I'm never sure whether to capitalize divine pronouns or not, unless it's a private audience of people I know well. Who knows what all offends strangers?

My aunt, for example, was offended and scolded someone for not capitalizing them, even though their entire text was in lowercase—'i believe in him'—she had no problem with the 'i' or any other non-divine words.

On the other hand, Bill Mounce (a bible translator and textbook author) is opposed to capitalizing them. He says it's "a recent and sporadic practice" (biblically speaking) and believes "it would be improper" to do so.

Should We Capitalize Divine Pronouns? Bill votes nay. My aunt probably still votes yea, regardless. I go with the consensus, either way.

So on EL&U, what is the rule or standard on that?

  • I'm of the opinion, to use capital letter.
    – NVZ Mod
    Feb 23 at 2:25
  • None of the biblical languages used capital letters (though there were other scribal practices for emphasis). As @Laurel suggests below, capitalize as you please. Feb 23 at 21:40
  • I'll just C&P quotes whenever possible. That should work. Feb 23 at 23:10
  • But what is the name of divine personages? And what letters should it be written in? What if there are no capital letters, like Devanagari? I think individual choices should be respected. Ek and Ganesha and Antman and Jesus and Santa Claus are all proper names, so capitals are appropriate in English. That's good enough for a grammar rule. Feb 27 at 15:43
  • 1
    @JohnLawler - I actually know an "Antman" but being only 2 he doesn't care about that or commas or anything besides race cars and motorcycles now. Feb 28 at 6:26
  • @JohnLawler The question was about pronouns.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 6 at 17:20
  • @Greybeard Should one capitalize It when speaking of a divine entity? How about They or S/He? Or any of the several hundred pronouns that have been proposed (you can match them up to your favorite divine entities ad lib), capitalized or not. Mar 6 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


Capitalize how you want. Let others capitalize how they want. But be consistent within the same post and don't change direct quotes.

Looking at the Bible translations on BibleHub, there's a pretty even divide between uppercase and lowercase. (Side note: my favorite Bible translation, suspiciously absent from that list, does not use reverential capitalization.) However, these are all fairly modern Bibles. If you look at old enough Bibles, you'll find that none of them have this type of capitalization. If you go back even further, (at least for some sections of the Bible), the question becomes irrelevant: Hebrew has no capitalization, for example. Wikipedia says that reverential capitalization had its heyday in the 19th century. And, in my experience, it's hardly used by those who aren't Jewish or Christian.

I personally prefer lowercase, as do major style guides.


  • Meta SE policy: What should the standard spelling be - British or US?. While this is not an issue where usage is divided by dialect, the same principles apply.
  • We don't have to follow the policies set by other sites on the network, but they often provide insight. The extent of the discussion on Christianity SE (meta) was at most a footnote on an answer to an unrelated question, and it was in favor of lowercase pronouns. From that I conclude that it really doesn't matter to most Christians.
  • AP says lowercase.
  • CMOS rules in favor of lowercase, but admits that uppercase may be better certain audiences.
  • 1
    Hawaiian Pidgin does use some reverential capitalisation: Da time eryting wen start, had one Guy. “God, He Talk,” dass who him. God an dat Guy, dey stick togedda, an da Guy stay God fo real kine. It can be useful to sort out which pronoun refers to which person, or even Person.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Feb 23 at 15:58
  • In that quote, "God, He Talk" is a title, which is capitalized. Everywhere else, lowercase pronouns are used, even later in your quote: "dass who him". They also capitalize "Temple" when referring to the place that Jesus is about to "bus up". They capitalize "Good Kine Stuff From God" a few pages later too.
    – Laurel Mod
    Feb 23 at 16:26
  • Nice answer. Thanks for all the references. Feb 23 at 23:19

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