Many would question whether our cat, dog, or other pet has a soul; but according to recent word studies of the biblical spirit, soul, and body, the answer is totally relevant to humans AND their valued animals. Every question deserves an answer, and this question is no less deserving. A sensible conclusion requires research of the only document able to reveal the answer, the Bible.
We find at I Thessalonians 5:28 the ensuing definition for bodily characteristics, “…I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Matthew 10:28 further illustrates the difference in body and soul, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.“
We can determine, then, a great difference exists between body, soul, and spirit. (And, the ‘hell’ referred to above is, gehenna, the Jerusalem City dump-grounds – there, in addition to the usual refuse, criminals and blasphemers were disposed of as a show of disrespect.) We know from reasonable word usage, our soul can be killed in everyday life, even while we continue to physically live on into future existence; thus, we resort to the anomaly in Matthew.
We cannot ascertain true metaphysical meanings without reference to the legal-historicity furnishing cause for our question; here, legal-historical defines as records handed down from oral traditions and/or repeated publishings; wherein such offerings are finally accepted as unquestionable truth.
To determine particular definition for our three entries, we must defer to Strong’s Greek Dictionary Of The New Testament. Here, psuche, or soul, is a liveliness associated only with sentient response: that is, such liveliness is derived solely from bodily senses: sight, hearing, smell, thought, taste, and feeling.
At the same time, body is a cell-functioning wholeness enabling liveliness to be expressed in a sensed 心理輔導員 awareness or soul. If we know, then, the definition for body and soul, it remains only to determine spirit in its true semantic.
In essence, Strong’s describes spirit as a conception wholly derived from the Greek pneuma. Further translation brings us to “current of air”, breath, breeze, and by implication, voiced words. Thus, we have the three components perfectly defined and beyond further definition.
Are these senses unique to mankind? I think not, for language has an obligation to conduct meaning. Relative to this particularity and only if otherwise modified, words may confer broader meaning; but here, they are limited.
Do pets take in breath and do they voice sentiments? If so, they have spirit!
Does the dog use sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, thinking capacity, and feeling? If so, he has soul!
Do cats have physiology capable of sense, respiration, and communication? If so, then, they have a living body!
Further, the very same atom components comprise man and dog’s existential capability. Yes, your pet does have spirit and soul. But, is he also destined for heaven or hell? You are now empowered to discover the true destiny of man and beast, derived from a sensible and forthright reexamination of Bible Eschatology, Symbols, and Numbers. Available research will amaze and prompt both theist and atheist to think the proposition more thoroughly.