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, "Agios o Theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos, eleison imas.")
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.