This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Flesh

QUESTION: I am much perplexed by the different meanings of "flesh" in the N.T. Can you not give some light on this subject which will simplify matters?

ANSWER: The use of one word with several meanings is because there are more ideas than words in any language. It will help you to know that "flesh" has the signification of sinfulness only in Paul's epistles, who sometimes uses it in a good sense, as when he says "the life that I live in the flesh," meaning his body. Outside of Paul's epistles it means either the living tissue covering the bones, or the body as a whole, or all men when "all flesh" occurs. Paul does not use it as a synonym for sin, but as "proneness to sin," usually to sensuality, but sometimes it includes sins which are independent of the body; such as pride and malice. "Flesh" in the Gospels is not used in the moral sense, but in the physical, as in John 8:4, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh."

Steele's Answers p. 252.