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The Spirit is distinct from “Spirit, a Spirit, spirit.”


Daniel B. Wallace comments on “the article.”

Consequently, the article is one of the most fascinating areas of study in NT grammar. It is also one of the most neglected and abused...In the least, we cannot treat it lightly, for its presence or absence is the crucial element to unlocking the meaning of passages in the NT...In short, there is no more aspect of Greek grammar that the article to help shape our understanding of the thought and theology of the NT writers. As a side note, it should be mentioned that the KJV translators often erred in their treatment of the article. They were more comfortable with the Latin than with the Greek. Since there is no article in Latin, the KJV translators frequently missed the nuances of the Greek article. Robertson points out: The translators of the King James Version, under the influence of the Vulgate, handle the Greek article loosely and inaccurately. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 1996, p.207-208)

Stanley M. Horton comments on the article “the.”

Others take it (John 20:22) that since the Greek has no “the” here and reads only “receive Holy Spirit” that Jesus did not mean the personal Holy Spirit but the breath of God, symbolic of power. Jesus breathed on them and they received power. It seems quite evident, however, that in John, as in Luke, the presence or absence of the article is not significant. (See John 4:23,24). Receiving Him here is just as much receiving a Person as is receiving Jesus. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1997, p.127-128)
 
     Stanley M. Horton insists: “It seems quite evident that in John, as in Luke, the presence or absence of the article is not significant.” Horton himself is in great contradiction in his own comment. According to his writing, “Others take it (John 20:22) that since the Greek has no ‘the’ and reads only ‘receive Holy Spirit’ that Jesus did not mean the personal Holy Spirit but the breath of God, symbolic of power.” Therefore, others interpreted John 20:22 as “Jesus breathed on them and they received power.” Horton’s conclusion is, “Receiving Him here is just as much receiving a Person as is receiving Jesus.” His argument, “the presence or absence of the article is not significant” is verified by his own interpretation as unreasonable. If his argument (“in John, as in Luke, the presence or absence of the article is not significant”) is accepted, it is absolutely impossible to build the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. While most Christian scholars have accepted the Holy Spirit as God, some do not. Some regard the Holy Spirit as a person like Jesus, but others regard Him as a material like water or as an abstract noun like power. For that reason, the words “receive Holy Spirit” are quite distinct from “receive the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit speaks of God. This is His personal name. Speaking of the word “Holy Spirit” without the article “the” (as in, “receive Holy Spirit”) does not speak of God the Holy Spirit. The word “the” in “receive the Holy Spirit” pointedly means God the Holy Spirit. Unless the Holy Spirit is regarded as God and a divine Person, it is absolutely impossible to construct the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. In all English Scripture the presence or absence of the article is very significant for building a doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Let’s examine the article “the.”
       

John 4:24 in the Greek text has no the article “the.”  

John 4:24  πνεῦμα ὁ θεός, καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν.(BNT)
KJVGod is a Spirit: and....must worship in spirit and truth.
NKJGod is Spirit, and ......must worship in spirit and truth.
NET God is spirit, and........must worship in spirit and truth.
NABGod is Spirit, and.......must worship in Spirit and truth. must worship in Spirit and truth.
NIVGod is spirit, and .......must worship in spirit and in truth.
TNIVGod is spirit, and .......must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
RSVGod is spirit, and……must worship in spirit and truth.
NASGod is spirit; and…....must worship in spirit and truth.
NLT God is Spirit, so…......must worship in spirit and in truth.
NEBGod is spirit, and ........must worship in spirit and in truth.
NJBGod is spirit, and …....must worship in spirit and in truth.
TEV  God is Spirit, and........worship him as he really is.
LBGod is Spirit, and........worship as we should...
ABGod is a Spirit (a spiritual Being)...worship...in spirit...truth.
Author God is the Spirit, and...must worship in the Spirit and in the truth.

     In regard to John 4:24 modern translations cited above have fallen into the error of the King James Version, which reads, “God is a Spirit.” The KJV disregards pneuma (πνεῦμα) in v. 24 as God the Spirit. It should be translated “God is the Spirit” since “a Spirit, Spirit, spirit or a spirit” is by no means the same as the Spirit who is God. That is, “the Spirit” is quite distinct from “Spirit, a Spirit, and spirit.” The AB explains that “a Spirit” in “God is a Spirit” is “a spiritual Being.” While this is a correct explanation, we remember that an angel is a spiritual being. A devil or an evil spirit is a spiritual being. “The Spirit” is a spiritual Being, and He must be regarded as God the Holy Spirit. God in v. 24 is God the Holy Spirit. “A Spirit, Spirit, spirit or a spirit” is a spiritual being but it is not called “God, the Spirit” or “God the Holy Spirit.” Verse 24 must be translated, “God is the Spirit.” Daniel B. Wallace also translates pneuma ho theos (ὁ θεός) in v. 24 as “God is spirit” like so many others. (Daniel B. Wallace, 'Greek Grammar beyond the Basics,’ p.43)
He here has accepted the KJV and modern translations of v. 24 as authentic. Obviously his study on the Greek article in John 4:24 is unbiblical since he did not receive pneuma (πνεῦμα) in v. 24 as “the Spirit” who is the Holy Spirit and a proper name.  

John 3:5 in the Greek text has no the article “the” but v. 6,8 have the article “the.”

John 3:5  τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος (BNT)
KJV       a man be born of water and of the Spirit.
John 3:6,8 τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν....οὕτως ἐστὶν πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος. (BNT)
KJV       that which is born of the Spirit is spirit… so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

     In John 3:5-8 Jesus expounds a doctrine of being born again, that is, regeneration. The Greek pneumatos (πνεύματος) in v. 5 is anarthrous. However, both verses 6 and 8 have tou pneumatos (τοῦ πνεύματος) or “the Spirit.” Every English version correctly translates pneumatos (πνεύματος) in v. 5 as “the Spirit” with the article “the.” “The Spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit. This is obviously a correct translation because John 3:3-8 must be a consistent statement on “being born again.” All English versions commonly translate pneuma (πνεύμα) in John 4:24 as “a Spirit or Spirit or spirit.” In this verse there is no a definite article (“the”). In English grammar a definite noun is quite distinct from an indefinite noun or an anarthrous noun. The word “Spirit” without “the” is quite distinct from “the Spirit.” The Spirit with “the” refers to the Spirit who is God the Holy Spirit, but “Spirit,” or “a Spirit” without “the” is by no means  the same.
     In every English version of John 3:5 we read of pneuma (πνεῦμα) with the definite article. This is not the case in John 4:24. Instead, the proper noun (God the Holy Spirit) is treated as an abstract noun (Spirit or spirit). Since the principle of translation applied to John 3:5 is not applied to John 4:23-24, every English version is inconsistent at this point–translating tou pneumatos pneuma estin (τοῦ πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν) in John 3:6 as “of the Spirit is spirit.” Here, tou pneumatos (τοῦ πνεύματος) is in the genitive noun of pneuma (πνεύμα). The term “the Spirit” is biblically correct because tou pneumatos (τοῦ πνεύματος) is the Spirit who is God the Holy Spirit, and pneuma (πνεῦμά) does not refer to the Holy Spirit but a human being’s spirit.   

John 20:22 in the Greek text has no the article “the.”

John 20:22   λάβετε πνεῦμα ἅγιον· (BNT) 
NKJ          Receive the Holy Spirit.

     In John 20:22 pneuma hagion (πνεῦμα ἅγιον) is anarthrous as it is in John 4:24. Every English version translates it consistently and correctly as “the Holy Spirit” with the article “the.” This same principle of translation applied to John 20:22 must be applied to John 4:24.
     Consider again the opinion of Stanley M. Horton, “Others take it (John 20:22) that since the Greek has no ‘the’ here and reads only ‘receive Holy Spirit’ that Jesus did not mean the personal Holy Spirit but the breath of God, symbolic of power. Jesus breathed on them and they received power.” If this translation (“Holy Spirit” in v. 22) is accepted as right, these arguments are valid. However, even though the Greek text in v. 22 has no article “the,” it must be translated as God’s personal name–“the Holy Spirit.” Likewise, even though the Greek text in John 4:24 has no the article “the,” it must be translated as “God is the Spirit.” The Spirit is by no means breath or symbolic of power but God the Spirit and a divine Person.

1 Cor. 12:3 in the Greek text has no the article “the.”

1Co 12:3 οὐδεὶς ἐν πνεύματι θεοῦ λαλῶν λέγει· Ἀνάθεμα Ἰησοῦς, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται εἰπεῖν· Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, εἰ μὴ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.( BNT)
NKJ        no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

     Pneumati theou (πνεύματι θεοῦ) and pneumati hagio (πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) in 1Cor. 12:3 are similarly anarthrous like John 4:24. Again all English versions commonly translate this as “the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit” with the article “the.” Sadly, the principle of translation applied to 1 Cor. 12:3 is not applied to John 4:23-24. If it were, it would reveal the Spirit is the same as the Holy Spirit

“God is spirit…worship the Father in spirit and in truth” is a mistranslation.

John 4:23-24 οἱ ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταὶ προσκυνήσουσιν τῷ πατρὶ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ..πνεῦμα ὁ θεός, καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν. (BNT).
KJV    the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:...God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
NKJ    the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;...God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
NIV    the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth,...God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
TNIV  the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

     Both en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι ) and aletheia (ἀληθείᾳ) in vv. 23-24 are in the dative nouns. If the phrase “they...must worship the Father in spirit and truth” in the KJV is accepted as the right translation, it could be inferred that believers must worship the Father spiritually and truthfully. This is not helpful because every non-Christian society encourages worship of their god spiritually and truthfully. The translation of the NKJ in vv. 23-24 is the same as that of the KJV. The TNIV translators translate en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι) as “in the Spirit,” which is quite distinct from “in spirit.” While this is correct, “the Spirit is spirit” (in TNIV) is still a mistranslation. In order to translate vv. 23-24 correctly it must be compared with other passages in the NT. Let us examine the following cases.

Gal. 5:16   Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε (BNT)
KJV    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit.
NIV    So I say, live by the Spirit.
NRS    Live by the Spirit, I say.

Gal. 5:25 Εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι, πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν.(BNT) 
KJV    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
NIV    Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
NRS   If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

     Though the pneumati (πνεύματι) of vv. 16,25 has no article (“the”), all English versions commonly translate it as “the Spirit.” While this is correct, this principle of translation applied to Gal. 5:16,25 is not applied to John 4:23-24. Both pneumati (πνεύματι) and pneumati (πνεύματι) in Gal. 5:16,25 are in the naked datives as is en pneumati hagio (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) in 1 Cor. 12:3 [ἐν + the dative]. Both datives possess the same meaning in the Greek text. The dative in Gal.5:16,25 could be translated as [in, by or with] the Spirit just as the KJV, NIV, and NRS do. The expressions “walk in the Spirit,” “live by the Spirit,” and “if we live in (by) the Spirit, let us also walk in (by) the Spirit,” make sense. But to say, “walk in Spirit,” “live in spirit,” or “if we live in spirit, let us also walk in spirit,” makes no sense. The principle of translation applied to Gal. 5:16,25 must be applied to John 4:23-24 consistently. Those who worship God must “worship Him in the Spirit and in the truth.”

Eph. 6:18 in the Greek text has no the article “the.”

Eph. 6:18  προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι, (BNT)  
NIV    pray in the Spirit...all kinds of prayers and requests.
KJV    praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
NKJ    praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
AB      Pray at all times-on every occasion,...in the Spirit.
ESV    praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
NRS    Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.
NAB   With all prayer and supplication, pray...opportunity in the Spirit.

     In this verse the word pneumati (πνεύματι) is anarthrous. Every English version correctly translates this as “the Spirit.” If it were translated as “Pray in spirit,” or “Pray in Spirit,” it would be incorrect. The principle of translation applied to Eph. 6:18 must be consistently applied to John 4:23-24.  
 

Phil. 3:3 must be examined to understand John 4:23-24.

Phil.3:3   πνεύματι θεοῦ λατρεύοντες καὶ καυχώμενοι ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ  (Phi 3:3 BNT)
KJVwhich worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus
NKJwho worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus
NIVwho worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus
ESV who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus
NET who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus
NRSwho worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus

     Pneumati (πνεύματι) in v. 3 is anarthrous but it should be “the Spirit.” Pneumati theou latreuontes (πνεύματι θεοῦ λατρεύοντες) should be translated as “worship in the Spirit of God” since in the Greek text, theou (θεοῦ) is only in the genitive noun. Latreuontes (λατρεύοντες) is in an accusative verb which requires the accusative noun, but in this Greek text there is no an accusative noun. Therefore, the KJV, NKJ, and RSV translators added the word “God.” A Christian society must only worship “God.” The NIV and NRS translators did not add the word “God,” and they were correct. Consequently, these translations are biblical. The translation would be erroneous if it were translated “worship God in the spirit” or “worship God in spirit.” The translations “worship God in the Spirit” and “worship God by the Spirit of God” are correct. The translations “‘worship God in the Spirit.’ ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus.’ ‘worship God in the Spirit.’ ‘worship God in Christ Jesus.’ ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus.’ ‘rejoice in the Sprit.’” are right. The phrase “in the Spirit” is the same as “in Christ Jesus” according to the doctrine of the Trinity. According to the principle of translation applied to Phil. 3:3, John 4:23-24 must consistently be translated “worship the Father in the Spirit, God is the Spirit...must worship Him in the Spirit and in the truth.”

Why should "en aletheia" (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ) be translated as "in the truth"?

     Both en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι) and aletheia (ἀληθείᾳ) in John 4:23-24 are in the dative noun. If believers “...must worship the Father in spirit and truth” as the KJV reads, it can be inferred simply to mean that ‘worship’ must be done spiritually and truthfully. In this non-Christian world, many worshippers believe in their gods and not the God of the Bible. They worship their gods spiritually, truthfully and with enthusiasm. Since Christian worship is distinct from all other worship “in spirit” (vv. 23-24) it must be “in the Spirit.” Let us examine why “in truth” (John 4:23,24) should be translated “in the truth.” John 16:13 and John 17: 17-19 reveal the answer.

John 16:13 ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πάσῃ· (BNT)
NKJ    However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.

     “God is the Spirit” is the same grammatical construction as “God is the Spirit of truth.” Therefore, “worship God in the Spirit and in the truth” means that one is to worship God in the Spirit, that is, in the Spirit of truth.
 
John 7:17,19  ἁγίασον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ: ὁ λόγος ὁ σὸς ἀλήθειά ἐστιν...καὶ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἐγὼ ἁγιάζω ἐμαυτόν, ἵνα ὦσιν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἡγιασμένοι ἐν ἀληθείᾳ. (BNT)
KJV    Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
NKJ    Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth...And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they...may be sanctified by the truth.
NIV    Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.     
NRS   Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they...may be sanctified in truth.

     In en te aletheia (ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ-John 17:17), te aletheia (τῇ ἀληθείᾳ) has the article (“the”).  The en aletheia (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ-John 17:19) has no article (“the”),  but en te aletheia (ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ) is commonly the same meaning as en aletheia (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ). Therefore, both must be translated as “in the truth” or “by the truth.” The NIV and RSV translators erroneously translate it as “truly and in truth.” The term “in truth” is different from “in the truth” because the word “truth” (aletheia,ἀληθείᾳ) in vv. 17,19 is used of “in God’s word of truth.” John 17:19 should read, “Sanctify them in the truth...they also may be sanctified in the truth.” What does “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” mean? It could simply mean, “Sanctify them in God’s word of the truth since God’s word is truth.” The phrase, “They also may be sanctified in the truth” means that they also may be sanctified in God’s word of the truth since God’s word is truth.
     This same principle of interpretation should be applied to John 4:23-24, “the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in the Father’s word of the truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. God is the Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in the Spirit and in the truth, that is, in God’s word of the truth.” John 4:23-24 must be translated as, “the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in the truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is the Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in the Spirit and in the truth.”

2 Cor. 3:17 affirms that the Lord is the Spirit.

2  Cor. 3:17 ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία. (BNT)
NIV     Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

     Both ho kurios (ὁ κύριος) and to pneuma (τὸ πνεῦμά ) are in the nominative nouns. Ho kurios to pneuma estin (ὁ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν) is translated correctly as “the Lord is the Spirit.” Pneuma ho theos (πνεῦμα ὁ θεός- John 4:24) must be translated as “the verb estin (2  Cor. 3:17) is omitted in John 4:24.” Both pneuma (πνεῦμα) and ho theos (ὁ θεός) in John 4:24 are nominative nouns like that in 2 Cor. 3:17. Therefore, it must be consistently translated as “God is the Spirit.” And here it can be found that “the Lord is the Spirit.” That is the same meaning as “the Spirit of the Lord.”  

Luke 1:68  Εὐλογητὸς κύριος ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ (BNT) 
KJV    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.

     In this case both kurios ( κύριος) and ho theos (ὁ θεὸς), which are nominative nouns, are translated correctly as “the Lord God.” Both pneuma (πνεῦμα) and ho theos (ὁ θεὸς) in John 4:24 are nominative nouns like that in Luke 1:68. Therefore, it could be translated consistently “the Spirit God.” Luke spoke of “the Lord God.” “The Lord God” can be transformed into “the Lord is God,” which is the same expression of Paul used in 2  Cor.  3:17. There “the Lord is the Spirit” is the same as “God is the Spirit.” So “God is the Spirit” in John 4:24 is a correct translation.

Rom. 10:9 ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν  (BNT)
NKJ    If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
NIV    If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”

     The NKJ translates kurion Iesoun (κύριον Ἰησοῦν) as “the Lord Jesus”; the NIV, as “Jesus is Lord.” The meaning is the same. The phrase “Jesus is Lord” can be transformed into “the Lord is Jesus.” The phrase “the Lord is God” is the same as “God is the Spirit” since “the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Rev. 4:8 ἅγιος ἅγιος ἅγιος κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ, ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος. (BNT)
NIV    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is.....
NKJ    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is...
NRS    Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is...

     Rev. 4:8 states, kurios ho theos ho pantokrator (κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ). The word kurios (κύριος) is anarthrous, but ho theos(ὁ θεὸς) is articular. Both are nominative nouns. The NIV and NRS translations correctly read, “the Lord God.” In pneuma ho theos (πνεῦμα ὁ θεός-John 4:24) we find the same grammar as in Rev. 4:8. If the same principle of translation were applied to Rev. 4:8, pneuma ho theos (πνεῦμα ὁ θεός) would be translated more consistently as “the Spirit God or God the Spirit.” “The Lord God” would be transformed into “God is the Lord.” Likewise, “the Spirit God” would be transformed into “God is the Spirit.” This too confirms that pneuma ho theos (πνεῦμα ὁ θεός) in John 4:24 must be translated as “God is the Spirit.”

•    Luke 1:68:      The Lord God = the Lord is God = God is the Lord
•    Rev. 22:21:     The Lord Jesus = the Lord is Jesus = Jesus is the Lord
•    2 Cor. 3:17:    The Lord Spirit = the Lord is the Spirit = God is the Spirit  
            
1Co 12:3 οὐδεὶς ἐν πνεύματι θεοῦ λαλῶν λέγει· Ἀνάθεμα Ἰησοῦς, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται εἰπεῖν· Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, εἰ μὴ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.( BNT)
NKJ        no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

     In 1 Cor. 12:3 the apostle Paul confirms that the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit.

Acts 16:6-7  κωλυθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος λαλῆσαι τὸν λόγον ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ...καὶ οὐκ εἴασεν αὐτοὺς τὸ πνεῦμα Ἰησοῦ·(BNT)
NIV     having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia...but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

     Acts 16:6,7 affirms that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. The passages mentioned above indicate the following principles:

•    1 Cor. 12:3:     The Spirit of God   = the Holy Spirit = God is the Spirit
•    Acts 16:6-7:    The Spirit of Jesus = the Holy Spirit = Jesus is the Spirit

     The Scripture reveals that God is the Lord, Jesus is the Lord, and the Lord is the Spirit. It can be concluded that God is the Spirit. Therefore John 4:24 must not be translated “God is a Spirit, Spirit” without the article (“the”), but “God is the Spirit” with the article “the.”

The Bible reveals that the Spirit is quite distinct from the spirit.

1 John 4:1-6  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit , but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God. Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us...we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood . (NIV)

     God’s word indicates the Spirit, with a capital “S,” is the Holy Spirit. The lower case “s” is the spirit of the antichrist, an evil spirit. Therefore, “the Spirit” is greater than “the spirit” because “the Spirit” speaks of God the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit” (to pneuma, τὸ πνεῦμα) is distinct from “the spirit” (to pneuma, τὸ πνεῦμα or “spirit” or “a spirit.” Many English versions translate pneuma ho theos (πνεῦμα ὁ θεός-John 4:24) as ‘God is spirit,” but 1 John 4:1-6 confirms this is in an obvious error. 1 John 4:1-6 confirms that both “the Spirit” and “the spirit” are the same to pneuma (το πνεῦμα) in the Greek text, but in English “the Spirit” is quite distinct from “the spirit.” The Spirit is God the Holy Spirit but “the spirit” is by no means God the Spirit. Some argue that the Holy Spirit is one of many spirits, but this also is from a misunderstanding.

Eph. 2:2   in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit ( τοῦ πνεύματος) who is now at work....who are disobedient. (NIV)

Rom. 8:15-16  For you did not receive a spirit (πνεύμα) that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας ). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit (τὸ πνεῦμα) himself testifies with our spirit (τῷ πνεύματι ἡμῶν) that we are God’s children. (NIV)

     Neither the word “the spirit” (Eph. 2:2) nor “a spirit” (Rom. 8:15) speak of the Spirit who is the Holy Spirit. Each refers to an evil spirit. The “our spirit” of Rom. 8:16 speaks of the human spirit. “The Spirit” of Rom. 8:16 refers to the Holy Spirit. Rom. 8:8-16 affirms that every Christian has received the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives in every believer. The mind of the sinful man is death (Rom.:6), so the unbeliever is easily influenced by an evil spirit. Worse, by reason of rebellion and ignorance, a man may find an evil spirit at work within him (Eph. 2:2).

Rev. 16:13-14 reveals that the evil spirits are the spirits of demon.

Rev. 16:13-14 Then I saw three evil spirits (πνεύματα τρία ἀκάθαρτα) that looked like frogs;...They are spirits of demons (εἰσὶν γὰρ πνεύματα δαιμονίων) performing miraculous signs. (NIV)

     Pneumata (πνεύματα-Rev.16:13) is the plural of pneuma (πνεύμα). It can be translated as “spirits” meaning “evil spirits.” If pneuma (πνεύμα) in John 4:23-24 is translated as “spirit,” it must be either “an evil spirit” or “a human spirit.” To say “God is a spirit (spirit or the spirit)” obviously makes no sense. For this reason, John 4:24 must be translated as “God is the Spirit.”

Luke 24:37    They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost (πνεύμα). (NIV)
NKJ               But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit (πνεύμα).

     The NIV translates pneuma (πνεύμα) as “a ghost”; the NKJ, as “a spirit,” but pneuma (πνεύμα-Luke 24:37) is quite distinct from that in John 4:24. These should be differently translated.

Heb. 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits (πνεύματα), sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (KJV)

     God’s angels are ministering spirits, so in this instance pneumata (πνεύματα spirits) speaks of the angels. If pneuma (πνεύμα-John 4:24) is translated as “spirit,” it would be “angel.” If this were true, instead of “God is spirit,” Heb. 1:13-14 would read “God is an angel.” John 4:24 must read “God is the Spirit.”

The Bible reveals that the Spirit of Christ is quite distinct from the spirit of Christ.

Rom. 8:9    But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (NKJ)

     Here is found a general rule: “the Spirit = the Spirit of God = the Spirit of Christ.” Rom. 8:9 indicates that if you belong to Christ, the Spirit of Christ is in you, and you are in the Spirit. It can be also inferred that you must worship God in the Spirit and in the truth since, through your faith in Christ, you are in the Spirit of truth. This is consistent with John 4:23-24.  

Luke 23:46    Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (τὸ πνεῦμά μου).” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (NIV)

     The word “my spirit” is quite different from “the Spirit of Christ.” In this case “my spirit” is obviously Christ’s spirit. “Christ’s spirit” is absolutely not the same as “Christ’s Spirit” who is the Holy Spirit. “Christ’s spirit” is the same as “a human being’s spirit.” Therefore, John 4:24 must be “God is the Spirit” who is the Holy Spirit.

Acts 7:59-60 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (τὸ πνεῦμά μου).” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (NIV)

Rev. 22:6  The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” (NIV)

Num. 27:15-16 Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community...” (NIV)

     In these three references, “my spirit” in Acts 7:59, “the spirits” of the prophets in Rev. 22:6 and “the spirits” in Num. 27:16 do not speak of the Holy Spirit but of a human being’s spirit.

Heb. 4:12    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit (πνεύματος), joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)

Heb. 12:9     Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits (τῶν πνευμάτων) and live! (NIV)  

     The word “spirit” (πνεύματος) in Heb. 4:12 and the word “the spirits” (τῶν πνευμάτω) in Heb. 12:9 do not refer to the Holy Spirit but human spirit. In the case of John 4:24, God is by no means the spirit, spirit or a spirit but “the Spirit.” This must obviously be “God is the Spirit.” The term “a Spirit” or “Spirit” is not found anywhere in the Scripture. Nowhere is the Greek text  as in John 4:24 translated as “a Spirit” or “Spirit.” The term “a Spirit” or “Spirit” is by no means the same as “the Spirit.”

      Daniel B. Wallace says of the article of Greek grammar, “The general rule is that both the head noun and the genitive noun either have the article or lack article. It makes little semantic difference whether the construction is articular or anarthrous. Thus ho logos tou theou (ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ) = logos theou (λόγος θεοῦ).” (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.250)

     This is correct, but the use of the article “the” in English grammar is quite distinct from that of Greek grammar. In English grammar the inclusion or exclusion of the article makes great semantic difference. See John 4:23-24 and 20:22. “The Spirit” with “the” is quite distinct from “Spirit” without “the.”  

The Bible indicates that “God” is quite different from “god.”

John 10:34,35  ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς· οὐκ ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὑμῶν ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπα· θεοί ἐστε; εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή, (BNT) 
NIV  Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken–.”

1 Cor. 8:4-6   As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God (θεος) but one. For though there be that are called gods (θεοἰ), whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods (θεοἰ) many, and lords many). But to us there is but one God (θεος), the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (KJV)

     In John 10:34-35 and 1 Cor. 8:4-6, the capital letter “God” is used of God the Father. The lower case letter “god” is obviously different. There is only one God; that is God the Father. The Father is God (1 Cor. 8:6), but the Father is never called “god,” “a god” or “the god.” Likewise, the Spirit is not called “spirit,” “a spirit” or “the spirit” (lower case “s”). John 10:34-35 indicates that all children of God are gods. It may be concluded that every Christian is “a god” because God is our Father and our God. For that reason we became the children of God. Every Christian could be called “god” since we are the children of God the Father. Jesus Christ is called God, the Son of God the Father.
     From John 4:23-24 we can understand the following: We can worship God the Father in any place: in a house, in the classroom or in a park, etc. Worship needs not be localized on a holy mountain or even in Jerusalem because God is the Spirit and the Spirit is truth. His worshippers must worship God the Father in the Spirit and in the truth. This phrase “worship in the Spirit and in the truth” commands that Christians must worship in the Holy Spirit and in the truth of the word of God, that is, in the Holy Bible. Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:20). In John 4:20-26, Jesus Christ obviously taught that the Old Testament way of worship is distinct from that of the New Testament.