Truth Seeker
  Soul--What is it?

Page Index:

  • Human Soul -- the life of the person
  • Human Soul -- the whole person
  • Special Scriptures -- soul as life

-- the life of the person

Soul meaning the life of the person


(KJV) John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life <5590> for the sheep."

The numbers are word references to Strong's Greek Bible dictionary!

5590 psuche psoo-khay' A partial quote of ref. 5590, "these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew 5315, 7307 and 2416):--heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

(Tisch) 11εγω ειμι ο ποιμην ο καλος ο ποιμην ο καλος την ψυχην αυτου τιθησιν υπερ των προβατων

(Basic transliteration into Latin Alphabet)
(Tisch) 11ego eimi o poimen o kalos o poimen o kalos ten psychen autou tithesin yper ton probaton 

Strong's rendering verifies another translation: I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep.

Comparing the two translations side by side, one says "his life," the other says, " his soul." Strong's Greek dictionary verifies for us that the Greek word thus may be translated both ways, telling us that soul means life.


Lev 17:11 For the life <05315> of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls <05315>: : for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul <05315>. (KJV)

(Strong's Hebrew Dictionary numbers shown in three cases relevant to the subject)

As is readily seen in both the scripture below and its Greek equivalent, Strong states that the words life and soul may be used interchangeably. Of course the language difference must be noticed. In Leviticus, it is immediately apparent that the words life, soul and souls have the same Strong number.  This again proves that the word soul means the life of the person, and that the word life means the soul of the person, in this specific sense of soul referring to an individual's life.

What is also naturally observed is the connection of life and blood. If we lose our blood, we lose our life. Therefore, the phrase that the life of the flesh is in the blood makes eminent sense.

-- the Whole Person

Soul meaning the entire being

Gen 2:7,

(ASV) And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

(KJV) "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Deut 12:20,

(Darby) thy soul longeth to eat flesh, thou mayest eat flesh, according to all the desire of thy soul.

(KJV) thy soul longeth to eat flesh;

Jer 2:34,

(ASV) Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor

(KJV) "in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these."

Psalm 119:28,

(Rotherham) My soul weepeth itself away, for grief, Confirm thou me, according to thy word 

(KJV) My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

Souls are mortal and die:

Ezekiel 18:4, Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (ASV)

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (KJV)

Isaiah 53:12, Therefore, will I give him a portion in the great, And the strong, shall he apportion as spoil, Because he poured out, to death his own soul, And with transgressors, let himself be numbered,?Yea, he, the sin of Many, bare, And for transgressors, interposeth. (Rotherham)

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (KJV)

Is the soul separate from a person's body? No! The scriptures give a clear answer. Here as in many other cases, the word soul has multiple definitions, none of which show the soul to be immortal. 

What is the human soul?

Commentary: The scriptures adequately prove that a person's soul is that whole person. Once a person dies, his soul dies. As the scriptures demonstrate, this reality applied even to Christ Jesus as Isaiah 53:12 quoted above states.  The scriptures prove that the soul and the person is one single and therefore inseparable unit. The soul is therefore not capable of leaving the human body or that person. In such cases the soul doesn't actually go anywhere, it just refers to that person dying. 

All Christians should realize that some words in the Bible have more than one usage or definition. Words such as day, soul, spirit and assuredly others are used to stand for a variety of concepts. A really difficult example is the word spirit; its meanings are so plentiful that I have given up trying to catalogue them all.

Special scriptures section:

Before reading these scriptures, please familiarize yourself with Strong's Greek Bible Dictionary's definitions! 

-heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

These renditions are used by various translators to render the Greek term into English. In accordance with the scriptures above and the dictionary definition, one may address that person as that soul. However, an important point that is also seen here, is that the same word is also rendered life.  

Several scriptures in the Bible use this rendition. It might seem confusing at first, but we just need to keep in mind the scriptures already seen above.  The following scriptures refer to soul as a person's life: (KJV)

Matt 16:26 what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul <5590>? (Greek dictionary)

Gen 35:17-19 , And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18And it came to pass, as her soul <05315> was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben?oni: but his father called him Benjamin. (Hebrew dictionary)

1 Kings 17:22 , the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul <05315> of the child came into him again, and he revived. (Hebrew dictionary)


Here is the link to Man’s Spirit



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