There is an old hymn, often referred to as the Trisagion or Thrice-Holy. It goes like this in Greek:
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.
(Transliterated, this reads, "Hágios ho Theós, Hágios ischyrós, Hágios athánatos, eléēson hēmâs.", see comment below, which is now obsolete after this edit.)
In English, one sees various translations:
- Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
- Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
- Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.
So, considering God is the Only Living God, and 'thanatos' is 'death', while the prefix 'a-' means 'without', what would be wrong with translating 'athanatos' as 'living', so that, a quite literal translation might read:
Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Living, have mercy on us.
In other words, what, in a grammatical sense, is wrong with this translation/train of thought?
I am not Greek, I do not speak Greek. Therefore, this is (by default) a naive question, so please forgive me accordingly and give patience when answering.
All general information/translations were taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisagion.