John the Baptist was in the spirit of Elijah, but not actually Elijah reincarnated. In other words, John's role was to be almost identical to that of Elijah's: to encourage people to turn away from sin and back to God. John is often compared to the great prophet Elijah. . Luke 1: 13-17 . "But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, that Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. . He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. . He will prepare the people for the coming of our Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are we rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly."
Interesting question. This is what I found, which just confused me more.: YES he was Elijah: (Matthew 11:13-14) - "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14"And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come." NO he was not Elijah: (John 1:19-21) - "And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he *said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."
11 months ago
Last edited at 3:26PM on 1/20/2013
Of course not. First, Elijah was a true prophet, sent by God and preached God's word and God's wish. John was self appointed. John was not a true prophet, given that Malachi, living some 4 centuries before John, was the last prophet. Lastly, Elijah never died. John died a rather gruesome death. As for what the NT says about the connection of John to Elijah: wishful thinking. It's definitely not true. Closer to the truth is what John himself said, John 1:19-21.