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Featured Resurrection of Christ - What's the evidence for and against a literal resurrection

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Dawnofhope, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Yeah but belief based upon mythical possibilities is different from belief based upon downtoearth real possibilities is different.

    Celsus's report can be based upon non-miraculouis incidents, all of which have a connect with historical events. That beats the mythical miraculous possiblilities.
    Two thousand years ago? Never? :rolleyes:
     
  2. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    We do not know what Celsus might have written about Sepphoris etc. because his work The True Word is lost. All we know about it is contained in the quotes from it by Origen in his Contra Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 32 where the Panthera allegation is quoted. Origen refers to nothing about Sepphoris etc. being found in Celsus.

    It is modern commentators who suggest that Celsus might have been inspired to create his story by historical events.

    “Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan state that given the antagonism of Celsus towards Christianity, his suggestion of the Roman parentage of Jesus might derive from the memory of Roman military operations suppressing a revolt at Sepphoris near Nazareth around the time of Jesus' birth. The "common legionary name" Panthera could have arisen from a satirical connection between "Panther" and the Greek word "Parthenos" meaning virgin.”
    Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera - Wikipedia

    There are other problems with the Sepphoris theory. In the nativity story in Matthew 2, Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. They went to Egypt to escape Herod and then settled in Nazareth way up in Galilee because even after Herod’s death, Bethlehem was not a safe place. The revolt in Sepphoris and its recapture took place after Herod died. According to Matthew that was some time after Jesus was already born. No hanky panky around Sepphoris possible.

    Luke 2 tells a different nativity story. He has Joseph and Mary start out in Nazareth, where Mary gets pregnant. However he has Jesus born “when Cyrenius was governor of Syria”. The census/tax mentioned took place in 6 AD long after the Sepphoris incident of 4 BC.

    Neither of the two (different) virgin birth stories allows connection with the Sepphoris revolt.

    Bottom line: Celsus made up a story about made-up stories in order to belittle belief in them. The alleged 'accuracy' of Celsus is in fact modern speculation.

    I mentioned Mark because if he had any knowledge of a divinely inspired virgin birth story concerning Jesus, it would have been useful in justifying the Son of God claim. As it is he merely uses the title without explanation. Paul, who has Jesus come from heaven, would have been happy to have such a story at his disposal. As it is his “born of a woman” is rather anti-climactic compared to what it could have been.
     
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  3. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Celsus requires that some portion of Matthew and/or Luke be taken seriously, that a young woman was pregnant out of wedlock. Since this story does not appear at all until 80+ years after the supposed eventnand turns out to be very convenient for the purposes of the writer, why should even that part be accepted as fact? Celsus made up a story about made-up stories for the purpose of denigrating Christianity.

    Also that alleged connect with historical events is speculation by modern writers, not anything Celsus says as far as we can discover.
     
  4. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Which links and clicks in to the history of Sepphoris so well.

    Well this modern commentator suggests that Celcus's story is a jigsaw match with such histories.

    Do you accept these two fellas?
    Do you like Crosson's Jesus, a 'Heal for Meal' showman shuffling from one village to another, following two or three disciples who had gone ahead to 'big up' their boss and his act?

    Which happens to click in to place, as does the Temple virgin in that hellenised city, Varus's occupation of same, the date, click, click, click.

    ...like Christ arose from the Greek word Christos?
    Do you think that Yeshua ever heard that word in his life?

    So you refute the gospel of Luke's account in its entirety? Luke puts J and M's journey to Bethlehem just after 6AD when the first or second Iudean (Judea, Idumea, Samaria) census was ordered? That's ten years after Matthew's story.
    You mention satirical links to Celcus's story but did you ever consider the link to Herod's many killings of his own children? Augustus had a joke about that, that he would sooner be a pig in Herod's household than a son. ....... the slaughter of the children.


    As already covered in this post by me.

    The Luke story connects with Nazareth being a service community to Sepphoris, the Virgin connection, the flight south, etc.
    The idea that Rome required the inhabitants of its countries to travel back to pay taxes at their ancestral homes is crazy window licking nonsense. Such manipulations are a joke. really.

    Sadly the accuracy of Celcus is coming to light in the light of accurate historical details.

     
  5. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    No, Celcus was very accurate.
    Look at his description of the closest disciples: Ten boatmen and two tax officers. That's really brilliant clear info, and adds to our picture very closely. Since Judas BarSimon was a very ruthless and hard man, and no doubt accurate with money, he may well have previously been a publican (sub tax officer) before he followed Jesus.

    I have to go with Celcus's descriptions where we have them, but I acknowl;edge your opinions that he was no genuine.
     
  6. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    In the OT, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.

    ”It is finished”- John 19:30. It signifies God’s Old Economy, i.e., BY WORK, is done with and the New Economy is established, i.e., BY FAITH. IOW, there is no more to be done after the crucifixion because Christ by shedding HIS own blood is the perfect sacrifice once for all. Then He entered into the MOST HOLY PLACE, not the COPY of the one here on earth, “but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us:”

    “For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us:” Hebrews 9:24
    “nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place year by year with blood not his own;” Hebrews 9:25
    “else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:26

    Baha’u’llah could not have done it because there is only ONE who could mediate between God and man and that is the Lord Jesus. One foot planted in eternity and the other stepped into time and bridged the gap between God and man.

    “For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5
     
  7. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    The “Other sheep” are the Gentiles. The Lord Jesus did not preach to the Gentiles during His earthly ministry. “But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” –Matthew 15:24. In the 4 gospels, His preaching was limited to the Jews only and if there were Gentiles then they were proselytes to Judaism or the Law of Moses.

    The salvation of the Gentiles appeared in the Bible in Acts 10 when Peter was sent by God to evangelized Cornelius and his household and later on by Paul. If you read Gentiles adhering to the Law of Moses then they were the proselytes to Judaism, i.e., during the beginning of Acts. So, by saying that “This was the Mission of Baha’u’llah” but totally in contradiction of what the bible is saying only worsen your side of the story. Like I said before, you cannot mix two beliefs in one because it will only contradict each other and logic is saying that a statement cannot be TRUE and FALSE at the same time.

    The “BARRIER” is the “MIDDLE WALL” that separated the Jews and Gentiles in the Temple, i.e., before and during Christ’s earthly ministry.

    Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 56:7 “even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

    So, this barrier was cleared or destroyed by the Lord Jesus, physically, in Mark 11:15-16. And this is what Paul was saying in Ephesians 2:14 “For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition,”

    When Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70, this partition or barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles was demolished along with the temple itself. But Paul saw it as already destroyed by Christ at the cross. “It is finished” No more barrier between Jews and Gentiles.

    “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
     
  8. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    There is no proof of that. The Spirit of Truth is the same as the Holy Spirit. Baha’u’llah could not in any way be the Holy Spirit. Baha’u’llah was born November 12, 1817.

    Here’s the proof of that:

    After 40 days the Lord appeared to the disciple “and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me:” -Acts 1:4

    “For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” Acts 1:5

    “But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” –Acts 1:8

    Then in the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them that believed in the Lord Jesus.

    “And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them.” Acts 2:3

    “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

    Do you still think Baha’u’llah is the Holy Spirit?
     
  9. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    You say science and religion then when asked if science and religion can explain how life started then you answer with another dead end, i.e., "science has completed discredited the literal interpretation" of the bible. Can you be more specific on how science discredited the literal creation and the flood?
     
  10. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    As I have said and will say again, nothing we know about celsus points to such a connection and the modern speculations do not fit the timeframes of the virgin birth stories.

    As I have said and will say again, the fit is very poor. Basically the only connection is the word Nazareth with nothing else fitting.


    The point is do YOU accept them? If you do not, keep in mind that they are the only way of bringing in the notion of Sepphoris. If you do accept them, keep in mind that they are talking about Sepphoris as a possible inspiration for Celsus to make up his story.


    Origen, the only source we have for what Celsus said, says nothing whatsoever about Mary being a Temple virgin. The apocryphal 2nd century Infancy Gospel of James has Mary be a young virgin residing in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, but that is hardly a Hellenized environment. In that work, Mary is given into the keeping of too old to have sex Joseph before she is old enough to menstruate and defile the Temple. But nowhere can I find anything about Celsus mentioning ‘pagan’ temples and Mary. Where are you getting this from?

    Christos is the anointed one, the Greek equivalent of Messiah. Considering that the Messiah (defined various ways) was in the popular imagination as a promised deliverer in those days of Roman oppression, I think it likely that Jesus would have heard the word. It is even possible that he heard the word applied to himself. Son of God may have started as a messianic reference before Paul (or someone prior) made it something supernatural. Psalm 2:7 has God call David his son and the Messiah was to be a descendent of David.


    I said that both Matthew and Luke presented made-up stories about the Nativity. As I wrote earlier, Matthew make Jesus the Son of God by virtue of having inspired Mary’s pregnancy. This allows him to sidestep Paul’s pre-existing Jesus and its hint of polytheism. Matthew’s readers were mainly Jewish Christians. Matthew’s main interest was demonstrating that Jesus was the Messiah. Paul’s audience was mainly Gentile, who would not worry about a polytheistic subtext. Luke took Matthew’s nativity story and changed it to make Jesus more human and more universally applicable. Yes these stories were made up for detectable reason many decades after the supposed time of the event

    The point you are missing (ignoring?) is that neither Matthew nor Luke fit the timing required of the Sepphoris claim. Matthew has Jesus born while Herod was alive and well before they went to Naareth. The revolt of Judas of Galilee started after Herod was dead. The Roman soldiers arrived after that. No opportunity for a Roman inspired pregnancy. Luke has them start in Nazareth but ten years after the revolt and its suppression. Likewise no opportunity for Roman involvement. No click click. Miss miss.


    Herod’s killing of his (grown) sons might have put the idea of Herod in Matthew’s mind. Nonetheless the ‘Slaughter of the Innocents’ is a clear reference to Exodus 1-2 in which Pharaoh kills the Jewish male children but Moses escapes. This is one of several times that Matthew links Jesus and Moses.


    Again, there is nothing in Origen, the only source about Celsus, about Sepphoris. That is modern speculation that Celsus may have been inspired by the Sepphoris revolt to invent his story. However if the modern commentators had looked a little deeper into the timelines of the nativity stories they wold probably not have speculated thusly.

    The story about traveling to Bethlehem for tax purposes is yet another example of Luke telling a different story than Matthew. It replaces the trip to Egypt and the subsequent trip to Nazareth. Maybe Luke wanted to avoid the Moses link because his audience was Gentile. Yes,it is preposterous. But it is a made-up story written long after the timeframe of that story. No connection with actual events.

    The only thing that we know of that Celsus said concerning this matter is "when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera;" The supposed connection with Sepphoris is a modern speculation that does not even work because the timeframes are all wrong.

    No click, click. All miss, miss.


    If a virgin birth story about Jesus had been known from early on, it would have been repeated as much as the crucifixion and resurrection stories. Paul would have used it as he used those stories, especially because it would have supported his otherwise unsupported supernatural Son of God claim. The fact is that we hear nothing about a virgin birth until Matthew around 80 AD or so. Throw in that Matthew had good reason for having such a story and the conclusion is obvious. In other words, Celsus made up a story about a made-up story. No connection with actual historical events.
     
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  11. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    No I'm not - not on this - Shogi Effendi was clearly confused and so - it seems - are you after him. The Catholic doctrine of immaculate conception is not about the birth of Jesus (except by extension) - it is about the problem of having the Christ child brought into the world via the womb of an imperfect human mother who had inherited original sin as a daughter of Adam. To get around this problem, the Catholic Church invented an extra-biblical doctrine that says, in essence, that God miraculously preserved Mary from the effects of original sin from the very moment of her conception. That this is not in the Bible is of course not problem for Catholicism because the Church has authority to adopt and adapt doctrine under divine guidance, but almost none of the Protestant denominations accept it because it isn't in the Bible even though they do accept the doctrine of original sin. But to have the immaculate conception without original sin makes no sense at all. I suggest that you read up on this from independent sources - but I can assure you without any hint of confusion on my part, that to uphold the doctrine of the "immaculacy of Mary" and reject the concept of original sin is theologically incoherent. Most likely, Shogi Effendi thought - like most people who don't know much about it - that the "immaculate conception" referred to Mary having been a virgin when she conceived - but that is a(nother) Baha'i misinterpretation.
     
    #671 siti, Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  12. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    From Adrian's post 561
    "...that the reality of the mystery of the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary is confessed..."

    That was from Shoghi. Obviously he's confused. And now Adrian has to support that belief.
     
  13. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Shoghi Effendi uses the terms virgin birth and immaculate conception. He never refers specifically to the Catholic doctrine of the immaculate conception which has quite a different meaning as you have rightly highlighted.


    "As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized, that the reality of the mystery of the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary is confessed, and the primacy of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, is upheld and defended. The Founder of the Christian Faith is designated by Bahá’u’lláh as the 'Spirit of God,' is proclaimed as the One Who 'appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost,' and is even extolled as the 'Essence of the Spirit'. His mother is described as 'that veiled and immortal, that most beauteous countenance,' and the station of her Son eulogized as a 'station which hath been exalted above the imaginings of all that dwell on earth', whilst Peter is recognized as one whom God has caused 'the mysteries of wisdom and of utterance to flow out of his mouth'.…"
    (Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, pp. 109-110)

    "We believe that Christ only was conceived immaculately. His brothers and sisters would have been born in the natural way and conceived naturally."
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to Dr. Shook, November 19, 1945: Bahá’í News, No. 210, p. 3, August 1948)

    "First regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. In light of what Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá have stated concerning this subject it is evident that Jesus came into this world through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, and that consequently His birth was quite miraculous. This is an established fact, and the friends need not feel at all surprised, as the belief in the possibility of miracles has never been rejected in the Teachings. Their importance, however, has been minimized."
    (From a letter dated December 31, 1937 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)

    Other relevant writings:
    Bahá'í Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 89-90

    Bahá'í Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 122-126
     
  14. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    So he didn't have a clue what he was talking about...perhaps he would have been better advised to confess a doctrine of "immaculate misconception" - that would be more in keeping with Baha'i teachings I think!
     
  15. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    I think the intent of Celsus is clearly to denigrate Christianity and there isn't a shred of evidence to support his maliciuosly slanderous allegations.

    The virgin birth narrative is just as important to Christianity as the resurrection narrative. It links into Jesus as the 'Son of God' that all the gospel writers and the apostles explicitly referred to.

    Son of God (Christianity) - Wikipedia

    Whether either is literally true or not they have profound implications for understanding the Unique role of Christ in religious history and humanities relationship with God.
     
  16. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Seems clear to me. Just look it up in a dictionary:

    immaculate
    ɪˈmakjʊlət/
    adjective
    adjective: immaculate

    1. 1.
      perfectly clean, neat, or tidy.
      "an immaculate white suit"
      synonyms: clean, spotless, pristine, unsoiled, unstained, unsullied, speckless, ultra-clean; More
      whiter than white, snowy-white, lily-white;
      shining, shiny, gleaming;
      neat, tidy, neat and tidy, spick and span, neat as a new pin;
      informalsqueaky clean, as clean as a whistle
      "an immaculate white shirt"
      perfect, pristine, mint, as good as new;
      flawless, faultless, without blemish, unblemished, unimpaired, unspoilt, undamaged, unmarred;
      excellent, impeccable, prime, peak
    It also alludes to Mary's distinguished character.
     
  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Good grief Adrian! So when Shoghi Effenci wrote (in 1941): "that the reality of the mystery of the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary is confessed" he was not referring to his understanding of Catholic doctrine...

    ...but when he wrote (in 1945): "With regard to your question concerning the Virgin Birth of Jesus: On this point, as on several others, the Bahá’í Teachings are in full agreement with the doctrines of the Catholic Church. In the 'Kitáb-i-Íqán' (Book of Certitude) p. 56, and in a few other Tablets still unpublished, Bahá’u’lláh confirms, however indirectly, the Catholic conception of the Virgin Birth."
    (From a letter dated October 14, 1945 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)...

    ...he was referring specifically to his understanding of Catholic doctrine minus the "immaculate conception"?

    Are you seriously asking us to believe that Shoghi Effendi considered Mary's generally upright character to be a "mystery" that needed to be "confessed"?

    He just didn't have a clue what he was talking about did he? And now you're stuck with it.

     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I know that verse well. It was written for the dispensation of Jesus but it was never meant to apply for all time and eternity. If it did, it would make all of the other world religions false and it would mean that God never communicated to humanity before Jesus came to earth. It would also mean that Moses never heard from God and Muhammad never heard from God. This is logically untenable, which is why I am a Baha’i and not a Christian, well, one reason. ;)

    You are free to believe that because you have free will. You already know where the Baha’is stand on this issue and we already know where Christians stand.

    Baha’is are not going to become Christians but we will always believe in Jesus and what He sacrificed for humanity. :)
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I know what Christians believe John 10:16 means but that is not what it means, in the context of the remainder of John 10 as well as the context of John 14-17. There was no other interpretation that Christians could make of that verse since they did not understand what Jesus meant in John 14-17; particularly about the Comforter and the Spirit of truth that Jesus would send from the Father. All these chapters and verses fit together to tell a story of what is going to happen in the future when Christ returns, so if one chapter or verse is misconstrued the whole thing just comes tumbling down like a house of cards. :eek:

    John 10:16: And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

    Moreover, “and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” cannot be referring to the gentiles back in the days of Jesus because that did not come to pass back then, so that would make Jesus into a liar. No, that verse refers to the future, when there would be one fold and one shepherd. That has not happened yet, but it will happen during the Messianic Age.

    Isaiah used symbolic language to describe the future He saw:

    Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

    What this means to a Baha’i is that In the future diverse religions and races will become comrades, friends and companions. The contentions of races, the differences of religions, and the barriers between nations will be completely removed, and all will attain perfect union and reconciliation. In the distant future, there will only be one religion, the religion of God. :)
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I have spent years discussing these verses with a Christian on another forum so I know what Christians believe about what is in John 14, 15, 16 and 17.

    I do not believe that Baha’u’llah was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God. The Spirit of truth is not the Holy Spirit. He is the man who brings the Holy Spirit to humanity, which is the same man as the Comforter, who brings the Holy Spirit to humanity. Jesus was the first Comforter, Baha’u’llah was another Comforter.

    What Jesus said in John 14 flows from one verse to the next verse.

    John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; -- Jesus says that the Father (God) will give us another Comforter. Jesus was the first Comforter and Baha’u’llah was another Comforter.

    John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. – Jesus says that the world cannot see or receive the Spirit of truth (Baha’u’llah) because we do not know him yet, since he has not come yet; but the disciples know the Spirit of truth because it is the same Holy Spirit that resides in them as a result of Jesus. Iows, the Holy Spirit Baha’u’llah will bring is the same Holy Spirit that Jesus brought, since it is the Bounty of God which never changes.

    John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. – Jesus said He would come but if you tie that together to the two verses above, we can see Jesus did not mean He would come in the same body, but rather the same Spirit would come (another Comforter). Moreover, he could not have addressing only the disciples, because neither Jesus nor Baha’u’llah came during their lifetimes.

    John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.– Finally, Jesus made it perfectly clear that the world would not see Him again after He left; but we will see Him because His spirit lives on forever. As a result of believing in Jesus we will gain eternal life.
     
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