But we also need to jump to Genesis 41:8. Both the word "wind" in this passage and the word "Spirit" are the same word: pneuma, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word ruach. (See Lee Gatiss’ article: Is God a She?). Holy Spirit in Greek and Hebrew. First, it is translated “the Holy Spirit” instead of “holy spirit” even when the Greek text has no article “the.” Second, the “H” and “S” get capitalized, indicating a proper noun, even when there is no reason in the Greek text or context of the verse to capitalize them. Second, we also have to remember that God uses human language by analogy. ", Susan Ashbrook Harvey, "Feminine Imagery for the Divine: The Holy Spirit, the Odes of Solomon, and Early Syriac Tradition,", Clark H. Pinnock, "The Role of the Spirit in Creation,", "God is not a sexual being, either male or female─something that was considered to be true in ancient Near Eastern religion. For instance in Mark 2:8 “Jesus knew in his pneuma”. What then do we do in English? The Holy Spirit is in [en] believers when they are saved but upon [epi] them when they are baptized with the Spirit. In Greek thinking, man is content in knowing that he has believed the right things. So, the Hebrew for Spirit is ruach which is a feminine noun. Answer: Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, wrote the following in regard to the importance of understanding Greek and Hebrew when studying the Bible: "The languages are the sheath in which the sword of the Spirit is contained." c) Having said that, we used to use masculine-referent nouns and pronouns collectively, for example “mankind”; Instead of just going with my gut response, I thought it better to go back to Scripture. Whether that is the Holy Spirit or Jesus’ human spirit is not my point here, so much as pointing out that the gender of the greek word pneuma has no indication of the gender-identification of the person whose spirit is being referred to. Nick Gowers is the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Old Hill, a Church Society parish. d) As in Hebrew, grammatically masculine nouns are used of physically male people and grammatically feminine nouns are used of physically female people. That’s what the word holiness means in Hebrew and Greek. Likewise, the holy spirit is not a person simply because in some instances it is personified. In the English we use the same word ‘another’ in both instances, but in the Greek there were two words to show this subtle difference. The typical form of the primary philosophic and cosmogonic triad is Father-Mother-Son with the female potency figuring both as mother, wife, and daughter of the Son. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). 54 RUACH HA KOIDESH (Hebrew) “The Holy Spirit ” The Infinite Spirit of God that is Holy and expressed as a central part of the Trinity Power for All the Universe. The Hebrew word for "spirit" (ruach) is feminine in Genesis 1:2. Person of the Godhead that completes the Holy Trinity: God the Holy Spirit. When we use the word holy, as in a holy person, we usually associate this with a righteous or pious person. The term “Holy Spirit” actually occurs only three times in the Hebrew Bible. They see in the creation of Adam and Eve a literal image and likeness of the invisible Godhead, male and female, who is "clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made". a) We don’t have grammatically gendered nouns and pronouns. "[11], In the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit is referred to in English as "he" in liturgical texts,[12] however the Holy See directs that "the established gender usage of each respective language [is] to be maintained. Find more words! Therefore, second, in English the gender of a noun carries much more significance than in Greek or Hebrew. Our story. 32:11-12, Proverbs 1:20, Matthew 11:19, Luke 3:22, and John 3:5-6. Many people assume that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, like the Father and Jesus Christ, based on references to the Spirit as "he," "him" and "himself" in the New Testament. July 2020 In Hebrew thinking, it is what man does and not what man thinks or believes. Therefore, second, in English the gender of a noun carries much more significance than in Greek or Hebrew. Both the word "wind" in this passage and the word "Spirit" are the same word: pneuma, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word ruach. Contact us First, in Greek and Hebrew the grammatical masculine or feminine carries a much wider range of meaning than in English, from having no indication of physical gender to being gender specific. To start viewing messages, select the … However, when the Holy Spirit is referred to by the grammatically masculine word Parakletos "counselor", the pronoun is masculine (since the pronoun refers to Parakletos rather than pneuma), as in John 16:7-8. So perhaps, like the Hebrew ruach, there is a case for asking whose spirit is being referred to? In the Bible, God’s holy spirit is identified as God’s power in action. [50], Feminine Gender in Other Christian Groups, "In no way is God in man's image. That goes for whatever theological persuasion we might be. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible combines essential tools for Hebrew and Greek with translations that are accurate and clear. It's also important to know what Scripture teaches about "spirit," in order to discern and avoid deceptions done in the name of and by a Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. Sermon Delivered 12-25-04 Part One, Who/What is the Ruach HaKadosh? Because the Holy Spirit is neuter in gender—not masculine—there is no basis in the New Testament Greek text for mistranslating and interpreting the Holy Spirit as a person. Just because helper is a masculine word it doesn’t mean the helper has masculine gender. The word’s first use in the Bible appears in the second verse: “The Spirit of God [Ruach Elohim] was hovering over the To the Hebrew, man is a unity. [10], Historian of religion Susan Ashbrook Harvey considers the grammatical gender to have been significant for early Syriac Christianity: "It seems clear that for the Syrians, the cue from grammar—ruah as a feminine noun—was not entirely gratuitous. The Holy Spirit is a she. Some examples include Joy In the World;[39][40] The Torah and Testimony Revealed;[41] Messianic Judaism - The Torah and the Testimony Revealed;[42] and the Union of Nazarene Jewish Congregations/Synagogues[43] ,[44] who also count as canonical the Gospel of the Hebrews which has the unique feature of referring to the Holy Spirit as Jesus' Mother. In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate in recent times. But we must continue with two careful qualifications. ; “Man” and “woman” are gendered in what they refer to, but they are not grammatically gendered; Both words are commonly used in passages referring to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, once a person is alive in Christ through the Holy Spirit, it’s up to them to continue growing in their faith and holiness. As a member of my congregation rightly pointed out, the Holy Spirit is most definitely a person and not an “it.”. We update our blog several times a week, with news and comment on ministry, theology, the Bible, liturgy and issues of the day. THE HEBREW VIEW OF THE NATURE OF MAN. That brings us nicely to the issues of translating from a gendered language into a less-gendered language. Some small Christian groups regard the gender of the Holy Spirit to be female, based on their understanding that the Hebrew word for Spirit, ruach, can be feminine or masculine. There the Holy Spirit is referred to as “he.” On the one hand the masculine pronoun “he” could be referring to pneuma which is neuter. Let’s start with Hebrew. The longer answer is that Hebrew and Greek words follow what is … Notice something from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Gen 1:1-2. December 2020 So perhaps “he” is correct, but recognising that in English “he” implies far more than “he” in greek or Hebrew. ; Greek, πνεῦμα ἅγιον): Tweet. b) In English a noun or pronoun that carries connotations of physical gender usually correlates to the gender of the object; In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate in recent times. All is to be righteous, all is to be good, all is to be redeemed and sanctified. April 2020 If we use this concept when interpreting the word holy in the Hebrew Bible, then we are misreading the text, as this is not the meaning of the Hebrew word qadosh. The basis of this claim was that the Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine. [47], In Christian iconography, the Holy Spirit is most often represented as a dove. In documents produced in Syriac by the early Miaphysite church (which later became the Syriac Orthodox Church) the feminine gender of the word for spirit gave rise to a theology in which the Holy Spirit was considered feminine. An easy-to-use style plus the benefits of the Strong's Dictionary numbering system makes this study Bible one for every student of God's Word, no matter what age. Ground Floor, Centre Block In some passages the Holy Spirit is rhetorically represented as a Person ((cf. In the church they are seeping into our theology and hymnody. The Feminine Gender of the Holy Spirit Addendum I The Apostle Paul's Usage of the Divine Feminine By Steve Santini Pentecost 2014 "The defining text for the … The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible combines essential tools for Hebrew and Greek with translations that are accurate and clear. God's breath, His creative power, His Holy Ruach is responsible for all that is created: the universe, the earth, and even the spirit of man. The two words from Hebrew that are both translated into Greek as pneuma are rhuh and shekinah. For instance in Mark 2:8 “Jesus knew in his pneuma”. Hebrew is a gendered language. A subtle but significant shift seems to be happening. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). so the "ah" that was added to their name was the breath of God. Answer: The Hebrew ruach means “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” The corresponding Greek word is pneuma. In her many studies and talks she cited numerous scholars and researchers from Jewish, Christian, and other sources. The Greek word in verse 16 that is translated as "Comforter" in the King James Bible is "Parakletos." The Hebrew Ruach HaKodesh and the Roman Holy Spirit are two different concepts of the power of the Creator; the former sees Ruach HaKodesh as the creative force, the power of the Creator through which everything came into existence, while the latter sees it as the “third person” of the “Holy Trinity”: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three persons in one God, all Gods, yet they are one God. Is the Holy Spirit to be referred to as “she”? This confusion arises from two factors—the use of gender-inflected pronouns in the Greek language (a difficult concept to understand for those who speak only English) and bias on the part of some translators. The first two names are unavoidably masculine. 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 , … —Psalm 104:30; 139:7. He is spirit, he is soul, and he is body, the one man. The issue is about authority. “He” and “she” may lose some of their biological gender significance in English. June 2020 PARAKLETOS: A Greek Word for Holy Spirit. Once the … Nettlehorst, professor at the, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is found in earlier writings of Syriac Christianity such as the Odes of Solomon[9] and in the Gnostic early-third-century Acts of Thomas. In Hebrew thinking, the journey has just begun. Some people attempt to make a distinction of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer based upon the Greek prepositions “epi” and “en”. In some occasions in the Greek text, masculine verb endings and pronouns are used with the neuter gender word “Spirit" when speaking about the holy Spirit, and sometimes it is without the definite article - i.e. [7] Daniel B. Wallace, however, disputes the claim that ekeinos is connected with pneuma in John 14:26 and 16:13-14, asserting instead that it belongs to parakletos. The word’s first use in the Bible appears in the second verse: “The Spirit of God [Ruach Elohim] was hovering over the The word “Spirit” in the Bible comes from the Greek word pneuma, which means wind or spirit.According to Strong’s Concordance, the word comes from the root pneó, which means “to blow,” much like the wind blows like a breath upon the earth.The person of God’s Spirit, then, blows the breath that brings all creatures to life. holy spirit. In the Syriac language too, the grammatically feminine word rucha means "spirit", and writers in that language, both orthodox and Gnostic, used maternal images when speaking of the Holy Spirit. רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ. Today's Posts; Member List; Calendar; Forum; Christ Life; Bible Chat; If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. The Greek New Testament, however, was written in all capital letters without punctuation and spacing between words. Thus, Andrei Rublev's The Trinity represents the Trinity as the "three men" who visited Abraham at the oak of Mamre[48] often considered a theophany of the Trinity. Watford, UK Turner, The Holy Spirit, 77-78. And in Syria, where for four hundred years the word Holy Spirit was ruha, a feminine word derived from the Hebrew ruach, and where the Holy Spirit was described as Mother, complementing the parental imagery of Father and Son in the Trinity, the association of feminine language with heresy led authors to assign masculine gender to the word—grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to … The Holy Spirit was furthermore equated with the Wisdom of God by two early Church fathers, Theophilus of Antioch and … According to Wikipedia, So he was the one who decided which books make it to the New Testament and which ones don’t. As it turns out, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ (ruwach) as in ‘Spirit of God’ is feminine. The Greek Word for Spirit is “Pneuma,” In Hebrew Spirit is “Ruach” The Greek (New Testament) word for spirit is “pneuma” whereas the Hebrew (Old Testament) word for spirit is “ruach.” Both words mean: a current of air, wind, a breath in reference to either a human, demon, or the Holy Spirit of God. An obvious example is the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10. An easy-to-use style plus the benefits of the Strong's Dictionary numbering system makes this study Bible one for every student of God's Word, no matter what age. What Is the Holy Spirit? Pneuma (translated “spirit”) is a neuter word in the Greek. In Hebrew the word for Spirit (רוח) (ruach) is feminine, (which is used in the Hebrew Bible, as is the feminine word "shekhinah" in rabbinic literature, to indicate the presence of God, Arabic: سكينة‎ sakina, a word mentioned six times in the Quran). This word is frequently translated as "holy," another abstract word. But there is a further problem. So, we cannot argue ruach is feminine therefore we ought to translate it “she”. [30], They take the Oneness of God to mean the "familial" unity which exists between them, which unity is not seen in any other depiction of the Godhead by the various non-Hebrew peoples. just “holy Spirit”. Qadosh literally means "to be set apart for a special purpose". All is to be holy as YHVH is holy. [46], There was a well established place in liturgy, prayer and doctrine for the Holy Spirit as the Mother amongst the Moravian Brethren, exemplified by Count Zinzendorf especially. There was real meaning in calling the Spirit 'She'. WD24 4AE, About us Thus, the decision to capitalize a word is taken from textual clues. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. The Holy Spirit is a δύναμις, and is expressly so called in Luke 24:49, and δύναμις ὑπιστου, Luke 1:35; but we find also πνεῦμα (or πνεῦμα ἅγιον) καί δύναμις, Acts 10:38; 1 Corinthians 2:4; and ἡ δύναμις τοῦ πνεύματος, Luke 4:14, where πνεῦμα is regarded as the essence, and δύναμις its efficacy; but in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ is epexegetical of ἐν δυνάμει. God sovereignly chose to have His Word written in Hebrew (the Old … 16 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; 17 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 (Bible, Gospel of John 14:16-17 KJV). 213142 and a registered charity (No. 249574) Find more words! The “theirs/they” of the second half of each beatitude is masculine but clearly refers to all people; In English, the only alternative to “he” or “she” is “it” and “it” usually implies an impersonal object (babies sometimes being an exception). The grammatical gender of the word for "spirit" is feminine in Hebrew, neuter in Greek and masculine in Latin. Cookies Policy Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Jesus is Lord, Feb 4, 2004. 1:13; 4:30) (Is. First, in English the masculine and feminine pronouns carry more biological or physical weight than they do in the Greek and Hebrew. Some critics point out that the Greek word for "spirit," pneuma , is neuter (not gender specific) or that the Hebrew Old Testament word for "spirit," ruach , … The term pneumatology comes from two Greek words, namely, pneuma meaning “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit” (used of the Holy Spirit) and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” As it is used in Christian systematic theology, “pneumatology” refers to the study of the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It's all Greek to Them The Holy Spirit He, She, or It? God is spirit as opposed to physical or material. Jacobs, Joseph and Blau, Ludwig. In the Old Testament it is mentioned 23 times, but in a different form: “Ru•ach Adonai,” the Spirit of God. These songs made many mentions of “God”, little (or no) mention of the Father and the Son, and, in two instances, addressed the Holy Spirit as “she.”. It is interesting that in each of these three languages, the word translated into English as “Spirit” in “Holy Spirit” means “breath” or “wind” (the term is ruach in Hebrew and Aramaic, and pneuma in Greek). The Spirit’s names and titles are useful in helping us understand His many manifestations—all that He does for us, and His magnificent role in the Trinity. More work to do. Greek Translation. Jesus was saying that He would send another Perhaps we go to John 16:13 and 14. [2], Even in the same language, a difference may arise relating to what word is chosen to describe the Holy Spirit. Understanding the Hebrew word ruach (and its Greek counterpart pneuma) is central to understanding why Yeshua is called "Messiah" (Mashiach, Christos). You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. The longer answer is that Hebrew and Greek words follow what is … In these three instances, therefore, the LXX (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) renders this expression with the same co… (The BBC article referenced above quotes “grammatical gender is very different from biological sex.” This is perhaps too strong. http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume3/spirit.htm, More Than Just a Controversy: All About The Holy Spirit - by R.P. The short answer is that if this is true, then the Spirit is also an “it” since the Greek word for “spirit” (πνευμα) is neuter. In the Western church, we rightly (in my view) believe in the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. [3] In Aramaic also, the language generally considered to have been spoken by Jesus, the word is feminine. On the one hand we do need to accept that the Holy Spirit has chosen to use a feminine-form noun to talk about himself in Genesis 1:2. There can be no concept of a godhead or of the Holy Spirit as a person of the godhead in the Hebrew Bible, since the concept of the Holy Trinity is entirely foreign to Judaism. In which case we are back to square one. What made it particularly interesting this time was the gender language. When Christianity transitioned from consisting of mostly Hebrew-speaking Israelites to Greek-speaking gentiles, the gender of the Spirit was gradually lost. This imagery is found in the fourth-century theologians Aphrahat and Ephrem the Syrian. (Micah 3:8; Luke 1: 35) God sends out his spirit by projecting his energy to any place to accomplish his will. That means in English we are in danger of importing too much into the gender language for God in the Bible. 'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Church Society is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England No. But “it” has many wrong connotations in English, especially as we believe, rightly so, that the Holy Spirit is a divine person. We should all study the Bible using whatever resources we have and trust God to guide us in our journey. Now let’s compare those four statements with English. Theologically speaking, since the Holy Spirit is God, we can make some statements about Him from general statements about God. There are some Christian churches (see below) who teach that the Holy Spirit is feminine based on the fact that both feminine nouns and verbs, as well as feminine analogies, are thought to be used by the Bible to describe the Spirit of God in passages such as Genesis 1:1-2, Genesis 2:7, Deut. So, Genesis 1:2 could be legitimately translated, “the Spirit of God she was hovering over the face of the waters…”. “ – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. sphragis- … “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30 “ Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. Feminine-Maternal Images of the Spirit in Early Syriac Tradition, by Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil, O.C.D. The Holy Spirit was furthermore equated with the (grammatically feminine) Wisdom of God by two early Church fathers, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 180) and by Irenaeus (d. 202/3). We need to be prepared to admit that we might. Ágio Pnév̱ma. It is believed that early Christians buried works such as the Gospel of Thomas so that they would not be des… We will briefly look at the first two and then concentrate on the passage in Mark. HEB: יֹאכְלֶ֑נּוּ בְּמָק֤וֹם קָדוֹשׁ֙ יֵאָכֵ֔ל קֹ֥דֶשׁ NAS:of it. 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! !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)? [49] In at least one medieval fresco, however, in the St. Jakobus church in Urschalling, Germany, the Holy Spirit is depicted as a female. The Greek Word for Spirit is “Pneuma,” In Hebrew Spirit is “Ruach” The Greek (New Testament) word for spirit is “pneuma” whereas the Hebrew (Old Testament) word for spirit is “ruach.” Both words mean: a current of air, wind, a breath in reference to either a human, demon, or the Holy Spirit of God. In modern English: Hille Business Estate The word spirit (from the Latin spiritus meaning "breath") appears either alone or with other words in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. Safeguarding Policy Their views derive from skepticism toward Greek primacy for the New Testament. Wallace concludes that "it is difficult to find any text in which πνευμα is grammatically referred to with the masculine gender".[8]. The Hebrew knows nothing of the teaching that the spirit is redeemed and the soul and body are separate issues. '' another abstract word our physical gender: Gen 1:1-2? ): is God she. Moot point to physical or material word for `` Spirit '', than... God gave us, and John 3:5-6 receive Christ as our savior into theology! The one that is translated as `` Holy, '' another abstract word 's all Greek them. But back to square one theologically speaking, since the Holy Spirit through. Of Sweden, will be our liturgy, since the Holy Spirit 3... Is because we have and trust God to guide us in our journey form..., for example, R.P like the Hebrew ruach means “ wind, ” “. Found in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew ruach means “ wind, ” “ breath, ” “,! 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