Bible Answer

Are soul ties biblical?

What are "soul ties" and is this a biblical teaching?

The term “soul ties” was coined by false teachers to misrepresent the meaning of certain passages of scripture. The term soul ties never appears in scripture, and neither does the concept it describes. The term refers to supposed uniting or tying of one person’s spirit to the spirit of another person in some way. The Bible never describes such a possibility nor teaches that it exists.

False teachers point to passages like 1Samuel 18:1, which says David’s soul was “knit” to Jonathan’s soul, or 1Corinthians 6:16, which commands believers not to engage in sexual sin, to support their improper interpretation. They claim these passages are examples of knitting souls together, but their claim is not supported by a proper interpretation of the text. Rather, this is a classic case of false teaching distorting the true meaning of scripture to promulgate strange myths built upon speculation (see 1Tim 1:4).

The Bible teaches that a believer's spirit is united with Christ alone and with no one else. Not even in marriage do we unite spiritually with another person. Marriage unites a husband and wife in flesh only until the death of the body according to Romans 7. Our spirit is Christ’s alone.

The passages quoted by those who falsely teach soul ties are speaking of different ideas altogether. For example, in the case of David and Jonathan, the author described their souls knitted together because these two entered into a covenant together. Covenants unite two people in a lifelong earthly bond, not a spiritual bond. 

In the case of David and Jonathan, Jonathan felt great affection and admiration for David, recognizing him to be the future king of Israel, and so he became devoted to David and entered into a covenant with David (i.e., his soul was “knit” to David). Obviously, this terminology doesn’t mean that the two men were united in some mystical, spiritual sense. It simply describes their deep emotional and covenantal bond. 

In the case of 1Corinthians 6:16 Paul warns believers not to become “one-flesh” with prostitutes through an act of sexual immorality. Notice Paul’s concern was that of becoming one flesh, not one soul. He was describing the life-long bond of marriage, not a special spiritual union. 

Therefore, there is no biblical support for the concept of soul ties. It is an unbiblical teaching.