How Can a Man's Spirit Merely Be "Breath"?
But I have another question. I’m told by the Jehovah's Witnesses that there is no immaterial component of man as such. The Greek word “pneuma” and the Greek word “psuchei” are virtually synonymous, they simply mean “breath”. Now I know what those words mean. “Psuchei” means “consciousness” – from which we get the word “psychology”, and “pneuma” does come from the word for “breath” or “breathes”. But when you die you are asleep. The dead know nothing, there is no spiritual component of man as such; no spirit. There is none. That’s what I am told by my friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses, by my acquaintances who I've met over the years who were Jehovah's Witnesses, who’ve come to my door. That's what they’ve told me.
I have a question: In Genesis 1:26 we’re made in God’s image and He breathed into them and put a spirit into them. When Jesus died on the cross He said, “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit”.(Lk. 23:46) In the book of Acts when Stephen was martyred he said, “Lord I commend my spirit”. (Acts 7:59) Why would Jesus say, “I commend My spirit to You” if it’s only breath? If it is not some kind of eternal consciousness that goes beyond biological life, why commend it? How can you commend your breath? “God take my breath; I’m going to die.” That does not exactly make too much sense. How can it only be breath? It must be consciousness. “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.” If there is not a spiritual component of men and women made in God’s image and likeness that go beyond this that is conscious, why did Jesus commend it? Why did Stephen commend it?