Re: Simeon's spirit

From: Martin Arhelger (
Date: Fri Nov 28 1997 - 09:27:03 EST

Peter Phillips (<>) wrote:

>Last night I went to an informal communion service here in College. I was
>following the reading in my GNT and was a little startled at the
>translation of what I saw before me. Luke 25b says, KAI PNEUMA HN 'AGION
>EP AUTWI. The translation was "the Holy Spirit was upon him".
>Doesn't the Greek actually suggest - "the spirit on him was a holy one" -
>i.e. he was a holy man rather than a reference to the Holy Spirit. It
>would seem that the alternative would be that he was demonised - i.e. the
>spirit on him was an unholy (KAKON?) one.

IMHO the context proves that the Holy Spirit is meant here (Luke 2:26-27:
"And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see
death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And inspired by the Spirit he
came into the temple.")

F. Godet (in his "Kommentar zu dem Evangelium des Lukas", Hannover 1890 -
there are English reprints!) said: Die Trennung des hAGION von PNEUMA durch
HN in den meisten Mjj. [=Majuskeln] dient zur staerkeren Hervorhebung der
Idee des Adjektivs: ein Hauch des Geistes war in ihm, und zwar ein
heiliger." ("The separation of hAGION and PNEUMA by HN in most majuscules
helps to stress the phenomenon of the adjective: a breath of the Spirit was
in him, actually a holy one.")

The position of the words is not totally unusual: See Luk 14:2; 16:1
(compare also Mat 1:20). 4 King 7:3, LXX.


     Martin Arhelger
     D-53121 Bonn

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