1 Peter 2:11 (DRB):

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul,

It's clear that the Bible distinguishes between (soul) and (spirit), look:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
  • Jude 1:19.
  • James 3:15.
  • Hebrews 4:12.
  • Romans 8.

But sometimes it may uses (soul) and (spirit) interchangeably.

The question is:

Does Peter mean in 1 Peter 2:11 the (spirit)?

Did He use (soul) but mean (spirit)?

My idea will be clear if we looked 2 Corinthians 7:1 which says in (DRB):

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sactification in the fear of God.

It's clear in 2 Corinthians 7:1 that spirit means soul, since the Spirit actually has no defilement, look Romans 8.

1 Peter 2:11 (DRB):

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul,

1 Peter 2:11 (GNT):

  1. ᾿Αγαπητοί, παρακαλῶ ὡς παροίκους καὶ παρεπιδήμους, ἀπέχεσθαι τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν, αἵτινες στρατεύονται κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς,

New testament is, also, like Old testament. I mean the text has layers of meaning, that is why New testament also, needs exegesis.

Thus, New Testament needs Exegesis, also, like Old Testament. Many words have shades of meaning allowing them to be used differently in some occasions, synonymously in some occasions, and interchangeably in other occasions. To judge that this word has this or that meaning we use LOGIC.

  • 3
    I would be very cautious of suggesting that an inspired writer wrote one thing but actually intended something else. How could we know that? This suggests that such an exegete has access to greater spiritual knowledge that the author (Peter in this case).
    – Dottard
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 2:30
  • @Dottard what makes me suggest that is that the Bible in many verses, clearly distinguished between soul and spirit. The Bible makes the spirit higher than the soul. Look: Jude 19 and James 3:15.
    – salah
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 2:38
  • 2
    First, Jude 19 is a reference to the Holy Spirit, not our spirit. ψυχική (psychikē) in James 3:15 would be better translated (here) "sensual" (NKJV) or "earthly" or "natural" (NASB). I do not see a problem here.
    – Dottard
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 2:53
  • 1
    i'm unaware of anywhere the Testaments use "spirit" and "soul" interchangeably. Some readers, translators, have difficulty distinguishing between "spirit" and "Spirit," if you will, in the New, such as in instances in Rm 8. God who is Spirit created our spirit. To contain Himself as man. Jesus Christ. For He and we to become "one spirit." 1 Cor 6:17. Jude 20 mentions the divine Spirit. 19's "no spirit" should refer to the human spirit, since it's context is with the word "soulish."
    – Walter S
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 4:59
  • 1
    "Sometimes . . . 'soul' and 'spirit' interchangeably". I cannot think of a single instance of that. The onus is upon yourself to quote and prove. Pneuma and psuche are different words with different meanings.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


One who touches the dead body of any human being shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with [water for impurity] on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he shall be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he shall not be clean. Whoever touches a dead person, the body of a human being who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Jehovah; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him. This is the law when a man dies in a tent: Anyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean seven days. And every open vessel, which has no covering tied down on it, is unclean. And whoever in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or a dead body or a human bone or a grave shall be unclean seven days. And for the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the sin offering, and running water shall be added to them in a vessel; and a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched the bone or the one slain or the one who died or the grave. Numb 19.

Beloved, I entreat you as strangers and sojourners to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life. Rm 6.

You asked before about 2 Cor 7:1, Mr Salah. Defilement of spirit refers to that which deadens the spirit. Of course sin does. There are sins with our body, our mind (Salah's soul's leading part). Then there are portions like Numb 19 in the OT, which (like most of the Law) serves the purpose, primarily, of allegorizing Christians' spiritual experience. (In other words, the only way to know is to experience.) The death there, and in 2 Cor 6, is by association. (Context often, if not always, determines what words mean.)

Do not become dissimilarly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what concord does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, even as God said, “I will dwell among them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore “come out from their midst and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you”; “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6.

Paul the apostle already addressed much the fleshy and fleshly sins of those believers in his first and this letter to them in Corinth. The end of 2 Cor 6 touches our mere connection with nonbelievers. Your soul is your 'person.' With your power of choice, as well as intellect and emotion. The immediate context of 1 Pet 2:11 is the fleshly, bodily, lusts in that very sentence. And they war against the soul.

I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and making me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?...with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. Rm 7.

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