The Truth about Soul and Hell

Many religions in the world believe that the soul is something that is inside our body and that it will depart from our body when we die and it will go to hell or heaven. They say that if you follow God’s command and have faith in God, your soul would be in heaven but if you’re not good, then you will be punished eternally on hell or in the lake of fire. Is this really the teachings of the Holy Scriptures? Let us know the truth.

We know that the Holy Scriptures were written originally in Hebrew and Greek. The word “soul” was translated from the word “nephesh” in Hebrew and “psyche” in Greek. These two words appeared in more than 800 times in the Scriptures and have written these words in New World Translation as “soul”. If we are going to study the word “soul” or “souls” in many uses in the Bible, it would relates to (1) persons, (2) animals or (3) life of persons or animals. Let us consider some examples that relates to these three thoughts. The following was an English translation from the Tagalog version of “What Does the Bible Really Teach?

(1) Persons – 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. – KJV;

Genesis 2:7 And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul. – NWT

Other verses that shows the soul as person can be found in Exodus 16:16, Genesis 46:18, Joshua 11:11; Acts 23:37; Romans 13:1 (The word “soul” usually found in NWT was written originally in Scriptures as “nephesh” and “psyche”, that is why NWT preserved the real translation of the two original words.)

(2) Animals – Genesis 1:20 And God went on to say: “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens.” – NWT

24 And God went on to say: “Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.” And it came to be so. – NWT (other verses that shows souls as animals are Genesis 9:10; Leviticus 11: 16; Numbers 31:28; for the veracity or the translation of NWT, seek original versions in Hebrew and Greek Scriptures)

(3) Life of a Person – Exodus 4:19 After that Jehovah said to Moses in Mid´i·an: “Go, return to Egypt, because all the men who were hunting for your soul are dead. – NWT

Other verses are Genesis 35:16 – 19, 1 King 17:17 -23; Matthew 10:39; John 15:13; Acts 20:10; John 10:11. I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep. – NWT

There is no word in the Bible such “immortal” or “eternal” that links to soul. But instead, it is said in the Scriptures that soul is mortal, meaning it is dying. – Ezekiel 18: 4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. – KJV

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. – NIV

In fact, the word in the Bible in which one is dead is written as “dead soul” – Leviticus 21:11 And he should not come to any dead soul. For his father and his mother he may not defile himself. – NWT

We have now discussed the meaning of the word “soul” in many verses. Now let us see whether the soul will go through a literal hell if you were not good or will punish eternally to a literal lake of fire.

The word “hell” derived from the word “sheol” in Hebrew and “Haides” in Greek. “Sheol” and “Haides” were used in the Bible for more than 70 times. In other versions of the Bible, it translated as “grave” or “hell”. What does the “hell” really means?

In Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, [a] where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. – NIV


  1. Ecclesiastes 9:10 Hebrew Sheol

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. – RSV

However, “sheol” doesn’t mean as a specific or particular grave area or cemetery where we buried or loved ones. When a Bible points a specific burial place it uses other words in Hebrew of Greek, not “Sheol” and “Haides” (Genesis 2:7 – 9; Matthew 28:1) The Bible doesn’t use also the word “sheol” for one grave place wherein few individuals are together buried, like a grave for a family or a grave for many individuals. So what kind of place “sheol’ refers to? The Bible shows that “sheol” and “hades” refers to a much bigger than an ordinary burial place like a cemetery. For example, it says in Isaiah 5:14 that sheol is spacious. Therefore She´ol has made its soul spacious and has opened its mouth wide beyond bounds; and what is splendid in her, also her crowd and her uproar and the exultant one, will certainly go down into it. – NWT

Despite sheol swallowed many people, yet it seems it still hungry. Proverbs 30:15 The leeches have two daughters [that cry]: “Give! Give!” There are three things that do not get satisfied, four that have not said: “Enough!” 16 She´ol and a restrained womb, a land that has not been satisfied with water, and fire that has not said: “Enough!” – NWT

Unlike to any literal grave which can contain only a limited number of dead, sheol never satisfy. Proverbs 27:20 Death and Destruction [a] are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man. – NIV


  1. Proverbs 27:20 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man. – RSV

Therefore, sheol and hades are not literal site in a specific location. But instead, it is a symbolic place wherein a great part of humanity is sleeping on death. In the Bible, the word “sheol” and “hades” link to a kind of death that will have resurrection. (Job 14:13, Acts 2:31, Rev. 20:13). It shows also in the Word of God that not only those who served Jehovah are in Sheol or Hades, but also those who were not served him. (Gen. 37:35, Psalms 55:15). In accordance with this, the Bible teaches that there will be resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous. – Acts 24:15. – end of translation

The wicked people mentioned by Jesus will be put also in a symbolical place called Gehenna – Matthew 5:30; 10:28; 23:33.

Let us consider now the Biblical verses that prove this truth.

The wicked will die:

Job 11:20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last. – RSV

In NWT it renders as “soul” which will die.

Job 11:20 But the wicked will be blinded. They will have no escape. Their only hope is death. – New Living Translation

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. – KJV

Proverbs 10:2 Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. – NIV

Proverbs 14:27 The [a]fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death. – NASB

Note:   It says that a person may avoid snares of death. The righteous person cannot avoid the death due to circumstances but they can avoid the death of eternal destruction. Unlike the wicked people they are lead to death.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. – NIV

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6:20 For when YOU were slaves of sin, YOU were free as to righteousness. 21 What, then, was the fruit that YOU used to have at that time? Things of which YOU are now ashamed. For the end of those things is death.

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. – KJV

Romans 6:8 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. – RSV

James 1:14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.- NIV

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – RSV

Psalms 49:13 This is the way of those who have stupidity,
And of those coming after them who take pleasure in their very mouthings. Se´lah. 14 Like sheep they have been appointed to She´ol itself; Death itself will shepherd them; And the upright ones will have them in subjection in the morning, And their forms are due to wear away; She´ol rather than a lofty abode is for each one. – NWT

Psalms 9:17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God. – NASB

Psalms 37:38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future [a] of the wicked will be cut off.- NIV

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – RSV

How can be a soul who sins exist forever when in fact it is stated in the Bible that it is subject to cease. – Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die.– RSV ; Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. – KJV

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. – NIV (If the soul will be tormented in fire eternally still there is life. But the previous verse said those who rejects the Son will not see life.)

John 3:36 And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.] – Amplified

It says here that the wicked will come to death. And when we say of death can we say life is still there? Death is the end of one’s life. He has no thinking or knowledge. – Eclessiastes 9:10 It never said on the previous verses in Hebrew that wicked will suffer from eternal punishment. Actually, there is no single saying in the Hebrew which states that the wicked will be tormented in fire literally.

Job 12:9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. – KJV

Note: The word “soul” is singular yet it is said that every living thing is in the hand of God. Clearly, the word “soul” means “life”. You make look the original word of this in Greek or Hebrew translation in Interlinear bible or you can look the original word in Septuagint version.

So what does Revelation 20:10, 14, 15 means? Would it mean to a literal lake of fire or hell? In verse 14, it is clearly states that the lake of fire means second death. Notice that the dead people who are not written in the Book of Life will be thrown to the lake of fire. But are they going to feel the heat and suffer eternally? If that would mean this, then the previous verses that shows wicked will die and not continue to exist are all false. So what is the meaning of second death? It means there is no more hope for them to live. They are eternally destroyed. We know that the dead people don’t know anything. – Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10. So in order not to contradict to all these verses, we must understand its meaning in its deeper sense. So what is fire symbolizes for? In Jude 7 fire symbolizes as to eternal destruction “So too Sod´om and Go·mor´rah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.” – NWT

We do not see anymore the fire that came to Sodom and Gomorra yet it is said that they have punishment of everlasting fire. In Luke 17:29 Jesus told Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Consider this verse also.

Isaiah 34:9 And her torrents must be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulphur; and her land must become as burning pitch. 10 By night or by day it will not be extinguished; to time indefinite its smoke will keep ascending. From generation to generation she will be parched; forever and ever no one will be passing across her.

The verse refers to the judgment to Edom. It will be destroyed by fire eternally. If this would mean literally then verse 11, 13, 14 – 17 of the same chapter would not be true. Owls, ravens and vultures will live there forever as it was promised by Jehovah. (Isaiah 34:16, 17)

It is therefore to conclude that fire symbolizes a total destruction or not existing anymore of someone. Another text proof can be found on Isaiah 66:24. It says on this text that the dead bodies of the wicked will eat by worms that will never die and the fire that burns the dead bodies will never be put out. Do you think it is possible? How come a worm be survived on a literal fire and not die and a body which doesn’t melt on a fire? How come a fire will burn them forever when in fact wicked people are all over the world? Would it mean that in every place of earth there would be a fire that will last forever? That’s impossible as for the “new earth” that will possess by God’s people. Righteous people will remain on earth but the wicked will be uprooted out of it. (Psalms 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Proverbs 2:21,22) This earth will restore again. It will become paradise.

Proofs on soul that might die or may offer to give:

James 5:20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [[a]procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert]. – Amplified


***James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. – KJV

James 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. – NASB

Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. – NIV

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? – NIV

See also other versions such as NASB, KJV, Amplified, NIRV, NWT, NIVUK, NLT. There they indicate the soul that may be lost.


  1. Matthew 16:25 The Greek word means either life or soul; also in verse 26.

Psalms 78:50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; – KJV

Psalms 78:50 He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave over their life to the plague, – NASB

Psalms 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. — KJV

Psalms 107:26 They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. – NASB

Psalms 56:13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? – KJV

Psalms 56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living. – NASB

Two choices of the people (life and death)

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, – NASB

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: – KJV

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. – KJV

Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, – NASB

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? – NIV

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? – NASB

NOTE: Notice the words said “slaves to sin which leads to death”. Clearly if we are slaves of sin then we will die. It did not say “if you are slaves of sin then you will be punished in hell eternally”. No showing of that thought indeed.

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, – NIV

Romans 8:12, 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. – NASB

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. – KJV

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – NASB

John 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. – Amplified

John 3:16 God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. – NIRV

John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. – NWT

About Spirit (ruwach in Hebrew and pneuma in Greek) which other people think as the same as soul which is inside the body and eternal, the concept of that teaching is not true. In fact, the spirit means force of life. In Psalms 104:29 it is stated that when Jehovah taken out the spirit in all human, then they return to dust. It is also said in James 2:26 that the body without spirit is dead. The same thought could also be seen in Genesis 6:17; 7:15, 22 wherein the force of life is taken out by Jehovah from all the living animals and human in the world before. Therefore, spirit serves the source of life. The spirit also goes back to God when a person dies – Ecclessiastes 12:7; Job 34:14, 15. This doesn’t mean that the spirit travel to God but rather it shows that the spirit of a person lie in the hands of Jehovah. The proof of this that this is not literal spirit that goes back to Jehovah is in Psalms 146:4 which states that the spirit may disappear, cease or gone. Another proof that the spirit of people does not travel back to God is in Ecclesiastes 3:19 which states that all animals and human have one spirit given by God. Spirit also means a feeling of a person which can be incorporate as to being happy or sad.

Some religious leaders or persons used one verse in the bible that identifies the three which are components in human body and so they say that spirit and soul will be punished in eternal fire if you are wicked. As I have said above this is not possible. Here is an illustration of the three things which are components in human: the spirit, the soul and the body. The spirit represents the force of life. We can represent it as the electrical force with a high voltage. If the electrical force or voltage is really high, the power or energy [which represents the life] is also high. Thus, if the energy of  a person is high then of course his life is in good condition. This power or energy of human can protect our immune system but once our energy started to lose then eventually our resistance to sickness will also decrease and so our life may lost. And when the source of life [the spirit which represents the electrical force power that gives life to our body] will be lost then our life also will be lost too and so our body will be destroyed. That is why in the bible, the spirit, soul and the body of human can be destroyed.

With all of the verses I have presented, I hope viewers will come to realize the truth what the Word of God has revealed to us. Please read also my other blog in this link


The last link explains that those who oppose God’s will die or come to corruptness on their body. The author explains that those who are resurrected for second chance of life yet disobeyed to God’s will will still be killed by God at final judgment (after 1000 years) and will be thrown to a symbolic place ‘lake of fire’ that depicts eternal destruction.


Philippians 3:19 and their finish is destruction, and their god is their belly, and their glory consists in their shame, and they have their minds upon things on the earth.

The word “destruction” means to die, perish or ruin. The word signifies of being inexistence from being existence before which denotes that life has come to cease or had end.

See also 1 Thessalonians 1:8, 9 which states “8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength”. See the interlinear of these verses. ( and

Acts 3:22 In fact, Moses said, ‘Jehovah God will raise up for YOU from among YOUR brothers a prophet like me. YOU must listen to him according to all the things he speaks to YOU.23 Indeed, any soul that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.’

NOTE: Notice the original word use which is “every soul” which indicates of being every people who will be destroyed if not listen to that Prophet (Jesus). Destroy means to ruin or to put something unusable or not functionable anymore.


Jesus was said to be in hell (hades) when he died – Acts 2:31 ( and those dead who are in Hades will be brought up in the time of resurrection (Revelation 20:13). Compare also the illustration of Jesus in Luke 16:23 ( whom the rich man is said to be in Hades with fire. He was suffering indeed yet how come this description about Hades though it was said with torment of fire is said to be the lying place of Jesus [in Hades also] when he died (Acts 2:31) but without fire? It is logical to think that the literal fire (lake of fire) is also symbolic in nature giving its meaning of no hope of resurrection or eternal destruction which is the thing being pictured in the illustration of Jesus about the rich man. While the hades without torment of fire just like Jesus was put in hades will have hope in resurrection. The two hades can be seen – one is with fire i.e. no hope of resurrection and eternal destruction while the hades without fire is the one with hope of resurrection and a chance to have eternal life which is pictured in the book of Revelation.