Q and A: Did Paul Have Perfect Grammar?

 Did Paul have immaculate grammar? Sometimes an interpretation of the Bible hangs on a rule of Greek grammar. But that assumes that Paul never made any grammatical errors. Did God guide him and correct his grammar along the way? Did he feel a pinch or a stab when he started to make a grammar error? Did he burst into flames? Explain your answer.

-- Richard 


I’m no Greek expert, so I don’t know whether Paul made any grammatical errors or not, but I will say that if a grammatical error would have resulted in the message God wanted to convey (or worse yet, would result in a factual error), God might have intervened. Whether this came in the form of a pinch, or a stab, or a voice from Heaven, or whatever. He would have put a stop to it. However, in cases where the meaning of the passage wouldn’t be affected by grammar, I don’t think God would mind.

Here’s an illustration: If the canon were not closed and God inspired a writing today, and picked me as one of his authors, God may get me to write about eternal security, and I may write down “The devil will never snatch you away from God. It just aint gonna happen.” Now, “aint gonna” is clearly not proper grammar. The correct phrasing would be “isn’t going to”. “aint” and “gonna” aren’t even real words. But regardless of whether I say “Isn’t going to” or “aint gonna”, the message still gets through, and that’s all that matters.

Then again, in a situation where the context revealed the correct interpretation, He may not intervene, since proper exegesis would extract the truth. In this case, only taking it out of context would render an incorrect interpretation. After all, scripture is to interpret scripture.

These are my musings on the matter. One thing I'm certain of is that God is able to preserve His Word so that He gets what He wants to say across. I think God would only care about grammar if it got in the way of the goal of conveying His message. If the meaning of the passage were not affected, He probably wouldn't care.

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." - Proverbs 30:5