Creation of the earth and man #13 Formation of man #5 Living soul

Now, if it be asked, what do the scriptures define “a living soul” to be? — the answer is, a living natural, or animal, body, whether of birds, beasts, fish or men. The phrase living creature is the exact synonym of living soul. The Hebrew words nephesh chayiah are the signs of the ideas expressed by Moses. Nephesh signifies creature, also life, soul, or breathing frame, from the verb to breathe: chayiah is of life — a noun from the verb to live. Nephesh chayiah is the genus which includes all species of living creatures; namely, Adam, man; beme, beast of the field; chitu, wild beast; remesh, reptile; and ouph, fowl, etc. In the common version of the scriptures, it is rendered living soul; so that under this form of expression the scriptures speak of “all flesh” which breathes in air, earth, and sea.

Writing about body, the apostle says,

“There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”.

But, he does not content himself with simply declaring this truth; he goes further, and proves it by quoting the words of Moses, saying,

“For so it is written, the first man Adam was made into a living soul—εἰς ψυχὴν ζω̂σαν;

and then adds,

“the last Adam into a spirit giving life, εἰς πνευ̂μα ζωοποιου̂ν”. {1 Corinthians 15:44, 45}.

Hence, in another place, speaking of the latter, he says of him.

“Now the Lord is the spirit—ὁ δὲ χὺριος τὸ πνευ̂μἀ ἐστιν. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into his image from glory into glory, as by the Lord the Spirit—ἀπό χυρίου πνέυματος”. {2 Corinthians 3:17, 18.}

The proof of the apostle’s proposition that there is a natural body as distinct from a spiritual body, lies in the testimony, that

“Adam was made into a living soul”;

showing that he considered a natural, or animal body, and a living soul, as one and the same thing. If he did not, then there was no proof in the quotation, of what he affirmed.
A man then is a body of life in the sense of his being an animal, or living creature nephesh chayiah adam. As a natural man, he has no other pre-eminence over the creatures God made than what his peculiar organization confers upon him. Moses makes no distinction between him and them; for he styles them all living souls, breathing the breath of lives. Thus, literally rendered, he says,

“The Elohim said, The waters shall produce abundantly sheretz chayiah nephesh, the reptile living soul”;

and again,

“kal nephesh, chayiah erameshat, every living soul creeping”.

In another verse,

“Let the earth bring forth nephesh chayiah, the living soul after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth”,

etc.; and

“lekol rumesh ol eretz asher bu nephesh chayiah, to every thing creeping upon the earth which (has) in it living breath”, {Genesis 1:20, 21, 24, 30}

that is, breath of lives.
And lastly,

“Whatsoever Adam called nephesh chayiah, the living soul, that was the name thereof”. {Genesis 2:19}

Creation of Adam and Eve The murder of Abel-MB...
Creation of Adam and Eve The murder of Abel-MBA Lyon D312-IMG 0643 0644 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quadrupeds and men, however, are not only “living souls” but they are vivified by the same breath and spirit. In proof of this, I remark first, that the phrase “breath of life” in the text of the common version is neshemet chayim in the Hebrew; and that, as chayim is in the plural, it should be rendered breath of lives. Secondly, this neshemet chayim is said to be in the inferior creatures as well as in man. Thus, God said,

“I bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is ruach chayim, spirit of live”. {Genesis 6:17}

And in another place,

“They went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, in which is ruach chayim, spirit of lives ”.

“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing, and every man; all in whose nostrils was neshemet ruach chayim, Breath Of Spirits Of Lives”. { Genesis 7:15, 21, 22}.

Now, as I have said, it was the neshemet, chayim with which Moses testifies God inflated the nostrils of Adam; if, therefore, this were divina particula auræ, particle of the divine essence, as it is affirmed, which became the “immortal soul” in man, then all other animals have “immortal souls” likewise; for they all received “breath of spirit of lives” in common with man.
From these testimonies, I think, it must be obvious to the most unlearned, that the argument for the existence of an “immortal soul” in “sinful flesh”, hereditarily derived from the first sinner, predicated on the inspiration of his nostrils with “the breath of lives” by the Lord God, and the consequent application to him of the phrase “living soul”, if admitted as good logic, proves too much, and therefore nothing to the purpose. For if man be proved to be immortal in this sense, and upon such premises as these, then all quadrupeds are similarly immortal; which none, I suppose, but believers in the transmigration of souls, would be disposed to admit.

– Thomas, D. J. Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 31–33). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding article: Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man

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Additional reading:

  1. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  2. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  3. The Soul not a ghost
  4. Is there an Immortal soul
  5. Looking at three “I am” s
  6. Elul Observances
  7. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  8. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around
  9. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory

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Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls

The Formation of man

“Out of the ground wast thou taken; for dust thou art.”

1980 Soul Note Recording
1980 Soul Note Recording (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath”, is a truth of general application to all the institutions of God. Upon this principle, man was not made for religion, but religion was made for him. If this be true, then it follows that it was adapted to man as God had formed him. Hence, the institutions of religion, if it be of God, will always be found in harmony with his constitution and not at variance with it. They are devised as a remedy, for certain irregularities which have invaded his intellectual and moral nature; by which, phenomena have been superinduced which are destructive of his being. Now the exact adaptation of the Bible religion to the curative indications suggested by the intellectual, moral, and physical infirmities of human nature, which everyone who understands it cannot fail to perceive, proves that the mind which framed it is divine; and that the religion of the scriptures, and the constitution of man, are the work of one and the same Creator. God is truly the only wise physician, whose practice is based upon perfect knowledge; for He alone (and they to whom He hath revealed it) knows “what is in man”. [(John 2:24-25)]

Hence, no incongruities are discoverable in “His way” when His method of cure is understood.
In medicine, a scientific practice is directed, and founded, upon a knowledge of the structure or mechanism of the body, the motive power thereof, and of the functions which are manifested by the working of this power on its several parts. The absence of this knowledge in a professional, constitutes empiricism*; and is one cause of such vast multitudes “dying”, as it is said, “of the doctor”. Being ignorant of the motive power of the living creature, they are as unsuccessful in correcting its irregularities as a watchmaker, who was ignorant of the principles and laws by which a timepiece was moved, would be in rectifying its errors. Now this may be taken in illustration of the predicament of others who undertake the “cure of souls”. To treat these as “a work-man that needeth not to be ashamed”, a man should be acquainted with “souls” as God hath formed and constituted them. He should know what “a living soul” is; what its condition in a healthy state; what the peculiar morbid affection under which it languishes; what the nature of the cure indicated; and what the divinely appointed means by which the indications may be infallibly fulfilled. An attempt to “cure souls” without understanding the constitution of man as revealed by Him who created him, is mere theological experimentalism; and as bootless, and more fatally destructive than the empiricism of the most ignorant pretenders to the healing art. What! men undertake to “cure souls” and not to know what a soul is; or to imagine it a something, which it is admitted cannot be demonstrated by “the testimony of God”. This is like pretending to repair a timepiece without knowing what constitutes a watch or clock, or while imagining it to be a musical box, or any other conceivable thing.

Seven Souls
Seven Souls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Speculation has assumed that the soul is something in the human body capable of living out of the body, and of eating, drinking, feeling, tasting, smelling, thinking, singing, and so forth; and of the same essence as God Himself. In times past some have busied themselves in calculating how many such souls could stand on the point of a needle; a problem, however, which still remains unsolved. A vast deal is said in “sermons” and systems about this idea; about its supposed nature, its wonderful capacity, its infinite value, its immortality, and its destiny. I shall not, however, trouble the reader with it. We have to do with “the law and the testimony”; and as they are altogether silent about such a supposed existence, we shall not occupy our pages in superadding to the obsolete print concerning its attributes, which has already merged into the oblivion of the past. I allude to so much as this, because it is made the foundation corner-stone, as it were, of those experimental systems of spiritual cure, which are so popular with the world, and so utterly exclusive and proscriptive of the divine method.

Upon the supposition of the existence of this kind of a soul in the human body are based the current notions of heaven, hell, immortality, infant salvation, purgatory, saint-worship, Mariolatry, spiritual millenniumism, metempsychosis*, etc., etc. Its existence both in the body and out of the body being assumed, it is assumed also to be immortal. An immortal disembodied existence requires a dwelling place, because something must be somewhere; and, as it is said to be virtuous or vicious according to its supposed life in the body, and post mortem rewards and punishments are affirmed — this dwelling-place is exhibited as an elysium, or, as an orthodox poet sings, “a place of goblins damn’d”.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 27–29). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes:

Empiricism: the doctrine that all all ideas and categories, knowledge of matters of fact derives from experience and that the mind is not furnished with a set of concepts in advance of experience or that knowledge cannot extend beyond experience, including observation, experiment, and induction. Compare intuitionism, rationalism

Metempsychosis:  [Late Latin metempsȳchōsis, from Greek metempsūkhōsis, from metempsūkhousthai, to transmigrate : meta-, meta- + empsūkhos, animate (en, in; see psūkhē in Indo-European roots).] = the migration of a soul from one body to another or the entering of a soul after death upon a new cycle of existence in a new body either of human or animal form; the transmigration of the soul, esp. the passage of the soul after death into the body of another being; the rebirth of the soul at death in another body, either human or animal. Cf. creationism.metempsychic, metempsychosic, metempsychosical, adj.

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Preceding:

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3

Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

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Additional reading:

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  2. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  3. Looking at three “I am” s
  4. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  5. The Soul confronted with Death
  6. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  7. All Souls’ Day
  8. Fear and protection
  9. What is life?
  10. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  11. What happens when we die?
  12. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  13. Paying vows to Jehovah God
  14. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  15. Dying or not
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  18. How are the dead?
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. The Soul confronted with Death
  21. Dead and after
  22. Destination of righteous
  23. Destination of the earth
  24. Sheol or the grave
  25. Soul
  26. The Soul not a ghost
  27. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  28. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  29. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  30. We will all be changed

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Further articles on the internet:

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