A Study of Theology II – Part 3 | John Ankerberg Show

A Study of Theology II – Part 3

By: Dr. Thomas Figart
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THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY

Anthropology

Genesis 1-3

A Study of Theology II – Part 3 (Dr. Thomas Figart)

We have already discussed the creation of angels on the first day of creation week, and how some fell from their holy estate to follow after Satan. Vegetation (including trees) was created on the third day, followed by flying creatures and sea creatures on the fifth day. On the sixth day, both land animals and humans were created.

 

A Study of Theology II – Part 3

Dr. Thomas Figart

 

Anthropology: The Study of Man

Introduction: In the beginning, God created three kinds of life on earth:

Sitting under a tree are a boy and his dog. The tree has bodily life; it grows to maturity with leaves and branches which wave in the wind, with motion. The dog also grows, exhibits motions of various kinds, but in addition, the dog has a soul with the ability to express emotion. The English word “animal” is from the Latin word anima which means “soul” and refers to forms of animal life, including human souls. The boy grows, eventually becoming a man, and like the tree and the dog, is capable of many kinds of motion and emotion, but in addition, he has a spirit, with the possibility to express devotion to God.

We have already discussed the creation of angels on the first day of creation week, and how some fell from their holy estate to follow after Satan. Vegetation (including trees) was created on the third day, followed by flying creatures and sea creatures on the fifth day. On the sixth day, both land animals and humans were created.

On his chart dealing with creation, Dr. John C. Whitcomb lists the following five biblical evidences for 24-hour creation days:

  1. Hebrew word for “day” (yom) modified by numerical adjective in each creation day;
  2. Evening and morning” indicates daily rotation of earth (Dan. 8:26);
  3. Clear analogy with Israel’s weekly cycle of work and rest (Ex. 20:11);
  4. Days” contrast with “years” (Gen. 1:14) as unchanging astronomic time units;
  5. Day” must be literal in 2 Peter 3:8 or contrast between God and man is obscured.

The Creation of Adam and Eve

The Time-Line for Creation

Evolutionists require billions of years to explain the beginning of time, assuming this must be so, since “science” has “proven” it to be so. It is not our purpose to show how the biblical record is true. This has been done by Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry M. Morris in their excellent volume, The Genesis Flood, available at most Christian bookstores. We can and must explain briefly how to arrive at an answer from the Bible.

The preceding paragraph lists five evidences for 24-hour days in Creation week. This adequately disproves the Gap Theory, which supposes that each “day” could have been millions, or even billions of years in length.

We cannot come to a definite date for the creation of Adam and Eve simply because the genealogies are not always totaled, and on some occasions names are omitted. Further, sometimes the word “begat” refers to births which were generations apart rather than to direct father-son relationships (See The Genesis Flood, pp. 454-489). Such evidence as this prompted Dr. Whitcomb to put the date of the Genesis Flood on one of his charts at 5,000 B. C. (?) with a question mark, and to give the total number of years from Adam to Noah as 1056, but with a series of question marks indicating lack of definite information. This tentative date for Creation of Adam and Eve would be numbered in the scope of thousands of years, not billions of years. Since Noah was 600 years old when the Flood occurred, by adding this to 1056, the total years back from the Flood to Creation would be 5,000 plus 1,656 or 6,656 B.C. (?) with a question mark, for the suggested time of Creation.

Details Concerning the Creation of Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve had material and immaterial parts; the material part was their bodies. Adam’s body was created from the “dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). Eve’s body was made from one of Adam’s ribs (Genesis 2:21-22). Their immaterial parts, soul and spirit, were “the image and likeness” of God. As already noted, the soul, or anima, is “the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), which God breathed into them. The “spirit of man that goeth upward” may refer to the likeness of God, as it goes up to God at death (Ecclesiastes 3:21). It is a biblical fact that God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and that God has a soul (Isaiah 1:14; 42:1; Jeremiah 9:9; Hebrews 10:38)

Arguments for Dichotomy

This leads to two definitions of the constitution of humanity; is mankind dichotomous (two parts) or trichotomous (three parts)? If man was created as a dichotomous being, then the emphasis would be on the material body and the immaterial part, soul and spirit being used interchangeably, to refer to the immaterial part of man.

Gen. 41:8, Pharaoh’s spirit was troubled;

Psalm 42:6, “My soul is cast down”;

John 12:27, “Now is my soul troubled”;

John 13:21 “troubled in spirit”;

Heb. 12:25, “spirits of just men made perfect”;

Rev. 6:9, “I saw the souls of them that were slain for the word of God.”

It must be added, however, that upon closer consideration of these verses, each of them may be referring to distinct and separate actions concerning two different parts of the immaterial constitution of man. In other words, both soul and spirit may be troubled; both may be cast down; both may be made perfect.

Arguments for Trichotomy

  1. Paul said: “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserve blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:23; see also Hebrews 4:12).
  2. In Genesis 1:24 When God created the beasts and creeping things the Hebrew words nephesh hayah “living soul” are used, yet they are never said to have spirits, and were given as food after the Fall (Acts 10:9-15). In Genesis 2:7 these same Hebrew words are used of man when “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” The point here is that beasts were given dichotomous life, whereas man is not only given this type of life; he is trichotomous, having both soul and spirit.
  3. Christ became a real human being with a true human body, soul and spirit. In Matthew 26:38, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” He could not have said this if He was referring to any aspect of deity, since deity does not change; but real human life can cease (even if only for three days in the case of His death), Then, in Matthew 27:50: “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit.” Likewise, in John 19:30: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit.” Once more, He could not be referring to any part of His deity, since deity never changes. Luke confirms that it was the human spirit of Jesus: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, and, having said this, he gave up the spirit.
  4. Conclusion: The human soul must refer to the “breath of life” in the physical sense. While our souls live, we retain the emotions, feelings; conscience; such things that belong to our lives. When we die, our spirits are in the hands of God, we being absent from the body and present with the Lord awaiting the first resurrection and rewards. The spirits of the non Christians go immediately to Sheol (hell) awaiting the second resurrection, and final judgment.

Theories on the Origin of the Immaterial Part of Man

Preexistence Theory

God created all souls and spirits of man all at once, before the creation of human bodies, then adds the immaterial part to each human body at birth. Unbelievers, such as Plato, taught that souls and spirits are eternal and that present humanity is reincarnation from some former existence.

Objections to this theory

  1. There is no proof for this theory, and Scripture is ignored.
  2. Genesis 2:7 affirms that God created man out of dust “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.”
  3. Genesis 1:24 says the same thing for all living creatures with regard to soul life.

Creationist Theory

God creates a soul for each body and breaths it into the body at the moment of birth, Some would also say that God creates a perfect spirit but when united with a depraved body it becomes likewise depraved. Others would say that each human body inherits a dormant sin nature from Adam which is activated by God at the birth of the individual.

Objections to this theory

  1. The theory that God creates a perfect spirit which becomes depraved when united to a depraved body is not found in Scripture.
  2. The theory that a dormant sin nature is activated at birth is not found in Scripture.
  3. Since neither of these ideas are scriptural, the Traducian theory, that the sin nature is inherited from Adam, will be shown by Scripture. The two preceding theories would make God the author of the sin nature instead of Adam. God does not create nor activate fallen souls.

Traducian Theory

Traduce means to transfer, to transmit, thus to inherit. The theory of Traducianism means that the sin of Adam has been transmitted from each generation of parents to their children, since all of humanity (body, soul and spirit) is related to our original parents, Adam and Eve.

Adam’s sin affected the body, bringing physical death to all mankind. Romans 5:12; “Whereas, by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon al men, for all have sinned.”

Adam’s sin affected the immaterial part of man. Romans 5:18: “Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” This doctrine of sin being passed down from one generation is shown in Hebrews 7:9-10, as Levi being in the loins of Abraham: “And as I may so say, Levi, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, For he was yet in the loins of Abraham, when Melchisedek met him.

Traducianism allows for the statements in Genesis 1:31-2:3 that God rested from creating after six days, so God is not creating a soul and spirit as each child is born, as the Creationist theory of the immaterial part of man teaches. Yet, Traducianism does not deny the truth of the New birth, since the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:22 assures us: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” We can also be assured that it does not annul the Scripture that God can still create the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

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