Romans 8:16

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by ktn4eg, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the chidren of God;"

    Thus reads the KJV.

    Since the Holy Spirit is a person (not an "it"), wouldn't it be more accurate to translate this passage as "The Spirit himself...." rather than "itself"?

    (I noticed that the NKJV does, in fact, use the masculine gender rather than the neuter when translating this verse.)
     
  2. jbh28

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    It's probably because in Greek the term αυτο (translated as "itself" in the KJV") is netral gender. Now with me not knowing much about Greek, I don't know the rules here. But that's the only thing I know of. However yes, The Spirit is a person.
     
  3. franklinmonroe

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    Not exactly right; I think you may have intended that the Greek noun pneuma (Strong's #4151) rendered "Spirit/spirit" in English is grammatically neuter. The Greek pronoun autos (Strong's #846) is empty of grammatical gender; however, it should reflect the physical gender of it's antecedent.

    Therefore, the KJV is being literally grammatically accurate here when reading "it" when referring back to "Spirit" (and in Romans 8:26).
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Aug 6, 2011
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  4. franklinmonroe

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    Not exactly right; the Holy Spirit is often described as a 'personality' but the Spirit is primarily, well, a spirit ("God is a Spirit" John 4:24). To the best of my knowledge, we cannot determine that spirits have gender (apparently angels may not have gender, Matthew 22:30 & Mark 12:25). You may call the Holy Spirit a 'person' but the Spirit is not a human being (the most common definition of 'person') nor even a biological creature that has reproductive characteristics.

    Since the Holy Spirit is neither objectively male nor female, it would seem that the alternatives for ascribing English pronouns to "Spirit" are subjective.
     
    #4 franklinmonroe, Aug 6, 2011
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  5. JesusFan

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    Would it be best to say here that even though the KJV is acceptable in translating it this way, is in accordance with proper greek, that best to still have rendered as the HS veing seen as a "He?"

    In accordance to rest of the scriptures?
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    This question is an excellent one. The gender inflection might at one time have actually been related to the subject's physical gender, but their are plenty of cases where gender simply provides an pointer so those who know Greek can relate words, i.e. this modifies that or this does not modify that.

    So a proper translation could be itself because the Spirit is genderless if you will, or following the convention of referring to God in the male gender (i.e Father) it can also without any violation of Greek grammar be translated himself. Thus many translations read "himself."
     

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