The Bible and reincarnation

I will not now discuss other misunderstandings, which could easily be refuted. I will only mention one thing, which may very easily be said, “What do you think of the fact that nothing about repeated earth-lives is found in the Bible?” It might be that some one would say that he could not believe in these repeated earth-lives, for the simple reason that, according to his convictions, there is a contradiction between the acceptation of these repeated earth-lives, which, certainly, minds such as Lessing’s, for instance, admitted as true, and what is in the Bible.

Now repeated earth-lives will be accepted as a scientific, a spiritually-scientific fact, and people will learn to think in the following way about the relation to the Bible of such a fact of spiritual science, which had sooner or later to be discovered. Would it be thought possible for anyone to say he did not believe in the existence of America because the Bible does not mention such a place? Or would it be thought any injury to the Bible to say, “I think the existence of America is quite in harmony with my reverence for the Bible, in spite of America’s not being mentioned within its pages”? Is there anything in the Bible about the truth of the Copernican view of the universe? There have been people who for this reason have looked upon the Copernican view of the world as something false and forbidden. Nowadays there is no one really versed in the culture of his time who could say that he found a contradiction between the teaching of Copernicus and the Bible — notwithstanding that the teaching of Copernicus is not in the Bible.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 35 – The Mission of Spiritual Science and of its Building at Dornach – Liestal, 11th January 1916

Translated by A. M. Wilson