There are a few different theories about how human souls are created, but the Bible does not tell us outright exactly how souls are created. We can, however, take a look at what the Bible says about souls, develop some theories, and speculate as to what might be the truth. One thing we know for sure is that, no matter the how, God is the One who creates every single soul (Genesis 2:7)—and those souls are precious to Him (1 John 4:16).
Traducianism is a soul-creation theory that says the body AND soul of a child are BOTH created through the reproductive process between parents at the moment of conception. While the biological process of physical conception can be studied and explained, there's no explanation in this theory about how the spiritual soul is created upon conception. Still, there's some scriptural backing.
Genesis 2:7 says that God breathed life into Adam, the first human being, causing him to become a living soul. Then, we are told Adam had a son “in his own likeness,” which meant Adam’s son had a living soul despite not being directly breathed into by God (Genesis 5:3).
Those who believe in Traducianism suggest that God is all done creating everything (Genesis 2:2-3). If that is the case, then God no longer creates souls but allows the natural process He put in place to continue through the reproductive process of humans. The idea of souls being "passed down" also aligns with the concept that Adam’s original sin affects all people, spiritually and physically (Psalm 51:5).
But Traducianism has some holes in its logic. Like, how can a spiritual soul come into being through a completely physical process? For Traducianism to be true, the soul and body would have to be inseparably connected—which they are not. The Bible is clear that the body and the soul are separate things. That brings us to the next theory...
The Creationism theory regarding souls holds that God Himself creates every new soul at the moment of conception. This view has been widely accepted among Christians today as well as by the early church fathers. More importantly, this theory has much more scriptural verification.
Creationism says that the body and the soul are NOT inseparably connected, which aligns with what the Bible tells us. The Bible makes the distinction that the origin of the soul and the origin of the physical body are markedly separate events (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 42:7; Hebrews 12:9). So that means that the human body and the soul CAN be separated. We find evidence of this concept in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 when Paul speaks of how they would "rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."
But just like Traducianism, Creationism has problems. Creationism holds to the belief that God is continually making new souls. This belief is not in agreement with the traditional interpretation of Genesis 2:2-3, which indicates that God finished creating after six days. If God has finished creating, then He is not creating new souls today.
Another conflict in this theory is the fact that the Bible tells us every soul is infected with sin from the moment of conception. If God simply creates a brand new soul for every human, then how is the fresh new soul polluted with sin? Does the soul take on the sin of the body once the spiritual "inhabits" the physical? The relationship between the soul and the sin nature is unclear in the theory of Creationism.
There is a third theory, but it doesn't have biblical backup. Some believe that God created ALL the souls at once but keeps them in "reserve" until a new life is conceived. At that point, God would connect the previously created soul to the newly formed body. While a spiritual "warehouse" of souls is a fantastical thing to imagine, there's nothing in the Bible that points to this theory. New Age philosophies or religions that have a reincarnation ideology are likely to point to the idea of "stored" souls.
Since we cannot be 100% certain if Traducianism or Creationism or some unknown third theory is correct, we need to each decide for ourselves based on what we know from Scripture. Both Traducianism and Creationism theories state that human souls do not exist until the moment of conception, which IS a biblical concept. Exactly how and when in the process that happens and whether God is directly involved in the creation of every soul is something that can be up for speculation.
What we can know for sure is that all human souls are created by God for the purpose of glorifying and serving Him (Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 2:10). We are beautiful creations that God has designed specifically as we are (Psalm 139:13-14). You, me, and every soul is a treasured piece of art lovingly originated from the Creator of the universe.
While there are a few theories about how the human soul is created, the Bible does not tell us exactly how or when every human soul is created. Traducianism says that the body AND soul are created through the parents at the moment of conception, which is supported by a few passages in Genesis. But this doesn't explain how a spiritual soul can be generated through a physical process. Creationism holds that God creates a new soul at the moment of conception, which is supported by Ecclesiastes 12:7, Isaiah 42:5, Zechariah 12:1, and Hebrews 12:9. But this doesn't explain how sin was passed from Adam to these newly-minted souls. Some believe God created all the souls at once, then attaches a soul to a body at conception. But there's no biblical evidence for this theory. One thing we know for sure is that, no matter the how, God is the One who creates every single soul (Genesis 2:7)—and those souls are precious to Him.
Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.