Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

From my understanding, the unity of spirit, soul, and body is considered to be a ὑπόστασις, or "person." But, what argument is there against the soul itself (apart from the body) being a ὑπόστασις? It seems the soul possesses reason. It exists by itself. So, why is it not considered to be a ὑπόστασις? Or, if it is considered to be a ὑπόστασις, by who and where is such an argument affirmed?

NOTE: To clarify, I mean, ὑπόστασις as an equivalent to Greek πρόσωπον and Latin persona as understood in Trinitarian creeds and theology.

share|improve this question
I thought about something similar to this about 10 years ago and couldn't find a solid answer. I could hypothesize that it is because the soul cannot (by creative decision) be separated(or operate) without the Sprint. Both must exist together to work. Its hard to understand with the reason. – Nikos May 1 '13 at 22:11
I think this would be a better fit on Hermenutics SE – SSumner May 2 '13 at 14:42
@SSumner It's not really a question about Scripture, though. Philosophy SE is a possibility, but I think that people who are interested in and able to address a question this specific and technical are more likely to be here than there. – Ben Dunlap May 2 '13 at 16:17
Very interesting question, IMO, particularly if we're made in the image of the Triune God. – svidgen May 3 '13 at 4:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Humans are living souls. Soul (psyche) means the breathing existence. The body (soma) is the outward appearance and the physique of the human. It all means the same human being. Soul more in the sense of living and ability to feel. Body more in the sense of physical existence.

The spirit, pneuma, is what moves the person, what his thoughts are and his emotions.

It all is the human as one whole living being.

The difference is regarding what of a person one is looking at. It is about aspects to the human, not about entities or compound parts.

In certain instances the soul is considered the person, but in a more impersonal way to say. (Name, onoma, would be the more personal expression.)

Person (prosopon) is used for the human encounter, the facial and bodily appearance towards one another.

share|improve this answer

The idea of dualism between body and soul is natural to the Greek world, and to the Mediterranean cultures steeped in hellenism. But such dualism does not exist in the Hebrew thought. Hence, the Corinthians seems to have balked at Paul's idea of bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:35-58). In the Bible, only God is Immortal (I Tim. 1:17). There is no soul that is immortal because God said, man will "surely" die (Gen. 2:17). He didn't said, "you will not surely die but go separate from your bodies and wing your way to heaven, a separate entity." Rather, we expressly find in Ezekiel 18:4,20: "the soul the sinneth, it shall die."

share|improve this answer
I'm not arguing the validity of what you say, but this would be a much better answer if you had supporting references. As it is, it reads like a personal interpretation rather than an established teaching. See What makes a good supported answer? – David Nov 28 '13 at 23:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.