The Jehovah Witness is a Dangerous CU...
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#88 Mar 24, 2013
Early Christians helped people from many nations to come to know Jehovah by name. Thus, in a meeting of the apostles and older men in Jerusalem, the disciple James said:“God ... turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.”—Acts 15:14.
Nevertheless, the enemy of God’s name did not give up. Once the apostles were dead, Satan wasted no time in sowing apostasy.(Matthew 13:38, 39; 2 Peter 2:1) For ex: the nominal Christian writer Justin Martyr was born about the time John, the last of the apostles, died. Yet, Justin repeatedly insisted in his writings that the Provider of all things is “a God who is called by no proper name.” When apostate Christians made copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures, they evidently took Jehovah’s personal name out of the text and substituted Ky′ri·os, the Greek word for “Lord.” The Hebrew Scriptures did not fare any better. No longer reading God’s name aloud, apostate Jewish scribes replaced the divine name in their Scriptures with ʼAdho·nai′ more than 130 times. The influential translation of the Bible into Latin that was completed by Jerome in 405 C.E. and that came to be called theVulgate similarly omitted the personal name of God.
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#89 Mar 24, 2013
Modern Attempts to Efface God’s Name Today, scholars are aware that Jehovah’s personal name appears some 7,000 times in the Bible. Thus, some widely used translations, such as the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, the Catholic La Biblia Latinoaméricain Spanish, and the popular Reina-Valera version, also in Spanish, freely use God’s personal name. Some translations render God’s name “Yahweh.”
Sadly, many churches that sponsor Bible translations pressure scholars into omitting God’s name from their translations of the Bible. For ex: in a letter dated June 29, 2008, to presidents of Catholic bishops’ conferences, the Vatican stated:“In recent years the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel’s proper name.” The letter gives this pointed direction:“The name of God ... is neither to be used or pronounced.” Furthermore,“for the translation of the Biblical text in modern languages,... the divine Tetragrammaton is to be rendered by the equivalent of Adonai/Kyrios:‘Lord.’” Clearly, this Vatican directive is aimed at eliminating the use of God’s name. Protestants have been no less disrespectful in their treatment of Jehovah’s name. A spokesman for the Protestant-sponsored New International Version,published in English in 1978, wrote:“Jehovah is a distinctive name for God and ideally we should have used it. But we put 2.4 million dollars into this translation and a sure way of throwing that down the drain is to translate, for ex: Psalm 23 as,‘Yahweh is my shepherd.’”
In addition, churches have hindered Latin Americans from knowing God by name. Steven Voth, a translation consultant for the United Bible Societies (UBS), writes:“One of the ongoing debates in Latin American Protestant circles revolves around the use of the name Jehová Interestingly enough, a very large and growing neo-pentecostal church ... said they wanted a Reina-Valera 1960 edition, but without the name Jehová. Instead, they wanted the word Señor [Lord].” According to Voth, the UBS rejected this request at first but later gave in and published an edition of the Reina-Valera Bible “without the word Jehová.” Deleting God’s name from his written Word and replacing it with “Lord” hinders readers from truly knowing who God is. Such a substitution creates confusion. For ex: a reader may not be able to discern whether the term “Lord” refers to Jehovah or to his Son, Jesus. Thus, in the scripture in which the apostle Peter quotes David as saying:“Jehovah said to my Lord [the resurrected Jesus]:‘Sit at my right hand,’” many Bible translations read:“The Lord said to my Lord.”(Acts 2:34, NIV) In addition, David Clines, in his essay “Yahweh and the God of Christian Theology,” points out:“One result of the absence of Yahweh from Christian consciousness has been the tendency to focus on the person of Christ.” Thus, many churchgoers are hardly aware that the true God to whom Jesus directed his prayers is a Person with a name—Jehovah.
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#90 Mar 24, 2013
Satan has worked hard at blinding people’s minds about God. Even so, you can become intimately acquainted with Jehovah. You Can Know Jehovah by Name. To be sure, Satan has waged war on the divine name, and he has cleverly used false religion in the process. However, the reality is that no power in heaven or on earth can stop the Sovereign Lord Jehovah from making his name known to those who want to know the truth about him and his glorious purpose for faithful humans. They follow the example of Jesus, who said to God:“I have made your name known to them.”(John 17:26) With knowledge of God’s Word, you can know Jehovah by name. Such knowledge will give you confidence that Jehovah will act in harmony with what he said was the meaning of his name—‘I Will Become whatsoever I please.’(Exodus 3:14) Thus, he will surely fulfill all his good promises to mankind. Did the First Christians Use God’s Name? During the days of Jesus’ apostles in the 1st century C.E., Christian congregations were formed in many lands. The members regularly met together to study the Scriptures. Did those early Christians find Jehovah’s name in their copies of the Scriptures? Since Greek had become the international language, many congregations used the Greek Septuagint, a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures completed in the 2nd century B.C.E. Some scholars claim that from the time it was originally translated, the Septuagint had always replaced God’s name with the title Ky′ri·os, the Greek word for “Lord.” But the facts show otherwise. The fragments illustrated here are portions of the Greek Septuagint that date from the 1st century B.C.E. They clearly show Jehovah’s name, represented in the Greek text by the four Hebrew letters יה&#14 93;ה (YHWH), or the Tetragrammaton. Professor George Howard wrote:“We have three separate pre-Christian copies of the Greek Septuagint Bible and in not a single instance is the Tetragrammaton translated Kyrios or for that matter translated at all. We can now say with near certainty that it was a Jewish practice before, during, and after the New Testament period to write the divine name ... right into the Greek text of Scripture.”—Biblical Archaeology Review. Did Jesus’ apostles and disciples use God’s name in their inspired writings? Professor Howard notes:“When the Septuagint which the New Testament church used and quoted contained the Hebrew form of the divine name, the New Testament writers no doubt included the Tetragrammaton in their quotations.” Therefore, we may safely conclude that the first Christians could read God’s name both in their translations of the Hebrew Scriptures and in their copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures.
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#91 Mar 24, 2013
Early Christians helped people from many nations to come to know Jehovah by name. Thus, in a meeting of the apostles and older men in Jerusalem, the disciple James said:“God ... turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.”—Acts 15:14.
Nevertheless, the enemy of God’s name did not give up. Once the apostles were dead, Satan wasted no time in sowing apostasy.(Matthew 13:38, 39; 2 Peter 2:1) For ex: the nominal Christian writer Justin Martyr was born about the time John, the last of the apostles, died. Yet, Justin repeatedly insisted in his writings that the Provider of all things is “a God who is called by no proper name.” When apostate Christians made copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures, they evidently took Jehovah’s personal name out of the text and substituted Ky′ri·os, the Greek word for “Lord.” The Hebrew Scriptures did not fare any better. No longer reading God’s name aloud, apostate Jewish scribes replaced the divine name in their Scriptures with ʼAdho·nai′ more than 130 times. The influential translation of the Bible into Latin that was completed by Jerome in 405 C.E. and that came to be called theVulgate similarly omitted the personal name of God.
Modern Attempts to Efface God’s Name Today, scholars are aware that Jehovah’s personal name appears some 7,000 times in the Bible. Thus, some widely used translations, such as the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, the Catholic La Biblia Latinoaméricain Spanish, and the popular Reina-Valera version, also in Spanish, freely use God’s personal name. Some translations render God’s name “Yahweh.”
Sadly, many churches that sponsor Bible translations pressure scholars into omitting God’s name from their translations of the Bible. For ex: in a letter dated June 29, 2008, to presidents of Catholic bishops’ conferences, the Vatican stated:“In recent years the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel’s proper name.” The letter gives this pointed direction:“The name of God ... is neither to be used or pronounced.” Furthermore,“for the translation of the Biblical text in modern languages,... the divine Tetragrammaton is to be rendered by the equivalent of Adonai/Kyrios:‘Lord.’” Clearly, this Vatican directive is aimed at eliminating the use of God’s name. Protestants have been no less disrespectful in their treatment of Jehovah’s name. A spokesman for the Protestant-sponsored New International Version,published in English in 1978, wrote:“Jehovah is a distinctive name for God and ideally we should have used it. But we put 2.4 million dollars into this translation and a sure way of throwing that down the drain is to translate, for ex: Psalm 23 as,‘Yahweh is my shepherd.’”
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#92 Mar 24, 2013
In addition, churches have hindered Latin Americans from knowing God by name. Steven Voth, a translation consultant for the United Bible Societies (UBS), writes: “One of the ongoing debates in Latin American Protestant circles revolves around the use of the name Jehová Interestingly enough, a very large and growing neo-pentecostal church . . . said they wanted a Reina-Valera 1960 edition, but without the name Jehová. Instead, they wanted the word Señor [Lord].” According to Voth, the UBS rejected this request at first but later gave in and published an edition of the Reina-Valera Bible “without the word Jehová.” Deleting God’s name from his written Word and replacing it with “Lord” hinders readers from truly knowing who God is. Such a substitution creates confusion. For ex: a reader may not be able to discern whether the term “Lord” refers to Jehovah or to his Son, Jesus. Thus, in the scripture in which the apostle Peter quotes David as saying: “Jehovah said to my Lord [the resurrected Jesus]: ‘Sit at my right hand,’” many Bible translations read: “The Lord said to my Lord.” (Acts 2:34, NIV) In addition, David Clines, in his essay “Yahweh and the God of Christian Theology,” points out: “One result of the absence of Yahweh from Christian consciousness has been the tendency to focus on the person of Christ.” Thus, many churchgoers are hardly aware that the true God to whom Jesus directed his prayers is a Person with a name—Jehovah.
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#93 Mar 24, 2013
GREAT CROWD

An expression that, in itself, is quite common in the Christian Greek Scriptures.“Great crowd(s)” is sometimes used with regard to the large groups of persons who heard Jesus Christ’s public teaching.(Mt 14:14; 19:2; 20:29) After the vision of the destruction of the symbolic Babylon the Great, the apostle John heard “what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.”(Re 19:1) At Revelation 7:9, however,“a great crowd” is mentioned whose identification has particularly been a matter of keen interest.
In this chapter, the apostle John first refers to the sealing of 144,000 slaves of God “out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.”(Re 7:2-8) After this, he saw in a vision “a great crowd” out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. These ascribe their salvation to God and to the Lamb as they stand before God’s throne. They have come out of “the great tribulation,” they serve God in his temple, and he spreads his tent over them. All their hunger and thirst are to be ended and every tear is to be wiped from their eyes as his Son (the Lamb; Joh 1:29) guides them to the waters of life.—Re 7:9-17.
Popular Views. Various views have been advanced as to the significance and identification of this “great crowd.” Many commentators view the 144,000 sealed ones, first mentioned, as members of “spiritual Israel” and believe that they symbolize the Christian congregation while on earth. They feel that the “great crowd” represents that same Christian congregation in heaven, after the individuals have died in faith and have been resurrected. Others hold that the 144,000 are literally from “every tribe of the sons of Israel”(Re 7:4), that is, fleshly Jews who become Christians, and they consider the “great crowd” to represent all the Gentile Christians. A consideration of Revelation chapter 7 and other related texts, however, reveals serious inconsistencies in these views, at the same time pointing to a different conclusion.
To hold that the 144,000 sealed ones are the members of the Christian congregation while on earth whereas the “great crowd” are the resurrected Christians in heaven does not harmonize with the other mention of the 144,000, in Revelation chapter 14. There the 144,000 are stationed with the Lamb on “Mount Zion.” At Hebrews 12:18-24 the apostle Paul contrasts the experience of the Israelites at the earthly Mount Sinai with that of the Christians who have “approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” Obviously, then, although Revelation 14:3 says that the 144,000 have been “bought from the earth,” the context depicts them as being, not on earth, but in heaven with the heavenly Lamb, Christ Jesus.(Re 14:3, 4) This renders invalid the view that the 144,000 represent the Christian congregation while on earth in contrast with their being the “great crowd” in heaven.
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#94 Mar 24, 2013
Additionally, the way in which the apostle John introduces his vision of the “great crowd” indicates a clear distinction of identity between them and the 144,000 sealed ones. He states:“After these things [the account of the 144,000 sealed ones] I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number.”(Re 7:9) He thus presents the “great crowd” as a separate entity and makes a definite contrast between the specific number of the 144,000 and the unnumbered “great crowd.” They are also distinguished by their being, not “of the sons of Israel,” but out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. They are not seen standing ‘with the Lamb’ as are the 144,000, at Revelation 14:1, but are “before the Lamb.” These several factors all argue that the “great crowd” is separate and distinct from the 144,000 sealed ones.
On the other hand, the view that here Christians of Jewish stock are being distinguished from Gentile Christians runs counter to the apostle Paul’s inspired statement that fleshly distinctions are of no consideration in the Christian congregation, its members being all one in union with Christ Jesus.(Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28) Jehovah, having ‘fully reconciled both peoples [Jews and non-Jews] to himself in one body’ through Christ, could hardly be expected to make a division between the two groups now by separating fleshly Jews from Gentiles in the vision given to John.(Eph 2:11-21; Ac 15:7-9) This is particularly evident when the divine principle stated by Paul is taken into account. The apostle wrote:“He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit.”(Ro 2:28, 29) Why, too, would there be no mention of any ‘sealing’ of the Gentile Christians in this divine vision? And why would not the Gentile Christians be able to master the new song sung by the 144,000?(Re 14:3) It thus seems clear that the 144,000 sealed ones are of spiritual Israel, not fleshly Israel—hence include both Jewish and Gentile Christians.—Ga 6:16.
Their Identification. The key to the identification of the “great crowd” is found within the description of them in Revelation chapter 7 and in obviously parallel passages. Revelation 7:15-17 speaks of God as ‘spreading his tent over them,’ of their being guided to “fountains of waters of life,” and of God’s wiping “every tear from their eyes.” At Revelation 21:2-4 we find parallel expressions:‘God’s tent being with mankind,’ his ‘wiping every tear from their eyes,’ and ‘death being no more.’ The vision there presented is concerning persons not in heaven, from where the ‘New Jerusalem comes down,’ but on earth, among mankind.
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#95 Mar 24, 2013
This poses the question: If the “great crowd” are persons who gain salvation and remain on earth, how could they be said to be ‘standing before God’s throne and before the Lamb’?(Re 7:9) The position of ‘standing’ is sometimes used in the Bible to indicate the holding of a favored or approved position in the eyes of the one in whose presence the individual or group stands.(Ps 1:5; 5:5; Pr 22:29, AT; Lu 1:19) In fact, in the previous chapter of Revelation,“the kings of the earth and the top-ranking ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong ones and every slave and every free person” are depicted as seeking to hide themselves “from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”(Re 6:15-17; compare Lu 21:36.) It thus appears that the “great crowd” is formed of those persons who have been preserved during that time of wrath and who have been able to “stand” as approved by God and the Lamb.
The Lamb’s guiding them to “fountains of waters of life” finds a parallel at Revelation 22:17, which says:“The spirit and the bride keep on saying:‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say:‘Come!’ and let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” The “bride” is clearly identified in the Scriptures as the anointed Christian congregation, espoused to the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ Jesus.(Eph 5:25-27; 2Co 11:2; Re 19:7-9; 21:9-11) The invitation to “take life’s water free” presented by the heavenly “bride” class is obviously open to an unlimited number of persons,“anyone that wishes.” Likewise unnumbered are the “great crowd,” the vision at Revelation 7:9 thereby harmonizing with that at Revelation 22:17.
The sum of the evidence, therefore, points to the “great crowd” as representing all those persons who are not of the heavenly “bride” class, or 144,000 sealed ones, but who stand approved at the time of the “great tribulation” and are preserved alive on earth.
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#96 Mar 24, 2013
Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses say that God’s Kingdom was established in 1914?
Two lines of evidence point to that year:(1) Bible chronology and (2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy. Here we will consider the chronology.
Read Daniel 4:1-17. Da 4 Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment. How do we know that? Da 4 Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God’s promise to give it “to the one whom he wants to ... even the lowliest one of mankind.” The entire Bible shows that Jehovah’s purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind.(Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible’s description of Jesus shows that he was indeed “the lowliest one of mankind.”(Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son.
What was to happen in the meantime? Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have “the heart of a beast.”(Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China. The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan.(Dan. 7:2-8, 17, 23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1, 2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations” were fulfilled.(Luke 21:24)“Jerusalem” represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on “the throne of the kingship of Jehovah.”(1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would ‘trample’ on the right of God’s Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan’s control.—Compare Luke 4:5, 6.
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#97 Mar 24, 2013
For how long would such governments be permitted to exercise this control before Jehovah gave the Kingdom to Jesus Christ? Daniel 4:16 says “seven times”(“seven years,” AT and Mo, also JB footnote on Da 4 verse 13). The Bible shows that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year.(Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34) How many “days,” then, are involved? Revelation 11:2, 3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1,260 days. Seven years would be twice that, or 2,520 days. Applying the “day for a year” rule would result in 2,520 years.
When did the counting of the “seven times” begin? After Zedekiah, the last king in the typical Kingdom of God, was removed from the throne in Jerusalem by the Babylonians.(Ezek. 21:25-27) Finally, by early October of 607 B.C.E. the last vestige of Jewish sovereignty was gone. By that time the Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who had been left in charge by the Babylonians, had been assassinated, and the remaining Jews had fled to Egypt.(Jeremiah, chapters 40-43) Reliable Bible chronology indicates that this took place 70 years before 537 B.C.E., the year in which the Jews returned from captivity; that is, it took place by early October of 607 B.C.E.(Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2;
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#98 Mar 24, 2013
How, then, is the time calculated down to 1914? Counting 2,520 years from early October of 607 B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914 C.E., as shown on the chart.
CALCULATING THE “SEVEN TIMES”
“Seven times”= 7 X 360 = 2,520 years
A Biblical “time,” or year = 12 X 30 days = 360.(Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14)
In the fulfillment of the “seven times” each day equals one year.(Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34)
Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E.= 1/4 year
January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E.= 606 years
January 1, 1 C.E., to December 31, 1913 = 1,913 years
January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 = 3/4 year
Total: 2,520 years
What happened at that time? Jehovah entrusted rulership over mankind to his own Son, Jesus Christ, glorified in the heavens.—Dan. 7:13, 14.
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#99 Mar 24, 2013
Then why is there still so much wickedness on earth? After Christ was enthroned, Satan and his demons were hurled out of heaven and down to the earth.(Rev. 12:12) Christ as King did not immediately proceed to destroy all who refused to acknowledge Jehovah’s sovereignty and himself as the Messiah. Instead, as he had foretold, a global preaching work was to be done.(Matt. 24:14) As King he would direct a dividing of peoples of all nations, those proving to be righteous being granted the prospect of everlasting life, and the wicked being consigned to everlasting cutting-off in death.(Matt. 25:31-46) In the meantime, the very difficult conditions foretold for “the last days” would prevail. As shown under the heading “Last Days,” those events have been clearly in evidence since 1914. Before the last members of the generation that was alive in 1914 will have passed off the scene, all the things foretold will occur, including the “great tribulation” in which the present wicked world will end.—Matt. 24:21, 22, 34.
When will the end of this wicked world come?
Jesus answered:“Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” However, he also stated:“Truly I say to you that this generation [that was alive when “the sign” of “the last days” began its fulfillment] will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”—Matt. 24:36, 34.
Also, after telling of events that would follow the establishment of the Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ in 1914, Revelation 12:12 adds:“Be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
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#100 Mar 24, 2013
Were the ages of people before the Flood, as stated in the Bible, measured according to the same kind of years that we use?
If it was reasoned that the “years” must be equivalent to our months, then Enosh became a father when he was seven years of age, and Kenan was only five years old when he fathered a son.(Gen. 5:9, 12) That is, clearly, impossible.
Detailed chronology provided in connection with the Flood indicates the length of months and years used at that time. Comparison of Genesis 7:11, 24 and Ge 8:3, 4 shows that five months (from the 17th of the 2nd month to the 17th of the 7th month) was equal to 150 days, or five 30-day months. Specific reference is made to a “tenth month” and to further periods beyond that before coming to the next year.(Gen. 8:5, 6, 8, 10, 12-14) Evidently, their years were made up of twelve 30-day months. At a very early time, the strictly lunar calendar was adjusted periodically to the length of the solar year, as indicated by Israel’s holding seasonal festivals of ingathering on specified dates. In that way the festivals continued to fall in the appropriate seasons.—Lev. 23:39.
Keep in mind that God made humans to live forever. It was Adam’s sin that led to death.(Gen. 2:17; 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12) Those who lived before the Flood were closer to perfection than we are today, so they lived much longer. But each one died within a thousand years.
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#101 Mar 24, 2013
THROUGHOUT history, millions of people have believed that they would eventually leave the earth and go to heaven. Some have felt that our Creator never intended that the earth should be our permanent dwelling place. Ascetics have gone even further. To many of them, the earth and all material things are evil—a barrier to real spiritual fulfillment and closeness to God.
Those who developed the foregoing ideas were either unaware of what God said on the matter of a paradise earth or chose to ignore it. Today, in fact, many show no interest in examining what God inspired men to record on this subject in his Word, the Bible.(2 Timothy 3:16, 17) But is it not wise to trust God’s Word instead of adopting theories of men?(Romans 3:4) It is, in fact, vital that we do so, since the Bible warns us that a powerful but invisible evil creature has blinded people spiritually and is now “misleading the entire inhabited earth.”—Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4.
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#102 Mar 24, 2013
Why the Confusion?
Conflicting ideas about the soul have caused people to be confused about God’s purpose for the earth. Many believe that we have an immortal soul—something that is separate from the human body and that survives death. Others believe that the soul existed before the human body was created. According to one reference work, the Greek philosopher Plato felt that the soul “is incarcerated in the body as a punishment for the sins which it committed in its heavenly state.” Similarly, the third-century theologian Origen said that “souls sinned [in heaven] before they were united with a body” and were “imprisoned [in that body on earth] as a punishment for their sins.” And millions believe that the earth is simply some kind of testing ground on man’s journey to heaven.
There are also various ideas about what happens to the soul when a person dies. According to the book History of Western Philosophy, the Egyptians developed the view that “the souls of the dead descend into the underworld.” Philosophers later argued that the souls of the dead did not descend into a dark underworld but actually ascended to a higher spirit realm. The Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have held that at death the soul “departs into [an] invisible region ... and spends the rest of its existence with the gods.”
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#103 Mar 24, 2013
What Does the Bible Say?

Nowhere does God’s inspired Word, the Bible, say that humans have an immortal soul. Read the account at Genesis 2:7 for yourself. It says:“Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” That is clear and unambiguous. When God created the first man, Adam, He did not put some kind of immaterial principle into him. No, for the Bible says that “the man came to be a living soul.” The man did not house a soul. He was a soul.
In creating the earth and the human family, Jehovah never intended that man should die.
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#104 Mar 24, 2013
SOUL

The original-language terms (Hebrew) ne′phesh [ׁנ&#1 462;פֶ ש]; (Greek) psy·khe′ [ψυ&#967 ;ή]) as used in the Scriptures show “soul” to be a person, an animal, or the life that a person or an animal enjoys.
The connotations that the English “soul” commonly carries in the minds of most persons are not in agreement with the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words as used by the inspired Bible writers. This fact has steadily gained wider acknowledgment. Back in 1897, in the Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. XVI, p. 30), Professor C. A. Briggs, as a result of detailed analysis of the use of ne′phesh, observed:“Soul in English usage at the present time conveys usually a very different meaning from נפ&#15 13; [ne′phesh] in Hebrew, and it is easy for the incautious reader to misinterpret.”
More recently, when The Jewish Publication Society of America issued a new translation of the Torah, or first five books of the Bible, the editor-in-chief, H. M. Orlinsky of Hebrew Union College, stated that the word “soul” had been virtually eliminated from this translation because,“the Hebrew word in question here is ‘Nefesh.’” He added:“Other translators have interpreted it to mean ‘soul,’ which is completely inaccurate. The Bible does not say we have a soul.‘Nefesh’ is the person himself, his need for food, the very blood in his veins, his being.”—The New York Times, October 12, 1962.
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#105 Mar 24, 2013
What is the origin of the teaching that the human soul is invisible and immortal?
The difficulty lies in the fact that the meanings popularly attached to the English word “soul” stem primarily, not from the Hebrew or Christian Greek Scriptures, but from ancient Greek philosophy, actually pagan religious thought. Greek philosopher Plato, for example, quotes Socrates as saying:“The soul,... if it departs pure, dragging with it nothing of the body,... goes away into that which is like itself, into the invisible, divine, immortal, and wise, and when it arrives there it is happy, freed from error and folly and fear ... and all the other human ills, and ... lives in truth through all after time with the gods.”—Phaedo, 80, D, E; 81, A.
In direct contrast with the Greek teaching of the psy·khe′ (soul) as being immaterial, intangible, invisible, and immortal, the Scriptures show that both psy·khe′ and ne′phesh, as used with reference to earthly creatures, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia says:“Nepes [ne′phesh] is a term of far greater extension than our ‘soul,’ signifying life (Ex 21.23; Dt 19.21) and its various vital manifestations: breathing (Gn 35.18; Jb 41.13[21]), blood [Gn 9.4; Dt 12.23; Ps 140(141).8 Ps 141:8], desire (2 Sm 3.21; Prv 23.2). The soul in the Old Testament means not a part of man, but the whole man—man as a living being. Similarly, in the New Testament it signifies human life: the life of an individual, conscious subject (Mt 2.20; 6.25; Lk 12.22-23; 14.26; Jn 10.11, 15, 17; 13.37).”—1967, Vol. XIII, p. 467.
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#106 Mar 24, 2013
The Roman Catholic translation, The New American Bible, in its “Glossary of Biblical Theology Terms”(pp. 27, 28), says:“In the New Testament, to ‘save one’s soul’(Mk 8:35) does not mean to save some ‘spiritual’ part of man, as opposed to his ‘body’(in the Platonic sense) but the whole person with emphasis on the fact that the person is living, desiring, loving and willing, etc., in addition to being concrete and physical".

Ne′phesh evidently comes from a root meaning “breathe” and in a literal sense ne′phesh could be rendered as “a breather.” Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden, 1958, p. 627) defines it as:“the breathing substance, making man a[nd] animal living beings Gn 1, 20, Ge 1:20 the soul (strictly distinct from the greek notion of soul) the seat of which is the blood Gn 9, 4f Lv 17, 11 Dt 12, 23: Ge 9:4; Le 17:11; De 12:23 (249 X)... soul = living being, individual, person.”
Miked2020

United States

#107 Mar 24, 2013
As for the Greek word psy·khe Greek-English lexicons give such definitions as “life,” and “the conscious self or personality as centre of emotions, desires, and affections,”“a living being,” and they show that even in non-Biblical Greek works the term was used “of animals.” Of course, such sources, treating as they do primarily of classical Greek writings, include all the meanings that the pagan Greek philosophers gave to the word, including that of “departed spirit,”“the immaterial and immortal soul,”“the spirit of the universe,” and “the immaterial principle of movement and life.” Evidently because some of the pagan philosophers taught that the soul emerged from the body at death, the term psy·khe was also applied to the “butterfly or moth,” which creatures go through a metamorphosis, changing from caterpillar to winged creature.—Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, revised by H. Jones, 1968, pp. 2026, 2027; Donnegan’s New Greek and English Lexicon, 1836, p. 1404.
The ancient Greek writers applied psy·khe; in various ways and were not consistent, their personal and religious philosophies influencing their use of the term. Of Plato, to whose philosophy the common ideas about the English “soul” may be attributed (as is generally acknowledged), it is stated:“While he sometimes speaks of one of [the alleged] three parts of the soul, the ‘intelligible,’ as necessarily immortal, while the other two parts are mortal, he also speaks as if there were two souls in one body, one immortal and divine, the other mortal.”—The Evangelical Quarterly, London, 1931, Vol. III, p. 121,“Thoughts on the Tripartite Theory of Human Nature,” by A. McCaig.

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