Jesus IS

 

the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit

 

Part 8

 

 

 

 

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38  AMPLIFIED BIBLE

 

 

 

 

Section Titles  (Click on a title to go directly to that section or scroll down to begin reading this study.)

 

 

Introduction

 

A List Of Possible Anarthrous Translations

 

An Undefiled Sprit In Paul’s Epistles

 

·        The Book of Romans

·        The Book of Corinthians

·        The Book of Thessalonians

·        The Book of Timothy

·        The Book of Titus

·        The Book of Hebrews

 

Peter’s Epistles

 

The Book of Jude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

This eighth study will examine a variety of NT epistles in the context in which they use the phrase “the Holy Spirit.”  The vast majority of the apostle’s letters use the anarthrous construction in the Greek, thereby omitting the use of a definite article.  This means that, at the very least, Bible translators should have used the words “a holy spirit” instead of “the holy spirit.”

 

The Greek word for “spirit” is pneuma, and it can be translated as our English word “life” or “breath” or “wind.”  The setting in which pneuma appears is the guiding factor in determining how it should be translated.

 

The Greek word for “holy” is hágion and this word is more accurately translated in our modern English vernacular as “undefiled, morally blameless, sacred, or consecrated (i.e. – devoted in purity to servitude).”

 

A List Of Possible Anarthrous Construction Translations

 

The anarthrous construction in the Greek omits the use of a definite article (e.g. – the, this, that) before the Greek words “Pneúma Hágion” or “Pneúmatos Hagíou” (these are mistranslated as ‘the Holy Spirit’).  To assist the reader in determining how and/or why the author of this study supplied an alternate translation to the common use of the words “the Holy Spirit,” a list of possibilities in the anarthrous construction are listed below.

 

For example, since the Greek words for “holy” (hágion) and “spirit” (pneuma) have multiple meanings and potential applications, one of these would be, “a morally blameless spirit” instead of the incorrect and common translation “the Holy Spirit.”

 

A brief review of word meanings before listing possible word phrase translations is needful.  Below are the possible meanings of the Greek words hágios and pneuma.

 

“Holy” = (40) hágios; feminine hagía, neuter hágion (39); hágios is an adjective from hágos, meaning:

 

·        It has a common root, hág–, with hagnós (53), chaste, pure. Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.  Consecrated, devoted, sacred, holy, meaning set apart from a common to a sacred use; spoken of places, temples, cities, the priesthood, men (Matt. 4:5; 7:6; 24:15; 27:53; Acts 6:13; 7:33; Rom. 11:16).

 

·        Figuratively it means morally pure, upright, morally blameless and blameless in heart and life, virtuous, holy. (Mark 6:20; Rom. 7:12; 1 Cor. 7:34; Eph. 1:4; 5:27; 1 Pet. 1:16).

 

·        Any matter of religious awe, expiation, and sacrifice.  Expiation is defined as, ‘The act of atoning for a crime; the act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is canceled; atonement; satisfaction.’

 

·        Holy, set apart, sanctified, consecrated, saint. Spoken of those who are purified and sanctified by the influences of the Spirit. This is assumed of all who profess the Christian name, hence hágios (saint), or hágioi (saints).  For references read Acts 9:13, 14, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; 1 Thess. 3:13.

 

·        Pure, clean, ceremonially or morally clean, including the idea of deserved respect, reverence.

 

·        It particularly means perfect, without blemish (Rom. 12:1).

 

“Spirit” = (4151) pneúma; genitive pneúmatos; pneúma is a neuter noun from pnéo (4154), meaning to breathe.  Hence, pneúma, in its vast number of variations means:

 

·        Breath of the mouth or nostrils; breathing; blast of air through the nostrils.

 

·        Breath of air, air in motion, a breeze, blast, the wind (John 3:8).

 

·        Life; i.e. the vital spirit or life, the principle of life residing in man. The breath breathed by God into man and again returning to God, the spiritual entity in man (Matthew 27:50; Luke 8:55; 23:46; Acts 7:59; James 2:26).  The spirit of man enables him to communicate with God, who is also spirit (John 4:23-24). 

 

·        Life; i.e. the rational spirit, mind, element of life.  Though the spirit is distinct from the soul (Greek for soul = psuche) in Greek society and culture the spirit was often used interchangeably to represent the actual life of human existence. Scripture makes a distinction between the two immaterial aspects of man’s soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).

 

·        Spirit of God; pneúma is used to describe the essential essence of God the Father, who is spirit (John 4:24, “God is spirit”).  Also see 1 Corinthians 2:11.

 

·        Spirit of Christ or spirit of Jesus; the invisible and immaterial, yet glorified human spirit of the only begotten son of God; the life giving spirit of the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Peter 3:18).  Also referred to as THE consecrated (holy) spirit, the Helper (aka - Comforter or Counselor) in John 14:26; 16:7 and “the spirit of truth” in John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.  Read also Acts 16:7; Galatians 4:6

 

·        The sanctified spirit of the believer; the holy (chaste and undefiled) spirit of the person who is devoted to the service of the Master (Romans 8:14-17).  Also, in relation to the anointing given by God through Christ, believers are sanctified (set apart) and given the power to do the works of God (1 Timothy 1:6-11).

 

·        Figuratively used of sayings, which connote a spiritual meaning (John 6:63).

 

·        Pneúma, like its OT counterpart (ruwach) is sometimes used to represent the affections, emotions, and passions of various kinds (Matt. 5:3, “poor in spirit”).  In this regard it is a word also used to represent the human attitudes and/or mental disposition (Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 4:21).

 

·        In its genitive form (pneúmatos) it often implies purpose, will or counsel (2 Cor 13:14; Matt 26:4).

 

A LIST OF POSSIBILITIES

 

Here a but a few of numerous ways the anarthrous construction of “holy spirit” can be translated (depending upon the context of the passage of scripture in which they appear):

 

1.      A morally blameless spirit OR a morally blameless life.

2.      An undefiled spirit OR an undefiled life.

3.      A sanctified spirit or a consecrated spirit.

4.      A sanctified life.

5.      A consecrated life.

6.      A devoted life OR a life devoted to service.

7.      A morally pure and set apart life.

8.      A sacred life OR a sacred spirit.

9.      A spirit of religious awe OR a life of reverential awe.

10. Pure or chaste affection.

11. A devoted mental disposition OR a morally clean disposition.

12. A sacrificial attitude OR an expiated outlook.

13.  A sacred purpose.

14.  A perfect spirit OR a perfect life.

15.  An unblemished life OR an unblemished spirit.

16.  A respectful attitude.

17.  Sanctified counsel.

18.  A virtuous life.

19.  Sacrificial determination.

20.  Pure devotion.

 

There are many applications and translation possibilities for the Greek words “pneúma hágios” used in the anarthrous construction (i.e. – without a definite article preceding these two Greek words).  The list provided here by no means reflects all the ways these two words can be used, but opens the readers’ eyes to the many different options.

 

The antithesis to the many applications of pneúma hágios listed above with the use of indefinite articles, this same list could be restated with definite articles.  For example, “a sanctified spirit” is how pneúma hágios might be translated in the anarthrous.  However, with the definite article (tó Hágion Pneúma) the phrase reads, “the sanctified spirit” or “this sanctified spirit.”

 

For the sake of simplicity, each epistle of the NT has been listed by its book name.  The passage of scripture surrounding the words “the Holy Spirit” has been furnished so as not to allow the interpretation to be taken out of context.

 

An Undefiled Sprit In Paul’s Epistles

 

The Book of Romans

 

·        Romans 5:3-5 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (no definite article) who was given to us.  NAS

 

Romans 5:3-5 is preceded by a long dissertation on the kind of faith Abraham demonstrated, with an emphasis on his perseverance and unwavering trust in the promises of God.  Undoubtedly Abraham faced multiple kinds of tribulation in his lifelong quest to obtain God’s righteousness.  Romans 4:20 says, “with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith.”

 

The context of Roman 5:3-5 is perseverance, character and hope (in that order).  Hope is the outcome of faith’s determination because God’s love is poured through…(Read The Appropriate Translation below):

 

 

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Roman 5:5 And this hope (anticipation) does not disgrace by making the face blush, because the affection of God is poured out of, while remaining in a place of rest in our hearts, {for the purpose of} being set apart for service through an undefiled life freely bestowed upon us.  TAT

 

Romans 5:5 means that the final product of perseverance is a life of undefiled service for God to others.  This consecrated life is a devotion that originates from one’s own personal experience with the love of God.  It is a hope that can anticipate unashamed results.  There is no need to feel ashamed and become “blush” faced when you show the untainted affection of God to others.

 

How much different we find the interpretation of Romans 5:5 when the words “the Holy Spirit” have been replaced with an accurate translation.  Even if the verse remained unchanged from the NAS text except for changing “the Holy Spirit” to “an undefiled life” the meaning of the verse is altered significantly, “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through an undefiled life given to us.” 

 

Retranslating and inserting more plausible and grammatically accurate words than “the Holy Spirit” has altered the verses below that are in the anarthrous construction (i.e. – without definite articles preceding holy spirit).

 

·        Romans 9:1 I say the (anarthrous construction) truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the (anarthrous construction) Holy Ghost.  KJV

 

Bible translators erroneously added the definite article to 9:1 because of preconceived doctrinal bias towards their Trinitarian theology.  The translation above makes it seem as though the apostle Paul is seeking a second witness from the third person of the Trinity (i.e. – “in the Holy Spirit”) to confirm his utterance of truth.  The Appropriate Translation (TAT) below corrects two errors where anarthrous construction appears in the verse:

 

·        Romans 9:1 Truth (reality) I lay forth {to you} as {I} remain in a fixed position of rest in Christ (the anointed one); I do not attempt to deceive {you} by means of falsehood, {on the contrary} my conscience is backed up (established) with concurrent evidence, which is an undefiled life. TAT

 

Note that a definite article (“the”) has been omitted preceding the word “truth.”  This was done to accurately portray the anarthrous construction in the Greek.  It is not “the truth” that Paul reveals here, because he is not writing about scripture.  Instead, he represents his position of rest, and discourses regarding his relationship in the anointed one Christ Jesus. 

 

Paul lays forth truth to the Roman church by offering the kind of “concurrent evidence” no one can rightfully dispute… an undefiled life!  In other words, his words are supported by the kind of life he lives; a life devoted to serving his Creator.  Paul’s actions speak louder than his words because they are set apart, consecrated, and pure.

 

The next Holy Spirit text with anarthrous construction appears in the text of Romans 14:15-19; verse 17 being the main text examined below:

 

·        Romans 14:15-19 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.  Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.  16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.  17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the (anarthrous construction) Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.  19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  (From New International Version)

 

The context of Romans 14:15-19 is an exhortation about judging one’s brethren in Christ for the sake of food.  Paul mentions the brother who is weak in the faith; his conscience will allow him to eat only vegetables.  It is a stumbling block for to intentionally eat meat in the presence of such brethren because it violates their morality and creates a stumbling block (Read 14:1-2).  On the other hand, Paul’s admonition extends to both weak and strong in faith, exhorting them to do whatever leads to “mutual edification” (14:19).

 

If your brother is “distressed” by what you are eating, you are not acting in love.  This is the content for verse 17 whereby Paul clarifies what the kingdom of God is; The Appropriate Translation highlights this point:

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

·        Romans 14:17 Indeed the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking; on the contrary, {it is} equity of character and (joint) peace and {the kind of} calm delight {which is} derived from being in a relation of rest together stemming from a morally blameless life.  TAT

 

When we follow the golden rule, and treat others the way we want to be treated, the qualities mentioned in 14:17 are present… equity of character and (joint) peace and calm delight.  A morally blameless life is that which, in its’ effort to show due consideration for others, maintains the relationship with brethren in Christ by granting preference to the needs they have.  It is the exact opposite of the life of selfishness so prevalent in Christianity today.

 

The remainder of this study is devoted to quoting NT scriptures from the New American Standard Version, and inserting the most plausible alternate translation.  This should in not be construed to represent what the NAS translators intended, and is merely a study tool.  In each text where the anarthrous construction appears, and has been translated “the Holy Spirit” the reader will find bold italicized words; these represent what this author believes to be a viable and more accurate translation of Hágion Pneuma.

 

·        Romans 15:8-21 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, "Therefore I will give praise to Thee among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Thy name."  10 And again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people."  11 And again, "Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise Him."  12 And again Isaiah says, "There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope."  13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of a sanctified life i.e. -a life devoted to service (the Holy Spirit; no definite article).  14 And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another. 15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points, so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by a life devoted to service (the Holy Spirit; no definite article). 17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of sacrificial determination (the Spirit; no definite article); so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation; 21 but as it is written, "They who had no news of Him shall see, And they who have not heard shall understand."  NAS

 

The Book of Corinthians

 

·        1 Corinthians 6:15 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of an undefiled spirit (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  NAS

 

·        1 Corinthians 12:1-3 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by a morally pure and set apart life (the Holy Spirit; no definite article).  NAS

 

·        2 Corinthians 6:1-10 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- 2 for He says, "At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you"; behold, now is "the acceptable time," behold, now is "the day of salvation"-- 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in pure devotion (the Holy Spirit; no definite article), in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.  NAS

 

The Book of Thessalonians

 

·        1 Thessalonians 1:2-8 2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in a life devoted to service (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of a sacrificial attitude (the Holy Spirit; no definite article), 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  NAS

 

The Book of Timothy

 

·        2 Timothy 1:13-14 13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through an unblemished spirit (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.  NAS

 

The Book Of Titus

 

·        Titus 3:4-7 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by an undefiled spirit (the Holy Spirit; no definite article), 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  NAS

 

The Book Of Hebrews

 

·        Hebrews 2:1-8 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of devoted service (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) according to His own will.  5 For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. 6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him? 7 "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels; Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands; 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. "  NAS

 

·        Hebrews 6:4-7 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of an undefiled life (the Holy Spirit; no definite article), 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.  NAS

 

Peter’s Epistles

 

·        1 Peter 1:10-12 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by a consecrated life (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) sent from heaven-- things into which angels long to look.  NAS

 

·        2 Peter 1:17-21 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"-- 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by a sacred devotion (the Holy Spirit; no definite article) spoke from God.  NAS

 

The Book of Jude

 

·        Jude 19-21 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in a morally blameless spirit (the Holy Spirit; no definite article); 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.  NAS

 

Common sense dictates the best possibility for translating, and it is clear that Bible translators have inserted “the Holy Spirit” purely from a doctrinal prejudice.  For example, we would differentiate in English grammar being “this car” or simply “a car.”  Why then should we accept the Bible translators’ version “the Holy Spirit” when, at the very least, the anarthrous construction calls for “a holy spirit.”

 

We can only conclude that the power of bias has created “the Holy Spirit” because it simply does not exist in the anarthrous construction.  To give credence to the doctrine of the Trinity, which includes three persons of God, translators used select Greek texts to include the third person of their Triune godhead… the Holy Spirit.  This is a sad and disillusioning twisting of scripture, and detracts from the intended meaning of passages. 

 

 

 

 

SELAH…Pause and reflect

 

 

Continued in Part Nine

 


Links to the Entire "Jesus is the Gift of the Holy Spirit” Series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Addendum (Quick Reference Guide)

 


 

Return to BAS Homepage   ·   Craig's Bible Studies   ·   E-mail Craig   ·   Write Us   ·   Writings & Links to BAS Friends   ·   Q & A   ·   Return to Top of This Page