What Is Our Soul?

Souls are on the way out. Not just in our culture or in science, where some Christians may suspect “naturalism” as the culprit, but souls are on the way out of our Bibles. This is because of the ways in which our translations are getting better at conveying what was originally intended.

In the King James Version of the Bible, translated in 1611 and the mainstay for Protestants until the 20th century, the English word “soul” appears 537 times. The New American Bible (1986) features the word 171 times, the NIV (1984) features it just 139 times, the NRSV (1989) features it 252 times, but that includes the Deuterocanonical books, and even the ESV (2001), which hearkens back to older more literal translations, features the word just 281 times. The difference is not because of any difference in the manuscripts that these versions are using but because of a better understanding of what the Hebrew and Greek words actually mean.

The word nephesh (נֶפֶשׁ) is very often used in biblical Hebrew as something like a personal pronoun; words like “I,” “me,” “you,” “he,” “she” etc. In this way it means something like “self.” “My nephesh,” although awkward because we’re hopping between two languages, would mean “my self” or “me.” “Your nephesh” would mean “you,” and so on.

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Author: Glenn Andrew Peoples

Keywords: Soul, Nephesh, Nefesh, Soul leaves the body, Soul goes to heaven, Soul goes to hell, Souls under the altar, Souls under the alter, Immortal soul, Is the soul immortal, Immortal spirit, Soul and spirit, Body and soul, Body soul and spirit, Immortality of the soul, Soul can die, Death of the soul, Afterlife, After life, Soul goes to heaven, Cannot kill the soul, Undying soul, Undieing soul, Psuche, Psyche, Metaphysical soul, Animal life, Breath of life, creature, sole, oneself, one's self, life after death, pneumaSoul, Nephesh, Nefesh, Soul leaves the body, Soul goes to heaven, Soul goes to hell, Souls under the altar, Souls under the alter, Immortal soul, Is the soul immortal, Immortal spirit, Soul and spirit, Body and soul, Body soul and spirit, Immortality of the soul, Soul can die, Death of the soul, Afterlife, After life, Soul goes to heaven, Cannot kill the soul, Undying soul, Undieing soul, Psuche, Psyche, Metaphysical soul, Animal life, Breath of life, creature, sole, oneself, one's self, life after death, pneuma

Bible reference(s): Gen. 1:20, Gen. 1:21, Gen. 1:24, Gen. 1:30, Gen. 2:7, Gen. 2:19, Gen 3:19, Gen. 9:4, Gen. 9:5, Gen. 9:10, Gen. 9:12, Gen. 9:15, Gen. 9:16, Gen. 12:5, Gen. 12:13, Gen. 14:21, Gen. 17:14, Gen. 19:17, Gen. 19:19, Gen. 19:20, Gen. 23:8, Gen. 27:4, Gen. 27:19, Gen. 27:25, Gen. 27:31, Gen. 32:30, Gen. 34:3, Gen. 34:8, Gen. 35:18, Gen. 36:6, Gen. 37:21, Gen. 42:21, Gen. 44:30, Gen. 46:15, Gen. 46:18, Gen. 46:22, Gen. 46:25, Gen. 46:26, Gen. 46:27, Gen. 49:6, Exod. 1:5, Exod. 4:19, Exod. 12:4, Exod. 12:15, Exod. 12:16, Exod. 12:19, Exod. 15:9, Exod. 16:16, Exod. 21:23, Exod. 21:30, Exod. 23:9, Exod. 30:12, Exod. 30:15, Exod. 30:16, Exod. 31:14, Lev. 2:1, Lev. 4:2, Lev. 4:27, Lev. 5:1, Lev. 5:2, Lev. 5:4, Lev. 5:15, Lev. 5:17, Lev. 6:2, Lev. 7:18, Lev. 7:20, Lev. 7:21, Lev. 7:25, Lev. 7:27, Lev. 11:10, Lev. 11:43, Lev. 11:44, Lev. 11:46, Lev. 16:29, Lev. 16:31, Lev. 17:10, Lev. 17:11, Lev. 17:12, Lev. 17:14, Lev. 17:15, Lev. 18:29, Lev. 19:8, Lev. 19:28, Lev. 20:6, Lev. 20:25, Lev. 21:1, Lev. 21:11, Lev. 22:3, Lev. 22:4, Lev. 22:6, Lev. 22:11, Lev. 23:27, Lev. 23:29, Lev. 23:30, Lev. 23:32, Lev. 24:17, Lev. 24:18, Lev. 26:11, Lev. 26:15, Lev. 26:16, Lev. 26:30, Lev. 26:43, Lev. 27:2, Num. 5:2, Num. 5:6, Num. 6:6, Num. 6:11, Num. 9:6, Num. 9:7, Num. 9:10, Num. 9:13, Num. 11:6, Num. 15:27, Num. 15:28, Num. 15:30, Num. 15:31, Num. 16:38, Num. 19:11, Num. 19:13, Num. 19:18, Num. 19:20, Num. 19:22, Num. 21:4, Num. 21:5, Num. 23:10, Num. 29:7, Num. 30:2, Num. 30:4, Num. 30:5, Num. 30:6, Num. 30:7, Num. 30:8, Num. 30:9, Num. 30:10, Num. 30:11, Num. 30:12, Num. 30:13, Num. 31:19, Num. 31:28, Num. 31:35, Num. 31:40, Num. 31:46, Num. 31:50, Num. 35:11, Num. 35:15, Num. 35:30, Num. 35:31, Deut. 4:9, Deut. 4:15, Deut. 4:29, Deut. 6:5, Deut. 10:12, Deut. 10:22, Deut. 11:13, Deut. 11:18, Deut. 12:15, Deut. 12:20, Deut. 12:21, Deut. 12:23, Deut. 13:3, Deut. 13:6, Deut. 14:26, Deut. 18:6, Deut. 19:6, Deut. 19:11, Deut. 19:21, Deut. 21:14, Deut. 22:26, Deut. 23:24, Deut. 24:6, Deut. 24:7, Deut. 24:15, Deut. 26:16, Deut. 27:25, Deut. 28:65, Deut. 30:2, Deut. 30:6, Deut. 30:10, Jos. 2:13, Jos. 2:14, Jos. 9:24, Jos. 10:28, Jos. 10:30, Jos. 10:32, Jos. 10:35, Jos. 10:37, Jos. 10:39, Jos. 11:11, Jos. 20:3, Jos. 20:9, Jos. 22:5, Jos. 23:11, Jos. 23:14, Jdg. 5:18, Jdg. 5:21, Jdg. 9:17, Jdg. 10:16, Jdg. 12:3, Jdg. 16:16, Jdg. 16:30, Jdg. 18:25, Ruth 4:15, 1 Sam. 1:10, 1 Sam. 1:15, 1 Sam. 1:26, 1 Sam. 2:16, 1 Sam. 2:33, 1 Sam. 2:35, 1 Sam. 17:55, 1 Sam. 18:1, 1 Sam. 18:3, 1 Sam. 19:5, 1 Sam. 19:11, 1 Sam. 20:1, 1 Sam. 20:3, 1 Sam. 20:4, 1 Sam. 20:17, 1 Sam. 22:2, 1 Sam. 22:22, 1 Sam. 22:23, 1 Sam. 23:15, 1 Sam. 23:20, 1 Sam. 24:11, 1 Sam. 25:26, 1 Sam. 25:29, 1 Sam. 26:21, 1 Sam. 26:24, 1 Sam. 28:9, 1 Sam. 28:21, 1 Sam. 30:6, 2 Sam. 1:9, 2 Sam. 3:21, 2 Sam. 4:8, 2 Sam. 4:9, 2 Sam. 5:8, 2 Sam. 11:11, 2 Sam. 14:7, 2 Sam. 14:14, 2 Sam. 14:19, 2 Sam. 16:11, 2 Sam. 17:8, 2 Sam. 18:13, 2 Sam. 19:5, 2 Sam. 23:17, 1 Ki. 1:12, 1 Ki. 1:29, 1 Ki. 2:4, 1 Ki. 2:23, 1 Ki. 3:11, 1 Ki. 8:48, 1 Ki. 11:37, 1 Ki. 17:21, 1 Ki. 17:22, 1 Ki. 19:2, 1 Ki. 19:3, 1 Ki. 19:4, 1 Ki. 19:10, 1 Ki. 19:14, 1 Ki. 20:31, 1 Ki. 20:32, 1 Ki. 20:39, 1 Ki. 20:42, 2 Ki. 1:13, 2 Ki. 1:14, 2 Ki. 2:2, 2 Ki. 2:4, 2 Ki. 2:6, 2 Ki. 4:27, 2 Ki. 4:30, 2 Ki. 7:7, 2 Ki. 9:15, 2 Ki. 10:24, 2 Ki. 12:4, 2 Ki. 23:3, 2 Ki. 23:25, 1 Chr. 5:21, 1 Chr. 11:19, 1 Chr. 22:19, 1 Chr. 28:9, 2 Chr. 1:11, 2 Chr. 6:38, 2 Chr. 15:12, 2 Chr. 34:31, Est. 4:13, Est. 7:3, Est. 7:7, Est. 8:11, Est. 9:16, Est. 9:31, Job 2:4, Job 2:6, Job 3:20, Job 6:7, Job 6:11, Job 7:11, Job 7:15, Job 9:21, Job 10:1, Job 11:20, Job 12:10, Job 13:14, Job 14:22, Job 16:4, Job 18:4, Job 19:2, Job 21:25, Job 23:13, Job 24:12, Job 27:2, Job 27:8, Job 30:16, Job 30:25, Job 31:30, Job 31:39, Job 32:2, Job 33:18, Job 33:20, Job 33:22, Job 33:28, Job 33:30, Job 36:14, Job 41:21Ps. 3:2, Ps. 6:3, Ps. 6:4, Ps. 7:2, Ps. 7:5, Ps. 10:3, Ps. 11:1, Ps. 11:5, Ps. 13:2, Ps. 16:10, Ps. 17:9, Ps. 17:13, Ps. 19:7, Ps. 22:20, Ps. 22:29, Ps. 23:3, Ps. 24:4, Ps. 25:1, Ps. 25:13, Ps. 25:20, Ps. 26:9, Ps. 27:12, Ps. 30:3, Ps. 31:7, Ps. 31:9, Ps. 31:13, Ps. 33:19, Ps. 33:20, Ps. 34:2, Ps. 34:22, Ps. 35:3, Ps. 35:4, Ps. 35:7, Ps. 35:9, Ps. 35:12, Ps. 35:13, Ps. 35:17, Ps. 35:25, Ps. 38:12, Ps. 40:14, Ps. 41:2, Ps. 41:4, Ps. 42:1, Ps. 42:2, Ps. 42:4, Ps. 42:5, Ps. 42:6, Ps. 42:11, Ps. 43:5, Ps. 44:25, Ps. 49:8, Ps. 49:15, Ps. 49:18, Ps. 54:3, Ps. 54:4, Ps. 55:18, Ps. 56:6, Ps. 56:13, Ps. 57:1, Ps. 57:4, Ps. 57:6, Ps. 59:3, Ps. 62:1, Ps. 62:5, Ps. 63:1, Ps. 63:5, Ps. 63:8, Ps. 63:9, Ps. 66:9, Ps. 66:16, Ps. 69:1, Ps. 69:10, Ps. 69:18, Ps. 70:2, Ps. 71:10, Ps. 71:13, Ps. 71:23, Ps. 72:13, Ps. 72:14, Ps. 74:19, Ps. 77:2, Ps. 78:18, Ps. 78:50, Ps. 84:2, Ps. 86:2, Ps. 86:4, Ps. 86:13, Ps. 86:14, Ps. 88:3, Ps. 88:14, Ps. 89:48, Ps. 94:17, Ps. 94:19, Ps. 94:21, Ps. 97:10, Ps. 103:1, Ps. 103:2, Ps. 103:22, Ps. 104:1, Ps. 104:35, Ps. 105:18, Ps. 105:22, Ps. 106:15, Ps. 107:5, Ps. 107:9, Ps. 107:18, Ps. 107:26, Ps. 109:20, Ps. 109:31, Ps. 116:4, Ps. 116:7, Ps. 116:8, Ps. 119:20, Ps. 119:25, Ps. 119:28, Ps. 119:81, Ps. 119:109, Ps. 119:129, Ps. 119:167, Ps. 119:175, Ps. 120:2, Ps. 120:6, Ps. 121:7, Ps. 123:4, Ps. 124:4, Ps. 124:5, Ps. 124:7, Ps. 130:5, Ps. 130:6, Ps. 131:2, Ps. 138:3, Ps. 139:14, Ps. 141:8, Ps. 142:4, Ps. 142:7, Ps. 143:3, Ps. 143:6, Ps. 143:8, Ps. 143:11, Ps. 143:12, Ps. 146:1, Prov. 1:18, Prov. 1:19, Prov. 2:10, Prov. 3:22, Prov. 6:16, Prov. 6:26, Prov. 6:30, Prov. 6:32, Prov. 7:23, Prov. 8:36, Prov. 10:3, Prov. 11:17, Prov. 11:25, Prov. 11:30, Prov. 12:10, Prov. 13:2, Prov. 13:3, Prov. 13:4, Prov. 13:8, Prov. 13:19, Prov. 13:25, Prov. 14:10, Prov. 14:25, Prov. 15:32, Prov. 16:17, Prov. 16:24, Prov. 16:26, Prov. 18:7, Prov. 19:2, Prov. 19:8, Prov. 19:15, Prov. 19:16, Prov. 19:18, Prov. 20:2, Prov. 21:10, Prov. 21:23, Prov. 22:5, Prov. 22:23, Prov. 22:25, Prov. 23:2, Prov. 23:7, Prov. 23:14, Prov. 24:12, Prov. 24:14, Prov. 25:13, Prov. 25:25, Prov. 27:7, Prov. 27:9, Prov. 28:17, Prov. 28:25, Prov. 29:10, Prov. 29:17, Prov. 29:24, Prov. 31:6, Eccl. 2:24, Eccl. 4:8, Eccl. 6:2, Eccl. 6:3, Eccl. 6:7, Eccl. 6:9, Eccl. 7:28, Cant. 1:7, Cant. 3:1, Cant. 3:2, Cant. 3:3, Cant. 3:4, Cant. 5:6, Cant. 6:12, Isa. 1:14, Isa. 3:9, Isa. 3:20, Isa. 5:14, Isa. 10:18, Isa. 15:4, Isa. 19:10, Isa. 26:8, Isa. 26:9, Isa. 29:8, Isa. 32:6, Isa. 38:15, Isa. 38:17, Isa. 42:1, Isa. 43:4, Isa. 44:20, Isa. 46:2, Isa. 47:14, Isa. 49:7, Isa. 51:23, Isa. 53:10, Isa. 53:11, Isa. 53:12, Isa. 55:2, Isa. 55:3, Isa. 56:11, Isa. 58:3, Isa. 58:5, Isa. 58:10, Isa. 58:11, Isa. 61:10, Isa. 66:3, Jer. 2:24, Jer. 2:34, Jer. 3:11, Jer. 4:10, Jer. 4:19, Jer. 4:30, Jer. 4:31, Jer. 5:9, Jer. 5:29, Jer. 6:8, Jer. 6:16, Jer. 9:9, Jer. 11:21, Jer. 12:7, Jer. 13:17, Jer. 14:19, Jer. 15:1, Jer. 15:9, Jer. 17:21, Jer. 18:20, Jer. 19:7, Jer. 19:9, Jer. 20:13, Jer. 21:7, Jer. 21:9, Jer. 22:25, Jer. 22:27, Jer. 26:19, Jer. 31:12, Jer. 31:14, Jer. 31:25, Jer. 32:41, Jer. 34:16, Jer. 34:20, Jer. 34:21, Jer. 37:9, Jer. 38:2, Jer. 38:16, Jer. 38:17, Jer. 38:20, Jer. 39:18, Jer. 40:14, Jer. 40:15, Jer. 42:20, Jer. 43:6, Jer. 44:7, Jer. 44:14, Jer. 44:30, Jer. 45:5, Jer. 46:26, Jer. 48:6, Jer. 49:37, Jer. 50:19, Jer. 51:6, Jer. 51:14, Jer. 51:45, Jer. 52:29, Jer. 52:30, Lam. 1:11, Lam. 1:16, Lam. 1:19, Lam. 2:12, Lam. 2:19, Lam. 3:17, Lam. 3:20, Lam. 3:24, Lam. 3:25, Lam. 3:51, Lam. 3:58, Lam. 5:9, Ezek. 3:19, Ezek. 3:21, Ezek. 4:14, Ezek. 7:19, Ezek. 13:18, Ezek. 13:19, Ezek. 13:20, Ezek. 14:14, Ezek. 14:20, Ezek. 16:5, Ezek. 16:27, Ezek. 17:17, Ezek. 18:4, Ezek. 18:20, Ezek. 18:27, Ezek. 22:25, Ezek. 22:27, Ezek. 23:17, Ezek. 23:18, Ezek. 23:22, Ezek. 23:28, Ezek. 24:21, Ezek. 24:25, Ezek. 25:6, Ezek. 25:15, Ezek. 27:13, Ezek. 27:31, Ezek. 32:10, Ezek. 33:5, Ezek. 33:6, Ezek. 33:9, Ezek. 36:5, Ezek. 47:9, Hos. 4:8, Hos. 9:4, Amos 2:14, Amos 2:15, Amos 6:8, Jon. 1:14, Jon. 2:5, Jon. 2:7, Jon. 4:3, Jon. 4:8, Mic. 6:7, Mic. 7:1, Mic. 7:3, Hab. 2:4, Hab. 2:5, Hab. 2:10, Hag. 2:13, Zech. 11:8

Source: “What is Our Soul?”, afterlife.co.nz

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