Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spirit, Soul, Body, and Heart

I just read an interesting article that talked about one view on how "body" and "spirit" work.

Unfortunately, I do not have an article on the website that discusses this, so I cannot share a link to a nice discussion.

For those interested in doing your own study, I will say the following...

In English, a single person may have many names that differ by each highlighting on of that person's relationships. For example, a woman might be referred to as "Judy", "Mom", "Daughter", "Wife", "Sweetie", and "Boss".

In Biblical Hebrew the same concept applies to the part of us that cannot be touched.

As an abstract thing it is called "soul". The Hebrew word is nefesh, which literally means "thing that breathes". The word is used to apply to most land animals, but not insects and other "swarming creatures" that do not have lungs.

As something in relationship with our body it is called "heart". The Hebrew word is lev, which simply means "heart". As examples, scripture refers to people making decisions with their heart or being tempted by their heart, because of how the body is a factor in these.

As something in contrast with our body it is called "spirit". The Hebrew word is roo-ach, which literally means "wind/breath". This word is used when the soul's lack of tangibility is being emphasized, when highlighting the quality of being alive instead of dead (which also cannot be touched), or when the soul is troubled (or having other feelings) but the body is not.

In regards to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit one scriptural metaphor (of many) is about spoken words being carried by our breath. The Father "breathes" out his Spirit, which bears the "living Word of God". (See Isaiah 55:11 and other verses.)