Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 222-286

posted at 9:00 am on July 15, 2007 by Robert Spencer

Verses 222-242 of the Qur’an’s Sura 2, “The Cow,” primarily contain various laws for marriage and divorce. Intercourse during menstruation is forbidden (v. 222). The Jews are behind the revelation of v. 223, according to a hadith recorded by the Imam Muslim and many others: “the Jews used to say that when one comes to one’s wife through the vagina, but being on her back, and she becomes pregnant, the child has a squint” – or, according to other sources, is cross-eyed. To refute this, v. 223 was revealed: “Your wives are your tilth; go then unto your tilth as you may desire.” This verse is also understood as prohibiting anal sex. Qutb says that the use of the word “tilth” (Arabic حَرْثٌ), with its “connotations of tillage and production, is most fitting, in a context of fertility and procreation” – or, as Maududi puts it, Allah’s “purpose in the creation of women is not merely to provide men with recreation.” It is also to provide them with children.

The regulations for divorce emphasize that while women “have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness,” nevertheless “men are a degree above them” (v. 228). This may be why men can divorce their wives simply by saying, “Talaq” – I divorce you – but women may not do this. Such an easy procedure leads to divorces in a fit of pique, followed by reconciliation – and the Qur’an anticipates this and attempts to head it off by stipulating that a husband who divorces his wife three times cannot reconcile with her until she marries another man and is in turn divorced by him (v. 230). This has given rise to the phenomenon of “temporary husbands,” who marry and divorce thrice-divorced women at the behest of Islamic clerics even in our own day, so that these poor women can then return to their original husbands. This practice has, as one may imagine, given rise to abuses.

Verses 234 and 240 concern the arrangements men make for their wives in their wills; those interested in the doctrine of abrogation will note that Ibn Kathir contends of v. 240 that “the majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234).”

Verses 243-260 returns to the Children of Israel, referring to several Biblical stories, none in much detail. The Jews refuse to fight after having been commanded to do so (v. 246) and they rebel at the appointment of Saul as king (v. 247). If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained (v. 253). According to Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, v. 255, known as the Throne Verse (Ayat Al-Kursi), is “regarded by Muslims as one of the most excellent verses of the Qur’an. It has therefore played a very important role in Muslim piety.” The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, approves of a statement about its power, “Whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of ‘Al-Kursi’ (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn” and of another about its being the “greatest verse in the Book of Allah.” Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse – another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.

Immediately following is the famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256). Islamic spokesmen in the West frequently quote it to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. According to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that 2:256 was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

Many see v. 256 as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of ‘conversion or the sword.’” Quite so: the choice, as laid out by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword. Qutb accordingly denies that v. 256 contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” – although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

In this light verses 256 and 193 go together without any trouble. Muslims must fight until “religion is for Allah,” but they don’t force anyone to accept Allah’s religion. They enforce subservience upon those who refuse to convert, such that many of them subsequently convert to Islam so as to escape the humiliating and discriminatory regulations of dhimmitude — but when they convert, they do so freely. Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad.

Verses 261-286 mainly exhort the believers to charitable giving, and condemn usury (vv. 275-281) – which is the foundation of the Islamic abhorrence of interest-based banking. V. 282 stipulates that two women are equivalent to one man in giving testimony. Muhammad explained, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.”

So much for “The Cow.” Next week: the beginning of Sura 3, “The Family of Imran,” and why believers should not take unbelievers as friends and protectors.

(Here you can find links to all the earlier “Blogging the Qur’an” segments. Here is a good Arabic/English Qur’an, here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Well that’s a new one on me. I’ve never heard of a “muffin” refered to as a “valve”.

LtE126 on July 15, 2007 at 9:18 AM

craziness

trailortrash on July 15, 2007 at 9:27 AM

craziness

trailortrash on July 15, 2007 at 9:27 AM

its really not that crazy, any discussion of religious theology often looks insane, im sure if we were to discuss some ancient jewish texts, or even the old testament, alot of it would seem very odd indeed.

zane on July 15, 2007 at 9:36 AM

I thought the notion of temporary marriages was confined to the Shi’a sect, but it sounds as if it exists with Sunnis, as well. Is that right?

flipflop on July 15, 2007 at 9:39 AM

craziness

trailortrash on July 15, 2007 at 9:27 AM

Like zane said, “religious theology often looks insanse”. What’s real craziness is 1.5 billion people taking every word of the Qur’an as perfect and immutable.

flipflop on July 15, 2007 at 9:45 AM

theology is not insane, only incorrect theology is. let’s not use this forum for grandiose religion bashing. it’s, well, rude.

aqvik on July 15, 2007 at 10:06 AM

The important thing is that 9:29 imposes submission by the sword. So the uses of 2:256 to proclaim that conversion is not forced is irrelevant. In fact, that would dry up a useful revenue stream! In practise the victims are, for the most part, assimilated over time as second class status appeals to few over time. This is what happened in North Africa and even in “secular” Turkey where the process even accelerated after Ataturk took over.

One point that should be repeated over and over again is that every word in the Qur’an is supposed to be that of Allah himself so that changing it is impossible and interpreting can be problematic; sometimes even life threatening. Contrast this with the Bible where most of the writings are those of “divinely inspired” men and the direct utterances of the divinity are few and far between which leaves plenty of wiggle room for interpretation.

Annar on July 15, 2007 at 10:09 AM

im not saying the beliefs behind theology are insane, im saying discussion of it can often look nuts, because you are dealing with such ancient sources. and as for this not turning into a religion bashing thread, i assume you mean your religion, because i know one religion that will be bashed in this thread…

zane on July 15, 2007 at 10:10 AM

zane brings up a good point. It’s difficult to be critical of Islam without applying some of the same criticisms to other religions.

What separates Islam from other major religions is its present-day adherents. I don’t worry much about any statistically significant percentage of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.

flipflop on July 15, 2007 at 10:18 AM

flipflop agreed

zane on July 15, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse – another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.

If ever there was a fantastical device invented by men for the purpose of masking their own sense of insecurity and envy, and transforming it into a self-righteous justification for tyrannical subjugation of people were minding their own business, this would have to be it.

RushBaby on July 15, 2007 at 10:36 AM

So I guess we can refer to Geraldo as “a real valve”.

LtE126 on July 15, 2007 at 10:45 AM

theology is not insane, only incorrect theology is. let’s not use this forum for grandiose religion bashing. it’s, well, rude.

aqvik on July 15, 2007 at 10:06 AM

Extreme Islamic believer’s sure have no problem bashing the Jewish religion, the Christian faith, and Buddhism, etc.
So I don’t see why anybody else shouldn’t bash the Islamic religion as well. Especially since ALL humanity has the right to free speech whether or not the countries leaders allow it.

Oh..oh.. but, I see what you mean.. it’s not NICE
to bash someones religion. OH O.K. I see.

It’s also not nice to kill 3000 thousand people in the name of a religion.
It’s not nice to beat up woman in the name of a religion.

So I say any religion that allows the above and honor killings should be bashed all day long! Let the bashing begin!!!! I don’t think ALLAH would mind.

Mcguyver on July 15, 2007 at 11:08 AM

But does Islam see Jesus as their prophet? The one who will return to abolish the cross, and make the dhimmi tax obsolete?

If so, how does Islam see the birth and growth of Christianity?

JetBoy on July 15, 2007 at 11:14 AM

aqvik on July 15, 2007 at 10:06 AM

Let’s not try to silence people’s opinions in the name of being “polite.” If you can’t handle an honest discussion of how people are reacting to what they are learning, simply don’t bother reading the responses of the readers but don’t try to become another PC censor. We already have too many of them in the West and don’t need another here.

TheBigOldDog on July 15, 2007 at 11:18 AM

JetBoy on July 15, 2007 at 11:14 AM

002.253
YUSUFALI: Those messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah Fulfilleth His plan.

I guess they think some (most/all?) of his teaching were abrogated by Muhammad?

TheBigOldDog on July 15, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad.

Robert

Is Issa (I use this term to distinguish from the Christian Jesus) supposed to convert all Jews and other infidels? Or does he, or someone else have the job of exterminating them from the face of the earth when that time comes? I understand how they think that if Issa asks all Christians to follow Mohammed, they will, but do they expect non Christian infidels to do the same?

In the case of Jews, does the infamous Hadith

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. [Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6985]

imply that Jews are to be removed from the face of the earth? Also, how would it work in cases where they’ve extended dhimmi status to Zoroastrians and Hindus?

infidelpride on July 15, 2007 at 11:33 AM

So you don’t have to accept Islam as you belief, just submit to its total global control of your existence, while disbelieving it.

Sound like a perserve Earthly form of hell.

Where you know you are in an inferno and cannot get out (short of the overthrown of islam, or your own death), and are doubly-tormented by knowing that the cause of this hell is human (the mundane rule of men) and not divine (a posthumous judgment).

Failing to appreciate their own prophet Isa’s (Jesus’) expurgated saying (one of many left out of the Koran) and his acknowledgement of: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s.”

Turning Allah into Caesar.

And earth into a man-made Hell.

How can more if Isa (Jesus) be returned to the Koran?

Were there more of his sayings in any earlier Koranic document?

profitsbeard on July 15, 2007 at 11:35 AM

above:

perverse not “perserve” (must be thinking about a muffin and some preserves?)

profitsbeard on July 15, 2007 at 11:44 AM

What? Anal sex is forbidden in islam? Well somebody better go to the middle east and tell THEM that ’cause they do anal all the time over there … oh wait, you mean anal sex with WOMEN! Oooooh, right, well we can’t do anything to stop the spread of little terrorists to populate the lands of the dirty kufars now can we? I think muslims need MORE anal sex, especially in Europe where they’re taking over the continent by making more babies than the native Euros. Europe should outlaw anal sex for natives and mandate a 3 child policy.

A Euro couple are having sex, the woman says “Hey, can we do it, ya know, like, in the *other* hole?” The guy says “What are you crazy? You might get pregnant!”

Tony737 on July 15, 2007 at 11:55 AM

What separates Islam from other major religions is its present-day adherents. I don’t worry much about any statistically significant percentage of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. flipflop

It is not being an adherent that is a problem, it is what you adhere to. When it comes to ‘Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc’, they do not adhere to the following:

If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them – Book 019, Number 4294

Christ never advocated jihad against the polytheists, and he never demanded Jizya. Christ was strict on many points, for instance he lashed out at the religious leaders who allowed men to divorce their wives for any reason other than fornication, but he never advised killing black dogs, and he never cut off the hand of anyone.

Your reality is shaped by that which you admire.

Robert Spencer is performing a great service by presenting this information. The MSM has a goal of rationalizing away the vast gulf between this religion and the religions of the civilized world. It is not just a different set of prayers, it is what they are praying (Death to America, Death to America, Death to America…Hezbollah)

Religions are mythology only to those who do not believe. A religion is not trivial if you adhere to it. This religion has many specific goals. What is happening around the world proves that many adhere to the goals. The founder of this religion is the role model.

How can anyone see these admonitions as anything but a call to conquer by force and then suffocate dissent? It takes a liberal to make a village that will roll over and pretend the barbarians are not at the door

entagor on July 15, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Islam’s goal is to dominate the world and destroy Christianity and Judiasism. Stop with the political correctness! They need to be seen for what they are. This is a man-made religion and is not of God! Any false religion ultimately gets around to hating the Jews…interesting because they are God’s chosen people. Never again will we sit by as they are slaughtered and do nothing! Nobody gets to mess with Israel while the US stands, period!

sabbott on July 15, 2007 at 12:47 PM

A few random thoughts on The Cow 222-286

After comparing 2:256 and 9:29, it is easy to see how the Qu’ran, like other Holy Books, can be twisted to meet nearly any agenda. So, basically Asad and Qutb’s harmonization is stating that subservience will be forced on the infidel until they decide for themselves that conversion may not be such a bad idea? Somehow, I find the idea of subservience more chilling than conversion by the sword. The human mind is left to its own cruel imagination to decide for itself just what exactly “subservience” means.

At first glance, the some verses, especially 261-270 on charitable giving resemble some saying of Jesus, for instance, Matt 5:23-24, 6:1-4, etc. But it is also worthy of noting that Allah is said to give riches, whereas poverty comes from the Evil One (Shaitan). Verse 271 begins the deviation by contradicting Matt 6:2, and veers off into random tort law from there.

You have to love the prayer that closes this Sura:
“Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.”

I guess that about sums it up!

HeIsSailing on July 15, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Annar sez:

In fact, that would dry up a useful revenue stream! In practise the victims are, for the most part, assimilated over time as second class status appeals to few over time.

The harmonization between 2:256 and 9:29 is something about Islam I had not known. Robert, I am curious to know exactly what “infidel subservience” means in those places where it is practiced. Do you or does anybody else here have some answers?

HeIsSailing on July 15, 2007 at 1:10 PM

HelsSailing:

“The subject peoples,” according to ‘Umdat al-Salik, a manual of Islamic law cerrtified by Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1991 as a “reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy,” must “pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)” and “are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); are not greeted with ‘as-Salamu ‘alaykum’ [the traditional Muslim greeting, “Peace be with you”]; must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork…recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals or feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches.” If they violate these terms, the law further stipulates that they can be killed or sold into slavery at the discretion of the Muslim leader.

I’m somewhat rushed this afternoon. More later.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 1:31 PM

Robert, unless you have done so here already (I just started visiting this web site recently), please give us, at some point, your views on President Bush’s current Iraqi policies.

I have visited your own web site many times and for quite some time, even commenting there once in a while (although not under this same “handle”), so I think that I have a pretty good idea of your views as well as those of Hugh and Marisol, but most people here may not and I think that they could benefit from them.

MB4 on July 15, 2007 at 2:31 PM

TheBigOldDog on July 15, 2007 at 11:26 AM

But then is the birth and rise of Christianity willed by Allah ? And for what…to allow for religious wars?

The Islamic views on Jesus still escape me. I’ve tried to research it, but I can’t get a good answer…or an answer that I can at least comprehend in some way. Why would Allah apparently allow Christianity to develop simply to allow the fighting to? If Islam is not to be spread by the sword…

JetBoy on July 15, 2007 at 3:11 PM

Mcguyver on July 15, 2007 at 11:08 AM

TheBigOldDog on July 15, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Well said. And in my opinion, we owe these people and their dirt religion NO respect. In regards to the millions of non-violent muslims in this country and around the world, who are westernized and secular in regards to Islam (again my opinion), I have no problem with them. This is a free country and I think that the approach should be to obey Christ’s command to love our neighbors.
In regards to the radicals who have declared war on us and our allies, Christ also commands us to love our enemies.
But to excuse their behavior, to bend over backwards to not offend them , to avoid discussing the flaws in their twisted religion that condones wife beating, sodomy, genocide, etc…to concede to them over and over again when they refuse to assimilate or when they erupt in violence at some percieved slight – that’s not loving your enemies, that’s surrender. Christ said to love our enemies, not bend over for them.

Dork B. on July 15, 2007 at 3:21 PM

A little off topic, and perhaps already answered someplace:

Recently on Amazon I stumbled over several books published by the Center for the Study of Political Islam. The books include two editions of the Quran (one supposedly with the contents ordered chronologically, and one abridged edition).

This is their URL: http://www.cspipublishing.com/

What is the quality of the books published by this Center? Can anyone point me to reviews of them?

Pilgrim CW on July 15, 2007 at 4:24 PM

flipflop:

I thought the notion of temporary marriages was confined to the Shi’a sect, but it sounds as if it exists with Sunnis, as well. Is that right?

Among some, but generally not. What I described in this segment of the Qur’an blog was not mut’a, the phenomenon of temporary marriage, but something else altogether. Temporary marriage is marriage with an expiration date: marriage for a night, or a weekend, etc. This is Shi’ite mut’a.

Above I describe the requirement that a woman must marry someone else, consummate the marriage, and be divorced by her new husband before she can remarry her first husband, if first hubby has divorced her three times. That is a different thing.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 5:21 PM

JetBoy:

But does Islam see Jesus as their prophet? The one who will return to abolish the cross, and make the dhimmi tax obsolete?

Yes.

If so, how does Islam see the birth and growth of Christianity?

As a progressive corruption of the original monotheistic message of Jesus, who was a prophet whose message was identical to that of all the other prophets. That message was essentially Islamic monotheism.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 5:24 PM

TheBigOldDog:

I guess they think some (most/all?) of his teaching were abrogated by Muhammad?

Many Muslim interpreters see Qur’an 2:106 as teaching that Islam abrogates the earlier revelations, principally the Torah and Gospel. But these are not the Old Testament and New Testament, which are considered to be corruptions of the original Torah and Gospel. As such those have no validity whatsoever, even to be abrogated.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 5:28 PM

Infidelpride:

Is Issa (I use this term to distinguish from the Christian Jesus) supposed to convert all Jews and other infidels? Or does he, or someone else have the job of exterminating them from the face of the earth when that time comes? I understand how they think that if Issa asks all Christians to follow Mohammed, they will, but do they expect non Christian infidels to do the same?

There is the general idea that at the end of the world, with the return of Jesus and the coming of the Mahdi, Islam will conquer the world and all the dhimmis will be either converted or killed. Details about how this will happen differ. I recommend David Cook’s illuminating book Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature.

In the case of Jews, does the infamous Hadith […] imply that Jews are to be removed from the face of the earth? Also, how would it work in cases where they’ve extended dhimmi status to Zoroastrians and Hindus?

Generally, at the end of the world all will be Muslim. There is a wide divergence among exegetes and popular writers as to how this will happen.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 5:35 PM

profitsbeard:

Failing to appreciate their own prophet Isa’s (Jesus’) expurgated saying (one of many left out of the Koran) and his acknowledgement of: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s.”

Turning Allah into Caesar.

And earth into a man-made Hell.

How can more if Isa (Jesus) be returned to the Koran?

Were there more of his sayings in any earlier Koranic document?

Muslims don’t generally consider the New Testament to be a reliable source for Jesus’ sayings, although not infrequently you’ll hear a Muslim spokesman quoting something from it as a saying of the prophet Jesus, and not only to Western non-Muslim audiences.

There is no more about Jesus than there is in the Qur’an in any alternative manuscript of the Qur’an, as far as we know.

Robert Spencer on July 15, 2007 at 5:40 PM

One thing that is not brought up enough about Islam is that it is a political system as well as a religion. This is unlike the modern practice of every other major world religion. (The established churches of Europe do not count, since most compromised their Christianity years ago and the New Testament does not offer any rules for operating a government.)

If you took the religious elements out of it, and only looked at the perts of the Koran and Hadiths that focus on operating a government, what would that government look like (its rhetorical — we all have a good idea.) The problem is, are their any devout Islamic theorists or scholars out their that say you can have the religious aspects (at l;east those compatible with Western civilization) without the political aspects (which include autocracy, dhimmitude, etc.)

Nosferightu on July 15, 2007 at 5:50 PM

As I read through these posts every Sunday I find it hard to believe that anyone can take this religion seriously. It just seems insane to me. When I was a child I was dragged to many churches, mostly Baptist and it always just seemed to me as a day that the family got together, and hung out. The morning services were just a warm up to the rest of the day. We ate roast beef, had some ice cream then we would all head home. No harm was to be done to anyone for any reason other than self protection is how I was brought up. I know there are some strange and hard to understand teachings in the Bible even though I have never read it through, but this stuff is just the weirdest thing I have ever tried to comprehend.

kahall on July 15, 2007 at 7:50 PM

It’s difficult to be critical of Islam without applying some of the same criticisms to other religions.

I don’t find it difficult at all. If there are those who want to read criticisms of Judaism and Christianity, it’s easy enough to find Muslim forums which engage in that. Or, just wait for a Hitchens thread here. As far as I’m concerned, this thread, courtesy of Robert and his expertise, with critical discussion of the Qur’an.

Connie on July 15, 2007 at 8:00 PM

As far as I’m concerned, this thread deals, courtesy of Robert and his expertise, with critical discussion of the Qur’an.

Connie on July 15, 2007 at 8:02 PM

Somehow, I find the idea of subservience more chilling than conversion by the sword.

HeIsSailing on July 15, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Precisely why we cannot allow Islamists in America to undermine our laws (which they are doing under our very noses).

Connie on July 15, 2007 at 8:22 PM

It takes a liberal to make a village that will roll over and pretend the barbarians are not at the door

When I’m watching documentaries about ancient civillizations or even something stupid like Xena where defenceless villages are overrun by barabians I am reminded of one of the things I most admire about America which is the constitutional right of free men to defend themselves with arms. The Second Amendment is one of the most inspired ideas in human history.

aengus on July 15, 2007 at 8:34 PM

Robert

I have a bone to pick with this:

Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world

Isa al Masih and Jesus are pretty radically different personalities, and for the benefit of those who have not read both (or either) the Bible and Koran, I think it would be both more useful and accurate to use the separate names to refer to either the representation of the personage in the Bible or the Koran, and not equate the two.

That Isa in the Koran borrows heavily from the Biblical narrative is unmistakeable. Aside from the gross inaccuraccies (Miriam as Isa’s mother, etc.) the Islamic prophet Isa lacks all that is central to Christianity about Jesus. He (Isa) is a man, not god, and didn’t die on the cross.

I am aware that the Arabic names for Jesus and Isa are spelled the same. In other areas (Indonesia for example) they are not. Since in English we have the opportunity to make the distinction, I think we should.

TexasDan on July 15, 2007 at 11:22 PM

Like zane said, “religious theology often looks insanse”. What’s real craziness is 1.5 billion people taking every word of the Qur’an as perfect and immutable.

What’s even more crazy?

Let’s say only 10% of those people are radical Islamists who want to kill us.

Yeah………..

I really wonder if Islam can ever really be reformed to say that terrorism committed in its name is wrong.

Of course, I wouldn’t stop there. The whole “the word of a woman is worth half that of a man” thing would be on my list of grievances as well.

And this business of her not being able to divorce her husband.

And the business of her having to always cover up.

This is going to take some work, here.

Given that any of what I have said is grounds for execution, as I understand it, I am not optimistic here.

Hawkins1701 on July 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM

Christ never advocated jihad against the polytheists, and he never demanded Jizya.

Not only that, he was respectful of women (IE the Samaritan at the well in John.)

Ryan Gandy on July 16, 2007 at 12:56 AM

I have to agree with TexasDan, Robert. Isa and Jesus are so different that not differentiating in any way possible lends credence to the contrary. Sounds knit-picky, but this is worth being knit-picky about.

Danilo on July 16, 2007 at 1:02 AM

correct spellking: nitpicky (dictionary.com)

Danilo on July 16, 2007 at 1:07 AM

The Isa (Jesus) in the Quran appears to be derived from fragmentary and non-canonical gnostic texts and heretical folklore that survived in Arabia.

Did any earlier Church father’s mention this?

Or, any Muslim scholars?

profitsbeard on July 16, 2007 at 1:32 AM

I imagine it could make a great love story:

Bullish husband one doesn’t realize what a great wife he has until he divorces her three times.

Then to reconcile, he sends her to a temp husband, who after the second divorce realizes what a prize this woman is, and refuses to give her the third divorce.

Double cross and hilarity ensue in this love block buster of 2008.

Sensei Ern on July 16, 2007 at 7:37 AM

TexasDan:

Isa al Masih and Jesus are pretty radically different personalities, and for the benefit of those who have not read both (or either) the Bible and Koran, I think it would be both more useful and accurate to use the separate names to refer to either the representation of the personage in the Bible or the Koran, and not equate the two.

You’re right: they are radically different personalities, but if I used different names for them, it would obscure the fact that Muslims believe the two are the same, and that their Isa is actually the true version of the Christian Jesus. In today’s geopolitical climate I believe it is vitally important for non-Muslims to know about the religious imperialist aspect of the Qur’an and Islamic teaching, and so I note your points but hope you will understand why I am going to continue to use the same names.

Now, this involves me in a superficial inconsistency of which I am well aware, since I generally don’t use “God” for the deity of Islam, but rather “Allah,” in order to emphasize the differences between the Christian and Islamic conceptions of God — even though the Qur’an (29:46) says that Muslims worship the God of Jews and Christians.

I’ve made this decision based on the fact that people use the word “God” much more generically than the name “Jesus,” and so it seemed prudent in one case to emphasize the difference, and in the other to emphasize the identity of the two, such that it would become clear to those who are concerned about such things that even in the act of affirming belief in Jesus Islam strips Christianity of all its legitimacy.

I am aware that the Arabic names for Jesus and Isa are spelled the same.

Actually, Arabic-speaking Christians do not call Jesus “Isa,” but rather Yasu’ — يسوع.

Robert Spencer on July 16, 2007 at 7:54 AM

profitsbeard:

The Isa (Jesus) in the Quran appears to be derived from fragmentary and non-canonical gnostic texts and heretical folklore that survived in Arabia.

Did any earlier Church father’s mention this?

Or, any Muslim scholars?

Muslim scholars, no. But St. John of Damascus wrote about Islam as a Christian heresy is the 8th century.

There is a great deal of fascinating material in this line. My first writing on Islam was back in college in 1981 or so — a term paper on how Islam’s denial of the crucifixion of Christ (Qur’an 4:157) is related to and may be derived from the denial of the crufixion contained in several Gnostic gospels, particularly since both affirm that Judas was made to resemble Jesus and put on the cross in his place. There were many heretical Christians in Arabia during the time of Muhammad.

Robert Spencer on July 16, 2007 at 8:26 AM

Thanks again Robert. It’s a lot to digest, and I’m probably getting about half of it, but I’m that much closer to being able to speak authoritatively on Muslim beliefs and mindset.

csdeven on July 16, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Annar,

One point that should be repeated over and over again is that every word in the Qur’an is supposed to be that of Allah himself so that changing it is impossible and interpreting can be problematic; sometimes even life threatening.

I entirely agree with you here. Muslims themselves are the first victims of Islam, as any believing Christian understands-Allah is nothing more nor less than Satan himself. Every single believing Muslim is under delusion…and even nominal ones are stuck in it’s corrupt system.

Contrast this with the Bible where most of the writings are those of “divinely inspired” men and the direct utterances of the divinity are few and far between which leaves plenty of wiggle room for interpretation.

Annar on July 15, 2007 at 10:09 AM

I challenge you to provide an example or two. I used to believe the same thing…but upon examination continually find this to be false.

I’m protestant, so am more familiar with Christian theologians who are concerned with Scripture (as opposed to tradition). Some use a phrase–“let scripture interpret scripture” and therefore affirm that no doctrine should rest upon a single verse, but rather upon a firm foundation of contextually intact passages from both Old and New Testaments. After all, Jesus Himself quoted extensively from “the law” AND “the Prophets”

24″Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.”

25And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

26″Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”

27Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:24-27

TexasDan,

I too find it…abrasive to refer to Isa as Jesus…but then I imagine many Jewish people feel similarly to our refering to several Old Testament prophets by somewhat different names than they do…and the fact that our New Testament names have been extensively “gentilized” doesn’t help matters. For instance–“Jesus'” mother actually WAS referred to as Miriam–in Hebrew, her name was exactly the same as Moses’ sister. There is no “J” in Hebrew either, and John was actually much closer to Yacob. John the Baptist was actually Yochannan (or something similar to that) and Jesus’ name is actually something much more similar to Yeshuwhah and actually had MEANING in the Hebrew language. (God’s Salvation–or Yah’s Salvation) the Yah, being exactly the same as in “Halleluia” which is Praise to God (Yah) as in Yahuyah–or Yahwey

Our “Christian” scriptures have been sanitized of their Jewish roots…and that makes it doubly difficult to attempt to point out that He actually DID come to fulfill the Scriptures and not change/abolish/abrogate them. We’re kinda in a similar position to the Samaritans of whom Jesus says: “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” in John 4. I’m finding it just that much more rich and awe inspiring to try and delve into that fulfillment a little more.

Which brings up another amazing difference between our Scriptures and the Koran. In spite of those name changes (and Lord and God being used intead of Yawhey, Elohim etc and Christ instead of “annointed One” or Messiah etc Hebrew Titles–God/Yahwey is PERFECTLY able to work through them–despite our handling of His Word. Through myriad of translations–He still speaks through His Word. In direct contrast, Allah is only able to speak through his word when it’s spoken in Arabic–any attempt at translation is a defacto interpretation and different from the original enough to make it useless–ask any debating Muslim and they’ll tell you. It’s enough to make one laugh at the “deity” of Allah…but on the other hand cry for the souls of his believers.

Auralae on July 16, 2007 at 9:41 AM

Thanks again Robert. It’s a lot to digest, and I’m probably getting about half of it, but I’m that much closer to being able to speak authoritatively on Muslim beliefs and mindset.

csdeven on July 16, 2007 at 9:32 AM

First–Yep-THANK YOU ROBERT!!

Second-csdeven–isn’t it scary????????!!!! (The Muslim mindset–of the BELIEVING one anyway)

YHWH/IAUE/I AM says, “I am the Good Shepherd” and “I lay my life down for the sheep” for “we all like sheep have gone astray” and “there is no rightous no not one” and “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His one and only Son” and “I take to pleasure in the death of the wicked”

SO to God we are all like sheep, vulnerable and prone to wandering away and being set upon by wolves or falling in pits–and He is our protector and loves us despite our own foolishness at times.

Allah hates the unbelievers. Allah made them not believe–from the beginning whether or not they would believe was decided by him and how much suffering they would endure was decided while they were yet in the womb and he DELIGHTS in their killing (quite extensively)

YHWH commands His followers to treat the aliens within their gates exactly as themselves…to shelter runaway slaves, to “love your neighbor as yourself” so-murder is ALWAYS evil cruelty is ALWAYS evil.

According to Allah though, slaughtering the swine and the apes is good. Sneaking into a female poet’s bedroom, gently removing the suckling babe from her breast and plunging a sword into her because she had the audacity to claim

“You obey a stranger who encourages you to murder for booty. You are greedy men. Is there no honor among you?”

-When her murderer asked if he should feel guilt due to her now orphaned sons Muhammed’s response was that her death had no meaning beyond a couple of goats butting heads.

This religion is straight from Hell.

A “good” Jew and a “good” Christian will not cheat a stranger and will be protective of all.

A “good” Muslim, like a “good” Nazi can kill even the most innocent without suffering “weakness”.

Auralae on July 16, 2007 at 10:02 AM

OOPs! *I take NO pleasure not “to” in the death of the wicked” Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11

Auralae on July 16, 2007 at 10:05 AM

If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained

The deeper we get into this, the more confusing it (not you, Robert, your explinations are great!) gets. First of all, I really have a problem with the whole no-free-will thing. Not only due to the fact that human free will is what made us fall from grace in the first place, but what Allah wills doesn’t make any sense. “I’ll send prophets, but in my infinite wisdom, I’ll make sure that hardly anyone believes them, and those who do will take my divine message the wrong way.”

Plus it seems like it’s playing an obscessive game of “opposites” with the Bible. The people of Isreal didn’t rebel against Saul, Saul rebeled against God! That was the whole pont!!

Maybe I’m just wacky, but the whole religion seems more and more like something from Bizarro world.

crazy_legs on July 16, 2007 at 10:15 AM

lol!–you’re not wacky crazy_legs!

If only Mohammed’s first listeners had read and believed Galatians 1:

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

4who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

5to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;
7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Like the woman said, Mohammed was a stranger, encouraging murder and looting (not to mention raping and pillaging) full of greed and totally lacking any semblance of honor.

Auralae on July 16, 2007 at 10:42 AM

Auralae:

Maybe I was not clear enough in my remark concerning the comparison of the Qur’anic and Biblical narratives. Allah is the only author of the Qur’an and every word is that of Allah (passed to Muhammad through the angel). Muhammad does not speak and when he is supposed to give a specific message to the believers it is prefixed by “Say,…) leaving Allah as the sole narrator. The Bible does not follow this format. Although God does speak directly to Moses and hands off the 10 commandments in His own words there are other contexts, such as the epistles, where God is not the author of the (inspired) text. It is easier to contest or interpret an epistle which was written by a human about 100 years after Christ’s death than to contest one of the commandments.

I was raised in the Catholic flavor of Christianity which is at variance with most protestant denominations but we can at least agree that there is room for interpretation of biblical text. In Islam the main division (Shi’a, Sunni) had nothing to do with the interpretation of the Qur’an but had to do with the succession after Muhammad’s death. The hadith (traditions of the prophet) led later on to other divisions but these are not part of the Qur’an.

Annar on July 16, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Robert–

I recall from my days in parochial school when I first heard about Mohammed’s invasion of Europe, that the Muslim battle cry was, “Accept Allah, or die!” That does not sound like there was any option of accepting jizya by the victims. Can you elaborate, or was my old religion textbook incorrect?

Kimmer on July 16, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Annar,

Maybe I was not clear enough in my remark concerning the comparison of the Qur’anic and Biblical narratives. Allah is the only author of the Qur’an and every word is that of Allah (passed to Muhammad through the angel). Muhammad does not speak and when he is supposed to give a specific message to the believers it is prefixed by “Say,…) leaving Allah as the sole narrator.

Hmmm. I thought you were pretty clear. I would have thought no additional clarification was needed—but I’m grateful you have! I would like to remind you that all of the Hadith and Sunnah are purely what Mohammed said—and what he did….and that they are considered “scripture” as well…I think they’re at least as equivalent to ours when Paul says “…I say, not the Lord” or “by concession, not as a command” in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. I would also like to mention that he says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” –1 Tim. 3:16 (Some translations say “God breathed” instead of inspired. See also John 10:34-36. (Jesus reminding the Pharisees that what’s written in Scripture-they can not contradict.) Heck, just check out a few of the results of a “Scriptures” query!

The Bible does not follow this format. Although God does speak directly to Moses and hands off the 10 commandments in His own words there are other contexts, such as the epistles, where God is not the author of the (inspired) text. It is easier to contest or interpret an epistle which was written by a human about 100 years after Christ’s death than to contest one of the commandments.

LOL Ah—most of the epistles were penned by Paul (a.k.a. Rabbi Sha’ul) or his scribe (if I were going to get HYPER technical) *giggle*…and since the Romans put him to death somewhere around about 62 AD (less than thirty years from Jesus’ Resurrection) you might want to reconsider that.

Also I’m simply reissuing my original challenge to you, which was to please quote (just cut and paste) an “example or two”…because I used to believe as you do….but through direct examination, I no longer do. PLEASE give me a couple of examples of some Scriptural passages that you feel are “easier to contest or interpret”! ;-)

I was raised in the Catholic flavor of Christianity which is at variance with most protestant denominations but we can at least agree that there is room for interpretation of biblical text. In Islam the main division (Shi’a, Sunni) had nothing to do with the interpretation of the Qur’an but had to do with the succession after Muhammad’s death. The hadith (traditions of the prophet) led later on to other divisions but these are not part of the Qur’an.
Annar on July 16, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, you aren’t at all at variance with us with the sole exception that your version is supposed to be the most whole or complete. As far as the Pope says, our Protestant churches are useful, (for bringing people to the Salvation of God) but we don’t have the whole ‘kit and cabootle’ so to speak. We (OTOH) are “at variance” with the Catholic Church on several points. I’d LOVE to get into a discussion on them…since I miss that with my friend since he changed from Eastern Orthodox Catholic, to RCC, to Baptist :-( LOL

While I’ve read some pretty harsh things written by some Protestants about the RCC…I personally don’t like “hit pieces” and MUCH prefer civil discussion where NEITHER party feels touchy, or vulnerable whatsoever….and besides, I tend to rely on Matthew 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “ I tend to put emphasis on “IN the kingdom of heaven” So, as a Protestant, I might strongly disagree with oooh, the Immaculate Conception (MARY’s) for instance…but in no manner shape or form would I ever imply that any believing Catholic isn’t a Christian (or as the Muslims might say, “apostate”)

(I also feel the same way about Mormanism…) but I’ll not vote for Romney because either he doesn’t care enough about his religion to look into the huge dirth of archeological evidence (actually not even one scrap of physical evidence) in support of Joseph Smith’s “historical” teachings OR the guts to admit that he DOES realize it’s false, but was born into it, loves the people, structure etc etc etc and puts personal emphasis upon Jesus Christ and the Bible rather than the book of Mormon (whatever!) So—I won’t vote for him because of his lack of discernment, or courage to either investigate into and/or stand up against falsehood.

Sorry for the LENGTH!!!!

Sincerely,

Auralae on July 16, 2007 at 11:20 PM

Robert-

Many thanks for this erudite site.

And much fascinating reading to add to my lists.

profitsbeard on July 17, 2007 at 2:00 AM

Auralae:

This is not the place for an unrelated biblical discussion. Nonetheless there are many biblical texts that require “interpretation.” Here are two examples.

MATTHEW 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

From no place in the universe can one see the whole earth or even all the kingdoms of the world in Biblical times.

——————-
2 Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

JOHN 3:13: And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Does this mean that Elijah came down from heaven?

Annar on July 17, 2007 at 7:42 AM

Our “Christian” scriptures have been sanitized of their Jewish roots…and that makes it doubly difficult to attempt to point out that He actually DID come to fulfill the Scriptures and not change/abolish/abrogate them. We’re kinda in a similar position to the Samaritans of whom Jesus says: “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” in John 4. I’m finding it just that much more rich and awe inspiring to try and delve into that fulfillment a little more.

Any Bible that lists parallel passages in the OT makes it possible, though. For example, when Jesus is tempted by Satan, he quotes OT passages from the Exodus that God spoke to Israel to demonstrate that Jesus is the true Israel. Another example is, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” (Hosea 11:1, Matt 2:15) It does help to know that ‘Jesus’ is really ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Joshua’, the man that led God’s people into the promised land.

PRCalDude on July 17, 2007 at 12:17 PM

JOHN 3:13: And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Does this mean that Elijah came down from heaven?

It’s two different references. Here Jesus is referencing the fact that after his resurrection, he will ascend into heaven. Elijah didn’t ascend into heaven (as Jesus did of his own power), he was carried into heaven by a whirlwind.

PRCalDude on July 17, 2007 at 12:21 PM

Thanks Robert. Just making it through the first Sura was a big step for me. You’re a great guide.

Mojave Mark on July 17, 2007 at 1:43 PM

Annar,

This is not the place for an unrelated biblical discussion.

YIKES…OoookeeDOke!

Nonetheless there are many biblical texts that require “interpretation.” Here are two examples.

Aaahhm Not to be “nitpicky” but the challenge is to quote a couple of PASSAGES that are (to quote you) “easily contested” not one verse. – – – Out of context. Or one verse that requires interpretation–one third of the Scriptures are prophecy, so of course interpretation is gonna have to take place! Where we’re in disagreement is that two honest believing Christians could not agree as to how to interpret a PASSAGE and there not be an answer easily attained by adding more context ( say, by comparing similar passages where the same subject is addressed).

Just to BE “nitpicky” the answer to your second example is to include context: Back up to verse 11:

11″Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.

12″If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13″No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

14″As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

The CONTEXT is testimony of “what we have seen” –anyone seen Elijah lately and asked him about his experiences in the afterlife?

To get HYPER nitpicky Elijah didn’t ascend under his own steam so to speak….so it’s not like there was a contradiction.

Now to deal with the first:

MATTHEW 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

From no place in the universe can one see the whole earth or even all the kingdoms of the world in Biblical times.

When I read “From no place in the universe can one see the whole earth”….at first I was a little confused, but then I spent SEVERAL minutes laughing and I feel much better–Thank you! It’s been a loooong day and that really helped! I’m assuming you realized… like probably two seconds after posting that, that quite literally from ANYWHERE in orbit one can see all of the Earth.

It’s exactly moments like these that make me REALLY wish for some sort of editing function once these are posted!

Was there anything else that brought that verse to mind? I guess I’m basically asking, you’re not saying that just because the subject of a verse is miraculous that automatically calls it into question are you? Was there some specific reason you chose that particular verse as easily contestable OTHER than it was miraculous?

What specifically are you contesting?

Thanks for taking the time! I hope you’re enjoying this as I am…and I hope my sense of humor doesn’t strike you as abrasive. Thanks again!

Auralae on July 17, 2007 at 11:24 PM

MATTHEW 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

These are the kind of texts quoted by skeptics that show total ignorance. So you have no trouble with Satan teleporting Jesus to a high mountain but showing him the kingdoms of the world? NO WAY!

C’mon, think! If Satan can do one he can do the other. Notice how Jesus always responds, by quoting the bible. The Word uses God’s word.

Mojave Mark on July 17, 2007 at 11:52 PM

PRCalDude,

Any Bible that lists parallel passages in the OT makes it possible, though. For example, when Jesus is tempted by Satan, he quotes OT passages from the Exodus that God spoke to Israel to demonstrate that Jesus is the true Israel. Another example is, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” (Hosea 11:1, Matt 2:15) It does help to know that ‘Jesus’ is really ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Joshua’, the man that led God’s people into the promised land.

Thanks for the encouragment!! :-) lol–many years ago, when I first heard that the Koran mentioned “Miriam” as the mother of Jesus–I was so haughty: I actually thought that Mohammed was mixing up Moses’ sister with “Mary” –‘Didn’t he know that Jesus’ mother’s name was Mary??? Didn’t EVERYONE know that??? LOL!!! Imagine my shock when I found out that Jesus’ mother’s name actually WAS Miriam! and His name was Yaheshua, or even Hoshea–that basically, “Joshua” “Yahushua” and “Hosea” are ALL the same name in Hebrew. It’s “Salvation” That’s when I got a Strong’s Concordance and discovered http://www.blueletterbible.org

I so LOVE the Scripture!!! It’s so forthright that it’s EASILY understood (lol–in general–not every prophecy–but I’m SURE you know what I mean)

…and yet so amazingly rich–the more you delve, the more there is!! It’s so fantastic how He meets us exactly as we are, exactly where we are…from the brand new baby Christian, to the theologian -there is ALLways more to learn of Him!

Don’t you just LOVE it when you run accross something in the Old Testament that you hadn’t read in a while, or the last time you had read it, you hadn’t necessarily applied it to the New?? One of my favorite moments like that was reading Zechariah 3 the first time after I’d found out that “netzer” was Hebrew for branch or twig, or shoot. (It was during a bible study in which the quote “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” was mentioned and so the Hebrew name for the town was taught to show how insignifigant that town was thought.

It was like a couple of years later that I read the Zech. passage and it hit me like silent thunder: When Pilate had ordered it written “Jesus the Nazarene King of the Jews” nailed on the cross–and the Pharisees had tried to get him to change it–WHY they were so against it…in Aramaic (or Hebrew) it would have said LITERALLY

SALVATION of BRANCH
KING of the JEWS

No wonder they were upset!

Auralae on July 18, 2007 at 12:20 AM

I forgot to include a link to Zechariah 3 and John 19

I also forgot to mention Zech 6:11-13 which is SUPER COOL!

11″Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.

12″Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

13″Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”‘

“A man who’s name is Branch”
.
.
.
Sure makes the early Christians who went around calling themselves “Nazarenes” seem a LOT more significant now doesn’t it??!!! :-) :-) :-)

AWESOME isn’t it!?!!! Yeshuah Ha Messiach!! our High Priest and King!

Auralae on July 18, 2007 at 12:55 AM

Oops! forgot to LINK John 19

19Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

20Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek.

21So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.'”

22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

It wasn’t until I started looking into the Hebrew behind the English that I understood more of what happened in that instant. The Pharisees were asking Pilate to re-write what he had written to change it to a sentence which would in Hebrew say in effect “I am King of the Jews” –and “I am” is Yahweh! (which is why they were SO upset when Jesus said “before Abraham was born, I am”.

Auralae on July 18, 2007 at 1:10 AM

Robert Spencer sez:

There is a great deal of fascinating material in this line. My first writing on Islam was back in college in 1981 or so — a term paper on how Islam’s denial of the crucifixion of Christ (Qur’an 4:157) is related to and may be derived from the denial of the crufixion contained in several Gnostic gospels, particularly since both affirm that Judas was made to resemble Jesus and put on the cross in his place.

I am not aware of any Gnostic gospel that blatently says that Jesus was not crucified. Some Gospels say that it was a docetic (Jesus only seemed to suffer and die – pure gnosticism) version of Jesus (Gospel of Peter, Acts of John), but Jesus nonetheless.

The only Gospel, that I am aware of, that has Judas replacing Jesus on the Cross is the Gospel of Barnabas from the 6th-7th century, and which is not a gnostic text. Am I missing something, or could those portions of the Quran and Gospel of Barnabas have influenced each other?

HeIsSailing on July 18, 2007 at 1:21 PM

HelsSailing:

I am not aware of any Gnostic gospel that blatently says that Jesus was not crucified. Some Gospels say that it was a docetic (Jesus only seemed to suffer and die – pure gnosticism) version of Jesus (Gospel of Peter, Acts of John), but Jesus nonetheless.

See, for example, The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, a Gnostic text found at Nag Hammadi. In it, Jesus says, “For my death which they think happened, happened to them in their error and blindness, since they nailed their man unto their death….It was another…who drank the galla and the vinegar; it was not I…I was another upon whom they placed the crown of thorns….And I was laughing at their ignorance.”

The only Gospel, that I am aware of, that has Judas replacing Jesus on the Cross is the Gospel of Barnabas from the 6th-7th century, and which is not a gnostic text. Am I missing something, or could those portions of the Quran and Gospel of Barnabas have influenced each other?

The Gospel of Barnabas is not that early. It’s a Medieval Muslim forgery, reflecting Qur’anic teaching and Islamic belief about the crucifixion.

Robert Spencer on July 18, 2007 at 2:25 PM

Robert,
Thanks for the information regarding The Gospel of Barnabas. That is what I get for just reading the summary of that Gospel.

Regarding The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, the text you quoted is correct, but it nevertheless states just a few sentences before your quote that Jesus DID die in appearance only – which follows the general pattern of docetic gnosticm found in the Nag Hammadi library. Nothing about Judas susbstiting for Jesus though.

I did not succumb to them as they had planned. But I was not afflicted at all. Those who were there punished me. And I did not die in reality but in appearance, lest I be put to shame by them because these are my kinsfolk.

Sura 4:157 is very similar to this view of Jesus, and I have no doubt now where that influence may have come from. But again there is no mention of Judas as a substitution for Jesus. So, maybe I am just misunderstanding your earlier comment regarding Judas.

Well, Sura 4 will be in a few weeks – I guess we can revisit it then. Thanks again for your effort.

HeIsSailing on July 18, 2007 at 3:55 PM

HelsSailing:

Regarding The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, the text you quoted is correct, but it nevertheless states just a few sentences before your quote that Jesus DID die in appearance only – which follows the general pattern of docetic gnosticm found in the Nag Hammadi library. Nothing about Judas susbstiting for Jesus though.

Yes, the substitution of Judas is from elsewhere, but I don’t recall where right now — I’ll see if I can find it, but I no longer have my 25-year-old paper! Anyway, the idea that Jesus died in appearance only was precisely my point: Judas was made to look like Jesus. This is Islamic exegesis of Qur’an 4:157, as we shall see, and it fits in with the Gnostic idea that Jesus only appeared to die on the cross.

Robert Spencer on July 18, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Robert,
Gotcha. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

HeIsSailing on July 19, 2007 at 3:10 AM