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    Basics In Christianity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Habeshi View Post
    Howdy, long time no speak,

    I didn't want to jump in, but please start a thread or something with a discussion on the following, some points which perplex me.

    I think we have spoken a bit about the possible authors of the Gospels, I don't remember it ending properly, or it being much of a discussion, I think it mainly fizzled out under the broad topic of threads. So I'd like some reasons why you truly feel the apostles wrote the Gospels and why that is a more probable position than any other.

    Also please cite some evidence for the death of any of the disciples of Jesus, which can be said to be historically probable.
    hola Al Habeshi,

    the textual 'Gospels' are different (but related) from what Christians, especially Catholics, call 'the Gospel.' 'the Gospel' refers to the original traditions and oral teachings of Jesus passed on from Jesus to the disciples and then to the first generations of the Church, collectively referred to as 'the apostles.' at that point two things happened, the received 'Gospel' was written down by various apostles (some of whom included the original disciples) according to how they had recieved them, thus becomming 'the Gospels' and simultaneously the living tradition 'the Gospel' continued to grow within the confines of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church guided by the Holy Spirit and collectively stewarded by the five Patriarchs, the prince of whom is the Pope.

    so think of the text gospels as snapshots of the living tradition that was begun by Jesus and carried into the present day. the importance for us (especially Catholics) is the chain of transmission, what you might call an 'isnad,' which traces one of the written gospels back to an apostolic source. if it does not then that is proof that gospel does not come from the living tradition called 'the Gospel.' the early Church, which is the living tradition and second half of 'the Gospel' painstakingly reviewed the validity of these chains to determine actual apostolic origin, their determinations ruled out some texts as false and others as true.

    obviously not everything that claims to be a legitimate Gospel purporting to trace back to an actual apostle is truthful in this regard.

    the work of modern scholars is questionable at best, looking back from 2000 years at a movement which by secular accounts was not worthy of comment (thus providing little to no data), without inheriting the rich oral traditions and history that the Church Fathers held at that time, and religiously without guidance by the Holy Spirit, these modern authors lack both the authority and the context to 'double check' the work of the Holy Fathers. i've seen some rather ridiculous attempts to assert the validity of 'other Gospels' like that of 'Barnabas' which was clearly a medieval forgery, or the supposed existance of 'Q documents' which amount to nothing more than a totally unfounded myth that the similarities of Luke and Mark are not the result of their shared oral tradition but rather a written account of proverbs and phrases attributed to Jesus and from a much earlier time period, ie the apocryphal 'gospel of Thomas' in disguise.

    these misguided attempts reflect the western secular agenda of tearing down the agreed upon opinion regarding the origins and beginnings of Christianity, merely because these opinions are completely in sync with the early Christian accounts... something which rings alarm bells for secular 'scholars,' or other opportunists desiring to profit from their lies.

    que Dios te bendiga

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    Re: Question for the Christians Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    hola Al Habeshi,

    the textual 'Gospels' are different (but related) from what Christians, especially Catholics, call 'the Gospel.' 'the Gospel' refers to the original traditions and oral teachings of Jesus passed on from Jesus to the disciples and then to the first generations of the Church, collectively referred to as 'the apostles.' at that point two things happened, the received 'Gospel' was written down by various apostles (some of whom included the original disciples) according to how they had recieved them, thus becomming 'the Gospels' and simultaneously the living tradition 'the Gospel' continued to grow within the confines of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church guided by the Holy Spirit and collectively stewarded by the five Patriarchs, the prince of whom is the Pope.
    HOwdy Jayda,

    Although I do not agree with your historical representation of 'the Gospel' I am glad to see that there is a difference between the textual Gospels and the oral tradition of Jesus, although again we do not agree on how much difference and if it is only a difference of catagory.

    WHat I mean is that we agree that Jesus taught the Gospel, the Injeel, the Evangel, but we don't agree on is the history of these teachings and whether the 4 Gospels we have now are good representations of those teachings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    so think of the text gospels as snapshots of the living tradition that was begun by Jesus and carried into the present day. the importance for us (especially Catholics) is the chain of transmission, what you might call an 'isnad,' which traces one of the written gospels back to an apostolic source. if it does not then that is proof that gospel does not come from the living tradition called 'the Gospel.' the early Church, which is the living tradition and second half of 'the Gospel' painstakingly reviewed the validity of these chains to determine actual apostolic origin, their determinations ruled out some texts as false and others as true.
    But on what basis, what was the science used. For example, if we are to look at the 'isnaad' what do we find, the isnaad would not be sufficient, think about it. Here are some conditions I would put,

    1. The narrator has to be trustworthy (known for his faith and honesty etc)
    2. The narrator has to be reliable (in memory and/or writing dep.)
    3. The narrators have to have been shown to have met, a continious chain back to the first.

    On these alone the tradition would fail. Who is the Early Church? Meaning who are its people, what type of people are these and what was their criteria for asessing something. I have only seen late traditions given to the Gospels when it came to attributing authorship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    obviously not everything that claims to be a legitimate Gospel purporting to trace back to an actual apostle is truthful in this regard.
    How would you know if it is true or not? What would criteria be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    i've seen some rather ridiculous attempts to assert the validity of 'other Gospels' like that of 'Barnabas' which was clearly a medieval forgery,
    Just out of curiousity what evidence is there to show that the Gospel of Barnabas is a forgery. I don't have a personal opinion on it to be honest but I do find it interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    or the supposed existance of 'Q documents' which amount to nothing more than a totally unfounded myth that the similarities of Luke and Mark are not the result of their shared oral tradition but rather a written account of proverbs and phrases attributed to Jesus and from a much earlier time period, ie the apocryphal 'gospel of Thomas' in disguise.
    Not all scholars suppose that it is the Gospel of Thomas, or that it is a Gospel at all. I think the Q hypothesis is pretty good. What do you feel is unfounded? There is a possibility that the Q material was written, whether it was Oral Tradition or Written Tradition isn't much different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayda View Post
    these misguided attempts reflect the western secular agenda of tearing down the agreed upon opinion regarding the origins and beginnings of Christianity, merely because these opinions are completely in sync with the early Christian accounts... something which rings alarm bells for secular 'scholars,' or other opportunists desiring to profit from their lies.

    que Dios te bendiga
    Or it might be that the more discoveries we have the better chance we have at understanding the past, it is easy to look back at things and presuppose that it is right all along, but it might not be right. The traditions which were not scrutinised before but are now are not right because they were not scrutanised or they are scrutanised. Shouldn't they stand up to scrutany, objective scrutany, whether now or tomorow or 10 years from now?

    Good day
    Basics In Christianity

    The path is long but I hope we meet,
    After the grave and the Day, in paradise in bliss upon a reclined seat.

    A traveler traveling - travelled from shirk to tawheed,
    If I'm remembered for anything - let it be the Mercy I seek.

    Your Bro. Abu Hurayra, al-Habeshi

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    Re: Question for the Christians Here

    hola Al Habeshi,

    lol you must be american... i do not hear 'howdy' very often outside the united states

    the criteria you provided regarding the substantiation of hadith is interesting to me, since they are quite similar to how the early Fathers agreed upon Canon. for example, our concept of 'apostolic succession' in determining apostolic origin is nearly identical to your requirement for an unbroken chain of scholars. in order for a gospel to have been considered legitimate it must be something transmitted and accepted traced back through a bishopric. that means that such and such a bishop recieved it from the bishop in his See before him... going all the way back to the apostle that first created the bishopric and passed the gospel (written and oral) on. that is how we know a gospel is truly written by an apostle... without apostolic succession a gospel is too questionable for canon because without an apostle, it is not a gospel.

    but there are a few additional items that were necessary for canon... for example a written account needed to also be 'universal,' which means something generally known and accepted by all Christians regardless of locality.

    these, incidentally, are why the 'gospel of Barnabas' is not even remotely considered a gospel. at no time in Christian history was such a gospel universal, and while it claims to have an apostolic source (Barnabas), no apostolic tradition upholds such a claim. however we do, in fact, have writings from Barnabas which are supported by apostolic succession. the epistle of Barnabas is one of them but is not the same (and has much different theology) as the 'gospel' of Barnabas. aside from our religious institutions, secular history deems it a medieval forgery.

    concerning your question regarding the the apostolic age... the early Church is very specifically defined as the Church during the times of the twelve apostles, their Christian contemporaries and their students (the bishops). this time period is the one which is described in 'Acts.' it would definitely be wise to read Acts (it is short) from beginning to end, rather than just parts, to understand what the Christian Church looked like at this time... the time range was from pentacost to the very beginning of the second century (the death of John the Apostle). it is important to note that while the apostolic age ended with the death of John the Apostle, there were living apostles well into the second century (when Canon for the gospels closed), they were the students and contemporaries at one time, of the aged disciples.

    tellingly, there is no record or tradition dating back to this time that suggests Jesus 'wrote' anything, especially not Q documents. but even there, there is misconception regarding the nature of such hypothetical writings... this is the result of bad scholarship on the part of the popular fiction writer Dan Brown. the Q hypothesis suggests that the gospels aside from Mark have another common written source outside of Mark, which was a collection of sayings of Jesus authored by the apostles. most people seem to find this unfounded (as opposed to false) since it is based entirely on the circumstantial evidence that there are things in the other gospels not found in mark, however there is no concrete evidence... ie existing manuscripts, fragments of such documents, or even mention of them by any Christian source from the apostles into the present day. in short, there is no historic record to match the claim.

    nor is the question of Q substantiated since it assumes that the gospels were based off of apostolic documents other than the gospels themselves... in other words it takes for granted, without proving, that the gospels were not written by the people they are attributed to, but rather based off of documents those people wrote.

    tradition is the most fundamental key in all of this, it is the only truly historical record of how the Church grew from the twelve apostles at pentacost into the Church of today. secular scrutiny should not be confused for 'objective,' scholars always bring forth their own biases in pursuit of substantiating their preconcieved hypotheses, if they are proven wrong years of research, money and education have been for waste. it is a great pressure to substantiate what they believe, rather than uncover the historic record.

    it is different for the Church. at each step during the process, especially in the beginning, the leaders and the parishoners maintained the highest levels of scrutiny to protect the sacred traditions from the omnipresent threat of heresy and heretical scriptures. for them, scrutiny was a matter not just of personal responsibility but also of survival, and of course they were guided by the Holy Spirit.

    i am not certain what discoveries you are alluding to, but secular scholars today can at best only recover fragments of the resources available to the early Church in abundance, or written by the early Church itself. from this they attempt create unstable, shifting models of what the Church looked like, developing theories rather than establishing history. meanwhile the Church continues in an unbroken chain to transmit this record into the future.

    que Dios te bendiga
    Last edited by Jayda; 11-12-2007 at 03:18 PM.

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    Re: Question for the Christians Here

    Hola Jayda, Howdy Al Habeshi,

    I appreciate the depth of both of your comments and questions and responses to each other. They are obviously not cut and paste copyings of other people's writings, but you have studied, analyzed, synthesized, and produced your own thoughts here. Thank-you.


    Al Habeshi, though Jayda did not make comment on it, I am not so sure that she would be in as full agreement with your statement as you might suppose:
    I am glad to see that there is a difference between the textual Gospels and the oral tradition of Jesus, although again we do not agree on how much difference and if it is only a difference of catagory.

    What I mean is that we agree that Jesus taught the Gospel, the Injeel, the Evangel, but we don't agree on is the history of these teachings and whether the 4 Gospels we have now are good representations of those teachings.
    Saying that there is a difference between the textual Gospel and the oral tradition, is not the same as saying that the Gospels are to be what you think of when using the word Injeel. The word "Gospel" comes from the word "euangleion", literally meanning "good news". That "good news" which the evangelists refer to is not merely a recording of Jesus' sermons and other sayings. That would fall considerably short of the understanding of "good news" that the church was celebrating in the life of Jesus. The "Good News" of the Gospel is the proclamation made by the early church at every level, and retained by the church today:
    Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
    Such a statement of faith hardly fits with your understanding of Jesus' Injeel. But whether we are talking about the 4 Gospels, the writings of Paul, the writings of other Apostles like John and Peter, other writings of the Apostolic Church, or the oral tradition of the Church before the written record formed by the 4 evangelists, this Gospel is THE Gospel message, the kerygma, of the 1st century church.




    Jayda, we are in agreement that there is no record to suggest that Jesus ever wrote anything. I would go even farther and suggest that there is no record that Jesus ever dicated anything to be written. It appears that Jesus was content to teach his disciples and have them remember what it was that he taught. Again, I suggest that this is because that it is ulimately what Jesus did (on the cross) rather than what Jesus said, that was the most important part of his coming. The apostolic mission was not to make practicioners of the sermon on the mount, but believers in Jesus Christ as the one God has sent to reconcile humanity to himself. Disciples we were to become followers of Jesus personally, not merely keepers of his teachings.

    And I think that this is one of the reasons that we don't see any written Gospel record for a long time in the life of the Church. We have other Christian writings and they tell us about the worship life and other issues going on in the 1st generation of the church. They tell us that the early church did in fact worship Jesus as Lord and the Son of God. But they don't tell the whole story because they didn't need to. The apostles still were around and they were the source needed to proclaim the key elements of Jesus' life to the church. It is only when the Church realizes that they were losing those who could tell (or correct) this part of the story, that the Gospel message takes written form. Again, not to preserve Jesus' message, if that had been the essential element it would have been written from the beginning. But to preserve the witness of those who heard and saw for themselves, as John writes in his letter:
    The life [Jesus] appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1:2)
    It was something that they had heard with their own ears, seen with their own eyes, and touched with their own hands. Once those ears, eyes, and hands were gone, so would be that witness. So they wanted to have it recorded before the witnesses could no longer bear witness for themselves. The oral tradition sufficed until then; they would want a written record for the ages to come.

    As far a Q goes, I'm not as concerned about it as you appear to be. I think that we see there is enough content that Matthew and Luke have in common with each other that is not present in Mark, to suggest that they had access to some sort of shared knowledge. I know that a Q document has been speculated for that. If it every existed it would explain much with regard to how it is that Matthew and Luke share those similarities. As to it having to be a written document versus oral tradition, I am unconvinced. As to why it cannot be a (now lost) written document, I don't understand what you find so objectionable?

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    Basics In Christianity

    This is taken from the thread on Questions for Christians,

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Habeshi
    Howdy, long time no speak,

    I didn't want to jump in, but please start a thread or something with a discussion on the following, some points which perplex me.

    I think we have spoken a bit about the possible authors of the Gospels, I don't remember it ending properly, or it being much of a discussion, I think it mainly fizzled out under the broad topic of threads. So I'd like some reasons why you truly feel the apostles wrote the Gospels and why that is a more probable position than any other.

    Also please cite some evidence for the death of any of the disciples of Jesus, which can be said to be historically probable.
    Basics In Christianity

    The path is long but I hope we meet,
    After the grave and the Day, in paradise in bliss upon a reclined seat.

    A traveler traveling - travelled from shirk to tawheed,
    If I'm remembered for anything - let it be the Mercy I seek.

    Your Bro. Abu Hurayra, al-Habeshi

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Jayda:

    • “Fathers agree upon a cannon.”
    Which Fathers, who were they and where did this take place?

    • “Nearly identical”
    On what points does it differ?

    I think I understand the concept of continuation I the chain.

    Having considered the above, whilst I understand the claim, I also think most groups would have claimed the same. Everyone would have claimed a successive chain to Jesus or his disciples, how would we, or how do you verify the catholic chains?
    We agree then that without the succession, the chain, then we should not rely upon the text.

    I am guessing that there are supposed chains for all the NT gospels. I have heard of some through Papias, are those such that you accept? Any chance we could list them here.

    • “universal”
    All Christians? I think this should be changed to all ‘orthodox’ Christians. Since according to orthodox writers there were ‘heretics’ (Eusibus against heresy) out there which didn’t accept ‘your’ theology or books. Of course, though, they saw themselves as ‘orthodox’, the right ones and ‘you’ as the ‘heretic’, the deviant.

    • Barnabas:-
    Not accepted universally: of course, just as some of your books were not accepted by others. This is the battle between, perceived, heretics and orthodox.

    Tradition: Well how would we find out of there was any apostolic tradition? If there was one it would have been dismissed as false by those you deem Orthodox because the apostles could not have said such a thing, it would be theologically wrong according to your theology. If the chain was considered false, due to the theological implications of the book, then can we really expect that chain to reach us? I mean, even Papia’s work, which is used for his witness about the gospels, even his book was lost, only surviving parts are here because they were quoted by later Christians! So how can we expect the chains or even mentions of such books to come down to us?

    • Acts
    How accurate is it? Who wrote it, and how can we trust it? Who were his, or her sources? How is all the above verified?

    • On Q
    With regards to not being any tradition, should we expect some?

    “a collection of sayings…” the author of any possible Q document would be difficult, impossible, I would say, to be traced. I do not know who has presupposed an apostolic authorship as definite, I have only seen hypothesis with regards to such things.

    No evidence? Have you seen the statistics of common verses between Matt and Luke, which are not in Mark? I think Q is the most probable and best explanation for such evidence.

    Existing manuscripts/fragments

    A document which is absorbed by others and then the latter is copied out and used more often usually renders the former document to be lost or cast aside. Why would people copy Q if they could copy Matt or Luke? And if people did copy Q, then those that came later would only disregard it anyway.

    Not mentioned, well then we would have to look at when things are normally mentioned and by whom, did these people mention every book or did they only speak of some? Did they mention only what interested them or not? Etc.

    • maintained the highest level of scrutiny
    I have to disagree, I have not seen any evidence of that, please show us. What I have read, although I cannot remember where, is that a lot of the variants and changes occurred early on. Also guarding them from heresy could actually be translated as guarding them from orthodoxy, depending on what theological view you personally subscribe to. Changes made so as to not provide adoptionists with any evidence from scripture are, according to those adoptionists, changes not to guard against heresy but rather to corrupt the message, and so on.

    I do agree that secular scrutiny should not be assumed as being objective, but we should all try to be as objective as possible, just as some scholars from a faith background are bias, some secular ones are too, but this should not, always, cause us to reject all their work, and definitely not lead us to stop research our self in an objective manner, as much as possible.

    Well the discoveries are discoveries of writings which you might see as heretical, and these should aid to see what Christianity was like in the early days, or at least how diverse it was. And it might not change what the fathers knew, but it can change just how reliable we view these fathers, how unique their claims were, amongst other things.

    Whether we believe the Fathers are trustworthy and reliable and have transmitted things unchanged or whether we believe the opposite we should have reasons for doing so.

    Grace Seeker:

    With all due respect Grace Seeker, that is the understanding of some of the early Christian, that the Good News, the Gospel, is the Death and resurrection of Jesus and the salvation brought by it. This is what you believe the Gospel to be, and I agree, some Christians do believe that, but I believe that the Good News, is something totally different. That is what I meant when I said we agree, meaning we agree that the Gospels accounts are not the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, but rather, they are writings which might contain the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus, the message of the death and resurrection, but whether these Gospels represent the Gospel of Jesus, the Good News of Jesus, that which you understand to be the death and resurrection is something we disagree on.

    This message you speak of is that which strings together the NT, a theology that was a criterion for selecting the books of apostolic tradition, right or wrong?

    I will agree that Paul taught this, but I disagree that there is a solid basis to say that John or Peter taught these. Or that this is the only theological belief of early Christians, with those whom you feel might be heretics stating that Jesus’ good news was something different.

    I've had to rush this abit, sorry about the time delay,

    Regards,

    Eesa
    Basics In Christianity

    The path is long but I hope we meet,
    After the grave and the Day, in paradise in bliss upon a reclined seat.

    A traveler traveling - travelled from shirk to tawheed,
    If I'm remembered for anything - let it be the Mercy I seek.

    Your Bro. Abu Hurayra, al-Habeshi

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Which is the true story?

    The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these STONES to become bread." (Matthew 4:3)

    -or-

    The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this STONE to become bread." (Luke 4:3)

    Obviously both stories can't be correct, one of the "Gospels" is wrong. Was it one stone or more than one stone? All this tells me the authors of the "synoptic gospels" were basically making stuff up. If there's anything I know about liars, it's that they can't get their story straight.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Talha777 View Post
    Which is the true story?

    The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these STONES to become bread." (Matthew 4:3)

    -or-

    The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this STONE to become bread." (Luke 4:3)

    Obviously both stories can't be correct, one of the "Gospels" is wrong. Was it one stone or more than one stone? All this tells me the authors of the "synoptic gospels" were basically making stuff up. If there's anything I know about liars, it's that they can't get their story straight.
    You can't be serious right? Two different people are referring to the same event. One says "stone" and the other says "stones". Somehow that doesn't disturb me in the least. In reality, it makes the story even more credible to me as two different people relate the same story, with one adding a plural to the singular of the other. Was it one stone or multiple stones? Does it matter? The point is that Christ was tempted to make bread out of stone to satisfy his hunger.
    Basics In Christianity

    "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Talha777 View Post
    Which is the true story?

    The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these STONES to become bread." (Matthew 4:3)

    -or-

    The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this STONE to become bread." (Luke 4:3)

    Obviously both stories can't be correct, one of the "Gospels" is wrong. Was it one stone or more than one stone? All this tells me the authors of the "synoptic gospels" were basically making stuff up. If there's anything I know about liars, it's that they can't get their story straight.

    If I was in a courtroom, sitting as a member of the jury, and you were the defense attorney trying to get your client the devil off from a charge of haivng tempted Jesus, I don't think that I would bring this up. What I would see is that two witnesses declare the same basic story. As in my experience no two eyewitness ever agree on every detail, that they should be so consistent, and with only these minor disagreements, would tell me as a juror that they were bearing witness to the same event, thus making their testimony all the more credible.

    A better cross would be to simply point out that neither Luke nor Matthew were actually present at the time of this alleged temptation. Thus, anything they tell me about it must be at least second-hand, if not more removed.

    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.
    Well what is interesting is that, the book which was composed by comparing the notes of many people cannot be held as being truth. We do not know what happend, what we do know is that the books were put together, meaning the individual books, by others later removed, the authors themselves are anonymous, their sources, more importantly, are anonymous, the authors show a bias, with the text of their sources, as shown in the verses changed from Mark by those who used him as a source.

    What we have is that we have such a lack of evidence that we have to make assumptions which in some cases cannot be proven. For example the assumption that Markan priority. This is generally, if I am not mistaken accepted because it's the best solution.

    So we have books, one which is being used by the other two, who change things in some places, who posess a higher view of Jesus, as though they are taking out or changing what they feel is wrong. How does one know that we have the real, historical, Jesus? One does not, that's a matter of faith alone, i.e. that the Gospels we have are accurate representations of Jesus.

    So we have books which have crucial differences from one another, written by non eyewitenesses whose sources are not disclosed, but we know from the fact that we have one sources of some of them, i.e. Mark, that they did change their source's accounts. Interesting. To top this further, we have also other Gospels and other teachings, the only one to survive to us has been the one which became widely believed and victorious, the others perish, how do we know we have the right Gospel of Jesus? And that those whom opposed Paul are not the ones who were right? Or that the Oral Tradition which arraived to Mark was not wrong? The questions are endless, their importances is undescribable.

    As for the comparison with Muhammad, a sole revelation, then I agree, it would be hard to believe, but if this book and message shows itself tobe true then surely we should believe it, since it would be God's book.

    The comparison is not right, since we are dealing with the preservation of a man's message, whether the man is right or wrong. Our discussion about Matthew Mark Luke and John is not to prove that JEsus was right or wrong, but to show that they preserved the right view of Jesus! Similarly, if one wants to make a comparison, he should not look at how Muhammad recieved revelation, but rather how the revelation was preserved.

    Peace
    Basics In Christianity

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    • jazaka Allah khair at Br. Al Habeshi
    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.
    very clever indeed!
    Last edited by NoName55; 11-28-2007 at 05:43 AM.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Habeshi View Post
    This message you speak of is that which strings together the NT, a theology that was a criterion for selecting the books of apostolic tradition, right or wrong?
    Wrong. Though it is a theme in nearly all New Testament books, it is not quite universal. It is not a theme in Philemon, James, 2 Peter, or Jude.

    I will agree that Paul taught this, but I disagree that there is a solid basis to say that John or Peter taught these. Or that this is the only theological belief of early Christians, with those whom you feel might be heretics stating that Jesus’ good news was something different.
    Not just Paul. Even your above statement implies that this understanding of the Gospel is found throughout the New Testament. Why do you say that you don't believe that John or Peter taught it?

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Habeshi View Post
    The comparison is not right, since we are dealing with the preservation of a man's message, whether the man is right or wrong. Our discussion about Matthew Mark Luke and John is not to prove that JEsus was right or wrong, but to show that they preserved the right view of Jesus! Similarly, if one wants to make a comparison, he should not look at how Muhammad recieved revelation, but rather how the revelation was preserved.

    Peace
    And I understand that there are some parallels with how the early Christians and the early Muslims handled the accumulation of material they didn't want preserved -- they burned it.

    In the third century, some bishops did in fact order the burning of what was termed heretical books. At that point your argument of "to the victor" must be conceded. But we do have some records of hidden books, and these have not been all that earthshaking. They show a clearly gnostic community that was not a part of the church, and that had developed completely different traditions, not people who were part of the church but disagreed and lost. Plus, I think it worth considering that such debates in the late first and early second century would have been in the lifetimes of those who themselves sat at the feet of the disciples and could correct the church if it erred. Such, I suggest, is why the victor in this case is likely to be truth.

    As far as the Qur'an goes, my understanding (which admittedly is still shaky) is that the compiling of the Qur'an from all of the different witnesses involved comparing notes, and when the different set of notes disagreed, that it was just one man (not Mohammed) who determined which was to be accepted and which burned. Then the Qur'an was finally written in its final form from this compilation. I may not be quite right on that, so please correct me where I am wrong.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Wrong. Though it is a theme in nearly all New Testament books, it is not quite universal. It is not a theme in Philemon, James, 2 Peter, or Jude.
    If not explicitly stated then, at very least, the books do not go against it but present other theological ideals. So for example, these books might be silent to explicit remarks about the death and resurrection of Jesus, but their silent is alright as long as they do not oppose it, and as long as they do not contain any unorthodox ideas. But I will also read each and see the topics, somtimes, especially with the letters, certain matters are not mentioned because they are not deemed important but because they are not called upon the circumstances, so there would be no problem in accepting books who do not speak on the death, unless they oppose it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Not just Paul. Even your above statement implies that this understanding of the Gospel is found throughout the New Testament. Why do you say that you don't believe that John or Peter taught it?
    Well, I have said that I don't believe there is a solid basis for believing that either of them taught it, although it is found in the New Testament, it is also known that people wrote in other's name to give authority to their writing. It would be upon those whom are positive that they wrote it show evidence to substantiate it.
    Basics In Christianity

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    And I understand that there are some parallels with how the early Christians and the early Muslims handled the accumulation of material they didn't want preserved -- they burned it.
    The question which is distinguishing in this though is who done the burning and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    In the third century, some bishops did in fact order the burning of what was termed heretical books. At that point your argument of "to the victor" must be conceded. But we do have some records of hidden books, and these have not been all that earthshaking. They show a clearly gnostic community that was not a part of the church, and that had developed completely different traditions, not people who were part of the church but disagreed and lost. Plus, I think it worth considering that such debates in the late first and early second century would have been in the lifetimes of those who themselves sat at the feet of the disciples and could correct the church if it erred. Such, I suggest, is why the victor in this case is likely to be truth.
    Of course those groups were not part of the 'church' they didn't agree with the 'church'.

    The hidden books may not be earthshaking for you, but I think they are for they raise many a question amongst which are, how early can these be dated? If we had no prior knowledge of some of these but only stumbled across them through chance then how many more were there? Who wrote them and did they rely on oral tradition, etc.

    As for the debates, then I don't think this suggest likelihood. Since we had if I am not mistaken, people claiming to have been disciples of disciples of Paul for examples and then teaching purely gnostic stuff, or we had for example people claiming to be writing as one person but not being them. There is so much confusion we cannot be sure of what constitutes an authentic text. Think about it, how would we know whom was being truthful in being taught by disciples and also who if having been taught by disciples was still true to those teachings and did not impose his/her own interpretation to those teachings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    As far as the Qur'an goes, my understanding (which admittedly is still shaky) is that the compiling of the Qur'an from all of the different witnesses involved comparing notes, and when the different set of notes disagreed, that it was just one man (not Mohammed) who determined which was to be accepted and which burned. Then the Qur'an was finally written in its final form from this compilation. I may not be quite right on that, so please correct me where I am wrong.
    The Qur'an was memorised, it was also written, but not compiled between two sheets. At a crucial battle some Memorisers of the Qur'an died and thus the Leader of the Muslims was asked by his soon to be successor about compiling the Qur'an in case of further casualties in a different battle.

    Thus the compilation stood underway. It was collected, under strict criteria, although one should remember that these were first hand eye witnesses of Muhammad, those whom had memorised the Qur'an with him and whom had recited it and some of whom had written it down for him, thus after this the Qur'an was compiled, I will type it up from a book when I get that book from home, I should have it done before the end of today, so I will be able to speak about corroboration in compilation.
    Basics In Christianity

    The path is long but I hope we meet,
    After the grave and the Day, in paradise in bliss upon a reclined seat.

    A traveler traveling - travelled from shirk to tawheed,
    If I'm remembered for anything - let it be the Mercy I seek.

    Your Bro. Abu Hurayra, al-Habeshi

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.
    That is a pretty shallow argument don't you think? The same could easily be said, say, by Jews about Jesus, that he was really a devil in disguise.

    Jesus was a single person too, was he not? Making an even bigger claim than an angel was teaching him- he claimed that he was the son of God (according to you. not that I believe this) and yet never showed any one the proof that he was really part of the Trinity. No one ever saw him in his God form.

    And by the way, the Quran was not composed by comparing the notes of many people, they did not hear the message spread over a number of years only, it was constantly repeated, over and over again, on a daily basis, and many people actually did see and hear the angel Gabriel (only not in his angel form). We don't need to see Gabriel to believe. We have the results of his meetings with him- the Quran, which is proof enough, as well as the miracles performed at the Prophets hands.
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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.
    peace

    as the sister already said, saying that the quran was 'composed' by 'comparing the notes of many people' etc. etc. is not at all a fair assessment of what actually happened. Many companions of the Prophet pbuh memorised the qur'an as and when it was revealed; during the lifetime of the Prophet pbuh it was written down in parts (although not all together, in book form); after the death of the Prophet pbuh there were many people who knew the whole qur'an off by heart, the caliph oversaw its production into book form. that is the trustworthy testimony that the qur'an as revealed to the Prophet pbuh is the qur'an I have today on my bookshelf.

    if you accepted all this as fact, would it make any difference to your opinion as to the ultimate origin of the qur'an? ie from God? Of course not. It is not these facts which convince me of the truth of the Qur'an either. It is reading the Qur'an itself. It is not at all like reading the bible - words on paper - there is a mystical quality to it which is difficult to define. You feel the presence of God, His Majesty and His Pure Goodness. subhan'Allah. I guess the feeling is not available to everyone, but neither is anyone excluded except by their own limitations. I would say, if you can claim that the source of God's book is actually the devil - then that is definitely a barrier, and would probably prevent you from gaining anything from reading the qur'an.

    I wish I could ask you to open your mind, to sincerely and humbly beg the One God for guidance and grace. I feel sure that if you were able to do that sincerely you would be guided. I am sure you would think that is very patronising and condescending of me - sorry.

    peace
    Last edited by ummzayd; 11-25-2007 at 10:12 AM.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Grace Seeker was not saying the Qu'ran was from the Devil. He was making a point about those who believe the Bible has dubious origins. I actually concur with Grace Seeker on that point. As a Christian I find the origins of the Qu'ran to be much more dubious than the Gospels, which were written by different men telling the same story. That doesn't mean I believe the Qu'ran to be from the Devil, to be corrupted, etc. Only that it takes just as much if not more faith to accept that Muhammed was given the Qu'ran by an angel.
    Basics In Christianity

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    Jayda, we are in agreement that there is no record to suggest that Jesus ever wrote anything. I would go even farther and suggest that there is no record that Jesus ever dicated anything to be written. It appears that Jesus was content to teach his disciples and have them remember what it was that he taught.
    Furthermore there is no evidence that the disciples were instructed to memorize ver batim what Jesus said as evidenced by different versions of the "Lord's Prayer". This prayer and the "Sermon on the Mount" would be prime cases for exact recording for prosperity. Contrast this with the Qur'an where every word recited by Muhammad (pbuh) as revelation was immediately memorized and written on whatever means was readily available. There is no evidence to suggest that the Qur'an that I have on my bookshelf today is not word-for-word and letter-for-letter identical to what was recited by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
    A better cross would be to simply point out that neither Luke nor Matthew were actually present at the time of this alleged temptation. Thus, anything they tell me about it must be at least second-hand, if not more removed.
    Since there were no witnesses, how were the details of the Temptation of Jesus (as) conveyed to the gospel authors? Also, how can God be tempted by Satan?
    Talking about second hand -- how about a book that was composed by comparing the notes of many people, who heard a message spread over a number of years, from a single person who claims that he got it from an angel that no one else ever saw or heard, and yet we are all to believe that (1) the angel actually existed and (2) that it delivered its message accurately and (3) that it really was a messenger of God (not the devil). Now, that's trustworthy testimony.
    As has been noted by several Muslims and Muslimahs above, the Qur'an was memorized in toto by many hafiz during the lifetime of Muhammad (pbuh). Furthermore, the revealed portion of the Qur'an was reviewed with the Angel Jibrael during each Ramaddan. So, yes, the accuracy is beyond question.
    Actually, others did see the Angel Jibrael in the form of a man during the questioning of Muhammad (pbuh) regarding faith, Islam, ihsan (perfection), and the "Hour". The message of the Qur'an is evidence that the messenger (Jibrael) was not Shaytan (the devil). The Qur'an glorifies Allah and it portrays Shaytan as a reprobate. Further evidence that the Qur'an was not made up by Prophet Muhammad is the passage that corrected him for dismissing the searching blind man and giving attention to the powerful man. Yes, it is a part of our faith that the Angel Jibrael exists, that he delivered the Message accurately and that he was a Messenger from Allah and not the devil.

    The last bit of sarcasm was uneccessary, but I will counter with a question, "What evidence is there that the one that spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus was actually Jesus (as) and not Shaytan and that it was not Shaytan who revealed the 'gospel' to Saul/Paul in the 3 years prior to his 15 day visit with Peter and James?" (Galatians)

    As far as the Qur'an goes, my understanding (which admittedly is still shaky) is that the compiling of the Qur'an from all of the different witnesses involved comparing notes, and when the different set of notes disagreed, that it was just one man (not Mohammed) who determined which was to be accepted and which burned. Then the Qur'an was finally written in its final form from this compilation. I may not be quite right on that, so please correct me where I am wrong.
    Quoting from http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/compilationbrief.html
    • Umar Ibn Al-Khattab urged Abu Bakr to preserve and compile the Qur'an. This was prompted after the battle of Yamamah, where heavy casualties were suffered among the reciters who memorized the Qur'an.
    • Abu Bakr entrusted Zayed Ibn Thabit with the task of collecting the Qur'an. Zayed had been present during the last recitation of the Qur'an by the Prophet to Angel Jibreel (Gabriel).
    • Zayed, with the help of the companions who memorized and wrote verses of the Qur'an, accomplished the task and handed Abu Bakr the first authenticated copy of the Qur'an. The copy was kept in the residence of Hafsah, daughter of Umar and wife of the Prophet.
    • Uthman ordered Zayed Ibn Thabit, Abdullah Ibn Al Zubayr, Saeed Ibn Al-Aas, and Abdur-Rahman Ibn Harith Ibn Hisham to make perfect copies of the authenticated copy kept with Hafsa. This was due to the rapid expansion of the Islamic state and concern about differences in recitation.
    • Copies were sent to various places in the Muslim world. The original copy was returned to Hafsa, and a copy was kept in Madinah.
    The destroyed copies of the Qur'an differed not in the content, rather in punctuation and vowel marks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_...the_Qur'an
    It is an increasing claim made by some Muslim and non-Muslim scholars that early Uthmanic texts of the Quran differed in terms of punctuation from the version traditionally read today. It is believed that early versions of the text did not contain diacritics, markers for short vowels, and dots that are used to distinguish similarly written Arabic letters such as r[ر] & z[ز] or t[ت] & ṭ[ث] or f[ف] & q[ق]. One claim is that dots were introduced into the writing system sometime about half a century after the standardization of the Uthmanic text around 700 A.D. When the compilation was finished, sometime between 650 and 656 CE, Uthman sent copies of it to the different centres of the expanding Islamic empire. From then on, thousands of Muslim scribes began copying the Qur'an. He ordered the destruction of all other copies.
    Only that it takes just as much if not more faith to accept that Muhammed was given the Qu'ran by an angel.
    Yes, this is an article of Islamic faith. As has been noted the authenticity of the NT has not been documented even to the extent of Muslim hadith. In all honesty, the gospels and Acts bear a closer resemblance to what we would clasify as "weak hadith" than they do to the Qur'an.

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    Re: Basics In Christianity

    When you say the Qu'ran has been "documented" moreso than the Gospels, you have to realize what exactly you believe to be documented. The Gospels are a collection of writings by different men relating a very important event...the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When you speak of documenting the Qu'ran, you are actually speaking primarily on the issue of whether what Muhammed spoke is word for word included in the Qu'ran today. What Muhammed spoke wouldn't matter at all if it wasn't accepted as the Word of God. Why is it accepted as the Word of God? What "documents" that as being true? It is an article of faith on which the religion of Islam is based.

    The Gospel accounts are very important for Christianity because different men relate the same experience and account of Christ's life and Resurrection. Yes, occasionally one will pluralize something that is singular in another...or one might describe a scenario as occurring at a different hour of the day. These "contradictions" are actually a positive when it comes to documenting the Ministry of Christ, because we know these men didn't get together and formulate a story amongst themselves in order to insure absolute word for word copies of one another.
    Basics In Christianity

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