SOUL, SENSORY-SELF, LIFE
5590 PSUCHE (102): sensory-self, soul or life, as defined by the usage of psuche in the FCM (NT). Psuche is the source of English words such as "psychic" or "psychology."
A COMPLETE HUMAN IS MADE UP OF THREE PARTS; "spirit" (4151 pneuma), "sensory-self" (psuche) and "body" (4983 soma): Both humans and animals have a "sensory-self" in a physical "body." But humans additionally have a "spirit" made in the image of God. Animals are not inhabited by a "spirit."
1) 1Th.5.23 names these three parts: "...may the God of peace completely purify you+; and may your+ entire spirit (pneuma) and sensory-being (psuche) and body (soma) be kept blamelessly in the presence of our Master, Jesus the Anointed One." Although the Thessalonians are addressed collectively, "spirit, sensory-being and body" refers to them individually, because "psuchy" always refers to a characteristic of a person in the FCM.
2) Heb.4.12: "...For God's message [is] alive and operative and sharper than any double-edged sword, and cutting through unto the dividing of sensory-self (psuche) and spirit (pneuma), and of both joints and marrow, and able to evaluate the thoughts and intentions of a heart...". That is, God's message enables a person to recognize conflicts between the urgings of his "sensory-self" (psuche) to fulfill a desire of his "body" (soma) and the urgings of his "spirit" (pneuma) to fulfill God's desires, and to decide which urging he will obey. Paul wrote about this conflict in Rom.7.22-24: "For I delight in the law of God in my inner mind (that is, spirit). But I see a different law in my body parts, warring aginst the law of my mind and taking me captive by the law of wrongdoing which is in my body parts. I am a wretched human. Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
3) In contrast to Paul's experience (above), Mary, in Lk.1.46-47 reveals a unity of attitude in her sensory-self and spirit: "My sensory-self (psuche) exalts the Master, and my spirit (pneuma) rejoiced in God, my rescuer...". Mary was a virgin and thus knew that her super-human pregnancy was of God.
4) Php.1.27 mentions both sensory-self and spirit: "...that you+ stand in one spirit (pneuma), with one sensory-self (psuche) striving together in the trust of the good news." This passage urged individual Philippian believers to "strive together" as a group, unified in both sensory-self and spirit.
PSUCHE HAS THREE DIFFERENT MEANINGS IN REFERENCE TO HUMANS, (plus a fourth, figurative usage referring to God). To translate all three of these meanings with the English word "soul" would be confusing. In most passages, the words "soul" and "life" are presently used for the second and third meanings in most translations. Only the passages listed under "Meaning #1" need to be changed.
MEANING 1: THE USAGE OF PSUCHE REFERS ONLY TO "SENSORY-SELF": In this sense psuche refers only to the non-physical part of a human thatmonitors or controls certain body functions, such as breathing, digestion, blood flow, the five senses, and mental messages relating to the body's needs and desires. Neither "spirit" nor "body" are included in this meaning of psuche. "Sensory-self" is a preferred translation of this usage, because it links physical sensations to the other non-physical part of self, the spirit.
In Mt.26.38, Mk.14.34 and Jn.12.27, Jesus knew in advance of the painful wounds and agonizing death he would endure the next day. His "sensory-self" would feel the pain, and battled with His "spirit" to avoid this anguish, In Mt.26.38 Jesus said, "My sensory-self (psuche) is deeply grieved unto death; remain here and watch with me." Praise Jesus! His spirit won the battle!
In Mt.22.37, Mk.12.30 and Lk.10.27, psuche (sensory-self) is listed with some non-physical characteristics associated with the human spirit, such as "heart," "mind," "understanding" and "(moral) strength," as in Lk.10.27: "You are to love your Master, God, with all of your heart and with all of your sensory-self and with all of your strength and with all of your mind..."
In 1Pe.2.11, 2Pe.2.14 and Rev.18.14 it is the psuche that is affected by the fleshly desires of the body: "Precious ones, I plead with [you+] as visitors and wanderers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which battle against the sensory-self..." (1Pe.2.11). The psuche battles with the "spirit" over the body's desires. This battle apparently is the "...law in my members warring against the law of my mind" that Paul refers to in Rom.7.23.
See "flesh" (4561 sarx) for figurative references to the "sensory-being."
Translation of psuche in meaning #1:
MEANING #2: PSUCHE INCLUDES BOTH "SENSORY-SELF" AND "SPIRIT:" that is, psuche here includes both of the "non-body" parts of a human.
Meaning #2 is similar to the theory that a human is made up of only two parts: one part being the body, the other part non-physical, with spirit and soul combined. Note that Col.3.23 fits either that theory or meaning #2.
The spirit and sensory-self both influence decisions made in the mind or heart, as in Col.3.23: "Whatever you+ do, work from the soul as to the Master, and not to men...". The "you+" includes deciding in one's "spirit" what one should "do," plus input from one's "sensory-self" such as, "too tired," "too hungry," "do it later," etc. Both are involved in whether God's work is done.
Both non-physical parts are included in Mt.10.28: "...do not fear the ones killing the body, but unable to kill the soul (psuche); but instead, fear the one able to destroy both soul (psuche) and body in the burning dump."
In Mt.6.24-25 Jesus said, "'You+ cannot slave for God and material things.' Because of this I say to you+, 'Do not worry your+ soul (psuche) [about] what you+ may eat [or] what you+ may drink, or what you+ may put on your+ body. Is not the soul (psuche) greater [than] the food? and the body [than] the clothing?." One's spirit may make a decision to "slave for God," but note that the spirit also must take into account the needs of the body for food, drink and clothing as relayed to it by the sensory-self. (External factors may also be involved, such as nudges from Satan or demons.)
Lk.12.19 comprises a dialog between a man's spirit and his "sensory-self: "And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take rest, eat, drink, be glad.'" In Act.20.10, when Paul revived Eutychus, both his spirit and sensory-self came back into (or remained in) his body.
In God's Ancient Message (AM), the Hebrew word "nephesh" is equivalent to meaning #2 of the FCM Greek word psuche. This can be seen in Act.2.27, which is a quotation of Psa.16.10, "...you will not abandon my soul (psuche) in the unseen place (0086 hades), nor will you give your Pure One to see corruption." "Nephesh" describes either human or animal life. Its meaning does not include the "spirit" (4151 pneuma) that God gives to each human.
Translation of psuche in meaning #2:
MEANING #3. PSUCHE INCLUDES "SENSORY-SELF" PLUS "SPIRIT" PLUS "BODY:" The context shows that a complete person, a total life, is meant. For example, Mt.2.20: "...Arise and take the child and his mother and go into the land of Israel; for those seeking the life (psuche) of the child have died." Herod was not seeking to destroy the soul of the baby Jesus, but his life. Similarly, in Mt.20.28: "...the Son of Humanity did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life (psuche) a ransom for many." Jesus didn't give away his "soul," but his life, when he died on the cross." Note that the Greek word usually used for meaning #3 is "life," (2222 zoe).
Mt.16.25-26 distinguishes between usage of meanings two and three: "...whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it. For what will a man be benefited if he should gain the whole word, but lose his soul? or what will a man give for his soul?"In verse 25 psuche is used both times in the sense of "life," because "lose his psuche" is referring to physical life. But in verse 26 psuche is used both times in the sense of "soul," because gaining the physical world, could cause one to lose his "soul" (salvation) in the spiritual, non-physical realm.
Translation of psuche in meaning #3:
FIGURATIVE USAGE REFERRING TO GOD:
The Mt.12.18 quotation of Isaiah 42.1 includes a figurative sense in which God has a soul: "Behold my servant whom I chose, my precious one [with] whom my soul psuche is well pleased." Inasmuch as God "is (a) spirit" (Jn.4.24), "psuche" cannot refer to a "physical part" of God in these two passages, but apparently refers to one of God's characteristics: "pleasure," or an ability to "enjoy."
Translation of psuche when it refers to God:
5591 PSUCHIKOS (6): pertaining to the natural or sensory nature. Contrasted to "spirit" or "spiritual" (4152 pneumatikos) except in Jas.3.15. For example, 1Co.2.14: "But a sensual man does not receive the things of God's Spirit...".
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