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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 trinity; Muslims continue to parrot his condemnation of Christianity for teaching "more than one God." Muhammad was either unaware or unwilling to accept Catholics' own explanation of what they believed in this regard. (The Bible teaching is that Jesus and His Father are one [goreadthebible.com], though they are in some possibly unknowable sense distinct [goreadthebible.com].)

    and they find that asserting that Jesus died on a cross is rather blasphematory, how could you believe Allah would abandon one of his prophets like this, you infidels ;-)

    The Old Testament is replete with murdered prophets [goreadthebible.com], and it was Jesus' own belief [goreadthebible.com] that He was simply the next in a long succession of them. I was under the impression that Muslims did believe the crucifixion occurred, and possibly the resurrection, but still did not believe Jesus was God and God's Son. I'll have to check again. (Much of the Old Testament is about rejection. Samuel was told by God not to grieve because the Israelites had rejected God, not him. Also, see Psalm 22, written about David, who was a prophet, but also applied to Jesus.)

    You might just as well ask how Jews could expect to not convert to Christianity or Islam, or win back converts to those religions, since they are later and have all the answers. ;) Experience shows that people do move among these three religions in each direction, and not always consecutively.

    Incidentally, there was a noteworthy conversion of a Black Muslim (Nation of Islam; not quite the same religion as Muhammad's Islam) in my area about five years ago. He was converted after a debate with a Christian and went on to become a regular guest speaker in many places. I think I heard him speak once.

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    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • And one thing I left out: the Biblical teaching is that the Gospel was God's final revelation and would not be changed. It was given "once for all [goreadthebible.com]," and condemnation is expressed [goreadthebible.com] against any who would come up with a replacement revelation. Of course, Muslims would say the Bible was corrupted since it was originally written. ;)

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      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • 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 scholar

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    • Muhammad was unable to understand the trinity -- not surprising, as most of the christians he knew where monophysites, who reject the trinity. I don't think that Muhammad ever met a single catholic.

      I was under the impression that Muslims did believe the crucifixion occurred, and possibly the resurrection -- yes, that's true, but Muslims believe that a double of Jesus was actually crucified, while his body was taken on heaven by angels. IIRC.

    • ... one of the cornerstones of traditional Protestantism is that Catholicism was a prophesied departure from true Christianity.

      What is your definition of "traditional Protestantism"? I've been a Protestant all my life (my father is a fourth-generation Methodist minister), and know Protestants of many denominations, and you're the first I've heard talking about this "cornerstone". Is this one of those traditions that go back to the early 1900s, when the fundamentalists got started?