Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2004-07 > 1090021091

From: Peter Stewart <>
Subject: Re: Jesus
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 23:38:11 GMT
References: <> <> <> <> <VHQJc.3624$> <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Jared Linn Olar wrote:

> The Quran as it exists today is a later recension -- Muslims sources
> state that the other recensions were confiscated and destroyed. And
> the early oral traditions are, as always, hazy and sometimes
> contradictory. There is in fact no unimpeachable evidence that
> Muhammad lived when he is said to have lived, or that he said what he
> is said to have said. The traditional dates may be a little off.
> In any case, the fact remains that Christian documentation from within
> a very few decades of the life of Jesus is superabundant, whereas
> Muslim documentation does not appear until long after the time when
> Muhammad traditionally lived (hint: oral tradition, no matter how
> trustworthy, is not a document). Will and Peter are spectacularly
> wrong on this point. A heap of documents dated to a short time after a
> religion's origin versus no documents dated to a short time after a
> religion's origin: which religion's origins are better documented?
> You decide.

We could decide if you will only cite this alleged heap of 1st-century
documents setting down the divinity of Christ, the basis of
Christianity. Otherwise, if the doctrines upon which the religion is
founded only developed over time, mainly by the oral transmission of
history and interpretation, how essentially is this different from
rescripts of the Quran and evidence such as the establishment of the
Muslim calendar? The New Testament as it exists today is not exactly
contemporary with the disciples.

I only wrote about documentation, not "proof" of what is in the
documents as Gordon Hale seems to have misunderstood.

As to documented historicity, are you claiming that the 7th-century
poems of Hassan ibn Thabit are "long" after the beginnings of Islam, and
that the biography by Ibn Ishaq was fiction, or sui generis & not
related in any way to the lost work of Ibn Zubair?

Peter Stewart

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