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Offline Peaceful

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Apostle Paul
« on: April 03, 2013, 12:58:48 PM »
Salam Joseph.

I was wondering what your Islamic opinion of Paul is. Many Muslims I talked to or articles I've read about Paul, always insult him and say he 'corrupted' Christ's true message. Could he really have done something at such a massive scale within 30 years of Jesus' death?

I do find it odd that most of his letters refer to Jesus as a servant or lord more than a Son of God. I was also talking with a Reverend Mike and he told me that most of the Epistles that claim that Paul referred to Jesus as 'God' are forgeries. He said Paul, as well as the rest of the Apostles, were still way too Jewish to say this.

Ibn Kathir also said the 3 messengers who supported each other (the people of the City) were Paul, Simon and Peter in Antioch. Is this possible with your Quranic interpretation?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Apostle Paul
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 07:32:00 AM »
Dear Peaceful,

May peace be with you.

This is a good question.

There are indeed discussions in Biblical scholarship over the authorship of the letters that bear the Apostle Paul's name, though 'in the main', seven of his letters seem to have general consensus of his direct authorship.

However, from my 'Islamic' perspective, I would not attribute overt criticism (let alone insults) to any ancient writer or scholar of any theological ilk. Arguably, there is no sure way to know exactly what the complete intentions of the authors were and to what extent their thoughts were passed down by successive folk with accuracy.

At times, true authorship is a moot point (i.e. debateable).

As far as Reverend Mike's opinion is concerned, there will always be debate over the interpretation of what some may deem as 'grammatically ambiguous' verses in which orthodoxy may construe as referring to God.

Indeed, much may have been attributed to the Apostle Paul erroneously, however even if we allow for some authenticity from what we have from his writings, there does seem to be a plausible argument that what was more important to Paul was not so much the 'religion' of Jesus, but 'about Jesus'. Whether he deemed him as ‘God’ or not, is another debate.

Prophet Jesus preached about the God of the Jews, the Laws of the Torah, interpretation etc. However, in Paul's writings what becomes apparent is his underlying fixation 'about Jesus' rather than the ‘religion’ of Jesus. He seldom talks about Prophet Jesus’s ministry or quotes him.  Therefore, what arguably mattered to Apostle Paul the most was Jesus's death, resurrection, reconciling sin and how through this one achieves salvation.

I am personally not convinced that the Apostle Paul innovated this thought, but in his time, he certainly made this view popular given his teachings. As he says in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

Thus as some Muslim critics have crudely put it he ‘nailed Christianity to the cross’.

From a Quran's perspective, the crucial question for me in light of verses 5:47; 5:43 is what was being generally read by the Christian communities at the time of the Prophet's ministry? The Quran seems to deal with a coexistent reality with which it is confronted i.e. extant scriptures being read by the People of the Book.

Scholars have long recognised that at times certain Gospels were given more emphasis in different Churches therefore it is not implausible to assert that the Quran was merely referencing the Gospels or particular Gospels being read by the Arab Christian communities of 7th century Arabia when it referred to the 'Injeel'.

With regards Antioch, it was my understanding that Ibn Kathir rejected the association of the messengers mentioned in Surah Ya Sin with Antioch with plausible contentions:

In his tafsir, he first raises his doubts by saying:

"(a similitude; the Dwellers of the Town, when there came Messengers to them.) In the reports that he transmitted from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabbih - Ibn Ishaq reported that it was the city of Antioch, in which there was a king called Antiochus the son of Antiochus the son of Antiochus, who used to worship idols. Allah sent to him three Messengers, whose names were Sadiq, Saduq and Shalum, and he disbelieved in them. It was also narrated from Buraydah bin Al-Husayb, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri that it was Antioch. Some of the Imams were not sure that it was Antioch, as we shall see below after telling the rest of the story, if Allah wills." [1]

and then concludes by saying ...

"This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur'an is a city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf. Or, if we wish to keep the same name, it is possible that it is another Antioch, not the one which is well-known, for it is not known that it (the famous Antioch) was destroyed, either during Christian times or before. And Allah knows best." [2]

In contrast, I have personally been to the site of 'Pompeii' in Italy with a view to study and possibly ascertain whether this could be the city mentioned in the Quran. My paper is not yet published on this but God willing, I intend to do so in due course.

The early date of AD 79 for its destruction places this relatively early into Christianity and certainly within the grasps of early Christian preaching.

However, whether there were any actual Christians in Pompeii is open to debate even though there is oft discussion about the ROTAS Square.

I hope that helps, God willing.


[1] TAFSIR IBN KATHIR (Abridged) Sura 36. Ya-Sin
[2] Ibid.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Zack

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Re: Apostle Paul
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 09:59:34 PM »
This has not had any correspondence for a long time, however in case people still read this re Paul...

The issue of Pauls letters is not authenticity, but:

a)to remember that they were addressed to the Greek speaking world implementing the consensus of Isa's followers that the non-semitic peoples were not required to be circumcised, but follow the monotheism of Abraham.
b) Paul was as much "Tauhid" as any Muslim..... the trinity came later, Paul was is much misunderstood in that regard.


Offline AbbsRay

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Re: Apostle Paul
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 10:57:20 AM »
Salaam Brother Joseph,

I have a question about OT and NT. I read most of what you wrote about corruption from Qurans saying.

What is your opinion on when Allah revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad, and said what He did about the Books before the Quran?  is it possible that there were many corruptions hundreds of years later after the Prophet  Muhammad died?  I know about the Christiane Doctrine, about the Torah that the verse says they wrote by their own hands and said this is from all, which was a lie.

I once heard someone saying, The Torah, Psalms and Gospels were never corrupted nor can be corrupted or changed because it is Gods word and the Quran confirms He will protect the corruption of any of his books. (I know for a fact that this is only about the Quran, not sure Ive ever seen anything in the Quran that says anything about other books)

I do not know if I am seeing the words right when I am reading stuff out of today's Torah, but it just does not seem with how Allah's theme in the Quran is. My friend who I went to college with was raised and brought up in a Religious Jewish upbringing. When I was talking to her today, she told me she decided to become an Atheist because she does not  believe there is a God who would command things that were in the Torah. I told her she needs to read it in Hebrew to understand it as it was given to them in Hebrew. She said she has. I looked at several verses when she sent me a link to a good site many Jewish people use.

Unless I am losing my mind, or seeing things... Did you ever come across this in the Torah? Many of my Christian friends said the same thing, and they are only following the Gospals and refuse to follow the OT.

I know it was from Allah but not because it does not go with the same theme as the Quran, but it seems like the author of many verses in the Torah and Quran are two different Authors. (May Allah forgive me, as this sounds horrible for me to say this, I do not know which other way to say it although I know they both are from Allah, but Torah takes a very different way of laws than the Quran, from what I have read. Is it possible it changed or tampered with?
Here are several examples 

Exodus 4:25 So Zipporah took a sharp stone and severed her son's foreskin and cast it to his feet, and she said, "For you are a bridegroom of blood to me." I thout circumcision since it is not mentioned in any book, and God says in the Quran He created us perfectly..

Exodus 21:17. And one who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

21:20 And should a man strike his manservant or his maidservant with a rod, and [that one] die under his hand, he shall surely be avenged.

21:21  But if he survives for a day or for two days, he shall not be avenged, because he is his property.

Leviticus 20:14 And a man who takes a woman and her mother it is evil counsel. They shall burn him and them in fire, and there shall be no evil counsel in your midst.

I asked another friend who was Jewish and he said that it is like no other book and blows the charts. He said there were so many horrifying things in there that he started to rethink what religion he should be following.

I mean no disrespect to anyone who is Jewish and follows the Torah. I am just interested to learn about others religions.

Also, she said the God gave them oral Torah which is why they have the Talmud. I know that is not true because God says what they got in the Quran and the Talmud is like the Hadith.


Offline Zack

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Re: Apostle Paul
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 06:42:41 PM »

This is good to be answered by people who specialize in the field of Torah commands. The academic work of Wild Branch Ministry is quite good in this regards. Although I definitely DO NOT agree with all that they say on the person of Jesus and some other points, however in general they are quite close to Islamic thinking in many ways.

To answer some of your questions on the interpretations of Torah: (5 pts)
Also contrasting Hebrew and Greek thinking is good:

Answering these questions sometimes needs Hebrew and Hebrew cultural understanding. Actually the practices on this site you will find many similarities to the Quran. Remember, this is the roots of Islam, the Hebrew community of the Hawariyuun.

That is why when we question the Torah, we question Nabi Isa, we question the Hebrew followers of Isa..... in the end questioning the Torah questions the Quran..... it all comes back to bite!! The Quran cannot stand alone, the Quran is a continuation of a continuing truth.

Hope it helps