Capitalizing God Pronouns to Psalm 14:1 in 195 Words

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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I thought this was worth sharing,

Today on LinkedIn, a Christian construction worker made an attempt to witness by quoting Psalm 68:1-5, then calling people to consider all that occupies their thoughts, urging them to higher thinking that includes God. It was so-so but he tried–which is often more than I do.

First comment:
I'm agnostic, but you should capitalize "Him"... Seems small, but if the faith is true, the details matter - otherwise - we don't grow as humans. The sentiment is valid.

First Reply to the comment:
Funny you mentioned that. Capitalizing God pronouns are not in these days. I still do it sometimes for emphases, but not always. The only modern translations that I am aware of using capitals are the New King James and New American Standard. There are probably others.

Agnostic? Well, there's still hope for you. Also, there are even people who "claim" to be atheists (tongue-in-cheek of course) — poor fools. I don't mean they are intellectual dwarfs. Some of the most famous atheists are, or were, brilliant. Christopher Hitchens had amazing, almost mind-altering powers in his destruction of Christian evidentialists. However, he is dead now. So will we all be sooner than we imagine. Then what? I should stop because this is a mere comment but I will add this. I have been a Christian for 45 years, and in these later years I have been blessed with what the Puritans called "full assurance of faith." I am sure where I am going and eager for my change to come.

Psalm 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
 
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Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Some people get very passionate about capitalizing the deity pronoun, not realizing it was a fairly modern (late 19th Century) innovation that has already passed out of favor with most publishers. Read any late 19th Century writing, and you'll find that all sorts of odd words are capitalized.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
If capitalization infers deity about the one being talked about, then we would necessarily have to uncapitalized all other words which do not have any association with deity.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I can't think of an example offhand, but, in the NKJV for instance, there are places where there is ambiguity as to who specific pronouns are capitalized. In those cases, the editors are asserting one or the other is the correct view thus making a translation and interpretation decision where most agree we do not yet know for sure who or what the pronoun is referring to. This is a problem.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
In English grammar we do not capitalize pronouns other than the first person singular, and neither do we capitalize possessive adjectives of any sort. These capitalized pronouns, etc. are, grammatically speaking, aberrant.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I have moved fairly recently with last several publications to capitalizing the pronouns referring to God apart from direct scripture citations. It adds a lot of work because as noted it is not a common consistent convention in must writing over the last four centuries, and you really have to understand the content. However, disregarding the respect for God argument, it struck me most recently how practical it is because older works can be somewhat ambiguous, e.g. what "he" they are talking about. For instance, the old manuscript I'm currently working with more frequently fills sentences with pronouns without saying God, Christ, etc., with the last reference not even close in context, and it is not clear immediately who is in view. So, at least for what I'm doing, it makes sense to do it, whatever you think of an "ought to" argument.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I have moved fairly recently with last several publications to capitalizing the pronouns referring to God apart from direct scripture citations. It adds a lot of work because as noted it is not a common consistent convention in must writing over the last four centuries, and you really have to understand the content. However, disregarding the respect for God argument, it struck me most recently how practical it is because older works can be somewhat ambiguous, e.g. what "he" they are talking about. For instance, the old manuscript I'm currently working with more frequently fills sentences with pronouns without saying God, Christ, etc., with the last reference not even close in context, and it is not clear immediately who is in view. So, at least for what I'm doing, it makes sense to do it, whatever you think of an "ought to" argument.
Interesting and true in that I attempt to capitalize His pronouns almost exclusively because of respect. :)
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Unless I am quoting another's texts, I make an effort for capitalizations related to the Godhead. It takes extra time, but affords me the sense of prudence I like to emulate when speaking of things holy. I know others have a different view and do not hold them to account for it. Just my own personal preference.
 
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