Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Paragraph 97

Our purpose in relating these things is to warn you that were they to maintain that those verses wherein the signs referred to in the Gospel are mentioned have been perverted, were they to reject them, and cling instead to other verses and traditions, you should know that their words were utter falsehood and sheer calumny. Yea “corruption” of the text, in the sense We have referred to, hath been actually effected in particular instances. A few of these We have mentioned, that it may become manifest to every discerning observer that unto a few untutored holy Men hath been given the mastery of human learning, so that the malevolent opposer may cease to contend that a certain verse doth indicate “corruption” of the text, and insinuate that We, through lack of knowledge, have made mention of such things. Moreover, most of the verses that indicate “corruption” of the text have been revealed with reference to the Jewish people, were ye to explore the isles of Qur’├ínic Revelation.

Here is the twelfth paragraph, of thirteen, concerning the words, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet."

He begins by saying that He is "relating these things" to us to warn us. What things? Well, He is saying that if people were to say that certain signs in the Gospel were actually perversions of the text, they're bozos. He is giving us the history, and a way to respond, besides saying that they're bozos.

So let's look back at this whole section. What is it that Baha'u'llah is doing? What is His argument?

He begins by defining angels, and then reminds us that the Word of God is "abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse". He points out to us the conditions for bearing it, and demonstrates quite clearly that the divines of His day do not meet any of those qualifications. Instead, these divines argue that the text must be corrupt. Baha'u'llah goes on to explain that "what is meant by corrupting the text" is very specific. First, it refers to a simple misunderstanding when the Jewish people, for example, rescinded a law when they did not have the authority to do so. Second, it refers to the divines unconsciously interpreting the text according to their own imagination or vain desires. Third, it refers to this same interpretation, but this time consciously. Finally, it refers to these same people consciously transcribing the Text incorrectly and claiming it is from God, in order to get money or other benefits.

Now, this is all well and good, this pattern that He is pointing out to us, but why is He putting it here? Why does He put it here in this book, and why in this section?

Quite simply, He is warning us that these accusations of perverting the text will be made of Him, and are being made of the Bab. But if we examine it, we will see that they are mistaken. The Bab and Baha'u'llah are, instead, offering a new understanding of the text, one that is both fresh and invigorating. They are offering a truth that has been right in front of us all along, and we have just missed it. And Their new message is resounding through the world like a trumpet blast, waking up the people of the world, helping them see that this is a new day. But those in charge, the various divines and such, are trying to lull the people back to sleep.

And these angels, well, they can easily be seen as those Babis who have given their lives for their Faith. So now we can clearly see how He did in fact send His angels with a trumpet blast in order to wake us up, and hopefully allow us to become like angels, too.

Finally, He finishes off with this beautiful metaphor of exploring "the isles of Qur'anic Revelation", which are presumably floating within the "ocean of true understanding", referred to way back in the very first sentence of this book.

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