Jesus and the Bahai Faith

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Sean H., Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    This topic will start out as a response to our wonderful wil and further about the relationship between Jesus and the Bahai Faith.

    Let's begin at the source with a some revelant quotes.
    3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    (King James Bible, John)


    John 3:16 is held by some Christians to be the quintessential quote of Christianity demonstrating that Jesus and only Jesus is the path to everlasting life. However, there may be a few problems with taking it literally.

    3:38 who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.
    (King James Bible, Luke)


    This passage states that Adam was the son of God. How can Jesus be the only son of God if Adam is the son of God? Again, taken literally this does not make sense. To understand this concept, let’s explore some more.

    The word begotten is not translated the same way in the Bible when it is not used to refer to Jesus

    Luke 7:12 Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And many people of the city were with her.

    Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

    Luke 9:38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.
    (King James Bible)

    The same Greek word, monogenēs, is used for all of the bolded parts. It is the same word used in John 3:16 for only begotten. Begotten is only translated for Jesus. There is a subtle difference between “his only Son” and “his only begotten Son.”

    It’s interesting to look at the first use of begotten in John.

    John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    If you take a look at the Greek Words intertwined……….


    Jhn 1:14 And 2532 the Word 3056 was made 1096 flesh 4561, and 2532 dwelt 4637 among 1722 us 2254, (and 2532 we beheld 2300 his 846 glory 1391, the glory 1391 as 5613 of the only begotten 3439 of 3844 the Father 3962,) full 4134 of grace 5485 and 2532 truth 225.

    The words “of the only begotten” is monogenēs in Greek which means only. The passage translated as that would look like…

    “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as only of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

    Much different isn’t it?
     
  2. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    ANYWHO………

    Let’s get back on Topic. Jesus refers to himself as the Son of God even though Adam was also the Son of God. Jesus also refers to himself as the Son of Man. One example is

    22:47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
    22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

    (King James Bible, Luke)


    Jesus also points to the Son of Man who will come.

    21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
    21:26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
    21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

    (King James Bible, Luke)


    21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
    (King James Bible, Luke)

    13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
    13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
    13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
    (King James Bible, Mark)


    24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    (King James Bible, Matthew)


    There are some other prominent passages where Jesus talks of his station.

    14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    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.
    14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me
    16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    (King James Bible, John)

    2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    (King James Bible, 1 John)


    In my opinion, Jesus implies when he says "give you another Comforter" that he is also a Comforter. In fact in I John 2:1 the translators use the word advocate when in fact they translated the same Greek word earlier as Comforter! So there too it says that Jesus is a Comforter.

    Many modern-day Christians have interpreted that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that this was not always the common Christian belief, and that translations have supported a particular interpretation. In 14:26 it reads "which is the Holy Ghost". The original greek has only two word for the 5 words in the King James translation: pneuma meaning Holy or saint and hagios , Spirit.

    Another item to point out is that there is no word "the" in the Greek. The passage would be read as thus "But the Comforter, Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name ..." or "But the Comforter, Saint Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name ..." As far as the Greek is concerned both are correct. A translation of "the Holy Spirit" and a translation of "a Holy Spirit" are equivalent.

    I would also say that, in my opinion, Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit, and that you could call Jesus the Holy Spirit truthfully because he demonstrates the qualities of God.

    So, Jesus is called the only Son of God when Adam was also a Son of God. He calls himself the Son of Man and refers to the Son of Man coming again. He is referred to as a Comforter, implies that he is a Comforter, and instructs his followers to follow another Comforter.

    There are some more quotes which need to be looked at with a fair mind.

    62:2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
    (King James Bible, Isaiah)


    In my opinion, this refers to Jesus. And, it's logical too because this came from the Old Testament. However, there's a quote from Revelation which is very important.

    2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
    (King James Bible, Revelation)


    3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
    (King James Bible, Revelation)


    These can't refer to Jesus because this came after Jesus. Think deeply on this. Isn't it interesting that the Old Testament referred both to a new name and a new prophet that would appear

    18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
    (King James Bible, Deuteronomy)


    Isn't it also interesting that the New Testament referred to a new name, a Comforter, and a Son of Man that would appear?
     
  3. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    There are some more quotes which need to be looked at with a fair mind.

    62:2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
    (King James Bible, Isaiah)


    In my opinion, this refers to Jesus. And, it's logical too because this came from the Old Testament. However, there are quotes from Revelation which are very important.

    2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
    (King James Bible, Revelation)


    3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
    (King James Bible, Revelation)


    These can't refer to Jesus because this came after Jesus. Think deeply on this. Isn't it interesting that the Old Testament referred both to a new name and a new prophet that would appear

    18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
    (King James Bible, Deuteronomy)


    Isn't it also interesting that the New Testament referred to a new name, a Comforter, and a Son of Man that would appear?
     
  4. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings!

    The Jewish scriptures also prophesy a new name, in Isaiah!

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Sean —

    Interesting stuff!

    As a Catholic, I would say the texts cited have to be viewed with the body of the NT as a whole, for the proper context to be understood, and also in light of traditional commentary. Historical Criticism, for example, buried so deeply into lexical nuance that soon they lost sight of the 'big picture' altogether ... but the issue should not be ignored. I applaud your scholarship.

    I know in Islam, for example, some insist the Comforter is Mohammed, and it is he to whom the text refers (PBUH).

    And we can 'locate' Jesus/Adam especially by reference to Paul in Romans when he talks of the 'new Adam' ... Paul was preaching the faith he had received, from his studies with Ananias in Damascus, before the Gospels were written.

    But a particular point is the Son of Man/Son of God.

    It is notable that Jesus never refers to Himself as the Son of God, although this is implicit, He teaches, He performs miracles, etc., all in His own name, a significant indicator in a Hebrew context.

    And the hymn of Colossians is in no doubt about it.

    It is also notable that the Adversary and his demons do refer to Jesus as the Son of God — His divinity is unquestioned as far as they are concerned.

    The Son of Man can imply any man, but in the sense inferred in the Book of Daniel, the Son of Man is divine, and this is what the Sanhedrin asked at His trial, to which He asserted, and on which grounds He was condemned as a blasphemer. It is often forgotten that Jesus' assertion of His divinity was what got him killed — if He did not believe himself to be divine, he could have poo-poo'd the question, and walked away a free man. There was no law against prophecy, and without his assertion, there would have been no grounds to convict Him.

    The Gospels, of course, are in no doubt about His absolute divinity. Quite how that worked, they were not sure, that is what the Church has been working out ever since ... indeed the Doctrine of the Trinity springs from the fact that Jesus is the Incarnate and only-begotten Son of God.

    John's Gospel, for example, was produced by the Church in Ephesus, founded by John, to refute the teachings of Cerinthus that Jesus was not divine in any absolute sense, as such Cerinthus was a precursor to the gnostic debate that would spring up a century later.

    Christology is an ongoing and very lively debate in Catholic theology!

    I hope it gives you as much joy as it does me,

    Thomas
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Arthra —

    Thanks for that. Just had a quick, a very quick, glance at some of the essays, and may I say for the most part I find the content delightfully even-handed! The author does a good good at covering a vast terrain swiftly, without becoming lopsided in viewpoint, or casually misrepresenting what is held in faith.

    I would reserve my enthusiasm somewhat with regard to the essay on Paul, as I think that is inaccurate on a number of points, especially the role of the Apostles and the institutional Church. When the Church was one, before any schism between what became Catholic and Orthodox, the East was by far the majority, but Rome always had priority.

    At Chalcedon in 451AD, for example, some 600 Eastern bishops were in attendance, but pride of place was already a tradition, and went to the envoys of the Bishop of Rome, who was seen as successor of Peter.

    In the Christian Tradition, Peter was always seen as 'first among equals', Rome always as the authority and arbiter of dispute.

    Even today, in discussions towards the reunification of the Roman and Orthodox Patriarchates, it is accepted without question that Rome is the senior seat. 'The devil is in the detail', as the saying goes, as they thrash out just how and how far authority is exercised, but in principle all the churches adhere to what is held as the unbroken tradition.

    Thanks again, and hopefully I'll find the time, in a very busy schedule, to read further.

    Thomas
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Actually Thomas it's really the work of one scholar named Robert Stockman... and reflects his views as a Baha'i... If you had something more specific about the essay you read I'd be interested in following up on that...

    One of the disctinctions I am aware of is that we Baha'is would probably have a different view of the resurrection of Christ than many Christians. We believe it was essentially a spiritual event while most Christians see it as a physical literal one.

    Our view of Trinity may also be different...

    - Art
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi arthra —

    It's a huge and very interesting (for me) subject ... and so much we will never know. I follow one scholar, for example, who claims the 'institutional structure' of the Church was modelled on the Essene community at Q'mran ... but we have no firm evidence, so it remains a favoured hypothesis.

    We believe, for example, that Paul was never off 'doing his own thing' and inventing a religion, as so many assume. What little we do know is that after his epiphany on the road to Damascus, he spent some time — years — as a disciple in the Christian community there under Ananias, and then later in Jerusalem.

    +++

    Yes, we would certainly differ there ... of course, the resurrection was essentially a spiritual event, but we also regard it as substantially a physical one.

    I shall take your word for it ;)

    Thomas
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thomas,

    Thanks for providing your take on the Apostle Paul... I know now better where you're coming from. There is no official Baha'i view on that..

    My personal take is that the early Christians particularly the Jewish Christians were a similar group such as the Essenes or like them but probably different.

    When they say Jesus the Nazarene it may not only refer to Nazareth but to the particular group of Nazarenes...set aside and not so welll known as the Essenes.. but it is an interesting area!

    - Art;)
     
  11. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I am sorry for going waaaay off topic here, but I didn't want to crowd you forum with a thread on a stupid question, so if someone could put me out of my pain.... You use all holy books right? So, you have one god? What's the name of your god?
     
  12. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    I am sorry 17th Angel, I had thought that I answered that in the previous topic that you made.

    Bahais believe that throughout time and place God sends his Messengers or Manifestations to mankind when they are needed. Among these Manifestations were Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. We believe that God has sent us another Manifestation Baha'u'llah for this age of mankind.

    We believe that the spiritual essence of all these religions is the same. That does not mean that all the teachings we current have from them all in written form are accurate. Other than the writings of The Bab (A Manifestation that appeared very shortly before Baha'u'llah) and Baha'u'llah, the only other completely authentic holy writings are from the Qur'an.

    So, we will speak of holy books from other religions and quote from them. However, we are an independent religion and have many many religious writings from Baha'u'llah. In fact there has never been a time in history when we have had so many writings from a Manifestation, the volumes far exceed the Bible, Qur'an, ect. combined.

    We worship the same one God that everyone else does, God. :)
     
  13. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    No no,

    no need for apologies... It's me I can be thick skulled at times... It sounds simple and I guess it should be but my mind won't filter it correctly. Your god is every one's god? So... Who is that? Jah? Allah? Shiva? Zeus? I just finding it hard cause some of the books you use, have different gods...? Or is it that you believe they are all confused and all these gods are one and the same?
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    God is One

    You're close 17th angel! Baha'is believe that God is One and has never let mankind alone without divine guidance. Men have many names for God and more probably than we can count or be aware of down through the misty corridors of time!

    If you've read any of the Baha'i Writings you'll find some references from the Bible...the Qur'an and sometimes the Writings of the Bab in the Writings of Baha'u'llah as well as His Interpretor Abdul-Baha...so that means the same God that's the God found in the Bible, the Qur'an and the Writings of the Bab is the One in the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

    We are actually unsure what was directly revealed by say by Zoroaster, Krishna and the Buddha and believe that Their original teachings has been lost over time.

    You can peruse the Writings for yourself at:

    Baha'i Reference Library

    Also if you would like to read about the Greatest Name of God there's an essay on it at

    http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file=faizi_symbol_greatest_name&language=

    Some of this may take a little time for you to read so just feel free to take your time and we'll respond to any questions!

    - Art:eek:
     
  15. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I am kind of understanding this now... It's like, not putting all your eggs in one basket isn't it?
     
  16. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    Not exactly 17th Angel. As said before the Bahai Faith is its own religion.

    We believe that God sends his revelation to mankind progressively as they are ready for it. One example from Jesus's words is....

    16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
    16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
    16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
    16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
    16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
    16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
    for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
    16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
    (King James Bible, John)


    Mankind was not ready for all the teachings that could be brought to them. That is why he tells his followers to be ready for the coming of the Son of Man, and mentions that He will come like a thief in the night so that when He does come, they will not be left behind.

    There's a great passage from Hinduism which highlights this idea as well

    When Righteousness Declines, O Bharata! when Wickedness Is strong, I rise, from age to age, and take Visible shape, and move a man with men,
    Succouring the good, thrusting the evil back, And setting Virtue on her seat again. Who knows the truth touching my births on earth And my divine work, when he quits the flesh Puts on its load no more, falls no more down
    To earthly birth: to Me he comes, dear Prince!
    (Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

    Bahais simply believe that Baha'u'llah is the Son of Man promised from the New Testament, the Lord of Hosts from the Tanakh, the return of Jesus promised after the Mehdi from Islam, and the most recent Avatar of God from a Hindu perspective.

    Krishna had teachings that mankind needed when he came and so did Jesus. We believe that Baha'u'llah has the teachings that this age of mankind needs.

    Some of these teachings are the need for the unity of mankind, unity of science religion, equality of gender and race, unity of religion, and the unity and oneness of God.

    Baha'u'llah talks of this topic often, here's one such passage

    CVI. The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require.
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 212)


     
  17. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    I agree with you that when investigating, one needs to take a whole view of the text. I guess we differ in that I find that when investigating we should be wary of commentary and perhaps avoid it altogether.

    Oh, I think it can refer to Muhammad as well as I stated in another thread. However, I do feel that Baha'u'llah more directly fulfills it, and in fact it is Baha'u'llah who directly says that he is the Comforter.

    This is the Father foretold by Isaiah, and the Comforter concerning Whom the Spirit had covenanted with you. Open your eyes, O concourse of bishops, that ye may behold your Lord seated upon the Throne of might and glory.
    (Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 62)


    Baha'u'llah sent a tablet to Pope Pius IX and this is a passage from it. You might enjoy reading it, and it can be found here Bahá'í Reference Library - The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, Pages 54-67

    Ah, thanks for pointing that out for me. I don't know why my I said that in one of my posts, although I ended up correcting myself later
    Oh I totally agree with you that Christ has a divine nature. We might only different in that I believe that the station "Son of God" is a spiritual station and not a literal one. That it is used as a metaphor for the fact that a son takes on the characteristics of his father.


    Could you show me some quotes about your belief that the Son of Man can imply any man? :)

    I mentioned the first quote on this thread because the phrase "only begotten" tends to come up and to show that there is no word begotten in the text leaving us with "only Son of God." Another interesting tidbit is that the word unique may be a better translation than the word only "unique Son of God." Which might slightly change a few things no? :D

    But really though whether the original intention was meant to be closer to unique or only isn't all that of a big deal to me. I think its true nevertheless. My entire point of listing all the passages that I did is that it highlights that Christ may indeed be a station rather than a one time event. I find his prophecies on the coming of the Son of Man, the new name, and the need to follow the Comforter very compelling.

    I didn't see anything about Church of Ephesus in the Wikipedia article Gospel of John - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia but I claim not to know much about this topic. And in any case John 3:16 comes from well John! :D And, John says some important things about Jesus and his relationship with God.

    4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
    (King James Bible, 1 John)

    14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
    (King James Bible, John)


    and there's a good one in Matthew too

    19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    (King James Bible, Matthew)


    In fact when we see those quotes, the following quotes make more sense.

    14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
    14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
    14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
    14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

    When you see Jesus, you see God. That doesn't have to mean that you literally see God. I would say that you see in Jesus the spiritual attributes and virtues of God, love, kindness, generosity, etc. This collaborates with I John 4:12

    10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
    10:30 I and my Father are one.
    (King James Bible, John)

    You could interpret John 10:30 to mean that Jesus and God are the same thing, but based on the previous lines in the same passages and the quotes above, it seems more likely to me that "I and my father are one" means that they are united in purpose.

    So, based on the above, it seems reasonable to conclude that there is something deeper to this issue, hmm? :)

    PS: I want to apologize for my first page in general. I didn't realize that I had repeated some stuff, and I would edit it if I could.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Sean —

    I don't want to get into a back-and-forth debate about the meaning of texts, as indeed we'd be talking about the interpretations/commentaries we favour.
    The following is offered only to show how we read things differently.

    Yes, but we would say that would be according to Baha'u'llah's commentary on the text, wouldn't it?

    The Apostles were quite specific on the point of that not being the case.

    There are three 'spiritual stations' spoken of in the Hebrew scripture, that of prophet, priest and king — all being 'annointed' of God. Jesus actually combines all three, superceding them as the Logos of God. He was condemned by the Sanhedrin for claiming a divine status, but passed off to the Romans as claiming kingship — and thus was executed by them as a criminal 'terrorist'.

    And, as Judaism is anything it is monotheist, you are either God, or you are not; you are divine, or you are not ... no halfway measures for them.

    This was actually thrashed out in the Arian controversy in the 3rd century, when Arius got himself in all sorts of a mess trying to say Jesus was more divine than man, but less divine than God ... his argument was eventually shown to be logically untenable, without asserting the idea of a demigod, which is fundamentally contra any Hebrew or indeed prior orthodox Christian teaching.

    "This was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And I saw, and I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one that spoke. And he said to me: Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak to thee."
    Ezechiel 2:1. In this text, as in others, God addresses the prophet by the generic term.

    In our view this is often the case when texts are read out of context.

    Ephesus was where John founded his community.

    But other texts balance this.
    "Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am." John 8:58
    And, of course, the Prologue of the Gospel of John.

    Again, in the kingdom parables, it is implicit that the Kingdom has come in Jesus.

    You could ... but then if seeking certainty, you should inquire of Scripture and Tradition. These were the arguments the Apostles and their successors used to refute that.

    Indeed ... The Trinity.

    Thomas
     
  19. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings!

    I'll address two different points here.

    As to the names of God, He has many names, all equally acceptable! (This is simply a matter of linguistic differences.) Just a few of them are: Boje, Dios, Wankantanka, Dieu, Bog, and Gott. There are many more!

    And I think it might help to bear in mind what we Baha'is call the "dual stations" of the Divine Messengers:

    We Baha'is teach that all the major religions of the world are divine in origin, sent by God as stages in a single divine plan. (There is only one Faith, the Faith of God.)

    A Messenger has a dual station; He is both a man (who was born, died, etc.) and also a Manifestation of the eternal spirit of God. He may be likened to a mirror reflecting the sun. It is correct to point to the mirror and say, "That is the sun." It is also correct to say "That's not the sun, only a mirror." Thus Jesus said, "Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but the Father in Heaven" (Jesus the man speaking), but also said "Before Abraham was, I am" and "No one comes to the Father but by Me" (the eternal spirit speaking, here called "Christ"). This latter "but by Me" quote refers to the fact that only through these Messengers can humankind know God.

    In the Baha'i scriptures, it's expressed like this:

     
  20. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    Thomas,

    "The Apostles were quite specific on the point of that not being the case.

    There are three 'spiritual stations' spoken of in the Hebrew scripture, that of prophet, priest and king — all being 'annointed' of God. Jesus actually combines all three, superceding them as the Logos of God. He was condemned by the Sanhedrin for claiming a divine status, but passed off to the Romans as claiming kingship — and thus was executed by them as a criminal 'terrorist'."

    Do you have scriptural reference to support this point of view? I certainly don't want to start an argument, but you have made the claim here, so: Do you have scriptural reference to this? As to passing it off to the Romans, of course they did--the sanhedrin had no legal right to execute anyone and if they had they would themselves have been tried and executed for rebellion against Rome.


    "But other texts balance this.
    "Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am." John 8:58
    And, of course, the Prologue of the Gospel of John.

    Again, in the kingdom parables, it is implicit that the Kingdom has come in Jesus."

    You take John 8:58 out of all context yourself, you know.
    Yes, the Kingdom comes with Jesus--but it also came with Moses before Jesus and Muhammed after Jesus.

    "You could ... but then if seeking certainty, you should inquire of Scripture and Tradition. These were the arguments the Apostles and their successors used to refute that. "


    What weight does tradition have, when compared to the word of God?



    Regards,

    Scott
     

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