Is The Old Testament Spirit Different Than The New Testament The Bible and Grammatical Gender

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The Bible and Grammatical Gender

English is the only language in which masculine and feminine genders denote male and female persons. In other languages, grammatical gender is not related to biological (natural) gender. It is difficult for people who understand only English to grasp this basic point, and this has lead to grave misunderstandings of basic Bible words. Other languages assign grammatical gender to persons, inanimate objects, concepts, and in fact to all nouns, adjectives, and pronouns. The grammatical gender can be at odds with biological gender. There are two Greek words for a group of persons eating together, one of which is feminine gender and the other word is neuter, even a group comprised wholly of men.

The Greek word for “eagle” (even a female eagle) is masculine gender. The Greek word for “old woman” is neuter gender. The following words are feminine gender:  the Greek word for “fox” (even a male fox); the word patris, which means one’s hometown, one’s homeland, commonly rendered in Bibles as “fatherland”;  the priestly class of Luke 1:5 (ephemeria); Hegemonia, the complete rule, leadership, over another (as in Luke 3:1); the Greek word for a descendant (even a male descendant) as in Romans 5.12, “a descendant of Jesse will come”, and he Hebrew word for “Holy Spirit” (Old Testament). However,  the Greek word for “Holy Spirit” (New Testament) is neuter gender.

The pronoun used to refer to the Holy Spirit in the original Hebrew language of Scripture is “she”, and the pronoun used to refer to the Holy Spirit in the Greek is “it”. In English Bibles, people have chosen to substitute “she” and “it” with the English pronoun “he”. Obviously, when we are reading the Old Testament, we do not think of the Holy Spirit as a woman, and then when reading the New Testament, we do not think of the Holy Spirit as a neuter thing. The gender is grammatical, not biological, and there is no necessary relation between the two.

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