The Jewish opinion of a verse means little to me if it disagrees with the opinion handed down in Sacred Tradition. Tertullian and the early Fathers interpret Exodus differently as regards abortion:
“The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22‚Äì24]” (Tertullian, [i:2gf537rn]The Soul[/i:2gf537rn] 37).
[quote:2gf537rn]Paul speaks quite positively of the Law in the first half of Romans but not in a way that takes anything away from Grace.[/quote:2gf537rn]
The Law is fulfilled, not abolished, true. But it is also largely inapplicable to the Christian life.
If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech: and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law. Hebrews 7:11-12
Translation, in this case, means change, as seen in the NAB rendering:
If, then, perfection came through the levitical priesthood, on the basis of which the people received the law, what need would there still have been for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not reckoned according to the order of Aaron? When there is a change of priesthood, there is necessarily a change of law as well. Hebrews 7:11-12
[quote:2gf537rn]Of course infants can kick, and John the Baptist is said to have kicked at the coming of Jesus. Does this prove he had a soul? Not neccessarily, all babies kick because that is their nature, they just kick.[/quote:2gf537rn]
The baby can kick because it is alive. And the baby is alive because it possesses a soul, as I mentioned earlier.
[quote:2gf537rn]In the Greek James 2:26 is not “soul” but “spirit” (“pneumatos” meaning Spirit, or spirit). This is very different.
In Biblical Hebrew soul is nephesh which is best translated into English as “life” or “vital breath”. Based on the Hebrew Bible it seems that the soul is alive when the child breaths.[/quote:2gf537rn]
Pneumatos comes from the root word pneo, which is to breathe or blow. The connection with nephesh is appropriate and James 2:26 still stands.
The Jews and the early Fathers spoke of the soul and the spirit separately based on function. The soul is the animating force of the body and the spirit is the rationality. But despite considering their functionality separately, the soul and spirit comprise one whole in man. You can see this linkage in such verses as Genesis 7:22, Job 34:14-15, and Isaiah 42:5 as well as throughout the early Fathers.
[quote:2gf537rn]Natural law is dictated by humankind.[/quote:2gf537rn]
No. Natural law is dictated by God upon the hearts of man. Natural law is God’s law that is so obvious that one does not need revelation to know and comprehend it.
For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves. Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them: and their thoughts between themselves accusing or also defending one another. Romans 2:14-15