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A Mortal Soul

Joan Winifred

“The notion of the soul surviving after death is not readily discernible in the Bible.”New Catholic Encyclopedia.

Only in the post-biblical period did a clear and firm belief in the immortality of the soul take hold . . . and become one of the cornerstones of the Jewish and Christian faiths.” (Italics ours.)Encyclopaedia Judaica.

“The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation . . . and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture.”The Jewish Encyclopedia.

Interesting that some so-called Christians are actually not followers/believers of Christ, but Plato…

During the nine centuries that Plato’s Academy functioned, from 387 B.C.E. to 529 C.E., it was highly influential. Platonic thought became popular in lands dominated by Greece and Rome. The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria adopted Platonism, as did many religious leaders within Christendom. As a result, pagan philosophical concepts, including the immortality of the soul, crept into the teachings of Judaism and Christianity. (Excerpt: Portraits from the Past Plato AWAKE! 2013)

Excerpts of Stuff…various past/recent readings: Please check it out:)…(my highlights of interest)..

According to historians and scholars, the inhabitants of ancient Babylon, a city founded in the latter part of the third millennium B.C.E., toyed with the idea of the immortality of the human soul. The problem of immortality “engaged the serious attention of theBabylonian theologians,” said Morris Jastrow, Jr., in his book The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. To the Babylonians, “death was a passage to another kind of life,” he explained. “No doubt, the impossibility for the individual to conceive of himself as forever deprived of consciousness, was at the bottom of the primitive theory of the perpetuity of existence in some form.

From that beginning in Babylon, teachings on the transmigration and rebirth of the soul also began to develop in other parts of the ancient world. Indian philosophers formulated an elaborate belief system around a cycle of rebirths based on the law of cause and effect, or Karma. Influential Greek philosophers also adopted the idea of reincarnation, giving it wide appeal.

Recollections of past lives must therefore have other explanations. The workings of the human mind, including the subconscious, and the effects of medication or traumatic experiences are still not fully understood. Dreams and imagined events based on the colossal amount of information stored in the memory bank of the brain can be so vivid that they appear to be real. (excerpt article: Do You Believe You have Lived Before? 2012)

You’re NOT bored yet??…OKAY:) read on…IF You choose:

In the middle of the second century C.E., professed Christians were defending their faith against Roman persecutors and heretics alike. However, this was an era of too many theological voices. Religious debates regarding the “divinity” of Jesus and the nature and workings of the holy spirit caused more than just intellectual rifts. Bitter disagreements and irreparable divisions over “Christian” doctrine spilled over into the political and cultural spheres, at times causing riots, rebellion, civil strife, even war. Writes historian Paul Johnson: “[Apostate] Christianity began in confusion, controversy and schism and so it continued. . . . The central and eastern Mediterranean in the first and second centuries AD swarmed with an infinite multitude of religious ideas, struggling to propagate themselves. . . . From the start, then, there were numerous varieties of Christianity which had little in common.”

During that era, writers and thinkers who felt that it was imperative to interpret “Christian” teachings using philosophical terms began to flourish. To satisfy educated pagans who were new converts to “Christianity,” such religious writers relied heavily on earlier Greek and Jewish literature. Beginning with Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 C.E.), who wrote in Greek, professed Christians became increasingly sophisticated in their assimilation of the philosophical heritage of the Greek culture.

Take, for example, the idea that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit make up the Trinity. Many Church Fathers after the Council of Nicaea became staunch Trinitarians. Their writings and expositions were crucial to making the Trinity a landmark doctrine of Christendom. However, is the Trinity found in the Bible? No. So where did the Church Fathers get it? A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge notes that many say that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.” And The Paganism in Our Christianity affirms: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”—John 3:16; 14:28.

Or consider the teaching of the immortality of the soul, a belief that some part of man lives on after the body dies. Again, the Church Fathers were instrumental in introducing this notion to a religion that had no teaching about a soul surviving death. The Bible clearly shows that the soul can die: “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) What was the basis for the Church Fathers’ belief in an immortal soul? “The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen in the East and St. Augustine in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . [Augustine’s doctrine] . . . owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism,” says theNew Catholic Encyclopedia. And the magazine Presbyterian Life says: Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.” 

[…] After the death of the apostles, the Church Fathers allowed “misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons” to take root in the Christian congregation.—1 Timothy 4:1.

The consequences of this apostasy are evident in Christendom today. Its beliefs and practices are a far cry from Bible truth. (excerpts: The Church Fathers Advocate of Biblical Truth? w 2001)

Guess, can add this description to myself…an Advocate of Biblical “Truth”;)…i value “accurate” info. Immortality of the Soul is NOT a Biblical teaching. (it’s been a busy, busy day (like most)…i’m getting tired now; and need to head over to my parents soon..)…so, this is about it for this post:

The original-language terms (Heb., neʹphesh [נֶפֶשׁ]; Gr., psy·kheʹ [ψυχή]) as used in the Scriptures show “soul” to be a person, an animal, or the life that a person or an animal enjoys.

it is essential to let the Scriptures speak for themselves, showing what the inspired writers meant by their use of the termpsy·kheʹ, as well as by neʹphesh. Neʹphesh occurs 754 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Scriptures, while psy·kheʹ appears by itself 102 times in the Westcott and Hort text of the Christian Greek Scriptures, giving a total of 856 occurrences. (See NW appendix, p. 1573.) This frequency of occurrence makes possible a clear concept of the sense that these terms conveyed to the minds of the inspired Bible writers and the sense their writings should convey to our mind. An examination shows that, while the sense of these terms is broad, with different shades of meaning, among the Bible writers there was no inconsistency, confusion, or disharmony as to man’s nature, as existed among the Grecian philosophers of the so-called Classical Period.

[…]Soul—A Living Creature. As stated, man “came to be a living soul”; hence man was soul, he did not have a soul as something immaterial, invisible, and intangible residing inside him. The apostle Paul shows that the Christian teaching did not differ from the earlier Hebrew teaching, for he quotes Genesis 2:7 in saying: “It is even so written: ‘The first man Adam became a living soul [psy·khenʹ zoʹsan].’ . . . The first man is out of the earth and made of dust.”—1Co 15:45-47.

The Genesis account shows that a living soul results from the combination of the earthly body with the breath of life. The expression “breath of the force of life [literally, breath of the spirit, or active force (ruʹach), of life]” (Ge 7:22) indicates that it is by breathing air (with its oxygen) that the life-force, or “spirit,” in all creatures, man and animals, is sustained. This life-force is found in every cell of the creature’s body,…(excerpted: Insight on Scriptures Vol. 2 “soul”)

OH YEAH: One last helpful thing..from glossary of Bible Terms Revised New World Translation:

The traditional rendering of the Hebrew word neʹphesh and the Greek word psy·kheʹ. In examining the way these terms are used in the Bible, it becomes evident that they basically refer to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or an animal has. (Ge 1:20; 2:7; Nu 31:28; 1Pe 3:20; also ftns.) In contrast to the way that the term “soul” is used in many religious contexts, the Bible shows that both neʹphesh and psy·kheʹ, in connection with earthly creatures, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal. In this translation, these original-language words have most often been rendered according to their meaning in each context, using such terms as “life,” “creature,” “person,” “one’s whole being,” or simply as a personal pronoun (for example, “I” for “my soul”). In most cases, footnotes give the alternative rendering “soul.” When the term “soul” is used, either in the main text or in footnotes, it should be understood in line with the above explanation. When referring to doing something with one’s whole soul, it means to do it with one’s whole being, wholeheartedly, or with one’s whole life. (De 6:5; Mt 22:37) In some contexts, these original-language words can be used to refer to the desire or appetite of a living creature. They can also refer to a dead person or a dead body.—Nu 6:6;Pr 23:2; Isa 56:11; Hag 2:13.

This living breathing soul, namely me, is (finished posting and) going to feed my cat (my kitty boy named Smudge)…a living breathing soul.

PEACE to All Souls & Happy Week-end Friends of Peace!:)

(published 12/5/15 @ 3:59 p.m.)

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