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Switch to Forum Live View Exhaustive study of nephesh/soul in the Hebrew Scriptures for Biblical usage defintitions.
8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 11:06AM #1
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

Edit on 1/6/2014 - here is a link that lists (hopefully with no occurences missed) all occurences of nephesh from Genesis through Ruth:


www.logosapostolic.org/hebrew_word_studi...


This link is not from Jehovah's Witnesses - it is from a different religion, to wit:


Logos Apostolic Church of God


We agree on some teachings but not on others.


The link and the other links containing the rest of the occurences of nephesh, and the occurences of Greek psyche in the Christian Greek Scriptures do not mention any teachings - they do highlight some of the occurences where the soul dies or is killed.


 


End edit.


 


goodtobehome suggested a separate thread from hers to be specifically devoted to this word  study.  I will be starting with Genesis with the first occurence.  I am reposting the first few already posted on in the other thread but now buried under tangents. 


Ann - note this first post was addressed to you in the other thread:


Ann - Have you done the study of Biblical usage of soul to determine the most common definitions? They are (in my own words):


1. The whole person - mortal, destructible.


2. Life as a soul


From our Bible dictionary, more carefully considered:


"SOUL


The original-language terms (Heb., ne´phesh [נפ?]; Gr., psy·khe´ [ψυχή]) as used in the Scriptures show "soul" to be a person, an animal, or the life that a person or an animal enjoys." - "Insight on the Scriptures," Volume 2, p. 1004


Now there are figurative uses, of course, but these are quite rare in occurence. One case is desire that pervades the whole person/soul. In the list of occurences, it can be expected that the most common definitions will be encountered early in the list and, of course, frequently.


No occurences will be skipped in this analysis.


A study of all the Biblical uses of soul is important, and goodtobehome clearly agrees - so I will start us off.


At the outset, this is more easy for Jehovah's Witnesses, since our translation ALWAYS translates nephesh as soul, so the Bible reader can be familiar with Biblical usage of the Hebrew nephesh. Of course, I am starting with the Hebrew Scriptures, since psyche, not nephesh, is in the Greek Scriptures.Rather than prejudicing you all (including lurkers) I will not at first mention which above definiton is used - and, also, I will gladly amend the definitions above if you all give evidence for it.


I will number the occurences for more easy reference later. You all can add to the list, but please do so in the order of occurence, and please then also number the occurences. Thank you in advance. And this will be soul singular and plural, btw. I am starting with Genesis of course. I get 959 occurences in singular, and 169 occurences in plural. Would anyone like to confirm that? That would be 18 plural and 37 singular in Genesis - which will be, of course, the first 55 occurences I will consider.Needless to say, considering the contexts of each occurence will also involve much Bible reading, not a bad thing, of course.


Before listing them, a brief comment from our Bible dictionary:


"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 נפש [ne´phesh] in Hebrew, and it is easy for the incautious reader to misinterpret.""


1. (Genesis1:20) . . .And God went on to say: "Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens."


NW footnote:


"Of living souls." Gr., ψυχῶν ζωσῶν (psy·khon' zo·son', pl.); Heb., ne'phesh chai·yah', sing., referring to marine animals. In Heb. the same expression is used with reference to man in 2:7. See App 4A.


This first occurence is: soul = animal. This is appropriate, as the Latin word for soul (e.g. in the Latin Vulgate = Vg) is "anima."


Gen 1:20


And God H430 said,H559 Let the watersH4325 bring forth abundantlyH8317 the moving creatureH8318 that hath life,H5315 H2416 and fowlH5775 that may flyH5774 aboveH5921 the earthH776 inH5921 the openH6440 firmamentH7549 of heaven.H8064 - KJV with Strong's #s - E-Sword


Note that KJV translates H5315 (nephesh) as life, which is a different Hebrew word (chaiyah - H2426:base:chay) and translates H8318 (sherets = swarm) as "moving creature" which further confuses matter since verse 21 KJV translates nephesh as creature.


Note here that KJV hides the fact that nephesh is here in Hebrew, a common tactic in many Bible translations. However, in doing so, KJV adds one of their extremely long list of definitions - which confuses the matter as the words used actually represent different Hebrew and Greek words. Granted, life is also a definition of nephesh - Biblical usage shows that nephesh and chaiyah are not synonyms, however. Otherwise the Hebrew nephesh chayah in verse 20 would be translated living life! That is, of course, wrong. Living (chaiyah) soul (nephesh) is correct. Living immortal soul, btw ,would also not make sense since living implies the soul could later be a dead soul, and dead immortal soul is, of course, impossible! And most of Christendom does not teach animals are immortal souls, do they?


2. (Genesis 1:21) . . .And ,God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that moves about, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good.


NW footnote:"Living soul." Heb., ne'phesh ha·chai·yah', sing.; Gr., ψυχὴν ζῴων (psy·khen' [sing.] zoi'on [pl.], "soul of living ones").


Here nephesh = animal. This is appropriate since the latin word for soul is 'anima.'


 Note that creature in KJV is an addition in its first occurrence in verse 21, and a translation of nephesh in verse 21(later)


KJV: nephesh = creature in the 2nd occurrence in verse 21, which is wrong. NW has "creature" 75 times, in verse 21 both the Hebrew words for soul and for "living creature" are in verse 21, where I will discuss this in more depth. For now, living creature in Hebrew is chaiyah, literally "living creature" with the emphasis on living, not dead. Creature by itself is sometimes understood from the context but is not stated in Hebrew, otherwise it would be from the Hebrew word to create, which is bara (Greek ktizo) - but I am not aware this is used in Scripture with that definition.


In verse 20 NW "flying creatures" is a Hebrew to English example of the same usage in the Greek Scriptures where "beast" or "bird, etc" includes creature in its definition, as Vine's notes, along with "living creature" which is chaiyah in Hebrew and zoon in Greek in certain contexts:


 www.antioch.com.sg/cgi-bin/bible/vines/g...


B4. Create, Creation, Creator, Creature [Noun]


zoon


"a living creature:" see BEAST


This is, of course, from the Greek word for "life", equivalent to the Hebrew chaiyah.


 www.antioch.com.sg/cgi-bin/bible/vines/g...


1. Beast


zoon


primarily denotes "a living being" (zoe, "life"). The Eng., "animal," is the equivalent, stressing the fact of life as the characteristic feature. In Heb_13:11 the AV and the RV translate it "beasts" ("animals" would be quite suitable). In 2_Pet_2:12; Jude_1:10, the AV has "beasts," the RV "creatures." In the Apocalypse, where the word is found some 20 times, and always of those beings which stand before the throne of God, who give glory and honor and thanks to Him, Rev_4:6, and act in perfect harmony with His counsels, Rev_5:14; Rev_6:1-7, e.g., the word "beasts" is most unsuitable; the RV, "living creatures," should always be used; it gives to zoon its appropriate significance. See CREATURE


www.antioch.com.sg/cgi-bin/bible/vines/g...


There the Greek word for create, ktizo (Hebrew bara) can mean "creature" especially as a noun.


In verse 20 nephesh is used in conjunction with chaiyah - it is rendered simply "living (chaiyah) soul(s) (nephesh)" which is correct - i.e. NW is correct in verses 20,21 and KJV is incorrect in verse 21.


Since creature is a definition of chaiyah, KJV has, in effect, omitted the word nephesh in its translation of verse 21, to wit:


Gen 1:21 And GodH430 createdH1254 (H853) greatH1419 whales,H8577 and everyH3605 livingH2416 creatureH5315 that moveth,H7430 whichH834 the watersH4325 brought forth abundantly,H8317 after their kind,H4327 and everyH3605 wingedH3671 fowlH5775 after his kind:H4327 and GodH430 sawH7200 thatH3588 it was good.H2896 - KJV with Strong's #s - E-sword


H5315 is nephesh, hence soul, not creature as KJV translates nephesh here. Remember, in verse 20 KJV translated sherets as moving creature- thus deceiving the reader into thinking a similar word is being used for creature in verses 20 & 21. Sherets is not the same in meaning as nephesh!


Remember, verse 20 & 21 both have chaiyah (2416) nephesh (5315). NW consistently translates this as "living soul" while KJV translates this as "that hath life" in verse 20 (hence removing soul from the text) and "living creature" in verse 21 - in effect again removing soul from the text!


I am out of time (and it will take considerable time to consider each of the over 1,000 occurences of nephesh in the Hebrew Scripures). Once, however, a pattern in translation in KJV and other versions is established, this will go much faster.


Those of you who wish to join me in this intended to be exhaustive study - please feel free to help!


For example, there are many other translations of Genesis 1:20,21 - not all of them hide nephesh here as KJV does.


For example, Rotherham's translation (Ro) reads "living soul" in both verses 20 and 21, with this footnote (d): Note the collective use of the word. Same word: verses 21,24,30 (where the partitive sense is to be carefully observed), and ii. 7, 19, etc. Cp. N.T. Ap.: "soul."


 Is this Ro appendix available online, btw?


Of course, the other verses Ro refers to in its footnote are upcoming occurrences of nephesh.


To be continued

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 5:13PM #2
Goodtobehomestill
Posts: 6,658

The next 3 instances of soul, with links to view the word 'nephesh.




 




4.) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life , [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so. Gen 1:30 KJV




Here again we see 'nephesh' left out, completely left out of the verse. 





www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=G...




and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life *,(click life in the verse, you'll get soul)  I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.




Gen 1:30 says food was given to all moving things that had life as souls.  Why not keep 'nephesh' in the verse so we can clearly see, animal that eat green plants are souls?




 




5.) Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  KJV




 




www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=g...







Here 'soul' (quite literal) is used quite correctly.  The understanding is even correct, man became a living soul when God breathed the force of life into him. 





It does not say he was given a soul, or a soul was put within him, he became a soul.   Literally.




 




6.) And then he got to meet a bunch of other souls. Gen 2:19 Except the KJV doesn't call them souls, it calls them 'creatures.'  Yet 'nephesh' is the word in the verse.




www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=G...




 




Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever * the man called a living creature, that was its name.




Click creature, you will see 'soul' or nephesh.




Whatever the man called a 'soul' this became its name. 





Giraffes, monkeys, etc.  Very literally souls.


“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
― Epictetus

Life is like photography, you need a clear lens, and the picture you get depends on what you focus on.


Anger stems from irrational beliefs about others, anxiety stems from irrational beliefs about yourself.---Spencer Lord, The Brain Mechanic
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8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 9:48PM #3
Goodtobehomestill
Posts: 6,658

6.) (Genesis 9:4,5)  4 Only flesh with its soul—its blood—YOU must not eat. 5 And, besides that, YOUR blood of YOUR souls shall I ask back. From the hand of every living creature shall I ask it back; and from the hand of man, from the hand of each one who is his brother, shall I ask back the soul of man.


 


But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.--KJV for vs. 4


 


www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=g...


Here we see a metaphorical use of 'soul.'   Nephesh is translated 'life' in the KJV.  It is fairly clear that the 'life' or 'soul' of the animal is represented by the blood.  It would not literally mean that the blood and the soul are synonymous. 


vs. 5 KJV


www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=g...


 


And surely your blood of your lives will I require ; at the hand of every beast will I require it , and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.


  Again 'lives' is 'nephesh.'  But we see in God's eyes, the blood standing for a man's life.   The Creator gives life, anyone taking that away, answers to God.


 


7.) (Genesis 9:10-16) 10 and with every living soul that is with YOU, among fowls, among beasts and among all living creatures of the earth with YOU, from all those going out of the ark to every living creature of the earth. 11 Yes, I do establish my covenant with YOU: No more will all flesh be cut off by waters of a deluge, and no more will there occur a deluge to bring the earth to ruin.” 12 And God added: “This is the sign of the covenant that I am giving between me and YOU and every living soul that is with YOU, for the generations to time indefinite. 13 My rainbow I do give in the cloud, and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall occur that when I bring a cloud over the earth, then the rainbow will certainly appear in the cloud. 15 And I shall certainly remember my covenant which is between me and YOU and every living soul among all flesh; and no more will the waters become a deluge to bring all flesh to ruin. 16 And the rainbow must occur in the cloud, and I shall certainly see it to remember the covenant to time indefinite between God and every living soul among all flesh that is upon the earth.”


 


KJV vs 10-And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out  of the ark, to every beast of the earth.


www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=G...


 


Here we are back to literal souls.. and see that KJV translates the literal 'soul' again as creature.  Now it certainly does mean living creatures, that is correct.  But we see these living creatures are still the same as literal 'living souls.'  As I believe Newtonian mentioned, 'living immortal soul' would be nonsensical as immortal souls could not be anything but living.  And it is talking about 'fowl, cattle, beasts.'  Are they immortal souls, or creatures of the earth?  They are clearly creatures and clearly souls... but surely NOT immortal.


 

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
― Epictetus

Life is like photography, you need a clear lens, and the picture you get depends on what you focus on.


Anger stems from irrational beliefs about others, anxiety stems from irrational beliefs about yourself.---Spencer Lord, The Brain Mechanic
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8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 10:34PM #4
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

goodtobehome - I numbered including the plural "souls" and have this so far: [I composed this before reading your posts!]


3. (Genesis 1:24-25) 24 And God went on to say: "Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind." And it came to be so. 25 And God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good.


NW footnote on wild beast: Or, "and living creature." Heb., wecha·yethoh´. Also "living creature" in vs 28. This is a form of chaiyah/chay for life, hence living in living creature. If you wish this researched further, please let me know. KJV renders wechayethoh as "beast," and nephesh as creature, thus continuing to confuse nephesh with chaiyah, to wit:



Gen 1:24 And GodH430 said,H559 Let the earthH776 bring forthH3318 the livingH2416 creatureH5315 after his kind,H4327 cattle,H929 and creeping thing,H7431 and beastH2416 of the earthH776 after his kind:H4327 and it wasH1961 so.H3651



Gen 1:25 And GodH430 madeH6213 (H853) the beastH2416 of the earthH776 after his kind,H4327 and cattleH929 after their kind,H4327 and every thingH3605 that creepethH7431 upon the earthH127 after his kind:H4327 and GodH430 sawH7200 thatH3588 it was good.H2896


Remember, 5315 is nephesh for soul, and 2416 is chaiyah/chay to living/life - thus both KJV and NWT translate chaiyah as "living" here, but KJV adds the additional definition of chaiyah, namely "living creature" and removes nephesh/soul from the text - hiding the fact that animals are souls and, of course, hiding the fact that nephesh/soul is in the Hebrew text. Thus NW is correct and KJV is wrong.


4. (Genesis 1:30) . . .And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.". . .


NW footnote: Lit., "living soul." Heb., ne´phesh chai·yah´, also rendered "living soul(s)" in vs 20; 2:7.


Gen 1:30 And to everyH3605 beastH2416 of the earth,H776 and to everyH3605 fowlH5775 of the air,H8064 and to every thingH3605 that creepethH7430 uponH5921 the earth,H776 whereinH834 there is life,H5315 H2416 I have given(H853) everyH3605 greenH3418 herbH6212 for meat:H402 and it wasH1961 so.H3651


Notice KJV blatantly removes nephesh/soul from the text, translating 2416 chaiyah as life (which is close) but removing nephesh/soul from the text! [as you noted also]


Knowing that nephesh/soul is in the text here, this naturally brings up the question as to whether insects are souls - I would tend to think so, btw. They are considered animals scientifically, and the Latin word from which the English word animal is derived is the latin word for soul, namely: anima. It does seem to indicate that animate life, I.e. everything moving upon the earth, are souls. Plants, of course, not only do not move much but also they have a different spirit than humans, while all animals have the same spirit, to wit:


(Ecclesiastes 3:18-20) . . .I, even I, have said in my heart with regard to the sons of mankind that the [true] God is going to select them, that they may see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For there is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. 20 All are going to one place. They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust.


Note that plants do not have the same spirit as man. This is partly due to the different way plants breathe (I.e. transpiration) but also to the way they are animated (or lack thereof). This distinction breaks down somewhat at the microscopic level, but the creation account is not talking about microscopic life. The degree of consciousness is also a factor - animals are more conscious of their surroundings than plants are (though plants do have some consciousness) - also animals communicate more extensively than plants (though some trees do communicate dangers to other trees, etc.). This is likely why the Bible refers to animals as souls, but not to plants as souls. One should not ignore the repeated Biblical statements that the soul is in the blood, of course. That latter case involves life as a soul as the definition.


In short: animals are souls, plants are not souls. This helps further explain what the definiton of soul is in Biblical usage, again: living souls (nephesh chaiyah) not dead souls as in later occurrences of nephesh that goodtobehome as posted on.


5.(Genesis 2:7) . . .And 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.


This has been posted on earlier in this thread - since this is the human soul, not merely animal, I will post separately on this in a little more detail


 


 


 


 


____________________________


6. (Genesis 9:3-6) . . .Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for YOU. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to YOU. 4 Only flesh with its soul-its blood-YOU must not eat. 5 And, besides that, YOUR blood of YOUR souls shall I ask back. From the hand of every living creature shall I ask it back; and from the hand of man, from the hand of each one who is his brother, shall I ask back the soul of man. 6 Anyone shedding man's blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God's image he made man.


7. (Genesis 9:8-11) . . .And God went on to say to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "And as for me, here I am establishing my covenant with YOU men and with YOUR offspring after YOU, 10 and with every living soul that is with YOU, among fowls, among beasts and among all living creatures of the earth with YOU, from all those going out of the ark to every living creature of the earth. 11 Yes, I do establish my covenant with YOU: No more will all flesh be cut off by waters of a deluge, and no more will there occur a deluge to bring the earth to ruin."


8. (Genesis 9:12-16) . . .And God added: "This is the sign of the covenant that I am giving between me and YOU and every living soul that is with YOU, for the generations to time indefinite. 13 My rainbow I do give in the cloud, and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall occur that when I bring a cloud over the earth, then the rainbow will certainly appear in the cloud. 15 And I shall certainly remember my covenant which is between me and YOU and every living soul among all flesh; and no more will the waters become a deluge to bring all flesh to ruin. 16 And the rainbow must occur in the cloud, and I shall certainly see it to remember the covenant to time indefinite between God and every living soul among all flesh that is upon the earth."


(Genesis 12:5) . . .So A´bram took Sar´ai his wife and Lot the son of his brother and all the goods that they had accumulated and the souls whom they had acquired in Ha´ran, and they got on their way out to go to the land of Ca´naan. Finally they came to the land of Ca´naan.


 (Genesis 12:13) . . .Please say you are my sister, in order that it may go well with me on your account, and my soul will be certain to live due to you."

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 10:42PM #5
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

goodtobehome - How do you want to finalize the numbering?  Accounts with more than one occurence in the example of Genesis 9:3-6 - number it 6,7,8 or 6-8?  Do you want to include souls plural as I did in the same list?  Or do you want Gen.1:24 to be 3A so Genesis 1:30 can be 3????

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 11:00PM #6
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

Goodtobehome - On Genesis 9:3,4 - yes, the life blood in circulation - nephesh has the root meaning "breather."  However, simply breathing will not work if our heart is not pumping blood.  Blood in circulation is also crucial to life and is really part of the same process as breathing to deliver Oxygen and other life requiring molecules to the cells to keep us alive. 


However, soul does not simply mean breath - that is neshamah &/or ruahh = breath/spirit.  The blood is unique to each soul, while animals and all humans have the same spirit & breath (Ecclesiastes :19,20 quoted above).  Nephesh does not simply mean life (Hebrew chay/chaiyah; Greek  zoe) but rather life as a soul in this also fairly common definition.


Well, I am off to sleep.  Will post again in the morning!


Thank you for your help in this endeavor.


BTW - in the Rotherham appendix he regrets that the English "soul" does not convey all that nephesh and psyche mean!  He also tried to render nephesh as soul throughout, but when he came to Esther 7:11 he felt constrained to render nephesh as "life."  That is the only other way Rotherham renders nephesh, btw!  He notes that chayah (Hebrew) and zoe (Greek) do mean life - but he does not explain the difference as I did (life (chayah); life as a soul (nephesh).  I think a good example would be reviving a brain dead person - he has life but not life as a soul - the person is actually dead, but the body is alive.  I think that is the difference between nephesh and chayah - but feel free to correct me!

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2009 - 6:40AM #7
Goodtobehomestill
Posts: 6,658

False doctrines are promulgated and many people are deceived by resorting to this method of interpretation. Any belief can be adduced and any religious system advanced by mishandling the word of God in this manner.


Thank you Brooke!  We are striving to overcome just that, you see.  If one only read the KJV, he would NOT know that 'living creature' refers to fowl, cattle, etc. as 'souls.' 


As we get into Numbers and Leviticus, we'll see how some Bibles' failure to render 'soul' properly simply as soul, hides the fact that souls can be 'dead souls.'  Would you think it was important?  Surely dead soul and dead body don't quite carry the same impression, do they?  Some on this very board have questioned 'where does the Bible talk about dead souls?' as if they did not know these scriptures existed.  We'll tackle them all.


Thank you for your input, if you want to toss up the next two  or three scriptures go ahead, just remember to add links to see the original renderings. 

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
― Epictetus

Life is like photography, you need a clear lens, and the picture you get depends on what you focus on.


Anger stems from irrational beliefs about others, anxiety stems from irrational beliefs about yourself.---Spencer Lord, The Brain Mechanic
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8 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2009 - 11:48AM #8
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

Brooke - I will let GTBH specify, but you could either re-examine the ones we posted starting in Genesis and we were up to chapter 9, though I posted brieflly up to chapter 12- or, like GTBH said, add to the list the next ones in Genesis!


You can use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to detemine where 5315 is in KJV - but that is hard since KJV translates nephesh so many different ways.  Though doing that is helpful since you will see how KJV translates nephesh (5315) as many words clearly from other numbered Hebrew words (like above - 2416 chaiyah - life)


As NWT always translates nephesh as soul, you could go ours which is online at:


www.watchtower.org/e/bible/index.htm


You could just read the entire Bible taking note of where soul/souls are in the text.  It should take about a year, btw!  Or you can use our search engine to locate the Bible chapters where the most occurences of either the singular soul or the plural soul are located.  For example, Numbers 30 is the most frequent chapter for soul occurences in singular.


We were going by order in the Bible which is why we are in Genesis.


 

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2009 - 11:53AM #9
Newtonian
Posts: 14,082

Brooke - Hi! Thank you for joining us in our research, and adding variant input.


While I agree with some of those definitions, nevertheless, like Rotherham we believe only two definitions normally suffice - the most common being similar to the English word "self" as, for example, yourself = your soul. And the less common but fairly frequent being life as a soul (distinguished from the Hebrew chayah/chaiyah meaning simply: life - e.g. plants are life but are not life as souls). Since I am very low on time now, I will comment now on only the first one, which happens to be wrong but also happens to be already on our list above as it is an early occurrence of nephesh.


1. 1. Breath of life (Genesis 1:20): " . . . the moving creature that hath life."


Nephesh is not "life" in this verse - that is an error.


Gen 1:20 And GodH430 said,H559 Let the watersH4325 bring forth abundantlyH8317 the moving creatureH8318 that hath life,H5315 H2416 and fowlH5775 that may flyH5774 aboveH5921 the earthH776 inH5921 the openH6440 firmamentH7549 of heaven.H8064 KJV with Strong's #s - E-Sword


Note that "life" in KJV here is 2416 (chaiyah). 5315, nephesh, is OMITTED in KJV! Perhaps you are familiar with the warning not to remove any word from Scripture? (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18,19)


Nephesh is a breather, but it is not the breath - that is referred to in Genesis 2:7 from the Hebrew neshamah for breath, not either chaiyah for life or nephesh for soul.


My favorite translations, and other good translations (at least here) do translate Genesis 1:20 accurately. For example:


(Genesis 1:20) 20 And God went on to say: "Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls. . . - NW


"Of living souls." Gr., ψυχῶν ζωσῶν (psy·khon´ zo·son´, pl.); Heb., ne´phesh chai·yah´, sing., referring to marine animals. In Heb. the same expression is used with reference to man in 2:7. See App 4A.


Note the Greek plural (LXX) but the Hebrew (M) singular. NW translates nephesh plural here, but Ro translates it singular and footnotes that it is in the collective sense, hence actually plural:


"Let the waters swarm forth with an abundance of living soul."


Ro footnote: (d): Note the collective use of the word. Same word: verses 21,24,30 (where the partitive sense is to be carefully observed), and ii. 7, 19, etc. Cp. N.T. Ap.: "soul."


Partitive includes separating life/living (2416 chaiyah) from soul (5315 nephesh), and also that each animal/man is a separate living soul (until a dead soul, of course).


Other versions that remove nephesh (soul) from the text and only translate chaiyah (life/living creature) include:


NIV, RS, LB, Yo, NAB, AS, NAS, Mo, AMP, Dy, JPS, Je, NEB


"Let the waters swarm forth with animals" - By [as most do not realize animal is from the latin word for soul: anima - most do not understand why Byington translates nephesh in this way - he, uniquely, fails to translate chaiyah (life/living/living creature)!


ERV is similar to the many, saying "living things" instead of "living creatures."


GN says "living beings" Beings is a little closer to nephesh.


HGEI (Green) reads: "Let the waters swarm with the swarmers (having) a soul of life."


That is a correct translation! One of the few! Greens Hebrew interlinear reads: (right to left, as in the Hebrew text)


Let swarm the waters (with) swarmers (having) a soul living - HGEI Int


Nephesh is accurately translated "a soul!" Chaiyah is accurately translated living/life!


Of course, and importantly, "having" is not in the Hebrew text! In this Jay Green errs.


Taking the phrase as a whole, only Ro is totally correct, though NW is correct if you consider LXX (plural) to be accurate translating the Hebrew Masoretic text (M) singular (Ro: collective) as plural. And HGEI + HGEI INT are correct if you leave out "having."


All the other translations either omit nephesh out rightly (those saying "life" only) or confusingly (those saying living creatures, whereas chaiyah alone can be translated living creatures).

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8 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2009 - 4:07PM #10
Goodtobehomestill
Posts: 6,658

Okay, Brooke, where Genesis talks of these living creatures, these living souls, it means animals, right?


Newtonian, later I'll go back and renumber mine, I thought I picked up the numbering correctly but I'll spend more time on this part of it later.

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
― Epictetus

Life is like photography, you need a clear lens, and the picture you get depends on what you focus on.


Anger stems from irrational beliefs about others, anxiety stems from irrational beliefs about yourself.---Spencer Lord, The Brain Mechanic
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