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Is Man 2 Parts or 3?


Greek word is pneuma, while the Hebrew word is ruah. Both terms are used of the non-material description of God and non-material entities such as evil spirits (Matt 12:43; Mark 1:23;1 Cor 2:11; 6:11; 1 Peter 4:14) or the Holy Spirit (Isa 63;10; Psalm 50:13; 142:10; Matt 12:32; John 14:26).

Both are used of the non-material being of man which is potentially sensitive and responsive to God. However, the word itself is highly generic, also meaning wind, breath, blowing, a breath of air (Heb 1:7; Psalms 103:4; 2 Thess 2:8). In secular literature it is also used as a word meaning life-spirit or soul. The same sense is used in Scripture in places like Luke 8:55, Judges 15:19, and Rev 11:11.

Judges 15:19
But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength [ruah] returned and he revived. Therefore he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.

When used as a contrast to, or in conjunction, with "flesh" (sarz), it stands for the whole personality. For example, 2 Cor 7:1 and Col 2:5, flesh and spirit equal the whole personality of man, a personality having an outer and an inner aspect.

2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

References such as 1 Cor 16:18, Gal 6:18, Phil 4:23, and Philemon 25 apparently use spirit as the person's very self or ego. Other uses, such as Matt 26:41 and Mark 14:38, appear to use spirit as only that part of the inner life pertaining to the will.

It is interesting to note that various terms representing parts of the body are also used to express many of the same characteristics of both soul and spirit.




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December 8, 2021

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