By David J. Riggs

   A. So-called "Jehovah's Witnesses" teach that men do not have an
      immortal soul within the body. Notice the following quotes from
      their own books:
      1. "So we see that the claim of religionists that man has an
         immortal soul and therefore differs from the beast is not
         Scriptural. The Bible shows that both man and beasts are
         souls, and that man's pre-eminence is due to the fact that  
         he is a higher form of creature and was originally given
         dominion over the lower forms of animal life. (Ecclesiastes
         3:18-21) The first man, Adam, was created a living soul, and
         nowhere is it stated that he was given an immortal soul."
         (Let God Be True, Second Edition, p. 68).
         a. As we will show, although the Bible does not use the
            expression, "immortal soul," it clearly teaches that man
            has such.
      2. "How, then did the human soul come into existence? By
         God's creating the human body from the dust of the ground
         and combining with it 'the breath of life.' This means that 
         the human soul is maintained alive by breathing the needed  
         air through the nostrils. It does not mean that the human
         creature, man, is maintained by having inside himself an
         invisible, spiritual, intelligent something called 'soul'   
         that can separate from the body at death and that can       
         continue its intelligent, conscious existence in an         
         invisible, spiritual realm, either with angels or with      
         demons." (Things in Which it is Impossible for God to Lie,  
         p. 142)
      3. "All this goes to show that the 'living soul' is not        
         something implanted invisible inside the human body but is  
         the human person himself. Consequently, when God's Word uses
         the expression 'your soul,' it means you, yourself, your    
         very being, your life as a human soul." (Ibid., p. 141).
         a. Thus, they are saying that there is no soul other than   
            the living body or person.
      4. I have often heard them say, "Man does not have a soul, but
         man is a soul." Also, they say, "All that man is goes to the
   B. Thus, they teach that man is wholly mortal.
      1. Also, they teach that the righteous will remain unconscious
         from death to the resurrection, but the wicked are forever
         annihilated at death.

   A. The Witnesses often select a single definition of a word, and  
      show where it is thus used in many passages, and then conclude 
      that it means the same in all other passages.
      1. Clearly, they have done this with the word "soul."
      2. It is true that many passages in the N.T. use the word      
         "soul" (psuche) to refer to the physical life or the person 
      3. Of course, these passages are amplified by the Witnesses.
         They teach that they reveal completely what the word means.
         a. They then set about to pervert all other passages which
            teach otherwise.
      4. There is no need to explore all the passages where the word
         "soul" (psuche) means "life" or "person."
         a. We readily admit that the word "soul" is sometimes
            used that way, but it is not the only way it is used.
            There are many passages which demand a different use
            of the word.

   A. Matt. 10:28
      1. There is something which man cannot kill. What is it?
         a. When we supply Jehovah's Witnesses' definition for
            "soul," the passage makes no sense whatsoever.
      2. Witnesses rebut by saying that the soul can be destroyed.
         a. The word "destroy" in this verse means "to devote or
            give over to eternal misery" (Thayer). "...Not loss of
            being, but of well being." (Vine).
         b. Luke's account shows that the destroying of the soul
            under consideration here is the casting into hell. Luke
   B. James 5:19-20; Heb. 10:39
      1. If the word does not mean an "immortal soul," why aren't all
         the faithful still alive today? It means that not a single  
         one of them have been converted.
   C. Gen. 35:18
      1. What was it that was departing from her body? Was her
         physical makeup (her body) departing from her physical
         makeup (her body)?
      2. Was it "the person" departing from "the person"? 
      3. Truly, it was "the person" (the soul) departing from the
   D. 1 Kings 17:21-22
      1. Clearly, man not only has a physical composition, but a soul
         which departs in death, but by the power of God can come
         back into a person.
   E. Rev. 6:9-11
      1. These souls who had been slain were crying for vengeance
         for the way they were treated on earth.
      2. Again, this clearly shows that the soul departs the body    
         after death.

   the word "soul;" nevertheless, they teach that man has a soul).
   A. Matt. 22:31-32
      1. When God spoke the words which Jesus quoted in this
         passage, the patriarchs had long since been dead; yet God
         designated Himself as still being their God.
         a. Their souls, therefore, were still living because God is
            not the God of the dead, but of the living.
         b. If the souls of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ceased to exist
            at death, God was the God of nothing.
      2. Jesus spoke these words in condemnation of the Sadducees
         who taught there are no spirits (none to live after death).
         Acts 23:8
         a. Were the Sadducees right or wrong about it? Will we
            side with them or Jesus?
   B. 2 Cor. 4:16
      1. The outward man grows old and weakens, but there is
         something within man that is renewed day by day.
      2. The word "spirit" is sometimes used interchangeably with
         "soul." Luke 23:46
         a. This could only mean that Jesus was commending His
            soul to the Father.
      3. Thus, the Scriptures teach that man has a duel nature, both
         body and soul, both body and spirit.
   C. Zech. 12:1; Job 32:8
      1. The fathers of the flesh are contrasted with the Father of
         spirits. Heb. 12:9
      2. The spirit departs the body at death. James 2:26
      3. It returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7
   D. Gen. 25:8-9
      1. He died. He was gathered (took up his abode) with his
         people. He was buried.
      2. We fly away at death. Psalm 90:10
      3. We are carried by the angels to hades. Luke 16:22-23
   E. 2 Pet. 1:13-14
      1. The dual nature of man is plainly set forth in this passage.
         a. Peter does not say, "I am this tabernacle," but "I am in
            this tabernacle."
         b. The tabernacle is the designation for the body and the
            "I" for its resident, the soul.
         c. Physical death, the separation of body and soul, does
            not dissolve the "I" (the soul), but only the tabernacle,
            the body.
   F. Phil. 1:23-24; 2 Cor. 5:8
      1. If Paul ceased to be when he died, how could he be present
         with the Lord while absent from the body?
      2. Also, why did Paul say it was far better to depart and be   
         with Christ?
         a. If he was non-existent when he departed, it would have
            been far better to remain here to aid the saints.
      3. This clearly shows that there is a separation of soul and   
         body when one departs from the flesh.
   G. Acts 9:36-42
      1. Luke said - Vs. 38.
      2. However, her body was there when the statement was made.
         a. There was something of the woman that was not there
         b. When you and I pass on, the real person or the soul will
            be gone. What the people see laying in the coffin is not
            the real person.

   A. These passages should be sufficient to convince any honest     
      seeker of truth that man has both a body and an eternal soul.
   B. Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong in their teaching about the soul.
      1. The Bible clearly teaches that all men have a soul,         
         Jehovah's Witnesses included.
   C. Let me, in closing, encourage all faithful servants of God to
      continue to try to teach Witnesses so that their souls can be  
      saved from eternal damnation.
      1. I realize, though, that it is exceedingly difficult to      
         convert them, because they have been deceived into believing
         that there is no eternal soul nor everlasting punishment.
      2. Truly, their teaching is, borrowing words from an old creed
         book, "a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of
      3. However, it is not God's doctrine and certainly it will not
         result in comfort when this life is over.