Why do the Missal and (Catholic) Bible not capitalize pronouns like Him, His, etc. when referring to God/Jesus, when they are capitalized in nearly every other text?

For example, from today’s reading via USCCB:

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.”

Personally, I prefer the non-capitalized style. :confused:

Actually, I see the non-capped style more often, especially in the last 20 years. The style guidelines for the Catholic News Service call for lower-case pronouns.

As AnnArbor suggests, it is simply a change of style in writing.

If you look at some older examples of secular writing you will find that certain words are capitalized that we would never think of capitalizing today.

And of course individuals are still free to capitalize nouns and pronouns that refer to the persons of the Trinity anytime they do any personal writing (as on this forum.)

It’s just modern writing style. It was once common in English to capitalize pronouns which refer to God (by which is meant, more often, the Judaeo-Christian one).

If I could give myself as an example, I’m more of an inconsistent example in this regard. I capitalize third-person pronouns (He, Him, His, Himself) but not second-person ones. It’s just for aesthetic reasons in my part: I just don’t like typing ‘You’ or ‘Your’ with uppercase Y. :shrug:

Capitalization is just a convention of written language. The Catechism and most Church documents don’t capitalize pronouns either.

Most publishers have guidelines they follow in this regard so that they remain consistent. But there’s no one “right” way to do it.

There’s an easy solution for that: Type “Thou” and “Thy” with uppercase T. :wink:

Capitalization is something that’s interested me for awhile. While you may feel “nearly every other text” uses capitalized pronouns for God, this is really a measure of how pervasive the practice, which was originally a Protestant innovation, has become.

I have not found a Bible published prior to 1902 that follows this practice.

I would point out that the new missal is published by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, whereas the copyright for the New American Bible is held by the USCCB. However, I can’t answer your question, as there are also some Church documents that go the other way.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like it. :stuck_out_tongue:

(I’m kidding.)

Pronouns? And only the Divine?

Take a look at, for example, the Declaration of Independence. All nouns used to be capitalized. High German still does this.



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