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Featured What is the Christian definition of the word "soul"?

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by Jonathan Bailey, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    I've knew one Catholic boy in high school who thought "soul" meant a "dead person".

    I once asked a methodist pastor what the word "soul" meant. He said YOU are the SOUL.

    I once heard a radio preacher claim that a SOUL can't exist without a BODY whether dead or alive.

    Some claim the SOUL temporarily leaves the BODY when a living person sneezes.

    Some claim the BODY is the temple of the SOUL.

    Some claim the human soul is immortal.

    Sometimes the term soul is used for a human being whether living or dead. "I don't know a single soul in China."

    Some claim animals have no souls.

    My mother, raised a Catholic, claims that the soul leaves a person's body summarily upon death. It has no reason to stick around the body forever.

    George Harrison of the Beatles said that the body is merely a suit of clothing worn by the soul and that the soul continues to receive a new suit following the death of each subsequent human body that possess it over a number of lifetimes.

    To me, the SOUL is life and consciousness and it's possible that the SOUL is immortal. True or absolute death is the termination of the soul's existence. To me the soul, not the body, is what defines each individual human person. The body I wear in this physical life is not so much the "TRUE ME" as is my one unique SOUL in this universe. How many bodies has my soul worn in the past? I don't know and can't recall. How many bodies shall my soul wear in the future? Can my soul just go on eternally with no more attached physical bodies to follow? Only God knows.


    Here is the SOUL according to the dictionary:

    soul
    [sohl]

    noun

    the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

    the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come:arguing the immortality of the soul.

    the disembodied spirit of a deceased person:He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.

    the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

    a human being; person.

    high-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage, etc.

    the animating principle; the essential element or part of something.

    the inspirer or moving spirit of some action, movement, etc.

    the embodiment of some quality:He was the very soul of tact.

    ( initial capital letter ) Christian Science . God; the divine source of all identity and individuality.

    shared ethnic awareness and pride among black people, especially black Americans.

    deeply felt emotion, as conveyed or expressed by a performer or artist.
    soul music.

    adjective

    of, characteristic of, or for black Americans or their culture:soul newspapers.
     
    #1 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 22, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  2. Zita

    Zita Solitary Eclectic Witch

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    well you just summed it up cause that is exactly what I have always known the soul to be!! I believe that when you die the soul doesn't it is eternal and will be reborn to a different person to continue it's journey on earth.
     
  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Some people feel that souls are supernatural and exist before birth, merging with a baby body as it is knit in the womb.
     
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  4. Cleary

    Cleary God is sovereign and in control <><

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    the soul is who you are ... apart from what we all share in common, flesh / blood and bone .... it's the personalities / the memories / the loves the hates the dreams
    it's what we believe ... the non-material part of man ... it's the part of us that will be fitted to a glorified body Heaven bound ... or even the un-quenched body fitted for an eternal Hell cast into outer darkness separated from God
     
  5. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    The Christian definition of 'soul' depends entirely on the Christian using the word. The OP has listed a whole bunch of definitions.

    I believe that the soul is the combination of the physical body and the spirit; the two together make one 'soul,' Some think that 'spirit' and 'soul' are synonymous...interchangeable terms. I figure....eh.

    As long as you know what you are talking about when you use the word, and the person you are talking to understands what you mean by the word, it works.

    Of course, I'm right, so now everybody can start using my definition when they refer to the term 'soul.' That will save a great deal of confusion.

    I said so.
     
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  6. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    The SOUL is memories. Here's the thing: I have absolutely no recollection of any lifetime BEFORE the one I'm living right now.

    The possibilities:

    1. My soul was newly created, possibly by God, and assigned to the body I now live in. This is the first-ever living body my soul was assigned to and possibly the last body my soul will ever be assigned to: my soul may go to some place as hell (hopefully not) or heaven eternally.
    2. The soul doesn't carry previous memories from one human physical life (or physical living form) to the next as in the case of reincarnation.Yes, I'm human now but could come back with my soul (the absolute unique living me) housed in a dog's body. I could have been housed inside a fish in a previous lifetime, but I can't ever recall such thing even if it were so.
    3. The soul simply does not exist as an immortal living entity: when we die, death is absolute, final and eternal.

    The soul is truly a mystery whether existing or not. There either is a hereafter or there isn't.
     
    #6 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 22, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  7. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    One of the various thoughts regarding this is that of the Bodhisattva (where is @Amanaki when you need the individual) but I digress - it is the different incarnations that came across the soul that would eventually be born as the Buddha - not all of them human - the stories are interesting - always have a moral and are called the Jataka Tales

    I read several of them as a child and remember them fondly to this day
     
  8. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    1 Thessalonians 5:23 New International Version (NIV)
    May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    A human being is composed of:
    1. spirit [breath of life]
    2. soul [inner self / inner being]
    3. body [flesh]
     
  9. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    So, SOUL and SPIRIT are not ONE?

    Is the Holy Ghost not the Soul of Christ?

    Even God Himself has a soul according to some parts of the bible:

    The Soul of God - The Scriptorium Daily

    Jeremiah 5:29, Jer 9:9, and Amos 6:8. “Shall not my soul be avenged?”
     
    #9 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  10. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    Hebrews 4:12 New International Version (NIV)
    For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    The Soul and the Spirit are different from each other.
    As the joints and marrows are different from each other.
    upload_2019-4-23_14-51-59.jpeg
    Who ever said God is a soul runs contrary to what Christ taught:

    John 4:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
    God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    The Soul [Inner Being] dies
    The Spirit [Breath of Life - which God gave] goes back to God

    Ezekiel 18:20 English Standard Version (ESV)
    The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

    Ecclesiastes 12:7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
    So our bodies return
    to the earth,
    and the life-giving breath [spirit]
    returns to God.



    Is the Holy Ghost not the Soul of Christ?
    Sorry but no.
    I think it is termed Holy Spirit but not Holy Soul.
     
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Most people don't have memories of living before their present life.....a very good reason for that is because none of us existed before we were conceived.....we were created by our parents and before that, we simply did not exist.

    Might I suggest a 4th possibility?

    A "soul" in the bible, is a living, breathing creature, either human or animal. The Hebrew word neʹphesh and the Greek word psy·kheʹ are both translated as "soul" or "creature". Both mean the same thing.

    Genesis 1:20-21...
    "20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, [neʹphesh] and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature [neʹphesh] that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good" (NASB)

    Since a soul breathes, (and creatures "breathe" in various ways) anything that breathes is correctly called a "soul". It never means a disembodied spirit. So, at death a soul ceases to exist, except in the memory of God. He will remember them because he fully intends to resurrect the dead. (John 5:28-29)

    This makes sense because God designed humans to live forever on earth, so a human soul that lives forever on earth is a very different concept to what most people have been taught.
    Souls are NOT immortal...they die. (Ezekiel 18:4) The first human souls could have enjoyed "everlasting life"....if only they had obeyed God. But due to their disobedience, they lost that prospect for themselves and their children.

    King Solomon lamented this fact in Ecclesiastes 3:19-20....

    "For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. 20 All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust."

    No one goes anywhere, but to sleep.....like Jesus' friend Lazarus. (John 11:11-14)

    We were created to have dominion over the animals and therefore would reflect the attributes of the Creator as appointed caretakers of this earth....one of those attributes was unending life....but now, because of sin, we have no advantage over the animals....we breathe the same air, and die the same death as they do. What did God do about that situation? He sent Jesus to pay the debt that Adam left us. Jesus bought back what Adam lost.....everlasting life in paradise conditions on earth.

    The human souls that sleep in death will be returned to life under the rule of God's Kingdom. Everlasting life will be restored when sin is removed from the human race forever....this is what the Bible promises.... (Revelation 21:2-4) We know in our hearts that we were meant for a better life than this miserable excuse for an existence.

    "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"......this is what the Lord's prayer means. :)

    Understanding what the "soul" is opens up new possibilities.....
     
  12. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    To me, LIFE is CONSCIOUSNESS, AWARENESS, THOUGHT, EMOTIONS and PERCEPTION.

    Enjoying the majesty of Bach's music with our ears, the scent of roses with our noses, the sun setting over the sea with our eyes, the collective soft, warm moist tongues of our puppy dogs upon our faces and the sweetness of honey upon our tongues are among the many things that make LIFE itself valuable.

    The morbid thought of eternal death, and more so, eternal suffering, is most hateful to the human mind. The thought of going to sleep to never awake or dream again is troubling. The thought of being consumed by fire forever without hope of escaping is even more troubling.
     
    #12 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  13. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I agree...that's why death is not permanent. God has promised to return the dead to life. (John 5:28-29)

    We are not programmed for death....we are programmed to go on living. Life is all about our senses because we perceive everything around us through them. Everything around us should have been beautiful, and peaceful, but our first parents lost that for us.....Jesus came to give it back....it's really all we want....to live a happy secure life with the people we love....no conflict, no hate, no crime or violence....None of that was supposed to happen, but when it did, God used it to test us all out. Could we prove faithful to God under test? The devil said that Job would curse God if the going got tough, but he didn't.

    Only those who truly love God and hate what the devil has done to us will pass the test....like Job, who didn't know about the exchange between God and the devil concerning his integrity, passed with flying colors because he loved his God with all his heart.....we are all Job....suffering in various ways.....but like him, our love for God must exceed our love for ourselves. The reward will be well worth the suffering.
     
  14. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    The Roman Catholics recognize Christ has a soul in this old prayer:

    Anima Christi - Wikipedia

    His soul (inner self) must have risen with His body (flesh) from the grave.

    Is it possible that we too, as did Christ, may someday rise soul and body from the grave?

    The prayer expressly states that we are saved by the Body of Christ but sanctified (made holy) by His Soul:


    Soul of Christ, sanctify me
    Body of Christ, save me
    Blood of Christ, inebriate me
    Water from the side of Christ, wash me
    Passion of Christ, strengthen me
    O good Jesus, hear me
    Within Thy wounds hide me
    Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
    From the malignant enemy defend me
    In the hour of my death call me
    And bid me come unto Thee
    That with thy Saints I may praise Thee Forever and ever.
    Amen


    Note we are made strong by the suffering (Passion) of Christ upon the Cross.
     
    #14 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  15. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    Still subscribing to Roman Catholic catechism?

    Used to be a Catholic but I found doctrinal inconsistencies. For example:
    They say the soul is immortal.

    upload_2019-4-23_18-55-22.jpeg

    By immortality is ordinarily understood the doctrine that the human soul will survive death, continuing in the possession of an endless conscious existence.
    New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Immortality

    compare it to

    [​IMG]

    Ezekiel 18:20 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
    The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    Which is right? The Catholic Encyclopedia which contains the dogma of the Catholic Church or the Bible - even those Catholic translated ones?

    Is the soul immortal or not?
    I believe, the Bible should be the basis of faith.
    Not some man made doctrines or the man made catechism

    Ezekiel 18:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
    The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

    [​IMG]


    Psalm 44:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
    For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
    Our body clings to the ground.
     
  16. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    I suppose you are now Protestant?
     
  17. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    In modern terms, the term soul is similar to our memory. Our memory is a collection and reflection of who we are. If you had amnesia, you would not be able to remember anything from your past. There would be no recognizable feedback, from your personal memory, that would allow you to recognize, yourself. For example, if someone asked how is your family, this will not trigger internal memory feedback. You would be conscious, but you would no longer feel like you were the same person; loss of soul.

    The primitive feeing of loss of soul, could appear from changes in brain chemicals, such as those that cause depression. These can alter the feedback coming from memory, so one is no longer how you prefer to see yourself. "Lets us to go the park and throw the ball. No, I don't feel like it." The witch Doctor rituals would be used to help jump start the soul; preferred memory feedback.

    An eternal soul would be analogous to the core aspects of your memory, that would allow you to be self aware, of a continuity, this is called you. My guess is that is what flashes before your eyes at death.

    DNA is the soul of the body; animal soul. It contains all the biological memories that underly our body. The animal soul reincarnates, through reproduction. We transfer genetic memories through the generations. Many of your genetic memories are transferred to your offspring during reproduction. The DNA is almost an eternal soul, but since changes occur; mutations, it is not eternal.

    In tradition, the soul is static. It is like a memory hard drive of a computer. You can take out the hard drive from as a computer, it does nothing. The hard drive analogy, is more or less the very ancient vision of the soul. After death the hard drive sleeps, in the closet, until the ends times, when it reanimates.

    The spirit, animates the soul, so one can become self aware of oneself. Our soul; memory, plays based on feedback to the CPU of consciousness. This is induced by the spirit of various situations. Earth spirits are connected to sensory feedback, while Divine spirits are often associated with creative impulse, rearranging our based memory into something new.
     
  18. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    What is Protestant?
    A religion which is an offshoot of Roman Catholicism?
    It is a religion developed in the West, am I correct?
    European or American?
    I am not Protestant.

    However, I was born Catholic
    Studied in Catholic schools
    Used to pray the Rosary
    and worship baby Jesus statues
    But if you look closely on these things.
    The origins and who else have them
    You will be surprised that these things are not unique
    and not found in the Bible.

    So which should we follow - ourselves or the Bible?
    If it is ourselves, then everything we believe in is in vain.
     
  19. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    I was baptised a Protestant, Methodist specifically in my teenage years. My minister at church said the Holy Bible is the only
    authority of the faith. He also said he came from a family tradition that when one is born a Methodist, one dies a Methodist.

    As I got older, churchgoing got progressively seldom and my faith grew weak. Homophobia
    as well as hypocrisy in Christianity is a big turn-off to me. I can't see how merely saying "I believe the Lord Jesus Christ
    died for my sins so that I might be saved" alone without good personal acts to follow and the compulsion to live a life to reject
    personal sin will guarantee one a place in Heaven.

    I'm starting to see the reasoning of the Catholic theology of "the sin of presumption".

    In the army, I witnessed a lot of hate toward Catholics (though I wasn't Catholic myself) and was even handed this tract by a soldier as shown in this video:

     
  20. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    Your minister is correct, however his thinking isn't.
    Like being born that way, you have to die that way?

    The video contains a lot of cartoon strips, what is the point there?

    For me as long as we have life, God is giving us a chance to find him.
    To find the truth, not to develop lies
    If everything is the truth, then there is no such thing as a lie

    upload_2019-4-24_13-55-47.jpeg
     
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