3 John 2 – Body and Soul

By Wayne Jackson

Does man consist solely of flesh and bones, or is there an eternal “something” that resides within the tabernacle of flesh? Materialism, both secular and religious, advocate the notion that human beings are wholly mortal. But the Bible teaches otherwise. The apostle John shows an obvious distinction between the body and the soul in the following passage.

“Beloved, I pray that in all things you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul is prospering” (3 Jn. 2).

Of special significance here is the adverb kathos, “even as,” which indicates a comparison. John hopes that the bodily “health” of Gaius will prosper even as this brother’s soul is prospering. There is a clear distinction here between the physical body and the soul. Circle “health,” and draw an arrow to the margin. Write: Body. Then circle “soul” and note: Separate from the body.

The language is similar to phraseology in 2 Corinthians 7:1 where Paul alludes to the “defilement of flesh and spirit.” Enter this reference in your margin. We are more than mere material substance!

Small f26f621c f6aa 4d2b 853d 24e53c812a17

About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.