SPECIAL TOPIC: BODY AND SPIRIT
Body and spirit are not an ontological dichotomy in mankind, but a dual relationship to both this planet and to God. The Hebrew word nephesh (BDB 659, i.e., see note at Gen. 35:18 online) is used of both mankind (cf. Gen. 2:7) and the animals (cf. Gen. 1:20,24,30; 9:12,15,16) in Genesis, while "spirit" (ruah) is used uniquely of mankind. This is not a proof-text on the nature of mankind as a two-part (dichotomous, cf. 1 Cor. 7:34; Heb. 4:12) or three-part (trichotomous) being (cf. 1 Thess. 5:23). Mankind is primarily represented in the Bible as a unity (cf. Gen. 2:7; 2 Cor. 7:1). For a good summary of the theories of mankind as trichotomous, dichotomous, or a unity, see Millard J. Erickson's Christian Theology (second edition), pp. 538-557 and Frank Stagg's Polarities of Man's Existence in Biblical Perspective.
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