Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Concerning the soul

Here is my answer to a query concerning Matthew 10:28 & the Soul; from a discussion forum in 2004.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Can you kill the soul of God? If God became man and the body died, how then is God dead if His soul remains?

Classic GNOSTIC DUALISM!! Plato and Justin Martyr would be proud. To begin with, your question ... Can you kill the soul of God? If God became man and the body died, how then is God dead if His soul remains? GOD did not become a man so this is a non-starter anyway! Also when one dies, both BODY & SOUL dies. BODY & SOUL is MORTAL! SOULS DO NOT REMAIN! Jesus was no Platonist. None of the GOD-fearing Jews were. The Bible teaches that ‘man’ is ”a psychosomatic unit.” The Bible does NOT teach that man is made up of a mortal body and an immortal soul. This is Platonism. And the platonic church fathers and Hellenistic (Greek-thinking) theologians of the early centuries read these philosophies INTO the scriptures and propagated it in their pseudo-Christian doctrines/leaven. Here are a few quotes to make my point … the emphasis is mine in each case. :-

Bernard W. Anderson, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament at Princeton University Seminary wrote:
“Human nature is not a dichotomy - a body of mortal flesh and a deathless soul, as in some philosophies, but rather a unity of body and spirit, an animated body…This view is expressed classically in Genesis 2, according to which the Lord God infused ‘spirit’ (life force) into a lump of clay and ‘it became a living being.’ The Hebrew word should not be translated ‘soul,’ if that means an immortal essence, but rather ’person’ or ‘self.’ The self is a unity of body and spirit, a psychosomatic unity…In this view, death must be taken seriously…Death is a total event - there is no part of human nature, such as an immortal soul, that is untouched.”
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmeyer and Roland Murphy, p. 1295 wrote:
“In spite of the use of such words as flesh, spirit, and soul, the OT conceived of the human being as a unity and not as a composite of different principles. H. Wheeler Robinson observed in a classic remark that the Greeks thought of an incarnate spirit and the Israelites thought of an animated body…The Hebrew nephesh has usually been mistranslated ‘soul’ - introducing an idea that is foreign to the OT. When Yahweh breathes the spirit, the human being becomes a living nephesh (2:7). ‘Person’ or ‘self’ may be the basic, if not the primitive meaning of the word. The blood is sometimes said to be the seat of the nephesh; in such instances nephesh is not the self or the person, but rather life, which is poured out with the blood…In none of these instances is there anything resembling the ‘soul’ of Greek and modern [pseudo-Christian] thought. This difference has important corollaries in the biblical idea of survival after death.”
Jacques Ellul wrote:
“A familiar example of the mutation to which revelation was subjected is its contamination by the Greek idea of the immortality of the soul. I will briefly recall it. In Jewish thought death is total. There is no immortal soul, no division of body and soul. Paul’s thinking is Jewish in this regard. The soul belongs to the “psychical” realm and is part of the flesh. The body is the whole being. In death, there is no separation of body and soul. The soul is as mortal as the body. But there is a resurrection. Out of the nothingness that human life becomes, God creates anew the being that was dead. This is a creation by grace; there is no immortal soul intrinsic to us. Greek philosophy, however, introduces among theologians the idea of the immortal soul. The belief was widespread in popular religion and it was integrated into Christianity. But it is a total perversion. ... This idea completely contaminates biblical thinking, gradually replaces the affirmation of the resurrection, and transforms the kingdom of the dead into the kingdom of God.”
Paul Althaus wrote:
“The hope of the early church centered on the resurrection of the Last Day. It is this which first calls the dead into eternal life (1 Cor. 15; Phil. 3:21). This resurrection happens to the man and not only to the body. Paul speaks of the resurrection not “of the body” but “of the dead.” This understanding of the resurrection implicitly understands death as also affecting the whole man . . . Thus [in traditional Christian teaching] the original biblical concepts have been replaced by ideas from Hellenistic Gnostic dualism. The New Testament idea of the resurrection which affects the whole man has had to give way to the immortality of the soul. The Last Day also loses its significance, for souls have received all that is decisively important long before this. Eschatological tension is no longer strongly directed to the day of Jesus’ Coming. The difference between this and the Hope of the New Testament is very great.”
M.J. Heinecken wrote:
“Strange as this sounds in some ears, the Bible knows nothing of the immortality of the soul separable from the body. It knows only of a resurrection of the total man from the dead. Man in the Bible is a psychosomatic unity, and as such he passes through death to the resurrection and the judgment to the fulfillment, from faith through death and resurrection to sight. This makes all speculations about a place of the departed spirits absolutely futile.”

And the list goes on … as more and more investigate the scriptural teaching of ‘body and soul’.
Sadly, it was through this platonic doctrine of ‘the immortal soul’ that the very doctrine of ‘the pre-existent person known as the Logos’ actually found it roots! And of course, Platonists such as Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria and Origen used the book of John (esp. Chapter 1) to propagate this Hellenistic philosophy, which has you see, is still with us in modern times.
Back to the Hebrew Scriptures and away with Greek philosophy.
Has for the killing of souls ... well souls DO DIE ... you can indeed kill a soul!

Context! Context! It’s all about Context!
The word ‘soul’ in the Scriptures (nephesh in the Hebrew Bible {Strong’s 5315}, psuche in the NT {Strong’s 5590}) is used predominantly to denote three things …

1) An actual creature (man or animal), esp. a living creature. Synonym for person.

2) The very life(-force) of a creature ... One’s life

3) As a synonym for YOU, YOURSELF … One’s Self
Hence, instead of saying I am in despair ... one would say ‘my soul is in despair’; instead of saying ‘I am very happy ... one would say ‘my soul is very happy’.
(Compare Psa 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? i.e. David was [cast] down, he was disquieted.
OR Mat 26:38 My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: i.e. Jesus of Nazareth was in turmoil, he was exceeding sorrowful)

Context determines how nephesh/psuche is used.

For examples of No. 1 we have ...

  • Souls = human beings and animals, especially in the sense of them being alive
  • (Gen 1:21,24) And God created great whales, and every living creature/nephesh that moveth 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature/nephesh after his kind …
  • (Gen 2:7) And YAHWEH God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul/nephesh.
  • (Gen 2:19) … and whatsoever Adam called every living creature/nephesh, that was the name thereof.
  • (Gen 9:9-10, 12, 16) And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10 And with every living creature/nephesh that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature/nephesh that is with you, for perpetual generations: 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature/nephesh of all flesh that is upon the earth.
  • ‘SOUL=PERSON’ (7 persons/souls Gen 46:25; 70 souls/persons Exo 1:5; 3000 persons/souls Acts 2:41; etc) It wasn’t 3000 non-corporeals that were baptized. NO! It was 3000 persons i.e. 3000 souls! See also Acts 27:37, Gen 12:5, etc
  • Souls live! Souls die! [Ezek 18:4,20 ] Souls are slain/killed. [Ezek 13:19, Num 31:19, 35:30, etc] Souls are ‘cut off’ [Exo 31:14, Lev 22:3, Num 19:20, etc] The scriptures speak of DEAD SOULS/nephesh! The KJV translators obscured this fact! However, the fact remains that the Scriptures speak of SOULS dying and speaks of SOULS BEING DEAD and speaks of SOULS being corporeal! Right now, THE DEAD PERSONS/SOULS ARE DEAD & SLEEP IN THE DUST OF THE EARTH!
  • (Ezek 18:4,20) … the soul/nephesh that sinneth, it shall die.
  • (Lev 19:28 ) Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead/nephesh...
  • (Lev 21:1) ... There shall none be defiled for the dead/nephesh among his people:
  • (Lev 21:11) Neither shall he go in to any dead body/nephesh ...
  • (Lev 22:4) ... And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead/nephesh ...
  • (Num 5:2) ... and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead/nephesh
  • (Num 6:6) All the days that he separateth himself unto YAHWEH he shall come at no dead body/nephesh
  • (Num 19:11) He that toucheth the dead body/nephesh of any man ...
  • (Num 19:13) Whosoever toucheth the dead body/nephesh of any man that is dead ...
  • (Num 19:16) And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body/nephesh ...
  • (Num 31:19) ... whosoever hath killed any person/nephesh, and whosoever hath touched any slain ...
  • (Num 35:30) Whoso killeth any person/nephesh ...
  • (Josh 20:9) ... whosoever killeth any person/nephesh at unawares ...

Et Cetera

For examples of No. 2 we have ...

  • Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Greek ”psuche” - life) or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Greek ”psuche” - life).
  • (John 13:37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life/psuche for thy sake.
  • (Acts 20:24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life/psuche dear unto myself …

Et Cetera

For examples of No. 3 we have ...

  • Numbers 23:10 … Let me die ( original, “let my soul” ) the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
  • Esther 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself ( original, “soul” ) …
  • Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry. (He is talking to himself).

Et Cetera

So, it is not so much that you have ‘a soul’ it is rather ... ‘you are a soul’ ... to save a soul is to save someone ... a dead soul is a dead person ... The Hebrew Scriptures indeed speak of SOULS/NEPHESH being touched and being dead! The same word ‘nephesh’ is synonymous with ‘self’ and ‘your life’. Therefore again, yet another proof that the Scriptures teach that ‘THE SOUL’ is MORTAL!

When ONE DIES! = They die = SOUL DIES! When ONE DIES! = HIMSELF/HERSELF DIES = SELF DIES = SOUL DIES. When ONE DIES! = Their life ends = Their SOUL ends. When ONE DIES! = Their life ceases = Their SOUL ceases.

The scriptures do NOT teach that we are dichotomous or trichotomous. The scriptures teach that we are a ‘psychosomatic whole’. The whole man/soul dies ... the whole man/soul shall rise again at the last day! The Scriptures clearly teach that the Nephesh/Soul is MORTAL!

However, as you see commonly in the Hebrew Bible; for emphasis, terms such as body, soul, spirit, bone, marrow, etc are used poetically and metaphorically to denote ‘the whole being, the whole PERSON’.

Hence, to love GOD with your all the scriptures would exhort us to love GOD with

  • with all thine heart,
  • and with all thy soul,
  • and with all thy mind,
  • and with all thy strength

.... Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27. These verses are not giving us a biology lesson! They are not splitting up man into composite parts! NO! It is telling us to love GOD with everything. Hebrews 4:11 isn’t a biology lesson. NO! It is poetically and metaphorically saying that the word of GOD can get to the very intent of man’s heart … that there is nothing in man that cannot be touched or affected by GOD’s word. 1 Thess 5:23 interprets itself. Paul is praying that GOD would sanctify the saints TOTALLY & WHOLLY...their entire being. He emphasizes this by using the terms, whole spirit, soul & body;

Neither David nor Jesus was saying that some ethereal, immortal part of them was cast down, disquieted or exceedingly sorrowful in Psalms 42:11 and Matthew 26:38. No! David was saying that he was cast down and disquieted. Jesus was saying that he was exceedingly sorrowful.

Context! Context! It’s all about Context!

Hence Matthew 10:28. Jesus was no Platonist. He was no Gnostic. He most definitely did not adhere to the platonic doctrine of a part of man that lives on after the body dies. That doctrine is pagan and not scriptural. So Matthew 10:28 is poetically and metaphorically saying ... “Don’t fear them that are able to kill you but are not able to kill you totally so that you could never be resurrected; rather fear HIM who is able to DESTROY and ANNIHILATE YOU TOTALLY (hence the expression ‘body and soul’) in Gehenna ... the lake of fire

Souls are dying daily ... Souls are being killed daily. That is, men, women and children are dying daily. However, there will be a future resurrection of the just and the unjust. ALL shall be raised. Some to life in the age to come and immortality. Some to contempt, judgment and shame in that age. [Dan 12:2] Some will forever be with the Lord, while others will be destroyed in the lake of fire.

Jesus was saying nothing different than what the prophets of old had already said. They weren’t Platonists and neither was Jesus. Jesus was warning us to fear GOD and not man. To fear GOD His Father who is able to destroy & annihilate us totally with no hope of ever coming back.

In conclusion, I will quote from the

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged Version, p. 1349 wrote:
Matt. 10:28 presents God as the one who can cast both body and psyche (soul, life) into Gehenna. The saying posits the unity of the two and negates the idea of the soul’s immortality…God alone controls the psyche, and for those who have true life with him he prepares a new body, just as he destroys both the body and psyche of those who do not have true life with him.