Jump to content
Science Forums

Bible: Where Does God Give Man A Soul?


Recommended Posts

Please can someone tell me the Bible verse in which God gives Man a soul?

 

I have looked for it and I cannot find it.

 

I am writing a challenge to Personalism and so I need to find in the Bible where God gives Man a soul, seeing as this is the core fundamental in Personalism that their philosophy is based around.

 

I am only assuming that they (or Christianity) are interpreting that when God breathed life into Adam this meant God was giving Adam a soul - but is there anywhere else in the Bible where it's more obvious and less open to interpretation? I'm pretty sure that Judaism interprets this as the lifeforce rather than the giving of a soul - am I correct to think that?

 

Anyway, if someone with good Bible knowledge can help me out with this I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Being rather sluggish in the brain for these things, I usually rely on online bibles with built-in search engines, like BibleGateway.com.

 

However, in the quick looking I’ve just done I can find nothing in that particular book suggesting that the old jews - nor the early christians, for that matter - subscribed to anything like the dualistic soul in the modern sense. Throughout the bible the word seems to be used chiefly as a poetic device:

 

“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12, KJV

 

Also, I have strong reservations about whether this kind of dualism is fundamental to - or even necessary for - philosophical (or ontological?) personalism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please can someone tell me the Bible verse in which God gives Man a soul?

 

I have looked for it and I cannot find it.

 

I am writing a challenge to Personalism and so I need to find in the Bible where God gives Man a soul, seeing as this is the core fundamental in Personalism that their philosophy is based around.

 

I am only assuming that they (or Christianity) are interpreting that when God breathed life into Adam this meant God was giving Adam a soul - but is there anywhere else in the Bible where it's more obvious and less open to interpretation? I'm pretty sure that Judaism interprets this as the lifeforce rather than the giving of a soul - am I correct to think that?

 

Anyway, if someone with good Bible knowledge can help me out with this I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

God breathes us a soul in Gen. 2:7. He breathed into our nostrils the breath of life and we became a living soul it says.

 

The best contradiction of Personalism in the bible in terms of the uniqueness of the human spirit is from Ecclesiastes. Personalism asserts that humans are unique from animals. Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 says the opposite:

 

Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other.
All have the same spirit
; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?

 

 

~modest

Edited by modest
Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Soul" is merely a device invented by ancient man to come to grips with our interior dialogue, which, of course, is merely a mechanism for simulating the results of future actions in order to plan ahead. If you have a brain, use it. We used our advanced brains to work through various simulations in short order so as to pick the quickest, most effective course of action to trap the animals we feasted on, or build the shelters we lived in, and so on and so forth. And those simulations had to include ourselves, as we ourselves were variables in the mentally simulated environment. The "Soul" came into being the moment we started simulating ourselves in future actions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you SMAN - I do agree with you about 'soul' being a poetic device that means many things in the bible; however, those who believe the bible 100% as written in English would disagree - genesis 2:7 is a case in point that I need to explain below. There does seem to be no evidence as far as I can discover, until I'm told otherwise, that dualism is actually a 'fact' according to the bible - so I agree with you on that. I know that for most Jews humans are one whole without a separate soul.

 

MODEST :bounce: YOU ARE FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much for your biblical reference. I'm just so pleased right now like you couldn't believe! You've made such a tremendous difference to my monograph.

 

I know the bible moderately well; esp. genesis and my main argument against personalism was going to be the misinterpretation of genesis 2:7, plus there being no other reference in the bible for God putting a soul into Man and that animals are soulless things. I was also going to give the Jewish and other perspectives on this.

 

But reading ecclesiastes from 3:18 to 3:22 is the absolute stamp and seal that kills personalism and invalidates it!

 

My point about genesis 2:7 is that the KJV and old/traditional bibles translate the key word as 'soul', but this is incorrect. The NIV translation of "living being" is far more accurate.

 

The word is actually 'nephesh' and it means life, creature, body - it is used in these contexts over 700 times in the OT except in genesis 2:7 - it is also used when God creates all the animals prior to Adam. It is more akin to a meaning of the lifeforce of the body as a whole creature - it is also used to denote various emotions and passions.

 

In the Greek NT 'nephesh' was translated as 'psuche', which in Greek does mean soul. So I think this may be the root of the confusion for English translaters of the OT - or otherwise 2:7 was deliberately 'fixed' to fulfil their own objectives when it was read. I do think that 'soul' for the Greeks had a very different meaning perhaps than how theists think of it today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone’s done well on the subject of the Biblical/Tanakhal ideas about the soul, so will just throw in a few bits I find interesting that haven’t been brought up yet:

 

Sadducees and Pharisees – Though hard to summarize tersely, these 3 competing schools of Jewish theological thought conflicted over the idea of the immortal soul, in that the Sadducees more-or-less thought there were no such things, while the Pharisees did. The Pharisees ultimately won the argument (ultimately morphing into Rabbis, which remains the main Jewish theological school to this day), cementing the shared belief in a soul that could survive the death of the body so key to Christianity.

 

The physical resurrection – Again summarizing slapdashedly, many early religionists, notably early Christians, believe not in a non-corporeal, heavenly afterlife, but that their dead bodies would come back to life and live forever (or at least a longer than normal time) on Earth. The concept of the soul is much impacted by these different visions of afterlives.

 

Encyclopedic and scholarly works on these themes can be pretty dry. I found the 1916 historic fiction novel The Brook Kerith (short synopsis here) an engrossing exploration of these and other ideas from the Sadducees vs. Pharisees with Jesus in-the-mix period, and recommend it for anyone who enjoys/can bear early 20th century writing like this.

 

The last idea I throw in, which I find most intriguing right now, having just discovered it here while researching for this thread, is the idea that can be inferred from the phrase “was gathered [un]to his people” in Bible verses like Gen 25:8, 25:17, and 35:29:

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

...

And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.

...

And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

(KJV)

Though some conclude that this refers simply to some sort of ritual burial (maybe something pretty strange by our standards), others have suggested it means these people’s souls were somehow preserved by their people.

 

This is close to my personal belief concerning immortal souls, which was formed in part from ideas like those Doug Hofstadter expressed in his book I Am a Strange Loop: that we live after the death of our bodies in the thoughts of people who remember us, especially when those people admire and seek to be like us.

 

My favorite thought experimental question from this idea is: “Is Beethoven more alive now than when he was physically alive?”

 

The idea here is that, if Beethoven’s “soul” is the same as his thoughts, feeling, etc, and those were expressed in his music, then today, with tens of thousands of serious musicians who have made long studies of his music, including efforts to understand and “think like” him, there are arguably more of his thoughts and feelings present at any given moment now than when he was alive and awake in the 1800s.

 

Though a tenuous assertion, the idea that ancient people shared this view intrigues me. Even if the original authors of the Tanakh didn’t, I suspect that later readers reinterpreted these scriptures so that they did.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please can someone tell me the Bible verse in which God gives Man a soul?

 

I have looked for it and I cannot find it.

 

I am writing a challenge to Personalism and so I need to find in the Bible where God gives Man a soul, seeing as this is the core fundamental in Personalism that their philosophy is based around.

 

I am only assuming that they (or Christianity) are interpreting that when God breathed life into Adam this meant God was giving Adam a soul - but is there anywhere else in the Bible where it's more obvious and less open to interpretation? I'm pretty sure that Judaism interprets this as the lifeforce rather than the giving of a soul - am I correct to think that?

 

Anyway, if someone with good Bible knowledge can help me out with this I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

 

In Gen. 2:7, man is strictly a soul (coming from the dust/ground/mud/primordial soup).

 

God did not give Adam a soul per se'. It's more correct to say that the earth produced the man/soul.

 

soul = dust/animal principle/beast/spirit of earth-mortal/physical body/emotions/personality

 

 

 

In 2:7 man is not Adam but only became Adam after it entered the garden in Gen. 2:8.

Edited by dduckwessel
Link to post
Share on other sites

In Gen. 2:7, man is strictly a soul (coming from the dust/ground/mud/primordial soup).

 

God did not give Adam a soul per se'. It's more correct to say that the earth produced the man/soul.

 

soul = dust/animal principle/beast/spirit of earth-mortal/physical body/emotions/personality

Gen 2:7, (KJV) reads:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

which seems to me to say:

"dust of the ground" + "breath of life" → "living soul".

 

This is very much at odds with the common present-day mystical/religious formula:

flesh + soul = living being

 

, but I don't understand how you get your

soul = dust - flesh

from it, either, DDuck :shrug:

Link to post
Share on other sites

MODEST :bounce: YOU ARE FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much for your biblical reference. I'm just so pleased right now like you couldn't believe! You've made such a tremendous difference to my monograph.

 

I know the bible moderately well; esp. genesis and my main argument against personalism was going to be the misinterpretation of genesis 2:7, plus there being no other reference in the bible for God putting a soul into Man and that animals are soulless things. I was also going to give the Jewish and other perspectives on this.

 

But reading ecclesiastes from 3:18 to 3:22 is the absolute stamp and seal that kills personalism and invalidates it!

 

My point about genesis 2:7 is that the KJV and old/traditional bibles translate the key word as 'soul', but this is incorrect. The NIV translation of "living being" is far more accurate.

 

The word is actually 'nephesh' and it means life, creature, body - it is used in these contexts over 700 times in the OT except in genesis 2:7 - it is also used when God creates all the animals prior to Adam. It is more akin to a meaning of the lifeforce of the body as a whole creature - it is also used to denote various emotions and passions.

 

In the Greek NT 'nephesh' was translated as 'psuche', which in Greek does mean soul. So I think this may be the root of the confusion for English translaters of the OT - or otherwise 2:7 was deliberately 'fixed' to fulfil their own objectives when it was read. I do think that 'soul' for the Greeks had a very different meaning perhaps than how theists think of it today.

You're quite welcome. I'm not sure what you're doing with it, but if you do use those verses you should know I changed "breath" in the NIV translation I quoted to "spirit". In the NIV it has "breath" in the body of the text and "or spirit" as a footnote.

 

Actually, since it looks like you have an appreciation for Hebrew you might also look at the phrase that gets horrifically translated "everything is meaningless" in that quote. It would be better translated "everything is fleeting" or "everything is vaporous". The fun thing is that in Hebrew that word, 'hebel', can also mean breath so there's a real poetic symmetry between "everything has the same spirit" and "everything is fleeting" that is lost in English.

 

~modest

Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply...

 

CRAIGD = I've heard that a lot about people living on in the thoughts of others. Of course it's true that they do; but this is no real 'afterlife' though, or 'resurrection' is it? Thinking about how more alive some noteable dead are in our society makes me ponder that they are memes - can memes 'live' again; could a meme ever attain self-awareness? What about all those who die and are forgotten?

 

I think the phrase "give up the ghost" is interesting in the verses you quoted - it could well be interpreted as the giving up of one's soul, but I need to look at the Hebrew words; could it be nephesh again?

 

MODEST = I also choose to use 'spirit' rather then 'breath' in the NIV translation. I think that the New American Standard Bible is even more accurate than the NIV now I've had a look at other versions:

 

"Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

 

I think it's clear now that the Christian dualistic idea of body and soul isn't supported by the Bible. Judaism doesn't support it, so after a bit more reading I see it's yet another doctrine invented by the Catholic Church. I also find (which I think is telling) that the main journals, articles and websites espousing personalism are Roman Catholic directly or indirectly. Though it's incredible how this view has influenced society and law for centuries and still does.

 

MODEST; I do have a huge appreciation for Hebrew and I love how the words and the way they're put together hold entire concepts within them (even within one letter/sound). It's very beautiful. It's a shame I'm not a scholar of the language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard that a lot about people living on in the thoughts of others. Of course it's true that they do; but this is no real 'afterlife' though, or 'resurrection' is it?

Clearly, demonstrably, “living on in others” isn’t an afterlife like one commonly imagined by people now – for a concrete reference, let’s say like the one depicted in the 1998 movie What Dreams May Come, where the character Chris awakes from having just experience a car crash to find himself walking about in heaven - and call this the WDMC afterlife model.

 

One key difference, to return to my example of a musician/historian dedicated to understanding Beethoven so deeply as to be him (let’s call him Joe), no matter how much Joe studies, there remains data experienced and once clearly, certainly, and unambiguously known by Beethoven that Joe can only guess at – for example, the true identity of his “immortal beloved”, a much-studied mystery to this day.

 

This difference becomes blurred when subjected to some not-too-uncommon present day science fiction treatments. For example, let’s say a (perhaps far, perhaps not-so-far) future person (again for a concrete fictional reference, Jules from Cory Doctrow’s 2003 novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) who has a sophisticated computer system connected to his brain that records all of his experiences, is killed, then “restored” into a near identical replacement body. The whole point of such an arrangement is to guarantee the person’s immortality. This idea is, I think, practically identical in effect to the religious one of physical resurrection, the difference being the mechanism, human technology vs. divine miracle.

 

Getting back to the original “where in the Tanakh (we’d better be precise and refer to the Jewish scripture, to avoid confusion with various inclusions of it in translation into Christian Bibles) is the soul mentioned” question, and recapping what various folk have said in the thread, it’s clear to me that the authors of the Tanakh equated breath – simple respiration, which almost everyone nowadays believes to be a mechanical process by which our bodies move air into and out of our lungs, exchanging gases necessary to keep them alive – with spirit, or soul. I believe our equating of “soul” with something like Doctrow’s “backup of a human mind”, which I believe is the most common accepted view (that that is what our souls are, not necessarily that such technology is possible) among present-day people with ready access to computers, would have struck these ancient people as nonsensical and wrong, because to them, “soul” was more of an energy-providing fuel (which, technical quibbles aside, the oxygen in breath actually is) than a recording or “essence” of a person’s mind.

 

IMHO, the present-day view of a soul as a recording of a mind draws from both the our practical experience with backing up computer data (from which we actually can restore or “resurrect” a “dead” computer) and the science fiction concept of a “teleporter”. Both ideas grew to popular recognition in the mid 20th century, the latter almost certainly because of the 1966-1969 TV series Star Trek’s “transporter”. I’d be unfaithful to my cultural roots as a Trekie not if I failed to note that the transporter was not initially intended to provoke scientific or philosophical speculation, but as a production expediency: the model spacecraft, backgrounds, and related props and techniques intended to be used to film scenes of spacecraft carrying characters between distant scenes could not be completed on time and budget, so were replaced by an easier, cheaper effect involving slow-motion shots of sprinkled aluminum powder.

 

The idea certainly did become scientifically and philosophically thought-provoking. On the latter, Dan Dennett’s introduction to the 1981 essay collection The Mind’s I is, IMHO, a stand-out work.

 

Thinking about how more alive some noteable dead are in our society makes me ponder that they are memes - can memes 'live' again; could a meme ever attain self-awareness?

A concise definition of self-aware is “the quality of a representational model containing an element representing the self”. Extending this to the meme, as a meme must be “packagable” to permit its communication between minds (a concise definition of “a mind” consistent with the above is “that which implements a representational model”), I’d argue that all memes must be considered self-aware.

 

A counter-argument to this would be that, as memes are not, by common definition, excluded from being communicated in ways that do not require symbolic representation, but may also be transmitted unconsciously.

 

Synthesizing these two arguments, I’d say that there are both meme’s that are self-aware, and ones that are not. Any that we can discuss must be of the self-aware kind.

 

What about all those who die and are forgotten?

In the short term, as you’ve premised, they’re dead and forgotten.

 

To find a non-mystical/religious “resurrection” for dead folk in this circumstance, one must dig deep into some highly (some have termed it disreputably) speculative physics and philosophy, such as Frank Tipler’s Omega point theory, in which he proposes that technologically super-advanced, practically god-like people will be able to calculate and recreate as computer simulations the past lives of everyone who has lived, and allow each of them to live in technologically created heaven (Tipler goes further, proposing that every possible experience, heaven, hell, and everything in between, will be simulated)

 

I think the phrase "give up the ghost" is interesting in the verses you quoted - it could well be interpreted as the giving up of one's soul, but I need to look at the Hebrew words; could it be nephesh again?

If my somewhat guessed-at conclusions are correct, all this means is “exhale for the last time”.

 

My confidence in this conclusion is bolstered by my experience, as a child of medical folk in the 1960s and ‘70s, hearing people use the term “give up the ghost” to refer to the final “death rattle” and other strange breathing sounds often preceding death. Though I’ve heard this only a few times myself, it’s easy for me to understand how a pre-scientific person could imagine these sounds signaling the divine “breath of life” (pneuma) leaving a body.

 

I think it's clear now that the Christian dualistic idea of body and soul isn't supported by the Bible.

I believe it’s correct that the pre-Socratic Jews that wrote the Tanakh didn’t have a well-developed idea of soul-body or mind-body dualism. However, by the Hellenic period, Jewish theology was strongly influenced by post-Socratic Greek philosophical ideas, which included these. Thus, the New Testament was heavily influenced by and reflective of these ideas, though not in precisely their most recognizable present day forms.

 

Judaism doesn't support it, so after a bit more reading I see it's yet another doctrine invented by the Catholic Church.

As the Bible itself is in large part an invention of the early Christian churches, by the inclusion and exclusion from a much larger collection of religious writing of its books the Biblical cannon, and as a largely modernly recognizable concept of the soul is present in various NT books, I don’t think the accusation that soul-body dualism is a non-Biblical Catholic doctrine is supported.

 

Though dualism is a very old idea, a key element of the WDMC afterlife model is that, it takes place elsewhere than, or at least mostly undetectably from, the same place that the living are. Though this idea appears in Catholic and orthodox church-endorsed writing, largely due to the coincidence of many scientists being of protestant Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other or no religious affiliation, the development of this idea of souls as living elsewhere after death, is, I think, mostly a non-Catholic/orthodox Christian one. For example, consider Swedenborgianism, an influential 18th century religious movement with little affiliation with Catholic or orthodox Christian churches.

 

I also find (which I think is telling) that the main journals, articles and websites espousing personalism are Roman Catholic directly or indirectly. Though it's incredible how this view has influenced society and law for centuries and still does.

It’s my impression that all of the main Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – affirm the idea that most humans are persons, and most non-human animals are not, a clear answer to the main question of personalism.

 

Were this not the case, killing animals in order to eat them would be murder, a grave sin according to these religions.

 

Questions of the nature of spirit or soul aside, I believe all these religions share the doctrine that humans are authorized by God to do what we wish with all non-human animals, provided it doesn’t break other God-given laws, such as Kosher. Gen 1:26 (KJV) puts it plainly:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 

That said, some Christian churches, such as Seventh-day Adventists, conclude that one should not eat killed animals (that is, should be a lacto-ovo-vegetarian). However, in the case of the SDA church, this is not because they reject Gen 1:26, but for health reasons. (source: The Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Vegetarian Diets) Adventists apparently conclude that one can have dominion over animals without being required to eat them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:0176: CRAIGD Wow!

 

Your massive mind-boggling reply has made me go all tingly!

 

You've given me a lot to ponder about before I can respond to it.

 

All I can really comment on at the moment is that I'm unconvinced that giving the status of personhood to animals would put them in the same class as human persons - they would be 'animal persons' with certain rights and receive a higher moral status, but I wouldn't suggest that they could be regarded on the same level as human persons.

 

Regarding Jewish philosophy about animals it seems very clear that it is far more well developed and far more compassionate than Christian theology. Even though Genesis 01:26-28 is very clear that humans are to "rule" (Strong's 7287) and "subdue" (Strong's 3533) the animals on Earth, and the full meaning of these words are very tough, i.e. reign, tread down, subjugate, bring into bondage, force, trample, conquer and keep under - the Jewish tradition via the Rabbis has developed a very different path regarding animals than the Christians have. I noted recently that there are a great many Jewish veggie and vegan websites.

 

Anyway... CRAIGD... I must go now - have dogs to walk :dogwalk: so will have a think and post again another day.

 

Live long and prosper - yup; I'm a fan too! :smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gen 2:7, (KJV) reads:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

which seems to me to say:

"dust of the ground" + "breath of life" → "living soul".

 

This is very much at odds with the common present-day mystical/religious formula:

flesh + soul = living being

 

It's at odds with religion but according to my studies, a soul = beast (animal/flesh) as coming from the earth itself (dust/ground/mud/primordial soup)

 

 

but I don't understand how you get your

soul = dust - flesh

from it, either, DDuck :shrug:

 

 

soul = (Greek, Psuche) = the animal sentiment principle only= of earth

spirit = (Hebrew, ruwach) = higher consciousness = immortal = of heaven

 

A good example is Job 7:11:

"I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."

 

At first look it appears that soul and spirit are used interchangeably but careful study shows they are dissimilar as spirit (Strong's #7307, Heb. ruwach) refers to a metaphysical force, whereas soul (Strongs #5315. Heb. nephesh) is a "breathing creature".

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think it's clear now that the Christian dualistic idea of body and soul isn't supported by the Bible. Judaism doesn't support it, so after a bit more reading I see it's yet another doctrine invented by the Catholic Church.

You couldn't say that it was invented by the Catholic church. The modern Catholic idea of the soul came mostly from St. Augustine who made clear that Plato was his influence on that score. It's the same with modern Judaism. Their biggest influence is Maimonides, and he didn't hide that his influence was Aristotelianism.

 

It can all be traced back to Greece.

 

~modest

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please can someone tell me the Bible verse in which God gives Man a soul?

 

I have looked for it and I cannot find it.

 

I am writing a challenge to Personalism and so I need to find in the Bible where God gives Man a soul, seeing as this is the core fundamental in Personalism that their philosophy is based around.

 

I am only assuming that they (or Christianity) are interpreting that when God breathed life into Adam this meant God was giving Adam a soul - but is there anywhere else in the Bible where it's more obvious and less open to interpretation? I'm pretty sure that Judaism interprets this as the lifeforce rather than the giving of a soul - am I correct to think that?

 

Anyway, if someone with good Bible knowledge can help me out with this I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

 

I cannot speak for Judaism, but suspect they do believe as much, based on scripture. Interestingly enough, the Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in an immortal soul either. Their (and my own) personal beliefs are based on the following scriptures from the bible.

 

One might liken the act of God breathing into Adam, the same way one would plug their t.v. into the wall. There is power flowing through the device, all the while the device is plugged into the wall. When the device is unplugged, it ceases to work. This is in line with scripture which I will expound on later. It's implications are rather interesting as well.

 

So we want to answer the question, is there actually a soul that separates from a person when they die, and carries on living?

 

One reference source cited by the publication I'm referencing talks about how the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary talks about how the soul is equated with a total person. So in Gen 2:7 when God blew into the nostrils of Adam, he came to be a living soul. Understanding of the soul being a whole person is also supported by other scriptures, namely where the bible describes the soul as doing work. (Lev 23:30), the soul is also spoken of as being impatient, irritated, sleepless, fearful, and depressed (found in Judges 16:16; Job 19:2; Psalm 119:28; Acts 2:43; 1 Thessalonians 5:14)

 

The bible then goes on to refer in Romans 13:1 that ... souls should be in subjection to superior authorities, and further scripture in 1 Pet 3:20 reads that 'in Noah's day eight souls were carried safely through the water'. Based on these renderings we don't see anything that should incline us to think that the soul is some sort of entity that is capable of living on after death.

 

Animals are also referred to as souls. When we consider the action of animal creation recorded in the bible we read the words “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls,” God commanded. On the next creative day, God said: “Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.” (Genesis 1:20, 24) So it stands to reason that all living creatures—human or animal—are souls.

 

We also see the word soul is used in another sense in Job 33:22. From "Do you have an immortal soul, published by the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society"

The word “soul” is used in yet another sense. At Job 33:22, we read: “His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to those inflicting death.” Here, the terms “soul” and “life” are used in parallel, one amplifying the meaning of the other. “Soul,” then, can also refer to the life that one enjoys as a living soul, or person. Hence, the Scriptures refer to Moses’ enemies who were seeking to take his life as “all the men who were hunting for [his] soul.” (Exodus 4:19) And concerning Jesus Christ, the Bible says: “The Son of man came . . . to give his soul [life] a ransom in exchange for many.”—Matthew 20:28.

 

The Bible’s definition of “soul” is simple and consistent. The word can refer to a human or an animal or to the life that a creature enjoys as a living soul. As we will see, this understanding harmonizes with what the Bible says happens to the soul at death.

 

‘The Soul That Is Sinning Will Die’

The Bible states: “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) The distressed prophet Elijah “began to ask that his soul might die.” (1 Kings 19:4) Likewise, Jonah “kept asking that his soul might die.” (Jonah 4:8) Yes, the soul dies when the person dies; it is not immortal. Since a person is a soul, to say that someone died is to say that his soul died.

 

But what about Bible texts that speak of the going out and the coming back of the soul? Concerning what happened to Rachel when she gave birth to a son, the Bible says: “As her soul was going out (because she died) she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.” (Genesis 35:18) And referring to the resurrection of a widow’s son, 1 Kings 17:22 states: “Jehovah listened to Elijah’s voice [in prayer], so that the soul of the child came back within him and he came to life.” Do these passages indicate that the soul is some invisible, shadowy part that can escape from or enter a body?

 

Well, remember that one meaning of the word “soul” is “life.” Hence, Rachel’s soul was going out in that her life was going out. In fact, some Bibles render the phrase “her soul was going out” as “her life was ebbing away” (Knox) and “she breathed her last” (Jerusalem Bible). Similarly, in the case of the widow’s son, it was life that returned to the boy.—1 Kings 17:23.

 

 

Based on this, the bible shows that man does not have a soul, but rather IS a soul. It also tells us that in order for us to have a hope of any future life (the replugging in of the t.v. if you will) depends on whether or not we take in accurate knowledge (John 17:3) concerning the resurrection and Jesus Christ's role in it.

 

“Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28, 29)

Link to post
Share on other sites
...I think it's clear now that the Christian dualistic idea of body and soul isn't supported by the Bible. Judaism doesn't support it, so after a bit more reading I see it's yet another doctrine invented by the Catholic Church...

It most certainly is not an invention of the Catholic Church, because in fact the Catholic Church rejects the idea that we are of a dual nature.

 

In Catholic theology, the word soul indicates "the principle which animates the body of a living being". The Catholic understanding is very similar to the Jewish idea that one finds in the terms nephesh, nuah, and neshamah.

 

Although it's possible to abstractly discuss the body and the soul as if they were separate things, in reality they are intimately united and inseparable: together they constitute a single substancial being. The body/soul is a unity, not a duality: they are united as matter and form.

Edited by chilehed
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...