Friday, June 2, 2017

Basic Notes On The Soul

  • What Is The Soul?:
          -The soul is known as the "life-principle" of the being, that is, the immaterial entity that keeps the physical body alive. In other words, it is the non-physical source of all consciousness. The soul is the immaterial part of the body which forms the basis of human features encompassing our actions, thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams. The soul is what makes us who we are. It is the essence of our personalities. The soul exists independently of the physical body because it is immaterial. The soul is therefore a separate entity from the body (2 Corinthians 5:8).
  • General Recap And Further Elaboration Of Discussion On The Soul:
          1.) Human souls are breathed directly into our bodies by God (Genesis 2:8). This means that they constitute our spiritual identity. Only we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This fact alone distinguishes us from the animal kingdom. 
          2.) The soul is an immaterial entity. It is non-physical. Thus the soul cannot be tested by the scientific method because science can only examine physical quantity. The soul transcends the physical realm. Scripture says that man has a pneuma or soul.
          3.) Because our souls are immaterial, it logically follows that our souls are immortal. Our souls will continue to live on for eternity, even after the moment of physical death. The very essence of our being will continue to thrive in the afterlife.
  • Two Basic Proofs For The Immateriality Of The Soul:
         -We can use our reasoning capacities to mentally categorize things into general categories, rather than only being able to reason with particular objects that we can physically see. The human mind is not limited only to the scope of concrete thinking.
         -Human beings are free in the sense that they have free will. We can either choose to make good or bad decisions in this life. Evidence that man has free will is the ability to be influenced or persuaded. The act of intending points to the immateriality of human consciousness. The soul cannot be verified empirically, but it clearly does exist.


  1. I think you are a wee bit misdirected in your understanding of the soul.

    The soul and spirit are sometimes confused to be one and the same, and that is known as the dichotomous theory, whereas I think the Bible teaches the soul and the spirit are distinct (Heb. 4:12).

    The spiritual part of us is what separates us from the plant and animal kingdom—we are spiritual beings in a physical body. The soul is who we are, our personality, personhood.

    God does not breath either one into us: God breathed the “breath of life” into Adam, and from Adam formed Eve. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that God breaths soul or spirit into anyone other than the “breath of life” into Adam. Our soul/spirit is part of our DNA, so to speak, in that we are conceived with it. The Bible does not speak otherwise.

    Animals are not spiritual creatures, but the fact that they have “personalities” demonstrates they have a “soul” but not an eternal soul like humans. Plants do not have soul or spirit — this idea is animism.

  2. Even though Scripture often uses soul and spirit interchangeably, I believe the Bible shows a trichotomous view of man; body, soul, and spirit. And that is exactly what Heb. 4:12 teaches when teaching about the actions of the Word of God. If the soul and the spirit were the same, then Heb. 4:12 wouldn't make sense. I tend to find as many trichotomous teachers as I do dichotomous. I find that to be rather odd. When used interchangeably the context demonstrates a different meaning than when used as separate entities. I think the fact that we don't have a spirit, but rather are spiritual beings, is where some confusion comes in.

    IF the soul and spirit were the same, then animals would be spiritual beings, but they aren't.

    Plants to not have the breath of life and therefore they survive as a different type of life. This has been the view of Jews and Christians forever.

    1. Hi Jessie,

      I agree that trichotomy vs dichotomy is a non-issue, and would never suggest otherwise. Which is why I said I see as many scholars on both sides. I just think Her. 4:12 makes more sense in a trichotomous view, especially with man being a spiritual being with a soul, housed in a body. :)

      No where in scripture will you find plants mentioned as being alive. I read an article a very long time ago which I think explains it quite well, and I found a link to it (it was actually later included as a chapter in a book I have). I think it should answer your question about plants and life:

    2. I thought you'd find that article of value! :)

      If I've gone a day without learning something, that day was wasted!