Soul and Spirit - Same or Different

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I have seen a few posts on other threads assert that soul and spirit are different, although often in the Bible, soul and spirit are used interchangeably.

    I'd like to see some views on this, using scripture and, if possible, views especially from those who have researched the Hebrew and Greek words for these terms. I know there are different views.

     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    More from the above link, which discusses this topic:
     
  3. Snitzelhoff

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    "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."--Hebrews 4:12

    A dichotomy between spirit and soul is Scriptural, yet so is a unity so tight that only the Word is sharp enough to split it. Paul wrote:

    "...and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."--I Thessalonians 5:23

    That verse, like the one in Hebrews, differentiates between soul and spirit. However, it must be understood that the two can be used basically interchangably as they typically work together as a unit.

    Michael
     
  4. Marcia

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    I don't think Heb. 4.12 means soul and spirit are different. I think it is hyperbole to show how deep God's word can penetrate.

    Man is material + immaterial. How can the immaterial be divided up? When you die, and your immaterial self goes to be with Christ, is there some kind of difference then between the soul and spirit?

    I read an article that stated that soul and spirit may be used to describe different functions of the immaterial part of man but those terms do not mean they are actually different parts of the immaterial part of man. I think I agree with that.
     
  5. donnA

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    I don't know if they are or not, I've often wondered. Have you looked up those verses that say soul and spirit and looked the original words used for soul and spirit in those particular verses? Would be interesting.
     
  6. SAMPLEWOW

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    I have know scripture to back up what I believe but I have always believed that soul and spirit were the same .
     
  7. Snitzelhoff

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    Is the immaterial indivisible? Can there be no difference between them simply because there is no physical form to them? Are Father, Son, and Spirit not diverse in Person, while unified in essence, Being, and purpose? In the same way, soul and spirit are diverse, yet form a union so tight that only the Word can pierce it.

    Furthermore, the passage also compares the piercing power of the Word to "joint and marrow." While they form a nearly inseparable unit, surely you don't think joints and marrow refer to the same thing? Just different parts of the whole. Why, if joint and marrow are not the same, should soul and spirit be, when both are used in that context?

    In the salutation from Paul in I Thessalonians, he indicates that for God to sanctify one wholly, it requires keeping your body, soul, and spirit. In other words, it implies that a whole person consists of body, soul, and spirit.

    There is much speculation as to the exact nature of the differences between soul and spirit, but their union is close enough that the terms can be used interchangeably. However, that does not make them the same.

    As to the article to which you referred, if soul and spirit are different functions of the same thing, what is the name of the thing that possesses those attributes? Walking and breathing are functions of my body. My body is the thing that possesses those attributes.

    Michael
     
  8. Michael Hobbs

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    The soul is definitely different than the spirit. Look at these verses:

    1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    I believe this is what Paul was alluding to in Romans 7. I can sin with my flesh and I can sin with my mind (spirit) but my soul, which is saved, cannot sin because it is sealed by the blood of Christ.
     
  9. Marcia

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    I read a couple of articles that show in the NT that the Greek words translated as soul and spirit are often the same.

    I need to look them up and post that info but not sure I can do this now.
     
  10. Marcia

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    I think this just makes it more complicated. [​IMG]

    It raises questions like this:
    Does the soul ever sin and how does it sin? What part of us is sinning when we sin? Is your soul saved but not your spirit?
     
  11. Marcia

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  12. Paul of Eugene

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    I view a human as a blending of flesh and spirit
    I view a soul as the whole, putting the two together. Equivalent to "self".

    Souls can be saved from physical danger as well as spiritual danger.
     
  13. Marcia

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    This is on Heb 4.12:
     
  14. Grasshopper

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    Different.
     
  15. Artimaeus

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    I do not have a firm conviction but I do have a pretty strong preference in this instance. I believe man to be a three part being and it takes all three parts to be whole. Just as the Trinity is a very difficult concept to explain but true nonetheless. I believe the threefold nature of man is also difficult to explain.

    Adam's spirit "died" when he sinned and mankind ceased to be a whole three part being. Even after salvation when the spirit is regenerated the soul (still suffering the ravages of the curse) isn't but continues toward maturity and seeking to be conformed to the image of Christ. The body, of course, is a lost cause (Looking at mine I am firmly convinced of this) [​IMG] [​IMG] When we get to heaven our new glorified bodies, our souls completely conformed to the image of Christ, and our already regenerated spirit will once again be the whole person that God intended us to be.

    My sliver of uncertainty lies in a description of spirit that takes into account some of the seeming inconsistencies of the use of spirit and soul in the English translations and the apparent lack of agreement of the Greek and Hebrew definitions by our illustrious scholars.
     

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