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Addendum: a holy spirit

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Saturday, December 4, 2004, 6:14
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sally Caves" <scaves@...>

> ----- Original Message ----- > From: "caeruleancentaur" <caeruleancentaur@...> > > >> "Ph. D." <phild@A...> wrote: >> >>>I can understand the difficulty of explaining espousal customs or >>>angels to a different culture, but what's so hard about explaining a >>>manger? >> >> I had in mind missionaries to a culture that had no domesticated >> animals. They might find it strange that a place had to be provided >> to feed animals. > >> BTW (not to you, Ph.D.), > > Rather to me, "Sally Caves," since I supplied you, Charlie, with the > friendly supplements. :) > >> neither the Matthean annunciation story >> (1:24) nor the Lucan (1:35) mention The Holy Spirit/Ghost. > > Ach du! Well, I was looking not only at Luke 1:35, but also at 1:14 of my > King James Version of the Bible that was a gift to me at confirmation, > much > worn and much written in. 1:14 --"and he shall be filled with the Holy > Ghost, even from his mother's womb." 1:35-- "And the angel answered and > said unto her, 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee.'" > >> In those >> verses the definite article is not used, so the translation would >> be "a holy spirit." To insert "the" is to paraphrase, to add a >> theological nuance not found in the text. > > That's interesting. I suppose I should go read the original Koine Greek. > Or at least my New English Bible. But I was looking at what I had in > front > of me. Thanks for the correction. "A holy spirit" would be easier to > translate, I suppose, than The Holy Spirit. But since Holy Ghost is > capitalized throughout much of the KJV, how am I to tell when "a holy > spirit" becomes "The Holy Ghost" in the New Testament? Matthew 12:31 and > the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? John 20:22? Acts 1:8? 2:4? 9:31? > 20:28? Romans 9:1? "I say in truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience > also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost." > > Sally
Addendum: Well, linguistic nuances aside, isn't it a given, at least among the laity and a parade of artists through the ages, that in the Annunciation, Mary is visited by an angel who tells her that the Holy Ghost is the conveyant of God's Son into her womb? Hence the dove descending, and so forth? In other words, where are we to locate the Holy Ghost of the Trinity? Separately from this holy spirit? In scriptural exegesis? In Acts and Epistles? I seem to recall Christ telling his anxious disciples that he will send his "messenger" before him, but I can't locate that passage at this point. (Paul?) Perhaps I'm mistaken. But are you saying that we are all wrong in thinking that Mary was not infused with THE Holy Spirit, One with God, and became pregnant? Or is that a theological error, compounded by a linguistic error in James's English, that has somehow entered popular understanding of the passage? Here is Spiritus sanctus in the Vulgate: (of course there is no definite article in the Latin, but the capitalization may help show an intention, at least on the part of my editor. Is there a definite article in the Greek?) Lk 1:15 Spiritu sancto replebitur adhuc ex utero matris suae. " "And by [a/the] holy Spirit he will be filled even from his mother's womb." Lk 1:35 Et respondens angelus dixit ei: Spiritus sanctus superveniet in te. "And the angel, responding, said to her, "[a/the] holy Spirit will come upon you." Mt 12:32 Et quicumque dixerit verbum contra Filium hominis, remittetur ei: qui autem dixerit contra Spiritum sanctum, non remittetur ei... "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, he will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against [a/the] holy Spirit, he shall not be forgiven." Jn 20:22 Haec cum dixisset, insufflavit; et dixit eis: Accipite Spiritum sanctum... "And having said this, he breathed (on them) and said to them: Receive [a/the] holy Spirit." "Spirit" is capitalized in all four examples (but that may be a modern orthographical bias). It seems to me that Mt 12:32 speaks not of any old holy spirit, but of a substantially more important one. Also, Acts, 2:4; Romans 14:17 and 15: 16. etc. So what are the distinctions between these holy Spirits and The Holy Spirit, such that the definite article or its absence (in what original language?) gives the term a theological nuance, as you say? I suppose what I'm asking for is not only a history of the development of the Trinity and the HS as part of the three-fold God, but also a history of misunderstanding, such that we think that Mary was visited by That Holy Spirit, and not A holy spirit. This is an interesting linguistic issue, isn't it? Sally


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>