Reincarnation and the Bible

Discussion in 'Reincarnation, Religion and Spirituality' started by Charles Stuart, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi guys,

    I found an article concerning the mentioning of John the Baptist having been a reincarnation of Elijah that I thought is very interesting and wanted to share:

     
  2. Chelle

    Chelle Probationary

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    I can't remember where I found it now, but I remember reading somewhere that at the time the bible was written, the word "resurrection" actually meant reincarnation. It stuck in my mind because it wasn't a "new age" or "religious" source or anything like that. It was just an article on language and how the meanings of words have changed over the centuries.
     
  3. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi,

    In this same article (From a magazine calle "Revista Cristã de Espiritismo" - "Christian Magazine of Spiritism"), there is also the following concerning the terms "resurrection / reincarnation" :

    "Translation Mistakes: Negligence

    Professor Carlos Juliano Torres Pastorino (1910-1980), graduated in Theology and Philosophy, was also a latinist, helenist and spoke many languages> According to him, the Greek terms egeírô (to stand, to awaken) and anístêmi (to stand again, to return) have a sense that is often negligenced by translators: that of reincarnating. The Scriptures do not speak of "resurrection of bodies", but of anástasis ek tõn nekrõn , in other words, "resurrection of the dead". According to this information, it is quite easy to identify the senses purposely negligenced by modern translators. The resurrection occurs with the dead, and not with their bodies.

    In Hebrews (11:35), where we read: "Women received their dead by resurrection", we see that it is the "women", and not the men, for it is the women who can generate in their wombs the bodies destined for reincarnation, to the reappearance of the dead "spirits" in the physical world.

    The Greeks believed in the existence of Hades (the place of the dead), from where the souls returned to life, naming this phenomenon "palingênesis" (palinggenesia: new birth). Like the Greeks, the hebrews also believed that the souls of the dead returned to life, that from the Sheol they returned to the material world, known as "anástasis" (from the verb anístêmi, composed by ana: "up", "again"; and ístêmi: "to stand". In other words:to stand again, to regress), an expression translated as "resurrection". It is written: "The Lord takes life and gives it: makes descend to the sheol and makes rise from it." (1 Sm 2:6). Despite trying several times to alter the meaning of the text, translating "Sheol" as "Grave", if we search for the origin of the words, the message is clear as to its affirmation: regress from the Sheol, regress from the world of the dead.

    The expression "palinggenesia" (palingenesis), according to Prof. Pastorino, was the technical term for reincarnation amidst the Greeks. However, Saint Gerome, generally, would translate it as regeneration. The term "resurrection" is the translation of the term "anastasis", which originates from the verb "anístemi", which means "to stand again", and also "to regress".

    The word "reincarnation" is not found in the Scriptures, but in the jewish-christian culture. Amidst them there was the concept of resurrection, which is precisely what today we call "reincarnation".

    The reincarnationist concept was dissimulated in the biblical texts throughout the centuries, altering, in this way, its context. If we dedicate ourselves to the study of the original meaning and sense of the words, no doubt we will arrive at the original truth of the texts..."
     
  4. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Just in order to conclude this sequence:

    "When Jesus said that Elijah had already come and was not recognized, many have interpreted this passage as the fact that John was inspired by Elijah and not that he was a reincarnation of the prophet himself. But this identification of both being the same "spirit" also demonstrates another aspect, the Law of Cause and Effect. As Elijah, even speaking in the name of God, he commited excesses and violences in his days. Later, his spirit came as John the Baptist to prepare the people to receive the words of the Messiah. However, as he had commited the excesses in his life as Elijah, he also came to rescue some of his debts and was decapitated by orders of King Herodes.

    In the dialog between Jesus and Nicodemus, the latter asks: "Master, we know you have come on God's behalf to instruct us as a doctor, for no one could perform the miracles that you have made, were he not with God. But how can a man that is already old be born again? Can he again enter his mother's womb to be born a second time?" And Jesus replies: "In truth I tell thee: if a man is not born again of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of Spirit is Spirit. Do not be surprised by what I tell you, that it is necessary to be born again. The Spirit blows where it will, and you hear its voice, but you know not where it comes from or where it goes. It is the same with every man who is born of Spirit". And Nicodemus asks: "How can this be?" And Jesus replies: "What then! You who are a master in Israel ignores such things? In truth I tell thee that we do not say that which we do not know, and that we do not testify but to what we have seen; and, however, you do not receive this testimony. But if you do not believe me when I speak of matters of the Earth, how will you believe me when I speak to you of the matters of Heaven?" (John 3:2-12)

    Love to all,

    Charles
     
  5. Crissy2

    Crissy2 Senior Registered

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    Charles. I have a hard time understanding this passage. I've read it many times and when I went to church as a child, it was read to me as well. I was told to "be born again" mean asking the lord to come into your heart and professing your dedication to him. I guess in a way it could be explained that way but then if disected, it could very well mean reincarnation.

    "The Spirit blows where it will, and you hear its voice, but you know not where it comes from or where it goes." --- Could this be referencing our spirit reincarnating into someone else?

    If you know how to re-explain this passage in current terms, it would really be nice but if there is not a way, that is okay too. I don't want a passage to be explained incorrectly by accident. :)

    Wonderful Post! I'm going to print it for my mother.
     
  6. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Crissy,

    The way it was explained to you is the way the Christian churches state it, but to me, and to many others, the passage clearly refers to reincarnation.

    "Being born again of water and Spirit" means, in my understanding and that of others, being born again in flesh and spirit. "Water" was often used, in those days, as a reference to "that which is material" (and do our bodies not consist mostly of water?).

    In this passage, it seems Jesus was making a clear distinction between the soul and the physical body ("what is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the spirit is spirit"), meaning that soul and body are not created at the same time. Just as when he states that "The spirit blows where it will, and no one knows where it comes from..." is a clear indication that he knew that the soul precedes the body, and not that it is created simultaneously to the body, as again the Christian churches affirm. But the sense is not that a spirit can reincarnate into someone else, but into a new body, in other words, reincarnating, and not resurrecting.

    Love,

    Charles
     
  7. sarahjane

    sarahjane Registered

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    Some good stuff here! From my studies I have found that reincarnation fits in Christianity if the correct interpetation of scripture is acknowledged. I am a Christian and used to think it was wrong to beleive in reincarnation...not anymore.My relationship with God is even more exciting now that i understand and accept reincarnation. I'm learning a lot from my past lives. I also like what Jesus said about many mansions in the Kingdom, I've heard it said those mansions are many different houses a soul occupies during its journey. Anyway, The one thing I do know is God has certainly given me chance after chance to learn, grow and understand and get it right in this life alone, His unending mercy, in my humble opinion could stretch over lifetimes easily.
     
  8. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi again,

    Forgot to mention something extremely important, though. You said 'those Hindu and other Eastern religions..."

    The Hindus have known about reincarnation for centuries. Just as I have been mentioning reincarnation in the Bible, in as much as I have been attempting to show that reincarnation is not a concept that is allien to Jesus's messages, I will also state that ALL religions contain knowledge and wisdom, and that we must never be prejudiced to anyone and/or their religion.

    Indeed we search looking for answers, and form our own understanding, but if we look carefully enough, we will see that we can find answers from MANY sources. We can never say: I am right or this is right and you or that is wrong. Hopefully, by argumenting, studying, researching, we can find sensible answers that will be coherent to everyone. ;)
     
  9. whitenour

    whitenour Registered

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    plz can anyone help me in those questions?

    hi i believe in reincarnation and i'm christian .. and i read the verses that proves the reincarnation but plz can u help me to answer those questions that always in my mind?

    1- God will Judge any body from my bodies ??and i'm who when he created the first time ??
    2- if i'm married in those lives .. so in the other side who i will meet ,., and i'll meet them as i'm what ..? in any person??and with any partner??
    3- if i'm the responsible of everything i choose in my life .. so did i'm the responsible if i'll suicide or have a terrible accident? and where God in all of this ??
    4- Why did Jesus crucified , if he crucified to remove our karmas ??? so why we need to reincarnate ??
    5- DiD God creates new souls ?? because i don't think all people are the same souls ?? so how souls can become much ??

    plz can u help in those questions because i like to have no doubt in anything i believe
    thanks and waiting
    Love and White light to you
     
  10. lagrima

    lagrima It wasn't MPD after all!

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    Okay. Here's what I believe based on my own Christian background and newness to this reincarnation stuff. Hope it helps. I tried not to sound preachy and I really believe you have to come to this on your own and settle your own beliefs.


    You need to distinguish between body and soul. As the Bible says, our bodies are temples. And, like cities, we can have more than one (with each consecutive reincarnation). Our soul is ONE. I believe our souls are what are judged- not our bodies. (ie. be nice to people v. take care of that rash)


    Again, the SOUL is what stays the same. And, like others have said, I believe we tend to come back together. This question would be answered the same as if any person in your church were to be married to more than one person. I believe they'd meet both spouses when they pass to the other side.

    Simple and complicated thing called FREE WILL. I think God is like a true good father that steps back and doesn't interfere too much with his child's development, but guides in a loving manner. I believe we are held responsible for our choices (and this is consistent with the Christian understanding of judgment and reincarnationist' view of Karma).


    Karma is not the same thing as sin. Christians believe he was crucified to remove sin. This is somewhat of a paradox because although he supposedly removed sin, we are still considered sinners by Christians. Karma has to do with the progression and learning of our souls- so that they can become more Godlike or Christ-like. It's hard to mix the 2 because sin and Karma are not the same theories. Even if Jesus was crucified and we are free from original sin, we still have lessons to learn and strive to be close to God.

    Yes, I believe God creates new souls. I have no idea what you mean by "become much".

     
  11. wpnorman

    wpnorman Member

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    How does Hell fit in to reincarnation?

    Hi All,

    I am fairly new to the belief in reincarnation. Having a christian background I am having difficulty reconciling stories from people who died on the operating table, etc. and saw hell before being sent back to the same body and life. Does anyone have a plausible explanation?

    Secondly, I find myself holding back in attempting to learn more about my own past lives due once again to former christian teachings about inviting demons in via the use of psychics, crystals, pendants, hypnosis, etc. Any answers? One more thing, it may just be my imagination but lately, the more I delve into finding out about reincarnation and the many facets associated with it, I , well I am feeling a little silly to say this but it frightens me, I almost sense some evil presence near me almost as if it is waiting for me to open the door, to be hypnotized, something! Any comments please?

    Thirdly, I have read many posts regarding a CD that teaches how to learn about former lives. Does anyone know how I can get it?

    Thanks, Patty
     
  12. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director

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    I think perhaps research would help. Steve and Carol Bowman wrote DOGMA BITES MAN. Perhaps this chapter from her book will help you get started. ;)
     
  13. buntaro

    buntaro Senior Registered

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    Patty

    Heaven and Hell are temporary places between incarnations. (The idea that Heaven and Hell are eternal is due to a mis-translation of the original biblical texts, but that is a different topic for another day.) By the way, I believe in both Heaven/Hell and Nirvana. I see no conflict between the two ideas. Heaven/Hell is a place between incarnations, and Nirvana is a place for after incarnations stop happening.

    Sorry to hear about your fear. Christianity is a religion based largely on fear. Just to let you know, I have used the pendulum and Tarot cards for many years, and I have never been visited by any demons. If you can past the Christian-caused fear, things will go a lot better. Keep us posted, and let us know how it is going.
     
  14. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    I think I've read from somewhere that often people who have had NDE's etc. see the kind of things they have believed in in that life. Christians might see Jesus or what they believe heaven or hell would look like.

    Doesn't the Bible say anyway that you don't go straight to heaven/hell, but all people will have to wait for the judgment day or something like that? :confused:

    Karoliina
     
  15. Persephone

    Persephone Persephone

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    Hi Karoliina,

    You wrote:
    "Doesn't the Bible say anyway that you don't go straight to heaven/hell, but all people will have to wait for the judgment day or something like that?"

    I think I can maybe answer that one, since I was raised fundamentalist Christian. Most Christian churches believe that after death the soul goes straight to either heaven or hell, wherever it is bound for. They quote the biblical text, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord". (Sorry I don't have the chapter or verse).

    I think that is why many Christians are surprised when they are met by 'guides' when they cross over. Often they will describe these as an angel, Jesus, Mary or some other biblical figure. Sometimes they also express surprise that they didn't 'go straight to heaven' but instead found themselves in a tunnel, drawn to a light.

    There are a small group of Christian sects that believe in 'soul sleep', but they are not considered 'correct' by the regular Christian churches. They believe that the soul sleeps till the 'resurection day' when all the graves will be opened and the people will step out in their physical bodies, before the 'last judgement'.

    The Catholic idea of purgatory is probably the most realistic Christian scenario, as it speaks of a place which is neither good nor bad (I guess how you feel depends on what your life has been like) where there is some kind of a 'life review' and then the person is given a chance to pay for any bad they did (which is why they pray for the dead).

    The point you make is interesting, Karoliina, as it doesn't seem that any Christian group think of souls waiting in some neutral place for the 'judgement day', although Jesus gave a parable of it in the new Testamant, speaking of separating the 'sheep from the goats'. It is unclear in that context where he saw the dead being till that time.

    The people that I have done regression with, usually feel themselves floating up from their bodies. One said he looked down at the scene where he had been tortured to death in the late 1400s, and was aware that everything in that life had been a perfect balace, like grains of sand, each fitting into its rightful place. As he floated away from the scene of his death (the dungeons at Leicester Castle), he looked back at that life and 'understood' it, he said.

    Another lady floated up to a wide vista scene with a range of mountains. There she met her "guide". I asked her which one, and she said, "The one who is always waiting for me when I return here." He showed her the life that had just been, as if on a wide screen in a movie theatre. He was very loving, and when she was hard on herself, he reassured her that there had been many good things too.

    A few of them reported that after the life review they went to a place to rest for a while and to evaluate what they had achieved and what they still needed to work on, and then the chose a new life, or were told that they needed to have another one and were helped decide (it varied from person to person, but a few of the people were vague about this part, and may have been building a scenarion on something they had already read).

    I think this shows that people's experiences are all pretty much the same (positive) once they have crossed over, though in the crossing process, they may take some of the fears of the teachings of this life with them, depending on those teachings. Also the circumstances under which they died sometimes coloured the memories (I wonder what someone like Hitler might see).

    People who had felt they had done very bad things in this life or who were very depressed when they died, as well as those who died in fear or shock sometimes had negative experiences (though some felt great relief). From this perspective, people who died violently in shock, sometimes didn't seem to know where they were, and needed help from someone on this side.

    I dealt with three such people personally. One had been killed in a train smash, another died of drowning in his own blood when a cancerous tumour in his throat burst, and a third was a 'hauntng' spirit of a little girl who had been shot in a family murder. By being there for them and letting them share their feelings of pain and shock at the time of death, all of them crossed over quite quickly -- two of them in about an hour or so, and the other one (the train accident vitim) took about 5 days.

    I am not claiming that any of the above is verifiable 'truth' but the above three are all things 'as I experienced them', and worked with the individuals. A friend of mine helped a woman who had been murdered in the house she moved into (no wonder it was going so cheap -- she didn't know it was believed 'haunted'). She moved the lady on, by listening to her story, and acknowledging her feelings, and there has been no sign of her since.

    I hope this answers some of your concerns too Patty.

    Warm wishes,
    Persephone
     
  16. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi wpnorman,

    To me, the greatest beauty about the concept of reincarnation is that there is no such thing as an eternal Hell. It is quite astounding that so many can still believe that God would condemn any of His children to eternal suffering. With the notion of the reality of reincarnation, we realize that we ALL have the chance to progress spiritually...
     
  17. wpnorman

    wpnorman Member

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    Hi Mr. Stuart:

    I have come to believe in reincarnation due to my own remembrances of two past lives and my death in one. I am just attempting to mesh my beliefs in reincarnation with my belief in God and Christ. It seems that reincarnation answers or fills in some of the blanks for me in the whole christian idea. Although I respect your opinion, and I am assuming that your opinion does not come from a christian basis of beliefs, I am troubled greatly to think that people who commit such horrific and evil deeds against others, i.e., Hitler, child abusers and molesters, etc. etc. etc. can somehow escape what the christian bible clearly explains as eternal damnation in the 'pit of fire' due to their deeds. Is it your premise that they can, through reincarnation or otherwise, atone for their actions? If the tone of my reply seems harsh please forgive as I do not wish to offend, only to seek a better understanding of various ideas. I offer this question with the utmost respect for your input.

    Also, someone replied that children only report going to 'heaven' and not hell. I agree as children are certainly innocent. If you were referring to children reporting on past lives who were adults at death, then is it possible that those who do not cause death or great pain to others are the ones who are reincarnated? I have only been into reincarnation for a short while. In that time I have yet to read or hear of an instance where someone remembers being a murderer, rapist, molester, etc. in a former life. Maybe I just have yet to hear about it. Has anyone else? Is it possible that those who choose to cause such horrors to others simply go to hell without the chance to reincarnate and grow spiritualy because the choices they made sort of showed that growth would not really be possible after such harm to others?

    Thank you all for your thought provoking ideas. I am still curious about some replies regarding demons, etc.

    I tried the link to the book but unfortunately was unable to open it. I am sure it is my own computer settings and I am really inept when it comes to knowing what to do to change settings, etc.

    Thanks all,

    Patty
     
  18. wpnorman

    wpnorman Member

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    I was actually able to open the link given and am fascinated by the text. It absolutely makes sense in why christians do not currently believe in reincarnation. After researching the origins of christianity due to some things that just 'didnt add up' I was astounded to realize that alot of what christians believe and practice has nothing really to do with Jesus and His teachings. In fact, most christians would be mortified to realize that alot of what they believe, celebrate and think is 'holy' actually came from the melding of some pagen religions, namely Zorasterism. (sp)? So, I agree wholeheartedly with the chapter from the book. In that vein, I continue to search as I said before, for a way to meld the things I do believe from christianity with my beliefs in reincarnation. Primarily how hell and demons, which I truly believe to be real based on several factors, interact with the idea of reincarnation and eternity.
     
  19. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi wpnorman (pls call me Charles :D )

    Your questions would certainly not offend me...

    I also believe in Jesus as the Christ and in a Creator God. These are not priviledges of Catholics or Protestants or Baptists or whatever... :) ;)

    It is my belief that we ALL reincarnate, but certainly no ill deeds go unaccounted for. Were this so and there would be no "justice" as such. But it is my belief that we ALL reincarnate and measure out for our past deeds. Many refer to this process as "Karma". It is my belief that the origin of "An eye for an eye" and "Those who make use of the sword will by the sword be slain" refer to the karmic process.

    If you look carefully at certain biblical passages you will find clear references to reincarnation, in particular those in which there is reference to the prophet Elijah having reincarnated in the persona of John the Baptist. There is no incoherence between Christian beliefs and reincarnation. When Jesus spoke in his days, the concept of reincarnation was beyond the capacity of comprehension of the people of his time. This is not so anymore. Mankind is now far more capable of grasping the concept.

    Please do not feel that by believing in reincarnation you must shed your Christian beliefs, for this is not so. The belief in reincarnation may be contrary to the Official Church's dogmas, but it is certainly not contrary to Christian understandings and beliefs... And it is certainly not something "evil". It is quite the contrary in fact...:thumbsup:
     
  20. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Another thing: children may not make references to "hell", but I have read several accounts of people who do refer to a place that would be equivalent to a "hell". However, it seems that prior to reincarnation the souls that have been stranded in such a place are rescued into the higher realms, and it is in the higher realms that they spend some time before reincarnating. There are, apparently, several "realms of existence" in the Spiritual World, ranging from the lowest to the highest. The lowest realm is very closely connected to the material realm, and there are interconnections between the lower spiritual realms and our physical realm.

    Rather than "demons", however, it seems that the "entities of lesser light" can indeed manifest in the physical realm and often influence or disturb people. It is my own personal belief that all things have their purpose under God, even the "devil" or "devils", but I do not place my own understanding regarding this on the concepts of the Churches anymore...
     

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