The Bible Project | – Soul

We explore the Hebrew word “nephesh” that often gets translated as “soul.” The English word usually refers to a non-material essence of a human that survives after death, but nephesh means something different. It is referring to humans as living, breathing, physical beings, or just to life itself. Prepare to be surprised at the biblical meaning of this fascinating word.

#Soul #BibleProject #Shema

About The Author

BibleProject BibleProject is a nonprofit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos. Our videos and all of our other resources are available for free to help people everywhere experience the unified story of the Bible. For the entire list of our localized channels visit BibleProject

Comment (45)

  1. The soul does live on which is why we must live through the spirit following our one true God. It's how we can live forever with our Creator; The Heavenly Father.

  2. So what is the proof or evidence (other than traditional Christian interpretations) of the idea that the “immortal soul” isn’t correct? If it is had in Greek and English, who is to say that idea is not true? Why rule out the possibilities when there is limited evidence? That doesn’t sound reasonable. There are plenty of scriptures that denote that the soul lived previous to coming to earth.

  3. This is too simplistic. Was Jesus in error when He said your soul could burn forever apart from your body? Or was Jesus Greek? How about the claim that Jesus' beliefs were Egyptian in origin as well as one sect of Jews known as Pharisees? Notice Phar in Pharisee as in Phar-oah. In addition, the word "pharmacy" has a frightening ring to it. Moses certainly came out of Egypt, held up a bronze snake– and Jesus spent at least a fair (long shot at a pun intended) amount of His early childhood in Egypt. Jesus said He would be held up on a tree like the bronze snake.
    Were any of the Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Palestinian cultures really very separate in reality? I mean, yes, there were religious disputes– but geographical proximity and idols everywhere paint a different tale.
    All the snake imagery in Eastern culture? There is a lot of snake imagery in Native American culture(Western) as well which is far older than it is purported to be. It is doubtful that monotheism was discovered by or originated from a sect called Hebrews or Jews.
    Elohim is both plural and singular. This is interesting.
    Is-RA-el. Ra is in the middle. Hmmm. Ra is an Egyptian god. Difficult not to notice these coincidences.
    Jews think Gentiles are not fully human– only Jews. You forgot to mention that one. So not mentioning that eliminates the possibility of the most subtle beast of the field–another form of a human who does not worship God.
    Freud, a Jew, stated that in dreams a tree always represent a person. A snake is the main male reproductive organ. Kabbalistic, right? Family trees? Jesus is called the fruit of Mary's womb–so says Elizabeth. Mary would absolutely have to be a virgin to birth the true Messiah.
    Well, it is looking like a lot more is going on with Adam and Eve and a forbidden tree and a serpent than you know or are willing to reveal. Knowing of evil and good– is sexual here. Cain was sired by the serpent. Ab-el, by Adam. What Adam did when he ate the fruit that his wife had already partaken of is looking very bad as well. It's all a huge debauchery. That's all I will say.

  4. Shalom BibleProject team,

    I have one question, why is the Hebrew word Nephesh (H5315) also translated as "life" in some verses of the BIble, like:

    Genesis 9:4 (HalleluYah Scriptures translation): "4 But do not eat flesh with its life, its blood."

    Would it be ok to translate it lke this: Genesis 9:4: "4 But do not eat flesh with its being, its blood."?

    What is the meaning of "nephesh" in those verses? It is "life" or "being"? Is the whole being in the blood?

    I hope Yahweh guides us to know truth, love truth and walk in truth, to walk as Messiah walked. Peace (:.

  5. I started drinking when I was 16. I would drink at parties, but I also started drinking alone because I was unhappy, and I was in a lot of emotional pain all the time. My mom was very aggressive when I was younger, and my brother hated her and so did I. He started hanging out with shady people, he started failing all his classes, he was never home, and my parents fought all the time. I also ran away several times. I was always trying to figure out a reason as to why I was here or what the purpose of life was. So, I started looking at different philosophies, religions, and beliefs. When I was 18 after I was hungover, I got on my knees and I prayed for the first time. I asked if God was real that he would show me he was real because I couldn’t take it anymore. I was crying when I prayed for this. At that moment I felt a presence come over me like a wind. It was barely noticeable, but it was unlike anything in my life I had experienced up until that point. I was surprised when I felt it and I remember saying “what was that?” after that experience I pretty much forgot what happened and kept partying, until my senior year when I got arrested. After my arrest, my parents lost all their trust in me and I was expelled from high school. I was told never to come back. At that time, I felt afraid and hopeless. That’s when I started looking for God, and I prayed that he would reveal himself in my life and that he would give me signs. My prayers began getting answered so consistently that I couldn’t deny that God was doing something. It was mysterious and compelling. I ended up in Church and started reading the bible hours a day. I stopped hanging out with all my other friends because they were continually getting arrested. I was able to forgive my family and myself and to ask to be forgiven. I noticed how at Church people were judgmental and how they formed cliques but were afraid to be around anyone else different from them. It increased my faith because I realized Jesus was not like that and ever since I was young, I saw people as people regardless of who they were. After a while, it’s like I could see God's presence was in my life and then it felt like he wasn’t, and then he was, and then he wasn’t. One day I woke up and felt more depressed than I ever have in my entire life. I felt like I was dying on the inside. That night I prayed, and I said, God, I don’t see my life five years from now I'm going to die Jesus save me Lord, please save me. I was weeping when I said it and when I asked him to save me, I felt a presence inside of me like a heartbeat, and I felt it once like a pulse, and I said Lord please save me and I felt it again even stronger. It was like radiance. When I woke up the next morning, I had transformed everything felt brand new like I was a kid again. All my fears and all my racing thoughts everything was gone. I looked at my hands, and I said this can’t be real it’s impossible. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw a different person. I started praying, and the holy spirit became entirely real to me it was washing over me and inside of me. It was total love and peace, and I heard a voice but not an audible one, it was an inner voice. It said I am with you; I love you, I will never leave you, it’s done it’s finished. That was May 3rd, 2009, and ever since then I’ve followed God, I have seen many things change and many things I know wouldn’t have changed without faith and belief. I know what it’s like to be lost to feel you have no hope. Don’t ever think you’re stuck, or life can’t change because it can. My mom is a Christian now, Its night and day. Some of the things that went away during that period were severe anxiety and my addiction to alcohol. I’ve seen and experienced so many things that are miraculous and seen how God has worked in my life. When we ask God to forgive us for what we’ve done and turn away from our sins and wrongdoings and we believe in Christ's sacrifice everything changes. His word says if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that he died and rose again we will have eternal life but not just life after death but abundant life in the present. Our sins are erased not only past, present, and future but our burdens and fears are lifted also. Our thoughts, our minds, our hearts, our souls are transformed and united with God and we know his spirit lives in us. If you seek, pray, and knock you will know JESUS IS KING!!! HE LIVES!

  6. think about plato DRAMATICALLY influenced the post – apostolic Christian doctrine, this is great video considering that the Bible clearly declared only one God, SHEMA in Deuteonomy and Jesus stated in Mark 12:29-31, not about incarnation of a god… or him but that God is one John 17:3

  7. Oh people this life is temporary
    And Afterlife is permanent in paradise All fun with no sadness whatsoever
    Oh people obey Allah the Only God who Created you read Quran and Follow the last Messenger Muhammed peace be upon him So you succeed and be happy in life and Enter Paradise Afterlife