Barry Newman's Blog

August 24, 2010

The Essence of Spirit (part III)

Filed under: Spirit — barrynewman @ 10:55 pm

The Categorisation of Ruach in the Old Testament

There are 385 instances of ruach in the Old Testament.  In categorisation, 92 instances were duplicated, 22 instances were triplicated and four instances were quadrupled giving 533 category items.  There were 37 instances duplicated within the major categories providing 422 category items for this group.  It was hoped that the extent of multiplication would be minimal but unlike the categorisation of leb/lebab, kardia, nephesh and psuche, the semantic domain for ruach is quite diffuse from the point of view of the modern English thinker and single category items were often not appropriate given the category system that developed.  An additional contributing problem was simply one of understanding the sense of the text.

Table 1 indicates the major categories for ruach within which the minor, sub- and mini-categories were developed, as indicated later in Tables 3 to 7.

Major Category  Total % based on 422 % based on 385
The Ruach of God 104 25 27
The Ruach of Creatures – neither Mankind nor Animals 19 5 5
The Ruach of the Natural Physical World 123 29 32
The Ruach of the Abstract 14 3 4
The Ruach of Animals 6 1 2
The Ruach of Mankind 156 37 41

Table 1 – The Categorisation of Ruach

Category multiplication of instances involved eight different combinations, the most common incorporating the categories the Ruach of God and the Ruach of the Natural Physical World – 18 instances being involved.  All other combinations involved four or fewer instances.

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