Do we have a soul (according to the Bible)?

My regular readers know well that I am no fan of Biblical inerrancy at all.

Yet many doctrines of Conservative Evangelicals I disagree cannot, ironically enough, be found in the Bible but are read into the text based on traditions.

Dr. Glenn Peoples is an extremely bright and insightful Conservative Evangelical philosopher and theologian who is willing to challenge what many of his fellow Evangelicals take for granted.

His brilliant post is really worth being read and reread.

I agree with him that the Bible does not teach the existence of a soul able to existing separately from the body.
I would, however, quibble a bit with his use of the word “materialism” which most often mean that all mental phenomena can be successfully reduced to the brain and its working.

The Biblical view is certainly compatible with emergent dualism according to which the mind is a strongly emergent phenomenon which cannot be identified with the brain processes giving birth to it.

Such kind of considerations have led many people to reject the doctrine of eternal conscious torment and conclude that the Bible teaches conditional immortality.

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8 thoughts on “Do we have a soul (according to the Bible)?

  1. This is a very interesting article.

    I no longer think we have a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ that continues after death, and I don’t see evidence for it in the Bible. I agree that we have conditional immortality. We are not naturally immortal but some, perhaps most, of us will become immortal in the resurrection.

    My views on conditional immortality are expressed in my post “Conditional Immortality and Natural Death”, which is the concluding post in my series on Hell.

    http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/conditional-immortality-and-natural-death/

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