LIFE IN CHRIST
Subtitled: The Resurrection, Our Only Hope Of Life After Death
William Robert West
Author of “The Rapture And Israel”
"The Wages Of Sin Is Death"
"The Wages Of Sin Is Eternal
Life With Torment In Hell"
An Immortal Soul And The Doctrine Of Hell
Is There A Soul In You That Will Live After You Are Dead?
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LIFE IS ONLY IN CHRIST
RESURRECTION OR IMMORTALITY
William Robert West
What do you believe about souls? There are many very different doctrines taught in the world today concerning souls that are believed to be in all humans. By most a soul is believed to be something that is wholly apart from the person a soul is in; that a soul is something that is that is believed to be complete in its self without the person; it will live after the person it is in is dead; it is believed that a soul will exist forever without the person; it will never be dead; therefore, a soul cannot be resurrected from the dead. It is believed that a soul must live someplace forever, and it will live either in Heaven or Hell even if there is no resurrection. The doctrine of unconditional immortality of a deathless soul being in a person, and that soul leaving that person at the death of the person makes it impossible for Christ to have give His life to save that soul from death; if a soul had immortality it would already have life and could never not have life; all Christ could do is give it a reward or punish it.
(1). At the death of a saved person a bodiless, deathless soul that had been in a person will fly immediately to Heaven to the very presents of Jesus and God. Many believe souls are looking down on us as they watch over the persons on earth that the souls had been in.
(2). At the death of a lost person, a soul that was in him or her will immediately be carried to Hell where it will forever be alive, suffering and screaming, while it is being eternally tormented by God with no hope that God will ever stop tormenting it.
(3). At the death of most persons that are Catholic, souls that were in them goes immediately to Purgatory where souls will suffer unto souls have suffered enough to pay for the sins of the persons they were in, then these souls will be saved by their own suffering or by money given by others.
(4). In the Abraham’s bosom version souls that had been in the saved will go immediately at death to be rewarded in Abraham’s bosom, the good side of hades, unto the coming of Christ while souls that were in the lost are tormented in the bad side of hades unto the coming of Christ; after the judgment the souls that were in the lost persons will be endlessly tormented by God in an endless burning Hell.
(5). A view of a soul now believed by some Protestants, called Rephaim, is that after the death of the person, a soul leaves the person and it is a shadowy something that has no substance, it is nothing more than mental thoughts without any kind of substance or body.
(6). Spiritualism: After the death of the person, the spirit becomes a ghost that sometimes haunts the house of the person it was in, it is a ghastly spook that can sometimes be seen at night among the graves and tombstones in a cemetery. According to Spiritualism, some people can and do call them back, but usually only after they are played; these ghosts or spooks roam the earth and are seen by people, and even live in the house with people. The ghost that have left the persons they were dwelling in can come back, and these ghost can do both good and evil to living persons that still have ghosts (souls) dwelling in them. Many who do not think of themselves as being a Spiritualist and even deny that they are a Spiritualist believe much of the Spiritualist belief; most funerals that I have I have attended the preacher has a soul that had been dwelling in the dead person dwelling in Heaven, and that soul was looking down on the funeral of the dead person it had been freed from; have you ever been to a funeral where the preacher said a soul that had been in the dead person was alive in Hell and looking up from Hell at the person it had been in? The teaching of souls going to Heaven or Hell at death without a resurrection is from Greek philosophy, and in no way can it be call Christian; it is a complete denial of Christianly.
(7). The whole person, not a soul that had been in a person, sleeps from death unto the resurrection, the whole person is resurrected and judged, the person is given endless life, or eternal punishment of death.
(8). There are many other beliefs about what a soul is and what a soul can and cannot do, far too many to list here.
Two of the views that are commonly believed about what will happen to souls that leave mankind after death are the subject of this book.
VIEW ONE: The belief that there is a “soul” in all persons that W. E. Vine says is nothing but “the immaterial, invisible part of man,” (“Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words,” page 588) and Robert A. Morey says, that after the death of the body a soul will be nothing but “mental thoughts” (“Death And The Afterlife,” page 79). According to those that believe as Vine does, this nothing but thoughts is the only thing that will have eternal life in Heaven. This immaterial something that is nothing but mental thoughts are all of you that will be in Heaven or Hell; the person (you) will be gone and there will be nothing but a soul that had been in you that is nothing but thoughts, then all of the “you” that you now know anything about will be forever be gone. Most that believe all are persons are born with an immortal “soul” that is dwelling in them have only a vague unclear understanding, or even no idea of what they believe this unknown immaterial something they believe to be in them really is, but “it” (not themselves) is what they believe must be saved, and only “it” will be in Heaven if they save “it,” or in Hell if they do not. The belief that everyone has an immaterial something in them and this something, whatever this nothing but “mental thoughts” could be, will live forever and cannot die makes it not possible for death to be the wages of sin. If a person has something in them that is deathless, it would not be subject to the wages of sin, which is death, and this deathless nothing could never ever be destroyed; this, whatever it is would be, is born with eternal life, and it could never die; therefore, it could not be resurrected from the dead.
This view has two major divisions.
(1). That there is a "soul" in each person that cannot ever die or be destroyed, but most of these immaterial, nothing but mental thoughts beings God will forever torment after the death of the person. I know of no one that believes there is a soul that is in a person that knows what a soul is. They tell me what a soul is not, but not what they believe a soul to be; in the many books I have read, the nearest anyone has came is to say that after a soul departs from the person it was in is Vine’s definitions that it will be nothing but thoughts without any kind of substance or body.
(2). Universalism: that all mankind has a "soul" that cannot ever die or be destroyed, everyone has this something in them that will live forever, but it will be saved. If it (a immaterial bodiless beings) is not saved by the person it is in this lifetime, then that soul will be saved after death.
VIEW TWO: The belief that the you (the person you now are) will put on immortality at the resurrection, and it is you (not just some immaterial something that had been in you) that will live forever in Heaven; we, not an immaterial soul, is now in the image of Adam, we, not an immaterial soul, will have the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49). The wages of sin is death, and after there resurrection and judgment the lost person will die the second death, they do not now have immortality and never will be immortal; those who do not belong to Christ will forever be destroyed after their judgment.
Protestant Premillennialists: Most Protestant Premillennialists believe the lost will be totally destroyed, but there are three Premillennial views that are common in Protestant churches on how or where the lost will be destroyed.
(1). A common Protestant Premillennialists belief is that the destruction of the lost will be on this earth and the saved will forever live on this earth; no person will ever be in Heaven. Many believe the Valley of Gehenna will be restored and the lost will literally be burn to ashes in it.
(2). Some Protestant Premillennialists believe that the saved will be with Christ in Heaven, not on earth after the thousand years, the second death will be the end of the lost, but they are not literally burned to ashes on this earth in the restored Valley of Gehenna.
(3). Some Protestant Premillennialists believe the wages of sin is eternal life with torment for souls that cannot die, which puts them in the camp of those that believe there will be endless life being torment for deathless souls that had been in unsaved persons, they do not believe death is the wages of sin.
If there is either a soul or a spirit in us that is now immortal and it can never die or be dead, how could there be a resurrection of the dead? Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead? If yes, what do you believe will be resurrected; will you be raised from the dead, or do you believe as many that only a soul that they do not believe can ever be dead, but it is the only thing that will be raised from the dead? When I first begin this study I was surprised and made to tremble at how few believed in the resurrection, and how many there are that do not really know what they believe about it. Many believe some deathless something that they believe to be in themselves will instantly be transited from this world to Heaven or Hell at death without a resurrection, before the resurrection, before the Judgment Day, and before the second coming of Christ, but when they are asked what is the reason for the resurrection, they not only do not know, but have never really thought about it. Death is looked at as being a doorway to life in another form, that death is not really death, and there is nowhere in their thoughts or in their faith for a resurrection for their theology says no one is really dead. The resurrection has been removed from the faith of many by today's theology that says some immortal something that is believed to be in a person will go to Heaven at the moment of death. But is there any life after death before the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead? Paul said it will be at the resurrection when, "This mortal must put on immortality," but if there is a soul that is now immortal in us, then what is it that is now mortal that will put on immortality at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:53)? It is the mortal person, not a soul that will be raised from the dead, and the mortal person will put on immortality.
What does the Bible say about an immortal soul and/or spirit? Together soul and spirit are used about 1,600 times in the Bible, but not one time is immortal ever used in the same verse with either one; “immortal soul,” or an “immortal spirit,” “deathless or never dying soul or a never dying spirit” is not in the Bible, not even in the King James Version. Immortal and immortality is not in the Old Testament, the promise of immortality is given to no one. In the New Testament, immortal is used only one time, immortality is used five times, all six by Paul. What does he say?
1. "Now unto the King eternal, immortal" (1 Timothy 1:17).
2. Only God has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).
3. Christ "abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10).
4. "To them (Christians persons, not souls) that...seek for glory and honor and immortality" (Romans 2:7).
5. "This mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53) at the resurrection.
6. "This mortal shall have put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:54) after the resurrection. This mortal person must put on immortality at the resurrection, not this soul that is already immortal must put on immortality.
Why are we to "seek for immortality" if we are born immortal? Why will we "put on immortality" if the only part of us that will ever be immortal has been immortal from birth (or as some believe—before birth)? The fact that a person must "seek for...immortality" and immortality must be "put on" at the resurrection is conclusive proof that a person does not now have immortality, nor does a person have some immaterial, immortal something in them that cannot die. If Romans 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:53 teaches nothing more, it teaches that no part of a person now possess immortality. Not one passage in the Bible says anyone is now immortal. The immortal soul theology is from pagan philosophy and was brought into the church by a few of the so-called church fathers and Roman Catholicism in the Dark Age. If all have a deathless soul, and we are told that this deathless soul is the only thing that will ever be immortal, and it is already immortal, the resurrection is made to be useless. The question is, resurrection or immortality? Will you be saved from the dead, or is there a deathless soul in you that cannot be dead, and it cannot be resurrected from the dead, and only that soul, not you, will live in Heaven.
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RESURRECTION AND IMMORTALITY
The Resurrection, Our Only Hope Of Life After Death
Table of Contents
Chapter one: The nature of man—what is man?
Chapter two: Life or Death
Chapter three: The reinterpretations of the great doctrines of the Bible
Chapter four: From where came Hell, from man or God?
o Unquenchable fire, weeping, gnashing of teeth
o Old Testament history of Gehenna
o Gehenna used by Christ on four occasions
o The vanishing Hell
o Twenty-nine plus version of Hell
o Three Catholic versions of Hell
o Seventeen plus Protestant versions of Hell
o Eight other versions of Hell
Chapter five: Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus
Chapter six: The thirty-one Hell passages
Chapter seven: A strange and unexplainable silence of the Old Testament on punishment and life after death, life, death, torment, destruction, destroy, perish, die, and end
Chapter eight: Figurative language, metaphors, and symbolical passage
o Part one: The rich man
o Part two: The destruction of Israel, Matthew 24
o A. D. 70 doctrine
o Day of the Lord
o Part three: The symbolic pictures in Revelation
o Part four: The forever and ever of the King James Version
Chapter nine: Universalist: The "age lasting" Hell
Chapter ten: The results of attributing evil Pagan teachings to God
Chapter eleven: Historical proof of the changing of the teaching of the Bible
What Is Man?
What is a man? Are all persons born with immortal souls in them, or do only the saved put on immortality at the resurrection? Is a person a three part being, an animal body with both a soul and a spirit that will live after the body is dead? This is one of the most important questions of all time. It has more influence on our conception of our nature, our view of life in this world, and our view of life after death than any other question.
Soul in the Old Testament is translated from nehphesh, Strong’s Hebrew word #5315—“a breathing creature” A study of the way it is translated in the King James Version, and how other translations differ greatly from the King James reveals facts that are far different than the belief of most about what a soul is, and facts that many will find upsetting. Nehphesh is used in the Old Testament about 870 times and is translated soul only about 473 times in the King James Version, but in the New International Version (2010 updated version) only 72 out about 870 times it is used.
Of the 870 times Nehphesh is in the Bible, in the New International Version:
o Nehphesh is translated soul only 72 times.
o Nehphesh is not translated soul 798 times.
Of the 473 times nehphesh is translated “soul” in the King James Version, it was removed 401 times in the New International Version.
Nehphesh is translated in the King James Version into about 40 words; one Hebrew word is translated (or mistranslated) into nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. Of 870 times nehphesh is used in the Hebrew it was changed into many words by the translators of many versions changed as they chose to, and all choosing many times to translate it difference even in the same passage. By today’s meaning of “soul” and “life” they means two completely difference things; “soul” and “life” are not synonymous.
In the King James Version Nehphesh is translated:
1. Soul about 473 times
2. Life about 122 times
3. Person about 26 times
4. Mind about 15 times
5. Heart about 15 times
6. Personal pronouns 44 plus times—yourselves, themselves, her, me, he, his, himself
7. All others, (verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) about 200 times—man, creature, living being, fish, own, any, living thing, living creatures, lives, the dead, dead body, kills, slays, slay him, mortally, discontented, ghost, breath, will, appetite, hearty desire, desire, pleasure, lust, and deadly. Can any word have this many totally difference meaning; can one word be a noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.? If it did could anyone know which one was being used; it is evidence that the translators of the many translations did not.
In all 870 times that nehpheshs is used it is always associated with the activity of a living being, including dying, and it never implies anything about life after the death of the living being. In none of the 870 times, nehpheshs is not an immortal, immaterial, inter something in a person that has no substance; souls (nehpheshs) are the living beings (persons, animals, or any living thing) that can die, be killed, or is already dead; although it’s use is often hid from the English readers by the way it was translated or mistranslated.
Soul (nehphesh) as it is used in the Bible.
(1) Genesis 1:20 "The moving creature that has life" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals, Strong’s Hebrew word #5315—“a breathing creature”). Footnote in the King James Version–"The moving creature that has soul." American Standard Version–"Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures" (nehpheshs—mortal beings).
If “soul” were an immortal "immaterial, invisible part of man" (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words), why is this Hebrew word that is translated soul also translated "living creature" when it is speaking of animals in Genesis 1:21; 1:24; 2:19; 9:10; 9:12; 9:15; 9:16 when the same Hebrew word (nehphesh) is translated "living soul" in Genesis 2:7 when it is speaking of a person? According to those that believe there is an immortal soul in a person a “living Creature” and a “living soul” are two completely difference beings. If this Hebrew word (nehphesh) were an immaterial, immortal living something that is in a person, it would also be an immaterial, immortal living something that is in animals.
(2) Genesis 1:21 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to all life in the water), "And God created the great sea—monsters, and every living creature (nehpheshs—mortal beings) that moves wherewith the water swarmed.”
(3) Genesis 1:24 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings), used referring to animals, all life on the land), "And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures (soul–nehphesh) after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth." In Genesis 1:21—24 every living thing on earth, whether in the water or on land, every thing that has life is a nehphesh, a living being.
o All sea life are nehpheshs, are living beings
o All land life are nehpheshs, are living beings
o And mankind are nehpheshs, are living beings
None of the three are inherent indestructible immortality beings; none have an immortal deathless “soul” dwelling in them.
(4) Genesis 1:30 "life" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals), "And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life" (nehpheshs—mortal beings); animals are "a living soul."
All four times that soul (nehphesh) is used in Genesis one it is used referring to animals Strong’s Hebrew word #5315 “a breathing creature, i. e., animal.” Not to a person. Animals were souls, living beings, before any man existed; why did the translators deliberately hide the fact that it is the same word that they sometimes translated soul?
o They translated it souls when it is speaking of people.
o They translated it living creatures when the same word is speaking of animals. How could the translators possibly know when the same word is speaking of mortal being and when it is speaking of immortal being? Just as “up” cannot mean “down,” “Mortal” cannot mean “Immortal.”
o Although it is clear that the translators attempted to hide this from their readers, every breathing creature has the same “soul” (nehphesh) that persons have.
"Then God said, 'Let the waters teem with swarms of living souls (nehpheshs—mortal beings), and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.' And God created the great sea monsters, and every living soul (nehphesh—mortal beings) that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living souls (nehpheshs—mortal beings) after their kind: cattle and creeping thing and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so...and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life (nehpheshs—mortal beings) I have given every green herb for meat" (Genesis 1:20-30). “Living creatures" (nehpheshs—mortal beings) is used to describe all living things on earth, people, animals, birds, and fish, not some immaterial invisible living something that is in a person that is now eternal. If a person being a soul (nehphesh–a living being) makes that person be either immortal or in the image of God, then it makes animals, birds, and fish have an immortal soul in them, and would make them also be in the image of God.
HENRY CONSTABLE, A. M.: “The Hebrew scholar knows that when Moses, in Genesis I. 20, 29, speaks of the nature of the lower order of animals, and when in Genesis ii, 7, he speaks of the nature of man, the inspired writer used the very same Hebrew terms of both one and the other. Each fish, and fowl, and creeping thing, and beast is called in the Hebrew a nephesh chajah as much as man who was given the rule over them. But this was in its apparent bearing wholly inconsistent with the philosophical ideas of the translators. They considered it dangerous that the similarity of description should appear in the English version, which Moses did not consider it dangerous to exhibit in the Hebrew original. Hence they must guard God’s Word from its supposed dangerous language by translating nephesh chajah very differently in the first chapter of Genesis, where it is applied to the lower creatures, from what they translated it in the second chapter, where it is applied to man…A gross, through unintentional fraud has been committed against the English reader. He is mislead in his searching of the Scriptures He is put on a false scent…Our English translators have supplied us with a commentary of their own instead of a translation, a comment we will here add, utterly alien to truth. But the result of this mistranslation is to lead astray the English reader who trusts in it. This is not the only instance, which occurs of the thing in reference to this question. The same Hebrew word is throughout the Old Testament translated according as the Platonic notions of the translator led him to think it ought to be translated. Plato had a considerable hand in the translation of King James’ Bible. The Hebrew word nephesh is translated ‘creature,’ ‘soul’ ‘life’ &c., just as squared with the notions of men who carried Plato’s philosophy into their noble work of the translation of Scripture. We affirm that a grave injury has been done to the English reader, and a gross wrong to God’s word,” Page 31—32, “Hades or The Intermediate State of Man,” 1873, pubic domain.
(5) Genesis 2:7 "A living soul" (nehphesh–a living being, used referring to a person, Strong’s Hebrew word #5315—“a breathing creature”) The first time the King James Version translated nehphesh into "soul," most other translations did not agree with it, not even the New King James Version. "Man became a living being," Genesis 2:7, New King James Version.
o “A living creature" (nehphesh—a mortal being) Genesis 1:20
o “A living creature" (nehphesh—a mortal being) Genesis 1:21
o “A living creature" (nehphesh—a mortal being) Genesis 1:24
o “Wherein there is life" (nehphesh—a mortal being) Genesis 1:30
o “A living soul" (nehphesh—a mortal being) Genesis 2:7
o "Man became a living being" New King James Version
It is obvious that the translators of the King James Version translated according to a preconceived opinion in an attempt make persons have an immortal soul dwelling in them, but keeps animals from also having souls that are dwelling in them; they made a distinction in animals and men, a distinction that dose not exist in the Hebrew Bible.
Genesis 2:7 Man became:
o “A living soul" King James Version.
o "A living being" New King James Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New International Version, Amplified Version, The New American Bible.
o "A living person" New Century Version, The Living Bible, New Living Translation
o "A living creature" The Revised English Bible, Young's Literal Translation.
o "Life" Contemporary English Version
o Of these many translations, none would go along with the mistranslation of the King James Version, not even the New King James Version.
According to Genesis chapter one to three man was created a mortal living being just as the animals were. “Behold, the MAN…lest HE stretch out HIS hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever, therefore the Lord sent HIM out from the garden of Eden” (Genesis 3:22-23) is speaking of the physical person eating of the tree of life and living forever physically, it says nothing about an immortal something that was dwelling in the mortal person, nothing about a soul eating that was already deathless, nothing about a soul that was already immortal without eating of the tree of life eating of the tree of life and living forever. It was the physical person (Adam) that would have eaten from a physical tree, and the physical person (Adam) that would have physically lived forever; without the tree of life Adam was not immortal, without the tree of life Adam died.
THREE THINGS ABOUT “MAN” IN GENESIS 2:7.
o First, the body: God formed man’s body out of dust. “God formed MAN out of the dust of the earth.”
o Second: God “breathed into HIS nostrils the breath of life.”
o God breathing into the nostrils of the lifeless body give the body life; breathing into the nostrils of the lifeless body did not put a soul into the lifeless body and the soul give the body life.
o Third: “MAN became a living being (nehphesh).”
o MAN AND ANIMALS ARE BOTH MADE OF THE DUST OF THE EARTH. Both man and animals are a nehphesh, a living being; both man and animals have “the breath of life.” Neither one became a living being with another living being living in them. There is absolutely nothing about Plato’s immortal soul in this passage, not one word.
o Job said, “The breath of the Almighty gives ME life,” (Job 33:4); he did not say, “The breath of the Almighty put a soul in me.”
Paul quoted Genesis 2:7 showing that the “natural body” of Genesis 2:7 that was given to Adam and all mankind is not the “spiritual body” that will be given only to the saved by Christ at the resurrection. “So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life—giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; THEN that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. As we have born the image of the earthly, we SHALL also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
“In the day that YOU eat from it YOU shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17); for Adam to be told he would die is very different from Adam being told that he would not die, but he (Adam the person) would live forever in torment. In Genesis 3:19 there is a clear statement on what dies, “By the sweat of YOUR face YOU shall eat bread, till YOU return to the ground, because from it YOU were taken; for YOU are dust, and to dust YOU shall return,” (Also Genesis 18:27; Psalms 103:14; Job10:9). “It is appointed for MEN to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). It is the PERSON that will die, the PERSON that returns to dust, and the PERSON that will be resurrected from the dead, the person that will put on immortality, not a soul that cannot die; therefore, it could not be resurrected from the dead.
If, as some teach, Adam was not one being, but two being, an earthly mortal being and an immortal being living in the earthly mortal being, which of the two being was addressed in the singular pronoun “YOU shall surely die”? We are repeatedly told that an immortal soul is deathless.
o It was Adam that was made from the dust.
o It was Adam that ate.
o It was Adam that was told, “dying YOU shall die.”
o It was Adam that was put out and kept out of the garden away from the tree of life.
o It was Adam that died and returned to dust.
Not one word is said about a soul. If there were an immortal soul living in Adam, it suffered nothing from what Adam did. To make this be “spiritual death,” not real death is to change, “In the day that you eat from it YOU shall surely die” to be saying, “In the day you eat you will be an immortal sinner that cannot die.”
DR. BERT THOMPSON, PH. D. says Genesis 2:7 is teaching that Adam was given “physical life.” Then said it is not teaching that Adam had instilled in him “an immortal nature.” “The Origin, Nature, and Destiny of the Soul,” page 19, Apologetics Press, Inc. 2001, church of Christ.
MIKE WILLIS said expositors have generally appealed to Genesis 2:7 to prove that all men are born with and now have immortal spirits. However, in 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul has clearly expounded the meaning of the Hebrew words nehphesh, chayyah. "The living soul" of Genesis 2:7 is the natural body of this passage. He said this corresponds with the book of Genesis itself because the same construction is used in Genesis 1:24 to describe animals. When Moses recorded that God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul, what the writer of Genesis was saying was that the dust of the earth began to have animal life and does not prove that a person has an immortal spirit (soul); rather it states that a person has animal life. All men possess animal life through Adam. A Commentary On Paul's First Epistle To the Corinthians, page 578, 1979. For one who knows the Bible as he does, and believes a person now has an immortal soul, yet says, the living soul of Genesis 2:7 is the natural body, proves beyond doubt that a living soul is not an immortal something that is in of a person. “The first man Adam became a living soul…the first man is of the earth, earthy” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
GUY N. WOODS said the first time the word soul is used in Genesis 1:20 it is from the Hebrew nehphesh where it is assigned to fish, birds, and creeping things. He said it is clear that the soul in these passages does not refer to anything peculiar to the constitution of man, but it signifies, as its usage denotes, and the lexicons affirm, any creature that breathes. "What Is The Soul Of Man," Gospel Advocate, 1985, Number 21.
JOHN T. WILLIS: “The last two lines of verse 7 affirm that man’s life is God Given. God enables man to breathe, and thus to be alive, as he does all other creatures (see Gen. 7:22). Some have tried to justify a threefold division of man into flesh (or body), soul, and spirit from Genesis 2:7. They equate dust with flesh or body, breath with spirit, and insist that the last phrase of the verse must be translated as ‘a living soul.’ However, this understanding reads much more into the biblical text than it really says. (1) The Hebrew words for ‘flesh’ or ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ do not occur in this passage. (2) The Hebrew expression nephesh chayyah, which some insist on translating ‘a living soul,’ is used of fish and marine life in Genesis 1:20, 21; land animals in 1:24; beasts, birds, and reptiles in 1:30; and beasts and birds in 2:19. If ‘soul’ means the eternal part of man or the sum total of man’s ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ in Genesis 2:7, it must mean the eternal part of a fish or the sum total of a fish’s ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ in Genesis 1:20, 21; etc. (3) The flow of the context in Genesis 2:7 indicates that the word translated being in the RSV (nephesh) means the whole person. The author’s emphasis is on the gift of life.” The Living Word Commentary, “Genesis,” page 103—104, 1979, Sweet Publishing Company.
ADAM CLARKE: "Nephesh chayyah; a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half reasoning elephant down to the stupid potto, or lower still, to the polype, which seems equally to share the vegetable and animal life."
(2) MAN AND ANIMALS HAD THE BREATH OF LIFE (NSHAHMAH) BREATHED INTO THEM.
o “Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (nshahmah)” man (Genesis 2:7).
o “And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming that the swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that as on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of life (nshahmah) died.” Both man and animals have the same “breath of life (nshahmah)” both died (Genesis 7:21-22).
o “Saved alive nothing that breaths (nshahmah—breath of life)” both men and animals (Deuteronomy 20:16). “Breath of life” and “breaths” are the same in the Hebrew, both are translated from “nshahmah,” but who knows why the translators choose to make them different in the English Bible.
o “Utterly destroyed all that breaths (nshahmah—breath of life)” both men and animals (Joshua 10:40).
o “There was not any left to breaths (nshahmah—breath of life)” both men and animals (Joshua 11:11).
o “Neither left they any to breaths (nshahmah—breath of life)” both men and animals (Joshua 11:14).
o Does an immortal immaterial deathless soul, or a spirit breathe or die when breathing stops?
o “And the breath (nshahmah) of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
It is the breath (nshahmah) of life that God puts into the body that gives life (Genesis 2:7); (nshahmah—breath) is not an immortal deathless soul that has an endless life of its own. If the breath of life (nshahmah) gives immortality to a person, then the same breath of life (nshahmah) would give immortality to all living being, all are given the same nshahmah. The “breath of life” is as much the possession of all living creatures as it is the possession of man. The “breath of life” does not make any living creature immortal, not animals, not fish, or persons. All living being depend on this breath from God for life and all die when the “breath of life” from God returns to God, and if there were no resurrection no person would ever again have life.
Question: What effect did the “breath of life” (nshahmah) in the nostrils of animals have on them? Most all would answer that it made them a living being, not that it put an immortal deathless soul in them that will live after the death of the animals. Then what effect did the same “breath of life” (nshahmah) have on mankind? It made them a living being just as it did animals; the “breath of life” (nshahmah) did not put an immortal deathless soul in mankind that the same “breath of life” (nshahmah) did not put in animals.
JAMES HERMAN WHITMORE: “What is more evident than anything else is that the Lord did not address an unconscious body, but a conscious and intelligent man. Whoever or whatever was addressed, the same died. According to the popular notion, the soul is the only part of man that possesses intelligence. The conclusion then is unavoidable, that it was the ‘soul’ that was addressed as ‘thou,’ and sentenced to return to dust. Hence, the soul must not only be mortal, but material. It is further evident that whatever or whoever sinned, the same died.” “The Doctrine Of Immortality,” page 118, Kellaway and Co.
THE BREATH OF LIFE: Many have now switched from a soul being an immortal living being in a person to a spirit being the immortal living being that is in a person; a living being that animals do not have in them; “spirit” is now the same thing that “soul” has been for hundreds of years. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” The phrase “breath of life” that was breathed into man in Genesis 2:7 is the same Hebrew “breath of life” in Genesis 7:21-22 that is in the nostrils of birds, cattle, men and beasts; the “breath of life” in animals it is the same “breath of life” that is in persons. The “breath of life” (1) is not an immortal spirit, (2) is not an immortal soul that men now have in them that animals do not have it in them; it does not say that the “breath of life” God breathed into Adam was an immortal deathless spirit, or an immortal deathless soul breathed into him, and it does not say all persons now have the same deathless something in them; the breathless body that God made from the earth is what became a living breathing being when the “breath of life” was breathed into the breathless body. God did not tell Adam he had a body that was made from the earth, but the real Adam was made of something not from the earth.
(3) MAN AND ANIMALS BECAME “A LIVING BEING.” The body of dust plus the breath of life = a living being—soul (a living being—nehphesh), Genesis 2:7.
1. The body: “The Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground.”
2. The life of the body: “And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”
3. The result: “And man became a living being.” The lifeless earthly body became alive.
o Both man and animals became “a living being,” when they received the “breath of life” from God; neither man nor animals had another living being put into them.
o “You take away their breath, they die” (Psalms 104:29). The breath of life gives life to the person; it does not put a soul in the person that has the breath of life. The breath of life that God breathed into the body gives life to the body, whither it is a person or animal; it makes the person or animal be “a living being.” There is life in the body only as long as there is breath in the body.
o It was the lifeless body that God made from the earth that became a living being, a living person. Most see as Plato did, that a living deathless soul is imprisoned in the body unto the living soul is able to escape the body, and then the lifeless body goes back to the earth.
Although this passage is repeatedly used to prove that an immortal, deathless soul that was put in a person that was not put in animals, most translations, other than the King James, apply it to the living breathing being or person, not to an invisible, deathless, immaterial something that was put in a person. Adam being spoken of as a "living being" (nehphesh Strong’s Hebrew word #5315—“a breathing creature”) proves he was mortal, not immortal, just as all "living beings" (nehphesh) fish, birds, animals, are mortal, not immortal. How can this be one of the most used proof texts used to prove Adam was made with an immortal soul? If it proves Adam had an immortal soul, then it proves that fish have an immortal soul that cannot die.
“The body without the spirit is dead” James 2:36. Just as the body when God made it had no life unto God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7), when “The dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7), there is no living being and will not be unto the resurrection when life will again come from God; “soul” with the meaning it has today (the Greek immortal being that is in a person) is a total mistranslation. If the “breath of life” that returns to God is a conscious being that returns to God at the death of the person, that soul could not return to God if it had not previously existed with God.
Both “a living being” and “breath of life” are used by most that call themselves orthodox to prove mankind has an immortal soul that no animal has. Both mankind and all animals are “a living being” and both have the “breath of life,” but both can and do die. Having the “breath of life” does not make mankind or animals immortal.
It is importance to understand that it is being said by Moses that both animals and mankind ARE A SOUL (are a living being), not that animals or mankind HAVE A SOUL, did not have something in them that is immortal, invisible, a no substitute something in them that cannot die; there is a world of different in a person or animal being a soul, and an immortal soul being that was put into a person. Many assume, with much help from the translators and theology that Genesis is saying only mankind has souls, but animals do not. Because of what most have been taught, without realizing it they read into this that only mankind has a soul that is an immortal, invisible, no substitutes something that cannot die. This causes them to believe that only this immortal something that is in them, whatever they think it is, will be saved (more on this at the end of this chapter). A soul is not a second being, an unearthly being that exist within the earthly person any more than a soul is a second entity existing in beast. Both man and animals are souls, living beings. We are a soul, not have a soul. If we have a soul, have a living being in us, then we are one living being with another, a second living being living in us. According to the doctrine that we have a soul living in us, a living being is living in another living being, and it is only this immortal deathless being that is us that will be saved, or will be tormented forever is the foundation of many of the errors that have divided the churches. That we are a soul (we are a living being), not we have a soul (not have a living being living in us) is one of the most fundamental and most misunderstood teaching in the Bible.
(6) Genesis 2:19 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals), "Every beast...every bird...whatsoever the man called every living creature (nehpheshs—mortal beings), that was the name thereof"
(7) Genesis 9:4 "life" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals)
(8) Genesis 9:5 "lives" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to man)
(9) Genesis 9:5 "life" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to man)
(10) Genesis 9:10 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals)
(11) Genesis 9:12 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals)
(12) Genesis 9:15 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to man and animals)
(13) Genesis 9:16 "living creature" (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to man and animals)
A bird’s eye view of the translation of nehphesh in the first nine chapters
1. “Moving creature that has life" (nehphesh) Genesis 1:20 – animals
2. “A living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 1:21 – animals
3. “A living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 1:24 – animals
4. “Wherein there is life" (nehphesh) Genesis 1:30 – animals
5. “A living soul" (nehphesh) Genesis 2:7 – man
6. “A living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 2:19 – animals
7. “Life" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:4 – animals
8. “Lives” (nehphesh) Genesis 9:5 – man
9. “Life" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:5 – man
10. “Living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:10 – animals
11. “Living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:12 – animals
12. “Living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:15 – man and animals
13. “Living creature" (nehphesh) Genesis 9:16 – man and animals
This is an example of men attempting to cover up the truth when it is contradictory to their pagan theology. It takes a lot of preconceived theology to make nehphesh be an immaterial invisible no substance soul existing in a man that is now immortal that is not in animals when it is not deliberately hid as it is in the King James Version. Moses applies nehphesh four times to lower creatures before he applied it to man, then immediately after he has applied it to man he again applied the same word to animals a fifth and sixth time with no hint that he uses the same word with a different meaning. When the translators give it a different meaning in only one of the six times it is used in the first two chapters of Genesis it is nothing more than a deliberate change to add Plato’s immortal soul to God word.
In Genesis 9:4-16 the same word is used for both man and animals seven times in the same passage. To animals five times, to man four times, none of the seven was translated “soul.”
o Three times to animals alone, translated (1) life, (2) creature, and (3) creature.
o Two times to animals and man together, translated (1) creature, and (2) creature.
o Two times to man alone, translated (1) lives, and (2) life.
"But flesh with the LIFE (#1. Nehphesh used referring to animals) thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat. And surely your blood, the blood of your LIVES (#2. nehphesh, used referring to man), will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of men, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the LIFE (#3. nehphesh, used referring to man) of man. Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He-men. And you, be you fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spoke unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, and I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you; and every LIVING CREATURE (#4. nehphesh, used referring to animals) that is with you, of the fowl, and the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall the waters of a flood cut off all flesh be any more; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every LIVING CREATURE (#5. nehphesh, used referring to animals) that is with you, for perpetual generation: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every LIVING CREATURE (#6. nehphesh, used referring to man and animals) of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every LIVING CREATURE (#7. nehphesh, used referring to man and animals) of all flesh that is upon the earth."
All four times that soul (nehphesh) is used in Genesis 1; it is referring to animals, not to a person. IN TEN OF THE FIRST TWELVE TIMES SOUL (NEHPHESH) IS USED IT IS USED REFERRING TO ANIMALS, but the King James Version delicately hid this by using different words, and most who read the King James Version never know what was delicately hid from them. Nehphesh is translated "soul" only one time of the first thirteen times it is used in the King James Version, but it is not translated "soul" in any of the first thirteen times it is used in the New King James Version, New American Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New International Version, or most other translations. Mankind is the same soul (life–nehphesh) as the other "living creatures." He does not differ from other living creatures (soul–nehphesh) by having a soul (nehphesh) living in him that cannot die. His dominion over other living creatures (other nehpheshs–souls) is not his nehphesh. In the first nine chapters of Genesis soul (nehphesh—Strong’s Hebrew word #5315—“a breathing creature”) is used more often with reference to animals than it is with reference to persons; it is the animal life, which both a person and animals have in common. How did the translators know when it changed to an invisible immortal something that is in a person, which animals do not have?
(14) Genesis 12:5 "And the people (nehphesh—"living beings") whom they had acquired" New King James Version ("soul" in King James Version.) Why were this translated people and not souls? The translators did not believe souls could be bought, but people could be bought.
(15) Genesis 12:13 "That I (nehphesh—a "living being") may live because of you" New King James Version ("soul" in King James Version.) Do you wonder why this was translated, “That I may live” and not “That a soul may live?”
(16) Genesis 14:21 "Give me the persons (nehphesh—"living beings") and take the goods" King James Version. Can anyone give immortal souls to another person? Is there anyone that cannot see why nehphesh could not be translated “soul” in this passage?
(17) Genesis 17:14 "That person (nehphesh—a "living being") shall be cut off" New King James Version.
(18) Genesis 19:17 “Escape for your life” (nehphesh—a "living being") King James Version.
(19) Genesis 19:19 “Saving my life” (nehphesh—a "living being") King James Version.
In the first nineteen times nehphesh is used it is translated “soul.”
o Only three times in the King James Version
o None in the New King James Version
o None in the New American Standard Version
o None in the New Revised Standard Version
o None in the New International Version
(20) Genesis 19:20 "That my life (nehphesh—a "living being") may be saved" New American Standard Version (Translated soul for the fourth time in the King James Version, but only for the first time in the New King James Version). Do you wonder why the translators of the New King James Version did not think this word means “soul” in the nineteen times it was used before this, but changed their minds this time? But the New American Standard said both King James Versions are wrong.
(21) Genesis 23:8 “If it be your mind” (nehphesh—a "living being") King James Version.
(22) Genesis 27:4 "So that I (nehphesh—a "living being") may bless you before I die"
Up to Genesis 27:4 for hundreds of years nehphesh is translated soul
o Only four times out of twenty-two in the King James Version.
o Only one time out of twenty-two in the New King James Version.
o None in The New International Version and most others translations.
Nehphesh has been used 22 times before the New King James Version translated it "soul" for the first time, but even then the translators of many versions have chosen not to translate it "soul." In Genesis "nehphesh" is not an immortal "immaterial, invisible part of man," but it is the life, living creature, living being, any living thing, whether animals, fish, or man, all mortal beings are a nehphesh. If the translators had continued to translate nehphesh as life, living creature, living being, or person, as they did in the first twenty-one times it is used, there may not be the divisions there are today. Why did they not translate nehphesh into soul in the first part of the Bible that covers hundreds of years? Maybe because they thought it would have made animals have souls, and they did not believe animals could have souls. I find it difficult to see how anyone could not call their honesty into question for it is undeniable that they put their belief over the word of God, and they deliberately hid the truth from their readers; they deliberately hid the truth from you.
(23) Genesis 32:30 "My life (nehphesh—-"living beings") is preserved" King James Version. Most translations use "life" in this passage for an immortal soul could not perish and would not need to be preserved.
(24) Genesis 34:3
(25) Genesis 34:8
(26) Genesis 35:18
(27) Genesis 36:6 "All the persons (nehpheshs—a mortal beings) of his house" King James Version.
(28) Genesis 37:21 "Let us not kill him (nehpheshs—a mortal being)" King James Version. It was obvious to the translators that they could not translate this nehphesh into soul, after all an immortal soul could not be killed.
(29) Exodus 12:16 “Except what must be eaten by every person (nehpheshs—soul).” A soul as was believed in by the translators could not eat, therefore; nehphesh could not be translated soul.
(30) Job 12:10 "In whose hand is the soul (nehpheshs—a mortal beings, used referring to animals) of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind." Is it not strange that they give animals a soul, but other translations took their soul away from them? "The life of every living thing" New American Standard Bible.
(31) Job 41:21 “His breath” (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to an animal, possibly a crocodile).
(32) Isaiah 19:10 "All that make sluices and ponds for fish (nehpheshs—mortal beings, used referring to animals, fish)" King James Version. Although nehphesh is in the Hebrew, many translations seems not to know what to do with it, and just took it out, or completely changed it for they did not want a soul to be in a pond.
(33) Jeremiah 2:24 "A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffed up the wind in her (nehpheshs—a mortal being, used referring to an animal) desire."
(34) Proverbs 27:7 “The full soul (nehpheshs—mortal being) loathes an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul (nehpheshs—a mortal being)" ever bitter thing is sweet.” How could the translators think an immaterial something could be full, or that a soul could be hungry for honey?