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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Soul

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Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g5590 Greek: psuche


denotes "the breath, the breath of life," then "the soul," in its various meanings. The NT uses "may be analyzed approximately as follows:

(a) the natural life of the body, Mat 2:20; Luk 12:22; Act 20:10; Rev 8:9; 12:11; cp. Lev 17:11; 2Sa 14:7; Est 8:11;

(b) the immaterial, invisible part of man, Mat 10:28; Act 2:27; cp. 1Ki 17:21;

(c) the disembodied (or "unclothed" or "naked," 2Cr 5:3, 4) man, Rev 6:9;

(d) the seat of personality, Luk 9:24, explained as == "own self," Luk 9:25; Hbr 6:19; 10:39; cp. Isa 53:10 with 1Ti 2:6;

(e) the seat of the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, Mat 11:29; Luk 1:46; 2:35; Act 14:2, 22; cp. Psa 84:2; 139:14; Isa 26:9;

(f) the seat of will and purpose, Mat 22:37; Act 4:32; Eph 6:6; Phl 1:27; Hbr 12:3; cp. Num 21:4; Deu 11:13;

(g) the seat of appetite, Rev 18:14; cp. Psa 107:9; Pro 6:30; Isa 5:14 ("desire"); Isa 29:8;

(h) persons, individuals, Act 2:41, 43; Rom 2:9; Jam 5:20; 1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:14; cp. Gen 12:5; 14:21 ("persons"); Lev 4:2 ('any one'); Eze 27:13; of dead bodies, Num 6:6, lit., "dead soul;" and of animals, Lev 24:18, lit., "soul for soul;"

(i) the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect:

1st person, Jhn 10:24 ("us"); Hbr 10:38; cp. Gen 12:13; Num 23:10; Jdg 16:30; Psa 120:2 ("me");

2nd person, 2Cr 12:15; Hbr 13:17; Jam 1:21; 1Pe 1:9; 2:25; cp. Lev 17:11; 26:15; 1Sa 1:26;

3rd person, 1Pe 4:19; 2Pe 2:8; cp. Exd 30:12; Job 32:2, Heb. "soul," Sept. "self;"

(j) an animate creature, human or other, 1Cr 15:45; Rev 16:3; cp. Gen 1:24; 2:7, 19;

(k) "the inward man," the seat of the new life, Luk 21:19 (cp. Mat 10:39); 1Pe 2:11; 3Jo 1:2.

"With (j) compare a-psuchos, "soulless, inanimate," 1Cr 14:7.

"With (f) compare di-psuchos, "two-souled," Jam 1:8; 4:8; oligo-psuchos, "feeble-souled," 1Th 5:14; iso-psuchos, "like-souled," Phl 2:20; sum-psuchos, "joint-souled" (with one accord"), Phl 2:2.

"The language of Hbr 4:12 suggests the extreme difficulty of distinguishing between the soul and the spirit, alike in their nature and in their activities. Generally speaking the spirit is the higher, the soul the lower element. The spirit may be recognized as the life principle bestowed on man by God, the soul as the resulting life constituted in the individual, the body being the material organism animated by soul and spirit....

"Body and soul are the constituents of the man according to Mat 6:25; 10:28; Luk 12:20; Act 20:10; body and spirit according to Luk 8:55; 1Cr 5:3; 7:34; Jam 2:26. In Mat 26:38 the emotions are associated with the soul, in Jhn 13:21 with the spirit; cp. also Psa 42:11 with 1Ki 21:5. In Psa 35:9 the soul rejoices in God, in Luk 1:47 the spirit.

"Apparently, then, the relationships may be thus summed up 'Soma, body, and pneuma, spirit, may be separated, pneuma and psuche, soul, can only be distinguished' (Cremer)."*
[* From notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 205-207.]

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