holy Spirit, the quick leap to exploit Greek grammar in defense may actually work against a carefully nuanced pneumatology. Taking our cue from
christology, we note that several biblical scholars working in that field would argue for progressive development of the understanding of the person and work of Christ. Not all would affirm that the apostolic band embraced the deity of Christ shortly after the resurrection. Some would argue that this understanding took years to develop.
This is very commendable and even courageous on Wallace's part, but it still doesn't address the elephant in the room. Since gender shifts due to constructio ad sensum are unremarkable, if the NT authors indeed conceived of the holy spirit as a "person," we may well expect to see natural gender taking precedent over grammatical gender in various passages that speak of it . So why don't we ? That's the million dollar question. The NT's silence in this regard speaks volumes against the claim that the holy spirit is a "person."
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:54 pm

In his Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit, Daniel Wallace says the following (quite correctly) concerning John 15:26:
"Thus, contrary to the supposition that the proximity of Πνεῦμα to ἐκεῖνος in John 14:26 and 15:26 demonstrates the Spirit's personality, because the Πνεῦμα is appositional, it becomes irrelevant to the gender of the pronoun. Had the evangelist wanted to show the Spirit's personality, he would infact have written something like " Ὅταν ἔλθῃ τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁ Παράκλητος, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ. The fact that Πνεῦμα and not Παράκλητος is the appositive renders the philological argument in these two texts void."
Which leads one to ask the million dollar question: If the evangelist in fact did consider holy spirit to be a "person," why did he not render Παράκλητος the appositive in John 15:26 ? This would have provided grammatical evidence for holy spirit's "personality" for the edification of Trinitarian believers , and silenced the "heretics" at the same time. The fact that John doesn't do that, in fact strongly indicates that he did not consider holy spirit to be a "personality."
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:18 am

A number of scholars have departed from an undiluted form of the trinitarian hermeneutic as their experience and knowledge of the Greek New Testament has deepened. In this regard I was rather surprised to discover that Larry Hurtado now not only does not think that the bible presents to us a "person" of the holy spirit but he also calls into question the biblical basis of the "Deity" of Christ (albeit very gently) . Here's his article entitled Jesus, “Pre-existence,” etc.: Responding to Questions:


Well, my postings over the last couple of days have certainly generated a number of responses, including several rather vigorous ones, and have raised some entirely understandable questions. Instead of responding to the comments individually (thereby burying both questions and my responses down in the “comments” material), however, I thought I’d try to address them here in this blog-posting. I’ll try to be as concise as clarity allows, but this will be a somewhat “longish” posting.

1. First, in response to my emphasis that the NT makes God’s actions (esp. in raising Jesus from death and giving him glory) the basis for the “high” Christological claims and the remarkable devotional practice in which Jesus was included with God, what about the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles, authoritative actions, etc.? Doesn’t this suggest that Jesus was actually exercising his divine power during his earthly life?

The first thing to note is what the Gospels and other NT writings portray as the responses to these actions, particularly the more “friendly” responses. For example, in response to Jesus’ questions to his disciples about what people make of him (as portrayed, e.g., in Mark 8:27-30), the options reported are “John the Baptist” (which I take as meaning “another one like John”), Elijah (possibly in part because Jesus’ reported miracles often mirror those attributed to Elijah),”one of the prophets” (the opinion that Jesus was a “prophet” is reported elsewhere in the Gospels also, e.g., John 6:14; and 7:25-30 where people wonder if he is Messiah). And the disciples’ response (on Peter’s lips) was “Messiah/Christ”. There is no statement of deification, no “cultic” worship offered, and Jesus doesn’t demand it, or claim divinity.

In Acts 10:38, in a speech ascribed to Peter, Jesus is referred to as having gone about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” Note that this statement is in the context of far more exalted claims about Jesus reflective of the “post-Easter” period: e.g., “the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead . . . everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (10:42-43). So, for the author of Acts, both things are true: Jesus’ earthly ministry was “anointed” and empowered by God (it was not a god working miracles on the earth, as in Greek myths). But, by virtue of God’s resurrection of Jesus (10:40), Jesus is now judge and the one valid medium of salvation (vv. 42-43).

To be sure, there is good reason to think that Jesus was known as a charismatic healer and exorcist, that he acted with a charismatic/prophetic authority in his teaching, that he excited expectations that he was (or was to be ) Messiah. Indeed, it is even not entirely impossible that Jesus could have trusted in the kind of vindication that is expressed in Mark 14:61-64 (although I personally suspect that as reported this statement is seriously reflective of post-Easter convictions about Jesus). But all of this put together doesn’t amount to a direct claim of divine status, of bearing divine glory, and of being worthy of worship.

As I’ve contended in my book, Lord Jesus Christ (53-64), Jesus himself (his actions and their impact on others) was certainly a major factor/force in the subsequent eruption of “Jesus-devotion” reflected in the NT. But the NT writings rather consistently place that eruption in the “post-Easter” period, and base it heavily on God’s exaltation of Jesus and designation of him as “Lord and Christ” (e.g., Acts 2:36), “The Son of God” (e.g., Rom 1:3-4), the glorified ruler (e.g., 1 Cor 15:20ff; 1 Pet 3:22), etc.

2. What about texts such as John 1:1-2, where, of the “Logos” (here, the “pre-incarnate” identity/form of the incarnate Jesus), we read: “he was with God and he was God”? Well, the first thing to emphasize is that both statements have to be read together, and taking the one without the other results in a serious loss of meaning. The Logos here is portrayed as both “with” God (i.e., distinguishable from “God” albeit in closest relation to God) and “was God” (i.e., in some way partaking of this status). The next statement helps “unpack” this a bit: The Logos was the agent of creation. Creation in biblical perspective is God’s act, and so positing the Logos as the agency through whom God created “all things” places the Logos outside of “all things” and into the action of God. But note that the Logos is the agent/medium of creation, “God” remaining the creator in ultimate sense. (This distinction remained pretty central even in much later creedal developments.)

This role as agent of creation, by the way, isn’t original or confined to GJohn. Decades earlier it is affirmed in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, where explicitly the “Lord Jesus Christ” is posited as the one “through whom are all things and we are through him” (to render the Greek somewhat woodenly). Here, likewise, the “one God the Father” is the one “from who are all things and we (are) for him” (“God the Father” the creator and the ultimate destiny of believers).

3. What are we supposed to make of statements ascribing “pre-existence” to Jesus (to use the typical theological buzzword)? If you entertain these, how could Jesus not have known this and spoken of it?

First, a historical note: The ascription of “pre-existence” to Jesus wasn’t a late development, but appears already presupposed in texts as early as the 1 Cor 8:4-6 text cited above, and also, e.g., in the famous passage in Philippians 2:6-11 (esp. vv. 6-8). (Interesting to note Bart Ehrman’s recognition of this in his new book, and his admission that it took him by surprise and required him to correct earlier suppositions.) Indeed, we can’t really chart some evolutionary scheme in the earliest explosion of Christological beliefs. It all happened so quickly that by the time of Paul’s letters (written scarcely 15-20 yrs after Jesus’ execution) it’s all presupposed as long and widely known among believers.

But how could people ascribe a heavenly “pre-existence” to a real human and mortal figure of recent history? To understand this, you have to enter into the “logic” of ancient theological thought, and especially “apocalyptic” thought. I’ll sketch it briefly. God doesn’t make up his game-plan as the game goes along, but has the plan (of world history, redemption, judgement, etc.) all laid out even before creation. So, as God acts in revelation, each action is also an unveiling of his prior purpose and plan. So, “eschatological” events were actually in God’s purpose from the beginning: “final things = first things” (to paraphrase a scholarly formula). Indeed, in ancient Jewish texts there are references to various things, e.g., Torah, or the “name” of the messianic figure in the “Parables” of 1 Enoch (37-70) as “pre-existent” (see, e.g., my article, “Pre-Existence,” in the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, eds. G.F. Hawthorne, et al., pp. 743-46 (and bibliography there).

So, in this case, if Jesus has been vindicated by God and exalted to heavenly glory, made Lord and judge, declared to be “the Son of God,” and the unique redeemer, then in some sense this is the eschatological revelation and articulation of what must have been God’s purpose, and the revelation of heavenly realities, from before creation. As various other scholars as well have observed, the conviction that Jesus had been exalted to heavenly/divine glory seems to have triggered the logical corollary that he must, in some sense, have been “there” from the beginning, and that God’s redemption work is tied closely to God’s creation work. (Note that NT statements about Jesus’ “pre-existence” are essentially confined to connecting him to creation, and there is scant interest in speculations about what else his “pre-existence” involved. There, isn’t in other words, the proliferation of elaborate “myth” narratives about the matter such as we have in the classic Greek myths of the gods.)

But the NT also, even more emphatically, insists that Jesus of Nazareth was a real, mortal, human being, not a “god-in-drag” walking the earth, only pretending to eat, sleep, die, etc. (in contrast, e.g., to the angel Raphael in Tobit). “Born of a woman” declares Paul (Gal. 4:4), and “crucified and buried” is a pretty sure indication of things! Moreover, the NT doesn’t present Jesus as raising himself from death, as if by his own innate divine power, but declares Jesus was raised by God (e.g., 1 Thess 1:9-10).

As a human, say the NT texts, Jesus was only able to declare what God had revealed to him (even, perhaps especially, in the Gospel of John, e.g., 5:30-38). He is pictured as empowered by God (via God’s Spirit) for his ministry (e.g., the descent of the Spirit in the baptism scenes). He declares ignorance of “the day or hour” of eschatological consummation (Mark 13:32, a text that clearly troubled some early readers, as the variant readings show). It has been a common mistake to assume that if Jesus bears divine glory, status, etc., now (in Christian faith), and if in some sense he was “pre-existent”, then this must have affected (or even limited) how he could have been truly human. To think this, however, is both to ignore the NT texts, and (in theological terms) to descend into a kind of heresy (classically called, “Docetism”). Indeed, in later creedal statements, “orthodox” Christian “Fathers” often declared “that which the Son did not take on him self he cannot redeem” (meaning that a fully human Jesus was necessary for him to be an adequate redeemer of humans, an emphasis that actually emerged as early as Hebrews 2:5-18). In short, ascribing to Jesus divine honour, status, glory, etc., in the NT texts was never at the expense of Jesus being truly, fully, human. The statement in John 1:14 bears as much force as the statement in 1:1-2. “The Word became flesh” (i.e., fully, mortal human). And so, e.g., operating within the knowledge available to humans, whether about themselves or anything else.

4. What about subsequent creedal controversies and formulations? E.g., the three “persons” (or “hypostases”) that comprise the “Trinity,” etc.?

To my mind, these should be seen as valiant and impressive attempts by Christians living in later (than the NT texts) times, engaging and appropriating conceptual categories of those later times, to address questions and issues that had arisen then. But these conceptual categories and issues weren’t always the same ones that we find in the NT texts. E.g., referring to “persons” of the “Father” and the “Son” seems to have emerged sometime in the 2nd century (e.g., Justin Martyr’s references to the “prosopon” of the Son or the Father (literally = “face”, the Latin “persona” a subsequent attempt at an equivalent term). Simply reciting NT terms and expressions wasn’t sufficient (and is never sufficient for the theological task, to my mind). The questions had shifted, and the conceptual categories (heavily shaped by Greek philosophy) were different (the NT texts still heavily steeped in biblical/Jewish categories), and couldn’t rightly be avoided.

But I suspect that if Paul were asked whether Jesus was the “second person of the Trinity,” he would likely have responded with a quizzical look, and asked for some explanation of what it meant! Were the patristic texts and creedal statements saying something beyond or distinguishable from what the NT texts say? Certainly. Does that invalidate those later creedal discussions and formulations? Well, if you recognize the necessity of the continuing theological task (of intelligently attempting to articulate Christian faith meaningfully in terms appropriate and understandable in particular times and cultures), then probably you’ll see the classic creedal statements as an appropriate such effort. But that’s a historical judgement about that later period, and/or a theological judgement. And my emphasis is on the historical question of what the NT texts say and how to understand them in their own historical context.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:37 am

Hey Isaac, I for one am willing to learn more, but only if the discussion is moved to the debates forum. I feel that this thread is out of place here.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:44 am

jeidsath wrote:Hey Isaac, I for one am willing to learn more, but only if the discussion is moved to the debates forum. I feel that this thread is out of place here.
May I ask why ? Do you not think that the first two posts of this thread deal with Greek Grammar ?
I think we're allowed to digress a bit now and then , [I'm of course speaking ] about my third post in this regard.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:49 am

It is at the same time disturbing and exquisitely humorous (in a darkly comedic fashion) to observe the following trinitarian "scholars" making absolutely false proclamations about the Greek Grammar of certain passages of the GNT with absolute confidence. Observe (all quotes taken directly from Wallace's Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit):

Many theologians treat these passages as a primary proof of the
Spirit's personality. Long ago, Charles Hodge gave a detailed exposition
of this viewpoint when he wrote:

The first argument for the personality of the Holy Spirit is derived
from the use of the personal pronouns in relation to Him.... Our
Lord says (John xv. 26), "When the Comforter (o( para/klhtoj) is
come whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of
truth (to_ pneu=ma th=j a)lhqei/aj) which (o#) proceedeth from the Father,
He (e)kei=noj) shall testify of me." The use of the masculine pronoun
He instead of it, shows that the Spirit is a person
. It may indeed be
said that as para/klhtoj is masculine, the pronoun referring to it must of course be in the same gender.
But as the explanatory words
to_ pneu=ma intervene, to which the neuter o# refers, the following pronouns
would naturally be in the neuter, if the subject spoken of, the
pneu=ma, were not a person. In the following chapter (John xvi. 13, 14)
there is no ground for this objection. It is there said, "When He
(e)kei=noj), the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all
truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall
hear, that shall He speak, and He will show you things to come. He
shall glorify me (e)kei=noj e)me_ doca/sei): for He shall receive of mine,
and shall show it unto you." Here there is no possibility of accounting
for the use of the personal pronoun He (e)kei=noj) on any other
ground than the personality of the Spirit.

Here's another one:
Erickson states,
The first evidence of the Spirit's personality is the use of the masculine
pronoun in representing him
. Since the word pneu=ma is neuter,
and since pronouns are to agree with their antecedents in person,
number, and gender, we would expect the neuter pronoun to be
used to represent the Holy Spirit. Yet in John 16:13-14 we find an
unusual phenomenon. As Jesus describes the Holy Spirit's ministry,
he uses a masculine pronoun (e)kei=noj) where we would expect a
neuter pronoun. The only possible antecedent in the immediate context
is "Spirit of Truth" (v. 13)
. . . . [John] deliberately chose to use
the masculine to convey to us the fact that Jesus is referring to a person,
not a thing. A similar reference is Ephesians 1:14, where, in a
relative clause modifying "Holy Spirit," the preferred textual reading
is o#j.1
And another:
For example, Walvoord writes, "The only explanation for the masculine [in
John 15:26 and 16:13-14] is that the pronouns refer to a person.
Relative
pronouns are used in the same way in Ephesians 1:13-14. These
indirect evidences confirm that the Holy Spirit is commonly regarded
as a person in the Scripture
."13
And three more:

As well, a few specialized studies make similar claims. George
Eldon Ladd's Theology of the New Testament is representative: "where
pronouns that have pneuma for their immediate antecedent are found
in the masculine, we can only conclude that the personality of the
Spirit is meant to be suggested."18 After affirming this grammatical
phenomenon in John 14:26 and 15:26, Ladd then says, "The language
is even more vivid in 16:13: 'When the Spirit of truth comes, he (ekeinos)
will guide you into all truth.' Here the neuter pneuma stands in
direct connection with the pronoun, but the masculine form rather
than the 'normal' neuter is employed. From this evidence we must
conclude that the Spirit is viewed as a personality."19..For example, Robertson argued that in John
16:13 the evangelist "is insisting on the personality of the Holy Spirit,
when the grammatical gender so easily called for e)kei=no."20 More recently,
Young has also affirmed the philological argument in these
texts.21
Here's a den full of trinitarian "scholars" (Wallace refers to them collectively as "this august body") who make similar grammatical claims :

Dabney, Smeaton, Kim, Conner, Berkhof, Chafer, Thiessen, Pache,
Pentecost, Ryrie, Green, Williams, Packer, Sproul, Grudem, Ferguson,
Reymond, and Congar make similar claims.16Thus, the argument
from natural gender often plays a large role in theologians'
defense of the Spirit's personality. An examination of these texts is
therefore in order...15 John, Lange, Godet,
Mortimer, Westcott, Bernard, Lenski, Hendricksen, Barrett, Behler,
Sanders and Mastin, Brown, Morris, Lindars, Newman and Nida,
Carson, and Beasley-Murray all use the grammatical argument in
one or more of these passages as evidence of the Spirit's personality...There is thus a large company of scholars who view the Upper
Room Discourse as affording syntactical evidence for the Spirit's personality.
This august body has collectively argued that the masculine
pronoun is unusual in these verses, and that it can only be explained
by natural gender. Thus, if a masculine noun can be found in these
texts that can reasonably be considered as the antecedent to the pronoun,
then these verses ought to be excised from the standard Trinitarian
arsenal.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Kopio » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:57 am

I think the problem with having the debate here (and that is what you are asking for) is that when you color your comments with things like "scholars" and "heretics" you come across as having a serious theological axe to grind. This is not a theological/doctrinal forum, it is a forum about Koine Greek and Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. And as you quoted Wallace as saying, "The basis for this doctrine must be on other grounds." Therefore...this is not really the appropriate place for such discussion.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:05 pm

Hi Mr. korio,

Thanks for your thoughts.
Kopio wrote:I think the problem with having the debate here (and that is what you are asking for) is that when you color your comments with things like "scholars" and "heretics" you come across as having a serious theological axe to grind. This is not a theological/doctrinal forum, it is a forum about Koine Greek and Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. And as you quoted Wallace as saying, "The basis for this doctrine must be on other grounds." Therefore...this is not really the appropriate place for such discussion.
I don't think I've called anyone a "heretic" in this or any other thread (I would loath to use such a word) . If anything, words such as "heretic" and "cultist" are usually directed against me .

Also, while it is true that Daniel Wallace asserts that the basis for the so-called personality of holy spirit in the GNT must be on grounds other than Greek grammar, the vast majority of trinitarian scholarship doesn't . Here are just a handful who would take issue with Mr. Wallace in this regard, --- Dabney, Smeaton, Kim, Conner, Berkhof, Chafer, Thiessen, Pache,Pentecost, Ryrie, Green, Williams, Packer, Sproul, Grudem, Ferguson, Reymond, and Congar, John, Lange, Godet, Mortimer, Westcott, Bernard, Lenski, Hendricksen, Barrett, Behler, Sanders and Mastin, Brown, Morris, Lindars, Newman and Nida, Carson, and Beasley-Murray .

So in light of this preponderance, I feel that this issue does indeed belong here in the grammatical department of Text Kit.

Be well,.. in the power of the Father of Jesus, the only true God.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:56 pm

Excuse me, but so far as I remember, Wallace himself states that the personality of the Holy Spirit can be proved grammatically, e.g. according to Mt. 4, 1 ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος. Wallace says since here the word "spirit" is in the form of genetivus auctoris, it shows that hte author of that Gospel believed the Holy Spirit was a person. I don't think Wallace is right here, but anyway if elsewhere he claims another thing, he contradicts to himself.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Vladimir wrote:Excuse me, but so far as I remember, Wallace himself states that the personality of the Holy Spirit can be proved grammatically, e.g. according to Mt. 4, 1 ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος. Wallace says since here the word "spirit" is in the form of genetivus auctoris, it shows that hte author of that Gospel believed the Holy Spirit was a person. I don't think Wallace is right here, but anyway if elsewhere he claims another thing, he contradicts to himself.
Where are you getting that from ? In "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit" Wallace says that there is no evidence for holy spirit's personality through the route of Greek grammar in the GNT:

https://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_2 ... Spirit.pdf
Penultimate Conclusions
There is no text in the NT that clearly or even probably affirms the
personality of the Holy Spirit through the route of Greek grammar
.
The basis for this doctrine must be on other grounds. This does not
mean that in the NT the Spirit is a thing, any more than in the OT
the Spirit (xwr—a feminine noun) is a female! Grammatical gender is
just that: grammatical. The conventions of language do not necessarily
correspond to reality.86
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:27 am

You know, the idea of God divulging his mysteries only to those with a knowledge of Koine Greek grammar gives me a whole new point of view on the grammar-translation thread.

Also, how important is Hebrew grammar vs. Greek to salvation?

All Smyth is inspired of God?

(By all means, continue this thread, everyone. I've got plenty more.)
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:38 am

jeidsath wrote:You know, the idea of God divulging his mysteries only to those with a knowledge of Koine Greek grammar gives me a whole new point of view on the grammar-translation thread.

Also, how important is Hebrew grammar vs. Greek to salvation?

All Smyth is inspired of God?

(By all means, continue this thread, everyone. I've got plenty more.)
I don't know what these rather juvenile comments are supposed to prove or to do for you, but it is fairly common knowledge to anyone who has spent any amount of time working on the koine of the GNT that constructio ad sensum is sometimes used to bring out the natural gender of a substantive. Here's Daniel wallace:


A word should be mentioned first about the use of natural grammar
in the NT. All exegetes recognize that natural gender is sometimes
used in the place of grammatical gender in Greek. Robertson
notes that "substantives have two sorts of gender, natural and grammatical.

The two do not always agree. The apparent violations of the
rules of gender can generally be explained by the conflict in these
two points of view
."2For example, in Col 2:19 we see the construction
th_n kefalh/n . . . e)c ou{ ("the head . . . from whom"): the antecedent of
the masculine pronoun is a feminine noun. But in the context, kefalh/
refers to Christ (see Col 1:18; 2:10). In Matt 28:19 the Lord instructs
the eleven to "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them"
(maqhteu/sate pa/nta ta_ e@qnh, bapti/zontej au)tou/j): although "nations"
is neuter, the pronoun "them" is masculine because people are in
view. In Gal 4:19, Paul speaks of "my children, whom" (te/kna mou
ou#j), using the masculine relative pronoun to refer to the "children."3

In Acts 21:36 we read of "the multitude of the people crying out" (to_
plh/qoj tou= laou= kra/zontej): not only is there a gender shift but a
number shift too.4
There are even one or two indisputable texts that
refer to an evil spirit with the masculine gender. For example, in
Mark 9:26 the masculine participles kra/caj and spara/caj refer back
to the pneu=ma of v. 25.5
These examples could be multiplied6
and are common knowledge to anyone who works in the Greek
NT.7
For our purposes, the point to make is simply that, because such gender
shifts are unremarkable, if the NT authors indeed conceived of the
Holy Spirit as a person, we may well expect to see natural gender
taking precedent over grammatical gender in various passages that
speak of the Spirit.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:48 am

Isaac, have you found any examples of this in Patristic or Attic Greek, or is it only a Koine phenomenon?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:52 am

jeidsath wrote:Isaac, have you found any examples of this in Patristic or Attic Greek, or is it only a Koine phenomenon?
I couldn't answer this question. I'm certain only that it is "a koine phenomenon," as you put it.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:41 am

Hmm. What would you say to ἡ καλλιστη πολιτεία τε καὶ ὁ κάλλιστος ἀνὴρ λοιπὰ ἄν ἡμῖν εἴη διελθεῖν? I assume that you would call this a good example of construction according to the sense?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:09 pm

jeidsath wrote:Hmm. What would you say to ἡ καλλιστη πολιτεία τε καὶ ὁ κάλλιστος ἀνὴρ λοιπὰ ἄν ἡμῖν εἴη διελθεῖν? I assume that you would call this a good example of construction according to the sense?
Perhaps you could point out the apparent constructio ad sensum in this (rather incomplete ) sentence ? I don't see it --
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:13 pm

From the first example, take a close look at the gender of λοίπα. You can even look up the individual words and their forms in Perseus if you need to. It's a quote from the Republic.

So here is an even easier one, from the first section of the Anabasis, where Cyrus is talking about the children and wives of two generals that have just deserted: ἔχω αὐτῶν καὶ τέκνα καὶ γυναῖκας φρουρούμενα.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:49 pm

jeidsath wrote:From the first example, take a close look at the gender of λοίπα. You can even look up the individual words and their forms in Perseus if you need to. It's a quote from the Republic.
Explain why the gender of λοίπα causes you to think that there is evidence of constructio ad sensum in this sentence ?

So here is an even easier one, from the first section of the Anabasis,
What exactly is this supposed to mean ?

where Cyrus is talking about the children and wives of two generals that have just deserted: ἔχω αὐτῶν καὶ τέκνα καὶ γυναῖκας φρουρούμενα.
Translation: "I have their children and wives under guard."

Again, how exactly do you see constructio ad sensum here ?
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:01 pm

I'm beginning to have some doubts that you comprehend the notion of ad sensum construction.
I didn't construct the examples. The first was Smyth 1058 b. The next was Smyth 1055 a. Both are cited by Smyth as examples of construction according to sense. They are clear enough to me, at least.

But please, don't let me sidetrack you. You had something that you wanted to teach us about the use of construction according to sense in Koine Greek?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by uberdwayne » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:05 pm

jeidsath.... You really had to poke that bear, didn't you? Well... Gather 'round everyone, I'll get the popcorn.
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:52 pm

jeidsath wrote:
I'm beginning to have some doubts that you comprehend the notion of ad sensum construction.
I didn't construct the examples. The first was Smyth 1058 b. The next was Smyth 1055 a. Both are cited by Smyth as examples of construction according to sense. They are clear enough to me, at least.
So you plagiarized Smyth (to make an invalid point, to boot) until called out. In any case I checked Smyth 1058b ( and a) and he does not cite it as an example of constructio ad sensum. In 105b he is discussing predicate adjectives. He says that when the substantives (plural) denote both persons and things, a predicate adjective is neuter plural if the person is treated like a thing. .. I didn't waste my time with the other example.

But please, don't let me sidetrack you. You had something that you wanted to teach us about the use of construction according to sense in Koine Greek?
Where did you get that notion from ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:26 pm

Completely my fault, Isaac. Here is Smyth 926 a.:
Construction according to the sense, where the agreement is with the real gender or number (e.g. ..., 1055a, 1058b)
Joel: But please, don't let me sidetrack you. You had something that you wanted to teach us about the use of construction according to sense in Koine Greek?
Isaac: Where did you get that notion from ?
I've offended you, and now you have threatened to stop your wonderful wise thread. Please say that you forgive me! There is no need for you to stop teaching us all because I've made just a little fun?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:21 pm

jeidsath wrote:Completely my fault, Isaac. Here is Smyth 926 a.:
Construction according to the sense, where the agreement is with the real gender or number (e.g. ..., 1055a, 1058b)
Joel: But please, don't let me sidetrack you. You had something that you wanted to teach us about the use of construction according to sense in Koine Greek?
Isaac: Where did you get that notion from ?
I've offended you, and now you have threatened to stop your wonderful wise thread. Please say that you forgive me! There is no need for you to stop teaching us all because I've made just a little fun?
That's better. It would bode well for you in future to be more intellectually honest -- to credit your source expeditiously and fully. Perhaps a lesson in integrity (rather than constructio ad sensum ) is in order here . In any case here's Smyth in full context :
Apparent violation of the concords is to be explained either by
a. Construction according to sense, where the agreement is with the real gender or number (e.g. 949 a, 950–953, 958, 996, 997, 1013, 1044, 1050, 1055 a, 1058 or by
b. Attraction, when a word does not have its natural construction because of the influence of some other word or words in its clause (e.g. 1060 ff., 1239, 1978, 2465, 2502, 2522 ff.). This principle extends to moods and tenses (2183 ff.).
The two examples which you lifted from Smyth, while they're technically instances of constructio ad sensum, are hardly the clearest instances nor the most relevant to this thread . They are almost like examples pertaining to mixed groups —which may include men, women, where it is standard to utilize the default masculine referent.

Anyhow, how do the two examples you furnished (actually taken from Smyth) contribute in anyway to the discussion at hand ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:49 pm

It's rather embarrassing to explain. To be honest, I thought that I would make fun of you by quoting some simple examples from Smyth to show that you couldn't actually recognize construction according to the sense when you saw it. I thought that you would complain "that's not really construction according to the sense!" and then I would show that it was all from Smyth, and you would look the fool. Everyone would realize that you don't actually read Greek, and simply quote scraps of grammar books that you don't fully understand.

I suppose that it all happened exactly that way, and you did look the fool, but it was a very juvenile prank on my part.

It's all behind us now, and I'm happy to be so "well-boded"!
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:19 am

jeidsath wrote:It's rather embarrassing to explain. To be honest, I thought that I would make fun of you by quoting some simple examples from Smyth to show that you couldn't actually recognize construction according to the sense when you saw it. I thought that you would complain "that's not really construction according to the sense!" and then I would show that it was all from Smyth, and you would look the fool. Everyone would realize that you don't actually read Greek, and simply quote scraps of grammar books that you don't fully understand.
I see, so you deceptively plagiarized half sentences from Smyth in order to prove that I didn't actually read Greek , even though I correctly translated those half sentences.

suppose that it all happened exactly that way, and you did look the fool, but it was a very juvenile prank on my part.
It was indeed. Did the "holy" spirit "person" (i.e. third "person" of the Trinity) living inside of you lead you to do such a thing ?


It's all behind us now, and I'm happy to be so "well-boded"!
O.K., you may go in peace... By the way, an honest person doesn't have to use phrases like "to be honest."
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:37 am

A very good example of constructio ad sensum in the GNT is from 2 John 1:1,
Ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐκλεκτῇ κυρίᾳ καὶ τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτῆς, οὓς ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, καὶ οὐκ ἐγὼ μόνος, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐγνωκότες τὴν ἀλήθειαν,
Notice that even though the grammatical gender of τέκνον ( τέκνοις pl) is neuter, here the blessed apostle uses constructio ad sensum to refer to them with the masculine form of the pronoun οὓς, because he considers them to be persons rather than things. Often this is done sub-consciously by the biblical author, and it betrays the mind of the inspired writer, as it were, revealing to us how he views the natural gender of the substantive in question.

So the question is : If indeed holy spirit is a "personality," why never the inspired writers similarly jettison holy spirit's grammatical gender for it's natural gender ( presumably masculine ) ? The answer is very simple -- because they never even thought of it as such, that is, as a personality.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:42 am

I'm glad that's all behind us. Now Isaac, here is certainly construction according to the sense. Why don't you explain to us what is going on with the following?
ὁ δὲ Θρασύμαχυς φεύγει ἐς Ἀκράγαντα, ὢν αὐτῶν εὐεργέτης.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:49 am

jeidsath wrote:I'm glad that's all behind us. Now Isaac, here is certainly construction according to the sense. Why don't you explain to us what is going on with the following?
ὁ δὲ Θρασύμαχυς φεύγει ἐς Ἀκράγαντα, ὢν αὐτῶν εὐεργέτης.
Frankly I'm only concerned with examples from the GNT, having no time for your antics. You're more than welcome to discuss verses from the bible, however . :D
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:53 am

But Isaac, I'm trying to make up for having made you look somewhat ignorant with the other two examples. Here's a third chance to prove that you know your stuff. You can answer it, and everyone will know that you actually know Greek grammar, rather than being a lexicon abuser! Please, I'm feeling so bad about before.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:00 am

jeidsath wrote:But Isaac, I'm trying to make up for having made you look like a fool with the other two examples. Here's a third chance to prove that you know your stuff. You can answer it, and everyone will know that you actually know Greek grammar, rather than being a lexicon abuser and mindless quoter! Please, I'm feeling so bad about having made you look so very foolish before.
You have to realize that I have nothing to prove. Also, it isn't very intelligent to suggest that if I would just answer your question, then everyone will know that I know Greek grammar.

I counsel you to do some soul searching . Ask yourself who or what is causing you to behave in this rather darkly irrational fashion.

Peace, In the power of the holy spirit of God, which fills the elect.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:17 am

Are you suggesting that it might be some spirit driving me, one that takes delight in having me poke fun at you?

Do you think that spirit has a personality? Is there something in Smyth's Greek Grammar that will tell us?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:43 pm

I wish someone would grab the proverbial bull by the horns and address the following very simple question:

If the NT authors indeed conceived of the Holy Spirit as a person, we may well expect to see natural gender taking precedent over grammatical gender in various passages that speak of the Spirit. So why don't we ?

Peace to all, in the power of the holy spirit of God, the wind which blows where it pleases.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:17 pm

I was reading through the gospel of John once more ( I do so quite fluently in Modern Greek, I don't recommend Erasmian for it retards one's comprehension ability in koine for good IMHO), and at 6:9 observed this:

Ἔστιν παιδάριον ὧδε ὃς ἔχει πέντε ἄρτους κριθίνους καὶ δύο ὀψάρια· ἀλλὰ ταῦτα τί ἐστιν εἰς τοσούτους;
Notice that apostle John refers to παιδάριον with the masculine form of the pronoun ὃς even though παιδάριον is a grammatically neuter noun. The inconcinnity between the grammatical gender of παιδάριον and the pronoun which refers to it is a perfect example of the type of constructio ad sensum we're interested in this thread.

Anyone who has spent any time reading the gospel and epistles of the beloved apostle John cannot fail to appreciate that he had a higher than average tendency (statistically speaking, in comparison to the other writers of the bible) to invoke construction according to sense. That was just his peculiar writing style.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:31 pm

Isaac Newton wrote: Where are you getting that from ?
In the "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" by D. Wallace, but I haven't managed to find it in English, my book is traslated into Russian.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:39 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:I was reading through the gospel of John once more ( I do so quite fluently in Modern Greek, I don't recommend Erasmian for it retards one's comprehension ability in koine for good IMHO), and at 6:9 observed this
John 16:13:

ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὅδηγήσει ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πάσῃ

Do you think here the masculine ἐκεῖνος refers to παράκλητος and not to πνεῦμα?

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:32 pm

Vladimir wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:I was reading through the gospel of John once more ( I do so quite fluently in Modern Greek, I don't recommend Erasmian for it retards one's comprehension ability in koine for good IMHO), and at 6:9 observed this
John 16:13:

ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὅδηγήσει ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πάσῃ

Do you think here the masculine ἐκεῖνος refers to παράκλητος and not to πνεῦμα?
Yes.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:49 pm

Vladimir wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote: Where are you getting that from ?
In the "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" by D. Wallace, but I haven't managed to find it in English, my book is traslated into Russian.
I have this book(in English) on my shelf. Could you cite the pg. , section and sub section ? I could check the English.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by mwh » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:47 am

An anthropologically interesting concept, a ἁγιον πνευμα.

Wasn’t the paraclete Mani? I understand he had quite a personality.

The Wiki Paraclete article “relies too much on references to primary sources”!

Another fun fact: A paraclete escorts the candidate in the Dutch doctoral defence ceremony. I have a nice personal story about that, but it would be off topic.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:36 pm

Just a quick life lesson. Scripture tells us that the pure at heart (καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ) shall see God. So those who wish to behold the only true God should strive to be honest with others (and also with themselves) as often as possible. And if we should fall short in this regard (and we sometimes surely shall), we should not despair but rather repent and confess our sins before God, who is faithful and forgives us our inequities .
μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται.
Matthew 5:8

We know that there are many charlatans who have gone out into the world to deceive. Don't just believe them, but test them with scripture and with truth. In this regard then, here's some food for thought, from an article by Daniel R. Streett entitled Greek Professors: Do They Know Greek?

http://danielstreett.com/2011/09/12/gre ... gogy-pt-3/
A Test for Greek Professors
In November, 2008, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on teaching Greek communicatively. As an experiment, I began my presentation by passing out a quiz for attendees to take. I’m guessing it was the first time that had ever happened! Attendance was pretty good–around 30 audience members. Here’s the quiz. See how you can do:....

The Results
What? Not so hot? Don’t feel too bad; you’re not alone. Now, keep in mind that most of those who attend ETS are faculty at colleges or seminaries. There are also a large number of doctoral students, and a smattering of other graduate students. And, only people who currently teach Greek or hope to teach Greek would want to attend a paper on Greek pedagogy. So, my audience was made up of mostly Greek professors and doctoral-level students who had probably taken, on average, 4-7 years of Greek by now and some of whom had been teaching Greek for 20-30 years by now.

After the audience had finished, I collected their quizzes. The average “grade” was 0.4 out 10 correct. Most testees could not answer any of the questions correctly, although they tried. The highest grade was 2 out of 10. Now, this audience included many scholars who had written best selling Greek textbooks and grammars. Of course, I won’t name names!...

What would you think of a German professor who couldn’t count to ten in his language? A French professor who did not know “bonjour” or “au revoir?” A Spanish professor who didn’t know rojo or el gato?

Greek Professors Admit: They Don’t Know Greek!
I can hear the howls of protest: “Some of these words on your quiz don’t even appear in the Bible!” Ah, so you only care to know the tiny slice of the Greek language that appears in the Bible? Every 4-year old Greek child would score 10/10+the bonus on this quiz. Is it too much to ask those who teach Greek for a living to strive for the vocabulary of a 4-year old? BTW, of the 10 items, only 1 does not appear in the Bible (ball), though 2 items only appear once (monkey in 2 Chron 9:21, cat only in Ep.Jer. 1:21). The rest are not rare at all. And in terms of wider Greek literature, ball, monkey and cat are not rare. Here are the word counts from the TLG: σφαῖρα – 6157x, πίθηκος – 766x, αἴλουρος – 356x. That’s not counting all the compound words where they would make up a part of the word.

But, if you are still skeptical, let me relate to you the nearly universal response that I receive from Greek professors when I advocate for a communicative method. Many are very receptive to, even enthusiastic about, the possibilities in such a method. But, without exception, I hear from them: “I simply don’t know Greek well enough to teach it this way!” “I could never carry on a whole class in Greek!” And so on.

Give these profs credit. At least they’re being honest and open about the problem. We Greek profs can parse ‘till the cows come home. We’re experts at filling out paradigm charts. We love to explain the historical role of the digamma in irregular verbs. We can nerd on an on about proclitics and enclitics (ok, maybe not, but you get my point Smile). What we lack is simple proficiency in Greek....

Perhaps you still think the emperor has clothes. Perhaps you think knowledge of basic vocabulary, or the bare minimum of communicative competency is too much to ask. “We are trained to read Greek, not speak it or compose in it!” you say. Very well: How many Greek professors can read Josephus, Plutarch, or Λόγγος for pleasure (οὔπω ἐγώ)? How many can read Aesop’s fables without constant resort to the lexicon (see, for example this one, which uses one of our quiz items!)? The sad answer: οὐ πολλοί. Could the reason be that they, too, were trained in the “chop, analyze and translate” school of Greek? I think so.

And, admitting the problem is the first step to finding a solution . . .
So be alert, for many deceivers have gone out into the world. Also, always keep in mind always that the bible is a dangerous fire. If we handle it inappropriately, we shall be burnt
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:24 pm

Isaac, I think you're being too hard on yourself with that last post. You weren't really being a deceiver in my opinion, and I reject you calling yourself one. That is far too harsh to say about anyone here, even yourself. We're all just learners here, and I (and others) agree with a fair amount of what you have to say, if not the presentation or the choice of forum. I personally agree with you that there is a case to be made that Christian writings between 50 A.D. - 100 A.D. show little if any consciousness of a high pneumatology. The Paraclete too is a great big and interesting discussion. But for another forum.
Keep in mind always that the bible is a dangerous fire. If we handle it inappropriately, we shall be burnt
ναί. πῦρ γὰρ ἦλθε βαλεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὁ χριστός . (Luke 12:49)
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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