Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4
The past few days we were taking a look at teachings in the Bible that support the existence of the soul. Today we will take a look at scriptures used to defend the position of not having a soul. These scripture examples were taking from the Jehovah Witness website who deny the existence of a soul
This scripture in my opinion doesn’t really support their position. Yes all souls belong to God as he is our Creator, and Yes God is the only one who can destroy the soul. As Jesus said “Don’t fear the one who can kill the body, fear the one who can destroy the body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28)
If anything this scripture could propose that Hell is not eternal, however I don’t think this supports the idea that we don’t have a soul. In fact I think it does the opposite and reinforces the idea that we are body and soul
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return Genesis 3:19
This is the next scripture they referenced, its referencing us returning to dust upon death. Well this is correct, our human bodies will eventually die and decompose to dust. However this does not say we cease to exist or our soul is destroyed.
Again I don’t think this really supports the idea of not having a soul. It’s a fact that we are under the curse of sin but through Christ we will receive a resurrected body
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5
The expression “The dead don’t know anything” seems to be the nail in the coffin (no pun intended) , but this is a case where we need to read the Bible in context. First off, Ecclesiastes is a poetic book and not everything in it should be taken literally. For example in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 he states “Humans are like Animals and have no advantage over them” Now if you read this literally you would know this contradicts Gods teaching in Genesis where Man has dominion over Animals
Soloman (the author of Ecclesiastes) is making a point that we all eventually die, man and animals. When we read the Bible we need to make sure we are reading in context and not taking everything literally. For example Jesus taught “Its better to cut your hand off or rip your eye out then for your whole body to go to hell “ (Matthew 5)
Obviously Jesus is not telling us to literally cut off our body parts, Jesus is making a point to cut out our sin rather then condemn our souls for eternity. This is every common in the Hebrew literature and culture to make exaggerated or idiom claims.
Conclusion I believe there is very strong evidence that we have a soul and its eternal. There was more scriptures that support it, that I didn’t include in this series. I pray that this series brings some good thought and you continue to seek the truth in Jesus name Amen!
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.Philippians 1:23-24
As we continue to look at what the Bible says about having a soul, we look at the teachings of the Apostle Paul .Here Paul is telling the Church, he desires to die so he can be with Jesus, however he will stay here in the body so he can serve the Church. Now if Paul didn’t believe he had a soul and would immediately be with Jesus , this statement by Paul would make no sense
If Paul believed that when he died he would just not exist until the resurrection, Paul probably wouldn’t be in such a hurry to depart from his physical body. But as Paul is referencing here, as soon as he leaves his body he will be with The Lord
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
Again Paul is telling the Church of Corinth, he would rather leave his physical body and be with Jesus. If Paul didn’t believe in a soul, this statement wouldn’t make any sense. Why was Paul so sure that there was more after death?
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
Here Paul teaches about a man he knew that was a Christian that was taken up to Heaven. Now we know that Paul is a trust worthy source, he wrote over half of the New Testament. So its very confident for us to believe this testimony Paul is sharing about this man
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43
Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” Jesus didn’t say at the resurrection you will be in Heaven or someday, he said Today. Because Jesus knew he and the thief were dying that day
The only way this is possible if the thief and Jesus had a soul as their physical bodies were dead. And we know Jesus physical body was dead till Sunday morning, so for Jesus to say Today means in the spirit
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the scriptures often used to support “soul sleep”
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
If we deny the existence of a soul, how does Jesus teaching on becoming Born Again make any sense? If all we are is flesh and bone, than Jesus teaching here would totally contradict himself.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5-6
First Jesus is teaching about the 2 baptisms that occur, first the baptism of water which is the repentance of sin and profession of our faith. The second baptism is of the Holy Spirit, which seals and lives inside you as a Born Again believer
Jesus then talks about the two births, birth of flesh and birth of spirit. Its obvious they are separate from one another. As we quoted Genesis earlier “God formed Adam from the dust and then gave him the Breath of Live, his Spirit” (Genesis 2:7) We are body and soul, Jesus is talking about the regeneration of our soul
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? John 3:12
Again Jesus is speaking of the physical (earthly) and the spiritual (heavenly) realms. If you don’t believe in the spiritual , how can you understand God? You cant, you must understand that there is more than just a physical universe. If we didn’t have a soul, this teaching by Jesus would make no sense
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:22-23
The Apostle Peter summarizes Jesus teaching perfectly. The purification of your soul is being Born Again. So if we don’t have a soul , how does Peters teaching make any sense? Peter is using the same Greek word here “Psyche”
Being Born Again not of corruptible seed (human body) but of the incorruptible (Soul)
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
As we continue to look at whether the Bible teaches us if we have a soul, lets see what Jesus taught. In this teaching Jesus makes a clear distinction between the body and the soul. Your body is able to be destroyed, however only God alone can destroy your soul.
The original Greek word for soul is “psyche”, which the word “psychology” eventually derived from. If you didn’t have a soul, this teaching by Jesus would make no sense. This Greek word “psyche” also means Breathe and Life just like the Hebrew word “Rauch”
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
Here again we see the word “Soul” translated from the Greek word “Psyche” Now you might say soul could be translated as life, lets examine Jesus teaching here to see if it would make sense. Jesus is trying to make a division between the physical and spiritual world. If you gained the whole world, meaning you have everything that was physically pleasing to you such as wealth, sex, and food, obviously this would be fulfilling to the flesh
However from a spiritual perspective, none of these things would be profitable. This is the message Jesus is trying to convey, our soul will not profit from physical sin. Even though its pleasing to the flesh its condemning to the soul
Jesus is the only one who can save or destroy your soul, this is why hes our Lord and God. The world can persecute you but they can’t destroy your soul. Trust in Jesus for the salvation of your soul!
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. Genesis 2:7
The book of Genesis makes a revelation that humanity has tried to understand for centuries. What are we or who are we? Are we just matter or is there more to our physical bodies? God tells us when he created Adam and he formed his physical body from the dust. Then be breathed his Spirit into the body which became Adams soul
God specifically tells us we have a living soul. Yet many people today, even some Christians reject the idea of a soul. Think about this , if we are just physical bodies, then where does your emotions and memories come from? They would be just chemical reactions , molecules in motion, nothing more. Because we love, we know we have a soul. Because a physical piece of meat cant love anything , unless it has the capacity to love
The original Hebrew word translated as “Soul” is “nephesh” which is found 754 times in the Old Testament also translated as “Being”, “Life”, and “Person” and “Creature” This Nehesh is obviously a “Life Force” derived directly from God
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. Job 33:4
Job recounts the same thing, God formed him and Gods Spirit or Breathe (Rauch) has given him Life
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Job 32:8
Here again Job says God put a Spirit or Soul into man (humans) and it gives them understanding. Remember I said before if we are just physical bodies, what understanding would we have of love or emotional things? Without a soul this would not be possible
Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: Isaiah 42:5
The prophet Isaiah says the same thing, God gives his “Rauch” Breathe or Spirit into the people. The original Hebrew word “Neshamah” is used here not only meaning Breath and Spirit, but also means intellect. Again without a Living Soul there would be no intellect in our physical bodies