Removal of Reincarnation References


The Byzantine Empress, Theodora, wife of Justinian I, about AD 535 rounded up all the old holy writings, for which in exchange she gave a new Bible to the owner. This was a major project, reaching far and wide, leaving no stone unturned.  It was not undertaken out of imperial charity so that worn, centur­ies-old copies could be replaced by expensive hand-written ones. Justinian believed in the supremacy of the Emperor over the Church, and his wife had come under the influence of the Monophysite sect of Christianity which held that Christ was not God functioning in the body of a man but rather that Christ's body and spirit both were divine. Through her husband's power, she managed to expunge direct references to Christ as a spirit using Jesus' body so He could function on Earth, and she deleted references to reincarnation, which concept she regarded as anathema. However, the new copies that she supplied left two indirect references to reincarnation:  Christ's statement that John the Baptist had been Elijah (Matthew  11:7-1 9) and the disciple's question, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2). Theodora's grand undertaking, if nothing else, standardized the New Testament throughout Christendom.