Theologica

a bible, theology, politics, news, networking, and discussion site

When you refer to divinity in writing, do you capitalize pronouns? I note a shift toward not doing this in recent years. For example in the NASB, Jesus is always "He" even in direct address by enemies who did not believe He was God. The ESV, however, does not seem to use the capital at all for divinity. I see a lot of writing that doesn't, and I think in days gone by it would have. I do find it is easier and more natural not to when I write, but when I become aware of it, scruples or something kicks in and I go back and capitalize. This just happened above with the phrase "did not believe he was God.

Remember to be consistent, we have to include "His" and "You" and "Your." And I guess God would capitalize His own self references: "Me," "My," "Mine."

Other pronouns? I just checked and for Eph 1:3 NASB has:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing..."

Why don't they capitalize who here?

Anyway, do you or don't you. And what are your particular rules about how far you take it.

Views: 19

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I do capitalize the pronouns, but I am not dogmatic about it. If I were, I would be concerned that, even in the KJV, pronouns referring to the persons of the Godhead are not always capitalized. For example, if I remember correctly, pronouns in OT types, Christophanies, and Theophanies are frequently not capitalized.

I just like doing it as a reminder of Whom He is. Sort of like the scribes’ stopping and washing their hands every time they copied a name of God. Except, of course, that they were dogmatic about it…and probably legalistic…and maybe superstitious. Whereas, I just think it’s a good thing to do, as much as a self reminder as anything.

I was going for a wishy-washy yes on this one, as opposed to a definite maybe. How’d I do?
I capitalize for "who" as well, since that is a direct reference to God's person. I do it from me to God, because it is my way of remembering that He is different than all others and alone worthy of honor above all others. The Lord Jesus wanted all those who believe in Him to see His glory, the glory the Father had given Him because He loved Him. When I capitalize, it is a teensy way of seeing a teensy part of His glory. He is the majestic one, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Capital amongst all the lower case.
I tend to capitalize His name when I write but I'm not really dogmatic about it. Like I won't capitalize "who" but I might capitalize "Whom". I wouldn't make it a rule and I've found that when a sentence is speaking about Christ and what he has done it sometimes is easier to read.

Then again, I've also fallen into the bad C.S.Lewis habit of capitalizing Certain Words for some strange, mystical, character-emphasis.
Joanne,

So what about "one" in "He is the majestic one?"
Is there any precedent to doing this as far as English grammar goes? As far as I understand it, it's merely bad grammar.
Yep, you're right, once I get into stuff like "one," which for me, the casual grammarian, seems like tertiary pronoun moving into noun, I start to fall away. "One" seems so impersonal. And yet, when I get into a situation where it seems God is King among kings, I'll use a capital again.

Marv said:
Joanne,

So what about "one" in "He is the majestic one?"
I don't understand the question. What do you mean by "doing this" in this case? What practice would be bad grammar?

Is there any precedent to doing this as far as English grammar goes? As far as I understand it, it's merely bad grammar.
I don't think it has ever been considered "bad grammar" to capitalize words referring to deity. "Capitalizing an uninitial pronoun is, in that sense, bad grammar." Well, I suppose you don't mean "I," which is always capitalized. (Not for being a deity, one hopes...)

Anyway, I'm not sure the whole matter rises to the level of "grammar," since it is not a distinction of spoken language, but rather spelling conventions.

But yes, I think, it is one of the prescribed rules of English usage. Different publishing entities would have different standards, however.
I don't understand the question. What do you mean by "doing this" in this case? What practice would be bad grammar?

I meant what xulon thought I meant. Thanks xulon.

As far as automatically capitalizing a deity's pronouns, would this also go for polytheistic deities, like Zeus or Horus? Or just the monotheistic ones? If the only question about this is spelling conventions, I'm going to stop capitalizing pronouns. It can get to be a hassle sometimes.
Yeah, it has crossed my mind to follow the trend and not capitalize as it gets quite unwieldy. I don't think we capitalize false gods. We don't capitalize "god" when it is not THE God, so certainly not the pronouns...unless you are a Zeus worshiper or something.

Chad Gibbons said:
I don't understand the question. What do you mean by "doing this" in this case? What practice would be bad grammar?

I meant what xulon thought I meant. Thanks xulon.

As far as automatically capitalizing a deity's pronouns, would this also go for polytheistic deities, like Zeus or Horus? Or just the monotheistic ones? If the only question about this is spelling conventions, I'm going to stop capitalizing pronouns. It can get to be a hassle sometimes.
I am weird about it. Similar to James, I do it in order to give respect. If I miss the capital, I'll go back and correct. To me, lower case = general. Upper = special.

So there.
Same here

Raquel said:
I am weird about it. Similar to James, I do it in order to give respect. If I miss the capital, I'll go back and correct. To me, lower case = general. Upper = special.

So there.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sponsors

Linkologica

Blog Resources

Arminian Today

Anyabwile

Bock

Called to Communion

Challies

Classical Arminianism

Craig

Christian Answers For The New Age

Christians in Context

Conversation Diary (catholic)

Continuationism.com (marv & scott)

Desiring God blog

DeYoung

First Things

Fr. Stephen (eastern orthodox)

 

Internet Monk

KJV Only Debate (jason s.)

 

Köstenberger

Lisa Robinson - TheoThoughts

Mohler

McKnight

National Catholic Register (catholic)

Parchment & Pen

Pierce

Re-Fundamentals

Resurgence

Roberts

Roger Olson

Taylor

Team Pyro

The Apologist's Pen

Untamed Spirituality

WDTPRS (catholic)

Witherington

 

Theological Resources

BioLogos

Center for Reformed Study and Apologetics

Creeds and Confessions

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Council of Biblical Manhood and Womenhood (complementarian)

The Center for Bibical Equality (Egalitarian)

Evangelical Theological Society

Monergism.com

Reclaiming the Mind Ministries

Society of Evangelical Arminians

Theopedia

Theological Word of The Day

Tyndale House Bulletin

 

Church History

Early Christian Writings

Glimpes of Church History

 

Christian Traditions

Book of Concord

Catholic.com

Eastern Orthodox

Orthodox Catechism

 

Apologetics

CARM

Lennox

Reasonable Faith

RZIM

Stand to Reason

Tektonics

 

Bible Study

Bible Gateway

Bible Researcher

Blue Letter Bible

Bible.org

IVP New Testament Commentaries Online

 

Online Bible and Theology Education

Biblical Training

The Theology Program

 

Theology and Bible MP3s

Covenant Seminary

263 Theology Questions and Answers

Veritas Forum

 

Theologica Chat Room

MiRC Chat

Badge

Loading…

Get the Widget


Sponsor



Bible Options




© 2014   Created by Michael Patton.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

/*============================================================================================ /*============================================================================================