Posted by Simon Cameron (18.104.22.168) on April 22, 2002 at 13:02:07:
In Reply to: Re: A newly translated Tablet of Baha'u'llah mentions Jesus' Literal Resurrection posted by Sam on April 22, 2002 at 12:53:58:
I made a couple of corrections to this post.
You may be right. However my question to you is how would one less door being closed, remove all the other mighty barriers that prevent Christians understanding Baha'u'llah's claim, and which remain firmly in place today?
The Master has interpreted the Iqan to mean there is no bodily resurrection. All our own interpretations are thus futile, however attractive they might seem to us. We cannot interpret the Interpreter. We can only seek to understand why He is right, not how He must have meant something else.
The Master affirms that Jesus rose from the dead, but that this had an inner spiritual signification. Anything else is pure fantasy, and if we play along with erroneous doctrine just to please the Christians, would we not demean the value of God's Faith? It is a standard we have to reach up to, not one that reaches down to us. It isn't that the Faith has to be made easier to understand, but that we ourselves have to evolve so that we can better understand it.
The entire point of resurrection as I see it -- but I might be wrong --, is that in spite of the best efforts of the Jews to extinguish the light of God's Faith, His Manifestation, the Son, was manisfested again, i.e. resurrected, in the Church. That is His spirit rose, not His body. This understading is common sense in itself. But we can also show it as follows.
In Mark, Jesus tells some Saducees who visit Him purposely to refute His teaching on resurrection: "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have you no read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto Him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? (Mark 12:26)
"He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." Mark 12:27
"..as touching the dead: that they rise", fairly clearly means: "In regard to the dead rising from their graves." And thus He is referring to resurrection per se.
I feel we have to understand the context here. This was precisely that the Saducees *did not* accept the concept of bodily (material) resurrection. They imagined that Jesus, in speaking of the dead rising from their graves, meant that bodies actually did rise. This is clear in reading the verses preceding those I have quoted, in which Jesus also answers a question by the Saducees which they had specially constructed to prove that bodily resurrection was impossible. Jesus answers that they have the wrong interpretation of resurrection, clearly because they imagined it to be a material concept.
And thus He says (above) that Abraham is living, though He is apparently dead. And the same is true of Isaac and Jacob. He also reminds the Saducees that God conveyed this to Moses in the burning bush, which we know is not a literal burning bush but an analogy. And thus Moses came to an awareness that although they had died, Abraham and His descendants were in fact still alive. As Baha'is we know that we are alive when we overcome the material condition, even though we die. No other principle, such as the rising of a spiritual body similar in shape and form to a physical one is elaborated. There is no need to look for phantoms, literally or otherwise. The explanation that resurrection means coming to life spiritually is enough. Jesus was the greatest exponent of His own Teachings. Had He meant that resurrection was a bodily affair, would He not have explained this concept to the Jews if He thought it would help to understand Him? Likewise with the Master.
The weakness inherent in the view that we have to teach the Christians that there was a form of bodily resurrection, or they will reject the Baha'i Faith out of hand, is that neither Jesus nor the Master did so, and surely then we cannot suppose we can teach it better. Further, it was precisely the Saducees' bone of contention that resurrection could not be a bodily affair because they had never witnessed such a thing. That ought to have been the perfect cue for Jesus to explain Tawil, but He did not. Why? Because it didn't happen that way. Why delve into the weird and fanciful theories of esoterics, when the simple truth suffices? For those who cannot see it, God has drawn a veil over their eyes for good reasons. When they are ready, all eyes shall see Him.
Ask yourself, Derrick, why no one buys your interpretation. It isn't that they don't understand, but they realize it is fundamentally flawed. No offense intended. I am your friend. I mean you well.
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