Talk:Revelation

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What is the purpose of the 2nd paragraph?[edit]

I'm confused as to the purpose of the second paragraph on sacred writings. If someone could just write a neat little link about people revealing the purpose/meaning/whatever else of the scripture... or does it really have to do with scripture? is it possible a person could have a revelation that does not reflect current canon literature? Sideburnstate 16:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


We could use more discussion of the concept of Revelation in other religious and philosophical traditions.

Regarding Aristotelian view of revelation[edit]

RK, The way I understand it, this fits as a part of the Aristotelian rationalist view of revelation. It certainly is the way that many Jewish rationalists have seen this issue. This should be noted in the main body of the text.

Regarding the whole Aristotelian thing, there was an interesting controversy in the 14th century between Barlaam of Calabria and Gregory Palamas. I'm about to oversimplify for the sake of brevity, but here goes. Barlaam was an Aristotelian who thought that the philosophers had a better understanding of God than did the prophets to whom God spoke directly. He observed the monks at Mount Athos, Greece, and derided them for spending too much time in contemplative prayer and not enough time studying. One of those monks, Gregory Palamas, was asked to defend them, and he claimed that the prophets had superior knowledge of God because it was more direct. One key issue was whether mortal man could apprehend or comprehend a transcendant God who is far beyond our understanding. Gregory thought that yes, God could give grace to a person and enable that man to see Himself. He also drew a sharp distinction between seeing God in his energies or works, and seeing God in his essence. For Gregory, to see God in his energies was possible through God's grace, to see God in his essence remained impossible because of God's transcendance and complete otherness. The two went back and forth for years; in the end, the West hailed Barlaam as a saint, and the East hailed Gregory Palamas as a saint. It's known as the hesychast controversy, at least in the East, and is probably the East's most recent major theological development.

Hope I haven't bored everyone to tears. --Wesley

Terminology: prophet, messenger - and the role of such a person[edit]

I like a lot of things about this article, but I do have a quibble. I think that the statement, "The recipient of revelation is commonly referred to as a prophet, and sometimes may be termed a messenger" actually depends on the views on revelation. Some religions believe that divine revelation is potentially available to anyone, or that it is a collective or continuing process, not just an elect few who are designated as prophets. I don't think that sentence applies to those individuals. But I'm not quite sure how to incorporate that point into the body of the text. -- Egern

Well, Judaism fits what you describe. Some within Judaism (such as Maimonides) teach that potentially anyone might receive some form of prophecy; it also teaches that prophecy may be a collective or continuing process. (In fact, one of the terms used by Jewish theologians is progressive revelation.) No disagreement here. Judaism simply says that if one does happen to receive revelation, then that person should be termed a "prophet". You might be using a more traditional, restrictive definition of the word prophet, such as "one who has already been recognized as a prophet by the religious community." But the word prophet doesn't necessarily imply recognition; I think it merely means that a person has received some form of revelation. RK
Interesting. Quakers have a similar concept to what you described as the views of Maimonides. They usually refer to it as "continuing revelation", although I don't recall the term "prophet" being commonly used by Quakers to describe any recipients of revelation. But based on what you have told me, and since that sentence says "commonly" and "sometimes", I retract my objections.  :) -- Egern.

Revelation as "revealed truths"[edit]

The following article was found on revealed truth. I redirected that topic title to revelation and am copying the article itself to this talk page for reasons explained on talk:revealed truth.

Revealed truths are a category of truth that claim to be distinguished by their mode of discovery. Revealed truths are held by some to be given or shown to humanity by higher being(s). This 'higher power', often referred to as the God or one or more gods, are often seen as more objective and more knowledgeable than humans themselves.
== Sources of revealed truth ==
Those people who believe in a single, ultimate, infinite source of being in the universe (see monotheism) generally ascribe to this being the qualities of truthfulness, omnipresence (all-seeing), and omniscience (all-knowing). These three qualities lead many people to believe that this being is a reliable source of knowledge about the universe, which humanity may not otherwise be able to obtain through science or other worldly pursuits.
Certain monotheistic religions, notably Christianity, Islam and Judaism, add a fourth quality to God; that of being personally interested in the life of every human being. Christianity in particular states that God cared enough about humanity that He revealed the truth to us by becoming human in the form of Jesus.
Those people who do not see the ultimate being as communicating personally with humanity may believe that the truth is revealed through many higher beings, as in several forms of polytheism.
Many of these gods, most notably the Olympians, are seen as imperfect, with incomplete knowledge, and with the potential to deceive humanity. Adherents of these religions generally recognise this as the ultimate truth. In many of these faiths, the followers aim to serve one of these beings, hoping that this being will give them what they want, and prove stronger than other such gods.
Other forms of truth, which are not necessarily incompatible with revealed truth, are observed truth, reasoned truth, and intuitive truth (often called a conscience).

Trad. Christian view is not verbal dictation[edit]

The traditional Christian view of verbal inspiration, as applied to Scripture in general, is not the same thing as dictation. Only some parts are described as dictated, or directly spoken by God, or by God mediated by angels. The rest is seen as the word of God in a sense that is almost precisely parallel to the orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation: fully human and fully divine. The dictation view is analogous to the Christian heresy called monothelitism, and Christians normatively reject it. The misconception is upheld in numerous Wiki articles, though. Can someone offer proof that some Christians have believed that Scripture was given by dictation? Mkmcconn 21:53, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Revelation not exclusive domain of monotheism[edit]

The article begins "In monotheistic religions, revelation" etc. Revelation plays a central role in Mormonism, but few including Mormons would vigorously defend Mormonism as monotheistic... B 15:13, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)

Good points. In fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that their gods sometimes talked to people. That certainly counts as revelation. Didn't most polytheistic peoples have similar beliefs as well? JeMa
Thanks. Clear evidence for the core role of revelation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the "Mormons") is here: http://broadcast.lds.org/genconf/2004/oct/1/genconf2004oct1elderholland.mp3 Within Mormon theology, a strict fit within the definitions of classical monotheism is probably less important for members of the LDS Church than is an understanding of the nature of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ which, in the Mormon Church, came through revelation (also in the link above, near the end). Hope this adds more light than heat. --DanB 07:12, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Value of ON content and quality of reference[edit]

The content added from the ON reference remains in this article, but the reference has been removed. This action is disputed and a conversation is ongoing here. Uriah923 06:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Four and a half years later, the references are still a mess. I don't have access to whatever bibliography some editor used to cite sources, so I can't fix it without ripping them all out, which would suggest ripping a lot of the text out, annihilating the whole article. Can whoever put these unidentifiable references in add clarification so that a layman could find them? JakartaDean (talk) 09:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Mormon concepts[edit]

I've made some changes to the "Mormon concept of revelation" to make it more accurate; the article on Direct Worship, for example, seems entirely unrelated. I've also added some scriptural references to support the pro- viewpoint. The Jade Knight 22:21, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Umm, information in this section is out of place - and too long. 'All other sections explain from the point of a believer, however, this section includes both a believers and critical view. Either all need a critical view, or none do. As most can guess reasons against these viewpoint, I suggest we go with the norm on wikipedia and share from a believers point of view. If not, it makes the section too long and we might as well have seperate articles for each group. In addition, the detraction point of view is not the LDS view (hence the title) and if added back in needs to be under a new heading - "critics of Mormonism's argument against Revelation." I'm placing the critical point of view added in from an anonymous editor (unreferenced as to who said this info, and therefore primary research - see Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, so it can be saved for when each section has both critical and believer point of view. In any case, I'm removing information that is irrelevant to the LDS view of Revelation.
In addition, disucssion about the Joseph Smith Translation of the bible, is not relevant, as it is a seperate topic. Translation versus revelation is not a topic addressed on this page.

I'm probably going to delete more than is neccessary, but a simple explanation in this article is best. If a Revelation (Mormonism) article is started and linked from this page, with actual citations from critics and propenents, then the info can be discussed there. Let's keep it simple folks.

Due to "keeping it simple" I've kept in that the LDS view is controversial to some, however, it will need to be referenced. Anon- I'd appreciate your help in referencing, since you seem to know the argument well. A critical paper should do fine.

Also, Anon (User:68.46.222.74) - welcome to Wikipedia. We hope you register and continue to contribute. However, please keep in mind that as an anon editor, your edits are perceived by many in the wikipedia community as not as valid or trusted as a registered user's edits are. It is unfortunate, however, it is the point of view of many - and it only takes a few minutes to register. In addition, experience has shown that many unregistered users do so to push a point of view against Wikipedia's NPOV policy and stay anonymous to hide their agenda. We do hope you stay and continue to contribute to Wikipedia. -Visorstuff 16:13, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Deleted material[edit]

Continued, divine revelation is viewed by some as a contradiction of biblical teachings:

"You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deuteronomy 4:2)
"Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32)
"Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar." (Proverbs 30:6)
"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19)

Believers in continued revelation, on the other hand, often view the foregoing passages as an injunction against changing the Torah or Book of Revelation respectively since the biblical canon wasn't closed until a time after the commonly accepted dates for these passages; most of the books of the Bible having post-dated the Torah, and several having post-dated Book of Revelation.

Furthermore, those that believe in continued revelation look to such scriptures as the following:

"Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he" (Proverbs 29:18)
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)
"Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?" (1 Corinthians 14:6)
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Ephesians 1:17)
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)

One example of the dichotomy of interpretation of Scripture which can be found is over Galatians 1:8-12, which contains the following two excerpts:

"As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:9)
"For I neither received [the gospel] of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:12)

Where the first verse could potentially be interpreted as a warning against continued revelation, while the latter shows clearly that Paul received continuing revelation and that he felt it important to distinguish that he had received the gospel through revelation from God, and not from the teachings of man.

Still too long[edit]

Jade Knight, this section is still too long. Can you remove what is appropriate from the LDS point of view? -Visorstuff 16:15, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I shortened one quote and deleted another.

Deleted stuff:

True, through apostasy the authority of the Priesthood may have been taken from the earth for a season, leaving the people in a condition of darkness with the windows of heaven shut against them; but at such times God has recognized no earthly Church as His own, not any prophet to declare with authority ‘Thus saith the Lord.'... Revelation is essential to the Church, not only for the proper calling and ordination of its ministers, but also that the officers so chosen may be guided in their administrations – to teach with authority the doctrines of salvation, to admonish, to encourage, and if necessary to reprove the people, and to declare unto them by prophesy the purposes and will of God respecting the Church, present and future. The promise of salvation is not limited by time, place, or persons."

Talmage also claimed that a valid understanding of God required direct revelation from Him:

"We can but imperfectly respect an authority whose very existence is a matter of uncertainty with us; therefore, if we are to implicitly trust and truly revere our Creator, we must know something of Him. Though the veil of mortality, with all its obscurity, may shut the light of the divine presence from the sinful heart, that separating curtain may be drawn aside and the heavenly light may shine into the righteous soul. By the listening ear, attuned to the celestial music, the voice of God has been heard declaring His personality and will; to the eye that is freed from the motes and beams of sin, single in its search after truth, the hand of God has been made visible; within the soul properly purified by devotion and humility the mind of God has been revealed."

I think that should be good. Thanks for showing up, Visorstuff. The Jade Knight 08:58, 30 December 2005 (UTC)



I would like to change the references to God to use inclusive language. This would include rewording to change uses of He, Him, and His. Any complaints? DaveMan 08:30, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

What is meant by "inclusive" language? The Jade Knight 17:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Reporting two errors in references[edit]

I'm a Spanish speaker and I've been translating some articles from your wiki to Spanish. This time I found the following errors, both in the Subtitle "Through historical development of Faith": Psalms 90 has 17 verses in the Old Testament, and Talmud Babli has 10 chapters in Bava Batra (the reference cites "12A"). Sorry, my English is not as good as I wanted.--Elianita 03:39, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Comparative religion perspectives =[edit]

There was a comment in the main text in the Christianity section suggesting adding perspectives from other religions. Thought might better be addressed in the Talk page. Given that different religions are presented serially, a section on e.g. "Comparative Religion Perspectives" giving the perspectives of comparative religion scholars might be useful. Best, --Shirahadasha 22:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Oops, it was me![edit]

Sorry. I'm knew in Wikipedia. I'm dealing with learning how to become a wikipedian, and with English, too.--201.239.209.62 04:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC) I even forget to log in!--Elianita 04:58, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes!!! Shirahadsha. That's it! That's it! Yesterday I didn't saw your contributions, as you can imagine. Certainly, I do need... time? (so I hope) to be familiar with wiki. I love this stuff!!--Elianita 16:50, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Historical Development of Faith[edit]

I've substantially shortened this section as parts of it seemed to me to represent an argument for a particular POV (stating the POV's assumptions as true) rather than simple exposition. One thing I didn't feel qualified to summarize was Rabbi Louis Jacobs' POV. If Rabbi Jacobs' POV could be presented as a simple statement orr a few sentences about the nature of revelation it would be appreciated. I don't want to try to summarize myself on this one because care is needed and inaccuracies of language could miscommunicated. Thanks, --Shirahadasha 02:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Through historical development of faith[edit]

In accordance with mainstream Judaism (represented by one of Maimonides' thirteen Principles of Faith), most Jews today understand that the many anthropomorphic references to God (outstretched arm, flaring nostrils, God's face) in the Torah are not intended to be taken literally.

More significantly there are very many references throughout the Torah which suggest that it is not written at one time and in one style (eg different names for God, comments such as 'as it is to this day', contradictory details in repetitions of stories etc) and indicate to many Jews, particularly in Progressive Judaism, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism, that the Torah is not entirely a direct revelation from God, but is a beloved, unique and valuable document written by our human ancestors, carrying thousands of years of human understanding and experience, and seeking to answer the question: 'What does God require of us?' (naturally therefore, though it contains many wonderful 'core-truths' about God and humanity, it is also timebound, sexist, primitive, and, sometimes, simply wrong). They believe that God's will is revealed through the interaction of humanity and God throughout history, and so, in that sense, Torah is an important part, but only a part, of an ongoing revelation.

For instance, Rabbi Louis Jacobs proposes that by viewing how the Jewish people have understood God's will throughout history, we see how God has actually influenced the development of Jewish law; it is this process that we should recognize as revelation.

One part of the Talmud declares rabbinic interpretation superior to biblical prophecy: "Rabbi Abdimi of Haifa said: Since the day when the Temple was destroyed, the prophetic gift was taken away from the prophets and given to the Sages. Is a Sage not also a prophet?" The question is rhetorical, the answer clearly is "yes". The Talmud goes on to say: "What Rabbi Abdimi meant to say was this: although it has been taken from the prophets, prophecy has not been taken from the Sages. Amemar said: A Sage is even superior to a prophet, as it says "And a prophet has the heart of wisdom" (Note: The Hebrew word for "sage" literally means "wise") Who is usually compared with whom? Is not the smaller compared with the greater?"


Urantia Book[edit]

I added a link to Revelation (The Urantia Book). Richiar 18:41, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Why is revelation religion edited ?[edit]

Why is revelation religion (AND ITS DISCUSSION PAGE !) editted ? And even linked to revelation. As if every religion should be based on the authority of a person who claims to bring the word of God and not on filosofy or experiences. Can anyone tell me who is or were the "prophets" of the acient Greek religion ? . Limboot 04:21, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Revelation is a widely accepted book by most if not all religions. Though not all religions may have a book named revelation for their texts, they have something that is like the christian bibles book of revelation. So before you go editing the book of revelation, understand that we cannot set a length for revelation or post a single personal opinion about it, because first it is a deeply spiritual link to us all, which may or may have different effects on us all. Second Wikipedia is a great tool to use when people such as myself are doing research.

Please don't edit this section in wikipedia because it is a vital clue builder.

Thanks, —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nothingliz (talkcontribs) 01:11, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

widening the scope of this article[edit]

I had a quick look at the Sikhism article, and they definitely have a concept of revelation---I imagine other religions that are currently not mentioned on this page do too. Can anyone contribute appropriate sections? (I'm Jewish so not qualified....). 78.151.127.125 ([Liskeardziz]]) 22:39, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Christianity: unbalanced[edit]

The section, when dealing with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, should talk about natural and supranatural revelation, about the Holy Tradition and the Bible, about the authority in the Church in matters of dogma - the synods. Instead it's more an indirect Protestant apology against RC. And the 'sola Scriptura' thesis ("for RC is Pope authority, but Protestants look to the Bible") is not a belief for the majority of Christians. Untidy. adriatikus | talk 09:38, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and LDS paragraph larger than eg. RC? Or than EO? Based on what? History or number of adherents? adriatikus | talk 09:45, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Still in that bad shape. WP:OR, WP:SYNTH using primary sources, a.s.o.. I think this is the problem: a mayhap editor looks at a section and gets a nervous shock: too-many-issues! I'm bailing out! then clicks on [random article] and find him/her-self reading a neutral unrelated stub such as Tuol Pongro, then sighing in relief and immediatelly forgetting the previously read encyclopedic atrocity. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:26, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Reorganization, and historical order[edit]

I just made a major reorganization of this article. The entire article had become disjointed, jumping back and forth between two different topics:

  • the view of a particular religion on how God revealed His will to mankind
  • different views of just what revelation is.

There are now two main sections: (A) Different types of revelation (verbal, non-verbak, existentialism, etc.) and (B) Views of major world religions.

Also, in the section on major world religions, it made no sense to describe the views of the most modern faiths most, and then backtrack to what they implicitly were based on. As such, I have reorganized the faiths by (roughly) chronological order of development. RK (talk) 20:49, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The neo-Aristotelian philosophers of the medieval era?[edit]

I believe the term neo-Aristotelian wasn't coined until the 1960's in America, (Chicago to be exact). My memory is a little fuzzy, however it would be helpful to have one or two examples of who might fall into the category of a "neo-Aristotelian philosopher of the medieval era." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrcdem49 (talkcontribs) 14:14, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

A too-many-issues-bailing-out case obviously! I'll boldly replace it with the obviously refd-to scholastics. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Purpose?[edit]

What's the purpose behind the existence of this article? It is so full of WP:OR, WP:SYNTH and college school level simplicist logic that one easily imagines the main editors intended that "revelations" have some kind of "divine authority", "look here how phantastically true my own religion is." The fact is that every personal "revelation" experience is just personal, and that when written down the experience is only partially reflected in the written text. Therefore a reader of a "revelation" reinterprets it into his/her own mind, unless words are better than total experiences. It is often claimed that the text in itself is written by the hand of God through perfectly controlled human scribes that somehow became completely freed from their "free" will (if such exists). Then that is another kind of "revelation" distinct from the experienced personal "revelation". God kind of magically sockpuppets forth the "holy scripture". I'm not going to apologize for this ironical and blasphemic description, rather the claimants of "infallible" and "unobjectible" have some explanation guilt to pay off, foremost by adhering to wikipedia standards of writing. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:55, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Propose revision of material under "Christianity" about Protestant theories[edit]

Some of this material seems to be putting particular arguments, e.g. "that the Bible cannot both refer to itself as being divinely inspired and also be errant or fallible." This is a possible argument, and it may even be a logically correct one. However there are in fact plenty of Christians who believe that the Bible is inspired and also believe that not everything in it is "inerrant". All sorts of arguments are possible about what inerrant means. I am suggesting that this section should describe what are the common views actually held by the relevant believers. Perhaps this material could be in a sub-section, something like "Fundamentalist theories of inerrancy"??? I mean no disrespect to anyone holding these views but I think they should be distinguished from descriptive content. Aardwolf (talk) 17:53, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Revealed religion[edit]

I was linked here from "Revealed religion"; the article does not make it clear whether there is any other sort.190.42.151.105 (talk) 10:43, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

General vs Special[edit]

Revelation can be both supernatural (special revelation), and General (revealed through the use of reason). These are distinct concepts. General revelation concerns the physical universe, human conscience and providence. Ergo, this article should be split again from revelation in general. Benkenobi18 (talk) 23:25, 28 July 2012 (UTC)