Re: Phillipians 2:1 PNEUMATOS - Big S or little S?

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Mon Sep 28 1998 - 02:54:05 EDT

Tim Duke wrote:
> Am I correct in thinking that the phrase:
> could be translated
> 1) "if any fellowship of spirit" (ie our own spirits)
> OR 2) "if any fellowship (with each other) that derives from the (holy)
> Spirit"
> OR 3) "if any fellowship with the (Holy) Spirit"
> Is it more likely, given that PNEUMATOS is antharous, that the first
> option is correct? Would the presence of the article still leave us
> uncertain between option (2) and option (3)?


It seems that the Koine Greek article is a constant source of befuddlement on
this list and I will admit that I am just about as befuddled as anyone.

I have been reading D.B. Monro, "Grammar of the Homeric Dialect" on the use
of the article (sections 256-64). Monro claims that when an article appears
with a noun (or an adjective), the article itself is a substantive standing in
apposition to the noun. I am wondering how much this has changed in Attic and

There are numerous functions that the Greek article can fulfill apart from and
independent of marking a definite substantive. The absence of the article with
PNEUMATOS does not prove much. I suspect that we may be looking for
information indicated by the absence of the article which the absence of the
article does not give.

I am raising more questions and not giving answers. I will leave the answers
to others more qualified.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

post script

I think that one of the reasons we become befuddled in our discussions of the Greek article is or tendency to rush into English translations to make our point clear. They very process of rendering the Greek article into English clouds the issue. The Greek article has a set of functions that are quite distinct from the English article. The functional overlap between the Greek and English articles is just large enough to lead the unsuspecting into the error of over looking the big and serious differences. Arguing from English translations really compounds this problem.

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