When does the soul enter the body?

? :confused:

At conception.

Agreed. At conception.


Sometime between conception and birth is the best answer anyone alive on earth has.

Ditto. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church and is backed up by the bible:

“Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5, NRSV). This indicates that the unborn child possesses a sinful, fallen nature at the time of conception (though it does not manifest in actual, personal sins until later; cf. Romans 9:11). Since sin is a spiritual phenomenon, the presence of a sinful nature indicates a spiritual nature and thus a soul, making the child a complete human being from conception.

There was some theological debate on this in the past. Not having present day knowledge of biology, some speculated it was at ‘quickening’ when the mother first felt the baby move. However, abortion wasn’t permitted even prior to that. So it was obvious to them that a human life had begun even before quickening.

The soul does not enter the body.

Then how do you explain it’s life? A body without a soul is a corpse; DEAD.

Right, they are created together at conception.

Thanks for all your responses. Here is another one:

James 2:26

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

But that still doesn’t mean it didn’t enter the body. When the sperm & the egg come together the soul enters at that moment.

Then where did it come from, and where does it reside in the body?

The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God. Catechism 382

Yes, and to say it enters the body is to imply it has a prior existence separate in space from the body. The catechism doesn’t teach that, does it?

No it does not. The spirit of man is created by God immediately at the moment of conception.

The same section of the catechism quotes Gaudium et Spes: “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity.”

If the soul entered the body at some point in time, there would have to exist a disunity beforehand.

It comes from God of course. And it resides within us. Not in any one particular place, just within us. I don’t know, perhaps our hearts? All I know is that I have a soul because God put it there so that I can live.

Of course our soul existed before we were conceived and before we were born. God knew us before we were born. And our soul will keep on existing even after we are dead & gone from this world, whether we go to heaven or hell.

Our soul can exist on its own and it will be a living soul after we pass away. But a “Man” is only a man if it has a soul. Otherwise the man’s body without the soul would be a corpse.

I would not want to say that the souls in heaven are a “disunity” since they do not yet have their bodies. They are souls alive in heaven.

The egg in a woman does not have a soul. It is just an egg. The sperm in a man does not have a soul. It is just sperm. But when the two come together that is when the soul enters. A soul in a man means “human life.” The egg is not a human life. It is just an egg. The sperm is not a human life either it is just sperm.

So then all human souls preexist the body? This sounds like Hinduism, not Catholicism!

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