Meaning of "His Chosen Ones"

HuangRan
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Meaning of "His Chosen Ones"

Postby HuangRan » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:38 am

Dear friend,

In Bahai Writings, what's the difference between "the Chosen Ones (of God)" and "the chosen ones (of God)"[not capitalized]?

Some say the former refers to the Manifestations and Holy Ones like Ali and 'Abdu'l-Baha, while the later refers to the ordinary true believers. Is it correct?

In Arabic or Farsi, there's no capitalized letter, and how these two are distinguished?

Thanks.

BritishBahai
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Re: Meaning of "His Chosen Ones"

Postby BritishBahai » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:11 pm

HuangRan wrote:Dear friend,

In Bahai Writings, what's the difference between "the Chosen Ones (of God)" and "the chosen ones (of God)"[not capitalized]?

Some say the former refers to the Manifestations and Holy Ones like Ali and 'Abdu'l-Baha, while the later refers to the ordinary true believers. Is it correct?


In Arabic or Farsi, there's no capitalized letter, and how these two are distinguished?

Thanks.


Yes -- that is what I would say.

That's a pretty good question. I'm assuming that in Persian, they would use different words to help the reader distinguish between the two.

By any chance, have you come across a sentence in English which includes both "Chosen Ones" and "chosen ones"? If so, it would be useful if you could post it here as well so we can find the original Persian/Arabic sentence and therefore find the original Persian/Arabic word used.

(Iranpour is a member who might know the answer to this question.)
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

brettz9
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Re: Meaning of "His Chosen Ones"

Postby brettz9 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:41 pm

HuangRan wrote:In Bahai Writings, what's the difference between "the Chosen Ones (of God)" and "the chosen ones (of God)"[not capitalized]?

Some say the former refers to the Manifestations and Holy Ones like Ali and 'Abdu'l-Baha, while the later refers to the ordinary true believers. Is it correct?


Since I have not seen any guidance specifically addressing this question, I think we may look to the usage in example contexts.

At http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAB/sab-18.html , mention is made of "O ye who are the chosen ones of the Abhá Kingdom!", and its context does seem to suggest that the lower-case version is in reference to ordinary believers (only). Similarly with a quote at http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_ ... er=4#n1380 or http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_ ... ter=2#n457 and http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/HW/hw-129.html , and many others.

And in cases where upper-case is used, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, it does in some cases at least clearly include the Manifestations, and possibly also, I would say, those like Ali or the lesser Prophets (perhaps even necessarily so, since mention is often made of "Prophets" meaning Manifestations AND the chosen Ones though one might suggest that could just be an extra appellation for the same Persons especially since as per quotes like this, it is clearly including Manifestations at least; it wouldn't seem to be a different type of Manifestation, though, as I think usages like the following seem to be generic as far as Manifestations (and often Manifestations only) rather than particular: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14).

FYI, sometimes the Prophets and Lesser Prophets are indeed grouped together, so I think that may also be a possibility here (when upper-case is used):

"The Prophets 'regarded as One and the same person' include the Lesser Prophets as well, and not merely Those Who bring a 'Book'. The station is different, but they are Prophets and Their nature thus different from that of ours.

"In the prayer mentioned above Bahá'u'lláh identifies Himself with Imam Husayn. This does not make him a Prophet, but his position was very unique, and we know Bahá'u'lláh claims to be the 'return' of the Imam Husayn. He, in other words, identifies His Spirit with these Holy Souls gone before; that does not, of course, make Him in any way their reincarnation. Nor does it mean all of them were Prophets.

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 8, 1949, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1673)


HuangRan wrote:In Arabic or Farsi, there's no capitalized letter, and how these two are distinguished?


Shoghi Effendi was appointed as an infallible Interpreter who translated the Writings into English, and as such, even his translations are seen in a special light.

"As Mr. ... may be aware, the House of Justice makes clear that the English translations of the Guardian represent a high standard in their nearness to the style and spirit of the original Texts, a standard towards which all translators of the Sacred Writings are encouraged to strive."

(at http://bahai-library.com/uhj_mihdi_pronouns_english#q5 )

So we have his precedents and he often utilized previous precedents for English usage, such as using "He" to refer to God and perhaps also in this case with reference to Jesus or God being capitalized in some translations of the Bible.

See http://bahai9.com/wiki/Syntax#Pronouns regarding quotations indicating the need, per letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, for capitalization of pronouns referring to the Manifestations. I would personally think this capitalized form could also include those like Ali or the lesser Prophets, but that the lower case form would be only for regular believers.

Warmest greetings,
Brett


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