Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/11/11

“Life Defined” by Rick Sanders

English: By Rembrandt.

English: By Rembrandt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Life” is defined by many words in the New Testament.

The most often used word for life is “zoe.” “Zoe” is the general word physical or spiritual life or both. “Zoe” comes from a primary verb known as “zao” or to be alive. The more specific “psyche” is particular to the mind or soul or heart or all. Then, there is the family of words that surround the word “bios,” which speaks specifically to the physical life. So, whenever you are reading about life, consider what “life” is being translated from within the text. Without understanding which “life” is spoken of, the life’s meaning is not fully understood.

In John 6:48, “I am the bread of life (zoe).” is an example of the physical/spiritual life> This wholeness of life is found in Christ.

In 12:25, “He that loveth his life (psyche) shall lose it.” This example of “psyche” focuses on one’s interior. You do not want to lose your life, meaning your soul, due to selfishness.

I John 2:16 talks of “the pride of life (bios).” This life refers to our own physical accomplishments in this life.

So, when you are reading about “life” in the New Testament, remember to figure out which “life” you are reading about.


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