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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 127-128

Fullness of the Bahá’í Revelation

The Bahá’í Revelation is unprecedented and unique among the faiths of the world by reason of the fullness and completeness of its authentic records. The recorded words that can with 128 certainty be attributed to Christ, to Moses, to Zoroaster, to Buddha, to Krishna, are very few, and leave many modern questions of great practical importance unanswered. Many of the teachings commonly attributed to these religious Founders are of doubtful authenticity, and some are evidently accretions of later date. The Muḥammadans possess in the Qur’án, and in a large store of traditions, a much fuller record of the life and teachings of their Prophet, but Muḥammad Himself, though inspired, was illiterate, as were most of His early followers. The methods employed for recording and spreading His teachings were in many respects unsatisfactory, and the authenticity of many of the traditions is very doubtful. As a result, differences of interpretation and conflicting opinions have cause divisions and dissensions in Islam, as in all previous religious communities.
On the other hand, both the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh wrote copiously and with great eloquence and power. As both were debarred from public speaking and spent most of Their lives (after the declaration of Their mission) in prison, They devoted a large proportion of Their time to writing, with the result that in richness of authentic scriptures the Bahá’í Revelation is unapproached by any of its predecessors. Clear and full expositions are given of many truths which were but dimly foreshadowed in previous revelations, and the eternal principles of truth, which all the Prophets have taught, have been applied to the problems which are facing the world today—problems of the utmost complexity and difficulty, many of which had not arisen in the days of former Prophets. It is evident that this full record of authentic revelation must have a powerful effect in preventing misunderstandings in the future and in clearing up those misunderstandings of the past which have kept the various sects asunder.