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Trichotomist or Dichotomist? Does Man Have a Soul?

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< Gen 1 "And YHWH God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man BECAME a living soul."

 

This text does not say that YHWH gave man a soul, but that man became a living soul.

 

Years ago, I did a study of the Bible's psych terms, like spirit, soul, heart, kidneys (reins), mind, heart (leb, lebab, kardia), flesh, thym- (thymos, epithymia).  I need to rethink this actually, but the tentative conclusion I came to was the nephesh/psyche soul is a functional term, not metaphysical, which refers to the life or self.  Consider that in the OT a dead body can be a dead soul.  And there are 100 souls on a ship.  This left me with the conclusion that there are only 2 metaphysical parts of man:  body & spirit.  But before concluding my work on this, I got diverted to a particular study of flesh (sarx) as a psych term & never really returned to the general subject in detail.

 

I am sure that trichotomy is not proven by the classic text in Heb 4: 

 

"For the Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

 

Here Christ, the Word of God, has as it were X-ray vision to see what is inside soul, spirit, joints, & marrow.  It is not "dividing from soul & spirit" as if you put a knife between the two, no more than slicing between joints & marrow (marrow is inside a bone, and text does not say "cut between marrow and bone").  But it is like a knife cutting open each of the 4 things.  Only Christ can see inside the joints, the marrow (before X-rays were invented).  Only He can see inside the soul & spirit. And at least to me this passage is not a technical presentation of metaphysical parts.  To say that Christ can see inside the soul (the self) makes sense without claiming that psyche is a distinct metaphysical entity from spirit.
 

But, as I say, I really should look this over again.

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Body, mind (soul) and spirit. We have a body, a mind and memory (as do all animals) and a spirit (heart that yearns for God or world) that is where we feel love and an ache at the loss of a loved one.

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if you take a dirt body and breath a spirit into it, it becomes a living soul......    take the spirit back and you have a dirt body and because it isn't alive it is not a soul.

 

 

A soul is a dirt body with a live active spirit dwelling within it...

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The soul is what you are. It's your essence. It can feel pain, feel sorrow, feel joy, experience happiness and can be comfortable or uncomfortable. You have the same soul as you have always had. When you were a new born baby and knew nothing, your soul was still 'you' as it is today.

Your spirit is your personality and who you have become. It is your memories, your knowledge, your experiences and your inclinations.

Your body is just the flesh and bones machine that your soul and spirit reside in for the time being.

At least, that is how I see it.

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....This left me with the conclusion that there are only 2 metaphysical parts of man:  body & spirit.....

I am sure that trichotomy is not proven by the classic text in Hebrews 4:12-13

 

"For the Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do."....

 

:thumbsup:

 

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:20-21

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....This left me with the conclusion that there are only 2 metaphysical parts of man:  body & spirit.....

I am sure that trichotomy is not proven by the classic text in Hebrews 4:12-13

 

"For the Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do."....

 

:thumbsup:

 

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:20-21

 

"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:20-21"

 

Now we have arrived at how to interpret Ecclesiastes (aka Qohelet), a book of exquisite poetry in Hebrew, and part of God's Word.  IMHO:  The book of Ecc is written from the POV of a man reasoning under the sun; this is the way things appear under the sun:  Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.  But that is not the absolute truth.  All is not vanity. God has a plan.  Yet to the man under the sun, living His life apart from God's grace, all is vanity -- worthless.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, signifying nothing.

 

And that is how I take such a statements as  you quoted, and the one which begins with "Who Knoweth?"  Questions do not establish a propositional truth, either.

 

Actually, I know of no passage in the OT which assigns spirit to animals (ruach) aside from when ruach means breath (one of its meanings -- spirit, wind, breath).  So I don't think animals have spirits, though an excellent theolgian J Oliver Buswell thinks so in his Systematic Theology.

 

The Lord has written a book penned/dictated by Solomon exposing Reasoning under the Sun.

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Every human being has a soul.

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Are you saying that Solomon - the wisest man who ever lived and was used by the Holy Spirit to pen the words that are in the book of Ecclesiastes is a tale told by an idiot??

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Solomon told us about the utter futility of life before Christ....

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Now we have arrived at how to interpret Ecclesiastes (aka Qohelet), a book of exquisite poetry in Hebrew, and part of God's Word. 
 
IMHO:  The book of Ecclesiastes is written from the POV of a man reasoning under the sun; this is the way things appear under the sun:  Vanity of vanity, all is vanity. 
 
But that is not the absolute truth. 
 
All is not vanity. God has a plan. 
 
Yet to the man under the sun, living His life apart from God's grace, all is vanity -- worthless. 
 
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, signifying nothing.

 

~

 

Indeed~!

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

 

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing,

 

whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

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Are you saying that Solomon - the wisest man who ever lived and was used by the Holy Spirit to pen the words that are in the book of Ecclesiastes is a tale told by an idiot??

 

Anyone with 600 wives is an idiot in my personal view....   King or not....    and those six hundred foreign wives turned him away from our God to others.....

 

Wise??????     God gave Solomon everything.....   and in the end he turned to foreign gods.....      and that is the mark of an idiot.

 

So don't be surprised when Solomon says that all is vanity.....    without Jesus.....   he's right.

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Now we have arrived at how to interpret Ecclesiastes (aka Qohelet), a book of exquisite poetry in Hebrew, and part of God's Word. 
 
IMHO:  The book of Ecclesiastes is written from the POV of a man reasoning under the sun; this is the way things appear under the sun:  Vanity of vanity, all is vanity. 
 
But that is not the absolute truth. 
 
All is not vanity. God has a plan. 
 
Yet to the man under the sun, living His life apart from God's grace, all is vanity -- worthless. 
 
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, signifying nothing.

 

~

 

Indeed~!

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

 

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing,

 

whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

 

"God shall bring every work into judgment"

 

Indeed, we all have a judgment of our works to face (salvation being by grace, but judgment is of works).  I am thankful that I shall appear at the Bema, judgment seat of Christ, instead of at the Great White Throne Judgment!  My ungodly works, wood-hay-stubble, may be burned up, but Christ has paid for my sins, so the flame will not touch me, tho I may have a moment of sadness at the loss of reward.

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Amen~!

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1 Cor. 5:3-4 Paul speaks of himself being present with them in spirit. We can separate body from spirit when we die, but we can only distinguish soul from spirit. God's Spirit can communicate with our spirits: Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

I also go with trichotomy.

Fascinating study.

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