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    But man, it was claimed, was put in possession of a living soul, and this must be immortal. 1His lifeless body was endued with a soul, whereby he became a living, rational creature.” - Cruden.
    “The body out of the dust of the earth, the soul immediately breathed from God himself.” - Clarke.
    Says Prof. H. Mattison, “God ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul.’ That this act was the infusion of a spiritual nature into the body of Adam is evident from the following considerations: The phrase ‘breath of life’ is rendered breath of lives by all Hebrew scholars. Not only did animal life then begin, but another and higher life, which constituted him not only a mere animal, but a ‘living SOUL.’ He was a body before, - he is now more than a body, a soul and body united. If he was a ‘soul’ before, then how could he become such by the last act of creation? And if he was not a soul before, but now became one, then the soul must have been superadded to his former material nature.” 2Discussion with Storrs, p. 14.
    MOI 14.1

    That man became possessed of a living soul, or experienced the “infusion of a spiritual nature” into his body, the text does not affirm. The man formed of the dust of the ground became, it asserts, a living soul. Then, what was the living soul? The man, of course. The marble is taken from the quarry, and under the patient and ingenious toil of the sculptor, becomes a statue. What then is the statue? It is the marble still. So the man, and not a superadded and separate entity, is the living soul of our text. He was, then a “soul” before his endowment with life - a soul, though the eye had not seen, the ear heard, the nerves felt, the lungs respired, or the heart throbbed. He was still the man, the creature formed of the dust, a perfect organism, but cold and motionless, till he should receive the vivifying influence of the breath of life. That influence was imparted, and he sprung to life, a living soul.MOI 14.2

    But it is asked, if he was a soul before this, how could he become such by this act? We answer, the antithesis is not based upon the word, soul, but upon the word, living. He was a soul before, but not a living soul. Before he received the breath of life, he would not be incorrectly described as a dead soul.MOI 15.1

    Kitto in his Relig. Encyclopedia, under the term Adam, says, “And Jehovah God formed the man (Heb., the Adam) dust from the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living animal. Some of our readers may be surprised at our having translated neh-phesh chaiyah by living animal. There are good interpreters and preachers who, confiding in the common translation, living soul, have maintained that here is intimated a distinctive pre-eminence above the inferior animals, as possessed of an immaterial and immortal spirit. But, however true that distinction is, and supported by abundant argument from both philosophy and the Scriptures, we should by acting unfaithfully if we were to assume its being contained of implied in this passage.”MOI 15.2

    The “abundant argument from the Scriptures” for man’s immortal spirit, we shall inquire for as we advance. We only remark here that Mr. K.’s admission that nothing of the kind is implied in this text, is a gratifying triumph of fair and candid criticism over a now almost universal belief and education.MOI 15.3

    But the “living soul,” like the “breath of life,” proves too much, by being too general in its application. Like the breath of life, this, also, is applied to the irrational brute, as well as to upright man. See Revelation 16:3: “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.” What! creatures endowed with immortal souls inhabiting the sea? Verily, if a living soul is a guarantee for immortality. This is the only text, we believe, in our translation, in which the expression, living soul, is applied directly to irrational animals. But by reference to the original, we find the same original words many times applied to the lower order of animals; a fact, by art or accident, carefully kept out of sight in the translation. From the Hebrew Concordance we learn that the original for living soul is neh-phesh ghahy. It occurs in Genesis 1:24. On this passage Clarke remarks: “Neh-phesh chaiyah; a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half-reasoning elephant down to the stupid potto, or lower still, to the polyp, which seems equally to share the vegetable and animal life.” (Commentary in loco.) of the many prominent passages in which it occurs, we may name the following: Genesis 1:21. “And God created great whales, and every (neh-phesh chaiyah) living creature that moveth,” etc. Verse 24 has already been noticed. Again, verse 30: “To every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life” (marg., a living soul). Genesis 9:10. “Every living creature,” etc. Neh-phesh alone, occurs in such passages as the following: Numbers 6:6. “All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall come at no dead body” (literally, says the Concordance, dead soul). Also, Numbers 19:13: “Whosoever touches the dead body of (lit., the dead, the soul of - Concordance) any man,” etc.MOI 16.1

    Thus, our friends of the popular sentiment invoke to their aid the expressions, breath of life, and living soul; and thus, as we have seen, these very expressions, like an unwelcome ally, utterly overwhelm them with their own weight; for they distribute the grand attribute of immortality, which these persons would fain arrogate to themselves, among all beasts, birds, fishes and creeping things.MOI 17.1


    Those from whom we differ in relation to man’s nature and destiny, would no doubt gladly make the issue between us turn upon these terms. They represent us as no-soulists, as denying that man has a soul, etc., and then not unfrequently fancy themselves completely triumphant on finding the words, soul and spirit, applied to man. But is there any issue here? Do we deny that man has a soul or spirit? Not at all. Such an idea enters in nowise into our belief. We readily grant man all the properties and all the attributes which the Bible gives him. We are simply unwilling to grant him more. And hence the imputation of no-soulism to our belief is a burning disgrace upon all those who will thus condescend to expose their ignorance or their malice. Be it understood, then, that there is no issue here. We admit that man has a soul. All Bible-students, so far as we know, admit this; but all are not quite so well agreed as to the meaning of these oft-repeated expressions. Into this meaning we now propose to inquire.MOI 17.3

    The words, Soul and Spirit, occur many hundred times in the Old and New Testaments, the former from neh-phesh; the latter from n’shah-mah, and roo-agh. Neh-phesh is translated in the following different ways:MOI 17.4

    (1.) Soul. Genesis 2:7. (2.) Life. Genesis 1:20, 30. (3.) Person. Genesis 14:21. (4.) Mind. Genesis 23:8. (5.) Heart. Exodus 23:9. (6.) Body (or dead body). Numbers 6:6. (7.) Will Psalm 27:12. (8.) Appetite. Proverbs 23:2. (9.) Lust. Psalm 78:18. (10.) Thing. Leviticus 11:10. Besides these, it is rendered by the various personal and reflexive pronouns, and by the words breath, beast, fish, creature, ghost, pleasure, desire, etc., - in all, forty-three different ways. Neh-phesh is never rendered spirit. One other Hebrew word, n’dee-vah, rendered soul, occurs only in Job 30:16.MOI 18.1

    Of the words rendered spirit, n’shah-mah is rendered in five different ways, as follows: (1.) Breath. Genesis 2:7. (2.) Blast. 2 Samuel 22:16. (3.) Spirit. Job 26:4. (4.) Soul. Isaiah 57:16. (5.) Inspiration. Job 32:8. Some of the prominent renderings of roo-agh are as follows: (1.) Spirit. Genesis 1:2. (2.) Wind. Genesis 8:1. (3.) Breath. Genesis 6:17. (4.) Smell. Exodus 30:38. (5.) Mind. Genesis 26:35. (6.) Blast. Exodus 15:8. (7.) Air. Job 41:16.MOI 18.2

    Corresponding to the neh-phesh of the Old Testament, we have psuche in the New. This word is rendered, (1.) Soul. Matthew 10:28. (.2) Life. Matthew 2:20, etc., in all forty times. (3.) Mind. Acts 14:2. (4.) Heart. Ephesians 6:6. (5.) Us. John 10:24. (6.) You. 2 Corinthians 12:15.MOI 18.3

    And the Greek word pneuma in the New Testament, has been chosen by inspiration as the representative of the roo-agh of the Old. This word is from pneo, to blow, and is rendered, (1.) Ghost. Matthew 1:18, etc. (2.) Spirit. Matthew 3:16, etc. (3.) Wind. John 3:8. (4.) Life. Revelation 13:15. [margin, breath]. For full citations on the five words now examined, the reader is especially referred to the tract entitled, “Bible Student’s Assistant,” published at this Office.MOI 18.4

    From the above facts we gain something of an idea of the nature of the words translated soul and spirit. We see that the popular definition is not the Bible signification. We might further show this by citing instances where the soul is represented as being in danger of the grave; as in Psalm 49:14, 15; 89:48; Job 33:18, 20, 22; Isaiah 38:17. Also, where it is represented as being destroyed, killed, etc., as, Genesis 17:14; Exodus 31:14; Joshua 10:30, 32, 35, 37, 39, etc.MOI 19.1

    Parkhurst (author of a Greek and a Hebrew Lexicon,) says: “As a noun, neh-phesh hath been supposed to signify the spiritual part of man, or what we commonly call his soul. I must for myself confess that I can find no passage where it hath undoubtedly this meaning. Genesis 35:18; 1 Kings 17:21, 22; Psalm 16:10, seem fairest for this signification. But may not neh-phesh, in the three former passages, be most properly rendered breath, and in the last, a breathing or animal frame?”MOI 19.2

    Taylor (author of a Heb. Concordance,) says that neh-phesh “signifies the animal life, or that principle by which every animal, according to its kind, lives. Genesis 1:20, 24, 30. Leviticus 11:46. Which animal life, so far as we know anything of the manner of its existence, or so far as the Scriptures lead our thoughts, consists in the breath, Job 41:21; 31:39, and in the blood. Leviticus 17:11, 14.”MOI 19.3

    The mind of the reader has perhaps recurred to some passages where soul and spirit are both used in connection and applied to man, as furnishing an objection to the view we offer; as, for instance, 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” A moment’s consideration, however, will convince any one that whatever difficulty there is about this text, lies on the side of the advocates of a natural immortality; for they will quote a text that speaks of spirit, and tell us that means the immortal part of man; they will quote another that speaks of the soul, and tell us that also means man’s immortal part; but in this text they are both used together, and unless there is here a useless repetition, our friends must be held to the conclusion that man has two distinct, immortal parts: a conclusion which they will not adopt. The words here used for soul and spirit are psuche and pneuma. The former, as we have seen, is often rendered life, such being the primary significance of the word; and it may be so rendered here. The latter may be rendered mind, the intellectual principle. Robinson, in his Gr. Lex. of the New Testament, so defines it, and under this definition quotes this very passage, calling it “a periphrasis for the whole man.” Paul simply desired for those whom he addressed, that their whole beings, their bodies, with all their vital and intellectual endowments, might be preserved blameless to the coming of the Lord.MOI 19.4

    The word spirit often signifies the whole person. See Hebrews 1:14. Speaking of the angels, it says, “Are they not all ministering spirits?” etc. But angels are certainly persons. Psalm 78:25. “And there came two angels to Sodom at even.” Genesis 19:1. Lot saw them and talked with them. He requested them to wash their feet and tarry for the night. They ate, they lay down, they took hold of Lot’s hand, etc. Jacob, on his return from Haran, was met by the angels of God; and he said, on beholding them, “This is God’s host.” Genesis 32:1, 2. The whole history of angels shows that they are literal beings, vastly superior, of course, in their organization, to mortals composed of flesh and blood, but none the less personal on that account. Again, Jesus, of Nazareth, is a spirit: “And so it is written, The first man, Adam, was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” [pneuma]. But all will admit that Christ is a person. Just in this sense we believe it is that God is called a Spirit, John 4:24, a being of a spiritual nature.MOI 20.1

    The signification of the words soul and spirit, as used in the Bible, will certainly furnish our friends very little aid in their gigantic undertaking of proving man immortal. From the various meanings which they have, it is easy to explain all such expressions as “God of the spirits of all flesh,” etc. And now we sincerely ask which it is of these uses that designates the angel in embryo, located somewhere in the corporeal structure of man? If it cannot be pointed out, the structure built thereon, of course, falls. Before large talk is indulged in about the intelligence, deathlessness, and other attributes of the spirit, the existence of such a separate, conscious entity must be proved.MOI 21.1

    In closing our examination of the terms soul and spirit, we wish some very important distinctions to be kept in view: To deny the affirmation that is made, that the soul or spirit is an entity, separate from the body, and capable of existing in or out of it, as an independent creature, endowed with consciousness, intelligence, responsibility, and immortality, is one thing; and to deny that man has a soul or spirit, is quite another and a different thing. And even could it be proved that the soul is an entity, capable of conscious existence separate from the body, there is, even then, nothing, absolutely nothing, done toward deciding the main question, whether this soul is destined to continue its existence through weal or woe, forever and forever.MOI 21.2

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