The Holy Spirit of Mt 1:20 and Luke 1:35

Dear Mr. Sungenis:

In reference to your book the Gospel According to St. Matthew in Matthew chapter 1 Verse 20 it says….. is of the Holy Spirit ….

Your foot note to this verse reads in part (my PC cannot type the Greek characters) the Greek is in the copulative grammatical form. This form is emphasizing the personhood of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:35 speaks of the HS as God’s power and Jesus would be born because of it.

My point being, how would you answer the question provided in Luke 1:35 that it is the power of God over shadowing Mary? Power and HS are equated.

The copulative form strictly links these two words holy and spirit. In speaking with a Greek Bible translator it could be for emphasis that those two words are together. He had no knowledge of it emphasizing personhood.

Your list of Greek and Hebrew Grammars are extensive. Could you please provide the exact Greek Grammar that this foot note came from?

Jeanne Homan


It is common knowledge that a copulative placed before two nouns will bring an emphasis to the two nouns that would otherwise be lost since there is no article in the Greek before "Holy Spirit." Since some modernists have made the argument that an anarthrous Holy Spirit suggests non-personhood, it was my inkling that this lacuna is more than compensated for by placing the copulative between "Holy" and "Spirit." I'm already assuming the personhood of the Holy Spirit, not only from v. 18, but the whole mentality of Jewish thought at this time. Therefore, since there is an emphasis by the use of the copulative in v. 20, it can only be emphasizing the personhood of the Holy Spirit.

As for Luke 1:35, I interpret the "power" to be that of the Holy Spirit. In other words, "the Most High" is the Holy Spirit. The act is totally His. He overshadows her and by His power impregnates her. I also hold that the anarthrous "power" and "Most High" matches the anarthrous "Holy Spirit" and thus identifies one with the other.

I hope that helps explain my position.

Robert Sungenis

Part 2

Mr. Sungenis:

Thank you for your response.
In verse 18 this Greek form was not used.
RS: Doesn't have to be. I merely meant that the context of v. 18 is in keeping with the personality of the Holy Spirit, hence, v. 20 can make an emphasis if it so chooses.

If God was trying to emphasis the personhood of the HS why didn’t he use it in verse 18 and all through Matthew especially verses 28, 19 and 20.

RS: Then the "emphasis" wouldn't be an emphasis, would it?

If the HS is a person and he is the father of Jesus why isn’t he given credit?If the power is from the HS and not from the father then we have to consider the HS Jesus farther.

RS: The Trinity does not compete for the Fatherhood of Jesus. Jesus has one Father, not two or three. The Holy Spirit's impregnation of Mary is a mystery of the Trinity, not a cause to fight for the Fatherhood of the Holy Spirit to Jesus. These things were already settled in early Church history. 

I think you are assuming too much. I never have understood that the Jews of that time believed that the HS was a person.

RS: The OT was clear that the Spirit was someone who emanated from Yahweh, hence a personality and hence divine. God and the Holy Spirit are mentioned numerous times in the OT, but Jesus Christ is never mentioned.

The lack of the “the” in verse 20 between spirit and holy and replaced with “is” is for emphasis and not personhood

RS: Put an "is" between Jeanne and Homan to read "Jeanne is Homan" and tell me if you think the same way.

As for Luke 1:35 the “Most High” is God.

RS: Unfortunately for your position, Luke 1:35 does not say it is "God" in the sense that it is not the Holy Spirit.

This is coming from a person who believes that the Father is God, the Son is Jesus and the Holy Spirit is God’s power and not a Trinitarian.

RS: I get that drift. In my faith, your position is heresy.

The last line from the RSV CE Luke 1:35 ….Therefore the child to be born will be called holy the son of God.

RS: I don't know how this relates.

Thanks again
Jeanne Homan

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