Man As Body, Soul, And Spirit (cont'd)
Soul and Spirit as Synonyms: Luke 23:46 and Acts 2:27, 31.
Soul and spirit may used as synonyms as can be shown in passages such as Luke 23:46 and Acts 2:27, 31.
We read in Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” His body was taken down from the cross and buried in the grave, but his spirit went to Paradise in the hades world as he said in verse 43 to the penitent thief, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” The spirits of both Jesus and the thief departed from their bodies and returned to God’s keeping in the hadean world.
When we die, the body is buried in the grave, and the spirit goes back to God who keeps all the spirits in the hades world until the final resurrection day of all men (John 5:28-29). That is why the rich man and Lazarus were still alive and conscious in Luke 16:19-31 after their bodies were buried. Their bodies were in their graves, but their spirits were still very much alive and conscious in the hades world. The spirit of Lazarus was in the part of hades for the righteous called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom, and the rich man was in the part of hades for the wicked to be tormented while awaiting the resurrection day.
Regarding the spirit’s departure to the hadean world, Acts 2:27-31 is a parallel passage, which says,
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life;
thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David,
that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him,
that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh,
he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
First, we should clarify the term “hell” as used here in the King James Version (KJV). There are two Greek words translated as “hell” in the KJV. The one Greek word is “hades,” meaning the place of all the dead. The other Greek word is “gehenna,” meaning the final place of eternal punishment–both body and soul are cast into “gehenna” according to Matthew 10:28. That will happen after we are raised from the dead and receive our final reward or our final sentence of punishment as per John 5:28-29.
In Acts 2:27 and 31, the word “hades” is translated “hell” in the KJV, but this is not “gehenna.” The American Standard Version, the New King James Version, the New International Version, the English Standard Version, and all others give the translation in Acts 2:27 and 31 as “hades.” In the Old English of 1611 it was understood that “hell” might refer to “hades” or to “gehenna,” depending on the context. In our time we understand it more clearly if “hades” is not translated as “hell” because for us it seems the modern English word “hell” refers to the final place of eternal punishment for the body and the soul.
The prophecy given by David in Psalm 16:10 is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:27 and 31 to show that Christ has fulfilled it: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” He fulfilled it because when he died, his body was buried in the grave and his spirit went to Paradise in the hades world, but on the third day he was raised from the dead. Therefore, his body did not remain in the grave to decompose or to see corruption, and his soul did not remain in the hades world. On the resurrection morning as recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, Jesus arose and the tomb was empty. Therefore, his body came out of the grave and his soul came out of the hades world.
Therefore, when Luke 23:46 explains that his “spirit” went back to God when he died, Acts 2:27 and 31 explain the same event by using the parallel or synonymous term “soul.” Notice the “spirit” of Jesus in Luke 23 and the “soul” of Jesus in Acts 2 respectively, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” When his spirit left his body, his soul entered the hades world–his spirit and his soul are the same thing. His invisible “spirit” or in other words his living “soul” did not perish when his body died but simply departed from it, yet remaining alive and conscious all the while.
Just as both soul and spirit are used in reference to Jesus, so also they both are used in reference to Job: "Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul" (Job 7:11). For Job to speak "in the anguish of my spirit" means exactly the same thing as Job complaining "in the bitterness of my soul." His soul is his spirit and his spirit is his soul. His body was covered in sores and could turn to dust at death but not his spirit or his soul. It is alive and conscious in the body and out of the body. (To be cont'd)