Nature of Soul in Different Sects

Hello Community

I’m New to Christianity and have been listening to videos, blogs, articles, talking to friends, pastors and all gave me different opinions on Soul. I want to know the True Nature of Bible hence these questions are essential to me.

I’ll list down the beliefs and categorize them, based on Soul (Nature, Afterlife, Dichotomy/Trichotomy, and Existence in Animals).

Catholics - Soul is Immortal, Spirit returns to God at Death, Resseruction is new spiritual body given to soul. Soul Rests in Hades (paradise or tarturus) and awaits Judgement.
(Dichotomy - Body and Soul/Spirit same.)
(Trichotomy - Body Soul Spirit different).
A) Animals have souls but not immortal.
B) Animals don’t have soul only life.
Doubt = Resseructed go to heaven or God creates new kingdom on earth?

Protestants - Soul is Mortal. Body-Soul dies together and resseructed together. Spirit can be different and same again. It can also be an interpretation that Soul=Body, both are same. Animals dont have souls, only life. Or animals have souls but no spirit. (Confused here).

Someone (Conditionalists?) = Animals have souls that die, Humans have immortal only if they surrender.

Someone else = No concept of soul in Hebrew Bible. It was only Body and Life (Nephesh), Ruakh was Spirit, while Paulinists inspired by Greeks added soul to NT. Animals have Nephesh (life) but no Ruakh (soul/spirit).

【I’m confused here, that if we call Nephesh is life, God breathed Nephesh/Life into Man. Then Ruakh automatically becomes Soul/Spirit. So Animals will have Nephesh/Life but no Soul/Spirit. If God breathes a Nephesh/Soul, then Humans have life, soul and spirit. Animals will have life, but wont have Soul and Spirit both, or will have Soul but no Spirit.】

Gnostics = 2 Gods, 1 Creator and other Father. Thoughts on Souls = Soul goes to heaven or hell, body is left behind. (Animals?) What are their thiughts on Spirit?

Please don’t say which is wrong or right, I’m just here to try and understand different denominations and their understanding on Soul,ans categorize them. Please Correct if I’m wrong and name the categories of which I dont know names…

Holy Spirit


First thought is, welcome my friend, there are many connect members that will share with you. Your question in every worldview, religion, society, physcology, as well as individuals has a specific view on your query. I will pray and ponder my responce. So glad you came to share and grow.


Okay can you just tell me, in Dichotomy, if Spirit returns to God upon death, what goes to Hades beyond death to await judgement?

In Trichotomy, if Soul waits in Hades, Spirit returns to God, body is gone to dust. If the disembodied Soul awaits judgement in Paradise or Tarturus, what is the requirement of Resseruction? Why not the Soul go to heaven or hell?

If at all there is Resseruction, why does one need an immortal soul? Why not just a concious body and life. And if there is no Resseruction, Christianity will cease.

This is a complex issue I believe there are answers for. Please suggest a book or some Biblical Scholar in this site whom I can ask.

Thank you.

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Hello again, just to give you my background I spent 8 years taught in school church by Priests and Nuns, had very little church religious involvement after that for the next 22 years. Was found and then saved 29 years ago and have been part of a pentacostal ministry for 28 of those years.
I know what I know from the later part but had certain ideologies I am sure that made it through or created in my totally sin filled life. Not comprehending the complexities of how the brain works I must keep it simple and just be spiriual.

I learned that my soul, consisted of my
MIND: not the physical matter but the processor part of it. The will that enables me to do what needs done

INTELECT: all the knowledge that is stored in the brain. Who I am. What I am What I know etc
EMOTIONS: anger, love, hate, compassion, tenderness, being sentimental, and the like.

All the things that take place in the brain that to us have no physical matter but determine what makes us tick, and who we are,

This soul will go to heaven

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
I Corinthians 13:12 NKJV

SPIRIT:that which seeks and searches to find what Ravi teaches origin, meaning, morality, and destiny, that Part that God breathed into us to become a living being that we try to fill with everything that only His regenerating power will satisfy and satiate.

This to returns to the place from which it came God who is Spirit (spirit realm) with us.

These two we cant physically touch are our spiritual components.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
I Corinthians 15:51‭-‬54

BODY: all that is physical that will return to dust because we came from dust. Our DNA so to speak. All the is touchable, tangible.

Hope this helps in your query.

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Hi friend :slight_smile: Honestly, different people within Protestantism are going to have different views of the nature of the soul. That is also true of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, even though they will have official dogma.

For an overview, I would read J. P. Moreland’s book on the soul. Regarding the afterlife, Douglas Jacoby’s book is a good place to start. I’ve also included a video about the Hebrew word for soul from “The Bible Project” and a video by William Lane Craig, who may be another good resource.

Connect Threads

Biblically, there are at least two distinct aspects of a human being—spiritual (spirit/soul) and physical (body). Some interpreters hold that the “soul” and “spirit” are distinct parts of a human being, and therefore that we are composed of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. This view is called “trichotomy.” However, the vast majority of evangelical scholars today hold that “spirit” and “soul” are basically synonymous and are two different ways of talking about the immaterial aspect of our being, “soul” pointing to our personal selves as responsible individuals and “spirit” pointing to those same selves as created by and dependent on God. This view is called “dichotomy” (see note on 1 Thess. 5:23–28). It is important to see that there is a fundamental unity between the physical and spiritual within humans. While a distinction is made in the Bible between the material and immaterial parts of the human being, the emphasis is on the necessary connection between body and soul. Regeneration and sanctification for the Christian is a spiritual experience intended to be expressed in the physical body in and through which we have been made to live. The separation of body and soul caused at death is an unnatural tragedy, which will be remedied when the body is resurrected, allowing humans to exist as they were intended to do.

J. P. Moreland


A book on Heaven and Hell by Douglas Jacoby.


Hi. I have no doubts about existence and require no other proof than the bible itself.

What’s my concern is the various streams and thiughts about soul, and how different sects Biblically derive their beliefs or how they interpret things. The books are very nice in their own self, but maybe they’re meant for a person who needs extra-scriptural evidence.

Currently, I am.reading a book someone recommended at fb group Apologetics Academy. He has written himself. But if there are any other recommendations, I welcome them.

Thanyou very much for all help.
Have a nice day :innocent:

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This is an amazing answer and very helpful. Thanyou for the reply.

I was confused about one more thing. In John 20:20 when the Holy Spirit is Recieved, what does recieving it mean, the Sacrament? Does it mean that the holy spirit enters human flesh and hence our bodies, or our self becomes divine/holy?

Or even though it enters us, it remains aloof of body, and Spirit alone is divine, not us.

Thank you

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Good morning my friend,
Was this the scripture you were referencing?

John 20:22 NKJV
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

There are many thoughts on this passage but first let me share when I initially recieved the Holy Spirit?

Working from the first paragraph of my post in question to give you clarity, I tried on my own to divorce my self from my sin filled life but to no avail, a futile attempt at best I must say. When I was born again literally in the back of a cookie delivery truck with no other humans around, not truly phathoming what was happening, ignorant if you will. But knowing a change took place non the less. My outside parameters did not change but something inside did. With no bible schooling, study, or teaching I read through the new testament to find answers. Having done so over the last 28 years I can say with great certainty that what changed was my dead spirit became born again by His Spirit.

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:5‭-‬8 NKJv

Without His Spirit we cant change so this is when one receives the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

The amazing thing is I felt new inside but I still did not see though others did.

My story is in the Members Testimony should you like view it.

Back to your question
John 20:22 NKJV
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

This a precursor about the baptism of the Holy Spirit that would not come till ten days after He ascended. Found in Acts 2.

For us me for sure I will say His Spirit is in us primarily.

The baptism as mentioned above is more like me being immersed in the Holy Spirit than the Holy Spirit being immersed in me.

It has been phrased this way by some and I agree completely.
Salvation means He is present in you, Holy Spirit baptism means He becomes President, Commander in Chief. Just a simple way to put it.
I have asked people does He have you or do you have Him?

Our holiness, righteousness, and goodness is found in Him. Jesus Himself said there is none good not one.

Thank you, for the question, hope this helps, as you move closer to your answer.

Hello again, would you have time to share your views, thoughts on what we are discussing? Just want to know my new friend better.

Good Morning,
May I continue and about this part? Would like your thiughts?

[quote="Holyspirit, post:3, topic:29401
Spirit returns to God, body is gone to dust. If the disembodied Soul awaits judgement in Paradise or Tarturus, what is the requirement of Resseruction? Why not the Soul go to heaven or hell?

Growing up Catholic in 60’s I was taught this,

I had to pray for those that died so why else would I do that?

Before Jesus gave His life for our redemption, He spoke of Paradise on the cross to the Luke, 23:43 which was before His resurrection.

Then we see after He had risen Luke 24:34, those that were dead were raised to life with Him. Mathew 27:52

Paul’s words to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:8 shows that we do not go to paradise, or limbo but Heaven.

But instead of penance, purgatory there is grace and forgiveness because Jesus paid the price.