From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

SOUL. —In every act of thinking, a distinction exists between the thinker and his thought, or, as it is otherwise expressed, between the self and the not-self, the ego and the non-ego, the thinking subject and the object of thought. This ego, self, or thinking subject, is denominated the soul (ψυχή, נֶפֶשׁ, נְשִׁמָה), or spirit (πνεῦμα, דוּחַ; see Spirit ); often also, both in the OT and NT, the heart (καρδία, לֵב, לֵבָב; see Heart). In the OT the soul is sometimes confused with the blood or with some important physical organ, but in the NT it is clearly distinguished from the body as an immaterial principle, the seat of conscious personality, and essentially immortal ( Matthew 10:28 etc.; see Immortality). There was much speculation in our Lord’s time, and had been for some two centuries, on the mysterious questions of the soul’s origin and destiny. Some, following Plato and Philo, believed in its eternal pre-existence (cf.  Wisdom of Solomon 8:19 Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885); others (mainly orthodox Rabbis) in its creation at the creation of the world (cf.  2 Esdras 4:35 ff.); others in its premundane creation (Slavonic Enoch 23:5); others (perhaps the majority) in its concreation with the body, which is apparently the doctrine of the OT ( Isaiah 44:2;  Isaiah 44:24;  Isaiah 49:1;  Isaiah 49:5,  Job 31:15). A few supported the Platonic speculation of metempsychosis (so apparently Josephus; see BJ iii. viii. 5). The disciples of Jesus were aware of these discussions, and on one occasion asked Him whether a certain man had been born blind as a penalty for sins committed by him in a previous state of existence. It is a significant illustration of the economy of revelation that Jesus avoided entering upon the discussion ( John 9:2).† [Note: The Creationist view of the soul’s origin was held by all Jews in our Lord’s time. The Traducianist hypothesis first appears in Tertullian (a.d. 200).]

1. The use of ψυχή in the Gospels. —In the Pauline Epistles, as is well known, there is frequently a decided difference of meaning between ψυχή and πνεῦμα. There ψυχή is used for the principle of life of the natural man, while πνεῦμα, is the principle of supernatural life which manifests itself in the regenerate Christian. Hence the derivative ψυχικός (literally ‘soulish’) comes to be used in a depreciatory, and even in a bad sense ( 1 Corinthians 12:14;  1 Corinthians 15:44,  James 3:15,  Judges 1:19). But in the Gospels there is no such distinction of usage. As applied to the human soul, ψυχή and πνεῦμα are synonyms throughout the range of their meaning. Thus in the sense of natural life , we have  Mark 3:4, cf.  John 13:37 (ψυχή); and  Matthew 27:50, cf.  Luke 23:46,  John 19:30 (πνεῦμα). (For the lower sense of πνεῦμα, cf. also  Mark 8:12,  Luke 8:55;  Luke 24:37;  Luke 24:39,  John 11:33;  John 13:21). ψυχή, as well as πνεῦμα, is used quite normally for the soul in its highest religious activities (see, e.g. ,  Luke 1:46, where the identity of ψυχή and πνεῦμα is especially apparent;  Matthew 11:29;  Matthew 22:37, ||; cf.  1 Peter 2:11;  1 Peter 2:25;  1 Peter 4:19,  2 Peter 2:8 etc.; and even in the Pauline Epp. see  2 Corinthians 1:23,  Ephesians 6:8,  Philippians 1:27; cf.  Hebrews 6:19;  Hebrews 13:17). In one passage ( John 10:24) ψυχή seems even to stand for the rational or deliberating faculty (λόγος, νοῦς). There is, however, between ψυχή and πνεῦμα, as used in the Gospels, one slight distinction. ψυχή emphasizes more strongly than πνεῦμα the idea of individual personality. Hence ψυχαί (not πνεύματα) is used for ‘individuals’ or ‘persons’ ( Acts 27:37,  1 Peter 3:20); and it is usual to speak of the salvation or loss of the ψυχή rather than of the πνεῦμα ( Matthew 6:25;  Matthew 10:39;  Matthew 16:25-26,  Mark 8:35,  Luke 9:24;  Luke 17:33;  Luke 21:19,  John 12:25,  Hebrews 10:39,  James 1:21;  James 5:20,  1 Peter 1:9). Yet the salvation of the πνεῦμα is alluded to ( 1 Corinthians 5:5,  1 Thessalonians 5:23). πνεῦμα, however, is not by any means a strictly impersonal term (see  Matthew 5:16,  Hebrews 1:14). It is used like ψυχή to denote a disembodied soul ( Luke 24:37;  Luke 24:39,  Hebrews 12:23,  1 Peter 3:18,  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 20:4). In  Matthew 12:18 (a quotation from  Isaiah 42:1) God is said to possess a ψυχή. In  John 4:24 He is said to be spirit (πνεῦμα).

The following particular statements about the soul (ψυχή) are made in the Gospels. As the principle of physical life it is sustained by food ( Matthew 6:25); as the organ of spiritual life it ‘magnifies the Lord’ ( Luke 1:46). It is capable of physical and sensuous pleasure ( Luke 12:19), also of spiritual rest and refreshment ( Matthew 11:29). It can suffer acute sorrow ( Luke 2:35) and anxiety ( John 10:24). It can grieve ( Matthew 26:38) and love ( Matthew 22:37). It can be lost and saved ( Matthew 10:39 etc.). At death it is yielded up ( John 10:11;  John 10:15;  John 12:21), but survives as a personal self-conscious being ( Matthew 10:39 etc.).* [Note: It follows from this, that in the view of Jesus and the Twelve, the ψυχή and τνεῦμα of man are not distinct principles or entities, as, according to some, St. Paul affirms in  1 Thessalonians 5:23, cf.  Hebrews 4:12. The language of the Gospels makes decisively for the unity of the soul, and for a dichotomy of man (body and soul), not for a trichotomy (body, soul, and spirit).] See, further, Spirit.

2. Christ’s teaching about the soul. —According to Jesus, the soul, being a man’s inmost self, the seat of his self-conscious personality, and inherently immortal ( Matthew 10:28), is precious beyond all price. Nothing can be accepted in exchange for it, and the gain of the whole world will not compensate for its loss ( Matthew 16:26). Jesus drives home this truth in the parable of the Rich Fool, who said to his soul, ‘Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry’; and whom God rebuked with the awful words, ‘Thou fool, this night they ( i.e. the ministers of my vengeance) require of thee thy soul’ ( Luke 12:18-21). Much is said in the Gospels about the gain or loss of the soul, generally with a play upon the double meaning of ψυχή (‘life’ or ‘soul’). Most of these passages take the form of exhortations to martyrdom, as, for instance,  Matthew 10:39 ‘He that findeth his soul ( i.e. he that saves his life by denying me in time of persecution), shall lose it (by eternal punishment in Gehenna); and he that loseth his soul for my sake ( i.e. he who confesses me in time of persecution, and suffers a martyr’s death), shall find it (in heaven)’; (see also  Matthew 16:25,  Luke 17:33,  John 12:35). All these passages refer primarily to martyrdom, but in their secondary applications teach that even lesser sufferings and trials endured patiently for Christ’s sake have as their reward the salvation of the soul ( Matthew 10:38). The same idea is expressed in  Luke 14:26, where the strange phrase ‘to hate the soul’ is a rhetorical expression for willingness to suffer martyrdom or any lesser inconvenience for Jesus’ sake (cf. also  John 12:25). The gain or salvation of the soul means certainly its eternal happiness in heaven, and the loss or destruction of the soul, as certainly, not its annihilation, but its eternal punishment in Gehenna. The endlessness of the soul’s final retribution is not simply an inference from the soul’s immortality, but is exegetically established from  Matthew 25:46 etc. According to the conceptions represented in the parable of Dives and Lazarus, retribution does not wait till the Last Day, but begins as soon as the soul leaves the body. At death the disembodied soul passes to a ‘middle state’ (Hades), where, if righteous, it experiences rest and refreshment in ‘Abraham’s bosom,’ or ‘Paradise’; or, if unrighteous, expiatory punishment (symbolized as a tormenting flame) in a limbus or ‘prison,’ which is separated by an impassable barrier from the abodes of the righteous. The disembodied souls are represented as conscious and intelligent, able to converse with one another, and interested in the welfare of their friends upon earth ( Luke 16:19;  Luke 23:43,  1 Peter 3:18,  Revelation 6:9).

The most important question about the intermediate state is whether spiritual change is possible in it. The point has been keenly debated, but the affirmative opinion seems to have the better exegetical support. For (1) the NT represents not death, but the Second Advent, as the time when the soul will render its final account to God. Presumably; therefore, the middle state is included in the period of probation. (2) Christ appears to the present writer to teach that some sins may be forgiven after death ( Matthew 12:32); and at least to hint that even grievous sinners may be released from torments, after adequately expiating their crimes ( Matthew 5:26). (3) The torments of Dives seem to nave been remedial in effect, causing him for the first time to interest himself in the spiritual welfare of others ( Luke 16:27). (4) The descent of Christ into Hades, and His preaching to the disobedient spirits there ( 1 Peter 3:18), plainly presuppose the possibility of repentance after death.’* [Note: the striking words of Clement of Alexandria: ‘The Apostles, following the Lord, preached the gospel to those in Hades.… [God’s] punishments [in Hades) are saving and disciplinary, leading to conversion, and choosing rather the repentance than the death of a sinner.… Did not the same dispensation obtain in Hades, so that even there, all the souls, on hearing the preaching, might either exhibit repentance, or confess that their punishment was just because they believed not?’ (Strom. vi. 6). See also the Shepherd of Hermas, Simil. ix. 16: ‘These Apostles and teachers, having fallen asleep, preached also to those who had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave the seal of their preaching.’]

At the Last Day, according to Jesus, there will be a bodily resurrection of all men, followed by a final judgment, and a final settlement of the destiny of each soul ( Matthew 25:31-46). The resurrection of the wicked is clearly taught in  Matthew 10:28,  John 5:29. See, further, Resurrection of the Dead, Eschatology, Abraham ($ ‘ Abraham’s bosom ’), Paradise, Hell [Descent into].

Jesus claimed to stand in the same relation to human souls as God Himself; and as the Lord of souls issued the universal invitation, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden … and ye shall find rest unto your souls’ ( Matthew 11:28-29). He also declared that His special object in coming into the world was to save souls ( Luke 9:56) by laying down His own soul as a ransom ( John 10:11;  John 10:15;  John 17:3).

3. The soul of Jesus. —If Jesus was perfect man, it follows that He must have possessed not only a human body, but also a human soul and a human spirit; and this is, in fact, the doctrine of the Gospels and of the NT generally. Thus He came to give His soul (ψυχήν) a ransom for many ( Matthew 20:28 ||). After the interview with the Greeks ( John 12:27), His soul (ψυχή) was troubled, and He doubted what to say. In Gethsemane His soul was exceeding sorrowful (περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου,  Matthew 26:38 ||). There are similar references to His human spirit. He groaned (or was angry) in spirit (ἐνεβριμήσατο τῷ πνεύματι,  John 11:33); and was troubled in spirit (ἐταράχθη τῷ πνεύματι,  John 13:21). On the cross He commended His spirit to God (παρατὶθεμαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου,  Luke 23:46), and yielded up His spirit (ἀφῆκε τὸ πνεῦμα,  Matthew 27:50; παρέδωκε τὸ πνεῦμα,  John 19:30). After death, His Divine Personality, still in hypostatic ( i.e. personal) union with His disembodied human spirit, descended to Hades, and there preached to the disobedient spirits in prison ( 1 Peter 3:18, cf.  Ephesians 4:9); visiting also, we infer from  Luke 23:43, that compartment of Hades which is reserved for the spirits of the just. It is obvious from these and other passages, that the view of Apollinaris that Christ did not possess a human soul,* [Note: Apollinaris admitted that Jesus possessed the lower or animal soul (ψυχὴ ἄλογος), but denied to Him the distinctively human or rational soul (ψυχὴ λογική).] but that the Divine Logos took its place, is not Scriptural. The soul and spirit of Jesus were subject to human weakness and infirmity, and were therefore human, not Divine.

But the rejection of Apollinarism, and the adoption of the view that Christ possessed a perfect human soul, involves a great psychological difficulty. A perfect human soul is personal , and therefore, if Christ was perfect God and perfect man, it seems to follow that He must have been two persons , as Nestorius thought, or was supposed to think. This difficulty has never yet received a full solution. The solution of the ancient Church was that the human nature of the incarnate Christ was impersonal . The human ψυχή of Christ, which, under normal conditions, would have developed independent personality, was prevented, owing to its hypostatic union with the Logos, from doing so. It attained personality, not in itself, but in the Divine Logos with which it was united; and hence, though Christ possessed a true human ψυχή, His personality was single, being seated entirely in the Divine Nature. The Patristic view is open to criticism on several grounds, but it still holds the field as the best attempt to reconcile the two apparently conflicting principles of Scripture, that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, and yet only one Person.† [Note: The details of the question are in the highest degree intricate, and cannot be entered upon here. The reader may consult Dorner, Person of Christ, ii. i. 116 ff., 152 ff., 201 ff., 266 ff., for an acute criticism of the Patristic view. See also Ottley, Incarnation, pt. vii. 1. 4, 2. 2.]

4. The human will of Jesus. —Jesus, as possessing a human soul, possessed also a human will, for volition is one of the most characteristic activities of the soul. The Gospels regard Jesus as endowed with a human will, which, though in the end always conforming itself to the Divine will, yet did so sometimes at the cost of an inward struggle. Thus in the Agony in the Garden, Jesus prays ( Luke 22:42), ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine be done’ (πλὴν μὴ τὸ θέλημά μου, ἀλλὰ τὸ σὸν γινέσθω). The distinction of wills is evident also in  John 5:30 (cf.  John 6:38) ‘I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.’ It is thus the teaching of Scripture that there are two wills in Christ, a Divine and a human, and that these two wills are united in one Person. The reconciliation of the two different points of view (duality of will, and unity of Person) is not easy. According to modern ideas, the faculty of willing is so essentially a function of personality, that it seems necessary to postulate two egos where there are two wills. The ancients, however, did not connect willing with personality so closely as we do; and, moreover, ‘will’ is too strong a term to translate their θέλημα ( voluntas ). θέλημα, it is true, in its stronger sense, approaches the meaning of ‘will,’ but more often it bears the weaker sense of ‘wish,’ ‘liking,’ ‘inclination,’ ‘propension.’ The true Greek term for will in our sense is γνώμη, or more definitely προαίρεσις, or still more definitely αὐτεξουσιότης, or αὑτεξούσιον (self-determination). It is clearly in the weaker sense of ‘inclination’ that θέλημα is used in the Gospels, and it is probably in the same sense that Dyothelitism was declared by the Sixth General Council (a.d. 680) to be the doctrine of the Church.‡ [Note: On the Monothelite and Dyothelite question see Dorner, op. cit. ii. i. 155 ff. The last word (even from the strictly orthodox point of view) has not yet been said upon this difficult subject.]

See also art. Incarnation in vol. i., esp, p. 812 f.

Literature.—M. F. Roos, Fundamenta Psychologiœ ex sacra Scriptura collecta (brief, but valuable); J. T. Beck, Umriss der bibl. Seelenlehre [English translation 1877]; Böttcher, de Inferis (a storehouse of Biblical and Rabbinical material); Olshausen, de Nat. Human. Trichotomia (in Opusc. Theol. ); von Rudloff, Die Lehre vom Menschen  ; Franz Delitzsch, Syst. d. bibl. Psychol. [English translation 1867] (learned, but fanciful); J. Laidlaw, The Bible Doctrine of Man  ; J. B. Heard, The Tripartite Nature of Man  ; W. P. Dickson, St. Paul’s Use of Flesh and Spirit (contains short bibliography); Ellicott, ‘The Threefold Nature of Man,’ in The Destiny of the Creature  ; W. R. Alger, Destiny of the Soul (contains exhaustive bibliography by Ezra Abbot); R. H. Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life  ; Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality  ; F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death  ; Piat, Destinée de l’homme  ; Welldon, The Hope of Immortality  ; Martineau, Study of Religion , bk. 4; Mason, Purgatory  ; Plumptre, Spirits in Prison  ; Luckock, After Death  ; Pusey, What is of faith as to Everlasting Punishment  ?; C. Harris, pro Fide , c. [Note: circa, about.] xv.; A. Westphal, Chair et Esprit  ; Lüdemann, Die Anthropologie des ap. Paulus  ; art. ‘Psychology’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible; art. ‘Geist’ in PRE [Note: RE Real-Encyklopädie fur protest. Theologic und Kirche.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] ; artt. ‘Soul,’ ‘Eschatology,’ ‘Immortality of the Soul’ in JE [Note: E Jewish Encyclopedia.] ; art. ‘Eschatology’ in EBi [Note: Bi Encyclopaedia Biblica.] ; consult also OT Theologies of Schultz, Smend, Oehler; and the NT Theologies of Schmid, van Oosterzee, B. Weiss, Holtzmann.

C. Harris.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

The Old Testament . The Hebrew word so rendered is nepes [נֶפֶשׁ]. It appears 755 times in the Old Testament. The King James Version uses 42 different English terms to translate it. The two most common renderings are "soul" (428 times) and "life" (117 times). It is the synchronic use of nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] that determines its meaning rather than the diachronic. Hebrew is inclined to use one and the same word for a variety of functions that are labeled with distinct words in English.

Nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] in the Old Testament is never the "immortal soul" but simply the life principle or living being. Such is observable in  Genesis 1:20,21 ,  24 , where the qualified (living) nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] refers to animals and is rendered "living creatures." The same Hebrew term is then applied to the creation of humankind in  Genesis 2:7 , where dust is vitalized by the breath of God and becomes a "living being." Thus, human being shares soul with the animals. It is the breath of God that makes the lifeless dust a "living being"—person.

Frequently in the Old Testament nepes [   Leviticus 17:10;  23:30 ). In its plural form it indicates a number of individuals such as Abraham's party ( Genesis 12:5 ), the remnant left behind in Judah ( Jeremiah 43:6 ), and the offspring of Leah ( Genesis 46:15 ).

Nepes [   Numbers 6:6 ). More significant here is that nepes [   Numbers 5:2;  6:11 ). Here nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] is detached from the concept of life and refers to the corpse. Hebrew thought could not conceive of a disembodied nepes [נֶפֶשׁ].

Frequently nepes [   Psalm 54:4;  Proverbs 18:7 ). Admittedly this movement from the nominal to the pronominal is without an exact borderline. The Revised Standard Version reflects the above understanding of nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] by replacing the King James Version "soul" with such translations as "being, " "one, " "self, " "I/me."

Nepes [   Isaiah 5:14;  Habakkuk 2:5 ), noting that it can be parched and dry ( Numbers 11:6;  Jeremiah 31:12,25 ), discerning ( Proverbs 16:23 ), hungry ( Numbers 21:5 ), and breathing ( Jeremiah 2:24 ). Nepes [   1 Samuel 28:9;  Psalm 105:18 ), humbled and endangered ( Proverbs 18:7 ), and bowed to the ground ( Psalm 44:25 ). Even while focusing on a single part of the body, by synecodoche the whole person is represented.

Nepes [   Deuteronomy 12:20;  1 Samuel 2:16 ) and thirst ( Proverbs 25:25 ). It can be used of excessive desires (gluttony  Proverbs 23:2 ) and of unfulfilled desires (barrenness  1 Samuel 1:15 ). Volitional/spiritual yearning is also assigned to nepes [   Psalm 42:1-2 ), justice ( Isaiah 26:8-9 ), evil ( Proverbs 21:10 ), and political power ( 2 Samuel 3:21 ). Emotions are expressed by nepes [   Isaiah 1:14 ), grief ( Jeremiah 13:17 ), joy and exultation, disquietude ( Psalm 42:5 ), and unhappiness ( 1 Samuel 1:15 ).

Clearly, then, in the Old Testament a mortal is a living soul rather than having a soul. Instead of splitting a person into two or three parts, Hebrew thought sees a unified being, but one that is profoundly complex, a psychophysical being.

The New Testament . The counterpart to nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] in the New Testament is psyche [Ψυχή] ( nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] is translated as psyche [Ψυχή] six hundred times in the Septaugint). Compared to nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] in the Old Testament, psyche [Ψυχή] appears relatively infrequently in the New Testament. This may be due to the fact that nepes [נֶפֶשׁ] is used extensively in poetic literature, which is more prevalent in the Old Testament than the New Testament. The Pauline Epistles concentrate more on soma [Σῶμα] (body) and pneuma [Πνεῦμα] (spirit) than psyche [Ψυχή].

This word has a range of meanings similar to nepes [   John 13:37;  Acts 15:26;  Romans 16:4;  Philippians 2:30 ), give his life ( Matthew 20:28 ), lay down his life ( John 10:15,17-18 ), forfeit his life ( Matthew 16:26 ), hate his life ( Luke 14:26 ), and have his life demanded of him ( Luke 12:20 ).

Psyche , as its Old Testament counterpart, can indicate the person ( Acts 2:41;  27:37 ). It also serves as the reflexive pronoun designating the self ("I'll say to myself"  Luke 12:19; "as my witness"  2 Corinthians 1:23; "share our lives"  1 Thessalonians 2:8 ).

Psyche can express emotions such as grief (  Matthew 26:38 ,;  Mark 14:34 ), anguish ( John 12:27 ), exultation ( Luke 1:46 ), and pleasure ( Matthew 12:18 ).

The adjectival form "soulish" indicates a person governed by the sensuous nature with subjection to appetite and passion. Such a person is "natural/unspiritual" and cannot receive the gifts of God's Spirit because they make no sense to him ( 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 ). As in the Old Testament, the soul relates humans to the animal world ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-50 ) while it is the spirit of people that allows a dynamic relationship with God.

There are passages where psyche [   Matthew 10:28 ). While Scripture generally addresses humans as unitary beings, there are such passages that seem to allow divisibility within unity.

Carl Schultz

See also Personhood Person; Spirit

Bibliography . W. Dryness, Themes in Old Testament Theology  ; R. H. Gundry, Somma in Biblical Theology  ; R. Jewett, Paul's Anthropological Terms  ; N. Snaith, The Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament  ; H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

Like the word ‘spirit’, the word ‘soul’ has a variety of meanings in English. There is some variety also in the usages of the original words from which ‘soul’ has been translated. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament the word is nephesh. In the Greek of the New Testament the word is psyche.

Old Testament usage

The writers of the Old Testament did not speak of the soul as something that exists apart from the body. To them, soul (or nephesh) meant life. Both animals and people are nephesh, living creatures. Older English versions of the Bible have created misunderstanding by the translation ‘man became a living soul’ ( Genesis 2:7), for the words translated ‘living soul’ are the same words as earlier translated ‘living creatures’ ( Genesis 1:21;  Genesis 1:24). All animal life is nephesh (or psyche;  Revelation 8:9), though human nephesh is of a higher order than the nephesh of other animals ( Genesis 2:19-22).

From this it is easy to see how nephesh came to refer to the whole person. We should understand a person not as consisting of a combination of a lifeless body and a bodiless soul, but as a perfect unity, a living body. Thus nephesh may be translated ‘person’; even if translated ‘soul’, it may mean no more than ‘person’ or ‘life’ ( Exodus 1:5;  Numbers 9:13;  Ezekiel 18:4;  Ezekiel 18:27). A reference to someone’s nephesh may simply be a reference to the person ( Psalms 6:3-4;  Psalms 35:9;  Isaiah 1:14) or the person’s life ( Genesis 35:18;  1 Kings 17:22;  Psalms 33:19).

New Testament usage

Similarly in the New Testament psyche can be used to mean no more than ‘person’ ( Acts 2:41;  Acts 2:43;  Acts 7:14;  Romans 2:9;  Romans 13:1). Again, a reference to someone’s psyche may simply be a reference to the person ( Matthew 12:18;  Matthew 26:38;  Luke 1:46;  Luke 12:19;  1 Thessalonians 2:8;  Hebrews 10:38) or the person’s life ( Matthew 16:26;  1 Corinthians 15:45;  Philippians 2:30;  1 Peter 4:19). Sometimes ‘soul’ appears to be the same as ‘heart’, which in the Bible usually refers to the whole of a person’s inner life ( Proverbs 2:10;  Acts 4:32; see Heart; Humanity, Humankind )

A person characterized by psyche is an ordinary person of the world, one who lives solely according to the principles and values of sinful human society – the ‘natural person’, in contrast to the ‘spiritual person’. The latter is one who has new principles and values because of the Spirit of God within ( 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; cf.  Judges 1:19; see Flesh ; Spirit ).

Human uniqueness

Both Old and New Testaments teach that when people die they do not cease to exist. The body returns to dust ( Genesis 3:19;  Ecclesiastes 3:20), but the person lives on in a place, or state, of the dead, which the Hebrew calls sheol and the Greek calls hades ( Psalms 6:5;  Psalms 88:3-5;  Luke 16:22-23; see Hades ; Sheol ). The Old Testament does not say in what way people live on after death. Certainly, they live on as a conscious personal beings, but that personal being is not complete, for it has no body ( Psalms 49:14;  Ezekiel 26:20).

The New Testament also is unclear on the subject of a person’s existence after death. It speaks of the bodiless person after death sometimes as a soul ( Acts 2:27;  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 20:4), sometimes as a spirit ( Hebrews 12:23;  1 Peter 3:18), but again the person, being bodiless, is not complete. Also, this existence as a bodiless person is only temporary, just as the decay of the body in the grave is only temporary. That is why the Bible encourages believers to look for their eternal destiny not in the endless existence of some bodiless ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, but in the resurrection of the body to a new and glorious life ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-53;  Philippians 3:20-21).

Since there is more to a human life than what people experience during their earthly existence, psyche naturally developed a meaning relating to more than normal earthly life. Eternal destiny also is involved ( Matthew 10:28;  Matthew 16:26;  Hebrews 10:38-39).

From this usage, psyche developed an even richer meaning. It became the word most commonly used among Christians to describe the higher or more spiritual aspect of human life that is popularly called the soul ( Hebrews 6:19;  Hebrews 13:17;  James 1:21;  1 Peter 1:9;  1 Peter 1:22;  1 Peter 2:11;  1 Peter 2:25;  3 John 1:2).

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

nephesh AnthropologyHumanity

Such a holistic image of a person is maintained also in the New Testament even over against the Greek culture which, since Plato, sharply separated body and soul with an analytic exactness and which saw the soul as the valuable, immortal, undying part of human beings. In the Old Testament, the use and variety of the word is much greater while in the New Testament its theological meaning appears much stronger.

The soul designates the physical life. Vitality in all of its breadth and width of meaning is meant by the soul. The basic meaning of nephesh is throat. Thus, the Bible refers to the hungry, thirsty, satisfied, soul (  Psalm 107:5 ,Psalms 107:5, 107:9;  Proverbs 27:7;  Jeremiah 31:12 ,Jeremiah 31:12, 31:25 ). The soul means the entire human being in its physical life needing food and clothing ( Matthew 6:25 ). The breathing organs and the breath blown out from them also express individual life in animals as well as human beings ( Job 11:20;  Job 41:21;  Acts 20:10 ). At times, then, soul can be interchanged with life ( Proverbs 7:23;  Proverbs 8:35-36 ) and can be identical with blood ( Deuteronomy 12:23 ). A person does not have a soul. A person is a living soul ( Genesis 2:7 ). That means a living being that owes life itself to the Creator just as does the animal ( Genesis 2:19 ). For this life or soul, one gives all one has ( Job 2:4 ). Satan is permitted by God to take health, that is flesh and blood, but Satan cannot take the bare life of a person ( Job 2:5-6 ).

Soul designates the feelings, the wishes, and the will of humans. The work of the throat, its hunger and appetite, stands for the desire and the longing of the human being after power and sex, after satisfaction, and after even the evil ( Proverbs 21:10 ), but also after God ( Psalm 42:2-3 ). The soul can be incited, embittered, confirmed, unsettled, or kept in suspense ( Acts 14:2 ,Acts 14:2, 14:22;  Acts 15:24;  John 10:24 ). The word mirrors the entire scale of feelings under the influence of the human being, even the psychological. The bitter soul of the childless, the sick, or the threatened ( 1 Samuel 1:10;  2 Kings 4:27;  2 Samuel 17:8 ) reminds us of the nephesh as the organ of taste that also stands for the entire embittered person.

The soul also knows positive emotions. The soul rejoices, praises, hopes, and is patient. Never in these cases is only one part of the human being meant. It is always the powerful soul as an expression of the entire personality ( Psalm 33:20 ). In the command to love ( Deuteronomy 6:5;  Mark 12:30 ), the soul stands next to other expressions for the human being to emphasize the emotional energy and willpower of the human being all rolled into one.

The soul designates the human person. Soul is not only a synonym with life. One can also speak of the life of the soul ( Proverbs 3:22 ). Every human soul ( Acts 2:43;  Romans 2:9 ) means each individual person. The popular expression used today “to save our souls” goes back to this biblical way of thinking ( 1 Peter 3:20 ). It means to save the entire person. In legal texts, the soul is the individual person with juristic responsibilities ( Leviticus 17:10 , a blood-eating soul). Connected with a figure showing statistics or numbers of people, soul becomes an idea in the arena of the statistician ( Genesis 46:26-27;  Acts 2:41 ). At times, soul simply replaces a preposition such as the expression “let my soul live,” which means “let me live” ( 1 Kings 20:32 ). It is even possible for all the nuances of meaning to sound forth together in the same expression. For instance, in  Psalm 103:1 , we read, “Bless, Yahweh, O my soul.” This includes the throat as the organ of life, the soul as the totality of capabilities; my own personal life which experiences the saving actions of Yahweh our God; my person; my own “I”; and the vital, emotional self.

Soul designates the essential life. Physical life is given and maintained by God ( Matthew 6:25-34 ). Meaningful and fulfilled life comes only when it is free to give itself to God as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Life is the highest good when it is lived according to God's intentions and not used up in search for material and cultural goods ( Mark 8:34-37 ). This life is stronger than death and cannot be destroyed by human beings ( Matthew 10:28 ). The soul does not, however, represent a divine, immortal, undying part of the human being after death as the Greeks often thought. Paul, thus, avoids the word soul in connection with eternal life. There is a continuity between the earthly and the resurrected life that does not lie in the capabilities or nature of mortal humans. It lies alone in the power of the Spirit of God ( 1 Corinthians 15:44 ). According to the Bible, a human being exists as a whole unit and remains also as a whole person in the hand of God after death. A person is not at any time viewed as a bodiless soul.

Christian Wolf

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

1: Ψυχή (Strong'S #5590 — Noun Feminine — psuche — psoo-khay' )

denotes "the breath, the breath of life," then "the soul," in its various meanings. The NT uses "may be analyzed approximately as follows:

 Matthew 2:20 Luke 12:22 Acts 20:10 Revelation 8:9 12:11 Leviticus 17:11 2—Samuel 14:7 Esther 8:11 Matthew 10:28 Acts 2:27 1—Kings 17:21 2—Corinthians 5:3,4 Revelation 6:9 Luke 9:24 Luke 9:25 Hebrews 6:19 10:39 Isaiah 53:10  1—Timothy 2:6 Matthew 11:29 Luke 1:46 2:35 Acts 14:2,22 Psalm 84:2 139:14 Isaiah 26:9 Matthew 22:37 Acts 4:32 Ephesians 6:6 Philippians 1:27 Hebrews 12:3 Numbers 21:4 Deuteronomy 11:13 Revelation 18:14 Psalm 107:9 Proverbs 6:30 Isaiah 5:14  Acts 2:41,43 Romans 2:9 James 5:20 1—Peter 3:20 2—Peter 2:14 Genesis 12:5 14:21  Leviticus 4:2  Ezekiel 27:13 Numbers 6:6 Leviticus 24:18 John 10:24  Hebrews 10:38 Genesis 12:13 Numbers 23:10 Judges 16:30 Psalm 120:2  2—Corinthians 12:15 Hebrews 13:17 James 1:21 1—Peter 1:9 2:25 Leviticus 17:11 26:15 1—Samuel 1:26 3 1—Peter 4:19 2—Peter 2:8 Exodus 30:12 Job 32:2 1—Corinthians 15:45 Revelation 16:3 Genesis 1:24 2:7,19 Luke 21:19  Matthew 10:39 1—Peter 2:11 3—John 1:2 1—Corinthians 14:7 James 1:8 4:8 1—Thessalonians 5:14 Philippians 2:20 Philippians 2:2 Hebrews 4:12 Matthew 6:25 10:28 Luke 12:20 Acts 20:10 Luke 8:55 1—Corinthians 5:3 7:34 James 2:26 Matthew 26:38  John 13:21  Psalm 42:11  1—Kings 21:5 Psalm 35:9  Luke 1:47

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

The ancients supposed the soul, or rather the animating principle of life, to reside in the breath, that it departed from the body with the breath. Hence the Hebrew and Greek words which, when they refer to man, in our Bibles are translated "soul," are usually rendered "life" or "breath" when they refer to animals,  Genesis 2:7   7:15   Numbers 16:22   Job 12:10   34:14,15   Psalm 104:29   Ecclesiastes 12:7   Acts 17:25 .

But together with this principle of life, which is common to men and brutes, and which in brutes perishes with the body, there is in man a spiritual, reasonable, and immortal soul, the seat of our thoughts, affections, and reasonings, which distinguishes us from the brute creation, and in which chiefly consists our resemblance to God,  Genesis 1:26 . This must be spiritual, because it thinks; it must be immortal, because it is spiritual. Scripture ascribes to man alone understanding, conscience, the knowledge of God, wisdom, immortality, and the hope of future everlasting happiness. It threatens men only with punishment in another life, and with the pains of hell. In some places the Bible seems to distinguish soul from spirit,  1 Thessalonians 5:23   Hebrews 4:12 : the organ of our sensations, appetites, and passions, allied to the body, form the nobler portion of our nature which most allies man to God. Yet we are to conceive of them as one indivisible and spiritual being, called also the mind and the heart, spoken of variously as living, feeling, understanding, reasoning, willing, etc. Its usual designation is the soul.

The immortality of the soul is a fundamental doctrine of revealed religion. The ancient patriarchs lived and died persuaded of this truth; and it was in the hope of another life that they received the promises. Compare  Genesis 50:22   Numbers 23:10   1 Samuel 28:13-15   2 Samuel 12:23   Job 19:25,26   Ecclesiastes 12:7   Hebrews 11:13-16 . In the gospel "life and immortality," and the worth of immortal souls, are fully brought to light,  Matthew 16:26   1 Corinthians 15:45-57   2 Timothy 1:10 . To save the souls of men, Christ freely devoted himself to death; and how does it become us to labor and toil and strive, in our respective spheres, to promote the great work for which He bled and died!

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

SOUL . The use of the term in the OT (Heb. nephesh ) for any animated being, whether human or animal (  Genesis 1:20 ‘life,’   Genesis 2:7 ), must be distinguished from the Greek philosophical use for the immaterial substance which gives life to the body, and from the use in the NT (Gr. psyche ) where more stress is laid on individuality (  Matthew 16:26 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ). As the Bible does not contain a scientific psychology, it is vain to dispute whether it teaches that man’s nature is bipartite (body and soul or spirit) or tripartite (body and soul and spirit): yet a contrast between soul and spirit (Heb. rûach , Gr. pneuma ) may be recognized; while the latter is the universal principle imparting life from the Creator, the former is the individual organism possessed of life in the creature (  Genesis 2:7 ‘breath of life’ and ‘living soul’). In some passages the terms are used as equivalent (  Isaiah 26:9 ,   Luke 1:46-47 ,   Philippians 1:27 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), in others a distinction is made (  Hebrews 4:12 ,   1 Thessalonians 5:23 ). The distinction is this: ‘soul’ expresses man as apart from God, a separate individual; ‘spirit’ expresses man as drawing his life from God (cf.   John 10:11 , ‘life’ = ‘soul,’ and   John 19:30 ). This separate individuality may renounce its dependence and refuse its submission to God. Hence the adjective ‘psychical’ may be rendered sensual (  James 3:15 ,   Judges 1:19 [RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘Or, natural . Or, animal ’]), or natural (  1 Corinthians 2:14;   1 Corinthians 15:44-46 ). Probably sensual in the two passages conveys more moral meaning than the term ‘psychical’ justifies, and natural is the better rendering, as expressing what belongs to the old unregenerate life in contrast with the characteristic of the new life in Christ, the spiritual ( pneumatic ). A parallel change in the use of the term ‘flesh’ and its corresponding adjective may be noted.

Alfred E. Garvie.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [8]

That vital, immaterial, active substance, or principle, in man, whereby he perceives, remembers, reasons, and wills. It is rather to be described as to its operations, than to be defined as to its essence. Various, indeed, have been the opinions of philosophers concerning its substance. The Epicureans thought it a subtile air, composed of atoms, or primitive corpuscles. The Stoics maintained it was a flame, or portion of heavenly light. The Cartesians make thinking the essence of the soul. Some hold that man is endowed with three kinds of soul, viz. the rational, which is purely spiritual, and infused by the immediate inspiration of God: the irrational or sensitive, which being common to man and brutes, is supposed to be formed of the elements: and, lastly, the vegetative soul, or principle of growth and nutrition, as the first is of understanding, and the second of animal life. The rational soul is simple, uncompounded, and immaterial, not composed of matter and form; for matter can never think and move of itself as the soul does.

In the fourth volume of the Memoirs of the Literacy and Philosophical Society of Manchester, the reader will find a very valuable paper, by Dr. Ferrier, proving by evidence apparently complete, that every part of the brain has been injured without affecting the act of thought. It will be difficult for any man to peruse this without being convinced that the modern theory of the Materialists is shaken from its very foundation. The immortality of the soul may be argued from its vast capacities, boundless desires, great improvements, dissatisfaction with the present state, and desire of some kind of religion. It is also argued from the consent of all nations; the consciousness that men have of sinning; the sting of conscience; the justice and providence of God. How far these arguments are conclusive I will not say; but the safest, and, in fact, the only sure ground to go upon to prove this doctrine is the word of God, where we at once see it clearly established,  Matthew 10:28 .  Matthew 25:46 .  Daniel 12:2 .  2 Timothy 1:10 .  1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 .  John 10:1-42 . But as this article belongs rather to metaphysics than to theology, we refer the reader to A. Baxter on the Soul; Locke on the Understanding; Watts's Ontology; Jackson on Matter and Spirit; Flavel on the Soul; More's Immortality of the Soul; Hartley on Man; Bp. Porteus's Sermons, ser. 5, 6, 7. vol. 1:; Doddridge's Lectures, lec. 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97; Drew's Essay on the Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul. Care of the Soul.


King James Dictionary [9]

SOUL, n.

1. The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the christian system. Such is the nature of the human soul that it must have a God, an object of supreme affection. 2. The understanding the intellectual principle. The eyes of our soul then only begin to see, when our bodily eye are closing. 3. Vital principle. Thou son, of this great world both eye and soul. 4. Spirit essence chief part as charity, the soul of all the virtues. Emotion is the soul of eloquence. 5. Life animation principle or part as, an able commander is the soul of an army. 6. Internal power. There is some soul of goodness in things evil. 7. A human being a person. There was no a soul present. In Paris there are more than seven hundred thousand souls. London, Westminster, Southwark and the suburbs, are said to contain twelve hundred thousand souls. 8. Animal life. To deliver their soil from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Psalms 33 . 7 . 9. Active power. And heaven would fly before the driving soul. 10. Spirit courage fire grandeur of mind. That he wants caution he must needs confess, but not a soul to give our arms success. 11. Generosity nobleness of mind a colloquial use. 12. An intelligent being. Every soul in heav'n shall bend the knee. 13. Heart affection. The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David.  1 Samuel 18 . 14. In Scripture, appetite as the full soul the hungry soul.  Proverbs 27 .  Job 33 . 15. A familiar compellation of a person, but often expressing some qualities of the mind as alas, poor soul he was a good soul.

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) A human being; a person; - a familiar appellation, usually with a qualifying epithet; as, poor soul.

(2): ( n.) A pure or disembodied spirit.

(3): ( n.) The leader; the inspirer; the moving spirit; the heart; as, the soul of an enterprise; an able general is the soul of his army.

(4): ( v. t.) To indue with a soul; to furnish with a soul or mind.

(5): ( n.) Energy; courage; spirit; fervor; affection, or any other noble manifestation of the heart or moral nature; inherent power or goodness.

(6): ( n.) The spiritual, rational, and immortal part in man; that part of man which enables him to think, and which renders him a subject of moral government; - sometimes, in distinction from the higher nature, or spirit, of man, the so-called animal soul, that is, the seat of life, the sensitive affections and phantasy, exclusive of the voluntary and rational powers; - sometimes, in distinction from the mind, the moral and emotional part of man's nature, the seat of feeling, in distinction from intellect; - sometimes, the intellect only; the understanding; the seat of knowledge, as distinguished from feeling. In a more general sense, "an animating, separable, surviving entity, the vehicle of individual personal existence."

(7): ( v. i.) To afford suitable sustenance.

(8): ( a.) Sole.

(9): ( a.) Sole.

(10): ( n.) The seat of real life or vitality; the source of action; the animating or essential part.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [11]

This word is used as a picture of, or a type of, many things.

Below is a list of some of the things which are covered by this word:

 Genesis 2:7 The human life

 Genesis 34:8 Human feelings

 Genesis 35:18 The human spirit

 Leviticus 5:2 The person's body

 Leviticus 17:11 The whole person

 Leviticus 17:12 The person's body

 2 Chronicles 6:38 Purpose of heart

 1 Samuel 18:1 Human affections

 1 Kings 17:21 The spirit of life

 Deuteronomy 11:13 The human mind or will

 Hebrews 10:39 The whole person

 Hebrews 13:17 The human life

The above types cover practically all of the places where the word "soul" is used throughout the Scriptures. These passages are a guide to other Scriptures.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [12]

that immortal, immaterial, active substance or principle in man, whereby he perceives, remembers, reasons, and wills. See Materialism .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

(prop. רוּחִ , Πνεῦμα , the Rational spirit; but occasionally נֶפֶשׁ , Ψυχή , the Animal principle of life), that vital, immaterial, active substance, or principles in man whereby he perceives, remembers, reasons, and wills. The rational soul is simple, uncompounded, and immaterial, not composed of matter and form; for matter can never think and move of itself as the soul does. In the fourth volume of the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester the reader will find a very valuable paper by Dr. Ferrier, proving, by evidence apparently complete, that every part of the brain has been injured without affecting the act of thought. It will be difficult for any man to peruse this without being convinced that the modern theory of the Materialists is shaken from its very foundation. (See Materialism).

The soul is rather to be described as to its operation than to be defined as to its essence. Various, indeed, have been the opinions of philosophers concerning its substance. In the second book of his treatise Περὶ Ψυχῆς , Aristotle has given two definitions of it. In the first of these he calls it "the Entelechy ( Ε᾿Ντελέχεια ) , or first form of an organized body which has potential life." The Epicureans thought it a subtle air, composed of atoms, or primitive corpuscles. The Stoics maintained it was a flame, or portion of heavenly light. The Cartesians make thinking the essence of the soul. Critics, a Sophist, regarded the blood as the seat and substratum of the soul. According to Plato, "The first or invisible element of the soul in man is the instrument of rational cognition, the other element is the organ of perception and representation. With this soul, having its seat in the head, are combined the courageous and the appetitive souls, the whole resembling the composite force of a driver and two steeds." Aristotle distinguished several forms of soul, viz. the Rational, which is purely spiritual; and infused by the immediate inspiration of God; the Appetitice, which was the source of desire and will the Motive of locomotion; the Sensitive, which, being common to man and brutes, is supposed to be formed of the element, and is the cause of sensation and feeling and, lastly, the Vegetative soul, or principle of growth and nutrition, as the first is of understanding, and the second of animal life.

Modern philosophy has made many attempts to define the soul, of which we give the following resume. "It is not I that thinks, but it thinks in me; and it is not I that am, but it is something in me" (Baggesen, Zeitschr. von Fichte, 34, 153). "Spirit is a substance, immediately immanent in thinking, or of which thinking is immediately the form of activity. Spirit is thinking substance, the soul is dynamically present in the entire organism" (Chalybais, ibid. 20, 69). "We are compelled to suppose that there must be a real essence as the substantial bearer of all psychical conditions. This essence is the soul. It must stand with other real essences in causal relation, in order to the generation in it of manifold internal conditions. In brief, the soul needs the body, the body needs the soul" (Cornelius, Zeitschr. fir exacte Philosophie, 4, 99-102). "In the organism formed of atoms, which are spiritual essences, one unfolds its spiritual force to the point of self- consciousness; this atom, which as gas form atom interpenetrates the entire organism and occupies space as a center, is the soul" (Drossbach, Harmonie der Ergebnisse d. Naturforschung, p. 101-129, 229). "The phenomena of body and soul hang together as internal and external phenomena of the same essence. This primary essence is, however, nothing more than the conjunction of phenomena themselves in the unitv of the general consciousness. The soul becomes aware only of its own proper phenomena, the body becomes aware only through that which appears of it to the soul itself. It is a common essence which appears externally as body, internally as soul" (Fechner, Physical. und philosoph. Atonzenlehre, 2d ed. p. 258, 259). "The soul is no more than nature; it is a phenomenon of the internal sense" (J.G. Fichte, Grundlage d. ges. Wissenschaftslehre, 1794, 1802). "The fact of self consciousness can only be explained on the supposition that the soul is a real essence, distinct from the organism, capable of reflection upon itself, that is, of consciousness. "Soul and body are diverse substances, but in the most intimate union and mutual interpenetration. It is the idea of its body." "Every soul acquires for itself an organic body.

The external material body is but the changing image of the internal process of soul and life" (I.H. Fichte, Zeitschr. 12, 246; 25, 176-178). "Spirit is but a higher potency, a mere continuation of development of the animal soul, and the animal soul itself is a mere exaltation of the vital force of the plant. These three principles are in man, in virtue of his self consciousness, comprehended in one and the same Ego" (Fischer, Metaphysik, p. 36-38; Sitz der Seele, p. 8, 16). "The soul is a substantial essence. The inmost essence, the Ego, is unattainable to our cognition" (Frohschammer, Athehaumn, 2, 116, 119). "The body is the same life as the soul, and yet they may be spoken of as lying asunder. A soul without body would be nothing living, and the converse is true. The soul posits and produces itself; it has a body in itself, not without which it composes one total and actual, and in which it is omnipresent" (Hegel, Wereke, 5, 16; 8, 22, 23; 15, 339; 18, 29, 93). "We have no cognition of what is strictly the essence of our soul. We cannot reach the Ego itself with our consciousness; we can only reach it in the constantly shifting modifications, as it thinks, feels, wills, especially as it possesses the power of representation." "The soul is a simple essence without parts, and without plurality in its quality, whose intellectual manifoldness is conditioned by a varied concurrence with other and yet real essences" (Herbart, Werke, 1, 193, etc.). "The Ego is an absolute unity, and, as it is no object of outward sense, is immaterial; and though it is present in space, and operates in it, occupies no space and has no special place in the body. The body is, rather, but the form of the soul; and birth, life; and death are but the diverse conditions of the soul. The conception of soul can only be reached by deductions" (Kant, Vorlesungen uber Metaphysik, p. 133-254; Werke, 7, 60-78). "The what of the soul, its nature, comes as little into view as does the essential nature of things in general; the essential nature of the soul in itself remains unknown to us before it comes into a situation within which alone its life unfolds itself.

The soul is also the focus into which flow together the movements of the bodily life that play hither and thither. The. soul neither arises from the body nor from nothing, but goes forth from the substance of the infinite with the same substantiality which pertains to all the actual in nature that has sprung from the same infinite source. Our personality is not composed of body and soul; rather does our true essence lie exclusively in the soul. The spirit is something higher than the soul. In the spirit is the unity of our being, our true Ego. The soul is but an element in its service. At death the soul passes away, the spirit ripens to a new existence" (Lotze, Mlikrokosmus; Sfreitschriften, 1, 138). "The soul, the consciousness a posteriori, is nothing but the individual being, so far as it is conscious, and can neither be, nor be thought of, apart from that individual being" (Schellwien, Seyn und Bewusstseyn, p. 117, 122). "The Ego which now apprehends itself as sentient or percipient, now as putting forth effort, willing, etc., knows itself at the same time as one and the same, the same abiding self. It is but an expression of this consciousness of unity when we speak of our own soul, and impute to it this or that predicate; that is, when we distinguish our own soul, with its manifold characteristics, from ourselves, and in this act implicitly contrast ourselves as unity with the mutation and manifoldness of our intellectual life" (Ulrici, Glauben und Wissen, p. 64-66; Zeitschr. von Fichte, 36, 232; Gott u. die Natur, p. 414-417).

Modern philosophers in Germany thus make a distinction between Ψυχή ( Seele ) and Πνεῦμα ( Geist ) , or spirit and soul; but they reverse the relative significance of these terms. Prof. G.H. Schubert says that the Soul is the inferior part of our intellectual nature, while the Spirit is that part of our nature which tends to the purely rational, the lofty and divine. The doctrine of the Natural and the Spiritual (q.v.) man, which we find in the writings of Paul, may, it has been thought, have formed the basis upon which this mental dualism has been founded. The plainest and most common distinction taken in the use of the words soul and mind is, that in speaking of the Mind of man we refer more to the various powers which it possesses, or the various operations which it performs; and in speaking of the soul of man we refer rather to the nature and destiny of the human being. The following distinguishing features of spirit, mind, and soul have been given: "The first denotes the animating faculty, the breath of intelligence, the inspiring principle, the spring of energy, and the prompter of exertion; the second is the recording power, the preserver of impressions, the storer of deductions, the nurse of knowledge, and the parent of thought; the last is the disembodied, ethereal, self conscious being, concentrating in itself all the purest and most refined of human excellences, every generous affection, every benevolent disposition, every intellectual attainment, every ennobling virtue, and every exalting aspiration" (The Purpose of Existence [1850, 12mo], p. 79). Ψυχή , spirit, when considered separately signifies the principle of Life ; Νοῦς , mind, the principle Of Intelligence. According to Plutarch, Spirit is the cause and beginning of motion, and Mind of order and harmony with respect to motion. Together they signify an intelligent soul. Thus we say the "immortality" of the Soul, and the "powers" of the Mind (Fleming, Vocabulary Of Science, s.v.). (See Mind).

In the Holy Scriptures three principles are recognized (see especially  1 Thessalonians 5:23) as essential components of man the soul ( רוּחִ , Πνεῦμα ) , the Spirit ( נֶפֶשׁ , Ψυχή ) , and the Body ( בָּשָׂר , Σάρξ , or Σῶμα ); but these are not accurately, much less scientifically, defined. The first and the last of these elements clearly correspond to the material or physical and the immaterial or spiritual parts of man's nature, i.e. the soul and the body, as ordinarily defined by modern philosophers and scientists; but the middle term, the "spirit," is hard to be distinguished. Yet in all earthly creatures, even in the lowest forms of animals, there is clearly observable a principle, inherent indeed in the body, and yet distinct from the rational faculty of man or the instinctive intelligence of brutes. This is usually styled "the animate principle," or briefly life. It is this which molds the whole physical organism, and for this end controls, and to a large degree overrides, mere chemical and inorganic laws, producing combinations and results impossible to unvitalized substance. This power or essence for it has not yet been determined whether it be distinct from or a mere result of the combination of soul and body has hitherto eluded the analysis of scientific and philosophical research, and it will probably remain an inscrutable secret; but it is a sufficiently separate element of human and animal nature to warrant the distinctive use of a special term for it by the Biblical writers (which is carefully observed by them in the original, although frequently obscured in the English version). Thus spirit ( נֶפֶשׁ , Ψυχή ) is never applied to God or to angelic beings, who are incorporeal; nor, on the other hand, is soul ( רוּח , Πνεῦμα ) ever used of beasts (except in  Ecclesiastes 3:19;  Ecclesiastes 3:21, where it is evidently employed out of its proper sense for the sake of uniformity). Yet Life ( חִיָּה ) is ascribed equally to all these classes of Existence, although those only who have bodies are endowed with the organic locomotive principle ( Genesis 1:20;  Genesis 2:7). (See Psychology).

On the general subject, see Baxter, On the Soul; Drew, Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul; Doddridge; Lectures, p. 92-97; Flavel, On the Soul; Locke, On the Understanding; oore, Immortality of the Soul; Ueberweg, Hist. of Philosophy. (See Spirit).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

sōl ( נפשׁ , nephesh  ; ψυχή , psuchḗ  ; 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 bāsār , "flesh" (  Isaiah 10:18;  Deuteronomy 12:23 ); from she'ēr , "the inner flesh," next the bones ( Proverbs 11:17 , "his own flesh"); from beṭen , "belly" ( Psalm 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 ( Psalm 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 ,  Deuteronomy 12:24 , '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' ( Psalm 107:9 ), 'a weary soul' ( Jeremiah 31:25 ), 'a loathing soul' ( Leviticus 26:11 ), 'a thirsty soul' ( Psalm 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 pneúma or rūaḥ (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 psuchē in the same sense see  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 20:4 , and (irrespective of the meaning of  Psalm 16:10 )  Acts 2:27 .

2. New Testament Distinctions:

(1) In the New Testament psuchē 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 " psuchē for the sheep," and in  Matthew 20:28 He gave His psuchē (not His pneuma ) as a ransom - a difference which is characteristic. For the pneuma stands in quite a different relation to God from the psuchē . The "spirit" ( pneuma ) is the outbreathing of God into the creature, the life-principle derived from God. The "soul" ( psuchē ) 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 psuchē 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  Psalm 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" ( Psalm 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 psuchē and pneuma , or nephesh and rūaḥ , 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 (  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 naphshı̄ ("my soul"), naphshekhā ("thy soul") may be rendered in Latin egomet , tu ipse  ; but not rūḥı̄ ("my spirit"), ruḥăkhā ("thy spirit") - soul standing for the whole person, as in  Genesis 12:5;  Genesis 17:14;  Ezekiel 18:4 , etc. See Psychology .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [15]

The present article is a sequel to that on Punishment, in which literature only of the question concerning future punishment will be briefly stated. The literature of the question concerning the nature and duration of future punishment consists of the following particulars. First, its duration was believed by the heathens to be eternal. Secondly, there is a still more striking similarity between the descriptions both of the nature and duration of future punishment given in the Apocryphal books and those of the New Testament. Thus; 'Woe to the nations which rise up against my kindred! the Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment, in putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they shall feel them, and weep for ever' (comp.; ). These terms seem borrowed from Isaiah's description of a different subject . Thirdly, Josephus describes the doctrine of everlasting punishment as being held by the Pharisees and Essenes: 'that the souls of the wicked should be punished with perpetual punishment, and that there was appointed for them a perpetual prison' (De Bell. Jud. ii. 8. 11, 14; Antiq. xviii. 1, 3). In the New Testament the nature of future punishment is almost always described by figures. 'The most abstract description occurs in : 'Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men.' Our Lord generally describes it under figures suggested by some comparison he had just before made, and in unison with it. Thus, having described future happiness under the figure of a midnight banquet, lighted up with lamps, then the state of the rejected is described under that of 'outer darkness' outside the mansion, and 'gnashing' or chattering 'of teeth,' from the extreme cold of an Oriental night . If 'the end of the world' be described by him under the figure of a harvest, then the wicked, who are represented by the tares, are accordingly gathered and burned. Our Lord also frequently represents future punishment under the idea of fire, which Calvin, on , remarks, must be understood metaphorically of spiritual punishment. Indeed both the nature and variety of the figures employed by our Savior in regard to the subject fully justify Paley's observation, 'that our Lord's discourses exhibit no particular description of the invisible world. The future happiness of the good and the future misery of the bad, which is all we want to be assured of, is directly and positively affirmed, and is represented by metaphors and comparisons which were plainly intended as metaphors and comparisons, and nothing more. As to the rest a solemn reserve is maintained' (Evidences of Christianity, part ii. ch. ii.). The question of the duration of future punishment chiefly turns on the force of the words translated 'ever,' 'everlasting,' 'never,' which our Lord and his apostles apply to it, and which it is well known have sometimes a limited signification, and are very variously translated in the English version. Hence, therefore, it is urged on the one side, that we can never settle the precise import of these words, as applied in the New Testament to the duration of future punishment, until we shall be able also to answer the following questions; namely, Was it part of the commission of Christ and His apostles to determine this matter? and if so, In what sense were the terms they used in regard to it meant by themselves, and understood by their hearers—whether as denoting a punishment of unknown duration, or one literally coexistent with the duration of the Eternal God? On the other side it is objected, that the same word is applied both to the happiness of the righteous and the misery of the wicked, though varied in our translation of : 'These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.' Upon this truly important subject we cordially acquiesce in the remark of Doddridge: 'Miserable are they who venture their souls upon the possibility that the words in question, when applied to future punishment, may have a limited meaning.'

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [16]

The name given to the spiritual part of man, the Seat Of Reason ( q. v .) and conscience, by which he relates and subordinates himself to the higher spiritual world, inspiring him with a sense of individual responsibility.