Author Topic: What do we definitively know about the soul?  (Read 573 times)

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Offline Rella

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What do we definitively know about the soul?
« on: Mon Apr 26, 2021 - 17:26:04 »
Can we have a civil discussion on the human soul?

It is certain, as has been demonstrated on here that not everyone believes in the triune nature of man.

Triune nature being Spirit, Body and Soul.

I dont care as this is not about that. It is biblical that everyone has a soul. And of that soul once the body dies the soul departs the body to be with the Lord. Gen 35: 18.

A myriad of questions presents when one ponders on this.

#1. What is the human soul?

    I'll start things by saying I understand the human soul is one part of a person that is not physical. It is the part of every human being that lasts eternally after the body experiences death. Genesis 35:18 describes the death of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, saying she named her son “as her soul was departing.” From this we know that the soul is different from the body and that it continues to live after physical death.

But is this continued existence guaranteed? Apparently not as Jesus said in Mathew 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

So this suggests the potential end of this thing we call a soul.

#2. What is the purpose of a human soul?

    What I understand is that it is the soul "Our"  soul is our personality, who we are. With our soul we think, reason, consider, remember, and wonder. We experience emotions like happiness, love, sorrow, anger, relief, and compassion. And we’re able to resolve, choose, and make decisions. It is the part where we experience "free will".

The soul is the essential personhood created by God as you. It is the essence of humanity’s being

#3. What is the relationship and/or difference between the soul and human spirit.
   
     If one considers the soul as  the animate life, or the seat of the senses, desires, affections, and appetites. Then  it is the   spirit that is our deeper connection with the Lord when we believe in God and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The bible also tells us that when we die our spirit returns to God

We are told in Eccl. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. Unlike the soul I read no where that says the spirit can be destroyed

#4. Is your soul responsible for your sins?

Short answer YES.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

And we can go on and on but looking to read you inputs.

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #1 on: Mon Apr 26, 2021 - 17:34:55 »
What you're calling the soul, I call the spirit.

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #2 on: Mon Apr 26, 2021 - 18:51:58 »
What you're calling the soul, I call the spirit.

Then do I have the roles reversed or do you not believe in the three parts of man.

1 Thes 5:23 states....

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So this is not 3 parts?


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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #3 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 05:01:49 »
Can we have a civil discussion on the human soul?
THis should be helpful, interesting~a subject one just cannot answer in a few post properly, at least I cannot.
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1st Thessalonians 5:23~"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The WHOLE MAN is comprise of spirit, body, and soul, if this verse means anything to us.  ::pondering::  later......RB

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #3 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 05:01:49 »
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Offline DaveW

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #4 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 07:05:54 »
The Hebrew word translated "soul" nefesh  is used in biblical text in a variety of ways.  The majority of times it just means an individual.  Sometimes it means the thinking part, similar to the use of lev - heart.  It is always useful to look at the FIRST time a particular word or concept is used in scripture to get what God was originally going for - like man being made in God's image.

First use of nefesh:

Genesis 2:7   KJV
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


In this verse we see the triune parts of humans - body made from soil; spirit (ruach) which also means breath or wind, which comes from God breathing; and when those 2 come together, a soul (nefesh) is created. 

Christian tradition holds that the soul is the will, intellect and emotions of a person.  I see little in the Hebrew scriptures to contradict that; but the varied uses of nefesh indicate that it may be a bit restrictive.  The soul may encompass more than just the will, intellect and emotions.

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #4 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 07:05:54 »



Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #5 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 08:45:22 »
THis should be helpful, interesting~a subject one just cannot answer in a few post properly, at least I cannot.

Thanks Red. I agree but there is no limitation on how many posts this can take. I do feel it a worthy subject because , unless I am mistaken whether you believe in a triune nature of man, or not.... most everyone you encounter ...will believe there is a soul.

The WHOLE MAN is comprise of spirit, body, and soul, if this verse means anything to us.  ::pondering::  later......RB

It does mean something to me. It is a core belief of mine. 

But I have always heard that when one dies your spirit goes back to God who gave that to you. But that nagging back of mind thought of "immortal soul" pops up... and it is suggested it is the soul who departs the body on death.
So does that mean for the triune nature of believer that both soul and spirit leave... and only the body is left to decay?

IF SO...the spirit going back to God makes logical sense... but what about the soul?

We are told God knew us before being planted in the womb. He selected the spirt that would be us. He must also have selected the soul that would become what we are in life.

It is complex and confusing subject , at least to me. And double so cause of differing beliefs....


Offline DaveW

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #6 on: Tue Apr 27, 2021 - 09:19:41 »
unless I am mistaken whether you believe in a triune nature of man, or not.... most everyone you encounter ...will believe there is a soul.
True
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But I have always heard that when one dies your spirit goes back to God who gave that to you.
Ecclesiastes 12:7
then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

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But that nagging back of mind thought of "immortal soul" pops up... and it is suggested it is the soul who departs the body on death.
So does that mean for the triune nature of believer that both soul and spirit leave... and only the body is left to decay?
Yes.  Until the 3 are brought back together at the final judgement.  See Rev 20.
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IF SO...the spirit going back to God makes logical sense... but what about the soul?
There is a story in the gospels about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus.  My pastor insists this is not a parable since people are named in it - the beggar and Moses. If that story is to be taken at face value, then the soul goes to its place of either rest (with God) or torment. 
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It is complex and confusing subject , at least to me. And double so cause of differing beliefs....
Differing beliefs because there are few details in scripture and most people are not satisfied with that; so they proceed to make up their own details, right or wrong.

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #7 on: Wed Apr 28, 2021 - 10:25:01 »

Quote from: Rella on Yesterday at 08:45:22
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But that nagging back of mind thought of "immortal soul" pops up... and it is suggested it is the soul who departs the body on death.
So does that mean for the triune nature of believer that both soul and spirit leave... and only the body is left to decay?

Yes.  Until the 3 are brought back together at the final judgement.  See Rev 20.

Excellent catch. One that had slipped my memory. Also one that should be discussed in depth in that other forum thread, which shall remain nameless at the moment.

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Quote
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IF SO...the spirit going back to God makes logical sense... but what about the soul?
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There is a story in the gospels about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus.  My pastor insists this is not a parable since people are named in it - the beggar and Moses. If that story is to be taken at face value, then the soul goes to its place of either rest (with God) or torment. [/size]

I actually agree with your pastor because identifiable parables would  talk like ...
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar , poor all of his life  and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to heaven. The rich man also died and was buried. Yada yada....

Now, is it possible, that if this was not a fact as of yet, Jesus used a future event of fact to emphasize a point(s)  He was making?

As written this does suggest is that there is instant condemnation for some. Which counters that the soul and spirit are in waiting for the final judgement, does it not? And would put a question on the "final judgement" that we are all going to have to give an accounting in.


Quote
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It is complex and confusing subject , at least to me. And double so cause of differing beliefs....
Differing beliefs because there are few details in scripture and most people are not satisfied with that; so they proceed to make up their own details, right or wrong.

Could not agree more. Even here there are those who are so ingrained with their beliefs learned over the years and decades
nothing will allow them to see another's view if it does not match with theirs.  Be it from their places of worship (IOW denominations) from clergy and other church teachers...  and in some cases seminary studies..... or conversions... it surly make it difficult to know definitively if confusion actually is part of God's overall plan.

It must be the glass half full/ half empty view of things as how each sees things.

But that is not limited to just here. It is also in most other forums. And certainly within the differences of the assorted churches that may or may not be represented on here.

These kinds of things are reflected in the commentaries you can find on any given scripture.
And I often wonder to what extent a commentary influences the reader, and if the reader reads most if not all of them
to draw their own conclusions.
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Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #8 on: Wed Apr 28, 2021 - 11:46:46 »
Then do I have the roles reversed or do you not believe in the three parts of man.

1 Thes 5:23 states....

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So this is not 3 parts?
I don't believe that man literally consists of three parts called spirit, soul, and body.  I do believe that this division is a useful metaphor for describing the inner workings of a man (a field that in modern times we refer to as psychology).  Specifically, this is part of the Hydraulic Metaphor of the Human Body.

I can tell you for a fact that this tripartite division comes to us from Greek philosophy.  The philosopher Plato makes the soul the combination of three parts, one of them being the spirit. Aristotle refines the topic, going into great detail on the topic in his book De Anima, writing 300 years before the birth of Christ.  Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, writes at length of the various humours.  Empedocles opines on how the soul, and how after death it may migrate and come to inhabit a new body.

Paul uses the metaphor in his epistles.  I think that Paul's purpose in doing so was an examination of the motives and actions of men.  I don't think Paul's purpose was to establish a doctrine of human metaphysics to the exclusion of any other paradigm, for ever and ever amen.

I find that there are other metaphors of human psychology that can be just as useful, if not more useful, than this one.

-----

Finally, I think... for this topic... quoting verses may be counterproductive.

The Bible doesn't use the words soul and spirit with uniform meaning.  For instance, in Psalms, "soul" usually just means "person" or sometimes "self."  Job uses the two words interchangeably, as synonyms.  Paul contrasts the two as if they are opposites.

Jarrod

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #9 on: Wed Apr 28, 2021 - 16:28:41 »
I don't believe that man literally consists of three parts called spirit, soul, and body.  I do believe that this division is a useful metaphor for describing the inner workings of a man (a field that in modern times we refer to as psychology).  Specifically, this is part of the Hydraulic Metaphor of the Human Body.

I can tell you for a fact that this tripartite division comes to us from Greek philosophy.  The philosopher Plato makes the soul the combination of three parts, one of them being the spirit. Aristotle refines the topic, going into great detail on the topic in his book De Anima, writing 300 years before the birth of Christ.  Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, writes at length of the various humours.  Empedocles opines on how the soul, and how after death it may migrate and come to inhabit a new body.

Paul uses the metaphor in his epistles.  I think that Paul's purpose in doing so was an examination of the motives and actions of men.  I don't think Paul's purpose was to establish a doctrine of human metaphysics to the exclusion of any other paradigm, for ever and ever amen.

I find that there are other metaphors of human psychology that can be just as useful, if not more useful, than this one.

-----

Finally, I think... for this topic... quoting verses may be counterproductive.

The Bible doesn't use the words soul and spirit with uniform meaning.  For instance, in Psalms, "soul" usually just means "person" or sometimes "self."  Job uses the two words interchangeably, as synonyms.  Paul contrasts the two as if they are opposites.

Jarrod

You cannot delve into this topic based on personal belief without scriptural references.

If you do not believe in triune man of being a spirit, living in a body and having a soul... and you believe that man is a spirit/ soul living in the body... is it your contention that the interchangeable spirit/ soul is the sum of all that one is?

Exclude this house we live in called a body...

Okay. Then it is this spirit/soul that intrinsically ties us to God in the spiritual way at the same time the  same spirit/soul is our personality, who we are. How we think, reason, consider, remember, and wonder. We experience emotions like happiness, love, sorrow, anger, relief, and compassion. And we’re able to resolve, choose, and make decisions.

Please then enlighten and educate me as to why this verse was translated wrong.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #10 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 13:51:09 »
I know you may not have one if you are a ginger.   rofl

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #11 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 14:15:14 »
You cannot delve into this topic based on personal belief without scriptural references.
I can delve into this topic based on research that I've done in the past.  That research includes sources that aren't in the Bible - Greek philosophy, ancient medicine, and the muthos of the origins of humanity.  Why would I do that?  Because that's where this topic originates.  The Bible is not the source of these ideas, even though Paul uses them to try to explain something to his Greek-speaking audience.

I suppose I could create a Bibliography of sources for my posts, but would anyone actually read them?  I already mentioned at least one (De Anima, by Aristotle), and you haven't gone off to read that, have you?

If you do not believe in triune man of being a spirit, living in a body and having a soul... and you believe that man is a spirit/ soul living in the body... is it your contention that the interchangeable spirit/ soul is the sum of all that one is?
It's my contention that Paul uses it as a metaphor.  Where he contrasts spirit and soul, what he's really doing is trying to pick apart the motivations of a person, and the beliefs that underlie them..  It's an examination of "what makes him tick?"  It isn't a discussion of some PART of man that belongs to some other plane of reality.  Paul wasn't writing science fiction; he was speaking to the psychology and bad thinking that leads to sinning.

The way that Genesis talks about God breathing into man is a different thing.  It speaks of human intelligence.  The point there is that God, a Being of intelligent thought, gave that attribute to mankind. 

The predominate usage of spirit is similar, referring to a person's mindset or motivations.

The predominate usage of soul is just to refer to a person.  'Eight souls were saved by water' just means that 8 people lived.  It doesn't mean that their essence was somehow plucked out of their body.

David uses it in Psalms differently.  He primarily uses it as a pro-noun referring to himself - 'O my soul!'

It is this spirit/soul that intrinsically ties us to God in the spiritual way at the same time the same spirit/soul is our personality, who we are. How we think, reason, consider, remember, and wonder. We experience emotions like happiness, love, sorrow, anger, relief, and compassion. And we’re able to resolve, choose, and make decisions.
This is the best part of your post.  Spirit is all about mindset.  Particularly, the case where a person's mind is changed because they hear something and believe it, and they re-consider their other values and beliefs in light of that new information.

Please then enlighten and educate me as to why this verse was translated wrong.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I wouldn't say its translated wrong, but it does use a LOT of jargon.  All those green words require some study or explanation.  The chances of the modern reader comprehending the verse on the first pass are close to zero.

Jarrod

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #12 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 14:15:55 »
I know you may not have one if you are a ginger.   rofl
Look out!  She might be trying to steal yours!  rofl  rofl

Offline Reformer

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #13 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 14:55:46 »
Jarrod:

    "I don't believe that man literally consists of three parts called spirit, soul, and body."

    Jarrod, Rella quoted I Thess. 5:23, which should settle the matter. You might wish to consider that, factually, man indeed has three parts. Man's spirit is  the man himself. Jesus is an example. When He died on the cross His spirit, the real Jesus, was immediately transferred to Hades, the unseen abode of departed spirits, while His body was placed in a tomb. 

    When He resurrected His spirit reunited with His body, but it was a glorified body, not subject to the same negative or physical elements it was prior to His death.

    Jesus speaks of heart, soul, and mind in Matthew 22:37. "Soul," in that passage, as per the Greek, is spirit, the real person. Interestingly, soul and spirit are often used interchangeably.

    In essence, soul usually refers to the whole body, while heart and mind, as mentioned in the passage above, refer to his mental status or enlightenment.

Kindly,

Buff

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #14 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 15:46:50 »
Jarrod, Rella quoted I Thess. 5:23, which should settle the matter.
Citing a single Scripture rarely settles a matter for anyone.

You might wish to consider that, factually, man indeed has three parts.
More than that, I think.  I mean, factually, each human has at least 4 humors, and each one is produced by a different organ. 

What, you don't subscribe to the notion of Hippocratic humorism?  You know what the difference is between Hippocrates model using 4 humors, and the model of the tripartite soul?  Not much! They're actually part of the same model, both supposing the human body to be moved hydraulically and pneumatically.

I think perhaps there's some context to the Bible verses that you haven't considered yet.

Jarrod

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #15 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 15:55:00 »
I know you may not have one if you are a ginger.   rofl

A redundant comment. ::tippinghat::

You already made #11. Tipping toward 12 not this time.

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #16 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 16:07:08 »
A redundant comment. ::tippinghat::

You already made #11. Tipping toward 12 not this time.

I didn't make #11.  You don't understand schtick.   ::eatingpopcorn:

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #17 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 16:16:10 »

I can delve into this topic based on research that I've done in the past.  That research includes sources that aren't in the Bible - Greek philosophy, ancient medicine, and the muthos of the origins of humanity.

Not really. We are discussing what God wanted His people to know.

It's my contention that Paul uses it as a metaphor.

Why exactly is it that when you or others cannot understand the understandable you call it a metaphor. Or some other term to mean an example and not the truth.    ::pondering::

The chances of the modern reader comprehending the verse on the first pass are close to zero.

NO ONE was ever supposed to. That goes for the entire 66 books. 2 Tim 2:15
 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

« Last Edit: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 10:59:19 by Wycliffes_Shillelagh »

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #18 on: Thu Apr 29, 2021 - 17:51:25 »

Jarrod:

    "I think perhaps there's some context to the Bible verses that you haven't considered yet."

    Bless you, brother, the feeling is mutual. I suggest, however, you evaluate again the ones that have been advanced.

Kindly,

Buff

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #19 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 05:34:22 »
This should be helpful, interesting~a subject one just cannot answer in a few posts properly, at least I cannot. The WHOLE MAN is comprised of spirit, body, and soul, if this verse means anything to us.
The first post of a few to follow.........There are many who have asked, "What is the difference between the Soul and Spirit?" Even well-taught children of God have had a very hard time knowing the difference. There are some who hold that there is really no difference. Others think that they are totally different. And still, others believe that they are intimately related, but slightly different. There really is no simple answer to this question because soul and spirit are so closely tied together, and the two words often employed in varying senses and different contexts which makes it difficult to distinguish, yet are not the same. But I fall into the category of believing that the soul and the spirit are intimately related, but also slightly different in their attributes. Thus it can be very confusing when attempting to discern the precise differences between the two. While the soul and spirit are both the immaterial parts of our humanity, I believe that the spirit is actually a contributing "part" of the soul. Much like the flesh is a contributing part of the body. The soul represents our individual being and identity and has more of a connection to our body, and is sometimes used to identify the body (Please read Leviticus 5:2-4; Romans 13:1). We can look at it as the spirit being a conduit to the soul, and the soul to the body. Your soul is the essence of your being, dictating who you are. While your spirit is more an animator of the mind in order for us to understand and connect with God the Spirit of God. So the two are both parts of our existence, working in harmony and in unity with each other, and yet slightly diverse in their workings. Much like in a computer the operating system is software working within the architecture of a computer, and an application is also software that works within the operating system software to get things done, but is also different from that OS software. That is of course an imperfect analogy, but you get my point. They are both an immaterial aspect of the body, but there is a difference. In other words, a human being has a spirit, a soul and a body. But a human being also "is" a soul (1st Peter 3:20) encompassing the whole psyche. But in this way, they are not a spirit, they possess a spirit.

What is the difference between the Soul and Spirit? Soul means to take breath~ And by extension, it can imply life (breath of life), which is also why the word can be used to refer to either a person (Joshua 2:13, Exodus 21:23), or living creatures (Genesis 1:21). So whenever the word soul is used in scripture, it can refer to the whole person or to a creature--either in this world or in the afterlife. The soul or immaterial being or psyche encompasses the faculties such as mind, intellect, and consciousness. This does not mean that creatures have a soul or spirit in the same sense as humans, or that they were created in God's image, it simply means that they are souls or they have a spirit that is a living/breathing existence.
Quote from: THE WISE MAN
Ecclesiastes 3:21~"Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?"
This illustrating the spiritual difference between man and other creatures. That the destination of man's spirit is upward. It is part of the soul that goes to stand before God their creator in heaven. While the destination of the spirits of the creatures of the earth is downward, to return back to the dust of the earth. The two diverse destinations because the souls and spirits of animals are not as of man, who was created in the image of God. Thus a man's soul and spirit are accountable, even as they are held in bondage to sin in the spiritual prison (1st Peter 3:19) or captivity of the body. An animal's spirit merely ceases to exist upon its death. In other words, the end differs widely from animal to human. The spirit of mankind goes upward in the soul, of which it is intimately related. Anything with the breath of life, including animals, is referred to as living or souls (Genesis 1:20-24). By contrast, the word spirit refers only to the immaterial being. Soul and spirit have such similarities it is easy to see how soul and spirit so intimately related, might be thought to be one and the same thing. But the soul relates more to the flesh, while the spirit to the higher communion with God.

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #20 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 07:23:23 »
The first post of a few to follow.........There are many who have asked, "What is the difference between the Soul and Spirit?" Even well-taught children of God have had a very hard time knowing the difference. There are some who hold that there is really no difference. Others think that they are totally different. And still, others believe that they are intimately related, but slightly different. There really is no simple answer to this question because soul and spirit are so closely tied together, and the two words often employed in varying senses and different contexts which makes it difficult to distinguish, yet are not the same. But I fall into the category of believing that the soul and the spirit are intimately related, but also slightly different in their attributes. Thus it can be very confusing when attempting to discern the precise differences between the two. While the soul and spirit are both the immaterial parts of our humanity, I believe that the spirit is actually a contributing "part" of the soul. Much like the flesh is a contributing part of the body. The soul represents our individual being and identity and has more of a connection to our body, and is sometimes used to identify the body (Please read Leviticus 5:2-4; Romans 13:1). We can look at it as the spirit being a conduit to the soul, and the soul to the body. Your soul is the essence of your being, dictating who you are. While your spirit is more an animator of the mind in order for us to understand and connect with God the Spirit of God. So the two are both parts of our existence, working in harmony and in unity with each other, and yet slightly diverse in their workings. Much like in a computer the operating system is software working within the architecture of a computer, and an application is also software that works within the operating system software to get things done, but is also different from that OS software. That is of course an imperfect analogy, but you get my point. They are both an immaterial aspect of the body, but there is a difference. In other words, a human being has a spirit, a soul and a body. But a human being also "is" a soul (1st Peter 3:20) encompassing the whole psyche. But in this way, they are not a spirit, they possess a spirit.

What is the difference between the Soul and Spirit? Soul means to take breath~ And by extension, it can imply life (breath of life), which is also why the word can be used to refer to either a person (Joshua 2:13, Exodus 21:23), or living creatures (Genesis 1:21). So whenever the word soul is used in scripture, it can refer to the whole person or to a creature--either in this world or in the afterlife. The soul or immaterial being or psyche encompasses the faculties such as mind, intellect, and consciousness. This does not mean that creatures have a soul or spirit in the same sense as humans, or that they were created in God's image, it simply means that they are souls or they have a spirit that is a living/breathing existence.This illustrating the spiritual difference between man and other creatures. That the destination of man's spirit is upward. It is part of the soul that goes to stand before God their creator in heaven. While the destination of the spirits of the creatures of the earth is downward, to return back to the dust of the earth. The two diverse destinations because the souls and spirits of animals are not as of man, who was created in the image of God. Thus a man's soul and spirit are accountable, even as they are held in bondage to sin in the spiritual prison (1st Peter 3:19) or captivity of the body. An animal's spirit merely ceases to exist upon its death. In other words, the end differs widely from animal to human. The spirit of mankind goes upward in the soul, of which it is intimately related. Anything with the breath of life, including animals, is referred to as living or souls (Genesis 1:20-24). By contrast, the word spirit refers only to the immaterial being. Soul and spirit have such similarities it is easy to see how soul and spirit so intimately related, might be thought to be one and the same thing. But the soul relates more to the flesh, while the spirit to the higher communion with God.

Thank you Red,

Well stated and should be understood by all readers.... ::shrug:: save for some slight tweaking between our beliefs on this.

But there is another aspect to consider.

Agreed that your soul is the essence of your being, dictating who you are and it does encompasses the faculties such as mind, intellect, and consciousness.

Your spirit definitely  is more an animator of the mind in order for us to understand and connect with God the Spirit of God.
And also when your conscience comes from.

I believe that it is your soul that allows you to ....ummmmm....get into trouble, and it is your spirit that will throw that uh oh pang of guilt into your heart, unless you have lived in such a way too long that you just do not know you are on the wrong path.  If that makes any sense

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #21 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 11:09:57 »
Not really. We are discussing what God wanted His people to know.
It's your thread, I suppose.  But if you wanted to limit the discussion strictly to what can be understood from Scriptures, you ought to have said so from the get go.

I have plenty to bring to the table on this topic, but it would appear you prefer to handicap your understanding by limiting your sources.   ::oncrutches::

Why exactly is it that when you or others cannot understand the understandable you call it a metaphor. Or some other term to mean an example and not the truth.    ::pondering::
Why is it that when you or others cannot understand something complex, you reduce it to the most literal and mundane reading possible, and claim understanding?  You chose a difficult topic.  Why not just own that you might not understand it fully?

NO ONE was ever supposed to. That goes for the entire 66 books. 2 Tim 2:15
 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Parts of the Bible were written to be mysterious.  All of it?  Nah...

Jarrod

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #22 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 12:48:48 »
I suggest, however, you evaluate again the ones that have been advanced.
I decided to take this advice.  Since the conversation was about 1Th 5:23, I went back and re-read the whole of that chapter.

I find that this chapter is about the return of the Lord.  It's about enduring until He returns, and continuing to contend for the faith.  It's purpose is hortatory - it is meant to encourage the church at Thessalonika to persevere and to do good works.

I don't find where this chapter is about the constitution of a man.  It doesn't try to define mankind as the sum of certain pieces.  It doesn't attempt to establish a doctrine of human metaphysics, or address the hereafter in any way that I see.

I find that in the verse in question (v.23), the enumeration of 'spirit, soul, and body' is a synecdoche, the purpose of which is to re-emphasize the totality of the preservation of which Paul writes.

It seems to me that an attempt to establish a doctrine of the tripartite soul is fully outside the context of the chapter.

Now, may I ask that you read the chapter, as well?  And then, if you please, could you come back here and tell me if you don't agree with my conclusions?.  And if not, please tell me what I have missed.

Jarrod

Offline Reformer

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #23 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 15:44:35 »
Jarrod:

    “I find that in the verse in question (v.23), the enumeration of 'spirit, soul, and body' is a synecdoche, the purpose of which is to re-emphasize the totality of the preservation of which Paul writes.”

    I’m at a loss as to how you reach this unusual conclusion—unusual because you do not seem to be saying man is composed of three parts. If this is what you are saying, such does not seem to harmonize with anything Paul says in chapter 5 on the final coming of the Lord.

    I’m convinced Paul is referring simply to the fact that the creature called man is a compound being consisting of spirit, soul, and body.

1] "Spirit" is the man himself—the core of his personage..
2] “Soul” is the seat of different affections and passions, such as love, hatred, appetites, and so on.
3] “Body,” of course, is an organized system created out of the dust of the earth.

    The whole man, all three compounds, are to be preserved until the coming of the Lord—his spirit, his soul, his body. In this state the whole man may be so sanctified—set apart—until that final day.

Buff
« Last Edit: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 21:22:25 by Reformer »

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #24 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 16:31:15 »
Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #21 on: Today at 11:09:57 »

Quote from: Wycliffes
Quote
Quote from: Rella on Yesterday at 16:16:10
Not really. We are discussing what God wanted His people to know.
It's your thread, I suppose.  But if you wanted to limit the discussion strictly to what can be understood from Scriptures, you ought to have said so from the get go.

I never said limit to the bible. 

You are the one who said


Quote from: Wycliffes
I can delve into this topic based on research that I've done in the past.  That research includes sources that aren't in the Bible - Greek philosophy, ancient medicine, and the muthos of the origins of humanity.  Why would I do that?  Because that's where this topic originates.  The Bible is not the source of these ideas, even though Paul uses them to try to explain something to his Greek-speaking audience.

You have formed personal belief from sources outside the bible.

Quote from: Wycliffes
I have plenty to bring to the table on this topic, but it would appear you prefer to handicap your understanding by limiting your sources.   ::oncrutches::

Sources are fine, but they should be referenced within the Holy Book. Outside sources, with out the bible prove nothing.

We are a group of people who read the same words and see things differently from each other. This book that God inspired is our hand book and from it we are to learn. Outside sources will offer their opinions but how do you know they are right?  So... the Bible is what we need to keep in the forefront .


Quote
Quote from: Wycliffes
Why is it that when you or others cannot understand something complex, you reduce it to the most literal and mundane reading possible,
Quote
Why exactly is it that when you or others cannot understand the understandable you call it a metaphor. Or some other term to mean an example and not the truth.    ::pondering::

Hey Jarrod. You don't ever need to read anything I write  ::tippinghat::

Quote from: Wycliffes
and claim understanding? 

You chose a difficult topic.  Why not just own that you might not understand it fully?

Did you by any chance pay any attention to the Title of this thread?

Did it ever occur to you that the author was looking for what others had to say
and yes, as it relates to the bible?

Perhaps I do not understand it fully, but I assure you I understand it better then you do.


Quote from: Wycliffes
Quote
NO ONE was ever supposed to. That goes for the entire 66 books. 2 Tim 2:15
 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Parts of the Bible were written to be mysterious.  All of it?  Nah...

Finally you have nailed a part of the problem.

You misunderstood my statement of "That goes for the entire 66 books."
As within my reply to your
"The chances of the modern reader comprehending the verse on the first pass are close to zero."

I should have been clearer by saying that goes for verses in every one of the 66 books. NOT that all of the bible is that way. I am sorry, please forgive me ::pray::
« Last Edit: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 17:19:43 by Wycliffes_Shillelagh »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #25 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 17:20:47 »
Hey, I hope you don't mind my re-formatting your post, Rella.  I was having trouble understanding it the way it was constructed, so I added some quote tags to clarify for myself who was speaking where.

I'll respond in a bit.

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #26 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 17:54:27 »
You have formed personal belief from sources outside the bible.
I've used sources outside the Bible to inform my understanding of what is actually in the Bible.  That's called historical context.  You should really try it.

Sources are fine...
Are they?  You just finished implying they weren't.

...but they should be referenced within the Holy Book. Outside sources, with out the bible prove nothing.
On the contrary, a great many things can be proved without opening a Bible.  If I want to know about Gravity, for example, then I turn to a physics book, not the Bible.  If you want to know the definition of a word, you would go to a dictionary.  This topic is about Greek metaphysics and anatomy (though you may not realize it), and it turns out the best sources on this topic are the ones Paul was referencing, rather than Paul himself.

We are a group of people who read the same words and see things differently from each other. This book that God inspired is our hand book and from it we are to learn. Outside sources will offer their opinions but how do you know they are right?  So... the Bible is what we need to keep in the forefront .[/size][/color]
You really don't get it.  I haven't discarded the Bible.  It has always been my starting point. 

Outside sources were consulted, not to establish doctrine, but to establish the definition of the words that are in the Bible.  Those words frequently are difficult to understand; the words there are archaic.

Hey Jarrod. You don't ever need to read anything I write  ::tippinghat::
Uhhhh.... okay.

Did you by any chance pay any attention to the Title of this thread?

Did it ever occur to you that the author was looking for what others had to say and yes, as it relates to the bible?

Perhaps I do not understand it fully, but I assure you I understand it better then you do.
I find that unlikely, considering that I've read more about it than you.   I doubt that I'm about to dispel you of your delusions of competence, though, so please carry on.  I will bow out of this thread, since my input is unwanted, and it is your topic.

Jarrod

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #27 on: Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 18:27:05 »
I've used sources outside the Bible to inform my understanding of what is actually in the Bible.  That's called historical context.  You should really try it.
Are they?  You just finished implying they weren't.

Where is the world is Kenneth Sublett when he is needed. rofl rofl rofl

On the contrary, a great many things can be proved without opening a Bible.  If I want to know about Gravity, for example, then I turn to a physics book, not the Bible.  If you want to know the definition of a word, you would go to a dictionary.  This topic is about Greek metaphysics and anatomy (though you may not realize it), and it turns out the best sources on this topic are the ones Paul was referencing, rather than Paul himself.

You really don't get it.  I haven't discarded the Bible.  It has always been my starting point. 

Outside sources were consulted, not to establish doctrine, but to establish the definition of the words that are in the Bible.  Those words frequently are difficult to understand; the words there are archaic.

Uhhhh.... okay.

I find that unlikely, considering that I've read more about it than you.

Not if you dont believe in the triune man.

I doubt that I'm about to dispel you of your delusions of competence, though, so please carry on.  I will bow out of this thread, since my input is unwanted, and it is your topic.

Jarrod


« Last Edit: Sun May 02, 2021 - 21:28:48 by Wycliffes_Shillelagh »

Online RB

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #28 on: Sat May 01, 2021 - 05:26:24 »
I believe that it is your soul that allows you to ....ummmmm....get into trouble, and it is your spirit that will throw that uh oh pang of guilt into your heart, unless you have lived in such a way too long that you just do not know you are on the wrong path.  If that makes any sense
It does and I agreed 100% with you and goes perfectly with what I said here: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/hell's-daily-tally/175/  reply #200

It would help if others who read this compare what you said with what is posted in the other thread above. It would only take less than five minutes to read and ponder this.
« Last Edit: Sat May 01, 2021 - 05:35:15 by RB »

Offline 4WD

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #29 on: Sat May 01, 2021 - 06:57:37 »
It was Wycliffes_Shillelagh, quite some time ago, who stated that "he is a soul; he has a body and a spirit".  I agree with that.  I think that is the essence of the biblical view of things.  In Genesis 1:24 the Hebrew word nephesh, speaking of the animals there, is translated "creatures".  In Genesis 2:7 the Hebrew word nephesh, speaking of man there, is translated as creature. being or soul.  In those verses, soul simply means a living being, whether animal or human.  Both man and animals are "soulish" creatures; both are living beings.  The primary difference between the animal kingdom generally and mankind is that man is given a spirit by God.  Both man and animals have bodies "after their own kind". Man, in addition, is given his spirit by God (Zech 12:1).

It turns out that in most instances in both the OT and the NT when speaking of man, the soul and the spirit are essentially used interchangeably.  Thus all the hullabaloo about the distinction between how the soul and the spirit is used in Scripture is mostly moot.

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #30 on: Sat May 01, 2021 - 07:30:30 »
It does and I agreed 100% with you and goes perfectly with what I said here: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/hell's-daily-tally/175/  reply #200

It would help if others who read this compare what you said with what is posted in the other thread above. It would only take less than five minutes to read and ponder this.



It would help if others who read this compare what you said with what is posted in the other thread above. It would only take less than five minutes to read and ponder this.

I agree with that and emphasized it for other readers who may not read the post preceding this by skipping to the end.
(Yep... confession... I have done that on occasion)

Anyway...

Since you and I are somewhat on the same page on this one... I would like your opinion... and anyone else's.. if I can overly simplify the complex subject by saying it like this....
If we are spirits, living in a body and have a soul... OR... If we are living souls, residing in a body and have a spirit. ( Many views on this configuration that make us, us... and another thread, perhaps , for that to be hashed out) anyway ... And these work together in tandem or perhaps as one... in the likes of a man and a woman marrying and becoming one, though separate.

Once this body dies and the soul and spirit go back to God.... at final judgement , if the soul has not reigned in the bodies thirst for....  ::pondering:: how best to say simply.... let's say worldly lusts ( wrong word I know )... but just has let this
wicked flesh and blood thing have its own way, at judgement if condemned and sent off to destruction or eternal punishment,
does the soul also get sent with it... cause it did not do enough to keep the soul and body in check?

I know I am saying this wrong... but claiming a senior moment here I am curious.

Offline Amo

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #31 on: Sat May 01, 2021 - 14:33:36 »
The human living soul came into existence when God breathed the breath of life into Adam's body which He had formed from the dust of the earth. Souls can and do die, and can be saved. The soul that sinneth, shall die.

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #32 on: Sun May 02, 2021 - 08:38:53 »
The human living soul came into existence when God breathed the breath of life into Adam's body which He had formed from the dust of the earth. Souls can and do die, and can be saved. The soul that sinneth, shall die.

Yes, that is correct.

Adam was the first man who had his life breathed into him by God.

But can you definitively prove, beyond shadow of a doubt that the breath of life into Adam happened during the creation week going back to all the solar systems and galaxies that were also in God's creation. That everything was a fait accompli . That is the question...............................

Adam:

Gen 2 - 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Back up to Genesis 1 - 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [g]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”


Genesis 1-26 God made man... in "their" image and likeness.  He did not breath the breath of life into each man He made.
Genesis 2 - 7 God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into this single man.

Genesis 1-  27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
He did not take a rib from man to create women. But they were given instructions from God.*

Genesis 2-21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He [h]made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

*Genesis 1 _ 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.”

I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE SAYING THAT TO THEM THE ENTIRE EARTH WOULD HAVE BEEN A FEW SQUARE MILES IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR NOT. They were instructed to multiple and fill the earth and to care for the entire thing.

Genesis 2- 8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  He did not put them. He put singular man.

And this singular man  v 15 Then the Lord God took [d]the man and put him in the garden of Eden to [e]tend and keep it.
had only the Garden of Eden to care for. Who then would care for the rest of the earth as God had instructed in Gen 1:28???

Adam did not have the females God created in Gen 1: 26. And a suitable helper was not available among the animals created in that area so God Gen 2-18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 2- 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

Now I could go on but will stop as most will not have read this far.

Adam was the first living man with soul breathed into him God created. He was not from the "them" in Gen. 1- 27.

As to the timing of the 7 day thing.... that I am working on, ( for a very long time) but there is no reason to think that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 actually were even in the same century.  God does not count time as we do. So the author(s) for Gen could well have misunderstood to be able to explain it properly, or being inspired to write it down.... they may well have used stories handed down as a base and went from there.




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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #33 on: Tue May 04, 2021 - 14:40:16 »
Quote
What do we definitively know about the soul?
The soul of man, along with his spirit is to me, the hardest doctrine to get perfectly correct on because of their so close connection, to each other......SO CLOSE.
Quote from: Paul
1st Corinthians 15:45~"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."
Here we see the first Adam equated with the living soul relating to the flesh, while the last Adam (Christ) equated with the quickening spirit relating to the higher, non-fleshly, non-carnal nature. Soul and spirit are not used here by chance or un-ordered luck, they are God-inspired to show the difference between Adam that sinned in his soul, and the Spirit of Christ who redeems man from that sin (Micah 6:7). We see that the soul usually pertains to the conscious entity within the body. It is breath that has given life to our soul or conscious existence when we were born. That soul includes our personal makeup, or that which makes us different from every other individual. In other words, the body is the outward shell of you, but it is not all of what defines who you are. Each and every human being given the breath of life by God has a "unique" consciousness or soul, and that soul is intimately connected to the life blood of the flesh and body. If you shed man's blood, the breath of life ceases from that body and you have a corpse. That is to say, when the soul leaves, there is the death of the body. For without this breath of life, the soul cannot exist within the body, and the body cannot exist period. I watched this very carefully when I lost my oldest grandson die of cancer last 3-16-2020 in my arms.
Quote
Genesis 2:7~"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
Before God gave the breath of life, the body was just a lump of clay. But after God's miraculous creation process of giving the body breath, man became an inimitable living soul. So the soul, as contrasted with the spirit, is more nearly connected to the unique conscious life existence within the body--the living exhibition of our conscious being that defines us as individuals. As such, the breath of life or soul maintains the earthly body. When the soul is gone from the body, then life is gone from it.
Quote
Genesis 35:18~"And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin."
The living soul does not exist apart from the body, except there is the death of the body. In that Genesis declares the soul was departing, we know that there is a soul in people that exists separate from and independent of the body at death. For it doesn't say that her body departed or went away, only her soul. This signifying that body and soul are two distinct entities. When one takes their last breath, the conscious soul or existence departs from the body, and the result is the cessation of life in that body. Death is not the extinction of the soul (Matthew 10:28), but of the body in its separation and disunion from it. The Soul is in fact the conscious life within the body. And the word is sometimes translated life to illustrate this--for example in Leviticus chapter 17:
Quote
Leviticus 17:11~"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
As I said earlier, the soul is intimately tied to the life of the body. While the spirit is intimately related to the soul within the body, but not so tied~but VERY CLOSE, so close it is not easy to distinguish them. The soul/life of the flesh is in the blood because it is by Christ's shed blood that the transgressions of our souls are atoned for. Likewise, the soul being the consciousness of being within us, can be vexed or made bitter or sad by outward circumstances specifically because it is so connected to the body. For example we read in 2nd Kings:
Quote
2nd Kings 4:27~"And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me."

In the consciousness of her inner existence, she was vexed or made bitter in the flesh. It is the soul that comprises the uniqueness of who we are in the flesh. That is why even after receiving Christ, in our spirit we may have an earnest desire to do the will of God, but in our soul (our whole being) we often struggle with sin because the soul is the life blood of the the flesh (Leviticus 17:11). In our humanity we are carnal or naturally evil, and the life of our souls are also tainted as a result (Romans 7:24). This can pull us toward the flesh and evil as this flesh wars against the soul so connected to it.
Quote from: Peter
1st Peter 2:11~"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"
The lusts of the flesh war against our soul because the soul is the breath of life and identity and conscious existence within it. And when unsaved it is our spirit (so in communion with the soul) that gives in and moves the soul to turn to these lusts. But if we are saved, being resurrected in our spirit, we will want to do the will of God and so this spiritual warfare will overcome the soul and bring us into condemnation. But make no mistake, it is there and it is our spirit that helps the soul prevail over the body. For even though we are resurrected and made perfect in the spirit, the soul is warred against by the flesh all through our journey of Christian growth. Just as (under the inspiration of God) the Apostle Paul states:
Quote from: THE HOLY GHOST
Romans 7:20-25~"Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
In the inward man, in His spirit, he delights in the law of God. But there is another law of his body that is warring against his soul. And it is seeking to bring his mind and soul into bondage to the lusts of the body. But being a saved man, the Apostle had the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:16) via the Spirit of Christ, that in his soul's existence he serves God. Even though in the flesh, he finds himself sinning (when he compared himself to the spirituality of God's holy law,) with a desire that his soul depart (2nd Corinthians 5:8) that body of death. The soul is moved by the spirit to choose the law of God as what is important, over things of this world that are of little spiritual value.

Later...we will add more~RB
« Last Edit: Tue May 04, 2021 - 14:46:28 by RB »

Offline Rella

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Re: What do we definitively know about the soul?
« Reply #34 on: Tue May 04, 2021 - 15:57:30 »
Thank you Red.