As you read Genesis chapters one and two you get the distinct impression that animals teem out of the ground. Man also comes out of the ground, as the next stage in the creative act, however here (and here alone) does the account speak of God breathing into one of His creations. If the "breath of life" were merely the bringing of life into a body to make a soul (as the WTS suggests) then surely you'd expect similar language concerning the other creatures?
No, but I'll try to transcribe my notes. I'm really busy at the moment, so I don't know when I'll find time, but I'll make the attempt. Just quickly loking through my notes, the following verses were quoted, and may give you a starting point:
Gen.1:11,12,21,25,26; Gen.2:7,8; Gen.6:3; Job.32:8; Prov.20:27; Zech.12:1; 1Cor.6:17; 1Thess.5:23; Heb.4:12.
Also there was use of the Latin word Anima, in connevction with Soul, as being the thing that allows the Body to move.
Carmel:That's as I suspected and parallels much of what I'm presenting here, does't it?
Do you think the terminology may need updating in view of modern scientific observations, such as animals having a form of consciousness that would seem to exceed what Abdul identified?
Leo:That's one reason that I suggested that it gives a different perspective for reading. Most approach their reading from a Body/Soul perspective. I think it's true to say that each writer would need to be examined on his own merits, as each would have held different views (as do theologians today, which Didier comments on). This is another bunch of philosophical constructs which were not necessarily as well developed as at later times (nor necessarily agreed upon).
You are, of course, right about the use of Neshamah in Gen.2:7, rather than Ruach. You'll find the use of Nidneh in the Daniel quotation that I supplied. I agree that there isn't consistent use throughout the bible, which takes us back to your statement about consistency. You have to want to "read in" the doctrine in the OT, which is pretty unsatisfactory. If this philosophical construct is truly how humans are formed, however, it does exist there to be found. In the case of a dual-man view, it's merely merging the Soul / Spirit into a single term, which isn't unhelpful as the even the diagram displays. It just questions to what depth the individual writer describes.
Going into the NT, the basis for this doctrine can easily be found there, in some writings, dependant on interpretation. I'm not arguing for the spirit of man being introduced as something new, but rather an enlivening of something that was already preexistant (albeit dead, corrupt, turned off, broken, or whatever might be a better description...). After all, not all NT writers had gnostic leanings. Ironically my favourite (John) seems to have, though
Would you say that the introduction (or insertion) of a new spirit was more consistent with Pauline thought, or the resurrection of an existing spirit? Does this idea evolve? How so for the Hebraic writers and then the Jesus character?
The Holy Spirit "quickens" or "makes alive" or "resurrects" or "rebirths" the spirit within man and then (in connection with the verse you quote) bears witness with this spirit that they are children of God.
I don't know if Neuro-Science is adequately evolved to answer our questions yet. There's anecdotal evidence of OBE's in patients who are observed to have desisted from all brain function. As well as some kind of life continuing, there was also a function of mind. Hence I think it's hard to distinguish where the body / Soul / Spirit has borders in a living human. I do believe that the forcible removal of a soul at death may potentially be a painful thing.
It does beg an important theological question, that of does the Soul / Spirit combination survive death, or just the Spirit. The answer to this has an impact on the theory of where our memories reside, and what continues...
In the real world, however, this doctrine is only really of use in freeing us from the notion that we have all the answers. For a WTS-enslaved mind I believe that may be useful. For a mind seeking to learn some level of critical thought and objectivity, it may also have a place.