Reincarnation and Christianity

@Pose123 (21671)
Canada
December 12, 2008 1:52pm CST
I realize that the majority of the Christians of today do not believe in reincarnation, but I also know that there are those who do, believing that it is taught in the Bible. As one such Christian once wrote, "I can read reincarnation into the Bible and you can read it right out again". Most of those who believe that way have no desire to convince others, as they don't consider such belief as necessary for anyone, but just gives them a better understanding of all things. A good place to start might be with the question, "where can we find references to reincarnation in the Bible"? I will start by giving some of the passages that have been suggested to me. In Matthew Chapter 16: verses 13-14, Jesus asks his disciples "Who do men say that I am"? They answered with such names as John the Baptist(Who had been killed by Herod, perhaps two to three years earlier), Elijah, Jeremiah, or another of the prophets. The fact that this was suggested, some say is proof that the people of the day believed in reincarnation. Another thought here is that Jesus did not reject such an idea outright but rather a little later, in Matthew 17:12-13 seems to suggest that John himself had been Elias. Again in the Gospel of John Chapter 9 and verses 1-3, there is another suggestion of reincarnation. Here Jesus and his disciples see a man who had been born blind. The disciples ask, "Who did sin,this man or his parents,that he was born blind"? It is to be noted here that one again Jesus did not rebuke his disciples for the suggestion that the man may have sinned before he was born. It is a known fact that among the earliest Christians were many who believed in rebirth. Some of the early fathers of the church in the second, third and fourth centuries also appear to have believed in the doctrine,among them,St. Clement of Alexandria{150-220 AD) and Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais(370-450 AD)It was not until the sixth century that the reincarnation disappeared completely from the teachings of the church,nevertheless some continued to believe it privately. Since the days of the reformation, many have made their belief public. This discussion is not meant to upset anyone but to point out some of the reasons that certain Christians profess a belief in reincarnation.
3 people like this
5 responses
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
13 Dec 08
I really believe that one life is not enough ,and reencarnation gives us several opportunities to become better human beings. Time goes so fast ,and some people have very short lives.
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
13 Dec 08
Hi Mirita, Thank you for those comments and what you say makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not sure why so many Christians refuse to consider the concept, but I'm convinced that much of the early teachings of the church were either left out of the Bible or changed to suit the church leaders of the time. There is nothing wrong with a Christian believing in reincarnation, but it's not really necessary to tell our friends if it upsets them. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• India
13 Dec 08
Hmm... well, Christianity is not really my favorite, but I did read somewhere that Jesus spoke about reincarnation, and the Church fathers struck off those portions for reasons best known to them. :) Cheers and happy mylotting
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
13 Dec 08
Hi positiveminded, Thank you for being so faithful in responding to my discussions. I believe that if we get to the original teachings, most religions teach much the same thing. You are right it does appear that many changes were made by the church to fit their own agenda. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15505)
• Turkmenistan
13 Dec 08
St. John chapter nine as been my favorite story since I was a child. But I had never paid attention to it enough to recognize the fact that they are indeed asking whether or not this man was blind from birth because of some sin he had committed. I am a Christian and I do not believe in reincarnation. I believe that if you look hard enough for a way to back up your claim, you will find it. If it was God making reference to it, I would be concerned. But not for something that disciples were clearly asking in ignorance.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
13 Dec 08
Hi Rozie, Thank you for commenting. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• India
15 Dec 08
I am a lot into learning about Christ these days and so I want to ask you that if Christianity does not believe in reincarnation, then how come Jesus is slated to have a second coming, to deal with the antichrist? Even Islam believes that Christ is to come once again for the final battle.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
15 Dec 08
Hi sudiptacallingu, In the Bible it says that Christ ascended into heaven, following which two men appeared (most Christians believe they were angels), and said that Jesus would someday return in the same manner. His followers were there and saw up disappear into the clouds. The Christian church teaches that someday the clouds will open and Jesus will return in the same way as he was taken up. So you see they do not believe that Jesus has to be reincarnated but will return with the same body. I want to thank you for responding to this discussion and I hope I've helped you get a better understanding of the belief that most Christians have. Blessings.
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
14 Dec 08
It does not prove that Christians believe in reincarnation. It proves that some of the Jews, since Christianity did not start until Christ was crucified, believed that the spirit of Elijah lived in John the Baptist. The man who was born blind, was believed to have been that way not because an evil man's soul had gone into him when he was conceived, but for some reason, the sins of the parents were visited on the child. It is something like having to pay for an ancestor's sin. It is unBiblical, since even in the Law of Moses that predated the Law of Christ that children should not be punished for the sins of their parents. However it could be that people are punished for their ancestor's sins, and usually it is due to either the influence and the way the children are raised throughout generations or in the case of religion on wrong teaching that often come to frutation centuries later. Reincarnation does sound nice as you do not have to pay for your own sins, but your descendant does and if you were bad, he or she can make up for it, but it is not right and not Biblical. Wny pass your sins on to another?
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
14 Dec 08
Hi suspenseful, Thank you for your thoughts on this and for adding to the discussion. Blessings.