August 16th 2010, 10:59 AM #31
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
Nice to meet you.
1. Genesis 3:4 - apart from the obvious temptation to distrust God and try to earn salvation by one's own actions, the first temptation of mankind was to suggest immortality of the "soul" and the Devil has been using this grand argument for approximatetly the next 6000 years to destroy people's relationship with God. So what does the Bible teach.
2. Genesis 2:7 provides the very framework for the understanding from the rest of Scripture, which the author discusses, almost correctly. Dust + Breath/Spirit = Living Being or Living Soul (the word being translated differently in different versions of the Bible). A review of Psalms 104:29 shows the same pattern but in reverse - Living Soul - Breath/Spirit + Dust. In fact the author before dismissing Solomon because it doesn't fit with his pre-conceived idea, quite readily proves this Biblical understanding of death by quoting from Ecclesaistes 12:7. Dust goes to dust and spirit/breath goes back to God (see also Genesis 3:19). . Hence why this is used in funerals. Interestingly, it is also correct colloquially as well - "they expired", "they breathed there last (see Genesis 25:8 - same Hebrew word for spirit and breathed" and "no breath left in them" (see 1 Kings 17:17 - same root word again). We all know that living souls or people once they stop breathing or lose their spirit are dead! Many more Biblical texts support this viewpoint such as Job 33:4 - he is alive all the while when his breath is in him and the spirit of God is in his nostrils. Job 27:3 and Job 34:14 and 15. Also to clarify Ecclesiastes 3:19-21. The problem is not for those who believe that death is a sleep state until the second resurrection but those who buy Satan's lie of an immortal soul becuase there is only word Hebrew word - "ruach" used throughout these three verses, so either Solomon contradicts himself in the space of 1 verse (man is no better than beasts and then man is better than beasts) or he simply challenges the reader to provide proof, if he can, that there is a difference in destination. Now the real problem is this - if "ruach" is used for both animals and humans - do animals have an immortal spirit (see also Genesis 7:15 and 22)? Why when the word spirit is applied to man do people argue that it means an immortal entitiy but when the exact same word is applied to beasts everyone is content to define it simply as the principle of life. Note this is only a brief overview but nowhere of the 377 times ruach is used in the Old Testament does it denote an inteliigent entitiy capable of sentinent existence apart from a physical body.
Ecc 3:21-22 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
The text identifies the fact that the author is agnostic when it comes to the issue. So, instead of attempting to derive theological imperatives from someone who admittedly is ignorant, we ought to consider the entirety of what has been said. You must acknowledge that the relevant term possesses a semantical range that is not limited to the actual breath that is present in a human being's lungs. One must wonder whether your wooden literalism prevents you from acknowledging the Spirit (Ruach) of God as a living, volitional, active, divine person or simply some kind of divine air.
So too, Job identifies the spirit as the immaterial self that separates us from that of the beast:
Job 32:8 "But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand"
3. Soul - the word in Genesis 2:7 is from the Hebrew root 'nephesh'. It is not part of the person, it is the person and in many instances nephesh is simply translated person (Genesis 14:21, Numbers 5:6, Deuteronomy 10:22) or self (Leviticus 11:43, 1 Kings 19:4, Isaiah 46:2 etc). In more than 100 cases of the 755 occurences in the Old Testament nephesh in the KJV is simply translates as life. The usuage of the greek word 'psuche' is similar to nephesh in the Old Testament and once again is translated 40 times simply as life or lives and not only that in can be destroyed (see Revelation 16:3 and Matthew 10:28). Nowhere does the usuage show that man has two seperate and distinct parts.
Gen 35:18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Certianly the above text is not utilizing the term soul to mean the entirety of the person.
1Sam 2:35 "But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul ; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always ."
Notice the popular idiom "in my hear and in my soul." Should the soul be the totality of the person, the above idiom would be little more than hyperbole. But, this type of language is used by the Living God Himself to describe those who are to worship Him.
Job 30:16 "And now my soul is poured out within me; Days of affliction have seized me."
There is no question that Job understood the soul to be the inner man; the immatierial self.
4. To address the initial text raised - quite rightly does the author point out that there is no punctuation and that it must be applied by the context. The question one must ask if the thief went to heaven that very day to be with Jesus is can God be trusted? The devil is oh so cunning, at creation he tempted are parents to distrust God but believing in the immortality of the soul and now at our salvation he tries to get us to distrust God over the immortality of the soul. But note, the thief with the correct grammar as supplied by the author was simply promised redemption and salvation (which in the context of the discussion with the other theif was what he was asking for) not to be with Jesus in heaven. How you ask do you believe that - well the author missed the key text which is found in John 20:17. Jesus had not ascended to paradise (Revelation 2:7 cf Revelation 22:1 & 2) days later so how on earth could the thief be in heaven with Jesus that day - either there is no immortal soul and the grammar is wrong or Jesus cannot be trusted. I am going to trust my Saviour. Matthew 28:6 - Jesus lay in the tomb over the Sabbath. Asleep. Dead. He was then called to life on that glorious Sunday morning what hope we can have in the promise of being called to life to join the thief on that great procession to heaven.
Now, perhaps you can address the above before we go on.The doctrine of the Trinity is the only doctrine of God that satisfies the totality of scripture.
Click here to visit my site.
August 16th 2010, 11:36 AM #32
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
Jesus called loudly, "Father, I place my life in your hands!" Then he breathed his last.
Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, ["Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?"] which means, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
The darkness lasted three hours. At three o'clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, ["Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"] which means, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
Eric J. Sawyer
p.s., I don't possess a good library of commentaries, but I would interested to read, the following, with regard to the passages I quoted:
a. Marshall, I Howard, The Gospel of Luke, NIGTC, 1978
b. France, R.T., Matthew, TNTC, 1985.
c. France, R.T., The Gospel of Mark NIGTC, 2002..
August 16th 2010, 11:58 AM #33
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
It seems that John Reece, in BL301, surrendered the RT France commentary of the passage, I quoted from Matthew: (27 May 2010)
From The Gospel of Matthew (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), by R. T. France:
Matthew 27:45-46 But from the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus shouted out with a loud voice, "Ēli, ēli lema sabachthani?"1 which means "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"From A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger:
1 The form of the translated words given above (which appears to be part Hebrew, part Aramaic, but see note2 below) is that of most manuscripts, but several assimilate to Mark's probable form ἐλωί ἐλωί instead of ἠλί, so that the whole utterance becomes a clearly Aramaic quotation, while others have λαμά (Hebrew) instead of λεμά (Aramaic). D and a few Old Latin manuscripts give the fourth word as ζαφθάνι (Hebrew) instead of σαβαχθάνι (Aramaic). There was probably considerable speculation in the early church over the exact form of Jesus' words, which was complicated by uncertainty over which language he had used and by the unfamiliarity of these foreign words to Greek-speaking Christians.
The words are taken directly from the opening of Psalm 22,2 to which we have already seen allusions in verses 35-36, 39, 43; the psalm expresses the spiritual desolation of a man who continues to trust and appeal to God in spite of the fact that his ungodly opponents mock and persecute him with impunity. In the end, the psalm turns to joyful thanksgiving for deliverance in verses 22-31, and some interpreters have suggested that it is the latter part of the psalm that Jesus had in mind as well as its traumatic beginning, so that this is in effect a shout of defiant trust in the God whom he fully expects to rescue him. But that is to read a lot between the lines, especially after Gethsemane where Jesus has accepted that he must drink the cup to the full; he did not expect to be rescued. The words Jesus chose to utter are those of unqualified desolation, and Matthew and Mark (who alone record this utterance) give no hint that he did not mean exactly what he said.
2The transliterated words are commonly understood to represent a version in which the address to God, ηλι ηλι, is in Hebrew while the remainder is in Aramaic, whereas in Mark the whole utterance is Aramaic ― though the considerable textual variations [see note1 above and Metzger below] do not allow certainty on the text form in either gospel. But the targum of Psalm 22:1 has the form ἠλί ("an accepted Hebraism"; ...), so that it seems that the "Hebrew" form could also be used in Aramaic. If both forms were available in Aramaic, the form ἠλί would have an an obvious advantage here, as it offers a more plausible basis for the following suggestion that Jesus is calling for Elijah (...). Both λεμά and σαβαχθάνι approximate more closely to Aramaic lᵉmāʾ and šᵉbaqtanî than to the Hebrew lāmâ and ʿᵃzabtānî'. It is likely, then, that Matthew, like Mark understood Jesus to have used his vernacular Aramaic at this moment of supreme personal crisis.
27.46 ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι : Instead of ηλι (or ηλει), representing the Hebrew אֵלִי (“my God”), the text of several witnesses, including ℵ B 33 copsa, bo eth, was assimilated to the reading ελωι of Mk 15.34, representing the Aramaic אֱלָהִי (“my God”), the ω for the α sound being due to the influence of the Hebrew אֱלֹהַי
The spelling λεμα (ℵ B 33 700 998 al) represents the Aramaic לְמָא (“why?”), which is also probably to be understood as lying behind λιμα (A K U Γ Δ Π 090 al) and λειμα (E F G H M S V al), whereas λαμα (D Θ 1 22 565 1582 al) represents the Hebrew לָמָּה (“why?”).
As in Mk 15.34, most witnesses read σαβαχθανι or something similar (σαβαχθανει, ℵ A Δ 1 69; σαβακτανει, B 22 713 1402), which represents the Aramaic שְׁבַקְתַּנִי (“thou hast forsaken me”). Codex Bezae, however (as also in the Markan parallel), reads ζαφθανει, representing the Hebrew עֲזַבְתַּנִי (“thou hast forsaken me”; for the spelling, see the comment on Mk 15.34), and thus this manuscript in both Matthew and Mark is consistent in giving a transliteration representing a Hebrew original throughout, instead of part Hebrew (the first words) and part Aramaic (the last word). (See also the comment on Mk 15.34.)
From: Matthew 27:45-46, My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me? (post 3)
Eric J. Sawyer
August 16th 2010, 01:06 PM #34
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
I am bored today.
As I was searching the BL301 Archives, I came upon another quote by John Reece, addressing a related passage: Luke 23:43 -
From The Gospel According to Luke X-XXIV (Anchor Bible), by Joseph A. Fitzmyer:
The Lukan passion narrative is unique in having a scene in which one of the criminals crucified with Jesus joins in the mocking of Jesus explicitly. He is corrected by the other criminal, who acknowledges Jesus' innocence and begs to be remembered when Jesus comes into his kingly heritage. Jesus answers with the promise that he will be with him in Paradise that very day (23:39-43). — page 1507.
[greek]shmeron met' emou esh[/greek] (sēmeron met' emou esē): today you shall be with me. The criminal phrased his request vaguely, "when you come ...," but Jesus' answer replies specifically, not when, but "today," with the adverb sēmeron placed emphatically immediately after the asseverative clause ["Believe me" = Fitzmyer's rendering of [greek]amhn soi legw[/greek] (amēn soi legō) —JR]. "Today" refers not to "the calendar day of the crucifixion" (E. E. Ellis, "Present and Future," 37) but to the day of "messianic salvation inaugaurated by" the death of Jesus. The criminal will share the kingly condition of Jesus that very day. "For life is to be with Christ because where Christ is, there is the kingdom (Ambrose, Expos. ev. sec. Luc. 10:121) [...]. — page 1510.
From: Luke 23:43 "...,today" or "today" (Post 38)
'The world has already seen those debates play out, and there's nothing new here to make proponents of conditional immortality worry. You haven't offered a challenge to the arguments that have already been used to soundly rebut the claims you made, so the status quo has not changed.'
August 17th 2010, 04:37 AM #35
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
Once again you are almost correct but you slightly misunderstood or I failed to explain adequately. Let me clarify - there is no question that the most obvious first temptation for Eve was to distrust God. God had said that everything was very good and that eating from this particular tree would lead to death (Genesis 2:16 and 17) however the devil challenged Eve that God could not be trusted to take care of her and that she needed to take care of herself. Obviously the clear correlation with the first temptation of Jesus recorded for us in Matthew 4:3 becomes very poingnant - will Jesus fail to trust God to care for Him in the same way Adam and Eve did - no He will stand firm on God's promises. But does that mean that there can be only one possible topic addressed in each text or can one glean a deeper understanding by further study. I was merely suggesting that there was the possibility that other issues may also have a role to play. So, secondly - of course there was no need to earn salvation before the fall (in fact I would argue, and I think that you would agree that never has there been a time when salvation can be earned - it is a free gift of God bestowed liberally on all those who accept His atoning death) but that doesn't mean that selfishness cannot be used as a temptation. The discussion was not whether Eve needed to earn access to the tree of life (she didn't - God had freely given it to her) but simply whether the devil tempted her into thinking that she could get more for herself - as you point out: "... you shall be like God ...". For example compare with the second temptation Jesus faced (Matthew 4:6) - was He the Son of God - of course He was but does that mean that the devil's temptation of, "If you are the Son of God ..." couldn't occur because it wasn't true of course not. But this is a side issue really and I hope that you will agree that there can be more than one interpretation to a text and that some temptation occurs around things that aren't necessarily true - hence why Jesus calls the devil a liar from the beginning.
Lastly to address the issue at hand - I haven't introduced a foreign concept into the passage, but you have failed to read the scripture in context and thus have missed the bigger picture. Yes, for Adam and Eve, immortality of the "soul" (if you wish to use this term - but equally applicable would simply be Adam and Eve the living people) was presupposed before the fall but fascinatingly in complete opposite to your argument it was conditional on access to the tree of life. Wow - even in the one argument where you actually find "immortal" humans - it is still conditional which I am sure comes as a shock to you given your initial opposition to the Biblical interpretation of the entire passage of Genesis 1-3. Before you argue that I have no evidence for this, please read Genesis 3:21-24 - God clearly states that man could have lived forever on the one condition that he continued to have access to the tree of life. Thus even their initial presupposed immortaility was conditional. Also - it would seem to suggest from a simple reading of the text that God clearly did not want people to have immortality in the presence of sin. So although this clearly proves that although not necessarily the primary issues that this is not a foreign topic in the initial controversy between Jesus and satan. But to make it abundantly clear since your insinuation is that I have misquoted scripture let me clearly identify this topic for you (which I am sure that you already realize but have convientely avoided): Genesis 2:17 - "but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" Genesis 3:4 - "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman." Please for everyone's sake retract you statement that it is a completely foreign topic that part of the discussion between Eve and the satan, part of the temptation was about death. God said you will die (i.e. your mortality is conditional on accepting/trusting Me), satan said you won't die (i.e. God is lying - you are immortal) and then there is further temptation in Genesis 3:5.
Now let's look at teh entire passage of Ecclesiastes 3. And I will only do this once because as per usual people always argue their supposed positive texts without ever defending the glaring holes. Hence, this is the defense of the position, but to continue you need to at least address some of the issues identified in my original post.
1. The most correct translation of the text from more original documentation than was used for the King James Version is given below as in the American Standard Version:
17I said to myself, "God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man," for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.
18I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts."
19For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath (ruach) and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.
20All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.
21Who knows that the breath (ruach) of man ascends upward and the breath (ruach) of the beast descends downward to the earth?
22I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?
Note the impotant bit - vs 21 simply starts with, "Who knows ..." Not this is what occurs ...
2. Is the question implied an agnostic (Greek etymology - "unknown") question. Yes - this is exactly what I stated in my post - Solomon doesn't intend the reader to understand that there is any difference in location of the spirit (ruach) of man or beast. His question simply constitutes a challenge for anyone to provide proof, if he can that there is a difference in destination. As in, death is the great unknown (agnosticism yes). And why should there be any difference? All life comes from God, no matter whether that life is displayed in man or the humblest animal. That is sound Christian doctrine. But would I argue that Solomon is an agnostic or that he is ignorant of God or has a limited theological understanding, I would suggest no, most certainly not (1 Kings 3:12)
3. If using this text to argue that there is an immortal spirit which depart at death you still haven't addressed two key problems. 1. Do all "spirits" of men go upward? (Isn't your argument that a lot of them go downward to hell) and 2. Is the immortal "spirit" of man and beast the same. The Bible usues the word "immortality" only 5 times, and the word "immortal" only once. 1 Timothy 1:17 - in the lone instance the term is applied to God. So is the triune God immortal - of course. But I challenge you to look at Romans 2:7 - why in regards to humans do they need to seek immortality and be given this gift from God, if it is something that they inherently possess?
Lastly, as I only have a limited time, lets look at Genesis 35:18
The word "soul" here, as well as in the case of Elijah in 1 Kings 17:21 and 22 (which I am sure you may have brought up, or if not you can add it to you incorrect understanding) is a translation of the Hebrew word nepesh. Gesenius, generally considered the greatest of Hebrew lexicographers, gives the following as the primary meaning of the word: 1. "Breath". Firstly look at 1 Kings 17:17 - there was no breath/life (nepesh) left in the child and when Elijah prayed in vs 21 and in vs 22 - and the breath/life (nepesh) of the child returned to him and he revived. Genesis 35:18 - it came about as her breath/life (nepesh) was departing. Also as a side issue in Genesis 1:30 the word nepesh is used so again - if this is an undying soul of the child or Rachel then it proves the same for the beasts, the fowls and the creeping things. You see it is not a wooden interpretation of a single text but the same theme run throughout the enitre Bible - as Elijah would say either this simply means life or it means an immortal soul it can be transalated differently at different times to suit you understanding.
Lastly, I reject you accusation of blasphemy, as clearly described in Mark 2 and John 10, blasphemy is claiming to be God or have the perogatives of God - i.e. able to forgive sins. I fail to see how stating that Jesus slept in the tomb over Sabbath after He died on Friday and then rose again on Sunday morning is blasphemy when that is clearly what is stated in Scripture. Lastly, I know we haven't really addressed this - but if Jesus "spirit" departed on that Friday evening and you believe in an immortal soul then surely you must believe that 1 Peter 3 is talking about Jesus' immortal spirit which leave you with a quandry - either he went to heaven that day or he went to hell? Which is it? I bring this up, only in the same vein that Paul brought up the resurrection of the dead when talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees - not becuase I actually believe that either incident refers to an immortal soul but it leaves a massive problem for those who do.
"What you have done is eisegetically introduce a foreign topic into the text of Gen 3:5. Personally, I find this kind of thing typical with CI proponents, save one."
Also, Michael, it may do well to note that you were very quick to suggest that I had introduced a foreign concept into the text, and then grossly extrapolate that anyone who disagrees with you simply makes up their concepts without Biblical support. However, as illustrated above, whether you agree with the interpretation or not, clearly the textual evidence suggests some discussion about death. But I note at the end of your reply, without a scrap of supporting evidence you are quite willing to eisegetically introduce a foreign topic into the text of John 20:17 and state that it is only Jesus in human flesh and imply that His spirit is off in paradise, which clearly is not stated in the text - "17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " In fact a closer reading will see that it not only states Jesus hadn't been to paradise but that He hadn't seen His Father yet either, why so confusing if He had actually seen the Father in "spirit form". Also, if this understanding of an immortal soul was so obvious to the disciples why were they so distressed by Jesus' death - why not simply go, oh well His "spirit" is in heaven? Further more as explained by other posts above, the passage from Luke 23:46 - "Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (translated from the word pneuma)." When he had said this, he breathed his last. As you know, pneuma can adequately be translated breath or life. So now both texts agree - Jesus commited His life to the Father and breathed his last (died) and then rested in the tomb, was resurrected and then ascended to the Father. Or the Bible doesn't make sense. Note pneuma is only used in 3 other passages that I can think of in the New Testament - 1. James 2:26 - clearly refers to the breath of life, 2. Revelation 11:11 - clearly not their own spirit but the God's breath or life was breathed into them and 3. Revelation 13:15. So taking the general understanding of the New Testament writers pneuma or spirit is better translated life or breath than a seperate sentinel entitiy.
Anyway I look forward to seeing your response to the problems in your arguments which have already been raised, not further supposed support.
Last edited by Dwane Jackson; August 17th 2010 at 09:24 AM.
August 17th 2010, 10:46 AM #36
Re: The Immortality of the Human Soul
Where are you five or six sellers coming from ? How did you find this advertising opportunity ?!
By headheart in forum Apologetics 301Replies: 18Last Post: August 18th 2010, 04:26 AM
By stuart shepherd in forum Apologetics 301Replies: 99Last Post: December 14th 2006, 07:23 PM
By Darth Executor in forum World History 201Replies: 8Last Post: May 16th 2006, 05:01 PM
By Da Lone-Warrior in forum Civics 101Replies: 0Last Post: April 14th 2004, 07:29 PM
By Jabba in forum Philosophy 201Replies: 49Last Post: October 12th 2003, 12:42 PM