Difference Between Incarnation and Reincarnation (With Table)

The difference between Incarnation and Reincarnation sometimes seems unclear. The Difference might be more clear if we discuss it in terms of its etymology or origins. Two words are both translated into English as “reincarnation” in different contexts: one means to “be born again,” while the other means “to return.” That being said, there is a big difference between these two concepts!

Incarnation vs Reincarnation

The difference between Incarnation and Reincarnation is that Incarnation is an act of God becoming flesh in Jesus Christ. Reincarnation is a belief that upon death, your soul will return to another body. An incarnation of someone is the act or process by which that person comes to be in his present form. An example would be how Jesus was born into human flesh as “the son of man,” though he had always been God.

Incarnation is when God is “born into flesh” or becomes human in the person of Jesus Christ. The word “incarnate” means to make something concrete or physical, so for God to incarnate into a human means that He took on human form. An incarnation of someone is the act or process by which that person comes to be in his present form. An example would be how Jesus was born into human flesh as “the son of man,” though he had always been God.

On the other hand, Reincarnation, on the other hand, teaches that after death, a soul will return to another body and live again. The term “reincarnated” refers to a person being reborn. Reincarnation is the idea that a soul will return to another body. In Christianity, Jesus was said to have been incarnated in the person of Christ. Therefore, Reincarnation is different from Incarnation because it teaches that after death, a soul will return to another body and live again.”

Comparison Table Between Incarnation and Reincarnation

Parameters of ComparisonIncarnationReincarnation
DefinitionIncarnation is when God is “born into flesh” or becomes human in the person of Jesus Christ. Reincarnation, on the other hand, teaches that after death, a soul will return to another body and live again.
Meaning The word “incarnate” means to make something concrete or physical. The term “reincarnated” refers to a person being reborn.
ReligionIncarnation is a belief of Christians. Reincarnation is a belief of Hindus and Buddhists.
Cycle In Christianity, there can be only one incarnate person of God at a time. In reincarnation, there can be more than one incarnate person of God.
Spirituality In Christianity, it’s believed that when someone dies, they go to Heaven or Hell for eternity with no more chances to come back as a different person in this world. In Reincarnation after death, it makes disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.

What is Incarnation?

In Christianity, Jesus was said to have been incarnated in the person of Christ. This means that God became a man through him. The term “incarnated” refers to being born and living as an earthly human with flesh and bone like everyone else.

The word “incarnation” means that the Almighty became a man with flesh and blood. As Christians, we affirm this truth by being born again of water and Spirit to become partakers in Christ’s death and resurrection. In Christianity, there can be only one incarnate person of God at a time, but in reincarnation, there can be more than one incarnate person of God.

This is what it means for God to take on human nature through Jesus as testified at his baptism when he said: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.

What is Reincarnation?

Reincarnation is the belief that a person’s spirit, soul, or consciousness transmigrates to another body after death. This is a Hindu and Buddhist belief. Reincarnation is the idea that a person’s essence is so connected to God that they can never be separated from him. When someone dies, their spirit lives on but in another form with different attributes and abilities and knowledge.

This belief stems from passages found in Hindu scripture like Bhagavad-gita (12:54) which says, “When the body is destroyed, the soul lives on in another world.” Reincarnation is also reflected in the Bible, where God states, “I will give you life as long as your body lives. I do not put an end to any living thing.”

Reincarnation is a belief of Hindus and Buddhists, but not Christians. In Hinduism/Buddhism, the soul is reborn into another body after death or may never be reborn at all. In Christianity, it’s believed that when someone dies, they go to Heaven or Hell for eternity with no more chances to come back as a different person in this world.

Main Differences Between Incarnation and Reincarnation

  1. The difference between Incarnation and Reincarnation is that in Christianity, there can only be one incarnate person of God at a time, while with reincarnation, there can be more than one incarnation.
  2. The difference between Incarnation and Reincarnation is that in Hinduism, the soul may never be reborn again, while with Christianity, someone who has died will stay as a spirit or go to Heaven for eternity.
  3. In Incarnation, the entering this world by being born into it; especially (Christianity) coming forth from God in the form of human flesh to be with humans. While Reincarnation is the doctrine or belief that a soul, after the death of the body, is born again in a new corporeal form. For example, if you were to die and be reincarnated as an animal such as a cat.
  4. There are some differences though, for example, incarnation means to descend from a higher realm into our material world, while reincarnation can occur without the person ever knowing about it.
  5. One of the main differences between incarnation and reincarnation is that you must be incarnated in order to experience being any other person, animal or thing. With reincarnation, one can switch from different people but still have a physical body regardless of what they are incarnated as.

Conclusion

The main difference between Incarnation and Reincarnation is the idea of a “soul”. With reincarnation, there has been no major shift in belief systems. The principle that humans are reborn as animals or other creatures only exists within certain religions such as Hinduism. In contrast, with the incarnation, it’s believed to be more than an animal-like existence. The idea that there is a higher being, and we are all incarnations of this one God or Goddess, has played an important role in many major religions, including Christianity.

There’s been much debate over the validity of reincarnation as fact versus fiction among scientists, but it does have its cultural relevance to ancient cultures like Hinduism who believe it to be true.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=hi&lr=&id=sNUFIgrmmAYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=incarnation&ots=N1N7Nn9oGZ&sig=TxJSloCA6eow51pMDewClcJp9xc
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/864444
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