Christians: is the human soul immortal according to the Bible? I.e, you will either live forever in heaven or be tortured forever in hell?
Does the Bible teach conditional immortality or that every human is inherently immortal? I was raised to believe that humans were born immortal and would live forever in heaven or in hell.
This belief just seems to be in contradiction with Genesis 2:17, John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Ezekiel 18:20, Psalm 34:16, 21 and Psalm 92:7.
If our souls are automatically immortal, what is the meaning of the above mentioned scriptures?
- TeeMLv 71 year agoFavorite Answer
Is the soul immortal:
NO according to God's Word.
*** Rbi8 pp. 1573-1574 4A “Soul”—A Living Creature, Human or Animal; Life as an Intelligent Person; Other Uses ***
4A “Soul”—A Living Creature, Human or Animal; Life as an Intelligent Person; Other Uses
Heb., נפש (neʹphesh); Gr., ψυχή (psy·kheʹ); Lat., aʹni·ma
In the Hebrew Scriptures the Hebrew word neʹphesh occurs 754 times, first in Ge 1:20. The New World Translation consistently renders it “soul” and in each case it proves understandable in the light of its context. The use of this one Hebrew word in many different contexts helps us to ascertain the basic idea inherent in the word as the Bible writers used it, namely, that it is a person, an individual, or a lower creature; or, the life that a person or an animal enjoys as such. This is totally different from what the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans religiously and philosophically called a soul.
In the Christian Greek Scriptures the Greek word psy·kheʹ occurs by itself 102 times, first in Mt 2:20. This includes Eph 6:6 and Col 3:23, where it is in the expression “whole-souled.” Additionally it is used in many compound Greek words such as in Php 2:2, 19; 1Th 5:14. The New World Translation consistently renders psy·kheʹ as “soul.” This uniform rendering by the same English word proves very enlightening as to how the inspired writers used psy·kheʹ and what properties they ascribed to it.
To aid in understanding the uses of “soul,” we have grouped below, under various headings, texts where “soul” occurs.
Animals are souls
Ge 1:20, 21, 24, 30; 2:19; 9:10, 12, 15, 16; Le 11:10, 46, 46; 24:18; Nu 31:28; Job 41:21; Eze 47:9.
A living person or individual is a soul
Ge 2:7; 12:5; 14:21; 36:6; 46:15, 18, 22, 25, 26, 26, 27, 27; Ex 1:5, 5; 12:4, 16; 16:16; Le 2:1; 4:2, 27; 5:1, 2, 4, 15, 17; 6:2; 7:18, 20, 21, 25, 27; 17:10, 12, 15; 18:29; 20:6, 6; 22:6, 11; 23:29, 30; 27:2; Nu 5:6; 15:27, 28, 30; 19:18, 22; 31:35, 35, 40, 40, 46; 35:30; De 10:22; 24:6, 7; 1Sa 22:22; 2Sa 14:14; 2Ki 12:4; 1Ch 5:21; Ps 19:7; Pr 11:25, 30; 16:24; 19:2, 15; 25:25; 27:7, 7, 9; Jer 43:6; 52:29; La 3:25; Eze 27:13; Ac 2:41, 43; 7:14; 27:37; Ro 13:1; 1Co 15:45; 1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:14.
The creature soul is mortal, destructible
Ge 12:13; 17:14; 19:19, 20; 37:21; Ex 12:15, 19; 31:14; Le 7:20, 21, 27; 19:8; 22:3; 23:30; 24:17; Nu 9:13; 15:30, 31; 19:13, 20; 23:10; 31:19; 35:11, 15, 30; De 19:6, 11; 22:26; 27:25; Jos 2:13, 14; 10:28, 30, 32, 35, 37, 37, 39; 11:11; 20:3, 9; Jg 5:18; 16:16, 30; 1Ki 19:4; 20:31; Job 7:15; 11:20; 18:4; 33:22; 36:14; Ps 7:2; 22:29; 66:9; 69:1; 78:50; 94:17; 106:15; 124:4; Pr 28:17; Isa 55:3; Jer 2:34; 4:10; 18:20; 38:17; 40:14; Eze 13:19; 17:17; 18:4; 22:25, 27; 33:6; Mt 2:20; 10:28, 28; 26:38; Mr 3:4; 14:34; Lu 6:9; 17:33; Joh 12:25; Ac 3:23; Ro 11:3; Heb 10:39; Jas 5:20; Re 8:9; 12:11; 16:3.
- PubliusLv 71 year ago
"Christians: is the human soul immortal according to the Bible?" No, but the human spirit is . We do not HAVE souls. We ARE living souls, body and spirit together.
"... I.e, you will either live forever in heaven or be tortured forever in hell?" There are two things wrong with that assumption. One, there are far more eternal rewards than the third heaven. St. Paul mentioned three glorious resurrections, each of which offers its appropriate reward(s) in the eternities, e.g., the three distinct heavens for those who arise in the Celestial ("heavenly") resurrection.
Another is that hell is not an eternal reward. Hell is never forever. Rev. 20:12-14 shows that death and hell must both be emptied and destroyed so that the resurrections and final judgment can occur. There is only finite punishment for finite sin. God's love, justice, and mercy are all intact.
A third one, now that I notice it, is that nobody is physically in hell. Only the spirits of the dead are in hell, as I showed before with the scripture from the Revelation. Paradise and Prison (hell) come first, where we are purified if necessary and then perfected. Then come the resurrections. Then come the final judgment and our eternal rewards.
"Does the Bible teach conditional immortality or that every human is inherently immortal?" Our spirits are all immortal, and all of us shall be resurrected into physical life and immortality. That doesn't mean that we shall all receive the third heaven as our reward.
When scriptures say that a soul shall die, they mean the living organism. The soul (us) can die. Our spirits cannot. They are indestructible.
- Anonymous1 year ago
The Bible says that in the day that a man dies his Spirit returns to the god that gave it and in that day all of his thoughts perish. the Bible says that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and he became a living soul. Not that Adam was given a soul. So when you die you're dead you're not conscious of anything you're not immortal. the Bible tells you that at the resurrection every person is brought back from the grave to face judgment in front of God. those that we're righteous will go away to be with Jesus Christ during his 1000 year millennium and to live upon this Earth. Those that were bad will go away to be destroyed in the lake of fire. Over the years false religion has taken the pagan belief of the god Molech that tortures people with fire and keeps them alive with what the Bible has to say. God told the Israelites specifically anybody that teaches this doctrine is to be put to death it's a thought that is an abomination and would never even enter my mind.
- 1 year ago
It is immortal. You are misinterpreting those passages. Let's look at one.
Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The context of this passage is that God had planned for Adam and Eve to physically live forever; they would not physically die. But if they ate of the forbidden fruit, on that very day, that would no longer be the case for them; they would physically die. If I tell you that you shall surely die, that's no revelation to you because everyone knows that they will physically die. Adam and Eve did not know that yet. If the passage had instead said something like, "you will immediately physically die within seconds", we would have a contradiction.
In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), Jesus clearly taught that the soul exists after death. This was NOT a parable, but a real event involving real people, thus Lazarus' name was used.
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- UserLv 71 year ago
1) Christians: is the human soul immortal according to the Bible?
The words in the Bible that are translated "soul" are very ambiguous and in the Bible in particular are used in several different ways. So: the Bible is NOT clear on that matter.
2) I.e, you will either live forever in heaven or be tortured forever in hell?
Yes, the Bible *is* clear on the matter of eternal torment in "the lake of fire" for the irredeemably wicked. The Bible is also clear about eternal paradise for those who have been forgiven, but less clear about it being located in Heaven.
3) Does the Bible teach conditional immortality or that every human is inherently immortal?
Neither (unless I misunderstand what you mean by "conditional immortality").
4) I was raised to believe that humans were born immortal and would live forever in heaven or in hell.
The Bible describes the condition of eternal torment as "the second death". In other words: the opposite of living forever.
5) This belief just seems to be in contradiction with Genesis 2:17, John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Ezekiel 18:20, Psalm 34:16, 21 and Psalm 92:7.
It shouldn't. Both the Bible and Christianity are clear that death occurs
that's obvious anyway.
6) If our souls are automatically immortal, what is the meaning of the above mentioned scriptures?
Well, they're pretty obvious, but let's look...
Gen 2:17 - do not eat the forbidden fruit, for the day that you do you will die
Jhn 3:16 - believe in Jesus and you will not perish; instead you will enjoy eternal life
Rom 6:23 - the penalty of sin is death, but the gift from God is eternal life with Christ
Eze 18:20 - the person who sins shall die; each person will be punished for their own sins and not for those of another
Psa 34:16 - God is against evildoers; he will remove even the memory of them from the land
Psa 34:21 - Evil causes the death of the evil-doer, and those who hate righteousness will be punished
Psa 92:7 - Though wicked people flourish they are forever doomed to destruction
You'll note that though all of these admit the reality of death, none of them address the immortality (or lack thereof) of the soul. They simply are not logically relevant to the question of whether or not humans possess an immortal soul.
- Anonymous1 year ago
According to the Holy texts..its not just the 'soul' which is immortal..as the soul is not a physical forum..but our bodies is..and when God will Resurrect all of us for the judgement day..we all will come in same physical forum..and thats how (people) will enjoy and feel the happiness in paradise or unfortunately the pain in hell..
there is some groups who changed the holy texts and ignored many of God words and try to make people imagine that there is no hell and claim that the hell is just 'the grave' they translate the words (Sheol, and Hadess) to the grave and claim this is what God meant by hell,,WHILE THE ORIGINAL WORD in the Holy texts for hell is (Jehona..جهنم) but they removed it beside many of other God words in the man-made copies of the Bible which we unfortunately see everywhere..and delude the people and make them confused and lost while they think they might be rightly guided..but all prophets talked about hell and how its a place for the punishment and even people will regret and even will be weeping out of the pain such as what we see in the Gospel of Matthew and the Quran..
God gave all of us the 'free will' and thats why there is a reward and a 'fair' punishment in the hereafter according to our record of deeds..as God is the most fair and the most Merciful in same time..and we all will be judged by God..
- HonestlyLv 71 year ago
The fall of Adam brought about 2 kinds of death which are physical death or the separation of our spirit from our body, and spiritual death or our separation from God that began when Adam was cast out of the garden.
This fallen earth life is temporary. Because of the atonement of Christ, all will be resurrected and return to the presence of God for judgement.
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." First Corinthians 15:21,22
In the judgement, those who are found to be rebellious against God, will be cast again out of His presence. This is called the second spiritual death and is the fate of those who hate God and have no intention of following Him. This rejection of all that is good includes Satan. We are eternal beings, but the idea that people burn forever in a tortuous hell is false. Because of the justice of God, we are free to choose. But God knows that wickedness does not produce happiness.
- Anonymous1 year ago
There are different kinds of death just as there are different kinds of life.
There is life that is in the blood of an animal, plant and insect life, biological life, the soul, and spiritual life.
It was the spirit within Adam that died the day he rebelled, just as God said he would. This is the life that Jesus speaks of when he promises 'eternal life' and 'life to the full'.... each person must be reborn of the Spirit of God to have it. Flesh gives birth to flesh. Spirit gives birth to spirit.
The different kinds of death that are seen in scripture are as various as the different kinds of life. Nothing ever really disappears, it just changes form.
Every person will be judged by what they know - and what they did with the information they had (this is why we are sure that all babies go to heaven).
The soul that is cast into hell will be raised on Judgment Day for final sentencing.
I cried out - my heart lamented for my parents who died without ever knowing Jesus - and I was comforted by this thought: that without accepting the gift of salvation, everyone will get exactly what they deserve... no more and no less... or God is not just. No one in hell is complaining how unfair it is.
What happens at sentencing has yet to be known.
Personally, it doesn't make sense to me that souls in prison in hell would get the eternal lake of fire and live there forever as a second judgment - when it is called 'the second death'. It is likely where souls are completely destroyed (I hope so, anyway).
Time is a created thing. Off the planet there is no time. There is only eternity. The souls that are destined to be fuel for the fire eternally may be only the fallen angels.
- † ♥ † RULES!Lv 71 year ago
Well, any True Christian knows this verse is NOT talking about after this life is over, it's talking about Spiritual death.
Genesis 2:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
But thanks for verifying this Scripture:
1 Corinthians 2:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- stormy petralLv 61 year ago
this is not the case since the soul is eternal for many millions of years and does not have the one life on earth as the bibles states yes one body at any one time with the soul itself within but at death the soul goes to its own level of being and then selects parents for its next life on earth. the process is endless.