Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Fellow grace believer Rita Bauschard of Bible Ambassadors shares her insights on how easily the errors of religionists can creep into the thinking of even genuine believers who seek to honor the word of God in all they do, say, and write. Thank you, Rita, for this and everything else you do so tirelessly for the gospel of Christ.

Here's Rita's post:

"Satan (diabolos, devil) means "something that is thrown between." He is a separator; He is an adversary; He’s someone who tries to separate you from God."

The above quote is another example of something that editing has helped me learn. But not only editing. Learning where various Bible translations come from impacted me so much that I CANNOT simply ignore capitalization of every pronoun that may refer to our Lord Jesus Christ or God in the writings of men. Why? Re-read the above sentence and notice that doing so becomes such a habit we do not even notice when we have attributed the "honorary" (religious type honor) capitalization to Satan.

At first I merely looked up the verses in question, or the words in question, and learned that the King James Version (the Bible we claim to be our authority) had no such capitalization.

Then I decided to look further into this and found that the 'tradition' seems to have embedded itself into our minds before we adopted the KJV as our only trustworthy authority. Are we hanging on to a 'religious tradition' that came to us through the Roman influence in modern translations?

Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Read Chapter 7 of Mark's gospel to learn how God feels about the "traditions of men." These of course refer to 'religious' kinds of traditions which become rituals. It seems very definitely to have become a ritual to use capitalization of all pronouns when writing of God or his Christ.

But, praise be to God, we can change it! It was easy for me to make the decision to stop giving honor to Satan by following a tradition passed on in apostate writings. How about you?

Think about it.

Additional comments from Rita (2/14/11):

Some have read my "rantings" on over-capitalization of pronouns as dictates against grace and as establishing law in writing. They were not intended in that way, but as an encouragement for each to examine his own heart motives when about to capitalize the pronouns "he, his and him," etc. believed to refer to God or the Lord Jesus Christ mid-sentence or mid-paragraph.
In our human wisdom and human good, we think we shall honor God if we capitalize these words. Or we may think it will clarify of whom we write. I am not against honoring my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and Jehovah God. Regardless of which reason, what I have endeavored to point out is a recognition that this act of human good leads to HABIT and habit leads to error, as demonstrated previously in several paragraphs quoted from non-secular writings.
I am presently reading a secular book that attempts to educate the un-educated (which is why I am reading it ) about the Muslim world. And again, I have come across a sentence that demonstrates my point about our "human good" habits.
The following is from the book, The Grand Jihad by Andrew C. McCarthy:

"Jihad is an obligation from Allah on every Muslim and cannot be ignored nor (sic) evaded. Allah has ascribed great importance to Jihad and has made the reward of the martyrs and fighters in His way a splendid one. ... "

I am willing to bet the author did not intend to honor "Allah" by capitalizing "his" in that sentence as it is a book exposing the errors of Islam.


Greg said...

I guess I'm kind of confused. Is Rita stating that it is not right to capitalize at all due to it being more based on ritualism/traditions?

rita.erie said...

If I am writing about God,the Father or Jesus Christ, or even about the Holy Spirit, is it necessary for me to capitalize every pronoun used in a sentence or a paragraph referring to them such as in the following, where it has already been established in the previous paragraphs that we are speaking of Jesus?
"First, He is in the garden and He prays there with His disciples. He gets up, Judas betrays Him and the band, the mob, takes Him to Annas' house. From there He goes to Caiaphas'where He has the mock trial. He is condemned and the actual persecution begins. The He is brought before the Sanhedrin where they condemn Him. And then they take Him to Pilate, which is where we are ..."
If I counted correctly, there are ten capitalized pronouns referring to Jesus in that paragraph. Why?
Rita (me) is not saying it is a sin to do that, but I am saying that it IS a religious HABIT taught us by a religious system of which we claim to be no longer a part.
It would be an interesting experiment to examine oneself as one would be about to write such a pronoun. "Am I using capatilization because it is grammatically correct to do so, or because it is something I have seen others to, or because I think it gives honor to God? Does it - give honor to God to be a copycat? Or religious? Where does the religious tradition come from? Do I want to promote it? Am I not able to write (or read) a sentence understanding who it is speaking about? If Christ is mentioned in the first sentence or any sentence, is it really necessary that I insult people's intelligence by using capitalization of pronouns referring to the person identified?

And the most important point to me - have we noticed how easy it is to make the mistake (because of habit) of capitalizing a pronoun which really refers to Satan rather than to Christ or God?

Being under Grace allows one to do so if they insist they are giving honor to God, I guess. In other words, I am not saying it is a sin to use capitals on pronouns "his, him, he", etc. But if I am going to quote the Bible, I will notice that that book does not capitalize all those pronouns mid sentence. So if I do, then it is an improper quotation, is it not?
Greg, I am glad you did what I suggested at the end of that article - you thought about it.

Greg said...

Thank you for explaining Rita. I understand and see your point about traditional capitalizing versus examining what is actually in the KJV scripture.

finney said...

Don't burden yourself with that stuff. There's enough in that way that comes at you without worrying about whether or not people assign a capped pronoun to Satan and thus give him an equal standing with God (literarally speaking).
It's good that you point out traditions of men as if they're from God type of stuff but there are bigger fish to fry in regards to those traditions of men. Invite Jesus into your life, make him 'Lord of your life', repent, repent and be baptized, promise you'll follow him, promise you'll serve him and others come to mind that obscure or completely negate the gospel.
Could it just be that the writer of that particualr line didn't know to use caps after colons but not after semi-colons? I don't doubt overly your proposal that we (humans in general) do assign a capped pronoun to Satan but one example does not a habit make, as it were.
Thank you for pointing it out, though; I'll be lookin' for it just to see if you're commonly correct.

De~ said...

Quite assuredly, I capitalize the pronoun when I write about any member of the Godhead because of who God is, and for no other reason.

Is it grammatically correct? I have no clue, but I do know this much.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

I try to use proper grammar when I share my understanding with others, but I place yielding my members unto righteousness that others may be edified as a greater priority. Let it be known that I fail miserably...

finney said...

edified as a greater priority. Let it be known that I fail miserably...

Yeah, well, join the club. It's a better than good thing that we have a Saviour that saves regardless of case.
Mine are all lower with typos.
We need a place to write, leave notes, encourage and contend with one another other than this. Is there such a place, Debbie, that you've set up and I just don't know about it? This is awkward and having read what I posted (which was cut and edited about a half dozen times) I see I'm not being too careful on the re-write.