What is a Soul?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by dauer, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    As used in the Bible, the word "soul" means a living, breathing,
    sense-possessing creature.
    This is why the Bible also calls animals "souls," though it does not use this word for plants.

    CAN IT DIE?




    The Bible speaks of souls as dying, and as being struck fatally, killed, destroyed or devoured.


    And it uses the specific term "dead soul."
    It may further surprise many persons to know that, exactly opposite to what is taught in modern catechism classes and Sunday schools, Jesus’ own disciples said that the soul dies.

    In their gospels, epistles and other writings that are now included in the Christian Greek Scriptures of the Bible, the words "soul" and "souls" appear more than fifty times.

    Yet not one single time is the word "immortal" associated with them. Not even once does the Bible use the common expression "immortal soul."




    Instead, Jesus’ disciple James showed that a sinning soul dies.

    He wrote: "Know that he who turns a sinner back from the error of his way will save his soul from death." (Jas. 5:20)

    In the apostle John’s vision of God’s anger "every living soul died, yes, the things in the sea."—Rev. 16:3.


    Further, Jesus and his apostles accepted, believed, and frequently quoted from the earlier books of the Bible. In those inspired books you can read:

    "The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." (Ezek. 18:4)

    Indeed, that differs from the ideas of the ancient Greeks—and from the ideas that modern Christendom inherited from them and now teaches in her churches.
     
  2. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    The Bible states: "The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." (Ezekiel 18:4)


    The distressed prophet Elijah "began to ask that his soul might die." (1 Kings 19:4)

    Likewise, Jonah "kept asking that his soul might die." (Jonah 4:8)

    Yes, the soul dies when the person dies; it is not immortal.

    Since a person is a soul, to say that someone died is to say that his soul died.​
     
  3. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    But some people might say,what about Bible texts that speak of the going out and the coming back of the soul?


    Concerning what happened to Rachel when she gave birth to a son, the Bible says: "As her soul was going out (because she died) she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin." (Genesis 35:18)


    And referring to the resurrection of a widow’s son, 1 Kings 17:22 states: "Jehovah listened to Elijah’s voice [in prayer], so that the soul of the child came back within him and he came to life." Do these passages indicate that the soul is some invisible, shadowy part that can escape from or enter a body?
    Well, remember that one meaning of the word "soul" is "life." Hence, Rachel’s soul was going out in that her life was going out.

    In fact, some Bibles render the phrase "her soul was going out" as "her life was ebbing away" (Knox) and "she breathed her last" (Jerusalem Bible). Similarly, in the case of the widow’s son, it was life that returned to the boy.—1 Kings 17:23.
     
  4. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Then why did god instruct Noah of the soul being IN(not, THE) the flesh?....
     
  5. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    for those interested this is a good read about the soul


    [​IMG]Do You Have an Immortal Soul?
    Is “soul” a part of man that separates from the body at death and goes on living? Consider what the Bible says.
     
  6. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    LOL you should be in politics.... :rolleyes: (and I don't need you now to go an copy and paste why JW's don't get involved in politics...)
     
  7. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Iwill let Jesus words do it for mee:D
    The truth Jesus taught was not political theory.

    Rather, it centered on the Kingdom of which he himself would be King. (Luke 4:43) This Kingdom is a heavenly government, and it will replace all human administrations and bring permanent peace to mankind. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:9; Daniel 2:44)



    It is, therefore, the only true hope for mankind.

    Is it not more loving to declare such a sure hope for the future than to encourage people to trust in men to provide a secure future?


    The Bible says: "Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.

    His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish. Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God."
    (Psalm 146:3-5)


    So rather than sending his disciples out to preach a better way of organizing governments, Jesus taught them to preach the "good news of the kingdom."—Matthew 10:6, 7; 24:14.


    Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses are organized for this "work of the Lord" in 235 lands.

    In harmony with Jesus’ command, they are respectful toward all governments. (Matthew 22:21)


    But they also observe these words to his followers: "You are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world."—John 15:19.


    Some who used to preach politics have changed after making a careful study of the Bible.


    but back to the soul ​





    Describing the creation of the first man, Adam, the opening book of the Bible says: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul [ne´phesh]." (Genesis 2:7) We may note that the Bible does not say that ‘man received a soul,’ but that "man came to be a living soul."



    Did first-century Christian teaching differ from this concept of "soul"? No. In what is commonly called the "New Testament," the statement about Adam’s creation is quoted as fact:

    "It is even so written: ‘The first man Adam became a living soul."’ (1 Corinthians 15:45)

    In the original language of this text the word for "soul," psy·khe´, appears. Accordingly, in this scripture the Greek word psy·khe´, like the Hebrew word ne´phesh, designates, not some invisible spirit residing in man, but man himself.

    Rightly, then, certain Bible translators have chosen to use such words as "being," "creature" and "person" in their renderings of Genesis 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:45.—New English Bible, Young’s Literal Translation, Revised Standard Version; compare The Bible in Living English, which uses "person" at Genesis 2:7 but "soul" at 1 Corinthians 15:45.





     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste mee,

    thank you for the post.

    of course you will.



    nothing like fascism to bring peace.



    whilst a fine religious belief it is one which is demonstrably false unless one simply defines the terms "true" and "hope" as being part and parcel of the belief. $cientologists will swear, with equal fervor, that it is the only hope for mankind, true or otherwise but their proclaiming it as such does not establish it so.



    yes, it is not more loving.



    except when you overthrow all those earthly institutions, eh? sort of like a fifth column in every country to subvert their government and cultural institutions.

    metta,

    ~v

     
  9. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    thats the most highs Job , best to leave that to him .


    And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; Daniel 2;44


    God has already set up that heavenly kingdom , and now it is well established, notice that the verse tells us that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom in the days of those kings, yes while those manmade goverments and rulerships are still ruling the heavenly kingdom was set up .

    and inline with bible prophecy and chronology it was born and set up in 1914 .

    the God of the bible has everything in hand ,and he is the one to give the command to Jesus to go into action and crush and put an end to all of those other manmade rulerships.


    yes ,its a case of ......stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah.......
     
  10. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Clearly, the Bible shows what man is.

    He does not have a soul; he is a soul.

    Because of what man is—his nature—any hope for future life for the dead depends on a resurrection, a raising up.

    The Bible promises: "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28, 29)

    That sure promise of a resurrection—not the teaching of the immortality of the soul—is the basis for real hope for the dead.
     
  11. farhan

    farhan Active Member

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    God is pure light, the essence of light (This is the best description using human language). When he wanted to create, he manifested himself through his veils. Both manifestation & veiling are parts of his will . According to a hadith there are 70000 veils between God & man. Each veil is a gradation of impurity, a refractor/reflecter, like a lamp enclosed by glass. His light passes througe each veil & becomes impure & decreases in streangth. There are realms of increasing imprity in between every veil. And he creates creatures with in each realm as he pleases.

    Human soul is a creation from the purest of the realms. Lives in the most blissful state, always being illuminated by the light of God. Matter is one of the impurest of realms. And this is the material from which human body is created. All other creatures live in their own realms, traveling horizontally. Human soul is created from the purest, & then comes to the most impure, & then restarts its journey to God. Its the only creation that can travel vertically, to & away from God (The terms vertical & horizontal arnt to be understood in Cartesian or Spherical co-ordinates, they are in the co-ordinates of enlightment/purity).

    God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp; the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star: [a lamp] lit from a blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west - the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even though fire had not touched it: light upon light!God guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided]; and [to this end] God propounds parables unto men, since God [alone] has full knowledge of all things. (Quran 24:35)

    This is not to be mistaken with monism or panentheism. You shadow isnt you, neither are you your shadow. Your shadow inst in you, neither are you in your shadow. And yet your shadow doesnt exist separated from you, its nothing but you. Same is the example of God & his creation.

    This is what I have understood till now.

    (The first man who talked about this concept was Ghazali in his Mishkat al-anwar. Lateron Ibn Arabi, Sahabuddin Soharwardi, Qutbuddin Shirazi, Mujaddid Alfsani & Shah Waliullah Dehlvi have also worked upon it ).
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste mee,



    naturally, but then we are talking about JW's and not your deity. it wouldn't do to seem to be promoting fascist ideas even though that is what you are advocating.

    i oppose fascism in whichever manner it manifests as all sentient, compassionate beings should do.



    you do realize that i don't have much concern about particular Biblical teachings, yes?

    but then i have a feeling that you don't much care about that sort of thing.. jewels in the crown and all of that.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  13. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    mee is very concerned and interested in particular bible teachings,
    Habakkuk 2:5 describes "an able-bodied man" who, in contrast with Jehovah’s servants, fails to reach his goal, even though he "made his soul spacious just like Sheol."

    Who is this man who "cannot be satisfied"?

    With voracity like that of Babylon of Habakkuk’s time, this composite "man," made up of political powers—whether Fascist, Nazi, Communist, or even so-called democratic—fights wars in order to expand his lands.

    He also fills Sheol, the grave, with innocent souls.

    But this treacherous composite "man" of Satan’s world, drunk with his own self-assured importance, meets with no success in "gathering to himself all the nations and collecting together to himself all the peoples."

    Only Jehovah God can unite all mankind, and he will accomplish this through the Messianic Kingdom.—Matthew 6:9, 10.


    mee is very concerned to go along with the most highs purpose for the earth.

    unity brings PEACE
     
  14. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    disruption is not unity...and you love to disrupt...

    careful how you post next, mee.
     
  15. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste mee,

    thanks for the post.

    that is so banal as to not be worth saying.



    vajradhara thinks that mee should reconsider mees typing style.

    i know but i'm simply not interested in supporting the sort of peace that you are advocating. i can't begin to imagine how your group would want to deal with those that didn't convert or support your government.

    all of which is, however, totally irrelevant regarding souls.

    as near as i can tell your belief is that humans are souls, i.e. the aggregates comprise the soul.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  16. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    The soul is the self?
     
  17. Bruno's logic

    Bruno's logic Agnostic/Panthiest

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    Let us not confuse words here….
    There are several definitions of what the soul is…

    The bible’s description of the word soul may be flawed…
    Not all of us think of the bible as the source of all knowledge… Gods indisputable Word on Earth… The bible may hold truth and wisdom within but it was still written by the hand of man… Is it not possible that the facts are flawed? I do not disagree that the bible is an awesome collection (albeit limited and selective) of stories/history/law/wisdom etc… describing one tribes perspective/understanding of the, one infinite thing existing, that has passed down through their generations. However it is only one viewpoint in the entire human conversation that is and has been going on.

    Soul…
    What is soul?
    Is soul ego?
    Is soul spirit?
    Is soul eternal?
    Is soul finite?
    Is soul collective?
    Is soul uniquely human?
    Can the soul be given or taken away?

    So many questions and there is an actual answer to them ….
    One could just take the bible’s description of soul and look no further
    Or one could seek the answer within…

    The definition of the word soul may be confusing , but as I’ve noticed, being human is a confusing thing indeed.
    ~Bruno
     
  18. Courage

    Courage Member

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    I think for easier understanding, soul can be considered as made of materials in the 4 (or above) dimensional space. We can't perceive spaces outside this 3-dimensional space our physical body is located. Human concept is thus confined also to this 3-dimensional space.

    Soul as made of materials outside this 3D space is somehow combined well with our physical body. When departs, it carries our consciousness, our memories, some of our senses and gains some other senses.

    New senses gained include the perception of a multiple dimensional spatial environment where and only where telepathy is made possible. Telepathy is thus another sense gained. I think that telepathy can be achieved in both visual and audial forms. You can cast images to others, or you can 'talk' to others.

    Under certain circumstance, we as human on earth can actually communicate with those supernatual entities. The condition is when our soul is abit skewed away from our body. We see ghosts because our soul is abit skewed from our body thus spirit can cast images for us to see. Say, when we see the ghost of a person we knew of before he passed away, it's only an image, not necessarily be that person at all. Which says, a spirit can cast images of any person he knew in front of us, as part of the telepathical communication.

    Other than images you can also communicate with sound, sound that carried by air vibration in our realm, yet in telepathy, words also appear as sound/voice.
     
  19. Courage

    Courage Member

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    Moreover, 'soul' is a word specially reserved for humans. You don't usually call angels souls, rather they are the spirits. Only those ever existed as humans have a soul, in order to distinguish with the spirit. We are triunic in nature with a soul, a spirit and a body. You'll be surprised when you see your own spirit. :cool:
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    No, according to the bible the term soul is for man and animal alike.
    And without God, both are "mortal".
     

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