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Body, Soul, Spirit

According to the Bible, we humans consist of three distinct and different parts. For example, at the end of one of his letters, Paul says: "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

It's clear that the body is only the “physical shell” that we carry on this earth, and that upon death the “I” of each person is separated from the body. The body stays here on earth, decomposing, but the “I” leaves for another place.

But what isn't so clear, is the issue of “soul” and “spirit”. Some think that “soul” and “spirit” are actually two words for the same thing, but there are other verses besides 1 Thessalonians that make it clear that this isn't the case. Eg. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ( Hebrews 4:12) Thus, it is possible to separate the “soul” from the “spirit,” just as the body can be separated from the soul, as Jesus made clear in Matthew 10:28: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell".

The word “soul” occurs 95 times in the Bible, usually together with “heart” in the Old Testament, to indicate the complete being (e.g. Deuteronomy 10:12). But the most concrete clue regarding the identity of the “soul” can be found in the book of Psalms. In many of the psalms, David refers to his desire to praise the Lord with his “soul” ( Psalm 104:1, Psalm 108:1, Psalm 146:1, etc.), but there is something more specific in Psalm 103:1. Since this is Hebrew poetry, which is different from English poetry. Hebrew poetry does not use rhyme or rythem, but rather a technique called "parralelism", wher the same concept is repeated twice using different words. Thus in Pslam 103:1, “Lord” and “his holy name” are equivalent, and “soul” is equivalent to “inmost being.” Literally in Hebrew, that phrase is “all my interiors” or even “all my bowels,” and it is translated as "all my inward parts" in Youngs Literal Translation. Many modern translations say “all that is within me” or “all that I am”. That's the real sense of the word "soul", in the Bible: what you really are.

There's a similar clue in Luke 10:27, where Jesus asks some what the most important part of Moses law is. The man replies: 'And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”': Once again, this uses repetition of concepts: so “heart” = “strength”, and “soul” = “mind”.

In other words, your soul is YOU. It is your mind, your being, your personality, your thoughts, your memories, your experiences, your knowledge, everything that really constitutes what is “you”, but without the body. The body is only the “shell” that contains your soul in this world.

Deep down, the body is nothing more than the connection between the soul and the physical world. In the same way, the “spirit” is the connection between the soul and the spiritual world, and specifically is the "life force" that keeps your body functioning ( John 4:24).

A good analogy here is that of a computer. Your body is similar to the physical hardware of the computer: the case, screen, keyboard, hard disk, processor, and all the electronic parts inside it. But all of that together does not make a working computer. It needs to be plugged in, to work. So the electrical connection is sort of like the life-giving "spirit" that God gives you, to make your body function. Without that, your body is useless: just a chunk of flesh, in exactly the same way that a computer without electricity is just a bunch of eletronic parts.

But even when you plug it in, the computer still won't do anything! There's anothe major part that is needed: software. All of the programs and files that make the computer "come alive" and do things. That's the equivalent of your soul: all of the intangible, non-phyiscal bits and bytes that make up the programs, data files, pictures, videos, audio recordings, and things like that, taken together, are similar to what makes you "you": your feelings, emotions, personality, memories, character, etc.

Just lke all people are different, so to each computer is different from all other computers, because it has different files and programs on it, even if the hardware looks very similar. If you disconnect the computer from the electrical power outlet, it "dies". If you delete all of the programs and files, it dies. The hardware is still there, but it cannot function without power, or without software, and does nothing. The computer is only fully functional when the hardware is energized with electricity, and all the software is loaded.

You can even stretch the analogy a bit, and say that when your body dies and the soul leaves, that's like uploading all the software from a computer to the cloud, just before the computer fails. That can then be downloaded to a new, improved, perfect computer that lasts forever and never fails, just like your soul will one day be "downloaded" to your eternal, immortal, "glorifed" body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

This "hardware/electricity/software" analogy for our "body/soul/spirit" isn't perfect, of course, but it does help to understand the concepts.

We humans are not "body", and we are not "spirit". We are our souls. In our lifetime on earth, each soul has a physical body, and it also has a spirit, which is the connection with God just as the body is the connection with the physical world. And just as the soul can lose its body, it can also lose its spirit. When the spirit leaves, the body dies, and the soul departs to a different place. The soul does not die: your soul is immortal, and lives on for all eternity.

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(Última actualización: Monday May 20, 2024, 21:59 )