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Karma in the Bible and the Koran

November 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Karma is a term used in Hinduism and Buddhism to express the concept that “whatever goes around, comes around.” In other words, whenever one does good, good comes back to him. Whenever one does evil, bad things come back to him.  This concept of Karma is also found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam although Jews, Christians, and Muslims do not call it Karma. One can find the principle being taught in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and even in the Koran.

The consequences of our actions may be experienced in this life or in the next one.

Buddhism and Hinduism teach the doctrine of reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that our souls pass out of our bodies after we die and enter new bodies later conceived. Someone might be a farmer in this life and a lawyer in the next one.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam teach that there will be a future resurrection of the dead and a Last Judgment. According to these three Abrahamic religions, the souls pass out of their bodies and later will be reunited with their bodies after God has raised them from the dead. The souls will remain united to those resurrected bodies forever. Everyone will be judged by God after the resurrection of the dead. Some will go away to eternal punishment and others to eternal bliss.

Here are some verses from the Old Testament which teach the principle of Karma.

Behold, he has travailed with unrighteousness, he has conceived trouble, and brought forth iniquity. He has opened a pit, and dug it up, and he shall fall into the ditch which he has made. His trouble shall return on his own head, and his unrighteousness shall come down on his own crown. (Psalm 7:14-16, LXX)

But the righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell upon it for ever. (Psalm 36:29, LXX; Psalm 37:29, Hebrew)

Sinners shall fall by their own net: I am alone until I shall escape. (Psalm 140:10, LXX; Psalm 141:10, Hebrew)

The righteousness of upright men delivers them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope does not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perishes. A righteous man escapes from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. (Proverbs 11:6-8, LXX)

He that has pity on the poor lends to the Lord; and He will recompense to him according to his gift. (Proverbs 19:17, LXX)

He that sows wickedness shall reap troubles; and shall fully receive the punishment of his deeds. God loves a cheerful and liberal man; but a man shall fully prove the folly of his works. (Proverbs 22:8, LXX)

He that digs a pit for his neighbour shall fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, rolls it upon himself. (Proverbs 26:27, LXX)

He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and him that breaks down a hedge a serpent shall bite. (Ecclesiastes 10:8, LXX)

Here are some verses from the New Testament which also teach the principle of Karma.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38, KJV)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:6,7, NKJV)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7,8, NKJV)

The Koran also has verses in it that express this concept of Karma.

And for those who have earned evil deeds the recompense of an evil deed shall be the like of it; abasement shall overspread them, neither have they any defender from God, as if their faces were covered with strips of night shadowy. Those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein dwelling forever. (Koran 10:27, Arberry)

The reward for a good deed will be greater than the deed itself and the recompense for an evil deed will be equivalent to the deed. (Koran 28:84, Muhammad Sarwar)

Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil, it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants. (Koran 41:46, Yusuf Ali)

And the recompense of evil is evil the like of it; but whoso pardons and puts things right, his wage falls upon God; surely He loves not the evildoers. (Koran 42:40, Arberry)

Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against himself; then you shall be brought back to your Lord. (Koran 45:15, Shakir)

It is possible that this principle may have been expressed in the sacred texts of other religions. It definitely exists in the two religions that originated in India: Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also found in all three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is something to remember. Our actions have repercussions and may adversely or beneficially affect us in this life or in the next.

 

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