Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Holy Spirit and Pneuma (Swete on the GNT Usage)

This entry is designed to post the outlines of what Henry Barclay Swete writes (The Holy Spirit in the New Testament) concerning the anarthrous πνεῦμα ἅγιον. You might find his comments worthwhile, although I believe there are some examples that do not bear out his general thesis. His comments can be found on pp. 396-97 of The Holy Spirit.

I will summarize his argument, then provide scriptural references for each claim:

(1) The anarthrous πνεῦμα ἅγιον may be accounted for by the "strong tendency" of NT writers to "drop the article after a preposition." See Matthew 1:18; 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 2:25-26; Ephesians 5:18.

(2) An anarthous construction may also occur when a writer uses the instrumental dative without a preposition. See Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16, 18. (Wallace, GGBB, 165-166).

(3) Swete believes that when the spirit is described as a "a gift or manifestation of the Spirit in its relation to the life of man," the NT employs πνεῦμα ἅγιον. Cf. Acts 2:38. However, compare Acts 10:35.

(4) Ellicott (on Galatians 5:5) wants to treat πνεῦμα ἅγιον as a proper name along the lines of "Lord" and "God." Yet Swete disagrees with this view, and examples in Scripture also counter Ellicott's suggestion.

I hope this summary is helpful.


Duncan said...



omar meza solano said...

Edgar hello, I would like you to help me with this trinitarian reasoning......

●the case of the creation of man is very easy to explain and does not represent any difficulty the language of Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 1:27 .

The plural language of verse 26 " Let " the " our " is a reference to the plurality of persons in the Godhead : the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The singular language of verse 27 " and created " and " believe " is a reference to the Unit in the Godhead.

There are many examples of this kind of language in reference to God . I 'll give you two examples from the New Testament :

And our Lord Himself , Jesus the Messiah , and God our Father , who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace
COMFORT your hearts , and entrenched in every good work and word (2
Thessalonians 2 : 16-17 )

Notice how Paul is clearly referring to both the Son and the Father and comfort when using the verb referring to them It does not say " comfort your hearts " but " comfort your hearts " ... that is, to a plurality of people is credited singular action .

the other example:

and the same God and our father, and our Lord Jesus ° direct ° our way to you (1 Thessalonians 3:11)

in the same way, is used the word unique "direct" in reference to a plurality of people: father and son.

Why the tj put verbs in plural (TNM)? Is there any base textual to do it for the Greek text such verbs are singular?

this type of language biblical makes the unicitarios and unit is den of stops in the head looking for a justification. Jehovah's witnesses for example solve this "problem" putting verbs in plural (TNM), but they have no basis textual to do it for the Greek text such verbs are unique.

Edgar Foster said...

Hello Omar,

On the subject of elohim, see http://fosterheologicalreflections.blogspot.com/2013/05/repost-of-genesis-126-and-how-many.html


I'll post separately on 2 Thess. 2:16-17. But elohim can mean "gods," not divine persons. Do trinitarians really want to insist that the old testament teaches that we have three gods?

omar meza solano said...

Edgar thanks, I'll be slope