The concept of mind-body dualism (soul/spirit separate from the body) is not a Biblical teaching, but came from Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. The Bible presents a holistic view of a person, beginning at creation:
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
– Genesis 2:7
That word “being” comes from the Hebrew word “nephesh”
and literally means soul, creature, living being, individual, etc. Wherever the word “soul” is used in the Bible, it refers to a person or the life of that person, but they are never separate entities. The New Testament writers carry this same view that a life or a person is the same thing as a soul. In Matthew 16:25, 26, the same Greek word “psuche” is used for a person’s life and soul. Put simply: I don’t have a soul, I am a soul! In this life, souls live and then souls die.
“The soul [nephesh] who sins shall die.
– Ezekiel 18:4 (repeated again for emphasis in verse 20)
“And they struck all the people [nephesh] that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them.”
– Joshua 11:11
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
– Acts 2:41
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
– Matthew 16:25, 26