Bahai Beliefs

Feb 2019
32
Chicago
#1
Hello All,

I recently was introduced to Bahai faith and have been studying the teachings of Bahauallah. I have been very inspired by his teachings and his life as well. I think the Bahai religion is a beautiful religion and Bahaullah comes across as one of the greatest Prophets of God. Can someone knowledgeable share Bahaullah's views on the Christian concept of Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Spirit) and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I know what Abdul Baha has said on these issues but I am not finding that information in Bahaullah's writings.

thanks,
Venu
 
Aug 2014
1,362
Blue Planet
#2
Hi Venu
welcome to the forum.
regarding your question, maybe you can find useful information in this link:

Jesus Christ in the Bahá'í Writings

I wanted to summarize it for you here, but I thought I am not good enough to do justice to the main text. so I hope you have time to go through it and hopefully find some satisfying answers for your question.
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Jul 2017
258
Kettering, Ohio USA
#3
We consider Abdu'l-Baha to be the infallible interpreter of Baha'u'llah's Writings so whatever He says about the Trinity and the resurrection is the same as if Baha'u'llah said it Himself.
 
Feb 2019
32
Chicago
#4
We consider Abdu'l-Baha to be the infallible interpreter of Baha'u'llah's Writings so whatever He says about the Trinity and the resurrection is the same as if Baha'u'llah said it Himself.
I understand your position. Bahaullah asked his followers to independently investigate the truth and if I were to follow Bahaullah's advice and take a good look at the events in the life of Jesus as recorded in the Bible, I find that the disciples of Jesus who were held in high regard by Bahaullah all stated that Jesus was physically resurrected 3 days after his crucifixion. Jesus spent 40 days in his physical body after his resurrection teaching esoteric spiritual truths to his 11 apostles. He talked to them, helped them fish, dined with them etc. Apostle Thomas actually touched Jesus before he believed that Jesus indeed resurrected himself. Certainly, the 11 apostles of Jesus who evolved spiritually and spread his teachings were not hallucinating for the remainder of their lives after the death of Jesus Christ to come up with false stories of his physical resurrection. Jesus himself said that he would be able to resurrect his body in 3 days if it were to be destroyed. When Jesus drove the corrupt money changers out of the Jewish temple, he was asked to show some sign that he had the authority to take such action and in response, he said he can resurrect his body in 3 days. The human body is referred to as a temple in the Bible at many places.

The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"
But the temple he had spoken of was his body. - John 2:18-21

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are - Corinthians 3:16-17

Given these truths, why would Abdul Baha deny the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ? Is it possible that Abdul Baha was influenced by Islam and was promoting the Islamic belief that the physical resurrection of Jesus never took place?
 
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Feb 2019
32
Chicago
#5
Hi Venu
welcome to the forum.
regarding your question, maybe you can find useful information in this link:

Jesus Christ in the Bahá'í Writings

I wanted to summarize it for you here, but I thought I am not good enough to do justice to the main text. so I hope you have time to go through it and hopefully find some satisfying answers for your question.
The question of the Trinity, since the time of His Holiness Christ until now, is the belief of the Christians, and to the present time all the learned among them are perplexed and confounded. All have confessed that the question is beyond the grasp of reason, for three cannot become one, nor one three. To unite these is impossible; it is either one or three. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 512.

Let us take the example of water in the ocean. It is essentially a liquid but the ocean is so huge that at some places the water has turned in to an ice berg which is a solid and at another place thousands of miles away the water in the ocean had become water vapor which is a gas, due to the heat from the Sun. So now the ocean exists in three different states at the same time. How is it possible? It is possible because God gave that ability to the ocean and God could not have given that ability to his creation if he did not have it Himself. The concept of Trinity exists in the Hindu scriptures as well as Sat, Tat and Aum.

When Spirit manifests creation, It becomes the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Ghost, or Sat, Tat, Aum. The Father (Sat) is God as the Creator existing beyond creation (Cosmic Consciousness). The Son (Tat) is God's omnipresent intelligence existing in creation (Christ Consciousness or Kutastha Chaitanya). Christ Consciousness is the ‘only begotten’ or sole reflection of the Uncreated Infinite. The Holy Ghost (Aum) is the vibratory power of God that objectifies and becomes creation.

I am not finding anything in Bahaullah's writings that denies the Trinity. I suspect Abdul Baha did not have the same insight in to the Truth that Jesus and other manifestations of God from India have had and it appears Abdul Baha in this case again agrees with the Koran which denies the Trinity.
 
Jun 2014
1,043
Wisconsin
#6
First, some Baha'is seem to think that since 'Abdu'l-Baha gives a symbolic meaning to the resurrection that it did not happen. I think this is a misguided approach, why can't an event that did happen have spiritual and symbolic meaning as well?? Is God not capable of communicating through action??

I understand your position. Bahaullah asked his followers to independently investigate the truth and if I were to follow Bahaullah's advice and take a good look at the events in the life of Jesus as recorded in the Bible, I find that the disciples of Jesus who were held in high regard by Bahaullah all stated that Jesus was physically resurrected 3 days after his crucifixion. Jesus spent 40 days in his physical body after his resurrection teaching esoteric spiritual truths to his 11 apostles. He talked to them, helped them fish, dined with them etc. Apostle Thomas actually touched Jesus before he believed that Jesus indeed resurrected himself. Certainly, the 11 apostles of Jesus who evolved spiritually and spread his teachings were not hallucinating for the remainder of their lives after the death of Jesus Christ to come up with false stories of his physical resurrection. Jesus himself said that he would be able to resurrect his body in 3 days if it were to be destroyed. When Jesus drove the corrupt money changers out of the Jewish temple, he was asked to show some sign that he had the authority to take such action and in response, he said he can resurrect his body in 3 days. The human body is referred to as a temple in the Bible at many places.

The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"
But the temple he had spoken of was his body. - John 2:18-21

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are - Corinthians 3:16-17
What I would ask is is this physical resurrection??

I ask this because Jesus' body is quite different in the bible post-resurrection. I'd assert it has changed quite a bit.

"As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him." Luke 24:15-16

"Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight." Luke 24:31

"Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!'" John 20:26

"Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus." John 21:4

It would seem his body has undergone a miraculous transformation. His own disciples do not recognize him by appearance, only by his actions and words. And he can come and go as he pleases, vanishing before people's eyes and appearing inside locked rooms. His body is obviously different than it once was. Is his body physical?? Well he eats food and interacts with physical things, which would seem to indicate "yes", but he can vanish at will and pass through locked doors, which would seem to indicate "no".

It seems clear to me at least that the authors meant to tell us that Jesus' body was in some state beyond notions of material and immaterial, as it contains attributes we'd consider material and attributes we'd consider immaterial.

From just the Bible alone, I don't believe the resurrection is a bodily or physical resurrection. Lazarus had a physical resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus, however, is something more than mere physical resurrection. Lazarus is recognized by his appearance and (presumably) cannot appear and disappear at will. Physical, concrete, bodily resurrection.

Jesus appears and disappears, yet interacts and touches. Is one moment unrecognized, another recognized. His body seems surreal, dreamlike (please note, I do not mean to diminish by comparing to dreams, I'm the sort that finds dreams and dreamlike events to be just as important as waking events. I merely wish to note that things appearing and disappearing, yet seeming physical in other aspects, or not-recognizing a person you know only to later recognize them are things that I've seen happen in dreams. Jesus seems to possess post-resurrection, in the waking realm, a body with qualities normally only found in dream, which is a fascinating thing).

Tying this back, 'Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, doesn't state that the resurrection did not occur, he only gives a symbolic meaning of the event, which does not mean it did not happen, and only states that the resurrection was not bodily as if the resurrection was bodily it would not conform with science (which is true, a physical body cannot appear in a locked room, eat a fish, and disappear without a trace (presumably disappearing with the eaten fish)). I would agree, Jesus' resurrection was not bodily, his form is something more than bodily and physical, something beyond the resurrection of Lazarus. But I would say none of what is written implies that the resurrection did not happen.

I don't think I can address your questions on the topic of trinitarianism, because I don't feel like I 100% understand how you understand the topic of trinity.
 
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Sep 2010
4,434
Normanton Far North Queensland
#8
The question of the Trinity, since the time of His Holiness Christ until now, is the belief of the Christians, and to the present time all the learned among them are perplexed and confounded. All have confessed that the question is beyond the grasp of reason, for three cannot become one, nor one three. To unite these is impossible; it is either one or three. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 512.
I am not finding anything in Bahaullah's writings that denies the Trinity. I suspect Abdul Baha did not have the same insight in to the Truth that Jesus and other manifestations of God from India have had and it appears Abdul Baha in this case again agrees with the Koran which denies the Trinity.
Great to see you here Venu. It would be right to point out from the start that Abdul'baha's explanations are authorised by Baha'u'llah, no one knew the Revelation of Baha'u'llah any better than Abdul'baha. Baha'u'llah gifted Abdul'baha to us as 'The Mystery of God' and it is Abdul'baha that is the of 'Servant of Baha'.

Thus the Authority given to Abdul'baha cannot be seperated from the Message of Baha'u'llah.

This is the full explanation (Also new translation) that is referenced in the talk of your above quote.

The Trinity
1Question: What isthe meaning of the Trinity and of its three Persons?
(Some Answered Questions)
www.bahai.org/r/534754631

No Baha'i can offer a better explanation as this explanation has the authority given of God, we can only offer thoughts.

I will try to get back later to some of your other points posted above.

Regards Tony
 
Feb 2019
32
Chicago
#9
It would seem his body has undergone a miraculous transformation. His own disciples do not recognize him by appearance, only by his actions and words. And he can come and go as he pleases, vanishing before people's eyes and appearing inside locked rooms. His body is obviously different than it once was. Is his body physical?? Well he eats food and interacts with physical things, which would seem to indicate "yes", but he can vanish at will and pass through locked doors, which would seem to indicate "no".
Before Jesus was crucified, he walked on water. A physical body cannot walk on water. Does it mean Jesus' body was not physical. If so, how can a non-physical body be crucified? Jesus performed many miracles as have true prophets of God all over the world that were one with God.

Here is an explanation from a Yoga master.

“Resurrection means ‘to rise again.’ What rises again—and how? Though restoring life to a deceased body, as Jesus did for Lazarus, is indeed one form of resurrection, what Jesus evidenced after his crucifixion was much higher. It was the resurrection of the soul into oneness with Spirit—the soul’s ascension from delusory confinement of body consciousness into its native immortality and everlasting freedom. Lazarus and others whose bodies were raised from the dead by Jesus gained new life, new opportunity for spiritual advancement; but Jesus’ resurrection lifted his consciousness beyond all relativities of vibratory creation and merged his Self with the transcendental Father, Absolute Spirit.”

Jesus’ resurrection was little understood, and much disbelieved even though he made himself visible to hundreds of people—not only to his close disciples. In those days they comprehended only that Jesus was dead and then he was alive, but they did not understand the science and art of ascension and resurrection, as is defined in the timeless scriptures of Yoga.

Jesus was born in a human body; he was crucified; and he resurrected himself. He rebuilt his body, and his soul entered that resurrected form. But he did not re-create a body to remain confined in it. Though he appeared in physical form to his disciples many times after crucifixion, he dissolved that body again. To understand him only as incarnate in a body that was crucified and then resurrected is not appreciably to understand Christ as he is. Incarnate or after resurrection, Jesus was not only a physical personality, but a vessel of the infinite Christ Consciousness. While he resurrected himself in the body, he resurrected his spirit from the confinement of form into omnipresent Spirit.
 
Likes: Walrus
Jun 2014
1,043
Wisconsin
#10
Before Jesus was crucified, he walked on water. A physical body cannot walk on water.
Is that so??


But even so, miracles or not, Jesus' body is observed to follow certain laws of physics (constancy of form, inability to be in the same place as another physical thing, inability to instantaneously teleport) that his form is observed to not follow post resurrection. Is this form the same body, that once looked different and always physically interacted with the world?? For now the form looks different and can seemingly choose whether or not physical interaction happens.

“Resurrection means ‘to rise again.’ What rises again—and how? Though restoring life to a deceased body, as Jesus did for Lazarus, is indeed one form of resurrection, what Jesus evidenced after his crucifixion was much higher. It was the resurrection of the soul into oneness with Spirit—the soul’s ascension from delusory confinement of body consciousness into its native immortality and everlasting freedom. Lazarus and others whose bodies were raised from the dead by Jesus gained new life, new opportunity for spiritual advancement; but Jesus’ resurrection lifted his consciousness beyond all relativities of vibratory creation and merged his Self with the transcendental Father, Absolute Spirit.”
If this is the case, again I don't see how one can call that a physical resurrection. Whether it is as I believe it is, or whether it is as it is described here, it is so much more than a physical resurrection.

How could it be a bodily resurrection in the case of Jesus, if body consciousness is delusory confinement, as is stated in the quote?? Certainly post-Resurrection Jesus would be free of such confinement, one would think.
 
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