If Reincarnation is not Christian, then why does Jesus declare John the Baptist is Elijah reincarnate?
(Matthew 11:13-14) - "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14"And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come."
- CeisiwrLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Elijah never died, but was taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire and a whirlwind:
2 Kings 2:1, "And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind..."
2Kings 2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
So his return would not have been reincarnation, but a second coming. The theme is repeated for Jesus later.
- Anonymous8 years ago
The Jewish views on life, after-life and reincarnation are highly complex and multi-faceted. Many different sects had wildly different views on the matter. The very notion that Elijah might return is part of this and that idea is again referenced at the cross.
As for apologetics; from an orthodox Christian perspective, it's easy to simply interpret this as some kind of metaphor. It's not even that unreasonable.
E.g. Elijah was a prophet and was succeeded by Elisha who had "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit. One could then easily interpret this as saying that John came first to pave the way and now Jesus will follow, with twice the power; finishing the job. That fits perfectly with the idea that John baptized with water, but Jesus will baptize with the holy spirit.
Note how Jesus says "This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’" (Matt. 11:10) And then he follows with: "Whoever has ears, let them hear" (Matt 11:15) which might indicate that you need to read beyond the surface meaning.
Actually, the more I think about this, the less sense it makes to take it literally. After all, if John is literally Elijah returned, then he NOT the person sent ahead to prepare the way. If he's really Elijah, then he's the big guy himself; the one that other people will prepare the way for.
The idea of Elijah as the one who goes before only works if you're metaphorically referring to the old stories about Elijah and Elisha. If he's literally returned, then why would he play second fiddle to anyone else? It's freakin' Elijah, dude!
This makes much more sense if you see it as Jesus using the cultural background of his audience to explain the relationship between himself and John: "We're not in competition; we're serving the same purpose. He's Elijah and I'm Elisha, if you get what I mean."
I think it's quite likely that that was the intended meaning of the author (although of course we can't know that for sure).
- deroosLv 44 years ago
Neither. Moses and Elijah have been synonymous with the regulation and the Prophets, do no longer forget approximately there became a 4 hundred 3 hundred and sixty 5 days famine on prophecy on the last of Malachi and the prophecy that Elijah might return became meant to declare that in basic terms before the messiah comes there will be a restoration of the prophet's religious place. to point this return of prophecy John wore the classic clothing of a prophet. to make certain how prophecies have not got a literal interpretation, inspect Joel 2/Acts 2. The sunlight does not actually turn to darkness and the moon to blood. it is in basic terms announcing you're total worldwide would be became the different way up. Likewise the prophecy that Elijah will return became understood by utilising Jesus as which potential a return of the prophetic place of work.
- 8 years ago
No, John the Baptist was Elijah in spirit and power (Luke 1:17). Reincarnation is not a Christian concept but "regeneration" is a Christian concept and is often confused with the other (Titus 3:5).
<the voice of one gnat who fears God>
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- 8 years ago
In Bible God does say Israel is my first born while mentioning to all Israelites. But Israel is the name of Jacob. Does that mean Israelites are reincarnation of Jacob?. NO.
In Bible John being Elijah is not incarnation, but it is a metaphorical way of saying or fulfilling the prophesy like Malachi 4:5, Malachi 3:1 etc.
Jesus received the spirit of God, after getting baptized by John. Elijah is the prophet represents spirit of God in the Old testament, just like Mosses represents law of God.
The spirit of God , received to Jesus , when John, the second Elijah baptized him in Jordan river.Source(s): Bible
- keyjonaLv 78 years ago
Jesus refers to something similar and somewhat exclusive: He calls it regeneration: Peter was the regenerated Prophet Jonah; John the Baptist was the regenerated Elijah.
- JohnHLv 78 years ago
it is more likely that John the B inherited the mission of the Elijah. spiritually they should have united 100%.but John the B failed miserably.
- jpopelishLv 78 years ago
You expect consistency from Christianity?
Boy, are you in for a shock!
- 8 years ago
Reincarnation is Christian, if you look to the gnostic edicts, gospel of Mary Magdelane and such.
- Forrest ToneyLv 78 years ago
Elijah means (Eli) God (Jah) Here .