5. The Soul of Man

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

a. Man is a soul.[4] The soul is made up of the body plus the spirit.[5]

b. The soul does not live on after the death of the body. [6]

What does mainstream Christianity believe?


Q1. Of what is man composed?

Gen 2:7-Then the Lord [Jehovah] God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [Heb. soul].

1 Thess 5:23-Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q2. According to the Bible, does the soul live on after the death of the body?

Gen 35:18-And it came about as her soul was departing (for she died)

1 Ki 17:21-22-“O Lord [Jehovah] my God, I pray thee, let this child’s life [Heb. soul] return to him.” And the Lord [Jehovah] heard the voice of Elijah, and the life [Heb. soul] of the child returned to him and he revived.

Matt 10:28-“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gr. gehenna].”

Acts 20:9-10-…fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead. But Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life [Gr. soul] is in him.”

Rev 6:9-11-And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

Rev 20:4-And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus…and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.


a. Man is composed of the spirit, the soul, and the body.

b. Though man in totality is often referred to in the Bible as a soul, many passages speak of the soul of man living on after the death of the body.

Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Ez 18:4,20-The soul who sins will die.


Eccl 9:3-10-UNDER THE SUN…For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward…UNDER THE SUN…UNDER THE SUN…UNDER THE SUN…there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.



4. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 101, 375

5. Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1533

6. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 136-137, 382

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