Baha’i Writings Interpret Revelation

This book uses the term Baha’i Writings for what the four Baha’i Primary-Figures wrote and dictated between 1844 and 1957. What the Bab, Baha’u’llah, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi wrote form the canonical Scriptures of the Faith. Most of them are available freely on the web or as books at cost in many languages.[1] The Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha used Persian and Arabic, while Shoghi Effendi used English. Baha’u’llah’s own more than one hundred volumes was the equivalent of all that has been sent down aforetime to the prophets and surged as Revelation’s river of water of life.[2]‑S In particular, his Most Holy Book or

Kitáb-i-Aqdas is of unique importance as the Charter of the future world civilization that Baha’u’llah has come to raise up. Its provisions rest squarely on the foundation established by past religions…brought to a new level of understanding, and the social laws, changed to suit the age now dawning, are designed to carry humanity forward into a world civilization the splendours of which can as yet be scarcely imagined. It is the principal repository of that Law which the Prophet Isaiah had anticipated, and which the writer of the Apocalypse…described.…This 'Most Holy Book,' whose provisions must remain inviolate for no less than a thousand years, and whose system will embrace the entire planet, may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Bahá'u'lláh, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order and as a Book from above whose horizon the day-star of [his] commandments shineth upon every observer and every observed one.[3]‑BS

First and foremost, the four Baha’i Primary-Figures play Revelation’s main roles interpretively. Baha’u’llah plays most, the Bab several, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi some. Moreover, their Writings interpret symbols in Revelation, or ones specific to it, along with many of its verses. Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha read Revelation in the Van Dyck Arabic Bible, and Shoghi Effendi read it in the King James English Bible.

Baha’u’llah interprets specific Revelation symbols and verses in his Gems of Divine Mysteries. In his Book of Certitude he expansively interprets other Revelation symbols, such as Angel, Beginning and Ending, blood, bride, city, clothes, clouds, dawn-star or day-star, door, earth/world, earthquake, eye, First and Last, gemstone, hand, judgment, King of kings, lamp, life and death, light, moon, ocean/sea, oil, ointment, oppression/hardship, prison, rain, resurrection, return, river, robe, rod, smoke, son of man, sky/heaven, spirit, star, sun, sword, Temple, throne, tomb, tree, trumpet, warning, and water. The verses and symbols explained by Baha’u’llah involve 52% (209 of 404) of the verses of Revelation.

The Bab addresses Revelation little and then only indirectly. He wrote those twenty letters that helped to identify the first 20 elder-founders, and he interprets radiance of the sun for Baha’u’llah.[4]‑S

‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi interpret many specific Revelation verses and their symbols. In Some Answered Questions ‘Abdu’l-BahaBaha’i writings interpreting the book of revelation addresses all Revelation Chapter 11 and much of Chapters 12 and 21. In God Passes By and Promised Day is Come, Shoghi Effendi expands the meanings of many verses. The verses and symbols explained by ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi involve 30% (121 of 404) of the verses of Revelation.

Overall, Baha’i Writings interpret some or all of 64% (258 of 404) of the verses of Revelation. Adding in verses containing John’s internal interpretations raises the total to 72% (291 of 404) of the verses of Revelation. Since each verse may be interpreted a little or a lot, verse-counting is a crude measure of interpretation but is better than none.


[1] http://bahai-education.org, http://bahai-library.com, http://bahai-education.org‌/ocean/, and http://www.bahaibookstore.com/index.cfm

[2] Shoghi Effendi, Aqdas 1–2; GPB 170–71

[3] The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi, Aqdas 12

The principal repository, GPB 213

A Book from above whose, Tablets of Baha’u’llah 17.266

[4] Selections from the Writings of the Bab 92; Nabil, Dawnbreakers xxi–xxii