Was Jesus Reincarnated? I’m largely dissatisfied with Koukl’s argument here; it fails to address specific issues such as the nature of Christ’s Incarnation, Ascenscion, and Return. Besides, from a cultically twisted point of view, the cultist may even regard his own faith stronger for continuing to believe in his reincarnated-Christ-figure, despite not having the kind of “proof” which Koukl demands (e.g. memories, skills, speaking Aramaic).
Colossians 3, however, is pretty clear that…
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (emphasis mine)
“Where Christ is,” is above, and when he appears, it will be at the time that his elect will appear with him — that is, the end of days. This is why the concept of a reincarnated Christ should be untenable to any bible-believing Christian. One who claims to be Christ reborn, yet is not bodily in heaven and has not appeared to commence with the final judgment, cannot possibly be the Jesus of Scripture, because a reincarnation calls for the original body to be dead: which is clearly not the case for Jesus. The Moonie who claims that Sun Myung Moon is Christ, the PBMA Rubenian who believes his imprisoned Divine Master Ruben Ecleo is Jesus, the Shaker who regards Ann Lee as a rebirthed female Savior; none of these positions can stand up to the promise of Christ who said he would come when we least expect it, in the manner he returned, in a way that could not be mistaken for anything but the return of the Savior to judge the fallen world and call his elect to himself.
Now, this leads me to an interesting question which I will address later: Given the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, and the literalness with which we hold the Parousia (the coming of Christ), which require that we believe Jesus as being ascended in the flesh, what are we to make of his pre-New Testament state? Was the Son, the second person of the Triune God, existent in the flesh before he was conceived of his virgin mother? If so, well, to play devil’s advocate, I might consider that as meat for the possibility of a reincarnation, since the birth of Jesus would then be an example of a fleshly Savior being reborn into a new body.
Two points to consider: (1) Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit, which, given the Trinity of God, should have no trouble at all being conceived as Holy Spirit and born as Son, since they are the same God; and (2) John 1 should hold some interesting clues.