bandwagon fallacy - attempt to say that pneuma (Spirit) is masculinized in the Johannine paraclete (Comforter) verses

Steven Avery

“Prooftexting the Personality of the Holy Spirit: An Analysis of the Masculine Demonstrative Pronouns in John 14:26, 15:26, and 16:13–14.(2011)
2 Some Trinitarian theologians include a fourth text, John 14:17, but we do not consider that here because it has weak textual support.
An impressive number of Greek grammarians, exegetes, commentators, and theologians have made tnis argument from at least the 1500s to the present.3 They span all the main branches and denominations of the church (e.g., Reformed, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic), many languages (e.g., English, French, German, Dutch), and several continents (e.g., North America, Europe, Australia). Here is a chronological sampling of about 110 notable adherents—some more nuanced than others:4

4 We have abridged this essay by including only a sampling of direct quotations. If a work has multiple editions, we try to quote the most updated edition while ordering the quotation chronologically based on when the first edition was published.

ca. 1591—Martin Chemnitz (1522-86):

1610—John Gerhard (1582-1637):

1676—Leonard van Rijssen (ca. 1636-ca. 1700)7

1679—Francis Turretin (1623-87):

1693—John Owen (1616-83):

1782—John Brown of Haddington (1722-87)10

1814—Ethan Smith'11

1816—Reginald Heber (1783-1826)12

1863-1865—Frederic L. Godet (1812-1900)13

1867—Daniel Gans14

1870—R. L. Dabney (1820-98)'5

1871—A. R. Fausset (1821-191016

1871—Philip SchafF (1819-93)17

1882—William Hamilton18

1882—George Smearon (1814-89):

1882—B. F. Westcott (1825-1901)20

1886—Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921)

1887—James P. Boyce (1827-88)22

1887—Charles Hodge (1797-1878):

1888—94—William G. T. Shedd (1820-94)24

1889—J. E. Wolfe25

1890—H. C. G. Moule (1841-1920):

1894—George B. Stevens27

1895-99—Herman Bavinck (1854-1921)28

1898—E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913)29

1898—Henry B. Swete (1835-1917)30

1898—R. A. Torrey (1856-1928)31

1905—Alfred G. Mortimer (1848-1924)32

1906—Archibald E. Thomson33

1912—William Evans (1870-1950)34

1915—E. Y. Mullins (1860-1928)35

1919—A. T. Robertson (1863-1934):

1923-45—Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)37

1926—Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952)38

1929—J. H. Bernard (1860-1927)39

1938—Louis Berkhof (1873-1957)40

1940—John F. Walvoord (1910-2002):
1947—Geoffrey F. Nuttall (1911-2007)42

1947—Rene Pache (1904-79)43

1949—Walter T. Conner (1877-1952)44

1949—Henry C. Thiessen (1883-1947)45

1952—55—David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981):
1952—W. H. Rigg 47

1953—William Hendriksen (1900-82)48

1955—W. H. Griffith Thomas (1861-1924)49

1963—Anthony A. Hoekema (1913—88)50

1963—-J. Dwight Pentecost (1915- )51

1965—Charles C. Ryrie (1925-):

1967—Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88)53

1970—Raymond E. Brown (1928-98)54

1971—Leon Morris (1914-2006)55

1972—C. Haas. M. de Jonge. and J. L. Swellengrebel56

1972—Gilles Quispel (1916-2006)57

1974—George E. Ladd (1911-82)58

1975—Gordon H. Clark (1902-85), Stanley N. Gundry, and R. Allan Killen (1941-)59

1975—Michael Green (1930- )60

1975—John Painter61

1977—Michael Ramsey (1904-1988)62

1978—C. K. Barrett (1917- )63

1978-80—Yves Congar (1904-95)64

1980—Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida (1914-)65

1980—John Williams66

1981—Donald Guthrie (1915-92):

1981—Robert L. Thomas (1928- )68

1983—Guy P. DufField (1909-2000) and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave (1907-2002)69

1983-85—Millard J. Erickson (1932-):
1983—Robert Hanna71

1983—Bruce Milne72

1987—David F. Wells (1939- )73

1987—J. I. Packer (1926- )74

1988—J. R. Michaels75

1988—92—J. Rodman Williams (1918-2008)76

1989—Paul Enns (1937- )77

1990—R. C. Sproul (1939-):

1991—D. A. Carson (1946-):

1992—Jerome H. Smith80

1993—Gordon H. Clark (1902-85)81

1993—Donald D. Hook and Alvin F. Kimeljr. (1952— )82
1994—Wayne Grudem (1948- )83

1994—Richard A. Young (1944- )84

1996—Sinclair B. Ferguson (1948- )85

1996—Robert A. Morey (1946- )86

1996—Peter Toon (1939- )87

1996—Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007)88

1996—W. E. Vine (1873-1949)"

1997—S. Lewis Johnson (1915-2004)90

1998—James R. White (1962- )91

1999—David Coffey92

2000—Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010)93

2000—Gary M. Burge (1952-)94

2000—Raoul Dederen95

2001—Harold F. Carl96

2001—Don Garlington97
2002—Gerald L. Borchert98

2002—Jack Cottrell99

2002—Larry Dixon100

2002—John M. Frame (1939-):
2002—John F. MacArthur (1939- )102

2002—Woodrow Whidden (1944- ), Jerry Moon, and John W. Reeve103

2003—Norman L. Geisler (1932- )104

2003—Colin G. Kruse105

2004—M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock106

2004—Mary A. Fatula107

2005—Andrew T. Lincoln108

2007—Chad O. Brand109

2007—Grant R. Osborne110

2009—John Piper (1946-)111

2009—Rolland D. McCune (1934- )112


It is often argued that the use of the Greek masculine pronoun
£K£ivo$ (iekeinos, he) for the Spirit in passages such as John 14:26; 15:26;
and 16:13-14 affirms the personality of the Holy Spirit (Barrett 1978:
482; Borchert 2002: 159; Morris 1995: 583 n. 73 [citing Westcott); 606
n. 64; 621 n. 27; and others cited in Wallace 1996: 331 n. 42).

,32Francis Turrctin: “For no reason can be given why such a change should be
made in Scripture except that thus the person of the Holy Spirit may be more clearly
designated.” Charles Hodge: “Here there is no possibility of accounting for the use of
the personal pronoun He (eKeivo§) on any other ground than the personality of the
Spirit.” R. C. Sproul: “Here there is no grammatical reason whatsoever to use the mas-
culine pronoun He unless Jesus intends in this didactic passage to declare that the
Holy Spirit is a person.”

one in this instance. If Wallace is right, then the pronominal argument
for the personhood of the Spirit is far less compelling than Packer and
many others seem to think.13
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Steven Avery

1851—Leonard Woods (1774-1854):

1942—Kenneth Wuest (1893-1962):

1978—Francis D. Nichol (1897-1966): - note E. G. White refs

1980—Curt S. Mayes argues in his ThM thesis on the subject that the common argument is “indefensible”:122

1996 and 2003—Daniel B. Wallace briefly refutes the common argument in his grammar and more fully in his journal article cited previously:

1999—Rodney A. Whitacre:

2003—Charles R. Swindoll (1934- ) and Roy B. Zuck (1932- ) pre-
sent a grammatically sound explanation of the passage, though they do
not mention the prevailing view.127

2004—Andreas J. Kostenberger (1957- ):

2005—Andrew Malone:

2007—Graham Cole:

Danicl B. Wallace, “Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit113 (2003): 105-6, n. 23.

Steven Avery

This is hilarious.
As a JW, it is HIGHLY unlikely that you agree with cjab that the Holy Spirit is personalized/masculinized grammatically.

And I pointed this out before, and recommended two books, from non-Trinitarians sources.
Here is Patrick Navas, appealing to Daniel Wallace

Divine Truth or Human Tradition? (2006)
Patrick Navas

54 New English Translation, p. 341. Most Trinitarian apologists have pointed to the use of the masculine pronoun (ekeinos) in connection with the Spirit as evidence of “personhood.” However, Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary, although a defender of Trinitarianism, observed: “contrary to the supposition that the proximity of pneurna to ekeinos in John 14:26 and 15:26 demonstrates the Spirit’s personality, because the pneurna is appositional, it becomes irrelevant to the gender of the pronoun ...The fact that pneurna and not parakletos is the appositive renders the philological argument in these two texts void.” Wallace also noted: “The grammatical basis for the Holy Spirit’s personality is lacking in the NT, yet this is frequently, if not usually, the first line of defense of the doctrine by many evangelical writers. But if grammar cannot legitimately be used to support the Spirit’s personality, then perhaps we need to reexamine the rest of our basis for this theological commitment.”
—“Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit", Bulletin for Biblical Research (Wallace-HS), 2003, pp 108, 125.


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Steven Avery

Added by Daniel Wallace
Dabney, Smeaton. Kim, Cornier. Berkhof. Chafer, Thiessen, Pache, Pentecost, Ryrie. Green, Williams. Packer, Sproul, Grudem, Ferguson. Reymond. and Congar make similar claims.13

Among commentators on John, Lange, Godet, Mortimer, Westcott. Bernard, Lenski. Hendricksen, Barrett. Behler. Sanders and Mastin. Brown, Moms, Lindars, Newman and Nida. Carson, and Beasley-Murray all use the grammatical argument in one or more of these passages as evidence of the Spirit's personality.16