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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Is Jesus Suggesting That a Soul Survives the Death of the Body at Mt. 10:28?

#QUESTION: "Is Jesus not suggesting, by making a distinction between a person's "body" and his "soul" that a soul survives the death of the body?"

No. The word "soul" encompasses the person's LIFE [as a soul]. So in an idiomatic expression, Jesus is making the distinction between the death of a person and any prospects of future LIFE.

In Matthew, Jesus is simply implying a difference between dying and losing your right to LIFE. While a person may die, his right to life remains with God and as such he remains *living* in God's memory. By contrast, the very memory of the wicked ones will be destroyed - those judged and destroyed by the Almighty have permanently lost any prospect of enjoying life as a living soul (or person).

Other examples of a similar usage of language:

1 Thessalonians 2:8 reads "So desirous of you, we would gladly impart unto you not only the gospel of God, but also our own souls: because you were become most dear unto us." -- Douay-Rheims Bible

Paul is here reporting giving his own soul to his Christian brothers. This does not mean that he extracted an invisible part of himself and gave it to his friends but that he used his life fully to serve them.

“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matt. 26:38; Mark 14:34) “They did not love their souls even despite the danger of death [or, souls until death].” (Rev. 12:11, NW, margin) “And a third of the creatures that are in the sea which have souls died.” (Rev. 8:9, NW) “And every living soul died in the sea.” (Rev. 16:3) Also Jesus’ disciple James wrote: “He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death.” (Jas. 5:20)

Even in English, we use idiomatic expressions that highlight the difference between a person and the life (as a person) they enjoy. So we can say "life is good" or "the life I HAVE is good"/"MY" life is good. This does not mean that "life" is a separate part of a person that survives death any more than the expression that a person that "loses his life" in an accident means that the person died but his life is wandering lost somewhere near the scene of the tragedy.

**Other English variants of such idiomatic sayings "You can take the girl out of the city, but you can never take the city out of the girl". Obviously the saying is not suggesting that the "girl has an immortal city living inside her that is released at death", but is suggesting that the certain features of living in the city will remain as a part of her personality and life-view.

SOURCE: This is an answer given to a question by SUNSHINE at Yahoo Answers.

For more, see:

Reasoning From the Scriptures 173-174 (JW.ORG)

Insight Vol-1 616-617 (JW.ORG)

Insight Vol-2 1006-1007 (JW.ORG)

Is the body and soul the same, and if so, why does Matthew 10:28 say, "And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul"? (Search For Bible Truths)

Mt. 10:28 (Psyche / Soul) (Defending the NWT)


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