Is Reincarnation a concept that exists in Christianity?
The concept of reincarnation is not considered a core belief in Christianity. However, there are references to the phenomenon of reincarnation in the Bible. Imam Ahmed Al Hassan pbuh has clarified that reincarnation occurs and that the prophets and messengers pbut return to this world over and over.
Some of the Bible verses that mention reincarnation are mentioned below.
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
This verse shows that in the time of Jesus pbuh, the disciples had several theories on who the Son of man could be. They mentioned the names of previously passed messengers and prophets, such as Elijah and Jeremiah. This indicates that they knew it was possible for a previous prophet to be the son of man that came later. So the idea that a soul would return to them was not a strange idea to the disciples of Jesus pbuh.
“I also raised up prophets from among your children and Nazirites from among your youths. Is this not true, people of Israel?’ declares the Lord.”
“I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you
back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’ You may say, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon.'”
What does it mean to ‘raise up prophets’? It means prophets that have already left this world were brought back. And to be brought back means to be born back into this world.
“Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, ‘This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'”
“Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.”
We can see from these verses that it was easy for the people in the time of Jesus pbuh to reach the conclusion that Jesus must be John the Baptist, due to his incredible ability to perform miracles. However, John the Baptist had already been martyred. So this conclusion that the people had reached, while incorrect, proves that the concept of reincarnation was not unheard of, or considered impossible.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[d] and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
They asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
These verses clarify how the prophecy of Jesus pbuh being the truthful Messiah was fulfilled. Because before the coming of the Messiah, Elijah pbuh was meant to appear and call people to him.
And we know that John the Baptist pbuh was the one who did this…hence the only way to reconcile this is to understand that John the Baptist must be the reincarnation of Prophet Elijah pbuh, as the bible verses clearly state.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his
name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at
For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor
strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his
mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord
He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the
hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of
the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses
and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.”
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.”
“God indeed does all these things, twice, three times, with mortals, to bring back their souls from the Pit, so that they may see the light of life.”
“If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.”
– Renewal = Hebrew word for this is “Chaliyphah”
– Chaliyphah which means “change of garments” or in this case it would mean “change of bodies”
“This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem”
means “king of peace.”
“One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.”
According to these verses, in an earlier incarnation, Levi’s soul was living in the body of one of
the ancestors of his current body.
How could anyone have ever been in the body of their ancestor? The only way to understand this is reincarnation.
Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to aresurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a
resurrection of judgment.
How is it possible for the dead to hear His voice, unless the dead return from the graves in new bodies? With other verses indicating towards reincarnation, it is clear this must refer to returning in new incarnations.
“The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;”