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SDA fundamentals : 5 Holy Spirit

God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

Excuse my understanding of Scripture and childlike grapple of Hebrew but why does the SDA fundamentals promote so solidly,  that the Holy Spirit is a "He", when Scripture in all probability says the Holy Spirit is more like a "She"... I mean why make this an solid statement when the Bible does not even describe the Father as a "He", this is; gender male, the Bible is silent over the gender like descriptions of the Godhead.... should we not be more respectful and stick to what is clearly revealed in Scripture ?


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This is from wikipedia:

If by "gender" is meant grammatical gender, the gender of "Holy Spirit" varies according to the language used. Thus the grammatical gender of the word "spirit" is feminine in the Semitic languages such as Hebrew ("רוח"), in which the Old Testament was originally written, and in Aramaic, which was the language Jesus taught in, and which Papias of Hierapolis indicates the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in; in Greek, which the rest of New Testament was written in, the word for spirit is neuter ("πνεῦμα"). However, the word for spirit is masculine in other languages unrelated to the original writing of the Bible, such as Latin ("spiritus") and in Latin-derived languages, as also, for instance, in the German language ("Geist").

                 Why the Holy Spirit Is Sometimes Incorrectly Referred to as "He" and "Him"

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.

Only if the parakletos or helper were known to be a person could the use of a gender-inflected pronoun justifiably be used in English. And the term parakletos certainly can refer to a person—as it refers to Jesus Christ in 1 John 2:1. Yet the Holy Spirit is nowhere designated with personhood. So personal pronouns should not be substituted for it.

The Greek word pneuma, translated “spirit” (but also translated “wind” and “breath” in the New Testament) is a grammatically neuter word. So, in the Greek language, pronouns equivalent to the English “it,” “its,” “itself,” “which” or “that” are properly used in referring to this word translated into English as “spirit.”

Yet when the King James or Authorized Version was produced (early in the 1600s), the doctrine of the Trinity had already been accepted for more than 1,000 years. So naturally the translators of that version, influenced by that belief, usually chose personal rather than neutral pronouns when referring to the Holy Spirit in English (see, for example, John 16:13-14; Romans 8:26).

However, this wasn’t always the case. Notice that in some passages in the King James Version the translators did use the proper neuter pronouns. For example, Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself [not himself ] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Similarly, Romans 8:26 says “the Spirit itself [again, not himself ] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” In these cases the translators correctly used neuter pronouns because the Greek word pneuma, translated “Spirit,” is neuter in gender.

Another example is Matthew 10:20, where Jesus says: “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which [not who ] speaketh in you.” Another is 1 Peter 1:11, which refers to “the Spirit of Christ which [again, not who ] was in them.” The King James Version translators did use the proper neuter pronouns in these verses.

From the book: Is God A Trinity

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and willyouheshew things to come.

I do agree there are some aspect of God that are nurturing as like a mother.  For example, where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and how he would have loved them.  He uses the example of a hen gathering her chicks. 

Matthew 23:37 how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her 
chickens under her wings, and ye would not!


How Jesus spoke in John 16:13 and how it was translated I do not know, but it would seem that Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person and as being male using the male gender of He.   There is a danger I think when we delve to deeply without the proper knowledge or respect into the nature of God.  I think it is deeply disrespectful when I hear some new-age or non Christian refer to God as she.  

What are your thoughts on this Brother Rob, because I do not know the first thing about Hebrew even though I think it is a worthwhile study. 

The Hebrew word "ruwach" is feminine in case, the pronouns used would be "she"...although this grammar does NOT imply gender.... Why do we assume the Father is gender male, for example, when not a single Bible text tells us this, we have assumed this to be so.... My point is why are the SDA fundamentals so bold in making statements that are not solid?

Gene, well done, I saw that info too and was surprised by scholars now seeing the Holy Spirit as a "she".

Raymond, the text was written first in Hebrew and later translated into Greek. Sadly the translations are not the same, and causes confusion with pronouns....

Vincent I like your point, and my strongest point that the Holy Spirit is "femaleness love" comes from the birth of Jesus too...

Lu 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

When verses speak of the Highest, this is a reference to the Father, as this verse implies here...

Lu 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, (Mother)


the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: (Father)

therefore also that holy thing which shall be

born of thee (gennao)

shall be called the Son of God.

The word gennao means "born" and looking up every verse, this word implies two parents making children, in human earth models....

Notice in the case in the incarnation we do have TWO members of the Godhead coming over Mary, the Father and the Holy Spirit.... so if one is a Father, the other must be a simile of a Mother...

There are other cases, but this is the most convincing.... my point is how solid are the Bible texts speaking of the Holy Spirit as a "He"...? There aren't any...most are translation errors...


Funny that most people who speak Hebrew today are still waiting for the Messiah...mmm wasn't "virgin" also a translation error? 

It's weird, that we try to explain the mysteries and secrets of God with some human articles and with a more than limited understanding of what God is, trapped in our worldly and sinful thinking about time, space and love. 

A dove....flames....woman? 

Maybe you are correct Rob and it is implied in the Bible.  I have long thought this but is it something that should be taught or brought out.  What do we need to know of the nature of God?  The study of Gods Character seems to be the study we should have and that is needed. The enemy has always attached Gods Character.  This teaching may attract those with an agenda rather than true thirst for a knowledge of God.

Simon and Raymond, you both mention interesting points, so if the nature of God is a mystery, why then is it written in solid lines of black and white in the 5th SDA fundamentals? Everyone should be welcome to the finer theories of faith we all have, but those pronouns of "He" really show disrespect.

I always refer to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit, and in respect we should tread softly as to the nature of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit....


I'm from Germany and articles in German are more determined by sound, than the actual gender. E.g. the door is "die Türe", a female article....the spirit is "der Geist", male article.....the girl is "das Mädchen", neutral article. 

That's not disrespectful, that is just and simply "language" in all it different ways.   

Thanks very much Vincent for your input and experience with Greek...

Not very good with translation problems Vincent, I tend to leave that alone, and concentrate on Bible passages and verses instead....

Consider these verses...

(6) Ge 49:25 Even by the God of thy father , who shall help thee; and by the Almighty (Shadday) , who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above , blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts , and of the womb :

Even by the Strong Authority of thy Father , who shall help thee; and by the Shadday , who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above , blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts , and of the womb :

In this verse often translated poorly (as an earthly father instead of a heavenly Father), we see the Father and the Shadday expressed as a poetry parallel simile of two parents, the Shadday is referenced as blessings of the breast and of the womb.

What is your opinion of the Shadday ? The term means "pressed to the breast with active arms" The Hebrew word "Shad" for example, a related word, means "teat" or "breast".... It does not mean "Almighty"....

(20) Job 21:15 What is the Almighty (Shadday) , that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Can you help me with this one, a pronoun, that should say "her"....or is this yet another reference to Hebrew gender male taking over gender female...I mean...when boys and girls play together in a playground, the plural boys is used, and the pronouns "he", the girls are never mentioned unless they are alone....

You agree the Highest is a reference to Father....

So the Father and the Holy Spirit come over Mary to make the born process happen....

The born process by logic requires two parents, and we have this....

One reason why we never find a reference to "she" pronouns is because the Holy Spirit acts an a agency for the gender males Son and the Father, so in Hebrew, gender females are not mentioned when one is working together....

Le 18:8 The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.

This verse is a Hebrew idiom...a Father's body is the same as a Wife's body...Hebrew does not consider them separate, but one....

So if the wife speaks for his husband, his name is referenced and pronouns "he" used...

Perhaps this is why the Holy Spirit is not easily referenced....


Greetings Vincent, thanks for your remarks...

yes the word "el" means "strong authority" and refers to a single numerical one of Strong Authority.... a single member of the godhead, in other words....

So "eloah" is the Father, "EL=oah"

And "El= Shadday" is the Holy Spirit in personal form, rather than the usual "wind or spirit" form....

Notice the parents are both referenced as "El"

When Jesus was about to die he quoted "El" "El" to reference both parents before dying as both were leaving Him....

See further studies on El I have already done before


Greetings Reasoning...

I have no evidence for the Father or Son as gender male, as we humans sexually consider such labels.... the Bible is silent over the gender reference of any member of the I am surprised we assume the Father and Jesus are gender male....there is not a single Bible reference for this.....

However there are two words for love in Scripture, one is maleness love, the other is femaleness love, (which EGW calls fellowship love) ..... so these aspects of love do create unique personalities of each member of the Godhead.... the Father expresses maleness love, and the Holy Spirit femaleness love....

This love trait is a personality difference, without biology parts for each gender, Jesus says there is no marriage and giving in of marriage, ie no sex....

Obviously God is beyond matter, and thus not subject to biology as we humans are....

Hope this helps



Rob: "I have no evidence for the Father or Son as gender male, as we humans sexually consider such labels.... the Bible is silent over the gender reference of any member of the I am surprised we assume the Father and Jesus are gender male....there is not a single Bible reference for this...."

Thank you brother Rob, I'm not focusing on GOD'S physical make up/ gender.... HE is all in all, our mind shouldn't be on that. However As you agree GOD, which is The Father, HE expresses HIMSELF in what you call "maleness love", so can we agree GOD the Father is referred to as HE?

Psalms 27: 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 28: 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
8 The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

The Bible refers to GOD as HE and HIM, again not focusing on gender, I never was and never will. Can we agree GOD is referred to as HE in the Bible?

Here's the SOP referring to GOD as HE,

EGW: "God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy."

EGW: "It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth-life received wisdom and power. Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven. And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God. At every step of our way He says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand; ... fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13. Could our children learn these lessons in the morning of their years, what freshness and power, what joy and sweetness, would be brought into their lives! – {CG 525.2}

EGW: "The prayers of Christian mothers are not disregarded by the Father of all, who sent His Son to the earth to ransom a people for Himself. He will not turn away your petitions and leave you and yours to the buffetings of Satan in the great day of final conflict. It is for you to work with simplicity and faithfulness, and God will establish the work of your hands. – {CG 526.1}

GOD can manifest HIMSELF however HE likes, for our salvation HE came in likeness of man in Jesus Christ. Jesus had bodies just like us but His was perfect. That same body has been resurrected with the holes still in His hand. He sits on the right hand of the Father with that body. Can we agree Jesus' gender is male? Or did it change after the resurrection?
There are many places in the Bible and SOP that refers to Jesus as He, can we agree on that?

Thank you for your time. Blessings!

Nice research and really good Bible texts Blessing...

yes I can agree the Father can be referenced as a "He", and as you say this is not a reference to sexual gender....

Happy Christmas remembering our Lord Jesus


God bless your ministry Blessings

Here is an interesting text

Re 4:8 ¶ And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne,

There is something wrong in this passage, why would Almighty worship Himself, to him who sits upon the throne, the beasts and elders worship....

It only makes sense if you read Almighty correctly in Hebrew, which is SHADDAY....

Now we find the Shadday  bows and speaks and commands other beings to worship Him who sits upon the throne....

Interesting the Shadday (Holy Spirit in personal form) is also around the throne, but asking the beasts, and elders to worship Him upon the throne...

Re 5:1 ¶ And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside,

Only Hebrew is a scroll written front and back on the right hand....Greek was typically written in the left hand

Re 5:6 ¶ And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Notice the Lamb, (Jesus) is united in the medium agency powers of the Holy Spirit (pneuma) who administrates the Father's power (theos). 

Re 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Here the elders speak praise to those upon the throne, we assume only one

by why the three functional descriptors?

O YHWH (Jesus) Elohiym (Father) Shadday (Holy Spirit)

Looking at this praise, I see the elders worshipping all three members of the Godhead as one....



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