[gthomas] Re: physical means ...
- At 10:48 PM 11/13/99 -0600, Harold Helm wrote:
>* CIrcumcision of the Spirit is EVIDENCED byThere is this possibility: that "circumcision of the spirit" was thought to
>fruits of love joy peace kindness gentleness
involve cutting away a portion of the spirit. If what you say is true, the
implication is that there is a portion of one's spirit prior to "spiritual
circumcision" which is NOT kind, gentle, etc., and that kindness,
gentleness, etc., result from cutting off this "bad" part of the spirit.
Under this interpretation, the analogy to physical circumcision may be more
exact, but I'm not sure that the interpretation is ultimately defensible.
The textual evidence seems to be mixed. The evil man has an evil heart, for
example - perhaps also an evil soul - but does he have an evil spirit?
Again, there were thought to be good and evil spirits within the world
(which is why the word "Holy" was needed to designate the good spirit of
God) - but the spirit within man seems to have been at least sometimes
spoken of as if it were purely good. Or maybe it's just initially good, and
the task is to restore it to its initial state (as it occurs in children).
Or maybe not everyone has the spirit within him. Can one lose the spirit
entirely, or does it simply become tarnished? Too many maybe's - not enough
hard evidence so far.