The Development Of The Concept Of The Soul Throughout History
Since the first mistruth about the immortality of the soul, the idea of a conscious part of us that keeps living after the body dies has become a popular belief.
Ancestor worship, for example, is a common belief and practice. This is based on the idea that relatives who have died still keep living, though their lives are now within a different plane of existence. This belief often includes that these ancestors are able to influence the lives of the living.
Its considered very important to worship these deceased relatives to ensure their favor and have them intervene positively for the family members still alive.
Immortality of the soul was also expressed in human sacrifices. In some cultures, an individual would be sacrificed specifically so they could play a special role in the next life.
Ancient philosophy is full of references of the immortality of the soul. The Greek philosopher Plato saw the body as the prison of the soul and believed the soul was set free from this imprisonment at death.
He reasoned that because the soul is capable of understanding scientific truth, and truth, according to Plato, was immortal, the soul had to be immortal. Plato taught his students that the body and the immortal soul separate when a person dies.
The Italian philosopher and Catholic Priest, Thomas Aquinas, further cemented this belief in the 13th century.
A little later, the Roman Catholic Church officially proclaimed the doctrine of the immortality of the soul as truth in 1513.
The Formula For A Living Soul
Body + Breath of Life = Living Soul
If you have a look at the original languages the Bible was written in, terms sometimes translated as soul actually meant life or person. Two examples come to mind:
In Hebrew, the term nephesh and in Greek, psuche are both translated as soul in the Bible. However, they can also be translated as life or person.
Looking at the original Hebrew and Greek as well as the various uses of these terms helps us get to a more comprehensive view of who we are as humans.
It turns out soul may not even be the best-fitting modern translation of the original language because of the connotations of immortality and mysticism linked to the word soul.
In Hebrew, the way to say Let me live is Let my soul live. See how the use of soul here ties into a persons overall existence?
Now take a look at the more drawn-out phrase, that my soul may bless you before I die. It actually means that I may bless you.
The use of the word soul is speaking to someones complete identity. The Bible uses these terms as a way of closely identifying with an individualits not referring to a separate entity, life force, or energy.
Another way to look at this is that humans do not have a soul but are a soul .
Do Not Return To Sinning Be Ready For The Judgment Day
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, Vengeance is mine I will repay. And again, The Lord will judge his people. Hebrews 10:26-30 ESV
NOTE: All verses used above are based on the King James Version unless stated otherwise.
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Is The Soul Immortal
No, the soul can die. Dozens of Bible verses refer to the soul as being mortal. Here are some examples:
The soul that sinneth, it shall die.Ezekiel 18:4, 20, King James Version.
In ancient Israel, the punishment for the most serious offenses was that the soul shall be cut off. The person would be put to death.Exodus 31:14, King James Version.
After a person dies, the literal term dead soul is used for the corpse in some Bible verses. Although many Bible translations use the terms dead body or dead person in those verses, the original Hebrew uses the word nephesh, or soul.
What Happens In Christianity When Someone Dies
As born-again Christians believing in the only god, the things Jesus spoke, the Holy Spirit, our citizenship is in heaven and we are even waiting for Jesus to return and take us home with Him . That is why you hear Christians talking of going home to be with the Lord. The world is not their home, they are only passing by. When Jesus returns to take us home, He will transform our bodies to be like that of His.
In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul said that being away from the body is being at home with the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christian dies, they go to be with the Lord. We are talking of Christians who are born again, and not those who attend church and have no relationship with Christ. It is important to make this distinction so that people dont fall into the deception of believing that attending church is enough to go to heaven when they die.
Jesus told the Jewish leaders who were persecuting Him that studying the Scriptures diligently would not give them eternal life. They refused to believe in Him, yet the Scriptures spoke about Him . This means that reading the Bible without accepting Christ is not a way to get to heaven. Having everlasting life from Jesus is what guarantees that when we die we will go to heaven. Jesus describes what happens when you die, described as being fallen asleep, the bible tells us that eternal life awaits the faithful. The Sinful await eternal punishment and an eternal Lake of Fire.
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We Should Think Of The Soul And Spirit As The Same Thing
If we hold to a view of dichotomy that upholds the overall unity of man, it will be much easier to avoid the error of depreciating the value of our intellects, emotions, or physical bodies. We dont have to think of our bodies as inherently evil or unimportant. There is a continual interaction between our body and our spirit, and they affect each other: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones .
Seeing the soul and spirit as synonymous terms for our complete immaterial being reminds us that Christian growth includes all aspects of our lives. We are continually to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God . We are to be increasing in the knowledge of God , and our emotions and desires are to conform increasingly to the desires of the Spirit , including an increase in godly emotions such as peace, joy, love, and so forth .
Where Do Bodies Go After Death
The redeemed are ushered into the eternal presence of the Lord, and those without an advocate are ushered into hell to await the New Heaven and New Earth.
The Bible teaches that the human spirit, upon departing the body, goes immediately into the presence of God for either His welcoming or His disapproval. Thus, our blessed Savior taught this truth when He gave the parable of the wicked in Hell crying out to Abraham for refreshment:
There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich mans table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abrahams side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame. But Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish .
There is no more concise and thoroughly Biblical expression of faith about the soul going immediately to be with God until the resurrection than the 38th question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
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What Is The Soul Bible Verses To Care For Your Soul
What is the soul? I get asked this question a lot. Its hard for most people to describe the soul.
Your soul cant be seen on an MRI, biopsied in surgery, or proved to exist in traditional scientific experiments. But over a century ago a doctor did an experiment claiming he had weight a patients soul and found it weighed 21 grams. But later that was proved false.
Right from the start the Bible has a lot to say about the soul. We read at the beginning that when God created Adam and Eve he formed them from dust and then breathed his life into them and they each became a living soul .
A word study on soul in the Bible shows the word is used 520 times! The Psalms especially deal with the soul theyre the soul book of Gods Word. Our soul is essential to life so understanding the Bibles teaching on the soul assists us in soul care for ourselves and others.
This blog features key Bible verses and insights on understanding your soul, how it gets split or broken, and how to care for our restore your soul. At the end is a list of verses on the soul.
If you want to go deep into understanding and caring for your soul pick up a copy of our book, Journey of the Soul: A Practical Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Growth.
What is the Soul? A Definition
The ancient Hebrews used the word nefesh for soul, which literally means throat. What is the soul? Its your throat! Let me explain.
Where Does the Soul Go After Death?
The Functions of Your Soul
Living With Soul
Answering What Happens To My Soul When I Die
As a pastor and a teaching theologian, this is one of the most frequent questions I receive. However, the inquiry most often comes to me, not in the form of an abstract question, but in the context of crisis. Indeed, this is how the question was posed by Mrs. Henley: in a defining moment of her faith on trial.
I was a young pastor. I was on assignment as a pastoral care intern for a congregation not my own. I was a pastor on loan, one might say. My mission? I was dispatched by the church leadership to provide pastoral ministry to a family I didnt know. I was told that the Henley family was gathered at a nearby nursing home and that they had requested a pastoral presence. The elder who telephoned me gave instructions that I would find Mr. Henley, a long-time member, in room 201. Mrs. Gladys Henley, his wife of sixty-some-odd years would be there to greet me. Mr. Henleys forty-something-year-old son and his wife would also be there. They had flown in from the West Coast to be with the matriarch and patriarch in this difficult time.
I rehearsed the coming pastoral visit in my mind as I pulled into the covered parking garage. I guided my trusty old Buick sedan into that most appreciated of privileges clergy parking. I put her in park. I killed the engine. I drew in a breath of hope as I exhaled a prayer for help: Lord, guide me.
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The Soul Can Sin Or The Spirit Can Sin
Verses such as 1 Peter 1:22 and Revelation 18:14 seem to imply that our souls can sin. Those who hold to trichotomy will usually agree that the soul can sin since they think that the soul includes the intellect, the emotions, and the will.
The trichotomist, however, generally thinks of the spirit as purer than the soul, and, when renewed, as free from sin and responsive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This understanding is not really supported by the biblical text:
The Bible seems to suggest that both the soul and the spirit can sin, which could be because they are the same thing.
Do Not Quench The Holy Spirit Who Preserved You For Salvation
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32
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The 3 Parts Of Manspirit Soul And Body
Human beings are complicated. Each one of us is unique we come from various backgrounds and have different personalities.
But with respect to how God created us, were actually all the same. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that we were all created with three partsa spirit, a soul, and a body:
And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this post well read an extremely helpful note on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version to help us understand these three parts.
What Does God Reveal About Man
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 being .
Behold all souls are Mine the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine the soul who sins shall die .
Genesis 1 tells us that man was made in the image of God . Then chapter 2 reveals a little more detail about the specifics of that creation. God created man out of matter, the dust of the ground. The Bible nowhere reveals him to either be or to possess an immortal soul. All such ideas representing man as possessing immortality in his being are nonbiblical concepts originating from distinctly nonbiblical sources.
Scripture tells us plainly that the soul is something that can die or be destroyed. It is not immortal! Jesus said not to fear those that kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell .
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Jesus Christ Is The Redeemer According To The Covenant Of Grace
When the Gospel is proclaimed and received by faith, the terms of the Covenant are imputed to you . You pass from death and judgment to forgiveness and eternal life. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life .Not so the unrepentant. The soul remains in a fallen state, responsible for the terms of the Covenant of Works . It is for this reason that the Psalmist, speaking in the voice of the Messiah to come, declares that God will not leave his soul to perish. This truth is also picked up by Peter in his first sermon at Pentecost. The soul without God will undergo unimaginable loss that is described by Jesus with the most severe imagery .
My dear reader: your soul and mine must be redeemed from the auction block of sin and the devil lest we that is, our souls face certain loss and punishment. And the only Redeemer of Gods elect is the Lord Jesus Christ. Repent. Trust in the resurrected and living Christ while you are still reading this article. Stop what you are doing and turn to Jesus Christ by faith.
Our study leads us, then, to the place of the soul between death and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
What Is The Difference Between A Soul And A Spirit
Soul definition: the soul is our humanity that makes us feel emotions The spirit is our deeper connection with the Lord when we believe in God and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Let’s dig deeper into the difference.
- Glory DyChristianity.com Contributing Writer
- 202011 Jun
This is a question that is not easy to point out in our everyday Christian lives. While it is not so difficult to distinguish the body from the spirit and the soul, it is particularly difficult to distinguish the soul from the spirit. What exactly are their differences? Let us consult the Bible once again to give us light about these confusing concepts.
There are a few places in the Bible where the body, soul, and spirit are mentioned. One of these is in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, as written, Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we delve into this verse, it clearly states that we are composed of three parts: The body, the soul, and the spirit. The verse also uses the word and, which in the original Greek language means to differ from each other. Thus, this clearly states that each part is different and plays a different role in us.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
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