Is our soul or spirit immortal and does it survive death?

Hi, I am a protestant and and my family are jehovahs witnesses and last service they said the immortal soul doctrine is a lie the Catholic Church and Satan made up. They quoted Ecc 9:5 where it says the dead know nothing but I’m not a Jw but they made a good point…help? I ask catholics because they really dislike the Catholic Church and claim Satan is behind it…

How do they explain the eternity of heaven and hell?(I don’t think they believe in hell). I looked up that verse and I have no idea what that means. Was he talking about “living” souls (like in the state of grace) and dead being in mortal sin? Or actual living and dead people. I’m not sure.

Luther, the founder of the first Protestant religion, separated from the Catholic Church. His original stuff is a lot closer to Catholic teaching than it is today.

The reference is to human death, and not to the state of sin.

Biblically, human death is called sleep, because a dead body looks initially much like a sleeping body; but sleep is a **body **function. Souls cannot sleep; only bodies!

Saint Paul hoped to be with our LORD when “absent from his body.” You aren’t with someone if you are asleep!

Our LORD also said that killing the body does not kill the soul.


Spirit is one of law of God to whom God gave life and consciousness and other senses. So spirit cannot be immortal or cannot stay in existence without power and will of God. If God intend to destroy spirits then all spirits will dissolve but God will not do that because God prepared an endless life for spirits after world.

Good to see a JW with a family that has not cut them off for not being one with them.
Is this a new trend with the JW’s? They finally do not disfellowship those who seek elsewhere? Or have you been shunned?
I have a lifelong friend from many years back that was cut off from their family due to lack of belief. They kicked her out on the street at the age of sixteen.

Revelation 6:9 9 When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God.

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

1 Corinthians 15 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.…

Well, Jesus told about the rich man and Lazarus (presumably still in their Bibles that they took from the Catholic Church years back when protestants left the Church).

Then later, as if in fulfillment of the incident of the rich man’s request to Abraham, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, calling out to Lazarus. If Lazarus knew nothing, he would not know the voice of Jesus calling to his Soul to re-animate his body.

It is not surprising that they dislike the Catholic Church, it happened to Jesus also when people claimed he cast out demons by the prince of demons. Since we are condemning Satan and his angels, it is not possible that we follow him (for that would be a kingdom divided against itself and would not stand, yet we stand on the Rock and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it).

Hi SJ. I just want to clear up a little of this misunderstanding. JW’s do not necessarily shun all those who are not JW, family or otherwise. In fact I’ve never heard of them shunning anyone who was not first a JW that left the organization. Don’t know if the op was ever in the organization but standard JW practice is to continue working on all who otherwise have “never heard the truth”. Once they become members “knowing the truth” then leave the organization, then they will experience the disfellowshipping and shunning.


This isn’t exclusive to JWs though. Lots of religious shunned walking around from various areas. :slight_smile:


JW’s pick out Scripture quotes they think supports their beliefs. The Catholic Church teaches that the soul is a spirit and immortal, that it survives death and that at the General Judgment at the end of the world it will be reunited to its body for all eternity.

Thomas Aquinas, the great Catholic Philosopher of the 15th century proved this using philosophy. But St. Augustine and the early Church Fathers all believed the same.

And if man’s soul is not immortal, what was the point of Christ’s life and suffering, indeed what was the point in God’s creation of man?


There are many articles concerning the Jehovah’s Witnesses available here on the Catholic Answers website which you can find by using the search feature. Here is a relevant portion of one of them:

A mistake made by JWs is their denial of the immortality of the soul. The Bible mentions the soul approximately 200 times, and it can be seen to have very different meanings according to the context of each passage. The soul is immortal according to Scripture.

Perhaps the strongest contradiction of the WTS doctrine is seen in Christ’s descent to Hades. In 1 Peter 3:19, the apostle tells his audience how Jesus “preached to the spirits in prison.” If the dead were aware of nothing, then his preaching would have been futile.

In the OT, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the condition of the dead,

[INDENT]"Sheol underneath has become agitated at you in order to meet you on coming in . . . all of them speak up and say. . . . Those seeing you will gaze even at you, saying . . . " (Is. 14:9-11).

These verses indicate clearly that the dead are conscious, and the NT tells the same story. To be absent from the body is not to be unconscious, but rather it enables one to be home with the Lord, according to Paul (2 Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23).

The body is just a tent, or tabernacle that does not last (2 Cor. 5:1-4; 2 Pet. 1:13), while man cannot kill the soul (Matt. 10:28).

In fact, the souls live past the death of the bodies, since John "saw . . . the souls of those slaughtered . . . and they cried with a loud voice, saying . . . and they were told . . . " (Rev. 6:9-11).

Because the soul does not die with the flesh, those in heaven are able to offer our prayers to God (Rev. 5:8), and live in happiness (Rev. 14:13).[/INDENT]

I believe that humans are not supposed to die! Because we have a Soul, which is Love. We are supposed to live forever!

So many things wrong with blanket pronouncements. Where to start?
Let’s start with the most probable cause for this utterance.
It starts out with I believe, but gives us no single reason why, or offer a sliver of evidence why one should even entertain this belief.
Humans are not supposed to die?


Who told you this?

<< Humans are not supposed to die? >>

Rather, humans were not originally ‘intended’ (by God) to die. Death is an enemy, brought on by sin (says the Catechism 385ff, especially 400; and Bible: Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:26; also from the OT deuteros: Wisdom 1:12-13; 2:23-24; Sirach 25:24).

Ludwig Ott from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma: “The donum immortalitatis, i.e. the divine gift of bodily immortality [granted] of our first parents” is De Fide doctrine.

The original question is whether the ‘soul’ is immortal (contra the Jehovah’s Witnesses and SdA’s, etc). I think the Bible teaches clearly that the soul is and is distinct from the body (Matt 10:28; 1 Thess 5:23; Eccl 12:7; Acts 7:59; and texts already listed, etc) but not ‘intrinsically’ or ‘essentially’ immortal, only God ‘alone’ has that (1 Tim 6:15-16; 2 Tim 1:10; John 1:1-3; Psalm 90:2 ‘from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’).

My article on Conditional Immortality and Soul Sleep in response to a Seventh-day Adventist still stands (compiled in 1996). :thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit