The Buddha (6th–5th century bce), after a striking experience of human transitoriness and a period of ascetical contemplation, received an illumination that enabled him to become the supreme teacher for all his followers. According to Dumitru Stăniloae, Eastern Orthodox Church’s position on general/special revelation is in stark contrast to Protestant and Catholic theologies that see a clear difference between general and special revelation and tend to argue that the former is not sufficient to salvation. Certain charismatic individuals, such as shamans, who are believed to be in communion with the sacred or holy, perform functions akin to those of the prophet and the mystic in several other religious traditions. In the absence of revelation, these post-apostolic theologians couldn’t help but introduce elements of human reasoning, speculation, and personal interpretation of scripture (2 Pet 1:19–20)—which over time led to the loss or corruption of various doctrinal truths, as well as the addition of new man-made doctrines. Without God speaking to us—in nature and in the Bible—we would have no way of knowing that he exists, who he is, what he has done to save us in Jesus Christ, or how we are to live and worship him. “The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that … For example, Maimonides in The Guide for the Perplexed said that accounts of revelation in the Nevi'im were not always as literal as in the Torah and that some prophetic accounts reflect allegories rather than literal commands or predictions. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., para. In rare cases, such as that of Saint Juan Diego, physical artifacts accompany the revelation. All prophets would be mystics, but not all mystics would be prophets. In general revelation, God reveals himself through his creation, such that at least some truths about God can be learned by the empirical study of nature, physics, cosmology, etc., to an individual. Historically, some emperors, cult leaders, and other figures have also been deified and treated as though their words are themselves revelations. They regard Jesus as the supreme revelation of God, with the Bible being a revelation in the sense of a witness to him. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an, was memorized and recorded by his followers and compiled from dozens of hafiz as well as other various parchments or hides into a single volume shortly after his death. The 15,000 handwritten pages produced by the mystic Maria Valtorta were represented as direct dictations from Jesus, while she attributed The Book of Azariah to her guardian angel. Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of … Although the Nevi'im (the books of the Prophets) are considered divine and true, this does not imply that the books of the prophets are always read literally. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness".  In addition, many Latter-day Saints believe that ancient prophets in other regions of the world received revelations that resulted in additional scriptures that have been lost and may, one day, be forthcoming. ", Isaiah writes that he received his message through visions, where he would see YHWH, the God of Israel, speaking to angelic beings that surrounded him. The Latter Day Saint concept of revelation includes the belief that revelation from God is available to all those who earnestly seek it with the intent of doing good. Once specified as holy, such objects take on symbolic value and become capable of mediating numinous (spiritual) experiences to the adherents of a cult. More than either Judaism or Christianity, Islam is a religion of the Book. Double page opening of a Qurʾān from Syria, 9th century. Aquinas believed that special revelation is equivalent to the revelation of God in Jesus. Many scholars have made the distinction between revelation and inspiration, which according to Muslim theology, all righteous people can receive. [better source needed]. https://www.britannica.com/topic/revelation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Apostle Paul, though not personally a witness to the public life of Jesus, is ranked with the Apostles by reason of his special vision of the risen Christ and of his special call to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. b. The Catholic Church recognizes 73 books as inspired and forming the Bible (46 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament). In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities. The Christian revelation is viewed as occurring primarily in the life, teaching, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, all interpreted by the apostolic witnesses under the illumination of the Holy Spirit. . In the 20th century, religious existentialists proposed that revelation held no content in and of itself but rather that God inspired people with his presence by coming into contact with them. Jesus is significant in this aspect as he received revelation in a twofold aspect, as Muslims believe he preached the Gospel while also having been taught the Torah. The idea of revelation, in the sense that something which profoundly convulses and upsets one becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy—describes the simple fact.  Once the foundation of apostles and prophets was lost, the integrity of Christian doctrine as established by Christ and the apostles began to be compromised by those who continued to develop doctrine despite not being called or authorized to receive revelation for the body of the church. Direct revelation refers to communication from God to someone in particular. , Many Christians believe in the possibility and even reality of private revelations, messages from God for individuals, which can come in a variety of ways. However, Conservative Jews also regard the authors of the Torah as divinely inspired, and many regard at least portions of it as originating with Moses. Ramanuja, bronze sculpture, 12th century; from a Vishnu temple in Tanjore district, India. Western religions, on the other hand, lay more stress on humanity’s obedient response to the sovereign Word of God. James Lochtefeld (2002), "Shruti", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. Most religions refer to signs, such as auditory phenomena, subjective visions, dreams, and ecstasies. Hence, the belief in continuing revelation. Buddha Shakyamuni, metal, copper alloy with traces of paint, Uttar Pradesh, India, late 6th century; in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The rationalism of some philosophers and the theosophical tendencies of some of the Sufis came into conflict with official orthodoxy. If not, I will describe it. —The fact that Revelation is not merely possible but morally necessary is in itself a strong argument for the existence of a revelation, and imposes on all men the strict obligation of examining the credentials of a religion which presents itself with prima facie marks of truth. It also speaks of Paul's letters as containing some things "hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures".. Moses and the prophets were viewed as the chosen spokesmen who interpreted God’s will and purposes to the nation. He wrote that, The Guru Granth Sahib is considered to be a divine revelation by God to the Sikh gurus. His major work, Star of Redemption, expounds a philosophy in which he portrays the relationships between God, humanity and world as they are connected by creation, revelation and redemption. This naturally led to much disagreement and schism, which over the centuries culminated in the large number of Christian churches on the earth today. Moses's mother, Jochebed, being inspired to send the infant Moses in a cradle down the Nile river is a frequently cited example of inspiration, as is Hagar searching for water for the infant Ishmael. Bahá'u'lláh would occasionally write the words of revelation down himself, but normally the revelation was dictated to his amanuensis, who sometimes recorded it in what has been called revelation writing, a shorthand script written with extreme speed owing to the rapidity of the utterance of the words. In indigenous religions, revelation is often associated with magical techniques of divination. For, The references used may be made clearer with a different or consistent style of, Beale G.K., The Book of Revelation, NIGTC, Grand Rapids – Cambridge 1999. Consistent with the view that revelation to Moses was generally clearer than revelation to other prophets, Orthodox views of revelation to prophets other than Moses have included a range of perspectives as to directness. The devotional theism of Vishishtadvaita, very influential in modern India, resembles the pietism and mysticism of the Western religions.  In secondary usage, revelation refers to the resulting human knowledge about God, prophecy, and other divine things. , In the New Testament, Jesus treats the Old Testament as authoritative and says it "cannot be broken" (John 10:34–36). Muslims hold that the message of Islam is the same as the message preached by all the messengers sent by God to humanity since Adam. Positions can vary from the position of Joel Roth, following David Weiss HaLivni, that while the Torah originally given to Moses on Mount Sinai became corrupted or lost and had to be recompiled later by redactors, the recompiled Torah is nonetheless regarded as fully Divine and legally authoritative, to the position of Gordon Tucker that the Torah, while Divinely inspired, is a largely human document containing significant elements of human error, and should be regarded as the beginning of an ongoing process which is continuing today. Orthodox Judaism believes that in addition to the written Torah, God also revealed to Moses a set of oral teachings, called the Oral Torah. Ahura Mazdā, symbol from a doorway of the main hall of the Council Hall, Persepolis, Iran. Direct conversations between the recipient and the supernatural entity, or physical marks such as stigmata, have been reported. Revelation, in religion, the disclosure of divine or sacred reality or purpose to humanity. Yet in medieval Islam there was both a remarkable flowering of Arabic philosophy and the intense piety of the mystical Sufis. 108. Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), a prophetic reformer in the 6th century bce, apparently professed a monotheistic faith and a stern devotion to truth and righteousness. Commissioned by Jesus and empowered by the divine spirit, the Apostles, as the primary heralds, hold a position in Christianity analogous to that of the prophets in ancient Israel. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. CATEGORY: OUR LORD. The most common versions of the Bible that Protestants have today consist of 66 of these books. For the final book of the New Testament, see, "Mattan Torah" redirects here. A revelation communicated by a supernatural entity reported as being present during the event is called a vision. Karl Barth argued that God is the object of God’s own self-knowledge, and revelation in the Bible means the self-unveiling to humanity of the God who cannot be discovered by humanity simply through its own efforts. In The Age of Reason (1794–1809), Thomas Paine develops the theology of deism, rejecting the possibility of miracles and arguing that a revelation can be considered valid only for the original recipient, with all else being hearsay.. Mattan Torah is "the gift of Torah". However, as intensifying persecution led to the imprisonment and martyrdom of the apostles, it eventually became impossible to continue the apostolic succession.  The Śruti texts themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot. In Christian religion, revelation refers to direct communication between god and mankind. There exists a wide range of commentaries explaining and elucidating those verses consisting of metaphor. Although Buddhists do not speak of supernatural revelation, they regard the Buddha as a uniquely eminent discoverer of liberating truth. In certain forms of mysticism, particularly prevalent in the Eastern religions, the envisioned goal is an absorption into the divine, involving the loss of individual consciousness.In the Western religions and in Bhakti Hinduism the abiding distinctness of the individual personality is affirmed.  They believe that God has followed a pattern of continued revelation to prophets throughout the history of mankind (KJV Luke 1:70)--both to establish doctrine and maintain its integrity, as well as to guide the church under changing world conditions.
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