Bible Question:

Is there a difference between spirit of man and Spirit of God? Is the spirit of man the same as the soul?

Bible Answer:

This brief study will explain the meaning of 1 Corinthians 2:11 in two parts.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11 (NASB)

First, an explanation of the phrase “the spirit of the man” will be given followed by the meaning of “the Spirit of God.”

Is there a Difference Between the spirit of man and the Holy Spirit?

Spirit of the Man

1 Thessalonians teaches that man is body, soul and spirit.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)

The Greek word that is translated as spirit is pneuma, which literally means “spirit being” or “inner life.”  It refers to the eternal part of a man or woman that will leave the human body at death and either go to hell or heaven and exist there for eternity.

The Greek word for soul is psyche, which refers to the “inner life,” such as the various organs or heart, kidneys, mind, for example. In the Old Testament the word nephesh is usually translated as “life,” “creature,” or “living being.”  That is, it refers to the inner part of man, such as the organs. The Greek word for body in this verse is soma, it refers to the visible outer person.

Spirit of God

The phrase “the Spirit of God” refers to the Holy Spirit. He is part of the Trinity and is our God. The Holy Spirit first appears in Genesis 1:2 at the creation of the earth. He appears to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus and He appears at Christ’s baptism (Matthew 3:16). He appears in many more places throughout the Scriptures. We encourage you to read, “The Spirit’s Ministry – Tongues and Prophecy” and “The Holy Spirit – Discipleship Series.


Therefore, we have learned that the “spirit” of man is different from God the Holy Spirit. The “spirit” of man is his eternal being which will exist forever either in heaven or hell. Are you interested in discovering if the real you is going to heaven or hell? If so, then read “Searching for God.”

Suggested Links:

Does man have a soul? Does he just return to the dust?
The Holy Spirit – Discipleship Series
The Spirit’s Ministry – Tongues and Prophecy
Searching For God