Bob Hess has done some in depth research on Man’s Soul and Spirit. With consideration of the girl on life support because of a common operation, maybe this will give some people a little insight into a dilemma.
I had an individual who wanted me to do a lesson on “The Difference Between The Soul And The Spirit”. I taught a Sunday School lesson on this over the weekend and will pass it on to you. I hope this will answer questions that MANY Christians have had down through the years.
The secret to understanding this topic is the Biblical Terms that were used in talking about the Soul and Spirit. I attempted to show this in my class. My Sunday School class seemed to understand it, so I’ll give you a try. Here it is.
1. The Greek word Psuche is translated into the word SOUL and LIFE.
a. In the New Testament this term is used to speak of the immaterial part of man. It is invisible and is contained inside of the flesh covering.
b. Man’s soul speaks of the INTERNAL LIFE ELEMENT of the man.
c. I know that this may set many back on their heals, but animals have a soul. In Revelation 8:9 we read “And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died and the third part of the ships were destroyed”. The word “life” is the Greek word Psuche or in the English, soul.
d. The difference between the animal and man is that the man was created with a soul that was made up with three elements. Man’s soul consists of two additional elements that animals do not. Man has a SPIRIT and a MIND that are part of the makeup of the human SOUL or PSUCHE. Animal souls do NOT contain these two elements. We will get into these two elements later.
e. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul speaks of this. He says that when the Lord comes back, we will go to be with him as a whole person, body, spirit and soul.
f. In Genesis 2:7 we are told that God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. the word soul in this verse the Hebrew word, nephesh. This word means breaths. Here it states that man became a living soul or a living, physical, breathing being. The term corresponds with the Greek word Psuche which is translated as “life” in Revelation 8:9 and soul in other references that are too numerous to mention. See also 1 Corinthians 15:45 where the term is translated as soul and in Acts 20:10 where it is translated as life.
2. The word Greek word Pneuma is translated as SPIRIT.
a. As was stated in our look at Psuche, the human has an element within the soul that is called the spirit. That is one element that is NOT found in animals or other created beings.
b. It is very important to realize that this is NOT the word that is used for a GHOST. The KJV translates Pneuma as Ghost in speaking of the Holy Spirit. “Ghost” is a completely different term in the Greek, which we will see later. The third person of the Godhead is the HOLY SPIRIT and NOT the HOLY GHOST.
c. The SPIRIT of man is not a material element, but is, as the soul, immaterial.
d. This part of man makes the man aware of his body and his natural, physical environment.
e. It is the part of man that makes him like God in the respect that it (the spirit) is eternal (will NEVER go out of existence) and it can share that characteristic of God.
f. It is the part of man that can be given a new birth from God (John 3:3-7). NOTE: It is the SPIRIT (Pneuma) that is born again (from above by the Spirit of God) and not the soul (Psuche). This new birth is made possible through placing one’s trust in Jesus as his