From book: "I have lived before" by Sture Lonnerstrand Quoting: Amilius
" Quotations from the Bible
Several Bible quotations indicate the the belief in reincarnation, at the time when Jesus appeared on earth, was generally accepted among the Jews. Here are several quotations:
Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do men say that I, the son of Man, am?" (Matthew 16:13)
The disciples answered: "Some say that you are John the Baptist: some Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
If it was not for the fact that reincarnation was generally accepted in the Jewish culture, Jesus would hardly have asked the question in that manner.
Observe that Jesus asked who the people believed he was, not if he had lived before. He took for granted that everyone knew about prior lifetimes.
Another famous remark (John 15:17) which is ascribed to Jesus is as follows:
"You shall bear witness for you have been with me from the beginning."
The beginning must have been alluded to the first words in the Bible, "In the beginning..." It was a question of a rather long period of time.
In another passage (John 9:2), the disciples asked Jesus:
"Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
This question implies, that for the disciples it was quite natural that the man had been inflicted with a handicap due to the fact that he had sinned in an earlier life. It could not have happened in the present incarnation, as he had been blind since birth.
St. Clement of Alexandria stated that the teachings of reincarnation had been authorized by the apostle Paul himself. In a letter to the Galatians (Galatians 6:7) Paul says:
"Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Paul knew that everything a person sows during an earthly life cannot possibly be reaped during the same lifetime. Sometimes God mills grind slowly
Paul's successors have not, as far as is known, ever questioned the Law regarding sowing and reaping, or the Law of consequences, as it is called.
However, to this day, one has apparently overlooked the fact that Karma and Reincarnation are two sides of the same coin. Reincarnation is not possible without karma and karma cannot function without reincarnation.
There are other places in the New Testament as well as in the Old Testament that suggest reincarnation but they are less known
Elijah and John the Baptist
The Bible's prime example regarding the truth of reincarnation is clearly shown by Jesus himself. The Old Testament and the New Testament come together in an extremely interesting manner when the prophet Elijah, who according the account in the Old Testament (II Kings 2:11) "... went up to heaven in a chariot of fire." (Malachi 4:5)
The New Testament attaches great importance to the question regarding the rebirth of Elijah and has consequently, taken up the subject in several places:
In (Luke 1:17) "Elijah's spirit and power" is talked about, which in the body of John the Baptist would come before the Lord.
In the gospel according to Mark (Mark 9:11) the disciples ask: "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answers them that Elijah would indeed come first to restore all things (Mark 9:12)
In Matthew (17:12) Jesus is quoted as saying: "But I tell you that Elijah has already come..." "Then disciples understood that it was John the Baptist he was speaking to them about. (Matthew 17:13)"
In Matthew (11:14-15) Jesus is clear as crystal about the baptist's earlier identity. "And if you are willing to accept it, he is ELIJAH, the one who has come." He then adds so that there can be no doubt about it:"Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Can it be said more clearly?
Jesus has with all these words, once and for all established the truth of reincarnation.
"Whoever has ears out to hear!"
The teachings of reincarnation, although still rejected, are nonetheless an important part of Christian heritage, a cornerstone of original Christianity, and a basis of original picture of Christianity throughout the world- in a similar manner that the belief in reincarnation has always been in the oriental religions.
It's important to ascertain that the belief is repeated earthly lives is in no way in conflict with central Christian motives. Its more likely that the teaching of reincarnation strengthens the Christian message, making it more complete, more genuine and more credible.
Many people have wondered how it is possible that Jesus, Christianity's central figure, can still be denied and be so fragrantly misunderstood by his own followers, by his own churches regarding such an important and fundamental question concerning what happens to us when we die.
Its an enigma which remains unsolved."
Well, now you have a problem.
Paul, a Pharisee, believed that the Doctrine of "resurrection" was the raising of a dead physical body from the grave, in echo of the Egyptian 'god of the dead' religion; whereas Jesus taught the Doctrine of "resurrection" as a Doctrine of 'Rebirth'.
Paul would never
have accepted the Doctrine of "resurrection" as either "rebirth" or 'reincarnation' because it would have absolutely vitiated
the doctrine of "vicarious atonement", which was his 'explanation' for the crucifixion.
In other words, the doctrine of "vicarious atonement" is directly associated with the 'god of the dead'; the 'purpose' of the crucifixion, according to Paul, being so Christians could be with the 'god of the dead' forever in heaven (which is metaphysical philosophy).
And, as with regards to "as you sow, so shall you reap", Paul's resolution of that problem occurred in an after-death existence of heaven or hell rather than in another life in this world.