Bible Teaching about our human nature

Man’s Origin

Evolution is a human theory. It is not compatible with the Bible and it will not stand critical investigation. We cannot believe the Bible and the theory of evolution. The Bible teaches that man originated as the result of a special divine creative act. The record of the creation of man is described in Genesis chapter 2.

Jesus believed this:
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6)

The Apostles believed it, e.g. Paul:
“Neither was man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:9)

The act of the creation of man is described thus:
"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” (Genesis 2:7)

This teaches:

  • Man was made from the dust

  • God gave him the breath of life.

  • The dust body + the breath of life (i.e. the complete man) was a living soul.

The Fall of Man

As far as we know Adam and Eve had only one commandment from God:
“Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis

The issue was clear. Death would result from disobedience. Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the serpent, transgressed God’s law and were therefore sentenced to death:
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19)

Since we are descended from Adam and Eve, we are involved in this:
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

Again Paul writes:
“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21

All men die because they are descended from Adam whose fallen nature they share. The fact that they do inevitably sin shows that God is just in condemning them to death.

The Death State

As seen already from Genesis 3, death is a returning again to dust. When men die they cease to exist. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches that death is a release to another world:

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.......Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest”  (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10)

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:3-4)

“Soul” in the Bible

Although the Bible never speaks of an immortal soul, the word “soul” occurs many times in the scriptures:

In the Old Testament

The Hebrew word translated “soul” is NEPHESH. It means literally “that which breathes; i.e. a living creature” (See Genesis 1:24 where the word is translated “living creature”).

It is interesting to note that:

  • a soul can eat (Exodus 12:15)

  • a soul has lips (Leviticus 5:4)

  • a soul has blood (Jeremiah 2:34)

  • a soul can die (Ezekiel 18:4)

  • a soul needs a resurrection (Psalm 89:48)

The word NEPHESH (soul) occurs 754 times in the Old Testament and of these:

  • 326 times the soul is said to be subject to death

Made up of:

  •  203 times where the soul is said to be in danger of death

  • 123 times where it is delivered from death showing that it can die.

In the New Testament

The Greek word translated “soul” is PSUCHE and is the equivalent of the Hebrew NEPHESH. (This is seen by comparing Psalm 16:10 with Acts 2:27).

This word PSUCHE (soul) is found in the New Testament 106 times and of these:

  • 45 times it is said to be subject to death

Made up of:

  •  29 times where the soul is said to be in danger of death

  • 16 times where it is delivered from death showing that it can die.

Thus there is nothing immortal about the soul when considered in its Bible sense.

The Spirit of Man

The spirit of man is that power by which he is kept alive. It belongs to God:
“If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:14,15)

It is loaned to man for the period of his existence and returns to God when man dies:
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

This in no way supports the doctrine of the immortality of the soul for:

  •  It is the spirit, not the soul, that goes back to God

  • It returns to God. Therefore it was there before man had it. But man has no consciousness before birth, why then should he be conscious after death?

The return of the spirit to God is simply the return of the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).




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