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Jehovah’s Witnesses





The traditional rendering of the Hebrew word neʹphesh and the Greek word psy·kheʹ. In examining the way these terms are used in the Bible, it becomes evident that they basically refer to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or an animal has. (Ge 1:20; 2:7; Nu 31:28; 1Pe 3:20; also ftns.) In contrast to the way that the term “soul” is used in many religious contexts, the Bible shows that both neʹphesh and psy·kheʹ, in connection with earthly creatures, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal. In this translation, these original-language words have most often been rendered according to their meaning in each context, using such terms as “life,” “creature,” “person,” “one’s whole being,” or simply as a personal pronoun (for example, “I” for “my soul”). In most cases, footnotes give the alternative rendering “soul.” When the term “soul” is used, either in the main text or in footnotes, it should be understood in line with the above explanation. When referring to doing something with one’s whole soul, it means to do it with one’s whole being, wholeheartedly, or with one’s whole life. (De 6:5; Mt 22:37) In some contexts, these original-language words can be used to refer to the desire or appetite of a living creature. They can also refer to a dead person or a dead body.Nu 6:6; Pr 23:2; Isa 56:11; Hag 2:13.