Word Studies

The Immortal Soul?: “Soul” Biblically Defined, Part 2

biblically defined

In the previous article, we observed that the concept of an immortal soul, capable of existing independently from our physical bodies, did not originate from the Bible but rather from Greek philosophers. In this post, we will explore the biblical perspective on the soul. This preliminary study is essential before examining passages often misinterpreted to suggest that the Bible endorses the inherent immortality of the soul and its ability to exist apart from the body.

So, here is our methodology in this, and the following, articles. First, we’ll examine the Bible’s description of the soul. Second, we’ll observe the usage of the term “soul” within the biblical context. Third, we’ll analyze various passages often cited as evidence for the soul’s ability to exist independently from the body. The goal is to allow the Bible to speak for itself without imposing traditional Platonic ideas upon the text.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Immortality, Misconceptions, Word Studies

What Is An Apostle?

Apostle

The word apostle is one of several words in the Bible that has not been translated from the original biblical language into English. Instead, the word apostle is a transliteration from Greek into English. Transliteration is the process of taking the letters of a word from one language and substituting them with the equivalent letters of a different language. Translation, on the other hand, is the process of choosing a word in the destination language that has the same meaning as the word in the source language. The word apostle came into the English language from the Greek word apostolos (ἀπόστολος). 

ἀπόστολος  →  apostolos  →  apostle 

As you can see, our English word apostle is composed by substituting the Greek letters with the equivalent English letters. The word hasn’t been translated at all, but is really just an approximation of the sound of the Greek word.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies

Why Is “LORD” Often In All Caps In The Bible?

LORD
The Tetragrammaton

Have you ever noticed that often the letters in the word “LORD” are all capitalized? Other times the Bible only capitalizes the first letter. However, both “the LORD” and “the Lord” refer to God. Why is there a difference?

Yahweh

Bible translators use all capital letters when translating the four-letter Hebrew name for God. Ancient Hebrew had no written vowels. Of course, they did pronounce the vowels, but the written Hebrew alphabet only had consonants. Because of this, God’s name is spelled YHWH in ancient Hebrew. In English, YHWH is often accompanied with the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’ resulting in Yahweh.

As time passed, the Hebrews forgot how to pronounce God’s name. They considered His name too holy to be spoken out loud. Eventually everyone who knew what vowels belonged in God’s name died. Because their alphabet lacked vowels they lost the knowledge of the correct pronunciation of God’s name.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Word Studies

Churchy Words: Worship

Worship

What is worship? If you asked ten people this question you might get ten different answers. Most people might respond by describing acts such as praying, singing, giving, taking communion, etc. These all could be acts of devotion, but they are not necessarily worship.

I’m afraid that many people think they are worshiping if they are doing these (or similar) actions just by virtue of the fact that they are doing them. Their mentality is that I went to church on Sunday, participated in the service, and therefore I worshipped. The fact is that participating or going through the motions does not necessarily mean that you worshipped.

What worship really is

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies, Worship

Churchy Words: Atonement

Atonement

Atonement is a word rarely heard outside of a church service or Bible study. The English word atonement is defined as “the act of making amends or reparation for guilt or wrongdoing.” The act of atonement brings about reconciliation between two parties when something happened which damaged their relationship.

In the Bible, atonement is used to translate the Hebrew word kipper (כִפֶּ֣ר). The word appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. Just as in English, the Hebrew word kipper denotes the idea of reconciliation or the making of amends. 

Can you cover me?

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Atonement, Word Studies