Re: Gender of TO PNEUMA

From: Jay Adkins (
Date: Fri Nov 19 1999 - 09:32:07 EST

Andrew wrote:

>>I'd like to ask a question about the gender used to translate TO PNEUMA.
>>do English translations use 'he' for the pronoun referring to the Holy
>>Spirit, rather than 'it'?
>>Thank you

I would like to propose the following as more of a question than an

GRAMCORD defines neuter gender as follows:
"When referring to Persons, the Neuter Gender can be used to refer to a
person or group, when stressing a general quality: #John 3:6; 1John 5:4;
John 17:2; 6:37; Gal 3:22. Neuter Gender is normally used to refer to
Objects which are inflected as Neuter, not the way we use "thing" in
English to refer to Inanimate Objects."

Some think that gender "became applied to inanimate objects by poetic
personification." What must be remembered is "that there is not only
"sense gender"- that which is relative to actual sex- but "grammatical
gender"- that which is determined purely by grammatical usage." A Short
Grammar of New Testament Greek, Dana & Mantey

Given that the above is true, PNEUMA would have had its grammatical gender
determined long before its use in the NT for God's Spirit. The question
then remains as to whether or not its use in the NT is or is not to be
consider a personalization of the term. If so, then what sex, not
grammatical gender, becomes a matter of context. Is that correct?

Sola Gratia,
Always Under Grace!

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