Let My People Think

Posts tagged ‘spirit’

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
(more…)

Advertisements

Living by the letter vs. living by the spirit

Letter versus Spirit A fundamentalist approach of ardently structuring one’s life by following the letter of the holy book of any religion produces people that are fragmented at deep levels of their humanity. Folks like that wear their religion as a man wears his headache. Their character is opposite of wholesome. Various fragments of their character are rigid, and are poorly fitted together, always angrily creaking, always ready to give way at the fault lines. (This visual gives a new meaning to the word “character faults”, doesn’t it?)

A life lived like that is always do, do, do, in a never-ending quest to become. While that zeal and commitment can be admirable, the very system is deeply flawed. Its moral compass always points away from self and onto others. People living that life always build walls, draw lines, arbitrarily decide who is in and who is out, leave many wounded any dying in their wake, they scoff at laughter and joy, scorn childlikeness, trample over destinies, and ultimately sacrifice their soul on the altar of being right. As Blaise Pascal once said, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
(more…)

Operating in the spirit realm

Eyes on JesusLearning to operate the kingdom of God calls for a fundamentally different epistemology (a theory of acquiring reliable knowledge). In this physical world, we learn to rely on our bodies, which translate the stimuli of the surroundings through the 5 senses into electromagnetic impulses, which are in turn deciphered and interpreted by the brain as representing reality.

I should note here that we don’t ever directly perceive anything in this physical world, although it might appear that way. For instance, when I “see” a car, light is reflected off of the car’s body and onto the cornea, through the pupil onto the lens, and eventually onto the retina of my eye. So when my eye “sees” the car, it sees it upside down. At this point, “I” still haven’t seen the car. The image needs to travel further than my eyeball. It needs to get compressed into a message that is then sent through the optic nerve up to the brain, where it’s deciphered, and then “I” am finally able to “see” the car, right side up.

Similar mechanisms works for all of our other senses.

(more…)

Divine bio-engineering. How Jesus Christ solves the problem of death of fleshly bodies

DEATH ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES SERIES – TABLE OF CONTENTS

Death

Now, after we have disambiguated ourselves of extra-Scriptural meanings, we are in a position to define what the scriptural meaning of death is.

DEATH OPERATES ON THE BODY OF THE FLESH

Death that has been plaguing humanity ever since the fall of Adam operates on the bodies of flesh, and not on spirits. This is stated in the Scriptures quite clearly, but scripture expositors rarely tie this knowledge in with the topic of death, for whatever reason. Sin (dysfunction, being “apart / amiss” from God’s design) operates in the flesh, producing death, as apostle Paul noted most notably in Romans chs. 5 – 8, and this is also noted in a lot of other places in the Scripture as well.

Here are some passages pertaining to sin / death operating on the bodies of flesh:

2 Corinthians 4
11 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members [of the body] to bear fruit to death.

(more…)

I am IN the spirit – part 3

I am spirit

(continued from part 2)

Here are two more ideas concerning the subject.

Here’s the first idea.

I looked over all the references in the Hebrew scriptures of the word “spirit”, and the spirit, as described there, could be:

troubled, revived, anguished, willing, hardened, sorrowful, inoperative (“there was no spirit in them”), becoming operative again (“his spirit returned, and he revived”) (the latter two examples are talking about living people, so it can’t be that their spirit was literally departed from them, or else they would be dead), sullen, stirred up, moved, broken, contrite, having deceit, steadfast, overwhelmed, searching, faithful, failing, departing (resulting in the “person returning to earth” – which confirms the point I made above), faithful, haughty, humble, ruled (by a person), calm, patient, proud, angry, fainted, anxious, excellent. That’s from Genesis to Malachi, inclusively.

As you look over this list, notice 2 things.
(more…)

I am IN the spirit – part 2

I am spirit

(continued from part 1)

Now, here’s the passage that turned the light on for me:

1 Corinthians 15 (KJV)
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (ψυχή – “psuche”); the last Adam was made a quickening (ζωοποιοῦν – “zōopoioun” lit. “life-making”) spirit (πνεῦμα – “pneuma”).
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual (πνευματικὸν – “pneumatikon”) , but that which is natural (ψυχικόν – “psuchikon” – soulish); and afterward that which is spiritual (πνευματικὸν – “pneumatikon”).

First Adam became a soul (from a mere pile of dust), the second Adam – Christ – became a spirit after being born from the dead (Jesus was firstborn from the dead, but not first raised from the dead, others (e.g., Lazarus) preceded him in the latter). That shift is a huge key to the puzzle!
(more…)

I am IN the spirit – part 1

I am spirit

The discussion below is somewhat technical, more so that my usual posts. It goes to the original languages of the Scriptures, but I am giving you all the definitions and explaining all the nuances right on the spot. If you care to read through it, I think you will discover something new and quite exciting.

Here’s a very curious phenomenon that I recently picked up on in the scriptures.

Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
7 And the Lord God formed man (אָדָם – adam) of the dust (עָפָר – aphar) of the ground (אֲדָמָה – adamah), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (נָ֫פֶשׁ – nephesh).

The word “soul” (נָ֫פֶשׁ – “nephesh”) is rendered in NKJV and a lot of other modern translations as “being”. For the purposes of this discussion, I will stick with the word “soul” as it uniquely maps into both Hebrew and Greek equivalents. The downside is that the word “soul” does have a lot of baggage passed down through the centuries.

Strong (H5315) defines the word נָ֫פֶשׁ – “nephesh” as: “a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion”. Based on that, let’s constrain the meaning of the word to mean 2 things: 1) “living being that has an identity”, and 2) life (not just a fact of biological existence) lived by such living being. That definition should semantically reflect a more or less complete range of meaning, without dragging in most of the religious baggage into it.
(more…)

Tag Cloud