Reincarnation: did previous lives happen? And what does the Bible say about it?
I've been hearing a lot about previous-life experience lately. Though I'm skeptical about it, I admit that I like to think it was true. Does the Bible say anything about that? Are there any scientific elements to support reincarnation?
There is nothing in the Bible to support the idea of reincarnation, as the term is popularly understood. The New Testament speaks extensively about resurrection (e.g., I Corinthians, chapter 15), but this refers to life after death rather than previous-life experience. Jesus Christ counsels Nicodemus in the gospel of St. John, chapter 3, that "ye must be born again" (or "born from above"), but in this context He is describing the event of regeneration (new spiritual life initiated by the Holy Spirit) rather than reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation, if memory serves me well, is for the most part a concept of Hinduism. I am not aware of any scientific evidence to support the idea of reincarnation.
Nothing? Jesus said that Elijah had come again, but no one recognized him -- John the Baptist. Too many confuse resurrection with reincarnation. They have two entirely different purposes. Reincarnation exists because He loves His children
Reincarnation was so accepted in the Bible that no one questioned it though it was mentioned and hinted at many times
All references to reincarnation were removed from the Bible by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent.
The Bible wholesale refutes reincarnation. Souls do not come back to inhabit new bodies. People are resurrected for judgement, but it is nothing like the Hindu idea of reincarnation or karma.
Chris, resurrection has nothing to do with reincarnation, just as physical death has nothing to do with the cycle of daily sleep. Jesus said he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. That's karma. John Baptist was Elijah reborn. Reincarnation
Like Mike Tully wrote, the Bible does not seem to support the concept of reincarnation, but resurrection. Reincarnation is the notion that life is cyclical in which souls process through a continuous cycle of birth, life, death, and re-birth. In the second portion of the Bible called the New Testament, there is a letter called Hebrews. In that letter, the author wrote "it is appointed man to die once and then after this judgment" (Hebrews Chapter 9 verse 23).This verse is most often used by Christians to refute the notion of reincarnation. It seems to suggest rather strongly that human beings are limited to only one life and one death.
Even though the Bible seems to refute the notion of conitnuous birth, death and rebirth, it does appear as if some of Jesus' disciples may have held to the notion in some form. In John chapter 9, Jesus and his disciples come across a man who was blind from birth. When they came to him, one or more of the disciples asked Jesus "who sinned that this man was born blind the parents or this (blind) man?" This is a very peculiar question if the disciples did not believe in some form of pre-existence because what could the man have done to deserve judgment before he exited his mother's womb? Either the disciples believed it was possible for the fetus to sin while still in the womb or they were under the impression that the man had a previous life before his current life. Despite their impressions, Jesus refuted their understanding (albeit not specifically about their notion of the man's possible pre-existence) and said the man was born blind that the disciples might witness the glory of God (meaning that they would witness that Jesus had the power to heal a man born blind).
A great deal of the Bible supports reincarnation. And Hebrews only says that "humans" die once. Human is the physical part; the soul or true self is the immortal child of God and it is this true self which has a long history.
The question was whether the man sinned himself or he was being punished for his parents sin. No pre-existence is implied, no Jewish person would have suggested it back then.
Chris, how can a man be born blind for something he had done, unless, as a child of God he had always existed and did something prior to his current birth? Similarly, God hated Esau in his mother's womb. Why? Some Jews long believed in reincarnation.
Very few scientists have researched reincarnation. One (Ian Stevenson) conservatively stated that there is evidence suggestive of reincarnation -- like the story of Swarnlata Mishra who remembered the tiniest details about her prior life, including the pet names she had given her relatives. Even after trying to trick her, they were amazed by her accuracy and clarity.
http://www.the-love-of-god.com/reincarn … tories.php
When a young boy remembers his WWII death so vividly that he can name the parts of his old airplane and knew one of his old buddies by name when they were reunited 60 years after his prior death, then there might just be something to it.
Now, as far as the Bible, I find a great deal of evidence that supports reincarnation. But let's start with Hebrews 9:27, the one passage most used to argue against reincarnation.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Look at exactly what it says. For one thing, it says nothing about the idea of reincarnation, directly. But indirectly? Men die once! Could that be referring to the physical part of man, instead of the immortal spirit? Alas, too many so-called Christians forget about their immortal soul. And what is this elusive "soul?"
Genesis 1:26 talks of man being created in the image and likeness of God. But is God Homo sapiens? Of course not. God is a spiritual, non-physical and immortal source of creation. That makes us inherently baby gods. God has never been interested in these Homo sapiens bodies, except as a method of rescue.
Some Christians make a big deal about a confusion between the resurrection and reincarnation. I see no confusion. Resurrection is a one-time event, and reincarnation is a recurring event. Two completely separate things.
God created man again from the dust of the ground (Gen.2:7). So, man is immortal spirit wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh.
Wouldn't God want every opportunity to have his children return to him? That's reincarnation.
All of these can be interpreted as supporting the notion of reincarnation.
http://www.the-love-of-god.com/reincarn … -bible.php
But that's the big thing about interpretation. Most people are stuck with their interpretations. They're lazy and arrogant -- full of ego. Their view is Truth and everyone else's is heresy.
But you can only learn Truth by emptying your cup, first. I try to do that daily.
The Bible say "absent from the body, present with the Lord" and that time with God after death OR separated from Him in hell is eternal. This leaves no room for reincarnation.
Thanks, Mitch. Care to name the passage? I remember about the judgment day, but that's in the future for us all, leaving plenty of room for reincarnation. God wants his children to have every opportunity to return to Him, right? Elijah = John.
The Hebrews have always believed in reincarnation and the Bible does support it. If you want some recommended reading let me know.
When it says man is appointed once to die, it is speaking of the body. "man" in the Bible is always about the part that was formed from dust. The Spirit returns to God upon death and goes back to earth and into it's new body (as a new baby)
Where in the Bible does it support that? I don't mean other literature, but in the Bible itself?
Chris, look at the biblical references in my answer.
The Kabbalists believe in reincarnation, and they helped write Genesis. Their "Tree of Life" matrix is embedded in 2 chapters of Genesis. I discuss this in my Genesis series.
Chris here's some good reading and Bible is used.
http://reincarnation.ws/reincarnation_i … ament.html
I don't know what the Bible says about it, but it certainly is a center point to Buddhism. The belief is that we are all made of energy, and as energy we do not get destroyed or "disappeared" but rather we transform, or change shape. If you ask a scientist s/he will tell you that there is energy and that's all there is; it shifts and changes, that's all that happens. It sounds rather straightforward but when human emotions and human limitations are involved, we can lose sight of what may be rather simple.
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