Atlanta Class - 2003 "Basic Doctrines - The Soul, Death and Hell"

1. To understand, "what is a Soul", it's necessary to understand, what is, the "Breath of Life." This term comes from the Hebrew word "Ruach." What does it mean? E314:2-8

Ruach means "wind or breath" - Strong's 7307 and refers to the Spirit of life.

See also E308

"The Scriptures recognize man as composed of two elements, body and spirit. These two produce soul, sentient being, intelligence, the man himself, the being, or soul. The term "body" applies merely to the physical organism. It neither relates to the life which animates it, nor to the sentient being which is the result of animation. A body is not a man, although there could be no man without a body. The spirit of life is not the man; although there could be no manhood without the spirit of life. The word "spirit" is, in the Old Testament Scriptures, from the Hebrew word ruach. Its signification primarily is breath; and hence we have the expression "breath of life," or "spirit of life," because the spark of life once started is supported by breathing."

2. Is the term, breath of life, used exclusively in reference to MAN? Gen. 2:7; 7:21-22; Ecc. 3:19-21; James 2:26; E315

3. THEREFORE, What is the soul, and is it used only in reference to MAN? Gen. 2:7; 1:20 (note margin); 2:19; 9:9-12; Num. 15:27-28 (sin?); 31:27-28; E322-325; R1880 (soul from Hebrew word, neh-phesh)

4. Does the soul die? Gen. 5:5; 25:7-8; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Matt. 10:28; Rom. 5:12; 6:23; E332-333

Gen. 5:5Adam died (according to God's word in Gen. 2:17)
Gen. 25:7-8Abraham (the 'Father of the faithful' died.)
Ezek. 18:4, 20"The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Matt. 10:28Destroy ... soul
If hell is supposed to be a place of eternal torment, and the soul is supposed to be immortal, how then is the soul destroyed there?
-- This would seem to be a problem for our nominal Christian friends.
Rom. 5:12Death comes by sin and all have sinned.
Rom. 6:23Wages of sin is death. All sin, therefore all die.

5. What is death? Gen. 2:17; 3:4; John 8:44; Gen. 3:19; Ecc. 3:19-21; 9:5; Ruth 1:17; Jn. 3:16; E465

6. The old Testament was written Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. Why did the translators sometimes use the ENGLISH word, hell, for "Sheol" and "Hades"? And what do they mean? E353

Sheol is translated pit in Num. 16:30...why not hell? The text indicates that all would know that these (who opposed God) went to this place (sheol) because they would see it happen. If they saw it happen and the translators had used the word 'hell' it would indicate that those men of Israel would see God's enemies among them go to hell. Since hell is reportedly (according to false doctrine) a place that men cannot see, this would not work.

Nor could they translate it grave because it speaks of the earth opening her mouth and swallowing them up. So they used the word pit.
Sheol is translated grave in Job 14:13...why not hell? Why not indeed? Here Job is expressing his understanding that it (sheol, hell) would be a place of less suffering than that which he was going through at that time.
Sheol is translated hell in Job. 11:8; 2 Sam. 22:6; Psa. 18:5; Psa. 116:3; Prov. 15:24; Prov. 23:14; Prov. 27:20...and more...WHY? These references all indicate either some kind of sorrow or something (apparently) below ground. Since the translators believed in a hell of eternal torment, and that this place was deep in the earth, they used the word 'hell' instead of grave.
Acts 2:27-31 says that Christ's soul went to hell?? (Translated from Greek word Hades) The simple answer here is that Christ died, was buried (thus He was dead, in Hades - the grave) and was raised the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:3,4)

Psa. 16:10; Psa. 6:5; E377; E381, Bible Comments

7. The Greek word "Gehenna", (second death, everlasting destruction) is translated 12 times using the word hell... Matt. 10:28; 25:33,41; Rev. 20:13-14; R700

Matt. 10:28The thought here is to fear only him (God) who can give you everlasting destruction.
Matt. 25:33,41Fire is a symbol for destruction. Here, this destruction is indicated as being everlasting - where Satan and his followers will go. In other words, Satan and his minions will be destroyed forever.
Rev. 20:13-14Here the various classes of mankind who are all under the death sentence are referred to. The sea class (the irrelegious, restless masses) gave up the dead (those either dead or dying) in it.

In other words, the whole world of mankind is brought before God's judgment.
R700 The primary thought here is that the Church class is rewarded according to her faith, not her works. Works will be required of the world in the next age.