I read the bible as teaching that you do not have a soul, but that you are a soul. This being the combination of body and spirit.
Eg, read Genesis 2:7 account of Adam’s creation where God breathed the breath of life into the clay and Adam became a living soul (nephesh) in Hebrew.
Animals are the same. “Nephesh” is used with them too.
The soul, and in particular the idea of an immortal soul, comes from Greek philosophy and is not a biblical teaching. The Bible teaches that you die (which is like sleep in that you are not aware of your surroundings or the passage of time). You cease to be. The breath of life, the spirit, returns to God.
Jesus: “into your hands I commend my spirit”. On his death, Jesus, slept until his father called him from the tomb and returned his breath of life (spirit) to him.
Note that the simple words “breath of life” hide a transformative effect, a massive alteration of the clay in Adam’s case, or the body as in the case of Jesus or Lazarus.
Taking Adam as an example, the breath of god turned clay into living cells in exquisite detail, DNA, blood, brain, muscles and a nervous system, but also included a fully “programmed” or “imprinted” brain. IE, A character. Adam received the knowledge of language, co-ordination, the ability to focus his eyes, to walk, to reach out and grasp, all those things a new born baby does not have though it is otherwise complete and perfect.
To Jesus and to Lazarus were returned their original characters, knowledge and memories. It was everything that made Jesus Jesus, and Lazarus Lazarus. In the case of Jesus he received also the power and authority that he had laid aside when he “emptied himself” and took the form of humanity, but that is another topic entirely.
Lesley has asked below for more references re “soul sleep” as the statement is given that most christians, protestant or catholic, believe in an immortal soul.
True, it is a catholic teaching and originated with them, and from which many churches have inherited the same.
I will refer to the original protestant, the well known Dr Martin Luther who said the following:
"But I permit the Pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful, such as The Bread and wine are transubstantiated in the sacrament. The essence of God neither generates, nor is generated. The soul is the substantial form of the human body. The Pope is the emperor of the world, and the king of heaven, and God upon earth. THE SOUL IS IMMORTAL, with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dunghill of decretals, that such as his faith is, such may be his gospel, such his disciples, and such his church, that the mouth may have meat suitable for it, and the dish, a cover worthy of it."
(Edit 3: FULL CAPS added by me for easy reference to the pertinent comment. I should also add, as others have in quoting this passage, that this forthright and coarse-sounding language was used frequently by these robust Reformers. To ears accustomed to the suavities and euphemisms of our times, they sound rough and uncouth. But such phraseology was part of the common parlance of the time, employed by outstanding men of the day who were desperately in earnest. They were fighting a relentless, merciless and deadly foe at close quarters and against terrific odds, and in so doing they used blunt phrasings. Martin Luther escaped death only by the protection of German nobility else he too would have ended as did Huss and Jerome)
Luther further wrote:
“For just as one who falls asleep and reaches morning unexpectedly when he awakes, without knowing what has happened to him, so we shall suddenly rise on the last day without knowing how we have come into death and through death. We shall sleep, until He comes and knocks on the little grave and says, Doctor Martin, get up! Then I shall rise in a moment and be happy with Him forever."
It is also a Seventh-day Adventist teaching, but as you can see, originated centuries before them and not from them.
For biblical reference see Jesus referencing death as sleep, and the statement that the dead know nothing in Ecclesiastes.
Further reference that the bible teaches that immortality belongs to God, and is not a human trait. God said if you eat of the tree you will surely die. Satan said you will surely not die.
The teaching that you (the essence of you, your soul) does not die is the same thing that Satan taught. The teaching is his, not God’s.
When you believe that the soul is immortal you get into all kinds of trouble with the resurrection. Jesus returned to the tomb to fetch his body why? He returned to the tomb, entered his dead body and then waited a moment or two till Gabriel told him his Father was calling him back “and this time bring your human body with you”? Does Joseph return to earth to collect his dried bones? For those who died millenniums ago, for which no trace of body remains, why do they return to the earth to be resurrected? Only good old earth clay will do?
No, Martin Luther hit that nail on the head 500 years ago, this is an invention of Catholicism. It is not a biblical teaching.
For a good reference to Greek philosophy being the originators of the soul being distinct and separate, then try https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/