5

According to the book of Genesis, God created man apparently by two ingredients:

(1) dust of the ground

(2) the breath of God

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

God did not create man using only created substance (thing) but also of divine substance.

In the New Testament, the breath of God that made the body alive was actually called spirit. This spirit in man is the life of his body or rather, it is what animates his body. Without the spirit, the body is dead as explicitly written in James 2:26.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26 (ESV)

My question is about the nature of this spirit. The origin of the body is from the dust from the ground and this ground itself was a created thing. On the other hand, the spirit of man clearly comes from God himself, from his own breath. Did God literally breathe in the man to make him a living soul, a living person? If so, the spirit of man is uncreated but simply entered a new form of existence in the body, making the body have awareness.


Is the spirit of man a created thing?

9
  • 6
    This doesn't seem like a hermeneutics question. What's the question about the text? - I think this should probably go to Christianity SE... Apr 24, 2019 at 12:20
  • 2
    I disagree, while this is a very deep and complex subject it is a matter of how one interprets various Old and New Testament passages.
    – Ken Banks
    Apr 24, 2019 at 18:32
  • See essence-energies distinction.
    – Lucian
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:16
  • Why would you not think that everything, apart from God, is created by God? This would necessarily include the spirit of man (what ever one understands by that). If you mean that man's spirit is literally a piece of the divine, then that amounts to pantheism.
    – user25930
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:43
  • 1

9 Answers 9

1

According to Scripture the spirit of man is created, formed or made.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭

The spirit of man is in the inward parts of man.

“But it is the spirit inside man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭

There are other passages with reference to the spirit of man and it’s properties but if it isn’t clear enough that the spirit is made consider,

“The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him:” ‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭12:1‬

The Hebrew word יצר used here is used elsewhere to show a formation, like a potter using clay to form a vessel. God therefore may very well have used the raw material of His own Breath but the spirit of man in its raw form is non-functional inside a biological machine until God forms the spirit.

Though the spirit of man is made/formed from God’s Breath they are distinct and separate. Man’s spirit is not equivalent to the Spirit of God.

“For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭

This verse has OT connection as a side note

“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭20:27‬ ‭

Therefore given it is created it is not preexisting as is God Himself

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭

And should anyone question or require further clarification on this point about creation or formation

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:3‬ ‭

Universe in its classic sense meaning anything and everything in existence physical or otherwise. These were made of things that are invisible.

And the spirit is invisible made of the invisible but coupled with a biological machine can manifest itself

“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:39‬ ‭

This is also pertinent to the incarnation because Jesus was given a body (Heb 10:5) but His spirit was placed inside of a body. His spirit was preexisting. So Mary did not give birth to “God”, she did not create God, nor was she required to be sinless because the body was given to Jesus and His Spirit placed inside it. She gave birth to a biological machine into which the spirit of Jesus was placed. Hence He was fully human, he had a human BODY and fully God, His Spirit was the same (minus his glory which He removed voluntarily).

Humans however do not get preexisting spirits or recycled spirits. They yes, are expected to exist in some point in time after Creation in the future because they are in a register called the book of life written prior to Creation but until they are made they don’t exist. There are also spirits that were never intended to exist and were never written in the book of life, a hybrid being/beast (Genesis 6). Much like a blueprint is not a house until it is constructed, so our spirits are not formed until conception but exists in a register.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:16‬ ‭

1

Let me define the spirit of Adam by

Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

When the divine breath of God came into contact with the dusty nostrils that were Adam's, Adam's life (soul) came on. He and his dusty body became animated.

By this definition, the spirit of Adam was the divine breath of life.

Is the spirit of Adam a created thing?

No, unless the divine breath of life itself was created.

1
  • Zec 12:1 says the spirit of man is "formed" but that it is formed from an uncreated spirit (the spirit of God)? Thus, the spirit of man is actually the preexisting divine breath united to a body
    – R. Brown
    Mar 24, 2021 at 0:17
0

Colossians 1:16 AKJV

"for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

all things πάντα (panta) Adjective - Nominative Neuter Plural Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

Yes, Jesus created the spirit of man.

0

John 17v2-3 Eternal life [zoe] is to know Jesus. So spiritual life belongs only to the Christian. Those who do not know Jesus still have biological life [bios] 1 Tim 2v2. Did Adam come to know Jesus when the dust that made him started breathing? That may have come soon after or at once but when it did happen Adam had both zoe and bios, and would have known God with his spirit, John 17v3, eternal zoe. Adam had a spirit with an eternal future, hence eternal. However if Adam had a spirit with an eternal past he would have existed before "in the beginning". In John 1v1 only God existed before the beginning. So everything to do with man, both zoe and bios, were created.

0

This is a truly provocative question +1.

Unfortunately, I don't believe you can answer this by solely looking at scripture; this answer would need some deduction.

I believe the answer would lie in our definition of what constitutes personhood. If you believe that personhood came about with physical life, then the answer would need to be absolutely yes; man's spirit is a created thing since anything that exists outside of God must by definition be created.

However, (and as you rightly point out) if our concept of personhood is rooted in identity, then the answer is way more muddy. Since we believe that God is truly omniscient, then we understand that He "always" knew, ie have given identity to, every person who has ever and will ever live. If we ascribe personhood to God given identity, then wouldn't logic dictate that humanity existed from eternity past? Physical life could then be construed as just one manifestation of one's personhood.

Great question, no easy answer.

0

Let's start from the beginning with what we know - what we're told.

There are two spirits in play that are of interest regarding created man and his potential for (intended) eternal life.

  1. the spirit in man
  2. The holy spirit that God gives to those He chooses (the 'choosing' is not important here)

Romans 8:16 The Spirit (of God) itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:21 the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?

Imparting an understanding that nothing but mankind has a life potential past the present fleshly life of death. (death for two reasons - we are physical and subject to daily decay, and spiritually dead because of Adam's sin and resultant corruption of all men)

When we die in this age, we remain dead until we are raised - no one is going to heaven. 'No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man', John 3:13

The spirit that God has placed in us returns to Him at death - Luke 23:46 Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit (Jesus dying). Eccl 3:21 again. Acts 7:59 Stephen dying. This isn't the holy spirit.

We are 'spiritual' creatures - but not possessing immortal life until resurrected out of this age. Until that change takes place, we are predominately flesh and the human spirit in us is to provide a faculty for reason and intellect etc.

Hebrews 12:23 And to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect

Now we see reference to the spirits made perfect - believers whose spirits are sanctified etc and made acceptable to God through Christ. So these human spirits were not righteous - but sinful.

And we go back to the start again...

Romans 8:16 The Spirit (of God) itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

God determines that we are perfected because there is harmony between His spirit and ours - both are of God, but only one is allowed to be (initially) subject to our corrupted will and environment - that of the devil.

This human spirit is the same as Jesus' spirit when he fought to bring his will into subjection with the Father's will when facing imminent horrific suffering and eventual death on the cross.

We see by Paul's hand the choice to commit a man to 'death' in this age, that his spirit might be saved/perfected in the next. If the man was to continue fleeing God's will he would find it harder (perhaps by Paul's thinking, impossible) to return when given the chance.

1 Corinthians 5:5 You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Again we see man's spirit with inherent free-will component - able to rebel and sin, contrasted against the spirit of God that would transform him eventually to godliness - being saved.

So, the spirit in man is of God, but by no means divine - NOT holy by any means.

Based on this assessment, there is no immortal component to the person - they die and remain so until a resurrection - their spirit goes back to the God who gave it.

If God has been at work in us Phil 2:13, we will be raised in the 1st resurrection to eternal life - joining with Jesus.

Is the spirit in man created? The origin of each subsequent life after Adam has the 'life' imparted by the parents - God created once and set a process in motion.

0

I’m going to one thing about this (because I read innumerable amounts contradictions to scripture quoted just before someone gives their explanation as if they’re theologians or scholars) and that is this:

Luke 17:20-24, 32-37

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
...
32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Yeshua reiterates this in Matthew 24:

Matthew 24:3-6, 23-28

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
...
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

He literally told them the same thing, in yet another parable, just phrasing it slightly differently but both books, the chapters and verses tell of the same analogies.. in fact, there are numerous verses where when asked, Yeshua clearly tells us to look within and let the spirit guide our judgment not to seek answers outwardly because due to the vast amount of ways we can be deceived. We’ve been deceiving ourselves for millennia, thinking that what we visually perceive with our eyes is a reality that couldn’t be further from the truth, one reality is subjective to the perceiver and that perception is dictated by personal experience, what we do perceive of reality is not even 20% of actual reality. I understand it’s hard for us to just come to the correct answer and really the only way of even coming close to the truth is by looking within as well as spiritual enlightenment. Once you start to enlighten yourself you develop this innate sense of discernment and guidance that usually always feels separate from our own rationality or ideology and if you really just let it lead you it’s crazy how you can know something or understand something know it to be true without and learnings or prior knowledge or conscription that you would even know something and all of a sudden you find that what you previously heard seen thought that probably didn’t feel as your organic thought was in fact correct (ie having an epiphany or realization of something) know thyself only then can you truly know the spirit of god Gospel of Thomas (Ik it’s gnostic meaning self) says Examine yourself & understand who you are… Whoever does not know self, does not know anything. But, whoever knows self, has acquired the knowledge of the universe.” ~ Jesus

2 Corinthians 13:5

Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

2 Corinthians 6:16

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 13:6,7

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates…

Jeremiah 6:30

Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.

Romans 1:28

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient…

That’s all I’m going to say. I’d suggest humanity should strive to live and walk as Yeshua more than "worship and serve him". Give praise, accept him as your savior if you will, but as he lives within you let his spirit guide your spirit (as if two souls were inside our bodies 🙄) or guide your actions and path to reflect that of the Yeshua’s and his actions as well as his teachings which is literally what the New Testament is about his teachings. Everybody knows the bible, probably goes to church or not, yet the world is just as hardhearted and wicked, overcome by the ways of carnality, “flesh” I guess it’s true what is said, the enemy or wickedness “the devil” knows the words of the Bible too 🤦🏻😢💔

1
  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Oct 17, 2023 at 13:58
0

I have presented this question in several ways and have yet to receive a clear answer: In that God 'breathed His Spirit (Divine Nature/Ruah) into Adam does that then imply--conspicuously imply that Adam's very 'nature' is Divine... And therefore, all humankind is Divine in essence...? If so, then Adamah (Adam and Eve) becoming living soul beings through the so-called "Fall" [from grace] inherited the fallen or lower carnal ego-nature. Therefore, since Christ IS Divine Spirit Being able to be a life quickening 'spirit/Ruah' - to what part of the soul-being race does Christ as Divine Spirit Rua quicken (resurrect)? Contrasting Adam and Eve (human beings) as Living Soul's is directly contrasted to Christ Being a Spirit-Life Quickening Being that creates a Divine Nature (Christ Nature--Christ 'in' you the hope of glory). Thereby, placing the human spirit by way of Holy Spirit re-gene-ration (being born from above of Holy Pnuema/Breath) from a soul being to a Divine Offspring Spirit Being of the Father waiting its completion in taking on a glorified body as the 'better resurrection.' Yet the confusion comes in with the 'breath of life' from the Creator God (Elohim) bringing for Adam-humankind and living souls' contrasted to Divine Spirit (Christ in you the hope of glory) resurrecting the fallen human nature to its rightful place in the Divine Schema/Order I Thess. 5:22-23. In other words, Adamah (A & E-human kind) when having sinned the spirit of Adam 'died' (in that day you partake of the Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil you shall surely die..." However, Adam lived for over 900 years. Therefore, His (Adamah-A & E's) spirits 'died' in the sense that it lost is ascendency and connect to God and Adamah's soul then took ascendency over their spirit. Consequently, Christ as the life quickening 'spirit' quickens the suppressed human spirit from its place under the dominant rule of the fallen soul (mind and its duality consciousness) and replaces the regenerated (re-gene-rated-life-quickened) human spirit to its rightful place in the Divine Order when Holy Spirit (Pneuma) merges with the human spirit and the human spirit becomes the inner sanctuary of the temple-being of the Inner Person of the heart to dwell and have intimate communion and relationship with God. However, reverting to my original question: Did God make Adamah a Divine Essence Being one with Him? To my viewpoint: I do not see a 'oneness' connection or synonym with the words 'image' and 'oneness'. Therefore, it appears that Adam was not made God, but an 'image' of God and this 'image' may have more specific relevance to humankind becoming a living 'soul' being. And that when Christ quickens the human spirit alive by being born from above of Holy Pneuma does man 'THEN' become a Divine Offspring Spirit Being one with the One that is one with the ONE that IS-ONE Shema...! Plus, reading John 17 (the True Lord's Prayer) we find that Christ is interceding for "US": His Bride Body to be 'one' with the Father even as He and the Father 'are' one. In the original the word 'one' is translated 'same'... It appears that God made Adamah in His image--having certain qualities resonating at a lesser level (human/matter world). And that Christ came to bridge the gap between the fallen nature and the Divine Nature by HOly Spirit implanting the Christ Seed as a kind of quantum energy particle that quickens the human spirit into a oneness with Holy Spirit maturing then the regenerated human spirit into oneness relationship with the Father-Mother God as the ONE. And that Holy Spirit then processes 'US' into Sons and Daughters. As Christ said: "I go to MY Father and Your Father..." And as Paul stated tht the 'mystery hidden throughout the ages is Christ in you...". Now this is so interesting because Christ is mentioned in the Gospel of John as being the Light that lights everyone coming into the world...and goes on to say tht this light is hidden in darkness. To me this 'darkness' is the catacomb of the fallen soul-flesh nature (ego) awaiting the 'quickening' of the Christ-Divine Spirit to make it alive to have communion with the Heavenly Father-Mother God I AM as the ONE...! What do you think?

2
  • Addendum: Forgot to mention that in John's Epistle in correlation with Peter sayings: That we: Fellow Christ-Sonship-Daughter-ship-Bride-Body have been born of the 'incorruptible seed'. Whereas Adamah because of their disobedience brought forth a 'fallen-ego-nature' or what can be termed: a 'corruptible seed' nature that humankind inherited. The human nature then becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature at the time of Re-GENE-ration. Feb 20 at 18:53
  • 2
    @ John J. Octavi - Thank you for your input on this question. However, this answer is way too hard to read without the use of paragraphs. Try rewriting it using them so it can be evaluated easily. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the Soul!
    – ray grant
    Feb 20 at 22:38
-1

You do not have a soul or spirit...Genesis 2:7 teaches God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man "Became a living soul." so, you do not have a soul - you are a soul...that's why Peter says - 8 souls were saved in the Ark...and Paul says 276 souls were saved in the shipwreck...1st Peter 3:18 and Acts 27.37

1
  • I am not sure i understand your point - yes we have bodies but we do not have a soul or a spirit....what we have and what we are is body and breath that makes a soul...and when we die the body goes back to the dust and the breath goes back to God - Eccl. 12 verse 7
    – David
    Apr 28, 2019 at 7:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.