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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    Perhaps you could also ask your parents as to their own interpretations of these passages in the bible:

    It is interesting in this passage that Jesus should have said: "since the days of John the Baptist..." Why would he have said this in such a way if John the Baptist was then still alive? He was clearly refering to "since the days of Elijah". So he was once again stating that both were one and the same.


    These are all very clear references to reincarnation in Jesus's own words...
     
  2. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

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    Hello Strawberrystar. Thanks for your replies. It's good to have your refreshing perspectives and how they relate to reincarnation. Your situation is very, very common to all Christians. The belief in reincarnation is not at all new and dates back to early Gnostics, Kabbalists-Jewish mystics etc. The structure of "church," the need for man to control the people, led to the revisions of ancient thoughts and beliefs. There are a few threads on just that here on the forum...I urge you to read them.


    I would say to you that no one person has the answers. We are all on our own paths as eluded to earlier. You must open your heart to the things around you and discern their relevance to you. And it seems to me you are doing that in a wonderful way. Often times people will speak with a firmity and a force that implies their "truth" is fact-without-dispute. I urge you to hear them with caution, discern them in prayerful contemplation/meditation. The greatest injustice we can each do is force our truths on another....that is fundamentalism and we can see what that has done to the world. Jesus taught beautiful lessons on love and compassion. He indirectly touched on reincarnation as Charles mentioned. I cannot not define for you His deity true or false. To me...TO ME, and in my journey of faith He certainly is the Son of God. And not to end there I do believe that God has sent other "Sons" or messengers...I'll leave Their discovery to you...suffice it to say I believe we are foolish to imply the Creator (who ever you say She/He is) has some limitations, some defined barriers...I believe in the Infinite, The Light, the soulful progression of our earthly spirit towards a Truth. But I can't (and nobody else can either!) tangibly give it to you...thats your duty.


    I feel blessed in my Christianity to believe what I do. We do not allow preaching here on the forum and for good reason...there are so many views and so many passionate people. But in regard to reincarnation you can rest assured you are not alone in being a Christian AND a reincarnationist...I am too. The concept fits beautifully within our teachings.


    Strawberry, I believe that what the missionary meant was that the "Gift" was the memory/vision of my family in 1906. Indirectly he also meant the gift was a knowledge that reincarnation is indeed a reality. Channeling takes on meanings I'm very uncomfortable with in a modern sense. I simply believe, as the priest said, God saw the sadness and dispare in that life and granted my soul this truth, in this life, as an act of love and compassion. He showed me those loved ones are with me in this life. It was and still is a powerful, surreal message for me.


    Charles, I agree with you too my friend.


    Peace, Tinkerman
     
  3. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Tinkerman, :)

    Same here... :thumbsup: In my own personal view, he is/was, in fact, the first being created by God. :)


    The reason he "indirectly touched on reincarnation" was because the people of 2000 years ago, in particular in the region where he lived and preached, did not possess the means to comprehend it. They could hardly understand what he was preaching, and hence his frequent use of parables. Now, 2000 years later, mankind has better means to comprehend it, but many are still "stuck" within concepts that are now 2000 years old, and even older. :rolleyes: IMO the time has come to change all that...


    In the book I recommended (The Gospel According to Spiritism), if you read it ignoring the fact that it may or may not be the result of mediumnity, I believe you will find the logics behind the interpretations quite astounding and clarifying. Here is an example:

    Jesus clearly states that, contrary to the current Christian beliefs, the Soul is not created simultaneously to the Body.

    :thumbsup:
     
  4. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

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    Thank you Charles for your quotes. It is an example of the rich resources available to people on their journey and paths of discovery. I encourage everyone to read and study all they can...but with an open mind. In Strawberries case, attention to the history of Christianity is important. Again I refer to the related threads, I think Deb mentioned above. As you said eyes will see, and ears will listen.


    Another way to think of early Christian references and the indirectness of the teaching may be that reincarnation was a common belief. They didn't need to refer to it directly, there is some thought that certain sects believed in it.


    Tinkerman
     
  5. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi again, Tinkerman,


    Just thought I'd throw in this last passage as a closing to the above: :)

    Sadly, the "violent" have continued to take charge of the leadership of "institutional religion" for many, many years... :rolleyes:
     
  6. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi again, Strawberrystar,


    Quite certainly the early Christians had at least a vague knowledge of reincarnation and many (if not most) held the concept as part of their beliefs.


    In the year 553 AD, however, the concept of reincarnation became "heretic" at the Council of Constantinopla, assembled by the Emperor Justinian, because, believe it or not, his wife, Theodora, who had formerly been a prostitute, feared the then current belief that a person could, in a future life, repeat much of what they had done in a prior existence and she feared that she would have to expiate for what she had been and done in her youth.


    Pope Virgilius, who was then under arrest, opposed the Council and was, for this reason, dragged from a church in which he had hidden by Roman soldiers by his hair and beard.


    After the Council, Pope Virgilius, who had been excomungated by the bishops gathered at the Council for not having participated in the meeting, signed the document so as to recover his position and avoid being permanently excomungated. It was rigorously in this way that the Roman Catholic Church put an end to the study of reincarnation and determined it as "heretic". The theme was then totally abolished and persecuted during the 600 years of the Holly Inquisition.


    With the Prostestant Reform, in the 16th century, the new Christian movement inherited the traditional conception of the Council of Constantinopla, which is still in practice to this day.


    :rolleyes:
     
  7. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director

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    HI Strawberrystar,


    I came across an interesting term found in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Metempsychosis (Greek meta empsychos, Latin metempsychosis: French metempsychose: German seelenwanderung). A fairly archaic word meaning reincarnation and yet the term reincarnation is never used on their website.

     
  8. sailorbychoice

    sailorbychoice Registered

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    I too was raised in the Catholic church. I was a seeker at a young age. As I looked at other religions, and philosophies I was thankful for the early teachings of the church as it gave me a mental folder to place "spirituality." I spent most of a decade in the US Navy, and was exposed to many philosophies in my travels. I also found the Catholic chaplains (priests) to be much more opened minded in other ways than the chaplains of the other religions, generally speaking; if you can get a priest away from the alter and share a bottle of wine, you'd be amazed at some of the things you can learn about Catholicism that you won't hear in the church. :)
     
  9. Zengirl

    Zengirl Registered

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    What a great thread! Thank you Charles Stuart, Tinkerman, Strawberrystar and others here! Just adding more info to this subject of "Judgement" that was brought up earlier in this thread. In 1997 I had the lucky experience of my 4th NDE (near-death experience) that included my life's review. There were some things that brought me to tears but an angel got in front of me and said "We're not judging you. Only you are judging you". This is what we can expect at death; we will experience what our actions felt like to others who experienced them. We will feel what they felt. (Boy will that change how you do things in the future!) Then, we will judge ourselves. There was no Hell. If anything, Hell is here on Earth now for many people. There was only LOVE on the other side. : angel


    I'd like to leave this website for further research and information on NDE's and also pastlife~


    http://near-death.com/


    ~Zengirl
     
  10. soulfreindly

    soulfreindly Senior Registered

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    Nice thread.. I appreciate the work that has gone into referencing the bible and all.. It is nice to have something to say when a religious person takes me to task on my belief. ;)

    I would take this not to be being born into another person but that we do not have total control according to God's plan for us-- so we do not know everything all of the time for our own sake , nor do we know what our life will be like in our future. . This is how I relate to God--ie a wiser force of love than I and so I have the need to be guided by that love.
     
  11. soulfreindly

    soulfreindly Senior Registered

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    One of my first memories was of my grandmother's death in this life at age 6. She had died in our house during the night. I remember her coming to me in spirit and being very disorientated I believe now that I know about spirit. She was telling me in spirit upon her death how grieved she was that she had not spent more time in spiritual matters.---like she was very surprised immediately upon her death and was more aware of her true spirit after death .. She said rather than just socialising and getting to know people superficiously she wished she had been better at getting to the heart of people.


    She had been a minister's wife, deeply religious but missing out on the love she could have developed in that time . I learned from this great " communication" with her how important spirit is.. Now I just need to develop my communication skills better myself and trust that that is what we all want.. ie not worry to ruffle the feathers of the super religious unwilling to listen to knowledge of the spirit.. for that is really what they want....
     
  12. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    I had a NDE as a teenager and one of the concepts I came back with an interest in was the difference between the two realms. (material verses spiritual.)


    The word for eternity in the Greek langauge is aionios {ahee-o'-nee-os}


    It is used a total of 71 times in the NT.

    • eternal 42,
    • everlasting 25,
    • the world began + 5550 2,
    • since the world began + 5550 1,
    • for ever 1;


    Eternity is defined in a modern sense as being without beginning or end; existing outside of time.


    When I came back from my NDE - I can recall speaking to 'spirits' about the concept of 'eternity' as it applied to my human mind. The said the short of it meant,


    "In the realm without time."


    Going into the spirit world - you leave the clocks of time behind in the physical world. You have an existence 'outside of time' while in spirit. Our "spiritual home" on the other side is without beginning or end while life in 'physical realm' has a beginning and end.


    DK
     
  13. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

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    Here is one of my favorite threads on the forum... an earnest discussion on a topic so close to the hearts of many of us who wrestle reincarnation into our Christianity.


    Enjoy, Tman
     
  14. Chevalier

    Chevalier Registered

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    Can anyone mention a passage in the New Testament in which Jesus spoke of an eternal hell? Doubt one will be found...
     
  15. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    According to some translations of the New Testament, there are several passages in the Gospel of Matthew in which Christ is said to have mentioned Hell. It should be noted, however, that scholars have various opinions as to how the word has been translated and what "hell" actually means. Certainly, it is clear to most scholars that our present concept of hell has been greatly defined by theologians and kings over the course of twenty centuries, and there now is considerable doubt as to the veracity of authorship of the of many books written by unnamed authors.
     
  16. Chevalier

    Chevalier Registered

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    Could you quote one, Nightrain? One you might remember off the top of your head? One we might discuss?


    I cannot recall a passage in the New testament in which we might find him making reference to an eternal hell. To the consequences to our actions, yes.


    The reigning concept of the Christian churches is one of division: either we go to heaven or to an eternal hell. How does reincarnation fit into this concept?
     
  17. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    Although I am not fond of quoting the Bible, which I consider to be—how can I put this with some degree of diplomacy?—the worlds greatest collection of paranoid propaganda, all anyone needs to do is google the words: Jesus Christ Hell quotes. One web site worthy of reading is here—that is, if you enjoy reading stories made up by unknown authors whose work has been continually edited by other unknown scribes over the course of two millenia.


    It should also be noted that there are also passages which directly contradict Reincarnation, so if one believes everything in the Bible, we might as well end this particular discussion here and now. In addition we might also take the Old Testament literally and start stoning each other to death.


    Forgive me for my somewhat obtuse response, but I sincerely don't feel that Religious and Scientistic dogma should have any bearing on whether we believe in Reincarnation, especially since there is so much current evidence and logical reasoning which would give us justifiable cause to accept the possibility.
     
  18. Chevalier

    Chevalier Registered

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    You and I agree, Nightrain, and it is a delightful privilege to be speaking to you. What I was asking was if anyone could quote Jesus having spoken of an eternal hell in his own words, because I honestly cannot recollect there being one.


    I have found enormous resistance to the concept of reincarnation not only from sceptics but also from Christian believers, who themselves should in principle be prone to believing in spiritual matters, but would still prefer to believe in the concept of a perfectly benevolent God who would condemn some of His children to a lifetime of eternal suffering, even if this contradicts the notion itself.


    Hi, Mel. Tks for the link. Personally I believe that the concept of reincarnation is the one concept that brings all lines of religion and belief into one single spiritual truth...


    I did a google search on "Jesus, hell" and this was one that came up:

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html'>


    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html
     
  19. Khandisi

    Khandisi Khandasi

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    I apologize in advance if this comment seems a bit rambling, but I want to reply to a few posts in this thread.


    Like many of you, I was also raised as a Catholic. I served as an altar boy and almost entered the seminary to become a priest. I suppose it was the results of Vatican II that steered me away from the Church. Nevertheless, I never lost my faith in the Supreme Creative Intelligence we call God.


    The first time I ever encountered a New Testament passage that gave me cause to consider the concept of reincarnation was when I read John 9:2 -


    "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"



    Setting Jesus's response aside for a moment, think about the question itself.


    "his disciples" - I assume we are referring to the original twelve or at least some of them. I also assume that they asked the question based on their understanding of Jesus' teachings OR the common beliefs in the Judaic traditions of the time.


    "who did sin" - An acknowledgement that sin can result in a consequence, but implies that the consequence was suffered by someone who had not sinned.


    "this man" - This makes sense if the "man" received the consequence as the result of his own wrongdoing.


    "or his parents" - So was the consequence meant for the parents' wrongdoings, and the "man" is suffering only as "collateral damage" for being their son?


    "that he was born blind?" - Interesting. The disciples wanted to know if the blindness was the result of the man's sin. But this blindness was present at the man's birth. How would it be possible for the man to sin prior to his birth? Can sin be committed in the womb? Surely the disciples were intelligent men. Why would they ask such a question?


    The only explanation would be that they believed in the pre-existence of souls AND reincarnation.


    Jesus' answer to their question was: neither. The man was born blind that He (Jesus) would come along at that exact moment to cure the man (as Jesus did). Nowhere in this passage do we find Jesus challenging their question. It seemed to me that either Jesus taught his disciples the Law of Karma OR reincarnation was a widely held belief among the children of Israel.


    For those of you who are Christian and are having problems reconciling your faith with the concept of reincarnation, consider this: I am of the opinion that the main reason, if not the sole reason, the Old Testament was included as part of the Christian Bible is due to the prophesies of Daniel and others that foresaw the coming of a Messiah, thus confirming that Jesus was the Son of God. However, by including the books of Daniel and other prophets, the other Old Testament books were also accepted to give the prophesies context in the history of Israel. In doing so, we are presented with the Old Testament God, who was vengeful, mean-spirited, homophobic, blood-thirsty, and capable of killing His own children by drowning them in a great flood. Most Christians I know find it hard to love such a god. If Jesus IS the Son of God, he is certainly not like his Father, is he?


    I didn't feel like I got a handle on the teachings of Jesus until I studied Buddhism. Bear in mind that Buddhism is barely a religion; it is more a philosophy.


    These are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism:


    1. Life means suffering.


    2. The origin of suffering is attachment.


    3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.


    4. The path to the cessation of suffering.


    If you don't believe in Hell, trying living one life on this earthly plane. There's your Hell. If you have ever had a LBL or NDE experience, compare your earthly life with the afterlife. Life means suffering; life is hell.


    If possible, try to erase the concept of the God of the Old Testament from your mind. Replace it with a God or some Supreme Entity that gives you every chance you could ever want to learn right from wrong, to live and let live, and strive for perfection. Even if you think of this for only a moment, wouldn't such a God represent unconditional love, compassion, and justice? Would that not be a Heavenly Father who offers, not only forgiveness, but every opportunity for your spiritual development?


    Take the time to research the various councils of Nicaea that took place after Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire. Read about how the Bible was compiled, as well as the subsequent tenets and concepts that were banned as heresy by the early Church fathers. Choose your own sources for this information and try to separate fact from fiction. Ask yourself: If reincarnation was once part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, why was it removed?


    Then go back and reexamine, not reject, your Christian faith. See if there isn't room in your mind and heart to believe in reincarnation while still holding on to your Christian beliefs. They may not be incompatible at all.
     
  20. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    Hi, I did have a NDE in 1978 and came back with a different opinion about it. I stated that "life" here on the earthly plane was an illusion.....something like a mirage created through 'mental perception' more so than anything. The ancients called this 'maya.'

    • In traditional Hinduism individuals were seen as immersed in a world of illusion, called maya. In this world, distracted from the real world of spirit, one performs acts, and those actions create karma—consequences. In traditional teaching the goal of life was to escape karma. There was little difference between good and bad karma. Karma kept one trapped in the world of illusion. Source: Encyclopedia.com
    • The karmic goal in reincarnation, however, is said not necessarily to raise the soul to a higher plain of existence, but entreat enlightenment to reign at whichever level of existence the soul happens to find itself. "Many…see the process of enlightenment as "ascension"; it is in fact more true to say that it is a process of descension, that is bringing the light down to all levels." Source: Encyclopedia.com
    • So, instead of promoting resigned powerlessness, the early Buddhist notion of karma focused on the liberating potential of what the mind is doing with every moment. Who you are — what you come from — is not anywhere near as important as the mind's motives for what it is doing right now. Source: Karma


    What I learned from my experience was, I felt we had two choices. Either creating a 'hell' on earth - or - creating a piece of 'heaven' here on earth. Karma from a past life had nothing to do with it. It was where your mind was in the current moment as far as a choice in obtaining 'knowledge' of the true reality which is eternal rather than a temporary illusion or mirage of our own mental creation.


    Just my opinion based on my personal experience, of course.


    DKing
     

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