What is the scriptural definition of soul? Genesis 2:7 (King James Version), “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.” The Bible teaches the body plus the breath of life equals a living soul. Man did not receive a soul; he BECAME a soul.
Soul is Strong’s Hebrew word H.5315, nephesh. This word is translated many different ways, (creature, person, soul, life, heart, body) and consequently many do not know that God declares man, beast, fish, and fowl to be souls. For example, animals are called souls in Genesis 1:21, 24, “And God created great whales, and every living creature (nephesh) that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.: and God saw that it was good…And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” The scriptural definition of soul seems to include all animal life on earth.
Is the word nephesh ever used in conjunction with angels? Not really. Yet, if a soul is the union of the body and the breath of life, why aren’t angels souls? Angels do have bodies (celestial bodies 1 Cor. 15:40) and they are alive. Since the scriptures do not specifically state angels are souls, it’s best to be open in our position. I like the old saying, “Where the scriptures are wide, we are wide. Where the scriptures are narrow, we are narrow.” It seems reasonable that angels are souls, but we don’t have a specific “Thus saith the Lord” on this issue.