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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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About Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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    Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar Al-Ja'abi
  • Birthday 11/10/1997

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    دين على

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  1. Keep in mind the recommendations being given of Ertugrul are for a TV show which takes a lot of dramatic license (I presume based off like the 15 minutes I watched of the first episode, I really wasn't interested in seeing more despite everyone telling me I'll love it). It's best to consult scholarly histories or reliable popular histories, alternatively you can watch one of the documentary which was shared in this thread -- though you should know documentaries don't tend to be as good as scholarly books. You might be interested in Osman's Dream and The Venture of Islam vol. 3 dealing with the gunpowder empires. It isn't exactly my favourite historical period but I took a course on the history of the Balkans and this naturally featured. I suppose this'll be a sort of summarized account of what happens, glossing over a lot of complex social, political, legislative, and religious history. Effectively, after the Seljuk invasions of the Anatolian peninsula you slowly had a shift in the ethnic make-up of the population from Anatolians and Greeks to Turks -- this wasn't complete by the beginning of the Ottoman empire either. The modern population of Turkey is evidently an admixture of Turkic speakers with the Anatolian populations as opposed to Turks from their Central Asian heartland who resemble Mongols more than they do Caucasians and Anatolians having features like the epicanthic fold. After the spectacular initial victories the Seljuks began to decline in power and influence by the mid-12th century becoming fractured and controlled externally as they had once controlled the Arab kingdoms a few centuries earlier in a similar manner. The Seljuk Sultanate in Anatolia began splintering in western-central Anatolia into vassal kingdoms, or Beyliks, ruled by petty kings. This is while the Byzantines to the west were also facing a weakened period. As a result, the leader of a tribe of Turks, which had apparently just recently come from Central Asia under his father, established a Beylik of modest size on the Byzantine frontier. Through his successors this was expanded into Anatolia and the Balkans and under Yavuz Sultan Selim it expanded into the Muslim world as well. Its westward expansion halted at the defeat at Vienna and its eastward expansion halted effectively at Iraq after Chaldiran. The Ottoman Empire had been stagnant for centuries but started going into decline by the end of the 18th century. This is despite efforts to modernize and reform with the Tanzimat and the replacement of old systems with modern ones. One major factor which I'd focused on was the rise of nationalism in the 19th century. Effectively the empire was starting to fracture and break apart with independence movements. I believe Greece or Bulgaria were the first to go. These nationalistic revolutions would be aided by western powers such as Britain. The Turks also lost Egypt to the French and maintained a very nominal control of the desert areas in Arabia. I believe it was Najaf which also engaged in a revolt in this period which it lost but nevertheless demonstrated the weakening grip of the Ottomans over their empire which was playing very defensively -- e.g. reacting to the revolt in Najaf or the rise of the First Saudi Kingdom, and then its being powerless in the face of the second and third which we now suffer under. After it lost WWI there were nationalistic movements setting up a republic carving out modern Turkey -- and fighting with the Greeks -- and abolishing the caliphate. A telling nickname it was "the sick man of Europe". Having just criticized watching Ertugrul to understand the rise of the Ottomans, I'll recommend to you a fictionalized account of the end of Ottoman rule of Arabia based on the book by T.E. Lawrence and which just happens to be my favourite movie, Lawrence of Arabia. It isn't always accurate in the history it depicts and it hasn't held up well in its depiction of Arabs as superstitious and barbarous, but overall it is a good movie.
  2. Salams, I actually know Dr.. Anthony as a distant acquaintance and have corresponded with him a few times, I don't think this is a fair characterization. Sean Anthony is an atheist but it isn't something meant to directly target Muslims or Islam and disprove our normative beliefs. He works in a framework outside our religion so its normative interpretation isn't relevant to him. But to frame this within an orientalist-Muslim struggle is wrong to say the least. The days of Bernard Lewis are gone, they were gone while he was still alive. There is certainly an awareness of what Said put forth in Orientalism and the works which built themselves on top of that and academia dealing with the study of Islam has moved away from that. Muslims like to use academics in our polemics against Christians and Jews -- I'll see them talking about the implications of textual criticism and studies into the origins of Christianity and Judaism -- but we will throw the baby out with the bath water when these scholars discuss Islam. I think we should consider their historiography before jumping and accusing them of being orientalists intending on misguiding Muslims. It's an easy way to dismiss things we don't like. But you are right, while western academia might provide interesting research and should kick eastern scholarship into shape, it isn't where we draw our theology though it might inform us. Right, but scholarship also goes past the conclusions of Noldeke and continues to reach new research. He probably wouldn't much care that Noldeke didn't agree with him if he had a good argument -- at least per himself -- to say that Noldeke is wrong. It doesn't have a basis in Islamic literature but he's basing this categorization on what prominent scholarship of the Qur'an thinks about the non-Uthmanic Qur'an. While we are in theological agreement regarding the position of the Imams and all, it's immaterial to Anthony. He's not Muslim as you pointed out. These answers only work for a Muslim audience but don't actually work well to dismiss the evidence he brings you need to show that there was some early Muslim acceptance of this as part of the Qur'an. But then early Muslims differed quite a bit about what was part of the Qur'an and how to read it, that's how you can have so many contradictory readings both in the canonical Qira'aat and the shaadh ones, or that Abdullah b. Mas'ud didn't consider the mu'awadhatan as part of the Qur'an (and If I recall correctly not even al-Fatiha). The problem he refers to isn't exactly new and it's not a good answer to him to simply say "yeah but our theology dismisses it" when he doesn't accept our theology.
  3. I've looked through a bit of it. This book isn't really thought well of in scholarship — Western scholarship.
  4. Then I can only imagine what you're referring to because that was my charitable understanding of that ahistorical statement of yours. That understanding of Hypatia's murder is about 250 years too late coming out of Gibbon. If you read Watts or Wessel, both a bit more up to date and in line with modern research about late antique Egypt, you'll see the underlying problem was a political struggle not a religious one — despite pop culture about her death. I'm talking about when I had originally responded to your post, before any of the hostility and when I was still hoping for a good discussion and before you admitted you were just pulling facts from nowhere. Neither particularly large but the proper jargon in the field, though I presume your thousand books don't contain information on this. In any case I mentioned it in response to your bringing it up and that it had nothing to do with anything and I can only presume you're as well read on it as you are on everything else we've ever talked about — not very. To quote you: "What was done in the Fourth Century was a lot like hadith science." https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235064390-helloween-is-a-pagan-holiday/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-3250881 Once again, if you have any other information I'd love to see a citation or reference. Till then I can only presume it's of similar quality as the rest of the above nonsense. No, I'm pointing out if you live in a glass house you shouldn't throw stones. If you are bad at spelling and grammar then your argument against me shouldn't have been mine but to bring research as I was, not this nonsense you pull out of thin air and vaguely refer to your "thousand books library". يا أبا ذر: إذا سألت عن علم لا تعلمه فقل: لا أعلمه تنج من تبعته، ولا تفت الناس بما لا علم لك به تنج من عذاب يوم القيامة
  5. Salams, I'm not sure how to put this more clearly and it seems to be going in circles and missing the point. I understand when the fourth century took place but I was quoting your saying the Church began to unify and fight heresy then, I suppose you were referring to the Council of Nicaea. My point was that this isn't correct. In the middle of the first century there were already attempts to present a unified Church position, quell heresy, and unite around a theology. Paul criticizes factionalism for example in his epistles. And heresiology was very well developed by the second century with people like Irenaeus. So no, this didn't happen for the first time in the fourth century and it wasn't in response to Manichean heretics as you said since Manicheans aren't Christian. The point that you had made and I was responding to was your saying that there were ten different versions of Matthew -- presumably beyond just variations in manuscripts. I had asked for more information because I've never seen this in any of the books I've read about the history of the NT, higher criticism, codicology, etc. Since you haven't cited anything I presume that you were indeed pointless in what you had said. And I'm not sure what's the point of asking me about a Gnostic work. And Brill, Gorgias Press, Degruyter, Hendrickson, Hackett, U of Chicago, Harvard, Oxford, or Cambridge press among others aren't evangelical publishers and these are the academic publishers whose works I read. These publishers also produce the works you'd find in libraries. Thanks anyways for your recommendation. That's a great question, I have no idea why you brought it up at all. No. And the earliest Syriac copies would've been translations from the original Greek copies of the Gospels anyways. Perhaps in one of those thousand books which you own you might've read "don't throw stones if you live in a glass house". Like I said, I personally don't care for it but you can't seriously do that to other people and type so poorly yourself. This has been great. Couple of things though, I'll again say how you like to talk about how old you are on the various threads and yet despite your venerable age you stooped pretty low and took a lot of personal shots without provocation, not sure what made you feel that was an appropriate response to wanting to discuss something you'd posted and for asking for citations (something I do with everyone when discussing research). A pity you're like that. And if you're so proud of your library I advise you to read things in it a bit more closely. What you post tends not be good information, whether its definitions of Arabic words or Church history and NT studies like in this thread. I do agree with this. wassalam
  6. Salams, Pity you've chosen to respond so poorly in your last two posts without provocation. I would've hoped better from a veteran member and someone who mentions so often his venerable age and experience in life. That's besides the point. Saying that heresioligists were working in the first century was to show why the following you wrote was incorrect: "The Fourth Century C.C. is when the move to unify a larger church was begun." Good on you for noticing a spelling mistake. And the case being the aforementioned untrue claim you made. Then I advise you to read about Arianism among Germanic tribes, the work of the bishop Ulfilas who translated the gospels into Gothic, and rulers like Theoderic the Great. Arianism was more widespread than what you had thought. Yes that is true and quite a few gospels and other theological writing, but the difference is they would be more localized and restricted in usage. The earliest gospel manuscripts we have are second century, the non canonical gospels are much later. They were obviously written from an earlier period but clearly in less circulation. Scholars agree on their popularity for this reason. You haven't proven your point. Beyond the epilogue appended to Mark scholars don't really notice other sections significantly rewritten in the gospels, and they know Greek. You need to bring what a scholar says about particular passages if you don't know Greek sufficiently well yourself. If you've taken jabs at my writing, way of studying, and resorted to being insulting like saying I'm being "platatudinal" (which, good job, you misspelled since you were so concerned with my spelling of Irenaeus — personally I couldn't care less about spelling or grammar mistakes if the writing had substance but you can't very well throw stones if you live in a glass house) rather than quoting scholarship, then yeah, you're being personal. I suppose you can justify your behavior by calling it a jihad (note the spelling). Pity that's how you act when someone wants to discuss these outlandish things you post and can't actually back up with the thousand books you own. No, not really. That's neither how search engines work nor the type of literature I'm referring to. Nicola Denzy-Lewis, Alice Whealey, and Marc Goodacre are all established scholars working within academia not evangelical (note the spelling) nuts, and certainly not my own teacher, Tony Burke. The works I refer to are also published by academic presses or valued by academia as good scholarship whether they are physical books from libraries, mine own books, or PDFs. Well, in scholarship when you cute outlandish things you can't cite, they tend to be dismissed. I would've once again asked what you meant but I feel I'd be wasting my time. I'm certainly not speaking to a cake or islamicsalvation that I could expect good information about diraya or rijal.
  7. Salams, Church officials had been working on heresiology from the first century. So in that sense, a presentation of a coherent "orthodoxy" had occurred from quite early on in the history of the church, there was also something identifiable as proto-orthodoxy. It's just that there wasn't a mechanism to enforce that vis-a-vis the state. In the fourth century that changed, but that isn't to say that Christians were unconcerned with this before. The career of someone like Iranaeus, flourishing in the second century, demonstrates that isn't the case. And as I've previously mentioned, even afterwards with a state legitimacy of orthodoxy it didn't mean control was always had, a great example asides from Egypt and the Orient was Central Europe, which was largely Arian. My apologies then. It was perhaps a bit confusing since "heresy" isn't really applied to Manichaeanism since they aren't really a Christian movement that the Church would've felt it necessary to put forth an official creed to combat them (presuming that's what you meant by "form[ing] a comprehensive Church" -- which existed before). No it isn't, the argument for popularity indicating the will of God isn't good at all. But that's besides the point. The point was how and when these became popular enough to begin to be considered canonical by Christians, as opposed to having been mandated canonical by an institution, and popularity did factor into that. Again, this isn't exactly the case either as we're finding. While monasteries being a major center for copying was definitely the case in Egypt and many other parts of the late antique world, secular copyists existed in cities and towns as well for employment. Monasteries and monks would often act independently of ecclesiastical authorities as well as we find in the types of materials they would produce. While the change to Josephus' text must've been made by a pious monk, that he did it under direction from authorities remains to be proven and isn't evident at all, and as it stands there is not really any proof for it. For more on the monastic scribal practices you can refer to Denzy-Lewis' writings. I'll try to get my hands on it, seems like a good work on the subject of Christianization though I'm not sure what it's value would be in a philological analysis of the Gospels. Right, but I'm not asking about other texts I was wondering in specific what you were referring to with Matthew. Perhaps my question wasn't clear, I was asking you what the differences in the style of Greek had to do with the crucifixion story. And perhaps if you wish to refer the style of Greek in the Gospels it might be helpful to refer to specific examples or to refer to scholarly works which go into it rather than just stating something else. Right, I think you might be taking this a bit more personally than I am. I was just curious about something you said which I've never come across and was interested in discussing it, not taking it there. I haven't taken a Christian theology course. I've taken courses and done my own readings in NT studies, the study of early Christianity, and the study of religious writing in the period in addition to studying Greek, including looking at the Greek of the NT, and studying paleography and codicology. I'm also attempting to refer to what scholars and academics working on the above subjects say, including those under whom I study this and who are renowned for their expertise on this subject. I'm trying to avoid wild speculation and actually work refer to the scholarship. Again, I think you're making this personal when it isn't at all. This is a forum and you posted something which I followed up on.
  8. Urdu is my first language but when I moved to Canada when I was 5 my English became better than my Urdu. I can still fluently speak it as well as read and, to an extent, write it, but my English naturally remains better -- though with experience it improves. I picked up Arabic when I was in high-school/university rather informally since I was teaching it to myself and I wasn't really sure then how to learn a language, used a variety of means -- including translating, but translating without understanding the underlying grammar makes it really difficult -- but as time went on I became more successful at it. I really consider the proper beginning of my Arabic education four years into really beginning it since it was at that point that I formally began to study a single text (it was a nahw book) and thereafter worked with some other grammars in a more organized fashion. It was a year after that I began to become conversational and read with fluency -- that is I could read without being unsure of the construct, word, or sentence as a whole. I still continue to work with Arabic, feeling now a lot more confident with it than a few years ago but still finding myself looking at grammar to keep my skills sharp while I'm still not in any formal institution for it. The fall after finishing the nahw book I began Persian because I felt a good enough foothold in Arabic to move onto other things while still being able to work in it well. I used a pretty bad book textbook on the recommendation of someone (to be fair, the book might've been alright if you had a teacher but as far as self studying Persian for the first time goes with it, it was pretty useless). I made it some 2/3 into the book before I just gave up because I felt so confused by how I was learning. To be fair as well I hadn't tuned into using things like flashcards but vocabulary was getting picked up pretty well since Persian is so closely related genetically and culturally to Urdu. Nevertheless, it wasn't a good experience but I still did learn a fair bit. Afterwards I got some other resources to help with studies. I looked at Ann Lambton's grammar but it's so detailed and dense that it's rather difficult for even an advanced introductory student. Wheeler Thackston's book also was rather hard for me at that time since I wasn't familiar with the grammatical terminology he'd use, though now I'd do fine with it. I started working with Basic Persian afterwards which I liked a whole lot more as far as language pedagogy and lesson styles go, I feel a lot more confident in it this time around, this summer when I was at a program in the States a friend of mine who'd studies in Iran and an Iranian would speak (colloquial) Persian and I'd find myself able to understand them which was heartening. As far as materials go, my Persian books are far fewer than my Arabic books -- I think only three or four + some readers to the vast majority which is in Arabic. But online material is widely available, and sites like wikifeqh and wikishia are great for reading practice. I was also given a volume from the Dairatol-Ma'aref-e Bozorg-e Islami by my professor the fall I began Persian because -- though the course I was taking with her was about Balkans history and culture -- she is actually by training an Iranicist and had spent a few years in Iran back in the 80s. Hopefully as time progresses I'll continue to improve and one day have fluency in all aspects of Persian -- reading, writing, and speaking, inshaAllah. As it regards other stuff, I studied Latin and Biblical Hebrew at university last year, these were the first languages I'd actually formally studied in an institution. I'd done well in both courses getting an A+ in both and learned quite a bit but it was only to an intermediate level. My goal for both was to have fluent reading knowledge, which I did make quite a bit of headway on. With Hebrew I felt a lot better off since it's so closely related to Arabic a lot of the knowledge transferred. Because the Hebrew program at my university is very underfunded I had to do quite a bit on my own afterwards and continue working. I have some materials to help with parsing and reading as well, when I've saved up some money I'll try to buy a reader's Hebrew Bible. In the summer I'd done things like translate portions of the Old Testament into English and around the beginning of Muharram I had begun to read the Bible in Hebrew taking notes in Hebrew but they're limited as of now. I hope as time improves to immerse myself in the Hebrew idiom and be more fluent. After another year of Biblical Hebrew, I intend on doing Rabbinic Hebrew -- the existing grammar for which presupposes at least one year of Biblical Hebrew so I figure two won't hurt. I'd also done Biblical Aramaic a bit in the summer since it is so similar to Biblical Hebrew that many books just teach it as a weird form of BH, I'll work a bit more on it in the future iA. With Latin I've also continued to work on my own but the friends I had who moved onto do second year Latin -- which I found out is only four people -- I still work with in grammar because I had bought the LLPSI books and a couple of supplementary readers in the summer and begun working through them. These works aim at teaching Latin only through Latin containing no English whatsoever, so you're able to read some easier Latin poets unedited by the end of the first book, and a paraphrase of the most difficult Latin poem by the end of the second book. I work as well out of the Wheelock's Latin textbook to just get that more old school grammar translation practice and because I like his reader. Because my goal has gone on to include wanting to be able to also write Latin I'll be working with some prose composition material next year on top of writing journals in Latin and the other languages I mentioned. This year I've begun studying Ancient Greek at university and so far so good, have a test to prepare for inshaAllah. Having developed the goal of being able to site read Latin and Hebrew I've gone into Greek with that goal and am trying to ensure I can do it from the start. I have supplementary material as well, one reading course on the model of LLPSI called Alexandros to hellenikon paidion, a short novel called Ho kataskopos, some readers of Patristic Greek. I also have the NT and Septuagint in Greek which I'd bought when I got copies of the Vulgate and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia in anticipation. My goal is to read Plato's earlier dialogues in Greek after this course and a bit of practice, and eventually histories which tend to be a bit more complex in their Greek. I've also been working on Syriac since the summer which is moving along well due to experience with Hebrew, Arabic, and Biblical Aramaic. I'm absolutely enamored by Syriac literature so I'm hoping to dig in by the beginning of the new year, though I've already tried my hand at looking at the Peshiitta (the Syriac Bible) as well as some other things. I often speak to a current professor of mine who specializes in Christian Apocrypha and the NT so is quite familiar with Syriac, he even said he'd pick up a copy of a grammar I was hoping to work on for me when he goes to a conference later this month. While I am very much still in the learning phase of some of the above languages I have had considerable experience with them so fall more into the knowing/knowing some rather than not knowing anything at all category. In terms of stuff I've not done at all or have done a very little bit of but want to try my hand at doing more there's a few languages for studies. As academic languages, I'd like to learn French and German. I'd done French in elementary school and the beginning of High School but after a series of horrible teachers I just wanted to be done it. I still remember a bit, but only a bit. German I have next to no experience with whatsoever. A lot of Academic literature tends to be written in them so if you want to be up to date with the newest research you should at the very least have reading knowledge of them. Another less important academic language is Italian, there's fewer works in it but I still find it warranted to perhaps study in the future. I also want to work on Turkish for reading materials written in it, there tends to be fewer works but it still seems worthwhile. It's also a good way to work into Ottoman Turkish, materials in which I want to be able to read -- especially court documents. I've got some textbooks sitting on my shelf for these languages I hope to get to soon. Ancient languages I plan on learning include Ge'ez/Classical Ethiopic, this is actually rather high on the list because I find a lot of value in the literature written in this language. Similarly Coptic, the aforementioned professor working with Christian Apocrypha and I often speak about both these languages as he intends on learning at least Coptic for his research. I already have some materials for both Ge'ez and Coptic but aside from perusing through them sometimes I haven't had the time or opportunity to study them properly. Because so many manuscripts are digitized perhaps after a couple of years I can begin studying and work my way to reading them, inshaAllah. I also want to try my hand at Old Nubian, it's fascinated me since I found out about it last year, I even got a short grammar and two books of documents found at Qasr Ibrim and Attiri but the materials teaching it are very few, the documents found in it also few, and the materials to study it are incredibly expensive with I just having bought the cheaper things on amazon plus what I could download. It is a really cool language with interesting literature though. I also want to try my hand at Ugaritic and Old South Arabian so I could work with epigraphy, an interest of mine since I began to study Hebrew and later Aramaic, their similarity to Arabic and Hebrew makes them not very difficult either. I have some material for these as well. In the past year my interest in Old English has also increased, I got the Complete Old English book and CD this summer which is published by the "Teach Yourself" language series, the materials in it seem very interesting and after some German it shouldn't be very hard from what I gather. I also have a list of pie-in-the-sky languages, stuff I'd like to do but I don't really have any plan for beginning in the foreseeable future but it's on a bucket list if I get time some day. These are Uyghur (both modern and Old Uyghur), Classical Chinese (to look at writings in it), Classical Tibetan, Classical Mongolian, Sanskrit, Ancient Egyptian (which is just earlier forms of Coptic so theoretically learning it might even be easier after Coptic which I do plan on doing in the next few years), Akkadian, Old Armenian, Old Georgian (this is a bit of a fantasy), and Tamasheq. The above seem like a lot, but some of them are necessary to actually keeping up in the fields you're, others don't need to go up to a speaking fluency, and yet others can actually be learned by taking knowledge of closely related languages you know and tweaking it -- like Ge'ez, Ugaritic, and OSA. It is indeed a bit wishful but inshaAllah khayr, I didn't figure myself being interested let alone having studied Latin, Hebrew, or Greek four years ago and I didn't even know what Syriac was in those days.
  9. Salams, I don't know what the other stuff is in reference to and I can't really seriously address it, this was what I was getting at though. Pagan symbols evolved due to the usage of local religious groups is really the point, not that there was an official decree to do this. The crux ansata is an example of this, its origins are in the Egyptian religious symbol the ankh. It was Copts themselves that began to use it as a crucifix rather than this being some ploy by the Church to facilitate conversion. In people's religious practices the Church authorities, whether the Roman Church or even Bishops acting in their own cities and countries, would often be rather powerless in affecting people's religious practice. Case in point is Egyptian Christianity, where you see such symbols being employed popularly not institutionally. Another example is the assumption that the Nag Hammadi codecies were hidden due to orders from the Bishop Athansius. The whole origins and discovery story of these documents is put into question these days, but so is their purpose. Country folk and even city dwellers tended to practice Christianity in their way in spite of people like Athanasius who was even removed several times from power. Refer to Nicola Denzy-Lewis' paper on the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library for further information on this. It might be more helpful to understand local religious expressions changing meaning for local populations and evolving in their purpose and use in response to how people practiced their faith, often in spite of what Church authorities mandated -- indeed this is observed in religious traditions outside Christianity as well. We additionally need to prove that what we're talking about is something falling into one of these instances. Arianism is actually pretty late to the game as far as "heresies" are concerned (I once again put this in quotations because this is a value judgement given from a normative perspective by insiders, I'm not an insider), Arius was operating in the fourth century AD. Varieties of Christianity existed already in the first century shortly after the formation of the Jesus movement with disagreements already in place. Paul again references these in his letters. We also find mention of these in heresiologists, their value can be limited in telling us what people believed but here tells us that proto-orthodoxy and heresy clashes were happening from an early date. But to say "Mani heretics" in reference to Christianity implies they viewed themselves as Christians to be viewed as errant Christians by other Christians, they didn't. This is definitely the case, these different gospels were definitely going to be more popular in some areas over others and that they were written by people thinking different things. But these four gospels all became very popular quite early on, so much so that we find them together in early manuscripts. What exactly are you referring to with Mark's gospel here and could you point me to some sources on this? Thanks. It might be more helpful to reference exactly where in his work you want me to go or quote to me the section. In overstating the problem I mean to say that it makes it seem that there were 10 different texts of Matthew floating around rather than variant readings in manuscripts, the latter is true not the former, you didn't have different versions of Matthew in circulation unless you could point me to something showing this isn't the case. Again you need to demonstrate this was the Church doing it on an institutional level rather than the actions of a scribe copying the work, the explanation generally understood. In any case, I had made a note in my copy of Josephus' works of the research of Alice Whealey -- I believe in her Josephus on Jesus but I very much regret not having written down a reference and more complete notes when I came across this. She compared translations and references to the testimonium and attempted to reconstruct a text based on them and what scholars hypothesize to be alterations to the testimonium. It actually neatly fit into predictions, the alterations would be in the sections saying "if it be lawful to call him a man", "he was the Messiah", and "he appeared to them alive on the third day". The crucifixion fits into the reconstructed text, though. Can I ask where you read that about the reconquista? Sure, and study of word choice is very useful in helping us date documents. It factors in helping us date the different layers of text in the Gospel of Thomas, for example. But in the case of the Gospels what exactly are you referring to?
  10. This is actually a discussion regarding certain people's conception of Imamah as I'm sure you're aware. While personally I don't subscribe to it, not anymore at least, it isn't saying they are independent of God at all, just that they are given the ability by God to be aware of the actions of the muminiin. Obviously as it relates to Santa this is just silly since he just doesn't exist. But it isn't a logical impossibility at least to say God would allow (a wali). The biggest problem with the idolaters was their Awliya were just incorrect as wasaa'il and ended up creating a shirk in obedience. In any case I sense it sort of gets away from the point of the thread.
  11. I suppose one could perhaps see this as shirk, unless the commentator were to say that Allah had given Mar Qilaws these powers. This tends to overstate the power of the church during the process of Christianization. For one, Christianization would often occur due the the acts of individual missionary priests or sometimes through a Christianized monarch. Nevertheless, as an entity the Church really had very little power in that period of late antiquity when Christianization was occurring. Often as much as the decisions to hold festivals would be a top down phenomenon they'd also be very much a bottom up phenomenon with localities very much being in charge of their Christianity often in spite of the actual church hierarchy. Otherwise discussions of the pagan origins of different elements in Christianity tend to be more on the conspiracy zeitgeist side at times than the serious evaluation of a religious tradition side. I was, I don't think anyone in North America is in the dark about Santa, at least not anyone who grew up with Christmas specials. There are some problems with this. First the Manicheans weren't really a Christian heretical group (if we use insider/normative language), that is to say that they weren't a group descending from the Jesus movement rather another late antique religious group that did have influences from some Gnostic elements of Christianity (e.g. I believe Mani actually references the Gospel of Thomas in his own writings). Additionally the Manicheans were seen as rivals to Christians especially in the east where they were prevalent, I suppose a great case would be St. Augustine and his experience as one of them and later his experience arguing against them. Nevertheless, they were very much a group outside Christianity and didn't conceptualize themselves as growing out of Jesus' teachings. The bigger problem in the fourth century were the Arians, and I presume you're talking about the Council of Nicaea. If you are talking about Nicaea then the only thing the council convened to decide was a solution to the problems posited by Arius on an institutional level, whereas before they might have existed but not as something institutionally recognized. Arius stated that the trinity was such that God the Son was not coeternal from God the Father and his substance was not the same. The answer to Arianism was the Nicaean Creed which the council came out with stating that Christ was coequal and cosubstantial God the Father. The Council didn't decide the canon, there were already nearly complete lists of Canon in the third century but it was in the mid fourth century, nearly forty years after the council that Athanasius produces his list of canonical books which is identical to the books in the modern canon. The Gospels, however, were already popular by the end of the first century and while manuscripts present their own problem (and there is a whole epilogue famously added to the end of Mark discussing the resurrection), I think the above is overstating the problem quite a bit. What it meant to be a Christian prior the the victory of "orthodoxy" over "heresy" meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people, the varieties of Christianities were quite diverse if you read primary documents and secondary scholarly works discussing the subject. Indeed it is clear that there were groups for whom the crucifixion never occurred (we're yet to cover these groups and these texts) but I believe it's in the Coptic Apocryphon of Paul in which Jesus says he's on the cross and not on the cross (that is to say he's not on the cross but someone resembling him is on it). There's another Gnostic text which mentions Jesus laughing at whomever is being crucified on the cross suffering while he's hiding in a tree looking at him. Nevertheless, for a great variety of Christian groups it was a fact, and among scholars of Jesus and early Christianity that Jesus was crucified is seen as one of the few facts we know about his life. Even Josephus mentions it. Paul already states in 1Cor15:14 that his message (or his version of Christianity) hinges on the resurrection of Christ (and so naturally his death), first Corinthians being among the epistles which we can have some certainty in attributing to Paul. The crucifixion is even referenced in Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Thomas in an allusion to it, possibly by a resurrected Jesus. I'm just not sure where these statistics about which groups did and didn't believe in the crucifixion are being obtained from. Could you also elaborate your point about the Greek, please and thank you.
  12. Salams, Could you perhaps explain this a bit, please? This is...an interesting thought I suppose. Could you also explain this, please? wassalam
  13. Salams, Here are two good videos discussing Halloween's pagan connections: I heavily recommend the other channel, ReligionforBreakfast, as it's a great channel otherwise as well. The videos are made by a PhD student of religious studies and present very good information about the subject. The problem regardless lies in imitating the infidels (kuffar), something the Shia are forbidden from doing Funny enough it seems I posted on another Halloween topic regarding its pagan origins (with one of the same videos) last year as well. Spooky. wassalam
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