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Feedback archive → Feedback 2017

Was reincarnation removed from the Bible?

iStockphoto bible
Published: 25 March 2017 (GMT+10)

Anthony W. writes:

When will reincarnation be re introduced into the bible and the other books which were removed please.

It would appear no one seems interested, despite being a fact.

There are many hints in the urrent version. The Jewish people using the Tora still teach the fact!

Seems extremely odd such a massive subject has never been re introduced?

Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:

Dear Anthony,

Thanks for writing in. There is no evidence that the Bible has been edited in any systematic way to remove teaching. Furthermore, the entirety of Scripture teaches against any idea of reincarnation, and many biblical doctrines would be undermined if reincarnation was true.

The entirety of Scripture teaches against any idea of reincarnation, and many biblical doctrines would be undermined if reincarnation were true.

First, humans are uniquely created in God’s image. While this may not be something you were thinking of, many forms of belief in reincarnation—including Hinduism and Buddhism—state that a single soul may be reincarnated as plants, bugs, animals, or people. But if humans are uniquely in God’s image, how can God’s image become not-God’s image, or vice versa?

Second, being in God’s image means that humans are eternal beings. To use mathematical concepts, God is eternal in the same way that a line is, extending forever both when we look back and forward—there has never been a time when God did not exist, and there will never be a time when God ceases to exist. Our existence has a beginning, but no end, like a ray which has a beginning point and then extends forever in one direction. But if I will be reincarnated, I will end when my soul becomes a new entity.

Third, the entirety of Scripture teaches that conception is the beginning of human life—which science supports. No biblical text speaks of someone pre-existing his or her conception, with the exception of Christ Himself (obviously a special case because He is God).

Fourth, this life is the basis for our eternal destiny. If I had ten lives before this one, and in those lives I did not believe in Christ, but in this one I do, where will my soul spend eternity? Was Scripture lying when it said someone who does not believe in Christ before death will be forever lost? Or what if I have another life after this one in which I do not believe in Christ? Will I then be condemned, meaning that Scripture is lying when it says no one who believes in Christ will ever perish? Reincarnation presents unsolvable soteriological problems that Scripture never tries to address, because Scripture does not present it as even a possibility.

The resurrection makes reincarnation impossible. If I had ten lives before this one, when I am resurrected, will I be resurrected as me, or as one of the ten previous entities?

Fifth, under most doctrines of reincarnation, bad things that happen to a person in this life are karma for bad things a person did in a previous life. But this has invidious consequences: (a) a person’s punishment has no remedial value because he can’t remember what he’s being punished for, (b) we shouldn’t help a person who’s suffering, because that will stop him working out his karma.

Sixth, the resurrection makes reincarnation impossible. We are promised that all people will be resurrected, either to everlasting life or judgment (John 5:29). If I had ten lives before this one, when I am resurrected, will I be resurrected as me, or as one of the ten previous entities? And what would happen to them? Or would God split my soul up so that each of the dead bodies could have a soul? The whole idea is absurd.

These are only some of the arguments against reincarnation. I also encourage you to read the related articles below.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Lita Cosner

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Readers’ comments
Guy L., Canada, 31 March 2017

I wonder where people take this idea that the bible was filled with texts about reincarnation? The article's answer clearly rejected this delusion. But, why would they even care about the bible's message? Because the bible has some credibility and a solid foundation and they would like to borrow from this... So bless are we that God gave us such a book to lead us... Beside, without the bible, their is no ''absolute'' good and evil. Like someone pointed out in his comment, what is good or bad for an ant anyway? But the bible does define the ''absolute'' good and evil and does point to human sinful nature but also on God's love and forgiveness trough faith in Jesus which is resurrected, not reincarnated...

John C., United States, 27 March 2017

As usual, Leta, devastatingly kind, concise, and ultimately Christian response. It is always good to keep in mind before we flame our opponents, that the desire of God is for their salvation, not their subjugation. The freedom of possessing the truth is that it leaves us patient and unintimidated by error. Well done.

Ken B., Australia, 26 March 2017

To Anthony W, please do this mind exercise.

Start from the premise that you believe in reincarnation. Looking at you present life to date, how well have you done? Do you have a faultless record or have you hurt the environment and other people, are you thoughts and emotions scarred? If you have, then you know your next reincarnation will not be too desirable. The principle of Karma is inflexible. Even now, you have probably suffered in this life indicating that in your previous incarnation also you were not faultless. If this is how you are, then I understand. We have within us a very critical understanding of good and evil, dark and light but our ability to meet even our own standard is just not there. In such a circumstance I [we] need a Saviour, one who forgives our sin and covers us with His righteousness. This of course is exactly what Jesus did. 'If we confess our sins, the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses us from all sin'. He could atone for us because He was the perfect human, like us in every way and yet had a moral perfection 'not of this world' ie He was without blemish.

If you have followed me this far, then you can KNOW that you will not be incarnated back into this world. In fact 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 describes God's action in rescuing Jesus' followers from this world order at which time Death itself will be destroyed.

Romans 10:9,10 'that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation'.

John B., United Kingdom, 26 March 2017

Hebrews 9:27 ends any argument about the existence of reincarnation.

Bob B., United States, 26 March 2017

The writer should also be aware that the Torah is not something that only Jewish people read. The Torah is simply the first five books of the Bible: Genesis-Deuteronomy, and neither they nor any other scriptures teach reincarnation

Andrew L., Australia, 26 March 2017

A brilliant response to an astonishing question. Hebrews 9:27 is one verse that speaks directly against the idea of reincarnation: "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,"

Tommy S., United States, 25 March 2017

It is written:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

Hebrews 9:27

That's all that is needed to refute reincarnation.

Lester V., United States, 25 March 2017

Under most doctrines of reincarnation, bad things that happen to a person in this life are karma for bad things a person did in a previous life. If this is true, and bad things happen in every life, I have one question: What was the person "making up for" in their very FIRST incarnation?

Bill P., United States, 25 March 2017

I know there are many false prophets and false teachers out there already twisting The Word Of God. Is it possible there are some out there now teaching that scripture also teaches reincarnation ? Why would anyone want to come back into This World and go through this mess again as a human, let alone a bug or some sort of animal ? Don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings but right now I would rather be the least in all of The Lord's kingdom than to live another life time in this world. Seek the God of Israel with all your heart, He will reveal Himself He promises, and you'll never regret it. I enjoy your work CMI.

Rocco P., Germany, 25 March 2017

In discussions with people with esoteric/spiritist views I have often been presented with "hints" of reincarnation supposedly missed by those who allegedly redacted the Bible. One must first ask themselves how such editors managed to edit all of the old Bible manuscripts -- including those long buried and just recently discovered -- not leaving any clear reference to reincarnation!

These "hints" are however blown apart by the very direct declarations in the Bible that each human being is a unique individual with a one-of-a-kind identity. For instance on the mount of transfiguration where Jesus meets with Moses, who had physically died over 1500 years previously -- Moses was still Moses, not some new re-tread personality, who had been recycled a hundred times! According to reincarnation, Moses needed to be reincarnated for losing his temper and killing an Egyptian man.

Of course the most direct scripture addressing reincarnation is Hebrews 9:27 & 28 -- "it is appointed unto men ONCE to die.. and after this comes the judgment..." No transit stops or detours on the way. Die --next stop -- judgment seat. In verse 28 it goes on to say, this is why Jesus only needed to die once to save each unique person.

Geoff C. W., Australia, 25 March 2017

The concept of reincarnation would be humorous if it wasn't so serious.

Reincarnationists believe in the sanctity of all life, and won't step on an ant. But wouldn't one be doing the ant a favour by stepping on it? That would give it a chance to come back as something better... Unless it had been a bad ant, but what is a bad ant? And would an ant know if it was being bad? And if one doesn't believe in God, who is keeping track of what the ant did, and then making judgements on it, and then determining how it should come back, and then making that happen?

BTW, 'It is appointed to all men once to die, and after that, the judgement.' (Heb 9:27)

A. G., Australia, 25 March 2017

The Bible also says in Hebrews 9.27 that people are destined to die once and after that to face judgement.

Steve H., Australia, 24 March 2017

The bible says:

"...people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27)

Richard L., Australia, 24 March 2017

Heb9:27 says it all - "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

Ron H., Australia, 24 March 2017

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

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