In this paper we provide a short semantic analysis of the most important anthropological terms of the Bible. By this analysis we would like to point out that in the biblical anthropological view humans cannot be divided into either two or three parts, but they are unitary beings. What we call flesh (body), soul and spirit (or mind) are not independent substances but rather different aspects of manifestation of the same being. On the one side, we see that terms denoting the soul, body or spirit can also refer the whole man as well.
The closing part of this study presents the most important dichotomic and trichotomic anthropological models from the era of Reformation (Erasmus, Calvin, Bullinger, the Confessio Helvetica Posterior, the Heidelberg Catechism, István Szegedi Kis) and provides a synthesis of the anthropological view of 20th century theology (Karl Barth, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Oscar Cullmann, Jenő Sebestyén, István Török, Botond Gaál, and others).
This article is concerned with the question of dichotomy and trichotomy of the human person. Following an earlier semantic analysis of biblical terms (published in Református Szemle 105.3 (2015)), the present paper introduces the reader into the significance of theological anthropology for the most important authors of the Early Church.
In Calvin’s eschatological reflection the intermediate state of the believer is of primary importance. After death the soul leaves body, the body (and only the body) falls into sleep, the soul, however, rests by God. The perfect happiness of the soul is not diminished by the fact that in this intermediate state one still has to wait for the resurrection. Although Calvin uses platonic terminology in order to clarify his ideas, the scriptural content usually overwrites this platonic terminology.