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Tom Asks: Is there anywhere in the Bible that state’s specifically that the soul is immortal and will never die? I have Jehovah Witnesses come to the house. They say the soul dies with the body. i would like to rebut that claim with my own Catholic Bible.
Alice Answers: Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very persistent in their rhetoric. However, we Catholics maintain a firm belief in our souls’ immortality based on numerous Scripture passages, many spoken by Our Lord himself.
Upon hearing that His dear friend, Lazarus, died, Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
Before he died, Jesus told his apostles, “Let not your heart be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions…I am indeed going to prepare a place for you…..I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
From John, the evangelist we read, “I write all these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1John 5:13-14)
Then there’s the often quoted (John 3:16) which states,
“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life.”
The promise of eternal life can be found in the Old Testament,
as well. “Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” (Isaiah 26:19)
Rather than feeling defeated, I’m glad you’re seeking some strong Catholic apologetics, i.e., a defense and proof of our Catholic faith. Please keep these Bible verses handy, so you’ll be prepared the next time a zealous Jehovah’s Witness rings your doorbell!
Doug Lawrence Adds: The Catholic Church’s teachings about the nature of the human soul are based on the Old Testament and on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. They were further developed and refined by some of the world’s greatest saints, philosophers and scholars, over the last 2000 years.
Like the word “Trinity”, which is not found anywhere in scripture, much of what we understand about the soul, by faith and reason, never made it into the scriptures, either.
This shouldn’t be surprising though, since the Bible was never intended to be a catechism, and it is the Catholic Church … not the Bible … which was given power and authority by Jesus Christ. In fact, in his Great Commission, Jesus never specifically mentioned the written word, at all.
JW’s have no direct connection with the Christian Church, other than their rather unique, seriously flawed, self-serving “New World” translation of the Bible.
To paraphrase Virgil, the writer of the ancient (19 b.c.) Aeneid, “Beware of JW’s bearing Greek!”
Rather than attempting to trade Bible verses with people who believe that Jesus Christ is not the only begotten Son of God … is not divine … but merely Michael the Archangel … I suggest you ask the JW’s to first show you where in the scriptures their little group received ANY power and authority … any mandate from God … to do what they do.
If they manage to cobble together something, then ask them why their founder(s) and the secretive “Boys from Brooklyn” have been so wrong on so many of their predictions and claims, for so long … and based on that … why you should believe anything they say … since their teachings are relatively new, based on the opinions of only a few, whose fatally flawed understanding of the true nature and identity of Jesus Christ completely separates them from authentic Christianity … and whose teachings have been proved wrong, time and time again … by other JW’s … by history … and by the vast consensus of authentic Christian theological scholarship.
Finally Tom, there is absolutely no need for you to refute negative, spurious, unsupported claims by these people, or anyone.
I suggest that instead, when next they visit, you jointly attempt to determine precisely how many angels might be able to dance on the head of a pin!
This link to the Catholic Answers Forum should be useful.
This link on the unique, God given authority of the Catholic Church should also help clarify things.
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