Michael Bieleski – Soul in the New Testament

In the New Testament the word “soul” is sometimes used to translate the Greek word psuche. However, psuche is also translated by other words as well. For example, it is translated about forty times1) in the New Testament as ‘life’ or ‘lives’. Jesus says that we are not to worry about our life which suggests the present life experienced in bodily form.2

Therefore, understanding the way in which such words are translated has important implications. Sometimes the same Greek word is translated by different English words. Sometimes the same English word is used to translate different Greek words in different contexts. Sometimes an English word remains even though it could be replaced by a more effective equivalent. The task of the translator is to find a word that matches the intent of the writer by taking into account the context in which that word is found.

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Glenn Peoples – What is Conditional Immortality?

“Conditional Immortality” is an unfortunately cumbersome piece of jargon that refers to a fairly simple belief: That human beings are mortal, and can only receive immortality on the condition that God gives it to them as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ.

It begins with an understanding of the nature of humanity as revealed in Scripture. According to the Genesis account the first man was formed out of the dust of the ground, then God breathed life into him and he became a living soul (Gen 2:7).

dust + breath of life = living soul

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, which has been variously translated as being, life, soul, creature, etc. but is never equivalent to the Greek/Platonic concept of the soul as an immaterial invisible immortal being, and instead refers to us as whole beings, and to the various aspects of our being such as heart, strength etc. (In fact the KJV translates nephesh in 44 different ways!) The same word is used for the animals (e.g. Gen 1:21,24 “living creatures” = living “Souls”). Thus conditional immortality regards each human as a unit, a soul, comprised of the dust of the earth and the life-giving breath of God, and not as a combination of two or three separate entities (body, soul and spirit).

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Peter Grice – The Neglected Doctrines of Resurrection and Bodily Transformation

Today in Protestant circles we still hear a lot about the immortality of the soul, despite this doctrine being passionately rejected by Martin Luther 500 years ago. But we rarely hear of the immortality of the body, an important feature of resurrection, nor do we even hear that much about resurrection in general! Will all rise physically from the dead, like Jesus did—or only the saved? And if all rise in physical bodies, will the bodies of all be fitted with immortality, never to die again — or only those of the saved?

These kinds of questions are essential for assessing any doctrine of salvation and damnation, and yet they are often absent from the hell debate, and from broader discussion. Both heaven and hell are widely seen as ethereal destinations, to be arrived at immediately upon dying. But this truncated version of the biblical schedule of events renders resurrection and final judgment superfluous, even incoherent. Why were the unsaved sent straight to hell before Judgment Day, the very point at which they will be sentenced to hell? And if the saved and the unsaved already reside in the place where they’ll spend eternity, why bring them out? If they are brought out in resurrection, only to be shortly sent back there but this time in a physical form, how can those realms be suited to both physical and nonphysical habitation?

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Glenn Peoples – Matthew 10:28 and Dualism: Is the Soul Immortal ?


Matthew 10:28 is a statement on God’s sovereignty over life and death, and a reassurance: What men can do to you is temporary. They can kill you and that is fearful, granted, but it is God, the one in whom we hope, who can end you forever, not just killing the body temporarily as men can, but ultimately ending your life. Don’t fear them. Fear him.

God alone is immortal, your soul is not by its own nature immortal. Immortality is only granted as gift by God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Did Jesus say that when people kill our bodies, our souls go marching on?

Matthew 10:28 is a problem for the traditional doctrine of hell. It’s one of the verses of Scripture that conditionalists won’t let traditionalists forget, and for good reason. It affirms in the clearest language possible that the worst that men can do is to kill us, but God can destroy us, “soul and body” in hell. This is the fate that awaits those who in the end reject God. Regardless of what you think the soul is, it too will be destroyed along with the body.

And yet, this passage is sometimes thought to present a problem for many of us. Most conditionalists believe that the idea of an immaterial soul that lives on when the body dies is not biblical. We weren’t created to die, so we don’t have a built-in death survival mechanism. When we die, we’re well and truly dead until the resurrection. And yet, here’s Jesus saying that human beings can kill our bodies but not our souls. What’s going on?

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