Biblical Anthropology, Part 3

Posted By on October 25, 2009

This one is like Part 2. I’m sharing my notes on nephesh now that I’m through all 50 pages of the PDF. Here are my notes on the range of meanings. My next step is to take my notes on ruach and nephesh and starting raising some questions and drawing some conclusions (tentative or otherwise) for discussion).

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4 Responses to “Biblical Anthropology, Part 3”

  1. Nobunaga says:

    Ok so it’s not so clear, why is this word used so many times in varying ways and in some instancs a direct controdiction ?

    NASB Word Usage = Nephesh

    any (1), anyone (2), anyone* (1), appetite (7), being (1), beings (3), body (1), breath (1), corpse (2), creature (6), creatures (3), dead (1), dead person (2), deadly (1), death (1), defenseless* (1), desire (12), desire* (2), discontented* (1), endure* (1), feelings (1), fierce* (2), greedy* (1), heart (5), heart’s (2), herself (12), Himself (4), himself (19), human (1), human being (1), hunger (1), life (146), life* (1), lifeblood* (2), lives (34), living creature (1), longing* (1), man (4), man’s (1), men* (2), mind (2), Myself (3), myself (2), number (1), ones (1), others (1), ourselves (3), own (1), passion* (1), people (2), people* (1), perfume* (1), person (68), person* (1), persons (19), slave (1), some (1), soul (238), soul’s (1), souls (12), strength (1), themselves (6), thirst (1), throat (2), will (1), wish (1), wishes (1), yourself (11), yourselves (13).

    in the most part the word is used as describing life, soul and or a person ? so is this an all incompasing word or concept we could use instead of mind + body + soul ?

    The 3 all seem to be described by Nephesh in any case.

  2. MSH says:

    @Nobunaga: Yes; all three are referenced by the same word, nephesh. That should tell you something. (Namely, that a lot of systematic theology writers never actually did what we’re doing – looking up all the occurrences). And there is no “contradiction” – it’s THEIR word (Hebrew). THEY understand how THEY use it. We have words in our language that can mean a dozen different things, too (look up the word “run” in an English dictionary for an example). We aren’t “contradictory” – words can mean various things depending on the context.

  3. Nobunaga says:

    my bad, to my western English speaking mind there seem to be contradictions, point taken. But there is a massive range the word Nephesh covers, the contradiction i was refering to in my way of thinking was when it referes to death or a dead person ? this is confusing to me as i thought nephesh = breath of life, with the little i know of Hebrew thats why i said “contradiction”. ahhh, is it because of the absence of the Breath of life that it can mean dead or dead person?.

    this is a can of worms i dont have the knowledge to be talking about, very interesting, i will wait for your explanation, and how it all ties up.

  4. MSH says:

    @Nobunaga: understood!

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