Christianity and Reincarnation

Discussion in 'Reincarnation, Religion and Spirituality' started by Nightrain, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    It's the most hotter of all discussions, that.
    that caused me a lot of "system conflict" between the logic, the faith, the emotion, the credence...
    well, christianity not need reincarnation for the simple motivation that the God love and forgive of errors and sins overcome and prevail about any kind of karma law, so is not more necessary for a soul to purify itself with other pain and other lives turning back on earth again, and again and again.
    but i see that one only mortal live is not sufficient for grow up and reach some true point of wisdows and illumination. there are only few persons very enlighted.
    despite that, is little hard for me to understand the concept of eternal hell or eternal heaven... eternity... centiries, millennia, eons, bilions of years! burning on fire or with the eternal peace of heaven... possibly that souls have not any chance to be freed by hell or anything to do into heaven?
    and if someone tell "i wanna turn back into material world, i want to live again?" a soul can love so muche the mortal live that want to live again.
    Okay, into the day of justices all the souls have back their bodies, without any decomposition or putrefations, also if now their body are just skeletons or dusts.
    i am christian, but i feel that is missing something.
    The vision of spiritual world seems incomplete, too much semplicistic, maybe. There are too many questions without answers.
    Despite all my questions, many Bible passage told clearly that exist only one life, only one.
    but is about the mortal live, or the soul life? a soul can have one eternal life and different bodies? or can have only one body? but with others bodies when body will resurrects all into the doom doy, a soul have in front of him dozen and dozen of bodies...
    Is very very hard to find any kind of compromize between the two differents visions.
     
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  2. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    The key to solving this dilemma lies in how the "intermediate state" is approached.

    Making Christianity and Reincarnation fit together--at least for me--is not as difficult as many people believe. Though, as the old saying goes, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs--i.e., most of current Christian doctrine remains the same, but some things do have to go. Actually, although I am not Roman Catholic (RC), I think reincarnation works better with the RC paradigm than it does with most Protestant paradigms. You can see what I am speaking about by reviewing the Nicene and Apostles Creeds*. The emphasis of both is on the nature of the Trinity, the Death and Resurrection of Christ, Salvation through Christ, and the last Judgment/Bodily Resurrection, etc. None of these--representing the core Christian doctrines--are changed by considering that the "intermediate state" includes reincarnation.

    However, the idea of the Resurrection in the Apostles Creed (though not in the Nicene Creed) is one of resurrection of the "flesh" in the original Latin. In this respect, the Apostles Creed does not IMO comport with 1 Corinthians 15, and "body" rather than "flesh" should have been used there*. Jesus said that we shall be like the angel's in heaven in the Resurrection. (Mt. 22:30). The angelic body is not only undying, it allows angels to pass freely between material and immaterial realms. When on earth heavenly beings can manifest physically as exemplified by their actions while here, especially eating. This is seen both by the eating of a meal by the 3 heavenly beings who ate with Abraham prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as by Jesus eating with the disciples and allowing them to touch him and examine his wounds after resurrection. In the case of both Jesus and angelic visitations, on leaving this plane of existence, their bodies are also able to make whatever changes are necessary to transition/pass into higher heavenly dimensions. Can such bodies be said to be "flesh"? If so, it is of a "supercharged" or different type that we are not familiar with. However, that is something for the theologians to debate.

    With all of the aforesaid doctrines unaffected or only minimally interfering with a reincarnationist approach, the primary remaining issues generally pertain to the "intermediate state"--i.e., the situation between a first fleshly life/death and the longed for final resurrection that frees us from death and the other fleshly restraints we currently live with for good, as well as making us true citizens of both Heavens and Earth. In the resurrection we shall be, as the scriptures say, like "gods" and see Jesus as he is for we shall be like he is. BTW--I don't believe this statement means that we will be equal to him in all other respects, merely that we shall be like the angels in heaven, or perhaps as scripture implies, even higher--and not only spiritually, mentally and morally perfect, but free to move between the various realms of existence at will (or as God requires) in an angelic body. Anyhow, as previously noted, the real area of conflict to be dealt with is that of the intermediate state, i.e., "what happens between now and then." This is where reincarnation interferes with traditional viewpoints, which are not covered by or dictated in the ecumenical creed(s), generally call for a purely binary solution--i.e., (1) heaven (or purgatory leading to heaven) and (2) hell--as the only possible destinations between the death of the first physical body and Final Judgment/Resurrection.

    IMO, this is where reincarnation comes in for the Christian, as a possible replacement for the aforesaid binary solution during the intermediate state. With this option, some (i.e., most Protestants) might consider that reincarnation would end with trusting in Jesus for salvation and doing the best one can to lead a Godly life--that would make the current incarnation the final incarnation for all true Christians, who would all go to heaven after dying. However, I tend to believe, as the RC does, that only those who have become truly or almost completely perfect in grace and sanctification make it through to the heavenly realms of the truly perfect that easily. One solution is Purgatory. This may take place on other planes of existence, as the RC teaches. However, is it not also possible that it takes place (at least in part) here via reincarnation? (This is a position take by Christian writer and theologian, Dr. Geddes MacGregor). Likewise, reincarnation provides a solution to the "one strike and you're out" dilemma that consigns so many to a never-ending Hell, even those who simply have not heard the Gospel. With reincarnation as one of the options for the intermediate state, those who don't make it are simply sent back again for another try or opportunity, with a possible period in Gehenna** or time in a more heavenly realm between incarnations. I also think that this is consistent with what Jesus said in terms of forgiving your brother "seventy times seven"--i.e., would the Lord do less and love less than he asks us to? Anyhow, that would make each life a fresh chance--a gracious opportunity to advance along the road to, and perhaps to achieve, improvement if not final salvation. As a fresh chance, I am not surprised that it does not normally include memory of our past lives, wrongs, etc. It could not and would not be a real fresh chance without this, both for us and for those who might know us or who we might know. Well, I could go on at length, but that is enough for now.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    *PS--As you probably know, the "Apostles Creed" was not accepted in the East, so it is not truly an Ecumenical Creed. The only Creed accepted by both the Eastern and the Western Church (though not by the Nestorians) is the Nicene.

    PPS--Interestingly, in the English versions of the Apostles Creed I grew up with, "flesh" was always translated as "body." I am not sure of the reason for this, but it may have been an attempt to correct the error discussed above.

    **PPPS--Jewish teachings about Gehenna, which obviously pre-date Christian beliefs, do not posit Gehenna as everlasting fiery torment. From my reading, Jewish Gehenna is temporary and lasts up to 11 months or a year. After this, things get a bit vague, but it appears that those deserving of the "World to Come" move on, and the very worst may be left either in eternal darkness and regret or be annihilated. Jewish believers in reincarnation (gilgul) also believe in a period of Gehenna between lifetimes to the extent deserved. Interestingly, from what I can tell, since punishment takes place between lifetimes in Gehenna, it does not have to take place in the eye-for-an-eye karmic sense in subsequent physical lifetimes. This doesn't, however, mean that subsequent lifetimes will not be impacted in some ways. (On all of the foregoing, correction is invited by any having more knowledge of the Jewish approach to these issues that I do).

    PPPPS--All of the foregoing leaves out the question of what happens to the unsaved at the Final Judgment, but that can wait for the moment.
     
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  3. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    As a Roman Catholic,

    I think I can answer you quite well, even if I am neither a theologian nor a priest, I often talk about these things with the people of my neighborhood.
    First off, against the reincarnation there is the fact that, even if the Bible never speaks openly about the issue of the transmigration of the soul from one body to another, it was still a widespread belief at the time Jesus lived. east in the Greek Orpheic tradition. Pythagoras of Syracuse believed, for example, to metempsychosis, as did some of the greatest Greek philosophers. in the Gospel, the matter of the blind man healed by Jesus is very striking, whom the apostles, seeing heaven, make "teacher, who has sinned, he or his parents, for being born blind?"
    now this, if a person was blind before being born this means that:
    1 has sinned before being born to deserve it, therefore law of karma
    2 his soul existed before he was born. this is the belief that circulated at the time due to the Hellenistic doctrines of the great thinkers. But Jesus replies "neither he nor his parents, it is to make God's glory manifest." Basically, Jesus at that moment makes it clear, rather than reincarnation, that if a person is born with a serious affection, it is to make God's plans manifest. In that case, the blind man was such precisely to allow Jesus to heal him, so that divine glory and love be shown to all.
    this part of the gospel is pointed out as a defense of reincarnation, but in reality Jesus says nothing about it, and the meaning of his answer is actually contrary to it, or at least it does not concern this matter.

    Second point of the Gospel: Elijah and John. Jesus said that "the prophet Elijah had already returned but they did not recognize him." and concerning john the baptist "and the spirit of elia was with him." now, however, people asked john the baptist "are you elia?" and he replied "I'm not". also in this example pointed out as proof of the fact that john is the reincarnation of elia, on a more careful reading, speculation jumps. the meaning is either that the spirit of elia helped john by acting as his guardian angel and spiritual guide, or that john was simply a figure comparable to elia, who acted as such and that as far as he was compared to him by Jesus the church tends towards the metaphorical vision, but also the idea that John had Elijah as a guiding spirit I think it can be considered without problems.

    the third question of the Gospel concerns the apostle who asks Jesus "how can a man be born again? can he perhaps return to his mother's womb?" The domnada also betrays the fact that at the time the idea of reincarnation was probably widespread in Palestine.
    however, Jesus' response, even here, does not at all confirm reincarnation:
    << he went to Jesus, at night, and told him: «Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; in fact nobody can do the signs that you do, if God is not with him ». 3 Jesus answered him, "Most assuredly, I tell you, anyone who is not born again from on high cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he perhaps enter a second time in his mother's womb and be reborn? ». 5 Jesus answered him, "Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit. . 7 Don't be surprised if I told you: you must be born again from above. 8 The wind blows where it wants and you hear its voice, but you don't know where it comes from and where it goes: so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    then there is the parable of the beggar called lazarus and of the rich man. when the two die, lazarus is taken to heaven by angels and the rich man to hell:

    «There was a rich man, who was dressed in purple and fine linen and every day ate lavishly. A beggar, named Lazarus, lay at his door, covered with sores, eager to feed himself with what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came to lick her sores. One day the poor man died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. Standing in hell amidst torments, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham and Lazarus in the distance beside him. Then shouting he said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and wet my tongue, because this flame tortures me. But Abraham replied: Son, remember that you received your goods during your life and Lazarus likewise his evils; but now he is consoled and you are in the midst of torments. Moreover, a great abyss is established between us and you: those who want to pass through you cannot, nor can you cross to us. And he replied: Then, father, please send him to my father's house, because I have five brothers. Admonish them, why not come they too go to this place of torment. But Abraham replied: They have Moses and the Prophets; listen to them. And he: No, Father Abraham, but if anyone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. Abraham replied: If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, not even if anyone rises from the dead will they be persuaded. »(Luca>>
    we are talking about rebirth, not about the Orphic beliefs, however wise and intelligent, Pythagoras and the other thinkers did not know Jesus. The fact is that the true Christian just does not need reincarnation and the laws of karma to be saved, he can do very well by hand through faith and the conduct of universal love for his neighbor. were it not that 95% of Christians are lukewarm and do not put all this into practice, nor really know their faith, and because of these spiritual voids they look for answers in other doctrines. perhaps because of a lack of faith in Catholic doctrine itself?
    in short, from the Biblical point of view, unfortunately there is nothing that confirms this.
    the fact that Jesus speaks of the fact that we will be like angels can also refer to our souls.
    however Jesus resurrected just as a physical body. The only one who has risen from the dead after days and days of death (not after a few minutes like people saved from resuscitation) was him. besides him, lazarus. and lazarus anyway through his intercession. and it's not about zombies or the undead. indeed all vital functions had been restored, all cellular necrosis disappeared. total regeneration of the physical body.
    I suppose that the form of angels and beings of light concerns the state of people in heaven before the final judgment in which one is reunited with one's earthly bodies. in this vision there is just no room for reincarnation for the simple fact that it is useless, there is no need to reincarnate to be saved.
    by "rebirth of the spirit" Jesus means the conversion of faith, which precisely leads to the rebirth of the spirit from earthly things to turning towards heavenly things. fundamentally, it is a question of attitude towards life. therefore it must be understood as a metaphor. or at least that's the interpretation. in the next post I will explain why there is all this fury of the Church towards reincarnation. but all this goes back to the council of constantinople and justinian.
     
  4. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    I state that I personally cannot know if reincarnation exists or not, I can only say that neither in the Bible, nor in the teachings of Jesus is there ever written a single time stuff like "yes, those who will not end up in January or in purgatory you will be reborn in other bodies to atone for sins. " it is also true that many lives of many people are already a purgatory and a hell here on earth. however, the fact is also that with reincarnation, the blame for one's misfortunes is attributed to any evil behaviors committed in previous lives, or suffered. the fact is that this is seen by the church as a way both to imprison people and condemn them by limiting their free will, and because it distracts this from the true origin of suffering and evil that afflicts most human beings, which in fact is not to be sought in the errors of past lives as well as in the lack of love and mercy towards others, which condemns others, and in reflection, even oneself. in this sense, the law of karma becomes simply a "to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" or a "if you push expect to be pushed" or even as Jesus said "everything you did to the little ones you did myself." On the other hand, however, an apostle asks "how many times must we forgive? Seven times?" Jesus replies "not seven, but seventy times seven." such is the mercy of God before he really begins to have disappointment towards someone ... But this certainly does not mean that one must abuse his patience and mercy.
    in short, as I said, the question is precisely that if you rely on the forgiveness of sins and live in brotherhood with your neighbor (love your neighbor as you love yourself) there is no longer a need for the laws of karma that trap in a cycle of death and rebirth by imprisoning a soul in the psychological loops given by its incorrect behavioral patterns.

    as regards the historical circumstances that led to the firm condemnation of the church towards reincarnation (I recognize that this however goes against the teachings of love and brotherhood taught by Christ) we must thank that great phenomenon that was Justinian. I quote a couple of sources as proof of what I quote what is wrote on "tragicomico.it" an italian site:
    The word "reincarnation" for many Westerners is still a taboo, a mysterious term, almost forbidden, unusual, and sometimes takes on a deviated meaning, almost as if it were a definition belonging to Satanism.
    The Catholic Church itself repudiates with all force (contrary to the calm aspect with which it presents itself to its faithful) all that concerns the metempsychosis of the Greeks: the Councils teach a lot about this adopted "violence".

    It is not my intention to write an article on reincarnation itself (you can read: "Reincarnation and previous lives: why do we not remember anything?"), But I want to focus attention on why, the Catholic Church, has decided to HIDE this from its faithful. which concerns the "transmigration of souls" as they once called it.
    There is no valid reason for nullifying a universal law that is fundamental for the spiritual evolution of man.

    Did I say cancel? Yes, because the theory of reincarnation was already present in the original Christianity. It was transmitted and professed by some illustrious fathers of the Christian Church (Origene, Clemente Alessandrino, S. Agostino, S. Girolamo and others).

    For the avoidance of doubt, here are some quotes (but on the web you can find many others, much less in the Church):

    “Tell me, Lord, tell me if my childhood happened at my other dead age before it? And even before that life, oh God, my joy, was I perhaps in some place or in some body? ".
    (St. Augustine - "Confessions")

    "The soul has no beginning or end. Every soul enters this world fortified by victories or weakened by the defects of the previous life. Its place in this world, almost a dwelling destined for all honor or dishonor, is determined by its precedents. Its work in this world determines the place it will have in the next world. It is perhaps no longer in accordance with reason that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons, is introduced into a body and introduced there according to its merits and previous actions. ? ". (Origen - "De Principiis")

    But reincarnation, in the West, was a widespread belief even in antiquity. It would be enough to mention famous authors such as Plato, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Cicero, Virgilio and many other philosophers, historians, scientists. The Essenes and the Pharisees, the Jewish founding rabbis of the Kabbalah and many other peoples also believed in reincarnation. So it is really difficult to understand why the Catholic Church has decided to repeal the theory of reincarnation.

    It all happened in the Council of Constantinople in 553, where the Byzantine emperor Justinian banned the teachings of Origen from the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. All references were erased from the scriptures and beyond. After this Council, in fact, it was said that souls after death were destined to go to heaven, purgatory or hell. At this point the question returns smoothly, the crux of this discourse: Why all this fury?

    We start from the assumption that a Church that had decided to support Rome could no longer be the Church of Love and of Christ's message. It became (as it still is) a Church of power, wealth and strength: it took the place of the Roman Empire which finally declined in 476.

    Much of this wealth was acquired thanks to the Council of 553. With the condemnation for those who expressed a single thought or idea towards reincarnation. In this way the Church managed, in the following centuries, to appropriate a "decision-making power" that did not belong to her. And starting in the 14th century, she came up with the brilliant idea of selling one of her "flagship products": the absolution of sins by selling indulgences.
    The Catholic Church, in fact, claims to possess the earthly power to absolve sins committed from baptism onwards.

    So if a priest gives you absolution, you go to heaven, otherwise you get eternal damnation, hell. Nowadays, said so, it may also seem comical as a situation (despite the fact that it is still the creed of Catholicism) but think of the past, where information was channeled precisely by the Church and knowledge was always what was fed by the Church.

    People seemed terrified by this prospect of flames and pitchforks, so much so that they left homes, money and entire inheritances to the Church in order to have their souls safe. It has always been this way and it often is today. This is how the enormous wealth of the Church of Rome was born. Likewise connected having the best painters, sculptors and architects at their service. All this would not have been possible with the theory of reincarnation.

    uroboro-reincarnation-cyclic In religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and many others, there is no need to use the Churches and priests to have a saved soul. That is why Christian teachings such as quof Origen, as with these theories, the individual was offered the possibility of saving himself ALONE, life after life, reincarnation after reincarnation.

    We are not victims of a random existence, but we are the co-creators of our reality. Everything has a meaning, even the dèja-vu, the dreams, the coincidences… everything assumes a very precise logic, which reflects the perfection of the Whole. Every encounter, experience, every sign of the Universe has a complete meaning and guides our soul towards the path that leads us back to the One. Life after life. This is the true justice of God. Justice is not what one wants, but what he deserves!

    But all this weakened the power of the Church over its faithful. And so they preferred to keep people for centuries in ignorance and fear of Hell."

    also about the "great" justinian and theodora there is that point:
    "It was in the Second Council of Constantinople called by the Emperor Justinian (553 years after Christ's death) that the doctrine of reincarnation was canceled and the reincarnationist writings of Origen, one of the first fathers of the Church, were condemned.

    Numerous researchers have now ascertained how Justinian had imposed this conciliar decision without the consent of the then Pope, Virgil, who, despite being present in Constantinople, did not participate in the session.

    After thorough research, it was also concluded that the pressure exerted by the Empress Theodora also induced the emperor to take this step. His wife, considered by him to be his best adviser.

    Theodora, a former dancer with a tumultuous past, had killed five hundred subjects who knew her past. Then, terrified by the doctrine of reincarnation which established suffering in subsequent lives for those guilty of murder, she would induce Justinian to eliminate the doctrine of subsequent lives, as if to undo this terrible threat.

    Other scholars believe that the Justinian bull was also favored by the fact that already in 537 the Church was torn by numerous controversies and heresies. Still others, more maliciously, put forward the hypothesis that the Church had realized that, in order to impose Christianity on the masses, it was preferable to support the theory of one life and a single judgment of reward or punishment immediately after death.

    The promise of an immediate Paradise, or the threat of an eternal condemnation to Hell, produced a powerful effect on their minds, inducing them to place themselves under the protective wings of the Church to obtain aid and avert ultra-earthly punishments. While the concept that, even by behaving badly in this existence it was possible to remedy in a later one, could serve as an alibi for the weakest and most neglectful.

    In this regard, it should be remembered that, for the sole fault of supporting reincarnation, many Christians (the Cathars for example) were persecuted and exterminated by the Inquisition."
     
  5. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    My Conclusion: there is not any evidence that on Bible there is some defence or confermation about reincarnation, so is not possible to tell if that is true or not for christianity. simply, is not an argument that is examinated into Bible.
    exactly like Bible not talk about economy or about existence of aliens.
    despite all , it was a diffuse credence into the early middle age and antiquity.
    reincarnation was seen as a menace for old Church, that can compromize its sovranity, so it was heavily persecuted, exactly like mostly of pagan believes.
    by other way, these persecutions ares all againsts the message of universal love of Jesus. i am not anticlerical, but I recognize that the church has made a lot of mistakes in the past. on the other hand, it is normal. priests are not enlightened divinities, but only men and as such they can make mistakes and make mistakes or fall into the same sins that they should instead avoid committing. in the face of such a bad example and inconstancy on the part of those who should spread the word of divine universal love, I can well understand why there is so much mistrust or aversion prevailing towards this millennial entity, to the point of embracing alternative ideologies for fill a spiritual void that priests are unable to fill due to their lack.
    but this problem is caused by the soul and human behavior. Jesus showed the way to save himself, but it is not easy to follow, and it is not easy for the priests themselves either.

    this is what I think.
    your arguments are interesting, as well as the analysis of the phenomenon of reincarnation, deja vu, reminiscences of past lives, etc, but honestly I still do not see just how to reconcile this with the Bible for the simple fact that the Bible does not he never talks about this, and when he approaches the subject, he offers alternatives of salvation to the continuing cycle of suffering, sin and atonement.
     
  6. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    that's is interesting however. how you know that about the nature of the Gehenna?
    what are your fonts? D:
     
  7. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    I am familiar with most of the arguments and authorities quoted in your preceding posts, which were certainly exhaustive. I have no intention of re-arguing most of them, as the Church has had almost two millennia to think up counter-arguments on most of the pro-reincarnation scripture passages usually cited, such as those related to John and Elijah, and you are probably familiar with the usual arguments in both directions. The established church and its scholars are entitled to their arguments (which are used to bolster their favored opinions). And, I actually agree with some of them. However, the fact that an anti-reincarnation argument/opinion can be given in terms of a particular scripture does not necessarily nullify pro-reincarnation arguments/opinions based on the same scripture anymore than the reverse is true. Each must review scripture, weigh the opposing opinions/arguments and decide for themselves. The truth of the matter is that the scriptural witness is ambiguous and even (some would argue) conflicting on many matters. It took centuries of conflict to hammer out the doctrine of the Trinity, and more centuries to quash all opposition and eliminate Arianism and other counter-interpretations. The ones destroyed and suppressed were seldom evil people, and often not only very good, but very wise and even exemplary followers of Christ. Many good Christians have been punished or destroyed over the years merely for holding opinions opposed to those of the Emperor and/or Church during a particular time period. (Galileo comes to mind). The same was true for reincarnation, though it was mostly held in the earliest eras (as far as I can tell), primarily by the followers of Origen (though probably not by Origen himself). The Empire sought unity, certainty and enforceability and favored certain results and possibilities over others. This approach was taken up by both the Western and Eastern Church, and resulted in some opinions and arguments receiving the stamp of approval and others being quashed as heresy, with their adherents often being punished and eliminated using the cruelest and most brutal means imaginable. The Cathars, as you point out, were one of the victims of this established pattern.

    What you seem to be seeking is irrefutable proof based on scripture, where no counter-arguments can be made, and hopefully traditional authorities can be cited in support. I have done the same. As I found, and as you already know from your own research on the matter, you are not going to find this. However, at some point I realized that a search of this type ignores the fact that Scripture is extremely ambiguous about many matters that we seek to understand thoroughly, and therefore allows for numerous possible interpretations. One may take the Book of Revelations as an example. It is a scriptural resource that has been subjected to (and lends itself to) an incredible variety of interpretations over the centuries and continues to be disputed. The same is also true of the first few chapters of Genesis. Hence, the meaning of both of these sections of Scripture have been and continue to be subject to a great deal of argument and conflicting interpretations.

    What I have sought to do, perhaps guided by my own background as a lawyer, is to seek out the weak points in the other side's arguments and paradigm as it relates to reincarnation. This is not only because these offer the most possibilities, but because I do not necessarily disagree with the standard Christian positions on a variety of matters. Likewise, I see no benefit in trying to tear down the entire edifice of Christian doctrine when only one area is in need of revision/repair. In terms of the overall paradigm, as exemplified in the two creeds cited and discussed, it is clear that the nature of the intermediate state was not a core concern of the early Church, and does not seem to have been a core concern of the New Testament authors, who seem to have expected an almost immediate parousia and Final Judgment. This lack of attention is mirrored in the eschatological doctrinal statements of the Nicene and Apostles Creeds, which largely ignore the subject. However, theology as well as nature abhors a vacuum, especially when it comes to what was to become an important issue to both Empire and Church as institutions. Predictably, this gap was filled in a manner that encouraged fearful adherence to the edicts of both Church and State: a stunning and horrible threat of everlasting torture in the intermediate state for the disobedient that would be confirmed at the Final Judgment.

    In terms of a weak point in the currently prevailing paradigms vis-a-vis reincarnation, I have noted a clear weak point and gap in the only truly ecumenical creed (the Nicene), and a somewhat similar gap in the Apostles Creed. This is as far as I find it necessary to proceed at this point. In terms of the arguments used to support the current paradigm, one glaring weak point is to be found in the bad translation of the original languages. For example, the term "olam" in the Hebrew Old Testament and the equivalent term "aion" used in the Greek New Testament. Neither word inevitably means "forever" or "eternal" as they are used in Bible translations, and thereby used to support the idea of infinite punishment for finite offenses. Both olam and aion stand for what is, at least subjectively if not objectively, a long period of time. Jonah, for example, was said to be in the belly of the "whale" for an olam (which was actually a few days, but certainly must have seemed like a very long period of time!). There are numerous other examples in scripture if you wish to study this issue. The same is true of aion, and likewise for the variations of both of these words. Yet these terms were transformed into terms that indicated everlastingness by theologians to fulfill their own agendas. When it is realized that this is true, various things become much easier to conceive, such as the fact that Gehenna doesn't necessarily last forever. But if not, what happens to those who have received their punishment but are not suited for Heaven? Consequently, the ambiguities in the original languages leave the possibility for something else to help fill the long gap between an initial birth in the body and the culmination symbolized in the form of the Final Judgment and Resurrection. But the foregoing are merely hints and initial ideas for approaches to the necessary research. I have been looking at the matter for a long period, and I believe you will be doing the same.

    In terms of the foregoing issues, the Church Fathers and others who advocated Apocatastasis are allies as are current Christian Universalist scholars. Their research and arguments often effectively dismantle concepts of everlasting punishment scripturally, linguistically, philosophically, and theologically. However, they otherwise generally remain unwilling to depart very far from the usual heaven/hell scenarios for the intermediate state. This position typically requires the introduction of the possibility of after death evangelization and/or repentance. These are not bad solutions IMO, and have significant scriptural support (e.g., I Peter 3:19-20 and I Peter 4:6). However, I believe that reincarnation also presents a viable alternative that the foregoing scholars lack courage or perhaps motivation to explore. On the courage issue I do not blame them, as I do not wish to share my beliefs even with my own family o_O! This is ironic, as I am the husband, father and now grandfather that raised or encouraged them in their very orthodox viewpoints over the last 40 years, but so it goes. I do not wish to trouble them in their faith, nor do I wish to be attacked by the ones I love or excluded from my church due to my own changed opinions.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--In terms of resources, I usually start with the English language Wikipedia. The Italian version may be just as good, but I have not used it and cannot vouch for it. This does not mean that Wikipedia is absolutely trustworthy. In fact, it is indisputably untrustworthy on any topic that might relate to or contradict the doctrines and political stances of modern liberalism and/or leftist ideologies. However, with this caveat, Wikipedia articles are often very useful. I would check out articles on Olam, Aion, Apocatastasis, Christian Universalism, Gilgul, Kabballah, and the various topics that these researches bring up in further online searches. Likewise, I have found it useful to check online Jewish resources in regard to Jewish beliefs related to Gehenna and the after-life. I have also been collecting online scholarly articles relevant to the subject matter for years, but these are not organized and easily accessible (though I have good intentions of doing so at some point ;)).
    PPS--You have mentioned Karma a few times. Perhaps I did not make it clear, but I do not believe that the doctrine of Karma as held in Eastern religions is compatible with Christianity, nor do I believe it is necessary to belief in reincarnation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  8. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    This is just a quick follow-up. I did a search for the passages in 1 Peter I intended to cite in my prior post, and found them on the following website:

    https://campuspress.yale.edu/keithderose/1129-2/#10

    The author of the cited article on Christian Universalism is a Philosophy professor at Yale University, which is a very highly respected academic institution in the U.S. His outline of the basis and foundation scriptures, etc. for Christian Universalism include better (and probably more accurate) discussions on some of the issues discussed above, and provide a very good start to understanding much of what I have set forth above. I recommend the full article/paper and hope that you can get an accurate translation from "google translate" or a comparable resource if you are unable to read it in English. Hopefully, it will be a good introduction to the whole field of Christian Universalism and the related thoughts of the Church Fathers who believed in Anacastasis. Interestingly, he doesn't think that the passages in 1 Peter I cited provide a strong argument for post-mortem salvation (though many other experts do).

    As I noted above, once the everlastingness of post-mortem punishment is eliminated various options become available. The foregoing article seems to discount the scriptures I was looking at in terms of post-mortem evangelization/salvation in the afterlife. With this eliminated, and Heaven/Purgatory out of the picture, one is led inevitably to two of the possibilities that I discussed in regard to the Jewish approach to the after-life: (1) Gilgul/Reincarnation; or (2) annihilation. However, if universal salvation is a scriptural certainty, this also eliminates (2) and reincarnation is the only possibility left. This is especially true as the article's author is a proponent of exclusivism (i.e., only through Christ can one be saved). So, if this cannot be attained in the after death realms, and all are to be saved, the only place it can be achieved is in another lifetime.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--This conclusion will not be a comfort to you if you are dedicated to being a perfectly conforming Roman Catholic as it obviously conflicts with a number of RC doctrines. However, as I have found and as other Christians on this board have confirmed, sometimes one simply has to accept the fact that, as with Galileo, the rejection of some things by religious authorities may be superseded in the future.
    PPS--BTW, statistically in the U.S. it has been found that approx. 25% of all Christians believe in Reincarnation (and just keep their mouths shut about it). I do likewise. You'll have to check for yourself what the percentages may be in Italy.
     
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  9. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    Hi! I use google translate to answer you because, even if I can read and understand written English quite well, misunderstandings are very easy due to language barriers, especially when it comes to academic discussions like these. You are a lawyer? Interesting! if you allow me one day I would like to ask you a small question privately about something that troubles me in the work I am doing (writing and game design for video games). but we'll talk about it in private. then, effectively, the church of Rome has millenary dogmas on which it is not willing to move an inch. we must also consider that here in Europe we also have a very strong cult of saints, and also of the virgin mary, of the mother of Jesus, who is precisely seen as a virgin who gave birth to the messiah by the work of the holy spirit, without fertilization or parthenogenesis (I am I realize that for the Orthodox this belief can be nothing short of abstruse), in addition to this, just like her son, Mary did not die physically but was taken up into heaven as body and spirit. it seems that she lived on earth until about the age of 90 with john, to whom jesus entrusted her at the point of death on the cross, after moving to turkey, even if i don't know if this is a legend or not. what I can tell you is that here in old europe we have many sacred shrines where the Madonna appeared to many seers. just as in america you have the tilma of guadalupe, we have
    - the sanctuary of fatima in spain
    - that of lourdes in france, with its miraculous waters, very famous
    - that of medjugorje in bosnia herzegovina, where there was also a miracle of the sun, against all physical and astrophysical laws the sun began to dance in the sky under the gaze of believers.
    - that of the three fountains, here in Italy, in Rome in a cave, in which it seems that the earth where Mary appeared has healing properties if spread on the skin. in the latter, the Madonna appeared to a seer called bruno cornacchiola. Bruno was a man who lived during the Second World War, the son of a very poor family, who grew up in contact with the Communists and Protestants. the companies they frequented were deeply anticlerical. in his naivety he believed because of such troublemakers that the war was the fault of the pope, so he planned his murder. he never completed this because one day, playing with his children near the cave, one of them lost a ball and started looking for it. cornacchiola lost sight of his children. when he found them they were in the cave, praying firmly towards a spot in the rocks. looking at him bruno had an experience similar to that of john in the apocalypse: he literally fell into ecstasy and found himself catapulted ... into the higher astral plane I would say. Maria appeared directly in front of him, flanked by an angel brandishing a flaming sword and inviting penance. he had an interview with the Lady which lasted almost an hour. since then his personality has completely changed. he had to do with prophecies, premonitory dreams, became strongly Catholic, founded a Catholic association. the apparitions were recognized by the Vatican and by the pope of the time and cornacchiola consecrated his entire existence to Jesus and the Madonna. he often had to deal with seemingly inexplicable things, was contacted by spirits of the dead, or even had to deal with terrible temptations on the part of the devil. cornacchiola published a lot of material and eventually much of it was published in a book called "the mystery of the three fountains." truth or Vatican propaganda? obviously I don't know, nor can I know, but his testimony was really fascinating. I say this to make you understand how felt and strong is the cult of Jesus, of the mother and of the saints, who are the very foundations of the Catholic Church. we Catholics rarely read texts other than those of the Gospels. Catholic priests during masses almost always quote either the Gospels or the acts, therefore, unfortunately, apart from the genesis and the apocalypse, and a bit the exodus, my knowledge of biblical texts is quite fragmentary. I'm not a theologian, I'm just a believer.
     
  10. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    what you say is true: I have noticed that the Bible is very cryptic in many parts, and that it is subject to more than one interpretation, which is why it should not always be taken literally. especially the apocalypse, which is one of the most esoteric texts. reading it carefully I understood that the apocalypse is not a book of prophecies but that it narrates the historical present of all the epochs of the whole history of humanity. there will always be knights, trumpets, signs, the antichrist. there have been many in the history of antichrists and still there are, as well as beasts of the sea (deceivers of peoples) and of the earth (tyrants). and of false Christs and false prophets.
    clearly, for the Roman church, all are false prophets



    who seek to mislead the true message of Christ and the gospel. personally, I don't believe 100% all the things the Roman church says. for the simple fact that: 1 the top echelons of the Vatican are in the hands of very high political and economic interests, as well as Freemasonry. Masonic lodges very often adhere to esoteric cults of a Satanist mold, and do really repugnant things. so how much credibility can I give to the words of cardinals and popes today? 2: the Roman church is a dogmatic millennial institution that differs a lot from the ancestral Christianity of the origins in many things, precisely because, to become the state religion of the Roman Empire, it had to undergo from the era of Constantine until the Council of Constantinople a series of adjustments and revised in order to be accepted also as a cult of the pagans. this has led to replace the cult of pagan idols with that of saints, to Christianize pagan festivities, to make a "mass" church of the people. clearly to do this, it was necessary to use the shooter of etena damnation for all those who thought or said it differently, no matter if good or bad, while those who instead served the church and its ideals well were rewarded with eternal salvation . I'm not anticlerical, but priests are men, not divinities, so I think they make and do many mistakes. in recent decades the church has become more resilient on many matters, but on others it is still very rigid. we will see how things will evolve in the future, provided we are not canceled first by some war or some invasion, given that between covid and jihad of Wahabbist zealots we are not doing very well. however the point is that I can rely solely and exclusively on what the saints and the seers say, because in some way they are in direct communication with the divine, or with what is written in the scriptures. it is also true that the scriptures may be ambiguous and that over the millennia they have undergone several modifications and adaptations and translations. before the existence of the press, the scriptures were copied and handed down by scribes and scribes. they knew how to do their job very well, so much so that they knew perfectly all the bible, all the punctuation, the number of words and even the number of letters of each of his books. I believe that the texts are almost 95-99% identical to the Dead Sea Scrolls, and that's really a lot considering how many millennia separate us from that era. however ... the problem is given by the translations from Hebrew to Greek, to Latin etc. in some cases some words are different, it is true. and this is enough to change the meaning of some sentences. to give an example, it turned out that God NEVER told eva, after the expulsion from Eden "you woman will give birth with pain" which suggests a curse against women, then used as an excuse to justify machismo and oppression of the fair sex over the centuries. the original phrase was "with effort". so it wasn't a curse, it was a statement of facts. the fall on earth of humanity and original sin, at least from how I interpreted the thing, was not given so much by the fact of having eaten an apple or whatever fruit it was, but by disobedience and by the fact, that ... let's think about it : God creates our species, says not to touch the fruits of a tree, because eating them would have killed us. adam and eve were naive as children, it is true, but the fault was to listen to the snake and to trust the first trickster that came instead of trusting what his father had told him. this was the original sin, IMHO, so more than having been cruelly hunted and cursed by Eden, humanity has been poisoned by that plant, or turned away precisely because it had preferred to listen to the lie than to the truth. I guess the story is clearly allegorical. the only invective of God is on the snake itself, of which however he says that the woman will crush it and that it will undermine the heel. I think this means that in reality women should not have been submissive at all or seen as the origin of all the evils in the world, so much so that God has charged them to crush the serpent (Evil), so the task of women was in reality that of advising and supporting fellow men, defending them from the snares of evil and lies, in short, by divine mandate, if the man has been entrusted to work and produce works, the woman has been entrusted with protecting us from the corruption of soul. if this is not divine love ... even in the expulsion I don't know what it can be.
     
  11. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    I quote this as an example to show how this part has been misunderstood and continues to be, and how it has been used, in its negative interpretations, to make God appear as a tyrant, a despot, one who immediately jumps to him.



    immediately jump the fly in the nose etc etc. nothing more wrong and superficial, I think. however the point is that I can only stick to the sacred texts for this, and since there are still some transcription errors, whether or not committed in bad faith by the scribes or by the church itself over the centuries to defend dogmatic views, it is really hard to say as if it were early Christianity. from what I know, however, the doctrine of reincarnation is foreign to the original Jewish thought: it was brought from India to Greece, it obtained the support of the Orphic cults and Hellenic intellectuals, and clearly then, under the Roman Empire it was a a belief that has also spread to Palestine ... so it is a very confused situation, for the fact that it seems to have been, at least at the beginning, a sort of cultural contamination.

    but this concerns men, mortals and all their squabbles, dogmas, opinions etc.
    let's talk about souls instead ... you posed an interesting logical reasoning. I personally have to read your link. but tonight it's late and I'll do it tomorrow.
    I am a person who has memories and visions that are prenatal but I am not sure if they go back to previous lives, genetic memory or simply intrusive thoughts of souls that occurred when I was little, that's why I'm caustic in this. however I am fascinated by the phenomenon.
    as a fantasy writer I already find myself in system conflict due to writing magic stories etc set on alien worlds. the church condemns magic and astrology (and this is also a passion of mine), so this gives me many ethical and moral problems because I have to reconcile my work with my faith, and at the same time keep all these dilemmas inside , because externalizing them would only attract me dislikes or rather sterile discussions, or sermons that do not help me to unravel these dilemmas, there are very few people with whom I have been able to discuss the matter clearly, so I thank you for the insight.
    I really wish there was a way to reconcile everything because I think that every religion has its share of truth, and that it sees a slice of the totality of the cosmos and of spiritual reality. perhaps one day this will happen, but the church must become open-minded and be willing to dialogue and reconsider dogmas that are currently anachronistic with respect to the past and the time of emperors and persecutions. or at least, if she really wants to be the spokesperson for a cult of universal love and brotherhood, she cannot reveal herself as the detetrator of absolute truth. the only one who has absolute truth is God, and he never responds directly with his voice to us mortals (I can also understand his silence for a lot of reasons: culture shock, preserving our free will, or even some indignation for the evils of the world, or for what happened to Jesus, or for how man has distanced himself from the divine. it is not to blame that we cannot hear him or speak to him because our hearts and souls are far away from him. ) . but from experience I have noticed that when one really prays to him with the heart, God tends to reveal himself through signs, events and coincidences. :)

    I am a person who categorically refuses to accept the myopic and materialistic view that everything happens by chance, that life and the cosmos exist by chance and that the universe is the result of chance. just as the story of eternal hell and heaven seems absurd to me, on this I can agree with you. it speaks of the torment of genna, but it says nothing in the gospel about how much and when. how can we mortals conceive eternity? centuries, millennia, millions, billions of years to burn in the flames? heaven or hell, no other way? it seems to me personally a very simplistic view, and I recognize it.
    Honestly, time as we understand it has very little meaning for spirits. the fact is that we can argue what we want to investigate in the texts and opinions of the luminaries, but in the end they are opinions. we are not given the truth here on Earth. tomorrow I'll read your link.
    good night. :)
     
  12. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    ah yes, just a point on that: you're right. i not think that karma is so much or very important about reincarnation phonomena honestly, at least karmic astrology give an insigth about the most deep psycologic problematic of our mind, for what i see with karma arabic lots >_> despite that, a true Christian is saved by the forgive of God and Jesus of his sin, so it not need of karma. that means that we are fully responsable of your troubles or the consequences of our actions. if life is so hard and bad, is cause of the fact that each human drain energy to others humans with "control drama": intimidation, victimism and other way that lead to evil behavour. if you know the "prophecy of celestine" of james redfield, you can have an idea of what i am talking about.
     
  13. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    okay, i found the time for read the universalistic steps of your articles, well, i checked my matt gospel about that the guy is talking about, but on italian version talk about the eternal damnation of what not helped - loved God, loving the others, and the eternal redemption of who instead love the others, and so, love also God.
    despite that God want that alls will be saved. apparently that seems conflictual and lead to God frustration the fact that someone can't be saved. honestly, if is not a mis translation of ancient greek latin of Bible - Gospel, i think that eternity is... eternity, so not a not a temporary sentence or a temporary reward. but an eternal condemnation. unfortunately the language barriers and the technicality of the universalist arguments do not help me much to understand the whole speech of that professor:

    also, i have not the theological skills to be able to follow his speech. certainly, universalism is very beautiful, for the idea that everyone can be saved and that no one is ever lost forever. this clashes, however, with what is written in the Gospels, even in the Italian version. it speaks of eternity and not of temporary punishment. in short, I hope that no one will be angry about it, but I fear that in the face of these sentences of eternal salvation or damnation, looking for tricks or forced interpretations of the passages to think that instead it is intended as a long period of time or momentary condemnation is a way to climb a little 'on the mirrors to try in every way to find a technicality to assert their beliefs.
    I would also like that something else was written, that the souls of the underworld can be redeemed with new existences, or that their punishment is temporary, and that the souls of heaven can choose to return to new life on earth, but still I see only one passage in the Bible that can validate this. If there were, it would contradict the rest of the body. I don't know, maybe they are narrow-minded, but it just doesn't seem to me that Christianity and reincarnation are reconcilable, precisely because of the eternal destiny that awaits souls.

    However, reading online cases, research by ian stevenson and opinions and stories from this forum, I have an opinion at the moment, which is that reincarnation does not follow so much laws of karma and dharma. people who are reborn are usually people who died prematurely, violently and whose life was brutally torn. I therefore think that people are reborn only if: - the soul yearns to live again. - everyone has a very specific task to complete on the earthly world, every spirit and life exists for a very specific purpose. by free will, fatality, sedition or bewilderment or tragic death, this end cannot be accomplished. souls are thus given the opportunity to be reborn in order to carry out their mandate, because in this case their premature end is contrary to the great scheme of things and to the plans that God has for the spiritual evolution of mankind.
    to give an example: anna frank had an excellent talent as a writer, but she died in a concentration camp of typhus. his diary became a best seller. apparently he was reborn in barbro karen, a successful norwegian writer (who also has a certain facial resemblance to frank, or at least the same look, from the photos I have seen.) of karen and actually the planets seem to indicate either a rebirth or a transfer of memories from anna to karen. so I think the phenomenon can also exist and occur. karen has fulfilled what frank could not do due to the war and his disastrous experiences, while at the same time carrying on his memory. when i read about karen's rebirth case i cried with happiness, and thanked god for this miracle too. I have always felt deeply sorry for the holocaust and for what happened to that little girl. therefore, if this is not proof of the great love and divine mercy, or of the fact that He always finds a way to carry out his plan, regardless of how much evil there is in this way will always try to fight against the plan divine and to destroy everything, I just don't know what it is! <3

    good day :)
     
  14. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    One of the problems you have is the lack of "literal translations" of the Bible into Italian. This means that you have nothing to read except Bible versions that use the terms "eternal" or "everlasting" even where they are not appropriate. I suppose the lack of literal translations is for two reasons, both related to Protestantism:
    (1) Protestants generally are supposed to take the Bible (rather than the edicts of the church) as their ultimate guide in terms of faith and life, hence there are multiple translations of the Scriptures, and often denominational favorites, each claiming to be the best. Unfortunately, most of the translations remain non-literal and slanted towards the traditionally given translations of words, slanted towards traditional beliefs and, sometimes, the beliefs of particular denominations.
    (2) Italy is the home of Catholicism, most of the people there are Roman Catholic if Christian, and all or most of the available Bible translations appear to be those approved by the Church. These all appear to adhere to Catholic dogma in translating the Bible. I couldn't find even one purely literal translation in Italian, though you may know of one. In addition to multiple other translations, I have two literal translations of the entire Bible in English and one new literal translation in English of the New Testament. There are numerous others available for sale or online. Multiple translations, and especially literal translations, are invaluable for understanding what is actually being said.

    In terms of "eternity"--sometimes the terms aion/aionios from the Greek can be taken in this way. However, not always, it depends on the context. As I previously discussed, this can be argued in various ways, and the more modern translations in English (even when they are not purely literal) now often substitute the terms "age" or "ages" where they used to have "eternal". (Aion is also translated as "world" in many contexts in old translations). Once again, as with passages that might support reincarnation, arguments related to the meaning of aion/aionos can sometimes be made either way, and both sides of the argument must be studied in order to decide what is true.

    BTW--Please let me know what verses of Matthew you are discussing in Post # 113, and I will provide you with more literal translations of the same text, so that we can compare the two.

    In terms of who comes back, I tend to disagree that it is only those with shortened lives, tragic or other terrible endings. Past life trauma is, however, one of the things that breaks through the barrier blocking past life memories. Thus, in terms of spontaneous memories by children (and even most adults), these tend to be there because of a terrible trauma of some type. Such memories often refuse to be suppressed, whether they are from this lifetime or a prior lifetime. However, many other people can recover past life memories, especially via regression hypnosis even where there are not such problems.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  15. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    i am talking about:

    Matthew 25:46
    <<"Truly I tell you: all that you did not do to one of these least you did not do to me." And they will go, these to eternal torture, but the just to eternal life.>>

    however Hi
    1 protestant are only a minority of italian religious folks
    2 catholic is the most diffuse religon on italy, also cause presence of vatican.
    3 all our bibles and holy texts are traslated by the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference).so they cure the traslations for match with catholic dogma 100%.
    i should be VERY curious to read O-RI-GI-NALs texts of Bible, also on english, but i not think is easy to found that on a PDF.
    :(
    so sorry if i can't argue for the lack of my knowledge about what are you talking about. i guess i'll end here, cause i can't prove more data with the translations that i have. one of my dream is to read the Original Bible. but i not know if is possible.
     
  16. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    The Greek being translated as eternal torture is "kolasin aionion".

    Aionion is the adjective form of the noun aion, which has a meaning I have already explained: a lengthy period of time, an age, a lifetime, or even something that just seems like a long time.

    Kolasin means punishment, chastening, correction, to prune as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit, to hold in check/confine. As you can tell, the translation made by the CEI is the most radical, hard-hearted, and punitive imaginable for these words. Aion becomes eternal, which is usually interpreted as everlasting. Kolasin becomes torment rather than just correction, chastening, etc. Here are some translations from some literal translations:

    "And these will go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age." (Hart's Literal Translation)

    "And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, but the righteous into age-abiding life." (Rotherham's Literal Translation)

    "And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during." (Young's Literal Translation)

    Nonetheless, most English non-literal translations translate Kolasin Aionion as "eternal punishment". In English, "punishment" is not as strong a term as "torment" but "eternal" is still used as the translation for "aionion". So, the usual non-literal English translations are a bit milder than the usual Italian translations. However, the chief disadvantage you face is the lack of any literal translations in Italian for comparison.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--I also have an ambition to learn New Testament Greek, but I am not certain when I will be able to do this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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  17. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    Thanks for explanation. i found a lot strange that the God of Love left into a so hard eternal torture the lost and evils souls. yes, the CEI translation is truly dogmatic and cathegoric. i am wondering about how many stuff of ancient and original Bible are misunderstood. :(
     
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  18. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Traveler,

    I just thought I would follow-up with a thought that most may realize looking at the definitions for Kolasin above, and comparing it to the meaning of the word "torment". First, each of the various English equivalents for Kolasin is a word that can be used in terms of legitimate parental discipline of children. Second, the word "torment" would never be used for legitimate parental discipline. "Torment" like "torture" is only used to describe a hateful and abusive parent's actions. Are we to say that our heavenly Father (or parent if preferred) is equivalent to a hate-filled and abusive parent? o_O

    This doesn't mean that "kolasin" means something pleasant. The equivalents set forth include both active punishments and passive ones (such as confinement). Whatever it means will not be pleasant, but it also will be something that we can stand--at least for the period in which it is applied--which is not infinite. The last comment is also another proof for the fact that "aionion" does not mean "forever"--for even a small annoyance would become torment/torture if carried on forever. I.e., "aionion" in this context cannot mean forever, as it contradictory, and it would be an absurdity to couple it with "kolasin".

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
  19. The Traveler

    The Traveler Senior Registered

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    well i guess it can be interpreted as a ri-education instead of a eternal supplize.
    so maybe is something like a "soul reformatory" or soul jails with public service , or something like that.
     
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  20. Ajay0

    Ajay0 Active Member

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    I would put it down to strict conditioning throughout for centuries, aided with propaganda disseminating ideas of fear of the devil and eternal hellfire, in case of any deviation.

    Also in the present nihilistic-materialistic culture of ours at present, it is harder even for Hindus and Buddhists to have faith in reincarnation.

    I am an Indian Hindu myself, but did not have faith in reincarnation as a teenager till I came across credible case studies of past life regression in an Indian ashram from an associated spiritual teacher. Later the works of Dr.Brian Weiss and Dr.Michael Newton consolidated the belief.


    But most Hindus who have been conditioned by modern materialistic education do not subscribe to reincarnation, and there is a growing gap between the older and modern cultures co-existing in India at the moment. Fortunately there have been quality spiritual teachers and institutions who have bridged this gap from time to time, like Vivekananda, Yogananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Prajapita Brahmakumaris and so on.

    Newspaper articles on children remembering their past lives also have helped people not to dismiss off reincarnation as an old belief, and that it may have its basis in fact.


    So how much harder would be it in the Judeo-Christian west, where the people have been conditioned for centuries to view reincarnation as a heretic belief, or view it at the most as an oriental belief and fairytale.

    It is unfortunate because reincarnation is also a part of ancient greek philosophy and religion , as well as that of the old Celtic and German pagan belief systems.
     

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