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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    Humans are tripartite beings: body, spirit and soul.
    Hi Geoffrey!

    You are not alone in your belief that man is a "tripartite" being. Many Christians have believed the Bible teaches that, and it appears (on the surface at least) to have a satisfying correlation with the Triune Nature of our Creator.

    But if we dig into it, I know of only two verses that support the idea of a "tripartite" nature of humans. The passage in Hebrews that you quoted seems like a good one at first because it says that the "soul and spirit" can be divided one from the other. But if I think about it too much, I find myself wondering "What does THAT mean?!" What is a "soul" without a spirit? What does it mean for God to separate soul and spirit? That line of thought doesn't seem to go anywhere.

    The second verse, which is the one I thought you would have quoted, is 1 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." But if I interpreted Genesis 2:7 correctly as saying that a "soul" = Body + Spirit, then Paul's statement must be interpreted as a kind of poetic redundancy in which the middle term is not a third entity, but a way of referring to the self as a "body+spirit" unity. Similar poetic features are seen in Job 7:11 where the "soul" and "spirit" are used in parallel:

    Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth;
    • I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
    • I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
    And in Isaiah 26:9
    • With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
    • yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:
    I don't think we can build a very strong case for a "tripartite" human nature from such poetic verses. And in any case, the Bible certainly does not seem conclusive on this point, as far as I can tell anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    These parts can be represented as three concentric circles with the body on the outside, the spirit in the middle and the soul in the centre. We are not our bodies, we are not our spirits, but we are our souls. The soul is also spirit and life and the body is the manifestation of that invisible life. The soul is like the seed and the body the fruit that contains the seed. The DNA is built according to the blueprint in the soul.
    That's a pretty interesting view. I immediately recognize that your explanation coheres well with the meaning of the Hebrew nephesh (soul) which is often translated as "life." And as I think about it more I recall that the Bible talks about the soul as separate from the body, so I will have to rethink how all this fits together. The difficulty may be that the Bible does not use these terms in a "scientific" way - they may be more poetic descriptions. The reason I say that is because the words are used with different meanings in different contexts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    His seed that remaineth in him is his soul.
    Whose soul? God's soul? I don't get this point. Jesus said "The seed is the Word of God" (Luke 8:11) and this is confirmed in 1 Peter 1:23:
    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    God created the earth and formed the body of our father Adam from whose body our bodies are formed; God created our spirits, but gave birth to our souls. Children are born, not created.
    I don't know what you mean when you say "GOd gave birth." Could you explain that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    When Jesus died, His body went to the tomb, His spirit went to God and His soul went to hell.
    I am guessing you are getting this idea from Acts 2:27: "Thou wilt not leave my SOUL in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." I think that is a misinterpretation. Reading just 4 verse on we find more information:

    Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

    This is just another biblical parallelism where soul and flesh are used interchangeably.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    This is what I believe, but my understanding is not perfect yet.
    And neither is mine! It is good for us to remind ourselves or our weaknesses. I hope nothing I have said makes it sound like I think I "know it all." I most certainly DO NOT have all the answers on any topic! But I sure do like trying to put the answers into words, and to have my efforts tested and challenged. Thanks for your help, my friend!

    Richard

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Whose soul? God's soul? I don't get this point. Jesus said "The seed is the Word of God" (Luke 8:11) and this is confirmed in 1 Peter 1:23:

    The man's soul is the seed of God. God is the Word, the Word is a seed and every seed brings forth after its kind; therefore, the man's soul is Word. The following verses show that men who are souls are the seed of God.

    Matthew 13:24-25 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (25) But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    Jesus later explains the parable.

    Matthew 13:36-38 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. (37) He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (38) The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    An analogy: First the seed was in the bag of the sower - the loins of the father, then the seed was in the ground - the womb of the mother, then God sent rain - spirit - to germitise the seed so that it sprouts into a tree - the body - that brings forth fruit - behaviour and character.

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
    To me it does not appear that this verse calls the Word of God seed, but that the rebirth of the seed - emphasis on of - takes place by the Word of God - emphasis on by. We cannot become born again, unless we hear the Word of God.

    Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    The Word of God is sometimes refered to as water.

    Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    And also:

    Deuteronomy 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
    The Word is also spirit.
    Last edited by Geoffrey; 07-20-2007 at 03:07 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I am guessing you are getting this idea from Acts 2:27: "Thou wilt not leave my SOUL in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." I think that is a misinterpretation. Reading just 4 verse on we find more information:
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post

    Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

    This is just another biblical parallelism where soul and flesh are used interchangeably.
    Do you mean that Jesus did not descend to hell? The following verses appear to say that He did.

    1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    The prison is hell and the spirits are souls.

    Ephesians 4:8-9 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    [color=black]

    Do you mean that Jesus did not descend to hell? The following verses appear to say that He did.
    1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    The prison is hell and the spirits are souls.
    No, I did not mean that Jesus did not descend into hell in the sense of 1 Peter 3:19. But I am pretty sure that Acts 2:27 was not referring to that event, since its focus was the resurrection, and the fact that God would not leave the body of His Son in the grave to rot.

    I find it interesting that you said the "spirits" are "souls." I think that my be an indication that the Bible does not use these two words consistently as referring to two separate entities.

    I'll get to you other post shortly.

    Richard


    Folks dispute the meaning of 1 Pet 3:19, but I think it does

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I don't know what you mean when you say "GOd gave birth." Could you explain that?
    We are the children of God, which means God gave birth to us. The sperm comes out from the father. The baby comes out from the mother. We came out from God. That is birth.

    We are the issue of our parents. Jesus said that He issued from God.

    John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
    The word for proceeded forth in Greek according to Strong's dictionary (1831) means issue.
    Last edited by Geoffrey; 07-20-2007 at 04:14 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I find it interesting that you said the "spirits" are "souls." I think that my be an indication that the Bible does not use these two words consistently as referring to two separate entities.
    Generically, the soul is spirit or in the realm of spirit.

    I might compare the body to a lamp, the soul to oil and and the spirit to a spark that ignites the oil so that it burns and lives and gives light. Or the body to meal, the soul to oil (with the meal and the oil made into dough) and the spirit to fire that warms the dough and bakes it into bread that can sustain life.

    In Genesis 1, God created man in His own image and likeness. Since God is spirit, He created a man like Himself, a spirit man, souls. Then He formed the body from the dust of the earth, placed the soul in the body and ignited it by breathing into him the breath or spark of life.The word breath is related to fire. The b is the masculine of p, which is related to f as in pyro - fire.

    Here my wires get crossed up because God said created and not birthed.

    So you also agree that Jesus's soul and body were at one point in different locations? I think you should also agree that His spirit was in a third location, because He commended His spirit into the hands of God, who was not in hell.

    Geoffrey
    Last edited by Geoffrey; 07-20-2007 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #27
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    Elisabeth

    HTML Code:
     Originally Posted by Geoffrey  
    When Jesus died, His body went to the tomb, His spirit went to God and His soul went to hell.
    Comment:
    It is interesting to note that widow's son Elijah brought back to life had a soul that departed at death and came into him again and that the girl Jesus brought back to life had a spirit that departed her body and which came into her again when Jesus raised her up.

    I noticed that in the OT soul and spirit are used interchangeable. Both also have the same abilities to experience say for example anger or suffering. In the New Spirit is used more often instead of soul. Jesus commended His Spirit into the hands of God. Hence when His body died, His Spirit, or His essential being was kept safe by God until the resurrection. Could it be that man's spirit is part of his soul and this is the part that responds to God? That this has been imprisoned by Satan and is set free by the Gospel so that the Spirit of God can have communion with the Spirit of man and be united and then by the consent of the soul takes control of the life? Psalm 51: says:
    HTML Code:
    Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    With regards to Christ's soul having gone to hell, what about the following possibility: Hell could refer to the two stages of Satan kingdom, first his spiritual one where Satan reigns over sinners but cannot be seen, (see my comments on the page dealing with hell, where I shared that the OT seems to imply that we can right now be in hell) followed by his literal one, when he can be seen literally after Christ's second coming and is literally destroyed with all his followers. If that is so then Jesus when He was made sin for us, must have suffered being one with the spiritual kingdom of Satan though He never sinned. He was reckoned with the transgressors on our behalf. When Jesus took our punishment hanging on the cross but before He actually died, was separated from the Father. And separated from God we are part of the spiritual kingdom of Satan.
    I am a brand plucked from the fire. What fire? Is it not the fire of hell? I was a member of Satan's kingdom. But I was rescued from this kingdom and have been translated into the heavenly kingdom. Jesus took my place in the kingdom of Satan, so that I could take His place in the kingdom of heaven. But Jesus did not stay in the kingdom of Satan. !!!! Thank God! He gained the victory over that kingdom. He was buried in the grave of the rich as befitted a king!
    The verse in Peter about Jesus preaching to the spirits in prison can only be understood by the role of the Messiah. Jesus had come to set the prisoners free. Prisoners in bondage to sin. At the time of the flood God's Spirit also strove with man just as He does today. Salvation came to the antediluvians just as it came to the people in Jesus' days and in our days.
    Since the fall the spirits of men have been imprisoned by Satan. They can only be set free by listening and accepting the Word of God by faith.

    Did we exist before we were conceived? The Mormons think we did. They believe we used to be spirit children and were given a second chance here on earth. I see nothing in the the Bible that supports that view. I agree that we were already in the mind of God. But then God knows the end from the beginning. Anyone who creates something intricate has to think it out before he does it. A writer can think for years about a character in a plot. This character exists in the mind of the writer. But this character does not come to life until the writer either speaks him to others or writes it down.
    Both Adam and Christ were sons of God. But Christ was unique. He had pre-existence. If we had pre-existence and we have come out from God then surely we would not have sinned or we could have saved ourselves and Christ would not have had to come out from God to do this for us.

    Elisabeth

  8. #28
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    We know that the "foundation of the world" was a significant event as it serves as a point in time when those events occurring before it are distinguished from other events.

    In Ephesians 1:4, Paul says;
    According as He has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    (As an aside, there are differing opinions as to what is "the foundation of the world".......but setting that aside, it is apparent that it is a past event).

    Paul goes on to say;
    Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the God pleasure of his will,

    Joel
    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabeth View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    When Jesus died, His body went to the tomb, His spirit went to God and His soul went to hell.
    Comment:
    It is interesting to note that widow's son Elijah brought back to life had a soul that departed at death and came into him again and that the girl Jesus brought back to life had a spirit that departed her body and which came into her again when Jesus raised her up.

    I noticed that in the OT soul and spirit are used interchangeable. Both also have the same abilities to experience say for example anger or suffering. In the New Spirit is used more often instead of soul. Jesus commended His Spirit into the hands of God.
    Hi Elisabeth,


    The question about the "structure of man" - whether bipartite (body + soul) or tripartite (body + soul + spirit) is an ancient one. A big part of the problem is caused by the interchangability of the terms soul and spirit. I tend towards the idea that the proper definition of "SOUL" is the combination of BODY + SPIRIT as seen in Gen 2:7
    Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground (BODY), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (SPIRIT); and man became a living soul (SOUL).
    But the problem is that the words soul and spirit are not used in consistent fashion and are often interchangable, so I think this will remain an unsolved problem.

    As for the widows son - the literal Hebrew says that the child's "nephesh" came into him again. But "nephesh" often means nothing more than "life" so I don't think that is by itself very strong evidence for the idea that the soul can depart from and return to the body.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabeth View Post
    Did we exist before we were conceived? The Mormons think we did. They believe we used to be spirit children and were given a second chance here on earth. I see nothing in the the Bible that supports that view.

    Here is only one hint of it that I know of:
    John 9:1-3 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
    How could the man have sinned before he was born? But at best, this is an argument from silence. The implicit assumption of preexistence in the disciples question could have been wrong but Christ didn't want to waste time correcting that particular point because he had a bigger point to make.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabeth View Post
    I agree that we were already in the mind of God. But then God knows the end from the beginning. Anyone who creates something intricate has to think it out before he does it. A writer can think for years about a character in a plot. This character exists in the mind of the writer. But this character does not come to life until the writer either speaks him to others or writes it down.

    Both Adam and Christ were sons of God. But Christ was unique. He had pre-existence. If we had pre-existence and we have come out from God then surely we would not have sinned or we could have saved ourselves and Christ would not have had to come out from God to do this for us.

    Elisabeth
    The uniqueness of Christ is more than mere pre-existence because He pre-existed as God the Son. I don't see why our pre-existence would mean that we "would not have sinned" or that "we could have saved ourselves." What is there about the idea of pre-existence that would imply those conclusions?

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  10. #30
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    The three parts of us; spirit, soul and body, are mentioned together in one verse of note;
    I 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.


    Body = soma,
    soul = psuche,
    spirit = pneuma.

    We are familiar with our bodies; It being the most obvious of the three.
    It is made of material that is connected with this system in which we physically live. It is made of soil.

    The spirit is other worldly, connected with the spirit realm. Like the breath, it is not discerned by the senses. God is spirit.

    It seems that when the body is joined to the spirit, the soul is the result. Does the soul exist only when these two are joined, or, is the soul expressive only when these two are joined? The latter seems more appropriate as the soul appears to remain in "sleep" until the body and spirit of an individual are joined.

    If this is so, then, the soul represents the consciousness of a person. We certainly may exist, but, if we are not conscious of the existence, then, the soul is not aware..........and, will not be aware until the body and spirit are united again.

    If this is true, then, the spirit has existed in God, awaiting a body in which to be joined. When that occurs, the soul becomes the third part, the expressive conscious part.

    In such a system, the spirit is also in communion with God's spirit, and is "plugged in", so to speak.

    But, the overall leadership, or oversight is what is important. Sin, which is "missing", if allowed to take over the body, as it did in the garden with Adam, can cause the body to be dominant, rather that the spirit.

    Such is the case with man after the transgression of Adam.

    The soul becomes more conscious of things of the body in such a case.

    Jesus came to reverse this condition.

    Joel
    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

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