What are the properties of a soul?


As a scientist I cannot define the word soul. As far as I know, the soul
has no physical reality. Rather, it has a spiritual reality; not subject
to experiment. It is ontolological, metaphysical. I will freely admit
that my belief in a soul rests principally (though not totally) on the
authority of the Bible, so I will answer your question by quoting the

1. It is something with which we can love God and our neighbor.
(Deuteronomy 4:29, 10:12, Mark 12:30, etc.)

2. It is a center of human emotion (1 Sam 1:10 Job 3:10 bitterness, Job
30:25 grief, Psalms 35:9 joy, Isaiah 29:6 yearning

3. It is the seat of human affection (1 Sam 14:7,

4. It is a part of us which takes part in worship (Psalms 23:4 of an idol,
Psalms 42:2 of God,

5. It can be “lost” or “saved.” In other words, it is in some sense
eternal, although it was created. (Psalm 49:15, Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:37,
Prov 23:14, Psalm 86:13, Proverbs 11:30, 1Peter 1:9,

6. It can be blamed for the wrong it motivates us to do (1 Thessalonians
5:23, Ezekiel 18:20, Micah 6:7

7. It can be healthy or sick, at least in some sense (3 John 2,

8. It belongs to God (Ezekiel 18:4

I left these lists as open parenthesis, as I could have cited several more
verses under each category. To summarize, the human soul is created. It
is “eternal” (but the exact meaning of this word is not absolutely clear).
It is the seat of desire and emotion. God will hold our soul responsible
for the actions which its desires caused us to do or to not do. I could
say more, but I think that is a reasonable starting point.

John O.

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