May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation?
A growing number of people are open to the subject of past lives, and the belief in rebirth—reincarnation, metemphsychosis, or transmigration—is becoming commonplace. But it often thought that belief in reincarnation and Christianity are incompatible. But is this really true? May a Christian believe in reincarnation? The answer may surprise you.
Reincarnation–also known as the transmigration of souls–is not just some exotic idea of non-Christian mysticism. Nor is it an exclusively Hindu-Buddhist teaching. In orthodox Jewish and early Christian writings, as well as the Holy Scriptures, we find reincarnation as a fully developed belief, although today it is commonly ignored. But from the beginning it has been an integral part of Orthodox Judaism, and therefore as Orthodox Jews, Jesus and his Apostles would have believed in rebirth.
This historical study of reincarnation in both Judaism and Christianity cites many authorities of both traditions, including many Christian saints and Fathers of the Church, as well as both Old and New Testaments. In our opinion the testimony of orthodox Judaism, ancient Christianity, and the Bible is sufficient to answer the question: May a Christian believe in reincarnation?
Included in this second edition is Annie Besant’s article on various scientific, moral, and historical aspects of reincarnation from a Christian perspective.