Barry Newman's Blog

December 14, 2009

The Soul (part VI)

Filed under: psuche,The Soul — barrynewman @ 1:28 am

Psuche in the Greek New Testament

As a further check on psuche of the New Testament being similar to nephesh of the Old Testament, an examination was made of the five quotations in the New Testament of an Old Testament text where nephesh occurred. In every case psuche was used in both the New Testament and the LXX.

There are 103 instances of psuche in the New Testament.  To these were added nine other instances involving the three related forms: psuchikos, dipsuchos and oligopsuchos.

Of the 112 occurrences, two refer to the psuche of God and two to the psuche of animals.   As with the usage  of nephesh in the Old Testament, that psuche  is associated with animals should make one wary of the idea that “a soul” is something associated with human beings alone and furthermore, the association of psuche with God not only reinforces this point but should again make one wary of the idea that “a soul” resides within a being. 

The Human Being Psuche

There are 108 instances of psuche (P) relating to human beings.  In applying the same categorization system that was used for nephesh, there were six duplications.  Table 3 indicates how the occurrences were categorized. The first and second percentages are based on totals of 114 and 108 respectively.

Category Sub-Category Number of Occurrences Percentages
The P in association with death    40   35; 37
  The P type body yet to die    3  
  The P that has died    3  
  The P whose life will be removed    8  
  The P whose life will be removed spiritually    5  
  The P under threat of death    7  
  The P under threat of “death”    4  
  The P delivered from death    4  
  The P delivered from death spiritually    6  
The P in association with life      3    3; 3
The P in association with food      5    4; 5
  Actual    4  
  Metaphorical     1  
The P as the person       8   7; 7
  An explicit number of P     4  
  An indefinite number of P     4  
The P as the self     21  18; 19
The improper P     13  11; 12
  Wicked    7  
  The P of self interest    6  
The upright P      8   7; 7
  The righteous/noble    2  
  Obeying/seeking God with all the P    3  
  The P not of self-interest    3  
The emotional P      5   4; 5
  Pain/distress/despondency    3  
  Grief    1  
  Faint-heartedness    1  
The P that desires      1   1; 1
The vocal P      1   1; 1
  The P that blesses/praises    1  
The P and its mental state or activity    10   9; 9
  The P that is spoken to    2  
  The P having a disposition    2  
  The P to be established    2  
  Others    4  

                                                                                   Table 3

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