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Author Topic: What is the Bahá'í Faith?  (Read 5828 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sen McGlinn
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« Reply #90 on: June 25, 2011, 08:23:30 PM »

I don't see how Sen missed the bodily resurrection that's in the Gospels.  Huh

I didn't miss it, but it is not the only account of the resurrection in the New Testament. The New Testament books were not written in the order they are published in the Bible. The first records are the genuine letters of Paul (not all of those attributed to him are written by him), then Mark, Luke and Acts, Matthew, John and the pastoral epistles, and Revelation. When historians study the development of Christian thought, they put the records in chronological order and also locate them geographically and socially where possible (because what Christians thought in Alexandria was not necessarily the same as Christians of the same day in Southern Turkey, or in Jerusalem and Damascus between those poles).

Now it appears -- with the necessary reservation that the data is rather fragmentary -- it appears that the earliest expression of the experience of the living Christ did not include a bodily resurrection and physical encounters with Jesus. That way of speaking of the resurrection seems to be almost a generation later. I would argue that both ways of speaking of the living Christ should be retained in theology, not privileging one over the other, but that when we are doing objective history, we have to recognise that it's improbable that the Apostles themselves spoke in this way. For example, if the Jerusalem church had known of the site of the empty tomb, could the community possibly have forgotten such an important fact for 200+ years, so that the site had to be "discovered" by Helena, mother of Constantine?
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« Reply #91 on: June 25, 2011, 09:47:34 PM »

For example, if the Jerusalem church had known of the site of the empty tomb, could the community possibly have forgotten such an important fact for 200+ years, so that the site had to be "discovered" by Helena, mother of Constantine?

Josephus described the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus thusly:

 "...it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited... And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(70)
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« Reply #92 on: June 26, 2011, 12:52:11 AM »

I think its very clear throughout most of the New testament that Christ rose physically, this was not an idea held amongs thte earliest Christians but heretics whom the church the Bahai faith says was the authority of that time condemned, namely the Docetics. We don't see a mystical understanding of Jesus raising, we see a solid and firm imprint that the actual body of Christ rose. the New testament was written as if it were history, it names places, people and features of the land that mere metaphorical accounts do not, such is in the case of previous pagan mythology, its too historical and we see no reason to suppose that some accounts in the NT are literal and some metaphorical for what would seem purely arbitrary reasons (The Bahai say Christ was born a virgin, which is strange because it is in the same narrative flow as the rest of the New testament books which account for it). Ultimately this idea of a spiritual ressurection is a novel idea one which was condemned as heresy by the Church which Constantine called at the Council of Nicaea, and the Bahais believe Constantine was a good Christian.
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« Reply #93 on: June 26, 2011, 02:32:54 PM »


I didn't miss it, but it is not the only account of the resurrection in the New Testament.

You sure did. Here it comes again:

It seems u have not read the resurrection narrative in the supposedly earliest New Testament document. Let me lead you those verses:

Then as they went into the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:5-6)

If Jesus' resurrection was not in the body, why did the angel tell the women - who had gone to see the body - that Jesus was no more in the place they had laid Him? How come Jesus' body was not in the tomb if the resurrection had only a spiritual meaning? (Note that the angel associates Jesus' resurrection with His body's not being in the tomb anymore)

Now it appears -- with the necessary reservation that the data is rather fragmentary -- it appears that the earliest expression of the experience of the living Christ did not include a bodily resurrection and physical encounters with Jesus.

This is a lie. Keep ignoring the truth.

That way of speaking of the resurrection seems to be almost a generation later.

Even the resurrection narrative in Mark sends your fallacious argument to dustbin.

I would argue that both ways of speaking of the living Christ should be retained in theology, not privileging one over the other, but that when we are doing objective history, we have to recognise that it's improbable that the Apostles themselves spoke in this way. For example, if the Jerusalem church had known of the site of the empty tomb, could the community possibly have forgotten such an important fact for 200+ years, so that the site had to be "discovered" by Helena, mother of Constantine?

Mark, whose resurrection narrative you seemingly rely on, also wrote that Jesus rose and His tomb was therefore empty.

Why would the community of Jerusalem care about Jesus' empty tomb when they knew that Jesus had bodily risen?  Grin
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« Reply #94 on: June 26, 2011, 04:35:46 PM »


Mark, whose resurrection narrative you seemingly rely on, ...

I think you are misunderstanding me. Mark is the earliest Gospel, when I refer to the earliest New Testament documents I mean the genuine letters of Paul. These have a different way of telling the resurrection. For example:

Colossians (about 50-60 AD) 3:1

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Ephesians (about 60AD) 1:19: ...according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Mark has an empty tomb, but no post-resurrection encounters (if the latter part of chapter 16 is a later addition), while Matthew and Luke do report post-resurrection encounters with an embodied Jesus.



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« Reply #95 on: June 26, 2011, 05:16:33 PM »

And yet the man in the Tomb which is apart of the authentic Gospel of Mark says that Jesus has gone before them. Mark is not telling the Bahai version of events. And I would garuntee you its really stretching to reach a spiritual interpretation of such a verse, given that Paul is very Clear in 1st Cor 15 that Christ rose physically, not spiritually, he tells us that Christ appeared to the Desciples and the only other account of this we have are in the canonical gospels, but Luke is the Most important here because Saint Luke knew Saint Paul and was tuaght by him. St Luke presents along with all the other gospel writers a thoroughly Physical ressurection, recording that JEsus ate and was no spirit among them, either the bible is contradicting itself if Paul is speaking about a spiritual ressurection and Luke is not (the bahai whenever I have asked them affirm the truth of scripture) or Saint Paul truely believed in the physical resserection as his desciples, St Luke and St Clement clearly demonstrate in their material.
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« Reply #96 on: June 26, 2011, 05:53:17 PM »


Mark has an empty tomb, but no post-resurrection encounters (if the latter part of chapter 16 is a later addition), while Matthew and Luke do report post-resurrection encounters with an embodied Jesus.

Wrong again! The angel in Mark's resurrection narrative makes it clear that the disciples will meet the risen Jesus in Galilee:

But go, tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you. (Mark 16:7)

Post-resurrection encounter is anticipated in the angel's good news.

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.
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« Reply #97 on: June 26, 2011, 06:55:12 PM »

And yet the man in the Tomb which is apart of the authentic Gospel of Mark says that Jesus has gone before them. Mark is not telling the Bahai version of events. And I would garuntee you its really stretching to reach a spiritual interpretation of such a verse, given that Paul is very Clear in 1st Cor 15 that Christ rose physically, not spiritually, he tells us that Christ appeared to the Desciples and the only other account of this we have are in the canonical gospels, but Luke is the Most important here because Saint Luke knew Saint Paul and was tuaght by him. St Luke presents along with all the other gospel writers a thoroughly Physical ressurection, recording that JEsus ate and was no spirit among them, either the bible is contradicting itself if Paul is speaking about a spiritual ressurection and Luke is not (the bahai whenever I have asked them affirm the truth of scripture) or Saint Paul truely believed in the physical resserection as his desciples, St Luke and St Clement clearly demonstrate in their material.
Actually, historically St. Paul is the most important in what you cite, as I Corinthians is the earliest witness that you mention (about 20 years after the event), and he is referencing eyewitnesses to the Resurrection whom the Corinthians know they can check to verify St. Paul's account.  St. John writes much later, but claims (which are true) to be an eyewitness, and the incident with St. Thomas which he reports leaves no doubt it was a physical resurrection.
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« Reply #98 on: June 26, 2011, 07:02:00 PM »

Yes Saint Paul is indeed the greatest historical witness to the ressurection and death of christ, but the bahai tend to quote him more than anyone else and insert their doctrine of a spiritually raised Christ(how a spiritually raised person has any signifficance I have no idea), I really need to read the Apostle's writings and churches understanding of them in order to respond.

God bless.
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« Reply #99 on: June 26, 2011, 08:53:49 PM »

I think its very clear throughout most of the New testament that Christ rose physically, this was not an idea held amongs thte earliest Christians but heretics whom the church the Bahai faith says was the authority of that time condemned, namely the Docetics. We don't see a mystical understanding of Jesus raising, we see a solid and firm imprint that the actual body of Christ rose. the New testament was written as if it were history, it names places, people and features of the land that mere metaphorical accounts do not, such is in the case of previous pagan mythology, its too historical and we see no reason to suppose that some accounts in the NT are literal and some metaphorical for what would seem purely arbitrary reasons (The Bahai say Christ was born a virgin, which is strange because it is in the same narrative flow as the rest of the New testament books which account for it). Ultimately this idea of a spiritual ressurection is a novel idea one which was condemned as heresy by the Church which Constantine called at the Council of Nicaea, and the Bahais believe Constantine was a good Christian.

From my understanding the New Testament is not history in Orthodoxy, rather it works in different ways for our salvation. It couldn't be just a historical document, because Orthodoxy is a living faith.
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« Reply #100 on: June 27, 2011, 04:20:50 AM »

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.

The source-critical  (or "higher criticism") approach to the New Testament is not a Bahai thing: it is the way the New Testament is studied in academies and seminaries. See the Wikipedia article on higher criticism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism
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« Reply #101 on: June 27, 2011, 05:39:30 PM »

I think its very clear throughout most of the New testament that Christ rose physically, this was not an idea held amongs thte earliest Christians but heretics whom the church the Bahai faith says was the authority of that time condemned, namely the Docetics. We don't see a mystical understanding of Jesus raising, we see a solid and firm imprint that the actual body of Christ rose. the New testament was written as if it were history, it names places, people and features of the land that mere metaphorical accounts do not, such is in the case of previous pagan mythology, its too historical and we see no reason to suppose that some accounts in the NT are literal and some metaphorical for what would seem purely arbitrary reasons (The Bahai say Christ was born a virgin, which is strange because it is in the same narrative flow as the rest of the New testament books which account for it). Ultimately this idea of a spiritual ressurection is a novel idea one which was condemned as heresy by the Church which Constantine called at the Council of Nicaea, and the Bahais believe Constantine was a good Christian.

From my understanding the New Testament is not history in Orthodoxy, rather it works in different ways for our salvation. It couldn't be just a historical document, because Orthodoxy is a living faith.

I don't maintain it to be just a historical document, but it certaintly is a historical document, primarily the gospels and acts.
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« Reply #102 on: June 29, 2011, 03:17:50 AM »

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.

The source-critical  (or "higher criticism") approach to the New Testament is not a Bahai thing: it is the way the New Testament is studied in academies and seminaries. See the Wikipedia article on higher criticism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism

I know about the higher criticism, yet ignoring the reference to post-resurrection encounter in the angelic message in Mark's resurrection narrative has nothing to do with this field of study.
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« Reply #103 on: June 29, 2011, 04:41:31 AM »

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.

The source-critical  (or "higher criticism") approach to the New Testament is not a Bahai thing: it is the way the New Testament is studied in academies and seminaries. See the Wikipedia article on higher criticism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism

I know about the higher criticism, yet ignoring the reference to post-resurrection encounter in the angelic message in Mark's resurrection narrative has nothing to do with this field of study.

I'm not sure you've understood my point about historical development in the New Testament. The oldest NT documents (the genuine letters of Paul) have a spiritual resurrection. The later documents have increasingly specific post-resurrection physical appearances. Mark, the earliest of the gospels, has a reference to appearances (which since they are not described, cannot be characterised as either physical or spiritual). That is just what one would expect if there is a historical development in the direction of post-resurrection physical appearances. It confirms, not refutes, what I am saying. The later gospels have accounts of physical appearances. So there seems to be a historical development (the evidence is only the fragments that have survived from what must have been a much larger corpus, and it is not impossible that the differences are not due to historical development but to differences between the teaching of the church in different centres). But whether there is or is not a chronological development, it is still true that the NT documents teach both a spiritual resurrection and physical post-resurrection appearances. I understand the latter as a different way of saying the same thing as is meant by the accounts that have a spiritual resurrection, ie I think the later 3 gospels present us with theological claims in a narrative form.
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« Reply #104 on: June 29, 2011, 04:51:49 AM »

As I have demonstrated Paul's ressurection is not only spiritual but physical. Please respond to what I ahve said (That Saint Paul clearly in 1st Corinthians 15, presents Christ as appearing to the desciples and we have his own student, Saint Luke explaining what that appearence involved IE a Physical appearance) before you reach such a heretical opinion. But your claim about the new testament gospels does them no justice, we have no reason to believe they are not to be taken literal as they were very clearly written as primarily historical documents (the exception being John, but his Gospel is also historical), how can one say spiritually interpret the passage which has Jesus eating fish and then saying a spirit is not flesh and blood? The Bahai have no interpretation of this verse because it contradicts their very novel ideas about Christ (and they are novel or rather a revival of ancient heresies condemned by the Church the Bahai admit had authority at one point, and yet the Bahai insist they do not contradict the early believers, which they clearly do). Please do not insert your bahai intepretaition on to a scripture which knows nothing of it, or else you are no better than the Docetics.


Just to quickly elaborate, In 1st Corinthians Fifteen paul not only gives the teaching that the apostles saw the risen Christ along with the 500, he then goes on to point out about the general ressurection and how some doubted, that if Christ did not raise from the dead we have no hope in us. How can saint Paul be talking about a spiritual ressurection (whatever that accomplishes I have no idea), when he quite clearly says that Christ's ressurection is the first of them. What with the general ressurection (which the bahai conveinently deny) do our bodies just die and everyone's spirits just rise? How is this a ressurection? it is no different from dying. The Ressurection was never understood in first century Judaism and Christianity as being something spiritual, it always involved a fleshly Dimension, no doubt we will have Sen quote verses in order to show that Paul speaks of a spiritual resserection, denying the very verses which indicate that it is a fleshy one as well. Why does the bible contradict itself in the bahai view? Because it is the wrong view of Scripture, the correct view is the Orthodox Christian view, maintained for 2000 years.

But I must ask, why did Jesus utterly fail to teach people correctly if the bahai are correct? Not even Muhammad could teach the reality of Christ and his atoning death. Why is it that new teachers always claim those before them have misunderstood or gone astray? This is the ultimate reason why the Bahai faith crumbles.
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« Reply #105 on: June 29, 2011, 08:49:56 AM »

If an 'appearance' cannot be characterized as either spiritual or physical, then how is it an appearance?  Huh

Does not Thomas touch the wounds of Christ?
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« Reply #106 on: June 29, 2011, 03:49:27 PM »

I would say it is both, but the Bahai believe that Jesus did not literally appear to the desciples in any form, but rather the apostles somehow contrary to their culture and religious roots somehow understood the meaning of the death of Christ and were willing to die. This explains none of the facts of the empty tomb and the apostles willingness to die for the faith and seems utterly contrived and novel.
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« Reply #107 on: June 29, 2011, 04:09:46 PM »


I'm not sure you've understood my point about historical development in the New Testament. The oldest NT documents (the genuine letters of Paul) have a spiritual resurrection.

This is a groundless claim of yours. Where does Paul deny bodily resurrection? He actually talks about corruption and bodies:

And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory. It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:40-44)

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:52-53)

The later documents have increasingly specific post-resurrection physical appearances. Mark, the earliest of the gospels, has a reference to appearances (which since they are not described, cannot be characterised as either physical or spiritual).

The angel declares "Christ is risen" and immediately says He is not here (in the tomb)! Bodily resurrection is in the text for honest and brave people who are not afraid of the truth.  Grin

That is just what one would expect if there is a historical development in the direction of post-resurrection physical appearances. It confirms, not refutes, what I am saying.

What you are claiming is alien to the Gospels and Paul's letters. All these inspired authors taught bodily resurrection.

The later gospels have accounts of physical appearances. So there seems to be a historical development (the evidence is only the fragments that have survived from what must have been a much larger corpus, and it is not impossible that the differences are not due to historical development but to differences between the teaching of the church in different centres). But whether there is or is not a chronological development, it is still true that the NT documents teach both a spiritual resurrection and physical post-resurrection appearances. I understand the latter as a different way of saying the same thing as is meant by the accounts that have a spiritual resurrection, ie I think the later 3 gospels present us with theological claims in a narrative form.

Thanks to your posts under this thread, we have studied the historical development of the Bahai faith. Your leader fabricated the phrase "spiritual resurrection" and invented further methods of perverting the NT documents to deceive/mislead his followers.
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« Reply #108 on: June 29, 2011, 06:17:31 PM »

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.

The source-critical  (or "higher criticism") approach to the New Testament is not a Bahai thing: it is the way the New Testament is studied in academies and seminaries. See the Wikipedia article on higher criticism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism
Have you seen what they conclude about Baha'i scripture?
http://books.google.com/books?id=iO7XAAAAMAAJ&q=On+Shiism+Kasravi+Bahai+bad+Arabic&dq=On+Shiism+Kasravi+Bahai+bad+Arabic&hl=en&ei=VKQLTt7NKeqLsALo0KnVAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA
Quote
And he asked why the founders of the Bahai religion, who lived in a Persian- speaking environment, wrote in Arabic (and, bad Arabic at that), apparently on the assumption that Arabic is the only language of revelation.
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« Reply #109 on: August 06, 2011, 05:25:25 PM »

I thought that the followers of Bahai were not like the followers of Ahmadiyya. How wrong I was in that presumption! Bahai religion was born of Islam. This is why lying and deception are maintained in it.

The source-critical  (or "higher criticism") approach to the New Testament is not a Bahai thing: it is the way the New Testament is studied in academies and seminaries. See the Wikipedia article on higher criticism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism

I know about the higher criticism, yet ignoring the reference to post-resurrection encounter in the angelic message in Mark's resurrection narrative has nothing to do with this field of study.

I'm not sure you've understood my point about historical development in the New Testament. The oldest NT documents (the genuine letters of Paul) have a spiritual resurrection. The later documents have increasingly specific post-resurrection physical appearances. Mark, the earliest of the gospels, has a reference to appearances (which since they are not described, cannot be characterised as either physical or spiritual). That is just what one would expect if there is a historical development in the direction of post-resurrection physical appearances. It confirms, not refutes, what I am saying. The later gospels have accounts of physical appearances. So there seems to be a historical development (the evidence is only the fragments that have survived from what must have been a much larger corpus, and it is not impossible that the differences are not due to historical development but to differences between the teaching of the church in different centres). But whether there is or is not a chronological development, it is still true that the NT documents teach both a spiritual resurrection and physical post-resurrection appearances. I understand the latter as a different way of saying the same thing as is meant by the accounts that have a spiritual resurrection, ie I think the later 3 gospels present us with theological claims in a narrative form.

My Persian Bahai friend seems to think that such statements, or any statement that would imply that the NT is in any way corrupted, not the Word of God, or in theological error or distortion, would only be stated by a Bahai "Covenant Breaker"; that is, a heretic and schismatic.
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« Reply #110 on: August 06, 2011, 11:09:22 PM »

That is correct Nicholas, Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (or Baha'u'llah) also never believed the Bible was corrupted.  I am certain that he states this in some of his writings.. although he and his followers might say our interpretations of that Bible were corrupted.  Because somehow you have to reconcile it with Islam, which says that we are wallad'aleeen.. or those who have "gone astray" according to the Opening Prayer in the Qur'an.
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