Aristotelianism and Thomas Aquinas By Professor Thomas Williams of University of South Florida

Soul in English, Psyche in Greek

In Aristotelianism, whatever it is that accounts for the fact that something is alive.

Aquinas on Human Nature

Aquinas adopts a generally Aristotelian picture of human nature. For Aquinas, the human soul is the form of the body; that is it organizes or structures matter in such a way as to make it a living human organism, might be taken that when a human organism ceases to live, the soul simply ceases to exist, but Aquinas argues that we can prove philosophically that the soul survives the death of the body add that the soul will not exist permanently in its separated state but will be reunited with matter. Unlike the survival of the of the soul, however, the resurrection of the body cannot be proven philosophically. Belief in resurrection is a matter of faith.

If you are interested, please answer these questions by me, Edward.

Did Aristotle believe that all living creatures had souls that were immortal?
If belief in resurrection is a matter of faith, what is not the soul also the same?
How can this topic be compared with Matthew 10:28?
How can Thomas Aquinas, who believed similar to Aristotle be compared to the Apocryphal Book of the Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9?
Do Aristotle and Thomas believe the same way about the soul? If not, what are their differences?
Do you believe that Greek Philosophers of ancient times will be in heaven? If so, what scripture will prove this?

I hope this will be of interest. God bless.


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Why do you think these references to Greek philosophy are relevant in the least?

Count yourself lucky if you find anyone happy to engage in such a long homework assignment!
You just might find one. But if you yourself have the answers to these questions, don’t expect a warm reception… but maybe a heated one.

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George, If a person does not want to participate, then he or she does not have to do so. I do not have the power to read people’s minds or look into the future. Perhaps someone will be interested or no one will want to do it. It does not matter. God bless.

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@Edward, maybe so. But you do have the power to be less the puppeteer and more the educator… or - - if you don’t have the answers, perhaps that is a sign that you should do some research on your own, and ask for confirmation of your conclusions…

I know the answers to these questions. You see George, I am a pretty smart fellow. Einstein isn’t the only one with a high Intelligence Quotient. As I said George, if you do not find this interesting, you do not have to respond. It would, however, exercise the noodle in the head. Why not try it? Your friend, Edward


My friend beagle, if you feel that no one will be interested, please let me know. Edward


So… you have the answers … and you are asking for people to find their own answers, so that you can tell them they are wrong?

Why don’t you just state your answers, and ask where you might be wrong?

I’m not going to engage in this exercise because I gave you the very words of Josephus… and you said he was wrong about what he said… even though you have no possible idea of knowing what he knew better than he did.

That was enough excitement for me to last a year or so…

George, If you are not interesting and the others are not, then do not participate. I am not trying to be a big shoot; on the contrary, I am just trying to be social. Have a good day George. Remember, I am not trying to harm anyone.

Josephus did no such thing, George. None of us do. Only our Maker does. No historian is perfect, and Josephus was not. Also, many of his otherwise good works have been tampered with through the centuries. Josephus was a loyal Jew; therefore, why would he write good things about our Lord Jesus.


Naturally. Josephus nor anyone else knows every thing. But you dismissed Josephus on the grounds of your usage of Hebrew terms… which was quite the magnificent effort … considering he was writing in Greek, and his Greek was translated into English.

Sounds to me like there was something for you to learn there… but far be it from me to get in the way of your fun. Enjoy yourself.

I think people are interested, they just need time to respond. It’s very rude for someone to assume that nobody is interested, especially since many people are “lurkers” and don’t post at all. I can’t define the soul but believe I have one. It will live on by the grace of God. Its immortality is not a given. We’ve studied some Aquinas in our class.

And I have that right, George. Have a nice day and May Jesus give you peace of mind. Edward


Quite right. It is very rude for anyone to assume such a thing.

What is not rude, and what is relevant, is to ask an earnest seeker of truth to present the information he or she knows … and to ask people to provide information that would suggest the information already obtained is correct or not.

That is the earnest approach to gathering wisdom.

For one thing, St. John used Greek philosophy in his Gospel. The gospels were written in Greek, and Hellenistic thought was widespread in the area. And so on. Aquinas, the medieval genius theologian, introduced Aristotle’s ideas into Roman Catholic beliefs. It provided a way for him to explain certain doctrines such transubstantiation.

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I wish to thank you for that fine answer. God bless, my friend. Edward

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Sure that makes sense to you. But when I provided “smack-on-point” quotes from Josephus, writing in Greek, seemingly unavoidably connecting some Jewish ideas of the afterlife to Greek notions of the same, our mutual friend here dismissed it all out of hand by quoting his view of what words (in Hebrew) would be allowed to associate with other words (in Hebrew).

It as a monumental display of the species Taurus insanis smashing up the Library Alexandria because someone provided primary source citations advancing ideas that didn’t fit preconceived notions of what was legitimate Jewish metaphysics in the eyes of God or Jesus.

The whole idea of tasking people to research “factoids” that he already possesses (and has entangled into gosh-knows-what Fantasma Idiosycrantica) pretty much wreaks. Under the veil of seemingly seeking helpful information, what we are more likely going to end up with is poor recompense for the audience’s well groomed reflex to be helpful.

Why do you hate me so, George? I am a traditional Triune Christian and you are not. Josephus, as I pointed out to you earlier, has writings that have been corrupted over the centuries. Do you believe that a true Jew who does not believe in Christianity, i.e., God in three Persons, would take up for Jesus in his writings. Someone has corrupted his actual texts. His history of the Jews may not be accurate, but there may be some interest there. I do not understand your obsession with Flavius Josephus who fought with the Romans after he was captured. As for me using some Hebrew and Greek, it was trying to explain the meaning of the English words, i.e., what the biblical writings were actually saying. The English word soul has been changed in meaning due to Koine Greek. An English soul is actually the total person; therefore, it is possible to have a dead soul or body, i.e., Nephesh. Ruach, on the other hand, can be used for the spiritual nature, and that is what I was explaining. If you know how to use Hebrew and Greek tools on the computer, you will see that I am right. Genesis 2:7 is translated living being and not living soul as in the KJV. I understand what the KJV means by soul but most Christians think it is talking about the immortal soul of the Greeks. That is why I prefer the New International Version of the Holy Word. Yes, we do have an immortal spirit or ruach; however, it is meant to return to our graves (Sheol) at the Second Advent, and Jesus will make our bodies eternal and perfect. Do not accuse me of distorting knowledge. In any case, just forget the whole thing. I will not be coming back to Biologos.

@beaglelady, @pevaquark



This is the 2nd time you’ve created a major drama with accusations that I hate you.

I don’t hate you. And I try to help you. You just don’t like it when I do it.
So why do you Hate my help?

This latest round of conflict was triggered by my supplying you with incredibly well known references from Josephus, which apparently you’ve never read, let alone understand fully. And your only thought was to dismiss this Jewish source, transported across 20 centuries of time, synthesized by a man who could see the world like a Jew and like a Greek - - and you did it by insisting that the Jewish words you know could not be associated with the ideas of Josephus expressed in English translations of his Greek.

So, instead of a breakthrough, you have nothing except your own ideas on the whole Universe, with a perfect willingness to subdue the Cosmos with your ideas.

As I said before, @Edward, I will sincerely pray for light - - making those things hidden by the dark more clear and more friendly to your searches.

Bye, George

Thanks for the heads up Edward. Sometimes it is healthy to take breaks and I wish you well in your journey wherever that may take you. You are always welcome back here if you like.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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