Holy Spirit question

by TweetieBird 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TweetieBird

    Does the New World Translation ever reference the Holy Spirit as a "him"? If not, does it refer to it as an "it"?


  • FusionTheism

    The NWT refers to the Holy Spirit as "him" only in John chapter 16, the rest of the Bible as "it."

    There is some debate among scholars over this and the proper way of translating into English.

  • TweetieBird

    Thanks - even though it only refers to the HS as him once, it goes on to reference it as "he" throughout the remaining verses of that chapter.

    "Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the helper+ will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you. 8 And when that one comes, he will give the world convincing evidence concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment: 9 first concerning sin,+because they are not exercising faith in me;+ 10 then concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 then concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.+12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. 13 However, when that one* comes, the spirit of the truth,+ he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come.+ 14 That one will glorify me,+ because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you.+ 15 All the things that the Father has are mine.+ That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares it to you."

    The reason I am interested is I don't remember the organization ever referring to the Holy Spirit as a person, but yet Jesus did. How do they explain that one?

  • FusionTheism
    The Society says it's like when Paul personified sin and death as kings and rulers in Romans
  • DarioKehl

    I refer to it as "the force from Star Wars." It's not as powerful or believable tho.

    (yes, I just blasphemed the Holy Spirit; the only unforgivable sin. Cry me a river. I'm off to celebrate more Memorial Day now)

  • FusionTheism
    Actually, there's been New Light, the only unforgivable sin today is refusing to repent, and then dying at Armageddon
  • Doctor Who
    Doctor Who



    I refer to it as "the force from Star Wars." It's not as powerful or believable tho.

    Dude! I am stealing that if you don't mind. That's friggen awesome! I am going to use that one my "bible study" with my cousin. (it's not a real study, we just get together, drink beer, talk shit, and I count the time.) He'll love it!
  • Wonderment

    Personification is quite common in Scripture.

    In this case it was a specially comforting to Jesus' disciples to have the assurance from Christ himself that, although he would be physically absent from then on, the holy spirit would in turn, be certainly with them through all the impending trials as if it were a person. Hence, the masculine pronouns in the figure of speech. Elsewhere, for the most part, masculine pronouns are avoided.

    Jesus himself made clear that he was using a comparison. Actually, it was his practice to speak in analogies. Jesus said the following a few verses after the "Helper" reference of John ch. 16: "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language..." (Verse 25, NKJV. Italics added.)

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    The WT writers insist that the reason for this is because of a grammatical necessity. NT Greek is not a sex-gender receptive language like English, it is rather, an analytical one which references nouns according compartmentalizations called "declensions".

    Now the result of all this effects pronouns. Any pronoun modifying a neuter noun would have to be "it", whether the sex of the noun is feminine or not. Hence the word for "child" in Greek is παιδιον a neuter noun. The pronoun that modifies this noun is therefore "it".

    Compare two interlinears, the first is KIT and the second is McReynolds at Matt 2:21 where the Child referred to is Jesus:

    Το... παιδιον και την μητερα αὐτου

    The child and the mother...... of it

    The child and the mother of ....Him.

    So, whereas the KIT has no qualms in calling Jesus an "it", most other interlinears refuse to do so.

    The same thing happens at John 16. The original noun referent is "parakletos" which is a masculine noun. Thus, according to the NW "T" any pronoun modifying it must be masculine:

    KIT again [Jo 16:7]


    paraclete................I will send........him

    Thus, as far as the NW "T" is concerned, it is not the Holy Spirit who is called "him" but this masculine noun "paracletos". They do not believe that by using "him" here, they are endorsing the idea of personality being ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

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