Regeneration of the human spirit is a cornerstone doctrine of the New Testament, taught in Jesus’ famous ‘born again’ discourse with Nicodemus. (John 3) Likewise, St. Paul explains our restoration in scriptures such as Colossians 3:9-10.

“You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Given that New Testament revelation finds its fountainhead in the Old Testament, was this experience explicitly promised by the prophets? And where in the Old Testament is the source of the doctrine of Regeneration?

2 Answers 2


There are approximately 25 to 30 instances where regeneration is promised in the Old Testament. Below are but three of those instances, others you can find through study.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

This was the basic promise of God's covenant with Abraham.

Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

God's promise to those who return to him.

Isaiah 32:3-4 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

God's promise for our regenerated person and some insight into our resurrection bodies.

The Book of Job is also an enumeration regeneration of Job's person after his recognition of God as supreme.

There are many other stories in the Old testament dealing with regeneration, not only of the body but also the Soul. Looking for those specifics as we read the Bible opens a whole new world of understanding Jesus decent to the World.

Hope this helps.


Ezekiel 36:25-27

And I will sprinkle upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols. And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them.

An obvious reference to baptism which Jesus has in mind below.

John 3:3-5

Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born again? Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Being born again here is explicitly a new birth in the Spirit: regeneration:

John 3:6

That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.

This is consonant with the teaching in Mark 16:16, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:20-21, Galatians 3:26-27, Acts 22:16, Acts 2:38-39 etc.

  • Ezekiel 36 is indeed an impressive promise. But if we apply it to regeneration of the believer at conversion, it seems to be saying that the old 'Adamic nature' is extracted from us at the same time as the 'new nature' is put in us. Is that what Ezekiel is saying? Sep 11, 2017 at 17:43
  • "But if we apply it to regeneration of the believer at conversion" We would be ignoring the reference to water baptism here. The "laver of regeneration" is what is in mind in both texts. The grace of New Testament redemption is administered through baptism. That's why everyone who converts hurries to be baptized, even begs, in Scripture. St. Peter also says that baptism is how we are "now save[d]," just as Noah was saved in the flood waters. Regeneration is a restoration to the original humannature, endowed with the life of God in the soul: grace—of which original sin is the privation. Sep 11, 2017 at 17:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .