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Thread: the false claim that the AV uses masculine grammar for the Holy Spirit in John 14

  1. Default the false claim that the AV uses masculine grammar for the Holy Spirit in John 14

    Facebook - Pure Bible Forum (a little behind on the analysis)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/pure...2%3A%22R%22%7D

    PBF - this thread
    http://www.purebibleforum.com/showth...rit-in-John-14

    ====================

    This is from two CARM threads, also you can find a couple of spots historically where the AV was similarly accused of mistranslation on one or both of these sections.


    CARM

    Challenging Ridiculous Assumptions About the AV and the Holy Spirit
    https://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/th...he-holy-spirit

    new! -- an English text that violates Greek grammer ??
    https://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/th...-greek-grammer
    The CARM threads are fanatastic examples of how Bible believers can get totally confused because of their going back and forth to the Greek text from the pure English Bible.

    Note that both trinitarians and non-trinitarians get all bogged up on this issue, trying to make personhood and anti-personhood arguments from the Greek grammar. The truth is simple, any idea that the Spirit is a person is an interpretative (exegetical or eisegetical) understanding. It is not shown from the Greek grammar, and it is not refuted by the Greek grammar (e.g. the lack of a constructio ad sensum by John.) And the AV is often criticized simply for placing the Spirit in neuter grammar.

    The basic truth is simple, in the Johannine verses:

    The Greek and the English refer to the spirit/pneuma in neuter, and the comforter/advocate/παράκλητος in masculine.

    Using slightly different syntax, the Greek and English are consistent in this fundamental element.
    This is true for the Johannine Gospel sections. This is also true for the Reformation Bible Greek. However, not in the corruption versions from the Westcott-Hort recension.

  2. Default historical claims of masculine grammar for the Spirit in the John 14 verses

    John 14:26 (AV)
    But the Comforter,
    which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you all things,
    and bring all things to your remembrance,
    whatsoever I have said unto you.


    It is incredibly easy to see that the whom has the Comforter as the referent, and the which has the Holy Ghost as the referent. You simply have to notice how the parentheticals are used. John 14:16-17 has a syntax that is virtually identical, in terms of the pronouns and referents.

    John 14:16-17 (AV)
    And I will pray the Father,
    and he shall give you another Comforter,
    that he may abide with you for ever;
    Even the Spirit of truth;
    whom the world cannot receive,
    because it seeth him not,
    neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
    for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


    All the following make similar mistaken accusations in the Johannine verses against the majestic, beautiful AV text:

    An Humble Attempt to Investigate and Defend the Scripture Doctrine Concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
    to which is now added
    Observations concerning the mediation or Jesus Christ, in the various dispensations of God
    (1784, 1819 edition)
    by James Purves (1734-1795)
    https://books.google.com/books?id=7qc-AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA80

    And, where the pronoun he occurs in the English translation, it is often it in the original. I shall instance one verse, in which the pronoun is four times mistranslated, John xiv. 17. ‘ The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ve know him.’ .. (continues)
    Bible News of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1829)
    Noah Worcester (1758-1837)
    https://books.google.com/books?id=UPjUAxvYsLEC&pg=PA314
    "four mis-translations in that single verse"
    see p. 312-321
    Gloria Patri: the Scripture doctrine of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit (1859)
    Thomas Sadler (1822-1891)
    https://books.google.com/books?id=SEz-xliAOTUC&pg=PA144
    The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy (1865)
    Correspondence - A Constant Reader
    https://books.google.com/books?id=8IA4AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA197
    =======================

    And here are the modern web sites.

    This first one is extra-wrong in that it even includes the verses where it is well known today that the pronouns are properly masculine because the referent is the Comforter.

    Is God a Trinity? (1998)George L. Johnson and Fred R. Coulter
    Exegesis for the Translation of the Phrase “the Holy Spirit” as Antecedent in John 14, 15 and 16
    https://www.cbcg.org/booklets/is-god...15-and-16.html
    http://www.cbcg.org/franklin/PM/Is-God-a-Trinity.pdf

    It is absolutely incorrect to translate any form or pronoun of pneuma in the masculine gender. Unfortunately, because most translators believe in the doctrine of the trinity, they have deliberately and wrongly used the English masculine gender when translating the Greek neuter gender nouns and pronouns pertaining to the Holy Spirit. They have not made such a flagrant, determined mistranslation of the Greek neuter gender for any other word in the New Testament.

    The following five key verses in the Gospel of John that have been incorrectly translated in the King James Version
    This next article actually has a partial understanding. It points out many cases where the AV is correct, and modern versions mangle the grammar to match doctrinal presuppositions of Spirit personhood (whether deliberately or from grammatical ignorance). However, the article goes astray in some spots.

    Good spots are in bold.
    Errors are in red.

    Grammar deception in English translations to promote personhood of holy spirit
    by Bill Wong
    http://seekgodstruth.com/hsisgrammarcorrect.html

    In this article we will address some of the translational discrepancies and errors which the translators, in their bias, have perpetrated upon the seekers of God’s truth.
    There are four points to review which will be followed by a discussion on "the Comforter".

    1) Greek grammar dictates that the definite article 'the' must agree with the gender of the word. Spirit is a neuter gender word so therefore its article must also be neuter in form which is τό.

    ...

    Definite article ‘the’:

    ὁ = masculine
    ἡ = feminine
    τό = neuter

    Third person personal pronouns:

    αὐτός = masculine (he/him)
    αὐτή = feminine (she/her)
    αὐτό = neuter (it)

    2) Greek grammar dictates that all pronouns with the antecedent of 'holy spirit' should reflect neuter gender (it, which, that), not masculine (he, whom, him), because the word spirit is a neuter gender word (as previous item #2 shows the article of ‘spirit’ reveals it to be neutral gender). Relative pronouns agree with their antecedent in gender and number.

    Definition of antecedent:

    a substantive word, phrase, or clause whose denotation is referred to by a pronoun; in the sentence "Mary saw John and called to him", John is the antecedent and the pronoun ("him") must match the gender of the antecedent

    As indicated earlier, the neuter gender of the definite article will also reflect the neuter gender of the word; hence, the gender of the article related to the antecedent aids also in identifying the gender of the pronoun.

    In Greek if the neuter word is obviously referring to a feminine or masculine gender person, the writer can change the pronoun associated with the antecedent as necessary from a neuter (it, which, that) to a person (he/she, whom, him/her). However, the New Testament writers NEVER do this with the holy spirit. What this means is that the New Testament writers only knew holy spirit to be a thing and left its pronouns as neuter. They knew that holy spirit was not a person and always referred to it with the pronouns it, which, that.

    We should be able to see this in the translations to English, but the translators changed the neuter pronouns to the masculine pronouns he, whom, him. For all intents and purposes, the English reader will think holy spirit is a person (man).

    Listed below are examples of verses where the pronouns have been changed in English translations and also some Bible versions that retain the correct translation.

    Let us be reminded that any Bible translations listed are NOT being endorsed in any manner. The lists are used to show the discrepancies and deliberate manipulation of the translations into English. Some translations which do use the correct pronouns may translate them incorrectly in other places, but just not in these instances.

    What all this reveals is the intentional deception by translators who are theologically biased in their belief of a Trinity doctrine, who are often blatantly hypocritical, contradictory and confused in their handling and attempt at distorting the translations to promote this Trinity doctrine.

    The best example of this is perhaps the KJV. Even though it correctly renders the pronouns in many places, it still has incorrect usages in other places (such as when “the Comforter” is referenced) and the infamous Johannine Comma is still allowed to remain even though it has unanimously been proven and accepted as a false addition to the Greek text. At least the KJV was translated in the 1600s, but it has supposedly been updated and improved by the more recent NKJV. There is no excuse to leave the Johannine Comma there at all in the NKJV, but it is still retained. Even more, the NKJV does not really seek to truthfully translate the Word of God, because even though there was a perfect opportunity to correct all the articles and pronouns to the neuter gender, the NKJV actually contradicts the KJV in many cases where the KJV correctly uses the neuter gender; yet the NKJV continues to tout itself as an improved version and faithful to the KJV.

    Yet another reason why the earnest faithful believer MUST study the Scriptures daily to see if things are so according to the Word of God only.

    Relative pronouns:

    ὅς = masculine (who/whom)
    ἥ = feminine (who/whom)
    ὅ = neuter (that/which)

    We will proceed now to give examples where the incorrect use of pronouns which define a person was used in certain Bible versions, but yet the correct translation to signify a thing was used in others. The mistranslation was due to the bias of the translators who believed in a Trinity and thereby attempted to promote the personhood of God’s holy spirit.
    (continues .. plan to fill out)
    Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity?
    http://www.cogwriter.com/holyspirit.htm

    Following are five key verses in the Gospel of John that have been incorrectly translated in the King James Version:

    1) John 14:17, KJV: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” “The Spirit of truth” is translated from the Greek phrase το πνυµα της αληθιας to pneuma tees aleetheiasliterally, the Spirit of the truth. This noun phrase is in the neuter gender. The pronoun “whom” is translated from the neuter relative pronoun ο, and should accordingly be translated“which.” If the Greek text were expressing the masculine gender, the masculine relative pronoun ος would have been used instead of the neuter relative pronoun ο.

    The three personal pronouns translated “him” are incorrectly translated into the masculine gender from the Greek neuter personal pronoun αυτο auto, which is properly translated “it.” If the Spirit were a person rather than the power of God, the verse would read ο πνυµατος, rather than the neuter το πνυµα. However, there is no such masculine noun anywhere in the Greek New Testament. If there were such a masculine gender noun, the masculine pronoun αυτος autos would be used instead of the neuter pronoun αυτο auto. Translators who know and understand the rules of Greek grammar do not mistake the neuter pronoun αυτο auto for the masculine pronoun αυτος. Thus, the translation of the neuter pronoun αυτο in John 14:17 into the masculine personal pronoun “him” is completely incorrect. The neuter pronoun αυτο is used twice in this verse:because it [the world] perceives it [αυτο auto] not, nor knows it [αυτος auto].

    The KJV translation of John 14:17 also violates another rule of Greek grammar. In the Greek text, a noun that serves as the subject of a verse often governs a number of verbs. In John 14:17, the noun phrase το πνυµα της αληθιας to pneuma tees aleetheias, meaning the Spirit of the truth, is the subject. Since the noun pneuma is neuter in gender, the subjects of all verbs that it governs should be translated in the neuter gender. In John 14:17, two third person verbs are governed by this noun. In the first instance, the translators have incorrectly translated the third person verb µνι menei as “he dwelleth,” rather than “it dwelleth.” In the second instance, the subject of the verb σται estai, “[it] shall be,” was not translated, making it appear that “he” is the subject of both Greek verbs.

    A correct translation of John 14:17 should read: Even the Spirit of the truth, which ο the world cannot receive because it perceives it [αυτο auto] not, nor knows it [αυτο auto]; but you know it [αυτο auto] because it dwells [verb µνι menei] with you, and shall be [verb σται estai] within you.

  3. Default the clear and consistent AV text

    The actual AV text is clear. The AV changed the syntax from the Greek, to be more conformable to our wonderful English. And kept the basics of the gender intact.

    =============================

    John 14:26 (AV)
    But the Comforter,
    which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you all things,
    and bring all things to your remembrance,
    whatsoever I have said unto you.


    It is easy to see that the whom has the Comforter as the referent, and the which has the Holy Ghost as the referent. John 14:16-17 has a syntax that is virtually identical, in terms of the pronouns and referents.

    John 14:16-17 (AV)
    And I will pray the Father,
    and he shall give you another Comforter,
    that he may abide with you for ever;
    Even the Spirit of truth;
    whom the world cannot receive,
    because it seeth him not,
    neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
    for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    This is all incredibly simple to see:


    The Comforter is introduced as the subject.

    The Holy Ghost, Spirit of truth, is then in a parenthetical phrase, in apposition to the Comforter.

    The pronouns return to the principle subject, the Comforter referent, ergo masculine.
    The folks trying to claim an error get all confused by going backwards to the Greek, even at times claiming that the English text violates Greek grammar!

    As to the Greek pronoun situation, it is different and quite irrelevant to the English text, since the translation changes the Greek syntax to the different English syntax. That is explained on the CARM thread, and is really only diversion fluff and puff when used as a confusing argument attempt.

    John 14:26 (AV)
    But the Comforter,
    which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you all things,
    and bring all things to your remembrance,
    whatsoever I have said unto you.


    In John 14:26 the pronoun ὅ = neuter (that/which) is a connection between what is two separate parenthetical phrases in the English text, as shown by the comma and pronoun usage, yet one phrase in the Greek. Thus, that ὅ is not translated. In the English
    Which is is added for clarity, and since it includes a verb, is placed in italics. whom is also added for clarity, but is not put in italics, as there is no verb in the added text, it is simply a relative pronoun.
    Remember, the basics are simple and clear, in these Johannine verses:

    The Greek and the English refer to the

    spirit/pneuma in neuter
    , and the
    comforter/advocate/παράκλητος in masculine.


    Using slightly different syntax, the Greek and English are consistent in this fundamental element.
    When there is a bit more time, I will include the John 14:16-17 section here as well. The English grammar has the same structure, in terms of the pronouns and referents. The contras get confused because they feel the Greek grammar syntax must decide the English grammar syntax!

    And, with the AV, the clarity and consistency is very hard for the contras to grasp.

    And keep in mind that there are a couple of well-understood basics on this topic in general:

    In the Greek Johannine Gospel text (and in all the Greek of the pure Reformation Bible NT)

    pneuma - neutral
    paraclete - masculine

    the Naselli and Gons paper explains this very well for the Johannine verses. It also shows how hundreds of Greek New Testament scholars and even grammarians have stumbled on exactly this point!
    In fact, as an irony, the AV is wildly criticized precisely for such translations, such as Romans 8:26 (which topic has its own thread on the PBF).

    Romans 8:26
    Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
    for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
    but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us
    with groanings which cannot be uttered.


    When you see how simple and consistent is the AV English grammar, the idea that the learned men somehow got the gender issue totally right throughout the NT, yet made stumble-bumble kindergarten errors here in the two Johannine sections is simply a joke.


  4. Default AV veres with the Spirit grammar question

    We will put the verses in three groups.

    The first has the spirit as neuter, although many translations have masculine.
    The second is the focus of the CARM discussions, with some English ambiguity.
    The third has the one verse where the AV clearly uses a masculine pronoun.


    Matthew 10:20
    For it is not ye that speak,
    but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

    John 1:32
    And John bare record, saying,
    I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove,
    and it abode upon him.

    John 7:39
    (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:
    for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    John 15:26
    But when the Comforter is come,
    whom I will send unto you from the Father,
    even
    the Spirit of truth,
    which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

    John 16:13-14
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
    he will guide you into all truth:
    for he shall not speak of himself;
    but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:
    and he will shew you things to come.
    He shall glorify me:
    for he shall receive of mine,
    and shall shew it unto you.

    Romans 5:5
    And hope maketh not ashamed;
    because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
    by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

    Romans 8:16
    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,
    that we are the children of God:

    Romans 8:26
    Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
    for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
    but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    1 Corinthians 6:19
    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
    which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    Ephesians 1:13-14
    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth,
    the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed,
    ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,
    unto the praise of his glory.

    Titus 3:5-6
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
    but according to his mercy he saved us,
    by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

    1 Peter 1:11
    Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
    when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,
    and the glory that should follow.
    These are the two sections in the CARM discussion:

    John 14:16-17
    And I will pray the Father,
    and he shall give you another Comforter,
    that he may abide with you for ever;
    Even the Spirit of truth;
    whom the world cannot receive,
    because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
    but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    John 14:26
    But the Comforter,
    which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you all things,
    and bring all things to your remembrance,
    whatsoever I have said unto you.
    This is the one spot where the AV clearly does use masculine grammar with the Spirit:

    Acts 5:32
    And we are his witnesses of these things;
    and so is also the Holy Ghost,
    whom God hath given to them that obey him
    .

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