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Messages - Idris

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61
GENERAL TOPICS | BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS / Re: Isaiah 9
« on: December 02, 2016, 08:14:04 PM »
As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,
 
correct, Isaiah 9:5-7 refers to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), since I’am engaged in this issue, I can confirm it to you with 100 % certainty ! There are many evidences also which shows very clearly that the child described in Isaiah 9 is actually the Servant of God mentioned later in Isaiah 42 and which is none other than Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) ! It is sad that some Muslim scholars and apologists takes the Jewish side and interprets Isaiah 9 as a reference to Hezekiah, not becasue this is a resonable explication, but it is a good argument to disprove that is a prophecy about Jesus (pbuh).

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

62
As-Salamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh dear brothers,

one point from me: according to authentic hadith (I don't remember if it is Bukhari or Muslim ), before Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) left this world, Gabriel (pbuh) came to him with an offer that if he wish he can live until the last hour and then will die by natural death.
No prophet was given such a special offer!
So, based on this, whether he was poisoned or not, it is clear that he had the ability to live much longer than any human could !
In other words, the poison was not considered as a problem, and Allah knows best.

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

63

Such interpretation is reinforced by discovering an inscription which was engraved in one of the corners of the foundation of the Kaaba during its renovation in 605 A.D. by the people of Quraysh. The mysterious writing was composed in Syriac as relates Ibn Ishaq, and they could not understand it until some Jew read it for them. The text goes as follows: “I am Allah, the Lord of Bakka, I created it on the day that I created heaven and earth and formed the sun and moon, and I surrounded it with seven pious angels. It will stand while its two mountains stand, a blessing to its people with milk and water.” [Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, trans. A. Guillaume, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004), pp. 85-86.]

Ibn Ishaq immediately after citing this amazing inscription have said: “I was told that they found in the maqam a writing: ‘Mecca is God’s holy house…”

As salamu 'alaikum

Subhan Allah!!! I did not know dat. All praises be to Allah, and thank u also bro Idris - this info really made my day!

Wa aleikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh dear brother Mohammad Shoumik Saad
Glad to hear it, all praise to Allah!

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Btw, Is there any reliable and authentic hadith of  (peace be upon him) regarding any bit of this?

I can’t tell, I guess we have to ask some of our Hadith scholars.

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Is there still a chance of survival of the writings on one of the corners of the Kaa'ba's foundation and in the maqam surviving to this day?!! What if, by the incomprehensibly infinite power and wisdom of Allah Almighty, these writings were somehow not eroded and / or otherwise damaged? What if the erosion and / or damage was somehow minimal enough to allow these writings to still be deciphered with significant linguistic accuracy? What if the writings on one of the corners of the Kaa'ba's foundation are covered by the "kiswa" (black cloth), and nobody notices - not even during replacing the "kiswa" annually - bcuz most likely don't know syriac and / or other semitic language (except arabic) alphabets and / or can't recognise the particular script of these writings? Jews and christians aren't allowed entry to Makkah, so they wouldn't be able to translate and or even read these writings, even if they were somehow and somewhat decipherable.

Perhaps there is a chance that this inscription survived in Kaaba, but we do not know. Yes, it is possible that these writings are covered by “kiswa” and that nobody has noticed. Even if Jews or Christians cannot enter Makkah, we can decipher it without their help, we have a various technic methods, I’m sure that there is at least one Muslim scholar who is specializing in Syriac inscriptions.

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Shouldn't we launch a full scale archaeological investigation of every nook and cranny of the Kaa'bah and maqam, even if only to look for clues which could possibly indicate whether or not these writings were present at some point in history?

Why not, it is a pretty good idea, but we must to contact some of Muslim scholars living in Makkah who can help us in this particular investigation.

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Ma sha' Allah, bro Idris u really seem to know things - and your knowledge seems to be extremely valuable and extremely appreciated on this blog - so in connection to your above research could u please spare some time to look at this: Qur'anic etymologies and etymological connections (http://www.answering-christianity.com/blog/index.php/topic,2369.0.html). It's about the arabic etymology and arabic meaning of the name "Ibraaheem".

Thank you brother, but I’m not a scholar, all we are learning. As to the subject about Qur'anic etymologies and etymological connections of the name Ibrahim I will see what I can do, but I do not promise, since I have some important projects to finish.

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

64
As'salamu Alaikum dear brothers Idris and Tahmeed,

I have backed up all of your images on this website, and changed their locations in each one of your posts to point to this website.  So, insha'Allah, they'll always be up and displaying when the reader reads your posts in this thread.

Jazakum Allah Khayr, dear brothers.

Take care,
Osama Abdallah

Wa aleikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

Jazaka allahu khayran dear brother Osama, may Allah bless you, and thank you for taking care of my posts  :)
Thank's also to brother Tahmeed who was a nice companion in our research. Is he still present on this forum ?
Anyway, I have this post in mind, don’t worry, I will continue this topic insha’Allah, there is a lot of new info to add here which supports the view that the prophetic name Ahmad was mentioned somewhere in Isaiah 42:9-10. Alhamdulillah! That would mean that Ahmad was mentioned at least twice in Isaiah 42, and even in other chapters ! We have dozen of narrations from Jews that they were waiting for a prophet with such a name, of course they knew him as Mohammed as well, and perhaps by other names, but it seems that the most common one among them was Ahmad.

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

65
GENERAL TOPICS | BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS / Re: Do they found Dajjal's Island ?
« on: November 01, 2016, 08:12:15 AM »
Wa Alaikum As'salam dear brother,

Very interesting.  The dajjal will come from the east and go to Kufa (in Iraq).  The Shias are definitely plagued with dajjals leading them.  Their whole religion is very ridiculous.  The way they beat themselves with swords and knives and chains, and the way they glorify creations made from dust all give clear indications that they are corrupt, and they are ripe for a dajjal to come from them:

www.answering-christianity.com/ac11.htm#links

Also visit this link:

www.harunyahya.com/en/Articles/4326/the-messiah-dajjal-has-secretly

Take care,
Osama Abdallah

As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

Thank you dear brother Osama for providing me the links. I will check them insha'Allah.

Take care, and salam,
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

66
As-Salamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

Good points brother Osama, also the Book of Jubilees is another one of the best historical proofs that the Bible was corrupted! In chapter 1, verse 12 we read:

"And I will send witnesses unto them, that I may witness against them, but they will not hear, and will slay the witnesses also, and they will persecute those who seek the law, and they will abrogate and change everything so as to work evil before My eyes."

As also Dr. Kennicott after making an extensive historical research concluded that "In most ancient times, the Hebrew text was corrupt" (see the big image in my previous post here)

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

67
GENERAL TOPICS | BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS / Do they found Dajjal's Island ?
« on: October 26, 2016, 04:39:50 PM »
As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

An interesting video in Arabic talking about Dajjal. There is an image in this video (turn from 1:20 min) which shows some Island. Is this a real Dajjal Island ? What do you think ?

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sCzOOYvEbs

68
As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

In regards to the forgeries of DSS, here we have a very interesting fresh news under the title “Newly Dead Sea Scrolls are Skillfully Crafted Fakes, Experts Suspect” by Nina Burleigh
On 10/18/2016 at 3:24 PM

While most Americans are riveted by a tumultuous presidential campaign, archaeologists and experts in ancient writing have been focused on some newly discovered bits of ancient history: 70 alleged fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The fragments reference some of the verses found in the Old Testament, and antiquities dealers and owners claim they were created by a desert-dwelling, ascetic Jewish sect called the Essenes in the centuries just before the birth of Christ.
Like all archaeology in and around the conflicted, contested Holy Land, the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls is intensely political. Bedouins stumbled upon a trove of them in 1947, in a cave in a desert cliff high above the baked, sere shores of the Dead Sea, in what was then Jordan. A scholar at Hebrew University began looking at them later that year—in the same month that the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, effectively acknowledging the new state of Israel.
Eventually, many of the scroll fragments were collected into one public display in a Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The shrine is underground and capped by a massive cement cone that can be ratcheted down to protect them in the event of any attack or bombardment.
The origin of the newest Dead Sea Scroll fragments, some of which are being sold in batches for tens of millions of dollars, is unclear. Many emerged from a private collection of the descendants of an Arab collector in Bethlehem who acquired and sold the first set of scrolls. But even the private collectors in Europe and the United States who have bought them are uncertain of their provenance.
American Steve Green, the evangelical Christian heir to the Hobby Lobby craft chain fortune and the force behind the Museum of the Bible, an endeavor Newsweek covered earlier this year, has spent millions on the new finds. One fragment sold to the Southwestern  Baptist Theological Seminary conveniently refers to the biblical prohibition against homosexuality in the Book of Leviticus.
The problem is, experts suspect many of these sensational and pricy new fragments are expertly crafted fakes. For example, the fragment references passages in Leviticus 18 and 20 that contain the two strongest condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible. Such a strong coincidence is a flag of fakery.

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“It is extremely unlikely that a small Dead Sea Scroll fragment would preserve text from both chapters” of Leviticus, says religion scholar Arstein Justnes, at University of Agder in Norway, who called the new fragments “amateurish” imitations that seem to have been copied from modern textbooks about the scrolls. “I think this fragment was produced for American evangelicals.”
Justnes is creating an international multidisciplinary research project called the Lying Pen of Scribes to bring together scientists and scholars to systematically analyze the flood of new fragments for authenticity. “There is a real danger that an increasing number of forgeries is accepted into the datasets on which we base our knowledge of the ancient world,” Justnes says. “There is an urgent need for the development of strategies and methods with which to counter this threat.”
In recent years, scholars have exposed many high-profile fakes in Biblical archaeology, including pieces in the Israel Museum, the James Ossuary (touted as the first archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ and covered in a book I wrote) and recently, the “Jesus wife” fragment, which an investigation traced to a Florida-dwelling German émigré.
While the newfound  fragments contain references to the Old Testament’s books of Leviticus and Nehemiah, none so far refer to a possibly pertinent passage in Job, specifically 13:4 which states: “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.”

Link: http://europe.newsweek.com/dead-sea-scroll-fragments-fake-experts-suspect-511224?rm=eu

Another article by Eibert Tigchelaar who suggests that a number of new DSS fragments are likely modern forgeries: http://www.livescience.com/56429-are-new-dead-sea-scrolls-forgeries.html

DSS experiencing a crisis in relation to their credibility !

Take care, and Salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

69
As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

here is an article which supports my view about the forged origins of DSS. While reading it I must to admit that Shapira’s case is a pretty cute example of faking documents to make them appear as an authentic. It’s all about money of course (and how otherwise!). Read it carefully and pay attention especially to the text which I stressed by thick font.

"The Lying Pen of the Scribes”: A Nineteenth-Century Dead Sea Scroll
  by Michael Press – Published September 11, 2014


Moses Shapira claimed to have recovered a rough draft of the Bible—but what did the experts think?

The original version of Deuteronomy.

That’s how the newly-discovered text was billed in August 1883. Several fragments of a 2,800-year-old scroll had made their way into the hands of Moses Shapira, an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem. According to Shapira, a group of Arabs had hidden themselves, in the time when the Wali of Damascus was fighting the Arabs, in caves hewn high up in a rock about an hour east of Aroar, near the Modjib. They found there several bundles of old black linen. They peeled away the linen, and, behold, instead of gold, which they expected to find, there were only some black inscribed strips of leather (called Nekesh, which means some signs or scratches), which they threw away (or I believe he said threw into the fire, but I am not certain); but one of them picked them up and kept them in great honour as charms, and he became a rich man, worth three hundred sheep.

Now Shapira offered the scroll to the British Museum provided they pay one million British pounds. It was an enormous sum at the time—but a small price to pay if the text was authentic.

To find out, the British Museum enlisted the services of an expert Hebraist, Christian David Ginsburg. But in Shapira’s eyes these tests of authenticity were mere formalities: he seemed convinced of its antiquity. In the meantime, the Museum put two of the fragments on display. Soon crowds were thronging to see it, including Prime Minister Gladstone himself. The original Deuteronomy was a sensation.

Another face in the crowd was Charles Clermont-Ganneau: archaeologist, biblical scholar, explorer of Palestine. He had been on Shapira’s trail for over a decade. Ten years earlier, Shapira had sold a set of roughly 1700 figurines and pottery vessels to the Old Museum in Berlin as remains of the ancient Moabite civilization. Clermont-Ganneau played a crucial role in revealing the “Moabitica” to be forgeries, their script copying the recently discovered Mesha Stele, aka the Moabite Stone, which Clermont-Ganneau himself had been instrumental in publicizing and preserving. (Whether Shapira had any role in the fiasco beyond selling the artifacts was, and remains, unclear.) Now Clermont-Ganneau was closely scrutinizing Shapira’s newest discovery. Not surprisingly, Shapira refused him access to the scroll. Ginsburg let him briefly inspect a couple of the strips, but for the most part Clermont-Ganneau was forced to catch glimpses through the crowds like any other member of the public. Despite these difficulties, Clermont-Ganneau rapidly reached his conclusion: the manuscript was a forgery.

What’s more, he implicated Shapira himself in the forgery. Clermont-Ganneau noted that Shapira had previously sold the British Museum a series of medieval Torah scrolls he had acquired in Yemen. According to Clermont-Ganneau, Shapira had formed the Deuteronomy strips by simply cutting the bottom margins of some medieval scrolls, then applying chemicals to the surface to give them the appearance of antiquity.

The public rejections of the scholarly community followed en masse. Adolphe Neubauer, rabbinic Hebrew scholar at Oxford, and Archibald Sayce, eminent Assyriologist and tutor at Oxford, had already had letters published in The Academy proclaiming the manuscript a forgery. Claude Conder, co-director of the Survey of Western Palestine, also published a letter in the Times denouncing the fraud. Then came the verdict for which everyone had been waiting: Ginsburg wrapped up his three-week analysis and declared the manuscript a forgery. Ginsburg, who was perhaps deliberately drawing out the process in order to build suspense and interest. Ginsburg, who in the past had approved of Shapira’s sale of medieval Hebrew manuscripts to the Museum.” On top of all of this, it soon came out that, before he arrived in London, Shapira had brought his strips to Germany, offering them for sale to the Royal Library in Berlin but meeting rejection from a series of distinguished scholars.

More than simply rejection, this was a public humiliation. Apparently it was too much for Shapira. He continued to argue for the genuineness of the manuscript, or at any rate for his innocence—even suggesting that if forged it must have been the work Clermont-Ganneau himself, in an effort to frame him. But Shapira quickly fled England for Amsterdam, then Rotterdam where he checked into a hotel, and, on March 9, 1884, shot himself.

As for the manuscript itself: Shapira had left it with the British Museum when he fled England in haste. It was bought by the bookseller Bernard Quaritch in a Sotheby’s auction in 1885. Quaritch himself offered them for sale two years later, for a sum of £25. The manuscript that had once been valued at a million. It was subsequently lost: Alan Crown’s research suggests that it was likely acquired by Sir Charles Nicholson, an important figure in the founding of the University of Sydney, and likely burnt in a fire in Nicholson’s study in England in 1899.

And so ended the story of the ill-fated Shapira Deuteronomy.

There’s a good reason why the story of Shapira’s scrolls might sound familiar, despite its obscurity. The tale of their discovery is remarkably similar to that of a far more famous find related to the Bible. Six decades later, in the winter of 1946-47, an Arab shepherd named Muhammed edh-Dhib followed a stray goat into a cave at Qumran, near the Dead Sea. There he and two friends discovered seven fragile scrolls of animal hide, wrapped in linen and stuffed into an ancient jar. These were the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls: a series of texts including the oldest manuscripts of most of the books that would eventually make up the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, as well as many other lost writings. It was a discovery that would capture the world’s attention, ignite considerable controversy, and revolutionize our knowledge of ancient Judaism and Christian origins.

Looking back today, the similarities between the two narratives of biblical finds at the Dead Sea must give us pause. Many of the original objections to the Shapira scrolls now seem obsolete, even humorous. For instance, several eminent scholars were convinced that no sheepskins could survive for thousands of years in Palestine. Archibald Sayce dismissed the find in this way:

It is really demanding too much of Western credulity to ask us to believe that in a damp climate like that of Palestine any sheepskins could have lasted for nearly 3,000 years, either above ground or under ground, even though they may have been abundantly salted with asphalt from the Vale of Siddim itself.

Meanwhile, in the publication of his results in the Times, Ginsburg listed a series of criteria by which he could conclude that the strips were forged: external criteria (relating to the format of the strips themselves, and echoing Clermont-Ganneau’s arguments), and internal criteria (relating to the script, the language, and the text). These include the short height of the strips (only 8-9 cm), the vertical lines serving as margins for each columns (but with text extending beyond them), the use of dots as word dividers.

Yet these feature, as identified by Ginsburg and others, are matched on at least some of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls. While Shapira’s manuscript may not work as a ninth or eighth or seventh-century text, in several respects it does resemble texts from the last two centuries BCE. By that time, the old Hebrew script of the Iron Age—what Shapira’s manuscript is written in—had been replaced in most writing by the square Jewish script adapted from Aramaic writing. However, there was a revival of the old script, referred to as paleo-Hebrew, in some special cases. These include coins of the second century B.C.E. through the second century CE—and a few of the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially books of the Pentateuch (like Deuteronomy), presumably because they were seen as most ancient. This would also account for some of the late (post-biblical) forms and vocabulary identified by Neubauer and the German biblicist Hermann Guthe.

Not only that, but as has been widely observed, the discoveries of the 1940s and 1950s were not the first time that scrolls were found in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. In the last few decades, scholars have traced a long history of reports of scroll discoveries in the region. As early as the third century C.E., the church father Origen described manuscripts found in his time in a jar (or jars) near Jericho; the report was repeated by Eusebius, Athanasius, and Epiphanius in the following centuries. Around 800 C.E., Timotheus, bishop of the Eastern Orthodox church in Baghdad, wrote about a similar discovery of non-canonical scrolls; the story he told is again eerily similar, of an Arab hunter who followed his dog into a cave. Meanwhile, in the tenth century, Yaʽqūb al-Qirqisānī, a Karaite scholar (Karaism being a breakaway Jewish movement, originating in the Middle Ages, which did not recognize the authority of the Talmud), discussed an ancient group of people known as al-Maghāriyah (the “cave people”) because they left books in caves.

In light of these sorts of considerations, several scholars lobbied for the case of Shapira’s Deuteronomy to be reopened. These included Menahem Mansoor, professor of Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin; and the eccentric Dead Sea Scrolls publication team member John Marco Allegro, perhaps best known for his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. In fact, the parallels occurred to more than simply those who wanted to reevaluate the Shapira case. The most prominent critic of the Dead Sea Scrolls’ authenticity upon their initial discovery, Solomon Zeitlin of Dropsie College, dismissed them as either medieval texts or modern forgeries—arguing in part because of their similarity to the Shapira strips!

So should we reconsider the authenticity of Shapira’s nineteenth-century Dead Sea scroll?

In my opinion, we must still conclude that Shapira’s scroll was a forgery. Beyond any external or internal criteria, consider this simple fact: we are dealing with a manuscript that can only be traced back to an antiquities dealer, whose story about their discovery has never been verified—a dealer, moreover, who had previously been involved in the sale of forged artifacts. Especially since the strips themselves are lost, we must adopt the position that they are a fraud as our default. Beyond this, of course, some of the objections raised by Ginsburg and others are most certainly legitimate: certain lexical items, forms, and spellings are bizarre in any period. There are also various aspects of Ginsburg’s facsimile, such as the form of the letters themselves: they are typical of monumental inscriptions in stone, not of paleo-Hebrew manuscripts written in ink.

The text, in short, is almost certainly a fake.

In the nineteenth, twentieth, and even twenty-first centuries, the Shapira manuscript has provoked a particularly hostile reaction: invective, hyperbole, ridicule, and more, directed both at the manuscript and at Shapira himself.

William F. Albright opined shortly after the announcement of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Since several scholars have compared the new Scrolls to the so-called archetype of Deuteronomy, offered by the notorious forger Shapira to the British Government for a million pounds, it should be emphasized that there is nothing whatever in common between them except the fact that texts of the Hebrew Bible written in ancient scripts are involved [emphasis in original].

A similar dismissive tone, but even more hostile, can be found in the responses of scholars like Moshe Goshen-Gottstein and Oskar Rabinowicz. The articles of Goshen-Gottstein and Rabinowicz include quite personal attacks against those asking for a reevaluation of the evidence, specifically Mansoor and Allegro—attacks based on no more than a cursory presentation of the evidence.

More recently, consider the discussions by Kyle McCarter and André Lemaire in the more popular magazine Biblical Archaeology Review. Lemaire welcomed the opportunity to revisit the episode, but then simply affirmed the objections of Ginsburg and Clermont-Ganneau—even though many of these apply just as much to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most remarkably, he asserts (and repeats in a letter to the editor in Biblical Archaeology Review in response to Mansoor) that het/kaf and tet/tav confusions do not occur in ancient texts. This is simply wrong: both confusions are attested multiple times in texts from Qumran (???).

Meanwhile, McCarter claimed that interest at the time in Britain, in the Shapira manuscript and in the Bible and religion more generally, was due largely to the work of biblical critic Julius Wellhausen (the second edition of his seminal Prolegomena, and the first edition under that title, was published in German that same year). While some British accounts of the affair (by both scholars and journalists) refer to the work of biblical critics generally, many do not, and biblical criticism is never a major focus of the responses; Wellhausen and his work are never named; and the second edition was not translated into English until 1885. And in Germany there was no similar reaction when Shapira brought his strips. Even in Guthe’s book on the Shapira manuscript, published in Germany in 1883, Wellhausen’s name is limited to three footnotes on minor points, and none is to the Prolegomena. Certainly, we would do better to contextualize the public excitement in England in the religious climate of the day, and natural interest in an ancient (and possibly “original”) manuscript of Deuteronomy.

I do not mean to call into question the integrity of these biblical scholars and archaeologists and epigraphers. My point is a different one: even prominent, important scholars have been quick to dismiss the Shapira strips, often with sloppiness and hostility. Even those expressing interest in a reevaluation have done so without proper analysis or context. Most, however, have been swift to reject them, often without careful consideration—and in fact to condemn or ridicule both the scroll and Shapira personally, in decidedly non-scholarly language.

The same is true, as we have seen, for the original response to the strips. Personal attacks are widespread in the public letters of Clermont-Ganneau, Neubauer, and others. Neubauer, like Goshen-Gottstein later, explicitly rejected the need to waste much time with a comprehensive review. In particular, consider the comment of Sayce quoted above. Or Clermont-Ganneau, in his first letter to the Times:

Let there be given me a synagogue roll, two or three centuries old, with permission to cut it up. I engage to procure from it strips in every respect similar to the Moabitish strips, and to transcribe upon them in archaic characters the text of Leviticus, for example, or of Numbers. This would make a fitting sequel to the Deuteronomy of Mr. Shapira, but would have the slight advantage over it of not costing quite a million sterling. LOL!  8)

As the London newspaper The Echo put it at the time, “From the moment that the discoveries were declared to the world there was an eagerness in many quarters, quite inconsistent with the true spirit of criticism or scholarship, to stigmatize them as forgeries.”

What is the reason for this reception? What accounts for such an unfavorable ratio of scholarly care to overheated rhetoric?

I think we can offer a series of answers for the particularly hostile response to Shapira’s exhibition of the scrolls in 1883. One, of course, is that Shapira had already been revealed once as a seller of forged objects. In particular this may have animated Clermont-Ganneau, and it may have led to a personal vendetta on his part against Shapira. (It is worth noting that there may also have been tension between Ginsburg and Clermont-Ganneau, as Ginsburg had previously implicated Clermont-Ganneau’s actions in inadvertently contributing to the dismantling of the Mesha Stele.) But this is not enough. After all, the revelation of the Moabitica forgery did not stop Ginsburg’s approval of the medieval scrolls Shapira sold to the British Museum. Nor did it affect the opinion of other scholars concerning these manuscripts: In a letter published in the June 11, 1881 edition of The Academy, Sayce praised a collection of such manuscripts Shapira was bringing to London, concluding: “It would be a pity if the collection were allowed to go to Berlin like its predecessor.”

Another answer is racism. Several responses to the Shapira affair highlights Shapira’s Jewish heritage (he was born Jewish but had converted to Anglicanism). Walter Besant, secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund, recalled Shapira this way in his autobiography: “a Polish Jew converted to Christianity but not to good works.” Of particular interest is a cartoon appearing in the British humor magazine Punch in September 1883.

The cartoon depicts Ginsburg apprehending Shapira, with the latter caricatured in a stereotypically anti-Jewish manner, particularly with a large nose. Of course, not only was Shapira a Jewish Christian convert, but so was Ginsburg—who is not negatively stereotyped in any way. In fact, this differential treatment of the two converted Jews is typical of the British press, which (as Fred Reiner has discussed) lionized Ginsburg as protector of England from the scheming Shapira. (In this narrative, the earlier critiques of Neubauer and especially of the Frenchman Clermont-Ganneau are forgotten—a fact that Clermont-Ganneau complained about at length in his Les fraudes archéologiques.)

It may be that Shapira was targeted specifically as an eastern Jew: born in Russia and, even worse, living in Jerusalem. Thus W.J. Loftie wrote at the time in the literary magazine The Manhattan: “It seems strange, however, and not easy to believe, that anyone living at present in the semi-barbarous Levant can write in the letters of the ancient Phoenicians with such ease and accuracy as to deceive.” (Actually, Loftie scored a two-fer: just before this he had criticized Clermont-Ganneau for his “truly French self-complacence.”) Compare a quote from a later review of the affair by John A. Maynard:

In these Eastern lands, blessed with intense sunshine, there is no such thing as a cold fact. The sheen of romance which has escaped so many of our scholarly Bible critics makes fiction very real to its creators. There the liars come very soon to believing their own lies.”

But all of these reactions to Shapira postdate the rejection of his manuscript. In that light, they may be better seen as a symptom of the rejection and not as a (major) cause.

On the other hand, what if we look at the Shapira scroll and its reception in the context of other scroll discoveries, or claims of scroll discoveries, and their reception? The ancient reports generally do not even hint at suspicion of genuineness: Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Timotheus, al-Qirqisānī, all accept the reports at face value.

What accounts for the difference? The answer seems simple enough: the rise of modern critical scholarship. The development of linguistic competence in both language and script, and the ability to provide proper historical context, have revolutionized how we understand ancient texts, and how we understand the ancient world itself.

In “Why All the Fuss?” McCarter suggests that one reaction of the public to the Shapira manuscript would have been to question the validity of critical biblical scholarship. And to a limited extent we do see this reflected in newspaper article at the time; it is also echoed in the “scoffing atheists” in the Quaritch listing. But we must not forget that biblical scholarship itself is not an objective critical enterprise. It, too, is deeply rooted and intertwined with religious views. The Shapira manuscript, a purported original or ancient version of Deuteronomy with many divergences from the canonical version, could have been seen as a threat both to critical scholarship and its religious foundations. And in fact this view appears explicitly in the comments of Konstantin Schlottmann, Protestant theologian and scholar, who had responded to Shapira about the manuscript when Shapira claimed to have first received it, back in 1878: “How dare I to call this forgery the Old Testament? Could I suppose even for a moment that it is older than our unquestionable genuine Ten Commandments?”

We see the potential, realized with Schlottmann, for even scholarly response to be entangled with religious belief. This should not be surprising: modern biblical scholarship has been overwhelmingly Protestant, both in its origins and in its practitioners. Its roots are found in the two towering movements of the Renaissance and the Reformation, with their mottos ad fontes (“to the sources”—not only classical antiquity but also biblical antiquity) and sola scriptura (“by scripture alone”). The Protestant background of biblical scholarship has been long acknowledged. But this is mostly a neutral observation, or a positive praise of its critical tools; it has rarely been acknowledged that this origin might have a negative side.

The development of historical context and perspective, from the perspective of “to the sources” and “by scripture alone,” has led to a near obsession with origins, and specifically with origins of Scripture. Discovering the original documents behind the Pentateuch, establishing the (single) original form of the biblical text, reconstructing the (single) source (Vorlage) of a biblical translation—these have been among the most important goals of modern scholarship. Perhaps this may explain how, when the Dead Sea Scrolls were first brought to the attention of scholars, before archaeological excavations at Qumran confirmed their authenticity, they were generally accepted by scholars: unlike the Shapira scroll, they did not claim to be original versions of biblical books but part of a later stage in the process of transmission. Consider the reaction of biblical scholar Harry Orlinsky to the Dead Sea Scrolls: he believed them to be of limited importance for biblical studies, because they had little bearing on the original form of the biblical text.

If we reconsider John Maynard’s statement above, we realize it may be quite helpful for understanding ancient modes of thinking. The focus on “cold facts,” on origins and linear evolution, on our Bible, can mislead us when we turn to the variety of sacred writing and the variety of textual forms for individual books throughout so much of antiquity. In other traditions, at other times, scripture did not necessarily equal Scripture. It is an illuminating way to consider things like pseudepigrapha, instead of as “pious frauds”—and of course the original “pious fraud” of the Bible, the book of Deuteronomy itself. It is perhaps the ultimate irony that the Shapira strips pretended to be the original version of a book that scholars think in some sense was “fake”: scholarly consensus holds that Deuteronomy is the ancient book of the law referred to in 2 Kings 22, claimed to be miraculously “found” in the reign of Josiah king of Judah, but in fact written at that time.

While on the one hand modern biblical scholars stand apart from earlier readers of the texts in their historical and philological concerns, on the other hand we too have been thoroughly influenced by our environments—personal, cultural, or religious. We cannot simply draw a bright line between ancient and modern interpreters. Broadly speaking, our understandings are not purely “objective”: they are formed from a range of influences and agendas, as the Shapira incident demonstrates clearly.

In biblical scholarship in particular, those understandings, like the understandings of ancient readers, cannot be divorced from considerations of religion—especially when considerations of religion are intimately integrated into the very methods we as scholars use. I am by no means dismissing the importance of historical and philological approaches, or of the advances made by modern scholarship in understanding the ancient world. But those advances are ultimately limited by our distance from that world, and by the fragmentary state of its remains. The result is that the remaining pieces are filled in to some extent by our own imaginations.

Paradoxically, the study of the past always keeps one eye on the future. Historical research is important not simply for its own sake, but for what we can learn from it and apply to the future. More than that, our understandings of the past are always in flux, changing with the discovery of new data, and changing as we ourselves change and adopt new paradigms. In order to understand the past better, we need to accept a simple truth about ourselves: we are merely the latest in a long line of interpreters of texts—another chapter in the reception of antiquity.


Link: http://theappendix.net/issues/2014/7/the-lying-pen-of-the-scribes-a-nineteenth-century-dead-sea-scroll

Here is an article written by Neil Altman according to whom The Great Isaiah Scroll is a medieval forgery as I also suspect:

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1991/03/31/dead-sea-scroll-mystery/121c7d28-aff8-47a4-893a-b94820204136/?utm_term=.4ad96d39db11

Link: http://web.stanford.edu/group/hebrew/events/conference2005/abstracts/parry_donald.pdf

Although Altman's theory was not generally accepted, but the strange markings in the text exist, and many differences between the old and new photos are clearly visible as I proved in my previous posts, in this topic. It is amazing how many controversies and intrigues surrounded DSS from the time of their discovery. And, If we are talking about the Jews, then be aware my brothers that the Quran exposes their deceptive nature, so that we cannot trust them anymore. Sura 6:91 is an explicit proof referring somehow to the incident of DSS (almost obvious hiding content of the real ancient scrolls etc.). I believe Allah Almighty is reminding us by the famous case of DSS through the allusion to the message of sura 6:91, and Allah knows best !

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

70
Wa Alaikum As'salam Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuh dear brother Idris,

Wow.  May Allah Almighty bless you, dear brother.  Ameen.  Certainly, Rabbi Ben Abrahamson is a very important source that could insha'Allah benefit Islam.  He is an expert in Jewish Scriptures and he speaks very positively about Islam.  May Allah Almighty continue to guide him to Islam.  Ameen.  And may Allah Almighty continue to strengthen your faith and advance your knowledge and fruitful research.  Ameen.

Take care,
Osama Abdallah

As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

thank you dear brother Osama. Yes, Sir Ben Abrahamson is a friendly and good Rabbi from which we can learn many interesting things connected with the early Jewish teachings, Torah and its prophecies fulfilled in Islam and Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)! He states for example that the expression אישׁ חמדות (Ish Hammudot) found in Daniel 10:11 is a reference to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). May Allah bless him and guide him to Islam, Ameen!

As to the topic, more informations are coming insha’Allah

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

71
As-Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

I have received a message from Rabbi Ben Abrahamson and he confirms my view concerning the word Ahmad in the Book of Zohar:

"This verse in the Zohar quotes Isaiah 60. Yes, ahmad (written with vowels echmod) is written there. It means "I will delight". Prophecy is not any exact science. It is possible that it also predicted the Prophet (pbuh). !!!

So, I was not wrong about the idea of "Ahmad in Isaiah" as you can see it is indeed ahmad, but according to Rabbi Ben Abrahamson is not a name, but he admits that there is a possibility that it was reference to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). When I've asked him about the authorship of Zohar he replied that "there is no proof that the Zohar is from 2nd century. But this is what most people believe due to its content. Some modern scholars want to say that is not true, but these same people claim the Torah and Quran is not true either."

However, in the Masoretic Text there is no word such as אחמד (ahmad or echmod) in Isaiah 60, so from what source he was quoting this verse ? ? ? It will remain a mystery to me, unless I find some other hints.

72
Salam aleikum,

It is a fact also that many manuscripts of the Torah were burned and many of them were censored, so we don't know what has been lost, read the book The Censorship of Hebrew Books by William Popper:

Link: https://archive.org/details/censorshiphebre00poppgoog

73
Salam aleikum,

The Masoretes were a group of rabbis from Tiberias who begin the work of editing the Hebrew text in 6th century. You should ask yourself: why they decide to correct the text of the Torah exactly in the time of Mohammed and not earlier ?
For me it is obvious, when Mohammed (pbuh) came to Medina in 610 AD, the Jews recognized him as the promised Prophet from Torah, but they were disappointed that he is an Arab, since they were hoping that he will arise among them as an Israeli. And so they alarmed other rabbi in Palestine and Sham to change the scripture (it is however only my personal opinion)

By saying "the pre-Islamic Torah would have not made any modification" I meant of course the matter of changing the names Ahmad and Mohammad (pbuh), but only if we assume that they didn't really know that this prophet will be an Arab, because if we assume that indeed they knew he will be an Arab then it is possible that they were trying to hide at least his nativity, but left his name living in the hope that he will one among them. At this moment one can only speculate what exactly happened, only Almighty Allah know.

From ancient rabbinical quotations it is obvious that the earlier text was different from the Masoretic one, buy wait, now, after 60 years of editing, they finally presented to the world this crap know as The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa). For example, take a look at the text of Isaiah 42:1 given by Rabbi Ibn Ezra and compare it with the Masoretic one:


Rabbi Ibn Ezra text (11th century AD)

Masoretic Text (10th century AD)
הן עבדי אתמך־בו בחירי רצתה נפשׁי נתתי רוחי עליו משׁפט לגוים יוציא


You can see that is totally different... the Text of Ibn Ezra is much longer ! The text given by other Rabbis is also different !


74
As-salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh,

dear brother Ramihs97, it is a long subject to discuss here all of the details, so I will try to explain it you briefly:

1. In regards to the word etmak in DSS (Isaiah 42:1), there are strong cases which indicates that it is an altered form of ahmad. Kab al-Ahbar (d. 652), a learned rabbi from Yemen was quoted by Ibn Asakir as saying:

I find in the Torah: Ahmad, My Chosen Servant (in another narration: My Servant Ahmad, The Chosen). Verily, he is neither rude nor harsh. He would not yell or scream in markets. And he will never award an ill deed with an ill deed, rather, he will always award ill deeds with forgiveness.

Notice that he was quoting Isaiah 42:1-3. In LXX the name Jacob appears first, and then “My servant” so it refers to the first variant narration mentioned by Kab i.e. “Ahmad, My servant”. In Masoretic Text, the chapter begins with [Behold] My servant, and then etmak, so it refers to the second variant narration mentioned by Kab, i.e. My servant Ahmad…. Now, the fact that Kab mentioned two different variant of the first fragments from Isaiah 42:1 indicates that there were different manuscripts containing different variants of reading, as I've said above in the case of Septuagint and Hebrew text we have today. In LXX, the Jews must have inserted the words Jacob and Israel instead of Ahmad, since it does not appear neither in Masoretic Text, neither in Aramaic Peshitta, nor in 1QIsaa. There are too possible way to explain the origin of etmak:

a) NON-INTENTIONAL CHANGE - The Jewish scribe could have misread the original form אחמד (ahmad), because in general, the Hebrew letter ת (tav) is visually very similar to ח (chet), and the letter ך (kaph) looks very similar to ד (dalet). The later one i.e. kaph and dalet are especially similar to each other in the old Aramaic alphabet.
b) INTENTIONAL CHANGE - The Jews could have changed the name of Ahmad when they acknowledged that Prophet Mohammed is an Arab not Israeli (6th century AD). In fact there Ibn Saad in his Kitab Tabaqat al-Kabit related a narration from which can be concluded that immediately after their acknowledgement of prophet's Mohammed Arabic roots, Jews deliberately changed the name Ahmad. It says that this Jew changed Ahmad by covering or hiding it not removing it entirely. The natural consequence of such argumentation is that till Prophet’s Mohammed time there were no attempts to corrupt his second prophetic name Ahmad, so the pre-Islamic Torah would have not made any modification. You will ask: but what about DSS ? The Great Isaiah Scroll does not mentioned Ahmad, but etmak right ? You should know that before DSS were discovered, the earliest manuscript of the Hebrew Bible were Aleppo Codex and Leningrad Codex (10th century AD). So it was easy for Muslim to claim: Mohammed was mentioned in the original Torah (i.e. from ancient times), but you Jews do not possess such one, you have only those one dated back to 10th cent. so how we would know whether your rabbis does not changed the Torah after the time of Mohammed ? So what was the plan ? They must prepare some kind of proto-Masoretic Text which would agree their Masoretic one from 10th cent. (but in order to eliminate a possible suspicions from intelektualists they gave a multiple variations of textual reading so to keep scholars constantly working on formulating new theories, resolving puzzles etc.). Can you believe in this fairy, stupid story about a Hebrew text from 2 cent. BC which perfectly agrees in chronological order of chapters and verses, and with no significant departure from its Masoretic version ? I will never believe in such a crap. There was different arrangement of whole chapters in Isaiah. Frankly, there are serious reasons to think that this so called Great Isaiah Scroll which has been claimed to come allegedly from 2 cent. BC. is not an ancient autograph (at least in part). This Isaiah Scroll in many passages shares the same textual variant as the Hebrew MSS from medieval period collected by Kennicott and de Rossi.

Let us return to the subject of mentioning Ahmed in DSS.

If you recall Matthew 12:18 you will see that his quotation is unique, i.e. is not similar as in Old Testament Hebrew Isaiah or Greek Septuagint:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved (agapetos) with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

According to early church tradition, the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, and then it was translated into Greek. Notice that in Matthew you will not find such word as whom I uphold/I support for Hebrew etmak. Why ? Here is the answer… the Greek term ἀγαπητός (agapetos) for my beloved which occurs in the text of Matthew 12:18 is actually an equivalent for Hebrew חמד (chamad) found e.g. in Joshua 7:21 under the form אחמדם which can be read as ahmadam or echmedem. The point I ’am going to is that the Hebrew scroll from which Matthew quoted Isaiah 42:1 must have contain the word composed with the root חמד (chamad), yet it cannot be found in today’s Masoretic Text ! Beside this, there are many other details which supports the view that the name Ahmad indeed was mentioned in the original text of Isaiah 42:1.

2. In regards to the Zohar book, it is a great possibility that it talks ocasionally about Ahmed, notice the words occurring around it: through him in ancient of days, Isaiah, sent etc. I ’am simply guessing that it is about prophet Ahmad who was foretold in Isaiah and from ancient of days. I currently waiting for the answer of some certain rabbi. The text of Zohar is specifically in Aramaic, not in Hebrew as I previously thought.

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

75
GENERAL TOPICS | BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS / Re: Adultery in Christianity
« on: October 13, 2016, 11:04:52 AM »
As-salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraketuh, brother

the passage related to the woman taken in adultery does not belonged to the original Gospel, in fact it is a later interpolation inserted into the text, and it is rejected nearly by all Christian scholars today. It is not found in the earliest and most important manuscripts. Prof. Bruce Metzger states also that no church father referenced the story prior to the twelfth century.

See Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, 4th Revised Edition, (Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 1994), p. 188.

Jesus (pbuh) would not contradict the Torah, he came to confirm it. The Christians however, seems does not liked the idea of stoning as a punishment for adultery, so they invented this illusory story in order to show that Jesus do not condemns adultery which is of course a lie. According to a certain conversation between Jews and Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), it can be conclude that Jews also hated the stoning despite the fact that it is a part of their Law.

Take care, and salam
Ahmed (Poland, Warsaw)

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