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March 12th: The Shema : Soul -- Dr. Tim Mackie (

In English, a soul usually refers to the non-material essence of a human that survives after death, but that concept would be entirely foreign to the authors of the Old Testament. Biblically, people don't have a soul; they are a soul, or in this case "Nephesh"—a living, breathing, physical being. In the Shema, to love the Lord with your soul is to offer your entire being, with all its capabilities and limitations, in an effort to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.



Read and Discuss


Video question: How did the video expand your understanding of the biblical word for soul?


Read Psalm 42

Question 1: How does the understanding of “soul” as the whole physical being enhance your understanding of what the Psalm expresses?


Question 2: In what ways does your physical being long to know and be known by your Creator?


Question 3: What does it look like to put your hope in God even in the midst of despair?

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