The Hebrew word for “soul” (nephesh) literally means breath.  This word is translated in the following ways:

  • Soul (428x)
  • life (119x)
  • person (30x)
  • self (19x)
  • heart (15x)
  • mind (15x)
  • creature (9x)
  • dead (8x)

The following references show that the soul is not immortal, but simply relates to a person.

  • A dead soul becomes a living soul             Genesis 2:7
  • A soul is born                                              Genesis 46:8
  • A soul eats                                                  Exodus 12:16
  • A soul saved from death                             Psalm 56:13
  • A soul dies                                                  Joshua 11:11
  • A dead soul                                                 Leviticus 21:1,11

These references show that the soul involved the total person.  It was not a separate, immortal part.  When a person dies, his whole personality dies, he “knows not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10) Immortality is something that has to be sought for (Romans 2:7) and is only given at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:53,54)   The immortality of the soul is a pagan Greek idea –  the hope of the Bible is realised in the resurrection.   In fact the Bible teaches:

  • All souls die                                                                     Ezekiel 18:4
  • Even righteous souls die                                                 Isaiah 53:12
  • There is NO hope of life apart from the resurrection      1 Corinthians 15:16-18

1 Cor 15:51

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