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To look into the origin of the human soul, one has to acknowledge that the human soul doesn’t exist on its own but is part of what makes up a man. In this sense, we begin to look at the various arguments of theologians towards man’s make up. There is a general agreement that man consists of a material part- his physical body and an immaterial part- non physical part of man which is his spirit and soul.
Our focus now, is to tell on the origin of the soul which is a part of the immaterial part of man (an aspect of man that exist but cannot be seen or handled physically).

Dichotomists believe that the immaterial part of man cannot be distinguished, for to them, soul and spirit are one. They view any distinction between soul and spirit as merely functional.

Trichotomists, on the other hand, believe that soul and spirit are different and distinguishable, viewing a distinction between spirit and soul as substantial. Perlman states, “ both groups cannot be declared as totally wrong because one may say that though the spirit and soul are separate, they are not separable. Krama says apparently, then the relationship may be thus summed up. Body and spirit may be separated. Spirit and soul can only be distinguished.

Hebrews 4:12, tells us that only the word of God has the supernatural ability to bring about a division between soul and spirit.

So the human soul, is an immaterial part of man, the possession of the human spirit and could be termed as the inner man (because it is not visible to the physical eyes but is real).

The origin or creation of the human soul has thus been explained or argued by certain theories:

1. The Preexistence Theory. This view teaches that God originally created a number of souls and some are joined to human bodies at conception. Obviously, there is no clear statement in Scripture that supports this view.

2. Creation Theory.
Creation theory teaches that the human body is transferred from the parents, but the soul, since it is immaterial, comes from God. At conception, God creates a soul and places that soul in the forming baby (Ps 139:13). Support for this is found in the fact that after creating Adam, God breathed life into his body—giving him a soul (Gen 2:7).

3. Traducian Theory. This theory teaches that both the body and soul come from the parents. It is argued that God’s direct creation—making things out of nothing—stopped on the sixth day of creation, as proved by the fact that God rested on the seventh day. Certainly, God is still involved with the creation of the body and the soul in humans, but he does that through secondary means—human parents. This view takes this stand so as to exclude God from the sin nature present in each new born child. Holding the belief of hereditary traits which includes the sin nature that affects the inner man to come from parents passed unto their children.

However, Pearlman suggests a cooperation between Creator and parents as the solution. He says, “ in the beginning of a new life, a divine Creator and a creative use of means work together “. Man begets man in cooperation with the Father of spirits. Therefore, the normal process of human reproduction set in motion those divine laws of life which cause a human with an inner man to be born into the world.

I would totally agree with Pearlman’s view on the origin of the human soul. Which is hinged on the cooperation of a divine Creator and man to birth a human being from whence we have the origin of a soul. My reasons would be thus:

1. The human soul is an immaterial part of man. The human soul originates from God who is Spirit. Genesis 2:7, tells us that God breathed into man from himself (the substance of life) and man became a living being. So the origin of the human soul is from God.

2. God is the Father of spirits but man the means to begets another man. Hebrews 12:9. In other words, just as we see also in Genesis 2:7, the soul of man can only be created by God’s creative ability and in that state, his creation is perfect (without sin). However, the human soul isn’t created in thousands and stored up for a body to assume them. It therefore means, that the laws of procreation which must be triggered by man as designed by God must take place for a soul to exist. It is through this means that a human soul can be created. That the human soul takes on a sin nature from birth is a function of the means set by divine laws which is already condemned.

In summary, man in himself cannot create a human soul and God though he has the creative ability to make a soul, has put forth divine laws that would require the cooperation of man with him to birth one. Man, becomes hence the means for a possible existence of a human soul as designed by God.

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