“Yeshua is alive!” Bible enthusiasts around the world embrace this simple statement with biblical reasoning.
What Is A Spirit?
Prior to discussing what it means to say, “Yeshua is alive,” this study will first identify what a spirit is in relationship to mankind, provide two biblical terms from whence the term spirit is applied as well as provide two examples that gives a modern approach to understand the biblical concept of a spirit.
According to the Scriptures, mankind possesses a spirit that resides within his frail, human body. It is this spirit that gives the body in which the spirit resides in life (reference Job 32:8). In fact, Yeshua taught his disciples that it is this spirit which resides within the human body that gives to the human body life (reference John 6:30). Without the spirit residing within the human body, death (chiefly being, the cessation of life) takes place (reference John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18, and James 2:26).
But, what exactly is a spirit? Different people have different ideas with biblical Scriptures to support their view, but to eliminate the numerous different views that exist to one that is concise to the topic of this study, we've decided to base our explination to credible reference resources that any Bible enthusiast would appreciate, The Strong's Concordance of the Bible. In it, The Strong’s Concordance of the Bible reveals that the Hebrew term for spirit, chiefly being H7307 ר֫וּחַ (i.e., ruach), can be translated to “breath, wind, or air.” The same is true concerning its Greek counterpart of G4151 πνεῦμα (i.e., pneuma). Though Bible commentators rarely identify the spirit as being a “breath, wind or air,” the Strong’s Concordance of the Bible does suggest that in either case of Hebrew or Greek languages, the term that is oftentimes translated as "spirit" can also be translated as either a “breath, wind or air.” Henceforth, this study will refer to the spirit as being “a movement of air (such as in a gentle blast of the wind, hence the wind itself) or breath that transpires in the nostrils or mouth” as the Strong’s Concordance suggests without going into further details as to what a spirit may also mean.
Some might object to the idea of translating the Hebrew term “ruach" or the Greek term “pneuma” as either “a breath, wind or air;” however, the online Jewish Encyclopedia presents us with this idea: “In most languages[,] breath and spirit are designated by the same term. The life-giving breath can not be of earthly origin, for nothing is found whence it may be taken. It is derived from the supernatural world, from Elohim” (Jacobs and Blau 1906). Though The Oxford English Dictionary does not define a spirit to mean “a movement of air (such as in a gentle blast of the wind, hence the wind itself) or breath that transpires in the nostrils or mouth,” it does provide us with the understanding that the English term for spirit derived etymologically from Latin spiritus 'breath, spirit', from spirare ‘breathe' (OED 2015).
After defining the term spirit, this study will now provide two examples that best describes it.
Breath is the first example that best describes the Hebrew and Greek terms translated as spirit. In most parts of the world, it is not common to see one’s own breath. However, when the proper weather conditions permit such as a cold climate, any given person breath out and see their own breath during the process of exhalation. The warm air that escapes the body and condensates as it hits the cold weather environment is one’s own breath. This exhaled breath is biblically identified as a spirit. By utilizing this first example to identify a spirit, the Bible enthusiast can understand what James meant when he wrote, “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14b, NLT). In like manner, Job expressed, “[…] my life is but a breath […]” (Job 7:7, NLT), meaning that Job was able to visualize the true essence of his life as a breath would escape his body in such a condition.
Steam is the second example that best meets the biblical description of both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures present in the term we come to know in English as spirit. Brocken captured a world renown Yellowstone National Park's Geyser as it was getting to erupt. In this image, we see how steam billows into the surrounding area. This vapor that surrounds its immediate surroundings can also be referred to as spirit accordingly. This is what the Scriptures meant when it said, "And the Spirit of Elohim was hovering over the surface of the waters" (Genesis 1:2b, NLT). Anyone who can picture a fog or a midst hovering over water gets the idea that the Hebrew authors were trying to portray in the Word.
To summarize, this study defined the meaning of the term spirit as it is understood by credible resources to help further develop the biblical reasoning in that Yeshua is alive.
1. Brocken Inaglory. Yellowstone National Park Geyser. Digital image. Wikipedia.com. N.p., 07 Oct. 2008. Web.
2. "Definition of Spirit in Greek." πνεῦμα (i.e., pneuma). The Strong's Concordance of the Bible, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
3. "Definition of Spirit in Hebrew." ר֫וּחַ (i.e., ruach). The Strong's Concordance of the Bible, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
4. "Definition of Spirit in English." Spirit. The Oxford English Dictionary, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
5. Jacobs, Joseph, and Ludwig Blau. "Holy Spirit." The Jewish Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
6. Lang, Isobel. Woman Exhales Breath. Digital image. The Sunday Times. N.p., Jan. 2013. Web.
7. Reading The Bible. Digital image. Wallpaper4God.com. N.p., Dec. 2006. Web.
© 2015 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
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