Do you know what is the difference between spirit and soul?
Have you ever wondered if there is any difference between spirit and soul ? It is common to see these words being used in expressions such as “peace of mind, ” “charitable soul, ” “evil spirit, ” “sorrowful soul, ” etc., as well as when we refer to that part of our being that is not tangible but it is still part of us.
In fact, the definitions of soul and spirit are somewhat confusing, as Debra Kelly of Knowledge Nuts explains, especially from a religious point of view. However, although even in the bible the two little words are shuffled in some passages, in general, the soul is the one that resides in our bodies while we are alive, and the spirit is eternal - depending on our beliefs!
According to Debra, the words “soul” and “spirit” appear in the bible hundreds of times in both the Old and New Testaments. In the original Hebrew versions of the Old Testament there are a few words that are used to refer to the idea of soul, the most common of which - repeated over 750 times - is nephesh . Already in the New Testament the Greek words that convey this meaning are psuche and psyche .
Basically, in the Old Testament, Hebrew words that are translated "soul" refer to the idea of being alive, of creature in which there is life, whether physical or mental. Something similar happens in the New Testament, where the Greek words that refer to the same idea also have life meaning. So the "soul" is what makes us living beings.
However, it is important to note that in the Old Testament there is no reference to the fact that the soul is immortal. Therefore, according to this idea, when we die, it simply ceases to exist, since the soul cannot wander around without a body - alive and operative.
On the other hand, do you remember that we commented at the beginning of the story that the words "soul" and "spirit" are sometimes used in a scrambled manner? Thus, in the New Testament there are references to the survival of the soul even after physical death, as well as to its death before the death of the body. A confusion!
The Hebrew word that is used in the Old Testament to refer to the idea of spirit is ruach, which also means "wind" or "breath." In the earliest texts, the term "spirit" is used to describe the essence that God imparts to men and is later defined as the factor that makes each of us a unique individual. Moreover, according to the Old Testament, when we die, our spirit returns to earth.
Already in the New Testament, the Greek word referring to the notion of spirit is pneuma, and in this case the translation is associated with the idea of spirit that turns to God - or moves away from him! - and is released from the flesh after death. Thus the "spirit" is the one that connects us to the creator, and it is through him that any mortal believer can unite with the spirit of the Lord with whom he will become one.
According to Debra, it is thanks to the spirit that we have a soul, because it is where our emotions reside. In a nutshell, the spirit is our conscience - which can be of good or evil - and is able to guide our attitudes. Therefore, as long as the soul is present in anyone as long as that individual is alive, one's spirit can be eternal.
And you, dear reader, agree with Debra Kelly's explanations? Do you believe other definitions for "soul" and "spirit"? Be sure to share your ideas with us in the comments!