Will the Real 'Soul' Show Itself?

Will the Real 'Soul' Show Itself?
Barry C Newman, July 2006.




Barry Newman was formerly a senior lecturer in science education, Head of the School of Teacher Education and Director of the Board of Studies in Professional Studies at the University of New South Wales. He is a lay preacher attached to the Anglican Church, Christ Church St Ives, Sydney, Australia.


The Old Testament Hebrew word nephesh and the New Testament Greek word psuche are often translated 'soul' An examination of their usage in the Testaments reveals that neither is very commonly associated with life after death. There is a high association of each with death but death in terms of the cessation of life. Usage of each word often seems to stress the significance of the person. There is no evidence in either of the Testaments that unequivocally suggests that the soul is an entity resident within the body that departs at death. Rather the little evidence there is suggests that after death there is a person identifiable with the person before death. Translations would probably be more helpful if the word 'soul' were avoided altogether.

Key words

Soul, nephesh, psuche, person, life, death, semantic domains

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