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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Are Humans Made up of More than Just a Body?

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Don Stewart
Before we look at what the Bible has to say about the afterlife we must first examine what the Scripture says about the nature of human beings. The Bible says that we humans have both a material and spiritual nature - we are more than just a physical body.

Distinction Between Body And Spirit

The Bible says there is a distinction between the body and spirit. In Job we are told.

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding (Job 32:8).

The Bible speaks of God forming the human spirit within.

The Word of the LORD concerning Israel: Thus says the LORD, Who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within (Zechariah 12:1).

The spirit and body are distinct. They can be compared to a house and someone living in the house. The body is the house, while the spirit resides inside the house. Scripture speaks of the spirit living within each of us.

For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11).

History Of Creation

We find further evidence of this from the history of creation. The Bible says that God formed the man first, then breathed His spirit into him.

Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

This was a two-step process. First, the body of the man was formed from the dust of the ground. Second, God breathed into him the breath of life. Only at that time did he become a living being. This shows the spiritual nature is distinct from the physical nature.


Human beings are made up of both body and spirit. Scripture makes a clear distinction between the two. When Adam was created, his body was first made, then God breathed into his lifeless form, the breath of life. At that time he became a living being. Therefore our physical nature is different from our spiritual nature.
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