The question is: What is the sex/gender of the Holy Spirit per the Biblical pronouns in general and in John 14:26, is it male or neither male nor female?


But before answering, please take care and note the following and speak about translation in your answer: Specifically, I have heard that the Holy Spirit is neither male nor female (unlike The Son and The Father). With this thinking, we must use the word “He” rather than “It” - not to denote The Holy Spirit’s sex but His personhood (and not objectness). Ive heard that other languages can list a He to give agency/aliveness without implying a sex. Is that true? Bonus question is to splice out that translation aspect.

In John 14:26, is the “he” truly, explicitly a masculine term in Greek, or could it refer to a someone generally (as opposed to a something)?

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

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    In Indo-European languages, such as (ancient) Greek or Latin, there is (far) greater grammatical similarity between masculine and neuter, than between neuter and feminine; as such, using masculine pronouns or articles instead of neutral ones is most likely due to linguistic rather than theological reasons. Contextually, however, the spirit is usually feminine (being born anew of the spirit). This makes sense, as insofar the latter is the element of life (hence, respiration), and the name of the first woman, according to the biblical book of Genesis, was Eve, which translates as Life.
    – Lucian
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:52
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    Ok I edited it to remove the references to people and also to make it more explicitly hermeneutical. Just seeing your comments. Will note the feedback in future too. But i didnt entirely limit it to one verse: I am a little confused about whether I can ask about all Holy Spirit pronoun references in the Bible or need to ask only about a single verse. Isnt the former inquiry still hermeneutical? Edit: People did get the gist and gave some fantastic answers. Wow
    – Al Brown
    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:07
  • Ok I see that I did open up a theological debate about the personhood of the holy spirit in some responses? Ugh. Complicated. Maybe hard to separate the two on that topic (whether the words defined refer to a person and whether the theology does), which is not my question
    – Al Brown
    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:27
  • There's no required or even default theological perspective on this site. While the majority would be Nicene Trinitarians, like out there in the world, we also have non-Nicene Christians, including Mormons, JWs, and more, as well as Jews, Atheists, and anything else. So that's why we're very careful with questions here, and try to avoid theological debates by sticking strictly to exegetical questions - questions that ask how a passage should be understood. Systematic theology, or theological synthesis, bringing multiple passages together, is off-topic (but can be asked at Christianity).
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 17, 2021 at 8:31
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    Don't confuse gender and sex. Gender applies to words, not to people, and they don't have to coincide with what one would expect. For instance, in French, the words for "nipple" and "vagina" have masculine gender, while "erection" and "beard" have feminine gender. Jul 21, 2021 at 20:05

6 Answers 6


Does John 14:26 explicitly use masculine terms for the Holy Spirit?


1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament

26 ο δε παρακλητος το πνευμα το αγιον ο πεμψει ο πατηρ εν τω ονοματι μου εκεινος υμας διδαξει παντα και υπομνησει υμας παντα α ειπον υμιν εγω

comforter- defender (pa.ra. klei.tos) παρακλητος

το πνευμα το αγιον (ho) holy spirit . It is always in the neuter form

The demonstrative pronoun "that one"( εκεινος"ekeinos)

**John 14:26

This answer is from the book " Truth in Translation" by Jason David Beduhn associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff.**


In John14:26 Jesus says :"But the conforter (pa.ra. klei.tos) which the Father will send in my name---that one will teach you everything" Here is a relative pronoun and a demonstrative pronoun are involved in the sentence. The demonstrative pronoun "that one"( εκεινος"ekeinos) refers back to the word (parakleitos- παρακλητος )comforter, a masculine noun meaning a defense attorney or supporter. Since Greek requires gender agreement between a pronoun and the noun it refers back to "that one"is in the masculine form, like comforter, defender. The relative pronoun "which" (ho) refers back to the phrase "holy spirit" which as always appears in the neuter form. So the neuter pronoun "which" (ho) is used rather than the masculine form (hos)

In accordance with the details of the verse, the KJV and NW accurately have "which."The NASB, NIV, NRSV, AB, and TEV employ the personal form "whom" which deliberately goes against the neuter gender of the original Greek. Their only reason for doing so is a theological bias in favor of their own belief in a personalized "Holy Spirit."

A similarly biased choice is made with respect to the demonstrative pronoun "that one." Demonstrative have the sole function of pointing to something. In themselves they carry no information other than identifying what previously mentioned thing is being talked about again. We see accurate literal handling of this part of Greek speech in the NW's "that one". The KJV, NASB, NAB, AB, TEV, and LB change "that one" to "he" (the NASB and AB capitalize "He"), adding a personalizing (and masculinizing) sense of the "holy spirit."

King James Version

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


26 But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.



The power of the Most High will overshadow you

J.Moffat Luke 1:34,35

34" Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 "The angel answered her, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence what is born will be called holy, Son of God."

Bible passages help us to establish whether the holy spirit is a person or not, most Christians are aware of the events that took place on the day of the Pentecost. Can a person be filled with holy spirit if the holy spirit were a person?

Acts 2:1-4 NASB

The Day of Pentecost

2 When the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, [b]distributing themselves, and a tongue [c]rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different [d]tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out.

Can God pour out a portion of a coequal God?

Acts 2:17 NET

17 ‘And in the last days[a] it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.

Similarly, with Moses, God took some of the spirit from Moses and put it on the seventy elders.

Numbers 11:25 (NRSV)

25 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on [Moses]him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again."

In the Greek language and the Greek Koine the “holy spirit” is NEVER spoken of with a personal pronoun. It is a “which”, not a “who”. It is always an “it, not a “he” or” who” or whom.

Answer to Xeno's comments.

Xeno : It is very easy,for example (The following comments are from the book "Truth in Translation" by Jason David Beduhn") Quote," The translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NASB, AB,TEV AND LB all approach the text of John 1:1c already believing certain things about the Word, certain creedal simplifications of John's characterization of the Word, and made sure that the translation came out in accordance with their beliefs, they feel the need to add to NT support for the idea that Jesus was recognized to be God " According to the book there are 59 verses in John's writings the same as John's 1:1c. , Some are John 4:24, 6:60 1;14, 2:9 3:4 with 18:35 the book provides an analysis as it does with 4:24 and 6:60. For example, in John 4:19 we must translate "Your are a prophet" not "You are the prophet". In Johnn 4:48 it is "You are a Samaritan" not " You are the Samaritan" (Comments on grammar are from the book) recommend you read from the following

Non trinitarian bibles

2001 TRANSLATION, "In an ancient time, there was the Word. The word was with God and the Word was powerful." NEW WORLD TRANSLATION,1984, “In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” NEW SIMPLIFIED BIBLE, 2003, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was like God. The New Simplified Bible is Not Trinitarian Biased! John 1:1, 18; 8:58; 10:34-36; 14:10, 11, 17; 16:13-15; Exodus 3:14, 15 and many other references give evidence of this. https://simplebibletruths.net/NSBNotesJn1-1plus.htm

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    Very good answer. +1 At least I can help offset some of the downvotes you are sure to get for posting the unwanted truth here. Many here have made the Trinity their idol, and they are averse to anything that might upset their views. The Bible consistently refers to God in the singular--"He" is not three.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16, 2021 at 23:22
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    @Polyhat - that accusation can cut both ways. The above quote obscures the fact that ekeinos is a masculine pronoun, but that adroitly avoided, as is the case in John 16:13 and other places.
    – Dottard
    Jul 17, 2021 at 2:13
  • Polyhat: You are right, Tks . Just a thought ,In order to redeem mankind, it was necessary for Jesus to become a man and die. But for this to occur it would mean a dissolution of the trinity Jul 17, 2021 at 8:22
  • Your answer is informative to the point on showing which translations started corrupting the text but afterwards it is deviated to the unitarian bias itself. Any living being is a person. Child has a neuter pronoun in English and Greek, it doesn't mean it's not a person. I hesitate to upvote. We are seeing more corruption in the translations as time goes by, it will surely increase.
    – Michael16
    Jul 17, 2021 at 12:29
  • Michael :I was shocked several years ago after reading the book Truth in Translation that our English Bibles are so corrupt, with theological bias. Biblical passages that make statements about the nature of Jesus or the holy spirit usually have beliefs read into them than are passages that mentioned what Jesus and his disciples had for lunch. Your wrong in your grammar "Baby" is an adjective, noun -neutral. Jul 17, 2021 at 13:34

Grammar and Syntax

The answer to the this question depends on whether one is talking about the Hebrew or the Greek

  • Hebrew - The Hebrew word for "Spirit" is רוּחַ (ruach), which is feminine
  • Greek - The Greek word for "Spirit" is πνεῦμα (pneuma), which is neuter

However, the NT also uses other terms to refer to the Holy Spirit such as παράκλητος (parakletos) in places such as John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7, which is masculine.

The text of John 14:26 in English is:

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

In this verse, "spirit" and its article are neuter, while "advocate" and its article are masculine.

We have a similar phenomenon is John 16:13 which begins: "when He the Spirit of truth comes ..." Again, we have a masculine pronoun, "he" with a neuter noun, "spirit"; both referring to the Holy Spirit.


The sex of the Holy Spirit is almost a non-question for the following reasons:

  • the gender of nouns does not denote the biological sex of the referent. If it did - the Hebrew and Greek would be consistent. However, as the above analysis shows, the Bible uses feminine, masculine and neuter nouns to refer to the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit is, by definition, "spirit" and therefore does not have an earthly body and so does not have biological sex.

Attempting to ascribe biological sex classification to the Holy Spirit is like trying to describe the color of sound - it is a completely meaningless exercise.

APPENDIX - Personhood

The passages in John 15:26 – 16:14 repeatedly talk about the Holy Spirit as a separate person from either the Father or Jesus.

1 Cor 2:10, 11 (see also Isa 40:13, 14) also identifies the Holy Spirit as a separate person because of His teaching and instructing function. See also Rom 15:19 and Ps 104:30.

In Matt 12:31, 32, Mark 3:28, 29, and Luke 12:8-10 the unforgivable sin is defined as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is an expansion of Isa 63:10-14 where people grieved the Holy Spirit. Such a sin would not be even possible if the Holy Spirit were not both a person and divine. Note further, that these passages make a clear distinction between sinning against the Son or Father as opposed to the Holy Spirit, again, showing that the Holy Spirit is a distinct person.

In 1 Cor 12:11 it is the Holy Spirit who decides about spiritual gifts and their distribution. This passage attributes volition and sentience to the person of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 7:51, 1 Thess 5:19, Eph 4:30 we have various people resisting or spurning the Holy Spirit and in Acts 15:28 the Holy Spirit’s opinion is consulted. Another way to demonstrate the individuality and personhood of the Holy Spirit is found in Rom 8:26, 27, which says –

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the NT's claims about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Matt 12:31, 32, Mark 3:28, 29, and Luke 12:8-10. This sin, it appears, cannot be forgiven.

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matt 12:31, 32.

Thus, according to this and related verses, the Holy Spirit must be a distinct person because one cannot blaspheme an non-entity and that person of the Holy Spirit is clearly different from either Jesus or the Father.

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    So you believe in TWO Parakletoi (παράκλητοὶ)? (Note that this word does not exist in the NT because it's never used in this plural sense.) Why not just let the Bible define its own terms for us? It should be clear to any reader of the Greek Who the Parakletos is.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16, 2021 at 10:47
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    @Polyhat - note that Jesus clearly says that He will send ANOTHER advocate/parakletos in John 14:16 - And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. See also John 15:26 - When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me. Jesus is talking about another person, not Himself and not the Father - He is talking about the Holy Spirit who is "another parakletos".
    – Dottard
    Jul 16, 2021 at 10:52
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Dottard
    Jul 16, 2021 at 11:07
  • When you say the hebrew is “feminine”, is that the sex of what is being referred to, as in the word “man”, or the linguistic gender? In languages with linguistic gender, there are cases of typically male positions with linguistically feminine names. (Im ignorant of hebrew)
    – Al Brown
    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:12
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    @AlBrown - that is the point of that section - grammar as per the heading. BUT grammatical gender does not determine biological sex. The Holy Spirit does NOT have biological sex.
    – Dottard
    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:19


Here is a version of the text you can explore yourself. The text is interesting because we expect that if a being or object has a gender the words used about it will match that gender.

For example, Maralyn Monroe is an actress, and we use female pronouns when talking about her. It would be suprising If I wrote a sentance about her in which the gender of the words changed - for example Maralyn Monroe is an actor, and we use female pronouns when talking about him

Suprisingly even though holy spirit/pneuma is a neutral word in greek we often find it being used interchangably with male nouns. This passage in John 14 is a good example of that.

There are a significant number of exegetes that have made the case that the male pronoun used here is in relation to the word spirit, so I would not discount that. Especially since for many of the early Christian commentators making this point, coina greek, the language of the passage, was their first language.

However, even if you assume the male pronoun is being connected to the word parakletos I don't think this undermines the strangeness of the male words being used interchangeably with the neuter words. I am unaware of any passage where we see female words being used interchangeably in this way.

Most modern gender theorists agree that you can only find out someone's gender by asking what they identify as. Whilst the text doesn't give us an explicit statement like "the holy spirit identifies as male" Christians believe that the bible is written by God, and by his holy spirit, and he chose to use this combination of neuter words male words and pronouns so I think it's appropriate given this passage to think of him/his sprit as male.

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    To consider "his spirit" as a separate entity/being is spiritualism, just as if I were to refer to your spirit as "Abijah the Spirit" would be. A person does not exist without having a spirit, and a spirit does not exist apart from the person. God's Spirit belongs to him just like my spirit belongs to me--neither is a separate, independent being. This is why "God the Spirit" is unBiblical and there is no mention of such a term anywhere in the Scriptures. This is why the word "spirit" is neuter in Greek, feminine in Hebrew--both disconnected from the gender of the one to whom they pertain.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16, 2021 at 13:02
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    @Polyhat - that is a "straw-man" objection - objecting to something that the person did not say nor imply. Your desperation is reaching new heights.
    – Dottard
    Jul 17, 2021 at 2:16
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    @dott there is no desperation about it. The bible supports what polyhat said, except perhaps the bits changed to support the threeological dogma.
    – Steve
    Jul 18, 2021 at 1:57
  • It is a sad reflection on society today that female actresses are no longer called actresses, but are now called actors. Self-identification of gender, however, is not applicable to God (who is Spirit) or to the Holy Spirit (who is Spirit). I believe the use of male/female and neuter descriptions of God and of the Holy Spirit are there to help us mere mortals grasp a spiritual concept while we are still earth-bound. I appreciate your post.
    – Lesley
    Nov 20, 2021 at 12:18
  • @Lesley God the Father is Spirit according to Jesus. God is our Father. We are of the seed of our Father. This is made clear by reading the parables of Jesus Christ. Oct 13, 2022 at 4:28

As demonstrated by others that in John 14:26 and in John 16 the "he" is used for the masculine word advocate paracletos, and not for the Spirit in the Greek. But the translators are wrong in using "he" for it, as rightly pointed out by the Unitarians.

In Greek, both masculine and neuter words are used to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated "Counselor," "Helper," "Comforter" and "Advocate" in John chapters 14 to 16 is parakletos, a masculine word in Greek and thus referred to in these chapters by Greek pronouns equivalent to the English "he," "him," "his," "himself," "who" and "whom."

Because of the masculine gender of parakletos, these pronouns are grammatically correct in Greek. But to translate these into English as "he," "him," etc., is grammatically incorrect.

For example, you would never translate a particular French sentence into English as "I'm looking for my book so I can read him." While this grammatical construction makes sense in the French language, it is wrong in English. In the same way, to suppose on this basis that the Holy Spirit is a person to be referred to as "he" or "him" is incorrect.

So the controversy should be more focused on the English grammar rule as to which pronoun is to be used for the ghost/spirit? It or he? To me, it is clear that Spirit or ghost comes under common gender or neuter nouns in English (such as baby or animal, they are gender-neutral), hence, it should be "it". The assumption that you have to give a gendered pronoun to an individual being in English is given by both the Trinitarians and Unitarians, but without any evidence from English grammarians. Counselor or advocate would require "he", but Ghost has no gender, so technically it should be an "it" rather than "he". I asked this question on the English:SE(it may get closed by the pharisees of that site) and someone quoted some authentic sources using wiki, showing that:

the pronoun of neuter gender in Greek does not deny the noun it replaces the possibility of being a human person, whereas in English the disparity between the uses of it as referring to non-human entities and human ones is much greater.


Whereas "he" and "she" are used for entities treated as people (including any entities that are being anthropomorphized), the pronoun "it" is normally used for entities not regarded as persons, though the use of "he" or "she" is optional for non-human animals of known sex (and obligatory for animals referred to by a proper name).

It is considered to be neuter or impersonal/non-personal in gender. In Old English, (h)it was the neuter nominative and accusative form of hē. But by the 17th century, the old gender system, which marked gender on common nouns and adjectives, as well as pronouns, had disappeared, leaving only pronoun marking. At the same time, a new relative pronoun system was developing that eventually split between personal relative who and impersonal relative which. As a result some scholars consider it to belong to the impersonal gender, along with relative which and interrogative what. (Wikipedia)

It seems fair to use "he" for the spirit, if the gender grammar of English has evolved as they say, and we can accept "he" for the spirit, even though it sounds unnatural, but the problem only begins when we discover that in other languages that requires feminine declension for the spirit, use masculine, only by following the tradition of English versions. You should imagine how bizarre it sounds when the other languages using the wrong gender for the spirit, if you know other languages. I suppose, all other languages are following the wrong gender except Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Aramaic.

Romans 8:16 KJV The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God

Even some new translations use "it" in Rom 8:16, including N. T. Wright's NTE translation. This is a highly informative article: IS THE KING JAMES BIBLE IN ERROR TO REFER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AS "IT"? By Will Kinney

The purpose of this article, is to do just that - address this matter. Mr. Kutilek's objections to the use of "it" or "itself" in referring to the Holy Ghost are both hypocritical and ignorant. Hypocritical because there are many versions, including the modern ones, that use "itself" in either the very same verses or in the same manner. And ignorant because apparently Mr. Kutilek does not know the proper use of his own English language.

There are four verses in the KJB that he criticizes. John 1:32; Romans 8:16, 26 and I Peter 1:11. We will examine these verses with other translations and then look at examples in the nkjv, niv and nas versions.

However, first, we shall look at how our English dictionaries define the use of the words "it" and "itself". The Random House Webster's College Dictionary of 1999 lists under the second definition of "itself" - "used to represent a PERSON or animal understood, previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context." Examples given are: "Who is it? It is John. " "Did you see the baby? Yes, isn't it cute." " the cat likes to sun itself in the window." The Websters 1967 Collegiate Dictionary defines "it" as "a PERSON or animal whose gender is unknown or disregarded." The Father and the Son are clearly masculine, but the Spirit is sometimes refered to as masculine and sometimes as neuter, not because He is neuter, but rather because the gender is disregarded or not taken into account in that particular context.

The first verse is John 1:32 . And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending like a dove, and IT abode upon him."

Other Bible versions that agree with the KJB in their use of "it" are Tyndales first edition, the Geneva Bible of 1599 and 1602 ( I have copies of these), the Bishop's Bible, Darby, the ASV of 1901, the Douay of 1950, Henry Alford's translation, Youngs, the English Revised Version of 1881, the 21st Century KJB, Williams New Testament 1937, Lamsa Translation 1933, Daniel Websters Bible translation 1833, the 20 th Century New Testament, Weymouth translation, the RSV and the NRSV of 1989. So you can see the KJB is not alone in its proper understanding of the English language. It is Mr. Kutilek that is in error.

The second verse is Romans 8:16 "The Spirit ITSELF beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

Versions that agree with the KJB are the 21st Century KJB, Alford's, Bishop's Bible, Darby, Websters and the NRSV.

The third verse is Romans 8:26 "But the Spirit ITSELF maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Again the 21st Century KJB, Alford's translation, The Bishop's Bible, Darby, Websters and the Geneva Bible of 1599 and 1602 agree with the KJB.

The fourth verse is I Peter 1:11 "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when IT testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ , and the glory that should follow." Versions that have "it" here are Alfords, the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901, Websters, Berkeley, Basic Bible in English and the NRSV of 1989.

So we see that many Bible versions which both predate and follow the KJB have used it and itself to refer to the Spirit of God. This is perfectly acceptable English. Mr. Kutilek apparently is unaware of this.

The nasb and niv have two interesting and parallel verses in the new testament. Both Matthew 12:45 and Luke 11:26 speak of a "spirit that takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than ITSELF". Here is a case of a spiritual entity that can see, hear, speak and has a personality, yet the gender is disregarded in the nas and niv, and is referred to as "itself". This spirit was not an inanimate object, but rather a spiritual being with a distinct personality. The same thing occurs in the KJB, nkjv, niv and nasb in Luke 8:29 "For he had commanded the unclean SPIRIT to come out of the man. For oftentimes IT had caught him."

Here again is a spirit that talks, reasons, hears and knows that Jesus is the Son of God and that torment awaits him. This is clearly a personality and yet all the above mentioned versions refer to him as an "it". The gender is disregarded, and this is perfectly acceptable English.

All of the modern versions, like the nkjv, niv and nas use "itself" when referring to both animals and groups of people. The nkjv has the donkey itself -Hosea 8:9, the goat itself- Lev. 16:22; Israel itself -Judges 7:2; Numbers 23:9 speaks of "a people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations, and Zech. 12:12 "the family of the house of David by itself."

All Bible versions at times speak of Jesus Christ as being a thing or something neuter. In Matthew 1:20 the angel of the Lord says to Joseph: "fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for THAT WHICH is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Notice the angel does not say "he", but "that which",: it is neuter both in Greek and in English. In Luke 1:35 the angel says to Mary "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also THAT HOLY THING which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." That holy thing is neuter, yet we all know that Jesus Christ is a person, in fact, God manifest in the flesh.

The book of I John opens with a reference to Jesus Christ, yet it refers to Him as a thing. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life." Yet Christ is not a thing, but a person. In I John 5:4 we are told: "WHATSOEVER is born of God overcometh the world." This is a neuter. Are we to assume that everyone who is born of God is a thing?


According to the Greek text of John 14:26, there is a gender distinction between that of the Father and that of the Spirit.

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As the interlinear with grammatical notations (above) shows, the article preceding the Spirit is "NNS" which means "nominative neuter singular." This is in contrast to the article preceding the Father which is "NMS" - nominative masculine singular.

Biblically, therefore, the Holy Spirit cannot be placed on an equality with the Father in terms of gender. If this is the reason to consider the Spirit as a separate person, perhaps better support than this is needed.

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    Grammatical gender doesn't tell you about the actual gender (or gender identity) of anything - for example, Mädchen, German for 'girl', is neuter! So πνεῦμα may be neuter, but that ultimately doesn't help anyone answer the question of whether the Spirit is masculine like the Father and the Son. Especially when we can see that the same sentence calls him both paracletos (masc) and pneuma (neut).
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 16, 2021 at 6:13
  • Also, Hold To The Rod and others were probably referring to ἐκεῖνος as the masculine pronoun for the Spirit.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 16, 2021 at 6:26
  • You need a passage that doesn't have paraclete, which is masculine and would explain the use of the masculine.
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 16, 2021 at 8:38
  • @curiousdannii It would be rude to call any person an "it." Why, then, does the Bible do this for the Spirit? Where, if you believe that grammatical gender doesn't tell you anything, is any person in the New Testament referred to in the "neuter" / "it" grammatical case? I think you'll be hard-pressed to support such a view, but I'm open to seeing the evidence, if you have it.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16, 2021 at 9:02
  • @Polyhat If your argument was about pronouns, that would be one thing, but you were instead talking about a noun and it's article, and that noun has a fixed gender. In a phrase like "the spirit of Jesus" it would also still be neutral. And in this actual verse there is a pronoun, it's masculine!
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 16, 2021 at 10:05

First of all, the word “which” is not in original manuscripts, so it was added there by trinitarians to make it sound like the verse is referring to the holy spirit. Also the word holy was also inserted, it is not found in one of the oldest manuscripts, the codex syriacus. Next, the “whom” is referring to The Parakletos, not to some ghost, Jesus was speaking of another Advocate, man like him, hence the pronoun WHOM.


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