By Jack Eberle
The unbeliever is very confused about the word soul. Popular mythology has created a culture of sorts for the word soul including the dance, emotive soundings, some music, and even food. The whole thing is just another in a long line of Satanic diversions. There is little relevance to Biblical truth.
Readers of TFT will want to know what the Word of God says about soul. There are 754 references using NEPHESH in our Old Testament and 105 more New Testament references to PSUCHE. Eight different words are used by translators to translate PSUCHE. In the Old Testament, some 45 different terms are used to translate NEPHESH. With all this translatorial inanity, it is no wonder that there is so much confusion. One has to suspect that the translators are groping in the dark
One of the most salient distortions of truth is the prevailing notion of man having a soul. In the old tripartite notion of man’s make-up, the idea of soul as an entity to be possessed causes much misunderstanding. It is thought by some that this soul is that part of man which “never dies” – “the immortal soul”. It will be with God forever or suffer in Hell forever. Ecc.12:7 makes it clear that the body does not stay intact, and the “spirit” goes back to God. Nothing is mentioned of soul. If the tripartite theory of man were true, then there should be something mentioned of the “soul”. Ecc.3:20 and 12:7 presuppose Biblical understanding. Gen. 2:7 states: “And the Lord God formed the adam of the dust of the ground,and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.This verse clearly reveals the truth that man is not tripartite. He is one! He is soul. Why? Because this is how God made him. Gen. 2:7 is plain. The statement is “¼Adam became a living soul”. Man is a unity created by God. The Word states that man, like the animals, is a living soul.
If we were to explain each of the 754 references to soul in the Old Testament, you would see that soul indicates identity. Soul often refers to life, but also spoken of are dead souls. (Numbers 9:6) Therefore life is not necessarily always attributed to soul. We also understand that animals are referred to as souls.
Thus Matthew 16:26 speaks of losing the soul. Only God can make this determination. Read Ph’p. 4:3 and Rev. 20:12. We notice here that some names are written in the Book of Life, and that God personally preserves these identities. The others are consumed in the fire of Revelation 20:15.
The bodies corrupt and go into this earth. The spirit (breath) goes back to God. Only the identity (soul) is preserved. Thus the one who is saved by God’s grace through the finished work of Christ inherits the destiny promised him in the Word. (John 5:24, Eph. 1:7 and 2:8-9, and John 19:30).