RE: Simeon's spirit

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Mon Dec 01 1997 - 04:14:24 EST

Nicholas Corduan wrote,


>>PARAKLHTOS in John 14-16. This evidence is in no way conclusive and is also
>>compatible with the view that P h. is non-personal. This last view has a

>But, while it is not an ironcald rule, is it not usually more likely that
>*ALLOS* refers to "other of the same kind" and *hETEROS* "other of a
>different kind"? Therefore, does this not suggest that the P.h. was most
>likely intended to be viewed as the same kind of *PARAKLHTOS* as Christ
>(i.e. personal)?

>>readers. Along the same lines I would perhaps give this wooden translation
>>of Luke 2:25: "and spirit, holy was upon him", and then have a footnote.

>If you were going to go arch-literal, though, shouldn't you put it, "and
>spirit was holy upon him"? Or is there a syntactical something I'm
>missing? (All too possible!)

Dear Nick,

An English Bible translation can only be made by native speakers, so my
translation suggestions are just hypothetical. Your arch-literal
translation is a good suggestion. The question, however, as Carl has
pointed out, is whether hAGION is predicative or attributive, and this
cannot be decided with certainty. The use of TOU PNEUMATOS TOU hAGIOU in v
26 and TWi PNEUMATI in v 27 suggests to my mind an attributive

My intention of letting the readers make as many decisions as possible,
demands a careful analysis of the text and a faithful translation, but not
that the original sentence structure or word order be maintained. An
interlinear Bible is hardly a translation at all in the normal sense of the
word because of its lack of communicative force. Even arch-literal
translations represent much interpretation and exegesis on the part of the
translators. But why not reduce this as much as possible?

Your comments on ALLOS as "other of the same kind" and *hETEROS* as "other of a
different kind" holds good in many passages, and I think also in John
14:16. But I do not see that the "kind" which possibly is implied in ALLON
PARAKLHTON in this verse necessarily relates to personality. Jesus filled
in a perfect way the position of advocate/helper for his followers. When he
left, they would not be ORFANOUS (V 18) because the position of PARAKLHTOS
would be filled. I think ALLOS refers to this POSITION and not to the
nature of the other advocate/helper. Personality cannot be proved by
comparisons of actions or expressions. God is definitely personal and has a
proper name. His Son is definitely personal and has a proper name, The holy
spirit is nowehere definitely said to be personal and to have a proper
name. And all the actions and functions ascribed to P h. are compatible
with a unique, holy "force" (in lack of a better word) proceeding from God.


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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