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Old 02-17-2016, 02:30 PM   #1
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Prophecy and the Baha'i Faith

I am considering a new project, where I would collect all purported instances where prophecies were fulfilled in line with the Baha'i Faith's narrative. Prophecy has fascinated me for a while now. It is a nebulous subject, but it is obviously an important part of the Baha'i culture, even if the import varies from community to community.

I would of course use Some Answered Questions as a reference to find Biblical prophecies, and I will use Thief in the Night by William Sears to identify many more. Where I would love help is in finding links to articles or books that go beyond these starter texts. Bahai-Library.com has a lot in there, but it will take some time for me to find all the gems in that little ocean. If anyone has an article from there that they have already found, I would appreciate the share.

My plan (if it follows through) would be to organize them all into categories based on source, and to isolate each claim for it's own page of a potential article or book. I could then research each claim separately and provide notes for the reader's consideration. The finished product would not so much advocate the prophecies as present them as objectively as possible, even going so far as the be a Snopes for the Baha'i community, identifying problematic prophetic claims for our own protection against embarrassment.
 
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:31 PM   #2
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Links to old threads on these subjects would also be much appreciated, from long time forum members who remember these conversations.
 
Old 02-17-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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Dear Neal,
I think that your search would be incomplete unless you also have a look at all purported instances where prophecies were not fulfilled in line with the Baha'i Faith's narrative.

If you talk to those who were Bahá'ís in the 1970s, you might come across stories about the millenial expectations of those days: that things were to happen fast and that the Faith within just a few years would rise to prominence. There were revered Bahá'ís who put such views forward at international meetings.

Much of these expectations might have stemmed from certain passages in Esslemont's book Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era. The NSA of the United States has written:

In a letter dated 11 November 1969, the Universal House of Justice has discussed the changes made for the new edition of Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era. Although Mr. Esslemont had interpreted certain statements made by `Abdu'l-Bahá to mean that Universal Peace would be firmly established in the year 1957, the explanations of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel are somewhat complicated and incomplete. Therefore, the paragraph in which Mr. Esslemont calculates the date from the Hijrah has been omitted in recent editions of the book.

(Dates in Baha'u'llah and the New Era: A response to Francis Beckwith by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States 1992-09-24)

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Last edited by gnat; 02-17-2016 at 03:18 PM.
 
Old 02-17-2016, 03:21 PM   #4
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Dear Neal,

You are starting something very interesting. You say that such prophecies are "an important part of the Baha'i culture". Indeed, Bahá'í culture, Bahá'í sociology and psychology are fascinating fields. But please take care: this to a large extent is unexplored territory.

gnat
 
Old 02-17-2016, 04:12 PM   #5
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One of the Prophecies that Baha'u'llah made, was the arival of Victory. He also prophecied that the time has come For unification and peace, and Abdulbaha made simillar interpretation that everyone shall become a believer and victory arives.


What is interesting, that according to my investigation, Baha'u'llah is Not the first that promised of coming of victory. Shia Imams, as well as Noah had also made such a promise, and according to Hadithes, they even set the time. But when the time came, the divine promise was not fullfiled. This is confirmed in Iqan.

So, the Question is, what gaurantee is there, that the Promise of Peace would actually be fulfilled within Baha'I dispensation?
 
Old 02-17-2016, 04:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
What is interesting, that according to my investigation, Baha'u'llah is Not the first that promised of coming of victory. Shia Imams, as well as Noah had also made such a promise, and according to Hadithes, they even set the time. But when the time came, the divine promise was not fullfiled. This is confirmed in Iqan.

So, the Question is, what gaurantee is there, that the Promise of Peace would actually be fulfilled within Baha'I dispensation?
Indeed. Prophecies are terrible tests. The millenarian expectations of the post-WWII period have been a severe test to the Bahá'í community. Maybe there will be further tests of the same kind in the future.

gnat
 
Old 02-17-2016, 04:45 PM   #7
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This project would probably take years of research before a book could be published, so I may never reach that point. One of the objectives, though, would be to provide a text that gives perspective to help Baha'is and seekers from making mistakes, and aid them in distinguishing between prophecy and urban legends.
 
Old 02-17-2016, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal View Post
This project would probably take years of research before a book could be published, so I may never reach that point. One of the objectives, though, would be to provide a text that gives perspective to help Baha'is and seekers from making mistakes, and aid them in distinguishing between prophecy and urban legends.
I have another dream: I would so much like to visit Bahá'í communities in different parts of the world, to learn about similarities and differences, and to see how the Faith changes people.

gnat
 
Old 02-17-2016, 05:45 PM   #9
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May I hitch a ride as you wing your way there?
 
Old 02-17-2016, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
I have another dream: I would so much like to visit Bahá'í communities in different parts of the world, to learn about similarities and differences, and to see how the Faith changes people.

gnat
Surely cultural influences would be crucial to different Baha'is present the Faith?
 
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