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Featured Bahai's and the Bible. Errant or Inerrant. Holistic or cherry picking?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by firedragon, Dec 27, 2020.

  1. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    So the real story of Noah is what Baha'u'llah said happened? And since he doesn't mention a flood, then there was no flood during Noah's 950 year long life? Yet, Baha'is don't believe Noah lived for 950 years. And what Baha'u'llah said is confirmed by the best-known books? Like what the book of Juk? So what about the Bible? It does mention a flood and Noah is the main character in that story. Is it wrong?
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Baha'u'llah did not say what happened with the flood, even though I have no doubt that He knew, and maybe there is a reason that He did not tell us. I think the reason is that God does not want us to dwell on the past.

    "Please God thou wilt turn thine eyes towards the Most Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 174-175
     
  3. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Not "dwell" in the past? But he's giving a history lesson of the different prophets. Who is Hud and Salih? Noah lived 950 years? This version of the Noah story, he says, are in the best-known books? But, because he doesn't mention the flood, that must mean he doesn't want us to dwell in the past? The flood was the big event in the story. And, if he doesn't believe that the flood as described in the Bible actually happened, that it was an exaggerated religious myth, I'm good with that. But it sounds like he's just making up his own ''traditions" or maybe taking them from Islamic traditions?
     
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Baha'u'llah was not saying what actually happened. Baha'u'llah;s whole point in writing what He wrote is that religious traditions disagree about the great flood, but that it does not really matter now. If it is important for you to know what happened with the flood it would be better to look to a historian, an archaeologist, or a geologist rather than to a religious scripture.
     
  5. WonderingWorrier

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    I don't think it was an independent Bahai calculation that matched Millers calculation.

    It was an American named Laura Clifford Barney that wrote what Abdu'l-baha said about the calculation in question that was published in 1908. She had become Bahai at around 1900.


    "Laura Barney financed the visit of the Persian Baháʼí scholar Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl to the United States in 1901-04, in order to propagate the faith there".
    Laura Clifford Barney - Wikipedia


    She spent 2 years with Abdu'l-baha between 1904 and 1906.


    While the Bahai faith had been growing in America:

    The Baháʼí Faith was first mentioned in the United States in 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.[1] Soon after, early American converts began embracing the new religion.
    Baháʼí Faith in the United States - Wikipedia


    So it seems very possible that Miller the American preacher who had a prophecy calculation for the return of Christ later had his calculation heard, adopted, and adapted to the Bab. Because of the year 1844.


    The calculation itself depends on partial use of three verses while disregarding many others. If any of the three verses are removed from the calculation it falls apart. If other verses are considered it falls apart.



    For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

    Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matthew 25:13
     
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  6. WonderingWorrier

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    There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it,- a detailed exposition of all things, and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe. 12:111
     
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  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That is entirely possible, and that prophecy was also incorporated into the book Thief in the Night by William Sears..
    So what does that tell you, logically speaking? What it tells me is that this prophecy cannot be relied upon to determine if the Bab and Baha'u'llah were or were not who they claimed to be. It tells me that a true seeker would be looking elsewhere to make that determination.
     
  8. WonderingWorrier

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    I agree.

    Bahai interpretations, calculations and prophecies fulfilled, cant be determined. As I demonstrated earlier with the use of Hitler.


    But Baha'u'llah interpretation could be examined as a potential way to determine.


    Not what he says about who he thinks he is. The one that other scriptures speak of.
    But what exactly Baha'u'llah says when explaining other scriptures.
    That could get closer to revealing if he is who he says he is.

    Do you have any scripture verses that you would like to discuss where Baha'u'llah explains meaning?
     
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  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I am not sure why you think this would be a way to determine if Baha'u'llah is who He says He is?

    You are still relying upon 'scriptures of other religions' in order to determine who Baha'u'llah was. Why is it that Baha'u'llah cannot be judged on His own merit, by looking at His own life and completed mission and His own scriptures? Why do we need to look at the scriptures of other religions? Is this some kind of test in order to determine if Baha'u'llah knew what those other scriptures meant? How could we know if He was correct unless there was an unerring interpretation of the meaning made by someone else to compare Baha'u'llah's interpretation to?

    I just thought of some New Testament verses that Baha'u'llah wrote about. Please bear in mind that Baha'u'llah was paraphrasing these Bible verses, not quoting them directly.

    “It is also recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke, that on a certain day Jesus passed by a Jew who was sick of the palsy, and lay upon a couch. When the Jew saw Him, he recognized Him, and cried out for His help. Jesus said unto him: “Arise from thy bed; thy sins are forgiven thee.” Certain of the Jews, standing by, protested saying: “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” And immediately He perceived their thoughts, Jesus answering said unto them: “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, arise, and take up thy bed, and walk; or to say, thy sins are forgiven thee? that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” 7 This is the real sovereignty, and such is the power of God’s chosen Ones! All these things which We have repeatedly mentioned, and the details which We have cited from divers sources, have no other purpose but to enable thee to grasp the meaning of the allusions in the utterances of the chosen Ones of God, lest certain of these utterances cause thy feet to falter and thy heart to be dismayed.” The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 133-134
     
  10. WonderingWorrier

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    Because a true messenger does not speak for himself. He would be part of the group that speaks the one true message of the one true God.

    While a false messenger speaks false words of God. His words are imagination and do not match the words of the true messengers. Therefore it would be a false God that he speaks of. Because what he says is not the same truth.
     
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  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    What you said is true according to Baha'i beliefs, because we believe the Messengers are all the same Spirit of God that appears on earth as a different human being with a different mission. I think that is why in Baha'u'llah's Writings, He often starts a sentence with "We."

    Because they are all the same Spirit of God they would all know what happened to all the other Messengers who appeared before them. Baha'u'llah did write about some of those other Messengers and what it felt like being Them.

    “It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith.

    The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: “Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 52
     
  12. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for researching this out and getting back to me. What bothers me is the use of some verses and the disregarding of others.
     
  13. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like that is exactly what he did.

    Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

    9 This is the account of Noah and his family.

    Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

    11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark... 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

    22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

    Genesis 7:17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.​

    Baha'u'llah's story is just a little different. So similar to the resurrection, where Baha'is say that Jesus didn't physically come back to life, are there verses in the Baha'i writings that say the flood didn't literally happen as written in the Bible?
     
    #653 CG Didymus, Jan 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I would say that Baha'u'llah's story is a lot different than what is in the Bible which is not historical fact. Baha'u'llah never said there was a great flood, He said that accounts of the great flood vary greatly: "among existing historical records differences are to be found, and each of the various peoples of the world hath its own account of the age of the earth and of its history."

    I think Genesis is just allegorical. If "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark" that is not a God I would consider loving, but you know I have a problem with that anyway.
     
  15. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Prophecy is right smack in the middle of it all. A "true" follower of a religion would be doing the things that their religion tells them to be doing. But prophecies are part of that with warnings of things to watch out for. Like when such and such happens that is a sign of the end or the coming of a promised one. And there's also signs that say when such and such happens, that is not the end and that is not the promised one.

    So when is the promised one supposed to come? Do we know? Or, nobody knows? I keep asking about the verse that says there will be wars and rumors of wars but that is not yet the end. That ties in with what he supposed to do. Is he supposed to bring peace and establish peace and put a stop to war? Or, is he to put into place the things needed to eventually get us to peace, but wars will continue to happen even after he has come and gone? Even his life and his teachings are tied into what prophecies say about him. By his "fruits" or by doing good things, and not evil and bad things, we will know him.

    Okay, I don't think anyone would say that Baha'is aren't on the side of good, but which religion, and especially and including a religion like the Sikhs, is not trying to do good? And each religion has different things they are looking for and expecting. A "true" seeker should look at all of those things of all of the religions. What are all of them predicting? What will happen? What should we be expecting? That's the prophecies. The Baha'i claim is that all of them been fulfilled.
     
  16. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Jesus claimed he had the authority to forgive sins. Supposedly, the Jews accused him of blasphemy because only God can forgive sins. Then Jesus asks what is easier to "say" your sins are forgiven or to tell a crippled man to get up and walk? So Jesus heals the guy as proof that he does have the power and authority to forgive sins. That is one reason Christians put Jesus above all others. So... do Baha'i believe that Baha'u'llah, or Muhammad or Moses or any of the other manifestations had this power and authority to forgive people of their sins?
     
  17. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    I know. But did Jews and Christians back in the old days know that? Were they allowed to doubt and question the "Word" of God? The inerrant, infallible Word of God? Even now we argue with those people that believe Genesis to be literal, historical truth. But, if we make Genesis allegorical, where do we stop? We don't. We go all the way to the NT with stories of Jesus. You know the usual... Did he walk on water? Doubt it. Did he bring people back to life? No, I don't think so. Did he himself come back to life and ascend into the sky? Seriously? People still believe those things? Yes they do, because their religion requires them to "believe". Believe without question.

    And that becomes part of the problem convincing people that the Baha'is Faith is really from God. The Baha'is deny the "truth" of the Bible. They deny its inerrancy and infallibility. Baha'is make it a book of fictional stories that had a spiritual message but, because they were written as actual historical facts, people took them to be literally true. So, therefore, if the Baha'is deny the Bible is literally true, then the Baha'i Faith can't be true and from God. And Baha'is know this and answer back by saying that God planned it that way so that only the "true", spiritual-minded seekers would see beyond the "veils".

    For me, it is so much more likely that the Bible stories are fictional. But, you know, I don't like how Baha'is don't just come out and say that the Bible is just a book of legends and myths of an ancient people. And like most all myths, there are and can be "truth" in them... lessons to be learned on how to live a better, more spiritual life, but still, the stories are fictional. They never happened.

    So did God part the seas? No. Did Jesus heal the crippled man or walk on water? Probably not. It's so much more likely that the writers embellished the story to make Jesus into a miracle working God/man. So then what do we take as true from the Bible? If it is fictional, allegorical stories and not real history, then why not just call it myth? Why do even Baha'is call it the "Word of God"? Why not "The Allegorical Story about a People and their God" and not to be taken literally... except the prophecies... and even they are in symbolic language that has to be interpreted... Oh and where Jesus says his work is "finished" that is literally true. He's never coming back.
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    ALL these things can be misinterpreted and thus misunderstood, and that is the problem with using prophecies.
    Jesus said that only the Father knows:

    Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the Son, but the Father only.

    Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.


    So we can look at prophecies and try to figure them out but we will just be spinning our wheels, since there are so many prophecies and they can be interpreted to MEAN so many different things. I imagine that is why Jesus never said "by the prophecies you shall know Him." Instead Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them.

    Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Fruits: the pleasant or successful result of work or actions: FRUIT | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    The problem as I said is that the prophecies can and do mean different things to different people and that is why they are not reliable for determining if the Messiah has come. But if you are going to look at prophecies I agree that a "true" seeker should look at all of those things of all of the religions, not just the Bible prophecies.

    Below are two websites that cover the prophecies of the major religions and what they believe the Messiah will be. This should keep you busy for a while.

    “In this page a links to other pages concentrating on prophecies contained in some of the major Religious and Spiritual traditions of the World. Also I have included some predictions of Nostradamus and there is an article on 2012 which is the special date when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. In each section I give some background to the prophecies from the respective World Religions and also discuss some of their social and political implications.”

    Prophecies from World Religion and other sources

    “Each of the world's major religions contains Messianic prophecies.

    Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Zoroastrian religion and even the Native American religions all foretell the coming of a Promised One. Each of the Founders of these great religions either promised to personally return himself, to send another like himself or in some instances.... the Founder promised to do both.

    Christians await the return of Christ and the coming of "another comforter." The Jewish scriptures foretell the coming of "another Prophet" like Moses and the return of Elijah from heaven. Many Moslems await the appearance of Mahdi and Meseeh. Krishna promised to personally return from age to age. Buddha said that he was not the first Buddha ever to appear and that another "supremely enlightened" Buddha was still yet to come. Zoroastrian prophecies foretell the coming of a "world-renovator." Native American prophecies foretell the coming of a great teacher from the east who will bring teachings which will restore the hoop of unity.

    Each religion, in its own way, has foretold the coming of a great religion restoring, world uniting, peace bringing Messiah.””

    Prophecy Fulfilled Webpage
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    "So... do Baha'i believe that Baha'u'llah, or Muhammad or Moses or any of the other manifestations had this power and authority to forgive people of their sins."

    That is a very good question but I do not have the answer at my fingertips. Off the top of my head I would say that only Jesus has this power, but I could be wrong. Of course, God also has this power.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, they are not required to believe these allegorical things without question. Many Christians and Jews recognize the stories as allegorical.
    No, I do not think that is the problem as to why people do not believe that the Baha'i Faith is really from God is because Baha'is do not believe that all of the Bible is literally true or inerrant, because there are many Christians that do not believe that the Bible is literally true or inerrant and there are many Christians who do not believe the Bible is historical facts. Below is a list I made a while back explaining why more people do not become Baha'is.

    1. Many people have never heard of the Baha’i Faith, so they do not know there is something to look for. It is the responsibility of the Baha’is to get the message out, so if that is not happening, the Baha’is are to blame. However, there are so few Baha’is and they are busy building the New World Order, and there is only so much time, so they can only do so much.

    2. But even after people know about the Baha’i Faith, most people are not even willing to look the evidence in order to determine if it is true or not.

    3. Even if they are willing to look at the evidence, there is a lot of prejudice before even getting out the door to look at the evidence.

    4. 84% of people in the world already have a religion and they are happy with their religion so they have no interest in a “new religion.”

    5. The rest of the world’s population is agnostics or atheists or believers who are prejudiced against all religion.

    6. Agnostics or atheists and atheists and believers who have no religion either do not believe that God communicates via Messengers or they find fault with the Messenger, Baha’u’llah.

    7. Baha’u’llah brought new teachings and laws that are very different from the older religions so many people are suspicious of those teachings and/or don’t like the laws because some laws require them to give things up that they like doing..
    Baha'is do not come out and say that because that is not what we believe. We do not believe that the Bible is ALL myths and legends.

    The Bahá'í viewpoint proposed by this essay has been established as follows: The Bible is a reliable source of Divine guidance and salvation, and rightly regarded as a sacred and holy book. However, as a collection of the writings of independent and human authors, it is not necessarily historically accurate. Nor can the words of its writers, although inspired, be strictly defined as 'The Word of God' in the way the original words of Moses and Jesus could have been. Instead there is an area of continuing interest for Bahá'í scholars, possibly involving the creation of new categories for defining authoritative religious literature.

    A Baháí View of the Bible
    (Rosebery, Australia: Association for Baha'i Studies Australia, 1996)

    In studying the Bible Bahá'ís must bear two principles in mind. The first is that many passages in Sacred Scriptures are intended to be taken metaphorically, not literally, and some of the paradoxes and apparent contradictions which appear are intended to indicate this. The second is the fact that the text of the early Scriptures, such as the Bible, is not wholly authentic.
    (28 May 1984 to an individual believer)

    The Bahá'ís believe what is in the Bible to be true in substance. This does not mean that every word recorded in that Book is to be taken literally and treated as the authentic saying of a Prophet....

    The Bahá'ís believe that God's Revelation is under His care and protection and that the essence, or essential elements, of what His Manifestations intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in Their Holy Books. However, as the sayings of the ancient Prophets were written down some time later, we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Them are Their exact words
    (9 August 1984 to an individual believer)

    The Bible: Extracts on the Old and New Testaments
    (From letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice)
    So then what do we take as true from the Bible? See what I said above if you want to know what Baha'is take as true. :);)
     
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