A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Bible

And should they reply: “The Books that are in the hands of this people, which they call the Gospel and attribute to Jesus, the Son of Mary, have not been revealed by God and proceed not from the Manifestations of His Self", then this would imply a cessation in the abounding grace of Him Who is the Source of all grace. If so, God’s testimony to His servants would have remained incomplete and His favour proven imperfect. His mercy would not have shone resplendent, nor would His grace have overshadowed all. For if at the ascension of Jesus His Book had likewise ascended unto heaven, then how could God reprove and chastise the people on the Day of Resurrection, as hath been written by the Imams of the Faith and affirmed by its illustrious divines?
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 12-13)


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....
(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come", p. 109)


Except for what has been explained by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, we have no way of knowing what various symbolic allusions in the Bible mean.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


In studying the Bible Bahá’ís must bear two principles in mind. The first is that many passages in Sacred Scriptures are intended to be taken metaphorically, not literally, and some of the paradoxes and apparent contradictions which appear are intended to indicate this. The second is the fact that the text of the early Scriptures, such as the Bible, is not wholly authentic.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1987 Sept 14, Resurrection of Christ)


Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and abstruse allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God’s holy Cause, hath been to test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the earth of the pure and illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable and barren soil. From time immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst His creatures, and to this testify the records of the sacred books.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 49)


Mention hath been made in certain books of a deluge which caused all that existed on earth, historical records as well as other things, to be destroyed. Moreover, many cataclysms have occurred which have effaced the traces of many events. Furthermore, among existing historical records differences are to be found, and each of the various peoples of the world hath its own account of the age of the earth and of its history. Some trace their history as far back as eight thousand years, others as far as twelve thousand years. To any one that hath read the book of Juk it is clear and evident how much the accounts given by the various books have differed. Please God thou wilt turn thine eyes towards the Most Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, 2nd. ed., p. 174-175)


The Bahá’ís believe what is in the Bible to be true in substance. This does not mean that every word recorded in that Book is to be taken literally and treated as the authentic saying of a Prophet. A striking example is given in the account of the sacrifice which Abraham was called upon to make. The Guardian of the Faith confirms that the record in the Qur‘án and the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, namely that it was Ishmael, and not Isaac as stated in the Old Testament, whom Abraham was to sacrifice, is to be upheld. In one of His Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá refers to this discrepancy, and explains that, from a spiritual point of view, it is irrelevant which son was involved. The essential part of the story is that Abraham was willing to obey God’s command to sacrifice His son. Thus, although the account in the Torah is inaccurate in detail, it is true in substance.
(Universal House of Justice, 1987 Sept 14, Resurrection of Christ)


The Bahá’ís believe that God’s Revelation is under His care and protection and that the essence, or essential elements, of what His Manifestations intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in Their Holy Books. However, as the sayings of the ancient Prophets were written down some time later, we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Them are Their exact words.
(Universal House of Justice, 1987 Sept 14, Resurrection of Christ)


The Bible is not wholly authentic, and in this respect is not to be compared with the Qur‘an, and should be wholly subordinated to the authentic writings of Bahá’u’lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


The Four Gospels were written after Him [Christ]. John, Luke, Mark and Matthew - these four wrote after Christ what they remembered of His utterances.
(Bahá’u’lláh, from a previously untranslated Tablet, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


The Universal House of Justice has asked us to recommend your continued study of “Some Answered Questions” since this book contains the interpretations given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the meaning of some of the passages you mention from the Book of Daniel as well as other subjects found in the Old and New Testaments. You will note that in addition to giving His explanations, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá encourages personal initiative in unravelling divine mysteries. For example, at the end of Chapter XX on “The Necessity of Baptism” He says: “This subject needs deep thought. Then the cause of these changes will be evident and apparent.” And at the end of Chapter XXX on “Adam and Eve", after setting forth His own interpretation of the subject, He goes on to say: “This is one of the meanings of the Biblical story of Adam. Reflect until you discover the others.
(Universal House of Justice, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


The disciples of Christ taught His Faith with the language of the Kingdom. That language conformeth to all languages, for it consisteth of celestial meanings and divine mysteries. For the one who becometh conversant with that language the realities and secrets of creation stand unveiled before him. Divine truths are common to all languages. The Holy Spirit, therefore, taught the disciples the language of the Kingdom, and they thus were able to converse with the people of all nations. Whenever they spoke to those of other nations of the world, it was as if they conversed in their tongues. The well-known and outstanding languages of the world number about a thousand. It was necessary for the disciples to have written the Gospels in at least one of the languages of other nations. Thus, as it is known, the Gospels were written only in Hebrew and Greek, and not even in the language of the Romans, although it was at the time the official language. As the disciples were not well-versed in it, the Gospels were not written in that language.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a previously untranslated Tablet, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


The interpretation of biblical prophecies has long been the subject of controversy and speculation among religious scholars. As Bahá’ís, we know that we must turn to the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi for authoritative guidance in these matters. When a subject has not been mentioned or explained in the Sacred Writings, we are free to consult other books and to consider the opinions of scholars if we wish to do so.
(Universal House of Justice, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


We cannot be sure how much or how little of the four Gospels are accurate and include the words of Christ and His undiluted teachings, all we can be sure of, as Bahá’ís, is that what has been quoted by Bahá’u’lláh and the Master must be absolutely authentic. As many times passages in the Gospel of St. John are quoted we may assume that it is his Gospel and much of it accurate.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


We cannot be sure of the authenticity of any of the phrases in the Old or the New Testament. What we can be sure of is when such references or words are cited or quoted in either the Quran or the Bahá’í writings.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


We have no way of substantiating the stories of the Old Testament other than references to them in our own teachings, so we cannot say exactly what happened at the battle of Jericho.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states we believe what is in the Bible, He means in substance. Not that we believe every word of it to be taken literally or that every word is the authentic saying of the Prophet.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 494)


You ask for elucidation of the statement made on behalf of the Guardian in this letter of 11 February 1944, “When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states we believe what is in the Bible, He means in substance. Not that we believe every word of it to be taken literally or that every word is the authentic saying of the Prophet.” Is it not clear that what Shoghi Effendi means here is that we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Moses and Christ in the Old and New Testaments are Their exact words, but that, in view of the general principle enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh in the “Kitáb-i-qán” that God’s Revelation is under His care and protection, we can be confident that the essence, or essential elements, of what these two Manifestations of God intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in these two Books.
(Universal House of Justice, 1987 Sept 14, Resurrection of Christ)