Let My People Think




Some might say – well, death really means “separation of the spirit from the body” (or some may say “soul from the body” – either way, the discussion below applies to both, since the type of separation in question is fundamentally the same).

Well, to be sure, physical death of a human being does involve separation of the spirit from the body. That’s a very important point, which is necessary to grasp to understand the mechanics of joint death with Christ and “new birth” in Christ. However, that is an entailment, which is a type of implication. As demonstrated above, implication is not equivalence. Again, if the two were equivalent, let’s plug in the substitution in a couple of verses and see how it bears out:

Genesis 24:67
and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s spirit separated from her body

That’s sounds strange, don’t you think? Isaac didn’t mourn the fact of separation of Sarah’s spirit and body, in fact that was probably the last thing he thought of, what grieved him is that his mother was no longer alive.

Genesis 26:11
So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to separation of spirit from their body.

You don’t make threats like that. The threat was really death, or loss of life.

Genesis 27:7
Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my spirit separates from my body.

I am pretty sure Jacob wasn’t as concerned with the mechanics of his death as he was with the fact that he needed to bless his son while he (Jacob) was still alive.

Just keep going down starting from Genesis using a keyword search, and substitute “death” with “separation of spirit / soul from the body”, and you will quickly see how that becomes non-sensical very fast.

Comments on: "Death is not separation of spirit or soul from the body" (4)

  1. Maybe words like the spirit separated from the body simply describe what happened at the moment of death. Clinically, we understand that a person is dead when there is no longer any brain activity. But these passages would not make any more sense if we replaced death with no brain activity than by replacing death with the separation of the spirit and body. Usually in the context of being present at the time of death, no one speaks of the mechanics of what happens at death which scripture does tell us our spirits do return back to God and if the body is still here, then there was a separation of the spirit and body whether we call it death or something else.

    Love your thoughts so far. I think I am half way done now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right – that’s pretty much the thrust of my thoughts in this part of the series. The whole death as separation of soul / spirit from body thing really originated with Socrates and later Plato, and then got co-opted by early Greek Christians, many of who were avid students of Greek philosophy. Augustine is a perfect example of that. In the Scriptures, the prevalent semantic is cessation of life, progressive (a process of dying) and eventual (death as finality).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do have another question for you. Why do you think genesis 2 repeats the word death twice in a row in the Hebrew?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, yes. If you read that in Young’s Literal Translation, it brings out the literal Hebrew meaning. “[From] the day you eat of the tree, dying shall you die”. That’s the key to the whole puzzle. It doesn’t say that they will die in that day – rather, it says that they will *begin to* be dying on that very day.

          Liked by 1 person

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