Living Soul

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Living Soul – 29 October 2006

This morning I dashed off this little prayer/poem:

Living Soul
By Mary T. Hoffman
(Written 29 October 2006)

Jesus teaches us to pray “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Let’s hope and pray
That soon one day
All will refuse
To eat, abuse,
A living soul –
This is my goal.

It is God’s will
That I fulfill
This law of life,
Not just for some,
But every one.
I must not shirk,
But do God’s work.

Many Christians erroneously believe that only humans have souls. I might add here that not too long ago humans of certain other races were likewise thought to lack souls.

In the Hebrew Bible the term “neh-fesh khah-yaw” which means “a living soul” is consistently used for humans and all other animals; no distinction is made. Yet translators into English, when it comes to other animals, have changed the word “soul” to “creature” or some other word, avoiding the use of the word “soul.”

In Revelation of the New Testament where the Greek word ξωα (zoa) is used and can only mean “animals” the translators into English again avoid admitting that animals are in heaven and translate ξωα (zoa) “animals” as “creatures.” (Zoo and zoology, among many other words, are derived from this same Greek word for “animals.”)

Among other Bible scriptures that convinced me that other animals do indeed have souls are those found in Leviticus of the Hebrew Bible where atonement required a “soul” for a “soul.” It stands to reason that because animals have souls they could be offered as atonement for human souls, even though this practice was cruel and a form of scapegoating. That’s why plants or rocks or anything else could not be offered for atonement.

I can only speculate that such Biblical mistranslations are culturally or politically motivated.


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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