Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures

Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures

Psy·khe′ appears by itself 102 times in the Westcott and Hort text of the Christian Greek Scriptures. We may assume that when we have so many references to the same word or subject we would have enough opportunity to make it possible to get a clear concept of the sense that these terms conveyed to the minds of the inspired Bible writers. When you compare one verse in one book with another verse from another book in the sample of Bible Books, as a reader you should be able to get some idea what they really meant by those words[1]. It should give a clear concept of the sense their writings should convey to the readers mind. An examination shows that, while the sense of these terms is broad, with different shades of meaning, among the Bible writers there was no inconsistency, confusion, or disharmony as to man’s nature, as existed among the Grecian philosophers of the so-called Classical Period.

The New Testament uses the word psyche to refer to life. Though Jesus says psyche is more than food or drink or clothing, it is clear from his words that psyche depends on these things (Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:22-23). Without food and drink the psyche would perish because the body would perish. Psyche is also subject to other frailties. The psyche of Epaphroditus was near to death due to illness (Philemon 2:30). Jesus, healing a man’s hand, asks whether it is better on the Sabbath to save psyche or to kill psyche (Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9). Psyche is something that can be harmed or even killed, and requires healing. Those “souls” with Paul on his voyage to Rome were in danger of shipwreck (Acts 27:10, 22, 37) and eight “souls” were saved from the Flood in the Ark (1 Peter 3:20). As child, Jesuspsyche was threatened by Herod (Matthew 2:20), and Elijah’s psyche was threatened by Jezebel (Romans 11:3). In all these cases it is clear that psyche means life, not some immaterial substance.

The fate of the psyche is equally clear in the NT. Far from being innately immortal, the psyche can be destroyed by capital punishment (Acts 3:23), for example. After death the psyche, rather than floating off to some other realm, resides in the grave – just as the psyche of Jesus did (Acts 2:27, 31). There is no verse in the NT that ascribes immortality to the psyche.

English: The Soul of the Rose, oil in canvas b...

The Soul of the Rose, oil in canvas by John William Waterhouse (British, 1849-1917), shows the mortal Psyche admiring the Eros’s magical garden, the Greek god of life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If psyche referred to your personhood or personality, to who you really were, then many expressions in the NT simply wouldn’t make sense. When Peter is willing to die for Jesus he says “I will lay down my psyche for you” (John 13:37); if Peter is his psyche and if that psyche survives death then what would Peter be laying down? Similarly, when Jesus gave his psyche (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 10:11, 15, 17; John 15:13; 1 John 3:16) what was it that he gave? If Jesus’ soul survived death then obviously the one thing he didn’t give was his soul. Paul says “I do not account my psyche of any value nor as precious to myself” (Acts 20:24); which is a bizarre and contradictory thing to say if he is his psyche. In all these cases, psyche would be better translated “life”. When Jesus talks about the danger that you might lose your psyche (Matt 10:39; Matt 16:25-6; Mark 8:35-7; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; John 12:25), he cannot be referring to an innately immortal, immaterial, substance that is you. Again, in these cases psyche is better translated “life”.

One potentially odd verse is Matthew 10:28:

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the psyche. Rather fear him who can destroy both psyche and body in Gehenna.

This verse is clearly incompatible with the immortality of the soul, since here Jesus says that the soul can be destroyed. However this verse might be read as saying that the body and psyche die separately, that mere men cannot kill the psyche, and that the psyche will be finally destroyed in Gehenna. The parallel in Luke 12:4-5 does not mention the psyche, saying:

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

This sounds like there is some part of you that survives the death of the body that might be cast into hell. However once it is understand that Gehenna is a metaphor for complete annihilation after the final judgement then any appearance of the immortality of the soul disappears. According to Luke’s account Jesus is effectively saying “don’t fear death, fear a negative judgement in the Last Days”. Matthew’s account presumably has the same meaning. Psyche in Matt 10:28 cannot mean “life” (in a mundane sense), as Jesus implies that human adversaries cannot kill the psyche, but nor can psyche here mean immortal soul, as Jesus implies that God can and will destroy the psyche of the wicked. The phrase “cannot kill the psyche” in Matthew 10:28 cannot be taken in an absolute sense, because it is clear from Matthew 2:20 that, in Matthew’s own terminology, the psyche can be killed. The best way to make sense of Matthew 10:28 is to remember that Jesus believed in resurrection. Jesus believed that he would give up his psyche (Matthew 20:28) but that he would get it back. In the same way, the believer should not fear those who might take their lives because God is able to give them back their lives.

The Supreme Being, the True God that made the world and all things therein, being Lord of heaven and earth. He is the only Immortal Being (1 Tim 1:17). All the other beings have a beginning and an end to their existence or ‘being’. Their psyche came from nothingness or dust and shall again become nothingness or dust, not able to think or do anything. This will be so for plants, animals and mammals like human beings exactly the same; none of them shall be able to take anything with them in death or could do anything in death. We are all, believers and non-believers, doomed to pass away, just perishing and not going to continue to live in another form, but all coming to nought.

 

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[1] Studying the Bible demands such a comparison of verses to get a right insight of what the text really may mean.

 

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Preceding:

Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background

Next:

Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit

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Additional reading:

  1. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  2. Is there an Immortal soul
  3. Bible sayings on the situation and place for the dead
  4. Jesus three days in hell
  5. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  6. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  7. What date was the Flood?
  8. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  9. God’s wrath and sanctification
  10. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  11. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  12. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  13. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  14. To be prepared and very well oiled
  15. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings

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Further reading

  1. The Journey of Self-Realization, is to Realize the Truth, Each Day.
  2. Von Belastbarkeitsgrenzen und der Sache mit dem Lernen
  3. A Return to Self
  4. Out of the Way (Mark 8:35)
  5. Emotional body’s set flexibility?
  6. Taking Care Of Your Psyche > Taking Care Of Your Psyche
  7. Mentality: Psyche, Slumps and the Perils of Hope

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Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

What or who is the Bride of Christ?  How is The church the bride, body and temple?

Thank you for your questions,

What we normally expect as questions, in your case, would appear to be statements so you will appreciate I am somewhat at a loss as to knowing what answer might be appropriate.

If they are meant as statements, you are of course correct. I therefore will just supply the scriptures that support your statements.

Detail of The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb

Detail of The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bride

John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5: 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Body

1Corinthians12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Temple

1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

2Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

It does occur to me that you might be saying that a particular church is the Bride, Body and Temple of Christ.  The difficulty is that with so many to choose from how do we distinguish the true from the counterfeit?

This is, as you are no doubt aware, the purpose of this website, to point out to people that the Bible is the plumb line, so to speak, against which all church doctrine and teaching is to be measured  so that we might not be deceived as Paul warns the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless!
Glenn Smith,
www.thisisyourbible.com,

Find in this series:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

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Additional reading:

  1. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  9. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  10. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  11. A new Jerusalem
  12. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  13. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  14. United people under Christ
  15. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  16. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  17. Something Most False Christians Have In Common

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Also of interest:

  1. A people for his Name
  2. church oh church1
  3. Want to Argue About Creeds? I Don’t
  4. Revelation 19. The Wedding Feast Of The Lamb. The Rider On The White Horse. The Marriage Of The Lamb. God. The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb.
  5. Revelation’s Rapture!

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  • Becoming the Bride of Christ (treasuresoflove1.wordpress.com)
    The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
  • Jesus Christ……His Bride…..and the Hebrew Wedding Traditions (shoutingthemessage.wordpress.com)
    The believers in Jesus Christ (whether Jews or Gentiles) were bought with a great price.  He loved us so very much that He was willing to die for us.  We are His.  In return…….we adore Him with a great abiding love.  Jesus is everything to His bride.  She waits for Him to return to her and take her with Him to dwell forever.  She prepares herself and adorns herself with purity and holiness.  Her eyes see no other but Jesus.  She is faithful to her love!  How beautiful it will be when Jesus Christ returns in the clouds and calls her to come up to Him!  The Lord and His Bride will enjoy the Marriage Supper and celebrate their wedding for seven years.  What joy!
  • Third Jewish Temple: The Temple of God? (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    A popular teaching that has taken hold in the end times church–especially in the English-speaking world–is that the Jews will rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. This Third Temple will to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount.
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    Third Jewish Temple: Temple of God, part 2 | End Times Prophecy Report
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    End Times Prophecy Headlines: April 7, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 (shilohbaptistchurchportroyal.wordpress.com)
    By baptism Christians are dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons.
  • A Straight Path Never Leads Anywhere Except To The Objective (sobeautifulmi.com)
    The imagery of marriage is often used in the Holy Scriptures to describe our union with God. In the Book of Esther, the opening chapters describe the path that Esther walked and how she was chosen to be Queen, receiving the full benefits of the Kingdom. Spiritually, this is an experience that we can have, which will move us beyond the commonplace into the fullness of Christ.
  • Must I be baptised in water to be a member of the church? (idfables4unity.wordpress.com)
    “Membership” in the Bible is always associated with a living body which has a head. Thus there are two kinds of scriptural members:
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    This church is Christ’s church, it is not my church,It is not our church, it is His Body

    Where all His saved ones are joined as members.

    This church was made for Christ, the Head.

    (I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:22,23)

  • The Church (part 2 of 3) (theresaboudreau.wordpress.com)
    God knows there is too much trash talking the church. This message is not intended to be another conversation about everything that is wrong in the church or to cast judgment on Christians. However, it is intended to be a trumpet sounding an alarm to awaken believers who think the status quo is okay. The status quo is not okay. There is rampant sin in the church; lies and deception in the church; doctrinal error in the church; greed for gain in the church; divisions and discord in the church. But the biggest problem is hypocrisy which is the perpetual disconnect between what believers profess and what they practice. Consequently, people in the world are turned off by the church.