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spirit

Hebrew: ruah; Greek: pneuma, meaning wind or breath

In 2 Thess. 2:8 it means “breath,” and in Eccl. 8:8 the vital principle in man.

It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 5:5; 6:20; 7:34), and the soul in its separate state (Hebrews 12:23), and hence also an apparition (Job 4:15; Luke 24:37, 39), an angel (Hebrews 1:14), and a demon (Luke 4:36; 10:20).

The words translated “spirit” and “soul,” in 1 Thess. 5:23, Hebrews 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The “spirit” (Greek: pneuma) is the soul as rational; the “soul” (Greek: psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body.

This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency (Zech. 12:10; Luke 13:11).

In Rom. 1:4, 1 Tim. 3:16, 2 Cor. 3:17, 1 Pet. 3:18, it designates the divine nature.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with minor editing by Paul S. Taylor.

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