Do only humans have souls/how were humans ensouled in an evolutionary process?

(Jay Johnson) #21

I beg to differ. (Get it?.. Beg… Dog… Now that is a bad pun. Yours was just fine.)

(Jay Johnson) #22

For a different view of biblical anthropology, here is a post I made in the thread Hell, death and the 2nd death? Please reply to me there if you want to follow up. (Links to Middleton’s blog are active in the original post.)

  1. The human being is not composed of body + soul. Rather, we are a “complex unity,” in the words of J.R. Middleton. (See his blog post Paul on the “Soul”—Not What You Might Think)
    “The man” does not receive a soul/spirit from God in Genesis 2.7. Rather, the passage merely teaches that we, like the animals, are made of earth and owe our lives (breath) to God, our Creator. (See Middleton, Humans Created Mortal, with the Possibility of Eternal Life)
  2. When Jesus breathes on the disciples and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” in John 20, he is deliberately re-enacting Gen. 2.7. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus in chapter 3 of that same gospel, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God… What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’" Our spiritual birth occurs when the Holy Spirit indwells our body.
  3. Jesus and the NT also refer to the new birth using metaphors of what was dead coming to life. Examples: “the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life,” “We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death,” “Let the dead bury their own dead … you go and proclaim the kingdom of God,” etc. The person without the Spirit of God is mere flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (Just as we won’t see our pets in “heaven,” but you don’t have to tell that truth to a 4-yr-old! Perhaps that’s why it is ambiguous, Phil. The entire human race is not spiritually mature enough to handle the truth!)
  4. There is (probably) no intermediate state, where our souls are “in heaven” with Jesus and our bodies are in the grave. Wright and Middleton somewhat disagree on this point, with Wright in favor of some kind of conscious existence after death but before the resurrection, and Middleton in favor of something resembling unconsciousness during sleep. Simply, we close our eyes in death, and open them to the resurrection. (See Middleton’s blog post, What about the Intermediate State in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8?1)
  5. When the last trumpet sounds, those who died in Christ rise, and those who are living are changed. (This is likely what is meant by the “first resurrection” in Rev. 20.)
  6. Afterward, “the dead,” great and the small, are seen standing before the throne for judgment. (This is likely the “second resurrection.”) Notice that it is “the dead” who are “judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.” It is my opinion that the only people being judged are those who did not participate in the first resurrection. They were “dead” even when they were living, from Jesus’ perspective. (John 5.24 again: “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”)
  7. Finally, “the second death—the lake of fire.” Personally, I am more and more coming to think that this is a true second death, or annihilation.
  8. Final, final thought: if you believe that the human being is composed of body + immortal soul/spirit, then you cannot escape the concept of eternal conscious existence in hell, however you choose to conceive of hell. That something immortal should cease to exist is a contradiction.

(Theophilus Book) #23

[quote=“Reggie_O_Donoghue, post:1, topic:38628, full:true”]
I like to think that all life has a soul of sorts, which evolves as the body evolves. I came to this conclusion after wondering how and when God gave evolved humans the soul. It seems like the only rational conclusion to me. Furthermore, the Hebrew word ‘Nephesh’ (soul) is given both to humans and animals.

What do you think? [/quote]

A “soul” is who you are, not something you have.

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.

(George Brooks) #24


My apologies for the delay in responding.

Including the 2nd option is probably a good idea in a discussion like this.

Because as soon as one reads it, it comes across as so preposterous, that Option (1) all of a sudden looks like High Wisdom! :

[1] YHWH makes each being with it’s own soul.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #25

16 posts were split to a new topic: Scientific Evidence of Reincarnation and Ghost Possession

(David Sundaram) #26

Here’s what I say in relation to the above topic in the second chapter of the treatise, entitled "What Jesus Really Meant,: which I am still in te process of composing:

"To the degree that, as a result of mentally and emotionally processing our personal experiences, we become aware of ( i.e. ‘awaken’ to) the fact that all our lives are basically _co_extant, the ‘sense’ we have of our own ‘i’dentity expands to become other-inclusive. As we then _real_ize that just focusing on things by and for one’s ‘own’ selves simply results in our (delusionally!) living in a personally ‘i’solating thought-and-feeling ‘bubble’, we may (logically then!) choose to transcend (i.e. rise ‘above’ and evolve ‘beyond’) the limitations of whatever _self_ish perceptions and tendencies at that point, as a result of past personal and social conditioning, continue to ‘govern’ and so (in effect) ‘imprison’ us, and consequently more and more ‘freely’ grow to become more and more loving and enjoying of our ‘neighbors’ as our ‘selves’ (as advocated in Mark 12:31) in ever-widening, more and more Life-embracing circles, and therefore and thereby (in due course) fully execute our innate Source-code ‘program’ to maximally experience and express Love and Joy in relationship to and with others. This, instead of just _part_ially doing so by way of continuing to function as the same ‘old’ identity- (i.e. ego-) configurations focused on reaping and dispensing whatever Love and Joy perks they happen to particularly value as a result of prior conditioning for however long they may continue to live (as such, that is).

Not that the kind of growth and development I speak of is just possible (and, so, only evident) in _human_kind, mind you! Do a search for ‘animal friendships’ or ‘interspecies friendships’ or similar phrases on the internet, or just type these phrases or the like into YouTube’s search box maybe, if you wish to educate yourself in this regard. Though, because of the huge variety of relational experiences and the immense amount mental and emotional data-processing power necessary to meaningfully collate them all, the above-referenced process of ‘i’dentity expansion in pursuit of ‘greater’ experience and expression of Love and Joy may only reach its culmination in human body-contexts (on Earth☺that is), its operationality is abundantly apparent in the behaviors of members of other species with the requisite degree of social intelligence that act in a loving way, not just in relation to and with immediate personal family members but also in relation to and with members of other families in their social groups and, beyond that even (in cases of species with the highest degrees of social intelligence), in relation to members of other species. The latter phenomenon, of course, being most evident in cases where the psychospiritual learning and development of creatures has been accelerated by their having come into contact and consciously shared Love and Joy with more expansively loving being-doings, as some of us are. (I say some because many human souls clearly aren’t functioning at a ‘friendly’ level of development, presently at least, albeit you already know this to be the ‘sad’ truth or you wouldn’t even begin to be interested in and receptive of the kind of information contained in a communication such as this.)"