I recently came across an article that outlined some references to reincarnation in the Bible. I thought I would share part of that article here. The value of reincarnation is that it places our primary identity as eternal and connected with God verses mortal and separate from God. This subtle identity shift can make huge impacts on our viewpoint of ourselves, each other and of life. We are in a time that it’s important to move away from an either/or position regarding reincarnation and Christianity. It’s logical now to call yourself a Christian and believe in reincarnation. In so many ways, the Christian Bible comes alive in verifiable ways that unite rather than divide when viewed through the lens of Eastern spirituality.
For more information about the article below or to obtain the entire document, as well as much more information about this subject, please email Renewed.Hope@aol.com.
Here is the article:
Since this is predominately a Christian Country, I will start with things mentioned in the Bible. There are numerous areas of the bible that can lead a person to believe that belief in reincarnation was a part of early Christianity:
Matthew 11:13-15 states: “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. Matthew 17:10-13 states: “Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?” Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.” Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.” In both of these quotes, it appears that Jesus is clearly saying that John the Baptist is the reincarnated Elijah.
John 1:19-23 states: “This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the
Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD Is coming!’” Regardless of how John the Baptist answered this question, the fact that the question was asked, and that the rulers sent a delegation of priests and Levites to John the Baptist to ask him this question, clearly shows that reincarnation was taken seriously. Even though John’s reply was “no” that he was not Elijah, his answer fits with the doctrine of reincarnation which states: We are not any of the individual incarnations, but we are the spirit that experiences all of them.
John 5:25-29 states: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself; and has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” This verse shows that the resurrection is something that happens now not sometime in the future. According to Edgar Cayce readings, the term used to include reincarnation during the time of Jesus was resurrection. If you replace the word resurrection here with reincarnation, the teaching is identical to what is taught in the East.
John 9:1-2 states: “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”. The only way that this man’s sins could have caused him to be born blind is for
him to have sinned before he was born in his current body. Regardless of the answer, the question shows a belief in this, and not only by the common people, but by Jesus’ disciples.
Mark 8:27-30 states: “Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.” This question shows belief by the common people.
Hebrews 11:35 states: “Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.” Again, if you replace resurrection with reincarnation, this fits perfectly with what is taught in Eastern doctrine.
All of the Abrahamic religions, which include Christianity, clearly teach and taught reincarnation.
It is the Catholic Church that removed reincarnation from their teachings and thereby removed it from Christianity. When Galileo discovered and announced that the Earth rotated around the sun instead of vice versa, the Catholic Church had him sentenced to death, forcing him to recant. Otherwise he would have been burnt at the stake which is something the Church did to people who disagreed with official Church doctrine. In the same way that saying the sun rotates around the Earth does not make it so, removing something from the Church doctrine does not change what is true.
What most Christians should but do not know, is that the root religion of Christianity, through Abraham, is very likely the Brahman faith of India. Abram, the original name of Abraham, means Exalted Father. It comes from, or is at least connected to, the Hindu name for God of Brahm, which also means Exalted Father. The fact that Abram has no other literal meaning in Hebrew indicates that it is probably a shared or borrowed word or name. Also, the Jewish scholar and theologian Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 A.D.) Clearchus of Soli, a Greek philosopher and student of Aristotle (4th – 3rd BCE), and Megasthenes, who was a Greek ethnographer and explorer about three hundred years before Christ, all agreed that the Hebrew race is descendant from philosophers and priests that migrated from India. There are too many other sources that support this connection of Abram to India to mention them all. The name Abram indicates that Abraham was probably a Brahmin priest. Not only is reincarnation taught in all of the Abrahamic religions, it is taught in all of Buddhism, Hinduism, and most if not all, other isms.
People who die and go to Heaven and come back in near-death experiences confirm, among other things, learning and knowing that reincarnation is a reality. They also confirm that we do not have to be sick, diseased, get shot, stabbed or in some other manner actually die to reach Heaven. ‘Proof of Heaven’ is a book written by a neuro-surgeon who died and went to Heaven. Though near-death is something that has happened to many thousands of people, including a couple people that I have talked to face-to-face, this neuro-surgeon’s account is perhaps the best documented case in recent history. You can watch and listen to some interviews with him at this link: http://www.lifebeyonddeath.net/at-a-glance. The interview with Oprah Winfrey is a good one to start with.