From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu May 01 1997 - 07:49:33 EDT

At 8:30 PM -0500 4/30/97, Mike MacKinnon wrote:
>Hello all,
>I am working at trying to understand human anthropology biblically.
>Genesis 2:7 argues that God created humankind as "living NEPHESH." Now my
>question is not about the Hebrew "nephesh," yet it comes from the proper
>understanding of what "nephesh" refers to.
>The KJV renders "nephesh" as "soul," while most other translations render
>it as "being." My understanding of "nephesh" is that it refers to the
>human person as an ontological unity of mind, body, soul and spirit.
>This is where my question re SWMA, SARX, YUCH & PNEUMA comes in. The NT is
>filled with these 4 words in varying contexts. How, might I ask, do these
>relate to the human person? What is generally being said of the human
>person when these terms are referred to? And how might we understand human
>anthropology given these terms? Biblically speaking, what exactly are we?
>I ask many questions here, and perhaps the answer might be too long to
>comment on. Maybe, if this is the case, someone might refer me to some
>resources that tackle this issue in a solid, biblical and yet scholarly

I would just caution against any assumption that the terms mean exactly the
same thing in all NT writers. For Paul's usage of these terms, I think the
best discussion remains Bultmann's chapter on "Pauline Anthropology" in his
_Theology of the NT_.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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