John the Baptist

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Linda Gay Gardner | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:12 PM

In Matthew 17, I believe speaks of John the Baptist being the reincarnation of Elijah. Explain that?? The Hebrews believed in it and they are GOD's chosen. I'm sure if it didn't happen it would have been said so in the Bible. After all that is GOD's book and there's NO lies in it!!!!!!!

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Jack Hairston | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:28 PM

John 1:21  John denied being Elijah, and strictly speaking, it was true.

Luke 1:17 John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and in a metaphor, it was true.

So it depends on what sense you mean.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:28 PM

Linda Gay Gardner:

In Matthew 17, I believe speaks of John the Baptist being the reincarnation of Elijah. Explain that?? The Hebrews believed in it and they are GOD's chosen. I'm sure if it didn't happen it would have been said so in the Bible. After all that is GOD's book and there's NO lies in it!!!!!!!

Linda,

Welcome to the forum. What base package do you have? Maybe I can suggest some resources in your library that can help you understand that passage better.

On this forum we try to stick to subject matter that is related to L4 resources / features and their use; rather than a discussion of theology or personal opinions regarding interpretation. That said, we would love to help you use your L4 library to gain a better understanding of God's Word.

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:39 PM

I can also refer you to Commentaries that also discuss the parallel passages in Mark (9:9-13) and Luke (9:36).  Matthew is much more direct about the Elijah and John relationship, and reading the three similar Gospel stories, and Commentaries on each, may give you pause to ask why.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 9 2010 6:45 PM

And, don't forget topical bibles, and even bible dictionaries.

I'd do this:

Entire Library search:

John NEAR Elijah

 

that might be a good search

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 13 2010 8:02 PM

Does NOT find Luke 1  - 'he' is not seen as 'John'  - Does find John 1:21 [search John NEAR Elijah    looking at Bible searches only]

For a Bible search maybe just Elijah and only check the NT hits?

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Jason Saling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 15 2010 3:16 PM

Linda Gay Gardner:
In Matthew 17, I believe speaks of John the Baptist being the reincarnation of Elijah. Explain that?? The Hebrews believed in it and they are GOD's chosen. I'm sure if it didn't happen it would have been said so in the Bible. After all that is GOD's book and there's NO lies in it!!!!!!!

Excellent observation.  Jesus knew it would be hard for his hearers to believe, so he said "if ye will receive it, this is Elijah."  Reincarnation generally is not Biblical, yet at the same time, in this one instance, it did happen.

• Malachi prophesied Elijah would come, and turn the heart of fathers to their children.
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, And the heart of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

• John the Baptist did turn the hearts of fathers to their children
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Corinthians says the spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets)

• Jesus said it was Elijah, but understood it would be "hard" for people to believe.  Look at Matthew 11.  Jesus said he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Jesus said this over and over in Revelation, do we not accept those words literally?  Why not in regards to John the Baptist (Elijah)?
Matthew 11:10-15 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

• Christ's disciples understood what Christ meant
Matthew 17:10-13 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

• This would explain how John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb (typically this does not happen unto one puts his faith in Christ and is born again.  But with John the Baptist being Elijah, he already had "believed in the LORD."
Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 

• True, John the Baptist denied being Elijah.  But the Bible also says "Let God be true, and every man a liar."  Perhaps he didn't know, or perhaps he was trying to be humble and not distract people from following after Christ.

Commentaries and the tools of Logos are great, but don't ever let them be a substitute for what the words of Christ actually said Smile  But extend grace to those who do not believe John the Baptist was Elijah, Christ did say "if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Jason Saling

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 15 2010 5:47 PM

I understand the desire to be helpful and provide answers. But remember this is a Logos forum where the most useful answer is to show the OP how to find the answer. That fish and pole thing again.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Jason Saling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 15 2010 10:21 PM

MJ. Smith:
remember this is a Logos forum where the most useful answer is to show the OP how to find the answer.

That's right, my bad.

Do this...

1. Open your Logos App
2. Open the King James Version
3. Go to the verses I gave you in an earlier post, and you'll find the answer.

Wink 

Jason Saling

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:32 AM

Jason Saling:
Do this...
Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 1:26 AM

Jason Saling:

Reincarnation generally is not Biblical, yet at the same time, in this one instance, it did happen.

John the Baptist denied being Elijah… Perhaps he didn't know, or perhaps he was trying to be humble and not distract people from following after Christ.

Commentaries and the tools of Logos are great, but don't ever let them be a substitute for what the words of Christ actually said

So, if I've understood correctly, you're saying that reincarnation isn't biblical and the Bible says John the Baptist isn't Elijah, but we should ignore what the Bible says on these points?

Linda, whatever answer you come up with to this question, I suggest you use the tools of Logos to ensure that it makes sense of the whole of the Bible, and not just one verse. The search Baptist NEAR Elijah in dictionaries would be a fairly good place to start.

If you run the search Baptist NEAR Elijah NEAR (reincarnate, reincarnation) in your whole library, you might find some useful hits like these:

John MacArthur: Will Elijah be reincarnated? It seems best to view Malachi’s prophecy as a reference to John the Baptist and not to a literally-returned Elijah. Not only did the angel announce that John the Baptist would “go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17), but John the Baptist himself said he was not Elijah (John 1:21). Thus John was like Elijah, internally in “spirit and power” and externally in rugged independence and nonconformity. If the Jews would receive the Messiah, then he would be the Elijah spoken of (cf. Matt. 11:14; 17:9–13); if they refused the King, then another Elijah-like prophet would be sent in the future, perhaps as one of the two witnesses (cf. Rev. 11:1–19).

Tertullian: I fully expect these heretics to seize upon the example of Elijah as reincarnated in John the Baptist, and thus they would have become our Lord espousing the doctrine of reincarnation. “Elijah indeed has come, and they knew him not.” And again, “And if you are willing to receive it, here is Elijah who was to come.”…How, then, could John be Elijah? The voice of the angel tells us: “And he shall go before the people in the spirit and power of Elijah,” not in the soul or body of Elijah. These substances are the specific property of each man, while “spirit and power” are extrinsic gifts conferred by the grace of God, and so they may be transferred to another according to the will of God as happened long ago with respect to the spirit of Moses.

R. C. Sproul: Jesus was announcing that the Old Testament prophecy of Malachi was fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist. There was no exact identity between John and Elijah. John was not the reincarnation of Elijah, but he reestablished the ministry, the power, and the office of Elijah. He came in the spirit of Elijah, fulfilling the mission of Elijah.

Norman Geisler: There are many reasons why this verse does not teach reincarnation. First, John and Elijah did not have the same being—they had the same function. Jesus was not teaching that John the Baptist was literally Elijah, but simply that he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17), namely, to continue his prophetic ministry. Second, Jesus’ disciples understood that He was speaking about John the Baptist, since Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:10–13). Since John had already lived and died by then, and since Elijah still had the same name and self-consciousness, Elijah had obviously not been reincarnated as John the Baptist. Third, Elijah does not fit the reincarnation model for another reason—he did not die. He was taken to heaven like Enoch, who did not “see death” (2 Kings 2:11; cf. Heb. 11:5). According to traditional reincarnation, one must first die before he can be reincarnated into another body. Fourth, if there is any doubt about this passage, it should be understood in the light of the clear teaching of Scripture opposing reincarnation. Hebrews, for example declares, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27; cf. John 9:2).

 

 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 1:27 AM

Linda Gay Gardner:
The Hebrews believed in it and they are GOD's chosen.

There's no suggestion anywhere in the Bible that everything every Hebrew believed must be true. In fact there's a lot to suggest many Jews were often wrong (just like us)!

 

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JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 1:53 AM

Thankyou Mark.

(I too did some looking of my own.)

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 4:40 PM

@ Mark Barnes - Well said brother

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