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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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Whenever speakers in the New Testament quote from passages in the Old containing the Hebrew word nephesh, they use the Greek word psuche. One outstanding example will illustrate this. In 1st Cor. 15, beginning at verse 42, Paul makes a contrast between corruption and incorruption, weakness and power, mortality and immortality. Then (verse 44) he says:

"There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body."

The word "natural" here is psuchikos--soulish, from psuche--soul. He continues, verse 45:

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (psuche)..."

He is quoting Gen. 2:7 which we have considered. In verse 46, he calls this living soul, "that which is natural." In verse 47, he calls it "of the earth, earthy." In verse 50, he calls it "flesh and blood" and "corruption." Paul's conception of soul fits perfectly with what we have already discovered.

Similarly souls are applied to animals, and souls die, in the New Testament just as in the Old. In Rev. 8:9, we read:

"And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life (psuche --soul), died..."

Rev. 16:3: "...every living soul (psuche) died in the sea."

And "soul" is used for natural life and function, as in the Old. In Matt. 6:25, Jesus says:

"...Take NO THOUGHT for your life (psuche--soul), what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink..."

The soul here is clearly that which is supported by eating and drinking. Acts 15:25-26 we read: "...Our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives (psuche) for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In faithfully serving Christ, they certainly could not have been hazarding immortal souls, but they WERE hazarding their scriptural souls--their natural lives and bodies.

The same applies to Paul's words in Acts 20:24: "...neither count I my life (psuche) dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..."

And Jesus' words (John 10:15): "...I lay down my life (psuche) for the sheep."

And Phil. 2:30: "...for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, NOT REGARDING his life (psuche)..."

In all these, psuche is used in the common sense of natural life, and cannot be harmonized with the immortal soul idea.