Is there a difference between the spirit and the soul?


Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Your thoughts about this verse? what do you think is the difference between spirit and soul? Or do you believe them to be the same thing? If so, how are they divided? All commentaries welcome, I can discern Godly council easily enough.

This is not a troll by any means, I wish to know your thoughts and ideas, for I am somewhat unclear on this myself. Thank you in advance.

What is the difference between the spirit and the soul? The word spirit refers only to the immaterial facet of man. Mankind has a spirit, but we are not a spirit. However, in Scripture only believers, those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, are said to be “spiritually alive” (1 Corinthians 2:11; Hebrews 4:12; James 2:26). Unbelievers are “spiritually dead” (Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13). In Paul’s writing the “spirit” was pivotal to the spiritual life of the believer (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1; 15:45; Ephesians 1:3; 5:19; Colossians 1:9; 3:16). The spirit is the element in man which gives him the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. Whenever the word spirit is used, it refers to the immaterial part of man including his soul.

The word soul refers not only to the immaterial part of man but the also material part. Unlike man having a “spirit,” man is a soul. In its most basic sense, the word soul means “life.” However, the Bible moves beyond “life” and into many areas. One of those areas is to man’s eagerness to sin (Luke 12:26). Man is naturally evil, and his soul is tainted as a result. The life principle is removed at the time of physical death (Genesis 35:18; Jeremiah 15:2). The “soul,” as with the “spirit,” is the center of many spiritual and emotional experiences (Job 30:25; Psalm 43:5; Jeremiah 13:17). Whenever the word soul is used, it can refer to the whole person, alive or after death.

The “soul” and the “spirit” are similar in the manner in which they are used in the spiritual life of the believer. They are different in their reference. The “soul” is man’s horizontal view with the world. The “spirit” is man’s vertical view with God. It is important to understand that both refer to the immaterial part of man, but only the “spirit” refers to man’s walk with God. The “soul” refers to man’s walk in the world, both material and immaterial.

>> Is there a difference between the spirit and the soul?

No, because neither one exists — in the spiritual sense. We *are* a living soul — we don’t *have* one (Gen. 2:7; 1Cor. 15:45). Even the fish in the sea are living souls (Rev. 16:3). The Bible formula for a living soul:

Dust of the Ground + Breath of Life = A Living Soul

We also don’t *have* the spiritual concept of a “spirit.” The word “ruМ‚ach” translated in the Bible into the English word “spirit” (Eccl. 12:7) is referring to the Breath of Life given to us by God.

H7307 (ЧЁЧ•ЦјЧ—) ruМ‚ach (roo’-akh)
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation;

H7306 (ЧЁЧ•ЦјЧ—) ruМ‚ach (roo’-akh)
A primitive root; properly to blow, that is, breathe;

Without the Breath, we are just plain dead — back to the Dust of the Ground (Gen. 3:19; Psalms 104:29; Psalms 146:4). The Bible formula for death:

A Living Soul – Breath of Life = Dust of the Ground

Jesus does promise us an after-life, though. For more Bible information on this topic, see the following study guides.

God bless.

Genesis tells us that when God breathed the breath of life into man, man became a living soul. The Hebrew word for spirit is also the word for the wind, so the breath God breathed was a spirit. So the combination of body and spirit equals a soul.

What Hebrew 4:12 means is that the word of God is sharp enough to separate the spirit from the soul (which would leave only a dead body).

Hello Richard. It is my understanding that the soul and the spirit are not the same thing. We are a spirit being, made in the image of God (as God is Spirit), possessing a soul (our will and emotions and everything that makes us who we are), and living in a body (needful to dwell upon this earth). God is complex as are we because we are created in His Image. As God and Jesus Christ are One and we are one with them in CHRIST, we are all part of the family of God, if we are in Christ. The Spirit within is a discerning spirit, showing our soul what is right and what is evil. The bible says that we are to follow the Spirit and we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The flesh, to me, is a worldly way of thinking and believing. Because this world is perishing (and all within it because of sin), if we hearken unto the voice of the flesh, we too shall perish. God is the giver of Life. There is only Life in the Spirit of God. God bless…Judy Michelle

we don’t have souls we ARE souls, the word in Hebrew is nephesh which means creature, being etc. It applies to animals as well as humans.

There’s no such thing as an immortal soul.

Ezekiel 18:4
Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Matthew 10:28
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

the spirit is the breath of life in you and apparently has the record of your life in it. It returns to the Father when we die.

Ecclesiastes 12:7
and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Soul has been used as also the spirit.

Soul also in the bible has referred to man being a living breathing soul.

So the word of God divides the living soul from the spiritual spirit or soul.

So the words of God penetrates deep into a person and seeks out the spirit of man which is different then the living soul or we would say the living person.

Soul, what is a soul? it gives the body life from God. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I’m trying to keep this simple for you.

Spirit, what is a Spirit? it gives us the character that we have and grow into when we grow up. It makes us human, but respectable humans in the eyes of God.

When the Devil gets a hold of us by temptation; he goes for the soul to try to change our Spirit to make us fear him and to give him strength. Then he thinks God will let go of us if our spirit is changed; but he won’t and he will fight for us with his words and when we are tempted by the evil one; when we say those words; it releases us from his grip and hurts our soul and spirit to help change us back. If the devil changes your soul and spirit; he will go next for your mind; then he will have full control of you; but if you say your prayers night and day and bless yourself with the sign of the cross and holy water; and if the devil tries to get you; he will get his tail burned and will leave you alone.

We are made in God’s image – three parts.

Spirit, soul and body.

Body – The physical. Plants, animals and humans all have this part.

Soul – “Self”. Where you process thinking, emotion, feelings. Animals and humans have souls. Animals can feel love just as we can and some animals are really smart and can make tools and determine who they should and shouldn’t trust – some animals seem to be more intelligent than some humans.

Spirit – The eternal part of us. Made of the same “material” as God. It is the part of us that can communicate with God and the part that needs to be “re-born” for us to spend eternity with Him instead of away from Him.

hope this helps

Yes the soul is the marriage of flesh and spirit.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 2:7 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 1 explains God said let US create man in OUR image.

Genesis 2 shows how man is created from the dust (flesh)
God breathed life into him (spirit)
and man became a living soul (soul)

God created man above the animals more than flesh which returns to dust but with an eternal spirit.

I believe there is a spiritual creation before there is a physical creation. when the two come together it is a soul.

Your spirit is in your body…making you a living soul.

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