Have You Ever Wondered?
Do you believe that man possesses an immortal soul that survives the death of the body? Millions, maybe billions, believe that man is endowed with a soul that moves on to another world or plane of existence at death or is reincarnated as another creature. What does the Bible say about the soul? You will find the following questions intriguing and illuminating. For the answers, we suggest that you check the scriptures that are cited or see page 21.
1. Was Adam created in heaven, or on earth?—Genesis 1:26-28.
2. Was Adam created mortal, or immortal?—Genesis 2:15-17.
3. If Adam had not been disobedient and sinned, would he have died?—Romans 6:23.
5. By his sin, did Adam lose an earthly home, or a heavenly one?—Genesis 1:26-28.
8. If you believe that Adam was a soul and a body, which part sinned, the soul or the body?—Psalm 51:1-4.
9. If you answer, “The soul,” why must the body suffer?
10. If you answer, “The body,” why must the soul be saved?
14. Did God even conceive of everlasting torment in hellfire?—Jeremiah 7:31.
15. According to Paul, what are the wages of sin?—Romans 6:23.
16. Does Paul mention everlasting torment in hellfire?—Romans 6:7.
17. If hellfire really does exist, why would a person suffer for all eternity to pay for only a short lifetime of sin? Is God’s justice less than man’s?—Romans 9:14.
Have You Ever Wondered? The Bible’s Answers
The following are some of the texts cited with the questions on page 13:
1. “God proceeded to create the man in his image, . . . male and female he created them. . . . God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.’”—Genesis 1:27, 28.
2. “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”—Genesis 2:16, 17.
3. “The wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Romans 6:23.
4. “In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”—Genesis 3:19.
5. See No. 1.
6. “Look! The tent of God is with mankind . . . And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:3, 4.
7. “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) The word “soul” translates the Hebrew neʹphesh, “that which breathes.” “The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul.” Note, “became,” not “was given.”—1 Corinthians 15:45, The Jerusalem Bible.
8. “My sin is in front of me constantly. Against you, you alone, I have sinned, and what is bad in your eyes I have done.”—Psalm 51:3, 4.
9, 10. No texts needed.
11. “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.”—Romans 5:12.
12. See No. 4.
13. “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all . . . There is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10) “As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.”—Ezekiel 18:4.
14. “They have built the high places of Topheth . . . in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.”—Jeremiah 7:31.
15. See No. 3.
16. “He who has died has been acquitted from his sin.”—Romans 6:7.
17. “What shall we say, then? Is there injustice with God? Never may that become so!”—Romans 9:14.
18. “Actually David did not ascend to the heavens.”—Acts 2:34.
19. “I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Acts 24:15.
20. “This which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality.” If immortality is “put on,” then it is not inherent. (1 Corinthians 15:53) “I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand . . . These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”—Revelation 14:1, 4.
The expression “immortal soul” appears nowhere in the Bible. The word “immortality” (Greek, a·tha·na·siʹa) appears only three times in the Bible and never in relation to the soul. (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54; 1 Timothy 6:16) For a more detailed consideration of what happens at death and the true hope for the dead, see the publication Reasoning From the Scriptures, pages 168-75 (Hell), 333-40 (Resurrection), 375-84 (Soul, Spirit), published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.