Re: Romans 8:16

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Sep 10 1999 - 06:16:28 EDT

At 12:30 AM -0500 9/10/99, Mitchell Gray wrote:
>Dear list-members,
>How should Romans 8:16 be rendered: "The spirit *itself* bears witness with
>our spirit that we are God's children." Or, "The spirit *himself* bears
>witness with our spirit that we are God's children."


The gender of AUTO is neuter because PNEUMA, the noun it accords with, is
neuter. You can translate it according to your own bias regarding the
gender of the Spirit, if you have one, but the Greek doesn't support the
notion of any particular sexual gender for the Spirit in this phrase--it's
strictly a grammatical agreement. One could avoid any implication of gender
by translating this phrase: "The VERY spirit bears witness together with
... "

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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