Reincarnation Was Intentionally Removed From The Bible, Evidence Suggests
In 367 AD, one of the patriarchs of the early church Athanasius named sixty-six spiritual texts which were to form the church canon.
Of the numerous gospels and ancient Jewish scriptures only these selected texts were to be recognized as officially conveying the word of the God. This event had a huge impact on the way Christian doctrine is understood today.
However, theologians and Biblical historians have begun to examine the excluded texts and have come to wonder just how fundamentally Christianity would have changed had they been permitted into the official canon of the church.
The ancient Christians who believed in reincarnation.
In the dawning years of Christianity, the religion had a notoriously ill-defined and chaotic theology. For a brief period of time, Christian theology was something of an anarchic affair with various sects in various geographical locations coming up with their own fundamentally different ideas of what their faith meant.
In this age, Christians could agree on very little regarding the underlying values of their faith or even the personal story of Jesus Christ. While some of these early Christians held notions of eternal life in heaven being gained for the faithful through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, others had very different ideas.
Recent research into early Christian writing makes it very clear that one of the most popular theories among early believers was reincarnation. Somewhat surprisingly, the ideas of these early Christians were stunningly in line with the theological underpinning of the eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism with regard to reincarnation.
As the church began to evolve, reincarnation as a principle of faith in Christianity primarily became a preserve of the Gnostics, an influential sect of Christianity. Unfortunately, the Gnostics were drawn into a theological rivalry with other more powerful and larger groupings and eventually their beliefs would come to be considered entirely heretical by the fledging institutionalized church.
In 553 AD, the Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora called a council of established Christian figures to debate and clarify the acceptable doctrines within Christianity. This council, which is known as the Fifth Ecumenical Council or the Second Council of Constantinople, then proceeded to issue a list of decrees declaring some principles of faith to be heretical.
In a move which demonstrates how fierce the opposition was to the Gnostic faith among more conservative religious practitioners, the first of these decrees dealt with reincarnation.
The decree read:
“If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema.”
This decree meant that reincarnation was officially considered heresy by both the Church of Rome and the Byzantine Empire and those who advocated it as a true principle could be excommunicated from the grace of God.
As the Church of Rome became more and more powerful, the ideas of the Gnostics and other Christian sects regarding reincarnation fell into the darkness. Few people today are aware of the wide variety in Christian theology or how significantly it could have been changed had another theological grouping become more powerful in the early years of the faith.