Confused about death and revival

Ok, so your soul leaves your body. But what about people that have been dead for a few minutes and then brought back to life? And that experiment where they revived a dog’s head? I’m just confused.

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I presume that you’re referring to this “experiment”: In 1940s, Russian scientists kept a dog’s head alive for a few hours. (Graphic)

Although there seems to be some confusion here. I believe that the head was “kept alive” a few hours, in 1928. And that “experiment” was filmed. Then the film was reported to have been released by the Soviets in the 1940s. Actual details of the who, what, when, and where of the experiment and of its filming and eventual release to the American public merit verification.

That is one kind of “death and revival” event. Another, completely different kind of “death and revival” event is, I believe, commonly called a “Near death experience” (a.k.a. NDE).

Then there a third kind of “death and revival” event in which a human is alleged/reported/believed to have died and been brought to life several days later.

A fourth kind of “death and revival” event is what we Christians call a resurrection, of which there has only been one case that I am aware: the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but your initial confusion appears to me to be that you seem to think all four kinds of events “are the same kind”. Distinguishing one “kind” from the other may begin to dispel your confusion and facilitate your understanding.


Welcome, and I wish you hadn’t started with such an easy question. XD (XD = :laughing: ; - )

[@Terry_Sampson posted while I was composing, so there is a little redundancy following…]

The discussion about medical death and resuscitation continues, as it does about the legitimacy of OBEs (out-of-body experiences) and NDEs (near-death experiences). I don’t think there is any conclusive argument to be made one way or the other.

I heard a compelling account a couple of years back at a funeral by one of the brothers of a young man who had suffered an early stroke and subsequently died from it. It was of a dream that the brother had as the young man was dying that had specific details in it that were true but that the brother could not have known about, because he lived out of state and had only just arrived. It also involved the angelic realm, and if I recall correctly, the young man died while the brother was asleep in an isolated room nearby, and could not have overheard any family or medical staff conversation that might have contained any of said details.

Knowing that the spiritual realm exists (from objective evidence of God’s providential interventions into his children’s lives, including my own), I will not dismiss the brother’s account out of hand. I also think that there are different time dimensions outside of our physical universe that are not directly associated with the [pretty much :slightly_smiling_face:] linear and sequential time inside of our universe’s spacetime.

I don’t know how much of that helps with your question, but certainly ask more, if any here can help.

My training in near death experience relies heavily on Miracle Max. Almost dead is still partly alive. With all dead, all you can do is go through their pockets for loose change. Exceptions are the resurrection, and miracles.


That’s normal. Healthy. What is a soul?

Seriously, though, death is a gradual process. Some tissues die quickly (brain) and some very slowly. Of course, that allows for organ transplants and such after brain death.


Let me try!

How about a state of being coinciding with a living being possessed of enough self awareness to differentiate between intentions arising for self serving reasons and intentions apparently favored by virtue of having entered into that state? I know, awkward.

Unless you are using the word “soul” for the spiritual body which Paul describes in 1 Cor 15, then I don’t believe in it. I think that is a creation of other religions like Gnosticism. But let’s suppose you are referring to the spiritual body talked about by Paul.

The spiritual body does not inhabit the physical body. It is not part of the mathematical space-time structure of the physical universe. There is thus no temporal relationship. There is a causal relationship (from the physical body to the spiritual body), but not according to the temporal causality of the physical universe.

Of course we know from the resurrected Jesus that participation of the spiritual body in the events of the earth is possible (for God at least) . Causality requires only order not continuity (i.e. you can skip ahead but not backtrack, the latter would violate causality).

The upshot of all this is that questions of what happened to the spiritual body at such and such a time in the physical timeline is nonsensical. And the causal connection is after final death. As Paul says in 1 Cor 15 verse 36, “what you sow does not come to life unless it dies.”

All this soul inhabiting the body stuff is from other religions like those believing in reincarnation where this imagined soul moves around and inhabits other bodies. I do not believe in such things.

I think it was the Bible project recently that alluded to the same word for soul also being the same or similar words for breath and wind and that possibly because when you are born you take a breath, and when you die you take a final breath, and that the breath mixes in with the wind and the same wind that animated the body also causes leaves and clouds and waves to move was all possibly viewed as sort of the spirit. So in the same way God accommodated them in a dozen other ways he also accommodated them with this belief too. I think it was even connected to the winds like the pillars of fire and water, possibly winds that moved the ark of the covenant, separated the seas, and was the rushing wind before the tongues fell at Pentecost and so on. But I only heard bits of it once and then looked up stuff and read random things on it. I’ve not had time to actually dig into any beliefs on it.

If that’s all you can think of to do you lack imagination lol.

I am limited to my recollection of The Princess Bride. Billy Crystal did a great job as Miracle Max. And expressed some truth in those lines, as reviving in a hospital is not bringing back from the dead, but rather preventing an irreversible spiral into impending death.


Having eaten the forbidden apple?

Yes. That would make a lot if sense … to people living a few thousand years ago.

The word would appear to occur 95 times in the NIV edition. Methinks there is more to it than
passing mention by Paul.


“The only Hebrew word traditionally translated “soul” ( nephesh ) in English-language Bibles refers to a living, breathing conscious body” (Wikipedia). It is the idea that this refers to some immortal non-physical thing residing in the body but capable of moving around is what comes from other religions or Persian and Hellenistic philosophies.

Body, mind, and soul. That phrase exists. And taking the other two elements into context you may have difficulty holding onto your definition.
And, perhaps the divinity of Christ is not part of your faith, I do not know, but the element of God in a human body is often looked on precisely as the above quote of yours.


Unicorns, dragons, and fairies. That phrase exists.

I think the divinity of Christ defines the Christian religion according to very first definition at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. It is the only distinction to separate Christianity from other religions like Islam.

That was what the Gnostics taught.

Okay, so how do you account for that union.


PS the definition of Gnosticism says nothing about souls.

hypostatic union?

There is no conflict between the 100% humanity and 100% divinity of Jesus because God has no limitations. The omnipotence of God includes power over Himself to be whatever He chooses to be, including a helpless human infant who knows nothing whatsoever and thus must grow in stature and wisdom (Luke 2:52). It is only humans obsessed with power who think that power is what makes Him God. Quite the contrary, God can set aside power and knowledge as nothing to become a human being subject to all the same laws of nature as the rest of us. Setting aside such power and knowledge does not make Him not God any more than a loss of some bit of knowledge or power would make me not a man.

In Gnosticism, the divine spark is the portion of God that resides within each human being.

That is not a definition of the Soul (as I understand it) The soul is the unique essence that defines one individual regardless of any physical form, or not.


“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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