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Does God have a soul?

The first time the Bible mentions a soul is in reference to the creation of Adam, the first man: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7 KJV). Humans are unique among creation because God made people in His own image, breathing into them with His own breath (Genesis 1:26–27). In general, a soul consists of the non-physical elements of a person. Throughout the Bible, people are referred to as having individual souls and are spoken of as praising God from their souls (Psalm 62:5; 104:1; Luke 1:46). If we have souls and God is our creator, does that mean that He also has a soul?

The Hebrew word nephesh is the word for soul in the Old Testament, and there are passages that use this word in reference to God (Leviticus 26:11; Judges 10:16). In Jeremiah 32:41 God says, "I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul." Other prophetic passages also seem to indicate that God has a soul (Zechariah 11:8 KJV). While God appears to have a soul based on these scriptures, it may not function the same as a human soul. God is also referred to as having physical body parts such as hands or eyes, but we know these are anthropomorphisms, a figure of speech in which human qualities are assigned to something non-human. It could be that God talks about His "soul" as a similar figure of speech to help us better understand and relate with Him. What we can know with certainty is that God is Spirit (John 4:24).

Jesus Christ, God the Son, became a human with a human nature. He was (and is) fully God and fully man. Therefore, we can be confident in saying that Jesus does indeed have a soul, just as He also had a physical body. The fact that Jesus has a human soul enabled Him to participate in the full spectrum of human emotions and experiences. While praying in the garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion, Jesus was overwhelmed with agony: "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death" (Matthew 26:38).

The word soul is generally used within the context of a person's humanity, and it describes the link between one's spirit and body. God the Father and the Holy Spirit are not human; they are spirit (John 4:24). The concept of whether or not God has a soul depends upon what we consider a soul to be. If we consider personhood to mean that one has a soul, then God has a soul because He has a mind, will, and emotions. God the Father and the Holy Spirit are able to feel (Ezekiel 5:13; Psalm 103:13; Ephesians 4:30). Jesus, the Son of God, is a spiritual being and also a human with a soul and a spirit. He is our link to God, interceding on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is God and He has a soul. So, in that sense, yes, God has a soul.


Related Truth:

Is God a person?

God is spirit – What does that mean?

Who or what is God?

Is Jesus Christ God?

What are some of the key things to know about the nature of God?


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