Blog Post 2

2 Commentsby   |  01.29.13  |  Student Posts

As a student of theology, I spend a lot of my time reading, dissecting, and talking about scripture. Recently, one of the main topics of conversation, both in my classes and amongst my friends, has been the idea of soul and spirit. What do these terms mean? Where did they come from?

We can see a clear impact from Greek thought when applied to the notion of soul. As we sit down to try and understand what the term soul means we may not realize that we are already at, to some extent, a disadvantage.

The soul we read about in Old and New Testament scripture alike was written from the, expectantly, Jewish standpoint. This view believes that physical body and the spirit combine to make the soul. As Westerners, our thoughts concerning soul have been vastly shaped by the Greeks. The Greeks believed soul to be a portion, specifically a third, of the total human.

Whichever way you define soul it is clear that Greek thought has shaped our Western understanding, and therefore our exegetical approach. While this is a very specific example of the prevalence of Greek thought in our modern Western world, it is and indicator that classical Greek thought is still alive and well.


  1. Kelsey Hilton
    8:32 am, 02.01.13

    I appreciate you integrating information from some of your other classes. By pointing out that the soul may be a combination of the spirit and a body you give a name to the wholeness of the separation. Double aspectism is something we will always struggle with.

  2. Paige Wilson
    2:38 pm, 02.01.13

    Concepts like double aspectism and the Holy Trinity will always be difficult, if not impossible, to fully understand or explain. It is hard enough for me to think about the separation between my mind and my spirit. How many of my thoughts, feelings, and actions result from chemical reactions in my brain or my conditioning? Where does the soul play into this? It cannot be seen or studied, but this certainly does not mean that it does not exist. If I struggle with this, you can only imagine how much more confusing it is to think about God as one in three parts. Thanks for sharing your discipline’s perspective. I think it is definitely something worth thinking more about.

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