Bible Question: Can the soul die? I read in the Bible such expressions as these, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze. 18:4), "Every soul that will not hear the voice of that Prophet shall be DESTROYED from amongst the people (Acts 3:23), etc., yet on every hand the doctrine of "The Immortality of the soul" is being taught and nearly every one believes that the soul cannot die, but is doomed to live on forever. I am much confused in regard to this matter.

Answer:—Some years ago this question was discussed by theologians and others, and at that time, having the general thought or teaching in mind, which was supposed to be the truth, many were led to investigate along this line and were vastly surprised to find that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is entirely of heathen origin and nowhere taught in the Bible. Under the glare of the increasing light of our day, many ministers have come to a recognition of this fact and are now engaged in preaching that which the Scriptures teach, viz., that it is the soul (the living, intelligent being) which enters into death. The soul is "asleep," "dead" and will remain in that condition of unconsciousness until resuscitated at the time of the resurrection of the dead. Immortality is conditional. By examining the following Scriptures, it will he seen at once that immortality is a reward that will be conferred upon those who are faithful and obedient to the commands of the Lord and who prove their worthiness to receive this "Crown of Life" (Rom. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:53,54). See also 1 Tim. 6:15,16.

Bible Question: Does the soul of man sleep when the body is dead?

Answer:—Various have been the theories as to the condition of the soul after death. The Bible teaching regarding this much discussed question is very clear and simple, and there need be no confusion of mind at all if we are willing to accept what the Scriptures teach. In the case of the first man who sinned, let us see what it was that sinned, and what it was that suffered the penalty for disobedience. The account of the creation of man mentions three things—body, soul, and spirit. The body was formed of the dust of the ground. God breathed into its nostrils "the breath (spirit) of life, and man became a living soul." Man did not receive a soul, but he became a soul." The union of the life or energizing principle, the breath with the body, produced the living intelligent being—the soul. What was it that sinned? Surely it was not so much dust, the body. Neither was it the "breath of life" that disobeyed, but it was the soul, the living being, Adam, that sinned against the Lord. Then what was it that died? Hear what the Scriptures declare—"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Eze. 18:4.) It is, therefore, according to the highest authority in all the Universe, the soul that sinks into unconsciousness at death is to awaken on the resurrection morning.

Bible Question: In Gen.2:7, we read that "man became a living soul"; and in Job 14:22, we read "his soul within him." Is the soul a part of man, or is the whole of man a living soul?

Answer:—For Ages, one of the most momentous questions, and one most frequently propounded has been "What is the soul?" The Bible answers the question so directly and simply that students of the Scriptures are now marvelling that this question should ever have perplexed any in the past. The life-giving quality, the energizing principle, in union with the organism, or body, forms the living, intelligent being. This being, whether sheep, elephant, horse, man, angel, or devil, is the soul. For proof of this in the Scriptures, carefully note the following citations, the first two in the marginal readings of the Authorized Version. (Gen. 1:20,30; Gen 2:7.) The word soul in this connection, is from the Hebrew which means literally "a breathing creature." Man does not possess a soul, but he is a soul. The entire being is the soul. Job's expression must be understood in the poetic sense, and signifies that man would suffer and mourn from his inmost being, "from the bottom of his soul," as is sometimes said in the vernacular. Statements have appeared in the public press from time to time, emanating from some reputed authorities, to the effect that the "soul" has been weighed and photographed. This can easily be accomplished by any amateur photographer equipped with a camera and a pair of freight scales!

Bible Question: Will you please tell me what is the soul?

Answer:—The Bible gives the correct definition to your question. We read, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul." (Gen.2:7.) God did not give a soul to man, but He created man a soul or being. The word soul is translated from the Hebrew word <"nephesh,"> which means "a breathing, sentient being." That is to say, God formed Adam of the dust of the ground, the body was not the soul; neither was the breath of life which God breathed, or blew into his nostrils the breath of life and the result was a living, breathing, animate being, then for the first time properly termed a soul. The word soul is not applied to man only. Animals are souls. In the first, second, and ninth chapters of Genesis, the words "living soul" are applied in the Hebrew language to the lower animals nine times. Man as a soul is different from the lower animals or souls by reason of his higher organism; he has superior mental endowments. He is the highest order of animal creation.

Bible Question: What becomes of the soul at death? Is it put into the grave with the body, or does it fly away in a disembodied state, and go soaring around through space, waiting and longing for the time to come when it can get back into its body (put on its clothes again, so to speak) at the resurrection?

Answer:—There is much confusion of thought regarding this matter. Many are disposed to express the matter wrongly by saying that they have a soul in place of saying that they are a soul. There is considerable difference in having a cow and being a cow! All living beings are souls from the Scriptural standpoint. (Gen.1:20-30. Margin.) When father Adam disobeyed the Lord, it was not his body, the dust of the ground that sinned. Neither was it the energizing principle, the breath of life, that sinned. But it was Adam himself, the living intelligent being, the soul, that sinned. Therefore, it was the soul that died, as the Scriptures declare, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Eze. 18:4). In the resurrection, it is the soul that is to be resuscitated. "Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades—the tomb"—was spoken of our Lord Jesus.


Answer: In order to answer your question it is important to understand what a soul is according to the Bible. The Scriptures define a soul is in Genesis 2:7: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." So we see that body + breath of life (spirit) = soul. A soul is a living being. Numbers 3:28 tells us that even the lower animals are considered souls; they also are living beings: " soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves (cattle), and of the asses, and of the sheep."
Having seen that the soul is the body + spirit, we now need to ask, What is the spirit? The word "spirit" in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word "ruach" or "neshamah," which primarily means breath or wind. The word can have slightly different meanings depending what it's referring to. It sometimes can mean the mind or will of a person since the mind is an invisible power or influence similar to the wind, such as Psalm 77:3, "My spirit [ruach - mind] was overwhelmed." But when referring to man's creation, the "breath of life" in Gen. 2:7 is the same as the "spirit of life." This spirit of life is the spark of life that God gave to Adam. Once the spark of life was given, it was supported by breathing. All of us, the children of Adam, receive the spirit of life from our fathers.
When the breath of life is taken away, the man dies. Therefore, the soul dies. Many have falsely concluded that the soul is immortal and cannot die. But this is not what the Scriptures teach. Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Isaiah 53:12 tells us that Jesus "poured out his soul unto death."
When the dead are raised to life, they will be given a new body. Those who will receive a heavenly reward will be given a new spiritual body; those who will be raised to life on the earth will be given a new earthly body. (1 Cor. 15:38-40) God will then give them again the breath of life. Once the new body is given the breath of life, they will again be a living being, a soul. God will retain the memory of every individual, and in the resurrection he will put the memory back in everyone so they will be the same person they were before they died. We are told that the soul will be raised to life from the dead in Psalm 49:15: "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me."
When a man dies, the body returns to the dust, and the spirit of life, which is the privilege or power of living, returns to God who gave that privilege. The spirit of life is NOT an intelligence or a person. It is just the power or privilege given to live. When the man dies, the soul has died.