an/the overcomer

Margaret Moore

Senior Member
Hi everyone,
Who can tell me which article should I use in this sentence, an or the? I'm confused since there is "in Revelation" behind the sentence.
(1) What Is an Overcomer in Revelation?
(2) What Is the Overcomer in Revelation?
Thanks very much!
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    You’ll need to explain to us what “an/the Overcomer” is. As always, we can’t help you if we don’t have adequate context.

    Margaret Moore

    Senior Member
    “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name” (Revelation 3:11-12).
    “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17).

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Perhaps you could explain to us in simple modern English what the term 'overcomer' means to you. This quote is from a translation done centuries ago and none of it is clear to people like me these days. I mean neither the language nor the ideas being expressed. The Book of Revelations is particularly obscure: I spent years listening to readings from the Bible at school and in church, but none was ever from Revelations.

    I don't know what 'overcomers' means: what have they 'overcome'? Is there only one of them or more? If there's only one, I suggest using 'the' and then you could use the capital at the beginning, 'Overcomer', as if it is a title.

    If there is more than one, I suggest using the plural 'overcomers' and no article, (or 'the' because they have been mentioned before, perhaps). Use quotation marks because the word is a quote from a text, and it's not a word in modern English.

    That would give "What are (the) "overcomers", (mentioned) in the Book of Revelation?"
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