House Church Talk - A Person!

David Miller David at
Tue Apr 13 10:09:42 EDT 2004

Mike wrote:
> David, please explain were I am going wrong with these 
> examples, I am sure it is because I am lacking in the 
> knowledge of these things, and truly would appreciate 
> your help.  I enjoy the learning.

Hi Mike,

I'm glad you enjoy learning.  I almost was not going to take time to
respond.  Then I started to respond privately with just a couple of
quick comments.  In the end I realized that perhaps others might find
some of this interesting.  So, I have decided to post my response
publicly to this list, even though I think we are getting off the topic
of home church.  

First, I hope you understand that I do not disagree with your theology.
I'm just concerned that you are projecting your theology into passages
that do not warrant it.  When we do this, while we are not saying
anything heretical, we might fail to see other things that the passage
is trying to say.  It kind of reminds me of a home church group I taught
at recently in Jacksonville, and the answer to every question I posed to
them was "Christ."  Well, that might be true, but when our answer to
every question is "Christ," some might get the idea that we don't know
how to think.  :-)

Mike wrote:
> Is this verse [Rom. 8:24] starting out to say that this hope 
> that saves us, is the hope we have of the redemption of our
> body?  I don't think so, I think it is saying "For" 
> (the cause) the source of the redemption of the body 
> is Hope, we are saved by Hope.  The hope that saves 
> us not being the redemption of our body, but hope as 
> in our Hope, Christ.  We all know from many other 
> scriptures that Christ is our Hope.

I see the concept being expressed here similar to what Paul said to the

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable."  (1 Corinthians 15:19 KJV)

and also,

"But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith
is also vain."  (1 Corinthians 15:13-14 KJV)

So, yes, the hope of the physical resurrection is an important aspect of
our salvation.  This does not deny that Christ also is our hope; rather,
it simply adds perspective to our understanding of salvation.  I know
the full Preterists might not appreciate this, but it is the way that I
read Scripture.

Mike wrote:
> If we turn to Rom 1:2, using the NA 27th addition, exact 
> publication noted below, and look at the English literal
> translation of the Greek text, which is the Greek neuter 
> form of the text, printed exactly as it is in Rom 8:25, 
> "ho", which can be verified by looking a this Greek 
> manuscript along with the Greek Lemma, We see in it, 
> that these scholars have given the literal translation 
> in English as "who".  It appears these scholar felt it 
> was acceptable to translate the neuter form of the Greek 
> text "who".  

I'm not sure who the translators are with your edition, but mine has
Robert K. Brown and Philip W. Comfort as the translators and they
translate "ho" in Romans 1:2 as "which."  I checked numerous
translations and cannot find any who translate this as "who."

Mike wrote:
> So, lets look at the opinion of some other scholars.  
> If we turn to Rom 1:2 using the NET Bible translation, 
> this verse is translated this way by these scholars, 
> who's credentials can be viewed at  
> Rom 1:2 "that he promised beforehand through his prophets
> in the holy scriptures,".  Here we see that they took 
> the neuter form "ho" and translated it "that he", 
> to convey what they feel is the correct meaning
> in this verse.

I visited and found at the following link,, that they did not translate it
as you claim.  They translated "ho" as "This gospel."  Following is the
note they added to this translation:

6tn Grk "the gospel of God, which he promised." Because of the length
and complexity of this sentence in Greek, it was divided into shorter
English sentences in keeping with contemporary English style. To
indicate the referent of the relative pronoun ("which"), the word
"gospel" was repeated at the beginning of v. 2.

So what they did was translate "ho" as "this gospel," taking liberty to
add the word "gospel" to make clear what they perceived to be the
antecedent of the pronoun.  

In whatever text you are referencing, "that" corresponds with "ho" but
"he" is found in the following verb which is conjugated in the masculine

Mike wrote:
> ... "ho" appears to me to be translated "that" and 
> the "he" is added to convey the meaning.  

No, the "he" belongs with the next word "proepeggeilato."  The
conjugation of this verb is masculine and so "he" is implied by it
without being stated.  We don't indicate gender in our verbs, but in
Greek they do and so they often do not say the pronoun because the
pronoun is understood by the conjugation of the verb.

Mike wrote:
> So I ask what is the conveyed meaning of this translation 
> by these scholars.  What does "that he" convey to us?  
> To me it conveys a "he", a person too.  
> It still seems that these scholars have take some liberty, 
> to convey the meaning of "ho" in the verse.  The KJ's goes
> with "which he", which is another "who", a person to me.

The "ho" of this verse refers to the gospel, not to a "he."  Please go
back and check these sources again.

Mike wrote:
> In one case the NA 27th addition scholars in their 
> literal translation translate the neuter "ho", which
> should not be translated "who" or is neuter (not "he" 
> or "she"), well they translate it "who".  

Who are the translators you are reading?  Please check it again.  I
think you might be misreading it.

Mike wrote:
> So it appears to me they violated the rule

The rules are simply ways of helping students learning Greek understand
the language more quickly.  Language need not be a technical maze.  The
point in this case is that if I said to you, "we are waiting for the
redemption of our bodies and this is our hope," I would want you to be
understanding that the resurrection is our hope.  I would not want you
to retranslate my words to people and say, "we are waiting for the
redemption of our bodies and Jesus is our hope."  While what you are
saying is true, it is not the meaning that I am trying to convey with my
sentence.  You will have changed my meaning by doing this.  When it
comes to God's Holy Word, we need to have respect and be careful that we
do not alter His Word in any way.

Mike wrote:
> Let's turn to Eph 1:13-4 " were marked with 
> the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is 
> the down payment of our inheritance..."  Now, 
> here the NET Bible translators have again taken 
> the Greek text neuter form and translated it 
> "who".  A violation?

This is an interesting observation here.  Many other translations, such
as the NASB, also translate this as "who."  As I checked this out
further, I found that there are variations in the Greek manuscripts.
The majority of the Greek texts have "hos" instead of "ho," which would
be translated as "who" because this is the masculine form.  

I don't know if you are familiar with the debate between the Majority
Text position and the Westcott - Hort tradition, but if you are, this
verse and how it is translated becomes even more interesting.  Texts
like the Nestle-Aland text, which are based upon the Westcott-Hort
tradition of favoring two of the oldest Greek texts from the fourth
century, have "ho" while Stephen's Text and the Majority Text has "hos."
Yet, the King James version translates this verse with "which" and the
NASB (generally based upon the Nestle Aland text) translates it with
"who."  This is the opposite to what one might expect if we looked at
the underlying Greek texts by themselves.  In this particular point, the
NASB seems to follow the Majority Text while the King James seems to
follow the Nestle-Aland Greek Text (which, of course, they did not have
back then.)!

Just so you know:

Fourth Century Codex Vaticanus and Fifth Century Codex Alexandrinus
along with a papyrus designated P-46 from about the year 200 all have
"ho" = "which."

The Majority of Greek texts and Fourth Century Codex Sinaiticus have
"hos" = "who." 

Anyway, I too enjoy learning and your pointing this out led to a very
delightful puzzle solving session.  :-)

I can't help but wonder if the variations here are linked to how people
often call the Holy Spirit both "he" and "it."  I suppose it also might
be related to whether we see the sealing by the Holy Spirit or the Holy
Spirit himself as the antecedent of this pronoun.  In any case, your
observation here raises many interesting questions.  Thanks for the

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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