Many have the view that the soul is immortal and separate from the body. However, the Bible provides a different understanding. Of the soul, the Bible says that it can be "cut off" or put to death, at Leviticus 7:20, saying: "But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people."(King James Bible)
Thus it can eat, for verse 25 also says: "For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people", that the soul can "be afflicted" at Leviticus 16:29, that God condemns it for "eating blood" at Leviticus 17:10 and 12, that the soul can touch something "unclean" and be "unclean" itself, at Leviticus 22:6, that it can be purchased, at Leviticus 22:11, that it works and can be destroyed (therefore not immortal), at Leviticus 23:30, that it can " pine away" at Leviticus 26:16, that animals are souls at Numbers 31:28, that it has a desire to eat at Deuteronomy 12:15 and 20, that the soul can crave for "oxen...sheep...wine" at Deuteronomy 14:26, that Joshua destroyed all the souls of Makkedah at Joshua 10:28, that it has blood at Jeremiah 2:34 and that it is not immortal, for Peter said: "And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."(Acts 3:23 King James Bible)
Hence, just what is the soul ? What is it that eats, that can touch something, that can be "afflicted", that can be "destroyed" ? The soul is us as a person, with all our feelings and desires, with blood flowing through our veins. Hence, at Genesis 2:7, of Adam the Scripture says that "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." (King James Bible)
The apostle Paul reiterated this at 1 Corinthians 15:45, saying that "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."(King James Bible) Therefore, God did not place a soul in Adam, but rather, he "became a living soul". Before God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life", Adam was a dead soul.
At Ezekiel 18:4, it says that the "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."(King James Bible) Thus, we as souls, sin, and eventually die. The Hebrew word for soul is ne´phesh (Greek psy·khe´ ) and evidently comes from a root meaning "breathe" and in a literal sense ne´phesh could be rendered as "a breather."
The word soul can also be rendered as a person's life, for Jesus said that " 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 (hades, Greek)."(Matt 10:28 King James Bible) Thus, one's future life or "soul" or you as a person being resurrected is dependent upon not fearing those who can "kill the body" or present life.
However, Greek philosophers, such as Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.), Plato (428-347 B.C.E.) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) of Athens, Greece, promoted the belief of the immortality of the soul. Greek philosophical teachings later influenced so-called Christians to also promote the religious belief in the immortality of the soul, such as the writer of the apocryphal writing of the Wisdom of Solomon, employing Platonic terminology in advancing the doctrine of the immortality of the human soul.
Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodius of Pisidia wrote the book The Hellenic Pedestal of Christianity in order to show that Greek culture and philosophy provided the infrastructure of modern "Christian" thought. In that book, he unhesitantly admits: "Almost all the prominent Church Fathers considered the Greek elements most useful, and they borrowed them from the Greek classical antiquity, using them as a means to understand and correctly express the Christian truths."
Plato quotes Socrates as saying: "The soul, . . . if it departs pure, dragging with it nothing of the body, . . . goes away into that which is like itself, into the invisible, divine, immortal, and wise, and when it arrives there it is happy, freed from error and folly and fear . . . and all the other human ills, and . . . lives in truth through all after time with the gods."—Phaedo, 80, D, E; 81, A. This false religious teaching influenced Jewish thinking, along with the idea of an underworld place of torment after death.