What does the Bible
say about reincarnation?

Questions?    -    Our Newsletter
QUESTION: I have been studying and want to know what does the Bible say about reincarnation? Is this teaching true or false?

ANSWER: To begin our study, it should be stated that the word reincarnation is not in the Bible. The term comes from the Latin and means 'to enter the flesh again.' Webster's Dictionary defines the word as "a rebirth of the soul in successive bodies." Another dictionary defines the term as the belief that, upon death, a person's "soul" enters another body or form and becomes alive again. In short, reincarnation is the belief that a person's soul or spirit, after experiencing a physical death, enters into another life form. The "other" life form could be another human, an animal or some spiritual entity.

Religions that hold this belief include Druidism, Theosophy, Eckankar, and the New Age movement. A form of reincarnation is also a part of the tenets of Gnosticism. The well-known philosophers Plato and Socrates also promoted this belief among those they taught.

The teaching of reincarnation, which promotes the belief that a person is "born again" after death, is somewhat similar to the death and resurrection of a Christian. Scripture shows that after death a believer is "asleep" until the resurrection occurs at the return of Christ Jesus.

What is considered New Age?
What exactly is Gnosticism?
What does it mean to be Born Again?

13 Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died . . . 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him (1Thessalonians 4:13 - 14)

The book of Daniel also refers to death as a sleep from which the righteous shall arise into a new life (Daniel 12:2 - 3). Christians, upon their resurrection, will be instantly changed and given new spiritual bodies (1Corinthians 15:35 - 38, 40, 42 - 44).

The New Age teaching in reincarnation does, admittedly, have some things that parellel the teachings of God's word. For example, Scripture teaches that the physical bodies of the righteous will experience death but that, at the resurrection of the dead, their spirits will receive a new spiritual body from God. One of the main differences is that while reincarnation teaches a person may die and assume a new form several times, God's word states teaches only one change in existence!

In God's plan, after a resurrected Christian has a spiritual body he or she enters into his family, the family of God, as his spiritual children. Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead as a kind of first fruits (1Corinthians 15:20), so will those who are truly converted and have his Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the teachings of reincarnation come from pagan sources and not the Bible. Our Father's plan to bring Christians back to life and give them eternal spiritual bodies so that they can be with him and Jesus FOREVER is a wonderful, glorious truth that is far above any man-made religion or set of beliefs!

Additional Study Materials
What does Scripture say about predestination?
Who is in the first resurrection of the dead?
What are first fruits?

What does Bible say about reincarnation?

Holy Bible, a Faithful Version
Webster's dictionary

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