From Our Readers
With interest I read your article “Did You Ever Live Before?” (February 22, 1982) I was surprised that not a word was said about either Psalm 90:3 or Matthew 3:9. Both scriptures provide more information about eternity than your entire article does. In Psalm 90 we read: “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.” [Authorized Version] It is not said when, how, where or as what a person will come again, it is simply stated THAT he will return. According to John the Baptist, a person could even return in the form of a stone, because he once told the Jews: “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
H. L., Germany
The article did not refer to these scriptures because neither of them deals with the subject that was under consideration. It is evident that Psalm 90:3 refers to man’s “returning” to the dust from which he was taken, not to his “returning” to life in the sense of reincarnation. The Catholic “Jerusalem Bible” (as well as other translations) gives the correct thought, saying: “You can turn man back into dust by saying, ‘Back to what you were, you sons of men!’” Matthew 3:9 makes the point that God’s ability to raise up offspring of Abraham was not dependent on the fleshly line of descent. Persons with no fleshly connections to Abraham, “stones” as it were, could, despite this fact, become spiritual sons of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ. The Pharisees and the Sadducees failed to demonstrate this faith, relying instead on their natural line of descent from Abraham. Thus neither scripture can be used to support the unbiblical teaching of human reincarnation.—ED.
Recently I started reading some older issues of Awake! The first copy I read was the October 22, 1977, issue with the articles “Drug Abuse Tightens Its Global Grip,” “. . . But Are All Drugs Dangerous?” and “Drug Abuse—Our Journey There and Back.” Earlier I had arranged with a friend to go out that evening to have my first smoke in ‘Khaya’ [a drug]. If you will recall, the whole magazine preached against ‘wee’ smoking (as it is called in Ghana). Surely it was these articles that saved me. As a second-year student, age twenty-three, I would have entered into the ‘wee’ world. I can see a change in my life for the past seven months. Therefore, poor as I am, I have decided to become a regular subscriber to Awake!
P. B. T., University of Ghana
From Our Readers
This letter is to congratulate you for the section “From Our Readers.” This section has aroused my interest, since the opinion of other persons makes me look at the material from a different point of view. In your issue of December 22, 1981, a student in microbiology gave his opinion of the article on gene splicing in the August 22, 1981, issue. His opinion made me read the article again. Also, I took special note of your answer to him, which point of view I also take. This is not the first time I have reread an article due to the opinions of others published by the editors.
J. L. A. M., Brazil