Our Daily Bread: Bahá’ vs. the Priesthood

Today we have yet another slice from Tabernacle of Unity, addressed to a Bahá’í of Zoroastrian extraction:

This is not the day whereon the high priests can command and exercise their authority. In your Book it is stated that the high priests will, on that day, lead men far astray, and will prevent them from drawing nigh unto Him.

This is a peculiar statement for a man who had such a respectable following among Iranians of Zoroastrian background, but I suppose we shouldn’t blame him for wanting more.

As I’ve said before, I find it curious that Bahá’u’lláh used the words “your Book”, particular when writing to his own followers. It makes the author seem alien to the topic. He never spoke of Islamic or Christian scripture in such terms (AFAIK).

I’m no expert on the Avesta (the “Bible” of Zoroastrianism), but there is a translation in my possession, and I’ve read a fair bit of Zoroastrian scripture and commentary. I’m aware of a great deal of controversy surrounding the Zoroastrian priesthood, and I’m aware of many Zoroastrians who seem to be quite liberated from that priesthood, … but I’ve never heard of such a passage in the Avesta.

I recently asked a Zoroastrian who knows a lot more than me on this topic. She’s never heard of it either. She’s one of those modern Zoroastrians who’s convinced that early Zoroastrianism had no priesthood, and that the priesthood never had any authority, so the priesthood is not stopping her from embracing the Bahá’í Faith.

Hmmm. Must be something else.

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