What is the right way to handle capitalizing pronouns that refer to God?
Many English-speakers, along with the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New King James Version (NKJV) have chosen to capitalize pronouns (He, His, Him, They, Them, Their) referring to any member or all of the Trinity. Those who choose to capitalize these pronouns do so out of respect or to make it very clear to whom the pronoun refers. Many other people, however, including all other English Bible versions from Wycliffe and Tyndale to the ESV choose to follow the rules of English style. Whether in elementary English class or official style books like Associated Press or Chicago, standard usage has always been to leave pronouns lower-case.
Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter:
Is either view right? Ultimately, either is completely fine. There is no biblical precedent for altering written forms when talking about God, since Hebrew does not have capital letters, and surviving manuscripts of the New Testament were written either all in capitals or all in lower-case Greek. However, respect for God and His name does have precedence, both from the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:7) and from the Jewish traditions surrounding the name of Yahweh. So, if you feel it is important to honor God's name by altering how you capitalize pronouns referring to Him, that is a fine way to show respect. However, if you feel it is unnecessary or have publishing constraints, that is also a thoroughly valid stance.
Why are there so many Bible translations?
What are the different English Bible translations?
What does holy, holy, holy mean in reference to God?
How can I come to really know God?
How can knowing Greek and Hebrew be helpful when studying the Bible?
Truth about the Bible