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Thu Apr 25, 2013, 07:28 AM

fascinating article by Juan Cole

what a joy it is to read a historian write about something he/she knows. Especially when the topic is christianity - muslim religions (and how their early days were so murky).

Here's a sample:

First of all, we know very little about the lives of Jesus (d. circa 30-33 CE) or Muhammad (d. 632 CE). As a historian, I’m looking for early sources and diverse sources. The earliest manuscripts of the New Testament are second century, and in Greek rather than in the original Aramaic (some ideas may have changed radically with the translation– the Aramaic almost certainly did not have the phrase ‘son of God.’) There are many variants among the manuscripts and among the Gospels. Did Mark even know about a resurrection? There are even questions about what sources early Christians accepted (is the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas a Gospel?) All of the extant accounts of Jesus obviously come from a small number of early Christian communities. There is no early outside source. We historians want accounts coming from several different sources.

Amazingly, 600+ years later, there were outside sources discussing Muhammed, something the christians sorely lack.

Here's the cite. http://www.juancole.com/
A very interesting read. Especially how growing numbers of ".....istan" peoples are doing without religion.

I just hope his conclusion, that 200 yrs from now both those religions will be dead. They've caused enough pain and suffering by now, haven't they?

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply fascinating article by Juan Cole (Original post)
ChairmanAgnostic Apr 2013 OP
trotsky Apr 2013 #1
dimbear Apr 2013 #5
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2013 #7
Bolo Boffin Apr 2013 #2
ChairmanAgnostic Apr 2013 #3
dimbear Apr 2013 #4
ChairmanAgnostic Apr 2013 #6
ConcernedCanuk Apr 2013 #8

Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 08:38 AM

1. I am pretty certain he is wrong. Both religions will still be around in 200 years.

They will be weakened - Christianity more than Islam, I think. But they will still command huge numbers of followers.

But the world has definitely changed, and religion will never be as central to people's lives as it once was.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 04:44 PM

5. If any people are still around, probably they will be too.

Hope springs eternal, tho.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 07:57 PM

7. He actually says:

It is not impossible that modern consumerism, individualism and technology might gradually undermine religion, so that 200 years from now neither Christianity nor Islam will be central to most peoples’ lives.


So it's not really "they will be dead". "Neither Christianity nor Islam will be central to most peoples’ lives" can already be said about many European countries.

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