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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(properly חִי, usually in the plur. with a sing. meaning, חִיַּים; Gr. ζωή ), generally of physical life and existence, as opposed to death and non- existence (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 25:7; Luke 16:25; Acts 17:25; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Hebrews 7:3; James 4:14; Revelation 11:11; Revelation 16:3). (See LONGEVITY). The ancients generally entertained the idea that the vital principle (which they appear to have denoted by the term spirit, in distinction from the soul itself, comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:23) resided particularly in the blood, which, on that account, the Jews were forbidden to use as food (Leviticus 17:11). (See BLOOD). Other terms occasionally rendered "life" in the Scriptures are נֶפֶשׁ(ne'phesh, a living creature), יוֹם(yorn, a day, i.e., a lifetime), βίος (lifetime), πνεῦμα (breath, i.e., spirit), ψυχή (soul, or animating principle).
The term life is also used more or less figuratively in the following acceptations in Scripture:
(1.) For existence, life, absolutely and without end, immortality (Hebrews 7:16). So also "tree of life," or of immortality, which preserves from death (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2; Revelation 22:14; Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22); "bread of life" (John 6:35; John 6:51); "way of life" (Psalms 16:11; Acts 2:28); "water of life," 1. living fountains of water, perennial (Revelation 7:17); crown of life, the reward of eternal life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). (See BOOK); (See BREAD); (See CROWN); (See FOUNTAIN); (See TREE), etc.
(2.) The manner of life, conduct, in a moral respect; "newness of life" (Romans 6:4); "the life of God," i.e., the life which God requires, a godly life (Ephesians 4:18; 2 Peter 1:3).
(3.) The term "i.e." is also used for spiritual life, or the holiness and happiness of salvation procured by the Savior's death. In this sense, life or eternal life is the antithesis of death or condemnation. Life is the image of all good, and is therefore employed to express it (Deuteronomy 30:15; John 3:16-18; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 5:39-40; John 6:47; John 8:51; John 11:26; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:18; 1 John 5:1); death is the consummation of evil, and so it is frequently used as a strong expression in order to designate every kind of evil, whether temporal or spiritual (Jeremiah 21:8; Ezekiel 18:28; Ezekiel 33:11; Romans 1:32; Romans 6:21; Romans 7:5; Romans 7:10; Romans 7:13; Romans 7:24; John 6:50; John 8:21).
(4.) Life is also used for eternal life, i.e., the life of bliss and glory in the kingdom of God which awaits the true disciples of Christ (Matthew 19:16-17; John 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:8; Acts 5:20; Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 3:7; 2 Timothy 1:1).
(5.) The term life is also used of God and Christ or the Word, as the absolute source and cause of all life (John 1:4; John 5:26; John 5:39; John 11:25; John 12:50; John 14:6; John 17:3; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 1:1-2; 1 John 5:20). (See DEATH).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Life'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/l/life.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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