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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Muhammad's knowledge of Christianity is quite in question. For one thing, the Qur'an incoporates apocryphal stories of Jesus from noncanonical sources that were circulating in his day. If his knowledge came from these sources, it was quite suspect. Also, the only representation of Christianity in his day was Catholicism, and one of the cornerstones of traditional Protestantism is that Catholicism was a prophesied departure [goreadthebible.com] from true Christianity.

    In particular, Muhammad was unable to understand the trin

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    • Muhammad's knowledge of Christianity is quite in question. For one thing, the Qur'an incoporates apocryphal stories of Jesus from noncanonical sources that were circulating in his day.

      It should be noted that a lot of these apocryphal sources are as ancient as anything in Orthodox Christianity. (I use "Orthodoxy" in the sense of post-Nicaean not necessarily e.g Greek Orthodox.) Christians often forget that the shape of their canon owes as much to political factors as spiritual ones. In fact some scholars (Haim Maccoby is one I've read) make a convincing argument IMO that the "Jerusalem Church" (known to the Church Fathers as Ebionites and possibly still around in Muhammeds time) were truer followers of Jesus than the Paulists.

      If his knowledge came from these sources, it was quite suspect. Also, the only representation of Christianity in his day was Catholicism,

      Not necessarily true. Many earlier Christian movements and "heresies" survived in the middle East long after they were stamped out in the Roman/Byzantine lands. You know those Chaldean Christians of Iraq who have been in the news recently? Many of them are Nestorians (After Nestorius of Antioch who was condemned in Church Councils for holding the divine and human nature of Christ were seperate.) Some, the Monophysites, held that Jesus ws wholly Man and not God at all. It seems quite probable that Muhammed got his views from them.

      The ones who became Catholic for the most part only did so in the 13th century and later under European influence. The same goes for the native Christians of India who only had more than sporadic contact with the Catholic church in Colonial times. Most were Nestorian. If todays mainstream Christianity is the dominant form, it is mainly thanks to Muhammed and Islam!

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