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Bear in mind, however, that the word "eternal" is very precise in theological and philosophical understanding. It does not mean the same thing as "immortal" or "infinite". "Eternal soul" would indeed be a term from Greek influence - and from any system which espouses reincarnation (transmigration of souls in the Greek world). Its roots predate Pythagorean influence on Greek thought.

Nor have Christian theologians traditionally espoused the view of an eternal soul. Eternal is a quality that belongs to God alone - it means that there is no beginning nor end. All created things - souls included - have beginnings, and hence are not "eternal" in the proper sense of the word. This is different from infinite - which has a beginning but no end, and immortal - "incapable of death".

But that's just off the top of my head, there is probably more to say after coffee...


ps - there is also a difference between a thing being eternal in and of itself, and "eternal" by virtue of its participation in the eternal life of God. Can I go 100km/h? No, but when I'm riding in the jeep, I can go 100km/h.

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