Study 14: The Soul

What is a Soul?

You are a soul. The soul is another word for an individual, whether a living or dead soul. For example at the creation of Adam: he did not receive a soul, he became one. A soul has its own personality that characterizes that individual from others. As is with humans, animals are each individually a soul. As souls, the choices of our present existence determine the future of our existence. Those who follow God’s words will forever exist in a perfect world of peace, happiness, and righteousness. All souls belong to Almighty God.

What is the breath of life?

In some scripture translations, the breath of life is referred to as the spirit, but not to be confused with the Holy Spirit. The spirit or breath of life is given to a soul to make it a living soul. At death, the spirit or breath of life is returned to Almighty God and the soul becomes a dead soul. As God created Adam from the dust of the earth, Adam received the breath of life in his nostrils and he became a living soul.

What is the Spirit?

Since we know that a soul is not a spirit, we learn from the scriptures, that there is the Holy Spirit given from God to mankind. This is a special spirit that was sent after Jesus Christ was resurrected and it is also called the “comforter”. The Holy Spirit gives us an understanding and the ability to make spiritual discernment. There are other spirits described in the scriptures.

Common questions about the soul and spirit:

  1. Are we a soul or do we have a soul?
  2.  If the body returns to the dust, what happens to the soul? Is it eternal?
  3. What are the different meanings of the word Spirit in the Bible?

Study 14: The Soul

Genesis 2:7, 21-23
God describes creation here where Adam became a living soul. This occurred when God breathed the breath of life into Adam. A soul is an individual.

Job 27:1-6
Job is an example here as a soul. He is able to make choices, a dead soul cannot make a decision because they are not conscious. A living soul has a breath of life.

Ecclesiastes 12:7
The breath of life is described here. The dust that returns to the Earth is our body, and the spirit (breath of life) returns to God.

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Thousands and thousands of people are going to rise! God puts the breath of life back into those who rise in the resurrection.

Matthew 10:28
There is only one that can kill the soul and that is the Almighty God of Heaven. The body and the soul are different. The body will disintegrate to dust when it dies in this world. How is it that God is the only one who has the power to kill the soul? Because he is the creator. This verse does not mention the spirit, however, it does clearly explain that who you are as an individual person can be completely destroyed.

Ezekiel 18:4, 20, 31
The individual, or soul, who completely serves God will live. God gives the souls who live a new heart by the power of His spirit.

Matthew 22:36-40
Serve God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This comes from deep within you. For example, how frequently do you think on God’s name? How frequently are you showing love toward others in righteous actions?

1 Thessalonians 5:23

  • Spirit: Attitude, Spirit of Truth from God
  • Soul: Individual person; who you are
  • Body: The physical flesh, the temple of the Holy Spirit

Answers to the questions at the beginning of this study:

  1. Answer: We are a living soul. When we took our first breath at birth, we became a living soul.
  2. Answer: The Soul remains asleep until resurrection.
  3. Answer: Read 1 John 3:23,24; 4:1-6, 13 which describes the Holy spirit that Jesus Christ has given us to discern what is truth. 
    • Spirit of God
    • Holy Spirit
    • Breath of life or spirit of life
    • Spirit of man
    • Spirit of the world
    • Spirit of truth
    • Spirit of error

Greek 4151 (Spirit): A current of air, wind, spirit, breath (

Additional references for further study:

  • Romans 8:1-16, The spiritual mind is life in Christ.
  • Jeremiah 32:37-42, An everlasting covenant.
  • Ephesians 2:2, The spirit of the devil, or authority of the air, that operates in the sons of disobedience.
  • Isaiah 53:10-12, Christ’s soul was made an offering for sin.

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Next Study 15: Heaven and Hell
Study 13: Death and Resurrection

Study 07: Prayer
Study 17: The 3 1/2 Years