Bible and reincarnation

While belief in reincarnation is held by many Eastern religions (Hindus, Buddhists, and Taoists), it is held by few followers of Abrahamic religions, mainstream denominations rejecting it and sometimes viewing it as heresy.

The majority Christian creeds and confession have consistently proclaimed a belief in a single judgment of humanity and in the eschatological hope of the resurrection of the dead, thus rejecting reincarnation. Some small churches, such as the Liberal Catholic Church, The Christian Community, The Order of the Cross and esoteric groups, as the Rosicrucian Fellowship and the Anthroposophical Society, do however include the concept of reincarnation. With regard to systems of beliefs appeared in Europe, Spiritism, a philosophical and religious movement born in France, includes reincarnation in its doctrine.

Judaism's attitude is broad enough to allow Jews to hold various views of the afterlife, as the gilgul concept. Orthodox Judaism supports a belief in reincarnation (see Jewish eschatology) but Judaism as a whole does not emphasize matters of the afterlife the way Christianity does. Reincarnation is a central concept of Kabbalah, which, while not universally accepted, has generally been a core component Orthodox Jewish theology for centuries.

Some, however, have long questioned or rejected this exclusion, and in modern, western Christendom, a few churches and denominations have first begun to explore this issue - both from a philosophy of inclusion and integration with Eastern philosophy, as well as a struggle to return to alleged teachings of the original, pre-Roman church. Some Christian movements of the past which were deemed heretical, such as the Cathars, saw reincarnation as central to their belief system, with the idea of Eternal Life in Christ being an image of release from constant rebirth.

Differences between conservative and liberal Christian views

Modern Christianity is divided on how much authority the Bible has in determining the life and belief of its adherents. Some Christians view the Bible as the only authoritative source of truth (a common view among Protestants), whereas others emphasise the tradition of the Church as also authoritative (particularly Roman Catholics and Orthodox). However, the tradition of the Church (e.g. the Nicene Creed), and the New Testament proclaim a belief in the Resurrection of the dead, which most liberal Christians would view as antithetical to notions of reincarnation. Belief in reincarnation is thus extremely rare among liberal Christians, because of their attitude towards, and interpretation of, the Bible, tradition, and church doctrine.

Liberal and progressive Christians do not see the Bible as being inerrant, or interpret it very differently (often in an idiosyncratic fashion), and many Christians (both liberal, conservative, as well as moderate or centrist) attribute more authoritative weight to selected parts of the Bible (Jesus' teachings for example, as being more authoritative than the teachings of the Apostle Paul). Additionally, some Christians feel less bound by traditional interpretation, and often taking a more subjective and Post-structuralist approach to reading the Bible, which results in a variety of interpretations. They may not always find the concept of reincarnation in conflict with their Christian faith - although the belief is rarely held even among more liberal Christians, who are more likely to question the notion of life beyond death altogether.

The notion of reincarnation is not mentioned in the Tanakh ("Hebrew Bible"). The classical rabbinic works (Mdrash, Mishnah and Talmud) also are silent on this topic, as are the writings of the Geonim and many of the Rishonim.

Maimonides' teaches the importance of techiyat hameitim, the "revival of the dead", but has no mention of reincarnation. However, books of Kabbalah - Jewish mysticism - teach a belief in gilgul, transmigration of souls.

Rabbis who accepted the idea of reincarnation include the founder of Chassidism, the Baal Shem Tov, Levi ibn Habib (the Ralbah), Nahmanides (the Ramban), Rabbenu Bahya ben Asher, Rabbi Shelomoh Alkabez and Rabbi Hayyim Vital. Among well known Rabbis who rejected the idea of reincarnation are the Saadia Gaon, Hasdai Crescas, Yedayah Bedershi (early 14th century), Joseph Albo, Abraham ibn Daud and Leon de Modena. The idea of reincarnation, called gilgul, became popular in folk belief, and is found in much Yiddish literature among Ashkenazi Jews. The entire idea is generally dismissed by non-Orthodox Jews. See Reincarnation for a full discussion.

Supporting passages from a Christian point of view

There are several verses that some claim support reincarnation:

Jeremiah 1:4–5
The 'Word' came to Jeremiah, and said "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." This verse has been used by Traditional Christians as evidence that God has foreknowledge of persons and events - that is not limited by time and space. Christians who believe in reincarnation may see this verse as evidence ability to "know" a person throughout a variety of reincarnated lifetimes.

Elijah became John the Baptist
Jewish priests were sent to ask John the Baptist, "Art thou Elijah?" (John, 1:21), which is seen as supporting the conception that Jewish priests believed in the theory of reincarnation. Christ said of John the Baptist "this is Elijah." (Matthew 11:14.) Later on, upon the Mount of Transfiguration, the Christ said, "Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed… Then the disciples understood that He spoke unto them of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:12,13). This idea of reincarnation is perhaps a little different from the commonly viewed notion of what reincarnation means. In the second chapter of II Kings, Elijah does not die, but rather is called up into heaven while yet alive. Mainstream Christian opinion would interpret these passages as referring to the role that John played in the spiritual life of first-century Jews, rather than his personal identity being that of Elijah.

Actually, those passages refer not only to the 'role' that John played but also to the 'office', assignment, or the commission that he was given by God. In this regard, John was to serve the same purpose that Elijah served.
Just as Elijah was considered instrumental in serving as a guide to lead the Israelites back to the worship that God required of his covenant people under the Law of Moses, so John was to act in a similar capacity, leading the first-century Jews to the Messiah.
In this way John 'was' Elijah, as mentioned in Matthew's account of Jesus' statement at Matthew 11:14.

Matthew 5:25–26
"Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny." Supporters of reincarnation might say that Jesus is referring to the cycle of death and rebirth that continues until all negative karma is met.

Matthew 11:14–15
Jesus is recorded as saying, "and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 Let anyone with ears listen!". Most traditional Christians prefer to interpret this verse only in a loose fashion to mean that John was only like Elijah. For those Christians who advocate a belief in reincarnation, this verse is interpreted more strictly as meaning exactly what it says, namely that John the Baptist is/was Elijah the prophet himself, which in this strictly interpreted context could only mean that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah. One related consideration that Christian advocates of reincarnation address concerning the fact that John 1:19–21 appears to contravene Matthew 11:14, denying that John the Baptist is/was Elijah reincarnated, this view ignoring the idea that John the Baptist did not know that he was Elijah. Christian advocates of reincarnation propose that this apparent Biblical contravention in John of what is stated in Matthew may have been a later editorial insertion by doctrinal purists. These types of corrective insertions in John, contravening the first three Gospels, appear to them to have also been added in many other instances within John as well, the gospel of John generally being agreed by Liberals adherent to Higher Criticism to have been written several years after Matthew.

Matthew 11:25–26
"At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will". Some supporters of reincarnation might say that that the infant has a knowledge of its spiritual nature and has not yet forgotten its past lives, because the ego, that which separates humans from God, has not yet formed.

Matthew 17:11–13
"He replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.’ 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist." Another reference by Jesus that equates John the Baptist with Elijah.

Matthew 26:52
"Then Jesus said to him , "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword". It seems fairly probable that Jesus knows that not everyone who kills another is murdered in this life; however, supporters of reincarnation might say that it refers to the negative karma such an individual incurs that has to be satisfied in another life.

Mark 9:1
"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." Supporters of Reincarnation might claim that as the people around Jesus in that time has been died, then they should reincarnated to see the kingdom of God

Mark 9:11–13
"Then they asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 12He said to them, ‘Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him'." Supporters of reincarnation might take this passage to mean that the reincarnation of Elijah (i.e. John the Baptist) was beheaded. They might also say that Elijah had followers of Baal killed, so this might be an example of payment for negative karma.

Luke 1:17
"With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord'." Supporters of reincarnation might say that spirit and power is the definition of reincarnation: an individual's spirit, with all its developed abilities etc. (i.e. power), inhabits the body physical.

John 3:1–10
"Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ 4Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ 10Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?" According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, the Pharisees believed in the reincarnation of good souls. Supporters of reincarnation might say that Jesus is surprised that this leader of Pharisees seems ignorant of the process of reincarnation. They might also say that being born of water is possibly a reference to normal Earthly birth, and that being born of the spirit is a reference to virginal birth (being born from above); consequently, they might say that Jesus is implying that an individual must be developed (i.e. their souls through reincarnation) to the point whereupon virgin birth (being born from above) is possible, and then they would be purified enough to go to Heaven. Supporters of reincarnation might also say that one grows to Heaven, rather than goes to Heaven.

John 9:1–3
The disciples observe a man who was born blind, and inquire of Jesus whether the man himself or his parents sinned, that he was born blind. Some interpret this question to imply that the man would have had some opportunity to sin prior to birth, which at least presupposes the pre-existence of the soul in a situation where there was free will and the ability to commit sin. Jesus replies that in this case neither the man nor his parents sinned, but he does not rebuke the disciples in any way for their belief that it would have been possible for the man to sin prior to birth. This can be and has been interpreted in many ways.

Galatians 6:7
"Whatever one sows, that he will also reap". Some feel that this agrees with the idea of enforced karma, a basic tenet of some other religions that hold the belief in reincarnation; however it also agrees with the concept of divine justice, and of each person being judged fairly, a central tenet of Christianity. The subsequent verses seem to imply that a certain amount of time may pass before a just person reaps their true reward: "at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". However there is no indication that this time might span more than one lifetime. In any case, those who attempt to use this verse to prove that the Bible endorses the concept of karma suffer the same burden as those who attempt to use Hebrews 9:27 to disprove reincarnation. It is problematic because, by itself, it does not prove reincarnation and is only a single verse. The fact that it was written by the Apostle Paul, and not a saying of Jesus, may also influence Christians who give more weight to Jesus' teachings than to Paul's.

Bible passages seen to be in opposition
There are also some Biblical passages commonly seen to refute a Christian belief in reincarnation:

Hebrews 9:27
The verse most commonly used to dispute reincarnation is Hebrews 9:27, which states that it is appointed to man to die once, and after that face judgment. This verse does not, by itself, rule out reincarnation. Traditional Christian teaching (including beliefs held by modern Fundamentalists and Evangelicals) interprets this verse in the context of the "Day of Judgment", when Christ will return and judge the earth - including all those who have died. In this sense, a person has only one life, and then, when he dies, will face judgment. Liberal Christians, however, may feel comfortable in dismissing or reinterpreting the verse - especially considering the Higher Criticism debate over the authorship of the book of Hebrews. Many consider it dangerous to base doctrine on a single verse.

People. Whether this is the same judgment referred to in Hebrews 9:27 is open to debate. However, this "life review" is surprisingly similar as described in the Tibetan Book of Dead. People who have had near-death experiences also report that after their life reviews they have been given Also note that Hebrews 9:27 is only a problem when one believes in Biblical inerrancy. It is possible to Liberals that the writer of Hebrews was expressing a personal belief, much as a bishop over a group of churches might today write a letter expressing certain personal theological beliefs to the churches in his sphere of influence. The author of Hebrews, whoever it may have been, may never have intended for his thoughts to be preached as ultimate truth for centuries to come. Hebrews is different from most other New Testament books (in part because it was directed towards Jewish Christians throughout the Roman Empire rather than those living in Palestine), so Hebrews 9:27 may have been intended only to refute a common Sadducean Jewish belief of the time, that the soul ceases to exist after death.

Luke 13
Something that seems to deny not reincarnation itself but any notion of karma and retribution can be found in Luke chapter 13: After hearing about an accident that killed 18, Jesus warns his listeners not to think that this happened to the afflicted because they were especially evil people. However, supporters of reincarnation might counter that Jesus is admonishing his followers to avoid judgment (lest they be judged), and there is always the possibility that God is making his works manifest etc.; a human could never be sure.

Psalm 78:39

"He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return." Traditional Christians would say that this verse denies reincarnation.

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 &10

These scriptures indicate what happens to the person after death "but the living know this at least, that they must die. But the dead know nothing, they have nothing for their labour, their very memory is forgotten. their love has vanished with their hate and jealousy, and they have no share in anything that goes on in the world." "Throw yourself into any pursuit that may appeal to you, for there is no pursuit, no plan, no knowledge or intelligence within the grave where you are going." These scriptures seem to suggest that nothing remains of a person after death, that is their love, hate and jealousy (major parts of a person's personality) "vanish". Furthermore, verse 10 implies that after death a person ceases to exist or nothing of the consciousness of the person remains.

(Bible quotations: The old testament, A new translation, By James Moffatt D.D., D.Litt., M.A. (Oxon), Volume II)

The thief on the cross
Jesus, when on the cross, tells the thief being executed beside him "This day you will be with me in paradise". This would seem to imply that the thief would go straight to heaven, and not be reincarnated. On the assumption that a thief convicted of a capital crime would be likely to need a reincarnation before achieving perfection, this passage could point more to the one-stroke redemption believed in by traditional Christians.

Hindus and others would refute this interpretation's claim to contradict reincarnation. To Hindus, Devaloka, akin to heaven, is a plane of blissful existence that can be reached as soon as one is sufficiently atuned to light and good. However, to become even better and to learn more, one must return to a life on Earth, until all the learning possibilities here have been exhausted. Then, any other lives become unnecessary and liberation or moksha is achieved. Also, Hindus believe that God's grace can overcome the karma of someone who has already become close enough to liberation through one's own merits, and through grace a one-stroke redemption can occur without the need for reincarnation.

Paul's teaching
Paul, in his epistles, teaches extensively about the nature of heaven. It would seem likely that had reincarnation been involved, he might have mentioned it. Indeed a strong argument against reincarnation is that in the whole of the Bible, only a tiny number of passages exist that could even remotely be interpreted as supporting it. Significant doctrines in Christianity are usually based on dozens or sometimes hundreds of passages.

Christian Apologetics for Reincarnation
Most Christian apologists maintain that the concept of reincarnation is not described in Biblical texts. They maintain that the verses that appear to support the idea of reincarnation are interpreted from the context of a reincarnation worldview and not from context of the Biblical Jewish/Christian worldview.

This might be best understood when one considers the popularity that Hinduism and Buddhism have gained in some circles of the West. In many cases, they do so by claiming that the verses that appear to support the idea of reincarnation are taken out of context, while apparently applying a different standard to verses that appear to deny the possibility. Unfortunately, the practice of taking verses out of context (and sometimes, stringing unrelated verses together in a way that makes them appear related) to prove a favored belief or disprove someone else's belief is nothing new to Christianity, or to the opponents of Christianity; according to some, this technique has already been applied in composition of the New Testament writings itself.

Contemporary Christian thought objects to reincarnation because it is not seen compatible with the traditional biblical view of man and the idea of salvation through Jesus.

Some Christians, though, interpret Jesus' death on the cross as providing believers the opportunity to grow towards salvation despite personal imperfections, rather than ensuring instant salvation for all believers after death. Reincarnation may simply delay a person's ultimate destiny - most religions that believe in reincarnation do not believe that a person continues to reincarnate indefinitely.


Origen, an early Christian theologian who lived during the third century, wrote that "The soul has neither beginning nor end. come into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of their previous existence" (De Principiis). This belief was not unique to Origen; early Christians believed that the soul exists prior to the conception and birth of a person, a belief that many then-popular variants of Greek philosophy accepted. However, this does not in and of itself imply reincarnation, cf. the Mormon view of the "beforelife" of the soul. In AD 553, more than three hundred years after Origen's death, the Emperor Justinian issued an edict against Origen, whose writings had by then become very divisive, and convened the Second Council of Constantinople. This Council issued "The Anathemas Against Origen". The first sentence reads, "If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema."

Some see the Anathemas Against Origen not only suppressing the early Christian teachings within the Church, but also any teaching supportive of views on the pre-existence of the soul. Anyone publicly espousing such beliefs could be reprimanded, and, if he persisted, excommunicated from the Church.

The decision of the Second Council of Constantinople regarding the pre-existence of souls has never been disputed since by traditional Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant theologians and mainstream denominations.

Quote from Origen:
:"It can be shown that an incorporeal and reasonable being has life in itself independently of the body... then it is beyond a doubt bodies are only of secondary importance and arise from time to time to meet the varying conditions of reasonable creatures. Those who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrariwise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are ever vanishing and ever reappearing."

It is strongly debated whether Origen believed in reincarnation or not.

Another Quote from Origen:

" ‘And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" and he said, "I am not"’ . No one can fail to remember in this connection what Jesus says of John: ‘If you will receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come’ . How then does John come to say to those who ask him, ‘Are you Elijah?’—‘I am not’? . . . One might say that John did not know that he was Elijah. This will be the explanation of those who find in our passage a support for their doctrine of reincarnation, as if the soul clothed itself in a fresh body and did not quite remember its former lives. . . . owever, a churchman, who repudiates the doctrine of reincarnation as a false one and does not admit that the soul of John was ever Elijah, may appeal to the above-quoted words of the angel, and point out that it is not the soul of Elijah that is spoken of at John’s birth, but the spirit and power of Elijah" (Commentary on John 6:7 ).

History of Canonical and extra-biblical writings

By exponents of New Age the theory has been voiced, that reincarnation is not incompatible with Christianity, but was suppressed by the church (or the pope or the emperor Constantine) in order to increase the power and influence of the church. According to this theory, the texts that offered the greatest acceptance of Roman Pagan doctrine were made part of biblical canon; those that tended to reduce the influence of the church and were offensive to Roman Pagans were declared as heresy.

Other arguments for this theory are that after Constantine's Edict of Milan in AD 313, which made Christianity a tolerated religion, Christianity became tainted with elements of Roman Paganism. Reincarnation was offensive to Roman Pagans, as were other early Christian concepts. The Roman church began to select acceptable doctrines based in part on what would cause the church (and its leaders) to have the greatest influence in society. If someone believed that they had multiple lifetimes to gain favor with God, they might not be as inclined to obey the church teachings, or to serve the church leaders. On the other hand, if people could be convinced that they had but one lifetime to "get it right", and that eternal punishment in hell awaited those who failed to heed the teachings of the church, they would be more inclined to do whatever the church leaders expected of them, including supporting the church financially. It therefore would not come as any surprise that a church that had strayed from the original teachings of Jesus would emphasize doctrines that increased the amount of control that the church had over its members.

The majority of Christian and secular historian scholarship maintains that it is not historically justifiable that verses regarding reincarnation could have been removed from the Bible. The first universally acknowledged authorities in Christianity since the time of the apostles were the ecumenical councils, the first of which took place in 325. Various groups contended their decisions for most of the century. A single-handed decision of the bishop of Rome accepted by the whole of Christianity in the first centuries is not seen by apologists to be likely - even his addition to the Nicene creed (the Filioque) in the late first millennium, is fiercely contended by the Orthodox churches until today. Moreover, the findings of textual criticism and the many early fragments of the Bible that have surfaced during the last two centuries lead many to believe it extremely unlikely that anything of importance was ever removed from the Bible.

There are no known surviving references explicitly describing reincarnation or stating a belief in reincarnation in the Christian mainstream writings of the early church period. There also do not appear to be any surviving writings explicitly characterizing the belief in reincarnation as a heresy, or condemning such a belief, even in the voluminous writings against Gnosticism. Other beliefs that were contrary to the orthodox views of the church, such as Arianism, were condemned rather than ignored or censored. The absence of any surviving references to reincarnation causes some who question whether there was ever such a doctrine in Christianity to characterize the belief that there previously was as a conspiracy theory.

There exist non-canonical texts that do support reincarnation, especially Nag Hammadi library texts, among them the Gospel of Thomas, as well as the Dead Sea scrolls.

These verses from non-cannonical texts are supporting reincarnation:

Gospel of Thomas
51. His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?"

He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."

84. Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear!" (Patterson / Meyer)

Coptic Apocalypse of Paul
...But I saw in the fourth heaven according to class - I saw the angels resembling gods, the angels bringing a soul out of the land of the dead. They placed it at the gate of the fourth heaven. And the angels were whipping it. The soul spoke, saying What sin was it I committed in the world? The toll-collector who dwells in the fourth heaven replied, saying, It was not right to commit all those lawless deeds that are in the world of the dead. The Soul replied saying, Bring witnesses! Let them show you in what body I committed lawless deeds. Do you wish to bring a book to read from?
And the three witnesses came. The first spoke, saying, Was I not in the body the second hour...? I rose up against you until you fell into anger and rage and envy And the second spoke, saying Was I not in the world? And I entered at the fifth hour, and I saw you and desired you. And behold, then, now I charge you with the murders you committed.. The Third spoke, saying, Did I not come to you at the twelfth hour of the day when the sun was about to set? I gave you darkness until you should accomplish your sins When the soul heard these things, it gazed downward in sorrow. And then it gazed upward. It was cast down. The soul that had been cast down went to a body which had been prepared for it. And behold, its witnesses was finished.

Then I gazed upward and saw the Spirit saying to me, Paul, come! Proceed toward me! Then as I went, the gate opened and I went up to the fifth heaven...

New Age views

Some New Age writers in the picked up the above theory that references to reincarnation had been removed from the Bible. Shirley MacLaine, e.g., quotes this teaching in her book "Out on a Limb" (1983): "; The theory of reincarnation is recorded in the Bible. But the proper interpretations were struck from it during an ecumenical council meeting of the Catholic Church in Constantinople sometime around A.D. 553, called the Council of Nicaea ".

This theory cannot be confirmed by church history: There was no Council of Nicaea in the year 553 and neither the First Council of Nicaea in 325 nor the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 mention anything like reincarnation.

The Second Council of Constantinople in 553 (which was not conducted by the Pope but by the emperor Justinian I) does not record mention of reincarnation either. The origin of the theory is the fact that this council rejected Origen's teachings on the pre-existence of the soul: "If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema." This statement would appear to indicate that by 553 there was little or no support for any concept of reincarnation within the church.
< Prev   Next >