DOES MAN HAVE AN IMMORTAL SOUL?The Body Sleeps, Not the Soul
Here is a fact that must be underscored. When the term sleep is used to depict the death of a person, the allusion is always to the disposition of the body, not the soul. There is no passage in the Scriptures that reflects the notion that ones soul sleeps (i.e., is unconscious) in death. The case to the contrary may be argued briefly in the following fashion.
The prophet Daniel affirmed that those who sleep katheudonton in the dust of the earth shall awake(Dan. 12:2). Note that the part of man that sleeps is that which is deposited in the dust of the earth. This obviously is a reference to the physical body. The awakening, then, is a reference to the bodily resurrection.
Is it not a part of man that separates from his body at death and goes on living?
To answer this properly we need to determine what the soul is. You may be surprised to know that animals as well as men are called souls in the inspired Scriptures. For instance, Numbers 31:28 speaks of one soul [Hebrew, nephesh] out of five hundred, of humankind and of the herd and of the asses and of the flock.
See also Revelation 16:3, where the Greek word for soul, psykhé appears.
What, then, is the soul? Let us see what the Creators own written Word says about it. At Genesis 2:7 we read: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.
Note, please, that after God started man breathing the man came to be a living soul. Hence the man was a soul, just as a man who becomes a doctor is a doctor.(1 Corinthians 15:45)
Since the human soul is man himself, then it cannot be some shadowy thing that merely inhabits the body or that can exist apart from the person.
In harmony with this fact, the Bible makes plain that the human soul possesses physical qualities. For example, the Bible speaks of the souls desiring physical food, saying:Your soul craves to eat meat.(Deuteronomy 12:20; see also Leviticus 17:12.)
It says, too, that souls have blood traveling through their veins, for it speaks of the blood of the souls of the poor innocents.(Jeremiah 2:34, AV)
Yes, your soul is really you, with all your physical and mental qualities.