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Answer to the
Answers of Samuel Green 1-6
1) Gospel of Barnabas: Language and History.
No serious student of the gospel of Barnaba will claim that the modified translation of a translation of a translation we have in hand and which is known as the vienna MS is equal in all respects to the gospel of Barnaba of whose existence the decretum of pope Gelasius from the 5. Century amongst others bears witness. The question about to discuss on a scolary level is the one which was stated by the summa cum laude thesis of Prof. Luigi Cirillo in 1975. (Cirillo at present is professor of religious studies at University of Cosenza and a world leading expert on Manicheism and Jewish christianity). His brilliant study on the gospel of Barnaba, unfortunately in french, which contains the whole vienna MS in facsimile, and a french translation even of the arabic comments, was honoured by a detailed introduction of Prof. Henry Corbin, one of the leading orientalists of his time. Prof. Cirillo provided evidence for a jewish christian gospel underlying the vienna text which suffered several metamorphosis during its long history. A history which can be shown to have begun before the advent of Islam.
In basical agreement with Cirillo also the jewish religious scolar Prof. Shlomo Pineés recognizes ancient jewish christian material, like for instance the story from Abrahams childhood which finds ist parallel only in the apocalypse of Abraham, a rare apokryphe from the 1. Century C. E. which was unknown for centuries until rediscovered in churchslavonic translation. The most recent editions of this text is quoting the gospel of barnabas in its apparatus which means that it is not considered a forgery by serious scolars. Other traditions in the G. of B. are not known from any other source like the true phariseés by whom Jesus obviously means the Esseans and whom he compares to the hippocritical phariseés he has to deal with.
Some muslim interpolations like the anouncement of the holy prophet by the name Mahomet and numerous redundant remarks are of a late and ignorant muslim hand, yet there is a underlying which proves by is true or apparant contradictions to Qurán and isslamic tradition that it was written by jewish christians.
a) Green is right! ... But no serious person ever claimed that the title of the vienna MS is genuin. This would be actually surprising because even the titles of many new testament books can not claim for being written by the author.
b) For the true phariseés/ Esseans see our Introduction above.
c) The wrong date fo pilates reign are obvious signs of an late and ignorant redactor who probably put the material into the form nowadays known as gospel of Barnabas.
The gospel of Barnaba and Islam
Sam Green is correct if he says that muslims never claimed Muhammed to be a Messiah. The holy Qur´an mentions only Jesus under this title. But maybe it will be surprising for him to hear that some kind of early jewish christians did exactly this. They called every big prophet in the sequence Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and finally the Prophet from 5 Mose 18,15 a Messiah. because anointing is a sign of royality. In Islam the same illustrous names are known as ahl ul-azam. The jewish christian source in the first book of Clements recognitions (English text see the collection: Ante nicean fathers) according to the leading scolar F. Stanley Jones goes back at least to second century jewish christian apostle acts. The source attributes also another name to the abovementioned Messiahs. It calls them Prophets of truth or true prophet (two possible renderings of the latin text).
We like to draw here attention to the fact that also the title of the Barnabas gospel Vienna speaks of Jesus Christ a new profet. From the Lentulus letter we learn that prophet of truth was used as a name for the Messiah Jesus especially by non Jewish christians and it might well be that this expression sheds a light on the mysterious spirit of truth in St. Johns gospel, even more as in the apocalypse the same John speaks of the spirit of prophetic speech. It seems that prophet of truth, spirit of truth, spirit of prophetic speech, are all different expressions for one and the same spiritual reality which was also called the paraclet or periclyt by early christians who did not identify him with the holy spirit who descended on Jesus during his baptism.
The transitio Mariae (5th cent. C. E. counts them as separate beings):
The question of the phariseé in chap 97 refers to 5 Mose 18,15 and in the spanish version, which is less corrupt on a textual basis, Jesus answers that he is not that Messiah [mentioned in 5 Mose 18.15], thus not denying that he may be another one, as for instance the davidic Messiah of Gen 49 and the Emmanuel of the Jesajabook. Chap 42 does not belong to the nazarean parts of the text but seems to be unskilled rework of Johns gospel chap. 1 .
This example shows an aquaintance with the intricacies of biblical prophecy that can hardly be attributed even to a spanish morisco.
b) No serious person has ever claimed that Islam and the religion of Jesus here called
nazareism were excactly the same. Based on a polygamia principally allowed by the Torah he
commended to his followers to remain with one wife. Monogamia was also recommended by the
holy prophet peace be upon him and is practised by the vast mjority of contemporary
c,d/ shows that the doctrins of G of B and Islam are not identical. Their sometimes striking similarity goes back to the similarities between jewish christianity and Islam well known to scolars at least since 50 years. (c.f. Schoeps: Theologie und Geschichte des Judenchristentums)
Gospel of Barnaba and the 14th century
a) Every text has his history and traces of 14. Century do not show at all that the text in question can not be basically older. The new testament gospels for instance were written in the 1. Century but show traces of later redactors up to the 4. Century. Traces of later redactions have been removed in modern times by textcritical scolars. The fact that our Manuscripts of Barnaba are only 4-500 years old have no significance. Also imporatant early christian texts like for example St. Justins Dialogos has been preserved in a single 14. Century MS.
It is not easy at all to prove dependance of one text like Dantes Divina comedia one another because Dante himself did not follow his phantasy but used sources like the Apocalypse of Peter a jewish christian scripture of the 2. Century still considered canonical by the etiopic church. To a knower of ancient literature 9 it is a familiar fact that already in prechristian times some philosophers were speaking of 7 and others of 9 heavens and planets. The 9 planets represent often the more hidden variant. It is confirmed by astronomy because Pluto is very small and to be considered a planetoid.
b) The jubilee year proves what we know already that the book suffered a redaction by ignorant hand, probably in the 14 century. What makers the gospel of barnabas so valuable for the history of early jewish christianity are not its easy to find defects but the beautiful, unique and doutlessly ancient parts preserved by it.
The gospel of Barnaba and the bible
a) We dealed with the problem already above. I like to add that qumran, amongst others has strenghtened evidence already provided by the gospel of John that Jews in the time of Jesu expected at least 2 or even 3 Messiahs to come before the end of time. Jesus is denying here only to be that Messiah, precisely the one which in John 1,21and 25 is called the prophet by the pharisees.
b) The gospel of barnabs stands not alone in denying the actual death of Jesus on the
cross. Each of the jewish christian seects had his own way to claim that he did not
actiually die on the cross. The kerinthians and most likely also the ebionites which might
be identic with them said that it was Simon of Cyrene who was cruxified instead of Jesus.
Others taugth that Jesus soul left his body during the cruxifictin and returned later into
the body. (Adoptionistic christology). The actual death of Jesus on the cross would have
meant acording to the torah, (5 Mose 21, 23) which was considered the unfailable word of
god, that Jesus would have been a cursed person which is far from him. Therefore no jewish
christian party whatsoever accepted his literal death on the cross because it meant
unresolvable contradictions to the holy book. For the same reason Pauls theories could
sound logical only to haidens. A jew had to refuse them by neccessity.
The gospel of barnaba has nothing to do with the death sea scrolls as the scrolls in general have no link to Jesus or christianity at all, although this is sometimes claimed. Their greatest value lies in the reconstruction of the ancient text of the old testament and of jewish thougt in the last 2 centuries before Christ.
Although the spanish and vienna MS are medioeval, there is evidence through the decree of pope Gelasius and other dokuments that a gospel under this name existed in the first 5 centuries C. E. If we realise the fact that Barnabas and Matthias are one and the same person we have evidence for such a gospel according to Matthias by Clement of Alexandria (about 200 C.E.), who gives a few quotations. Matthia was held in high esteem by earliest alexandrian christians. For instance the famous gospel of Thomas the highlight of the Nag Hammadi library writes in its title to have been transmitted by Matthias ! Our brother M. A. Rahim, - not really expert in early christianity as we have to admit -, when he wrote Jesus prophet of Islam, was not always scientifically correct in his statements. Our only hint that Ireneous might have quoted from the ancient gospel of Barnaba, which can not simply be declared identical to the Vienna MS, is Fra Marino´s preface to the spanish MS. Most of the numerous works of St. Ireneus are lost and the only one remaining, - Adversus haeresiam - has survived only as latin translation, which is not always reliable. Until the complete works of Ireneous reappear the question if Fra Marino is right remains undecidable.
The careful reader of these pages will now have some information making him able to see
by himself that anyone claiming this gospel to be simply a forgery is not yet on the level
where scientific dialog of its merits and faults should begin. Such a dialog could become
fruitful, not only for Christians but also for Islam. As soon as we find partners on the
christian side who are willing to dive into their own complex early history, we will be
able to show that the Gospel of Barnaba in spite of being a block to islamic-christian
dialog, it will be the yeast of a development leading to a peaceful exchange on religion
which was in the mind of Prof. Henry Corbin when he titled the preface of his introduction
to the gospel of Barnaba Harmonia abrahamica.
Some clarifications about the scientific works of Jan Slomp and Christine Schirrmacher.
Being aquainted with the writings of Jan Slomp and Christine Schirrmacher I am still waiting for valid arguments which disprove the claim of an origin of Barnabas gospel prior to Islam. Looking at the logical weakness and circular conclusions of Mr. Slomp, or the incorrect quranic quotations of Mrs. Schirrmacher together with her complete ignorance about the textual history of the biblical quotations she gives as proof against the gospel of B., one gets the impression that neither of the two missionaries would have the capacity to persue a study on a scientific level equal to that of Prof. Cirillo.
It would be unfair to the reader if I would abstain from giving examples for such a seemingly hard judgement.
Jan Slomp and the gold dinar
Jan Slomp a christian Missionary in Pakistan in his 1982 study on the gospel of B. drew attention on a gold-dinar mentioned in chapter 54 of the italian MS Vienna. The gold-dinar is there divided into 60 minuti instead of a usual decimal division. Now Prof. D. Mac Dowell a renowned numismatical expert declared to Slomp, that such coins are known from the westgotic period in spain. That period finished with the conquest of Andalusia by the muslims in 711 C. E. At this point Slomps absurd idea of a muslim jew falsifying a gospel as a revenge to the inquisition should have gladly expired. Was this marrano-author also an archeologist, specialised on the numismatics of a period more than 800 years anterior to him ? Jan Slomp claims such, by saying that the author chose this coins consciously, because they seemed to him right old enough, to use them for his gospel lie. Anyone who has less missionary zeal, to save the superstitions of his church from the corrosive sunrays of truth, will recognise that we have here indeed a missing link, for tracing back this complex and fascinating scripture to its origins. The westgotic kingdom of Andalusia remained for centurys one of the last bastions of arian christianity, a happy island to which the destructive arm of the nicean decree, determined to destroy all heretical scriptures, could not reach. Whoever studies the scarce remnants of its architecture and art will recognize a highly developed christian culture on whose fundaments the muslims later were determined to build the singular and worldwide admired, islamic civilisation of Andalusia.
If we take Slomps discovery of the Golddinar serious, it provides an indication, that the gospel has been translated, - most probably into the standard scolary language latin -, during the west-gotic period, (6th-7th century C. E.) of Andalusia. Strange enough Slomps more recent pamphlets have stopped to make any mention of this coin although it is probably Slomps most valuable contribution to research on the gospel mystery of Barnaba or whosoever wrote it in his name.
Slomps gold-dinar and thus the 6th-7th century is so far the earliest landmark on our way back to the origins of the gospel. Beyond it we can only speculate that a gospel of nazarean doctrin could have well been preserved in north africa and spain, a surounding which was little influenced by the catholic church at that time because its christianity was basically arian and partly even jewish-christian. We know positivly, that a gospel according to Barnaba did exist in primitive christianity, as it is mentioned in the Decretum Gelasianum (478 C. E.), and even earlier lists of christian writings. The internal evidence provided by the fully jewish doctrine and christology of the gospel point strongly to a nazarean origin, which would be also in plain accordance with Barnaba the lordsbrother as the basical author. The nazareans which trace back to the Jerusalem community of James the brother of the Lord, are known to subsist in Syria, Palestine and Cyprus until about 400 C.E. All those countries have been visited by Barnaba and there is evidence for the existence of a gospel of Barnaba in this region either. The marronite Kitab al-Huda from Libanon, (10th century) mentions it, of course as apocryphal. The reported discovery of an aramaic gospel of Barnaba at Uludere near Hakkari in the homeland of later nazarenism (Tuerkye from 25.7. 1986), has of course no power as an argument until it is published, but it could be expected to be found in such a core region of nazarenism.
Autor of the 2 volume opus Der Islam which should be correctly entitled as Her Islam as it shows Islam according to the authors bizzare phantasy.
Christine Schirrmacher, well known amongst german muslims for her bible fundamentalism and unfair attitude in christian-islamic dialog, has dedicated chapter 20 in Vol 2 of her book Der Islam to Barnabas gospel, making alos brief mention of the most important muslim writers on the topic. Essentially she repeats the ideas of christian writers before her, without giving any proof that the gospel could not have ist roots in ancient nazarean christanity. That´s because all of her superficial arguments even if correct, bear witness only to what is well known: That this gospel like any other gospel including the 4 canonical ones has not come to us in its original form and that in the case of the gospel of barnaba there have been several revisers, the last of them obviously an uneducated muslim.
We now like to comment on the 10 arguments presented on page 278f of Der
Islam Vol.2 most of which were put forward already in the Raggs editon of
Christine Schirrmacher: Der Islam Bd2 Lektion 20 ( S278): Das Barnabasevangelium
8. Anhaltspunkte für eine mittelalterliche Abfassungszeit ?
.... Abgesehen von den Anklängen an islamische Dogmen * im Text des Barnabasevangeliums, den mit der Geschichte und Geographie Palästinas unvereinbaren Behauptungen * und dem Fehlen einer verläßlichen Quelle *, die vor dem Beginn des 18. Jahrhunderts von dem Inhalt eines Bamabasevangeliums berichtet, sprechen etliche Anhaltspunkte aus dem Text selbst für ein spätmittelalterliches oder frühneuzeitliches Abfassungsdatum zwischen dem 14. und 16. Jahrhundert. So machen etwa folgende Beispiele eine Datierung in die ersten nachchristlichen Jahrhunderte unwahrscheinlich:
[Alle folgenden Argumente basieren auf L&L Raggs Einleitung zur Editio princeps von 1907] * Das Christentum ist voll von Anklängen an islamische Dogmen .
** und *** entsprechen nicth den Tatsachen.]
1) Die Herausgeber der ersten Edition des Bamabasevangeliums Lonsdale und Laura Ragg wiesen bereits auf auffällige Parallelen zwischen dem Bamabasevangelium und den Werken des größten italienischen Dichters Dante (Alighieri) (1265-1321), wie etwa La divina commedia hin, und zwar insbesondere hinsichtlich Dantes Darstellungen von Himmel, Hölle und Paradies. So stimmt etwa die Zahl von neun, bzw. einschließlich des Paradieses von zehn Himmeln aus dem Bamabasevangelium (s. o.) ebenso wie die Unterteilung der Hölle in sieben Zentren mit Dantes Schilderung der zehn Himmel überein. Was die unmittelbare Beziehung beider Texte zueinander betrifft, so hat Lonsdale Ragg die Vermutung geäußert, daß das Bamabasevangelium und Dantes Göttliche Komödie zwar unabhängig voneinander, aber hinsichtlich ihres Umfeldes in enger Beziehung zueinander entstanden sind. Die wahrscheinlichste Abfassungszeit des Bamabasevangeliums liegt für Lonsdale Ragg zwischen 1300 und 1350. Nachfolgende Untersuchungen haben diesen Zeitraum bis etwa zum 16. Jahrhundert erweitert.
2) Nach der Beschreibung des Bamabasevangeliums wird das Jubeljahr im Abstand von 100 Jahren gefeiert, während das Alte Testament einen 50jährigen Zeitraum nennt. Im Jahr 1300 n. Chr. wie das Bamabasevangelium betont die Bedeutung der Almosen, des setzte Papst Bonifatius VIII die Jubeljahrfeier auf einen lOOjährigen Turnus fest. Aber schon im Jahr 1343 verkürzte Clemens VI die Zeit auf 50 Jahre und kündigte das nächste Jubeljahr für das Jahr 1350. an. So war die Frist für die Feier des Jubeljahres nur zwischen 1300 und 1343 auf einen lOOjährigen Abstand festgelegt, wie das Bamabasevangelium beschreibt. Urban VI verkürzte 1389 die Frist auf einen 33jährigen und Paul II im Jahr 1470 auf einen 25jährigen Abstand, der bis zur Gegenwart beibehalten wurde.
3) Das Bamabasevangelium tritt für Verhaltensweisen ein, die stark an die mittelalterliche Mönchsaskese erinnern. So wird an etlichen Stellen Lachen als Sünde verurteilt, Weinen gilt jedoch als Zeichen geistlichen Lebens.
4) Das Barnabasevangelium zitiert Bibelverse nach der lateinischen Vulgataübersetzung, die erst Ende des vierten Jahrhunderts entstand und zur offiziellen katholischen Bibel wurde.
5) Das Bamabasevangelium berichtet, Jesus und seine Jünger hätten die 40 Tage gehalten. Die vierzigtägige Fastenzeit vor Ostern wurde jedoch erst im vierten Jahrhundert n. Chr. eingeführt und sollte an das Leiden und Sterben Jesu erinnern, was vor seinem Tod unmöglich war.
6) Das Bamabasevangelium erwähnt eine Goldmünze, den Dinar zu 60 minuti. Diese Münze wurde nur kurze Zeit im Mittelalter in Spanien verwendet; ein Argument, das die These von der Entstehung des Bamabasevangeliums in Spanien zu stützen schien.
7) Im Bamabasevangelium werden Holzfässer zur Weinaufbewahrung erwähnt, im Nahen Osten waren jedoch Lederschläuche üblich.
8) Im Gegensatz zum Koran beschreibt das Bamabasevangelium, daß Maria ihr Kind ohne Schmerzen zur Welt bringt; eine Lehre, die erst in der Kirche des Mittelalters aufkam.
9) Das Barnabasevangelium betont die Bedeutung der Almosen, des Fastens, der Wallfahrt und des fünfmaligen Gebetes, das auch Jesus ausführt, womit der Text auf einen Zeitraum nach der Entstehung des Islam hinweist.
10) Im Bamabasevangelium wird die verbotene Frucht im Paradies, die das Alte Testament nicht näher bestimmt, als Apfel bezeichnet; ebenfalls eine Entwicklung der späteren Kirchengeschichte.
Ragg. Gospel. Introduction, S. Xlii
Ragg. Gospel. CXXXV/310ff
So Asin. Islam.S.88
Ragg. Dante and 'The Gospel ofBamabas'.
Ragg. Dante and 'The Gospel of Bamabas. S. 164
Ragg. Gospel. LXXXII/190 Aufgrund dieser Festlegungen der Jubeljahrfeiem vermutete man als Abfassungszeit des Bamabasevangeliums vorzugsweise das 14. Jahrhundert.
Ragg. Gospel. CII/234
Ragg. Gospel. CII/236
Ragg. Gospel. XCII/212
Ragg. Gospel. LIV/128 81
Ragg. Gospel. XLII/354
Ragg. Gospel. III/8 83
Ragg. Gospel. LXXXIX/206
Ragg. Gospel. XXXIX/90
1) Schirrmacher, quoting the Raggs, refers to similarities between Gospel of Barnaba and Dantes ideas about heavens and hells. For her this is a proof that the autor of barnaba has copied from Dante and thus the whole of the text must be of late origin.
She may nnot know that Dante experts have long ago pointed to the origins of those ideas in the apocalypse of Peter from the 2. Century C.E. which was held canonical by the early church.
2 The Jubeljahr of 100 years instead of the 50 year cycle in the old testament could be easily a mistake of the italien translator who living in catholic italy was aquainted to 100 years.
3 The ascetisism of our gospel finds ist parallels not in medioeval monasticism but in the strict observance of early christians which has ist root in the ascetisism of the Esseans or as they are called in baranabas gospel the true phariseans.
4 Our not very accurate italian translation of an older gospel quotes according to the vulgate of Jerome (ca. 400 C.E.). That´s a feature it shares with lots of early christian literature, because the copists were not simply copying but correcting their text according to the bibleversion they knew. Textual science calls this phenomen Vulgatisation.
5 Fasting for 40 days. This argument shows how little Schirrmacher or the Raggs knew about Judaism, a knowledge that is essential for evaluating a jewish christian gospel. As a matter of fact, not only christians have kept a 40 day fast but also the jews as a remembrance of Moses 40 days on the mountain of Sinai.
Muslims instead are fasting only 29-30 days during ramadan.
6 Repeats Slomps discovery of the gold Dinar, although incomplete, because the coin is not medioeval as Schirrmacher writes but belongs to the westgotic Kingdom of Andalusia which was taken over by muslims in 711 C. E.
7 I would like to ask, if there is any archaelogic proof that palestine was not using wooden vessels for wine at least if it was for big quantities.
8 Mary delivers her child without pains. This is a very hollow argument, as we don´t have any idea about how many versions of the birth of the blessed Mary have been in course in early christendom. Maybe the versions were as numerous as the early christian sects. Anyway islamic traditions doesn´t know that she delievered without pains, although it would not be surprising as we are talking about the birth of isa a.s one of the most honoured men in all times.
9 The gospel of Barnaba stresses the importance of regular prayers, fasting, pilgrimage and almsgiving just as it was stressed by judaism and likewise by early christians. Tertullian, (around 200 C. E.),wrote treatises about fasting, almsgiving and prayer, recommending 3 regular daily prayers at the 3d, 6th, and 9th hour of the day. Early christians prayed with prostration towards Jerusalem, a practise that was upheld by earliest Islam until revelation commanded to change the direction towards Mecca and to pray 5 times daily insted of 3.
10 Finally about the forbidden fruit which in the vienna MS of the gospel of B. Is discribed as an apple, one should ad that there are various traditional interpretations some mentioning wheat , others mentioning pomegranate
(Granatapfel), which was often confused with the ordinary apple. As in all the other cases such scribal errors are no argument for kor against antiquity of a text.
For instance ancient manuscripts of the biblical gospels contain lots of such errors and no one would claim that they cannot go back to ancient Autograph.
If such argumentation has any value, it is to show, that such kind of people are unwilling to engage themselfes in honest research on the subject. They repeat uncritically the superficial arguments of almost 100 years ago. And try to avoid the fascinating questions raised by the existence of such a complex text, which for sure is not simply a gospel of islam as it is not simply a fraud. It rather is a carpet made of patches some of which are very old and unparalled in other early christian literature. As our basis of information concerning earliest christianity is very poor one should welcome a text like the gospel of barnaba as unique and valuable document for research on early jewish-christianity as it was done for instance by the catholic Prof. Luigi Cirillo, (specialist on Manicheism and jewish christianity), by the jewish religious scolar Prof. Shlomo Pinés and by the famous Sorbonne orientalist Prof. Henry Corbin.
C. Schirrmacher: Comparing Islam and Paulinism
(instead of Islam and the Gospel)
The preceding chapter 19, a summary of her comparison of the two big religions sheds light on the scientific methods of Christine Schirrmacher.
Schirrmacher tries to show by 16 points of disagreement that the god of christianity is not the god of Islam. (sic).
That the fictive trinitarian god of later christianity, which was not even invented by Paul himself but through a foul compromise between rivaling christian sects during the 3. Century, is not the one and only creator of a 15 billion lightyear universe, is wellknown to any muslim reading the holy Qur´an. Not one of the 16 points of Schirrmacher tells us anything about a different concept of god in the teaching of Jesus the Christ and Mohammed, peace be upon both of them. Instead she is comparing Islam and paulinic theology. From 16 points 7 are based on quotations from Paul, Pauls disciple Luke, and a paulinic interpolation in 1 Peter. For 4 points (13-16) which may have been taken from some sort of catechism she provides no quotation at all. Everyone knows that Pauls doctrin and Islam have little in common, but it would be interesting to compare non-pauline christian concepts of which existed at least 3 within early orthodoxy: the nazarean, the johannean and the petrinic school the later of which is represented by St. Peters teachings as they are conserved in St. Clements Recognitions. There remain 5 points, based on Quotations of gospels.
In point 1 she has misunderstood Islam, by beliving that Allah is only transcendent without connection to the world. In reality there is the concept of transcendance as well as of immanence (arab. tanzih and tasbih). On the christian side of the colume there is hardly anything which could not be confirmed by a muslim and therefore a disagreement in this point has not been demonstrated at all.
Point 6 Schirrmacher gives a statement on trinity, quoting John 1.1. My bible failed to show me anything the like of what she is refering. As a matter of fact the oldest texts of the famous john-prologue do not support the idea that it is refering to Jesus at all. It is rather a christianised quotation from a jewish comment about creation, which is talking about the Chokmah/Sophia which in christian circles was known as the word or the spirit of god. (Gen 1 shows this - in semitic language female - spirit hovering upon the water). According to early christologies this ruach descended on Jesus, (Took flesh), on account of his baptism. Also in the holy Qur´an we find Jesus a.s. called word and spirit of god, yet without claiming any sort of trinity.
In point 7 she is poving trinity from the baptism formula in Matthew 28, 19. Apart from the doubts expressed by christian scolars if this verse was part of the genuin greek Matthew, it does not prove any trinity. Rather this formula of baptism meant an oat calling upon the father, the son and the spirit as 3 witnesses for the persons entering into the religion of Jesus a.s. In this form it was used also by arians and other christians who were not of the trinitarian party.
Point 8 is dedicated at John 14.6 where Jesus anounces the paraclete, anachronistically interpreted by Schirrmacher as the holy ghost. Christian scolars are wonder since almost one century what this crux interpretorum really means. We should add, that the form periclytos (= arab. Achmad = the most praised one) claimed by muslim scolars since centuries is confirmed by aramic gospels going back to the seconed century.
Point 10 now she quotes the concept of John of Damaskus (8.century) that Muhammed is a false prophet. We would only like to ask if there was any real one then. Even the vatican has abandoned this rediculous dogma of medioeval crusaders ignoring 14 centuries of Islam each confirming the reality, stability and excellence of the holy prophets message. If the false prophet and his pious followers would not have protected europe from the mongol invaders, to give only one instance, God knows if there would be any christian fundamentalists left to defend the nicean doctrin against its unavoidable death.
Finally in point 11 we are confronted with Apocalypse verse 22,18 cursing anyone who would dare to change that scripture. Unfortunately the textual evidence shows that early trinitarian corruptors of the new Testament did not even hesitate in the face of such heavy warnings. Who ever wants to know about the changes in dogmatically important passages of the new testament should look for a copy of Prof. Bart Ehrmans The orthodox corruption of scripture(Oxford 1993) This excellent book, -appraised by leading publications like Journal of theological studies, Journal of early christian studies and Theology Today - , provides sufficient answer to Schirrmachers 20th chapter of Der Islam entitled: The muslim dogma of the corruption of the bibel.
If this is a dogma, it is obiously a very true one.
In light of evidence for textual manipulations provided by the oldest extant manuscripts of the scripture, the whining claim of Christine Schirrmacher that the Bible is corrected by nothing and remains in eternity the word of god is somehow moving our heart. Indeed she seems so happy with her earth to be flat that we almost feel ashamed to tell her: Sorry girl, but in Truth it is a ball.
For grown up christians who are willing to face their historical reality we invite them to a real discussion about religious concepts based on the earliest christian and old testament sources, instead of post nicean church doctrins which hardly any contemporary christian scholar can take for serious. (At least if you ask them privately, as some of them are paid by a church!). Please make suggestions about the items to be discussed. As we are sincerly interested in the religion of Jesus the Messiah, but not in the opinion of later church officials, the latest date in history should be the council of Nicea (323 C.E.). (Please send your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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