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Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible
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Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible


Baker Academic 2008

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Are humans composed of a material body and an immaterial soul? This view is commonly held by Christians, yet it has been undermined by recent developments in neuroscience. How much of Christian theology is built on views of humanity that modern science has proved to be untenable?

Exploring what Scripture and theology teach about issues such as being in the divine image, the importance of community, sin, free will, salvation, and the afterlife, Joel Green argues that a dualistic view of the human person is inconsistent with both science and Scripture. This wide-ranging discussion is sure to provoke much thought and debate.

The Logos Bible Software edition of Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of the Bible. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about interpreting the Bible.

Key Features

  • Explores the relationship between body, mind, and soul with a biblical perspective
  • Addresses neuroscientific developments
  • Includes suggestions for further reading


  • The Bible, the Natural Sciences, and the Human Person
    • Humanity and Human Identity in Biblical Theology
    • Traditional Theological Anthropology and Contemporary Challenges
    • Why Science Matters
    • Some Definitions
    • In Anticipation
  • What Does It Mean to Be Human?
    • Distinctively Human?
    • Clearing the Deck
    • “In the Image of God He Created Them” (Gen 1:27)
    • “To the Measure of the Full Stature of Christ” (Eph 4:13)
    • Conclusion
  • Sin and Freedom
    • Challenges from the Natural Sciences
    • Freedom and Sin: Three New Testament Coordinates
    • Conclusion
  • Being Human, Being Saved
    • Questioning Conversion in Luke-Acts
    • The Neural Correlates of Change
    • Luke-Acts and “Embodied Conversion”
    • Concluding Reflections
  • The Resurrection of the Body
    • Resurrection in Israel’s Scriptures
    • The Gospel of Luke and the Intermediate State
    • The Disciples and the Resurrected Jesus (Luke 24:36–49)
    • The “Resurrection Body” at Corinth
    • Conclusion

Praise for the Print Edition

In this outstanding work, the author provides a scholarly and thoroughly biblical analysis of human personhood in dialogue with the neurosciences. This book is likely to provide the definitive overview of this topic for many years to come.

—Denis R. Alexander, director, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmund’s College

If you think nothing new ever happens in theology or biblical studies, you need to read this book, an essay in ‘neuro-hermeneutics.’ Green shows not only that a physicalist (as opposed to a dualist) anthropology is consistent with biblical teaching but also that contemporary neuroscience sheds light on significant hermeneutical and theological questions.

—Nancey Murphy, professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

Few biblical interpreters have delved as deeply into the science of the human brain as Joel Green. Here he draws upon that learning in conversation with Scripture to put forth a fresh picture of human existence, one that makes sense from both perspectives. He does not shy away from hard questions, especially those about life and death, body and soul.

Patrick D. Miller, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

Here is an important and courageous study that steps out into a new frontier of biblical study. . . . This is a very informative book and, hopefully, the vanguard of many more studies in this area.

The Bible Today

Those interested in examining the compatibility of biblical faith with the present neuroscientific consensus will find much that is helpful in this very readable and engaging, but no less profound, book.

Religious Studies Review

Product Details

  • Title: Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible
  • Author: Joel B. Green
  • Series: Studies in Theological Interpretation
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 192

About Joel B. Green

Joel B. Green is a professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean of the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Introducing the New Testament, and commentaries on Luke and 1 Peter. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Theological Interpretation.