Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
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04-01-2014, 11:56 AM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
(04-01-2014 11:37 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(04-01-2014 09:23 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  The Koran having been written in the 7th century has the benefit of having been composed closer to Egypt and that might account for the accuracy in this case.

Closer to Egypt? It was a millennium further removed from the actual Egyptian civilization, though. Egypt was a Persian, Byzantine, and then Islamic territory in the seventh century. These cultures had nothing to do with Pharaonic Egypt.

I think he meant locally closer to Egypt. But don't you think it is possible that there were some educated historians in that time so that the author of the Koran wrote the stories with "king" and "Pharaoh" on purpose? Or do you think that it is just random coincidence?



(04-01-2014 11:27 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(04-01-2014 09:13 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Ok the Pharaoh thing, it is an anachronism the Egyptians never referred to their Kings by that name, it was the Israelite name for the Egyptian King.

This isn't accurate. The Egyptian pr'3 is the word transliterated in Biblical Hebrew as פרעה and in English as Pharaoh. In Egyptian it means "great house," and refers to the king's administrative household. It was used in Egyptian texts, but not that commonly before the New Kingdom.

(04-01-2014 09:13 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  As for the Koran it was not a direct copy of the Hebrew texts so it is unsurprising they would use the generic title King (which is more correct) rather than the specialized title the Israelites used. So I guess happy coincidence rather than divine intervention.

Actually the Arabic فرعون does appear in the Quran in reference to the Egyptian king.

Could you explain this again? I didn't get it, sorry Big Grin. What do the Arabic letters spell?
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04-01-2014, 12:42 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
[quote]
(04-01-2014 08:58 AM)Clara Wrote:  I am currently in lots of research about the whole atheist/religious/purpose of life thing. I think Christianity is actually rather ok, all this "love your neighbour" etc. But the one thing I really do not get is the fact about Jesus' "sacrifice". I mean if the "original sin" was put upon humans by God, then why does he have to incarnate himself, just to be tortured and killed, in order to forgive us our sins? I thought he was almighty, so why all this complicated and horrible stuff?

Clara - well done, the reason for "not getting" the Jesus sacrifice thing is because your being smart & rational in the face of a mythological story which is quite immoral and revolting.
"Jesus dying" for peoples sins is an evasive manoeuvre for not taking responsibility for ones OWN actions and then demanding someone else to die for you. You are responsible for your actions and no one can let you off the hook by dying for you.
At least Islam rejected this irrationality !
In any case it isn't really Jesus dying for peoples sins because he rises again - so not much of a sacrifice.

I would much rather respect a fire-fighter's sacrifice rescuing a family in a burning building risking their life (or any similar story) than the story of Jesus "sacrifice". Certainly not worthy of worship !

Of course there are dozens of other problems in Christianity and the "love your neighbour idea" can be found universally in secular and any other religious system
Epicurus was a secular Greek philosopher who greatly valued friendship and love as a way to live the "good life"

Why does your choice have to be so limited to "Quran or Bible" ? Perhaps there is some truth in many systems and philosophies regardless if the majority of people happen to have faith in Quran or Bible - both riddles with fallacies.
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04-01-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
For a proper answer to your question (and I'm really intrigued as to what you first question was going to be) you need to go back to the original texts in their original languages

[Image: the_king_james_version_of_the_new_testam...547nve.jpg]

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04-01-2014, 01:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2014 01:21 PM by Baruch.)
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
Quote:Clara: But Christianity is definitely better that Islam in my opinion

Both Christianity & Islam are distorted conclusions and each have their parts which are better or worse. Christianity is also difficult to discuss due to huge differences between different denominations making them somewhat separate religions eg a catholic vs Lutherian or Calvanist.

Interestingly prior to becoming atheist my background was in orthodox Judaism for 10 years - quite scholarly and also teaching comparative religion so I have investigated much depth in this issue and extensive knowledge on the monotheist faiths.
Islam actually has a MUCH better theology in terms of the nature of God, His attributes and definitely would be more reasonable & logical for example by abandoning the trinity, abandoning "jesus as a god or partner to god" , not accepting jesus as a sacrifice for other peoples sins etc.
The Islamic philosophers also were easily much more skilled in trying to harmonize Islam with Greek rational Philosophy than Christians.

Of course Christianity also had its fair share of philosophers, most notably Thomas Aquinas - but looks like he borrowed from the muslims & Jews ! especially the arabs such as Al-Ghazâlî, Ibn-Rushd (Averroes 1126-1198) and Ibn-Sînâ (Avicenna 980-1037) & Mosheh ben Maimon (משה בן מימון) (Maimonides=jewish - from guide to the perplexed)

So from a theological & philosophical perspective Islam is definitely superior to Christianity.

The problem with Islam is the Quran would have been better if it was just much shorter and did not dig its own grave by complicating its sphere into abusive political control and abuse of women or intolerance to people of other faiths. Politically the Quran can become very dangerous and tyrannical - but that's no surprize, look at Islamic dominated countries from West Africa all the Way to Indonesia and you can see the effect - its nasty. You can also see this once Mohammed died the split already occurred about who to follow & Shia-Sunni divide followed by many other divisions (all the hallmarks of a human written system once the founder dies it all goes into disarray with people arguing over Hadiths)

Unlike Islam, Christianity can be separated from its political message (church rule in charge of the bringing about of the kingdom of God) and today this is generally the case after the reformation and especially the enlightenment broke the Churches sovereign power making Christianity look meek and gently today. (what do we get, some Christian fundamentalists burning down abortion clinics and attacking gays ?)
Beware - for most of history Christianity when let loose and given sovereign state power was far more viscous and violent than Islam ever was with mass murder and genocide on an incomprehensible large scale and justified by doing every atrocity in the name of Jesus. (crusades, pogroms, genocidal destruction of the Americas etc etc)
My comments about Islam going into disarray and division after the founder dies also apply to Christianity - but the situation is much worse in Christian history with multiple divisions and Councils such as that of Nicaea deciding what to ban and accept. There is little valid authority to the scriptures, all written many years after the events supposedly took place.
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04-01-2014, 01:21 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
(04-01-2014 11:56 AM)Clara Wrote:  I think he meant locally closer to Egypt.

And that's why I pointed out that Egypt was a Persian, Byzantine, and then Islamic territory in the seventh century. Neither measure of proximity means any kind of privileged insight into the nature of Egyptian culture in the second millennium BCE.

(04-01-2014 11:56 AM)Clara Wrote:  Could you explain this again?

It means the word was used by ancient Egyptians and does appear in the Quran, contrary to the statements Rev made.

(04-01-2014 11:56 AM)Clara Wrote:  I didn't get it, sorry Big Grin. What do the Arabic letters spell?

It can be transliterated fir'on, with the ' functioning as a kind of gutteral "ah."

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04-01-2014, 01:29 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
(04-01-2014 01:04 PM)DLJ Wrote:  For a proper answer to your question (and I'm really intrigued as to what you first question was going to be) you need to go back to the original texts in their original languages

[Image: the_king_james_version_of_the_new_testam...547nve.jpg]

This chart doesn't have it exactly right. First, we have a small number of fragmentary manuscripts that date to within a century of the original texts of the New Testament, and with the book of Daniel, we have a manuscript that dates to within half a century of the original composition. This doesn't mean much, though. Next, the KJV translators did not produce their own eclectic text, but relied almost exclusively on Erasmus' Textus Receptus, which he spent his life editing together from the best manuscripts available at the time (about 100 years before the KJV). Our modern critical texts differ in a lot of ways from the Textus Receptus, but the variants that actually result in sense changes are pretty small, and then remarkably few of them are anything more than trivialities. Textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible has much more significant things to say about the older shape of the text, but fundamentalists tend to shy away from that and stick to the New Testament alone, which produces critical responses that do the same. In other words, this quote is a marginally informed rhetorical jab at Christian fundamentalism. Not particularly helpful for the larger discussion.

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04-01-2014, 01:30 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
(04-01-2014 11:49 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  I will just concede the point on the pharaoh thing, I would imagine you know much better than I on that matter. As to the titles it is easier when talking with other layman to use the modern names rather than the more correct Semites or Canaanites.

Yeah, the "Jew" point was largely academic. More FYI than anything else.

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04-01-2014, 01:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2014 04:19 AM by Baruch.)
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
[quote]
(04-01-2014 08:58 AM)Clara Wrote:  I am terribly afraid of Islam being "true". During the last years I read a lot about the "scientific miracles of the Quran" (you have probably heard about them - if not, just google Harun Yahya or Zakir Naik). Fortunately, the vast majority of these "miracles" is not only complete bullshit or sometimes plain wrong but also extremely ridiculous (if you need something to laugh, there you go!)

Afraid of Islam being true ? We should never dear the truth regardless of where it leads.

As it happens Islamic arguments by Harun Yahya or Zakir Naik have been easily refuted and there really isn't much evidence for the QUran being divine. (or the Bible)
My journey was from fundamentalist orthodox believer, to religious philosopher, to philosopher of religion to secular philosopher.
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04-01-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
Quote:Clara: I am terribly afraid of Islam being "true". During the last years I read a lot about the "scientific miracles of the Quran" (you have probably heard about them - if not, just google Harun Yahya or Zakir Naik). Fortunately, the vast majority of these "miracles" is not only complete bullshit or sometimes plain wrong but also extremely ridiculous (if you need something to laugh, there you go!)
I will add that there are aspects to the religion I do find disturbing - the idea of "submission" to a God without being able to freely rationally challenge orthodox scripture or religious cannon is an outrageously negative aspect.
In Islam and fundamentalist Christianity this is especially a serious problem by threatening people hell, social exclusion or physical punishment even death if people are asking questions or challenging religious dogma. Once labelled as apostates or heretics they can become victimized and abused by adherents of the religion.

Hence as a philosopher I can freely ask any question I want - which by the way could make one a theist - it just happens to be the case that the classic proofs of God are easily refuted (design, teleological, cosmological, ontological, witness, revelations, miracles etc)
Atheism is just the outcome of myself being a philosopher with critical reasoning skills. If the critical reasoning skills validated the quran I would be a muslim.
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04-01-2014, 02:11 PM
RE: Thoughts about the Bible and the Koran
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