Souls And Spirits - Old Testament
Death And Beyond


Lonely Questions
What is Life?
What is death?
Death and God

Souls and spirits
in the Old Testament

> Ghosts
If there is a God why does He allow suffering?
Souls and spirits in the New Testament
Hell fire examined
Can the dead speak to us?
Resurrection hope
Commonly asked questions
‘Be of good comfort’
Understanding and coping with bereavement


She is where she wanted to be, reunited with her husband, and the boy she lost in the war. I will continue to pray for her and I know she will be looking down on me. She was a good friend and that brings me comfort.’ These words were overheard at a funeral, as the sombre mourners stood quietly looking over the flowers on the grave in a country churchyard.

Although we know that the person has died and has been laid to rest in the grave that has just been closed in, the common belief in Christian countries is that the essential part of the person – their spirit or their soul – has gone to heaven to be with the Lord. There are many other views about what happens after death , almost all involving some belief in a soul or spirit. By contrast the Bible claims to be the Word of God and to provide one truth.
Is there really something existing in our bodies that goes on living for ever and ever once we have been conceived and born, and that goes on living elsewhere after we have died? This idea is found throughout pagan literature, where it was believed that we have a ‘double’ or another entity within us, parallel to us, using our body as a temporary house during the time of our existence in this world. From this comes the idea that the body is evil, and only to be despised as a prison house of bondage for the immortal spirit, which is being held back from its freedom. It then became natural in some religions to beat the body and mortify the flesh, by denial of food, denial of comfort (we have all heard of wearing a hair shirt), denial of sleep or denial of marital and family affections. People used nettles, chains and other unmentionable punishments for the flesh in order for the ‘divine spark’ or the soul or spirit to be given the pre-eminence in their daily existence.

Does the Bible say these things This is what we need to know so that we can be sure about what happens to us and our loved ones when death comes. The theme of this booklet is to discover what the Bible says about souls and spirits.
This booklet will consider in some detail what the Old
Testament of the Bible has to say about souls and spirits.
The Bible has two parts. The Old Testament was written in the times before Jesus lived. These were the Scriptures that Jesus quoted from, and the same Scriptures were used by the Apostles in early Christian times. Later the New Testament was assembled as we have it today and contains the life and teachings of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles.

The language of the Old Testament was Hebrew. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word ‘soul’ is used 473 times. There are three different Hebrew words translated ‘soul’:
  • nebidah
  • neshamah
  • Nephesh Nephesh is the usual word, giving a total of 471 out of 473 times.
  1. Nebidah is only found once in the Bible in Job 30:15. ‘They pursue my soul as the wind.’
  2. Neshamah is translated once as ‘souls’ in Isaiah 57:16. In this verse God refers to ‘The souls which I have made.’ At other times the same word is translated as blast (3), spirit (2), breath (17), inspiration (1)
  3. Nephesh however has several meanings, other than the 471 translations as soul. It is used for life and lives (118), person

More >>

[ Home ][ About Us ][ Lonely Questions ][ Contact Us ]

Copyright © 2008