Christianity Knowledge Base

In religion and philosophy, the soul is "the immaterial aspect or essence of a human being, that which confers individuality and humanity, often considered to be synonymous with the mind or the self. In theology, the soul is further defined as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity and often is considered to survive the death of the body.

Soul vs Spirit[]

The soul and the spirit are the two primary immaterial aspects that Scripture ascribes to humanity. It can be confusing to attempt to discern the precise differences between the two. The word “spirit” refers only to the immaterial facet of humanity. Human beings have a spirit, but are we not spirits. The word “soul” can refer to both the immaterial and material aspects of humanity. Unlike human beings having a spirit, human beings are souls. In its most basic sense, the word “soul” means “life.” Specifically, in Genesis 2:7, we see that God breathed the breath of life into Adam, causing Adam to become a “living soul.”

Creationism vs Traducianism[]

Creationism teaches that God directly creates all souls individually at the time of conception. Traducianism is the theory that a soul is generated in the process of procreation by the physical parents along with the body.

Problems with the Creationism view[]

  • God is not the immediate cause of evil. So how can He be the direct creator of a sinful soul? Creationism seems to only work with a Traducian view of the sin nature.
  • Creationism makes God's work of creation continue past the Genesis sixth day where we are told that God ceased his creation activity.


  • J. P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae, Body & Soul: Human Nature & the Crisis in Ethics. IVP, 2000.
  • Joel B. Green and Stuart Palmer, eds. In Search Of The Soul: Four Views Of The Mind-body Problem. IVP, 2005.
  • Joel B. Green, Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible. Studies in Theological Interpretation. Baker Academic, 2008.

See also[]

  • Traducianism