LIFE, DEATH AND SOUL Part XVII-A
This part will be followed by Part B in which an explanation and comparison of I Corinthians 5:3, II Corinthians 5:1-9 and Philippians 1:20-26 to each other will be done to determine Paulís use and meaning of the words body and depart in Philippians 1:23. Failure to understand what Paul wrote in various verses has given rise to a very popular false doctrine. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:8-10 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Before examining the meanings of verses 8 and 9, it must be stated that verse 8 has nothing to do with a soul going to be with Jesus when Paul dies. The word absent ekdemeo--pronounced: ek-day-meh'-o (G1553) means vacate or quit. The meaning is to die or leave mortal life. The next event in Paulís life will be the resurrection, for which he yearns and will put him the presence of the Lord. Paul told the church at Corinth that he would rather be with Jesus but that wasnít up to him to decide.
Verse 9 must be looked at in the context of the verses in the whole context (It is essentially the same message as Philippians 1:20-26.) It made no difference that Jesus wasnít actually present with Paul; he will work for Jesus in his absence just the same as if he was physically present and it is the same as his expression in verse 6 where he wrote of walking by faith. The Greek word euarestos--pronounced: yoo-ar'-es-tos (G2101) translated accepted would express Paulís message better with the words well pleasing since that was Paulís desire in his service to God through faith in Jesus. He was already accepted by his obedience of faith.
Paul gives the reason in verse 10 for writing in the preceding verses. (More on this verse will be discussed in the rapture and White Throne Judgment series.) Anyone who has obeyed the gospel has already stood before the judgment seat since Jesus is the standard for receiving the reward of eternal life. Since Paul is already acceptable to Christ, he stood before the judgment seat when he was on the road to Damascus. Then in I Corinthians 9:21-27 wrote more of his motivation for serving Christ and in verses 26-27 we read 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Those verses are in harmony with Philippians 1:20-30 and II Corinthians 5: 1-10. There are no contradictions in Paulís message and nowhere in the verses studied in this part does Paul make any reference directly or indirectly to the immortality of the soul.
So far in the study a detailed look at the verses that are used to promote the soul doctrine from the Old Testament has been done with some verses from the New Testament. The study will continue with a comparison of the Greek words and their translation with English words that do not correspond with message of the Bible. The Old Testament message and word meaning must be used to determine the message in the New Testament when determining the word meanings.
When we turn to the New Testament, we find that the word "soul" is a translation from the Greek word psuche--pronounced: psoo-khay' (G5590), with the meanings "life," "breath," or "soul." Psuche is translated forty times in the New Testament as "life" or "lives," clearly with the meaning commonly
attributed to the word "life" (Matt. 2:20; 6:25; 16: 25). It is rendered fifty-eight times as "soul" or "souls" (Matt. 10:28; 11:29; 12:18, plus other verses). In some of these instances it simply means "people" (Acts 7:14; 27:37; I Peter 3:20). In other passages it is translated as a personal pronoun (Matt. 12:18; II Cor. 12:15). At times it refers to the emotions (Mark 14:34; Luke 2:35), to the natural appetites (Rev. 18:14), to the mind (Acts 14:2; Phil. 1:27), or to the heart (Eph. 6:6). There is nothing in the word psuche itself that even remotely implies a conscious entity that is able to survive the death of the body. And there is nothing in the Bible use of the word indicating that the Bible writers held any such belief. (According to Josephus, the Pharisees believed in the immortality of the soul and in reward and retribution after death (Jos. Antiq. XVIII. i. 3; War II. viii. 14)).
© 06-11-2012 DEC
Part XVII-B next.