Research on nephesh
and psuche involved seven major sources. They are here listed
chronologically since the sequence reflects a development in the views of
Robinson, Henry Wheeler;
The Christian Doctrine of Man, Edinburgh:
T. & T. Clark, 1911.
Hebrew Psychology". In Peake, Arthur S.,(ed.)*; People
and the Book, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925. Robinson's
investigation of the OT view of man has had more lasting impact than
any other study before Pedersen. His use of the work done in cultural
anthropology of his day helped develop a new approach to OT studies.
Pedersen, Johannes; Israel,
(two vols.), London: Oxford University Press, 1926. (Danish original, 1920)
This book represents the first comprehensive work on the culture of
the ancient Hebrews and is considered a decisive turning point in the
modern understanding of the OT view of man. It is a classic still useful
today despite its over dependence upon studies of primitive culture
of this century and, specific to this study, its questionable use of
the word 'soul'.
Johnson, Aubrey R.; The
Vitality of the Individual in the
Thought of Ancient Israel, (2nd edition), Cardiff:
University of Wales Press, 1964. (first published 1949)
Johnson has done an extensive study of Hebrew anthropological terms
which has only recently been approached by Jacob's article and perhaps
surpassed by Wolff's chapter on nephesh. The second edition includes
ample footnotes as well as an elaborate bibliography and index.
Murtonen, A.; The
Living Soul: A Study of the Meaning
of the Word Nephesh in the Old
Testament Hebrew Language, Helsinski: 1958.
This study is especially interesting to the present author because
Murtonen used a similar methodological approach yet arrived at entirely
different conclusions. He seems to have missed the validity of Johnson's
point that interchanging nephesh and soul is questionable and,
furthermore, to have established categories for different uses of nephesh
based on a material/formal criterion. In addition, the reading is difficult
due to awkward sentence structure.
Jacob, Edmund; "Nephesh'.
In Kittel, Gerhard, (ed.); Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament, vol. 9, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974. (German
In this article Jacob made some good points on specific passages containing
nephesh yet failed to make a comprehensive re-formation.
Schweizer, Edward; "Psuche".
In Kittel, Gerhard, (ed.); Theological Dictionary of
the New Testament, vol. 9, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
1974. (German original 1953-55)
Schweizer, as did Jacob on nephesh, made good comments regarding
psuche in specific passages. His view on Paul's use of psuche
awakened the present author to the fact that the NT writers
did not use psuche in quite the same way.
Wolff, Hans Walter; Anthropology
of the Old Testament, Philadelphia: Fortress
Press, 1974. (German original 1973)
More than any other author studied, Wolff has demonstrated a sense
of the thematic imagery intrinsic to nephesh which is emphasized
in the present study. It might have been more enlightening if he had
made reference to the views of previous authors while elaborating his
The following are recommended
for further reading on the subject of nephesh and the Old Testament
view of man.
Becker, Johannes H.;
Het Begrip Nefesi in het Oude Testament,
Amsterdam: Noord Hollandsche Uitg., 1942.
Briggs, C.A.; "The
Use of Nephesh in the Old Testament", Journal of
Biblical Literature, 16:17-30, 1897.
Dhorme, Edouard Paul;
"L'emploi m6taphorique des noms de parties du corps en h6breu et accadien",
Paris: Revue Biblique_, 1923.
Eichrodt, Walther; Theology
of the Old Testament, vol. 2, Philadelphia:
Westminster Press, 1967. (German original 1935)
Janse, Antheunis; De
Mensch als Levende Ziel, Culmenborg: Uitg. De
Pauw, 1933. (chapters 1 and 2 in English manuscript as "Man as a Living
Lys, Daniel; "Nephesh:
Histoire de l'ime dans la revelation d'Israel au sein des religions proche-orientales",
Etudes d'histoire et philosophie religieuses,
Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959.
Snaith, Norman H.; The
Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament,
Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1946. (Fernley-Hartley lecture,
The following are books
of a more philosophical nature which discuss the issue of soul/body and
mind/body and for the most part contrast the Greek and Hebrew perspectives.
Berkouwer, Gerrit C.;
Man: the Image of God, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962.
(Dutch original 1957)
In his chapter, "The Whole Man", Berkouwer
discussed the issue of substantial dichotomy, that is, the soul/body dualism. This is not an
exegetical study; it is an involved look at the issue in the history
of the Church and surveys contemporary attempts to establish the unity
Cullmann, Oscar; "Immortality
of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead: The Witness of the New Testament",
New York: MacMillan, 1958. (Ingersoll lecture, 1955)
Cullmann here argued for the view that both the body and soul can be
in the power of either the flesh or spirit.
Owen, D.R.G.; Body
and Soul: A Study on the Christian
View of Man, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1956.
Owen traced the influence of Greek thought on modern science and contrasted
it to the Biblical view as he saw it
Robinson, John A.T.;
The Bodv: A Studv of Pauline Theology, London: SCM
Press, 1966. (first published 1952)
Robinson summarized his view of the Hebrew anthropological perspective
and then refuted the belief that Greek thought influenced Paul's anthropology.
Schilder, Klaas; Heaven,
What Is It?, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. (Dutch original
Though he concentrated on another subject, Schilder did spend a few
pages distinguishing soul and spirit along the lines that Paul made
in I Corinthians 15.
Shestov, Lev; Athens
and Jerusalem, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1960. (Russian
Shestov's command of the history of Western thought in contrast to
Christian thought is quite evident in this book, his last major work.
A Study in Hebrew Thought, New York: Desclee
Co., 1960. (French original 1953)
This is a highly recommended book on the difference between Greek and
Hebrew thought that is partial to, though critical of, Bergson.
van Peursen, Cornelius
A.; Body, Soul, Spirit: A Survey of
the Body-Mind Problem, London: Oxford University Press,
1966. (Dutch original 1956)
As the title indicates, van Peursen surveyed the mind-body problem
from the ancients to the 20th Century, and ended with his phenomenological
position on the unity of mental and physical being.
On language and thought:
Chomsky, Noam; Language
and Mind, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, 1972.
(first published 1968)
The lecture "The Past" summarized ideas found in his book
Cartesian Linguistics (1966) which gives a stimulating, noticeably Chomskian,
defense of Descartes' rationalism and its influence upon the study of
language in especially the 17th Century.