Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

Psychopannychy, term – FAQ

What does the term “psychopannychy” mean?

What does the term “psychopannychy” mean?

Psychopannychy, term

The most common term that one hears to describe the concept of deceased persons experiencing complete unconsciousness before the resurrection is soul sleep. A far more technical term that one may hear is psychopannychy. John Calvin helped to coin this term in a publication he wrote entitled Psychopannychia during the Reformation. The term itself is a combination of the Greek words psuchē, most commonly rendered “soul,” and pannuchios, meaning “lasting all the night” (LS).[1]

The problem with the concept of “soul sleep” is that in theological practice it is not a period of unconsciousness between death and resurrection, but actually one of individual extinction and re-creation—as it is predicated on the notion that the physical human body makes up the entire person. This should cause considerable doubt whether or not the person re-created at the resurrection is actually the same person who had authentically lived on Earth before, or a close facsimile.


[1] LS, 590.