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Headword: Psuchikos anthrôpos
Adler number: psi,167
Translated headword: natural man
Vetting Status: high
[Man is composed] of soul and body. Now whenever [one] performs one of the actions that seem [to be good] to God, he is called “spiritual”, and [one] is not named from his soul, but due to another honor which is superior: the activity coming from spirit. For soul does not suffice for a correct action, if it does not take advantage of spirit’s aid. But just as he who serves the flesh is called “fleshy (or carnal) man”, so too the Apostle calls “natural” the man turning towards the things [that are explained] by human reasoning and that do not admit the activity of spirit.[1] And again: whenever we correctly perform a virtue, we are called “spiritual”. But whenever we are upset and perform an action which is contrary [to virtue], [he] names us “dust” on account of our base nature.
And the Prophet says, "He will afflict earth with a word of his mouth”;[2] he is not talking about earth, but about sins. And again: “the whole earth became only one lip”;[3] he is [again] speaking of sins. And Abraham, while disparaging himself, [says]: “I am dust and ashes”. [4] And again: “His entrails are despised in his life”; [in this case] he is making reference to the womb.[5]
Souls of those who die violently[6] do not become devils following the opinion of the many, but those of the sinners; their substance does not change but [their] choice imitates the vice of those [devils]. That is also what Jesus Christ used to say to the Jews: “you are of your father the devil”.[7]
Greek Original:
Psuchikos anthrôpos: ek psuchês kai sômatos. hotan men oun prattêi ti tôn tôi theôi dokountôn, pneumatikos legetai kai ouk apo tês psuchês onomazetai, all' aph' heteras meizonos timês, tês apo tou pneumatos energeias. ou gar arkei hê psuchê eis katorthôma, ei mê apolausoi tês tou pneumatos boêtheias. hôsper de sarkikos anthrôpos legetai ho têi sarki douleuôn, houtô psuchikon kalei ho Apostolos ton tois anthrôpinois logismois ta pragmata epitreponta kai mê dechomenon tou pneumatos tên energeian. kai palin: hotan men katorthôsômen aretên, pneumatikoi legometha: hotan de huposkelisthômen kai praxômen ti enantion, apo tês eutelous phuseôs gên hêmas onomazei. kai ho Prophêtês, pataxei, phêsi, tên gên tôi logôi tou stomatos autou. ou peri gês legôn, alla peri tôn hamartiôn. kai palin: egeneto pasa hê gê cheilos hen: peri tôn hamartiôn legôn. kai ho Abraam heauton exeutelizôn: egô de eimi gê kai spodos. kai palin: en têi zôêi autou exoudenôtai ta entosthia autou. tên gastera legôn. psuchai tôn biothanatountôn ou kata tên tôn pollôn doxan ginontai daimones, alla tôn hamartanontôn: ou tês ousias autôn metaballomenês, alla tês proaireseôs tên ekeinôn mimoumenês kakian. touto kai ho Christos elege tois Ioudaiois: humeis tou patros humôn tou diabolou este.
[1] The opposition is between the "spiritual" (pneumatiko/s) and the "carnal" (or "natural"; yuxiko/s) person (see pi 1823). The former is he who acts according to God's law, the latter he who follows his own lust and natural desires, and, accordingly, is under the rule of sin. See Paul, Romans 7:14: "the law is spiritual (pneumatiko/s), but I am carnal (sarkiko/s), sold under sin (a(marti/a)." See also 1 Corinthians 2:14, 15:44; cf. sigma 137, psi 166.
[2] See the pseudepigraphal Psalms of Solomon, 17.35. In Greek the word for dust and earth is the same: gh=; cf. pi 779.
[3] cf. Genesis 11:1: "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech;" see also 11:6.
[4] Genesis 18:27.
[5] cf. Judges 9:38.
[6] This paragraph derives from [John Chrysostom], In Lazarum 2 (PG 48.983A).
[7] Gospel of John 8:44.
Keywords: Christianity; definition; ethics; religion
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 3 September 2002@15:54:16.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 3 September 2002@19:56:56.
Patrick T. Rourke (Added link) on 5 September 2002@07:12:52.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 2 February 2003@08:10:20.
Marcelo Boeri (Added reference.) on 13 September 2004@16:42:41.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 4 October 2005@09:12:44.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 January 2006@11:33:43.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references, deleted link) on 25 July 2011@18:44:32.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 30 July 2011@22:27:09.
David Whitehead on 7 November 2013@03:59:20.


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