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Thread: Are the soul and the spirit the same thing?

  1. #1
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    Question Are the soul and the spirit the same thing?

    What is the difference (if any) between the soul and the spirit? What do the scriptures say?

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    Hello Kf4,

    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. Genesis 2:7

    And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46


    Body + breath of life = living soul
    Correct me if I am wrong

    Fareyewell
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf4zmt View Post
    What is the difference (if any) between the soul and the spirit? What do the scriptures say?
    Sometimes Scriptures differentiate between the two and sometimes they are treated synonymously. Generally though, I like to go back to their first occurance in Genesis. Man was fashioned from the dust (body) and God breathed (spirit) into Adam. The interrelationship between the body and spirit I like to view as our soul...and man became a living soul (or being).

    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.
    (Gen 2:7)

    oops, forerunner posted while I was writing this.
    Last edited by crossnote; Oct 28th 2008 at 05:13 AM. Reason: clarity

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    These answers seem reasonable and scriptural. But crossnote mentions that sometimes they are differentiated. When they are treated differently, does the Bible hint at what the difference is?

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    They are two different things:

    1 Thes. 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    They can be divided:

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    ...be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:16-19

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    Quote Originally Posted by σяєяυииєя View Post
    Hello Kf4,

    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. Genesis 2:7

    And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46


    Body + breath of life = living soul
    Correct me if I am wrong

    Fareyewell
    This is not correct. Notice that Jesus commends His spirit to the Father at His death, but His body was dead. Just like Stephen did (Acts 7). Apart from the spirit, the body is dead. But the spirit is still alive even when the body is dead.

    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    The body and the spirit are not inseparable as evidenced by Christ and Stephen giving up their spirits to heaven when they died. Same with the body and the soul (people can kill our bodies but not our souls) and the soul and the spirit (Heb 4:12).

  7. #7
    legoman Guest
    They are 2 different things. As forerunner, said, body+spirit = soul.

    God formed the man from the dust of the earth. However the man was not alive yet. God then breathed life into the man. God's "breath of life" is the spirit of man.

    Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Only with both body and spirit is anyone alive. It takes both to make a soul. A body without spirit is just a cadavre without life. Spirit needs a body to provide life. What is the soul? It is our essence, our consciousness, it is who we are.

    Notice what happened when the flood came:

    Gen 7:22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.

    Contrary to popular opinion, when someone dies, they are actually dead. They are not alive in some other location. Because of this the dead have no knowledge and are effectively unconscious or 'asleep'.

    When death occurs, the body returns to where it came from (dust) and the spirit returns to where it came from (God). And the soul is now dead. (Fear him who can destroy the soul in gehenna,... the soul that sins dies, Ezek 18... etc).

    However, the soul is not permanently lost. It will come into existence again when your spirit is reunited with a body. Only this time it won't be a physical body, it will be a new spiritual body. This will happen at the resurrection of the dead:

    1 Cor 15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

    Notice it is called the "resurrection of the dead". The people that are resurrected are really dead. They aren't alive awaiting to be "resurrected" alive in a different location.

    Read through 1 Cor 15 for all the details. Couple of key points:
    - We won't be raised in our old physical bodies. So no worries if grandma was cremated or uncle bob was sawed in half...

    1 Cor 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

    - We aren't immortal until the resurrection. Therefore when we die now, we are just that: dead.

    1 Cor 15:53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."


    Legoman

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    Let me put it,

    This way :]
    God formed the man from the dust of the earth. However the man was not alive yet. . .

    Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground..

    ...A body without spirit is just a cadavre without life.


    At this point there is no power/electicity

    Contrary to popular opinion, when someone dies, they are actually dead. They are not alive in some other location.[Immortality of the soul, is not it similar to that what the sepent said Eve in the garden?: Ye shall not surely die:
    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4,5.
    ] Because of this the dead have no knowledge and are effectively unconscious or 'asleep'.


    For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

    For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

    Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:4-6.

    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.




    ...God then breathed life into the man. God's "breath of life" is the spirit of man.
    ....and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.




    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.

    Go well
    Stay healthy

    "Think white and get serious"


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    The International Standard Bible EncyclopediaSOUL sol (nephesh; psuche; Latin anima):
    1. Shades of Meaning in the Old Testament:
    (1) Soul, like spirit, has various shades of meaning in the Old Testament, which may be summarized as follows:
    "Soul," "living being," "life," "self," "person," "desire," "appetite," "emotion" and "passion" (BDB under the word). In the first instance it meant that which breathes, and as such is distinguished from basar, "flesh" (Isaiah 10:18; Deuteronomy 12:23); from she'er, "the inner flesh," next the bones (Proverbs 11:17, "his own flesh"); from beTen, "belly" (Psalms 31:10, "My soul and my belly are consumed with grief"), etc.
    (2) As the life-breath, it departs at death (Genesis 35:18; Jeremiah 15:2). Hence, the desire among Old Testament saints to be delivered from Sheol (Psalms 16:10, "Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol") and from shachath, "the pit" (Job 33:18, "He keepeth back his soul from the pit"; Isaiah 38:17, "Thou hast .... delivered it (my soul) from the pit of corruption").
    (3) By an easy transition the word comes to stand for the individual, personal life, the person, with two distinct shades of meaning which might best be indicated by the Latin anima and animus. As anima, "soul," the life inherent in the body, the animating principle in the blood is denoted (compare Deuteronomy 12:23,24, `Only be sure that thou eat not the blood:
    for the blood is the soul; and thou shalt not eat the soul with the flesh'). As animus, "mind," the center of our mental activities and passivities is indicated. Thus we read of `a hungry soul' (Psalms 107:9), `a weary soul' (Jeremiah 31:25), `a loathing soul' (Leviticus 26:11), `a thirsty soul' (Psalms 42:2), `a grieved soul' (Job 30:25), `a loving soul' (Song of Solomon 1:7), and many kindred expressions. Cremer has characterized this use of the word in a sentence: "Nephesh (soul) in man is the subject of personal life, whereof pneuma or ruach (spirit) is the principle" (Lexicon, under the word, 795).
    (4) This individuality of man, however, may be denoted by pneuma as well, but with a distinction. Nephesh or "soul" can only denote the individual life with a material organization or body. Pneuma or "spirit" is not so restricted. Scripture speaks of "spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:23), where there can be no thought of a material or physical or corporeal organization. They are "spiritual beings freed from the assaults and defilements of the flesh" (Delitzsch, in the place cited.). For an exceptional use of psuche in the same sense see Revelation 6:9; 20:4, and (irrespective of the meaning of Psalms 16:10) Acts 2:27.
    2. New Testament Distinctions:
    (1) In the New Testament psuche appears under more or less similar conditions as in the Old Testament. The contrast here is as carefully maintained as there. It is used where pneuma would be out of place; and yet it seems at times to be employed where pneuma might have been substituted. Thus in John 19:30 we read:
    "Jesus gave up his pneuma" to the Father, and, in the same Gospel (John 10:15), Jesus gave up His "psuche for the sheep," and in Matthew 20:28 He gave His psuche (not His pneuma) as a ransom--a difference which is characteristic. For the pneuma stands in quite a different relation to God from the psuche. The "spirit" (pneuma) is the outbreathing of God into the creature, the life-principle derived from God. The "sour" (psuche) is man's individual possession, that which distinguishes one man from another and from inanimate nature. The pneuma of Christ was surrendered to the Father in death; His psuche was surrendered, His individual life was given "a ransom for many." His life "was given for the sheep"
    (2) This explains those expressions in the New Testament which bear on the salvation of the soul and its preservation in the regions of the dead. "Thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades" (the world of shades) (Acts 2:27); "Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil" (Romans 2:9); "We are .... of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39); "Receive ..... the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).
    The same or similar expressions may be met with in the Old Testament in reference to the soul. Thus in Psalms 49:8, the King James Version "The redemption of their soul is precious" and again:
    "God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol" (Psalms 49:15). Perhaps this may explain--at least this is Wendt's explanation--why even a corpse is called nephesh or soul in the Old Testament, because, in the region of the dead, the individuality is retained and, in a measure, separated from God (compare Haggai 2:13; Leviticus 21:11).
    3. Oehler on Soul and Spirit:
    The distinction between psuche and pneuma, or nephesh and ruach, to which reference has been made, may best be described in the words of Oehler (Old Testament Theology, I, 217):
    "Man is not spirit, but has it: he is soul. .... In the soul, which sprang from the spirit, and exists continually through it, lies the individuality--in the case of man, his personality, his self, his ego." He draws attention to the words of Elihu in Job (33:4): `God's spirit made me,' the soul called into being; `and the breath of the Almighty animates me,' the soul kept in energy and strength, in continued existence, by the Almighty, into whose hands the inbreathed spirit is surrendered, when the soul departs or is taken from us (1 Kings 19:4). Hence, according to Oehler the phrases naphshi ("my soul"), naphshekha ("thy soul") may be rendered in Latin egomet, tu ipse; but not ruchi ("my spirit"), ruchakha ("thy spirit")--soul standing for the whole person, as in Genesis 12:5; 17:14; Ezekiel 18:4, etc.
    Dragonfighter1
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    I'm a trichotomist. I believe just as God is three persons, father, son, and spirit, so too are we composed of three parts.

    These parts are the Flesh, Soul, and Spirit. (Comparable to Christ, Father, and Holy Spirit)

    The flesh is the physical body, the blood and bones so to speak, the part that is moved by our urges and emotions, and largely responsible for our sin nature.

    The Spirit is the portion of the body, which I believed died when Adam sinned in the Garden. The spirit is the portion of us that is able to commune and talk with God, this is why our spirit has to be renewed, and why the Holy Spirit comes within us at Salvataion, because we must be reborn in the Spirit.

    The Soul is the essence of who we are, the personality, the mind, and the most eternal part. When we die physically I believe the flesh is separated from the soul, and spirit.

    This is at least how I see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veretax View Post
    I'm a trichotomist. I believe just as God is three persons, father, son, and spirit, so too are we composed of three parts.

    These parts are the Flesh, Soul, and Spirit. (Comparable to Christ, Father, and Holy Spirit)

    The flesh is the physical body, the blood and bones so to speak, the part that is moved by our urges and emotions, and largely responsible for our sin nature.

    The Spirit is the portion of the body, which I believed died when Adam sinned in the Garden. The spirit is the portion of us that is able to commune and talk with God, this is why our spirit has to be renewed, and why the Holy Spirit comes within us at Salvataion, because we must be reborn in the Spirit.

    The Soul is the essence of who we are, the personality, the mind, and the most eternal part. When we die physically I believe the flesh is separated from the soul, and spirit.

    This is at least how I see it.
    Rep points coming your way.. I was dreaming of this very thing as I slipped into slumber last night:
    Adam the intellect/person/soul was given a spirit and a body. One to commune with God through, one to comune with the earth through. The spirit died and adam was left with the soul and the flesh only. If his flesh had died before he had had his spirit revived he would have been cut off from God, as he would have had neither vehicle (spirit or flesh) to house his soul/intellect/self/personality etc..

    Great post dude, kudos on the way..
    Last edited by Dragonfighter1; Oct 30th 2008 at 04:16 PM.
    Dragonfighter1
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  12. #12
    legoman Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
    Rep points coming your way.. I was dreaming of this very thing as I slipped into slumber last night:
    Adam the intellect/person/soul was given a spirit and a body. One to commune with God through, one to comune with the earth through. The spirit died and adam was left with the soul and the flesh only. If his flesh had died before he had had his sprit revived he would have been cut off from God, as he would have had neither vehicle (spirit or flesh) to house his sopul/intellect/self/personality etc..

    Great post dude, kudos on the way..
    When did Adam's spirit die?

    My understanding is the spirit (God's breath of life) is needed for the body to live.

    Therefore if his spirit "died" or left, Adam would be dead.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kf4zmt View Post
    What is the difference (if any) between the soul and the spirit? What do the scriptures say?
    You're getting a lot of good answers, although some may seem contradictory...so I thought that I'd throw in my 2 pennies.

    There are two primary schools of theological thought; both can make a good case scripturally.

    I (personally) think that this is one of those things that we will not fully understand until we stand in Glory in the presence of our Lord.

    The two schools of thought are:

    That man exists as a dichotomy (2 part), with soul and spirit being one part and the body the other.

    In short, this view says (basically...it's a lot more involved obviously) that both soul and spirit address the immaterial part of man, but in different aspects: soul referring to the immaterial part of man relating to man as a "living being"...and spirit referring to the immaterial part of man in his relationship with God; as dead (spirtually) or alive (spiritually).

    The second school of thought is that man is a trichotomy (3 part) with body, soul, and spirit having an inter relationship that is an expression of the Triune nature of God as He has revealed Himself to us.

    Just like the trinity, although the view of man as a trichotomy can be defined, it can not be fully expressed or "pictured" in an analogy.

    I didn't want to confuse you...but the answer to your question is really going to be contingent on which view you hold...and I just wanted to make you aware that there are in fact to views on the matter.
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    How about the triple point as an example. Picture a bottle of water. In that water is a single ice cube, and coincidentally there is some condensation in the bottle, the result of water Vapor.

    Now compared to the Trinity:

    Now, if we can reach into the bottle we could remove the hard ice (the flesh dies as in death), but the other two states of water could still be present).

    Note that the Triple point is the temperature and pressure at which an element can exist both as a gas, liquid, and solid simultaneously. We have this pictured when Christ is baptized, he comes out of the water, the spirit descends as a dove, and the Father was there speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legoman View Post
    When did Adam's spirit die?

    My understanding is the spirit (God's breath of life) is needed for the body to live.

    Therefore if his spirit "died" or left, Adam would be dead.
    When God said: "if you eat of the fruit of the tree of life you shall surely die" He was not lying of course... But Physically Adam did not die so something else must have died! (The spirit, else God lied.)

    Now God did provide a way for the spirit to be rejuvinated/reborn etc.. but Since God cannot lie Adam lost his spiritual life and was left with the physical only...
    that is not to say Adam was completely disconnected from his dead spirit...

    the reason is found in the definition of the word death (Greek THANATOS not sure of the Hebrew), which does not mean death as we know it usually, it means separated, cut off from, isolated from...
    Poor illustration, but functional is: when kids send a class mate to Coventry (as they say in England) they completely ignore him, dont respond to him cut him out off all conversation etc...

    This is the death that occured with adams spirit.. God said he would die/be cut off/separated from God, and indeed he was.

    Further, I think it is truly difficult to explain what we never truly can understand.. I stand by my earlier explanation in the sense that since Adam was cut off, his spirit was paralysed in a sense, dead, atrophied, of little viable use of any at all.
    Adam became then only soul and flesh. Now, animals do not have the spirit in them... Never have- yet they breath. Adam could continue to breath until his body wore out. His spirit was not needed to breath. Gods spirit was needed at the origination of live to create it certainly, but beyond that part of the discussion I think we will get off thread...

    Sorry if this is long winded...

    tell me your thoughts..
    DF1
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