The traditional rendering of the Hebrew anthropological term ‫ ֶ֫ ֶנפֶ ׁש‬, occurring 754 times in the Old Testament (OT), is ‘soul’.1 Very early on, this is questioned by Parkhurst (1778:408) and Briggs (1897:30). The former asserts that no passage in the OT indicates that ‫ ֶנֶ֫פֶ ׁש‬has the meaning ‘soul’. The latter contends that ‘soul in English usage at the present time conveys usually a very different meaning from ‫ ֶ֫ ֶנפֶ ׁש‬in Hebrew’. The same position is held today by many biblists. For example, Brueggemann (1997:453) also argues that it is ‘unfortunate that…‫ ֶנֶ֫פֶ ׁש‬is commonly rendered “soul”’.

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