Bible Question:

For some odd reason while studying the subject of “nervous breakdown” I came across your web site and saw that someone there used the term, “we are born spiritually dead. ” With all due respect, that is a ridiculous statement! If you had spent a few minutes studying the Hebrew use of that term “dead, ” you would have come away understanding that whenever we read in the Bible the term “dead” we need to translate it as “separated” or “separation. ” But, it should not have been translated “dead. ” That was a poor translation by people who worked for a first-born son, King James.

Bible Answer:

It appears that you were reading the Bible question “Are we born spiritually dead?” The question was asked, “Are we born spiritually dead? Where is the scripture that states we are born spiritually dead? Genesis? Does the term born again come from being dead in spirit?” The answer was found in Ephesians 2:3-5.

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . . (NASB) Eph. 2:3-5

The word translated as dead in this passage is the Greek word NEKROS. It literally means “dead person, corpse, inorganic, dead, and dead as distinct from living.” God’s point is that until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are spiritually dead. We cannot understand spiritual truth. We become spiritually alive after we believe the truth about Jesus and willingly yield ourselves to Him.

Your comment about the Hebrew root word MUT comes from an explanation in the Bible question “Are we born spiritually dead?” about the meaning of the word “dead” in Genesis 2:17. However, a careful study of the Hebrew word will reveal that it is a QAL imperfect and has the meaning “to die, kill, slay, execute, be killed, die, have one executed.” It does not mean “separated” or “separation.” God did not warn Adam and Eve that they would be separated from Himself. He warned them that they would physically and spiritually die. Spiritual death resulted in separation from God.


Only Jesus can make us spiritually alive.

Related Books:

Dictionary of the Old Testament Theology and Exegesis by VanGremeren.
Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott.
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Danker and Bauer.
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Kittel.
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by Harris, Archer, and Waltke.

Suggested Links:

Searching For God
Are we born spiritually dead?