We don't say "the" Jesus so why do we always say "the" Holy Spirit?

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
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Jonathan Michaels
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We don't say "the" Jesus so why do we always say "the" Holy Spirit?

Post by Jonathan Michaels » July 27th, 2018, 8:38 am

Someone asked me why we always reference "the" Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit?

We won't say, "the" Jesus even when the Greek text has an article in front of the word Jesus.

We won't say, "the" God even when the Greek text has an article in front of the word God.

So, even when there isn't an article in front of all instances of the Holy Spirit, why do we always say, "the" Holy Spirit?

I am interested in knowing if this is related to the Greek text or if it is another reason.

Thanks!
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: We don't say "the" Jesus so why do we always say "the" Holy Spirit?

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 27th, 2018, 1:35 pm

This is more an artifact of English than of Greek.

In English, we rarely use "the" with proper names, and it is very marked when we do so - "the Jonathan Michaels asked a question on B-Greek *". So "the Jesus" is pretty much out of the question.

Similarly, a designation pretty much requires an article in English. "Today, President of the United States announced new tariffs. *" Even if we all know there is only one President of the United States at any given time, we still say "the President of the United States".
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Jonathan Michaels
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Joined: September 21st, 2011, 5:00 am

Re: We don't say "the" Jesus so why do we always say "the" Holy Spirit?

Post by Jonathan Michaels » July 28th, 2018, 12:03 pm

Thanks for your reply. Most helpful.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: We don't say "the" Jesus so why do we always say "the" Holy Spirit?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 29th, 2018, 7:14 am

It's also helpful to remember that the use of the article in Greek does not necessarily map to the use of the articles in English. This discussion points out one aspect of that.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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