Tripartite Anthropology


I Saint Paul: Body, Soul, Spirit


The distinction between moral life and a properly spiritual life is frequently presented in the course of Christian tradition in a form of a hierarchy. It is apt to be based on tripartite anthropology, recognizable across diversity of vocabularies not in very diverse cultural milieux. This tripartition is obviously not to be understood as implying three substances, or even three “falcuties”, in man: it is discerned rather as a threefold zone of activities, from the periphery to the center, or, to use a traditional and irreplaceable word, to the “heart”.[1] It is opposed to a more current, bipartite anthropology, which seems many thinkers and many “sages”, whether Christian or not, sufficient framework or support. It is opposed to that, or rather, as we shall see, it completes it.

基督教传统在发展的过程中,往往用一种阶性的方式展现道德生活与正确属灵生活间的分别。它更倾向于根据三分人论(tripartite anthropology),并可在差异并不是那么巨大的历史背景中并多样化的语言中被清楚的辨别出来。这种三分法当然不能被视为暗示人里面三种不同的素质,甚至三种「官能(fa cu l tie s)」:它反当被视为一种三重的活动范围,从周围向着中心,或者使用一种传统的、或无法被替换的说法,「心(heart)」。这种观点手道了目前更为新颖的二分人论(bipartite anthropology)的反对,这个论点获得了许多基督教或非基督教的思想家或智者(saga)」的支持。相反的,我们将会看见,二分人论反而使得三分人论更为完全。

In many authors, in many periods, this anthropology s connected explicitly o several texts in Scripture, Old and New Testament, and more particularly to a text from St. Paul, quoted with predilection. when concluding his First Letter to Thessalonians, the Apostle address a wish to them: “may the God of peace are you perfect and holy, no May your entire being, spirit, soul, and body be kept safe and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Th 5:23, Jerusalem Bible translation). [2] This verse has passed into certain liturgical text: thus, in the Liber mozarabicus sacramentorum (Ferotin,

对于历世历代许多不同的作者而言,人论乃是与圣经的某些经文紧紧相连,并涵盖整个新旧约,特别是圣保罗的话,人们特别偏爱引用保罗在帖撒罗尼加前书的结论,该处讲述了他对于信徒的期盼:「愿平安的神全然使你们成圣!又愿你们的灵与魂与身子得蒙保守,在我们主耶稣基督降临的时候完全无可指摘」(帖前5:23,和合版)。这处经文往往被融入某些礼仪中的仪文中:例如在Liber mozarabicus sacramentorum (Ferotin

[1] The “heart”, one might say, “of the sixth beautitude”: this word assumes an ontological meaning in order to designate the most radical and the most authentic reality of the human being. Cf. Roger Arnaldez, trios messages pour un soul Dieu (Albin Micheal, 1983), 62 and 64.

有人可能会说「心有六种美德」:这段话预设了一种在本体性上的意义,为的是要说明人最为基本并真实的情况。参考Roger Arnaldez, trios messages pour in soul Dieu (Albin Micheal, 1983), 62 and 64.

[2] The translation of L. Segond says similarly: “May God of peace himself make us completely holy, may your whole being, spirit, soul, and body, be kept safe and without reproach until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

L. Segond的翻译也差不多:「愿和平的神亲自让我们完全圣洁,愿我们的全人,灵,魂和身体得蒙保守完全无可指摘知道我们主耶稣基督来临的时候。」

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No. 18); and also in Roman liturgy of today (Lectio brevis of Thursday Compline). Yet it seems to have embarrassed a number of modern commentators, who takes pains, in various ways, as if it were an obligation for them, to take all significance away from it.

No. 18); 以及今日罗马天主教的仪文(Lectio brevis of Thursday Compline)。然而,这可能会让某些现代的圣经注释者感到难堪,他们痛苦的用各种方法竭力要把这个意义从该处经文中剔除出去。

For some, it is only a formula that was current, commonplace, at that time, and there would be no point in seeking the precise meaning for it or taking it into consideration in exposition of Pauline doctrine. Such is the case with Ferdinand Prat, Martine Dibelius and George Findlay. Others make the observation that “it is the only place in the Letters where these three elements figure side by side”; such is the position of D. Buzy and Dewailly-Rigaux.[1] Still others tell us we will be wrong to believe “that this text implies a tripartite division in the Pauline anthropotology”, so it is with W. David Stacey, who takes John A. T. Robinson as support of this observation. With prudence, Robinson only disputes the fact that I Thessalonians 5:23, it is a matter of three “very distinct” elements; Paul’s language, he observed, not without some plausibility “is too much fluid for that”.[2] Stacey concludes from this that in the Apostle’s phrase, one need only retain the two words (per omnia) and (integer); these two words alone “indicate the true sense: Paul emphasizes the entirety of this preservation” that he wishes for his correspondents; “It is the whole man who is guarded; and spirit, soul and body simply underline the totality of this conception …. Man under each of his aspects, man in his totality, is to be guarded.” [3] Stacey does not wonder (and it is the only thing that interests us here) why, in view of expressing this totality of man, Paul insists on enumerating three elements, or three “aspects”, or, if you like, three terms, rather than two or four.

对于某些人,这处经文不过是当时常见的一个教义公式罢了,但我们在探索保罗的教义的时候,根本不需要找出这处经文的确切意义。Ferdinand Prat,Martine Dibelius和George Findlay就是很好的例子。有些人则观察到,「这乃是该书信中唯一一处将这三个元素并排描绘的经文」,这就是W. David Stacey的立场,他引用了John A. T. Robinson来支持他。Robinson睿智的只论到帖前5:23谈到三个「非常不同」的元素;他看见保罗的语言并不是完全理所当然的,「里面还有太多的变数。(is too much fluid for that.)」Stacey根据这点作出结论,就是人只要记住使徒句子中的两个字,(per omnia)与(integer,整数);那两个字就足以「指出正确的意义:保罗强调全人得到保守」就是他对于收信人的愿望;「就是要全人被保守;灵、魂、与身体,这不过就是要强调整体的观念。。。人从各方面而言,或在他的完整性中,被保守。」Stacey并不会在乎(这也是此处唯一引起我们兴趣的事)为什么保罗在这个人的完整性的观点之下列举出三个元素,或三个「方面」,或,若你愿意说,三个词汇,而不是两个或四个。

The note added to the text by the Jerusalem Bible constitutes a happy exception. Without doubt, it retains, by uniting them, the last two of the three considerations that we have just pointed out: “This is the only place where a tripartite division of man is mentioned in Paul, who, moreover, has no systematic and perfectly coherent ‘anthropology’”;[4] which, taken literally, is incontestable. Only it does not stop there; it adds rather judiciously: “Besides the body and the soul, we see appear


[1] In the Pirot Bible, 12:169.

[2] Saint Paul, (Ed. Du Cerf, 1954), 52.

[3] Rev. W. David Stacey, M.A., (London, 1956), 123.

[4] 1956 edition, p.1562.

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here the spirit, which can be either the divine principle of new life in Christ or, rather the highest part of man, which is itself open to the Spirit”, with a reference to Romans 5:5 and 1:9, where the reader will be able to find a mass of references, Pauline and other, whose eclecticism does not claim to take the place of commentary. Which shows at the very least that the wish of the Apostle for the Thessalonians, in its literal sense, was taken seriously: which constitutes at least a happy, if not the only, exception.

在此处还看见灵,它既可能是在基督里新生命中的神圣原理(the divine principle of new life),或是人最高的部分,向着圣灵敞开」,这就是罗马书5:5和1:9所说的内容,读者自己就可以找到大量保罗或其它作者的经文,他们的折衷主义(eclecticism)并没有被体现在圣经注释中。这就表明在字面的意义上,保罗严肃的处理他对于帖撒罗尼加信徒的期盼:最起码这个期盼构成了一个快乐的,即便不是唯一的例外。

A more recent author, J. W. C. Wand, after having said: “There can be no doubt that Paul speaks from time to time of the body, soul and sprit, as if from his point of view psychology were based on a trichotomy”, observes immediately that “at other times, however, he speaks in a more popular way of the soul and the body, in the way we do today.”[1] curious reflection from more than one reason, about which (taken in its French translation) we will make only two remarks: Paul does not have be in mind, as the author seems at least to insinuate, a “psychological” trichotomy; and on the other hand, contrary to what we read in Prat, Dibelius and others, here we see that it is no longer the trichotomy of the Letter to the Thessalonians but the simple soul-body dichotomy that is declared commonplace and “popular”.

一位更为近代的作者J. W. C. Wand在论到,「我们毫不怀疑保罗不断的论及身体、魂和灵,就好像心理学对他而言是三元的」,他直接观察到,「不论如何,他在别处经文以更为平民化的方式论到魂和身体,就如同今日一样。」此处奇怪的反射出了好几个理由,我们在此(以法文翻译为例)作出两个评论:保罗的脑海中并不像作者所宣称的巧妙暗示一种「心理学」的三元论;在另一方面,与Prat,Dibelius以及其它作者的观点相反,我们在此看见他们认为帖撒罗尼加书并不是三元论,而是普遍并「广泛」被宣告的,简单的魂-身体的二元论。

Still more recently, E. Schweizer went back to the idea of a popular, and consequently uninteresting, trichotomy: “In the famous passage from I Thessalonians 5:23, it is appropriate to understand , alongside and , as an element of man above all in the sense of popular anthropology. The benediction formula is traditional, perhaps liturgical, and does not signify anything much about the notion of man in Paul. The combination may be chance, as in Deuteronomy 6:5.[2]

更为近代的E. Schweizer回朔到一个普遍的,因此也不那么吸引眼球的三元论:「根据著名的帖撒罗尼加前书5:23,必须将与和放在一起,并根据众所共知的人论,将理解为人类最高的元素。这个公式是传统的,或许还是礼仪性的,但不代表保罗对于人的观念。这种组合可能会产生类似于申命记5:23的结果。

Different exegeses, which may contradict each other in detail, but which nearly all tend in the same direction. It is not very difficult to detect the reasons for it. For some interpreters, it is above all, it seems, the desire not to find Saint Paul in opposition to “our classical doctrine”, as D. Buzy (170) said, a doctrine

不同的解经在细节上有所矛盾,但是它们都指向同一个方向。其实我们很容易就能够找到原因。对于某些圣经诠释者而言,最想要作的就是别把保罗放在「我们传统教义的对立面」,就像D. Buzy所说的,教义

[1] Banine trans. (Stock, 1970), 148. (Original English Edition: London 1968).

[2] “Espirit” dans le Nouveau Testatment, collective volume, “Espirit” (Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1971), 202 and note. (Frenche Translation of the article “Peuma” of the Dictionnaire biblique of Kittel.) Eduard Schweizer refers to Martin Dibelius, Thessaloniker, 3rd ed., and to John A. T. Robinson, The Body  (1952), 27, note 2.

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that counts only two elements in man: matter and spirit. Is this doctrine, which is guaranteed by the threefold heritage of Scholasticism, Cartesianism and, for France, the university spiritualism instituted by Victor Cousin, not imposed on every well-made mind? But, for the most part, another reason seems determinative. It is a kind of phobia that is quite widespread today: the phobia of “Platonism”. Yet – and this is something that might seem strange – if the Pauline text makes us think of Plato, it is not always because we read him in the Letter to the Thessalonians: it is, in more than one case, because we find him quoted by Origen. Which accounts for the reflex action of distrust. Does not Scripture in fact have, for Origen, “like the human composite, a body, a soul and a spirit”? And is this distinction not “manifestly inspired by the trichotomy of Plato”?[1] is in a similar way that an excellent historian of monastic life, Don Adalbert de Voque, on the subject of Origen, evoked “the old Platonic trichotomy at first assumed by Saint Paul”.[2] The Alexandrian, as everyone knows in advance, is a “Platonist”, but Saint Paul himself cannot be one! If, therefore, as Father Ferdinand Prat said, this Origenian trichotomy presupposes “a false psychology, since the soul and spirit of man are not distinct principles”,[3] one can very well attribute this “false psychology” to Origen but not “accuse” Saint Paul of it, for the aforesaid trichotomy truly constitutes an item of indictment: Is not Saint Justin, too, been “accused” of distinguishing three elements in man?[4] It is therefore necessary that the same text, the same words not have at all the same meaning in the Apostle as they have in the Alexandrian, even if their primary source is common, or at least that, under the pen of the first of the two,there be only an (GREEK), common and unimportant.

只涵盖人的两个元素:物质与灵。这个教义难道不是受到了经院神学(Scholasticism),迪卡尔思想(Cartesianism),以及在法国由Victor Cousin所建构的大学属灵主义(university spiritualism)三重的护卫吗?然而,我们在大多数的情况下看见另一种决定性的因素。今日有一种颇为普遍的恐惧症:对于「柏拉图主义(Platonism)」的恐惧症。然而-这可能是一件看起来很奇怪的事-如果保罗的本文让我们想起柏拉图,并不是总因为我们在阅读至帖撒罗尼加人的书信:绝大部分的情况是,因为我们发现俄列根(Origen)引用了柏拉图。这就造成了我们不信任保罗的反射动作。难到圣经事实上并没有包括俄列根所谓的「人就好像由一个身体、一个魂(soul)和一个灵(spirit)所组成」的吗?难到这不是「被柏拉图的三元论所启发」的吗?Don Adalbert de Voque这位突出的修道院历史学家也以类似的方式宣称俄列根说,「是保罗首先采用的柏拉图式的三元论」。每个人都已经知道亚里山大学派是「柏拉图主义」,但是保罗本身可不是!因此,若Father Ferdinand Prat所谓,这个俄列根的三元论预设了「一个错误的心理学,因为人的魂与灵并不是分开的部分」是正确的,那么人们也应该把这个「错误的心理学」的责任归咎于俄列根,而不是保罗,因为前述的三元论确实构成了一个有力的要求点:难到游丝丁也当为把人分为三个元素而被「批判」?因此,同样的本文,同样的字眼在亚历山大学派眼中就必然不具备使徒所赋予的含意,即便两者都引用了同样的第一手资料,或最起码,在前者的笔下只有一个(GREEK),是通用的,且是无关紧要的。

The phobia of “Platonism”, in any case, can be discovered in several of our exegetes.[5] Hence the veritable acrobatics in the TOB translation

我们往往可以在许多圣经诠释者的作品中找到对于「柏拉图主义」的恐惧症。这就是TOB[Traduction Oecumenique de la Bible]对保罗原话的翻译

[1] Cf. Jean Mesnard (who in that intends only to repeat an apparently common opinion): “La Theorie des Figuratifs dans les pensees de Pascal”, Revue d’histoire de la philosophie et d’histoire generale des civilizations (1943), 222.

[2] In Theologie de la vie monastique, Theology” serie, 49 (Aubier, 1962).

[3] Origen (Bloud et Gay), XVII. We know, on the other hand, that the two volumes of Father Prat on the theology of Saint Paul have long and justly been considered classics.

Origen (Bloud et Gay), XVII. 我们知道,在另一方面,Father Prat的两卷关于保罗神学的著作长久以来已经被认为是经典。

[4] The fact was recalled by Joseph Tixeront, Histoire des dogmes, vol. I, IIth ed. (Gabalda, 1930), 258. Justin in fact says in chapter 10 of the De resurrection, “The body is the house of the soul, the soul, that of the spirit.” But it seems that this pneuma is here the Spirit of God.

Joseph Tixeront, Histoire des dogmes, vol. I, IIth ed. (Gabalda, 1930), 258提到了这件事。游丝丁事实上在De resurrection第十章里面说的是:「身体是魂的住处,魂是灵的住处。」但是此处pneuma的看起来像是神的灵。

[5] It is through the effect of the same phobia that , in the recent translation of a liturgical text, the word “soul” is banised. Et sanabitur anima mea can certainly say “and my soul will be healed”. But “soul” would be a Platonic notion!…. Jean Aucagne, “Traduction, Texte, Contexte”, in Annales de Lettres francaises (Beyrouth, 1983), 16.

这个恐惧症也造成近代对于仪文的翻译中看不见「魂」这个字。Et sanabitur anima mea肯定能够说「我的魂被医治」。但是「魂」这个字可能是柏拉图的观点!。。。Jean Aucagne, “Traduction, Texte, Contexte”, in Annales de Lettres francaises (Beyrouth, 1983), 16。

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