Prophets and Priests: A Common Theme Across Religions

Christianity

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Islam

Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants [al-Asbāṭ]1 and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

Judaism

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.”

Baha’i

“Fear thou God, but not the priest.”

Buddhism

“The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism, but to study ourselves. It is impossible to study ourselves without some teaching […] Through the teaching we may understand our human nature. But the teaching is not we ourselves; it is some explanation of ourselves. So if you are attached to the teaching, or to the teacher, that is a big mistake. The moment you meet a teacher, you should leave the teacher, and you should be independent. You need a teacher so that you can become independent. If you are not attached to him, the teacher will show you the way to yourself. You have a teacher for yourself, not for the teacher.”
— Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Buddhist monk and teacher

Hinduism

“If my spiritual guru and God were both in front of me, I would show my reverence and respect to my guru first by bowing down to touch his feet. It is only because of the guru’s guidance that I am able to find God.”

Daoism

“Confucius and Mo-tzu were not princes. They never became leaders or held any political office. However, people gave them respect equal to that of kings and nobles. Everywhere they went, people craned their necks and stood on tiptoes to catch a glimpse of them. Everyone respected them and wished them well.”

Confucianism

“To no one but the Son of Heaven does it belong to order ceremonies, to fix the measures, and to determine the written characters.”
— The Doctrine of the Mean, Confucian text

Modern philosophy and theology

“Whether dream or myth, there is an atmosphere of irresistible fascination about the figure that appears suddenly as a guide, marking a new period, a new stage, in the biography.”
— Joseph Campbell, scholar of comparative mythology and religion

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Universal Enlightenment & Flourishing

Universal Enlightenment & Flourishing

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