An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 7 of 297
phrase 'in the Received Text' is printed in brackets next to the word or
words in question.
Liberty. See article on Freedom6.
'If we have encountered difficulty defining the notions of reality,
change and causation, it is certain that the definition of life will
be still more difficult ... In its essence life is still, with all our
familiar talk about it, the unsolved mystery of existence' (Ralph
The word 'life' translates three Greek words of clearly distinct
meanings, and four different Hebrew words.
Zoe is the perfect and abiding antithesis to thanatos death.  We
recognize it by contrast, we can say what it is not, but it is elusive of
definition still.  From the general testimony of the Scriptures we can say
that all life, however manifested, is derived from God, from the highest
Spiritual Intelligence in glory, to the lowliest vegetable form.  'In Him we
live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).
'Whatever has life has existence; but many things have existence which
have no life' (Dr. E.W. Bullinger Lexicon & Concordance).
Let us review these different words employed in the inspired Scriptures
to teach us something of the meaning of 'life'.  First the Hebrew chaiyim.
The first occurrences of this word are found in Genesis 1 and 2 where it is
translated 'life', 'living' and 'beast'.  It is used of 'the moving creature'
1:20; 'the beast of the earth' 1:24,25, and of Adam:
'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul'
(Gen. 2:7).
With this we must link the second Hebrew word translated 'life', namely
nephesh.  This word is translated 'soul' some 450 times in the Old Testament,
and the first occurrence of the word nephesh in Genesis 1:20,21 is where a
living soul is rendered 'living or moving creature'.  Genesis 2:7 is the
fifth occurrence and links Adam with the rest of created beings, dependent
upon God, as all are, for life as the source, and for breath to sustain it.
This link, namely life -- breath, is seen in Genesis 9:4,5 where the life or
soul of the flesh is vitally connected with the blood, even as Leviticus
17:11 declares.  Genesis 2:7 stresses this by the way it employs the word
nephesh and its derivatives.  Let us exhibit this before the eye of the
English reader:
'And the Lord God ... breathed (naphach) into his nostrils (aph)
the breath of life; and man became a living soul' (nephesh).
The verb 'to breathe', the word 'soul' and the word 'nostril' derive
from the same root, and the vehicle or medium is the nostrils.