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Steven J. Gould

RAYMOND MATTHEW PILON pilora at saturn.wwc.edu
Tue Dec 7 19:56:16 EST 1993

I am posting this for a friend.  Feel free to reply.  Enjoy!

An open letter to Steven J. Gould:

I was suprized by your comment on Psalm 42:1 in your article on metephors 
(Natural History 12/93).  I can only guess that your teachers and/or parents 
passed on their ignorance and that you failed to conduct your own Biblical 

I'm refering to your misunderstanding of the soul as an ethereal version of 
yourself--the old ghost in the machine or spook in the box concept.  This 
idea is completely foreign to the Bible.  Let me show you.

There are two places that give the Biblical definition of a soul--Genesis 2:
7  "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.";  
And , 1 Corinthiand 15:45  "The first man Adam was made a living being."
(NIV)  Did you catch that?  God made a body, added life and the 
result was a living soul  (KJV:  living being equals living soul).

In other words Steve, you do not have a soul mysteriously stashed away 
inside you.  Rather, according to the Biblical definition, you are a soul--a 
living being!

What etheral, spiritual nothingness do you know of that can:

Live---------Gen. 2:7;  Isa. 55:3;  1 Cor. 15:45;  Psm. 119:175;  Jer. 38:17
Die----------Rev. 16:3;  Eze. 18:4, 20
Be Destroyed-Psm. 40:14;  Matt. 10:28
Sin----------Eze. 18:4, 20;  Rom. 2:9
Touch--------Lev. 5:2;  7:21
Hunger-------Prov. 27:7
Thirst-------Prov. 25:25;  Psm. 42:2;  63:1
Eat----------Lev. 7:18,20,25:  17:25,27;  17;12
Know---------Psm. 139:14
Love---------Songs. 1:7;  3:1-4
Swear--------Lev. 5:4
Loath--------Num. 21:5;  Jer. 14:19
Lust---------Deut. 12:15,20,21
Delight------Isa. 42:1;  55:2
Desire-------Deut. 14:26;  1 Sam. 2:16
Be Vexed-----Judg. 16:16;  2 Kings 4:27
Grieve-------Judg. 10:16;  Job 30:25
Be Weary-----Job 10:1

As you can see, the Biblical qualities of a soul are everything you are.

This removes from your list of silly or obtuse metaphores Psalm 42:1, "As 
the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O 
God."  It makes perfect sense when we realize that a soul is a living, 
breathing, human being.  Someone who longs for a refreshing, living 
relationship with God.

Did you notice anything missing in the list above?  Yeah, the immortality of 
the soul.  In the Bible only God has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16)  And, it is 
only at "the last trump" that mortality will 'put on' immortality.  (1 Cor. 

The idea of the immortality of the soul came from the Greeks and other pagan 
religions.  It slipped into Christianity with the Hellenization of the 
Church begining in the 2nd century.  The idea has been entwined into 
Christianity for so long that it has assumned the position of dogma, but it 
has no Biblical basis.

When people die, that's it, they are dead.  Eccl. 9:5,6  "For the living 
know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further 
reward, and their memory is gone.  Their love, their hate and their jealousy 
have long since vanished;  never again will they have a part in anything 
that happens under the sun."  No souls in pergatory, no roasting in hell, no 
ghosts, no channeling, no reincarnation!

Dying is the opposite of the creation of a soul.  Eccl. 12:7  "and the dust 
returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave 
it."  A body plus the "spirit" (breath of life) equals a soul.  Take a soul, 
remove the "breath of life: and all you have left is a dead body.  The soul 
no linger exists.  An analogy is light from a light bulb.  Pass electricity 
through the bulb and light exists.  Stop the electricity and the light goes 

A brain, full of life, functions as a mind.  Kill the life, and the mind 
ceases to exist.  The brain rots away.  The mind does not go on existing in 
some ethereal, mystical way.  No mind, no thinking, no feeling, no nothing.

See, the Bible comfirms what you always instinctively knew.  The dead are 
dead and gone.  You only have life when you are alive.  You do not live on 
after you die.


C. Allen Roy


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