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Featured New Testament Criticism, Quran Criticism, the Bahai's and their divine inspiration

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by firedragon, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    This is opened particularly to discuss the Bahai claims about the New Testament and the Quran basing their belief on Bahaullah, Abdul Baha, Shoghi Effendi, of course the Bab, and the elders (Not sure if I am making correct terminology so if there is a mistake I apologise).

    Christian scholarship in the turn of two centuries has taken a very critical approach to the New Testament and the field of NT criticism is vast, and growing. It is Christian scholars who found variants between manuscripts and developed highly sophisticated methodologies to get a critical text of the New Testament. Their efforts have been so authentic that they have come up with many methods of criticism that enables them to find the authentic text. This is highly respectable because most of these scholars are in fact Christian scholars with their faith in them, not atheists, Muslims or Hindu's. I said most, but a few of them are.

    The Bahai's claim that Bahaullah had "innate knowledge" which means he was a divine being with divine inspiration. Thus, it is obvious that he would have known what the original text said. I presume that is not a very difficult deduction to explain. If this was the case, Bahaullah would have known that a verse that he says "was symbolic" should have actually been "never existed" because he is quoting a textual variant that is regarded as unauthentic because the earliest manuscripts earlier than lets say P75 does not have that verse. I hope you understand this point. Christian scholars have pointed this out, but the Bahai's seem to hold on to the tradition defying all scholarship and all manuscript evidence. Thus, they are similar to the KJV absolutists because Bahaullah was obviously reading the KJV which is the textus receptus, not a critical text, nor is it based on any manuscript tradition but again, textus receptus.

    The Bahai's have been very quick to commit the Tu Quoque fallacy of bringing up Muhammed and the Quran to argue against this argument. So many times, that it is inevitable that this can of worms should be opened. So I would like to invite the Bahai's in this forum to discuss the criticism of both these books.

    First of all, the New Testament has 27 books. Now. But it used to have 29!! The Codex Sinaiticus has two extra books. The Shepard of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas. These were part of the canon, probably prior to the athanasian canon in the latter part of the 4th century. Thus, though the Christian scholars, even the scholarly priests have an explanation behind this, the Bahai's seem to simply believe in it. Nothing more, nothing less. Thus my question is "why not take these two books as well into your bible"?

    How about the first and second epistles of clement? They are in the Codex Alexandrinus. DO you take that as the New Testament? How would you reconcile this?

    How about Bahaullah quoting the end of Luke saying it was symbolic, but the earliest manuscripts have a different text proving that Bahaullah was not having divine inspiration, but was reading the KJV?

    I know through experience that this will not be engaged with directly, but lets see how we could learn something out of this.

    Peace.
     
    #1 firedragon, Dec 30, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
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  2. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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  3. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Please quote from Bahaullah the related verse from Matthew that you are referring. If it is in the Iqan please quote the paragraph from Bahaullah.

    It is a good starting point, I think.
     
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  4. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg One Planet One People Please
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    The simple reply to this is, if the bible verse/s are explained in the Official Baha'i Writings, then its is authoritative guidance.

    If the passages have not been mentioned in the writings, it is a Baha'i personal interpretation, inspired by what we are told to look for, from our individual understanding of the official writings.

    Regards Tony
     
    #4 Tony Bristow-Stagg, Dec 30, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
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  5. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg One Planet One People Please
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    I have no doubt men have indeed done many wrong things in the past with the scriptures, that is obvious as the noon day sun.

    What Baha'u'llah has told us is that God knows what men do and Gods Plan is greater than men.

    "And remember when the disbelievers schemed against Thee, that they might lay hold upon Thee, or slay Thee, or cast Thee out; and so they schemed, and God schemed, and God, verily, is the best of schemers." Quran 8:30.

    As such, God has allowed men their schemes, but also allow scriptures to remain as a sure spiritual guidance, the older they are, the more men have played with them and made them their own.

    Jesus also warned about this, about not adding to, or taking away from the word, as to leave it in the pure form to enable all men a chance to see what it says for themselves, that we do not have to rely on another persons interpretation.

    Regards Tony
     
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  6. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Christian leaders were heavily invested in the verses of Matthew at the time of Baha’u’llah.

    From William Spicer, a Christian in his book, ‘Our day in the light of Prophecy’. Quote....

    “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Matt. 24:3.”

    “He described the events of the latter days, the signs showing His second advent near at hand; and, finally, He pictured the scenes of His own glorious appearing in the clouds of heaven. The fullest record of the discourse is found in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew.”

    In Worth Smith’s, ‘Miracle of the Age’ once again we see that Matthew was a prevalent discourse at the time also.


    “In fact Jesus answered the question for us long ago when here on earth. His poignant reply is found written in the Scriptures. Reference is made to the entire 24th Chapter of St. Matthew, with especial emphasis, possibly, upon verses 21 and 37. As recorded there, Jesus was looking ahead down the tragic centuries to the “Time of the End”,”

    Ellen G White in her book ‘The Great Controversy’ adds further to the list of prominent Christian leaders citing Matthew: Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” [Matthew 24:30, 31.]

    These passages of Matthew were real to Christians and invoked great fear and distress in the 1840’s just after the 1833 star fall then the great comet of 1843.

    The Manifestation of God, His spiritual authority is such, that whatever He writes, it is our belief, automatically becomes the Word of God including hadiths and verses of the Bible. He can abrogate, reinterpret and change whatever He wishes. That is His Authority given by God. This is the real power invested in Beings such as Christ, Moses, Muhammad and Baha’u’llah.


    Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that “He shall not be asked of His doings”. Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation.
    - Baha’u’llah (‘The Kitab-i-Aqdas’)
     
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  7. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    As to our position on the New Testament and Quran.

    We believe both to be Divinely Inspired Word of God.
     
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  8. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    As to our position on the New Testament and Quran.

    We believe both to be Divinely Inspired Word of God.
     
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  9. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Well, that's a general answer. I am sorry I dont accept general responses because you dont wish to address specific things. Try and address specific things, and it will be fruitful. If not, you have already given your general answer so there is no more to discuss.

    Hope you understand.
     
  10. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Another general answer.
     
  11. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    This does not address anything in the OP.

    Ill tell you what. Can you make an effort and say "When was the book of Hebrews written, by who, and how do you place it"?

    At least, is there a legend to the authorship that you could place this book to?

    See brother, I dont really expect Bahai's to be relevant or objective anymore. I honestly dont. So your kind of response was expected. Just that, I wish you could be relevant and objective.

    So lets compare the Quran and the New Testament. I dont like this subject, but it was you guys who keep bringing this up all the time as a counter argument for everything as a Tu Quoque fallacy.

    So please answer this question. Peace.
     
  12. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I apologise, I was referring to Luke, not Matthew. This is the ascension verse at the end of Luke as found in the KJV. I think its quoted similarly in the TNIV also. Please do check that up.
     
  13. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    You said : How about Bahaullah quoting the end of Luke saying it was symbolic

    Where did Baha’u’llah quote this verse of Luke? A specific reference in both the Bible and Bahá’í Writings would greatly help.
     
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  14. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Okay. NT reference I have already given. Its the end of Luke. The ascension episode. I will find the Bahai reference. Sorry I honestly cannot remember now, but its coming. Hokkay??
     
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  15. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. There are so many commentaries by Baha’u’llah that it’s hard to know which one. I checked Iqan, Gleanings and Tablets but didn’t find any comments quoting Luke regarding ascension.

    Anyway happy New Year. Hope you have a great 2021.
     
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  16. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Alright. I have found one reference. from the "some answered questions of Abdul Baha". Now tell me, where does he get this specific account from, and what is he refuting?

    "ascension of Christ with an elemental body to the visible heaven is contrary to the science of mathematics. But when the truth of,this subject, becomes clear, and the symbol is explained, science in no way contradicts it; but, on the contrary, science and tho intelligence affirm it,." - Chapter on the resurrection.

    Should not he say "no no. This may not have happened, because there is no verse like that in the Bible"? Yet, in contrast he says its symbolic. He clearly says "an elemental body to the visible heaven".
     
  17. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Apologies. Just got back from work. I wish you a happy new year.
     
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  18. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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  19. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Christians believed this from the Gospels. Abdul-Baha just explained that a literal interpretation was erronous.



    Mark 16:19

    So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

    Luke 24:51

    51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.

    Acts 1 ch 8:9

    And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
     
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  20. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    From Shoghi Effendi.

    we cannot be sure how much or how little of the four Gospels are accurate and include the words of Christ and His undiluted teachings, all we can be sure of, as Bahá'ís, is that what has been quoted by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master must be absolutely authentic. As many times passages in the Gospel of St. John are quoted we may assume that it is his Gospel and much of it accurate.
    (23 January 1944 to an individual believer)
     
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