“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
This verse clearly teaches that both the soul and the body will be destroyed in hell which means that the soul is not eternal by nature and that is what the Bible teaches. For God “alone has immortality” (1 Timothy 6:15, 16), while man is a mortal being (Psalm 146:3; Ezekiel 2:1; Romans 1:23).
The word “soul” is in Greek “psuchē.” This word is translated 58 times as “soul” or “souls” (Matthew 10:28; 11:29; 12:18; etc) and is translated 40 times in the New Testament as “life” or “lives,” (Matthew 2:20; 6:25; 16:25; etc.). One example for the word “psuchē“ translated to “life” is found in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
In no instance of its use in the Bible does “psuchē” refer to a conscious entity able to exist apart from the body. This idea is derived, not from the Scriptures, but from false philosophical concepts that early found their way from paganism into the Jewish and Christian thinking. The Bible teaches nothing of a living, conscious soul that, supposedly, survives the body. But rather it teaches that “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). And death is clearly the opposite of life.
So, if we put the word “life” in the place of “soul,” in Matthews 10:28, the meaning of this verse will be consistent with the rest of the Bible. And Jesus further confirms this same meaning in Luke 12:4, 5 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
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In His service,