“The Departure of the Soul” A Figure of Speech

Departure of the SoulThe Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, in its article on death, states that:

“the ‘departure’ of the nephesh {soul} must be viewed as a figure of speech, for it does not continue to exist independently of the body, but dies with it … No biblical text authorizes the statement that the ‘soul’ is separated from the body at the moment of death” (“Death” in IDB, Vol. 1, 1962, p. 802 ).


About David Burge

David Burge was the Editor of From Death to Life for 6 years and the chairperson of the Conditional Immortality Association of NZ from 1993 until his death in 2010 from Leukemia.

"He was a genuine leader, a gifted, enterprising, focused and humble person who could be relied upon to make the most of his own gifts and to take others with him. David was not afraid of responsibility, but rose to every opportunity granted him to serve His Lord and Saviour. He was inspirational, a man of courage and vision, who earned the complete confidence of all who knew him. He carried heavy burdens lightly, and displayed unfailing, cheerful good will towards all."
from A Tribute to David Burge by Warren Prestidge . He was the father of eight and dearly loved husband of Tarnya . He pastored the Takanini Church for 12 years and he had cerebral palsy.


  1. Geo Wisbrock says:


    Long time no contact. Trust you and yours are well and that you all continue to grow in Grace.

    With regard to IDB comment about the departure of the nephesh being a figure of speech, I don’t believe that’s always if ever actually true. The one exception I am quite sure about would be when Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin. As I recall – that’s the best I can do today cause by Bible program crashed this week – As I recall, many translations say that her soul departed.

    In that verse it should have simply been rendered to, “and her nephesh Life left her.”

    Could you provide me with a list of other verses which also say the a nephesh left or departed from someone.

    thank you for your ministry.

    George Wisbrock

  2. Hi George,
    Nice to hear from you. I think I will answer your comment in the form of a post either today or tomorrow. Meanwhile I just wanted to say “Hello” and “Thanks for the encouragement.”


  1. […] Wisbrock however is right on the mark when he commented with regard to the International Bible Dictionary quote about the departure of the nephesh being a figure of speech, “I don’t believe that’s always if ever actually true.”  Technically, I think […]

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