The Bible raises this question in Psalm 8. “What is Man, that you are mindful of him?” God is mindful of man. God made man, formed his body of the dust, and breathed into his nostrils. This “combination” became “a living being.” A “human being.” And, since like was created to make like (apples make apples, kangeroos make kangeroos, gnats make gnats), we human beings make more human beings (with the superintendence of God).
Yet, the Bible speaks of “soul”, “spirit”, “heart”, “mind”, “inner man” etc. Inner man. Outer man. Man is inner and outer. Not two men, and inner one and an outer one. But, one man, both inner and outer. The inner man seems to be the causitive seat of activity as performed outwardly by the instrumentation of the body. The outer display of the inner working. Will, or volition, moves the substance of the body on earth to perform the desire of the soul, heart, mind – the inner man. This is where the Gnostics completely dropped the ball (and Plato). For them, the body was the “prison house” from which came all the ills inflicted upon the soul. If it weren’t for the body and its cravings (as if it craves all on its own quite apart from the will of the inner), the “soul” would be just fine. These folks were called the “pneumatikoi” – the Spiritual Ones. The Perfect Ones. They had already been raised (see Gospel of Philip, Nag Hammadi). They were simply awaiting escape from this world, and the body so that they could come into a fuller realization and expression of their raised status.
“Adam! What have you done!” “It’s this body you gave me, LORD!”
The Hebrew Scriptures reveal to us a much different conception of man than what we find in Platonism. Plato, indeed, struck upon a truth: man is not “just” a body (as the Materialists would say). There is something that survives him. The body came to be seen as the problem. It is the prison house. Jesus, however, says no. Sins “come from the heart.” They come from within. The inner man is the problem. The outer man is just “doing what he is told”. This conception (the biblical conception) raises serious problems with the Full Preterist view. I can find no shortage of FP bloggers and authors stating that the body is the “prison house of the soul” – just like ole’ Plato and the Gnostics.
More Theology: As stated, the inner “man” and the outer “man” (the eso anthropos and the exo anthropos, repsectively) are not “two men”, but one “man” with “two substances”. That’s how the theologians framed it, anyway. They got it from the Bible. The Bible has these “souls” surviving the body in episodes with Samuel the Prophet, or the idea of “shades” in Sheol in the OT. The OT is not quite “clear” on these matters. It appears to talk very little, too, about “resurrection” (so the Liberals tell us). But, Jesus brings greater “light” – or throws greater light on these barely mentioned things. It’s not that they were not mentioned, it’s just that we did not have the revelation about them. Jesus, in talking about the resurrection of the dead, refers not to Daniel 12.2, or Hosea, or Isaiah, or Job. No. He quotes Exodus! What is he doing? Throwing greater light on an obscured subject.
And, here is the greatest light: his own resurrection. This trumps all. Now we have a clear idea what “resurrection” means. So, how does this figure into our resurrection? How does this figure into the topic at hand: man is one person, two substances? Where was Jesus during the three days? In the tomb? No. That was the body of Jesus. That was the outer man. Jesus himself was with the Father. His body was in “sheol” (the grave, as it is often translated and means). Might we infer that “part” of Jesus was in the grave, and another “part” in heaven? Depends. We could not say, “part of the person was in the grave and another part in heaven”. The human person, so formed as a result of conception (union of two substances, body and soul) was fully in heaven. We can say that a part of the overall aspect of human being (what it is to be human) as in the grave, sure. But there is no absurdity in this at all. \
We distinguish, then, between human being and human person. Human Being is the combination of rational soul and body. Human Person is the sum essence of that combination; the results of that combination as it pertains to that essence. Thus, we have the logical proposition: Every human being is a human person. Not every human person is a human being. A human person may exist without a body, but a body cannot exist without a person. It is not the intention of God, who created the human being and person, to leave the state of the human person without a body. The human person was made for the purpose of existing with a body. Jesus demonstrates this. For three days, the human person, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, the little infant that came from her womb, was in heaven. His body was in he grave. God united them together again and glorified his very, self-same body (whether at the ascension or at the resurrection is irrelevant at this point of the discussion, though an important aspect to study, no doubt). This reveals God’s intention for humans. It is not his intention that soul exists apart from body, though he has made such combination result in the person that can survive for a time in heaven (thank God – else we end up with some ludicrous idea of soul-sleep).
The error of the Platonists is that they think the soul as the end all be all of the definition of human being. The Bible flat out contradicts this. God formed the combination so that the result would be the creation of that which can survive when one part dies. This death takes away nothing from the person, but does leave such person in a state desiring of their body. The Platonists call this “nakedness”. Unfortunately, some have seen Paul saying this in II Cor 5. He isn’t. But that’s another subject.
Jesus, the person, was in heaven for three days. God united him with his body again. This human being, Jesus, the son of Mary, was glorified and ascended, and remains in heaven until he comes again to walk the earth with his saints, having all enemies eradicated. Canaan typified! And, so shall we, since we are being made to conform to his likeness. We “go to heaven” when we die. Our bodies remain on earth in whatever form (God knows). We are fully human persons while in heaven, desiring our bodies for the glory of God. We are not fully human beings, however. By distinguishing the definitions, we find no absurdity whatsoever either in our own anthropological existence, or in the example of the man, Christ Jesus. Remember: Human Being is the combination of rational soul and body. Human Person is the sum essence of that combination; the results of that combination as it pertains to that essence. This is how we understand Paul’s exo and eso man – one man, two substances. One person, two substances. For a time, apart and ultimately brought together again, yet without any dissolve of the person (person cannot b divided).