What Is Man?
What is a man? Is a person born with an immortal soul, or do the saved put on immortality at the resurrection? Is a person a three part being, an animal body with both a soul and a spirit that will live without the body? This is one of the most important questions of all time. It has more influence on our conception of our nature, our view of life in this world and life after death than any other question.
Soul in the Old Testament is translated from nehphesh, Strong‘s Hebrew word
#5315). A study of the way it is translated in the King James and how other translation differ greatly from it reveals facts that are far different that the belief of most about what the soul is and facts that most will find upsetting. Nehphesh is used in the Old Testament about 870 times and is translated soul only about 473 times in the King James and in the New International Version (2010 updated version) only 72 out about 870 times it is used.
How nehphesh is translated in the King James Version into about 40 words, into nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.
1. Soul about 473 times.
2. Life about 122 times
3. Person about 26 times
4. Mind about 15 times
5. Heart about 15 times
6. Personal pronouns 44 + times [yourselves, themselves, her, me, he, his, himself]
7. All others, about 200 times [man, creature, living being, fish, own, any, living thing, living creatures, lives, the dead, dead body, kills, slays, slay him, mortally, discontented, ghost, breath, will, appetite, hearty desire, desire, pleasure, lust, deadly].
In all 870 times this word is used it is associated with the activity of a living being, including dying, and it never implies anything about life after the death of the living being. None of the 870 times are an immortal, immaterial, inter something in a person that has no substance; souls (nehpheshs) are the living being (persons, animals, or any living thing) that can die, be killed, or is already be dead.
Soul (nehphesh) as it is used in the Bible although that it is used it is more often than not hid for the English readers by the way it was translated or mistranslated.
 Genesis 1:20 "The moving creature that has life" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals]. Footnote in the King James Version, "The moving creature that has soul."
"Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures" [soul–nehphesh] (American Standard Version) "The moving creature that has life" (footnote in KJV).
If ― soul” were an immortal "immaterial, invisible part of man" (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words), why is this Hebrew
word that is translated soul also translated "living creature" when it is speaking of animals in Genesis 1:21; 1:24; 2:19; 9:10; 9:12; 9:15; 9:16 when the same Hebrew word [nehphesh] is translated "living soul" in Genesis 2:7 when it is 4
speaking of a person? In the Hebrew, if this word were an immaterial, immortal
part of a person, it would also be an immaterial, immortal part of animals.
 Genesis 1:21 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals], "And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature [soul–nehphesh] that moves wherewith the water swarmed.”
 Genesis 1:24 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals], "And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures [soul–nehphesh] after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth."
 Genesis 1:30 " life" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals], " And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life" [soul–nehphesh]; animals are "a living soul."
ALL FOUR TIMES THAT SOUL [nehphesh] IS USED IN GENESIS ONE, IT IS
USED REFERRING TO ANIMALS, NOT TO A PERSON. ANIMALS WERE
SOULS, LIVING BEINGS, BEFORE ANY MAN EXISTED. "Then God said, 'Let the waters teem with swarms of living souls [soul–nehpheshs], and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.' And God created the great sea monsters, and every living soul [soul-nehphesh] that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living souls [soul–nehpheshs] after their kind: cattle and creeping thing and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so...and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life [soul–nehphesh], I have given every green herb for meat"
[Genesis 1:20-30]. “Living creatures" [soul–nehphesh] is used to describe all living things on earth, people, animals, birds, and fish; not eternal life or some immaterial invisible part of them that is eternal. If a person being a soul [nehphesh–a living being]
makes that person be either immortal or in the image of God, then it makes animals, birds, and fish being a soul [nehphesh–a living being] also be immortal and in the image of God.
 Genesis 2:7 " A living soul" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to a person]. The first time the King James Version translated nehphesh into "soul, " most other translations did not agree with it, not even the New King James Version. "Man became a living being" New King James Version.
―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:20
―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:21
―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:24
― Wherein there is life" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:30
―A living soul" [nehphesh] Genesis 2:7 "Man became a living being" New King James Version o It is obvious that the translators of the King James Version translated according to a preconceived opinion in an attempt make persons have immortality but keep animals from having souls; they made a distinction in animals and men that dose not exist in the Hebrew Bible.
o Genesis 2:7 Man became :
“A living soul" King James Version
" A living being" New King James Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New International Version, Amplified Version, The New American Bible.
" A living person" New Century Version, The Living Bible, New Living Translation.]
" A living creature" The Revised English Bible, Young's Literal Translation.
" Life" Contemporary English Version.
Although this passage is repeatedly used to prove man has an immortal soul that animals do not have most translations other than the King James apply it to the living breathing being or person, not to an invisible inter part of a person. Adam being spoken of as a "living being" [nehphesh] proves he was mortal, not immortal, just as all "living beings" [nehphesh] fish, birds, animals, are mortal, not immortal.
How can this be one of the proof texts used to prove Adam was made with an immortal soul? If it proves Adam had an immortal soul then it proves that fish have an immortal soul that cannot die.
It is importance to understand that it is being said that animals and mankind are a soul [are living beings] not that animals or mankind have a soul [have a part, an immortal, invisible, no substitute something in them that cannot die]. Many assume Genesis is saying only mankind has souls but animals do not. Because of what they have been taught most, without realizing it they read into this that only mankind has a soul that is an immortal, invisible, no substitutes something that cannot die.
This causes them to believe that only this immortal part of them self will be saved (more on this at the end of this chapter).
THE BREATH OF LIFE : Some have switched from the soul being the immortal part of a person to the spirit being the immortal part of a person that animals do not have.
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” The phrase “breath of life” that was breathed into man is the same Hebrew “breath of life” in Genesis 7:21-22 that is in the nostrils of birds, cattle, men and beasts. It is not a soul that men have but animals do not have; it does not say that God breathed into Adam an immortal soul; the breathless body that God made from the earth is what became a living breathing being [nshahmah]. God did not tell Adam he had a body that was made from the earth but the real Adam was made of something not from the earth.
―Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [nshahmah]‖ man [Genesis 2:7]
―All in whose nostrils was the breath of life [nshahmah]‖ both man and animals have the same
― breath of life [nshahmah]‖ [Genesis 7:22]
―Saved alive nothing that breaths [nshahmah]‖ both men and animals [Deuteronomy 20:16]
―Utterly destroyed all that breaths [nshahmah]‖ both men and animals [Joshua 10:40]
―There was not any left to breaths [nshahmah]‖ both men and animals [Joshua 11:11]
―Neither left they any to breaths [nshahmah]‖ both men and animals [Joshua 11:14]
o Why was one word [nshahmah] translated with three words [ ―breath of life‖], then with only one word [ ―breaths‖]?
 Genesis 2:19 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals], " Every beast...every bird...whatsoever the man called every living creature [soul-nshahmah] , that was the name thereof"
 Genesis 9:4 " life" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals]
 Genesis 9:5 " lives" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to man]
 Genesis 9:5 " life" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to man]
 Genesis 9:10 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals]
 Genesis 9:12 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals]
 Genesis 9:15 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to man and animals]
 Genesis 9:16 " living creature" [soul–nehphesh, used referring to man and animals]
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A bird‘s eye view of the translation of nehphesh in the first nine chapters
1. ―Moving creature that has life" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:20 - animals 2. ―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:21- animals
3. ―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 1:24 - animals
4. ―Wherein there is life" [soul - nehphesh] Genesis 1:30 - animals 5. ―A living soul" [nehphesh] Genesis 2:7 - man
6. ―A living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 2:19 – animals
7. ―Life" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:4 - animals
8. ―Lives‖ [nehphesh] Genesis 9:5 - man
9. ―Life" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:5 - man
10. ―Living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:10 - animals
11. ―Living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:12 - animals
12. ―Living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:15 - man and animals
13. ―Living creature" [nehphesh] Genesis 9:16 - man and animals This is an example of men attempting to cover up the truth when it is contradictory to their theology. It takes a lot of preconceived theology to make nehphesh be an immaterial invisible no substance part of a man that is now immortal that is not in animals when it is not deliberately hid as it is in the King James Version.
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In Genesis 9:4-16 the same word is used for both man and animals seven times in the same passage.
To animals five times, to man four times
Three times to animals alone
Two times to animals and man together
Two times to man alone
"But flesh with the LIFE [#1. Soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals] thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat. And surely your blood, the blood of your
LIVES [#2. soul–nehphesh, used referring to man], will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of men, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the LIFE [#3. soul–nehphesh, used referring to man] of man. Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He men. And you, be you fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spoke unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you; And every LIVING
CREATURE [#4. soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals] that is with you, of the fowl, and the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall the waters of a flood cut off all flesh be any more; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every LIVING CREATURE [#5. soul–nehphesh, used referring to animals] that is with you, for perpetual generation: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every LIVING
CREATURE [#6. soul–nehphesh, used referring to man and animals] of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between 7
God and every LIVING CREATURE [#7. soul–nehphesh, used referring to man and animals] of all flesh that is upon the earth."
All four times that soul [nehphesh] is used in Genesis 1; it is referring to animals, not to a person. IN TEN OF THE FIRST THIRTEEN TIMES SOUL [NEHPHESH]
IS USED IT IS USED REFERRING TO ANIMALS, but the King James Version hides this by using different words, and most who read the King James Version never know it. Nehphesh is translated "soul" only one time of the first thirteen times it is used in the King James Version; but it is not translated "soul" in any of the first thirteen times it is used in the New King James Version, New American Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, or New International Version. Mankind has the same soul
[life-nehphesh] as the other "living creatures." He does not differ from other living creatures [soul-nehphesh] by having a soul [nehphesh] that cannot die. His dominion over other living creatures [Other nehpheshs-souls] is not his nehphesh.
Mike Willis said expositors have generally appealed to Genesis 2:7 to prove that all men are born with and now have immortal spirits. However, in 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul has clearly expounded the meaning of the Hebrew words nehphesh, chayyah. " The living soul" of Genesis 2:7 is the natural body of this passage. He said this corresponds with the book of Genesis itself because the same construction is used in Genesis 1:24 to describe animals. When Moses recorded that God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul, what the writer of Genesis was saying was that the dust of the earth began to have animal life and does not prove that a person has an immortal spirit (soul); rather it states that a person has animal life. All men possess animal life through Adam. A Commentary On Paul's First Epistle To the Corinthians, Page 578, 1979. For one who knows the Bible as he does and believes a person has an immortal soul, yet says, the living soul of Genesis 2:7 is the natural body, proves beyond doubt that a living soul is not an immortal inter part of a person.
Guy N. Woods said the first time in Genesis 1:20 the word soul is used is from the Hebrew nehphesh where it is assigned to fish, birds, and creeping things. He said it is clear that the soul in these passages does not refer to anything peculiar to the constitution of man, but it signifies, as its usage denotes, and the lexicons affirm, any creature that breathes. "What Is The Soul Of Man," Gospel Advocate, 1985, Number 21.
Adam Clarke "Nephesh clayyah; a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half reasoning elephant down to the stupid potto, or lower still, to the polype, which seems equally to share the vegetable and animal life."
In the first nine chapters of Genesis soul [nehphesh] is used more often with reference to animals than it is with reference to persons; it is the animal life, which both a person and animals have in common. How did the translators know when it changed to an invisible inter immortal part of a person, which animals do not have?
Note: both man and animals are souls, living beings. We are a soul, not have a soul. If we have a soul, have a living being in us, then we are one living being with another living being living in us, a living being living in another living being. The doctrine that we have a soul living in us, and it is this immortal deathless part of us that will be saved or tormented forever is the foundation of many of the errors that have divided the churches. That we are a soul (we are a living being), not we have a soul (we have a living being living in us) is one of the most fundamental and most misunderstood teaching in the bible.
 Genesis 12:5 "And the people [soul–nehphesh] whom they had acquired" New King James Version [ "soul" in King James Version].
 Genesis 12:13 "That I [soul–nehphesh] may live because of you" New King James Version [ "soul" in King James Version].
 Genesis 14:21 "Give me the persons [soul–nehphesh] and take the goods" King James Version.
 Genesis 17:14 "That person [soul–nehphesh] shall be cut off" New King James Version.
 Genesis 19:17 "Escape for your life [soul–nehphesh]" King James Version.
 Genesis 19:19 "Saving my life [soul–nehphesh]" King James Version.
In the first nineteen times nehphesh is used it is translated “soul”
Only three times in the King James Version
None in the New King James Version
None in the New American Standard Version
None in the New Revised Standard Version
None in the New International Version.
 Genesis 19:20 "That my life [soul–nehphesh] may be saved" New American Standard Version [Translated soul for the fourth time in the King James Version and first time in the New King James Version].
 Genesis 23:8 "If it be your mind [soul–nehphesh]" King James Version
 Genesis 27:4 "So that I may bless you before I [soul–nehphesh] die" New Revised Standard Version.
"So that I [nehphesh] may bless you before I die" Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version
"So that I [nehphesh] may give you my blessing before I die" New International Version
"So that I [nehphesh] may give you my blessing before I die" Revised English Bible
"To give you my [nehphesh] blessing before I die" Amplified Bible
"That I [nehphesh] may give you my special blessing before I die" New American Bible
"Then I [nehphesh] will bless you before I die" New Century Version
"Then I [nehphesh] will pronounce the blessing