Welcome back madmanna.
******I am not arguing for this. I take it as a given from the nature of revelation that it is true and God preserves it or else what would be the point? I also don’t believe that the so-called chains of narration prove in a scientific sense that the Quran is what it claims to be.
So, you are just making an a priori assumption. That’s the problem from the get-go. This is the foundation of the rest of your response. You simply assume that “it is true”, which spares you the trouble of actually seeking proof for it. It is nothing more than a circular argument.
******I don’t see your point to be honest. The growth process starts at birth and finishes sometime after the teenage years, i.e. when Ishmael was a lad he was still growing. It doesn’t finish because there is a bar mitvah either. There are different words which indicate at which stage the subject of the narrative has reached in his growth process. It is altogether natural to use these words to differentiate between the various points in the stage of the growth process. The bible does this. What is fishy about this?
The word used to describe both Ishmael and Moses (peace be upon them) is exactly the same. You have not given any good reason as to why we should assume that the meaning is different in each case. The fact that the Bible does not differentiate is exactly the point! It is Jews and Christians who have twisted the meaning to suit their own agendas. On the other hand, scholars are acknowledging the clear facts. They know that the text does not allow for Ishmael be older than a few months or years at the time of the exile as I previously showed:
…in a 2001 article in the journal “Vetus Testamentum”, S. Nikaido of Berkeley University made a very interesting observation about the depiction of Ishmael in Genesis 21, which supports our contention that the story has been altered by Jewish scribes. Nikaido states:
“According to Gen. xvii 25 (P), Ishmael was at least thirteen. Therefore, Gen. Rabbah 53.13 (also Rashi) suggests that he was carried because of illness; Abravanel interprets we”et-hayyeled as meaning Ishmael helped carry the provisions. Modern commentators, however, fault the discrepancy on P’s superimposed chronology (Gen. xvi 16 and xxi 5; xvii 25), a phenomenon occurring elsewhere (e.g., Gen. xii 11 compared with xvii 17 and xii 4). The text clearly does not portray Ishmael as a grown child (P) but most likely as an infant (E), since Hagar not only carries him (xxi 14) but also “casts” him under a bush (v. 15; cf. Exod i 22) and “lifts him up” (v. 18). Other clues include: God hears the child’s voice (v. 17), presumably crying, rather than his mother’s (E. Fripp, “Note on Gen. xxi 6. 8-12”, ZAW 12 , pp. 164-65), the reference to his “growing” (v. 20), and the fact that Hagar is not portrayed as being in any mortal danger but only the child.”
******Why not? Why should the same be true for Ishmael?
Because the word used in the original Hebrew is the same, not different. So why would the translation be different? Isn’t it obvious that the translators are deliberately twisting the meaning? It looks that way to me. You don’t see it because you don’t want to see it. I understand your apprehension, but the truth is that the text does not support your belief that Ishmael was a teenager.
******If God is controlling the narrative it’s up to him what he wants to say. If you want to see a jewish conspiracy fair enough. There are other possible reasons. I don’t have to conclude that there was a conspiracy. Unless you have compelling evidence which I do not see and which I believe derives rather from your prejudice.
That’s your problem from the get-go. You accuse me of “prejudice”, but you don’t even consider that perhaps it is you who is “prejudiced”. Look at your response. You assume that “God is controlling the narrative”, but when pressed for evidence, you present none. You just assume that to be the case. And in an ironic twist, you then ask me for “compelling evidence”! Do you at least realize how ironic your statement is?
The burden of proof is on you to prove that “there are other possible reasons”. So far, you have presented none.
***** I think it is quite logical to deduce from the narrative that Hagar has placed Ishmael under a bush because he was sick and close to death and she left him for dead. The idea that they have no water and this has no consequences is irrational but it seems to be your belief.
Where does it say that? Why are you assuming things without proof? I don’t know why you seem to be under the impression that you don’t need to present proof for any of your assumptions.
The Jewish rabbis also just assumed that Ishmael must have been “sick” or “injured”. They based it on nothing either.
Do you think it is “quite logical” to also assume that Hagar somehow managed to carry her 16 year old son across the desert until they both ran out of energy, as the rabbis assumed? Here is what Rashi said in his commentary:
“He also placed the child on her shoulder, because Sarah had cast an evil eye upon him, and he was seized by a fever so that he could not walk on his feet.”
This doesn’t seem “irrational” to you???
But somehow, it seems perfectly “logical” for you to assume that the teenage Ishmael needed to be cared for by his mother rather than the other way around.
******Yes, but God revealed his moral will verbally from the beginning and through the conscience. They did not die because they were idolaters. They died because their thoughts, and as a result their actions, were only evil continually. So if someone dies who has not been warned is that an unjust action on the part of Allah? It would seem so according to your logic.
Again, no proof, just assumptions. Where does the Bible say this?
And if God “revealed his moral will verbally from the beginning”, then why was there a need for “written laws” later on? You keep moving the goal post when your previous argument fails under scrutiny, and you present no proof for your new assumptions.
You also don’t seem to understand the Islamic position. Death is not a punishment. It is the natural order of things. Everyone dies. It is not “unjust” on the part of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) that someone dies without receiving a warning, because we know from a hadith that He will not judge that person until he is tested in the Hereafter. On the other hand, it would seem that according to your logic, it is perfectly “just” for God to wipe out the world without warning because of some vague “conscience” factor.
Also, why did you ignore the story of Jonah (peace be upon him)? Why was he sent to the people of Nineveh to warn them before punishment was sent upon them? Did they have “written laws”? Or did they not have a “conscience”? Why are you ignoring this story? Is it deliberate?
******Why should the message change because there is only prophet instead of many? Why should rejection have a different consequence after Mohammed? If idolatry was punished by death before Mohammed why not the same punishment after Mohammed? So if the idolaters do not wage war against Muslims they can continue their idolatrous way of life? Is that what you are saying? If nobody wages war against the idolaters they will just continue with their idolatry won’t they? This does not jive with the Quran in my view.
Yes, it does. You are not an expert on the Quran. The Quran says that everyone is responsible for their actions, but that there is no compulsion in religion. If an idolater continues to worship idols, despite being warned to stop, he can continue to do so without fear of being persecuted. But when he dies, he will go to Hell, as the Quran and Ahadith state.
As for the message, I already explained why it changed. Islam is universal and applies to all mankind for all time, not just one particular nation in a specific time period. Of course the message would be different in some ways. But certain things remain the same. Idolatry is still condemned as a heinous sin. Shirk is condemned as a heinous sin. Adultery, murder, theft etc. are all sins. The laws to deal with these things may have changed, but the spirit of the law did not change.
*******I don’t agree with your claim that this is linguistic proof of anything. The text just states that in the case of Moses the growth process was finished and he was a fully grown man. In the case of Ishmael that he was still growing because he was called a lad.
He was called a “lad” in the English translation, not in the original Hebrew. That’s the point you are not getting. In the original Hebrew, both Ishmael and Moses were referred to as “hay-yeled” (which the KJV inconsistently translates as “child” in one place and “lad” in another). In the original Hebrew, both Ishmael and Moses “way-yig-dal”, which means both “grew”. You did not refute these facts. You just made an assumption based on another assumption. The linguistic evidence is undeniable (see the quote from Professor Nikaido above). In fact, it was obvious even to early Jewish scribes, and prompted the author of Dead Sea Scroll 4Q225 to completely omit the “Ishmael narratives” as I also pointed out before:
In a 2006 article in the journal “Dead Sea Discoveries”, Betsy Halpern-Amaru made the following interesting observation about a variant of the story in question in the fragment of the Dead Scrolls known as 4Q225:
“…the author of 4Q225 develops a structure that creates a new backdrop for the narrative of the Aqedah. Prefacing the account of the Aqedah is a summary presentation of the promises of a son and multiple progeny in Gen 15:2–6 (2 i 3–7). Isaac’s birth is announced immediately thereafter (2 1 8–9a) and thereby is explicitly portrayed as the fulfillment of the preceding divine promise of a son. The Ishmael narratives that intervene between the promises of the covenant making in Genesis 15 and the birth of Isaac are omitted. Indeed, in 4Q225 Ishmael is never born. Consequently, when God commands Abraham to sacrifice his only son (2 i 11), Isaac is quite literally…the only son the patriarch has.”
So, it would seem that there was a “Jewish conspiracy” after all, at least in this regard. These are the facts. Whether you want to accept them or not is entirely up to you, of course.
I look forward to your response whenever.
And I to yours.