“Itself” or “Himself” in Romans 8:16 et al.?
According to the rules of English grammar, the person of the Holy Spirit can be referred to as an “it” in certain cases. “It” can refer to “a person or animal whose sex is unknown or disregarded” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). When a person is revealed in the form of a non-human entity that has no natural gender, such as a spirit, it is acceptable to refer to the person using an impersonal pronouns such as “it.” In 1 John 1:1-2, where Jesus is revealed as “the Word of life”, and not as a human entity, referring to him with impersonal pronouns is acceptable. The NIV and ESV refer to Jesus as an “it” in 1 John 1:2. The NIV, NASB, ESV, etc. in 1 John 1 use the impersonal pronoun “what” or “that” in referring to Jesus instead of using the personal pronouns, “who” or “he.” The boy child Jesus in Revelation 12:4 is referred to as an "it" in the NIV, ESV, NLT, etc.
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