a reply to: ClovenSky
In the Bible, “soul” is translated from the Hebrew neʹphesh
and the Greek psy·kheʹ
. Bible usage shows the soul to be a person or
an animal or the life that a person or an animal enjoys. To many persons, however, “soul” means the immaterial or spirit part of a human being
that survives the death of the physical body. Others understand it to be the principle of life. But these latter views are not Bible teachings.
So no, we do not posses a soul, we are
souls. And we are mortal (souls). According to the way the Bible uses the word "soul" that is. Many
religions do indeed teach otherwise, including those in Christendom. What is the origin of Christendom’s belief in an immaterial, immortal soul?
“The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long
development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen [died c. 254 C.E.] in the East and St. Augustine [died 430 C.E.] in the West was the soul
established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . His [Augustine’s] doctrine . . . owed much (including
some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia
(1967), Vol. XIII, pp. 452, 454.
“The concept of immortality is a product of Greek thinking, whereas the hope of a resurrection belongs to Jewish thought. . . . Following
Alexander’s conquests Judaism gradually absorbed Greek concepts.”—Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de la Bible
(Valence, France; 1935),
edited by Alexandre Westphal, Vol. 2, p. 557.
“Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.”—Presbyterian Life
May 1, 1970, p. 35.
“Do we believe that there is such a thing as death? . . . Is it not the separation of soul and body? And to be dead is the completion of this; when
the soul exists in herself, and is released from the body and the body is released from the soul, what is this but death? . . . And does the soul
admit of death? No. Then the soul is immortal? Yes.”—Plato’s “Phaedo,” Secs. 64, 105, as published in Great Books of the Western
(1952), edited by R. M. Hutchins, Vol. 7, pp. 223, 245, 246.
“The problem of immortality, we have seen, engaged the serious attention of the Babylonian theologians. . . . Neither the people nor the leaders of
religious thought ever faced the possibility of the total annihilation of what once was called into existence. Death was a passage to another kind of
life.”—The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria
(Boston, 1898), M. Jastrow, Jr., p. 556.
The difficulty lies in the fact that the meanings popularly attached to the English word “soul” stem primarily, not from the Hebrew or Christian
Greek Scriptures, but from ancient Greek philosophy, actually pagan religious thought.
In direct contrast with the Greek teaching of the psy·kheʹ
(soul) as being immaterial, intangible, invisible, and immortal, the Scriptures
show that both psy·kheʹ
, as used with reference to earthly creatures, refer to that which is material, tangible,
visible, and mortal.
That which is perishable, mortal earthly creatures of “flesh and blood”, cannot enter the spirit realm called heaven. 1 Cor. 15:50, RS
“I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
Gen. 9:5: “Besides that, your blood of your souls [or, “lives”; Hebrew, from neʹphesh
] shall I ask back.” (Here the soul is said to
evidently comes from a root meaning “breathe” and in a literal sense neʹphesh
could be rendered as “a breather.”
Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros
(Leiden, 1958, p. 627) defines it as: “the breathing substance, making man
a[nd] animal living beings Gn 1, 20, the soul (strictly distinct from the greek notion of soul) the seat of which is the blood Gn 9, 4f Lv 17, 11 Dt
12, 23: (249 X) . . . soul = living being, individual, person.”
More details can be found in my commentary in this thread (in particular where in the Bible you can see how the Hebrew and Greek words for “soul”
One myth leads to another, page 3
The teaching that “soul” means the immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body, or as the Babylonian
theologians put it, “Death was a passage to another kind of life” (see full quotation earlier), is connected to a very old lie (false
Genesis 3:4 (NW
At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die."
What has been is what will be,
And what has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.
And there is nothing new about this idea of an immaterial soul surviving the death of the physical body either. Or death being a passage to another
kind of life, implying the contradiction that death isn't really death. Sort of like the way some people treat the word "nothing". But more
importantly involving the teaching that when you die, the real
'you' doesn't actually die but keeps on living in another form. Which negates
the need for a resurrection of the dead as taught in the Scriptures.
edit on 1-12-2019 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)