Difficult Questions — Breath versus Spirit
1/ Question: You and many other Christians overlook the fact that the words ‘spirit’ and ‘breath’ are used interchangeably in the scriptures. For instance, during the Creation God breathed the breath of life into Adam, and shortly thereafter the word spirit, or soul, is used for breath (Genesis 2:7). Could it not be concluded that man, indeed, has no spirit?
1/ Response: In some instances in the scripture the words spirit and breath are used interchangably, and because of this some believe and preach that man has no spirit. Isaiah clearly distinguishes between ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’ in Isaiah 42:5 which reads: “Thus saith God the Lord, hea that created the heavens and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth BREATH unto the people upon it, and SPIRIT to them that walk therein.” Zechariah 12:1 tells us that the spirit of man “has form”. If you interpret breath to mean spirit, some scriptures become nonsensical. The Sermon on the Mount would contain the phrase, “…blessed are the poor in breath, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” John 4:24 would read, “God is a breath, and they that worship him must worship him in breath and truth.” There is a distinct difference between ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’ in the scriptures. Further clarification on this point is provided by 1 Corinthians 2:9-15 and John 3:7-8.
Click here to return to the Difficult Questions index