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I guess Benedict, you as a Catholic are obliged to follow Sacred Tradition. For myself I am not obliged to follow JEwish tradition but I find much wisdom in it for daily living. For example, one of my favourite past-times used to be to read Midrash devotionals, they were quite remarkable for me because they see and understand Scripture in a very unique light. Truth can be found apart from Sacred Tradition can’t it?

The reason I cited Exodus was for two reasons: (1) the penalty of causinig abortion is big, and (2) the penalty of killing the mother is bigger. Tertullian is right in commenting that the penalty was big, but I believe abortion in his age was not as hot of a topic as now, and the Ex passage reveals another aspect, that killing the mother resulted in greater punishment. Again, I am not pro-abortion.

Sorry if I dont’ use the quote thing I’d just rather just work with the discussion for now. The Law is “largely inapplicable” is a sketchy saying for me. What is to distinct “largely” from the opposite? I’m not sure I understand how the Law can be largely but not completely inapplicable. Your discussion of the Law through Aharonic and Levitical priesthood is hard to understand, could you develope your thought clearer so I can interact? I’m not sure what it had to do with abortion. Also your use of the word “translation” confuses me.

All babies kick, as I’ve said and that makes them alive of course. Catholic doctrine requires all Catholics to follow the interpretation that the moment life is born it contains a soul, if you read up on soul and spirit in a Protestant Systematic Theology book or the like you’ll find many different ways that the phenomenon of the soul can mean, but a Catholic is required to ignore these arguments. As C.S. Lewis once said to the Catholic Church asking for his membership:

“The real reason I cannot be in communion with you is… that to accept your Church means not to accept a given body of doctrine but to accept in advance any doctrine that your Church hereafter produces.”

As with all languages, the root of a word does not equate to the forms it takes on as a language develops. Pneumatos from pneo “breathe or blow” really doesn’t apply to the understanding of this text. The word is still pneumatos and pneumatos still means Spirit or spirit. Nephesh simply shows that the Hebrew understanding of life came from the activity of breathing, they did not have a developed systematic understanding of soul as the Greeks, and it can be argued as it is being done continually today by many theologians that are understanding of soul is more influenced by Greek culture than what the Scripture actually tells us. It is also wrong to say that the Jews spoke of the soul and spirit separately based on function. If you mean the Jews involved with the Hellenists shortly before and after Christ then this is true, but the ancient Israelites show no evidence of a developed understanding of soul as the Greeks.

Gen 7:22 does not work. We have words used for nostril, breath, and living raw thing.
The job passage if you look up the meaning of the words are heart and spirit (like breath later in the sentence). v.15 reveals nothing of soul it’s the flesh/body.
Isa 42:5 reveals that breath used is to convey intelligence of a divine reflection, and the spirit is again the breath, wind, etc.

All these passages reveal that the concept of the soul, via Greek philosophy is not present in the OT.

“In [the] Old Testament texts one does not find the later philsophical sense of “soul” as an animating principle or as a non-corporeal nature that will survive the body, that is, after death. Rather its usages are focused upon personal, physical life now.” (Garrett, James Leo Jr. “Systematic Theology)

To be honest, I’m not sure why I stated that natural law is dictated by men, really it is from God, you are quite right.

I guess what I will say in conclusion is that the concept of soul indwelling life is a very poorly understood section of Christian theology that many Christians debate endlessly. Catholics have an easy way by submitting to the Pope, but like C.S. Lewis I’m not Catholic and so far my reason is his. Also, I find all interpretations of Scripture worth looking into and I will submit to its inclusion or rejection in my own understanding based on Scripture testimony alone, and for this simple reason, I find that the lack of teh concept of soul in the OT and the Hellenized concept of soul accepted and continued in teh Roman Catholic church to compel me to remain forever suspicious of the concepts surrounding the understanding of soul.

My hands hurt.