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Old 07-13-2016, 04:21 AM   #1
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The Seventh Angel: Identity in Baha'i and Catholic exegesis

In this thread, I intend to consider the eschatological figure known as the 'Seventh Angel' in the Book of Revelation from a comparative Baha'i and Catholic perspective.


William Blake drew a picture of this 'angel' from the Book of Revelation based upon the metaphorically described characteristics:







Here is how Abdu'l-Baha describes this most mysterious of figures in his Commentary on Ch. 11 of Revelation:


Quote:
The seventh angel is a man qualified with heavenly attributes, who will arise with heavenly qualities and character. Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused. In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets -- in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed; a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation; the season of the divine spring will come; the clouds of mercy will rain; the sun of reality will shine; the life-giving breeze will blow; the world of humanity will wear a new garment; the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated; wars, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear; and truthfulness, righteousness, peace and the worship of God will appear; union, love and brotherhood will surround the world; and God will rule for evermore -- meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established. Such is the day of God. For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses and Christ, or of the other Prophets; but this day is the day of God, for the Sun of Reality will arise in it with the utmost warmth and splendor.


(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 56)


The reason I have decided to pursue an analysis of this figure from an interfaith viewpoint is due to the compelling similarities that I have discovered between the interpretation of these biblical verses by Abdu'l-Baha and the Catholic theologians St. Bonaventure (ca. 1217 - 1274) and Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (1613-1658). I wager that some 'fruit,' so to speak, may be elicited from a comparative exercise.


Here is the relevant biblical paragraph:


Quote:
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

(Rev 10)


These Catholic prophecies contend that the 'seventh angel' of Revelation is a 'man' born in the bosom of the Catholic Church and grow up to become a political leader (or king) who, in collaboration with a Holy Pontiff, will lead the world out of dark tribulations into a great Era of Peace in which the 'church militant' on earth will be conformed with the 'church triumphant' in heaven, so that Christ's prayer - 'Thy will be done on earth as in heaven' - will find fulfillment. He will diffuse Christianity, the religion of God, over the entire earth and inaugurate a great renaissance of the human spirit wherein the true understanding of scripture will reach completion in tandem with great scientific discoveries. This age of peace will last for a "long time" before the "son perdition raves anew", the spirit of Antichrist - resulting in another great decline in human civilization, the Great Apostasy and then the Second Coming of Christ. Do you see any similarities with Abdu'l-Baha's description of the Seventh Angel? I do. Consider his belief that the Seventh Angel has the task of "proclaiming and diffusing" the revelation of Baha'u'llah while establishing a great peace that will witness the end of warfare. The 'Great Monarch' is a Catholic cognate to that vision and is based upon the same scriptural character as the Abdu'l-Baha's exegesis above.


Basically, these Catholic theologians discerned a similar figure and similar schema to Abdu'l-Baha in their exegesis of these scriptural passages.


According to both St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser, the 10th chapter of the Book of Revelation comprises special revelations respecting the 'Grand Monarch' and 'Holy Pontiff' who are destined in the divine plan to be the 'great renovators' of this Era of Peace, in the mold of Prince Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest in the Old Testament who are their 'types' (i.e. like Elijah was for John the Baptist).


The Seraphic Doctor, that is St. Bonaventure, and Ven. Holzhauser both linked the beginning of this period of great peace to the shout of the 'angel of the seven thunders' in Revelation chapters 10, 11 & 16. In discussing the works of that interesting prophet, Venerable Holzhauser, whose life strangely intertwined with that of our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I will address firstly his book of "Visions" published in 1646 and read publicly in the presence of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III and Duke Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, who were soon to participate in the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia beginning that year. To this end, I am relying on a translation of his Commentary by Fr. Thomas Beykirch.


Bonaventure and Holzhauser both developed a typological reading of Old Testament figures and biblical prophecies, which saw them as 'types' that foreshadowed similar events that would transpire in the New Testament era. Consider John the Baptist being the spiritual return of the prophet Elijah who was the former's 'type' in the Old Testament period.


Based upon this theory, they both interpreted the time we are living in at present to be the fulfillment or 'return' in the life of the Church of the Babylonian Captivity period of the biblical Jews. Here is how St. Bonaventure explains it:


Quote:
"...In the sixth age three things take place - excellence of victory, excellence of teaching, and excellence of the prophetic life....No one knows how long that time of great peace will last...The seventh time or age, that of quiet, begins with the shout of the angel who "swore through Him who lives forever and ever that there would be no more time; but in the days of the seventh angel the mystery of God will be completed" (Rev 10:6-7)...

In this age there ought to come a life through an order which will possess the prophetic life. This age is double. Just as in the Lord's Passion there was first light, then darkness, and then light, so it is necessary that first there be the light of teaching and that Josiah succeed Hezekiah, after which came the tribulation of the Jews through their captivity in Babylon. It is necessary that one ruler, a defender of the Church, arise...

It was said to the angel of Philadelphia, the sixth angel: "He who is holy and true, who has the key of David, who opens and no man closes, closes and no man opens, says this - 'I know your works, and behold I have placed an open door before you'" (Rev 3:7). And he said that now for the first time the understanding of Scripture would be given and that the revelation, or key of David, would be given to a person or a large group, but I think rather to a large group.

In the seventh age we know that these things will take place - the rebuilding of the Temple, the restoration of the city, and the granting of peace. Likewise in the coming seventh age there will be a restoration of Divine worship and a rebuilding of the city. Then the prophecy of Ezekiel will be fulfilled when the city comes down from heaven (Ezek 40); not indeed that city which is above, but that city which is below, the Church Militant which will then be conformed to the Church Triumphant as far as possible in this life..."

- Saint Bonaventure (ca. 1217 - 1274), Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Seraphic Doctor (Collation 16:17-19. Translated by McGinn, B. Visions of the End, pp199-200)


And now we turn to Holzhauser in his Commentary:

Quote:

"...The Sixth period of the Church - the status consolationis - begins with the Holy Pope and the Powerful Emperor and terminates with the birth of Antichrist. This will be an age of solace wherein God will console His Church after the many mortifications and afflictions she had endured in the fifth period. For all nations will be brought to the unity of the true Catholic Faith.

A type of this period was the sixth age of the old world, from the deliverance of the Israelites out of the Babylonian Captivity, and the rebuilding of the City and the Temple of Jerusalem, down to the Coming of Christ. As God gladdened His people by the rebuilding of the Temple and the Holy City; as all nations and kingdoms were subjected to the Roman Empire; and Caesar Augustus, the most powerful and excellent Monarch, after vanquishing all his enemies gave peace to the world - so will God pour out upon His Church the most abundant consolations..."


Here now is Holzhauser's description of the Seventh Angel:


Quote:
"...So it is said in the Tenth Chapter of Revelation v1-7....

This is the lofty description of that mighty monarch sent by God. He is described as a 'mighty angel', for none can resist him, the envoy of God. He will 'come down from heaven'; that is to say, he will be born in the bosom of the Catholic Church. The 'cloud' with which he is clothed signifies humility, with which, from youth upward and without any great parade, he walks in the simplicity of his heart. The protection of God is thereby indicated, that, on account of his humility, will encompass him.

The 'rainbow about his head' denotes that he will bring peace to the whole earth. The 'solar lustre' of his brow signifies the splendour of his glory, his honour, his holiness, his talents: so that all princes will follow his example. The 'fiery pillars' at his feet symbolize the vast extent of his power, and the fire of his religious zeal. 'Open Book' means that he will rule with justice...

The spread of the Church over all countries will take place by the instrumentality of this strong monarch, and before the destruction of the world, Christianity will be preached to all nations of the earth; as this is foretold in Matthew and Isaiah and in Micah. To this wide diffusion of Christianity allusion is made when John is obliged to measure the Temple of God (Revelation 11.v.1).

And John saw one sitting upon a cloud, with a golden crown upon his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. This is the second vision respecting the mighty monarch; the crown is that of the [restored] holy Roman Empire; the sickle in his hand, his unconquerable army...

And another angel came out of the Temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat upon the cloud, 'Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, because the hour is come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe (Revelation 16.15). 7

This second angel of the Lord is that great and holy Pope, who, moved by God, will cry out the sanctuary of the church to that mighty monarch, to root out the tares of wickedness; for the harvest is over-ripe...Instructed by a divine revelation, the holy Pope will, by communicating the same, stir up the hearts of [other] rulers...that animated by one spirit, they will all adhere to the mighty monarch..."

And of the Era of Peace he will inaugurate:



Quote:
“This will be an age of solace, wherein God will console His church after the many mortifications and afflictions she had endured in the fifth period. For all nations will be brought to the unity of the true universal (i.e. Catholic) faith...

The hand of the Almighty will produce a marvelous change, according to human notions seemingly impossible. For that STRONG MONARCH, (whose name is to be “the help of God,”) will, as the envoy of the Almighty...subject all things to himself, and will zealously assist the true Church of Christ...

All nations will come, and will worship the Lord...Many righteous men will flourish, and many learned men will arise. Men will love justice and righteousness, and peace will dwell on the whole earth. For the Omnipotent will bind Satan for many years, until the son of perdition raves anew.

In respect to perfection, this period corresponds to the sixth day of creation, on which God created man after His own image, and subjected to him, as lord of creation, all creatures of the earth. So will man be now a true image of God, (in righteousness and holiness), and the STRONG MONARCH will rule over all nations.

The sixth gift of the SPIRIT, THE FEAR OF THE LORD, will in this period be poured out upon the church; for men will fear the Lord their God, keep His commandments, and serve him with their whole heart. The scriptures will be understood after one uniform fashion, without contradiction and error, so that all will marvel they had so long misunderstood the clear sense of holy writ. The sciences will be multiplied and completed, and men will receive extraordinary illumination in natural, as well as divine knowledge.

A new mankind will come into existence. God possesses the key to everything. Blessed is he who will then be able to praise him, having obeyed all his commandments.

And the great monarch of the world will create new laws for the new mankind and will cause a new age to begin, in which there will be only one flock and one shepherd, and peace will be of long, long duration, for the glory of God in heaven and on earth...The sacerdocy will flower more than ever, and men will seek the kingdom of God in all solicitude...

Finally, the Sixth Church, the Church of Philadelphia, is the type of this sixth age, for Philadelphia signifies friendship of brothers, and again guarding the heritage in union with the Lord. Now all these characters convene perfectly in the sixth age, in which they will have love, concord and perfect peace and in which the powerful Monarch will have to consider almost the entire world as his heritage. He will deliver up the earth, with the aid of the Lord his God from all his enemies, of ruin and of all evil...

The kingdoms, the nations, and the people will submit to the [restored] Roman Empire, furiously vanquished by the very powerful and very illustrious monarch who will govern during fifty-six years, rendering the peace of the universe...

Men will live in peace, each in his own field. They will be reconciled with the one God. They will live in the shadow of the powerful Monarch and of his successors...

Man himself will be so astonishingly changed by the hand of God, such that no one can imagine humanity"


So those are the prophecies.

What I am interested in is whether any Baha'i scholar has connected Abdu'l-Baha's description of the 'Seventh Angel' with the prophesied King who Baha'u'llah predicted would "arise to aid" God's cause and establish it on earth:


Quote:
How great the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark, the Ark which God hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation, the fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world. Offer up, O people of Bahá, your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance.

(The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, PARAGRAPHS 81–120)

And as Shoghi Effendi further explained in "The Promised Day is Come":

Quote:
In the Lawh-i-Ra’ís He actually and categorically prophesies the rise of such a king: “Erelong will God raise up from among the kings one who will aid His loved ones. He, verily, encompasseth all things. He will instill in the hearts the love of His loved ones. This, indeed, is irrevocably decreed by One Who is the Almighty, the Beneficent.” In the Ridvánu’l-‘Adl, wherein the virtue of justice is exalted, He makes a parallel prediction: “Erelong will God make manifest on earth kings who will recline on the couches of justice, and will rule amongst men even as they rule their own selves. They, indeed, are among the choicest of My creatures in the entire creation.”

In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas He visualizes in these words the elevation to the throne of His native city, “the Mother of the World” and “the Dayspring of Light,” of a king who will be adorned with the twin ornaments of justice and of devotion to His Faith: “Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Tá, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards and extend his favors unto, the people of Bahá. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His Revelation.”

If these two figures are amalgamated - the prophesised King and Abdu'l-Baha's 'Seventh Angel' - you essentially have a perfect Baha'i 'version' of the Catholic 'Grand Monarch' who is understood by St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser to be the 'Seventh Angel' of Revelation.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 08:01 AM.
 
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:53 AM   #2
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Thoughts?
Everything you mention seems to line up rather well. Great work!!
 
Old 07-13-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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Everything you mention seems to line up rather well. Great work!!
Thank you for reading it Walrus and for the positive feedback!

I was curious to hear what folk here thought since I had read a few Baha'is suggesting that the 'seventh angel' was Abdu'l-Baha himself and others an unidentified person to arise within the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah.

To my mind, if Abdu'l-Baha had been referring to himself then I am sure he would have made a more explicit connection and so I am inclined towards the second theory.

As yet, I have not read of anything by a Baha'i that has made an explicit connection between the Seventh Angel and the prophesied King who will spread the Faith.

To me it fits perfectly and also links, rather neatly, with Catholic exegesis of those ame verses from the Book of Revelation.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 08:07 AM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 09:03 AM   #4
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Great work. I just made a quick search of the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg's works, but he only mentioned the seventh angel in a quote.

gnat
 
Old 07-13-2016, 09:53 AM   #5
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Great work. I just made a quick search of the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg's works, but he only mentioned the seventh angel in a quote.

gnat
Thanks Gnat!

Do you have the quotation at hand? I'd be interested to see how he interpreted these verses
 
Old 07-13-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
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I had read a few Baha'is suggesting that the 'seventh angel' was Abdu'l-Baha himself
I'd be genuinely surprised if that was the case. Abdu'l-Baha tends to write, in my opinion, in a fairly straightforward way, and tends to avoid causing confusion. Since he's given a statement on the Seventh Angel in which he made no such implication that it was him, I'd find that uncharacteristic of his general straightforwardness if it turns out that it was him all along.

Your theory fits much better.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 10:19 AM   #7
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Thanks Gnat!

Do you have the quotation at hand? I'd be interested to see how he interpreted these verses
Well, he wrote in Latin. I looked at a translation into Swedish of his text Apocalypsis revelata, but there he merely quoted the text.

Swedenborg was terribly interesting, though. In the light of the Bahá'í writings, I've noticed that his observations seem amazingly accurate. You could look at this site: Swedenborg's Writings Online - Swedenborg Foundation

gnat
 
Old 07-13-2016, 10:24 AM   #8
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I'd be genuinely surprised if that was the case. Abdu'l-Baha tends to write, in my opinion, in a fairly straightforward way, and tends to avoid causing confusion. Since he's given a statement on the Seventh Angel in which he made no such implication that it was him, I'd find that uncharacteristic of his general straightforwardness if it turns out that it was him all along.

Your theory fits much better.
I agree, I think the reason why some Baha'is came up with the theory that Abdu'l-Baha might be referring to himself as the Seventh Angel in a coded way (which isn't at all substantiated in the text itself so far as I can see) is because they simply couldn't envision that there might be an important figure of this stature "yet to come" within the Baha'i Dispensation.

But of course, Baha'u'llah and Shoghi Effendi jointly affirm that one such figure is yet to emerge - the Great "King" who will arise to aid the Cause and whom Baha'u'llah says all people must "reverence" as to his exalted station.

I consider him to be a far stronger candidate. Since Baha'u'llah and Shoghi Effendi both referred to him, wouldn't we expect Abdu'l-Baha to have done the same?
 
Old 07-13-2016, 11:00 AM   #9
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I agree, I think the reason why some Baha'is came up with the theory that Abdu'l-Baha might be referring to himself as the Seventh Angel in a coded way (which isn't at all substantiated in the text itself so far as I can see) is because they simply couldn't envision that there might be an important figure of this stature "yet to come" within the Baha'i Dispensation.
Heh. I can definitely see why. So many figures that have already emerged fit so neatly into prophecy that I can see why one would, by default, assume all prophecies of past religions are referring to figures in our past.

But, of course, there's plenty of prophecy left for us to witness. And there are countless future revelations that have yet to come and (doubtlessly) have already been alluded to in prophecy.

Also, I found another verse that might be alluding to the King Who Will Arise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahá'u'lláh, tablet addressed to Shaykh Salmán
One of the signs of the maturity of the world is that no one will accept to bear the weight of kingship. Kingship will remain with none willing to bear alone its weight. That day will be the day whereon wisdom will be manifested among mankind. Only in order to proclaim the Cause of God and spread abroad His Faith will anyone be willing to bear this grievous weight. Well is it with him who, for love of God and His Cause, and for the sake of God and for the purpose of proclaiming His Faith, will expose himself unto this great danger, and will accept this toil and trouble.
Since the King Who Will Arise is a "fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world",

And since Bahá'u'lláh says a sign of the world entering a spiritual age is "none willing to [be king]" except "in order to proclaim the Cause of God and spread His Faith",

And since the Seventh Angel will result in "the season of the divine spring [coming]",

This quote might be a link between the Seventh Angel and the King Who Will Arise, as it is about a great King who will herald in an age of spirituality. If these verse DO, in fact, all refer to one another, this King will arise to lead at a time when no one else wants to lead. In today's age, where many people want political authority, it seems like the time of the King is not yet upon us , though I am interested to see if it, or any other yet-unfulfilled prophecy, comes about in my lifetime.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 01:01 PM   #10
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Heh. I can definitely see why. So many figures that have already emerged fit so neatly into prophecy that I can see why one would, by default, assume all prophecies of past religions are referring to figures in our past.

But, of course, there's plenty of prophecy left for us to witness. And there are countless future revelations that have yet to come and (doubtlessly) have already been alluded to in prophecy.

Also, I found another verse that might be alluding to the King Who Will Arise...



Since the King Who Will Arise is a "fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world",

And since Bahá'u'lláh says a sign of the world entering a spiritual age is "none willing to [be king]" except "in order to proclaim the Cause of God and spread His Faith",

And since the Seventh Angel will result in "the season of the divine spring [coming]",

This quote might be a link between the Seventh Angel and the King Who Will Arise, as it is about a great King who will herald in an age of spirituality. If these verse DO, in fact, all refer to one another, this King will arise to lead at a time when no one else wants to lead. In today's age, where many people want political authority, it seems like the time of the King is not yet upon us , though I am interested to see if it, or any other yet-unfulfilled prophecy, comes about in my lifetime.

An excellent post and a very intriguing find from that epistle by Baha'u'llah!

I feel that a very plausible outline is emerging in terms of the general schema envisioned by the Baha'i Writings. Your quotation almost completes the circle - it provides a worthy and necessary context in which this "King Who Will Arise" will actually arise.

According to Baha'u'llah, we will know that mankind has reached spiritual maturity when political power is not seen as an opportunity for self-promotion, personal aggrandizement and careerism but as a weighty office that is too much to bear on account of the grave responsibilities one must shoulder in today's world.

People will cease being brave enough to take the risk of political power, given the evident perils. Notice how Baha'u'llah says that, "Kingship will remain with none willing to bear alone its weight." I see the operative word here being "alone". In other words, kings and political leaders will continue to exist on the surface but in substance their will be no true "leaders" - no one who actual wants to take full responsibility for decisions and be a true leader. It is a world devoid of great, charismatic leaders because politicians have become too frightened to lead - to cognizant of the weightiness and gravity of the office. They will seek to rely more on others ostensibly under so as to spread the weight of responsibility and consequently the share of blame.

This is at once a sign of wisdom and maturity, that the political class has finally weakened up to the gravity of its role towards humanity as a whole but it is also a troubling moment - a seeming "vacuum". The reins of government will be seen less as the career move and grasping of power it has been for many throughout history than it will be something dangerous to the occupant. Power, the ultimate aphrodisiac throughout human history, will at long last be something people shy away from as too fraught with grave responsibilities.

I think we can see the slimmest of beginnings for that now. Just look at the issues modern day leaders must contend with. Most look ill by the time they leave office.

When this vacuum of leadership occurs globally, it is then that the King Who Will Arise shall then enter the fray and take up the mantle of this weighty responsibility on behalf of all the nations of the world and ultimately lead to the Great Peace. And the reason he will take it up is because it will be the cause of God that is compelling him to take up this role and his awareness of the providential role he must fulfil in the divine plan.

Only a man so guided by religious impulse will be brave enough to step up to the plate and take charge. It makes sense.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 01:05 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 03:32 PM   #11
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Thank you for this amazing piece of work. So much to get ones teeth into and I'm not ready to contribute anything substantial yet. Just as an aside, is their any connection with the "seven seals"
 
Old 07-13-2016, 04:38 PM   #12
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I am not sure exactly who the seventh angel is, but there are certain terms in the commentary of Abdulbaha, that, can be understood what they usually mean in Bahai Scriptures.


Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused.

Divine Manifestation, here is definately the Messenger of God. Bahaullah, in Bahai view is divine manifestation. The Bab also was a Manifestation. The next Messenger after Bahaullah is also the next Manifestion. However, it seems to me here Abdulbaha is refering to Bahaullah.



In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets -- in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed;


The Lord of Host in Bahai scriptures is a reference to Bahaullah. However, what is the reason 'will' is used? Bahaullah was already Manifested at the time, Abdulbaha was saying these. So, why Abdulbaha is saying 'will'. The renewal of the world and spring time has ready come in Bahai view:



a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation; the season of the divine spring will come; the clouds of mercy will rain; the sun of reality will shine; the life-giving breeze will blow; the world of humanity will wear a new garment; the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated; wars, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear; and truthfulness, righteousness, peace and the worship of God will appear; union, love and brotherhood will surround the world; and God will rule for evermore -- meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established. Such is the day of God. For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses and Christ, or of the other Prophets; but this day is the day of God, for the Sun of Reality will arise in it with the utmost warmth and splendor.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #13
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Considering this part of bible:

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun

Wrapped in the cloud, is the same term related to Return of Christ in the Cloud.
Shining His face like the Sun, can be a reference to Christ, as per Bible the face of Christ shined like the Sun. In Bahai Scriptures, the Sun is Manifestation of God.
To me, this Angel is Return of Christ.
It represents the holy Soul of the Manifestation. The same as Sprit of Truth.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 04:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
I am not sure exactly who the seventh angel is, but there are certain terms in the commentary of Abdulbaha, that, can be understood what they usually mean in Bahai Scriptures.


Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused.

Divine Manifestation, here is definately the Messenger of God. Bahaullah, in Bahai view is divine manifestation. The Bab also was a Manifestation. The next Messenger after Bahaullah is also the next Manifestion. However, it seems to me here Abdulbaha is refering to Bahaullah.
Thank you for the reply Investigate!

The way this verse reads to me is that the Seventh Angel "will" proclaim and "diffuse" the revelation of the Divine Manifestation throughout the world.

Recall that the Seventh Angel has the voice of "seven thunders".
 
Old 07-13-2016, 04:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Considering this part of bible:

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun

Wrapped in the cloud, is the same term related to Return of Christ in the Cloud.
Shining His face like the Sun, can be a reference to Christ, as per Bible the face of Christ shined like the Sun. In Bahai Scriptures, the Sun is Manifestation of God.
To me, this Angel is Return of Christ.
It represents the holy Soul of the Manifestation. The same as Sprit of Truth.

Commentators have not as a rule interpreted this angel as Jesus. He would not be referred to as merely "another" Angel by a Christian writer. He would be "the" Angel of the Lord, if you get my drift.

Consider John Wesley's commentary (the founder of Methodism):


Revelation 10 - Wesley’s Explanatory Notes - Bible Commentary


Quote:
And I saw another mighty angel — Another from that "mighty angel," mentioned, Revelation 5:2; yet he was a created angel; for he did not swear by himself, verse 6. Revelation 5:6 Clothed with a cloud - In token of his high dignity.

And a rainbow upon his head — A lovely token of the divine favour. And yet it is not too glorious for a creature: the woman, Revelation 12:1, is described more glorious still.

And his face as the sun — Nor is this too much for a creature: for all the righteous "shall shine forth as the sun," Matthew 13:43.

And his feet as pillars of fire — Bright as flame...

And his left foot upon the earth — Out of which was to come the second. The sea may betoken Europe; the earth, Asia; the chief theatres of these great things.

And the angel — This manifestation of things to come under the trumpet of the seventh angel hath a twofold introduction: first, the angel speaks for God, verse 7; Revelation 10:7 then Christ speaks for himself, Revelation 11:3. The angel appeals to the prophets of former times; Christ, to his own two witnesses...



As you can see, the Angel is distinguished from Christ as a separate and indeed lesser being.


The shining face like the sun in the bible is applied to ordinary believers as well:


Quote:
Matthew 13:43


Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom

 
Old 07-13-2016, 05:16 PM   #16
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Another point I should note that if you read the full chapter commentary in SAQ, the 'sixth angel' is described as appearing after the first woe (Rev 9:12-13).

Abdu'l-Baha then describes the Bab as the Second Woe and Baha'u'llah as the Third.

The 'seventh angel' is described as appearing after the third woe (Rev 11:14-15), that is Baha'u'llah. So I do not see how he can be Baha'u'llah himself.

A chronology is proposed by Abdu'l-Baha:

(i) first to fifth angels (ii) appearance of Prophet Muhammed, (iii) sixth angel, (iv) appearance of the Báb, (v) appearance of Bahá'u'lláh, (vi) seventh angel.

The appearance of each of the seven angels proceeds sequentially interspersed with three woes (Rev 8-16); these three woes, `Abdu'l-Bahá explains, relate to the appearance of specific Manifestations of God:


Quote:
"...The first woe is the appearance of the Prophet, Muhammad, the son of `Abdull'áh peace be upon Him! The second woe is that of the Báb to Him be glory and praise! The third woe is the great day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts and the radiance of the Beauty of the Promised One..."

So the Woes are the Manifestations.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 05:19 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 05:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Commentators have not as a rule interpreted this angel as Jesus. He would not be referred to as merely "another" Angel by a Christian writer. He would be "the" Angel of the Lord, if you get my drift.

Consider John Wesley's commentary (the founder of Methodism):


Revelation 10 - Wesley’s Explanatory Notes - Bible Commentary







As you can see, the Angel is distinguished from Christ as a separate and indeed lesser being.


The shining face like the sun in the bible is applied to ordinary believers as well:
What about wrapped in the cloud? Does ordinary believers wrapped in the cloud? Maybe.
But in Bahai Scriptures, cloud may represent whatever prevants people from recognizing the Sun of Truth.

Another Angel, may mean, another Manifestation of God. Since according to Scriptures, the Seventh day, is the Day of God, each Day may be marked with appearence of a Manifestation, and hence The Seventh One, may be a reference to the seventh Manifestation.

These Manifestations might be: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and the Seventh One is the Bab, who proclaimed that Day of God is near, and through His revelation, voices was raised in persia, that Kingdom of God is at hand.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 07-13-2016 at 05:27 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 05:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
What about wrapped in the cloud? Does ordinary believers wrapped in the cloud? Maybe.
Well, yes actually...


Quote:
1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Nothing thus far described makes this figure anything beyond being a"creature". He is exalted and glorious, yes, but not beyond what is obtainable for humans so far as I can tell. A Christian would not describe Jesus in this manner IMHO.

Quote:
Another Angel, may mean, another Manifestation of God. Since according to Scriptures,, the Seventh day, is the Day of God, each may be marked with appearence of a Manifestation, and hence The Seventh One, may be a reference to the seventh Manifestation.


But we are told that the seventh angel would appear after the Third Woe (Baha'u'llah) (Rev 11:14-15).

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 05:34 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 05:45 PM   #19
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Lets look at Revelation 11:14 to 16


The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

I notice, according to this verse, the third woe is coming, but it has not come yet!

Next verse:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever."

The third woe is that same kingdom of our Lord, who in Bahai view is Bahaullah. So, the Seventh Angel is the one who would declair that before happening .



Next verse:


And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,


Some of these 24 elders are the 18 companions of the Bab according to Bahai Writings.

It seems to me, these verses 14 to 16 are not neccessarily in chronological order. Each verse may represent part of the same events.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:04 PM   #20
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Interestingly, there seems to be a different translation of this passage given here which makes it plural but clearly infers that the Seventh Angel is not Baha'u'llah:


Some Answered Questions | Bahá


Quote:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.”46

That angel refers to human souls who have been endowed with heavenly attributes and invested with an angelic nature and disposition. Voices will be lifted up and the appearance of the divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and noised abroad. It will be announced that this day is the day of the advent of the Lord of Hosts, and this Dispensation the merciful Dispensation of the Divine Providence. It has been promised and recorded in all the Sacred Books and Scriptures that in this Day of God His divine and spiritual sovereignty will be established, the world will be renewed, a fresh spirit will be breathed into the body of creation, the divine springtime will be ushered in, the clouds of mercy will rain down, the Sun of Truth will shine forth, the life-giving breezes will blow: The world of humanity will be arrayed in a new garment; the face of the earth will become even as the highest paradise; humanity will be educated; war, dissension, strife, and contention will vanish; truthfulness, uprightness, peace, and godliness will prevail; love, concord, and union will encompass the world; and God will rule forevermore—that is, a spiritual and everlasting sovereignty will be established. Such is the Day of God. For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses, Christ, or of the other Prophets, but this day is the Day of God, inasmuch as the Sun of Truth will shine forth therein with the utmost intensity and radiance.

Can anyone tell me why one translation has it as "a man" and another "human souls"?

Does anyone know what the original word in Persian/Arabic says?

Singular or plural?

Clearly, either way it is not Baha'u'llah being referred to IMHO. It is about an individual man or "human souls" proclaiming and diffusing his Revelation.

Of interest is the fact that Bahais have clearly been asking who this figure is:


Quote:
We cannot say more about the Seventh Angel than what the Master has stated in "Some Answered Questions".


(Letter written on behalf of the Guardian, Messages to the Antipodes: 18 December 1945)


The Guardian did not clarify further.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 06:12 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:20 PM   #21
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I have never read of any commentator that described the Seventh Angel in the plural as indicating a group of people.

I find it curious that the original 1908 translation clearly states that a "man will arise" whereas the 2015 translation renders it as "human souls".

Can anyone help me out here?

Sen McGlinn perhaps???
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:23 PM   #22
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In Persian Abdulbaha is saying That Angel is human....

He is not using plural form. It is singular.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #23
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But in my view the new Translation is not necessarily wrong.

This Angel though is a singular word, may actually represent the souls of those human beings, who have angelic attributes.


For example, in Bible Anti-christ is singular, but it is not necessarily a particular person. It may represent all those who act opposite to the teachings of christ.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 07-13-2016 at 06:33 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:30 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
In Persian Abdulbaha is saying That Angel is human....

He is not using plural form. It is singular.
Thank you most kindly!

I wonder how the 2015 edition managed to mistranslate the verse into a plural form

Clearly, they did not think it referred to Baha'u'llah, though, or I assume they would have been more careful?
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
But in my view the new Translation is not necessarily wrong.

This Angel though is a singular word, may actually represent the souls of those human beings, who have angelic attributes.
Hmm, that's plausible but does he say "man" or "human souls" at that crucial juncture in the sentence? It's this I would like to know most - does he refer to a "man" or human soul as in the original translation from 1908 or "human souls" in the plural sense?

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 06:34 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:37 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
For example, in Bible Anti-christ is singular, but it is not necessarily a particular person. It may represent all those who act opposite to the teachings of christ.
Another good point and one that Catholics can heartily agree with:


Quote:
"...As far as the antichrist is concerned, we have seen that in the New Testament he always assumes the lineaments of contemporary history. He cannot be restricted to any single individual. One and the same he wears many masks in each generation..."

—Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Dogmatic Theology, Eschatology 9, Johann Auer and Joseph Ratzinger, 1988, p. 199-200

Nonetheless, the original translation did not suggest this reading so I'd like to know what it actually says if anyone knows the Persian/Arabic. I find the difference a little perplexing.

I would assume that the 1908 translation was likely approved by Abdu'l-Baha?

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-13-2016 at 06:44 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:45 PM   #27
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Hmm, that's plausible but does he say "man" or "human souls" at that crucial juncture in the sentence? It's this I would like to know most - does he refer to a "man" or human soul as in the original translation from 1908 or "human souls" in the plural sense?
In the sentence, He is saying human. The word soul does not exist in that sentence.

But from the whole sentence, He may mean, generally any human who has angelic attributes.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 06:48 PM   #28
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In the sentence, He is saying human. The word soul does not exist in that sentence.

But from the whole sentence, He may mean, generally any human who has angelic attributes.
I see, thank you.

So he says that the Angel will refer to a "human" who will arise in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah with these heavenly qualities?

But in the context - this could potentially refer generally to any human in the Baha'i era with these qualities?

Hmm. I wonder how we could ascertain this for sure.
 
Old 07-13-2016, 07:05 PM   #29
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I see, thank you.

So he says that the Angel will refer to a "human" who will arise in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah with these heavenly qualities?

But in the context - this could potentially refer generally to any human in the Baha'i era with these qualities?

Hmm. I wonder how we could ascertain this for sure.
Abdulbaha may have been thinking based on what Bahaullah wrote in Iqan:

And now, concerning His words: “And He shall send His angels.…” By “angels” is meant those
who, reinforced by the power of the spirit, have consumed, with the fire of the love of God, all
human traits and limitations, and have clothed themselves with the attributes of the most exalted
Beings and of the Cherubim. That holy man, Ṣádiq,62 in his eulogy of the Cherubim, saith: “There
stand a company of our fellow-Shí‘ihs behind the Throne.” Divers and manifold are the
interpretations of the words “behind the Throne.” In one sense, they indicate that no true Shí‘ihs
exist. Even as he hath said in another passage: “A true believer is likened unto the philosopher’s
stone.” Addressing subsequently his listener, he saith: “Hast thou ever seen the philosopher’s
stone?” Reflect, how this symbolic language, more eloquent than any speech, however direct,
testifieth to the nonexistence of a true believer. Such is the testimony of Ṣádiq. And now consider,
how unfair and numerous are those who, although they themselves have failed to inhale the
fragrance of belief, have condemned as infidels those by whose word belief itself is recognized and
established.
And now, inasmuch as these holy beings have sanctified themselves from every human
limitation, have become endowed with the attributes of the spiritual, and have been adorned with
the noble traits of the blessed, they therefore have been designated as “angels.” Such is the meaning
of these verses, every word of which hath been expounded by the aid of the most lucid texts, the
most convincing arguments, and the best established evidences.
 
Old 07-14-2016, 05:43 PM   #30
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Thank you both, Yeshua and Investigate Truth, for this enlightening discussion. I have not reviewed the differences between the new translation and original translation of Some Answered Questions, and this is an interesting one. There are clearly good reasons why the translation was revised, but just as my copy of the Bible offers alternate renditions of some of the verses, it is advisable for someone who is studying Abdul-Baha's writings to have both versions available. My understanding was that the original Persian transcriptions were reviewed and approved by Abdul-Baha himself, but the English translation was not, although it stood up very well for over 100 years.

The main subject of the thread is fascinating. I certainly find it compelling that the vision of the rise of an earthly king who exemplifies the spirit of God's Kingdom and serves to help unite the world is foretold in the Revelation of St. John and also by Baha'u'llah. I don't think you will find Baha'i theologians to elaborate on that in the same way St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser have done in the Catholic Church, however. I don't know to what extent the writings of St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser would be considered authoritative in the Catholic Church (I suppose only if endorsed by the Church formally).

No Baha'i since Shoghi Effendi's passing can provide an authoritative interpretation of scripture, although any question that needs resolving in terms of what actions we should take in the future fall within the powers of the Universal House of Justice to determine, in accordance with Baha'u'llah's Covenant. Individual Baha'is are free to develop their own thoughts on the meaning and implications of the scriptures, and may put them forward for others to consider, which I think is essential for each of us and for humanity as a whole to fully benefit from the great spiritual powers with which God has invested the scriptures of all religions.

As to whether Abdul-Baha was referring in Some Answered Questions only to the king who Baha'u'llah specifically said would arise, or generally to the many individuals who also must fulfill a crucial role in establishing the Kingdom of God, there may be benefit in meditating on the issue. Might we be lax in our own efforts if we think that a great king will rise up and do it all for us? We know a king will arise, as Baha'u'llah said so, but certainly that doesn't absolve each of us of our own spiritual responsibilities.

Best wishes to you!
 
Old 07-15-2016, 07:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
Thank you both, Yeshua and Investigate Truth, for this enlightening discussion. I have not reviewed the differences between the new translation and original translation of Some Answered Questions, and this is an interesting one. There are clearly good reasons why the translation was revised, but just as my copy of the Bible offers alternate renditions of some of the verses, it is advisable for someone who is studying Abdul-Baha's writings to have both versions available. My understanding was that the original Persian transcriptions were reviewed and approved by Abdul-Baha himself, but the English translation was not, although it stood up very well for over 100 years.

The main subject of the thread is fascinating. I certainly find it compelling that the vision of the rise of an earthly king who exemplifies the spirit of God's Kingdom and serves to help unite the world is foretold in the Revelation of St. John and also by Baha'u'llah. I don't think you will find Baha'i theologians to elaborate on that in the same way St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser have done in the Catholic Church, however. I don't know to what extent the writings of St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser would be considered authoritative in the Catholic Church (I suppose only if endorsed by the Church formally).

No Baha'i since Shoghi Effendi's passing can provide an authoritative interpretation of scripture, although any question that needs resolving in terms of what actions we should take in the future fall within the powers of the Universal House of Justice to determine, in accordance with Baha'u'llah's Covenant. Individual Baha'is are free to develop their own thoughts on the meaning and implications of the scriptures, and may put them forward for others to consider, which I think is essential for each of us and for humanity as a whole to fully benefit from the great spiritual powers with which God has invested the scriptures of all religions.

As to whether Abdul-Baha was referring in Some Answered Questions only to the king who Baha'u'llah specifically said would arise, or generally to the many individuals who also must fulfill a crucial role in establishing the Kingdom of God, there may be benefit in meditating on the issue. Might we be lax in our own efforts if we think that a great king will rise up and do it all for us? We know a king will arise, as Baha'u'llah said so, but certainly that doesn't absolve each of us of our own spiritual responsibilities.

Best wishes to you!

Thank you JCC for one of your typically brilliant and level-headed posts

I actually think that the 2015 edition solves the problem.

(1) It makes it perfectly clear that the translators of this authoritative and most up-to-date translation, approved by the UHJ, do not regard this passage as a reference to Baha'u'llah or the Bab as some do. Their rendering makes it clear that prominent "voices", that is ordinary believers animated by heavenly qualities, will arise during the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah and through their efforts lead to the unification of the world. Abdu'l-Baha explicitly stated in his SAQ Commentary that the Manifestions are to be identified with the "Woes" and that the Seventh Angel arises after the Woe, that is during the Baha'i Dispensation.

(2) The prophesied Great King of the Aqdas and other works by Baha'u'llah is obviously going to be one of these "voices". As such the passage does refer to this figure, as the earlier Catholic visionaries discerned. And yet these earlier Catholic visionaries explicitly stated that the Great Monarch would not act alone but be assisted by a Holy Pope and other Princes who would follow his example. Interestingly enough, Baha'u'llah predicted in the Ridvánu’l-‘Adl that "erelong will God make manifest on earth kings who will recline on the couches of justice", in addition to this singularly important Great King Who Will Arise - their leader and exemplar so to speak.


As such, the 2015 translation clears up everything!

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-15-2016 at 07:10 AM.
 
Old 07-15-2016, 07:18 AM   #32
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I don't think you will find Baha'i theologians to elaborate on that in the same way St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser have done in the Catholic Church, however. I don't know to what extent the writings of St. Bonaventure and Venerable Holzhauser would be considered authoritative in the Catholic Church (I suppose only if endorsed by the Church formally).

Good Question!

St. Bonaventure is a "Doctor of the Church," known by Catholics under the epithet of "Seraphic Doctor":


Doctors of the Church - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

Quote:
Doctors of the Church

This is a very special title accorded by the Church to certain saints. This title indicates that the writings and preachings of such a person are useful to Christians "in any age of the Church." Such men and women are also particularly known for the depth of understanding and the orthodoxy of their theological teachings. While the writings of the Doctors are often considered inspired by the Holy Spirit; this does not mean they are infallible, but it does mean that they contributed significantly to the formulation of Christian teaching in at least one area.

Owing to their title, the Doctors of the Church enjoy a special authority in the Church.

As such, his writings posses the highest authority that a Saint and theologian can possess in the Church's eyes. That does not mean they are entirely free from error or personal opinion but it does mean (1) there is nothing contrary to faith or morals in their writings and (2) their writings are perennially relevant to Catholics in all ages and have contributed to the formation of doctrine and (3) the writings are thus understood, in general, to be inspired by God.

To be declared Venerable, as Holzhauser was, a person's writings must be approved by the Church as having nothing in them contrary to faith or morals:


http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/...f_Canonization


Quote:
Following the third council, the literary output of the prospective saint is analyzed and "revised by theologians appointed by the cardinal relator himself" (Beccari)...If the results of Congregation's deliberations are positive, the pope provisionally endorses the candidate. "Thenceforward, the servant of God is judicially given the title of Venerable" (Beccari).

In addition to this, Venerable Holzhauser's commentary on the Book of Revelation has enjoyed special acclaim down the years by Catholics:


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_Holzhauser


Quote:
He also wrote a remarkable work on the last book of the New Testament, the Revelation or the Apocalypse, which today is still held in high regard by Roman Catholics.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-15-2016 at 07:27 AM.
 
Old 07-15-2016, 08:23 PM   #33
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Good Question!

St. Bonaventure is a "Doctor of the Church," known by Catholics under the epithet of "Seraphic Doctor":

Doctors of the Church - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

Owing to their title, the Doctors of the Church enjoy a special authority in the Church.

As such, his writings posses the highest authority that a Saint and theologian can possess in the Church's eyes. That does not mean they are entirely free from error or personal opinion but it does mean (1) there is nothing contrary to faith or morals in their writings and (2) their writings are perennially relevant to Catholics in all ages and have contributed to the formation of doctrine and (3) the writings are thus understood, in general, to be inspired by God.

To be declared Venerable, as Holzhauser was, a person's writings must be approved by the Church as having nothing in them contrary to faith or morals:

Canonization - New World Encyclopedia

In addition to this, Venerable Holzhauser's commentary on the Book of Revelation has enjoyed special acclaim down the years by Catholics:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_Holzhauser
Thank you for this good information. I may note that while writings of these distinguished theologians have nothing in them contrary to faith or morals, that is not the same as saying they have accurately predicted future events which will come to pass exactly as they say. To do that, you would be a prophet, not a theologian. St John was the prophet of Revelation, of course, but his vision is full of symbolism and hidden meaning.

I have often thought about the reason why prophecies in scripture are always full of symbolism and hidden meaning. An obvious reason is that if prophecies were to be very specific and obvious about future events and the dates they would occur, then the enemies of God would stop at nothing to interfere with it just to prove it wrong or that God is not all-powerful and all-knowing. Think of King Herod killing all the babies just to prevent the Messiah from coming. Imagine if he knew exactly where and when Jesus would be born.

A more subtle and profound reason why prophecies are almost always symbolic is that they have the effect of testing the believers as to their understanding of the spiritual realities, rather than simply following traditions of the past, as the Pharisees had done.
 
Old 07-16-2016, 02:17 AM   #34
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Thank you for this good information. I may note that while writings of these distinguished theologians have nothing in them contrary to faith or morals, that is not the same as saying they have accurately predicted future events which will come to pass exactly as they say. To do that, you would be a prophet, not a theologian. St John was the prophet of Revelation, of course, but his vision is full of symbolism and hidden meaning.
Indeed they could have errors but as I say, inspiration by God on some level is recognised - especially the Doctors of the Church.

I should also note that Venerable Holzhauser was actually a prophet, while St. Bonaventure was a mystic.

Neither of these ensure infallibility but they are a recognition of one's being inspired by the Holy Spirit:


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_Holzhauser


Quote:
Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (August 24, 1613 – May 20, 1658) was a German priest, a founder of a religious community, and a visionary and writer of prophecies...

Holzhauser was a visionary, and made his visions public by presenting them in 1646 to Emperor Ferdinand III and to Duke Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. Ludwig Clarus published these visions, along with a commentary showing their partial fulfillment, in German, in 1849.
.

He experienced a series of ten visions and wrote his Commentary while under an ecstatic, mystical experience in which he fasted for days and simply wrote ceaselessly, with the words effortlessly flowing out of him.

As for St. Bonaventure, he was a mystic. The introduction to his Journey of the Mind into God describes the circumstances of a vision that gave rise to this writing:


Quote:
"...While I meditated on the possible ascent of the mind to God, amongst other things there occurred that miracle which happened in the same place to the blessed Francis himself, namely the vision of the winged Seraph in the form of a Crucifix. While meditating upon this vision, I immediately saw that it offered me the ecstatic contemplation of Fr Francis himself as well as the way that leads to it...

If you should wish to know how these things come about, (the mystical communion with God) question grace, not instruction; desire, not intellect; the cry of prayer, not pursuit of study; the spouse, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness, not clarity; not light, but the fire that inflames all and transports to God with fullest unction and burning affection..." (cf. The Mind's Road to God, Prologue, 2, in Opere di Sa

So the Church approved both his and Holzhauser's Visions. As you correctly note, this does not make them infallible but it is a recognition that God did inspire them on some level i.e. they cannot be false visions.

So while they may not have entirely accurately understood the full import of their visions, we do recognise the validity of the actual visions themselves and their divine origin.

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-16-2016 at 02:30 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2016, 02:12 PM   #35
Jcc
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Indeed they could have errors but as I say, inspiration by God on some level is recognised - especially the Doctors of the Church.

I should also note that Venerable Holzhauser was actually a prophet, while St. Bonaventure was a mystic.

Neither of these ensure infallibility but they are a recognition of one's being inspired by the Holy Spirit:


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_Holzhauser

He experienced a series of ten visions and wrote his Commentary while under an ecstatic, mystical experience in which he fasted for days and simply wrote ceaselessly, with the words effortlessly flowing out of him.

As for St. Bonaventure, he was a mystic. The introduction to his Journey of the Mind into God describes the circumstances of a vision that gave rise to this writing:

So the Church approved both his and Holzhauser's Visions. As you correctly note, this does not make them infallible but it is a recognition that God did inspire them on some level i.e. they cannot be false visions.

So while they may not have entirely accurately understood the full import of their visions, we do recognise the validity of the actual visions themselves and their divine origin.
I think we are in agreement, then. The nature of prophetic visions is that they require interpretation because they are full of symbolism. These two souls were blessed with visions sent by God that relate to future events. How these events will actually unfold is not clear and there is no infallible interpretation of them, but they can be inspiring and edifying for the faithful to study.

Is that a fair statement?
 
Old 07-16-2016, 02:20 PM   #36
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I think we are in agreement, then. The nature of prophetic visions is that they require interpretation because they are full of symbolism. These two souls were blessed with visions sent by God that relate to future events. How these events will actually unfold is not clear and there is no infallible interpretation of them, but they can be inspiring and edifying for the faithful to study.

Is that a fair statement?
Yes, I've think you've got it spot on

Read this:

Quote:
But it was with the gift of prophecy this holy man [Holzhauser] was pre-eminently endowed...

Genuine Prophecies have a prophetic form. They are set forth in marvelous images, in dark mysterious words; they often bring together totally dissimilar events, invert occasionally the order of time; while their authors, overpowered with the general impression of their visions, employ exaggerated language. For instance, ‘the blood will mount even to the horses’ bridles.’ From these peculiarities we see that a certain obscurity attaches to prophecies. But this very quality bespeaks their divine origin, as hereby they seem to bear a certain conformity to the other works of God. In nature and history, too, God conceals himself, in order that these only, who seek him in faith, may find Him.

It was also during his abode at Leoggenthal, Holzhauser wrote his great work—the Commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John, that wonderful book, in which, according to St. Jerome, there are as many mysteries as words. This Commentary extends only to the fifth verse of the fifteenth chapter. Holzhauser, according to his biographer, wrote it under the pressure of great tribulations. During this time he gave himself up to continual prayer, and passed whole days without eating or drinking, wholly removed from the society of men. Having been asked, what was the state of his soul, when he wrote this work, he burst into tears, and replied: “I was like a child, whose hand was led, while I wrote.”...

Holzhauser furnishes a key to most of the symbols and allegories in his own visions, as well as to those of the Apocalypse of St. John, in his Commentary upon that book. The ten visions, which as has been stated, this man of God, in obedience to the Bishop of Chiemsee, committed to writing, he accompanied with a Commentary; but as the learned editor, M. Clarus, has observed, the full bearing of these prophecies Holzhauser seems not always himself to have understood.

It is indeed a proof of the divine origin of a genuine prophecy, that the mind of the prophet should be in a passive state, and should not always fully comprehend the import of the vision brought before him.
 
Old 07-19-2016, 01:27 PM   #37
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Thank you most kindly!

I wonder how the 2015 edition managed to mistranslate the verse into a plural form

Clearly, they did not think it referred to Baha'u'llah, though, or I assume they would have been more careful?
The newer translation is incorrect: the Persian text refers to "a man" and uses two singular verbs.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 02:54 AM   #38
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Nazarethan Baha'i faith view of seventh angels of revelation it's
The same like in baha'i faith but from 1991 beginning of seventh angel (new revelation of nazarethan Baha'i faith).
Number 666 is people who rejected revelation of Bahaullah, especially 666 is Shia Islam (immamism) from Iran and other Shia countries (Shia Islam is very violent and it's not true islam) and Rome (Pope who will be "false prophet" from revelation of John). From Shia Islam come antichrist that say Quran and Bible
 
Old 10-07-2016, 03:12 AM   #39
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Nazarethan Baha'i faith view of seventh angels of revelation it's
The same like in baha'i faith but from 1991 beginning of seventh angel (new revelation of nazarethan Baha'i faith).
Number 666 is people who rejected revelation of Bahaullah, especially 666 is Shia Islam (immamism) from Iran and other Shia countries (Shia Islam is very violent and it's not true islam) and Rome (Pope who will be "false prophet" from revelation of John). From Shia Islam come antichrist that say Quran and Bible
Oh, you are so wicked, so bad! And your words are just a waste of good pixels. Happy now?

gnat
 
Old 10-07-2016, 03:22 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Oh, you are so wicked, so bad! And your words are just a waste of good pixels. Happy now?

gnat
Iran, Russia and Vatican gather together to destroy Izrael and good people from every religions of world
 
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