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What happens to our souls after we die?
This is our third episode on the Hebrew word “Nephesh”. It usually gets translated as “soul” in modern bibles. But to the hebrews the word often meant “throat”. This episode Tim and Jon discuss the Hebrew concepts of an afterlife. The Hebrews would often use the word “Nephesh” when talking about eternal life in the Scriptures.

In part 1 (0-7:00), the guys talk about the difficulty of getting the nephesh concept across in a short video. They discuss the possible gradients of ways to read the Shema.

In part 2 (7:00-17:30), Jon asks “Isn’t there some sort of non material part of me that survives death?” To which Tim replies “Yes.” But it’s not necessarily what you think. Tim says the biblical authors refuse to speculate about what happens after death, only that the authors say we are “with the Lord.”
He uses Psalm 16 and Psalm 49 as an example.

Psalm 16:8-10:
I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my nephesh to the grave;
Nor will You ballow Your Holy One to see the pit.
You will make known to me the path of life;

Tim says Bible scholar NT Wright calls it “life after life after death.”

In part 3 (17:30-end), the guys discuss the concept of Nephesh in the New Testament. Nephesh is translated with the Greek word “psuche.”
It’s often used to describe a person as an embodied, living organism.

A few of Jesus’ famous sayings with the word “psuche” include:

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your psuche, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Luke 17:33
Whoever tries to save their psuche will lose it, and whoever loses their psuche will preserve it.
Psuche can also be used to describe the animating life-energy of a person (very similar to pneuma/ruakh)

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of psuche and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, psuche and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Show Resources:
Our video on the word Nephesh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM
More resources on our website www.thebibleproject.com

N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God.

Music Credits:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn
Scream Pilots: Moby
Boost: Joakim Karud
Back To Life: Soul II Soul: Non-Profit and Educational Fair Use

Produced by:
Jon Collins and Dan Gummel