TOWARD A BIBLICAL VIEW OF MAN: SOME READINGS
Edited by Dr. Arnold H. De Graaff & Dr. James H. Olthuis
INSTITUTE FOR CHRISTIAN STUDIES
NEPHESH AND THE FULFILLMENT IT RECEIVES AS PSUCHE
by Tory Hoff
(Use the links below to review each section & the browser back button to return.)
|Common definition for soul; Greek influence; 20th-Century emphasis on the wholeness and unity of man; problem of interpreting nephesh in light of present-day views of soul; influence of cultural anthropology on early Biblical classics; synthetic thinking revealed in a 'grasping of a totality'.
|Hebrews thought and lived in the concrete and not the abstract; linguistic unity and fluidity of nephesh; synthetic thinking of the Hebrews' perceived imagery associated with nephesh which created a 'theme' that was intrinsic to the meaning of nephesh.
|Throat or neck as the organ through which nephesh breathed;Accadian and Ugaritic cognates; nephesh in the blood; questions on the nature of the association of nephesh to the throat, neck, breath, and blood.
Nephesh in the Old Testament
||thematic imagery: the threat of danger and the need for deliverance, theme from an experiential viewpoint revealed emotional content in a peculiar context.
||nature of man described in Gen. 2:7, nephesh of a stranger and the implication; views of Pedersen, Johnson, and Wolff; nephesh and its particular status in creation.
||answer to questions on the relation of nephesh to body parts, throat as the organ through which nephesh received vital nourishment and breathed neshamah and life-giving ruah; nephesh vulnerable at the neck; nephesh equated with the blood; sacred nephesh as the 'core' of human living.
||nephesh and leb, both desired yet not in the same way; wicked nephesh devoured.
||nephesh and death, death as the weakest form of life; rephaim dwelt in sheol but nephesh; sheol and the sea; Jonah overboard; to die in honour or shame; nephesh ceased at death; corpse as nephesh could bring defilement; semantic polarization?
||demonstration of unity and fluidity of nephesh, magical necklets of Is. 3:20; nephesh hayyah referred to either man or animal; God as nephesh could almost perish if...; enumerated nephesh in bondage but are given a promise.
Transition to psuche in the New Testament
|Use of the plural beginning with the exilic period; writers of the New Testament molded the Greek language to form Hebrew conceptions; abstaining from food with blood and food strangled; psuche for translating Old Testament quotes and expressions using nephesh.
Psuche in the New Testament
||Christ developed the theme into the New Testament message, sacrificing psuche drinking his blood; psuche saved despite even death; how James, Peter, and Paul demonstrated this development in their epistles.
||verses susceptible to misinterpretation, Acts 20:10, psuche that returned; Heb. 4:12, division of psuche and pneuma; I Pt. 2:11, passions of the flesh against psuche III Jn. 2, psuche was sound despite poor health; I Thes. 5:23, body, soul, spirit?; Rev. 8:9, 20:4, psuche slain and beheaded yet life after death?
||review of Schweizer's article, problems on the relation of nephesh to both the 'true life' and the 'physical life'; his questions; his positive contribution.
Understanding the fulfillment of the promise
|Contradiction that death presents; monism and dualism; observation of death as an origin of the body/soul dualism; Israelites did not have to reduce themselves to a misconceived hope; psuche, fish, and baptism; analogy of the seed; new status for psuche.