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breath, i.e. (by impl.) spirit, abstr. or concr. the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from (4151 πνευ̂μα pnĕuma, pnyoo´-mah) pneuma, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from (2222 ζωή zōē, dzo-ay´) which is mere vitality, even of plants". (The New Strong's Dic. of Hebrew & Greek Words. Thomas Nelson 1996)
Dear Mr Mansfield,
Thanks for marking the lessons and the booklet, "Why Man is Mortal". And the invitation “…to write to us…all correspondence welcome”. I agree the body is mortal, but the booklet overlooks Scripture that says man consists of body [soma], soul [psuche] and spirit [pneuma] [ie. 1 Thes.5;23 Lk.1.46-47]. And the immaterial part of man consisting of two separate elements, soul & spirit [Heb.4.12]. The body has sense-consciousness, the soul the self-consciousness, and the spirit God-consciousness.
Man’s body has 5 senses, but his soul is not the same as the beasts. Gen.1:20 "Let the water teem with living creatures…” [See also Job 12;10]. “Let the earth bring forth”. Different language is used when man is introduced, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness …. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him…”. Only fallen man in his darkened mind confuses the two creations. These souls are absolutely different in kind, character and destiny. One ends in the earth from where it came, the other lives on parallel with His existence whose inbreathing produced it. You wrote –
>>You are making good progress as your answers show, but, before we go on to Lesson No.6, we ask you to give special attention to those answers in Lesson No.5 where you have mentioned your belief in the immortality of the soul and heaven-going at death<<
You promised the Bible course would “…set you on the path to true happiness” [your letter 20 Oct.98]. But now say the reality is, death is “extremely depressing” [your letter, no date]. Agreed, who hopes for extinction? Certainly, an encouragement to all the Hitler’s in this world, but not me. Thankfully the Bible promises ‘heaven going at death’ is a reality for God’s children Mtt.5:12 19-20. 19:23 Phil.3:20 Col.3:1-5 [Note Eph.3:15 refers to some in heaven now]. These verses are particularly comforting -
Phil.1:23 "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far." Luke 23:43 "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus promised the penitent that very day he would be in paradise. Nothing “depressing” about that. Paul was caught-up into this place of glory [1 Cor.12.2-4]. The Jews regarded “Abraham’s bosom” is paradise. The same place Lazarus was taken at his death [Lk.16.19ff]. You write –
>>The clear teaching of the Bible is that man is wholly mortal, he possesses no immortal soul, or life spark in himself and at death simply ceases to exist. The words "immortal soul" are never found in Scripture together<<
Why would Jesus say, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” ? [Mt.10:28]. Here we find that the body and the soul are distinct principles, for the body may be slain and the soul escape. And secondly, the soul is immaterial, for the murderers of the body are not able, that is, not in their power, to injure it. If these words of Jesus do not prove the soul’s immortality, English cannot express it. Does Christ contradict the Father ?
"For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die". Ezek.18:4
No. God is not saying the soul becomes extinct at death. It’s the person who sins is the one who will die for their sin. That is the purpose for using the phrase. Read vs.1-20, note Ezek.18:20. I will be very surprised if you can’t understand the meaning from a proper context. You write,
>>The word 'soul' in Hebrew and Greek means 'a living, breathing creature' and applies to both man and beast.<<
Yes, but according to the Bible it also applies to the immaterial, invisible part of man [Mt.10.28 Acts 2.27 – 1 Kg.17.21] and the disembodied [or unclothed, naked 2 Cor.5.3-4] man, Rev.6.9 [See W.E Vine’s dic]. And Strong writes, "The (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life." The soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body)."
(Strong, J. The exhaustive concordance of the Bible. (electronic ed. 1996) (G5590). And also -
"5590 ψυχή psuchē, psoo-khay’; from (5594 ψύχω psuchō, psoo´-kho;)