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My thank to Baquia for his (her?) post that introduced this video to me.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5216975979627863972&hl=en-CA (I tried to embed it, but I could not.)

Firstly, I have not researched any of these topics in depth myself; I have watched the video and treated most of it as fact, giving it the benefit of the doubt. This may be silly, but it is what I have done. There are certain topics that I have read about before, and certain ones I have read about now that my interest has been spurred – there are however no topics that I have studied in depth.

I have some problems with this video. Many of the conclusions the creator draws are valid and based in logic, but some are obvious examples of twisting tenuous or nonexistent evidence to fit your interpretation. As a Stephen Colbert fan, I have to say I felt as if the author might be a student of Truthiness. While I was watching the video I was intensely interested and took it at face value, however after seeing what the next to pieces are about, (9/11 and the Federal Reserve, favorites of conspiracy nuts) and considering the author’s habit of evidence twisting, I have some major doubts that his “research” consisted of more than idle thought. However, there are some points he makes that stir up interesting thought, but not a single one that really accomplishes his goal – erasing belief in Jesus Christ.

My understanding of scripture
While I may base my belief in this area off of Baha’i sources, it is in no was the “official” Baha’i belief. I am sure many Baha’is believe differently, and as far as I know, neither of the authorized interpreters of the Baha’i scripture ever explained this topic in depth.

I believe that The Gathas, The Qur’an, The Bayan, and The Revelation of Baha’u’llah are all the direct word of either God or his Messenger(s). They are not the inspired word of God/Messenger, nor derived from such works, they are in infallible word of God in it’s entirety. They represent the Word of which the Messengers are made, manifest in the form of knowledge given to us through the Divine Manifestations. (Zoroaster, Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha’u’llah in these cases.) Contradiction between them is impossible and non-existant and they each validate the others.

This is very simple, and it is evident in the Works of Baha’u’llah & ‘Abdu’l Baha, however, when the Bible is involved it becomes more complicated. The Tanakh (Old Testament) was written by the Jews in their exile in Babylon, many years after the events recorded in it took place. (Yes it continued to evolve later, but this statement works as a generality.) I believe that the Hebrew were led by God to write down their history, and to put to writing the derivative of Moses’ Pentateuch that they had passed down through oral tradition. This was a human action, inspired by God. Therefore it is not inerrant, but the spiritual value remained intact and was able to serve in place of the actual Pentateuch and the other accounts Messengers brought. The Hebrews may of may not have understood the line between history and symbolism, but the value of the Tanakh is in it’s symbolism and spiritual meaning; even those passages that are historically accurate. I see the Holy Books of other religions in the same way, with varying lesser extents of inspiration in their current form.

The Gospel I see in a similar manner. When I say the Gospel I do not mean only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the whole New Testament – just as I use the term Bayan to describe all of The Bab’s writings. I do not think that the Gospel as we possess it today is the infallible Word as the Qur’an is; they were however in their original form. Many Muslims describe the Gospel as a “lost book”; I think this is true in terms of the original Word as given to use through/by Jesus Christ, but not in its spiritual value. Baha’u’llah describes it this way.

We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also? What would be left to that people to cling to from the setting of the day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation? What law could be their stay and guide? How could such people be made the victims of the avenging wrath of God, the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted with the scourge of chastisement by the heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of the grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled? We take refuge with God, from that which His creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He above their comprehension! (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 89)

The revelation of Jesus Christ came in the form of his words, and perhaps even in the form of an actual book/message in a form like the Torah or Qur’an. However, the spiritual Gospel, and the only text man has possessed has been passed to us through writers inspired with the spirit of Christ by his will. Therefore while the Gospel may have existed in another form originally, it does still exist today. While the Catholic Church may have been politically motivated in deciding which books to include and exclude, this does not in any way negate the spiritual power of the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth, and the Gospel remains the book given through/by that Messenger.

Historicity of Jesus
I believe in a historical Christ, however my faith in Jesus is not dependent upon this. I believe in a historical Christ because I am convinced of the station of Baha’u’llah, I find the proof of his station replete in the Holy Scriptures of the world, and I am wholly convinced of it. If, therefore, Baha’u’llah says He existed, I believe He must have. While Baha’u’llah, as far as I am aware, never said anything which could not apply just as easily to a non-historical Christ, ‘Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi make his historicity clear.

I have never seen a shred of evidence to support the non-historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, and I find the idea a little silly. An argument often raised to challenge the historicity of Christ is that He is not mentioned by any of the leading historians of the time, among them Pliny the Elder, and Seneca. The idea that He ought to be is not founded in logical thought. Jesus Christ was a rebel, He preached against a state-sanctioned organization, and led followers ought of the political control of the establishment. He raise a raucous, yes, yet Jesus was not a world-changing figure in the eyes of the Romans, I am sure that very few if any residents of Rome heard of Him for quite a while. Jesus was hung on a cross meant for thieves, nothing more than an example was made by the Romans; He was only of interest to them in that He indicated a weakness in the already troublesome Jewish establishment, and that His crucifixion could serve to calm any trouble-makers lurking therein.

His historical existence is however supported by various sources, and really only one reliable source is needed. Many criminals were crucified daily without any record; the fact that this relatively minor criminal was actually considered of interest by some historian who had seem many Jewish leaders, and many criminals, is very interesting. I won’t even try to go into proving the historicity of Jesus, or arguing about the reliability of Josephus. I will let wikipedia do that for me. Historicity of Jesus

Now, in terms of Jesus having connections to sun symbolism, I still do not understand how this is surprising. Firstly, the zodiac exists to keep track of harvests, and harvests obviously have a deeply spiritual meaning; thus I do not see how Jesus tying into that is meant to make me doubt His role or existence. However, the fact that He has some striking parallels in other cultures is a point of interest. I will not claim to be an expert on this, and this is just simple thinking. The Egyptian religion which contains Horus was never a Polytheistic religion, but a Monolatrous one, as are many branches of Hinduism. Therefore it is not unthinkable, or even improbable, (from a Baha’i point of view) that is was influenced by valid religions of God, or a derivative thereof. Horus could perhaps be a remnant of a true manifestation, even a Messiah-figure from pre-Adamaic times; the similarities could also be chalked up to a combination of a symbolic story like that of Joseph; which carries many similarities to that of Jesus for symbolic and predictive reasons, and prophetic reference to Jesus.

None of the other “Messiahs” that this video mentions carry enough weight to matter. Zoroaster and Krishna have valid connections from my point of view.

The author raises some points about Moses and Noah, and I won’t discuss those except to say that I am sure their stories permeate cultures in a more complex manner than the linear “plagiarism” he posits.
The video is very interesting, and I applaud the effort. He makes good points and bases them in fact, however he obviously takes some coincidental similarities, and some weak evidences and twists them. While I agree with a lot of his points and he actually makes me think about their place in my faith, I cannot put much merit in the video’s weak effort to conform to logic as a tool to displace faith. As interesting as it was, and as much as I enjoyed it, I found myself saying “No duh!” in my head quite often, and came away more convinced of the historicity, and divinity of Jesus Christ. However, all the negatives should not imply that I did not like the video, or that I was not impressed and intrigued by it; I did and I was/am. find it interesting though, how in keeping with Shayki and Baha’i thought some of his ideas are.

Allah’u’abha!
An interesting read
Joseph (I would like to learn a lot more about Joseph, his story is so fascinating spiritually and in terms of its role in Islam)

From reading now I have found that many of his facts are false. The astrology seems to have a basis in fact, but many of the historical figures he mentions do not have a characteristics he claims that do. Horus however does bear uncanny resemblance to Jesus.

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