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Is Man 2 Parts or 3?

Anthropology -- The Study of Man



The study of man is called anthropology. The claim of many is that the dichotomous theory derives not from Scripture but from the teachings of Plato who sees man as composed of soul and body. However, a review of the non-Scriptural writings appears to show that the soul was composed of, among other things, the reason of man and the spirit of man. So, then, assuming for a moment that the soul is not the same as the spirit, where does it come from?

The creation theory teaches that each human soul is an immediate and individual creation by God. Only the body alone is propagated by the parents. This view maintains the purity of Christ – with this view Christ could not inherit a sinful nature from His mother. Further, a distinction is made between a mortal body and an immortal soul – parents may propagate a mortal body but only God can produce an immortal soul.
Problems:
it necessitates an individual fall by each person because God can create only perfection
it does not account for the problem of why all men sin.

Scripture
Jeremiah 1:5
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

The Traducian theory affirms that the soul as well as the body is generated by the parents.
"Man is a species, and the idea of a species implies the propagation of the entire individual out of it.…Individuals are not propagated in parts." William G.T. Shedd

Problems:
how can parents pass on the soul, which is nonmaterial?;
Christ must have partaken of the sinful nature of Mary if traducianism is true.

Strengths:
It explains the depravity of man. If the parents pass on the nonmaterial nature then it explains the propagation of the sin nature and the tendency, from birth, of every human being to sin.
The sin nature cannot be explained if God creates each soul directly.
It also explains the heredity factor—the intellect, personality, and emotional similarities of children and their parents. If creationism were correct, the similarities should not be as prevalent and noticeable.

Scriptures
Psalm 51:5
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

Hebrews 7:10
10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Romans 5:12
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

 

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