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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

15 January 2009

The Origin of Souls

Q: From your perspective, where do souls come from? Every day it seems there are more and more people in the world. Where were these souls 100, 200, 2000 years ago?

A: They were nowhere because they were not. There is no “First Bank of Souls” where preborn spirits live until God attaches them to a human body. Beginning with Adam, Scripture doesn’t say that we “receive” a soul. Instead, Genesis 2:7 tells us that “the man became a living creature (or soul).” We aren’t “flesh machines” with “soul inhabitants.” We are, body and soul, living beings.

For an extended discussion on this topic, please see That’s the Spirit (and the Soul)!

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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Newspaper column #570:2


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