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רוּחַ rûaḥ; from 7306; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): — air, anger, blast, breath, x cool, courage, mind, x quarter, x side, spirit((-ual)), tempest, x vain, ((whirl-))wind(-y).

In the Hebrew text we find the word rûaḥ which translates to spirit in the english text. When we look at the definition of this word, we see its wind - like (by resemblance) breath, for example (i.e.) a sensible or even violent exhalation.

When we continue in the definition we see “figuratively” which is used to indicated a departure from a literal use; it’s a metaphor. This means word can metaphorically be used for life and anger but it is not supported “unsubstantiality”

The next statement connects the internal logic of two statements (by extension) that being of wind (or breath) and the next being the sky.

Then we get to the next statement that starts with “by resemblance” being what is to follow is resembling what we’ve all ready discussed which is wind (or breath), life, anger, and sky. It’s like the spirit of man and then the definition continues to break it down - air, anger, blast, breath, x cool, courage, mind, x quarter, x side, spirit((-ual)), tempest, x vain, ((whirl-))wind(-y). Note: when you see “x” next to a word it means theres not enough information about the result, it’s just that it’s been used that way. It’s like saying “in terms of x”.

Let’s look at the Greek word by which we get the word spirit in our Bibles.

g4151. πνεῦμα pneuma; from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit: — ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind. Compare 5590.

Let’s break this one down a little. Much of it is the same but there’s a couple nuances in it.

We have a current of air, for example (I.e.) breath or a breeze.

We continue in the definition by saying the word can by used as a purpose of explanation (analogy) or a departure from the literal (figuratively) a spirit like (i.e.) the human soul. Pneuma can be used in a statement, event, or situation that implies the case of (by implication) for a vital principle or mental disposition, or for an angel, demon, God, Christ, Holy Spirit like a ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.

What this means is that we have imposed our definition of a literal spirit upon a word used in Biblical text that only means spirit figuratively; not literally.

This would explain the differences between the American point of view of the Spirit of God versus the Hebrew point of view.

I was raised in many different denominations of the church today and I’ve never heard these definitions of these words when it came to the translated word in Scripture - spirit. Instead, what I’ve always heard is an explanation as if the spirit is like some ghostly type being that is a part of us or a part of God and that this flesh body houses that ghostly being we call a spirit.

I want you to notice that those definitions never defined spirit in the way much of the church defines it today. We’ve taken the adverbs that tell us that the word is kinda like this but not really (figuratively, analogy, etc.) and ignored it’s direct definition of air, sky, anger, mind, etc and created this spiritual doctrine that the Bible never meant to say. The words used in Hebrew and Greek were just common words used in the language of the day, as common as engine is used in our day.

The fact is that the church today did not created this definition, this theology, this belief is gnosticism. It was the gnostics that created a two part human and this theology seeped into the church and has been vastly embraced by the church today.

The word is used all over Scripture from the old testament to the new testament and I would love to go over each one but I want to show you how we’ve taking something that says one thing and how we can easily be snatched up into this belief.

"For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” James 2:26

What we are seeing here is not James talking about a ghostly being leaving the body. Think about the definition and let's think back to Genesis.

"then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Genesis 2:7

God breathed into man and man became a living creature. James is not trying to use the connection of body and spirit (as in the way it's taught today) to explain faith without works versus faith with works, this connection falls short on trying to explain what James is teaching. But, if we understand the actual meaning of the term used, and we go back to James, we then see he's saying that the body without pneuma (breath) is dead. So he’s saying that works with faith is like the breath or life of faith. In other words, works are the breath to faith. See how much we miss when we follow bad theology?

King Solomon was obviously pulling from Genesis when he wrote

“and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit [ruah] returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 12:7-8

There's no historical evidence that the authors of the Bible believed in man having a spirit like God. In fact, historical writings of the Hebrews tell us the opposite. Could this belief that keeps creeping into mainstream christianity, this battle, be an on going deception of satan that we've seen since the beginning… you will be like God?

If you break away from your preconceived notions and re-read Scripture for what it was saying to them in their language, replacing the gnostic belief of spirit in the church today with either mind, thought, air, or breath, you’ll find the Bible is saying more than what we’ve been believing.

We can’t talk about this subject without talking about the Spirit of God. The belief in the church is that the Spirit of God came down on man after Jesus left, on the day of pentecost. The church treats the Spirit of God like some new thing because Jesus said a “helper” would come. The problem is that we see God’s Spirit all over the Old Testament.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Isaiah 61:1

Modern theology would tell you that the Spirit was “upon” them in the Old Testament but He dwells within us in the New Testament and that theology falls apart when you read Scriptures like Ezekiel

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:24-27

The Old Testament did not give us this information without defining what this Spirit of God was.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2

Notice how the definition of the Bible aligns with the definition of a common word of a language used in that day. And now notice the resemblance when the New Testament defines it for us as well.

"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” John 15:26

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, it’s the mind of God who knows the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:11) and He puts that mind, that rational within us.

You might be saying, "But the Bible called the Spirit “He." This can start a whole new discussion about Hebrew and Greek but the word “He” comes from the Greek ἐκεῖνος ekeinos which defines as “thing” and can be intensified by the article prefixed he, it, the other, that, etc. An example would be like using the word “she” for a car. If the Greek writing was trying to use “he” as in a masculine form of man or God the writer would have used aftós or the pronoun αυτόν but instead the writer used ἐκεῖνος which means that; which is a thing.

This is why we must not fall into theological practices without an in-depth study. You are much better searching Scripture, searching after God, and living a simple life in Christ rather than following theologies that lead down a non-Biblical path.