Matthew 10:28 (KJV), “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The biblical definition of a soul is clearly stated in Genesis 2:7 (KJV), “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.” When God put the breath of life in the body, man became a living soul (man did not receive a soul).
“Soul” is the Greek word, ψυχή, psyche, and it means being or life. Psyche is translated as “life” forty times in the King James Bible. Thus each person is a unique life.
The knowledge of each unique person and of his entire life (or being) is in God’s memory. The word for “grave” in Greek is from the root word meaning memory.
In Christ’s kingdom, each person will be resurrected according to God’s memory of that life. The apostle Paul explains “God giveth it (that life) a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.” 1 Corinthians 15:38 (ASV).
The Matthew text is showing that even if the body is destroyed, God retains the memory of who we are. We should fear Him who is able to destroy the body and eternally blot out the memory of our existence. Without both, a body and the breath, the soul does not exist.
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