Yesterday, an intense, yet polite discussion occurred at Tam’s blog. I sat out because the questions by Ed were so deep, I couldn’t see how to give a complete answer. And still, this response is only for one of the questions concerning the difference between the soul and the spirit. 😳
Anyway, my definitions of words don’t really matter if I’m way off from the original meaning. So I dig.
This is the result of my search. It comes from Vine’s Expository Dictionary. I’ve only separated the definitions and tried to give paragraph divisions for easier reading. I know it’s not fun reading, but we get so mixed up in our theologies when we try to make scripture mean something it does not say. I’m no scholar so I rely upon those who are/were.
Happy reading! 😉
The ability to skim will come in quite handy. 😀
Primarily denotes “the wind” (akin to pneo, “to breathe, blow”); also “breath;” then, especially “the spirit,” which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful. The NT uses of the word may be analyzed approximately as follows:
“(a) the wind, Joh. 3:8 (where marg. is, perhaps, to be preferred); Heb. 1:7; cp. Am. 4:13, Sept.;
(b) the breath, 2Th. 2:8; Re. 11:11; 13:15; cp. Job. 12:10, Sept.;
(c) the immaterial, invisible part of man, Lu. 8:55; Ac. 7:59; 1Co. 5:5; Jas. 2:26; cp. Ec. 12:7, Sept.;
(d) the disembodied (or ‘unclothed,’ or ‘naked,’ 2Co. 5:3,4) man, Lu. 24:37,39; Heb. 12:23; 1Pe. 4:6;
(e) the resurrection body, 1Co. 15:45; 1Ti. 3:16; 1Pe. 3:18;
(f) the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, Mt. 5:3; 26:41; Mr. 2:8; Lu. 1:47,80; Ac. 17:16; 20:22; 1Co. 2:11; 5:3,4; 14:4,15; 2Co. 7:1; cp. Ge. 26:35; Isa. 26:9; Eze. 13:3; Da. 7:15;
(g) purpose, aim, 2Co. 12:18; Php. 1:27; Eph. 4:23; Re. 19:10; cp. Ezr. 1:5; Ps. . 78:8; Da. 5:12;
(h) the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect: 1st person, 1Co. 16:18; cp. Ge. 6:3; 2nd person, 2Ti. 4:22; Phm. 1:25; cp. Ps. . 139:7; 3rd person, 2Co. 7:13; cp. Isa. 40:13;
(i) character, Lu. 1:17; Ro. 1:4; cp. Nu. 14:24;
(j) moral qualities and activities: bad, as of bondage, as of a slave, Ro. 8:15; cp. Isa. 61:3; stupor, Ro. 11:8; cp. Isa. 29:10; timidity, 2Ti. 1:7; cp. Jos. 5:1; good, as of adoption, i.e., liberty as of a son, Ro. 8:15; cp. Ps. . 51:12; meekness, 1Co. 4:21; cp. Pr. 16:19; faith, 2Co. 4:13; quietness, 1Pe. 3:4; cp. Pr. 14:29
(k) the Holy Spirit, e.g., Mt. 4:1 (see below); Lu. 4:18;
(l) ‘the inward man’ (an expression used only of the believer, Ro. 7:22; 2Co. 4:16; Eph. 3:16); the new life, Ro. 8:4-6,10,16; Heb. 12:9; cp. Ps. . 51:10;
(m) unclean spirits, demons, Mt. 8:16; Lu. 4:33; 1Pe. 3:19; cp. 1Sa. 18:10;
(n) angels, Heb. 1:14; cp. Ac. 12:15;
(o) divine gift for service, 1Co. 14:12,32;
(p) by metonymy, those who claim to be depostories of these gifts, 2Th. 2:2; 1Jo. 4:1-3;
(q) the significance, as contrasted with the form, of words, or of a rite, Joh. 6:63; Ro. 2:29; 7:6; 2Co. 3:6;
(r) a vision, Re. 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10.” * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp 204,205.]
(1) For phantasma, rendered “spirit,” Mt. 14:26; Mr. 6:49, AV, see APPARITION.
(2) For the distinction between “spirit” and “soul,” see under SOUL, last three paragraphs.
* The Holy Spirit ~the following is a discussion on the Holy Spirit
The “Holy Spirit” is spoken of under various titles in the NT (“Spirit” and “Ghost” are renderings of the same word, pneuma; the advantage of the rendering “Spirit” is that it can always be used, whereas “Ghost” always requires the word “Holy” prefixed.) In the following list the omission of the definite article Mr. s its omission in the original (concerning this see below):
“Spirit, Mt. 22:43; Eternal Spirit, Heb. 9:14; the Spirit, Mt. 4:1; Holy Spirit, Mt. 1:18; the Holy Spirit, Mt. 28:19; the Spirit, the Holy, Mt. 12:32; the Spirit of promise, the Holy, Eph. 1:13; Spirit of God, Ro. 8:9; Spirit of (the) living God, 2Co. 3:3; the Spirit of God, 1Co. 2:11; the Spirit of our God, 1Co. 6:11; the Spirit of God, the Holy, Eph. 4:30; the Spirit of glory and of God, 1Pe. 4:14; the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead (i.e., God), Ro. 8:11; the Spirit of your Father, Mt. 10:20; the Spirit of His Son, Ga. 4:6; Spirit of (the) Lord, Ac. 8:39; the Spirit of (the) Lord, Ac. 5:9; (the) Lord, (the) Spirit, 2Co. 3:18; the Spirit of Jesus, Ac. 16:7; Spirit of Christ, Ro. 8:9; the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Php. 1:19; Spirit of adoption, Ro. 8:15; the Spirit of truth, Joh. 14:17; the Spirit of life, Ro. 8:2; the Spirit of grace, Heb. 10:29.” * [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 193.]
The use or absence of the article in the original where the “Holy Spirit” is spoken of cannot always be decided by grammatical rules, nor can the presence or absence of the article alone determine whether the reference is to the “Holy Spirit.” Examples where the Person is meant when the article is absent are Mt. 22:43 (the article is used in Mr. 12:36); Ac. 4:25, RV (absent in some texts); 19:2,6; Ro. 14:17; 1Co. 2:4; Ga. 5:25 (twice); 1Pe. 1:2.
Sometimes the absence is to be accounted for by the fact that Pneuma (like Theos) is substantially a proper name, e.g., in Joh. 7:39.
As a general rule the article is present where the subject of the teaching is the Personality of the Holy Spirit, e.g., Joh. 14:26, where He is spoken of in distinction from the Father and the Son. See also 15:26 and cp. Lu. 3:22.
In Ga. 3:3, in the phrase “having begun in the Spirit,” it is difficult to say whether the reference is to the “Holy Spirit” or to the quickened spirit of the believer; that it possibly refers to the latter is not to be determined by the absence of the article, but by the contrast with “the flesh;” on the other hand, the contrast may be between the “Holy Spirit” who in the believer sets His seal on the perfect work of Christ, and the flesh which seeks to better itself by works of its own. There is no preposition before either noun, and if the reference is to the quickened spirit it cannot be dissociated from the operation of the “Holy Spirit.”
In Ga. 4:29 the phrase “after the Spirit” signifies “by supernatural power,” in contrast to “after the flesh,” i.e., “by natural power,” and the reference must be to the “Holy Spirit;” so in Ga. 5:17. The full title with the article before both pneuma and hagios (the “resumptive” use of the article), lit., “the Spirit the Holy,” stresses the character of the Person, e.g., Mt. 12:32; Mr. 3:29; 12:36; 13:11; Lu. 2:26; 10:21 (RV); Joh. 14:26; Ac. 1:16; 5:3; 7:51; 10:44,47; 13:2; 15:28; 19:6; 20:23,28; 21:11; 28:25; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 3:7; 9:8; 10:15.
The Personality of the Spirit is emphasized at the expense of strict grammatical procedure in Joh. 14:26; 15:26; 16:8,13,14, where the emphatic pronoun ekeinos, “He,” is used of Him in the masculine, whereas the noun pneuma is neuter in Greek, while the corresponding word in Aramaic, the language in which our Lord probably spoke, is feminine (rucha, cp. Heb. ruach). The rendering “itself” in Ro. 8:16,26, due to the Greek gender, is corrected to “Himself” in the RV.
The subject of the “Holy Spirit” in the NT may be considered as to His Divine attributes; His distinct Personality in the Godhead; His operation in connection with the Lord Jesus in His birth, His life, His baptism, His death; His operations in the world; in the church; His having been sent at Pentecost by the Father and by Christ; His operations in the individual believer; in local churches; His operations in the production of Holy Scripture; His work in the world, etc.
Denotes “the breath, the breath of life,” then “the soul,” in its various meanings. The NT uses “may be analyzed approximately as follows:
(a) the natural life of the body, Mt. 2:20; Lu. 12:22; Ac. 20:10; Re. 8:9; 12:11; cp. Le. 17:11; 2Sa. 14:7; Es. 8:11;
(b) the immaterial, invisible part of man, Mt. 10:28; Ac. 2:27; cp. 1Ki. 17:21;
(c) the disembodied (or “unclothed” or “naked,” 2Co. 5:3,4) man, Re. 6:9;
(d) the seat of personality, Lu. 9:24, explained as == “own self,” Lu. 9:25; Heb. 6:19; 10:39; cp. Isa. 53:10 with 1Ti. 2:6;
(e) the seat of the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, Mt. 11:29; Lu. 1:46; 2:35; Ac. 14:2,22; cp. Ps. . 84:2; 139:14; Isa. 26:9;
(f) the seat of will and purpose, Mt. 22:37; Ac. 4:32; Eph. 6:6; Php. 1:27; Heb. 12:3; cp. Nu. 21:4; De. 11:13;
(g) the seat of appetite, Re. 18:14; cp. Ps. . 107:9; Pr. 6:30; Isa. 5:14 (“desire”); 29:8;
(h) persons, individuals, Ac. 2:41,43; Ro. 2:9; Jas. 5:20; 1Pe. 3:20; 2Pe. 2:14; cp. Ge. 12:5; 14:21 (“persons”); Le. 4:2 (‘any one’); Eze. 27:13; of dead bodies, Nu. 6:6, lit., “dead soul;” and of animals, Le. 24:18, lit., “soul for soul;”
(i) the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect:, 1st person, Joh. 10:24 (“us”); Heb. 10:38; cp. Ge. 12:13; Nu. 23:10; Jud. 16:30; Ps. . 120:2 (“me”); 2nd person, 2Co. 12:15; Heb. 13:17; Jas. 1:21; 1Pe. 1:9; 2:25; cp. Le. 17:11; 26:15; 1Sa. 1:26; 3rd person, 1Pe. 4:19; 2Pe. 2:8; cp. Ex. 30:12; Job. 32:2, Heb. “soul,” Sept. “self;”
(j) an animate creature, human or other, 1Co. 15:45; Re. 16:3; cp. Ge. 1:24; 2:7,19;
(k) “the inward man,” the seat of the new life, Lu. 21:19 (cp. Mt. 10:39); 1Pe. 2:11; 3Jo. 1:2. “With(j) compare a-psuchos, “soulless, inanimate,” 1Co. 14:7. “With (f) compare di-psuchos, “two-souled,” Jas. 1:8; 4:8; oligo-psuchos, “feeble-souled,” 1Th. 5:14; iso-psuchos, “like-souled,” Php. 2:20; sum-psuchos, “joint-souled” (with one accord”), Php. 2:2.
“The language of Heb. 4:12 suggests the extreme difficulty of distinguishing between the soul and the spirit, alike in their nature and in their activities. Generally speaking the spirit is the higher, the soul the lower element. The spirit may be recognized as the life principle bestowed on man by God, the soul as the resulting life constituted in the individual, the body being the material organism animated by soul and spirit. …
“Body and soul are the constituents of the man according to Mt. 6:25; 10:28; Lu. 12:20; Ac. 20:10; body and spirit according to Lu. 8:55; 1Co. 5:3; 7:34; Jas. 2:26. In Mt. 26:38 the emotions are associated with the soul, in Joh. 13:21 with the spirit; cp. also Ps. . 42:11 with 1Ki. 21:5. In Ps. . 35:9 the soul rejoices in God, in Lu. 1:47 the spirit.
“Apparently, then, the relationships may be thus summed up ‘Soma, body, and pneuma, spirit, may be separated, pneuma and psuche, soul, can only be distinguished’ (Cremer).”* [* From notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 205-207.]
So, if I am reading this correctly, distinguishing between soul and spirit is not always possible. They are both housed within the body and have many of the same characteristics. They are not totally separated in the Greek and Hebrew, often used interchangeably. When split apart in a sentence, it appears to be done to ensure every part of man is understood. An example:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Thess. 5:23.
The point being, may “every bit” of us be separated for God and be found without blame when Jesus returns to earth.
We also see in Hebrews 4:12 it is the word of God that is able to divide the soul and spirit. His word will speak to us in the innermost parts of our being. His word will lead us to truth as Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth.”
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Can we know God apart from His word? I’m not so sure. If we have created a god contrary to His word, he must be a false god. Only the word of God is truth. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.