What Is A Soul

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Ever Tried To Define What Is A Soul?

Defining what is a soul can be a difficult concept. The word soul though is used over 850 times throughout the Bible. Obviously, it is important, right?

The term souls gets taken out of context sometimes and different cultures have different interpretations. Researchers, physicians and scientists, as well as Bible scholars, have added slight variations to the interpretation and definition of a soul, but the Bible states it clearly.

The soul comes to being when you have the “breath of life.” Your soul is your conscious being that includes your mind, feelings and will. Your soul basically exists so your spirit can function through the body.

Since the beginning of the Christian church, the most common understanding of living things has been that animals and humans have souls. Let’s look at a few scriptures to set up a firm foundation and how the Bible makes it quite clear that this is so. Respected Bible scholars have confirmed this in various writings, commentaries and interviews. Not to mention, the clarity provided through certain scriptures throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Let us start at the beginning. In Genesis 2:7, it states, “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.” (KJV), the NIV words it “… and the man became a living being.”

This passage clearly indicates that the breath of life activates, if you will, our living being or soul, whether human or animal. This “breath of life” is delivered to all our body cells via our blood. Without it, there is no life. It is like the fuel that moves your car from point A to point B and back to A. If you don’t have gas in your car, it won’t go. Similarly, your body won’t function without the “breath of life,” which makes the body a living soul or living being. In essence, it “turns you on” or gives you life, making you a living soul.

Having this breath of life brings life to our “mind,” which has the ability to reason, make decisions and experience emotions. Your mind is more than your brain. Your brain has the incredible components that provide the opportunity to do these things, but like a computer, if you don’t turn the switch on, the components are unused. We are born with the parts, but these “come alive” when we become a living being.

Somehow and scientists still don’t know exactly how, but when we become this living being, we become more than just parts. The same basic parts of anything will generally always come up with the same action or the same response to a particular situation. Not so with humans or animals as our soul or “mind” puts our own unique spin on things. You or I may face a nearly identical situation, but we may choose to react to it in totally different ways. Who we are, based on our experiences and thoughts related to those experiences will shape who we are deep in our soul. This makes each treasured soul different, whether human or animal.

That’s what a soul is, but how does your spirit fit into this? Your spirit works through the soul. This is discussed in more detail in another article.


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