Let My People Think

Archive for the ‘Other studies’ Category

Hellenism, Plato, and the corruption of Biblical anthropology

It’s often asserted that at a general level, humans consist of spirit, soul, and body. Interestingly, there is only one passage in the entire Biblical canon that lists the three side by side (1 Thess. 5:23). Even then, that passage has nothing to do with teaching human anthropology. Rather, the Scriptural anthropology teaches humans on the most general level consist of spirit and flesh. These two parts are directly compared, contrasted, and juxtaposed on in dozens of passages – as opposed to just one reference pulled out of context. (Yes, I know that I am going against the orthodoxy here – and I am quite comfortable doing it. Run your own keyword search on the Bible and see what you come up with).

It’s also often asserted that soul is “mind + will + emotions”. Interestingly, this equation originates from Hellenistic theories of the soul, directly traceable to pre-platonic / Pythagorean and early platonic theories of the soul. See Plato’s “Phaedo” (a.k.a. “On the Soul”) and “The Republic” to see where system of thought originated from. Plato’s theory of the soul presented in “The Republic” is:

“Soul = reason (mind) + appetites (emotions) + spirit (will)”.

Plato's Soul - Unscriptural Hellenistic Philosophy
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Intro to believer’s identity in Christ. Lesson notes.

INTRODUCTION TO BELIEVER’S IDENTITY IN CHRIST.

Lesson notes

I. BIGGEST ISSUE IN MODERN CHRISTENDOM – CHRISTLESS CHRISTIANITY

Here’s a tag cloud from a blog that I shall leave unnamed.

Christian blog tag cloud.

Christian blog tag cloud. What is missing from this picture?

What is missing from this picture? (Answer: …).

Scriptures – they have a reflective function. They serve to reflect the Word of God, which is summed up in Jesus. You can destroy your copy of the Bible, but you can’t destroy God’s Word.
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Corners of Jesus’ garment

Woman with the issue of blood touching the tassels on Jesus' garment

Ancient Jewish history and culture is very relevant to our interpretation of the Scriptures, particularly Old Testament, the Gospels, Hebrew Epistles, and the book of Revelation (i.e., non-Pauline writings).

Jewish history and culture holds contextual cues to understanding many of the above passages. And yet, you don’t need to go much beyond the Bible to relate to it. Let’s just take one example.

In ancient Israel, men tied tassels (tzitzit) on edges of their outer garments (which evolved into prayer shawls, or tallit).

Numbers 15:37-41 prescribes this to Israel:

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