Does Man Have an Immortal Soul?

Answer: No! Genesis 2:7 tells us that “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Man is a soul – living being. The Hebrew word “nephesh” translated “soul” in this verse means “breathing creature.” The same Hebrew is used to describe sea animals (“living creatures” in Gen. 1:21), cattle and creeping animals (“living creatures” in Gen. 1:24) and the animals that Adam named (“living creature” in Gen. 2:19).

The prophet Ezekiel confirms this interpretation of the soul in Ezek. 18:4: “Behold, all souls are mine [God’s]; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Souls die because of Adamic sin.

Solomon reinforces this idea in Eccel. 3:19-21 when he states there is no difference in what happens to men and beasts when they die. In either case, the soul or living creature dies. “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. (20) All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (21) Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

Man’s hope for a future life is not that he has an immortal part that goes somewhere when he dies. His hope for a future life is that God will raise him to life in the resurrection.  

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