Include human immaterial souls
What is the biblical basis for believing that the soul / spirit persists after death?
I think there is a biblical basis for believing that the soul / spirit will not be extinguished when the physical body dies and is buried. The words mind and breath are translations of the Hebrew word "Neshamah" and the Greek word "Pneuma". The words mean "high wind, explosion, or inspiration". Neshamah is the source of life that vitalizes humanity. “The Spirit of God made me; The breath of the Almighty gives me life. ”- Job 33: 4. It is the immaterial, invisible human mind that rules the spiritual and emotional existence of man. The apostle Paul said, "Who among men knows a man's thoughts but the spirit of the man in him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11). After death, the “spirit returns to God who gave him” (Ecclesiastes 12: 7; see also Job 34: 14-15; Psalm 104: 29-30).
All human beings have both material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual) properties. Everyone has a physical body. The New Living Translation Bible says that after God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, “He breathed the breath of life into man's nostrils, and man became a living man” (Genesis 2: 7). The King James versions say that man was created as a "living soul".
The word soul can refer to both the immaterial and the material aspects of humanity. Unlike people who have a spirit, people are souls. Nowhere does the Bible say that God's breath is given to other animals. Only humans are “shaped in God's image” (Genesis 1:27) and have spiritual awareness and moral conscience (Job 32: 8).
The soul and spirit are the immaterial parts that the Bible ascribes to humanity. Whenever the word spirit is used in the Bible, it refers to the immaterial part of humanity that "connects" with God, which is spirit (John 4:24). The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest double-edged sword that cuts between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It reveals our innermost thoughts and desires ”(Hebrews 4:12).
The soul is the essence of human existence; it is who we are. The spirit is the immaterial part of humanity that connects with God. The soul as the life essence of the body is removed at the time of physical death: “And when her soul left (for she died) she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin ”(Genesis 35:18 King James Version). NLT says Rachel, who was on the verge of death, named the baby with her last breath. The NIV says it took its last breath.
This begs the question of where Rachel's soul / breath / spirit went to. Her body went into the ground to stay there until the resurrection, but what about her soul? Ecclesiastes 3: 20-21 explains how the dead go to the same place (in the ground): “All come from dust, and all return to dust. Who knows whether the spirit of man ascends and whether the spirit of the beast descends into the earth? "Ecclesiastes 12: 7 says that" the dust returns to the ground from which it came, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. "
Elsewhere in the Bible it speaks of the souls of those whose bodies have died but are still alive! Revelation 6: 9 speaks of “the souls of the slain” who stood under the altar in heaven. Revelation 20: 4 describes how “the souls of those who were beheaded for their testimony of Jesus” sat on thrones in heaven.
Please note that the human soul is not as eternal as God. God is the only truly eternal being in whom he alone has no beginning and no end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient beings, whether human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While I believe that human souls will live forever after they are created, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal as God created them, but they had a beginning; There was a time when they didn't exist.
Not all Christians believe in the soul / spirit of man, which persists after the death of the body. Some believe in "soul annihilation". Although they relate to the question of the soul, it is outside the scope of that question and is defensible for others to believe if they believe in it.
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