Let's split Body, Spirit, and Soul

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Posts 116
Paolo russo | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 10 2014 2:35 AM

Do you have a good resource to decide what is the difference/meaning in the OT and NT among those following things:

  • body
  • spirit
  • soul
  • + flesh
  • + blood
  • + heart

I've found only this one which looks promising https://www.logos.com/product/15984/what-is-the-soul and a lot of research in my dictionaries (NIDOTTE, NIDNTT, TLOT, TLNT, TWOT, LN, ISBE) are not completely satisfying.

I gathered a lot of material, but I cannot make up my mind. Do you know about any theological study / monography on the subject? I would be interested in the jewish view of the man, through history, with some research in the persian / greek / roman time.

Posts 1843
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 10 2014 5:58 AM

In its time https://www.logos.com/product/34184/select-works-of-franz-delitzsch#002 was significant, but that has to be showing a LOT of age by now.  I am unaware of any monograph on this topic, but that isn't my field...  Personally I am not at all convinced that biblically there is any justification of splitting them.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Posts 6724
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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 10 2014 6:20 AM

Not quite what you are looking for this may lend some insite on the subject of life after death and the reward of the wicked, which also speaks to the reward of the righteous. https://www.logos.com/product/42133/the-geography-of-hell-in-the-teaching-of-jesus

This book has the Seventh-day Adventist perspective on the subject.


Lynden Williams Communications https://www.lyndenwilliams.net 

Posts 116
Paolo russo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 10 2014 6:57 AM

Yep, that was the first query I did, and it was not succesful because I dont see any specialized resource. So I asked here, in case someone knows about a resource with a different title addressing the topic.

Thanks Ken, I'll start reading Franz Delitzsch today, and see what.

I'll update you.

Posts 736
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 10 2014 8:10 AM

Can I suggest


Which I bought recently - seems eminently relevant


Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 10 2014 12:01 PM

Independent of solving the specific issue that the OP is struggling with, the resource mentioned by Keven is one well worth purchasing (or reading if you already have it). 

Keep in mind, it's early 1900s, so it'll be on the light side of the major papyri discoveries (which typically don't do much in this subject outside the pseudepgrapha and post-NT apocrypha.

But the writer doesn't get too 'theological'; primarily he's looking at usage and conceivably from whence NT usage. Unusual is his coverage of magical texts (typically 'the fathers' time-frame).  And he spends quite a bit of time on the intersection of 'flesh' and 'spirit' visa viz 'Paul'.

Inexpensive; you can do the PDF route but the hebrew/greek linkages to your lexicons, etc (and subsequent searches) will likely be fruitful.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 116
Paolo russo | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 22 2014 4:27 AM

This is blowing my mind:


Sec. VI

If the contrarieties of male and female, or rather the contrarieties which lay at the foundation of the separation of male and female, prior to their independence of one another, were united in the man, we ask, Wherein did they consist? And the answer is at hand. The male principle in man was the spirit, and the female was the soul. There would indeed be little ground for this assertion, if it were based simply in the grammatical distinction of genders of the two German appellations, although it is always worthy of remark, that this distinction of genders is impressed also on the Latin (animusand anima), and in some measure on the Greek (πνεῦμα, λόγος, νοῦς, and ψυχή); and that also in Hebrew, נֶפֶשׁ only once occurs in the masculine gender by means of a constructio ad sensum, while, on the contrary, רוּחַ is not less usual as a masculine than as a feminine word (e.g1 Kings 19:11,Ps. 51:12, and especially Gen. 6:3, “My Spirit shall not always strive,” i.e. the spirit granted to him, in man; for that he, man, is flesh). The substantial proof of our assertion consists herein, that the distinction of the woman from the man in all its characteristics coincides with the distinction of the soul from the spirit. If we compare the external form of the man and of the woman, the appearance of the man is beautiful in proportion as it bears the stamp of a noble spirit; and the appearance of the woman, in proportion as a beautiful soul becomes visible therein. Genuine masculine beauty is like the nature of the spirit itself become transparent, and genuine feminine beauty like the nature of the soul itself become transparent; wherefore the significant Greek myth personified the soul in conformity with its profoundest and most delicate features in the female form of Psyche. The relation of the woman to the man is the impression of the secondary receptive relation of the soul to the spirit. Man and woman are distinguished, as are spirit and soul, by self-conscious energy on the one hand, and resigned passiveness on the other. Those faculties of the soul which correspond to the will, and thought, and experience of the spirit, scil. the desire and longing, the fancy and imagination, the feeling and foreboding, and those properties which correspond to the relation of external and internal in which the soul stands to the spirit, scil. of sensitive excitability, of variable vivacity, of delicate power of observation, and of direction to the individual and the special;1 these are predominant in the woman. And as the spirit is connected with nature only through the soul, while the soul is interwoven with the harmony of nature with all its powers, the life of the woman is more manifoldly and more closely linked with the whole life of the creature, and, moreover, more instinctively and more necessarily dependent upon the natural basis of its own kind, than that of the man. We say this without in any way being led to these thoughts by the Jewish Cabbala. But that this latter has glanced with extraordinary profundity into the relation of the woman to the man, has been proved by Molitor. According to it (the Cabbala), man forms the principle which is positive, independent, operating productively, and expanding from within outwards, corresponding to the נְשָׁמָה,i.e. to the spirit. The woman, on the other hand, is the man inverted: in her preponderates the principle negatively active from without inwards, turned from the circumference to the centre, living itself forth in adopting and receiving, which corresponds to the נֶפֶשׁi.e. to the soul. Man, more independent of nature, represents the spiritual, ideal, sunlike aspect; and woman the psychic, real, moonlike aspect: in the former lies hid the mystery of the spirit; in the latter, the mystery of nature. These are only the most external outlines of the observation on the distinction of the two sexes1recorded in the Cabbala, and admirably reproduced by Molitor. One confirmation of this distribution of the spiritual and the psychical principle respectively to man and woman is moreover found, among others, in the fact, that when, in the Holy Scripture, soliloquies occur, the spirit is nowhere addressed. Everywhere the spirit speaks as the stronger manly part of the man, to the soul as the σκεῦος ἀσθενέστερον (Ps. 4344103104116:7;Jer. 4:19Luke 12:19; comp. Ps. 11:116:2131:2). Even when David, in Ps. 57:8, says, “Awake up, my glory,” it is his soul that he thus namesכְּבוֹדִי.2

In consideration of this, we say, without any need of appealing to the Cabbala, with Tertullian (de anima, ch. xli.), that the relation of spirit and soul resembles a connubium, in that the spirit of man (to speak with Augustine, lxxxiii. quœst. qu. 64) is quodammodo animœ quasi maritus,1 and conclude further, that the internal reciprocal relation of the spirit and the soul, this mother of life, received a representation external to man by the creation of woman. Whether this externalization was necessary in order that man might be propagated, is a dogmatic question with which here we have nothing to do. This only is psychologically important to us, that the bodily distinction of sex is the sensible representation of an inward one, which subsists in the fact that man as such has his definite character from the prevalence of the spirit, and woman as such has her definite character from the prevalence of the soul.2 Observation and Scripture confirm this. Observation confirms it; for, apart from what has been already remarked, the creatively established dependence of the woman on the man, as probably nobody denies, is founded on the fact that the man is constituted pre-eminently spiritual. Scripture confirms it still more directly than in the hints that we have mentioned, by the history of the origination of the woman, for the woman was formed from the lowest rib of Adam; thus from the bone and flesh of that region of the body where, as we shall see further on, the most important organs of the life of the soul are situated. And the tempter approaches her, for the reason that he hopes to arouse in her, rather than in the man, on account of the predominant life of the soul, a selfishly inflamed craving for sensual gratification, whereby the divine prohibition should be superseded. She, moreover, is not without the spirit in the divine image; but she has it not immediately from God, but mediately from God through man.3 Her flame of life is kindled at that of man, אִישׁ, whose name is allied to אֵשׁ. She is absolutely and wholly ξ ἀνδρὸς, as she is διὰ τὸν ἄνδρα. The man is, as Paul says (1 Cor. 11:7), immediately εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα Θεοῦ, but the woman is δόξα ἀνδρός; whereupon Grotius admirably observes, minus aliquid viro, ut luna lumen minus sole. As the soul is originated from the spirit (anima ex animo), so the woman is originated from the man; and as the soul is the image of the image of God, so the woman is the doxa of the doxa of the man. And as, according to 1 Cor. 11:3Eph. 5:23, God is the head of Christ, and Christ is the head of the man, so is the man the head of the woman; and the true relation of the woman to the man is, as is the true relation of the soul to the spirit, ὑποταγή. Man, says Saint Martin, is the spirit of the woman, the woman is the soul of the man, and the two are one under the common Lord.

In these statements we have everywhere assumed that the woman, not only in respect of her bodily external nature, but also in respect of her pneumatico-psychical, internal nature, is from the man. We have now to justify this assumption. This justification is inseparable from the question which from the primitive times has been discussed in the church: Whether the pneumatico-psychical nature of man is propagated, as we are accustomed to express it, per traducem? or, Whether in every act of begetting there is the product of a superadded divine act of creation?

Posts 2896
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 22 2014 8:07 AM

Let's don't, but just say we did. 

Personally, I do not think the distinctions are clear cut or consistent throughout Scripture.  Context, context, context.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 22 2014 9:20 AM

Now, Michael.  The good apostle was pretty clear.  No need for context.  

The logical basis for Paul trying to encourage men to love the other half of creation, was that they were fully in love with themselves.  That was a given that men would find most easy to understand.  Trying to get women to be afraid or wary of men however needed special instruction.

So, Paulo's discovery should come as no surprise.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 22 2014 12:47 PM

As I am sure you will have discovered in your studies Hebrew thought is Spirit and Body together form Soul, although soul can nearly be interchangeable for either spirit or body. The above example is very misleading.... one might say some are more Spiritual  and some more practically minded but the above example comes dangerously close to Plato's other half. And until you find your proper have you are not complete. In that case Jesus is not a complete person. Body soul spirt is a mystery and indeed Paul speaks of us keeping the sound and blameless. But their separateness must not be pushed to hard, Hebrews' 4:12 is another example...  "One should not tarry too long over “soul and spirit, bone and marrow”; these terms, drawn from the anthropology of the day, are simply a forceful way of saying that no part of the human life is beyond the knowing gaze of God. The Word of God serves as the eyes of God, seeing everything the heart devises and feels." (Fred B. Craddock, New Interpreter’s Bible Vol. 12).


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