"Who do people say I am?" This was the question Jesus asked his disciples. Their reply was that people were saying he was one of the Old Testament prophets "raised from the dead." Considering the fact that the Resurrection of the Dead at the End of Days has not yet occurred, this begs the question: what did these people mean by Jesus being a prophet "raised from the dead?" The answer can be found by examining the belief systems of the people of Israel in those days. The concept of a End of Days resurrection of corpses originated with the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism (of Magi fame) and was adopted by the Hebrews during the Babylonian exile. Both Jesus and the Pharisees believed in this doctrine of an End of Days resurrection as well. Reincarnation was also a widely held belief throughout Israel in those days and there is strong evidence in the New Testament that Jesus believed and taught reincarnation as well. So the answer to Jesus' question of, "Who do people say I am?," can only refer to people believing Jesus to be the reincarnation of an Old Testament prophet..
More evidence of reincarnation being a teaching by Jesus can be found in the belief systems of the early Judeo-Christians. One group, known as the Ebionites, believed the Holy Spirit had incarnated first as Adam and then later Jesus. Other groups, such as the Elkasaites and Nazarites, also believed this. In the Clementine Homilies, an early Judeo-Christian document, also taught of Jesus having many previous incarnations. The Jewish sect of Samaritans in Jesus' day, believed the spirit of Adam had reincarnated as Seth, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Even today, Orthodox Judaism teaches reincarnation. Also, many Church Fathers and leaders were believers in reincarnation. Most bishops of the early Church were pagan by birth and were well educated in reincarnational ideas. But ideas concerning reincarnation were later suppressed by the Church in the West because the Church of Rome viewed pre-existence (a teaching held by the great Church Father Origen and others) as heresy. But despite the historical changes of New Testament canon, a large amount of references to reincarnation can still be found there.