Part 2 of 2: A Rebuttal Against Craig Bluemel. Universal Salvation: The Big Lie?

Written By Thomas Perez. July 17, 2010 at 10:11PM. Copyright 2010.

Continuation From Part 1

In reference to my opponent quoting from Rev 2:11. In this he is correct. Those that are in Christ shall suffer no harm.

In reference to my opponent quoting from Rev 20:6. In this he is correct. Those in Christ shall receive the first fruits of His blessings.

In reference to my opponent quoting from Rev 20:14. In this he is correct. Christ will have the ultimate victory over death.

In reference to my opponent quoting from Rev 20:8. In this he is correct. There is to be a second death. The scriptures indeed reveals a second death.

However, and this is most vital, in light of the other verse’s of scripture pertaining to divine retribution, punishment, and chastising (which is all but for a season, as the scriptures teaches), how then are we to view the second death? Apparently my opponent translates Hades as the grave (which is correct), yet he seems to have a problem, when being honest and forth right concerning the literal translation of the word second death in relation to other revealed literal truths of scripture. Perhaps a literal translation is thus needed. Upon this we remember the words of our Saviour in Matt 25, starting at verse…

41 Then shall he say also to those on the left hand, Go ye from me, the cursed, to the fire, the age-during, that hath been prepared for the Devil and his messengers;

42 For I did hunger, and ye gave me not to eat; I did thirst, and ye gave me not to drink;

43 A stranger I was, and ye did not receive me; naked, and ye put not around me; infirm, and in prison, and ye did not look after me.

44 Then shall they answer, they also, saying, Lord, when did we see thee hungering, or thirsting, or a stranger, or naked, or infirm, or in prison, and we did not minister to thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of these, the least, ye did [it] not to me.

46 And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.’ (Taken from the ‘Young’s Literal Translation’).

This is one of many such citations concerning the word’s ‘age enduring’, or aion- meaning an age – as rendered in the Greek. (A further exegesis on the word ‘AION’ would be discussed in another study). Some opponents to this approach may cite the following: Word studies are not meant to be the “end” but a “means” in exegetical work – just like syntax, context, etc. There are scholars who have differing thoughts on the same work. It all comes down to context, context, context. The main hermeneutic is “what did the writer intend for his audience to understand.

I disagree. Such word studies are to be taken literally as in its entire context pertaining to a chapter and verse of scripture. But also such exegesis must be in collaboration and harmony with the entire central theme of the Bible as stated above.

Now concerning the word ‘Soul’, the following are a total of 157 verses in which the Greek and Hebrew words for “soul” and “spirit” are used in ways that do not fit in with this common conception of the nature of man. For example, some of these verses declare that souls can die, can touch, can eat, can thirst, can hunger, etc. These seemingly peculiar uses of the words for “soul” and “spirit” must be explained somehow, and these explanations should be taken into account when considering the other verses where these words occur. Before we actually look at the verses, let’s first look at all the various ways these Greek and Hebrew words are translated: The word for “soul” in the Old Testament is nephesh. Nephesh is translated in following ways (the numbers being the number of occurrences of each way):

any 3, appetite 2, beast 2, body 4, breath 1, creature 9, dead 5, dead body 4, desire 4, fish 2, ghost heart 15, hearty 1, herself 2, himself 8, life 117, lust 2, man 3, mind 15, mortally 1, myself 1, one 1, own 1, person 29, pleasure 3, soul 475, thing 2, themselves 3, thyself 1, will 4, would have it 1, yourselves 6.

Some of these renderings may be confusing. For instance, how can the same word be translated “life,” “body,” and “dead body”?

The meaning of nephesh’s root word is “to breathe.” Since those who are breathing still have “life,” one of the meanings for nephesh is “life.” Since the “body” is what we use to breathe with, one of the meanings for nephesh is “body.” Since a “dead body” is what once breathed, one of the meanings for nephesh is “dead body.” Thus, all three renderings of nephesh, though apparently quite different, are derived from the same basic meaning of the root word.

In the New Testament the word for “soul” is psuche. Psuche is translated in the following ways:

heart 1, heartily (combined with ek) 1, life 40, make doubt (combined with airo) 1, mind 3, soul 58, you 1

The word for “spirit” in the Old Testament is either ruach or neshamah. Ruach is translated in the following ways:

air 1, anger 1, blast 4, breath 27, cool 1, courage 1, mind 6, quarters 1, side 6, Spirit or spirit 240, wind 94, vain 2

Neshamah is translated in the following ways:

blast 3, breath 17, inspiration 1, souls 1, spirit 2

The Greek word pnoe is used in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) for neshamah, but it is only used in the New Testament in Acts 2:2, where it is translated “wind,” and in Acts 17:25, where it is translated “breath.”

In the New Testament the word for “spirit” is pneuma. Pneuma is translated the following ways:

ghost 2, Ghost (with Holy) 90, life 1, spirit 151, Spirit 137, spiritual gift 1, spiritually 1,

wind 1.


One brief thought before we look at the verses: There are some verses that seem to use “soul” and “spirit” in ways that harmonize with the common concept of the nature of man. How can this be? Is the Bible contradicting itself?

Here is one suggestion: It was commonplace for the Bible writers to take parts of man’s being and personify them, give them attributes they did not in actuality possess. Perhaps sometimes they personified the “soul” and “spirit” as well.

The most familiar example of a part of a person being personified is the heart. The heart, simply an organ that pumps blood, is said to have qualities that the mind does have, but that the heart definitely does not have.

Another example which is not so familiar is the personification of the kidneys, called the “reins” (Ps. 7:9; 16:7; 26:2; 73:21; Prov. 23:16; Jer. 11:20; 12:2; 17:10; 20:12; Rev. 2:23). The kidneys seem to have been made the seat of the affections and emotions.

Another example is the use of the words for “bowels” (Ps. 40:8 (translated “heart”); Cant. 5:4; Is. 16:11; 63:15; Jer. 4:19; 31:20; Lam. 1:20; 2:11; Luke 1:78 (translated “tender”); 2 Cor 7:15 (translated “inward affection”); Php. 2:1; Col. 3:12; Phm. 1:7, 20; 1 Jn. 3:17).

In the light of these scriptures, the possibility that the Bible writers also occasionally personify the “soul” and “spirit” should be considered. In other words, the “soul” and the “spirit” may in some verses be given qualities that they do not in actuality possess.

Identifying the Original Words in Each Text; End Notes After Each Verse

Special Note: The words in bold are those translated from the Greek and Hebrew words in question. Within the parentheses following these bolded words are the particular Greek or Hebrew words used in the text. If the Septuagint uses the corresponding Greek word for the Hebrew word in question, this Greek word is also included within the parentheses.

After each passage is a sentence or so in brackets which emphasizes the inconsistency between that verse and the popular concept of soul and spirit. Sometimes the sentence may appear a bit humorous.

The Soul – Old Testament (94 Verses)

“And God created great whales, and every living creature (nephesh, psuche) 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” (Gen. 1:21). [According to the first occurrences of the word for “soul” in the entire Bible, animals are “souls.” The same Hebrew phrase for “living soul” is also found in vs. 20.]

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh, psuche) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Gen. 1:24). [According to this second occurrence of the word for “soul” in the Bible, animals are “souls.”]

“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 (nephesh, psuche)” (Gen. 2:7). [He became a “soul” rather than received a “soul.”]

“Whatsoever Adam called every living creature (nephesh, psuche), that was the name thereof” (Gen. 2:19). [Animals are “souls.”]

“But flesh with the life (nephesh, psuche) thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives (nephesh, psuche) will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life (nephesh, psuche) of man” (Gen. 9:4, 5). [Either the “soul” is in the blood, or the blood is the “soul.”]

“And with every living creature (nephesh, psuche) that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth” (Gen. 9:10). [Animals are “souls.”]

“And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature (nephesh, psuche) that is with you, for perpetual generations” (Gen. 9:12). [Animals are “souls.”]

“And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature (nephesh, psuche) of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature (nephesh, psuche) of all flesh that is upon the earth” (Gen. 9:15, 16). [Animals are “souls.”]

“Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul (nephesh, psuche) shall live because of thee” (Gen. 12:13). [“Souls” can die.]

“And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons (nephesh), and take the goods to thyself” (Gen. 14:21). [“Soul” here refers to the entire person.]

“And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life (nephesh, psuche)” (Ex. 4:19). [Someone can take someone else’s “soul.”]

“And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man (nephesh, psuche) must eat, that only may be done of you” (Ex. 12:16). [“Souls” can eat.]

“And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life (both are nephesh, psuche)” (Ex. 21:23). [You can give a “soul.”]

“And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul (nephesh, psuche) that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity” (Lev. 7:18). [“Souls” can eat.]

“But the soul (nephesh, psuche) that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul (nephesh, psuche) shall be cut off from his people. Moreover the soul (nephesh, psuche) that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul (nephesh, psuche) shall be cut off from his people” (Lev. 7:20, 21). [“Souls” can eat, touch, and be cut off.]

“Whatsoever soul (nephesh, psuche) it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul (nephesh, psuche) shall be cut off from his people” (Lev. 7:27). [“Souls” can eat and be cut off.]

“And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing (nephesh, psuche) which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you” (Lev. 11:10). [Animals are “souls.”]

“This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature (nephesh, psuche) that moveth in the waters, and of every creature (nephesh, psuche) that creepeth upon the earth” (Lev. 11:46). [Animals are “souls.”]

“And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul (nephesh, psuche) that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life (nephesh, psuche) of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls (nephesh, psuche): for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (nephesh, psuche). Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul (nephesh, psuche) of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood” (Lev. 17:10-12). [“Souls” can eat. The “soul” is in the blood.]

“For it is the life (nephesh, psuche) of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life (nephesh) thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life (nephesh, psuche) of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. And every soul (nephesh, psuche) that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even” (Lev. 17:14, 15). [The blood is the “soul.” A “soul” can eat a “soul.”]

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead (nephesh, psuche) among his people” (Lev. 21:1). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“Neither shall he go in to any dead body (nephesh, psuche), nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother” (Lev. 21:11). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“Whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead (nephesh, psuche), or a man whose seed goeth from him” (Lev. 22:4). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“And whatsoever soul (nephesh, psuche) it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul (nephesh, psuche) will I destroy from among his people” (Lev. 23:30). [“Souls” can work and be destroyed.]

“And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast (nephesh, psuche) for beast (psuche)” (Lev. 24:18). [Animals are “souls.”]

“Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead (nephesh, psuche” (Num. 5:2). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body (nephesh, psuche)” (Num. 6:6). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead (nephesh, psuche), and shall hallow his head that same day” (Num. 6:11). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body (nephesh, psuche) of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body (nephesh, psuche) of a man” (Num. 9:6, 7). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body (nephesh, psuche), or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD” (Num. 9:10). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“He that toucheth the dead body (nephesh, psuche) of any man shall be unclean seven days” (Num. 19:11). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“Whosoever toucheth the dead body (nephesh, psuche) of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul (nephesh, psuche) shall be cut off from Israel” (Num. 19:13). [A dead body is a “soul.” A “soul” can be cut off.]

“And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body (nephesh), or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days” (Num. 19:16). [A dead body is a “soul.”]

“And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons (nephesh, psuche) that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave” (Num. 19:18). [“Souls” can get sprinkled upon.]

“Whosoever hath killed any person (nephesh), and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day” (Num. 31:19). [“Souls” can be murdered.]

“The slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person (nephesh, psuche) at unawares” (Num. 35:11). [“Souls” can be murdered.]

“Every one that killeth any person (nephesh, psuche) unawares may flee thither” (Num. 35:15). [“Souls” can be murdered.]

“Whoso killeth any person (nephesh, psuche), the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person (nephesh, psuche) to cause him to die” (Num. 35:30). [“Souls” can be murdered. And the “soul” that killed the “soul” can receive the death penalty.]

“Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life (nephesh, psuche); and thou mayest not eat the life (nephesh, psuche) with the flesh” (Deut. 12:23). [The blood is the “soul.” The “soul” can be eaten.]

“And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life (both are nephesh, psuche), eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deut. 19:21). [If a “soul” is killed, the “soul” that killed it must be killed.]

“Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person (nephesh, psuche). And all the people shall say, Amen” (Deut. 27:25). [A “soul” can be murdered by a hit man.]

“Deliver our lives (nephesh, psuche) from death. And the men answered her, Our life (nephesh, psuche) for yours, if ye utter not this our business” (Josh. 2:13, 14). [“Souls” can be saved from physical death.]

“We were sore afraid of our lives (nephesh, psuche) because of you” (Josh. 9:24). [One’s own “soul” can be rather scary.]

“And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls (nephesh) that were therein; he let none remain” (Josh. 10:28). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“And he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls (nephesh) that were therein; he let none remain in it” (Josh. 10:30). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls (nephesh) that were therein” (Josh. 10:32). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“And all the souls (nephesh) that were therein he utterly destroyed that day” (Josh. 10:35). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“But destroyed it utterly, and all the souls (nephesh) that were therein” (Josh. 10:37). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“And he…utterly destroyed all the souls (nephesh) that were therein; he left none remaining” (Josh. 10:39). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“And they smote all the souls (nephesh) that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them” (Josh. 11:11). [All the “souls” got destroyed.]

“That the slayer that killeth any person (nephesh, psuche) unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood” (Josh. 20:3). [“Souls” can be killed.]

“Whosoever killeth any person (nephesh, psuche) at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood” (Josh. 20:9). [“Souls” can be killed.]

“Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives (nephesh, psuche) unto the death in the high places of the field” (Judg. 5:18). [These people almost had their “souls” killed.]

“And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry (nephesh, psuche) fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life (nephesh, psuche), with the lives (nephesh, psuche) of thy household” (Judg. 18:25). [If they died, they would lose their “souls.”]

“I have occasioned the death of all the persons (nephesh, psuche) of thy father’s house” (1 Sam. 22:22). [“Souls” can be killed.]

“And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life (nephesh), and the lives (nephesh, psuche) of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives (nephesh, psuche) of thy wives, and the lives (nephesh) of thy concubines” (2 Sam. 19:5). [“Souls” can be saved from physical death.]

“And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives (nephesh, psuche)? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men” (2 Sam. 23:17). [These men almost had their “souls” killed.]

“Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life (nephesh, psuche), and the life (nephesh, psuche) of thy son Solomon” (1 Kings 1:12). [“Souls” can be saved from physical death.]

“And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life (nephesh, psuche) of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment…” (1 Kings 3:11). [A king can receive the “soul” of his enemy.]

“And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life (nephesh, psuche)” (1 Kings 20:31). [A “soul” can be saved from physical death.]

“And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life (nephesh, psuche) be for his life (nephesh, psuche), or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver” (1 Kings 20:39). [If the prisoner’s “souls” didn’t die, the guard’s “soul” would have to.]

“And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life (nephesh, psuche) shall go for his life (nephesh, psuche), and thy people for his people” (1 Kings 20:42). [Since the Syrian king’s “soul” didn’t die, King Ahab’s “soul” would have to.]

“Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life (nephesh, psuche)” (2 Kings 7:7). [The Syrians were extremely interested in saving their “souls.”]

“And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives (nephesh, psuche) in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives (nephesh, psuche) they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest” (1 Chr. 11:19). [These men almost had their “souls” killed.]

“And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life (nephesh, psuche) of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king…” (2 Chr. 1:11). [A king can receive the “soul” of his enemy.]

“And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life (nephesh, psuche)” (Job 2:4). [Everyone will give anything to keep from losing their “soul.”]

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (nephesh, psuche)” (Job 2:6). [God asked Satan to save Job’s “soul.”]

“The things that my soul (nephesh, psuche) refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat” (Job 6:7). [“Souls” can touch.]

“What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life (nephesh, psuche)” (Job 6:11). [“Souls” can be prolonged.]

“[Leviathan’s] breath (nephesh, psuche) kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth” (Job 41:21). [Leviathan has a “soul.” His “soul” is rather hot.]

“All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul (nephesh, psuche)” (Ps. 22:29). [The “soul” cannot be kept alive, humanly speaking.]

“Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life (nephesh, psuche)” (Prov. 7:23). [Traps for birds are designed to catch the bird’s “soul.”]

“A righteous man regardeth the life (nephesh, psuche) of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Prov. 12:10). [Christians will take care of their animal’s “soul.”]

“And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite (nephesh)” (Prov. 23:2). [Drastic measures for those who like their “souls.”]

“As cold waters to a thirsty soul (nephesh, psuche), so is good news from a far country” (Prov. 25:25). [“Souls” like ice water.]

“The full soul (nephesh, psuche) loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul (nephesh, psuche) every bitter thing is sweet” (Prov. 27:7). [“Souls” can be either full and hungry. Full “souls” hate sweets.]

“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself (nephesh, psuche), and opened her mouth without measure” (Isa. 5:14). [Even hell has a “soul.” Her “soul” has gotten larger.]

“And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish (nephesh, psuche)” (Isa. 19:10). [Fish are “souls.”]

“Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves (nephesh, psuche) from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it” (Isa. 47:14). [The fire of hell will totally burn up the wicked “souls.”]

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls (all eight are nephesh, psuche) that ye hunt to make them fly” (Ezek. 13:18-20). [“Souls” can be hunted, slain, and saved by people.]

“The soul (nephesh, psuche) that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4). [The sinning “soul” will die.]

“The soul (nephesh, psuche) that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). [The sinning “soul” will die.]

“And it shall come to pass, that every thing (nephesh, psuche) that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither” (Ezek. 47:9). [Fish are “souls.”]

“Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body (nephesh, psuche) touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean” (Hag. 2:13). [Dead bodies are “souls.”]

The Soul – New Testament (33 Verses)

“Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life (psuche)” (Mat. 2:20). [People can look for “souls” in order to take them somewhere.]

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life (psuche), what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life (psuche) more than meat, and the body than raiment” (Mat. 6:25). [“Souls” can eat.]

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (psuche): but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul (psuche) and body in hell” (Mat. 10:28). [God won’t just destroy the body. He’ll destroy the “soul” too, and raise it up again]

“He that findeth his life (psuche) shall lose it: and he that loseth his life (psuche) for my sake shall find it” (Mat. 10:39). [People can both find and lose their “soul.” If they find their “soul,” they’ll lose it, but if they lose their “soul” for Jesus’s sake, they’ll find it.]

“For whosoever will save his life (psuche) shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life (psuche) for my sake shall find it” (Mat. 16:25). [People can both save and lose their “soul.” Those who do save their “soul” will lose it, and those who lose their “soul” will find it.]

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life (psuche) a ransom for many” (Mat. 20:28). [Jesus paid someone His “soul” as a ransom for us.]

“And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life (psuche), or to kill? But they held their peace” (Mark 3:4). [Physically saving a “soul” is the opposite of killing it.]

“For whosoever will save his life (psuche) shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life (psuche) for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). [People can both save and lose their “soul.” Those who do save their “soul” will lose it, but those who lose their “soul” for the sake of the gospel will save it.]

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life (psuche) a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). [Jesus paid someone His “soul” as a ransom for us.]

“Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life (psuche), or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9). [Physically saving a “soul” is the opposite of destroying it.]

“For whosoever will save his life (psuche) shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life (psuche) for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24). [People can both save and lose their “soul.” Those who do save their “soul” will lose it, and those who lose their “soul” for Jesus’s sake will save it.]

“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life (psuche), what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life (psuche) is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment” (Luke 12:22, 23). [“Souls” can eat.]

“Whosoever shall seek to save his life (psuche) shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life (psuche) shall preserve it” (Luke 17:33). [People can both save and lose their “soul.” Those who try to save their “soul” will lose it, and those who lose their “soul” will preserve it.]

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche) for the sheep” (John 10:11). [Shepherds that lose their lives while protecting their sheep from wolves, robbers, bears, and lions have just given their “souls” for their sheep.]

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life (psuche) for the sheep” (John 10:15). [Jesus laid His “soul” down somewhere for His sheep.]

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life (psuche), that I might take it again” (John 10:17). [Jesus laid His “soul” down somewhere, and then picked it up again.]

“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt (psuche)? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24). [To “lift up” (the meaning of the Greek word for “make”) another’s “soul” is to make them doubt.]

“He that loveth his life (psuche) shall lose it; and he that hateth his life (psuche) in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25). [Jesus wants us to hate our own “soul.”]

“Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life (psuche) for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life (psuche) for my sake?” (John 13:37, 38). [Peter wanted to lay his “soul” down somewhere too.]

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life (psuche) for his friends” (John 15:13). [If you are a really special friend, given the right circumstances, you will lay your “soul” down somewhere too.]

“Men that have hazarded their lives (psuche) for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). [Some have risked losing their “souls” for Jesus.]

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life (psuche) dear unto myself” (Acts 20:24). [Paul didn’t like his “soul.”]

“And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives (psuche)” (Acts 27:10). [Their “souls” were going to get hurt or damaged.]

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life (psuche) among you, but of the ship” (Acts 27:22). [No one on board was going to lose their “soul.”]

“Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life (psuche)” (Rom. 11:3). [Jezebel wanted to obtain Elijah’s “soul.”]

“Who have for my life (psuche) laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Rom. 16:4). [It was as if Priscilla and Aquila had given their physical life in order to save Paul’s “soul.”]

“Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life (psuche), to supply your lack of service toward me” (Phil. 2:30). [Epaphroditus didn’t care about his “soul.”]

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life (psuche) for us: and we ought to lay down our lives (psuche) for the brethren” (1 Jn. 3:16). [As Jesus laid His “soul” down somewhere, so should we.]

“And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life (psuche), died” (Rev. 8:9). [Fish have “souls.”]

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives (psuche) unto the death” (Rev. 12:11). [Christians will not love their “souls,” even if threatened with death.]

“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul (psuche) died in the sea” (Rev. 16:3). [Fish are “souls.”]

The Spirit – Old Testament (27 Verses)

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (neshamah, pnoe) of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). [God put the “spirit” into Adam’s nose.]

“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath (ruach, pneuma) of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die” (Gen. 6:17). [Animals have the “spirit” in them too.]

“And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath (ruach, pneuma) of life” (Gen. 7:15). [Animals have the “spirit” in them too.]

“All in whose nostrils was the breath (neshamah, pnoe) of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Gen. 7:22). [The “spirit” lives in the nose.]

“And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage (ruach, pneuma) in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Josh. 2:11). [Their “spirits” were all gone, but they were still alive.]

“And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit (ruach) in them any more, because of the children of Israel” (Josh. 5:1). [Their “spirits” were all gone, but they were still alive.]

“God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger (ruach, pneuma) was abated toward him, when he had said that” (Judg. 8:3). [Their “spirit” weakened or relaxed towards him.]

“And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit (ruach) in her” (1 Kings 10:4, 5). [Her “spirit” totally left, yet she was still alive.]

“There was no more spirit (ruach) in her” (2 Chr. 9:4). [Her “spirit” totally left, yet she was still alive.]

“All the while my breath (neshamah, pnoe) is in me, and the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3). [The “spirit” lives in the nose.]

“The Spirit (neshamah, pnoe) of God hath made me, and the breath (ruach, pneuma) of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). [God’s “spirit” gives us life.]

“If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit (ruach, pneuma) and his breath (neshamah); all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:14, 15). [Man cannot live without his “spirit.”]

“Into thine hand I commit my spirit (ruach, pneuma): thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth” (Ps. 31:5). [After being redeemed, the psalmist asks God to take care of his spirit for him.]

“So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. . . . Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath (ruach, pneuma), they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit (ruach, pneuma), they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:25, 29, 30). [They don’t get their own “spirit” back again when they are recreated. Instead, it’s God’s spirit that enters into them.]

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath (ruach, pneuma) goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:3, 4). [When the “spirit” leaves, the person can no longer think.]

“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath (ruach, pneuma); so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of man that goeth upward, and the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of the beast that goeth downward to the earth” (Eccl. 3:19-21). [There is no difference between the “spirit” of animals and the “spirit” of people.]

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (ruach, pneuma) shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). [The “spirits” of all, both good and bad, go back to God.]

“Cease ye from man, whose breath (neshamah) is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of” (Isa. 2:22). [The “spirit” lives in the nose.]

“The breath (ruach, pneuma) of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen” (Lam. 4:20). [The “spirit” belongs to our nose.]

“Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath (ruach, pneuma) to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath (ruach, pneuma) in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek. 37:5, 6). [One thing these bones absolutely had to have before they could live again was a “spirit.”]

“And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath (ruach, pneuma) in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind (ruach, pneuma), prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind (ruach, pneuma), Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds (ruach, pneuma), O breath (ruach), and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath (ruach, pneuma) came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezek. 37:8-10. [You can have a perfect human body, but if it doesn’t have a “spirit,” it won’t be alive. This “spirit” that gives life to the body is the same thing as the wind.]

“And shall put my spirit (ruach, pneuma) in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land” (Ezek. 37:14). [If God puts His “spirit” in us, we will live.]

The Spirit – New Testament (4 Verses)

“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit (pneuma): and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46). [Jesus asked His Father to take care of His spirit for Him.]

“For as the body without the spirit (pneuma) is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). [Here “spirit” must refer to the “breath” of life.]

“And after three days and an half the Spirit (pneuma) of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet” (Rev. 11:11). [It wasn’t their own “spirit” that came back into them. It was the breath of life from God.]

“And he had power to give life (pneuma) unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15). [A false prophet will have the power to give an inanimate object a “spirit.”]

As we can plainly see, the term; Body, Soul and Spirit Are Often Used Interchangeably and Thus Can Be Viewed As a Dichotomy Or a Trichotomy. Therefore, We Must Ask Ourselves Two Fundamental Questions…

Question 1: “How are human souls created?”

Answer: There are two biblically plausible views on how the human soul is created. Traducianism is the theory that a soul is generated by the physical parents along with the physical body. Support for Traducianism is as follows: (A) In Genesis 2:7, God breathed the breath of life into Adam, causing Adam to become a “living soul.” Scripture nowhere records God performing this action again. (B) Adam had a son in his own likeness (Genesis 5:3). Adam’s descendants seem to be “living souls” without God breathing into them. (C) Genesis 2:2-3 seems to indicate that God ceased His creative work. (D) Adam’s sin affects all men—both physically and spiritually—this makes sense if the body and soul both come from the parents. The weakness of Traducianism is that it is unclear how an immaterial soul can be generated through an entirely physical process. Traducianism can only be true if the body and soul are inextricably connected.

Creationism is the view that God creates a new soul when a human being is conceived. Creationism was held by many early church fathers and also has scriptural support. First, Scripture differentiates the origin of the soul from the origin of the body (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 42:5; Zechariah 12:1; Hebrews 12:9). Second, if God creates each individual soul at the moment it is needed, the separation of soul and body is held firm. The weakness of Creationism is that it has God continually creating new human souls, while Genesis 2:2-3 indicates that God ceased creating. Also, since the entire human existence—body, soul, and spirit—are infected by sin and God creates a new soul for every human being, how is that soul then infected with sin?

A third view, but one that lacks biblical support, is the concept that God created all human souls at the same time, and “attaches” a soul to a human being at the moment of conception. This view holds that there is sort of a “warehouse of souls” in heaven where God stores souls that await a human body to be attached to. Again, this view has no biblical support, and is usually held by those of a “new age” or reincarnation mindset.

Whether the Traducianist view or the Creationist view is correct, both agree that the soul does not exist prior to conception. This seems to be the clear teaching of the Bible. Whether God creates a new human soul at the moment of conception, or whether God designed the human reproductive process to also reproduce a soul, God is ultimately responsible for the creation of each and every human soul.

Recommended Resource: In His Image by Brand & Yancey.

Question 2: “Do We Have Two or Three Parts? Body, Soul, and Spirit? Dichotomy or Trichotomy?”

Answer: Genesis 1:26-27 indicates that there is something that makes humanity distinct from all the other creations. Human beings were intended to have a relationship with God, and as such, God created us with both material and immaterial parts. The material is obviously that which is tangible: the physical body, bones, organs, etc., and exists as long as the person is alive. The immaterial aspects are those which are intangible: soul, spirit, intellect, will, conscience, etc. These exist beyond the physical lifespan of the individual.

All human beings possess both material and immaterial characteristics. It is clear that all mankind has a body containing flesh, blood, bones, organs, and cells. However, it is the intangible qualities of mankind that are often debated. What does Scripture say about these? Genesis 2:7 states that man was created as a living soul. Numbers 16:22 names God as the “God of the spirits” that are possessed by all mankind. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” indicating that the heart is central to man’s will and emotions. Acts 23:1 says, “Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, ‘My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” Here Paul refers to the conscience, that part of the mind that convicts us of right and wrong. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These verses, and numerous others, refer to the various aspects of the immaterial part of humanity. We all share both material and immaterial qualities.

So, Scripture outlines far more than just soul and spirit. Somehow, the soul, spirit, heart, conscience, and mind are connected and interrelated. The soul and spirit, though, definitely are the primary aspects of humanity. They likely comprise the other aspects. With this is mind, is humanity dichotomous (cut in two, body/soul-spirit), or trichotomous (cut in three, body/soul/spirit). It is impossible to be dogmatic. There are good arguments for both views. A key verse is Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” This verse tells us at least two things about this debate. The soul and spirit can be divided, and the division of soul and spirit is something that only God can discern. Rather than focusing on something we cannot know for sure, it is better to focus on the Creator, who has made us “fearfully and wonderfully” (Psalm 139:14).

In Conclusion

If one is to label Universalism as an idiotic belief, then I appeal my case to the written Word of God as recorded by the Apostle Peter: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:34-35).

My opponent claims that because we believe in such a concept (US), it cheapens the Gospel and is a mockery to God’s impartiality. Oh course Bluemel is referring to God’s impartiality to administer Judgment and Mercy at the same time and not His impartiality towards ALL MEN. I say ‘NAY’. God our Father is not a respecter of persons. Impartiality means unbiased, without prejudice. For the scriptures reveal that the Father handed over all judgment to the Son with out prejudice, similar to that of an affidavit, when signed without partiality! Therefore since all judgment was given to the Son. The Son in return, judged and crushed the head of the serpent, who is the prince of this world. This prince has already been judged (John 16:7-11). Therefore bringing about ultimate victory over the world, flesh, and the Devil (James 4:7). The victory we have is within us NOW. It is the Kingdom of God upon Earth now through His Universal Church…pressing unto the actual physical Kingdom of God that is to be revealed from Heaven when the Harvest is fully gathered. When the world is harvested, He (Christ) will separate the just from the unjust, the wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goats, and administer His judgments; both good and bad.

But in reference to His anger, it is thus temporal and is for set a limited time span of varying decree’s as these verse’s seem to indicate: The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matt 18:12-13; Lk 15:4-6), The Workers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-15), The Parable of the Lost Coin (Lk 15:8-9), and the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32), Settle with Your Opponent (Matt 5:25-26; Lk 12:58-59) and the Parable of the Wicked Servant (Matt 18:23-34), and God is good to the just and the unjust (Matt 5:44-46).

Final Thought and Exhortation

Matthew 23:13 “Woe onto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men.”

One thought on “Part 2 of 2: A Rebuttal Against Craig Bluemel. Universal Salvation: The Big Lie?

  1. Do you believe that Jesus was God or just a messenger sent by the Father to do his will? I read the site from Craig Bluemel. I thought I was reading from the New World Translation from the J.W. Thanks Peter G.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s