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Thread: Is Quran Biased?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    Of course Jesus existed. Whether he was God incarnate and was raised from the dead are not historically provable. The gospels, our only source for the life of Jesus, are not straight biography. They are written in the light of belief that in the life and death of Jesus "God was in the world reconciling it to himself".

    I'd be interested in Iain Sparrow's version of the story of Jesus which he finds so moving.
    there are many non-gospel sources for the historicity of Jesus. Josephus. Tacitus. Mara bar Sarapion. Suetonius.

    Everything is provable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Bart Ehrman calls people who claim that Jesus did not exist "mythicists", I assume, because they are trying to generate myths themselves: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/01/149462...makes-his-case

    For what it's worth, I even think Krishna existed, although one has to go back even further the Jesus. Whether either of these people were incarnations of a deity is a matter of faith.
    On basis do you claim that Krishna ever existed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCabret View Post
    On basis do you claim that Krishna ever existed?
    Just some youtube videos I saw a while back. You could search for something similar. I can't remember any more which ones they were.

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    There are contemporary references to Jesus, but for details of his life and ministry the gospels are our only detailed source although their intention is not primarily historical but theological.

    I have seen some Hare Krisha booklet trying to give historical dates to Krishna.

    To return to the question "Is the Qumran biased?". I don't understand the question. It is like asking "Is the American Constitution biased?" or "Is the Communist Manifesto biased?"
    Previously JonathanB

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    Here is a quote from my book review of Nicholas Buxton's Tantalus and the Pelican in the book reviews, relevant to this myth versus history concern.


    “We live our lives according to and within stories ... story telling is what we do because we are human: it makes us human. The supposedly distinct boundary between truth and fiction now seems blurred at best. It is all stories. This is not to say that religious stories are merely stories in comparison with something else that is really true. I mean there are only stories.”
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    There are contemporary references to Jesus, but for details of his life and ministry the gospels are our only detailed source although their intention is not primarily historical but theological.

    I have seen some Hare Krisha booklet trying to give historical dates to Krishna.

    To return to the question "Is the Qumran biased?". I don't understand the question. It is like asking "Is the American Constitution biased?" or "Is the Communist Manifesto biased?"
    the Gospels are not contemporaneous with Jesus. All of them were written long after his death.

    The Quran is biased towards a particular religion. This is is not inherently good or bad, it just is. The Quran is not a universal document. A small percentage of humans are Muslims and even fewer have actually read any part of the Quran.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    Here is a quote from my book review of Nicholas Buxton's Tantalus and the Pelican in the book reviews, relevant to this myth versus history concern.


    “We live our lives according to and within stories ... story telling is what we do because we are human: it makes us human. The supposedly distinct boundary between truth and fiction now seems blurred at best. It is all stories. This is not to say that religious stories are merely stories in comparison with something else that is really true. I mean there are only stories.”
    I like this quote. That's why I believe that everything is real. Things that aren't real, don't exist, and therefore are not a part of 'everything'. There is a historical Jesus, multiple literary Jesuses, and even more religious Jesuses. Jesus is real. Myths are real. Reality is subjective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCabret View Post
    the Gospels are not contemporaneous with Jesus. All of them were written long after his death.
    Not exactly. The scholarly consensus is that the Canonical Gospels were written in second half of the first century, about 40-60 years after the Crucifixion, and that they combined the testimony of witnesses; rumors and claims; collected sayings of the historical Jesus; and documentary (written) sources, including the so-called "Passion narrative," which may have circulated immediately after his execution. The author of The Gospel of Luke, who seems also to be the author of the Acts of the Apostles, may have written the latter book in the early second century, or they may originally have been one book from that time. That Gospel of Luke annunciates the apparent intent of all the Canonical Gospels: to establish a written record of Jesus now that the generation that knew him was passing away. So "long after his death" is not an accurate description of when the Canonical Gospels were written. (One might compare them, for example, to the earliest Buddhist Sutras, which were written (or at least written down) centuries after the historical Siddhartha).

    I would also add that some of the authentic letters of Paul are 20 to 30 years older than the earliest Gospel, and they some historical information about Jesus (though not as much as we would like). One should also mention the many non-Canonical Gospels written in the 2nd century, and the sayings collection known as The Gospel of Thomas, which some scholars believe to be from the 1st century, or to represent an authentic sayings collection of Jesus made in his lifetime, which was worked adopted to the theology of a certain group in the 2nd Century.

    To all this, I add the caveat to which Jonathan has already alluded: the Gospels are theological tracts with historicity that must be critically teased out of them. They are not primarily biographies (even Luke, which tries to impress Greek intellectuals by claiming to be). They cannot be taken uncritically, nor do apparent inconsistencies in order of narrative affect their historical credibility.

    I refer you to the work of the great historian Rudolf Bultmann and his student Helmut Koester if you are interested in the minutia.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-22-2015 at 09:23 AM.
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    That's a fine summary, apart from the bit about the gospel of Thomas. I did a diploma in Religious Studies with a paper on the NT, and Pompey's summary agrees with what non-fundamentalist scholars generally held then.


    I'd prefer the Canadian scholar E P Sanders' The Historical Figure of Jesus - I've not read Bultmann, as I suspect what I've heard of him, but if he is the source of Pompey's comments, he can't be all wrong.

    As regards the quote about stories from Nick Buxton - yes, we only have stories, but that doesn't mean all stories are valid or helpful or (to be very old fashioned) true.
    Previously JonathanB

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    That's a fine summary, apart from the bit about the gospel of Thomas.
    Thanks. I'll amend "many scholars" to "certain prominent scholars" if it makes you feel better. Thomas may be a theologically worked-over version of Q, but even if it is not, it is a theologically worked-over collection of some documentary source of Jesus' sayings, (most of which I assume you consider authentic since they appear in the Canonical Gospels with different interpretations). Your not liking the interpretations it received in the 2nd century doesn't mean that it was not derived from the sayings source that seems to have been used by the author of Matthew and Luke--and which you presumably would have liked. It is possible, of course, that it derived from some other collection of Jesus' sayings (that is, which shared the sayings with Q), but would that really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    I've not read Bultmann, as I suspect what I've heard of him, but if he is the source of Pompey's comments, he can't be all wrong.
    Thanks again. Bultmann was probably the most important Biblical scholar of the 20th century, so that may be the highest compliment I've ever received. He was also a prominent Lutheran, which may explain why some on those on your side of the aisle didn't recommend him to you as enthusiastically as my teachers did to me. I knew Bultmann's student Koester personally (both as a professor and earlier as the father of a High School friend) which may account for my own Bultmania. Of course, the issue our academic camps pales before the importance of engaging with the material for ourselves: something I know we both do.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-22-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Not exactly. The scholarly consensus is that the Canonical Gospels were written in second half of the first century, about 40-60 years after the Crucifixion, and that they combined the testimony of witnesses; rumors and claims; collected sayings of the historical Jesus; and documentary (written) sources, including the so-called "Passion narrative," which may have circulated immediately after his execution. The author of The Gospel of Luke, who seems also to be the author of the Acts of the Apostles, may have written the latter book in the early second century, or they may originally have been one book from that time. That Gospel of Luke annunciates the apparent intent of all the Canonical Gospels: to establish a written record of Jesus now that the generation that knew him was passing away. So "long after his death" is not an accurate description of when the Canonical Gospels were written. (One might compare them, for example, to the earliest Buddhist Sutras, which were written (or at least written down) centuries after the historical Siddhartha).

    I would also add that some of the authentic letters of Paul are 20 to 30 years older than the earliest Gospel, and they some historical information about Jesus (though not as much as we would like). One should also mention the many non-Canonical Gospels written in the 2nd century, and the sayings collection known as The Gospel of Thomas, which some scholars believe to be from the 1st century, or to represent an authentic sayings collection of Jesus made in his lifetime, which was worked adopted to the theology of a certain group in the 2nd Century.

    To all this, I add the caveat to which Jonathan has already alluded: the Gospels are theological tracts with historicity that must be critically teased out of them. They are not primarily biographies (even Luke, which tries to impress Greek intellectuals by claiming to be). They cannot be taken uncritically, nor do apparent inconsistencies in order of narrative affect their historical credibility.

    I refer you to the work of the great historian Rudolf Bultmann and his student Helmut Koester if you are interested in the minutia.
    40 to 60 years is not contemporaneous. Writing about Jesus' life half a century after his death during that time would be like writing about JFK today without the aid of any primary sources, and only rumors, fabrication, and work arounds. Witness testimony is suspect even today with the aid of modern technology. 40 to 60 years is a long time, especially given the time period.

    The writers of the gospels were tasked with fitting the square peg of Jesus into the round hole of Jewish theology. They had to bend, mold, and distort, in order to fit their messiah into the long established Jewish theology. Muslim theologians have done the same as Christians with respect to Jesus. Jews reject Jesus because he does not satisfy the requirements to be the Jewish messiah and makes claims that are uncharacteristic of the Jewish messiah (claiming to be god, divine, anything other than just a regular human being).

    There are non-Christian sources, which are actually contemporaneous with Jesus, which firmly establish that a Jesus-like figure actually existed.

    I think of Paul in The Last Temptation of Christ when thinking of the debate about the historical Jesus: http://youtu.be/kaUuSJx-VDA
    Paul invented the idea of Jesus being a god, he did not invent the human being that actually existed. Jesus was more likely a Jewish rabbi who preached an apocalyptic outlook on the world based on the beliefs of John the Baptist. Regardless, Jesus changed the world (arguably for the better). People kill each other less, they are generally nicer to each other, they care less about believing and more about good works. It is irrelevant which god you worship, it only matters that you are good person.

    The Quran is a very good example of literature. It is also biased towards Muslims. It promises heavenly benefits to Muslims, while flatly denying these benefits to all those who reject Islam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    Here is a quote from my book review of Nicholas Buxton's Tantalus and the Pelican in the book reviews, relevant to this myth versus history concern.


    “We live our lives according to and within stories ... story telling is what we do because we are human: it makes us human. The supposedly distinct boundary between truth and fiction now seems blurred at best. It is all stories. This is not to say that religious stories are merely stories in comparison with something else that is really true. I mean there are only stories.”
    I agree that all we have are stories, but in general I don't act as if I believe that.

    For example, I also believe in stuff I call "facts", such as, the distance from a star to us that someone measured. Should I find out later that distance was miscalculated I become aware that my facts aren't any more than stories. But that is only if I am lucky enough to have some of the facts contradicted to remove my gullibility in them.

    Another example on the other extreme, I wonder how many people believe that Jesus actually walked on water or that he really appeared in a room in such a way that one of the apostles could put his finger into his wounds. These stories contradict what I accept as "facts" and so I consider them to be "myths" or "metaphors" of something or other. But suppose I hear about a woman who saw her dead son manifest to her in a room so realistically that he physically picked her up before vanishing again. Now the story about Jesus appearing is not so unbelievable. Suppose I hear of someone else walking on water. Now the walking on water idea gains credibility.

    There are only stories, but I split them into different categories. On one extreme I have fact stories, which I believe in without realizing it but which may be false. On the other extreme I have myth stories, which I have to consciously strain myself to believe in but which may be true.
    Last edited by YesNo; 07-22-2015 at 12:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    There are contemporary references to Jesus, but for details of his life and ministry the gospels are our only detailed source although their intention is not primarily historical but theological.

    I have seen some Hare Krisha booklet trying to give historical dates to Krishna.

    To return to the question "Is the Qumran biased?". I don't understand the question. It is like asking "Is the American Constitution biased?" or "Is the Communist Manifesto biased?"
    Neither do I but, if we do stretch the boundaries of our perceptions in understanding the question, the OP had doubts that why Jews were regarded as untrustworthy and why were they specifically singled out for this treatment. Is it?

    If it is so, then we also have to mention their treachery during the battle of the trench. The jews made a pact with the muslims in defending their city( Madinah) against the outsiders but in fact helped them in penetrating the city and their defences to eventually destroy the muslim population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCabret View Post
    the Gospels are not contemporaneous with Jesus. All of them were written long after his death.

    The Quran is biased towards a particular religion. This is is not inherently good or bad, it just is. The Quran is not a universal document. A small percentage of humans are Muslims and even fewer have actually read any part of the Quran.
    Biased in what sense? are you talking about the Jewish religion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCabret View Post
    either or. Both groups of people are not Muslim. Both groups are able to reap the benefits of being Muslim.
    It seems there is a confusdion in understanding the terminology of Muslim

    According to the Islamic literatures, non-muslims in the pre islamic era, like jews, were considered as muslims and they would surely be able to reap the heavenly rewards if they had obeyed the laws/tenets laid down by the prophets of their time.

    Islam has laid down certain principles if one is to be considered as a muslim and the basics are as such as;
    belief in the oneness of Allah, the last day of judgement, predestination, His angels, revealed books and prophets,
    and as long as you have this faith you are considered as a muslim.
    Last edited by Soul cu Item; 07-22-2015 at 02:54 PM.

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