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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Does the Bible indicate that the soul survives the death of the body?


Ezek. 18:4 clearly states: "The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." ("Soul," KJ, Dy, RS, NE, Kx; "the man," JB; "the person," TEV.)

The Bible does speak of the spirit, or life-force. This also is referred to in the Bible as being in humans and in animals. (Gen. 6:17; 7:15, 22)

Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 shows that men and animals die in the same way: "they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast,". In other words, they both have the same spirit, or life-force.

This indicates that the spirit that is mentioned that is associated with the soul is not some disembodied consciousness of a newly desceased person. Rather the scriptures indicate that it is impersonal.
"Although the Hebrew word nefesh [in the Hebrew Scriptures] is frequently translated as `soul,' it would be inaccurate to read into it a Greek meaning. Nefesh . . . is never conceived of as operating separately from the body. In the New Testament the Greek word psyche is often translated as `soul' but again should not be readily understood to have the meaning the word had for the Greek philosophers. It usually means `life,' or `vitality,' or, at times, `the self.'"—The Encyclopedia Americana (1977), Vol. 25, p. 236.