Do you want to know what the soul is according to the Bible? If yes, then you came to the right place. In this post, let us go through the Scriptures and discover the amazing facts about the soul you probably don’t know!
What is the soul?
The answer depends on who you ask.
If you ask Aristotle, the famous Greek thinker, he will tell you that the soul is composed of two parts, the irrational and rational.
For the Hindus, the soul is the universal, eternal self. They believe that the soul is eternal but imprisoned inside an earthly body during birth.
In Taoism, a soul is a form of energy. In Buddhism, they don’t believe in a soul, but rather describe the soul as an energy being reborn each time a new person enters this world.
For Christians, the soul is immortal. It leaves the body upon death and goes to heaven.
Now, which one of these definitions is correct?
If you’re like most Christians, then you would say, “Of course, the Christian view of the soul is correct!”
What if I tell you that NONE of these definitions are correct?
What if I tell you that the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9) and has a wrong view of the soul?
What if I tell you that all the things you know about the soul are actually false?
Would you believe me?
Of course, don’t believe me.
As I always tell my readers, believe the Bible!
That’s why, in this post, we want to know the TRUTH about the soul.
What is soul according to the Bible?
What is soul, anyway?
Where does it come from?
Where will it go?
Thankfully, you don’t have to guess.
In this post, we will go straight to the Bible. Here are the 8 surprising truths about the soul that you should know!
Truth no. 1: No “immortal soul” in the Bible
The teaching about the immortal soul is among the most widely prevailing teaching and belief not just in Christianity but also in other religions.
However, did you know that even in your Bible, the words “immortal” and “soul” don’t appear together?
That’s right, even if you search the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, you will NEVER find a single verse that includes the term “immortal soul”!
Truth no. 2: Immortal soul teaching originated in paganism
A lot of Christians today are confident about the immortal soul teaching. Nevertheless, nowhere can you find the term in the Bible.
If it is not found in the Bible, where did it come from?
The concept of an immortal soul was first promulgated in ancient Egypt and Babylon. It has then made its way to some of the most proponent Greek thinkers such as Plato.
According to Plato, human beings have the body and soul components. He taught that the immortal soul will leave the body upon death.
As Christianity spread from Jerusalem to the Greek and Roman world, more and more believers were influenced to believe what the pagans taught about the soul.
Among those Christians who accepted the immortal soul teaching was Origen. He was an influential theologian of the Catholic.
Sadly, instead of letting the Bible direct Origen’s thought, he was influenced by Greek philosophy, which includes the teaching of the immortal soul.
Truth no. 3: Soul is nephesh
Nephesh (נֶ֫פֶשׁ) is the Hebrew word often translated as soul.
According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, nephesh simply means “a breathing creature.” Nowhere in any sense does nephesh refer to a spiritual entity.
That’s why in Genesis 2:7, we read:
7 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.
If you look into the Hebrew word of “being” in this verse, it is nephesh. In other words, Adam became a living soul when God breathed into his nostrils!
So, if there’s a living soul, there must be a dead soul.
This leads us to the next truth.
Truth no. 4: Soul can die
Yes, you read that right.
The soul can actually die.
It is NOT immortal.
It has a beginning and it also has an end.
We read in the Bible that Adam and Eve are referred to as living souls and God told them that they will surely die if they disobey Him.
So, this tells us that living souls can also be dead souls.
If that doesn’t convince you, consider what Ezekiel 18:4 mentioned:
4 “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.
The same statement is repeated in Ezekiel 18:20 word for word:
20 The soul who sins shall DIE.
Now, you can’t get any clearer than that!
Soul is not immortal.
It will eventually die.
Truth no. 5: There are dead souls
To really drill down the biblical truth that souls can die, notice how the Bible also uses the same Hebrew word to refer to dead bodies.
We read in Leviticus 22:4:
4 ‘Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean. And whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse, or a man who has had an emission of semen…
The word corpse here used the Hebrew word nephesh!
This is not the only time when nephesh was used to refer to dead bodies. We also read in the following verses:
2 “Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse.
11 … And the priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned in regard to the corpse; and he shall sanctify his head that same day.
6 Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the LORD at its appointed time among the children of Israel?”
8 And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”
9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the LORD’s Passover.
As you can see, the words “corpse” in these verses all use the same Hebrew word, which is nephesh.
This tells us that there are both living and dead souls.
Truth no. 6: Jesus said soul is not immortal
Yahshua the Messiah or more commonly known as Jesus Christ gave a warning in Matthew 10:28:
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Now, a lot of people read this verse and say, “See, the soul is immortal!”
However, if you read that again, Jesus was actually saying that the soul can be destroyed, meaning, it is not immortal!
I understand this can be a little confusing to most of us because we don’t know the original language used.
Thankfully, we can know.
In Greek, the “body” is soma, which means body. “Soul” here is psuche, which means the person’s physical body along with his/her consciousness.
This verse clearly tells us that the body does not have an immortal soul.
Truth no. 7: Animals are souls
Did you know that in the Bible, animals are referred to as souls?
Yes, that’s right.
Take a look at Genesis 1:21:
21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Do you know what Hebrew word is used for the word “creatures” in this verse?
Yes, you guessed that right, it’s nephesh — the same Hebrew word translated as soul.
It is even worth noting that there are already souls on earth even before the first human being appeared!
Now, if you think that it is only sea creatures that are made with a soul, then you also need to read other verses that talk about other types of animals as being referred to as souls:
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.
19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature [nephesh, soul], that was its name.
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that is with you, for perpetual generations.
There are more passages that I can quote.
However, these verses should be enough to show you that even animals are called souls in the Bible!
Truth no. 8: You are the soul
Here’s the plain truth you need to understand:
You don’t have a soul. You are the soul.
Your physical body along with your consciousness is the soul.
Soul is not an immortal quality of human beings that will leave and go to heaven (or hell) after death.
We are all physical beings subject to decay and death.
Until and unless God gives us eternal life, we will all go down to our graves and remain there.
The Bible clearly tells us that we only become immortal at the resurrection, not upon death.
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:53:
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Learn the truth about the soul
These are the most important biblical facts about the soul in the Bible. This also gives you a clear idea of what the Bible says about the soul.
As you can see, there’s no immortal soul. This is a pagan concept borrowed from the Greeks and other non-biblical beliefs.
Be sure to remember these truths because the truth will set you free (John 8:32).