Soul Series: Part 2 (Holy Place)
Do the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Covenant) and the Greek/Aramaic Scriptures (The New Covenant) agree when mentioning spirit, soul, and body?
Yes, in fact, the Greek Scriptures clarify much of what remains unclear when one reads the Hebrew Scriptures, alone. One instance of this clarification is mentioned by none other than Apostle Paul. It is sound and holds up very well to scrutiny. We’ve taken the liberty of bracketing the meaning of certain words in an effort to clarify what Paul is saying here.
“For the word of God is quick [full of life], and powerful [energetic], and sharper [more cutting] than any two edged sword, piercing [cutting through] even to the dividing [dividing into parts] asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner [critic, judge] of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12 KJV*
In Hebrews 4, Paul mentions our spirit and soul, but does not specifically refer to our body. Instead of “body” he writes “joints and marrow.” Why? He is making the point that scripture (he would be referring to the Hebrew Scriptures) is more precise than limiting our knowledge to the three vessels of which Moses wrote. In fact, scripture reveals details about the makeup of the soul and the spirit comparable to the different components of the physical body. In other words, the spirit and the soul can also be dissected into its various parts, just as we are able to separate the body into separate parts.
Also Paul writes in one of his letters to the Thessalonians:
“…and I pray God, your whole spirit [pneuma] and soul [psyche] and body [soma] be preserved blameless…” 1 Thessalonians 5:23b KJV*
Here, Paul restates plainly what Moses wrote in Genesis 2:7, quoted earlier. That is, we are three vessels…spirit, soul, and body. Besides restating the names of these vessels, he also makes the case that these three vessels define what the “whole man” is. We are three-in-one. Each of us is our own trinity.
We will continue our study in the next article called, “Soul Series, Part 3 (Holy Place)”