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Why do so many Christian believers do not believe in the possibility of reincarnation?

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nathan12 makes a good point, here. Truth...rubs -everyone- the wrong way, at some level, at some times. I'd personally like to believe that all the unsaved 'good people' somehow make it into heaven. Clearly, I'm not God. that's the thing...

Scripture does not leave a lot of wiggle room, here. Born. Live. Die. Face judgment. Linear...Christian time is linear, Christian lives are linear, and because Jesus is and was The Word, made Flesh...

time -is- linear, lives -are- linear. I'm not a conservative believer, so I don't like to hammer down on people, but I do think it is important to realize that while it is wonderful to engage Scripture, ask questions, etc....

after enaging and questioning, one is presented with 2 options: accept Scripture as Truth and do what one can to live and think accordingly...

or reject Scripture and do as one sees fit.

I'm just typing that out because...its difficult for me, at times, but its also...personally, a big part of being Born Again meant being saved from my self and the world. my flesh was (is?) inclined towards heady and high minded jibber jabber, and much of the world specializes in such, especially in the 21st century. the chaos of self-(everything) and worldly 'wisdom' that characterized my existence, before Jesus saved (is saving, will save) me...

well, now that I'm out of all that mess, I appreciate the structure and the order of Truth and a (growing, developing, doing what I can) Christian worldview, too. :)
 

stovebolts

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Intreasting thoughts. I've wondered some simular things about some past life memories not actually being your own. But unlike your wife, it's all speculation for me. Nothing to reasurch to find a foundation on.

Regarding generational sin, here's a counter theory. The sins being passed down could just as easily fall into the arguments of nature verse nurture. Basically that sins being passed down could become part of our nature from either spiritually passed down, or in a physical form like DNA coding. Or it could be passed down entirely by the way we are nurtured. The sins of the father taught and passed down to the next generation by what they do and how they live their lives.

Either way, it's an interesting take with regard to past memories, but it is not nessary to be a Christian. So all good points. :)
Absolutely, and i wasn't taking away from what you describe as generational sin. Actually, I've simply expanded the explanation.

So you see, your reply isn't really countering my reply, its simply adding more elements to it which i was taking as a given.
 

Edward

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However, both KevinK and @Edward say they've had experiences or memories that are best explained by reincarnation and a memory of a past life.

I did? I don't remember that. Do you remember what I said?
 

stovebolts

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I certainly did not suggest that. However, if Kevin believes that reincarnation can be true, he needs to thoroughly review his beliefs, as well as the Bible's teaching on the afterlife. Reincarnation is totally incompatible with Christianity.

But Hindus and Buddhists have no worries about the afterlife since they have been taught that they will have a cycle of reincarnations in order to shape up.
Hi Nathan,
Please know that i don't believe an actual reincarnation exists, but i do want to discuss how some interpret particular passages since you have said the Bible doesn't mention reincarnation.

First, Orthodox Jews believe in reincarnation. This is not to be misunderstood as the resurrection as they believe in the resurrection as well.

Here is an article supporting this.


Here is an article with two supporting verses. There are a few more, but this is just to show that the Orthodox Jews base reincarnation from within the biblical texts.


In summary, i believe people experience the sensation and real memories from past lives. But as I've said earlier, i believe it is memories of our ancestors bound within the fabric of our DNA.

As i started earlier as well, if reincarnation were real, it would no longer apply to a follower of Christ because orthodox jews believe the purpose of reincarnation is to complete the 613 commandments. Christ fulfilled them, and we are in him...
 

Nathan12

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First, Orthodox Jews believe in reincarnation.
And since Orthodox Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world, nor do they take the New Testament as Scripture, Christians should take their teachings (or musings) with a grain of salt. They have many other false teachings. And neither of those articles has anything solid to say about the afterlife.

So what does the Bible teach about the afterlife (from Genesis to Revelation)?

1. Man is a tripartite being -- body, soul, and spirit.

2. Physical death is the separate of the soul and spirit from the body.

3. The second death in the Lake of Fire is eternal separation from God in torment.

4. The souls and spirits of the unsaved (those who are not in Christ) go directly to Hades, while their bodies go into their graves. Hades is in the lower parts of the earth ("the heart of the earth"). Those who are in Christ (born-again believers) go to Heaven to be with Christ.

5. Souls and spirits do not return to earth from Hades. God made an exception in the case of Samuel when dealing with Saul who went to a medium -- the witch of Endor (and that is quite evident in that passage). Mediums do not communicate with dead loved ones, or bring them to communicate with their relatives. That is totally bogus.

5. Soul sleep (with souls sleeping in the graves) is a false doctrine promoted by the cults. The Hebrew word Sheol was incorrectly translated as "the grave" in the KJV, but Sheol is Hades, and Hades is Sheol. After the resurrection of Christ, only the unsaved go to Sheol/Hades.

6. The Bible makes it crystal clear that it is appointed unto men ONCE TO DIE and after this the judgment (Heb 9:27). This means that reincarnation is completely ruled out by God.

7. The theory of reincarnation originated in the sacred writings of the Hindus, and is totally FANCIFUL (as I already quoted from the Upanishads). Therefore Christians must understand that it is a Satanic doctrine to deceive men into thinking that they can eventually merit salvation (or Nirvana).
 

Edward

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In summary, i believe people experience the sensation and real memories from past lives. But as I've said earlier, i believe it is memories of our ancestors bound within the fabric of our DNA.

That makes a lot of sense to me Brother.
 

stovebolts

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And since Orthodox Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world, nor do they take the New Testament as Scripture, Christians should take their teachings (or musings) with a grain of salt. They have many other false teachings. And neither of those articles has anything solid to say about the afterlife.

So what does the Bible teach about the afterlife (from Genesis to Revelation)?

1. Man is a tripartite being -- body, soul, and spirit.

2. Physical death is the separate of the soul and spirit from the body.

3. The second death in the Lake of Fire is eternal separation from God in torment.

4. The souls and spirits of the unsaved (those who are not in Christ) go directly to Hades, while their bodies go into their graves. Hades is in the lower parts of the earth ("the heart of the earth"). Those who are in Christ (born-again believers) go to Heaven to be with Christ.

5. Souls and spirits do not return to earth from Hades. God made an exception in the case of Samuel when dealing with Saul who went to a medium -- the witch of Endor (and that is quite evident in that passage). Mediums do not communicate with dead loved ones, or bring them to communicate with their relatives. That is totally bogus.

5. Soul sleep (with souls sleeping in the graves) is a false doctrine promoted by the cults. The Hebrew word Sheol was incorrectly translated as "the grave" in the KJV, but Sheol is Hades, and Hades is Sheol. After the resurrection of Christ, only the unsaved go to Sheol/Hades.

6. The Bible makes it crystal clear that it is appointed unto men ONCE TO DIE and after this the judgment (Heb 9:27). This means that reincarnation is completely ruled out by God.

7. The theory of reincarnation originated in the sacred writings of the Hindus, and is totally FANCIFUL (as I already quoted from the Upanishads). Therefore Christians must understand that it is a Satanic doctrine to deceive men into thinking that they can eventually merit salvation (or Nirvana).
Hey, I'm not arguing with you... Simply showing you that depending on how one interprets scripture, reincarnation can be supported within the OT.

Please don't misunderstand me and please don't feel the need with me to justify your position. I'm not bringing anything up to prove who's right and who's wrong so you can relax.

As far as hades, you do understand that derives from Greek mythology. Hades was the brother of Zeus and hades was his underground abode. It was understood when you died, everyone went to hades. If you were a wicked person, you went to the darkest depths of hades called Tartarus. Both are mentioned in the NT.

Jesus uses the word hades as well as its Jewish counterpart Gehenna (Ben Hinnom) which has its roots going back to Solomon.

The Jewish mindset of Gehenna is the basis of Purgatory as Jewish thought, both then and now believed Gehenna was a place of purification. It was and is currently described as a place of pain and suffering both due to its origin of Solomon offering his children to the fires of Molech and the generations that followed ultimately dividing the kingdom and resulting in exile as well as the redemption which occurred once the price was paid and they learned their lesson and were restored to the land.

Of course, this also has nuances of reincarnation which the Orthodox Jews ascribe to, which is radically different than Hindus or any other religion that promotes reincarnation.

Again, im not interested in proving them wrong and i have already started clearly what i believe, and why.

What im looking for here is understanding how others understand scripture. I am not weak in my faith, nor am i blown by changing doctrines or ideas that tempt to tickle my ears. I'm simply seeking a mature conversation with you because we both are secure in our faith and we share the same faith.
 

stovebolts

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That makes a lot of sense to me Brother.
Thanks, I've been around and both experienced and have seen some things in my life.

I helped build $cientologies ASHO in Hollywood California and worked side by side with Sea Org members for almost a year. An average day was 15 hours and we got Sunday off. Many days were 18 hours, so you really got to know people.

One guy i worked with was in Auditing and all of a sudden he tapped into a past life where he was Chinese. Once it was exposed ( which is the purpose of Auditing) he could speak fluent Chinese.

Clearly, he was a bit freaked out and you could see it, no... You could feel it. Like myself, he also had ties to Christianity in his younger years and i found this out when I told him about Acts 2 where suddenly folk were able to speak different languages. He had a huge God moment when i told him i thought the Holy Spirit in dwelt him and we had a great discussion about Christianity so much he was compelled to rededicate himself to Christ.

That was the last i spoke or saw from him. I suppose $cientology either locked him away or he escaped and went back home to his family.

All this to say i knew a man who in his mind went to a past life and as a result, suddenly was able to speak fluent Chinese. Had i not known this man before and after his experience, i wouldn't believe it.

I suspect many wont believe it either. But what matters in HIS life is what HE believes and the experience HE had.
 

Nathan12

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As far as hades, you do understand that derives from Greek mythology.
No it does not. Since Sheol is mentioned in the Bible long before Greek mythology came into existence, you have that reversed.
Simply showing you that depending on how one interprets scripture, reincarnation can be supported within the OT.
And that is patently false. The OT simply leaves no room for reincarnation and we could look at numerous passages.
Jesus uses the word hades as well as its Jewish counterpart Gehenna (Ben Hinnom) which has its roots going back to Solomon.
The fact is that Jesus spoke of both Sheol/Hades and Gehenna as real places. And both those places totally demolish reincarnation.
What im looking for here is understanding how others understand scripture.
It is not as though everyone is free to "understand" Scripture as they see fit. We will either rightly divide the Word of Truth, or we will not. The Bible rejects the concept of reincarnation.
 

stovebolts

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No it does not. Since Sheol is mentioned in the Bible long before Greek mythology came into existence, you have that reversed.

And that is patently false. The OT simply leaves no room for reincarnation and we could look at numerous passages.

The fact is that Jesus spoke of both Sheol/Hades and Gehenna as real places. And both those places totally demolish reincarnation.

It is not as though everyone is free to "understand" Scripture as they see fit. We will either rightly divide the Word of Truth, or we will not. The Bible rejects the concept of reincarnation.
I am not your enemy.

Now, let's set the record straight from an academic perspective.

Shoel and Gehenna are rooted in Jewish thought and language.
Shoel is simply the grave and holds little spiritual value.
Gehenna (Ben Hinnom) on the other hand has history in Jewish culture which started when Solomon offered his children to both Molech and Chemosh by fire. Gehenna is a physical place that is identified and im sure you can go walk on its soil today if you had the gumption to do so. But it's much more than a physical place because it carries a spiritual reality.

Meanwhile, in Greece Zeus is alive and well and his Brother Hades is a constant threat to Zeus as are a multitude of other Gods. Hades is cast down and makes his abode in the underground. In Jesus day, the gates of Hades which leads to the underworld as purported in many Greek myths, such as the time Hercules snuck in, actually was understood to be located in caesarea philippi.

Of course, hades is simply Greek mythology and the gates of hades is asserted without any physical historical real events unlike Gehenna which has historical events that concrete its existence.

These are facts and as far as Gehenna and Solomon, its all accounted for within the biblical texts. If you need help finding it, I'll pull something together this weekend.

To say that Shoel was mentioned before Hades doesn't really make much since to me because both words come from opposite cultures. Not only that, but Shoel and Hades have very little to do with one another. In actuality, Hades and Gehenna have much more theological in common which accounts for Jesus using Greek mythology in his words.

Yes, Jesus speaks of Hades and Gehenna aptly translated into the Norse word Hell which comes from Norse mythology. Thor has always been my favorite... What a disappointment to see him drunk and fat in End Game lol!

Let's ponder this.

Why does Jesus use Greek mythology in speaking about Hades? Why doesn't he refute their mythology as false?

I'm really curious if you will address my question. After all, there is much evidence of Greek gods through out the land when Jesus was walking about teaching the multitudes. Certainly, when he used the word Hades, they thought of the abode of Zeus brother. To think any other way would be to turn a blind eye to history and the abundance of historical evidence that supports my claim.
 
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that's interesting. CS Lewis writes something to the effect that God gave (some) pagans "good dreams," which find their fulfillment in Christ. maybe that's what His references to hades are about?
 

OzSpen

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No, I don't read Greek. What does it mean?

Kevin,

In #8 you stated of Heb 9:27: "that passage does not necessarily say that men only live once. It may only say that after every lifetime, there is a mandatory judgment (some call it a "life review")."

Then in #10 you said it again: "Yes, but my point is that Hebrews 9:27 does not necessarily say we only die once, it may say (paraphrasing) that for every death there is a separate judgment. In other words, suppose you had 6 successive lives- after each death, there is a mandatory judgment. 6 lives, 6 judgments".

You reiterated in #14, 'Begging to differ, but it does not say "only"'.

When I asked you what the Greek hapax in Heb 9:27 means and if you read Greek, you now come back with this response that you don't know Greek and you want me to define hapax for you. But you were adamant in #14 it DOES NOT SAY "ONLY".

How do you know that it doesn't include the meaning of 'only' when you don't read and understand Greek? Let's check the leading Greek lexicon, Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich (1957:80) which gives the meaning of hapax:

1. 'As an actual numerical concept, 'I was stoned once' (2 Cor 11:25); in Heb 9:26 we have the Greek phrase phaneroō hapax, speaking of Jesus 'has appeared once' - numerically.

2. BAG includes this example under the 'actual numerical concept of once' = once only. Why did Jesus appear this one time? Verse 26 states: 'to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself'. He came only once, hapax, to do that. How often was Jesus sacrificed for sin? The same number of times a person dies (in v. 27) - only once.

3. BAG again places hapax as an 'actual numerical concept of once' in Heb 9:28: 'prospherō hapax eis anapherō hamartia' = offered once to bear sins.

So Jesus paid the price for sin only once, just as human beings die only once. A. T. Robertson, the leading Greek scholar of the 20th century, stated: 'Once for all to die, as once for all to live here. No reincarnation here' (Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol 5, p. 404).

Oz
 

Nathan12

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I know you are not my enemy, but you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Either reincarnation is true or it is false from a Christian perspective. Period.
Shoel and Gehenna are rooted in Jewish thought and language.
Once again "Jewish thought" is immaterial to Christians. So why do you keep bringing it up? What Christ taught about Sheol/Hades and Gehenna should be sufficient. You are presuming Jesus was resorting to Greek mythology, which is totally false. God does not need pagan mythologies to establish spiritual facts!

Job is regarded as the oldest book in the Bible, and it was written around 2,000 B.C. Job speaks in detail about Sheol in Job 3:11-22. Sheol was known to the Patriarchs, and Jacob specifically mentions Sheol (שְׁאֹ֑לָה) in Genesis 37:35 (mistranslated as "the grave"). Naturally Jesus --the eternal Word -- knew about Sheol from eternity past and the Holy Spirit taught the patriarchs, some of which were regarded as prophets.

On the other hand "Around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod’s Theogony offered the first written cosmogony, or origin story, of Greek mythology."

So Sheol/Hades was already know and written about 1300 years before Greek mythology came into existence. Therefore it would be ABSURD to claim that Jesus resorted to Greek mythology, when the Greeks probably learned about it from the Jews, and the Holy Spirit taught Job about Sheol!

I will leave it at that, since there is a lot of misinformation in your post.
 

OzSpen

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That would apply only if I use Scripture exclusively as a basis for my faith. I do not. Yes, that does make me a little different from other members here.

Kevin,

What's the other basis for your faith? Are you talking about your Christian faith?

Oz
 

KevinK

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Ozpen, I was relying on accurate translation of the KJV from Greek. Part of the reason I brought this up was to flush out someone who did understand the original language of Scripture. I would have been perfectly open to additional meaning that could be gleaned from translation. But I don't see any. It's not the meaning of the word only (in whatever language), it's the independent clause that follows that word, "but after this the judgment".
 

KevinK

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Kevin,

What's the other basis for your faith? Are you talking about your Christian faith?

Oz
Well, we're going too much into my personal backround. Perhaps another time. For the moment I would prefer to keep this academic rather than ad hominem. As in, not what I say (or believe), what does the Bible say?
 

OzSpen

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Ozpen, I was relying on accurate translation of the KJV from Greek. Part of the reason I brought this up was to flush out someone who did understand the original language of Scripture. I would have been perfectly open to additional meaning that could be gleaned from translation. But I don't see any. It's not the meaning of the word only (in whatever language), it's the independent clause that follows that word, "but after this the judgment".

Kevin,

You didn't ask me to give an 'accurate translation of the KJV from Greek'. You asked me to tell you what the Greek states about the meaning of hapax in Heb 9:27. I did that but you don't like the conclusion.

It IS the meaning of the word in context. I cited the leading Greek lexicon (dictionary), Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich:

BAG includes this example under the 'actual numerical concept of once' = once only. Why did Jesus appear this one time? Verse 26 states: 'to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself'. He came only once, hapax, to do that. How often was Jesus sacrificed for sin? The same number of times a person dies (in v. 27) - only once.

When you have a fixation on reincarnation and won't take note of the exegesis of the text, I'm left to conclude that I need to move on.:wall

Oz
 

OzSpen

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Well, we're going too much into my personal backround. Perhaps another time. For the moment I would prefer to keep this academic rather than ad hominem. As in, not what I say (or believe), what does the Bible say?

It would be helpful to know where you get your ideas from. Are they coming from Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, B'Hai, Islam, etc?
 

stovebolts

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I know you are not my enemy, but you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Either reincarnation is true or it is false from a Christian perspective. Period.

Once again "Jewish thought" is immaterial to Christians. So why do you keep bringing it up? What Christ taught about Sheol/Hades and Gehenna should be sufficient. You are presuming Jesus was resorting to Greek mythology, which is totally false. God does not need pagan mythologies to establish spiritual facts!

Job is regarded as the oldest book in the Bible, and it was written around 2,000 B.C. Job speaks in detail about Sheol in Job 3:11-22. Sheol was known to the Patriarchs, and Jacob specifically mentions Sheol (שְׁאֹ֑לָה) in Genesis 37:35 (mistranslated as "the grave"). Naturally Jesus --the eternal Word -- knew about Sheol from eternity past and the Holy Spirit taught the patriarchs, some of which were regarded as prophets.

On the other hand "Around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod’s Theogony offered the first written cosmogony, or origin story, of Greek mythology."

So Sheol/Hades was already know and written about 1300 years before Greek mythology came into existence. Therefore it would be ABSURD to claim that Jesus resorted to Greek mythology, when the Greeks probably learned about it from the Jews, and the Holy Spirit taught Job about Sheol!

I will leave it at that, since there is a lot of misinformation in your post.
Nathan,
I fear you misunderstand me, and i am not clear why.

As i clearly stated earlier, i do not believe in reincarnation, but your replies to me indicate otherwise.

Let me be clear. Earlier, you said two cultures support reincarnation and support for reincarnation cannot be found in the Bible. That is false.

I brought up the Orthodox Jews who believe in reincarnation and provided two articles from a highly regarded orthodox Jewish site that provide both affirmation of my assertion as well as an article from them with biblical texts they use to support reincarnation.

My discussion isn't whether either you or I agreed with the Orthodox Jews or their interpretation of the biblical text, but rather it was to show you that other religions, even sects of Judaism believe in reincarnation.

Your reply to me was to brush off the Orthodox Jews, but the reality is that they do indeed believe in reincarnation and they use scripture as the basis of their understanding.

You and i may disagree with them, but that's not point. My point is simply this, and it cannot be refuted. Orthodox Jews believe in reincarnation and they use the Bible to support their view. My point has absolutely nothing to do with weather you or I believe they are right or wrong. Do you understand this?

Secondly, you misunderstand my words when i ask why Jesus uses Hades, which derives from greek mythology and it seems apparent your not well versed in the cultures of their day not antiquity.

To say the Greeks probably came up with hades because the Jews understood Sheol first is just silly and it shows me you know little about either. I do not say this to put myself above you. You certainly know more about certain things than i do, so in those areas, we should learn to come together and build one another up. In other words, don't be afraid of the things you don't know.

The reality is this. If you want to assume on Hades, don't look toward the Jews. Instead, look back to Egypt and don't think that because the Jews understood shoel before hades that hades comes from the jews. First, shoel is simply the grave and has very little in common with hades. Again, do some homework and learn about Ben Hinnom and you will see the parralel between that and hades.

Was Jesus promoting Greek mythology by using its images of the underworld? Absolutely not. So let me ask you again, why do you think Jesus uses Greek mythology both when he talks to the multitudes and with his disciples? And why doesn't he do what your doing, which is refuting falsehood of the myths?
 
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