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  1. mr.heathcliff

    any of you peoples bought this book ?

    Robert Miller, in Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy, analyzes the use of a “suffering servant passage” in gLuke & Acts.

    (page 173-174)

    […] it is instructive to consider briefly the scenes

    in Acts that narrate how people respond to the claim that Jesus fulfilled

    scripture. The lengthiest such scene (Acts 8:26–39) tells of a royal official

    from Ethiopia pondering a passage from Isaiah. When the apostle Philip,

    guided to the location by an angel, asks the official if he understands what

    he is reading, the man replies, “How can I unless someone explains it to

    me?” (Acts 8:31). Referring to one of Isaiah’s passages about the mysterious

    suffering servant (Isa 53:7–8), the Ethiopian asks Philip, “Of whom does the

    prophet say this—himself or someone else?” Philip seizes the opportunity:

    “he launched out with this passage as his starting point, telling him the good

    news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35). Before long the man asks Philip to baptize

    him on the spot (Acts 8:36). Luke here narrates an ideal scenario for how

    prophecy should point people to Jesus. Even so, the scene recognizes that

    the prophets (exemplified by Isaiah) are difficult to understand, and that

    one must learn how to interpret them from the standpoint of Christian faith

    before they can inspire belief in Jesus.

    Two other summary scenes in Acts are sufficient to show the variety

    of Jewish responses to the claim that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. In one (Acts

    17:10–12) the members of a Jewish synagogue “welcomed the message with

    great enthusiasm. Each day they studied the scriptures to see whether these

    claims were true, and many of them came to believe.” The other scene comes

    at the end of Acts. Paul is under house arrest in Rome, and the leaders of the

    Jewish community in that capital city

    arranged a day to meet with Paul. They visited him at his lodgings

    in great numbers. All day long he explained the matter to

    them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince

    them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and from the

    prophets. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others

    refused to believe. (Acts 28:23–24)

    The results are mixed. Luke is careful not to say that some were convinced

    by Paul and some were not; Luke instead tells us that some were convinced

    while others “refused to believe.”5.The Greek verb here –ēpistoun– is in the imperfect tense, which conveys the sense of a continuous action in the past. So it means more than that they did not believe. The lesson Luke imparts here is that once one has heard a gifted Christian preacher explain how Jesus fulfilled prophecy, the failure to believe can only be a willful act, a refusal to accept the evident truth.

    If one wonders why Luke chose to end Acts in a scene of mixed results—

    why not a scene in which all were persuaded?—it is because Luke

    has saved a trump card to play as the finale to his narrative. Paul gets the

    last word as he explains that the very refusal of some to believe that Jesus

    fulfilled prophecy is itself a fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 28:25–28). Thus,

    those Jews who resist prophecy unwittingly fulfill it. Luke’s understanding

    of the nature of prophecy is close to what we see in, for example, the Greek

    tragedy Oedipus Rex: humans are powerless to resist prophecy.6 Even those

    who consciously and willfully try to defeat prophecy end up fulfilling it

    against their will and in ways they do not understand at the time.

    Another version of this paradox is on display in two other scenes in

    Acts. In the middle of a long speech in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia,

    Paul says, “Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did

    not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read

    every Sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him” (Acts 13:27).

    Note Paul’s logic here: it is because the Jerusalemites did not understand

    the prophets that they fulfilled their words. Similarly, in Jerusalem Peter

    announces, “Friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your

    rulers; in this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets,

    that his messiah would suffer” (Acts 3:17–18). The implication here is

    startling, for it seems that if the people and their leaders had understood the

    prophecies, those prophecies would not have been fulfilled (note the “in this

    way”). According to Luke, God’s plan apparently required key players in it

    to be unaware of it. In these two scenes Jews are described as acting in ignorance,

    not as consciously defying God’s will (as in Acts 28). But even with

    this variation the theme is the same: God’s will, foretold by the prophets,

    will be accomplished, not only despite human ignorance and resistance, but

    even because of that ignorance and resistance.

    The narrative strategy in Acts is brilliantly designed to harness the

    power of prophecy to validate the Christian message: when people accept

    that Jesus fulfilled prophecy, they validate the prophetic truth of Christianity;

    and when people refuse to accept that Jesus fulfilled prophecy, they also

    validate the prophetic truth of Christianity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mr.heathcliff

    original sin stained filth bag like paul would never lie ?

    “because he persecuted Christians, he is a very good witness for the resurrection because he has no reason to lie.”

    I’ve heard this argument before, and it always struck me as odd. If his goal were to infiltrate the movement and refashion it (which he undeniably did), he would have a very strong motivation to lie.

    Like

  3. mr.heathcliff

    This was my comment on some Evangelical internet celebrity’s woefully ignorant post lying about the Prophet Muhammad (‎ﷺ) and calling for violence against Mosques:

    The Prophet Muhammad wasn’t a “slave trader”. Even his most harshest critics among historians don’t claim something as utterly dumb as this. Slavery existed in his time. There wasn’t a single society or civilization on earth where slavery wasn’t the norm in that time period. All throughout Biblical times this was the case and no Biblical Prophet, nor even Jesus Christ himself, did anything at all to change this or even mitigate it. The Prophet Muhammad, on the other hand, sought to at least mitigate it by commanding that slaves be treated the same as their masters and that slaves should be freed as an act of expiation for sins. The following is an authentic narration on this:

    “…I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a nice cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, ‘I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names.’ The Prophet said to me, ‘O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names? You still have some characteristics of the era of ignorance in you! Your slaves are your brothers and God has happened to put them under your hands. So whoever has a brother under his hands, he should feed him of what he eats, and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them to do things beyond their capacity and if you do ask them to labor, then help them.’’”
    [Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 30]

    What becomes clear from this is that “slave” in the Islamic context is absolutely nothing like “slave” as it is understood in the English language. Unless you can point me to any other civilization that said to feed “slaves” with the same food you eat, dress them in the same clothes you wear, and get your behind out there to help them in their work.

    Not only will you find nothing this magnanimous in the Bible, this is what’s ACTUALLY in the Bible. Read on in horror:

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.”
    [Colossians 3:23-25]

    And this is the Bible on God commanding Moses to commit genocide, enslavement, and sex trafficking:

    “The Lord said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people….So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites so that they may carry out the Lord’s vengeance on them…They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, AND KILLED EVERY MAN…THE ISRAELITES CAPTURED THE MIDIANITE WOMEN AND CHILDREN and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. THEY TOOK ALL THE PLUNDER AND SPOILS, INCLUDING THE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS, AND BROUGHT THE CAPTIVES, SPOILS AND PLUNDER TO MOSES AND ELEAZAR the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho…

    Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.

    ”Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them…“NOW KILL ALL THE BOYS. AND KILL EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS SLEPT WITH A MAN, BUT SAVE FOR YOURSELVES EVERY GIRL WHO HAS NEVER SLEPT WITH A MAN.””
    [The Bible, Numbers 31:1-18]

    So, as you believe that Jesus Christ is the human incarnate of the same God of the Old Testament, then this is JESUS commanding genocide, murder, rape, pillage and sex trafficking. There’s no slipping or sliding your way out of that one. Is Jesus God? If you answer “Yes” then he’s not only a slave trader but a commander of genocide, human trafficking, rape of children, and slavery. And how many children are we talking about here that Jesus, according to Christian belief, ordered to be enslaved for sex?

    “And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.”
    [Numbers 31:35]

    Thirty-two THOUSAND little girls taken as slaves for sex.

    So…as Jesus said in Matthew 7:5:

    “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. mr.heathcliff

    lol, zaman is going terminator mode :

    okay so it seems like you want a punting. I’m glad to give it to you. Sucking of a baby’s tongue is an ancient desert practice which in many instances a baby’s life depends on it. In the desert, a newborn baby’s tongue can dry and crack and, as a result, they can get infection and die. You can read more about this here:
    https://abuaminaelias.com/sucking-tongues-of-children/

    But since you want to make something innocuous as this scandalous, how about the Israelites sucking baby’s penises after circumcision? It’s called Metzitzah b’peh in Hebrew.
    From the Mishnah, the first compendium of laws of rabbinic Judaism (c. 200 CE): “We perform all the requirements of circumcision on the Sabbath: We circumcise, uncover, suck, and place a compress with cumin on it” (Sabbath 19b).
    The critical word here is the Hebrew word for suck: metzitzah.
    In the Talmudic commentary on this passage in the Mishnah (Shabbat 133b), the 4th century rabbi Papa of Babylon writes that failure to perform this suction is dangerous for the baby, and any mohel who neglects to perform the ritual should be fired.
    So, you want to find fault with the Prophet Muhammad (‎ﷺ) engaging in an ancient practice upon which babies’ survival depended upon, while the ancient Israelites, the Old Testament Prophets, and Jesus’ people all sucked babies penises? That’s utterly hilarious! You know, sucking babies penises after circumcision is even now such a prevalent practice that New York’s orthodox Jewish community was having an outbreak of herpes among babies!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. @StewWingedHussar, it’s just Trinitarian pseudo-historical claims, the argument is that Jews were historically not hostile to the idea of believing that there were two powers in heaven, well even if there was such belief then what suggests that this second power is necessarily another god? That’s the conclusion of the review

        “We have seen that Segal’s work on ‘two powers,’ although widely accepted and
        obviously a very important contribution to this field, is not without shortcomings, and at
        points the evidence is open to interpretations other than those argued for by Segal. We
        have also observed that there is no passage in the Mishnah or Tosefta which explicitly
        mentions ‘two powers’ or which requires reference to that heresy in order to be
        understood. Alleged connections between ‘two powers’ and early tannaim are also
        suspect in view of the late date of the documents which first associate them with the ‘two
        powers’ heresy. A plausible setting can be given to the ‘heresy’ and to the controversies
        it caused in the late second and subsequent centuries, when the issue of the relationship
        between God and creation became an issue of debate for philosophers, Christians and
        Gnostics. Therefore, there is good reason to conclude that the conceptualities later
        condemned as ‘two powers heresy’ (i.e. those involving God and a second figure who
        functions as God’s supreme divine agent) would not have been controversial in the first
        century. In short, our study suggests that it is anachronistic to interpret Jewish and
        Christian documents from this period as reflecting ‘two powers’ heresy”

        Like

  5. mr.heathcliff

    very INTERESTING comment here

    was SHEMA directed at OTHER yhwh manifestationss??

    [–]lionofyhwhABD | Israelite Religion 11 points 14 hours ago
    I think many of them would have been different manifestations of YHWH. We have lists from Ugarit of many different Baals and of many different Marduks from Mesopotamia. We know of at least YHWH of Teman and Samaria from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud. Presumably there is a YHWH of Jerusalem as well.

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    [–]zanillamillaQuality Contributor 4 points 12 hours ago
    What do you think of the argument that the Shema was directed against such local manifestations?

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    [–]lionofyhwhABD | Israelite Religion 3 points 11 hours ago
    It’s possible. Deuteronomy and DtrH hate everything but YHWH in Jerusalem so it can include other YHWH manifestations while still including Baal, Asherah, etc.

    Like

  6. mr.heathcliff

    [–]hassh 11 points 14 hours ago
    I understand that these beings are elohim — not deities as such, but rather spiritual beings — as far as the Old Testament authors are concerned.

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    [–]asaz989 5 points 12 hours ago
    Depends which authors you’re referring to – many parts of Genesis and Exodus, for example, were clearly written by people with fully polytheistic outlooks.

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    [–]hassh 3 points 11 hours ago
    May I have an example?

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    [–]arachnophilia 7 points 11 hours ago
    deut 32:8-9 DSS, psalm 82 are the most obvious examples

    OUCH!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mr.heathcliff

      I addressed this issue nine years ago in the blog post below. I think the theory has only become strengthened by the passage of time and additional insight on ancient Israel. While my current thinking on Psalm 82 has changed somewhat in recent years (my forthcoming JBL article has more details), Deuteronomy 32:8–9 is pretty clear, and the separate divine profiles demonstrate pretty convincingly that there were two different deities in view. I discuss that in more detail in my second master’s thesis, which is linked to below as well.

      https://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/decoupling-yhwh-and-el/

      Click to access 256182_pdf_246075_57AF479C-6921-11E3-BFD1-EA582E1BA5B1_mcclellan_d.pdf

      Like

  7. mr.heathcliff

    https://t.co/GqvjJB9nrZ?amp=1

    i asked ken temple the liar for jesus, did the torah help one deal with lust, hate and anger? the scum bag said that yhwh couldn’t move the hearts and minds of the yahood for thousands of years, they “all fell short”

    but the jew in the video trashes paul and ken temple and the calls into question what use was there of jesus’ “sacrifice” if torah leads to eternal life ?

    “god so loved the world that he send his eternal guidance that who so ever obeys shall have eternal life”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. stewjo004

    So been kicking this idea around or a while and wanted some feedback. I’m starting to think there weren’t12 disciples. According to the Gnostics, the world was created by an evil spirit named “Ruha” and Ruha gave birth to the 12 zodiac signs and 7 planets (that’s what was believed how many planets there were at the time).

    https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/58075828/jesus-was-a-wicked-priest-and-john-the-baptist-was-the-true-christ

    And what would you know the NT has the 12 disciples (who are called the 12) appointing 7 followers (called the 7) at the Pentecost:

    https://www.thecompassnews.org/2015/04/the-seven-appointed-by-the-twelve/

    When this is coupled with the Talmud (which admittedly is late they say Isa(as) had 5 disciples when they attempted to kill him)

    “And it is tradition: On the eve of the Passover Yeshu the Nazarene was hung. But the herald went forth before him for the space of forty days, while he cried, “Yeshu the Nazarene goes forth to be stoned, because he has practiced sorcery and seduced Israel and led them astray. Let anyone who knows anything in his favor come forward and give information concerning it.” But no plea was found for him, and so he was hung on the eve of Passover. Ulla said, “But do you think that there could be anything in his favor? He was a seducer, and the All Merciful has said, ‘You shall not spare him, nor conceal him.’ (Deut. 13:8). “However, in Jesus’ case it was different, because he was near to the kingdom”.

    “Our Rabbis have taught, Jesus had five disciples — Matthai, Nekai, Netzer, Buni, and Thodah. ..”
    https://www.premier.org.uk/Blogs/Yeshua-Explored/Jesus-in-the-Talmud

    Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vaqas Rehman

      Sounds interesting but i don’t have the necessary knowledge or experience to guess how historical the theory would be. If anyone here is a member of Dr. Ehrman’s blog or has the ability to shoot him an email, maybe ask his input on the number of disciples. personally at the moment i think 12 is possible because in Matthew 19:28 jesus(a.s) allegedly says-

      -“Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.-”

      judas betrayed him and other people are said to become apostles. to quote the Pulpit commentary

      “Twelve thrones. Judas forfeited his position; Matthias and Paul and Barnabas were afterwards added to the apostolic band; so that the number twelve must not be pressed as defining and limiting. Rather it expresses the completeness of the judicial body, regarding not so much the persons as the position of its members.”

      I believe Dr ehrman said this is relevant because a scribe probably wouldn’t invent it due to the obvious issues of the exact number 12. if i find the exact quote i’ll post it here.

      Note that i don’t think this is a false prophecy per say sine we have something similar in our tradition about the prophet(s.a.w.) saying certain people could potentially be in the fire when they later became muslim.

      Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud. Ibrahim said, “Al-Dahhak ibn Qays intended to appoint Masruq as governor. Thereupon Umarah ibn Uqbah said to him: Are you appointing a man from the remnants of the murderers of Uthman? Masruq said to him, ‘Ibn Mas‘ud narrated to us, and he was trustworthy in respect of traditions, that when the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, intended to kill your father, he said: Who will look after my children?’ He replied: ‘Fire. I also like for you what the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, liked for you.’”

      [Sunan Abu Dawud 2686]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. stewjo004

        @ Vaqas

        I’ve wanted to but never had the energy to join.

        However, is an argument for a scribe making something up isn’t really strong they don’t catch things alll the time when they alter stuff but Allah hu alim. I just don’t see this a friendly coincidence seeing as they list all the demiurge in “John’s” famous prologue:

        1. In the “Beginning” (Arche), in which was
        2. the “Word” (Logos), in which was
        3. Life (Zoe), which was the “light” of
        4. Man (Anthropon), which included
        5. Grace (Charis), and
        6. Truth (Aletheia)
        Arche was also known as the Only-begotten Son (Monogenes), being the first and only-begotten Son of
        8. the unknown Father (John 1:18, 17:25).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. mr.heathcliff

    this is from colin turner’ face book page:

    One of the root meanings of the word ‘forgiveness’ is concerned with ‘giving up’ or ‘leaving off’. In the context of ‘shirk’ – which is setting up ‘partners’ for the Creator – the fact that this is the one sin which cannot be forgiven may stem from the fact that once it has taken root, it is almost impossible to give up or leave off. Once we assign partners to God, the more habituated we become to these ‘partnerships’, the more entrenched they become and the more difficult they are to remove.

    I am not talking about worshiping idols of wood or stone here, by the way. Assigning ‘partners’ to God starts out with the seemingly innocent idea that causes can create, for example, or that your power, or your beauty, or your knowledge, is actually your own. That is how ‘setting up partners for God’ begins. If you really think that you are the one creating your actions when you move, or that you are the one expressing knowledge when you write, or that you are the one showing compassion when you are kind to people, then you are setting yourself up as God’s partner. You may be setting yourself up as partner, or you may be setting others up as partners. Endorsing a governmental system that does not judge according to the word of the Creator is another way in which you assign partners to Him. Allowing your children to be brought up by secularising educators is another way in which you parcel up God’s attributes and spread them around.

    Assigning ‘partners’ to God is unforgivable not because it offends God. It is unforgivable because, once it is deep-rooted, it is almost impossible to ‘give up’ or ‘leave off’. And once that happens, there may be no road back. Ever.

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  10. stewjo004

    Just some friendly reminders from the group on the other side of the Bible:

    1. The “Messiah” has come. We know this as our 36 mystics who are responsible for the world not ending have told us
    2. God is angry with these people but for some odd reason like the Christian concept He takes it out on others:
    ““God has anger for the Jews, but this anger will be taken out through this plague on idolators. In truth, the corona was supposed to be on us but it is on them in order to send a message to the world. ”
    3. Always remember that people like this are responsible for preserving heavenly scriptures

    Thank you. That is all:

    https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/145395/israels-top-rabbi-im-currently-in-discussions-with-the-messiah-himself/?fbclid=IwAR1e_er6XxQc4x2KuXNF3kRdrAp78pmUN8wG_8bkO4kJqBPHyWk63V00uIs

    Like

      1. stewjo004

        @ Vaqas

        Yeah apparently they say their sages are just having regular conversations with the Dajj- I mean “Messiah”. Looked up some of the Rabbi just to confirm and they’re known.

        As for my understanding, I thought it’s the Mahdi first then Dajjal (because of the conquest of Constantinople and the guy saying he’s come back) But I want to watch YQ’s End Times as he criticizes certain hadith and I want to see if Mahdi coming first is incorrect or not.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. mr.heathcliff

    “Countless texts from every period describe YHWH’s sacrifices as food. The altar itself is called the sulhan YHWH, ‘the table of YHWH.’ The sacrifices can be called lehem YHWH, ‘YHWH’s food.’ The aroma of the burnt offerings is said to be reah nihoah le-YHWH, ‘a sweet savor to YHWH.’ [‘The Lord smelled the soothing aroma’ of burning livestock: Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18; Lev 1:17, 3:5; Num 15:13,24; 29:28] A common offering type consists of bread, oil and wine (Num 15.1-12; Ex 29.40), the common elements of a meal in the biblical period. Bread and wine are described as elements which gladden the hearts of gods and people (Jg 9/9,13; Hos 9/14). We should also mention the visits of divine messengers who regularly partake of sacrificial meals. And… these terms are freely introduced into all genres of Israel’s literature in almost all periods.” See footnotes 57-59 in Anderson’s work for further references. Gary A. Anderson, Sacrifices and Offerings in Ancient Israel (Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard Semitic Monographs, Number 41, 1987). Excerpts from pgs. 14 & 15:

    Liked by 1 person

  12. stewjo004

    Ehhh I came across this and thought I’d post in case it comes up. If everybody remembers the Bible does have Jinn in it called Shedim and they appear in the following passages:

    “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons…” (Psalm 106:37)

    They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God– gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. (Deut 32:17)

    But desert beasts will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there owls will dwell, and goat-demons will dance there. (Isaiah 13:21)

    Wildcats will meet hyenas, the goat demon will call to his friends, and there Lilith will lurk and find her resting place. (Isaiah 34:14)

    “And the Mazikeen shall not come near thy tents.
    IT has long been an established article of belief among the Jews that there is a species of beings which they call Shedeem, Shehireem, or Mazikeen. These beings exactly correspond to the Arabian Jinn; and the Jews hold that it is by means of them that all acts of magic and enchantment are performed. The Talmud says that the Shedeem were the offspring of Adam. After he had eaten of the Tree of life, Adam was excommunicated for one hundred and thirty years. “In all those years,” saith Rabbi Jeremiah Ben E’liezar, “during which Adam was under excommunication, he begat spirits, demons, and spectres of the night, as it is written, ‘Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begat children in his likeness and in his image,’ which teaches, that till that time he bad not begotten them in his own likeness.” In Berasbith Rabba, R. Simon says, “During all the one hundred and thirty years that Adam was separate from Eve, male spirits lay with her, and she bare by them, and female spirits lay with Adam, and bare by him.” These Shedeem or Mazikeen are held to resemble the angels in three things. They can see and not be seen; they have wings and can fly; they know the future. In three respects they resemble mankind: they eat and drink; they marry and have children; they are subject to death. it may be added, they have the power of assuming any form they please; and so the agreement between them and the Jinn of the Arabs is complete. Moses Edrehi, a learned Jew of Morocco, has translated into Spanish for us several of the tales of the Mazikeen contained in the Talmud and Rabbinical writings. We select the following as specimens; and according to our usual custom, adhere strictly to our original.”

    https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/tfm/tfm186.htm

    Apparently, all fairies, elves mythological creatures etc could be some forms of Jinn. Weird…

    PS @ QB

    More Bible copying:

    Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
    (14) The wild beasts of the desert . . .—Better, wild cats or hyenas shall meet wolves. The nouns that follow belong, apparently, to the region of mythical zoology. The English “satyr” expresses fairly enough the idea of a “demon-brute” haunting the waste places of the palaces of Edom, while the “screech-owl” is the Lilith, the she-vampire, who appears in the legends of the Talmud as having been Adam’s first wife, who left him and was turned into a demon. With the later Jews, Lilith, as sucking the blood of children, was the bugbear of the nursery. Night-vampire would, perhaps, be the best rendering.

    Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
    14. wild beasts the desert … wild beasts of the island … satyr] See on ch. Isaiah 13:21 f.

    the shrich owl] The Hebr. is Lîlîth, a fem. formation from Iáil “night.” Render with Cheyne: the night-hag. Lilith appears to be a creation of the Babylonian demonology. “This Lilith plays a great part in the Talmudic demonology; the cabalistic Rabbis forged a whole legend in which this spirit is said to have taken a feminine form to deceive Adam, and to have united herself to him.” (Lenormant, Chaldæan Magic, Engl. Tr. p. 38.) She is mentioned in the Bible only here.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. stewjo004

    Ehh another interesting thing I found. Potentially some more ancient monotheism from the Thracians (however this is disputed):

    “Herodotus writes about Zalmoxis in book 4 of his Histories:[2]

    93. …the Getae are the bravest of the Thracians and the most just. 94. They believe they are immortal forever living in the following sense: they think they do not die and that the one who dies joins Zalmoxis, a divine being; some call this same divine being Gebeleizis…”

    Lactantius (an early Christian author, c. 240–320 AD), referring to the religion of the Getae, provides an approximate translation of Julian the Apostate’s purported quotation of Trajan:

    “We have conquered even these Getai (Dacians), the most warlike of all people that have ever existed, not only because of the strength in their bodies, but, also due to the teachings of Zalmoxis who is among their most hailed. He has told them that in their hearts they do not die, but change their location and, due to this, they go to their deaths happier than on any other journey.”

    The “Zalmoxian religion” is the subject of a scholarly debate that has continued since the beginning of the 20th century. According to some scholars, such as Vasile Pârvan, Jean Coman, R. Pettazzon, E. Rohde and Sorin Paliga, since ancient sources do not mention any god of the Getae other than Zalmoxis, the Getae were monotheistic.[5] However, Herodotus is the only ancient author who explicitly states that the Getae had only one divinity. The sending of a messenger to Zalmoxis and the fact that Getae shot arrows towards the sky have prompted some authors to believe Zalmoxis was a sky god, but his journey into a cavern has led others to suggest that he was a chthonic divinity.

    A third group of scholars believe that the Getae, like other Indo-European peoples, were polytheistic. They draw on ancient authors such as Diodorus Siculus, who states that the Getae worshipped Hestia as well as Zalmoxis.[11]

    However, to be fair they could have later adopted idols when Diodorus was writing as there is a 300-year gap between him and Herodotus. But Allah hu alim.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. stewjo004

    Oh here’s a Christian website telling the knee slapper tale of how the Hebrew bible was decided on, enjoy (QB I think you’ll especially enjoy the mention about Ezekial):

    “The Bible has not always existed in the form in which we know it today. The various books which comprise the Bible were first bound together as pages in a single book in the 5th and 4th century BC. Prior to this, the sacred texts of Judaism consisted of a library of separate texts, each written on a scroll of which most were rewritten by the Prophet Ezekiel in the 6th and 5th century BC during the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. These scrolls made up a collection or library of sacred texts, but different congregations had and still have different collections of scrolls that are considered sacred.

    It was not until the year 90 BC in a council held at Jamnia (Jabneh, Palestine) that the Jewish community achieved agreement on which works were to be considered canon (scriptures that are binding in matters of doctrine and practice). It was even later in the second century AD that Christian scholars decided only writings by Apostles would be accepted as Christian scripture; an idea that excluded the writings of other early church leaders such as First Clement which was written in the early second century AD by the bishop of Rome to the church at Corinth.

    The formulation of the list of sacred works was not a straightforward one or without controversy for either the Jews or the Christians, although the Torah, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), were universally accepted as sacred text by Jews.

    The Book of Ezekiel was problematic for the Jews because its description of the Temple differs from that found in the Torah, and it was not until an agreement was achieved that Ezekiel could be reconciled with the Torah before it was accepted. The Book of Ecclesiastes was questioned by some because they felt that its pessimistic outlook was at variance with Judaism. The Book of the Song of Songs (The Songs of Solomon) seemed much too erotic to be divinely inspired scripture, but eventually the viewpoint prevailed that its overt eroticism was really an allegory for God’s love of Israel. The Book of Esther was debated for well over a century after Jamnia (90 AD), because the word God did not appear in it and because it introduced the feast of Purim, a feast that was not set forth in the Torah. There was general agreement that inspired scripture had ceased to be written at the time of Ezra, so (with the exception of Jonah and Daniel, which were written somewhat later) works written after about 400 BC and the council at Jamnia were not accepted as inspired.

    But there were more problems to be discussed. Several other books were found in latter years of which a lot were much older than the Bible scrolls itself. For instance the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Book of Jasher (this book was mentioned in the Bible in Joshua 10:13 were is written ‘Is not this written in the Book of Jasher?’ and in Samuel II 1:18 ‘Behold it is written in the Book of Jasher.’ and many other sacred books of which they had even more disagreement. (The Forgotten Books of Eden, and The Book of The Cave of Treasures). At recent time (The Dead Sea Scrolls) has been found evidence that the composition of the Jewish as well as the Christian Bible was premature and should be considered for reconstruction.

    Not only the Jews but also Christians had as many problems, if not more, to contend with in establishing their list of canonized works. Full agreement was never achieved, and the Bibles of Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity differ in some of their contents…

    For instance, the Roman Catholic tradition accepts:

    1 Esdras (Ezra), 2 Esdras (Nehemiah), Tobias (Tobit), Judith, the Book of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 1 Machabees, and 2 Machabees as part of the canon, while Protestants consider these to be Apocrypha, books that might be useful to read but not sacred scriptures.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church includes the books ‘The Song of the Three Young Men’, ‘Susanna’, ‘Bel and the Dragon’ and ‘Prayer of Manasseh’, books not found in the Roman Catholic canon. Furthermore, some of the pre Christian works accepted as scriptures by both the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox churches are not accepted as canon by Judaism.

    During the first and second centuries BC, many different Jewish works were written, some in prophetic style and others in the genre of literature or history, books that did not become canonized by the Jewish community. Despite their not having been viewed as scripture by the Jews, some of these books are regarded as such within the Christian community.

    For instance, eighteen of these pre-Christian books are published as part of the Roman Catholic scriptures:

    1.First Esdras, 2.Fourth Ezra, 3.Tobit, 4.Judith, 5.Additions to Esther, 6.The Wisdom of Solomon, 7.Sirach 8.Baruch, 9.Letter of Jeremiah, 10.Prayer of Azariah, 11.Daniel and Susanna, 12.Bel and the Dragon, 13.The Prayer of Manasseh, 14.First Machabees, 15.Second Machabees, 16.Third Machabees, 17.Fourth Machabees, 18.Psalm 151.

    😂😂😂 What I tell ya? The intertextuality! 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  15. stewjo004

    Thought everybody would like to know how much Christians “love their neighbors” when the going gets tough:

    “That is an important caveat in an article offering Deuteronomy 20 as the model for defeating the attempted Marxist coup we’re suffering. These Marxists are skilled and experienced liars – professional false witnesses – who routinely misrepresent the words and deeds of American constitutionalists for political ends, and they hold a virtual monopoly on our public information systems. It has never been more important for patriots to be circumspect in our rhetoric, not primarily because of THEM, because Marxists will simply fabricate lies to attribute to us no matter what we say.

    No, we must be especially scrupulous in what we say and do now because IF, by the reestablishment of the rule of the true law, we are able to purge the cancer of Marxism from our Judeo-Christian civilization, we will retroactively be held to those same higher standards for our speech and actions in the prosecution of that war. So, yes, I am saying Marxism is a cancer that must be removed because it is now clear that our prior policy of peaceful coexistence on equal terms is no longer possible. But I am also saying we must not employ corrupt Marxist strategies, tactics and reasoning in the removal process…What we need is an organized nationwide army of God-Fearing Constitution-Loving Patriots who follow God’s law of warfare.

    These constitutionalists will not kill those whom they supplant, as the Marxists will certainly kill some (perhaps many) patriots if their coup succeeds (mark my words). Constitutionalists will simply take the Marxists’ power away and update America’s sedition and treason laws to prevent their resurgence.

    So HOW can this be done? By using the seven principles of war from Deuteronomy 20

    https://www.scottlively.net/2020/07/19/scott-lively-on-waging-war-against-marxism/

    As a reminder for everyone on Deut 20:

    10“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. 11“If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. 12“However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13“When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. 14“Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you

    But, but, but the law was only for Israel!- Kennywise 🤡🤡🤡

    Like

  16. mr.heathcliff

    “Wearing a head covering was not a cultural standard for Corinth, nor was it just for that time period. Look at what Paul says in verse 16. He states that head covering is a custom across all the churches of God.”

    crosstians getting owned

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mr.heathcliff

      nice

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Assalamu alaikuk,

        I’ve been thinking to work in Government of Romania as Prime Minister. Because, I wanna invite all Muslim political leaders for live chat conference and all great powers and United Nations. Because, I wanna have a topic on how we can exterminate ISIS as a form of punishment for violating Quran 5:32 and I wanna correct the practice of Islam

        Article 1 Law 1 Capital Punishments

        1. One who commits pedophilia, fornication and adultery, he is to be subjected to one hundred lashes
        2. One who commits necrophilia, zoophilia is to be condemned to death penalty and Hadd punishment is to be applied on them.
        3. Child Marriage is condemned and anyone who practices have clearly violated Quran 4:3 and is to be condemned to death penalty as a form of punishment according to Quran 5:33
        4. Women and Men should be treated 100% equally
        5. Anyone who apostize from Islam, he is allowed, but certain conditions that murtad have to follow so he can be free from punishment in this world. But if he violates that condition, then he is to be executed immidiately
        6. Any Muslim who commits honor killing then Hadd punishment is applied on him
        7. Any Muslim who murders a non-Muslim citiczen, then Qisas is to be applied to him and Hadd punishment if it is found that this Muslim is not innocent.
        8. If a Muslim makes an act of terror in a non-Muslim,country, then Muslim agents must search for him and bring him to a Muslim country so he will be punished for violating Quran 5:32 and if he dares to justify his acts of terrorism, then Hadd punishment is applied on him and he is to be burried among non-Muslims and not with Muslims. Because, he have done blasphemy for using Islamic texts to argue and justify his acts.

        Article 1 Law 2 What is Haram and Halal

        1. Freedom of Religion is allowed but in Makkah is no
        2. Freedom of Speech is also allowed
        3. Pornography is to be permantly banned from Muslim World for it violates Quran and Sunnah

        Is it halal if I wanna be Prime Minister of Romania if this is my intention? Because, I have strong desire to prove to non-Muslims that Golden Rules and Modernity exist in Islam. And this is also to prove that Islam is strictly against violence and terrorism and it is Religion of Peace.

        Are my intentions halal?

        Like

      2. mr.heathcliff

        Like

      1. mr.heathcliff

        Here is Mansur Ahmed’s twitter thread on evidence for the Quran being preserved through al-huruf al-muqatti’a (disjointed letters):
        Qur’an preserved to the letter and sound. Evidence through Disjointed letters. Evidence of sound oral recitation or qira’at.
        A thread >
        Alhuroof almuqatti’a or disjointed letters occurs at the beginning of some surahs. Had there been an absence of oral recitation from the Prophet ﷺ and his companions, these letters or their combinations could have been read a large number of ways in the early Qur’ans…almost devoid of vowel marks and diacritics. These are not words with a meaning, they are just functional letters.
        Example 1) الم
        Occurs in 6 surahs.
        All read as Alif. Lam. Meem. None read as alam. The same graphical
        form occurs in
        الم تر…
        الم نشرح…
        All read as alam.
        Example 2) ىس
        All read as يس Ya Seen.
        None read in other letter combinations with numerable vowel permutations (390 at least)
        Can be ب ت ث ن ي with س or ش
        Combined as
        بس
        بش
        تس
        تش
        ثس
        ثش
        نس
        نش
        يش
        If we take one form بس , we have the following readable permutations.
        بَسَ
        بُسُ
        بِسِ
        بَسِ
        بُسِ
        بَسُ
        بِسُ
        بِسَ
        بُسَ
        بَسْ
        بِسٌ
        بُسْ
        بَسَّ
        بَسُّ
        بَسِّ
        بِسَّ
        بِسُّ
        بِسِّ
        بُسَّ
        بُسُّ
        بُسِّ
        بَسً
        بِسً
        بُسً
        بَسٍ
        بُسٍ
        بِسٍ
        بَسٌ
        بِسٌ
        بُسٌ
        بَسًّ
        بِسًّ
        بُسًّ
        بَسٍّ
        بِسٍّ
        بُسٍّ
        بَسٌّ
        بِسٌّ
        بُسٌّ
        This is evidence enough to conclude:
        1. Qira’at are not whimsical readings or mistakes.
        2. They did not originate because of defective script in the Qur’an manuscripts.
        3. There must be an oral tradition restricting these readings.
        4. Islamic traditions says precisely that.
        5. There are recitals transmitted from the Prophet ﷺ.
        6. Prophet ﷺ recited the same Qur’an in multiform readings.
        7. Muslims are agreed upon on the 10 authentic qira’at of the Qur’an.
        8. They are authentically preserved even to the letters and sounds.
        Link to his thread:

        Like

  17. stewjo004

    @alexanderabood

    1. Do you currently work for the embassy or in a political body?

    2. Regarding running for PM it is considered permissible if one’s intent is to reform:

    “Some scholars are even of the view that getting involved in these elections is obligatory.

    Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on elections, and he replied: I think that elections are obligatory; we should appoint the one who we think is good, because if the good people abstain, who will take their place? Evil people will take their place, or neutral people in whom there is neither good nor evil, but they follow everyone who makes noise. So we have no choice but to choose those who we think are fit.

    If someone were to say: We chose someone but most of the parliament are not like that,

    We say: It does not matter. If Allaah blesses this one person and enables him to speak the truth in this parliament, he will undoubtedly have an effect. But what we need is to be sincere towards Allaah and the problem is that we rely too much on physical means and we do not listen to what Allaah says. So nominate the one who you think is good, and put your trust in Allaah. ”

    https://islamqa.info/en/answers/107166/ruling-on-democracy-and-elections-and-participating-in-that-system

    3. Check with a qualified scholar regarding some of your proposed constitution

    Like

  18. @Stewjo004

    Response:

    1. Currently no, but I don’t want to work in embassy or political body. I just wanna work as Prime Minister in Government of Romania. That’s why, for this I have to get the diploma of my high school, and then I can get myself assigned to college of political science so I can make my dream come true.

    2. Do you know any top scholars whom I can have chat with them and have discussion with them on the laws I have in mind to implement in Muslim World?

    Like

  19. stewjo004

    You know I find the Twelvers the best representation of Christianity. When a Christian tries to argue how in 30 years did Isa(as) become deified simply show them the Twelvers and say that’s how:

    Like

  20. mr.heathcliff

    In one ef dawah stream, ijaz ahmed mentioned a youtube channel which goes by the name aPAULAgetics . This channel has ex-crosstian talk to crosstians scholars who confirm that the bable has been textually corrupted. Has any one seen this channel, i tried to find “apaulagetics” no find channel

    Like

  21. mr.heathcliff

    crosstians have double standards. they will use islamic philosophy to give evidence towards God being UNLIKE creation and then at same time believe in things like god existed as a MAN.

    here is the discussion

    Mo El
    You know what brother. I admire your persistence of your belief. & I also think you’re sincere, but that has nothing to do with a philosophical analysis which is a method of attaining knowledge & truth.
    It’s rather a psychological state; where you have accepted what you’ve been told as truth; without applying a critical philosophical systematic method of seeking the Truth.
    If I mediate upon it, I’ll have to appeal to desires as you stated based on your false presuppositions which are NOT in line with my innate disposition; which I cannot possess since I do not appeal to emotions; but rather intellectual emotions that MUST be aligned with my rationality & innate disposition.
    Jesus can never be God & God can never be Jesus. That’s polytheism. Or else why shouldn’t I believe in the Hindu gods?
    Matter of fact, there are white people who believe in a type of Hinduism where God is ONE, but can manifest into creation as a Creature. Why can’t you believe in their Hinduism as well, since your notion is the SAME? Or is it because one is written in an English book called the Bible, & the other is written in a Hindu Hindi book (or whatever it may be)?
    You need to reflect OUTSIDE of the Bible. Try it. See if you can make sense of God being in reality.
    Let me ask you this:
    Why is Pantheism false?

    Jeremy Versetile Tatum
    Biblical history & prophecies are what your beliefs are predicated upon. But the crux of our premise is the Oneness of God. Hence you reject pantheism for NOT recognizing One God. But the problem with pantheism is that everything is God in this reality; which makes it pagan as God is contained in every single part of creation. Kind of like Christianity but only with the Holy Ghost & Jesus. You see the similarities? Which I might as well call Panentheism, rather than Monotheism.
    History is based on abduction. It can not provide you with certainty. But since the premise is about the Oneness of God, history becomes the wrong discipline for this discussion. You need philosophy.
    Innately & rationality we all accept that God is ONE. Now you have the presumption that God became flesh; when the Old Testament did not even mention a Binary God (Holy Ghost) to let alone mention a manifestation of a Truine God (Son) resulting in the Concepts of the Trinity(s) we have today.
    If you want to abandon the argument from Innatism & Contingency leading to One God; then you have abandoned your God-given innate disposition & rational faculties by appealing to the wrong authority: a man made ideology & a book (Bible) that you cannot account for being the word of God.
    You rejected your Fitrah, what God has ingrained in you for something incoherent & irrational. A man-God.

    Yes. I understand that you do not believe in the Quran. But Logic is universal. Even Christian philosophers use it to provide a cogent argument for God’s existence & the Oneness of God; which they borrow from the Muslims.
    God has given us rational faculties to distinguish between truth & falsehood. That way when our parents or someone else tell us something when we’re young; & eventually we grow & develop coherence, we can analyze & dissect what we’ve been taught to see whether it’s coherent or absurd.
    Or else the Hindus remain Hindus, the Buddhist remain Buddhist & the Atheists remain Atheists, & so on & so forth.
    It all comes down to philosophizing & rationalizing using your God given cognitive faculties to seek truth.

    But in my initial argument in our debate, we were discussing the divinity of Jesus. & this is where the Kalam Cosmological Arguments come into play along with Innatism; which are based on Reason & Logic which are Intuitive making humanity inclined & hardwired towards believing in One Supreme Being; without this notion of the Trinity. Or else you violate the Laws of Logic used in philosophy that are intuitive as well. Thus, you cannot distinguish between a True God & a false god. Or a true revelation & a false revelation.
    The Oneness of God is Axiomatic & intuitive. The most fundamental precept for the worldview to be coherent & true. With the wrong axiom, you fall into absurdities like the Polytheists. Thus God can be anything He wants to be rendering himself deficient. This is absurdism.
    Hence we were hardwired to distinguished between all of these things so no one can beguile us; or just devour what we’ve been spoon fed without proper analysis & assessment.

    crosstians WORSHIP CONFUSION .

    https://trinities.org/blog/hayss-three-jesuses/

    Like

      1. mr.heathcliff

        Psalm 18:8, literal or not?
        Psalm 18:8 seems to describe the biblical God as if He were a serpent-like creature, perhaps akin to a dragon, as He is described as having nostrils and a mouth from which smoke and fire arise. The description is rather vivid as we see in the verse below:
        “Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.”
        My friend Alex Strasser insists that the verse should not be taken literally as it is, according to him, metaphorical. Granted that much of the Book of Psalms deals in figurative language, the classic Ellicott Bible Commentary, however, seems to conceive the text as being literal:
        “(8) A smoke.—Now the thunder-cloud forms—smoke, as it were, from the nostrils of God (comp. Psalm 74:1; Deuteronomy 29:20 : the literal rendering is, “there ascended smoke in his nostrils”)—and intermittent flashes of lightning dart forth and play about the distant summits, seeming to devour everything in its path. (Comp. the expression lambent flame.”).” [1] (see attached screenshot below of the original commentary)
        And we know that Reverend A. S. Aglen in the Ellicott Bible Commentary interprets the Psalmic text above literally because he references Deuteronomy 29:20 as a parallel text for it, which Reverend C. H. Waller, the commentator for Deuteronomy in the commentary, interprets quite literally:
        “(20) Shall smoke.—Comp. Psalm 80:4; Psalm 74:1. Mount Sinai was altogether “on a smoke” because the Lord descended on it in fire.” [2]
        Matthew Poole’s Commentary seems to take it literally also as it, too, references the same Deuteronomic text, which it interprets literally, as a parallel to Psalm 18:8.
        Notes:
        [1] Aglen, A. S. (1884). The Psalms. In Charles John Ellicott (ed.), An Old Testament Commentary For English Readers by Various Writers, Volume 4. London: Cassell & Company, Limited. p. 110
        [2] Waller, C. H. (1883). Deuteronomy. In Charles John Ellicott (ed.), An Old Testament Commentary For English Readers by Various Writers,Volume 2. London: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. p. 81

        Like

      2. mr.heathcliff
    1. stewjo004

      @mr.Heathcliff

      Hmmm..I never realized their argument is contradictory (and hypocritical to use our argument based on our understanding of God)

      Like

  22. mr.heathcliff

    One of the issues regarding which I receive frequent questions is the identity of Dhu ‘l-Qarnayn. As I receive such questions at least once a month, I thought that I would share a response I sent when a colleague forwarded me such questions from a student:
    —–
    The identity of Dhu l-Qarnayn has vexed many a commentator and will likely never be solved to complete satisfaction. But the real question is, does it matter? And if so, why? Before discussing in detail why such historical specificity may not be a significant issue when confronting stories such as this, I will briefly address the issue of late antiquity. The fact that the Quran refers to stories that were widely known in the Near Eastern milieu of late antiquity is taken by many historians to mean that the Quran is borrowing from these legends. But this fails to ask the question, “How then should God speak to the people?” There is an assumption that because this is revelation, everything must be fresh and new w/o precedent. The Quran makes no such claim, quite the opposite. It is very clear that the Quran is working with the stories of the Near Eastern milieu to speak to the Quranic audience in a language that they will understand. This is part of what God says in 14:4: “We have sent no messenger, save in the tongue of his people, that he might make clear for them.” From this perspective, understanding the legends of late antiquity can help us better understand the Quran, because it helps us to better understand the language with which the people of this era must be addressed in order for God to communicate with them effectively. A saying often repeated when discussing Quranic stories is “Stories are an army from among the armies of God” (al-qiṣaṣ jund min junūdillāh). God speaks to people in their language using stories and reshaping stories with which they are familiar.

    In this vein, it is important that the story of Dhu l-Qarnayn comes in Sūrat al-Kahf. The story of the sleepers of Ephesus from which the Sūrah takes its name is the most widespread story of wilāya or sanctity in the Near East during late antiquity. It is thus quite natural that the Quran would say something about this story, which was employed by faith communities across the Near East in many different ways, as were the Alexander legends that occur later in the same sūrah. Part of the lesson in using these stories in Sūrat al-Kahf is that people have missed the point by focusing upon the details, such as how many people were in the cave: “They will say, “Three, the fourth was their dog.” And they say, “Five, the sixth was their dog”—guessing at the unseen. And they say, “Seven, and the eighth was their dog.” (18:22)

    Here the phrase “guessing at the unseen” occurs in a discussion of debates regarding a factual point regarding which the people expressing conflicting opinions could not have had direct knowledge—the number of sleepers in the cave, the nature of their dog, and other tangential issues. It implies that they should not speculate regarding issues of which few have knowledge. This as we know is quite common in human affairs (and in Quranic studies). To deal with such speculations, the Prophet is instructed to dispute not concerning them (v. 22) about these matters, but to let the parts of the story that had been revealed to him, those for which he thus has “a clear argument” suffice. He is then instructed not to “seek a ruling from any of them,” indicating that their information is not correct. This implies that the authorities from whom the Prophet or his followers might seek some determination regarding this story are also among those guessing at the unseen.

    After this God instructs the Prophet to say Inshāʾ Allāh—If God wills—when promising that he will complete tasks (18:23-24). When the Prophet was first asked about the Companions of the Cave, he replied, “I will tell you tomorrow.” But did not say “If God wills”—inshā’ Allāh. As the story goes, he then waited fifteen days until an answer was revealed. This command relates to a central theme of this sūra, that human beings—even prophets—do not have knowledge of the unseen, save as God wills—a point emphasized in the story of Moses and Khidr. When one forgets to mention God in such contexts, one should not react with bitterness, but turn to back to God and say, “It may be that my Lord will guide me nearer than this to rectitude.”(18:24)
    This verse is followed by a clarification that the Companions of the Cave remained in the cave “three hundred years, plus nine” (18:25), indicating that the period was three hundred solar years or three hundred and nine lunar years. We can surmise from this that there had been debate regarding the duration of their sleep. In the context of the discussion regarding “knowledge of the unseen,” this clarification serves as an important lesson that differences of opinion that arise regarding such questions may be a matter of different perspectives. Those who say it was three hundred years are correct, as are those who say it was three hundred and nine years.
    That God alone knows the unseen and we only know that of it which He reveals to us is then reiterated, both as regards this one factual matter and the general principle, “Say, ‘God knows best how long they tarried. Unto Him belongs the unseen of the heavens and the earth.’” (v. 26) As with the story of Moses and Khidr, this verse demonstrates that even the knowledge of a Messenger of God regarding the unseen is limited to what God has granted him. Since the Unseen belongs to God alone, for “with Him are the keys to the unseen. None knows them but He.” (6:59) From this perspective, that God “makes no one a partner unto Him in His Judgment” (18:26) indicates both that God’s statement regarding the Companions of the Cave, their number, and the length of time they remained is the final judgment on the matter and that as regards matters of the unseen, human judgment has no place. In this context, the command to “Recite that which has been revealed unto you from the Book of your Lord” (18:27) is not simply a command to recite the Quran, as is stated in almost all commentaries, but a command to take knowledge of such affairs from revelation. That is—recite what you know and do not add what you do not know.

    Together these injunctions and admonitions provide guidance regarding the manner in which to deal with the story of the sleepers of the cave, and by extension other stories within the Quran, those that were in circulation in the Near Eastern milieu at the time of the Prophet (SAWS), be they Biblical or, as in this, case part of the Near Eastern Milieu of Late Antiquity. While the passage in question does not say this directly, it implies that “guessing at the unseen”, speculating regarding various details, prevents one from deriving from these stories the guidance they are meant to provide.

    In light of these injunctions, the story of Dhu l-Qarnayn should be understood as another Quranic account regarding a story from the Near Eastern milieu regarding which there are many speculations. The Quran introduces the account by indicating that it will not provide a full account, when it states, “sa atlu alaykum minhu dhikra” which we could roughly translate, “I will mention something about him.” (18:83) When read in light of the injunctions to not seek knowledge of the unseen that came after the story of the companions of the cave, this implies that we do not need to know all of the details, however curious we may be. My personal reading is that it also provides a hint that many of the details listeners wanted to hear would not be provided. As if to say, “Okay I will tell you about them, but not everything that you wanted to hear.”

    As Tammaso Tessei and Kevin van Bladel have demonstrated, stories from multiple Alexander legends had been in circulation in various ways prior to the Quran. Van Bladel maintains that the story in the Syriac Neṣḥana, aspects of which are reflected in the Quranic account, precedes the Quran (this is debated), and Tommaso Tesei argues, the Neshana itself incorporates aspects of other stories that had been in circulation in the Near East. Whatever the exact case may be, as in the story of the seven sleepers, the Quran is not simply retelling a story, but appropriating the story and making a “judgment” as to how we can work effectively with it. Just as others had adopted and adapted the story for their purposes, these stories are being adopted and adapted in the Quran for purposes that serve the nascent Muslim community—to convey lessons. As with the story of “the Companions of the Cave,” the discussion of Dhu l-Qarnayn in the Quran appears to envision itself as intervening in legends that had become confused by debates, transmissions, and sectarian appropriations. God then uses aspects of this story not to convey specific historical accounts, but to provide typologies for how to work with various types of communities: the first community he encounters are oppressors, the second are neither oppressors or oppressed, and the third are oppressed. Dhu l-Qarnayn deals with each community in a distinct manner. And this is the lesson to be learned. The exact identity of Dhu l-Qarnayn does not change the lesson, and focusing upon the question may even prevent us from attaining a deeper understanding of the lessons it conveys.
    ——–
    P.S. If you respond to this post by proposing the identity of Dhu l-Qarnayn, then you might want to reread the post to better understand what I am saying. You don’t who it was. I don’t know who it was, and Quranic commentators disagreed about who it was. The only thing less productive than polemics is speculation which is then employed for polemics.

    ///////////////

    the above was written by Josif Lambard

    A friend about 20 years ago on SOC.RELIGION.ISLAM said something similar

    For someone who is so zealous in criticizing the Qur’an, you seem not to have noticed that frequently there is little or no contextualization in the Qur’an. The Jewish and Christian scriptures go into great detail about when, who and where. The Qur’an uses another literary style. That does not mean that the social, historical or cultural context is not important but simply that such details are not so prominent in the Qur’an. Like the desert region where it was revealed, it’s style is arid and its atmosphere is contrasted by heat (passion) and cold (detachment).

    Thus, the Qur’anic style is well adapted to the terse presentation of essentials. In the passage under discussion, it is of no SPIRITUAL interest to know exactly who or exactly how many people or being referred to. The point is not sociological; it is spiritual. We are told that metaphor and simile are very dangerous when they may lead us to confuse God’s prophets with God himself or to create a special relationship between come people and God that suggests a supra-natural kinship.

    Any comebacks to this?

    Like

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