Is the concept of the guff biblical? What is the guff?
The word guff is used in the Talmud, which is a collection of Jewish writings explaining the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. The Talmud asserts that the guff is a place where souls are kept before they are sent to Earth to be born as human beings. According to the Talmud, Messiah will not appear until the guff is empty—until every soul has been born a person. The Talmud is said to be a collection of the teachings of Moses which were handed down over centuries and eventually written down. The guff is a product of this Jewish tradition; the concept does not appear anywhere in the Bible.
Among Christians, there are two widely accepted theories as to how the human soul is created, and neither includes the guff. The first is Traducianism, which says that the soul is created just as the body is created: by the union of mother and father. In this model, the soul is inextricably linked to the physical body. The problem with this theory lies in that the Bible seems to indicate several times that the soul and the physical body are created separately (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 42:5; Zechariah 12:1; Hebrews 12:9). The other theory is Creationism, which states that every time a sperm and egg come together to create an embryo, God creates a soul and places it with that embryo. We know that God is intimately involved in human life from conception (Psalm 139:15–16), so this seems to fit. The argument against the Creationism theory is that Genesis seems to indicate that God is done creating (Genesis 2:2–3). The verse says God "rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done." The Hebrew word shabath, which means "desist" or "repose," is translated "rested" in this verse. Scholars tend to think that it indicates a permanent resting from creative work. However, God certainly can continue to create new souls if He wishes to do so. The truth is, we just don't know for certain how new souls are created.
What we do know is that Scripture never mentions any repository of souls like the guff. There is no reason to think that God has a storehouse of human souls waiting for bodies.
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