RE: Simeon's spirit

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Mon Dec 01 1997 - 16:09:15 EST

Martin Arhelger wrote:

<Dear Rolf and others!

<Iām afraid that our discussion on the H(h?)oly S(s?)pirit is out of place in
<B-GREEK and is no help to the original inquire with regard to Luk 2:25.

I agree and will send you some comments off-list (if anybody wants to join
in this discussion, please let me know). Just some short, general thoughts.
When we try to understand and translate the Greek text of the NT, several
subjective factors are at work beside our "objective" use of lexicons and
grammars, most important is our personal theology, including our view of
the text of the Bible. All of us are coloured by what we believe, and this
results in different evaluations of the same evidence. It is very important
that we always remind ourselves of this, so we can see what we are doing in
particular situations.

I once studied applied linguistics (translation), and when I look at the
Bible translations from this point of view, it is my sincere opinion that
the interests of the readers who want to work with the text on their own,
often are not taken care of in a good. It really matters for our
understanding of the Greek words about P h. whether we believe in "God The
Holy spirit" or not, and that was the reason why I in the first place
directed the attention toward all the anarthrous occurrences of P h.. This
problem is seldom or never brought to the attention of the readers of the

Allow me one comment on what you wrote: "So Pharao was no person?" "Those
angels were no persons?". The point with the Semitic idiom of
"representation" was that we cannot draw the conclusion that P h. is God
because one line says that Ananias and Saffira lied to P h. and the other
that they lied to God, any more than we can say that Farao or the angels
were God. The other point, which must not be confused with the first, was
whether something impersonal can represent God, and acting toward this
representation is the same as acting toward God. One example is the altar
and the temple (Matt 23:18-22).


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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