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Nature Of Man

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NATURE OF MAN Study Guide

1. Understand the ontological nature of man (i.e. what make a human being a human being).

Brief answer is found in Genesis 2.7: The soul (human being) is produced by interaction of

the spirit (immaterial) with the body (material). Where do the material and immaterial

portions of the nature come from? Is it possible for man to lack any aspect of his nature

(body or spirit) and still be a human being? Man is dualistic in his nature (Matt 10.28; 2 Cor 5.1-8; 1 Cor 15.51-54; 1 Thes13-18). A clear distinction exists between his material portion (body) and his immaterial portion (spirit), yet neither can exist on this earth independent of the other. They are integrated yet separable. James wrote that the “body without the spirit is dead” (2.26). Commenting on this verse, the trichotomist Franz Delitzsch wrote: We maintain the dualism of nature [by this he is referring to the body] and spirit

as strenuously as we maintain the dualism of God and the world, and in the same degree we regard the body and the spirit of man as being of a distinct nature.

2. Define body-

 Soul- the whole person. The entire immaterial part of man (Matt 10.28). Used frequently in this

manner in both OT and NT. This is sometimes called the theological soul

since the word used in this context refers to the immaterial part of a

person’s nature. “Soul” as the immaterial part of man is used

interchangeably with "spirit" of man (Gen 35.18; 41.8 and Ps 42.6; Matt

20.28 and 27.50; John 12.27 and 13.21; Heb 12.23 and Rev 6.9; Luke 1.46

and 47 synonymous parallelism - see Ps 69.4,6,8; 78.27)

and spirit and explain the function of each.- This is a more restrictive word and usually only applies to the immaterial part of man. Scholars, however, have pointed out that several verses in the Bible may

demonstrate that “spirit” also refers to the entire person. It is the seat of the will, seat of intelligence, emotions, it is eternal

3. Define: heart-

, mind- seat of intetlligence

 and flesh-material part

4. Define dichotomy and trichotomy. Know each view’s strengths and weaknesses.

5. Know Erickson's conditional unity of man.

6. What is the Scriptural view of man’s ontological nature? Scripture gives no indication that man is anything other than dualistic in his ontological nature. What does it means to be a human being? It means that he is ontologically composed of two separate, distinct, yet in this life indivisible parts: the

body and the spirit. So, the soul is a composition of body and spirit. If either part is lacking, then the soul (person) does not exist. At the same time, it takes both parts working together with each other to have a living person.

7. Explain why the spirit aspect of the human nature is not the person. The idea that man is really a spirit being that inhabits a body falls into the error of Neo-Platonic dualism. It is impossible for a human being to be a spirit being. The definition of man's nature says that man is body + spirit in union.

a. Ric Machuga explained the deficiencies of dualism as follows:

The intellect is not, however, in us as a captian is in a ship or as sap is in a tree. Rather, the nonmaterial is in us the way meaning is in words. Humans are essentially a unity of body and soul. If we think of the body as the material condition and the intellect as the nonmaterial condition, then we

can define the relation between body and soul like this: Immaterial souls are a necessary but not sufficient condition for our existence. According to the dualist, since the body is not an essential part of our nature, the death of the body is fairly insignificant. When the body dies, we

simply discard it the way a snake sheds its skin. In fact, the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin may be too weak. Some dualists, like Plato, teach that the death of the body is more like the liberation of inmates from a prison. For Plato, the metaphor of a caterpillar and a butterfly is better. The

caterpillar enters the cocoon with many legs and leaves with two wings, but here, having fewer material appendages means the freedom to fly. With either metaphor, according to dualism, the immortality of the soul is the natural state of humans after the death of their bodies.10

b. To say that man is a spirit being that has a body is to disagree with God's revelation of man's ontological nature. In every instance where a spiritbeing is housed by a body, the Scripture calls it demon possession.

8. Explain why the immaterial part of man is never divided into two parts called soul and

spirit.

6. The spirit is eternal

a. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Delitzsch noted that the spirit returns to God for judgment. It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment (Acts 17.31; Heb 9.27)

b. Need to be careful about building doctrine from Ecclesiastes. Solomon's presentation of eternal things is extremely limited. In general, Solomon is only concerned with this life. Ex: In Eccl 6.6, Solomon states that when people die they all go to one place. That place refers to the grave. In 9.3-6,

one could build a doctrine of annihilationism. Likewise, 12.7 is not referring to the dissolution of man.

c. 1 Peter 3.19 - Those men who were disobedient in Noah's day are now

spirits in prison (i.e. in hades). Spirit here refers to the entire immaterial portion of man which is eternal.

d. Both David and Stephen committed their spirit to God (Ps 31.5; Acts 7.59).

C. Conclusion__-------1. Soul and spirit have some obvious differences in meaning. For example, spirit can mean wind or breath whereas the semantic domain of soul lacks this meaning.

2. When the terms are used in reference to the immaterial part of man’s nature, the two terms are synonymous. Spirit is descriptive of the kind of substance of the immaterial nature and soul is another name for the immaterial part.

3. The diagram below illustrates the overlap in meaning.

4. The next section will demonstrate how the parts of the ontological nature relate to

each other according to the definitions given in this section.

living being

self

SOUL person

-------

immaterial in this overlap area soul = spirit

part of man

----

SPIRIT life principle

breath

wind   

 

9. Demonstrate from the Scripture the concept that the soul is used interchangeably or

synonymously with the spirit. The entire immaterial part of man (Matt 10.28). Used frequently in this

manner in both OT and NT. This is sometimes called the theological soul since the word used in this context refers to the immaterial part of a person’s nature. “Soul” as the immaterial part of man is used interchangeably with "spirit" of man (Gen 35.18; 41.8 and Ps 42.6; Matt 20.28 and 27.50; John 12.27 and 13.21; Heb 12.23 and Rev 6.9; Luke 1.46 and 47 synonymous parallelism - see Ps 69.4,6,8; 78.27).4

1) The OT Hebrew understanding of man was a unity, but they did see the soul as separable from the body (Gen 35.18 - life; Ps 16.10; 1 Kings 17.21).

2) This same understanding is also found in the NT (Matt 10.28; Rev 6.4)

SOUL--1) Ge 46:26-27 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; (27)And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. (See also vss 18,22,25).

2) Ro 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

  b. Soul = pronoun referring to the whole person (The “I” or “me,” etc.)

    1) Ge 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

   2) Ge 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that [thy soul = you] may bless me.

   3) Ge 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that [my soul = I] may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he

drank.

   4) Ge 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that [thy soul = you] may bless me.

   5) Ps 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for [my soul = me].

   6) Ps 142:7 Bring [my soul = me] out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

 SPIRIT--This is a more restrictive word and usually only applies to the immaterial part of

man. Scholars, however, have pointed out that several verses in the Bible may demonstrate that “spirit” also refers to the entire person. For example:

 a. Ro 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: In this verse spirit is analogous to “self.”

 b. 1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 c. 1Co 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

 d. 2Co 7:13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

 

10. Explain why the biblical data demonstrates that the mind, will, and emotions are the

functions of the spirit.

Will  a. Out of the 755 times "soul" is used in the Old Testament, it is translated

"will" only 4 times (Deut 21.14; Ps 27.12; 41.2; Ezek 16.27).

b. As was true of soul when it meant "body" above, so also the usage of soul to mean "will" is more the exception rather than the rule. Soul (psuche) in the New Testament is never used in terms of will.

c. When soul is used as will, it is not considered to be a part of the ontological nature. Rather, it is a function of the ON. A functional nature produces a will. Both parts of the nature (material and immaterial) are necessary for the production of the will.

d. Since the will is internal to the person, it is often associated with the spirit. This does not mean that the spirit is the sole producer of the will. Biblical convention says that anything that originates internally is spiritual; that is comes from the spirit. This will be addressed later in the notes.

The Mind - Genesis 23.8; Deut 18.6; 28.65; 1 Sam 2.35; 1 Chron 28.9; Jer 15.1; Job 23.13; Phil 1.27; Heb 12.3 [Used 15 times in the OT and 3 times in the NT]. Both soul and spirit are used in reference to the mind. This should not come as a surprise since as J. Barton Payne stated, "flesh and spirit combine to form the (see spirit below) Mind like will above is the result of a fully functioning nature. You cannot have a “mind” without both the material and the immaterial parts of the nature. No part alone produces “mind.”

 The seat of the Emotions (desires, affections, aversions) - 2 Sam 5.8; Num 21.5; Job 30.25; Ps 42.1; 86.4; 107.5,9; Prov 16.23; Song 1.7; Jer 31.25; Matt 12.18; 26.38; Mark 14.34; John 12.18. The emotions and desires of man are associated with the soul in the verses given above and also with the spirit as will be demonstrated below. Again, emotions are possible only with a fully functioning

nature.

11. Show that the breath of life that God breathed into man is the created immaterial aspect

(spirit) of man's nature not the Holy Spirit.- Note that breath (nishemath) cannot not be the Spirit of God because 1) breath is part

of man's ontological nature; 2) the nishemath is not lost after Adam sins. Genesis

7.22-23 informs the reader that the flood destroyed all those who had breath

(nishemath) of life in them

12. Know the significance of God's rest at the end of the creation week.- The Sabbath of God means that he has ceased his creative activity after the 6th day. There is no more creation ex nihilo.

13. Know the

traducian - Transducianism

1. Holds that the soul as well as the body of a child are inherited from the baby’s mother and father at the time of conception.

2. Support for Transducianism

 a. Supporting Scripture: Gen 2.2; Heb 7.10; cf. 1 Cor 11.8

 b. God breathed once into Adam the breath of life and then left it to Adam and Eve to replenish the earth.

 c. Eve was taken out of the man (1 Cor 11:8) so that she received her soul from Adam. Nothing is said about the creation of her soul (Gen 2.23).

 d. God ceased from the work of creation after he made man (Gen 2.2 - this is an eternal rest). Delitzsch wrote that the continued creation of souls is inconsistent with God’s relation to the world.

e. Descendants are said to be in the loins of their fathers (Gen 46.26; Heb 7.9,10)

 f. Both vegetable and the soulish animal life have the ability to bring forth after their kind. Should this be denied to the human being?

 g. Heritable traits are present in the offspring. Behavioral characteristics of the parents are quite noticeable in the offspring even when the parent(s) is dead.

 h. It offers the best basis for the inheritance of moral and spiritual depravity, which is a matter of the soul rather than the body. Gen 5 states that Adam bore sons in his own image.

 i. It was necessary to Christ to have gotten his soul from Mary in order to redeem the human soul (It is accepted fact that the body came from Mary).

 j. If God is responsible for creating each and every soul, then the logic must be as follows: Since we are born dead in trespasses and sins, then God must have made a sinful soul. This position is hardly tenable. Therefore, the traducianism position is better because it allows the sinful parents to be the progenitors of sinful progeny. An alternative approach to the above statement could be that God created a perfect soul that was instantly corrupted by contact with the body. The question that arises from this

thinking is Who said the body was the source of corruption? This would merely be a theological conclusion for Jeremiah 17.9 (the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) seems to place corruption in the immaterial part of man. Jesus concurred with Jeremiah in Matthew 12.34-35 and 15.18-19 where He clearly indicated that corruption comes from the heart or inner being of man.

3. Problems with this model

 a. It is contrary to the simplicity of the soul. Does the soul come from the mother or the father or both?

 b. If in Adam human nature as a whole sinned, then Christ was also sinful and guilty because he by virtue of his inherited soul had actually sinned in Adam.

 creationist view of the origin of the soul-Creationism

1. Creationism is the view that God creates a new soul for each person and sends it to that person’s body sometime between conception and birth.

2. Tenets of Creationism

 a. Scripture distinguished the origin of the soul and the body (Eccl 12.7; Isa 42.5; Zech 12.1; Heb 12.9)

 b. The creationism preserves the idea of the soul as a simple, indivisible substance.

 c. It better explains Christ’s pure soul.

3. Problems with the creation of the soul

a. The Sabbath of God means that he has ceased his creative activity after the 6th day. There is no more creation ex nihilo.

 b. God blessed his creation with the ability to be fruitful (i.e. reproduce). See Gen 4.1 and 5.1-3.

c. For conception to occur after a rape, or from sex outside of the marital bounds, God would have to create a soul and bless those immoral acts.

d. A. H. Strong wrote: This theory, if it allows that the soul is originally possessed of depraved tendencies makes God the direct author or moral evil; if it holds the soul to have been created pure, it makes God indirectly the author of moral evil, by teaching that He put this pure soul into a body

which will inevitably corrupt it.

e. It means that the parents only produce the body of their child, and cannot account for the mental and moral traits of the parents in the children.

f. Christology still has a problem since Jesus took on the entire nature of man he would still inherit a body which would corrupt him if not for a special intervention by God

 State which is the better position and be able to defend your choice. A Workable Solution

1. The fall of Adam resulted in the corruption of his nature (original corruption). This is known as depravity. Every person born since Adam has been born totally depraved. This depravity is heritable through the normal means of procreation. Thus the traducian position best explains this aspect.

2. The other aspect of Adams fall explains how Adam and mankind became guilty (original guilt). Adam's guilt came because God imputed that guilt to Adam's account due to his sin. Since Adam was the federal head of the human race, that guilt is also imputed to every person born after Adam. All those "in Adam" are declared guilty by God.

3. Man is condemned by judicial decree of God and sins because of depravity. Guilt, therefore, is not passed by procreation to offspring that did not sin, nor does one have to explain how all people can literally have been in Adam (an impossible fact). Paul's language in Hebrews 7.4-10 can be taken figuratively when he states that Levi was in the loins of Abraham. In verses 4-9, Paul has

been speaking in terms of descendants (vs. 5 - of the sons of Levi; vs 5 – brethren who come out of the loins of Abraham; vs. 6 - whose descent; etc.). In verse 10, Abraham is the federal head of Israel. Abraham stands for all those who will be Israelites. Paul is saying in verse 10 that Levi, who will be a descendent of Abraham, was represented by Abraham and, therefore, it is just as if Levi himself

tithed to Melchisedec. Guilt, then, is imputational and not transmitted from generation to generation.

14. Explain the image of God in man. Why does Erickson say it is substantial?- Image of God-

1)      SubstantialStructural view--definite characteristics of God are in human nature.

Reasons this is the correct view:Variations--

a)      Refers to our physical makeup- Mormons hold to this. God had a physical/literal body, so men do as well. Well, animals have this as well. The form of the body is important. Jn 4:24, God is Spirit. His ontological makeup is Spirit, not physical.

b)      Embedded in man’s nature—abilities which God infinitely has, has placed finitely in man.  Rational thinking makes us different from the animals. Animals don’t have schools. We share in common things with God.

The essential nature of God is Spirit—(Lev 26:11- tabernacle and soul—Soul is not part of God’s nature, but “I”.)  His attributes come out of His nature—love, truth, wrath, etc. He does not need body parts for rational thinking. God made man in two parts--

2)      Relational—God has relationships in the Trinity—so man has relationships. It exists in essence of relationships. If a man has no relationship with God, he has no capacity to have a relationship with other men. Unsaved men also have the image of God. (James 3:9). The relational view does not describe God.

Neo-Orthodox believes this. Neo is NEW. Not the standard or historical Christianity. They don’t believe in inspiration of Scripture.

3)      Function—it is what He does. God has the right to rule in this world, so man has dominion.

Man is in God’s image because he rules like God rules—this is not a true image. Psa 8 describes the excellency of God.

   Ericcson—Important (p532)—The Image of God==

1)      Is universal in the human race

2)      Has not been lost as a result of sin or the fall

3)      Is not greater in one person than another.

4)      Not correlated with any variable.

5)      Should be thought of as primarily substantive or structural.

6)      Refers to the elements in the human makeup that enable the fulfillment of the human destiny.

7)      The qualities of God are reflected in human beings which make worship, personal interaction and work possible.

Gen 1:26—“image” & “likeness”. In vs 27, image and likeness are summarized.  Also, in Gen 5:1. These words are used interchangeably. Gen 9:6 is another example.

Section 5

The Nature of Man

INTRO: The topic of the nature of man will deal with the ontological nature. Let me state what

the ontological nature is not. The ontological nature is not what we would call the personality of the individual. Rather the ontological nature is even more basic than this. Ontology means being. So we can ask the question what makes a human being a human being. Therefore, a description of the ontological nature (ON) would answer the question what are the component parts that compose a person. These components parts are understood to be material and immaterial.

Before we get too involved in this discussion of man’s ON, I want to digress and reexamine what was said about the two natures of Christ in Systematic Theology 1. In the discussion on the two natures of Christ, the orthodox position is that Christ assumed the totality of human nature into his divine person (Phil 2.5-7). He had two natures, but was only one person. The human nature of Christ, which is composed of a body and a human spirit, found expression through the divine person. Two points

were raised in this discussion.

 First, the nature is not the person. This is a difficult concept for us to acknowledge because we commonly use these terms almost interchangeably. The terms, however, are not interchangeable and should be understood with their proper meaning. The nature is not the person but the basic component parts that make up the person. The person is a nature that has been

implanted with a life principle. Second, the human being has a nature that is made up of component parts. Iranaeus, an early church father who wrote about 170 AD, understood that each individual part was not the person. He correctly observed that the body was not the person nor was the spirit the person. From this, we can conclude that the person is the nature (the parts) that is animated with a life principle. This life principle for all human beings is attached to the spirit of the person. The other point that needs to be made up front is the understanding that “soul” does not refer to any part of the ON in many cases. For example, God says in Leviticus 26:11 “I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.” Does God have a soul? (See also Isa 42:1; Jer 5:9,29; 6:8; 9:9; 32:41; Matt 12:18; Heb

10:38) Every passage of Scripture that deals with the nature of God says that God is Spirit. No orthodox theologian has ever tried to argue that God’s nature was soul and spirit. They have all recognized that God is Spirit. They why does God talk about his soul? The expression “my soul” simply means “I.” My soul shall not abhor you means that I will not abhor you. “Soul” has nothing to do with God’s ontological nature in this verse.

Any discussion of what it means to be a human being must begin with Genesis. Adam is the only person that ever was “assembled.” All other human being are different from Adam. If we are going to learn what makes up a human being then we need to go to the creation week when God puts Adam together.

 

I. Man: A Living Soul (Gen 2.7) - The Biblical basis for understanding the nature of man.

A. The definition of a man: “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.”

B. Gordon J. Wenham asserted that “it seems unlikely that 2.7, ‘man became a living creature,’ means any more than the TEV rendering ‘and man began to live.’ By blowing on the inanimate body made from the earth, God made man come alive.”1 Victor P. Hamilton concurred stating that “now divinely formed and inspired, he is a living person. Until God breathes into him, man is a lifeless corpse.”2

 Man became a living soul—his person.

C. Keep in mind that Genesis 1-2 are set in the creation week. The word of God is giving life to all creatures not just man. The breath of life is not God' s spirit (or a part of God) taking up residence in the dust (This would be Panentheism), but rather, a created spirit being placed within man. It is a (created) life principle separate and distinct from the Creator Himself. Man is not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent.  

D. The formula for man’s makeup may be described as follows: 5+2=7 Dust (rp;[;) + Breath of life (syYij} tm}v]ni) = living soul (hY;j} vp,n,). That is: Material ('aphar) + Immaterial (hayyim nishemath) = living being. Note that breath (nishemath) cannot not be the Spirit of God because 1) breath is part of man's ontological nature; 2) the nishemath is not lost after Adam sins. Genesis 7.22-23 informs the reader that the flood destroyed all those who had breath (nishemath) of life in them.

  Job 27:3—breath and spirit are the same thing, both from God. Job 34:14- when God takes spirit away from man, man returns to dust.

E. Man is dualistic in his nature (Matt 10.28; 2 Cor 5.1-8; 1 Cor 15.51-54; 1 Thes13-18). A clear distinction exists between his material portion (body) and his immaterial portion (spirit), yet neither can exist on this earth independent of the other. They are integrated yet separable. James wrote that the “body without the spirit is dead” (2.26). Commenting on this verse, the trichotomist Franz Delitzsch wrote: We maintain the dualism of nature [by this he is referring to the body] and spirit

as strenuously as we maintain the dualism of God and the world, and in the same degree we regard the body and the spirit of man as being of a distinct nature.3 F. We can illustrate the person as follows:

BODY SPIRIT

in union

LIVING SOUL

II. The Bible as Literature

A. Biblical Authors Were Writers

1. As any good writer will do, they use good writing techniques to get their message across to the reader. They use techniques such as irony, illustration, hyperbole, synecdoche, contrasts, comparisons, allusions, and the list goes on.

2. We are taught to take the Bible “literally;” that is we should have a literal hermeneutic. But, taking the Bible literally does not mean that we take a crass, simplistic approach to reading the Bible. It does not mean we take the apparent surface meaning of the text and not understand the writer’s mechanics. For

example:

a. John 6:54 - Jesus said that “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Are we to understand the literally meaning of this passage to mean that Christians should become cannibals. Absolutely not! Jesus is speaking figuratively.

The literal understanding of this passage is to understand it figuratively.

b. Therefore, I prefer the term “literary” to “literal” because the latter term is becoming misunderstood as we lose the definition of what a “literal” hermeneutic used to mean.

3. We as 21st century, English-speaking readers need to keep in mind that the biblical writers wrote in the style of their day using the vocabulary of their day. The modern reader should never impose his 21st century grid of interpretation upon the text. Rather, he should do every possible to take himself back in time to understand the text as the biblical audience would have understood it.

B. The Biblical Writes Used the Language of Their Day

1. Sometimes word have a way of changing meaning over time. One example of this is the word “gay.” In 1800s nobody had a problem with being gay because that simply meant that you were happy. By the 1950s to be gay was still to be happy, but the word was picking up the sense of effeminacy. Today, however, being gay has an entirely different sense.

2. Therefore words must be understood as the original biblical audience would have

understood them and not as we understand them today.

C. To help prepare the student for this paradigm shift let us consider how God is described in the Scriptures.

1. We know from John 4 that God is Spirit. His ontological make-up or the substance that makes up God is Spirit which can be defined as infinite; that is, it is uncreated and eternal. God is 100% Spirit. This has never been a point of contention among orthodox theologians.

2. Yet, we read in Leviticus 26:11 where God say “I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.” (See also: Lev 26:30; Jer 5:9,29; 6:8; 9:9; Zech 11:8; and Heb 10:38) Have theologians been wrong all these years. Is God really Soul and Spirit? ANS: Certainly not! The modern day reader due to the teaching of our culture erroneously understands “soul” to be only a part of the

nature (what makes up a being). We need to shed our 21st century understandings of Biblical words and find out what they really meant to the original biblical audience.

3. One important technique that writers use is synecdoche. This is a figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole. For example, Paul uses “body” to refer to the entire person in Roman 12.1. We know that the body is not the person, but through the use of the literary tool of synecdoche, the body may represent the whole person.

4. In order to understand the ON of man, we need to see how the words “soul” and

“spirit” are used in the Scriptures.

 

III. Range of Meaning of “Soul” and “Spirit”

A. Nephesh or Psuche(101 time in NT) (Soul) – (855 time in Bible) It can mean to:

1. Life (Deut 12.23-24; Jer 49.37; Matt 20.28; Mk 10.45; Lk 12.20)- blood is the life.

2. The entire person (Gen 2.7)

a. Soul = the whole person

1) Ge 46:26-27 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; (27)And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. (See also vs 18,22,25).

2) Ro 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

b. Soul = pronoun referring to the whole person (The “I” or “me,” etc.) entire person.

1) Ge 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

2) Ge 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that [thy soul = you] may bless me.

3) Ge 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that [my soul = I] may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he

drank.

4) Ge 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that [thy soul = you] may bless me.

5) Ps 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for [my soul = me].

6) Ps 142:7 Bring [my soul = me] out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

7) Ps 143:3 For the enemy hath persecuted [my soul = me]; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.

8) Ps 143:6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: [my soul = I] thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

9) Ps 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

10) Mt 26:38 Then saith he unto them, [My soul = I] is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

3. The material or immaterial part of man. Remember that this is another usage of the word soul. Just because soul = the whole person above does not mean that this is the only way that soul can ever be used in Scripture. Soul has another meaning. For example if we look at the word spring it can mean: a metal coil, flowing water, season, the action of jumping, etc. An author writing a book may

use spring in one place to mean “season.” This does not mean that the author cannot use spring in another place in the book to mean flowing water. The same is true of the word “soul.” Just because it is used one way in one verse of Scripture does not mean that “soul” cannot be used with another of its definitions in another verse in the Scriptures.  Soul is consistently used both in OT and NT.

Soul then can refer to:

a. The entire immaterial part of man (Matt 10.28). Used frequently in this manner in both OT and NT. This is sometimes called the theological soul since the word used in this context refers to the immaterial part of a person’s nature. “Soul” as the immaterial part of man is used interchangeably with "spirit" of man (Gen 35.18; 41.8 and Ps 42.6; Matt 20.28 and 27.50; John 12.27 and 13.21; Heb 12.23 and Rev 6.9; Luke 1.46 and 47 synonymous parallelism - see Ps 69.4,6,8; 78.27).4

1) The OT Hebrew understanding of man was a unity, but they did see the soul as separable from the body (Gen 35.18 - life; Ps 16.10; 1 Kings 17.21). Breath left, but soul is coming back.

2) This same understanding is also found in the NT (Matt 10.28; Rev 6.4)

b. The material part of man (Lev 21.11; Deut 6.6; 9.6,7,10). This usage is extremely limited. Nephesh is used to mean body only 4 of the 755 times it is used. The given verses are the only verses which illustrate this point. Therefore, this usage is more the exception rather than the rule.

4. Will

a. Out of the 755 times "soul" is used in the Old Testament, it is translated "will" only 4 times (Deut 21.14; Ps 27.12; 41.2; Ezek 16.27).

b. As was true of soul when it meant "body" above, so also the usage of soul to mean "will" is more the exception rather than the rule. Soul (psuche) in the New Testament is never used in terms of will.

c. When soul is used as will, it is not considered to be a part of the ontological nature. Rather, it is a function of the ON. A functional nature produces a will. Both parts of the nature (material and immaterial) are necessary for the production of the will.

d. Since the will is internal to the person, it is often associated with the spirit. This does not mean that the spirit is the sole producer of the will. Biblical convention says that anything that originates internally is spiritual; that is comes from the spirit. This will be addressed later in the notes.

5. The Mind - Genesis 23.8; Deut 18.6; 28.65; 1 Sam 2.35; 1 Chron 28.9; Jer 15.1; Job 23.13; Phil 1.27; Heb 12.3 [Used 15 times in the OT and 3 times in the NT]. Both soul and spirit are used in reference to the mind. This should not come as a surprise since as J. Barton Payne stated, "flesh and spirit combine to form the Mind like will above is the result of a fully functioning nature. You cannot have a “mind” without both the material and the immaterial parts of the nature. No part alone produces “mind.”

6. The seat of the Emotions (desires, affections, aversions) - 2 Sam 5.8; Num 21.5; Job 30.25; Ps 42.1; 86.4; 107.5,9; Prov 16.23; Song 1.7; Jer 31.25; Matt 12.18; 26.38; Mark 14.34; John 12.18. The emotions and desires of man are associated with the soul in the verses given above and also with the spirit as will be demonstrated below. Again, emotions are possible only with a fully functioning

nature.

7. The seat of our God consciousness

a. Several passages in the Bible state that it is the soul that communes with God. Here soul refers to the entire person. The person is conscious of God not a part. Parts have no consciousness only persons do. Adam walking with God in the garden, Moses speaking to God face to face, theophanies in

general, Saul on the road to Damascus, and every interaction Jesus had with humanity are just a few of the examples. Beyond this:

b. The desire to serve God comes from the soul (Ps 42.1-2). We are to love and serve God with all our heart and soul (Deut 6.5; 30.6; cf. 4.29; 10.12; 11.13, etc.; Josh 22.5; 23.14; 1 Kgs 2.4; 8.48; 2 Chron 6.38). Here again the whole person is in view. A person has desires–parts do not.

8. The soul is eternal - see discussion below.

B. Range of meaning of Ruach(377 times in OT) or Pneuma(40 times referring to man) (Spirit)-this is the usage pertaining to mankind.

1. This is a more restrictive word and usually only applies to the immaterial part of man. Scholars, however, have pointed out that several verses in the Bible may demonstrate that “spirit” also refers to the entire person. For example:

a. Ro 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: In this verse spirit is analogous to “self.”

b. 1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

c. 1Co 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

d. 2Co 7:13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

e. Ga 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen; 2 Tim 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. See Rom 16.24; 2 Cor 13.14; Phil

4.23; 2 Thes 3.18; Titus 3.15; Heb 13.25; Rev 22.21.

f. 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, . . . because many false prophet are gone out into the world . . . . And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: See Rev 2.2. We are not dealing with demons in 1 John 4, but with human beings.

2. Seat of the Will - Num 14.24; Ex 35.21; Prov 16.32; Matt 26;41; Ezra 1.5. See the discussion above when “soul” is considered to be the seat of the will. As above, the will results from a fully functioning nature.

3. Seat of intelligence - Deut 34.9; Job 32.8; Rom 8.16 (mind)

4. Emotions - 1 Kgs 21.5; Ps 77.3; Isa 57.15; Prov 17.27; Num 5.14; Eccl 7.8

5. Does the unsaved man have a spirit?

a. James 2.26 states that the body without the spirit (not Spirit as in Holy

Spirit, but ontological spirit of man's nature) is dead.

b. Deut 2.30 - Moses recounted to the people the incident of Sihon, King of Heshbon. He would not let the people pass through his land. The reason Moses gave for the king's actions was "the Lord thy God hardened his spirit."

c. Dan 5.20 - But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind (spirit) hardened

in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne.

d. 1 Corinthians 2.11 - This is a general statement including both saved and unsaved.

6. The spirit is eternal

a. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Delitzsch noted that the spirit returns to God for judgment. It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment (Acts 17.31; Heb 9.27)

b. Need to be careful about building doctrine from Ecclesiastes. Solomon's presentation of eternal things is extremely limited. In general, Solomon is only concerned with this life. Ex: In Eccl 6.6, Solomon states that when people die they all go to one place. That place refers to the grave. In 9.3-6,

one could build a doctrine of annihilationism. Likewise, 12.7 is not referring to the dissolution of man.

c. 1 Peter 3.19 - Those men who were disobedient in Noah's day are now

spirits in prison (i.e. in hades). Spirit here refers to the entire immaterial portion of man which is eternal.

d. Both David and Stephen committed their spirit to God (Ps 31.5; Acts 7.59).

C. Conclusion

__

living being

self

SOUL person

-------

immaterial in this overlap area soul = spirit

part of man

----

SPIRIT life principle

breath

wind


1. Soul and spirit have some obvious differences in meaning. For example, spirit can mean wind or breath whereas the semantic domain of soul lacks this meaning.

2. When the terms are used in reference to the immaterial part of man’s nature, the two terms are synonymous. Spirit is descriptive of the kind of substance of the immaterial nature and soul is another name for the immaterial part.

3. The diagram below illustrates the overlap in meaning.

4. The next section will demonstrate how the parts of the ontological nature relate to

each other according to the definitions given in this section.

IV. Man is dualistic in his nature (Matt 10.28; 2 Cor 5.1-8; 1 Cor 15.51-

54; 1 Thes 4.13-18).

1. A clear distinction exists between his material portion (body) and his immaterial portion (spirit), yet neither can exist on this earth independent of the other. They are integrated yet separable.

a. James wrote that the “body without the spirit is dead” (2.26).

b. Rev 11.11 states that the two witness lay dead in the streets for 3 day. Then

the breath (pneuma) of life from God entered into them and they stood up.

c. In John 6.63, Jesus is speaking metaphorically of the Spirit's work of regeneration, but he continues to use spirit and flesh as he has all through the chapter. The spirit quickens or gives life to the flesh.

2. A crude analogy to help visualize the interaction between the body and the spirit can be found between an appliance and electricity. Electricity is the “live giving force” which causes the appliance to operate. It is the appliance which determines the kind of work produced. For example, a coffee maker can produce nothing if it does not have electricity. On the one hand, when the “life giving force” is present can the coffee maker perform its function. On the other hand, no matter how much electricity you have you will never get any coffee out of it if the “body” (i.e. the appliance) is missing. It takes both parts–appliance and electricity–to make coffee.

3. In a similar manner to the appliance-electricity analogy, the spirit does not inhabit one compartment while the body is another compartment; nor does the body act as housing for the spirit while the spirit operates the body as a driver would operate the car (neo-platonic dualism). Rather, the spirit permeates (without confusion i.e. intermingling and becoming one with the body) the body giving it

life and allows it to function as it was designed to function.

4. The product of this body-spirit interaction is the living, conscious person (soul - as used in Gen 2.7). The soul is not a part of the nature, but rather the living person is the nature with life. The living person (the conscious you) then grows and develops over time.

B. Testimony of Scholars

1. Franz Delitzsch wrote:

We maintain the dualism of nature (material things) and spirit as strenuously as

we maintain the dualism of God and the world, and in the same degree we regard

the body and the spirit of man as being of a distinct nature.6

2. Friedrich Oehler's Conclusions

a. Body + spirit = living soul. According to Oehler, man does not possess a

soul, he is a soul. He continued to explain the ontological nature of man by

making the distinction that man possesses a spirit, but is a soul. The soul

sprang from the union of the spirit and the body and exists continually

through it.

b. Oehler wrote:

From all this it is clear that the Old Testament does not teach a trichotomy

of the human being in the sense of body, soul, and spirit, as being originally

three co-ordinate elements of man; rather the whole man is included in the

basar and nephesh, which spring from the union of the rûahi with matter, Ps

84.3; Isa 10.18; comp. Ps 16.9. The rûahi forms in part the substance of the

soul individualized in it, and in part, after the soul is established, the power

Outlines of Systematic Theology 11

7Friedrich Oehler, Theology of the Old Testament, rev.ed. (Grand Rapids:

Zondervan, 1978), 151.

8Beck, 18.

and endowments which flow into it and can be withdrawn from it.7

For Oehler the soul as used in Gen 2.7 referred to the entire man. Oehler is

not saying that the joint activity of the body and spirit working together

produce a third entity called the soul. Oehler is saying the body/spirit

complex is the soul or the whole person. Apple pie can be used as an

example of what Oehler means. If you combine apples and dough, does this

combination produce a third entity called pie so that you now have apples +

dough + pie? No, the apples + dough combination is the pie. So also is the

soul.

As we look at the man in his entirety we can see that man has a personality.

Oehler is not saying that soul = personality. Personality arises out of the

body/spirit combination. Using the apple pie analogy above, the soul or the

whole person has personality like pie has flavor. The second quote from

Oehler makes this point.

3. J. T. Beck's Model

The soul is a composition of body and spirit. If either part is lacking, then the

soul (person) does not exist. At the same time, it takes both parts working

together with each other to produce the soul. Beck wrote:

Because of the two-fold nature of the soul, it is neither natural nor possible that

the spirit and the sense [by the sense Beck means the body] should remain

isolated. On the contrary, the one passes into the other, so that the spiritual

element is interwoven [Beck does not mean intermingled, the two aspects remain

distinct] with the sensible life, and the sensible element with the spirit life. The

supernatural or spiritual element in becoming soul, forms a consciousness and

will which sinks into the life of feeling and desire and is thereby incorporated

into the whole man.8

C. Scripture gives no indication that man is anything other than dualistic in his

ontological nature. What does it means to be a human being? It means that he is

ontologically composed of two separate, distinct, yet in this life indivisible parts: the

body and the spirit. So, the soul is a composition of body and spirit. If either part is

lacking, then the soul (person) does not exist. At the same time, it takes both parts

working together with each other to have a living person.

D.

Outlines of Systematic Theology 12

BODY

SPIRIT

LIVING SOUL

Some Biblical Examples

1. Gen 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.

a. Notice that the Bible explains that the soul departing is the same thing as

death.

b. Gen 2.7 clearly says that it is the created spirit of man is necessary to have a

living being. In this verse the soul departs and Rachel dies. Soul is used to

describe the spirit in this verse . (See also Ps 130.5; 131.2; 142.7; 143.11-

12)

2. 1 Kings 17.17-22

a. The son of the widow of Zarephath died. Verse 17 describes this as "there

was no breath in him." The breath of life had departed. We know that the

breath of life is the created spirit.

b. Verse 22 says that when Elijah raised the child from the dead by God's

permission and power, "the soul of the child came into him again" and he

lived. If the spirit contains the life principle as understood from Gen 2.7,

then how is it the soul made the child live? The return of the soul indicates

that the spirit returned.

3. Matt 10.28 - Jesus said "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill

the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

a. Jesus speaks of man as dichotomous.

b. If the soul is not the same thing as the spirit, then where is the spirit? Some

have used Eccl 12.7 to prove that the spirit went back to God. This would

Outlines of Systematic Theology 13

9The term "conditional unity" was coined by Millard Erickson to accommodate

the full range of the biblical data portraying the nature of man as a unitary being. See Christian

Theology, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 554-57.

BODY

SPIRIT

Nature/Personality

LIVING SOUL

mean that an unsaved man's spirit is in heaven and his soul (and ultimately

his body) is in hell. Whew!!! Notice that Eccl 12.7 uses dust and spirit just

like Gen 2.7 does. The created spirit of man goes back to God when it dies

for the purpose of judgment and will go to its proper place--heaven or hell.

V. The Constitution of the Nature: Conditional Unity

A. As stated above the "soul" is formed by the union of the spirit working in tandem with

the body. The "soul" then exhibits personality because of this union. Personality is

not found in either of the parts alone, but is a result of the working together of the

parts. Said another way, personality traits only exist in the person (soul).

B. Each part of the nature plays an important role in the production of the personality.

1. Man is understood to be a conditional unity.9 The importance of the body or

material aspect of man's nature is understood by the growth and development

process of the human being. The soul (i.e. the person) clearly is affected by the

organic brain so that it cannot be said that man is a spirit being. If man is a spirit

being that simply operates a body, then how would one explain mental

retardation? In retardation, the body is broken which prevents the development

of the person (soul). Even in the "normal" person, his development is dependent

upon the maturation of his physical faculties. Jesus' human nature had to grow in

wisdom and understanding. If a person was really a spirit-being, then the

condition of the shell (body) would not matter since the spirit-being's faculties

come from the spirit.

2. The idea that man is really a spirit being that inhabits a body falls into the error of

Neo-Platonic dualism. It is impossible for a human being to be a spirit being.

The definition of man's nature says that man is body + spirit in union.

a. Ric Machuga explained the deficiencies of dualism as follows:

The intellect is not, however, in us as a captian is in a ship or as sap is in a

tree. Rather, the nonmaterial is in us the way meaning is in words. Humans

are essentially a unity of body and soul. If we think of the body as the

material condition and the intellect as the nonmaterial condition, then we

can define the relation between body and soul like this: Immaterial souls are

a necessary but not sufficient condition for our existence.

According to the dualist, since the body is not an essential part of our

nature, the death of the body is fairly insignificant. When the body dies, we

simply discard it the way a snake sheds its skin. In fact, the metaphor of a

snake shedding its skin may be too weak. Some dualists, like Plato, teach

that the death of the body is more like the liberation of inmates from a

prison. For Plato, the metaphor of a caterpillar and a butterfly is better. The

caterpillar enters the cocoon with many legs and leaves with two wings, but

here, having fewer material appendages means the freedom to fly. With

either metaphor, according to dualism, the immortality of the soul is the

natural state of humans after the death of their bodies.10

b. To say that man is a spirit being that has a body is to disagree with God's

revelation of man's ontological nature. In every instance where a spiritbeing

is housed by a body, the Scripture calls it demon possession.

C. The role of the body in the production of the personality

1. As presented in Section II, emotions are attributed to both the soul and the spirit.

(For example references associated with the soul: 2 Sam 5.8; Num 21.5; Job

30.25; Ps 42.1; 86.4; 107.5,9; Prov 16.23; Song 1.7; Jer 31.25; Matt 12.18;

26.38; Mark 14.34; John 12.18.) The brain appears to be the origin of the

emotions. It is known that emotions can be elicited when certain nuclei of the

brain's limbic system are electrically stimulated by a probe.11 Stimulating the

proper nucleus will produce rage in an individual laying on an operating table

with no apparent motive for the rage. Brain nuclei can be found for the other

emotions.

2. Another example of the brain's affect on behavior is the classic case of Phineas P.

Gage. In 1848, Phineas worked for the railroad leveling the terrain for railroad

tracks. This involved drilling a hole, putting in gunpowder, filling it with sand

and using a tamping rod to compact the hole. Evidently on September 13,

Phineas began tamping the hole before his co-worker put in the sand. The

explosion blew the inch thick, 40-inch-long rod straight through Gage's skull.

Remarkably, Gage stood up moments later apparently unharmed, climbed on his

horse, rode into town, climbed to the second-floor office of the doctor who

pronounced him OK. While no physical problems with speech, etc. manifested

themselves, it became apparent to his co-worker that Gage was no longer Gage

anymore. The once trusted, honest, and dedicated worker became irresponsible,

shirking work, cursing, and pursuing what his doctor's termed "animal

propensities." Ultimately, Gage was fired from his job.12

3. There are certain conditions in human beings where the brain is “broken,” That

is, a certain area of the brain is not functioning well or at all. Parkinson’s

patients suffer from nerve degeneration in the substantia nigra. Some people

have a deficiency in the neurons producing seratonin. In these people, this leads

to a depressed state. In the instances given above, the diseases result due to a

degenerative process and are no different from degenerative processes which

occur below the neck such as a gall bladder which quits working, or a thyroid

gland which ceases to function.

4. These illustrations verify the role played by the material part of the nature in the

behavior of the person. It is impossible to assign emotions or other human

functions to one part of man's nature, for each aspect of the nature plays a

significant role.

D. The role of the spirit in the production of the personality

1. References which associate the Spirit with the emotions (considered by scholars

to be the seat of the emotions) - 1 Kgs 21.5; Ps 77.3; Isa 57.15; Prov 17.27; Num

5.14; Eccl 7.8. In Scripture the "heart" is equated with the "spirit." Jesus teaches

that it is out of the heart that good or evil comes which includes emotions.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good

things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:35

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and

an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 15:18

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and

they defile the man. Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,

murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (See also

Mark 7:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 6:45); 1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the

commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of

faith unfeigned; 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow

righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure

heart.

2. The seat of the emotions is in the spirit. Though brain nuclei exist which are

responsible for creating the emotions in a person, the person cannot produce a

rational use of emotions without the spirit. A person becomes angry, gets

embarrassed, is happy, is sad, etc. for a reason.

3. The seat of the will is in the spirit. The will gives man a purpose or rational for

doing something. While brain centers exist which are associated with rational

behavior, the production of rational behavior in the human being is caused by the

spirit working with the material brain.

4. The combined effort of the body and the spirit is not just restricted to the

emotions or volition. The two parts, body and spirit, working together produce

all the personality traits and behavior of the individual.

5. Some conclusion that can be drawn are:

a. The spirit works in conjunction with the body. The union of body and spirit

is the living person or the soul.

b. The body is as important as the spirit in the nature of man. Another way of

saying this is that the spirit is not superior to the body.

c. Walter A. Elwell stated, concerning the OT view of man as a unity:

Clearly then, in the OT a mortal is a living soul rather than having a soul.

Instead of splitting a person into two or three parts, Hebrew thought sees a

unified being, but one that is profoundly complex, a psychophysical being.13

E. Erickson gives an excellent illustration to help grasp the relationship of the body to the

spirit. Table salt is an example of conditional unity. Salt is composed of two

elements: sodium and chloride. Sodium is a volatile metal (put a chunk of it in a

beaker of water and it will react so violently with the water that it will burst into

flames and possibly explode). Chlorine is a poisonous gas. Put together, however, the

resultant product is a harmless white crystal which makes food more palatable.

Though the qualities of sodium and chloride cannot be detected in table salt,

nevertheless, neither the nature of the sodium nor the nature of the chloride atom has

been changed. In fact, salt may be separated into the original elements.14 Just dissolve

it in water and the two molecules (sodium and chloride) separate.

F. The Intermediate State: death--the separation of the soul from the body.

1. At death, the conditional unity of man's material and immaterial aspects of his

nature dissolves. The theological term used by the Scripture to describe the

immaterial nature after death is "soul" (Matt 10.28 and Rev 6.9). Theologians

refer to this temporary existence as the disembodied state (2 Cor 5.1-4). At death

then, the immaterial nature or soul goes to the place prepared for him. Since the

living soul (person) learned and developed through the organic aspect of his

nature, one can speculate that when the person dies further development of the

disembodied soul is arrested. The personality traits developed in this life from

the spirit's association with the body will be preserved by the disembodied soul.

a. Paul speaks of the disembodied state as the naked state in 2 Cor 5.1-4.

b. He states that he wants to put off this earthly tabernacle (his physical,

material body fitted for this earth) and put on the house which is from

heaven (his physical, material body now made incorruptible and therefore

fitted for heaven).

c. Paul says he groans for that new body to be given to him at the resurrection,

but dislikes the thought of being unclothed when his earthly tabernacle is

put off.

d. However, it is better to be with the Lord unclothed (without a body), than it

is to remain here on this earth.

2. Notice that the word of choice for the disembodied state is "soul" and not "spirit"

even though both terms refer to the complete immaterial nature. When soul is

used of the disembodied state, it refers not only to the spirit, but to the personality

traits embedded in the spirit. These embedded personality traits were developed

during life on this earth. In this case, soul = spirit + personality traits.

G. Objections to this view

1. The Trinity models the three part nature of man.

a. God is one single essence or being in his nature who is expressed in three

persons. The person of the Father then is exactly the same nature as the

person of the Son who is exactly the same nature as the person of the Holy

Spirit (Father=Son=Spirit).

b. Is the human body the exact same nature as the spirit? No one would acknowledge this as true. The body is material and the spirit is immaterial. The body does not equal the spirit. Since this is the case, the Trinity was never intended to explain the nature of the human being. Man being made

in the image of God does not mean that because God is three persons then man's nature is three persons. The image of God (see below) are the attribute of God found in finite form in man.

c. The human being is one person. The nature makes up this one person. As Iranaeus said in 170 AD that the body is not the person, . . . the spirit is not the person. Rather these are components which makeup the person. If a man is one person and God is three persons in one being, then how does this help explain the nature of man. Certainly the component parts of the human nature (from a tricotomist perspective) are not each a person; that is, the body is not a person, the “soul” is not a person, and the spirit is not a

person. Each part of the nature would have to be a person if the Trinity expressed man’s nature. The Bible gives us no warrant for believing that a man is three persons in one being.

2. The immaterial nature is divided into soul and spirit.

a. A few problems arise immediately with this objection.

b. First, the usage of "soul" never refers to only a part of the immaterial nature. When it is used of the immaterial nature, it always refers to the entire immaterial aspect of the nature.

c. Second, give one verse that clearly states that God divided the immaterial nature into soul and spirit.

d. Third, if the immaterial was divided into two parts, soul and spirit, then soul and spirit would be of the same essence. How could they differ from each other? What is true of one would be true of the other. Again there is no indication in the Scripture that the immaterial has any distinction within itself.

VI. The Origin of the Soul (aka the immaterial part) in Offspring

A. Creationism

1. Creationism is the view that God creates a new soul for each person and sends it

to that person’s body sometime between conception and birth.

2. Tenets of Creationism

a. Scripture distinguished the origin of the soul and the body (Eccl 12.7; Isa 42.5; Zech 12.1; Heb 12.9)

b. The creationism preserves the idea of the soul as a simple, indivisible substance.

c. It better explains Christ’s pure soul.

3. Problems with the creation of the soul

a. The Sabbath of God means that he has ceased his creative activity after the 6th day. There is no more creation ex nihilo.

b. God blessed his creation with the ability to be fruitful (i.e. reproduce). See Gen 4.1 and 5.1-

c. For conception to occur after a rape, or from sex outside of the marital

bounds, God would have to create a soul and bless those immoral acts.

d. A. H. Strong wrote: This theory, if it allows that the soul is originally possessed of depraved tendencies makes God the direct author or moral evil; if it holds the soul to have been created pure, it makes God indirectly the author of moral evil, by teaching that He put this pure soul into a body which will inevitably corrupt it.

e. It means that the parents only produce the body of their child, and cannot account for the mental and moral traits of the parents in the children.

f. Christology still has a problem since Jesus took on the entire nature of man

he would still inherit a body which would corrupt him if not for a special intervention by God.

B. Transducianism

1. Holds that the soul as well as the body of a child are inherited from the baby’s mother and father at the time of conception.

2. Support for Transducianism

a. Supporting Scripture: Gen 2.2; Heb 7.10; cf. 1 Cor 11.8

b. God breathed once into Adam the breath of life and then left it to Adam and Eve to replenish the earth.

c. Eve was taken out of the man (1 Cor 11:8) so that she received her soul

from Adam. Nothing is said about the creation of her soul (Gen 2.23).

d. God ceased from the work of creation after he made man (Gen 2.2 - this is an eternal rest). Delitzsch wrote that the continued creation of souls is inconsistent with God’s relation to the world.

e. Descendants are said to be in the loins of their fathers (Gen 46.26; Heb 7.9,10)

f. Both vegetable and the soulish animal life have the ability to bring forth

after their kind. Should this be denied to the human being?

g. Heritable traits are present in the offspring. Behavioral characteristics of the

parents are quite noticeable in the offspring even when the parent(s) is dead.

h. It offers the best basis for the inheritance of moral and spiritual depravity, which is a matter of the soul rather than the body. Gen 5 states that Adam bore sons in his own image.

i. It was necessary to Christ to have gotten his soul from Mary in order to

redeem the human soul (It is accepted fact that the body came from Mary).

j. If God is responsible for creating each and every soul, then the logic must be as follows: Since we are born dead in trespasses and sins, then God must have made a sinful soul. This position is hardly tenable. Therefore, the traducianism position is better because it allows the sinful parents to be the progenitors of sinful progeny. An alternative approach to the above statement could be that God created a perfect soul that was instantly corrupted by contact with the body. The question that arises from this

thinking is Who said the body was the source of corruption? This would merely be a theological conclusion for Jeremiah 17.9 (the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) seems to place corruption in the immaterial part of man. Jesus concurred with Jeremiah in

Matthew 12.34-35 and 15.18-19 where He clearly indicated that corruption comes from the heart or inner being of man.

3. Problems with this model

a. It is contrary to the simplicity of the soul. Does the soul come from the mother or the father or both?

b. If in Adam human nature as a whole sinned, then Christ was also sinful and

guilty because he by virtue of his inherited soul had actually sinned in Adam.

C. A Workable Solution

1. The fall of Adam resulted in the corruption of his nature (original corruption). This is known as depravity. Every person born since Adam has been born totally depraved. This depravity is heritable through the normal means of procreation. Thus the traducian position best explains this aspect.

2. The other aspect of Adams fall explains how Adam and mankind became guilty

(original guilt). Adam's guilt came because God imputed that guilt to Adam's account due to his sin. Since Adam was the federal head of the human race, that guilt is also imputed to every person born after Adam. All those "in Adam" are declared guilty by God.

3. Man is condemned by judicial decree of God and sins because of depravity. Guilt, therefore, is not passed by procreation to offspring that did not sin, nor does one have to explain how all people can literally have been in Adam (an impossible fact). Paul's language in Hebrews 7.4-10 can be taken figuratively when he states that Levi was in the loins of Abraham. In verses 4-9, Paul has

been speaking in terms of descendants (vs. 5 - of the sons of Levi; vs 5 – brethren who come out of the loins of Abraham; vs. 6 - whose descent; etc.). In verse 10, Abraham is the federal head of Israel. Abraham stands for all those who will be Israelites. Paul is saying in verse 10 that Levi, who will be a descendent of Abraham, was represented by Abraham and, therefore, it is just as if Levi himself

tithed to Melchisedec. Guilt, then, is imputational and not transmitted from generation to generation.

Lecture Notes

Nature of Man--

-Ontological nature of man—what is man’s makeup? The whole is made up of component parts. The person is the sum of all component parts.

What is meant by nature? Ontological==component parts

Soul—refers to life, in the blood, a person

Spirit—wind, breath,

These two overlap when both refer to the immaterial part of man.

                                         Behavioral nature—how one acts.

Gen 2:7—formed out of dust of ground and breathed into him breath of life. Man became a living soul(entire living being). Man is a composite of material and immaterial. Both are created things.

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semantic domains”—every word has a range of meanings associated with that word.

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