Study Breath of Life


From this individual pastor’s study of the scriptures I have never taken the time to consider the meaning of breath only that God breathe into Adam and he became a living soul. It all started by watching some of the television ministry and something that was stated that the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me by saying do a study on breath and breath of life. In addition, the reason I was watching these television ministers was getting their opinion about the prophecy of the book of Revelation. Therefore, what I have found after the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me that my studying began on the subject of breath. Yes, it was during this study of what I had taken for grant all these years of study that I truly did not know anything about what the scriptures stated about breath and the breath of life.

Again, I must repeat myself by saying that I was truly ignorant on the subject of breath and the breath of life and that I had never truly considered what the Bible had to say about this subject of the breath that we breathe only that God put it there. Now let us study together the meaning of “breath” and the “breath of life” and what the Holy Bible has to reveal on this subject. Yes, this will also be done with the help of many Bible Dictionaries and commentaries as well as many translations of the Bible.

Yes, we read in the book Genesis where that God breathe into man and he became a living soul. However, it was during this research in the original language that breath also means “spirit” as the spirit of man. Now I have developed this study by giving unto you what was stated in serval Bible dictionaries.

A personal statement to begin this study on breath. Today more than most of you that I have a personal reason for wanting to understand, and maybe a better reason for having an understanding of breath than the most of you. I state this because I have COPD, which deals with my every breath that is caused by COPD which means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The Spirit of God asks me this question: How would you label this as a church disease?

I began to think strongly about this question of what the Lord God’s Spirit; addressed, the only answer that came to mind was change the Chronic to Christian, and you would come up with the lung problem that all Christians have in one form or another of what is obstructive or destructive within the church. Therefore, the Spirit of the Living God gave unto me a testimony as well as a prophetic of why that the breath and the breath of life is the word to be given unto you the modern-day church this day. Therefore, and repeating myself that the breath of life began in the book of Genesis 2:7 to where God breathed into man and he became a living soul.

However, all of you without a doubt have read that verse of scripture from Genesis; however, the real prophetic word that comes from the prophecy about breath is written by the prophet Ezekiel found in Ezekiel 37:9, where that God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath. Back serval years ago I brought a message to the church that I was serving from this very chapter from the book of Ezekiel and made a brief comment about that Ezekiel was to prophesy to the breath. Yes, without evening considering fully what true prophecy to the breath meant.

Later in the scriptures we find that after the death of Christ the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about that the scripture was inspired by God, this is the King James Version of the Bible. Here is what the Messianic Bible states from the Bible that is called, “The Scriptures”, “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, of setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching truth, convicting sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Complete Jewish Bible

Meaning for COPD
Etymology: L, pulmo, lungs
pertaining to the lungs or the respiratory system.

I looked up what pulmonary meant so that I would be sure I was stating the right definition to you. Therefore, if pulmonary means lungs or respiratory system and God breathed into the respiratory system and man became a living soul it would also mean that everything is God breathed. Today the Spirit of God said, to remind them of what the prophet Ezekiel stated in Ezekiel 37:9 in this manner that if I breathed into their respiratory system the breath of life, they too in like manner should also prophesy unto the breath as I told the Prophet Ezekiel to prophesy unto the breath.


Air drawn into the body to sustain life. Since breathing is the most obvious sign of life, the phrase breath of life is used frequently in the Bible to mean “alive” or “living” (Gen 2:7; 6:17). Breath is recognized as the gift of God to His creatures (Job 12:10). But since breath is usually invisible, it also may symbolize something without substance or a temporary state of existence (Ps 144:4).

In a different sense, the “breath of God” (Job 37:10) signifies God’s power. This stands in striking contrast to heathen gods, which have neither power nor life. The word breath may be used figuratively, as when Jesus “breathed” the Holy Spirit upon His disciples (John 20:22).
(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)



(breth), (breth), (breath’-ing): In the English Versions of the Bible of the Old Testament “breath” is the rendering of neshamah, and of ruach. These words differ but slightly in meaning, both signifying primarily “wind,” then “breath,” though the former suggests a gentler blowing, the latter often a blast. As applied to persons there is no very clear distinction between the words. Yet in general one may say that of the two neshamah is employed preferably of breath regarded physiologically: “vital breath,” hence, the vital principle, “Soul (animal) life” (compare Gen 2:7; 7:22; Job 27:3, where both words occur; Isa 42:5; Dan 5:23); while ruach (though it, too, sometimes signifies “vital breath”) is the word generally employed where the breath is regarded physically-breath or blast as an act or force-and so is related to the will or the emotions, whence the meaning “spirit,” also sometimes “thought,” “purpose” (compare Job 4:9; 9:18; Ps 18:15; 146:4; Ezek 37:5-6,8-10). The examples cited, however, and other passages reveal a lack of uniformity of usage. Yet generally Ruach is the expression, neshamah, the principle, of life. Yet when employed of God they of course signify the principle, not of His own life, but of that imparted to His creatures. “Breathe” in English Versions of the Bible of the Old Testament requires no remark except at Ps 27:12 (“such as breathe out cruelty”), from yaphach, “to breathe hard,” “to snort” (compare Acts 9:1). In the New Testament “breath” (pnoe) occurs once Acts 17:25 in the plain sense of vital principle, the gift of God. “Breathed” is employed in John 20:22 of Our Lord’s concrete symbolism of the giving of the Spirit. In Acts 9:1 Saul’s “breathing threatening and slaughter” is literally “snorting,” etc., and the nouns are partitive genitives, being the element of which he breathed. See also SPIRIT.
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

• Of life: Gen 2:7; Gen 7:22; Acts 17:25

• Of God: 2Sam 22:16; Job 4:9; Job 15:30; Job 33:4; Job 37:10; Ps 18:15; Ps 33:6; Isa 30:33

• Figurative: Ezek 37:9

BREATH: Consider these things pertaining to breath
1. The air inhaled and expelled in the respiration of animals.
2. Life.
3. The state or power of breathing freely; opposed to a state of exhaustion from violent action; as, I am out of breath; I am scarce in breath.
4. Respite; pause; time to breathe; as, let me take breath; give me some breath.
5. Breeze; aid in gentle motion.
Calm and unruffled as a summer’s sea,
When not a breath of wind flies o’er its surface.
6. A single respiration; as, he swears at every breath.
7. An instant; the time of a single respiration; a single act.
I believe that God smiles and God frowns in a breath.
8. A word.
A breath of God can make them, as the breath God has made us.

BREATH OF LIFE The translation of several Hebrew words and phrases. The phrase denotes the capacity for life. In the Bible, God is the source of the breath of life (Gen. 1:30; 2:7; 7:15; Isa. 57:16). Just as God gave the breath of life, so can He take it away (Gen. 6:17; 7:22; Isa. 57:16). See Life; Immortality.

1892), “breath; vanity; idol.” Cognates of this noun occur in Syriac, late
Aramaic, and Arabic. All but 4 of its 72 occurrences are in poetry (37 in Ecclesiastes).
First, the word represents human “breath” as a transitory thing: “I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity [literally, but a breath]” (Job 7:16).
Second, means something meaningless and purposeless: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2).
Third, this word signifies an “idol,” which is unsubstantial, worthless, and vain: “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities …” (Deut. 32:21—the first occurrence). Vines Dictionary

A. Nouns.
1. 4157), akin to, “to blow,” lit., “a blowing,” signifies (a) “breath, the breath of life,” Acts 17:25; (b) “wind,” Acts 2:2. See WIND.
2. 4151), “spirit,” also denotes “breath,” Rev. 11:11 and 13:15, RV.
In 2 Thess. 2:8, the KJV has “spirit” for RV, breath. See GHOST, LIFE, SPIRIT, WIND.
B. Verbs.
1. 1709), lit., “to breathe in, or on,” is used in Acts 9:1, indicating
that threatening and slaughter were, so to speak, the elements from which Saul drew and expelled his breath.
2. 1720), “to breathe upon,” is used of the symbolic act of the
Lord Jesus in breathing upon His apostles the communication of the Holy Spirit, John 20:22. Vines Dictionary

BDB Definition: 1) breath, spirit 1a) breath (of God) 1b) breath (of man) 1c) every breathing thing 1d) spirit (of man) Part of Speech: noun feminine A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H5395 Number: 1433a
Total KJV Occurrences: 24 breath, 12 Gen 2:7, Gen 7:22, 1 Kin 17:17, Job 33:3-4 (2), Job 34:14, Job 37:10, Ps 150:6, Isa 2:22, Isa 30:33, Isa 42:5, Dan 10:17
blast, 3 2 Sam 22:16, Job 4:9, Ps 18:15
breathe, 2 Josh 11:11, Josh 11:14
breathed, 2 Josh 10:40, 1 Kin 15:29
spirit, 2 Job 26:4, Prov 20:27
breatheth, 1 Deut 20:16
inspiration, 1 Job 32:8
souls, 1 Isa 57:16

Lip: Easton Bible Dictionary

Besides its literal sense (Isa_37:29, etc.), is used in the original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a cup (1Ki_7:26), a garment (Exo_28:32), a curtain (Exo_26:4), the sea (Gen_22:17), the Jordan (2Ki_2:13). To “open the lips” is to begin to speak (Job_11:5); to “refrain the lips” is to keep silence (Psa_40:9; 1Pe_3:10). The “fruit of the lips” (Heb_13:15) is praise, and the “calves of the lips” thank-offerings (Hos_14:2).
To “shoot out the lip” is to manifest scorn and defiance (Psa_22:7). Many similar forms of expression are found in Scripture.

Lip: Hastings Dictionary of the Bible

LIP (Heb. sâphâh, sâphâm; Gr. cheitos).—1. sâphâh, the usual OT word, and of very frequent occurrence. Only rarely are the lips referred to from the point of view of description of physical beauty and charm (Son_4:3; Son_4:11; Son_5:13). Once they are associated with kissing (Pro_24:26), once with drinking (Son_7:9, with which cf. Psa_45:2), once (anthropomorphically of J″) as the source from which the breath issues (Isa_11:4); once the protrusion of the lips occurs as a gesture of mocking contempt (Psa_22:7). Twice (2Ki_19:28, Isa_37:29) we have an allusion to the cruel Assyrian custom of passing a ring through the lips of captives and leading them about with a rope or thong. But in the great majority of cases the lips are referred to as organs of speech (Job_27:4, Psa_119:171, Pro_15:7; Pro_24:2). Hence, according to the kind of words they utter and the quality of the heart from which the words come, they are described figuratively as uncircumcised (Exo_6:12; Exo_6:30), flattering (Psa_12:2; Psa_12:8), feigned (Psa_17:1), lying (Psa_31:18), joyful (Psa_63:5), perverse (Pro_4:24), righteous (Pro_16:13), false (Pro_17:4), burning (Pro_26:23), unclean (Isa_6:5). By an intensification or extension of this figurative use, swords are said to be in the lips (Psa_59:7), adders’ poison to be under them (Psa_140:3), or in them a burning fire (Pro_16:27). In Isa_57:18 ‘the fruit of the lips’ = praise. For Hos_14:2 see Calves of the Lips. 2. sâphâm (Eze_24:17; Eze_24:22, Mic_3:7, only in the phrase ‘cover the lips’), whose equivalent is ‘moustache,’ it being the Eastern custom to cover this as a sign of stricken sorrow. 3. cheitos occurs 6 times in NT, always in quotations from LXX: Mat_15:8 and Mar_7:6 = Isa_29:18; Rom_3:13 = Psa_140:3 [Psa_139:4]; 1Co_14:21 = Isa_28:11; Heb_13:15 = Hos_14:2; 1Pe_3:10 = Psa_34:18 [Psa_33:14].

LIP, LIPS: Hawker Poor Man’s Concordance

The fruit of the lips is sometimes spoken of in Scripture, for the whole of the life and conversation. Thus JEHOVAH takes to himself the sovereignty of this work, when he saith, (Isa_57:19) “I create the fruit of the lips” Hence the church is represented as speaking the effusions of the heart, when she saith; “So will we render thee the claves of our lips” (Hos_14:2) And hence, when commending the beauties of Jesus, she saith; “his lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh:” (Son_5:13) meaning, that so sweet and fragrant are Christ’s words, his gospel of salvation, and his tokens of grace, so refreshing to the soul of a poor sinner conscious of the want of it; that as lilies, they charm and afford a sweet smelling savour, by which all the spiritual senses are ravished and made glad.


Mouth: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

mowth (פּה, peh, חך, ḥēkh, גּרון, גּרן, gārōn Psa_149:6; Aramaic פּם, pum, תּרע, tera‛ Dan_3:26; στόμα, stóma, 71 times, once λόγος, lógos, i.e. “word of mouth,” “speech” Act_15:27; once we find the verb ἐπιστομίζω, epistomı́zō, “to silence,” “to stop the mouth” Tit_1:11):

1. Literal Sense
In addition to frequent references to man and animals, “Their food was yet in their mouths” Psa_78:30; “And Yahweh opened the mouth of the ass” Num_22:28; “Save me from the lion’s mouth” Psa_22:21, etc., the term is often used in connection with inanimate things: mouth of a sack Gen_42:27; of the earth Gen_4:11; Num_26:10; of a well Num_29:2-3, Num_29:8, Num_29:10; of a cave Jos_10:18, Jos_10:22, Jos_10:27; of Sheol Psa_141:7; of the abyss Jer_48:28; of furnace (Aramaic tera‛, Dan_3:26); of idols Psa_115:5; Psa_135:16-17.

2. Figurative Sense
(1) The “mouth” denotes language, speech, declaration (compare “lips,” “tongue,” which see): “By the mouth of” is “by means of,” “on the declaration of” Luk_1:70; Act_1:16; “Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses” (Num_35:30; compare Deu_17:6; Mat_18:16; Heb_10:28); “I will give you mouth and wisdom” Luk_21:15; “fool’s mouth” Pro_18:7. (2) “Mouth” also denotes “spokesman”: “He shall be to thee a mouth” Exo_4:16.

Numerous are the idiomatic phrases which have, in part, been introduced into English by means of the language of the Bible. “To put into the mouth,” if said of God, denotes Divine inspiration Deu_18:18; Mic_3:5. “To have words put into the mouth” means to have instructions given Deu_31:19; 2Sa_14:3; Jer_19:1-15; Exo_4:11-16. “The fruit of the mouth” Pro_18:20 is synonymical with wisdom, the mature utterance of the wise. “To put one’s mouth into the dust” is equivalent with humbling one’s self (Lam_3:29; compare “to lay one’s horn in the dust,” Job_16:15). Silent submission is expressed by “laying the hand upon the mouth” Jdg_18:19; Job_29:9; Job_40:4; Mic_7:16; compare “to refrain the lips”; see LIP. “To open the mouth wide” against a person is to accuse him wildly and often wrongfully Psa_35:21; Isa_57:4, otherwise “to open one’s mouth wide,” “to have an enlarged mouth” means to have great confidence and joy in speaking or accepting good things 1Sa_2:1; Eze_33:22; 2Co_6:11; Eph_6:19. “To gape upon one with the mouth” means to threaten a person Job_16:10. Divine rebuke is expressed by the “rod of God’s mouth” Isa_11:4, and the Messiah declares “He hath made my mouth like asharp sword” (Isa_49:2; compare Rev_2:16; Rev_19:15, Rev_19:21). Great anguish, such as dying with thirst, is expressed by “the tongue cleaving to the roof of the mouth” (Hebrew ḥēkh, Job_29:10; Psa_137:6; compare Psa_22:15).

Mouth: Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

(prop. פֶּה, peh; Gr. στόμα), besides its ordinary applications, was used in the following idiomatic phrases by the Hebrews (see Gesenius, Heb. Lex. s.v,): “Heavy-mouthed,” that is, slow of speech, and so translated in Exo_4:10; ” smooth mouth” (Psa_55:21), that is, a flattering mouth; so also “a mouth of deceit” (Psa_109:2). The following are also remarkable phrases: “To speak with one mouth to mouth,” that is, in person, without the intervention of an interpreter (Num_12:8; comp. 1Ki_8:15; Jer_32:4); “With one mouth,” that is, with one voice or consent (Jos_9:2; 1Ki_22:13; 2Ch_18:12); “With the whole mouth,” that is, with the utmost strength of voice (Job_19:16; Psa_66:17); “To put words into one’s mouth,” that is, to suggest what one shall say (Exo_4:15; Num_22:38; Num_23:5; Num_23:12; 2Sa_14:19, etc.); “To be in one’s mouth” is to be often spoken of, as a law, etc. (Exo_13:9; comp. Psa_5:10; Psa_38:15). The Hebrew also says, “upon the mouth,” where we say, and indeed our translation says, in or into the mouth (e.g. Nah_3:12); that which is spoken is also said to be “upon the mouth,” where we should say, “upon the lips” (as in 2Sa_13:32). “To lay the hand upon the mouth” is to be silent (Jdg_18:19; Job_21:5; Job_40:4; comp. Pro_30:32), just as we lay the finger on the mouth to enjoin silence. “To write from the mouth of any one” is to do so from his dictation (Jer_36:4; Jer_36:27; Jer_36:32; Jer_45:1). The word of God, or, literally, ” the word that proceeds out of his mouth,” signifies the actions of God’s providence, his commands, whereby he rules the world, and brings all things to his purpose (Isaiah 4:11). To “inquire at the mouth of the Lord” is to consult him (Jos_19:14). To “set their mouth against the heavens” is to speak arrogantly, insolently, and blasphemously of God (Psa_73:9). “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked,” are expressions which denote the sovereign authority and absolute power of the Messiah (Isa_10:4). (See Wemyss, Clavis Symbolica, s.v.) The mouth, as the organ of speech, also signifies the words that proceed out of it, which in the sacred style are the same as commands and actions, because they imply the effects of the thoughts; words and commands being the means used to communicate decrees to those who are to execute them. Instances of this abound in Scripture, in various shades of application; but few of them are preserved in translation. Thus (Gen_45:12), “according to the commandment of Pharaoh,” is in the original, “according to the mouth of Pharaoh” (comp., among numerous other examples, Num_3:16; Job_39:27; Ecc_8:2). Hence, for a person or thing to come out of the mouth of another is to be constituted or commanded to become an agent or minister under a superior power; this is frequent in the Apocalypse (Rev_16:13-14; Rev_1:16; Rev_11:4-5; Rev_12:15; Rev_9:19). The term mouth is not only applied to a speech or words, but to the speaker (Exo_4:16; Jer_15:19), in which sense it has a near equivalent in our expression “mouthpiece.”


Spirit: Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

(רוּחִ, ruach [twice נַשְׁמָה, nishmah, breath, Job_26:4; Pro_20:27], πνεῦμα [twice φάντασμα, a phantasm, Mat_14:26; Mar_6:49], both literally meaning wind), is one of the most generic terms in either the English, Hebrew, or Greek language. We therefore discuss here its lexical as well as psychological relations somewhat extensively. SEE PSYCHOLOGY.

I. Scriptural Usage of the Word. — Its leading significations may be classed under the following heads:
1. The primary sense of the term is wind. “He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind” (רוח, Amo_4:13; Isa_27:8). “The wind (πνεῦμα) bloweth where it listeth” (Joh_3:8). This is the ground idea of the term “spirit” air, ether, air refined, sublimated, or vitalized; hence it denotes—

2. Breath, as of the mouth. “At the blast of the breath of his nostrils (רוח אפי) are they consumed” (Job_4:9). “The Lord shall consume that wicked one with the breath of his mouth” (τῷ μνεύματι τοῦ στόματος, 2Th_2:8).

3. The vital principle which resides in and animates the body. In the Hebrew, נפשׁ is the main specific term for this. In the Greek it is ψυχή, and in the Latin anima. “No man hath power over the spirit (ברוח) to retain the spirit” (Ecc_8:8; Gen_6:17; Gen_7:15). “Jesus yielded up the ghost” (ἀφῆκε τὸ πνεῦμα, Mat_27:50). “And her spirit (πνεῦμα αὐτῆς) came again,” etc. (Luk_8:55). In close connection with this use of the word is another,

4. In which it has the sense of apparition, specter. They supposed that they had seen a spirit,” i.e. specter (Luk_24:37). “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luk_24:39; Mat_14:26).

5. The soul — the rational, immortal principle by which man is distinguished from the brute creation. It is the πνεῦμα, in distinction from the ψυχή. With the Latins it is the animus. In this class may be included that use of the word spirit in which the various emotions and dispositions of the soul are spoken of. “Into thy hands I commend my spirit” (τὸ μνεῦμά μου, Luk_23:46; Act_7:59; 1Co_5:5; 1Co_6:20; 1Co_7:34; Heb_12:9). “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luk_1:47). “Poor in spirit” (πτωχοί τῷ πνεύματι) denotes humility (Mat_5:3). “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of (Luk_9:55), where πνεῦμα denotes disposition or temper. “He that hath no rule over his own spirit” (רוחו, Pro_25:28; Pro_16:32; Ecc_7:9). The moral affections are denominated “the spirit of meekness” (Gal_6:1), “of bondage” (Rom_8:15), “of jealousy” (Num_5:14), “of fear” (2Ti_1:7), “of slumber” (Rom_11:8). In the same way also the intellectual qualities of the soul are denominated “the spirit of counsel” (Isa_11:2); the spirit of knowledge” (ibid.); “the spirit of wisdom” (Eph_1:17); “the spirit of truth and of error” (1Jn_4:6).

6. The race of superhuman created intelligences. Such beings are denominated spiritual beings because they have no bodies like ours. To both the holy and the sinning angels the term is applied. In their original constitution their natures were alike pure spirit. The apostasy occasioned no change in the nature of the fallen angels as spiritual beings. In the New Test. demonology δαίμων, δαιμόνιον, πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον, πνεῦμα πονηρόν, are the distinctive epithets for a fallen spirit. Christ gave to his disciples power over unclean spirits (πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων, Mat_10:1; Mar_1:23; Luk_4:36; Act_5:16). The holy angels are termed spirits: “Are they not all ministering spirits?” (λειτουργικὰ πνεύματα, Heb_1:14). “And from the seven spirits (ἑπτὰ πνευμάτων) which are before his throne” (Rev_1:4).

7. The term is applied to the Deity, as the sole, absolute, and uncreated Spirit. “God is a Spirit” (πνεῦμα ὁ Θεός). This, as a predicate, belongs to the divine nature, irrespective of the distinction of persons in that nature. But its characteristic application is to the third person in the Divinity, who is called the Holy Spirit (Πνεῦμα ἃγιον) because of his essential holiness, and because in the Christian scheme it is his peculiar work to sanctify the people of God. He is denominated the Spirit by way of eminence, as the immediate author of spiritual life in the hearts of Christians. The New Test. writers are full and explicit in referring the principle of the higher life to the Spirit. In the Old Test. the reference is more general. The Spirit is an all pervading, animating principle of life in the world of nature. In the work of creation the Spirit of God moved upon, or brooded over, the face of the waters (Gen_1:2; Job_26:13). This relation of the Spirit to the natural world the ancients expressed as Ens extra-, Ens super-, Ens intra- mundanum. The doctrine of the Spirit, as the omnipresent life and energy in nature, differs from Pantheism, on the one hand, and from the Platonic soul of the world, on the other. It makes the Spirit the immanent divine causality, working in and through natural laws, which work is called nature; as in the Christian life He is the indwelling divine causality, operating upon the soul, and through divine ordinances; and this is termed grace. The Spirit in the world may be considered as the divine omnipresence, and be classed among the doctrines which are more peculiarly theological. But the indwelling and operation of the Spirit in the heart of the believer are an essential doctrine of Christianity. The one province of the Spirit is nature, the other grace. Upon the difference between the two, in respect to the Spirit’s work, rests the Christian consciousness. The general presence and work of the Spirit in nature are not a matter of consciousness. The special presence and work of the Spirit in the heart of the believer, by the effects which are produced, are a matter of which, from consciousness, there may be the most consoling and delightful assurance. SEE SPIRITUAL.

II. Doctrinal Distinctions and Queries. — The lexical usage thus pointed out gives rise to questions concerning the constitution of the nature of man. Does it consist of two or three elements? Must we accept a dichotomy or a trichotomy? The dichotomy is unquestionably established if it can be shown that soul and spirit designate only different aspects of the same subject. The passage of Scripture which is fundamental in this inquiry (Gen_2:7) seems, however, to distinguish three constituents in human nature — the clay (עָפָר), the breath of life (נַשְׁמִת חִיַּים), and the living being (נֶפֶשׁ חִיָּה). Some understand in the first of these elements the material substance, flesh or body (בָּשָׂר), out of earth; by the second, the spirit (נֶפֶשׁ), out of God, and by the third, the soul (רוּחִ), as resulting from a combination of the other elements. The soul would accordingly be the personality, as constituted of spirit and body, and is both soul and body united into one being. God forms the body, breathes into it the spirit, and the soul results from them both. But the careful reader will note that in the foregoing analysis the proper soul (רוּחִ) has not been brought into view at all. It is only the introduction of the vitalizing element (נַשְׁמָה) into the material organism ( עפר= בָּשָׂר) that constitutes the composite being or animal (נֶפֶשׁ) — a term which is frequently applied likewise to the low orders of creatures (Gen_1:20, etc.). Yet, as in Scripture universally this last distinguishing element is manifestly attributed to man, it still follows, under either view of the above passage, that Scripture teaches a trichotomy, and several passages explicitly sustain the same doctrine — e.g. Luk_1:46-47; 1Co_15:45 sq.; 1Th_5:23; Heb_4:12. To sum up the conclusion reached, the spirit is not soul simply, nor yet identical with the body, but a third somewhat which originates in the body that was formed and the soul that was inbreathed, but which itself is neither formed nor made but simply becomes (הָיָה). If this be true, then the spirit, itself becomes a powerful argument in behalf of a future resurrection of the body. SEE RESURRECTION.

A second inquiry which arises has to do with the manner in which the race is derived from the first pair whom God created. All agree that it is by propagation under the terms of the original endowment (Gen_1:28), and with the steady cooperation of God. But in the original creation of man, God formed the body out of matter previously created, and then added a new quantity in the inbreathing of the spirit, and the question turns upon the point whether a like distinction between body and spirit is made at the beginning of the existence of every human being. Traducianism (q.v.) teaches, under its various modifications, that the original combination of body and spirit into a single soul was made for all time and for the race, and that no direct interference with the natural processes of procreation on the part of God can be assumed. The living soul is transmitted from generation to generation without the intervention of any new creative act. The various schemes of creationism (q.v.) assume that the Creator infuses the spirit into every new human personality by a direct act. The doctrine of pre-existence assumes that a soul for each individual was potentially created at the beginning, and that it attains to actuality when united with its own special body or dust. Inasmuch as the only warrant for the doctrine of preexistence is the desire to avoid the erroneous idea of new creations, which creationism is said to affirm, there is no occasion to discuss its assumption of embryonic souls. Traducianism must likewise be rejected in so far as its doctrine of the propagation of both body and spirit by purely natural processes involves a disregard of the original distinction between the forming of the one and the inbreathing of the other. In creationism the truth is limited to the origin of the spirit, the soul being the product of both the traduced and the infused factors. It is apparent that the theory of traducianisn leads logically to the dichotomy, while that of creationism leads to the trichotomy. In every form of creationism the birth of a human being involves a sacramental wonder, since God is himself directly engaged in imparting to the individual his peculiar spirit. This theory, derived from Aristotle (De Anim. Mot. 9) and transmitted through the Church fathers, was cultivated in the Middle Ages, and generally adopted by Roman Catholic writers, though not as a confessional locus. It was also largely admitted among theologians of the Reformed Church, though by no means universally. Traducianism was more generally accepted in the Lutheran Church, though here also standard and leading authorities leave the question undecided. The Pseudo- Gnostical and Semi-Pelagian heresies, which taught that the spirit of man is either not at all or but little affected by sin, grew out of a combination of creationism and the trichotomy theory; but they were the result simply of misconception. The same is true of the Apollinarian theory, which confines the human nature of Christ to body and soul (anima vegetabilis), and holds that in him the Logos supplied the place of the spirit (πνεῦμα). SEE SOUL, ORIGIN OF.

A third question follows, which is concerned with particulars connected with the forming of the body and the imparting of the spirit, and with the results that follow. The forming of the body extends to the entire organism with reference to all the members of the body, and to the senses, since in these consists the germ of the body. The inspiration of the spirit extends, with regard to all its far reaching consequences, over the whole of the spirit, in all its powers and abilities. Body and spirit, however, contain only germs which attain to organic development and form in the soul, the body especially becoming the form (μορφή) of the soul. Psychology, the philosophy of the soul, has consequently to inquire into the bodily life of the organism, particularly with reference to the senses, the emotions, the intellect, the will, and likewise into the νοῦς, λόγος, πνεῦμα, etc. In our days, psychology may even embrace in its investigations the science of language, since it has become important to demonstrate, in opposition to rationalism, pantheism, and materialism, that the germs of language, no less than of thought, inhere in the spirit; and that language, in which thought attains to expression, secures its development in the soul in harmony with the diversities of nationality, which is equivalent here to individuality, SEE MIND.

A fourth question asks, whither does the soul tend? or, more exactly, what becomes of it when separated from the body? The scriptural answer is brief and confident: the spirit returns to God, but not as it came from God; it retains the nature obtained by its union with the body; and it is accordingly as a soul, i.e. affected by the body, although the latter has become dust, that the spirit returns to God. The Scriptures teach that the soul neither sleeps nor dies, but retains its spiritual character. We shall accordingly not be found utterly naked even after death, but rather clothed with conscious activity (ἐνδυσάμενοι, οὐ γυμνοί, 2Co_5:3 — a passage, however, which legitimately refers only to the finally glorified state; see Alford, ad loc.), and thus await the reunion of soul and body in the resurrection. SEE INTERMEDIATE STATE.

The soul accordingly attains its consummation in the body, which was also the beginning and basis of the personality. Corporeity is thus the end of the ways of God, as it was the beginning in the clay from which man was formed. The three Catholic creeds close with the words “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting;” and Paul writes, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body… that was… first which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual” (1Co_15:44 sq.). The body is thus the first and the last; “the spirit quickeneth” by the energy of the soul, and is the bond which unites the soul and body, the agent which combines them into a single substance, so that even death is unable to effect more than a partial and temporary separation. SEE DEATH.

Spirit Fausset’s Bible Dictionary

Hebrew ruach, Greek pneuma. Man in his normal integrity (“whole,” holokleeron, complete in all its parts, 1Th_5:23) consists of “spirit, soul, and body.” The spirit links man with higher intelligences, and is that highest part receptive of the quickening Holy Spirit (1Co_15:47). The soul (Hebrew nephesh, Greek psuchee) is intermediate between body and spirit; it is the sphere of the will and affections.
In the unspiritual, the spirit is so sunk under the animal soul (which it ought to keep under) that such are “animal” (“seasonal,” having merely the body of organized matter and the soul, the immaterial animating essence), “having not the spirit” (Jud_1:19; Jas_3:15; 1Co_2:14; 1Co_15:44-48; Joh_3:6). The unbeliever shall rise with an animal (soul-animated) body, but not, like the believer, with a spiritual (spirit-endued) body like Christ’s (Rom_8:11).

The soul is the seat of the appetites, the desires, the will; hunger, thirst, sorrow, joy; love, hope, fear, etc.; so that nephesh is the man himself, and is used for person, self, creature, any: a virtual contradiction of materialism, implying that the unseen soul rather than the seen body is the man. “Man was made” not a living body but “a living soul.” “The blood, the life,” links together body and soul (Lev_17:11).

Spirit: Hastings Dictionary of the Bible

SPIRIT.—The term is applied to God as defining His nature generally (Joh_4:24), and also as describing one element in that nature, His self-consciousness (1Co_2:11). It expresses not only God’s immateriality, but also His transcendence of limitations of time and space. In the phrases ‘Spirit of God,’ the ‘Spirit of the Lord,’ the ‘Spirit of Jesus Christ,’ the ‘Holy Spirit,’ the ‘Spirit of Truth,’ the third Person in the Godhead is described (see Holy Spirit). The term is applied to personal powers of evil other than man (Mat_10:1; Mat_12:45, Luk_4:33; Luk_7:21, 1Ti_4:1; cf. Eph_6:12), as well as personal powers of good (Heb_1:14), and to human beings after death, either damned (1Pe_3:19) or blessed (Heb_12:23). It is used also as personifying an influence (1Jn_4:6, Eph_2:2, Rom_8:15). Its most distinctive use is in the psychology of the Christian life. The contrast between ‘soul’ and ‘spirit,’ and between ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit,’ has already been noted in the articles on these terms. While soul and spirit are not to be regarded as separate faculties, yet ‘spirit’ expresses the direct dependence of the life in man on God, first in creation (Gen_2:7), but especially, according to the Pauline doctrine, in regeneration. The life in man, isolating itself from, and opposing itself to, God, is soul; that life, cleansed and renewed by the Spirit of God, is spirit; intimate as is the relation of God and man in the new life, the Spirit of God is distinguished from the spirit of man (Rom_8:16), although it is not always possible to make the distinction. In Acts the phrase ‘holy spirit’ sometimes means the subjective human state produced (‘holy enthusiasm’), and sometimes the objective Divine cause producing (see ‘Acts’ in the Century Bible, p. 386). As the Spirit is the source of this new life, whatever belongs to it is ‘spiritual’ (pneumatikon), as house, sacrifices (1Pe_2:5), understanding (Col_1:9), songs (Col_3:16), food, drink, rock (1Co_10:3-4); and the ‘spiritual’ and ‘soulish’ (rendered ‘carnal’ or ‘natural’) are contrasted (1Co_2:14; 1Co_15:44; 1Co_15:46). Spirit as an ecstatic state is also distinguished from mind (1Co_14:14; 1Co_14:16), as inwardness from letter (Rom_2:29; Rom_7:6, 2Co_3:6). The old creation—the derivation of man’s spirit from God (Gen_2:7, Isa_42:5), offers the basis for the new (Rom_8:1-17, 1Co_2:11-12), in which man is united to God (see Inspiration).


General references
Exo_19:6; Exo_25:21-22; Num_11:16-29; Luk_12:11-12; 2Ti_3:16; Rev_1:10-11: See Prophecy; Prophet; Revelation

Inspiration: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

The supernatural action of the Holy Spirit on the mind of the sacred writers whereby the Scriptures were not merely their own but the word of God. Scripture not merely contains but is the word of God. As the whole Godhead was joined to the whole manhood, and became the Incarnate Word, so the written word is at once perfectly divine and perfectly human; infallibly authoritative because it is the word of God, intelligible because in the language of men. If it were not human we should not understand it; if it were not divine it would not be an unerring guide. The term “scriptures” is attached to them exclusively in the word of God itself, as having an authority no other writings have (Joh_5:39; Joh_10:34-36). They are called “the oracles of God” (Rom_3:2), i.e. divine utterances.

If Scripture were not plenarily and verbally sanctioned by God, its practical utility as a sure guide in all questions directly or indirectly affecting doctrine and practice would be materially impaired, for what means would there be of distinguishing the false in it from the true? Inspiration does not divest the writers of their several individualities of style, just as the inspired teachers in the early church were not passive machines in prophesying (1Co_14:32). “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (2Co_3:17). Their will became one with God’s will; His Spirit acted on their spirit, so that their individuality had free play in the sphere of His inspiration. As to religious truths the collective Scriptures have unity of authorship; as to other matters their authorship is palpably as manifold as the writers. The variety is human, the unity divine. If the four evangelists were mere machines narrating the same events in the same order and words, they would cease to be independent witnesses. Their very discrepancies (only seeming ones) disprove collusion.

The solutions proposed in Harmonies, being necessarily conjectural, may or may not be the true ones; but they at least prove that the differences are not irreconcilable and would be cleared up if we knew all the facts. They test our faith, whether on reasonable evidence we will unreservedly believe His word in spite of some difficulties, designedly permitted for our probation. The slight variations in the Decalogue between Exodus 20 and its repetition Deuteronomy 5, and in Psalm 18 compared with 2 Samuel 22, in Psalm 14 compared with Psalm 53, and in New Testament quotations of Old Testament, (sometimes from Septuagint which varies from Hebrew, sometimes from neither in every word), all prove the Spirit-produced independence of the sacred writers who under divine guidance and sanction presented on different occasions the same substantial truths under different aspects, the one complementing the other.

One or two instances occur where the errors of transcribers cause a real discrepancy (2Ki_8:26, compared with 2Ch_22:2). A perpetual miracle alone could have prevented such very exceptional and palpable copyists’ mistakes. But in seeming discrepancies, as between the accounts of the same event in different Gospels, each account presents some fresh aspect of divine truth; none containing the whole, but all together presenting the complete exhibition of the truth. Origen profoundly says: “in revelation as in nature we see a self concealing, self revealing God, who makes Himself known only to those who earnestly seek Him; in both we find stimulants to faith and occasions for unbelief.” The assaults of adversaries on seemingly weak points have resulted in the eliciting of beautiful and delicate harmonies unperceived before; the gospel defenses have been proved the more impregnable, and the things meant to injure “have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.”

When once it is admitted that the New Testament writers were neither fanatics nor enthusiasts, (and infidelity has never yet produced a satisfactory theory to show them to have been either,) their miracles and their divine commission must also be admitted, for they expressly claim these. Thus, Paul (1Co_14:37), “if any man think himself a prophet, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” And not only the things but the words; (1Co_2:13) “we speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth.” The “discerning of spirits” was one of the miraculous gifts in the apostolic churches. His appeal on the ground of miracles (1Co_2:4) which are taken for granted as notorious rather than asserted, (the incidental mention being a clear mark of truth because it excludes suspicion of design,) and to persons whose miraculous discernment of spirits enabled them to test such claims, is the strongest proof of the divine authority of his writings.

Peter (2Pe_3:16) classes Paul’s epistles with “the other Scriptures”; therefore whatever inspiration is in the latter is in the former also. That inspiration excludes error from Scripture words, so far as these affect doctrine and morals, appears from Psa_12:6, “the words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” As our Lord promised the disciples His Holy Spirit, to teach them how and what they should say before magistrates (Mat_10:19-20), much more did the Spirit “abiding” with the church “for ever” (Joh_14:16) secure for the written word, the only surviving infallible oracle, the inspiration of the manner as well as the matter. So (Joh_16:13) “the Spirit of truth will guide you into all (the) truth,” namely, not truth in general but Christian truth.

Also (Joh_14:26) “the Holy Spirit shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” “He shall testify of Me” (Joh_15:26) “He will show you things to come … He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you” (Joh_16:13-14). Paul (2Ti_3:16) declares that no part of the written word is uninspired, but “ALL” (literally, “every scripture,” i.e. every portion) is “profitable” for the ends of a revelation, “doctrine, reproof (conjuting error: the two comprehending speculative divinity; then follows practical), correction (setting one right, 1Co_10:1-10), instruction (disciplinary training: Deu_13:5; 1Co_5:13) in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”; as it makes him “perfect” it must be perfect itself.

Some parts were immediately communicated by God, and are called “apocalypse” or “revelation,” as that to John, and to Paul (2Co_12:1; Rom_16:25). Others, as the historical parts, are matter of human testimony. But inspiration was as much needed to write known facts authoritatively as to communicate new truths; else why should certain facts be selected and others be passed by? Inspired prohibition is as miraculous as inspired utterance. Had the evangelists been left to themselves, they doubtless would have given many details of Jesus’ early life which our curiosity would have desired, but which divine wisdom withheld, in order to concentrate all our attention on Christ’s ministry and death. The historical parts are quoted by Paul as God’s “law,” because they have His sanction and contain covert lessons of God’s truth and His principles of governing the world and the church (Gal_4:21).

Considering the vast amount of Mariolatry and idolatry which subsequently sprang up, the hand of God is marked in the absence from the Gospel histories of aught to countenance these errors. Sacred history is like “a dial in which the shadow, as well as the light, informs us” (Trench). The Spirit was needed to qualify the writers for giving what they have given, a condensed yet full and clear portraiture of Messiah, calculated to affect all hearts in every nation, and to sow in them seeds of faith, hope, and love. The minor details, such as Paul’s direction to Timothy to “bring his cloth and parchments,” and to” drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his infirmities,” are vivid touches which give life and nature to the picture, making us realize the circumstances and personality of the apostle and his disciple, and have their place in the inspired record, as each leaf has in the tree.

The genealogies, as in Genesis 10; Matthew 1, form most important links between the progressive stages in the sacred history, and are anything but dry and profitless to the diligent student. There is a progress in the manifestation of the eternal and unchangeable principles of morality, in the New Testament as compared with the Old Testament God never sanctioned evil, but dealt with the nonage of the world as to revenge, divorce, etc. as its case required, less strictly marking sin than under the clear light, of New Testament. (See REVENGE; DIVORCE.) The mode of God’s inspiring the writers it is not essential for us to know; the result is what momentously concerns us, namely, that their writings are our sure guide; for (2Pe_1:21) “the prophecy of Scripture (the written word of men inspired, as ‘prophet’ means 1Co_14:29, not merely a foreteller) came not by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved (literally, borne along, Act_2:2; rapt out of themselves, yet not losing self control 1Co_14:32) by the Holy Spirit.”

Every word of inspiration is equally the word of God; but there is a progress in the mode of revelation and there are degrees in the importance of the words uttered. With the prophets God spoke in vision, but with Moses “face to face” and “mouth to mouth” (Exo_33:11; Num_12:6-8). The highest revelation of all is that of God manifest in the flesh. But, however varied the mode, the result is that all Scripture alike is sanctioned as the word of God. Caiaphas is an instance showing that the words were sanctioned as divinely inspired; while the speaker himself did not know the deep significance of his own words (Joh_11:50), “he spoke not of himself.” So (1Pe_1:11) the Old Testament prophets “searched what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory, … unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister,” etc.

They too knew not the full meaning of their own words. For “no prophecy of Scripture proves to be of private solution” (Greek text of 2Pe_1:20), i.e. it is not the utterance of the mere individual, and so to be solved or interpreted by him, but of “the Holy Spirit” by whom the writer was “moved”; Scripture is not restricted to the immediate sense in the mind of the individual writer, but has in view “the testimony of Jesus,” which is “the spirit of prophecy” in the “holy men moved by the Holy Spirit.” The words of one compared with those of another from whom the former may be separated in age and in country often bring forth some truth evidently not contemplated by the writer, but designed by the ONE MIND who inspired, overruled, and sanctioned both. There is throughout the whole a consistently developed scheme, too grand for the mind of anyone writer. Our Lord and His apostles make vital truths hinge on single words. The force of Jesus’ three answers, “It is written,” to Satan’s three temptations lies in single words (Matthew 4). So in Mat_19:4.

Also He confutes the Sadducees and proves the resurrection of the body from words which otherwise we should scarcely have regarded as proving it (Mat_22:32), “I am (not I was) the God of Abraham” (namely, the man in his integrity, body, soul, and spirit). The one word My is Christ’s proof of His Godhead (Mat_22:43), “the Lord said unto MY Lord (Psa_90:1): if David call Him Lord, how is He His Son?” David could not have understood the full force of his own words (Psalm 22) as to the “gall,” the “vinegar,” the “parting of His garments,” and “casting lots for the vesture,” and other minute details fulfilled in Messiah. He who, working through means, creates the minute leaf as well as the mighty forest, saith of all His word, “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled” (Mat_5:18; “law” means the whole Old Testament, as John (Mat_10:35) uses “law” of the psalms).
Christ’s argument, “if He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?” rests on the one word “gods” being applied to rulers, as types of the Son of God, therefore still more applicable to the Antitype Himself. Our Lord makes it a fundamental principle “the Scripture cannot be broken,” even as to one word (Joh_10:35). So also Paul shows unhesitating confidence in the divine authority of special words, as “seed” not “seeds” (Gal_3:16), “all” (Heb_2:8), “brethren” (Heb_2:11), “today,” and “My rest” (Heb_4:1-11). To crown all, Revelation (Rev_22:19) at its close declares, “if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life.”

Often it is a single verse that, by the same Spirit as inspired the word, has breathed new life into the sinner. The diligent student too is often struck by the unexpected light which one expression on examination affords, as in some masterpiece of art a single touch can impart life and meaning to the whole. Verbal inspiration does not require that every saying reported in Scripture should be a literal transcript of the speaker’s words, but that it should be substantially a true statement, and such a one as the Spirit of God sanctions for the ends of the revelation. Moreover, in recording wicked men’s sayings or doings, Scripture does not sanction but simply records them. So in the case of merely human utterances. In 1Co_7:5-6, Paul distinguishes his words “by permission” from those of commandment; and in 1Co_7:25-38 he gives his “judgment” as one faithful, but as having on the point “no commandment of the Lord.”

Here his inspiration appears in his expressly declining to command as divinely authoritative a certain course as an apostle, and merely advising it as a Christian friend. How important it was to make this distinction appears from the subsequent error of the church in imposing vows of perpetual celibacy. So in 1Co_7:12-15 (1Co_7:10) he says on a particular case, “I, not the Lord,” whereas he had on the main point said, “not I, but the Lord.” Every word employed By the sacred writer in all cases is sanctioned as suited in its place for the Holy Spirit’s purpose. Various readings in manuscripts do not invalidate verbal inspiration. It is the original Scriptures whose words have inspired authority, not the subsequent copies or versions. The words of the Decalogue were written by the finger of God, though the manuscripts transmitting them to us contain variations.

Like other gifts of God, this may be lost in whole or part by man’s carelessness. Yet a remarkable providence has watched over Scripture, keeping the Jews from mutilating the Old Testament and the Roman and Greek Catholics from mutilating the New Testament though witnessing against themselves, (See CANON.) Moreover God has preserved by human means a multitude of manuscripts, patristic quotations, and ancient versions, enabling us to restore the original text almost perfectly for all practical purposes. The range of doubt remaining is confined within narrow limits. Exemption from all transcriptional errors would have needed a perpetual miracle, which is not God’s mode of dealing with us. While some passages affecting vital doctrines are on examination rejected as not in the original, the doctrines themselves stand firm as ever, because they rest on the agreeing testimony of the whole of God’s word; in other passages the orthodox truths are confirmed more fully by restoring the original text.
Irenaeus (Adv. Haeres., 2:47) says, “in the mauy voiced tones of Scripture expressions there is one symphonious melody”; Origen (Hom. 39), “as among plants there is not one without its peculiar virtue … so the spiritual botanist will find there is nothing, in all that is written, superfluous.” The prophets preface their prophecies with “thus saith the Lord,” “the burden (weighty utterance) of the word of the Lord” (Zec_9:1; Zec_12:1; Mal_1:1). The apostles declare of them, “the Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke,” “God showed by the mouth of all His prophets that,” etc. (Act_1:16; Act_3:18; Act_3:21; Act_4:25). They rest the truth of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring, Christ’s resurrection, and the mystery of the admission of the Gentiles to be fellow heirs in the gospel, on the Old Testament as infallible (Act_2:16; Act_2:25-33; 1Co_15:3-4; Rom_16:26).

If then the Old Testament prophets were infallible, much more the apostles in their New Testament Scriptures; as these and even the least in the gospel kingdom rank above those (Mat_11:11; Eph_3:5; 1Co_2:9-10). Paul received the gospel which he preached, by extraordinary revelation; therefore he claims for it divine authority (Gal_1:11-12; Eph_3:3). His word is “the word of God” which “he speaks in Christ,” also “Christ speaking in Him” (2Co_2:17; 2Co_13:3). Just as Haggai was “the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message” (2Co_1:13), i.e. in vested with His commission; and Neh_9:30, “by Thy Spirit in Thy prophets”; and David (2Sa_23:2), “the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was in my tongue.”

Inspiration: Hastings Dictionary of the Bible

INSPIRATION.—The subject comprises the doctrine of inspiration in the Bible, and the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible, together with what forms the transition from the one to the other, the account given of the prophetic consciousness, and the teaching of the NT about the OT.

1. The agent of inspiration is the Holy Spirit (see p. 360) or Spirit of God, who is active in Creation (Gen_1:2, Psa_104:30), is imparted to man that the dust may become living soul (Gen_2:7), is the source of exceptional powers of body (Jdg_6:34; Jdg_14:6; Jdg_14:19) or skill (Exo_35:31); but is pre-eminently manifest in prophecy (wh. see). The NT doctrine of the presence and power of the Spirit of God in the renewed life of the believer is anticipated in the OT, inasmuch as to the Spirit’s operations are attributed wisdom (Job_32:8, 1Ki_3:28, Deu_34:9), courage (Jdg_13:25; Jdg_14:6), penitence, moral strength, and purity (Neh_9:20, Psa_51:11, Isa_63:10, Eze_36:26, Zec_12:10). The promise of the Spirit by Christ to His disciples was fulfilled when He Himself after the Resurrection breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’ (Joh_20:22), and after His Ascension the Spirit descended on the Church with the outward signs of the wind and fire (Act_2:2-3). The Christian life as such is an inspired life, but the operation of the Spirit is represented in the NT in two forms; there are the extraordinary gifts (charisms)—speaking with tongues, interpreting tongues, prophecy, miracles (1Co_12:1-31),—all of which St. Paul subordinates to faith, hope, love (ch. 13); and there are the fruits of the Spirit in moral character and religious disposition (Gal_5:22-23). Intermediate may be regarded the gifts for special functions in the Church, as teaching, governing, exhorting (Rom_12:7-8). The prophetic inspiration is continued (Rom_12:6); but superior is the Apostolic (1Co_12:28) (see Apostles).

2. The doctrine of the inspiration of the NT attaches itself to the promise of Christ to His disciples that the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send in His name should teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He had said to them (Joh_14:26); and that, when the Spirit of truth had come, He should guide them into all the truth, and should declare to them the things that were to come (Joh_16:13). These promises cover the contents of Gospels, Epistles, and the Apocalypse. The inspiration of Christ’s own words is affirmed in His claim to be alone in knowing and revealing the Father (Mat_11:27), and His repeated declaration of His dependence in His doctrine on the Father.

3. Christ recognizes the inspiration of the OT (Mat_22:43), and the authority of the prophets (Luk_24:25). The word ‘inspire’ is used only in Wis_15:11 ‘Because he was ignorant of him that moulded him, and of him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed into him a vital spirit.’ The word ‘inspiration’ is used in this general sense in Job_32:8 AV ‘But there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration (RV ‘breath’) of the Almighty giveth them understanding.’ In special reference to the OT we find in 2Ti_3:16 (RV) ‘every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching,’ etc. While the term is not used, the fact is recognized in 2Pe_1:21 ‘For no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.’ It must be added, however, that both these passages are in writings the Apostolic authorship of which is questioned by many scholars. But the NT view of the authority of the OT is fully attested in the use made of the OT as trustworthy history, true doctrine, and sure prophecy; and yet the inaccuracy of many of the quotations, as well as the use of the Greek translation, shows that the writers, whether they held a theory of verbal inspiration or not, were not bound by it.

4. Although the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible does not properly fall within the scope of a Bible Dictionary, a brief summary of views held in the Christian Church may be added: (a) The Theory of verbal inspiration affirms that each human author was but the mouthpiece of God, and that in every word, therefore, God speaks. But the actual features of the Bible, as studied by reverent and believing scholarship, contradict the theory. (b) The theory of degrees of inspiration recognizes suggestion, direction, elevation, and superintendency of the human by the Divine Spirit; but it is questionable whether we can so formally define the process. (c) The dynamical theory recognizes the exercise of human faculties in the author, but maintains their illumination, stimulation, and purification by the Spirit of God, in order that in doctrine and ethics the Divine mind and will may be correctly and sufficiently expressed; but this divorces literature from life. (d) We may call the view now generally held personal inspiration: by the Spirit of God men are in various degrees enlightened, filled with zeal and devotion, cleansed and strengthened morally, brought into more immediate and intimate communion with God; and this new life, expressed in their writings, is the channel of God’s revelation of Himself to men. In place of stress on the words and the ideas of Scripture, emphasis is now laid on the moral character and religious disposition of the agents of revelation.

Inspiration Of The Holy Spirit, The Foretold: Torrey New Topical Textbook

Joel 2:28; Act_2:16-18;
All Scripture given by
2Sa_23:2; 2Ti_3:16; 2Pe_1:21;
To reveal future events Act_1:16; Act_28:25; 1Pe_1:11;
To reveal the mysteries of God Amo_3:7; 1Co_2:10;
To give power to ministers Mic_3:8; Act_1:8;
To direct ministers Eze_3:24-27; Act_11:12; Act_13:2;
To control ministers Act_16:6;
To testify against sin 2Ki_17:13; Neh_9:30; Mic_3:8; Joh_16:8; Joh_16:9;
MODES OF Various Heb_1:1;
By secret impulse Jdg_13:25; 2Pe_1:21;
By a voice Isa_6:8; Act_8:29; Rev_1:10;
By visions Num_12:6; Eze_11:24;
By dreams Num_12:6; Dan_7:1;
Necessary to prophesying Num_11:25-27; 2Ch_20:14-17;
Is irresistible Amo_3:8;
Despisers of, punished 2Ch_36:15; 2Ch_36:16; Zec_7:12;


Soul: Nave’s Topical Bible
See Spirit; Immortality; Man, Spirit; Heaven, The Future Dwelling Place of the Righteous; Wicked, Punishment of
Soul: Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible

SOUL.—The use of the term in the OT (Heb. nephesh) for any animated being, whether human or animal (Gen_1:20 ‘life,’ Gen_2:7), must be distinguished from the Greek philosophical use for the immaterial substance which gives life to the body, and from the use in the NT (Gr. psyche) where more stress is laid on individuality (Mat_16:26 RVm). As the Bible does not contain a scientific psychology, it is vain to dispute whether it teaches that man’s nature is bipartite (body and soul or spirit) or tripartite (body and soul and spirit): yet a contrast between soul and spirit (Heb. rûach, Gr. pneuma) may be recognized; while the latter is the universal principle imparting life from the Creator, the former is the individual organism possessed of life in the creature (Gen_2:7—‘breath of life’ and ‘living soul’).—In some passages the terms are used as equivalent (Isa_26:9, Luk_1:46-47, Php_1:27 RV), in others a distinction is made (Heb_4:12, 1Th_5:23). The distinction is this: ‘soul’ expresses man as apart from God, a separate individual; ‘spirit’ expresses man as drawing his life from God (cf. Joh_10:11, ‘life’ = ‘soul,’ and Joh_19:30). This separate individuality may renounce its dependence and refuse its submission to God. Hence the adjective ‘psychical’ may be rendered sensual (Jas_3:15, Jud_1:19 [RVm ‘Or, natural. Or, animal’]), or natural (1Co_2:14; 1Co_15:44-46). Probably sensual in the two passages conveys more moral meaning than the term ‘psychical’ justifies, and natural is the better rendering, as expressing what belongs to the old unregenerate life in contrast with the characteristic of the new life in Christ, the spiritual (pneumatic). A parallel change in the use of the term ‘flesh’ and its corresponding adjective may be noted.

Soul: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

sōl (נפשׁ, nephesh; ψυχή, psuchḗ; Latin anima):
1. Shades of Meaning in the Old Testament:
(1) Soul, like spirit, has various shades of meaning in the Old Testament, which may be summarized as follows: “Soul,” “living being,” “life,” “self,” “person,” “desire,” “appetite,” “emotion” and “passion” (BDB under the word). In the first instance it meant that which breathes, and as such is distinguished from bāsār, “flesh” (Isa_10:18; Deu_12:23); from she’ēr, “the inner flesh,” next the bones (Pro_11:17, “his own flesh”); from beṭen, “belly” (Psa_31:10, “My soul and my belly are consumed with grief”), etc.

(2) As the life-breath, it departs at death (Gen_35:18; Jer_15:2). Hence, the desire among Old Testament saints to be delivered from Sheol (Psa_16:10, “Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol”) and from shachath, “the pit” (Job_33:18, “He keepeth back his soul from the pit”; Isa_38:17, “Thou hast … delivered it (my soul) from the pit of corruption”).

(3) By an easy transition the word comes to stand for the individual, personal life, the person, with two distinct shades of meaning which might best be indicated by the Latin anima and animus. As anima, “soul,” the life inherent in the body, the animating principle in the blood is denoted (compare Deu_12:23, Deu_12:24, ‘Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the soul; and thou shalt not eat the soul with the flesh’). As animus, “mind,” the center of our mental activities and passivities is indicated. Thus we read of ‘a hungry soul’ (Psa_107:9), ‘a weary soul’ (Jer_31:25), ‘a loathing soul’ (Lev_26:11), ‘a thirsty soul’ (Psa_42:2), ‘a grieved soul’ (Job_30:25), ‘a loving soul’ (Son_1:7), and many kindred expressions. Cremer has characterized this use of the word in a sentence: “Nephesh (soul) in man is the subject of personal life, whereof pneúma or rūaḥ (spirit) is the principle” (Lexicon, under the word, 795).

(4) This individuality of man, however, may be denoted by pneuma as well, but with a distinction. Nephesh or “soul” can only denote the individual life with a material organization or body. Pneuma or “spirit” is not so restricted. Scripture speaks of “spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb_12:23), where there can be no thought of a material or physical or corporeal organization. They are “spiritual beings freed from the assaults and defilements of the flesh” (Delitzsch, in the place cited.). For an exceptional use of psuchē in the same sense see Rev_6:9; Rev_20:4, and (irrespective of the meaning of Psa_16:10) Act_2:27.

2. New Testament Distinctions:

(1) In the New Testament psuchē appears under more or less similar conditions as in the Old Testament. The contrast here is as carefully maintained as there. It is used where pneuma would be out of place; and yet it seems at times to be employed where pneuma might have been substituted. Thus in Joh_19:30 we read: “Jesus gave up his pneuma” to the Father, and, in the same Gospel (Joh_10:15), Jesus gave up His “psuchē for the sheep,” and in Mat_20:28 He gave His psuchē (not His pneuma) as a ransom – a difference which is characteristic. For the pneuma stands in quite a different relation to God from the psuchē. The “spirit” (pneuma) is the outbreathing of God into the creature, the life-principle derived from God. The “soul” (psuchē) is man’s individual possession, that which distinguishes one man from another and from inanimate nature. The pneuma of Christ was surrendered to the Father in death; His psuchē was surrendered, His individual life was given “a ransom for many.” His life “was given for the sheep”

(2) This explains those expressions in the New Testament which bear on the salvation of the soul and its preservation in the regions of the dead. “Thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades” (the world of shades) (Act_2:27); “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil” (Rom_2:9); “We are … of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul” (Heb_10:39); “Receive … the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (Jas_1:21).

The same or similar expressions may be met with in the Old Testament in reference to the soul. Thus in Psa_49:8, the King James Version “The redemption of their soul is precious” and again: “God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol” (Psa_49:15). Perhaps this may explain – at least this is Wendt’s explanation – why even a corpse is called nephesh or soul in the Old Testament, because, in the region of the dead, the individuality is retained and, in a measure, separated from God (compare Hag_2:13; Lev_21:11).

3. Oehler on Soul and Spirit:
The distinction between psuchē and pneuma, or nephesh and rūaḥ, to which reference has been made, may best be described in the words of Oehler (Old Testament Theology, I, 217): “Man is not spirit, but has it: he is soul…. In the soul, which sprang from the spirit, and exists continually through it, lies the individuality – in the case of man, his personality, his self, his ego.” He draws attention to the words of Elihu in Job (Job_33:4): ‘God’s spirit made me,’ the soul called into being; ‘and the breath of the Almighty animates me,’ the soul kept in energy and strength, in continued existence, by the Almighty, into whose hands the inbreathed spirit is surrendered, when the soul departs or is taken from us (1Ki_19:4). Hence, according to Oehler the phrases naphshı̄ (“my soul”), naphshekhā (“thy soul”) may be rendered in Latin egomet, tu ipse; but not rūḥı̄ (“my spirit”), ruḥăkhā (“thy spirit”) – soul standing for the whole person, as in Gen_12:5; Gen_17:14; Eze_18:4, etc. See PSYCHOLOGY.