Re: Gener/pneuma

Carlton L. Winbery (
Wed, 29 May 1996 19:13:18 +0400

John Moe wrote;
>I much appreciated Dr. Hobbs' posting on the confusion of gender with sex. I
>archived it under the heading "wish I could have said that." IMHO the attempt
>to achieve goals for the sexes by destoying gramatical gender has had and will
>continue to have devastating effect on the English language and our ability to
>communicate with it. My opinions are, of course, off toppic and for that I
> Dr. Hobbs' point about the gender of pronouns in one language having nothing
>to do with the choice of which gender should be used in the receptor language,
>is well taken and a helpful reminder to us all that gender is a system
>within a
>language and not an objective reality. However, I have this question
>about the
>choice of gender WHITHIN the Gr. of John's Gospel.
> At John 15:26 and 16:13 TO PNUMA TH ALHQEION is in apposition the
>demonstrative pronoun EKEINOS. Is the only effect of the masculine pronoun to
>indicate that the Spirit of truth is a person? Is the translatior required to
>determine the proper gender in the receptor language? Or does the masculine
>here indicate that the Spirit of truth should be He in any language?

I also appreciate Dr. Hobbs post on this. It is a good concise statement
clarifies a very important point that Greek Grammars do not deal with

I remember facing the argument that because the masculine pronoun was used
in John 15:26 that it was proof that John thought of the Holy Spirit as
person, namely masculine. EKEINOS, however, is in the masculine singular
because its antecedent in both places is hO PARAKLHTOS which is masculine
singular. This is grammatical agreement and not an indicator of sex.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College