J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 5.)
First, the word psuche is clearly used for "life," as Matthew 2:20; Matthew 10:39; Mark 3:4; Luke 9:24, 56; John 12:25, and many other passages. Next, it is used for the general fact of conscious feeling and existence - the activity of the inner man - without defining whence or what it is. In this way, it is used even of God; Matt. 12:18; Heb. 10:38. Thus: "With all thy heart, and with all thy soul"; "My soul is exceeding sorrowful"; "A sword shall pierce through thy own soul;" Matt. 22:37; Mark 14:34; Luke 2:35. It is used for persons, as Acts 2:41, 43; chap. 7:14. But as "life" and "soul," it is in contrast often, or "life" is used for "the soul" in its higher aspect. The same word is used of what is profited and lost in the same act. Thus: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it;" Matt. 10:39, compare verse 28; chap. 16:25, 26; Mark 8:35-37 (compare Luke 9:24-26, and John 12:25) and Luke 17:33.
We have then "the soul" used generally for the responsible part, in which we live with God, whose state and movings are expressed in the body's acts, as Matthew 11:29; chap. 16:26, and the passages of contrast I have referred to. Matthew 26:38; Mark 8:37, and like passages to Matthew; Mark 14:34; Luke 1:46 (passage cited from Luke); Luke 12:23; John 12:27; Acts 14:22; Acts 15:24; perhaps Romans 2:9; 2 Cor. 1:23; Heb. 6:19; chaps. 10:39; 13:17; James 1:21; James 5:20; 1 Peter 1:9, 22; 1 Peter 2:11, 25; 1 Peter 4:19; 2 Peter 2:8, 14; 3 John 2. Here we find contrast with Jewish temporal deliverance.
It is contrasted carefully with "body," Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:20 (stronger because of verse 19); Acts 2:27, 31 - practically several of the passages quoted under the last head. Acts 20:10; compare 1 Kings 17:21, 22. It is also distinguished as the mere living soul from the higher part in which it is in connection with God, through living in Him by the breath of life from Him; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12. Add to this Luke 16, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. It is distinguished from the power of life in Christ in 1 Cor. 15:45. Its distinct condition in man is originally founded on Genesis 2:7 - never said of beasts; hence Acts 17:28. The "souls under the altar" confirm this.
87 "Spirit" is used often for the soul including the higher part. So even of Jesus, "He gave up the ghost" (paredoken to pneuma). This word we must also examine. It is used not uncommonly for the spiritual part of man in contrast with his body, as Luke 8:55, "Her spirit came again," confirming the clear distinction between the two, as with soul. So where the two latter are also distinguished, spirit, soul, and body. But I think it has another force than "soul," though used in a general way like it, in contrast with "body," as the non-corporeal part of man. "Soul," as connecting itself with its action in the body, though clearly distinct, is more connected with life, and so used for it. "Spirit" is more the active, intelligent consciousness, or the seat of that consciousness, which belongs to the inner man; and just what distinguishes man from the beast is that the latter has merely a living soul connected with an organism, passions, habits, faculties, such as memory, affections; while man has received this state of existence through God's breathing into his nostrils the breath of life - by the spirit of life he became a living soul. Hence in ordinary language the two may be used as one; because of the pneuma zoes (the spirit of life) he has a psuchen zosan (a living soul). The mere animal has a psuchen zosan, but not through a divine pneuma zoes. The mere breath of natural life is organic, and has nothing to do with this. Hence "spirit" is used for this active, intelligent, consciousness. In the Christian it is connected often with the Holy Spirit which dwells in him, as its activities are produced by it, not the soul. The Spirit and its fruit may thus also characterise the state of the soul. This character of the spirit of man, the connection of the term with active intelligent consciousness is frequently found; Matt. 26:41, "The spirit indeed is willing"; Mark 2:8, "Jesus perceived in his spirit; chap. 8:12, "He sighed deeply in his spirit"; Luke 1:80, "Waxed strong in spirit;" chap. 2:40; chaps. 10:20; 23:46; John 4:23, 24; chaps. 11:33; 13:21; (chap. 19:30, used in general, so Acts 7:59). Acts 17:16; Rom. 1:9; chap. 12:11; 1 Cor. 2:11; chap. 5:3-5 (used in special manner for activity of the inner man and a power, not intelligent, thus contrasted with nous - proof of the difference of mere mind from the active principle, though usually acting, in the present state of human nature, in it as the present form of its power; so that consciousness, not mind, is essential to it); 1 Cor. 14:2, 14, 15, etc.; 2 Cor. 2:13; chap. 7:1, here through the mind, verse 13; Gal. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:22; Heb. 12:23. In Thessalonians and Hebrews, the contrast with body is clear, and in the former with soul also.