Jeff, who says he’s switching to the HCSB, asked for my take on the HCSB. Well, I hope I’m not being too hard on the HCSB in this first post.
The HCSB has decided to translate the Hebrew nephesh in many places as “life” or something similar but not as “soul.” It is correct that the Hebrew nephesh can be rendered various ways: “soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, and passion.”
Here’s the HCSB against the TNIV in the Psalms (the HSCB being the first line and the TNIV the second):
He renews my life (23:3)
He refreshes my soul
So I long for You, God (42:1)
So my soul pants for you, my God
I am at rest in God alone (62:1)
Truly my soul finds rest in God.
But there are a few places where the HCSB and the TNIV have taken a similar approach with nephesh:
I thirst for You (63:1)
I thirst for You
Wake up, my soul! (57:8)
Awake, my soul!
My soul, praise the LORD (103:1)
Praise the LORD, my soul
Here’s Webster on the word soul:
Etymology: Middle English soule, from Old English sāwol; akin to Old High German sēula soul
Date: before 12th century
1: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life 2a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe b capitalized Christian Science : god 1b3: a person’s total self 4a: an active or essential part b: a moving spirit : leader 5a : the moral and emotional nature of human beings b: the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment c: spiritual or moral force : fervor 6: person 7: personification 8: a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers.
As I said the Hebrew nephesh can be rendered in a number of ways, but I just love reading the word soul in certain places.