Re: Holy Spirit in Islam and in New Teatament Thinking, Tim's reply

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Mon, 27 May 1996 11:12:24

At 08:50 PM 5/25/96, Mr. Timothy T. Dickens wrote:
Dear brother Akbar,
In a previous post you said:

(A) As for the Holy Spirit, the word "Holy" has been added.
It is not found in the older mss in some of the verses.

And I responded with:

what passage of John's gospel are you referring to when you
say that the word "Holy" has been added? I have looked
through all the passages I mentioned above a second time, this
time paying careful attention to the critical apparatus which
discusses the various manuscripts. I do not see any
manuscript indicating the word "Holy" has been indicated.

You replied:

Brother Tim: Mrs. Agnes S. Lewis and Mrs. Bensley discovered
a manuscript from St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai.
In this palimpsest Codex Syriacus in John 14:26 the word
mentioned is quite simply "the spirit" and not "the holy spirit".
For further details please read Dr. Maurice Bucaille's book
`The Bible, the Qur'an and Science'.

TTD: I looked through a book by Dr. Bruce Manning Metzger called
'The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and
Restoration' (New York: Oxford 1968). Dr. Metzger mentions Agnes
Lewis and the manuscript to which you are referring. The manuscript

is called Syr(s). There is only one slight problem: The Agnes S.
Lewis manuscript which you are referring to is NOT GREEK, it is
SYRIAC!!! Syriac is a form of Aramaic, the language that Jesus
spoke. The gospel of John was written originally in common everyday

(Koine) Greek! Thus, the use of a Syriac manuscript for the reading
of the Greek in John 14:26 raises serious scholarly questions!!!

AM: Dear Tim: I have given the name of an OLDER Manuscript. The
fact that the manuscript is in Syriac does not change the actuality
of the matter that the translator who could have easily translated
the word "Holy" did not. He probably did not see the word "Holy" in
the original Greek MSS from which he did the translation.

TTD: Brother Akbar, I am surprised that a fine student like
yourself could
fail to see the obvious danger in comparing one (Syriac) manuscript
with a (Greek) manuscript. The languages are totally different from
each other, and each language (Syriac/Greek) has its own particulars
that the other language does not (If you have any doubts about this
see æThe Limitations of Syriac in Representing GreekÆ by Sebastian
P. Brock. His article is found in a book called æThe Early Versions
of the New TestamentÆ by Bruce M. Metzger. ItÆs really quite

I also feel that at this point there needs to be a better
understanding, at least from my perspective, about why I am
mentioning these manuscripts.

The New Testament, Brother Akbar, was written in a common
everyday Greek of JesusÆ day called æKoine.Æ æKoineÆ itself simply
means æcommon.Æ There is no doubt that the message of Jesus was
originally in Aramaic, the kin language to Syriac (Mark 7:11,34;
15:34). But when the gospels were written down they were first
written in Koine Greek, and shortly after into other languages, like
Syriac. Thus, the æOLDERÆ manuscript which we must consider was
written in Greek.

As I said in a previous message, I did not find in the textual
apparatus of the Greek New Testament any indication that the word
æholyÆ was missing in older manuscript traditions or had been
inserted. If it were inserted, it would have been inserted by a
scribe very early in the 1st. century; but all this would be
conjectural, not based in anyway on what we are now discussing,
namely the manuscripts.

How do *you* suppose, brother Akbar, the use of a Syriac
manuscript in any way helps the reader of the Greek New Testament?

(B) The term Spirit refers to "The Spirit of Truth".
Please read carefully the below quoted passage from
the Anchor Bible Volume 29A Page 1135:

"Christian tradition has identified this figure
(Paraclete) as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta,
Delefosse, Windisch, Sasse, Bultmann, and Betz have doubted
whether this identification is true to the original picture
and have suggested that the Paraclete was once an independent
salvific figure, later confused with the Holy Spirit."

So, I am not the only one saying "Paraclete" was a Male Figure.

TTD: I would like to respond to this question a bit later, God

AM: I hope to hear from you soon.

Later I (Tim Dickens) wrote:

O.K. Brother Akbar, here is the evidence for the Holy Spirit
being called the Spirit of Truth. In John's gospel 14:26 the "Holy
Spirit" is called the "Advocate." In John 15:26 the "Advocate is
called the "Spirit of Truth." Notice, the "Holy Spirit" is the
"Advocate" and the "Advocate" is called the "Spirit of Truth."
Thus, the "Holy Spirit" is the "Spirit of Truth."

You wrote:

Brother Tim, I would like to edit the last line of your

TTD: My question to you is why did you edit the last line of my
response? According to the information I listed above, the
following valid syllogism can be offered:

If it is the Holy Spirit(HS), then it is the Advocate(A).
If it is the Advocate(A), then it is the Spirit of truth(ST).

Therefore, If it is the Holy Spirit(HS), then it is the Spirit

of Truth(ST). (HS=ST)

Written in formal logical notation it looks like this. . .,
This argument is foolproof by a rule of Aristotelian reasoning

called Hypothetical Syllogism. ('' stands for 'If-then).
AM: You objected to my editing.
BUT, you yourself in the above "formal logical notation"
have written (admitted) "A ST".
And, that's all I have been saying.

TTD: Brother Akbar, I did not object to your editing of my sentence;
I was only trying to understand *why* you did edit my sentence
(smile). The above syllogism which I wrote was in response to your
statement, letter (D) which said:

(D) No where in the Bible the term "The Spirit of Truth"
designated for "The Holy Spirit".

Your statement, according to JohnÆs gospel, is incorrect. The
verses in John that I mentioned along with the syllogism say:

1) The Holy Spirit=The Advocate (John14:26)
2) The Advocate=The Spirit of Truth (John 15:26)

Thus the only logical answer or conclusion is The Holy Spirit is the
Spirit of Truth. This is indeed contrary to what you said in letter
(D). (Am I wrong?)

Later Brother Akbar, you said:
You have quoted 14:16-17,26;15:26 in your response.
In each of the above verses, John has used the pronoun
"He" and "Him". John has used these pronouns for more than
a dozen times while referring to Paraclete.
The question is why are Christians over
looking this obvious FACT and believe John meant "It"
instead when he did not use that pronoun once???
To say the author did not know the Greek grammar is to say
ignore what is written and adopt what you think
ought to have been written, instead. A dangerous precedent.

Later I said I would respond to you; I will do so now.

In the gospel of Luke 1:35, the angel said to Mary,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will
be called holy, Son of God. (New Revised Standard Version)

Here is an example that demonstrates what you think to be a
'dangerous precedent.' The Greek for 'the child to be born' and
'holy' is neuter in gender AND it is related to the masculine noun
'Son of God.' Here is an example of a masculine noun being
syntactically related to something neuter!

AM: In my NASB it reads; "and for that reason the holy offspring
shall be called the Son of God."

The term "Holy" (meaning sacred, divine), in this passage
is an adjective.
Whereas the term "Holy Spirit" is an entity.
The 3rd Person of the Trinity.
You are confusing one with the other.

TTD: Oh Brother Akbar, I am glad to see that you are using standard
terminology for our discussion of Greek grammar; This will make my
job easier. The phrase in your NASB Bible that says æthe holy
offspringÆ is really a neuter participial phrase. Neuter refers to
the GENDER, and æparticipial phraseÆ simply refers to the
grammatical part of speech in this sentence. The title æSon of GodÆ
is masculine in gender. The point being is the neuter phrase æholy
offspringÆ is syntactically connected to æSon of God.Æ Thus
demonstrating what you thought is not only impossible grammatically,
but is in your own words a ædangerous precedent.Æ If you can read
German there is an article by a scholar who did a study on this
phenomenon in the Greek New Testament. I will send you his name and
the article if you like, but it is in German.
Here is another example, in case I be accused of proof texting

you with only one verse. In the book of Revelation 12:5, the author


And she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule the
nations with a rod of iron, (New Revised Standard Version)

Regarding the words 'male child,' male(arsen) is neuter and
child(Huion) is masculine. Thus, another example setting a
'dangerous precedent.'
AM: "male child" is a phrase. In Greek it is used for
male child/son of a man or an animal.
The phrase as such is masculine.
What the women in question brought forth would
take the pronoun "he". If the "male child" was called "it"
I would tend to agree with your reasoning.
Please read the text.

TTD: Brother Akbar, the words 'male child' is a phrase, and you
yourself recognize it as being æmasculine.Æ But what would you do
if I told you that with regards to this phrase, æmaleÆ (arsen) is
neuter, and æchildÆ (huios) is masculine? Thus, this is another
example in Greek where words of opposite genders are syntactically
connected (like in John 14:26).

TTD: Finally, when you say 'If the æmale childÆ was called "it" I
would tend to agree with your reasoning,' The 'male child' need not
be called 'it' because "the 'one' who is to rule the nations" is in
Greek masculine. ThatÆs why æitÆ was not used.

With warm regards and prayers


May Allah bless you and keep you too Brother Akbar

Much Peace and Love

Timothy T. Dickens
Smyrna, GA Home School

"No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to continue their nurture and education." Plato's Crito, Section 45D.