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What is the Soul?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by swlsal, Jan 31, 2002.

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  1. swlsal

    swlsal New Member

    This is one of the most common words in the Bible, but there seems of be some uncertainty as to just what the soul is.
    Billy Graham made the statement on TV, that the soul is "you" in contrast to your body. Along with 90% of professing believers, he feels that the soul is "immortal."
    But how can "you" be immortal when God told Adam: "...in the day that you eat of it (the fruit) "you" will DIE."
    Was God predicting something that could not happen? And after Adam did eat, God told him: "You are dust and to dust you shall return."
    Did Adam even EXIST when he was dust? Death seems to be a RETURN rather than a going forward to something.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. FOMWatts<><

    FOMWatts<>< Follower of the Way

    You have a common question as far as I am concerned. The answer is really quite simple. The soul is "you" right? Well when God told Adam he would die the day he ate of the tree He wasn't lying or falsely predicting. Adam did die that die. He died spiritually and began to die physically. It is believed by many theologist and myself that before Adam and Eve ate of the tree God had planned for us to live free of labor, in pretty much paradise. This was before sin. When Adam and Eve did sin (sin is the stuff that seperates us from God) God had to rpovide a way for man to get to Him, or to be reconciled with Him. This is when animal sacrifices and food sacrifices started. Something had to die to pardon sins. Well this practice continutes throughout the Old Testament and...drum roll please!!!...JESUS CHRIST was born, and He lived and died for our sins so that no more sacrifices had to be made. Anyway, to answer your original question your soul is "you" just as Billy Graham sad. If you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savioour God grants you eternal life through faith in Christ. If you do not believe your soul is cast into hell for all eternity. I hope this helps you understand a bit better.

  3. M.O.G.

    M.O.G. New Member


    Hello swlsal :)

    I believe the soul is the mind, in the Bible it seem's to be interchangeable with spirit . We are mind (soul), body & spirit.

    >>>"Did Adam even EXIST when he was dust? Death seems to be a RETURN rather than a going forward to something."

    I dont know what you mean here? I'll give it a shot.....We do not pre-exist, God in His word say's, "I formed you in the womb."

    >>>"in the day that you eat of it (the fruit) "you" will DIE."

    They did in a sence, the death process began. Some say they litterally died spiritually also, but that raises more questions then it answers. If they died spiritually, what would happen if they weren't saved & they died? No spirit, no existance, the bible does not teach that. I believe it to be seperation spiritually from God, which is a death anyway. Remember God kept them from the tree of life so they wouldn't live forever.

    Hope this answers it for you.

    God bless, M.O.G. :)
  4. solo66 man

    solo66 man Well-Known Member

    Yes, MOG. I am in full agreement with you.
    Any sin, big or small is the great partition between us and God,
    and therefore death in that we are dead to God.
    He loves us so that He made the repairations we were unable to make. God didnt have to either. He could have just destroyed us and started completely over.
    What a mighty God we serve.
  5. swlsal

    swlsal New Member

    I am an independent, belonging to no denomination or group. I have put my trust in the Word and await either the resurrection of the dead, or to be changed at the second coming of Christ.
    To believe the Bible takes faith. To study the Bible takes whatever translation you are using plus reference books.
    To accept someone else's interpretation of the Bible seems to me to be a lack of faith. It is too important for that.
    The true Bible is the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. What we have are translations done by men who were not divinely inspired, therefore subject to error. One needs reference books to get behind the errors of the translators.
    To know what a word means, one uses a DICTIONARY; you don't invent your own meanings. There has to be a standard for what words mean or you have chaos.
    One can find out the meaning of the word "soul", (which is in the Hebrew NEPHESH and in the Greek PSUCHE, relatively easily if one decides to think totally independently of what the "commentators" say.
    These two words have the same meaning and it has to do with BREATH. Take your Strong's Concordance and look up the word "soul," and turn to the number for the lexicon. There you will see the meaning: "a breathing creature." That's the definition.
    How does that fit in with the "orthodox" view? It doesn't.
    Man does not "have" a soul he "is" a soul.
    Gen. 2:7: ...God breathed (naphach) into man's nostrils the breath (neshama) of life and man became a living soul (nephesh). These three Hebrew words all have to do with breath. There is something one must understand about words. Every word has both a literal meaning and also figurative meanings. Take the word "cat" for instance. The literal meaning is an animal, a mammal. Figurative meanings would be: catwalk, cat-o- nine-tails, hep-cat, bulldozers are called cats, etc.
    The literal meaning of "soul" is used for instance, when it says "seventy souls (people) went down into Egypt.
    When it talks about "my soul", this is a figurative use of the word. The text will talk about "my soul" loving or hating. Even at one point God Himself says: "My soul hates."
    You don't literally "have" a soul; you ARE a soul.
    Now adjust your theology to this fact.
  6. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    I think we are spirit in a soul-flesh suit.
    Heb 4:12
    12 For the word of God is quick, 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.

    If you can divide the soul and spirit then one is truely us and the other just something we live in.

    How do you see this?
  7. Hervey

    Hervey Member

    Do a word study on the Hebrew word "nephesh" , which is translated "soul"

    This "Hebrew" word is also translated - "mind" - "soul" - "heart" - "life" - "breath" - "self" - "dead" -"creature" - "body" etc.

    It means three different things >

    #1 - breath life - ability to speak

    #2 - people - who are alive

    #3- the mind (thoughts) - especially the word "remembrance"

    And the Greek word - "psuch" and you will find the same three things pertain !

    This "greek" word is translated "soul" - "heart" - "life" - "mind"

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
  8. swlsal

    swlsal New Member

    Heb. 4:12

    I think this passage is talking about the effect the Word had upon the hearers in the crowd. It had the effect of causing division. Some said this and some said that. Some agreed and some disagreed.
    Those who agreed with the Word of the Lord were being "spiritual." Those who disagreed were being "soulish" like the "natural" (psuchikos-soulish) man of l1Cor 2:14. They did not understand spiritual things.
    The use of "joints and marrow" indicates how deeply the Word can cut. We still use the expression, "His words cut deeply."
    The word "discern" is, in the Greek, "critikos" having to do with judging. The Word condemns or acquits the deep thoughts within a person.
    I don't think this passage deals with whether a person is a spirit being within a physical body.
  9. Martin

    Martin Senior Veteran

    I understand a human being (that's you and me) to consist of Spirit, Soul and Body.

    The body is our physical frame in which we live.

    The Soul consists of three elements- the mind (the rational area), the will (the volitional area) and the emotions (the emotional area).

    The Spirit is what makes you - you (includes your conscience and your creativity).

    If it helps, consider an example of two identical twins. Even though they will both look alike physically and they may experience situations where they think alike and experience similar emotions, their spirits are totally unique. If you ask them both to paint a "still life" picture (i.e. area of creativity) I guarantee that the pictures they produce will be totally different.

    God is Spirit and we are made in His image i.e. we have been given a Spirit and that makes each one of us truly unique and different from any other living being. Other animals will have a body and a soul, but they will not have a spirit - that area is reserved for humans.

    I shall stop at this point.......for sleep.
  10. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member


    You have some very good points. As you have alluded to, the "soul" is not immortal. In fact, no where in the Bible does it say that there is an immortal soul.

    The soul is the person.

    Gen 2:7 - 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 soul.
  11. Hervey

    Hervey Member


    The soul can not be killed > Matthew 10:28, but the body can.

    Be careful when you read this verse, because the word in the second half of the verse, plainly uses a different word than "kill", as it does in the first half of this verse. It uses the word "destroy". To destroy is not to kill. So be careful when reading the understanding.

    The soul can not be killed !

    The spirit of man goes back to God, when you die.

    The body goes back to dust.

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
  12. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

    On another message board, someone mentioned that man is like a computer. The body - hardware, the mind (soul?) - software. The hardware can be shut down, but the software would be unaffected.

    A rather interesting way of looking at it.
  13. bumpas

    bumpas New Member

    The soul is simply life's energy,everything that lives has a soul.
  14. swlsal

    swlsal New Member

    NEPHESH (soul) means "a breathing creature."
    A person IS soul; this is the LITERAL meaning of the word.
    He does NOT "have" a soul. What you have, is not "you."
    "Having a soul" (my, your soul) is FIGURATIVE language.
    It is essential that we understand about figures of speech because the Bible is "loaded to the gills" with figurative language.
    Figurative language is not weakened language; it is STRENGTHENED language. It EMPHASIZES a point. When God said to Cain: "your brother 's blood cries to me out of the ground," God was emphasizing a point. So when you come to a figure of speech, you should pay more attention to it than to a literal statement.
    The statement that you should "love the Lord with all your heart and soul" is saying that you should love the Lord VERY MUCH. You can't literally love with your heart, and the use of the word "soul" here means "WITH ALL YOUR BEING."
    In a nutshell:
    "A" soul.......is a real creature (literal).
    "The" soul is a figure of speech.
    "The" soul is not a real existing entity. Since it is not something real, it can't exist outside the body; it doesn't exist anywhere.
    This is highly important because it has to do with death and resurrection. If "you" never die, you are never resurrected. Some say it is the BODY that is resurrected, but that is not what the text of the Bible says. It says that this mortal body is destroyed, gone forever, and a NEW body is created (2Cor. 5:1).
    To say that "YOU" (the soul) are immortal contradicts the text of 1Tim. 6:16, which says that only God is immortal.
  15. celtic_crusader

    celtic_crusader Crusading Against Jihad

    I agree with you 100 %.+

    Hebrews 4:11-13 For the word of God is quick, 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.

    "dividing asunder of soul and spirit"

    so to address the soul I must address the whole makeup of a person+.

    The difference between the spirit and the soul.

    I’ll do my best to explain how I see the difference.

    The body is made up of 3 parts.

    The body = (dust of the ground)
    The spirit = (the breath of life)
    The soul = (the unique individual comes to life through the combination of the body and the breath of life. Read gen 2:7)

    The soul is the make up of an individuals thoughts, feelings and decisions. Every single soul is unique because of this. So, we all have a unique soul.

    We don’t have a unique spirit but rather the spirit in us is in every thing and every one and it is the spirit of life.

    The spirit is the expression of the soul.
    The soul thinks and feels and from that the soul will display a spirit according to how the soul is feeling or thinking. The spirit could be joy or depression according to the souls thoughts.

    To follow the spirit successfully we must under stand the difference between the spirit and our own soul.

    To walk in the spirit is to understand that our spirit is the expression of our own soul and there for we renew our mind to the mind of the spirit of Christ (by repentance and change) and change our soul to come inline with the spirits of Jesus commands and there for the soul express the holy spirit (love, peace, joy patience, longsuffering, gentleness and the biggy, self control) thru the change that takes place in our heart and minds because of the testimony of salvation for mankind through what Jesus has done for use.

    Spirits are eternally in the earth and can be expressed by any soul and are even produced by mans own wickedness or holiness.

    Example: the soul of Jesus no one can become like because he is the only one with that personality but we all can walk in his spirit (the holy ghost) by changing our soul and literally choosing to express the spirits of god (love ,peace, joy and so on.)

    Another example of the soul expressing the spirit is:
    We spend time in the presences of god and then we walk in his spirit of, lets say love, and then as our soul is generating the attitude and presence (spirit) of love along comes the enemy of our soul (the serpent) and through his angels he intimidates that spirit of love by speaking into our souls (usually by others) things to turn our soul from expressing this love (as spirits are extremely cottages) so he provokes the soul with thought to produce the spirit of RESENTMENT, BITTERNESS AND JELOUSY, when he manages to steal this love for others and replaces it with these three spiritual forces so there soul express this instead. Once he has achieved this and destroyed this love he then sends stronger forces against us to bind us in hatred until he has his final work. Which is for that soul to committee murder.

    THIRDLY: how to stay in the spirit.

    1. If you understand what I’ve written then you will start to see how important it is to guard our hearts with all diligance and how important it is to identify and discern spirits.

    2. . Pray and seek for spiritual discernment so you can identify the spirits of the serpent from the spirits of the Holy Ghost because it is so easy to get drawn away from god by these spirits.

    3. So many Christians start in the spirit and once the serpent steals their spirit they can’t get into the spirit until the next assembly because they rely on other people to infect them again with gods spirit. This is normal for babes in Christ but if done for to long and you don’t learn how to come into god’s presence on your own you become religious and even a counterfeit.

    This is all done by the control and renewal of the mind and soul to bring about the mind of Christ so we can walk in the spirit of god and not the spirit of this world.

    Some more examples:

    5a. In the Holy Ghost we achieve joy but the serpent comes at that spirit with the spirit of DEPRESION, DISCOURAGEMENT AND DISPAIR until joy is gone. Then he brings HOPELESSNESS until he commits his final work, SUICIDE.

    5b. In the spirit we have peace but our enemy attacks with TENSION, WORRY AND CONFUSION until he brings about fear and his final work is that souls insanity.

    5c. In the spirit we have patience until the fallen one temps us with IMPATIENCE, TEMPER AND DISHARMONY, until he achieves the spirit of ANGER from that soul until it reaches VIOLENCE.

    5d. THE BIGGY, self-control is a spirit of god and is attacked by SELF INDULGENCE, COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR AND GOSSIP AND SLANDER. Until the liar achieves EMOTIONAL INSTUBILITY and ADDICTION for that soul until ADDICTION makes him a MANIAC

    I could go on forever on how to recognize the liar at work but as you can see it is all up to us to choose between expressing gods spirits from our soul and obeying the spirits of the father in heaven and not the father of lies himself.

    But to do this first it helps to no the truth, as Jesus said, the truth will set you free.
    Then we need self-control to establish this truth.

    Hope this helps

  16. celtic_crusader

    celtic_crusader Crusading Against Jihad

    A simple analogy would be this:

    A light glob (body) is plugged into electricity (the spirit of life) and the light comes on (the soul comes to life) and when the bulb brakes (body brakes) the electricity can’t flow through it (spirit) and so the light (soul) perishes and goes out.

    So, when we die our soul perishes and the spirit leaves the body, our hope is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and will return to raise the souls back to life in a reunion of body spirit and soul in the resurrection or the dead and the final judgment.

    The bible says he has the book of life and the books of remembrance so he can recall every one and everything at the last day when he will raise those souls that sleep in the grave and we will be free from the spirit of this world.
  17. swlsal

    swlsal New Member

    Celtic c:

    You can't say the body is made up of certain parts and then include the body as one of the parts. You would have to say:
    The body is made up of 2 parts: soul and spirit.
    But that's not right either. The soul is "you." "You" are MIND.
    Mind is INTELLECT. It is what distinguishes a human from a beast.
    It is basically the knowledge of own's OWN EXISTENCE.
    A beast does not know that it exists. A beast does not ACT. It only REACTS to a stimulus. You may think that your pet understands but it is actually reacting to you as a source of food, shelter and comfort.
    The mind is not a physical entity. It is an example of the existence of the supernatural. It is "man" made in the image of God. God is also "mind" (thought: logos). In Hebrew it is RUACH, which is a greater mind than "you."
    "Spirit" is ENERGY or POWER. It is the ability to do work. Your mind tells your body to ACT --either soulishly (sensually) or spiritually (dedicated to God).
    It's like when Joshua told the tribes of Israel in Joshua 24:15: "choose (with the mind) this day, whom you will serve...
    If they chose to serve other gods, they were making a soulish choice. If they chose the God of Israel, they were making a
    spiritual choice.
    Serving other gods entails "work" (activity).
  18. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    the soul is simply a part of your flesh... better put: your grey matter. the brain.

    This encompases: mind, will, and emotions.
    And is expressed only: through the body.

    The spirit of a man is that which is dead until Christ makes him new and alive. That is why when you are saved, your become a "new man" and the old flesh has died. Simply put, it means the righteous spirit that God sees and lives forever is now the "you" that slowly takes over the rest of "you" which is flesh and in the world.

    When you die, your spirit goes to heaven. You are seperated from the flesh, from the grey matter (your brain) going straight to Jesus, awaiting the moment with Him to return with him and be "transformed...in the air" in a perfect, resurrected body capable of living righteously forever in the New heaven on the New Earth in accordance with your righteous spirit!
  19. swlsal

    swlsal New Member


    In regard to Matthew 10:28, the word translated "destroy" is from the root APOLLUMI. This is one of the strongest words in the Greek language and is akin to the English word "annihilate." It means "to destroy completely." It is the superlative of the ordinary word for "destroy" which is "allumi." It is what eventually happens to the wicked and what the believer will be saved from. The word appears in John 3:16: ....that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (apollumi)...."
    Destruction is associated with the SECOND DEATH. Everyone is going to be raised from the first death, John 5:28,29:
    "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation (kriseos- judgment).
    So those that may kill this mortal body, have not killed (permanently) the person himself because he will be resurrected.
    ".....but rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body (all of the person) in hell (ghehenna- the second death-- the "lake of fire," from which there is no resurrection.
  20. Day

    Day New Member

    I think in this you are a prophet of God and we should fear you. You speak was has come to pass.

    But you have spoken other things, and not in love. You know the bible tells us that you can not say to others "Know God!"

    I believe We are a soul. A living being. We have a spirit and a body. The spirit is the breath of God. When we are believing in the Sacrifice made before the foundation of the world available to all men who believed even before the manifestation, then our spirit is lead by God a.k.a Holy a.k.a Son of God is in us when we look at the cross.
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