Recently there have been discussions about the immortal soul, v's the WTS beliefs, so I thought I'd present a little heard of (in JW circles) doctrine of the soul that seeks to explain some passages of scripture that are usually avoided.
First of all, Leo posted some fascination information, which gives some background on the bible's general teaching on the soul:
The doctrine itself surrounds two texts in particular, which I quote from the NWT:
1Th 5:23 May the very God of peace sanctify YOU completely. And sound in every respect may the spirit and soul and body of YOU [brothers] be preserved in a blameless manner at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.
I've attached a diagram, to help, but basically it breaks down like this:
Gen.1:24 describes animals as being living souls.
Gen.2:7 describes man as being created differently, in that God breathed spirit (Ruach) into man.
Hence the body contains the soul, and the soul the spirit.
I understand that Rabbinical teaching has it that the soul consists of the mind, emotion and will, which animals also have to a greater or lesser degree, and which are usually engaged in that order, to progress thought through to action..
When Adam sinned his spirit [died/was broken] and so he became mere flesh, an intelligent animal.
He is [reborn / resurrected / reconnected to the divine] when the spirit enters in.
At this point a battle ensues between flesh and spirit, and the spirit can be "quenched".
To me, this made a little more sense of the Westminster Catechism's claim that Jesus (as spirit) took on a true body and a reasonable soul.
There are a pile of prooftexts that I might sling into all of this, but I want to finish this in time for Dansk's prayer vigil, and then I need to get to bed.
Hopefully some ensuing discussion will elaborate on the subject.