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Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Holy Spirit" in the Original Greek is Neuter - "It," "Itself" are Used in the Original New Testament Greek

It is true that the word for God (theos) in the New Testament is masculine, and masculine pronouns ("he," "him," "himself") are always used with it. The word "Father" is also in the masculine gender in the original Greek of the NT, and masculine pronouns are always used with it. The word "Son" is also in the masculine gender in the NT Greek, and masculine pronouns are always used with it. Certainly this is not surprising since God (Jehovah, the Father alone) has always been represented to his people as a living, conscious being, and Christ (Jesus, the Son) is always represented as a living, conscious person. It would be very strange, indeed, if they were not so described!

But "Holy Spirit" in the original Greek is neuter and therefore the neuter pronouns "it," "itself" are used with it in the original NT Greek! Any strictly literal Bible translation would have to use "it" for the holy spirit (since it is really not a person, but God's active force, a literal translation would be helpful in this case).

As the trinitarian New American Bible (Catholic), 1970 ed. admits:

"The Greek word for 'spirit' is neuter, and while we [trinitarians] use personal pronouns in English ('he,' 'his,' 'him'), most Greek manuscripts employ 'it.'" - New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., (footnote for John 14:17).

And the revised NAB of 1991 has actually changed "he/him" back to the literal "it"!

Also see An American Translation by trinitarians Smith and Goodspeed which uses "itself" and "it" for the holy spirit at Romans 8:16, 26, 27.

Here are the rules of Greek grammar that govern this situation. Professor Machen, writing in his New Testament Greek For Beginners, tells us:

"(II.) The noun for which a pronoun stands is called its antecedent. Thus in the sentence, 'I see the disciple and teach him', the antecedent of 'him' is 'disciple.'

(III.) A pronoun agrees with its antecedent in GENDER and number.
"Examples: (a) Bleto ton matheten kai didasko auton, [is translated] 'I see the disciple and teach him.' Here matheten ['disciple'] is the antecedent of auton ['him'], and since matheten is of masculine gender and singular number, auton is also masculine singular."(b) Meno en to oiko kai ginosko auton [is rendered in English as] 'I remain in the house and know it.' Here oiko ['house'] is the antecedent of auton ['him' in the original NT Greek] and since oiko is of masculine gender and singular number auton also is masculine singular [in the NT Greek]. In English the neuter pronoun 'it' is used, because the noun 'house' like all nouns denoting inanimate objects, is neuter in English. But in Greek the word for house is masculine, and therefore the masculine pronoun is used in referring to it. Hence the translations, 'he,' 'she,' etc...for the masculine and feminine of the Greek pronoun of the third person are correct only when the antecedents are denoting persons. In other cases, the pronouns will be neuter in English even when they are masculine or feminine in Greek." - pp. 47-48.

In other words, even if the Greek words for 'holy spirit' were in the masculine gender (and, therefore, the Greek masculine pronouns would be used with it), it still would not indicate that the holy spirit must be a person! Just as in many other languages things are often given feminine and masculine genders in Bible Greek.

However, since its literal title ("holy spirit") is really neuter in the NT Greek and really uses the neuter pronoun ("it") and takes the neuter definite article (Gr. to), there is the extremely high probability, from grammar alone, that it is not a person.

If we search through a concordance that shows the gender of Biblical Greek words, we will see that, in the vast majority of cases, words that are used mainly to literally describe persons use the appropriate gender for that person [similar to Spanish and other languages]:

"husband" (masculine), "wife" (feminine), "daughter" (feminine), "son" (masculine), etc.

Often the same basic Greek word is used for both sexes, but it will be given a feminine ending when applied to female persons and a masculine ending when applied to male persons: For example, "god" (theos - masculine) and "goddess" (thea - feminine), "prophet" (prophetes - masculine) and "prophetess" (prophetis - feminine), "king/queen," etc.

And even when, on occasion, we find a word that is applied equally to men or women, the gender of that individual is still shown by the gender of the article or pronoun used with it: For example, "doorkeeper" (thuroros) can be used for both men and women, but, when it is used in the NT for a male, the masculine article (ho) comes before it: ho thuroros (John 10:3), and when it is used in the NT for a female, the feminine article (h - looks like an elongated n in the Greek and pronounced 'hay.' ) comes before it: h thuroros (John 18:17). - Compare Mark 13:34 and John 18:16.

So, you see, in the vast majority (if not all) of cases a person's gender is shown by the gender of the Greek words and titles that literally[2] describe that person and/or by the gender of the article and pronouns that go with that Greek word.[3]

But not only is the literal "Holy Spirit" neuter in the original Greek, but so are the article (to - p. 34, Machen) and the pronouns (auto ['it'] and o [with two small breathing marks above it meaning 'which']- pp. 19, 68, Marshall) which go with it! [4]- See John 14:17 and 1 Cor. 12:4, 11 in any interlinear Bible or Greek text, for example. Cf. Ro. 8:16 in KJV, AT, and The Interlinear Bible, Jay P. Green, Baker Book House, 1982.

The only exception to this that I have found deals with very young, immature persons and animals. Young children sometimes are called paidion ("young child" - Matt. 2:8) and brephos ("infant" - Luke 1:41). These two Greek words are neuter and so are the article and pronouns that usually accompany them! Why these words are exceptions, I'm not certain. Perhaps one was not considered fully a person (at least as far as gender is concerned) until he reached maturity. (At any rate, the Holy Spirit would certainly be considered mature if it were really a person!)

It is quite clear, though, (from going through a New Testament Bible concordance that shows gender and examining an interlinear text) that it is extremely rare, if ever, that a mature person is not distinguished by a noun (or its article and pronouns) which shows the appropriate gender. And, although the word for an impersonal thing is often given a neuter ending, it is also very common for an impersonal thing to be given a masculine or feminine gender in all those areas!

Most trinitarian Bibles, then, go against the bulk of the literal grammatical evidence when they use "he," "him," etc. in translating the original Greek neuter pronouns with "holy spirit" as their antecedent. There are a very few places, however, where the Greek appears to use the masculine article and pronouns with "holy spirit."

If, when you examine the Greek text (as found in interlinear Greek-English New Testament Bibles), you occasionally find a masculine pronoun seeming to refer to the holy spirit, you will find that the actual antecedent is not "holy spirit" but some other noun (which, although representing a thing, does have the masculine gender assigned to it in NT Greek).

Even modern English is similar. If, for example, we have been speaking about death (an impersonal thing) and suddenly begin using the common personified figure for death, "the Grim Reaper," even in modern English we properly change pronouns from "it" to "he." E.g., "Death was fast approaching Mary. She could feel it coming. But when the Grim Reaper actually placed his hand on her and said, 'it's time, Mary,' she drew on her inner strength, pushed him back, and said, 'not yet!' She wasn't ready to accept it [death]."

The Greek word paraclete, parakleto", (rendered "comforter" in KJV; "helper" in some other translations) is in the masculine gender. So when paraclete is the actual antecedent (even though we understand that it may figuratively represents the holy spirit), its pronoun in the Greek must also be masculine.

We know that the masculine paraclete may be figuratively applied to an impersonal (neuter) thing as is so frequently done by the Jews in the languages used in the Bible. (See p. 37, Barclay's Letters of John and Jude, "The Daily Study Bible Series," The Westminster Press, Revised Edition, 1976.)[5]

See John 14:16, 26; and 16:7 for all the uses of "comforter" (paraclete - masculine) applied to holy spirit. You can see that the masculine pronoun (auton) does follow "comforter" after the word was introduced as the antecedent in John 16:7 (remember, the Greek pronoun, as well as the article, must agree with its antecedent in gender in NT Greek).

Sometimes it is not easy to determine what the actual antecedent is, as it may have been introduced sentences earlier.[6] If we look at John 14:16, for example, we see that paraclete is introduced. This means that, in spite of the introduction of "the spirit" (neuter) in John 14:17, the pronouns in that verse could have referred back to paraclete in verse 16 as their antecedent, and, in that case they would have to be masculine in the Greek! Instead, they obviously refer to the neuter "spirit" in verse 17 and, therefore, must be the neuter auto ('it').[7] - see AT, Ro, Byington, and The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English (literal translation).

Just the opposite may be occurring at John 16:7, 13. Although paraclete is introduced in verse 7 and "spirit" is introduced in verse 13 itself, many translators (including the NWT) refer the genitive reflexive pronoun in verse 13 back to paraclete as its antecedent. Therefore, they literally translate the 3rd person verbs and the 3rd person reflexive pronoun in verse 13 as "he will guide," "he hears," and "himself." I believe, however, that this may be an arbitrary choice. Since the third person verbs and the third person reflexive pronoun (eautou) can be interpreted as masculine, feminine, or neuter, a translator could use "spirit" (verse 13) as the antecedent and, therefore, translate the ambiguous third person verbs and reflexive pronoun literally in the neuter gender ("it hears," "itself," etc.).

Either way, however, there is no real reason to regard the holy spirit as a person because of the figurative use in a very few places of the masculine paraclete.[8] (It's too bad paraclete wasn't feminine in the Greek, as it could just as well have been. The feminine verbs and pronouns that would have resulted in the Greek would not have been literally translated then!) The much more frequent use of the neuter "holy spirit" and its neuter article and pronouns more strongly indicates just the opposite! (This is similar to the figurative use of the neuter "Lamb" in Rev. 5:6; 5:12; and 6:1 for Jesus. The masculine "Jesus" and "Christ," etc. of his literal name and descriptions show that he is a male person in spite of the neuter articles and pronouns that must be used in the NT Greek to agree with the neuter "Lamb.")

“The Hebrew word ruah (usually translated ‘spirit’) is often found in texts referring to the free and unhindered activity of God, .... There was, however, no explicit belief in a separate divine person in Biblical Judaism; in fact, the New Testament itself is not entirely clear in this regard....“The definition that the Holy Spirit was a distinct divine Person equal in substance to the Father and the Son and not subordinate to them came at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381....” - Encyclopedia Britannica Micropaedia, 1985, v. 6, p. 22.

α 1. The Hebrew, like all Semitic languages, recognizes only two genders in the noun, a masculine and a feminine. Inanimate objects and abstract ideas, which other languages sometimes indicate by the neuter, are regarded in Hebrew as masculine or feminine, more often the latter [feminine]! – Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, p. 222, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1910. (Emphasis added.)

"Spirit" in Hebrew (ruah or ruach) is in the feminine gender, which as explained above is commonly used for neuter..

When we combine the gender use for the holy spirit in the New Testament Greek (neuter gender) with the gender use for the holy spirit in the Old Testament Hebrew (feminine/neuter), we have a doubly significant statement. 

From the RDB Files. 

For more, see:

Holy Spirit - Links to Information (Examining the Trinity)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Holy Spirit 'Proof-Texts' (SFBT)

Trinity Index (Examining the Trinity)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Acts 8:29 - "The spirit SAID to Philip..."

In an attempt to show that the Holy Spirit is a person, some have pointed to Acts 8:29 which says:

"So the spirit said to Philip: "Approach and join yourself to this chariot."' - NWT

Because the scripture mentions that the "spirit" actually spoke this sentence, some claim that this shows that the Holy Spirit must be a person because only people speak. But is this really the case?

In order to verify the true situation here, this scripture needs to be put in context. Back up to verse 26:

"However, Jehovah's angel spoke to Philip, saying: "Rise and go to the south to the road that runs down from Jerusalem to Ga´za." (This is a desert road.)

"With that he rose and went, and, look! an E·thi·o´pi·an eunuch, a man in power under Can·da´ce queen of the E·thi·o´pi·ans, and who was over all her treasure. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, but he was returning and was sitting in his chariot and reading aloud the prophet Isaiah.

"So the spirit said to Philip: "Approach and join yourself to this chariot." (Acts 8:26-9) NWT

In verse 26 we see that it was not the Holy Spirit who began talking to Philip but instead it was "Jehovah's angel". "Jehovah's angel" continues his instructions to Philip in verse 29. Note: verse 29 does not say the Holy Spirit, but only "spirit" (as is seen in numerous translations). The Greek language shows that "spirit" does also mean merely "angels" as the context here indicates.

And even if it was talking about the Holy Spirit here, it still doesn't call the spirit "God". In fact, it clearly calls the spirit "Jehovah's angel" or "an ANGEL of God"... a term (angel) that trinitarians seem to be extremely sensitive to. Also, this was not a specific angel such as a title "The Angel of the Lord". No, this was "an" angel of of many angels available who carried the message.

Trinity Index

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Trinity Proof Texts

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Is Acts 5:3, 4 - Lied to the Holy Spirit...lied to God?

(From the RDB Files)

Another bit of eclectic "evidence" some trinitarians resort to for the "personality" and "Godhood" of the spirit is found at Acts 5:3, 4. Here we find a baptized Christian, one who has, therefore, received holy spirit, selling his property and giving some of the money from that sale to the Apostles. Now this man was under no obligation to sell his land or give any of that money to the Apostles. That he did so would have been a fine thing. But this man, Ananias, wanted honor more than he wanted to give charity. So he gave only part of the money from his property to the Apostles. This, too, would have been a fine thing. but he lied to the Apostles, because he wanted even more recognition, and told them he had given them all the money from the sale of his property!

So Peter said,

"Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to [or 'cheat' - Mo (or 'to deceive' or 'to play false' - Thayer, #5574; cf. #5574, Strong's and Thayer, in Heb. 6:18 as rendered in RSV, NEB, CBW, and The Amplified Bible)] the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? .... How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to ['played false to' ('defrauded' - Mo)] men but to God." - RSV.

The "evidence" here is supposed to be that Peter first says that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. Then he turns around and says that Ananias lied to God. The supposition being, evidently, that the one lie [or deception] could only be directed to one person. Therefore the Holy Spirit "must" be God!

This type of reasoning is painfully ridiculous at best! Ananias actually lied directly to the Apostles! So this type of "reasoning" applies even more strongly to the Apostles than it does to the Holy Spirit! By using this "evidence" we could say with equal credibility that Peter is saying the Apostles are God when he says "you have not lied to men but to God"!

We can see a similar idea at Mark 9:37 -

"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me [so trinitarian-type 'evidence' proves this child is Jesus!]; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me." - RSV.

So receiving the child is actually receiving the Son and the Father! The child, then, "must" be God Himself (by trinitarian standards of evidence)!

I'm sure the truth of this matter must be apparent to all objective persons. But, for good measure, you might examine such scriptures as Matt. 25:40 and Luke 10:16 and compare them with Acts 5:4. We can also see a similar usage in the rest of Acts 5:3, 4. In 5:3 we see that Satan filled Ananias' heart to lie. But in 5:4 we find that Ananias himself conceived this thing in his heart. So this trinitarian-type evidence "reveals" another essential "mystery": Satan is Ananias! (Also analyze 1 Thess. 4:2, 6, 8; 1 Cor. 8:12; and James 4:11.)

One of Christendom's favorite trinitarians (and one of the humblest men found in history), St. Francis of Assisi, made an interesting statement that should be compared with Peter's statement at Acts 5:3, 4. St. Francis said after receiving some clothing from a friend:

"Nothing could be better for me than these. I take them thankfully as your alms. You have given them to God." - p. 66, Richest of the Poor - The Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Theodore Maynard, 1949.

Isn't it obvious that, by willfully rebelling against the holy spirit (the motivating force sent by God) by lying to the Apostles, Ananias was also lying to God?

(Another similar statement of this concept is admitted even in the footnote for Acts 5:3 in a highly trinitarian publication of the RSV, the ecumenical study Bible, The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1977, Oxford University Press: "The apostles, or perhaps the church, represent the Holy Spirit." 

Obviously, the Apostles receive their authority to represent God on earth through the power of the holy spirit ("in the name of the holy spirit"), so they "represent" not only that authorizing power but also God Himself.

Therefore, the attempted deception of the Apostles by Ananias also equals an attempted deception of the Holy Spirit and an attempted deception of God.)
So, since the holy spirit (this impersonal power/force/direction) comes directly (and perfectly) from God himself, then, no matter what one does against that holy spirit, it is always equivalent to doing that very thing against God himself. For example, if I spit in disgust on the letter (the impersonal thing providing direction to me) from the king, it will always be understood as equivalent to my spitting on the king himself. If, on the other hand, I spit on a messenger from the king, it might not be considered such a serious offense if I were merely expressing a dislike for the person of the messenger himself, not his message from the king.

Also see:

The Holy Spirit - God's Active Force (JW United)

Mt. 28:19 - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:

What does Mt. 28:19 mean? (JWQ&A; Quote from WT 2002 April 1st)

Mt. 28:19 - NWT (Defending the New World Translation)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Note (1.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

1. Are you familiar with a language (like Spanish) which puts different endings on the same word to show number and gender? In Spanish, for example, words and names that are literally applied to persons have endings that show those persons' sex. For example, el muchacho is "the boy," but la muchacha is "the girl"! But impersonal things are also given genders. For example, "the table" is la mesa (feminine) whereas "the hat" is el sombrero (masculine).

The languages used by the inspired Bible writers do the same thing. In OT Hebrew they had only feminine and masculine endings for their words (La Sor, Vol. 2, p.75), whereas in NT Greek they had masculine, feminine, and neuter endings (p. 23, Machen).

In Hebrew, if the writers were referring to a person and using a noun that literally (not figuratively) describes that person, they always used the word ending that corresponded to the actual sex of that person: "Father" (masc. ending); "son" (masc.); "wife" (fem.); "God" (masc.); "Messiah" (masc.), etc. This is especially true of all personal names: "Moses," "Sarah," "Abraham," etc.

If, however, they were speaking literally about a non-personal thing, they would use either masculine or feminine endings on those literal names and words (like in the Spanish examples above). Thus, "wisdom" is feminine in Hebrew and "day" is masculine. And if the Hebrew writers used one of these words (non-personal thing) to figuratively describe a person, they would usually not change the gender of that word. In other words, when a person is literally called a "king" it is always a word with a masculine ending because it applies literally to him as a person. But if a person is figuratively called a "Rock" or a "wall," etc., the original gender of the word that is used for that thing will still be applied to that man or woman.

So if a woman were figuratively called "a rock" (masculine ending), it could read like this in the Hebrew: "Hannah (fem. ending) was a rock (masc. ending), and he (masc. pronoun referring to "rock") was immovable." Or, we could see: "The Messiah (masc.) is Wisdom (fem. ending), and she (fem. pronoun) was created by God in the beginning." When we see such things in the original language we know that an impersonal thing is being used to figuratively describe a person in some respect.

It is very similar in NT Greek. When a word is literally applied to an adult person ("man," "woman," "husband," "bride," etc.) telling what he or she literally is, then the gender must match with that person's actual gender. And, again, this is especially true of personal names: "John," "Mary," "Jesus," etc.

But if it is a word or name literally applied to a thing, then it may be masculine, feminine, or neuter. (Of course if it is neuter, there is no doubt that it is an impersonal thing.)

Thus, as in Hebrew, "wisdom" is always feminine even though it is literally a thing. We know it's a thing, but since both the OT Hebrew and NT Greek happen to call it "wisdom" with a feminine ending and use feminine pronouns ("she," "her," "herself") with it, we can't prove grammatically that it is a thing and not a person.

However, "day" is masculine in the Hebrew (and uses masculine pronouns and articles) and feminine in the Greek (where it, of course, uses feminine pronouns and articles)! This makes it grammatically obvious (when we examine both the Old and the New Testaments) that "day" cannot be a person.

And, of course, whenever we find a word in NT Greek that is neuter (Hebrew doesn't use a neuter form - LaSor, p. 75), it is already grammatically defined as a non-personal thing (infants and young children are sometimes excepted).

Let's take as an example those who are already known to be heavenly spirit persons. God and the pre-existent person who became Jesus on earth are both clearly and often shown in the form of men in both the Old and New Testaments. They both have literal personal names ("Jesus" and "Jehovah") and descriptive titles ("Father" and "Son") which are masculine in both the Old and New Testaments. They both always have masculine pronouns applied to them in both the Old and New Testaments. Thus they are grammatically (and obviously) shown to be persons.

The other heavenly spirit persons are the angels. Some theologians (Christian and Jewish) say that these are not really persons, but simply the personified influences, energies, etc. from God used to accomplish his purpose. This may seem a possibility, but grammatically we should know better.

The angels, like God and the heavenly Christ, are always represented as masculine persons. Even if in reality they are genderless, they are nevertheless always given a gender by the inspired writers to show us that they really are persons. When they come to earth and take on a physical form, it is in the form of a man in both the Hebrew and Greek inspired writings. Their personal names (e.g., "Michael" and "Gabriel") are masculine in both the Hebrew and Greek writings. (Just having a literal personal name shows they are persons. A personal name was extremely important to the Hebrews during Bible times.) And all their literal titles/descriptions (e.g., "angel," "cherub," "seraph," etc.) have masculine endings in both biblical Greek and Hebrew. All pronouns used for the angels in both Hebrew and Greek are always masculine: "he," "him," "his," "himself. There can be no doubt grammatically that the inspired Bible writers intended for us to know that angels are truly persons!

But let's suppose, as an example, that someone who didn't know the ancient Hebrew understanding of the often personified "name of God" began to believe that it had been "revealed" to him that it is actually another person of the "Godhead"! A few of the many scriptures he might use as evidence are:

"I had pity for my holy Name." - Ezek. 36:21.

"to bring your sons from far away, ... to the name of Jehovah your God and to the Holy One of Israel" - Is. 60:9, KJIIV (and the literal text of The Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House).

"God has caused his name to dwell there." - Ezra 6:12.

"the place where your name dwells on earth" - Ps. 74:7 - KJIIV.

"incense shall be offered to my name." - Malachi 1:11

"and sing to thy name" - Ro. 15:9, RSV.

But if this individual to whom the "mystery" of "The Name of God" has been revealed had actually analyzed the grammar of both the Old and New Testaments, he should have known that the "Holy Name of God" was a holy thing not a person!

You see, although often personified, "The Name (of God)" is never literally seen in the Bible as a person (masc. or fem.). And the literal name of "the Holy Name" is masculine in the Hebrew all right, but it is neuter in the New Testament Greek! (And being neuter in the inspired New Testament language is enough, by itself, to prove that it is not a person, but a thing.) So, although masculine pronouns ("he," "him," "his," etc.) are used for "The Holy Name" at times in Hebrew, neuter pronouns ("it," "itself," "which") are used for this same word in the original New Testament Greek! We know grammatically, therefore, that, unlike real spirit persons, (God, Christ, and the holy angels), "the Holy Name" is merely a personalized thing!

So what about the often personified "Holy Spirit"? Is it truly a person? Do the inspired Bible writers actually use masculine pronouns to describe it? As with "Holy Name" it is never shown in the form of a person! Often it is described as a thing (e.g., being poured out or given out in portions). Only once is it (perhaps) manifested as a living creature: a "dove" not a person!

If it is a person (especially such an extremely important person as God), it must be known by a personal name like the other persons of the "Godhead": "Jesus" (the Son) and "Jehovah" (the Father). The ancient Hebrews (and God Himself) laid great stress on the extreme importance of their personal names. For example, to die and have one's name forgotten (or despised) was the worst fate of all for the ancient Hebrews. So what is the Holy Spirit's personal name?

Either its name is not revealed (which tells us it is not a person - and certainly not God - but a thing), or its personal name is "Holy Spirit"!

And what frequently used literal title or description is applied to the Holy Spirit? Well, all I can find is "Holy Spirit" (never "Patriarch," "Uncle," "Mother," etc. which would fit with the "relational" titles of the other two members of the trinity)! So, strangely, perhaps that is its "personal" name and its literal descriptive title as well.

But notice: Even though many trinitarian Bibles use the pronoun "he" to describe the Holy Spirit, the actual Old Testament Hebrew language of the inspired writers uses a feminine ending for "Holy Spirit" (whether it's 'her' "personal" name or her literal title or both)! And they actually used feminine pronouns ("she," "her," "herself") to describe "her"! So grammatically we know that to these inspired OT writers the Holy Spirit was either a thing or a female person! See Judges 3:10; 6:34; 1 Sam. 10:6; 11:6; and Is. 11:2 in the trinitarian The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament by Zondervan. It shows the literal use of feminine pronouns for the literally feminine "Holy Spirit" in the original Hebrew!

Furthermore, the inspired NT Greek writers used a different gender when they wrote about the HS! This is enough to prove it is not a person. But even more importantly this different gender for "Holy Spirit" (and its pronouns) is the neuter gender. This proves grammatically, all by itself, that Holy Spirit simply is not a person! Any good lexicon that shows the gender of words will show that "Spirit" is neuter in NT Greek. Also see John 14:17 in the trinitarian interlinear New Testament, The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1980:

"the Spirit of truth which [ - neut. - p. 173, Machen] the world cannot receive, because it beholds not it [the Spirit] nor knows [it]; ye know it [the Spirit]"!

The New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., 1970, (Roman Catholic), like so many other trinitarian Bibles, used "him" at John 14:17, but it at least provided this footnote for it: "The Greek word for 'Spirit' is neuter, and while we [trinitarian NAB writers] use personal pronouns in English ('he,' 'his,' 'him'), most Greek MSS [ancient NT Greek Manuscripts] employ 'IT'."

Then, when this trinitarian Bible was later revised, John 14:17 was actually changed to: "the Spirit of truth, which [neuter, ] the world cannot accept, because it [the world] neither sees nor knows it [the Spirit]. But you know it [the Spirit], because it remains with you" - NAB, 1991 ed. (also AT). The only place that "he" (masc.) can be properly used in connection with the Holy Spirit is when the masculine noun paraclete ("helper"/"advocate") was used, and then the masculine pronouns must be used in the Greek to agree grammatically with paraclete regardless of what person (male or female) or thing that masculine noun is representing.

We also find that the neuter pronoun αὐτὸ (“it/itself”) and the neuter article τὸ (“the” - neuter) are applied to the Holy Spirit at Ro. 8:16 and 1 Cor. 12:4, 8, 11. - see the actual Greek text in the interlinear since some trinitarian interlinears even mistranslate this in the word-for-word sections. Machen explains this on pp. 34 and 47 of his New Testament Greek for Beginners. Strangely, the very trinitarian King James Version itself (also the revised NAB; AT; Darby; & Webster) translates this honestly at Ro. 8:16 (“the Spirit itself beareth witness”)!
The Holy Spirit clearly is not a person (its "personal name" is even neuter), but a holy thing which God uses to fulfill his purposes.

Entire Study File

Trinity Index

Note (2.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

2. For information about the gender of words that are sometimes used to figuratively describe persons see the study paper concerning "Beginning," "Wisdom," and "Firstborn" (BWF).

Entire Study File

Trinity Index

Note (3.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

3. Fortunately, the English language still has its pronouns reflecting gender (as did the entire language at one time).

For example, we always have agreement in gender for persons just as the Biblical languages do:

"My brother parks his car in my garage. He wants me to call him if it won't start." Or, "The saleswoman gave her word that she used the product herself."

We don't say, "My brother parks its car in my garage. It wants me to call it if it won't start." Or, "The saleswoman gave its word that it used the product itself."

Persons reflect the gender of the pronouns which refer to them.

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Note (4.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

4. It is important to understand that only the third person definite article, personal pronoun, and relative pronoun in the singular nominative and accusative cases show a distinction between masculine and neuter gender.

For example, the definite article ("the" in English) in the third person genitive singular is tou for masculine gender and it is also tou for neuter gender. But the article in the third person nominative singular is ho () for masculine and to for neuter.

So, to be sure of the gender intended by the writer in the original NT Greek ("he" or "it") we must see the article in the nominative or accusative cases (to in both cases for neuter - p. 34, Machen), or we must see the personal pronoun in the nominative or accusative cases (auto in both cases for neuter - Machen, p. 47), or we must see the relative pronoun in the nominative or accusative case ( in both cases for neuter - Machen, pp. 173, 174). (The mentioned in the paragraph above for the masculine article is distinguished from the just mentioned for the relative pronoun by apostrophe-like marks written above them in the Greek.  There is a single c-shaped mark above the masculine article [] and two similar marks above the neuter relative pronoun [].

Otherwise, if the personal pronoun, relative pronoun, or article is in a different case (genitive or dative), we cannot distinguish its intended gender (masculine or neuter) unless we already know the gender of the noun to which it refers.

(The distinction between masculine and neuter in the reflexive pronoun eautou ["of himself"/ "of itself"] - is clear only in the accusative case: eauton, masculine ["of himself"] and eauto, neuter ["of itself"]. - Machen, p. 154. The same word is used in the other cases for both masc. and neuter.)

The same principles hold true when translating a Greek verb into English. For example, akouei in John 16:13, by itself, can be translated "he hears," "she hears," or "it hears." If we can tell that a masculine noun referring to a person (remember, many masculine and feminine nouns in NT Greek also refer to things) is definitely the subject of that verb, then we can be sure that akouei should be translated "he hears."

I believe NT Greek grammar could justify translating it "it hears" at John 16:13 (also the reflexive pronoun eautou, since it is in the genitive case, may be honestly translated "itself"). However, the NWT has evidently translated it as masculine (1) because it is being personified in this verse, or (2) they may have taken the masculine "paraclete" in verses :7 and :8 as the understood subject (or antecedent for the pronoun).

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Note (5.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

5. Noted trinitarian scholar and NT translator, Dr. William Barclay, in his "The Daily Study Bible Series" shows how this word was often used by the Jews [and the Gospel of John, NT scholars agree, was written to Hellenic (Greek-speaking) Jews]:

First Dr. Barclay tells that the world-famed Jewish scholar Philo wrote in his works (in the early first century - before John's writings): "…when Joseph forgave them for the wrong that they had done him, he said, 'I offer you an amnesty for all that you did to me; you need no other parakletos' (Life of Joseph 40)." [emphasis added].

This is especially significant since much of John's terminology echoes that of Philo, showing his familiarity with that noted Hellenic Jewish school.

Dr. Barclay continued:

"The Jews especially adopted the word [parakletos] .... the Rabbis had this saying about what would happen in the day of God's judgment: 'The man who keeps one commandment of the Law has gotten to himself one parakletos; the man who breaks one commandment of the Law has gotten to himself one accuser.' They said, 'If a man is summoned to court on a capital charge, he needs powerful parakletoi (the plural of the word) to save him; repentance and good works are his parakletoi in the judgment of God.' 'All righteousness and mercy which an Israelite does in this world are great peace and great parakletoi between him and his father in heaven.' They said that the sin-offering is a man's parakletos before God." - p. 37, The Letters of John and Jude, The Westminster Press, 1976.

Obviously things could be called paracletes.

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Note (6.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

6. Thayer gives the pronoun "who" (or "he" in some Bibles) in 1 Cor 1:8 as an example of this:

"['Who'] refers to a more remote noun in 1 Co. i.8, where the antecedent of ὃς ['who'] is not the nearest noun ['Jesus Christ'], but ['God'] in 1 Co. I.4" - #3739, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Baker Book House, 1984.

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Note (7.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

7. For comparison we can see that the antecedent for "him" in John 6:8 is probably not "Philip" (6:7 and 6:5), but "Jesus" (earlier in 6:5). And "him" in John 11:16 probably refers to the antecedent "Jesus" (11:14) and not to "Lazarus" even though "Lazarus" is found closer to it (whereas the "he/him" found at Jn 11:17 obviously does not refer to Jesus nor even Thomas in the previous verse). Also see John 13:2 (note that AT, NIV, GNB, and Beck even add the word "Jesus" to clear up the ambiguity).

So we find the pronouns in John 14:17 actually referring to "the Spirit" as their antecedent, and, therefore, they are the neuter αὐτὸ ("it") and ὅ  ("which")! Most trinitarian Bibles ignore this truth, however, and translate them as "him" anyway. I find it very ironic that The NIV Study Bible translates John 14:17 as "the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him [ - neuter], because it neither sees him [αὐτὸ  - neuter] nor knows him. But you know him [αὐτὸ  - neuter], for he lives with you and will be in you."

To top off the irony, the NIVSB has this footnote for Jn 14:17 - "the Spirit of truth. In essence and in action the Spirit is characterized by truth. He brings people to the truth of God. All three persons of the Trinity are linked with truth."

But the inescapable truth is that 'Holy Spirit' is neuter and its pronouns are neuter in the original Holy-Spirit-guided writings of the New Testament. And the translation of the very scripture that this footnote "explains" has lied against the "Spirit of truth" by rendering "it" as "him" three times! Surely "the Spirit of truth" has not brought these trinitarian translators "to the truth of God" nor has it brought any trinitarians to the "truth of God"!

It is important that we read, analyze, and meditate on this scripture (Jn 14:15-17) very carefully. Then do the same with Jn 4:23, 24 and Jn 17:3.

When we know the truth about pronouns and their antecedents, we are prepared for trinitarian "evidence" in both the OT and the NT Bible languages. In Micah 2:7, for example ("Is the Spirit of Jehovah angry [or 'limited' - KJIIV]; does he do such things?"), the masculine pronoun certainly refers to "Jehovah," not "the Spirit" as a few trinitarian apologists insist. Grammar tells us, for instance, that the feminine pronoun would have to be used in the Hebrew if "Spirit" were the antecedent. Since the masculine pronoun was used, it must refer to "Jehovah." Also no trinitarian translation would pass up such an opportunity if the trinitarian translators thought there was any chance that the Spirit was really being called "he"! But these trinitarian Bibles translate it so that the Spirit is definitely not being called "he," but Jehovah himself is: NRSV, NEB, REB, NJB, NAB, GNB, BBE, ETRV, Byington, Moffatt, Beck, Darby. E.g., "Is the LORD's [Jehovah's] patience exhausted? Are these his doings?" - NRSV.

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Note (8.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

Daniel B. Wallace, among the most trinity-biased scholars whose works I have examined, has made an amazing admission concerning the “paraclete statements.” In discussing gender agreement in his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Wallace writes:

John 15:26 .... The use of ἐκεῖνος [‘that one,’ masc. is rendered ‘he’ in most translations] here is frequently regarded by students of the NT to be an affirmation of the personality of the Spirit. Such an approach is based on the assumption that the antecedent of ἐκεῖνος is πνεῦμα [‘Spirit’]: ‘The masculine pronoun ἐκεῖνος is used in John 14:26 and 16:13-14 to refer to the neuter noun πνεῦμα to emphasize the personality of the Holy Spirit.’ [Wallace’s footnote here refers this quote to Young, Intermediate Greek, 78, and others similar. He further says: ‘The view is especially popular among theologians, not infrequently becoming the mainstay in their argument for the personality of the Spirit.’]

But this is erroneous,” Wallace continues. “In all these Johannine passages, πνεῦμα is appositional to a masculine noun [‘paraclete,’ παράκλητος]. The gender of ἐκεῖνος [‘that one,' masculine] thus has nothing to do with the natural gender of πνεῦμα The antecedent of ἐκεῖνος , in each case, is παράκλητος [paraclete], not πνεῦμα. John 14:26 reads παράκλητος τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, [which,’ neuter] πέμψει πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα (‘the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father sends in my name, that one will teach you all things’). πνεῦμα [‘Spirit’] not only is appositional παράκλητος, but the relative pronoun [ - ‘which’] that follows it is neuter! This hardly assists the grammatical argument for the Spirit’s personality. In John 16:13-14 the immediate context is deceptive: ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς ἐν τὴ ἀλήθεια πᾶσὴ· [….] ἐκεῖνος ἐμὲ δοξάσει (‘whenever that one comes - the Spirit of truth - he will guide you in all truth .... he will glorify me’). The ἐκεῖνος reaches back to v 7, where παράκλητος is mentioned. [Wallace’s note: ‘Although translations of v 13 such as that of the NRSV may be misleading as to what the subject of the sentence is (“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you...”), their objective is not to be a handbook for Greek students.’] Thus, since παράκλητος is masculine, so is the pronoun. Although one might argue that the Spirit’s personality is in view in these passages, the view must be based on the nature of a παράκλητος and the things said about the Comforter, not on any supposed grammatical subtleties. Indeed, it is difficult to find any text in which πνεῦμα is grammatically referred to with the masculine gender.*” - pp. 331-332.


Wallace’s note: “... three other passages are occasionally used for this [misapplication of gender interpretation to “prove” the HS is masculine]: Eph 1:14; 2 Thess 2:6-7; and 1 John 5:7, All of these have problems. In Eph 1:14 ὃς [‘he’] ἐστιν ἀρραβὼν refers back to τῷ πνεύματι (v 13), but the masculine relative pronoun [ὃς] is easily explained without resorting to seeing theological motifs. [Wallace further explains on p. 338 that ‘the reading ὃς ... is doubtful on text-critical grounds.’ In fact, both the Westcott & Hort and the United Bible Societies’ New Testament texts chose (‘which’) for this passage. The trinitarian scholars of the UBS said they chose ‘which’ because of ‘superior external attestation.’ This simply means that, in spite of their trinitarian preference, these scholars chose to use in their UBS text because the very best of the oldest NT Greek manuscripts originally had ‘which.’] In 2 Thess 2:6-7 πνεῦμα is nowhere mentioned .... First John 5:7 [in modern translations, e.g. RSV, NIV, NASB, etc.] is perhaps the most plausible of the passages enlisted. The masculine participle in τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες refers to τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα (v 8), all neuter nouns. Some see this as an oblique reference to the Spirit’s personality ..., but the fact that the author has personified water and blood, turning them into witnesses along with the Spirit, may be enough to account for the masculine gender.” - p. 332, Zondervan, 1996.

So we find even trinitarian Daniel B. Wallace, known for his detailed defenses of the trinity, admitting that the grammatical use of gender agreement does not show that “the Holy Spirit is referred to as a Person in the masculine gender throughout the New Testament” as so many trinitarian apologists insist! In fact, the HS was never referred to as a Person in the masculine gender anywhere in the NT or the OT!

Note: As usual, I have added the words in brackets [ ], bolding, and/or underlining for emphasis.

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Note (9.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

9. A trinitarian correspondent, a minister, told me that these were not properly translated with "she." I checked them by comparing them with many uses of "and she …" and "and he …" and discovered what every Hebrew scholar probably learns very early in his studies. The suffixes and prefixes to the basic word give us the information we need. For example,
Numbers 11:26 in all texts, speaking of the Spirit, uses the word nuach (Nun, Het) for 'rested' and it has the prefix Waw ('and') and the prefix Tau ('she') which altogether literally means "and she rested." ["and he rested" would be Waw Yod Nun Het.]

Judges 3:10 in all texts, including the one the KJV was translated from, speaking of the Spirit, uses the word hayah (hay yod) for 'came' and has the prefix waw ('and') and the prefix tau ('she') which, altogether, literally means "and she came."

Judges 6:34 in all texts, speaking of the Spirit, uses labash (Lamed, Beth, Shin) for "came" and has the feminine ending hay (-ah) which, altogether, labashah, means "she came."

1 Sam. 10:6 in all texts, speaking of the Spirit, uses tsalach (Tzade, Lamed, Heth) for 'come' and has the prefix Waw ('and') and the suffix Hay (-ah), the feminine ending, which, altogether, means "and she will come."

1 Sam. 11:6 in all texts, speaking of the Spirit, uses tsalach (Tzade, Lamed, Heth) for 'come' and has the prefix Waw ('and') and the prefix Tau ('she') which, altogether, means "and she came."

Something else that can be discovered merely by looking at the Hebrew text (if you refuse to believe serious Hebrew scholars): Numbers 11:26 in all texts, speaking of the Spirit, uses the word nuach (Nun, Het) for 'rested' and it has the prefix Waw ('and') and the prefix Tau ('she') which altogether literally means "and she rested." ["and he rested" would be Waw Yod Nun Het.]

Judges 3:10 in all texts, including the one the KJV was translated from, speaking of the Spirit, uses the word hayah (Hay Yod) for 'came' and has the prefix Waw ('and') and the prefix Tau ('she') which, altogether, literally means "and she came."

To be certain that the prefix Waw = 'and' and the second prefix Tau = 'she' let's examine the uses of shoob (shin beth) which means "came again" or "returned."

1 Sam. 30:12 (speaking of the Spirit: "and she returned" = Waw (and) Tau (she) Shin - Beth (shoob or 'returned').

Others (not Spirit-related):

Gen. 8:9 ("and she returned") = Waw ('and') Tau ('she') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

Judges 11:39 ("and she returned") = Waw ('and') Tau ('she') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

2 Sam. 11:4 ("and she returned") = Waw ('and') Tau ('she') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").


Exodus 4:20 ("and he returned") = Waw ('and') Yod ('he') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

Numbers 23:6 ("and he returned") = Waw ('and') Yod ('he') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

2 Sam. 19:39 ("and he returned") = Waw ('and') Yod ('he') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

1 Kings 19:21 ("and he returned") = Waw ('and') Yod ('he') Shin-Beth (shoob or "returned").

And just to be doubly certain that the prefix Waw = 'and' and the second prefix Tau = "she" really meant what has been said, I checked out a number of uses (not related to the spirit) of "and he said" and of "and she said." The usage remained true:

Gen. 3:1 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 3:10 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 3:11 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 4:10 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 18:9 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 18:10 "and he said" = amar ('said') Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Yod ('he').

Gen. 3:13 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 16:2 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 16:5 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 16:8 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 24:18 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 24:19 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 24:24 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

Gen. 24:58 "and she said" = amar ("said") Aleph, Mem, Reysh. It is prefixed with Waw ('and') and Tau ('she').

I believe it is fair to say that my initial statements concerning "she" being used for the Spirit in the OT are correct.

A spirit person (a person with a body of spirit rather than flesh) could be called 'a spirit' (see Thayer), but, in these cases, the Bible writer would often violate the gender agreement rule to show that this was a person not a force. Yes, by making the pronouns for it masculine he was saying this is a spirit [person]. This is not the case with "Holy Spirit." What seems to be involved here is similar to calling Jehovah 'a rock' in a figurative sense. The difference is that there could be no confusion here that it was a figurative expression. Using the substance a person is composed of as a term for that person is a similar figurative expression. But is is more likely to be confused with the other more literal meanings of "spirit."

It would have been the same way if "flesh" had been feminine. But since it was masculine in both Greek and Hebrew anyway, its pronouns probably would have remained masculine anyway. In other words if the usage had been "a flesh stood before them," meaning a 'fleshly person,' and flesh had been feminine, it probably would have used masculine pronouns also. As it is only context (which would have been quite adequate in such a case) would have told us it meant a person not a lump of inanimate flesh.

With spirit being feminine (neuter) in the Hebrew and neuter in the Greek and capable of being used for a spirit (a person composed of the "energy"/"substance" known as 'spirit') and for an impersonal force of a similar "energy/substance" (see Thayer's and other serious scholars) there had to be a way to distinguish them when context might not be not sufficient.

That way appears to be by ascribing masculine pronouns to the feminine or neuter (in the Greek) antecedent "a spirit."

Notice these examples presented by the same trinitarian correspondent as proof that the neuter "spirit" can obviously be a person:

"1 Kings 22:21 " 'Then a spirit [feminine gender] came forward and [he, Yod] stood before the Lord, and [he, Yod] said, 'I will persuade him.' - This spirit has personal qualities. The context shows clearly that it is an angel or spiritual being". - [But Instead of following the examples of the Holy Spirit where the pronoun prefix is feminine to agree with the feminine "Spirit" here we have a violation of the agreement rule. I believe this was in order to show that this was a person composed of spirit (a spirit person): 'And he stood' (waw yod ….) 'and he said' (waw yod aleph mem reysh)]

"2 Chron. 18:20 "Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and [he] said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?" - ["and he said" Waw Yod Aleph Mem. reysh.]

"Job 4:15,16 "Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It [He] stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image [was] before mine eyes, [there was] silence, and I heard a voice, [saying]..." - ["He stood still" (Yod Ayin Mem Daleth).]

"Ezek. 1:21 "When those went, [these] went; and when those stood, [these] stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in the wheels." - [Not a person but the force or power of the living creature was in the wheels, moving them.]

"Isaiah 48:16 "Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I [YHWH] was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit Have sent Me [Isaiah -see RSV; NAB; GNB punctuation]." - [Jehovah and his invisible, impersonal, communicating, motivating Force - which is controlled by God Himself.]
[Ezekiel 1:19, 20, speaking about the angels or cherubim who control the movement of God's chariot, says literally, "and when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose .... for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels." - RSV. It is clear that this means the controlling power of the cherubim moved the wheels. In fact the very trinitarian Good News Bible (GNB) paraphrases this to read: "the wheels did exactly what the creatures did, because the creatures controlled them."]

But the word "spirit" as used for these persons who are composed of spirit is not a literal word or title of personal position as relating to other persons [e.g., "God,: "Lord," etc.], or the word or title showing personal relationship to other persons, or (most important) the very personal name by which other persons identify him for them. They are literally angels, demons, devils, etc.

Again, we have the members of the "Godhead" according to trinitarians: (1) 'God' (masc.); 'the Father' (masc.); and most important: the personal name: Jehovah (masc.); (2) 'The Christ' (masc.) or 'Messiah' (masc.); the 'Son of God' (masc.); and most important: the personal name Jesus (masc.); (3) The Holy Spirit (neuter in NT language, feminine in OT language) and no personal relational title ("mother" "brother," daughter," etc.) and, (most important) no personal name! (or if it is a 'personal' name, it is proof that it is not a person since it is neuter in the NT language - and feminine for neuter in Hebrew!)

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