# Is there an english grammar rule that prohibits an

hiroishere

## Main Question or Discussion Point

inanimate object thinking its own thoughts? I am going over this bible verse which states the following: "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith"
I am reading "the hope of righteousness" like the word "righteousness" is actually "hoping" for something. --But doesn't that violate some grammar rule? That is to say, can a "state of being" think its own thought (according to grammar I mean) ? Like I said im probably not explaining it very well, but hopefully this makes enough sense for someone to clue me in..
also, iyo, is that a completely convoluted way to read that sentence? thanks for any help

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Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Grammar is about how to put word types together, not individual words.

"The grass is green"

"The grass is blue"

Are both grammatically correct, even if the second sentence is false. "People can hope", and "Boxes can hope" are both grammatically correct, even if the second is false.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
atyy
Which translation are you using? If it is the King James, then it is correct English "by definition".

Edit: I just googled it and it does seem to be from the KJV, so yes it is correct English. The KJV is authoritative in the sense that Shakespeare or Jane Austen are - their "mistakes" are accepted as correct. However, I don't have a grammatical analysis at the moment as to why the sentence is correct.

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Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Which translation are you using? If it is the King James, then it is correct English "by definition".
Why?

atyy
Why?
I edited my post to add an explanation.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Do you have a source for that? Bear in mind that language changes over time so aspects of Shakespearean grammar, even if they influenced language convention, are not going to be correct English forever.

hiroishere
yes its pathetic fallacy, that's what I was thinking about.. yes its the king james verision (pretty sure), yes I know the sentence makes sense, but in what reading does it make sense? because to me, it seems like it could be read 4 different ways. Is there anyway someone who knows bible could just paraphrase it into plainer sentences?

atyy
Do you have a source for that? Bear in mind that language changes over time so aspects of Shakespearean grammar, even if they influenced language convention, are not going to be correct English forever.
The KJV is a source!

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
If you want to know what it means ask a priest, determining the meaning of religious texts is highly subjective.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
The KJV is a source!
I meant a source that shows that language conventions invented by the translators of the KJV were incorporated into the English language. You can't just say that a version of the bible is the definition of correct English and then use it to prove the point.

hiroishere
what I am wondering about specifically is the "hope of righteousness" Does the writer (st paul?) mean that righteousness has hope? Or does he mean that we are waiting to receive a hope of righteousness? Two different readings of the same sentence. that's the problem im having. thanks

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Two different readings of the same sentence
Welcome to biblical interpretation. What any passage means can differ from denomination to denomination. This isn't just a religious phenomenon, any piece of literature can be interpreted multiple ways.

atyy
I meant a source that shows that language conventions invented by the translators of the KJV were incorporated into the English language. You can't just say that a version of the bible is the definition of correct English and then use it to prove the point.
No, I don't have a source. But how are you going to correct Shakespeare or Jane Austen - you may as well "correct" Beethoven. The point is that these are acknowledged as great works of English literature. Funnily though, I just googled "Jane Austen grammatical errors", and found a suggestion that she wasn't very good http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130838304 !

I am reading "the hope of righteousness" like the word "righteousness" is actually "hoping" for something.
That's probably not a correct reading. The core of the sentence is most likely, "We wait for hope."

My sense of it is that the speaker is saying, "We are waiting for the day when we can, at least, hope people will be righteous due to their faith."

However, I would try and find a more modern translation that might clarify the meaning.

hiroishere
I did ask a priest ..I asked on a theology forum and rather than just answering question everyone gives 10 page replies of theology about everything except my question blah blah blah.. so now Im here at physics forums

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
No, I don't have a source. But how are you going to correct Shakespeare or Jane Austen - you may as well "correct" Beethoven. The point is that these are acknowledged as great works of English literature. Funnily though, I just googled "Jane Austen grammatical errors", and found a suggestion that she wasn't very good http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130838304 !
I'm not trying to correct any of them simply responding to your claim that if something is in this particular version of the bible it is correct English by definition. I assumed you'd be able to link to some well established aspect of the study of English language that showed how influential this version was over subsequent English language conventions. I've never heard such a thing and it sounds like a very outlandish statement given that English is a language that not only constantly changes through time but has different rules depending on which English speaking country you were in.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
I did ask a priest ..I asked on a theology forum and rather than just answering question everyone gives 10 page replies of theology about everything except my question blah blah blah.. so now Im here at physics forums
This is a science forum so not really a good place to get answers on religious topics. We do allow discussions of religion under strict conditions. Here are the relevant rules regarding said conversations:

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If you want to know what it means ask a priest, determining the meaning of religious texts is highly subjective.
I'm sure it's just a matter of the translation. No one speaks King James era English anymore and, I'm told, Paul didn't write very well in Greek. So, your best bet is probably to cut out the King James middle-man, get hold of the best extant ancient Greek version of Paul's Epistles, and find a scholar of ancient Greek with some specialty in the bastardized Greek spoken in the far flung provinces of the Roman Empire.

hiroishere
That's probably not a correct reading. The core of the sentence is most likely, "We wait for hope."

My sense of it is that the speaker is saying, "We are waiting for the day when we can, at least, hope people will be righteous due to their faith."

However, I would try and find a more modern translation that might clarify the meaning.
This explains it imo..thank you.

atyy
I'm not trying to correct any of them simply responding to your claim that if something is in this particular version of the bible it is correct English by definition. I assumed you'd be able to link to some well established aspect of the study of English language that showed how influential this version was over subsequent English language conventions. I've never heard such a thing and it sounds like a very outlandish statement given that English is a language that not only constantly changes through time but has different rules depending on which English speaking country you were in.
I think we were responding to two different conceptions of the question.

My sense was that, if one says the sentence is grammatically wrong, then one has to offer a correction. Thus knowing that the work in question is widely acknowledged as a great work of English literature, offering to correct it would be foolhardy.

OTOH, if one is asking whether the grammar of the sentence is still applicable in particular present day contexts, then basically one has not been given enough information to answer the question, since as you say what is presently considered correct differs between communities of English language users.

This explains it imo..thank you.
You're welcome, but I would really check more modern translations directly from the Greek.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
My sense was that, if one says the sentence is grammatically wrong, then one has to offer a correction. Thus knowing that the work in question is widely acknowledged as a great work of English literature, offering to correct it would be foolhardy.
One can point out a grammatical flaw without proposing that the piece should be rewritten. Otherwise agreed, though I'm not sure how well the king James is regarded as a great work of English literature (its a translation after all).

hiroishere
This is a science forum so not really a good place to get answers on religious topics. We do allow discussions of religion under strict conditions. Here are the relevant rules regarding said conversations:
Ryan I know this is science forum, physicsforums has saved my a more than few times in p-chem and applied math, im not new just forgot login details. The reason I prefer asking about literature (and theology) on PF is because I never get the snooty b.s. that is on dedicated literature boards and the proselytizing on theology boards. .. but I do get your point though about the rules and such

George Jones
Staff Emeritus