Prev Next

Lesson 12

The meaning God intended when he used the word soul in Genesis 2:7, clearly means mortal. This leads some to reason that although that verses may not explicitly say humans have a soul, other verses strongly imply it. Most Christians believe their soul is a spiritual copy of their emotions, personality and intellect or psyche. A verse they may turn to says, the spirit returns to God when humans die. They interpret it as talking about man’s spirit but the spirit that gives mankind life is the spirit of God. God’s own spirit is the spirit this verse is talking about. God’s spirit returns back to him when the humans that were using it, no longer need it because they have died. The word used for spirit is the Hebrew word ruah which is also translated into the English word breath, spirit, or Holy Spirit. The meaning of the word ruah could work for either interpretation. However you would already need to believe in the eternal soul doctrine when reading this verse to believe you had a spirit capable of going back to God. 

Job 32:8 New Century Version
8 But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives understanding.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Evangelical Heritage Version
7 and the dust goes back into the ground—just as it was before, and the spirit goes back to God who gave it.

Ezekiel 37:14 King James Version
And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

When thinking about the soul, I find it helpful to understand what life and death are. A person cannot be dead and alive at the same time as to be dead is determined when there is no life. If a person is conscious but their body is dead, then they cannot be dead, only extremely physically handicapped. To have immortality means that you will not die. If there is any part of a human that is immortal, they could not be referred to as mortal. It wouldn’t matter if their body died, they would still be alive, as they would have an immortal soul or psyche. The world’s beliefs are heavily influenced by early Greek culture where Psyche is the goddess of the soul. Christians should not re-define words to alter God’s intended meaning. If a word has come to mean something different later on, God’s intended meaning should still be attributed to what God has said. We can not say God was describing mankind’s spirit returning to him, rather than his own spirit returning to him unless he attributed man with his own life sustaining spirit prior to Ecclesiastes 12:7.  Can you find that scriptural proof? 

Leave a Comment