RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

From: Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM (
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 18:04:56 EST

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    I plan to check my Greek-English pony at home, later, but I know that
    sometimes translators seem obligated to "clarify" things, bridging things
    with added words, sometimes forgetting to italicize them.
    In this case, I would not be surprised that the original Greek may not have
    anything between "souls" and "...who had been slain..." Likewise, in a
    parallel construction, citing Rev. 20:4, it may be implied that not only can
    souls be slain and yet be heard, but they can be beheaded.
    I do not want to imply that soul and body are to be used interchangeably,
    Matthew 10:28 makes clear that that is not allowed, but I agree that it is
    more important to recognize that we do not as much "have" souls, as we "are"
    souls, at least in the eyes of God. This clarifies a number of issues, not
    only in the bible, but in the public debate concerning abortions and
    As to the reference to Ecclesiastes, if we are to allow "spirit" to be used
    interchangeably with "soul" in either the OT or NT, your problems are only
    going to multiply in defending a position.
    Norm Woodward
    -----Original Message-----
    From: TT Vandergraaf []
    Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 7:57 PM
    Subject: Fw: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)
    I may have remembered the statement correctly but may (inadvertently and
    incorrectly) have attributed it to a "Dooyeweerdian." At Calvin College, I
    took a course from H. Evan Runner but I can't recall if he was a
    Dooyeweerdian or a Vollenhovenian.
    OK, so you say that most difficulties will disappear if we translate,
    whatever was translated as "soul," to "living being" or "becoming alive."
    Then, how does one read Rev 6:9-10 (NIV) "When he opened the fifth seal, I
    saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the
    word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud
    voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the
    inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"
    I suppose one could argue that, once created, "souls" continue to exist and
    can be considered to be "living beings" but that would then not be at odds
    with the quite I mentioned in my earlier post: between death and
    resurrection, souls have to make do without a body.
    Of course, I could be taking the text from Revelation out of context.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jan de Koning []
    Sent: Tuesday February 05, 2002 5:52 PM
    To: Vandergraaf, Chuck
    Cc: 'Asa@Calvin <mailto:'Asa@Calvin> . Edu '
    Subject: RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)
    You remember incorrectly. It may have been an adherent of Dooyeweerd, but
    not of Vollenhoven. Vollenhoven said (I believe in 1968) that in 1918
    already he had trouble preaching about any text which contained the word
    "soul". In his university lectures at the VU in 1942 he spent three hours
    talking about the original words used in the Bible in Greek as well as in
    Hebrew. He was very clear then to us that the word soul in the original was
    not always translated as soul but if translated as living being, or became
    alive in Gen. for example, then most of the difficulties in the texts
    disappeared. Similarly in the NT.

    Jan de K.

    At 06:25 PM 05/02/02 -0500, Vandergraaf, Chuck wrote:


    I seem to recall (it's been many years) a statement made by an adherent to
    the Vollenhoven/Dooyeweerd philosophy that "the body is an expression of the
    soul." Thus, when a person dies, his/her ability to do the things "a body"
    does, is lost [temporarily] until the resurrection. I thought, at the time,
    that this was an elegant way to put it. Philosophy not being my strong
    suit, I'm not sure if this comment adds clarity or confusion.

    Chuck Vandergraaf

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jan de Koning [ <> ]
    Sent: Tuesday February 05, 2002 5:06 PM
    To: Adrian Teo
    Cc: 'Asa@Calvin. Edu '
    Subject: RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

    What Adrian wrote below does not answer my posting. Thomistic views are
    not reformed, and I pointed out that almost all philosophies, including
    Thomism is based on Greek philosophy. For that reason Vollenhoven had
    trouble with it and showed the original Hebrew and Greek bible texts, which
    no-where indicated a dualism. If so, show the bible texts,then we may be
    able to discuss. Again, time and again it has been shown that the medieval
    RC philosophers based their theories on the philosphies of either Plato, or
    Aristotle, and argued on the base of Greek philosophy rather than the Bible.

    Jan de K.

    At 05:50 PM 04/02/02 -0800, Adrian Teo wrote:
    >This is a difficult philosophical and theological problem that is also
    >highly controversial - today. The position Jan is advocating seems to be
    >consistent with what has come to be known as nonreductive physicalism -
    >which is a monistic understanding of the nature of the person. There are
    >just some major philosophical/theological problems with this approach, and
    >is quite unsatisfying. The more traditional dualistic understanding (not
    >Cartesian but Thomistic) does a better job I think. In this case then, the
    >person is not a soul, but a body AND soul. This position (of dualism) has
    >been held by Christians since the earliest days, and to claim in the 20th
    >century that these folks got it wrong all along (i.e. for 20 centuries)on
    >such a major theological issue is to call into serious question the role of

    >the Holy Spirit in guiding the church.
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Jan de Koning
    >To: Walter Hicks
    >Cc: Asa@Calvin. Edu
    >Sent: 2/4/2002 2:03 PM
    >Subject: Re: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)
    >As far as I remember, I replied last week that man does not have a soul,
    >but that man is a soul. I quoted some texts from HS, indicating that
    >word "nephesh" was often translated as "living being", for example in
    >Gen.1. When the word was used in Gen.2, Adam received a "soul" instead
    >becoming a living being. I believe, I referred to writings of some
    >Jan de K.

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