[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Dogmatics
I. Old Testament In the writings of the OT, flesh and spirit are fundamental anthropological concepts, far more complementary than antithetical. The groundwork for a flesh/spirit dualism (IV) is partially laid in the OT, but it is not developed. The dualism gradually began to intensify in the intertestamental period under Hellenistic influence.
Flesh (usually Heb. בָּשָׂר/
bāśar, less often שְׁאֵר/
še'er) denotes the essential components making up human and animal bodies, often limited to the soft tissues (excluding bones, tendons, and blood). The term בָּשָׂר/
bāśar denotes the whole body (Qoh 12:12; Job 41:15; Ps 38:4, 8; etc.), but it can also stand, by metonymy, for the penis (Lev 15:2f., 7; Ezek 16:26; cf. Exod 28:42) or vulva (Lev 15:19). With legal connotations, it expresses kinship: “be one flesh” Gen 37:27; cf. Lev 18:17; 20:19; 21:2 and the so-called kinship form…