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Thread: Muslim vs. Jewish interpretations of holy books

  1. #1
    tWebber stfoskey15's Avatar
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    Muslim vs. Jewish interpretations of holy books

    Why do Muslims today tend to interpret the Qur'an more literally than Jews interpret the Torah? Basically, it seems that altho both books support killing people who have gay sex, almost no Jews today seem to believe killing them is a good idea, but a significant number of Muslims continue to support it. In a similar way, Sabbath breaking is a capital offense in the Torah but I'm pretty sure they don't kill people in Israel if they light a fire on Saturday. On the other hand, both Israel and predominantly Muslim countries have anti-blasphemy laws (but in Israel there is no death penalty for blasphemy while in many Muslim-majority countries there is). Is it simply that Judaism is not an evangelical religion, so there is no need to try to force compliance on nonbelievers? Or is there another reason?

    Also, just to be clear, I recognize that there are a variety of interpretations among both Muslims and Jews; I'm speaking in broad general terms.
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    "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do."-Jeremy Bentham

    "We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question."-Orson Scott Card

  2. #2
    tWebber
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    "interpret Quran literally"---probably does not actually mean what the literal words say---it most likely means--interpret "law" "literally" (which in this context means harshly).
    ...for example, in some (muslim-majority) countries---the anti-blasphemy laws actually comes from British law--which was put in place as a protection of religion---but is now being abused.....(but abuse of law also occurs with modern (mis) interpretations and (mis) applications of Sharia.) My own opinion on this matter is that Modern law is formulated as a basis of punishment (retributive justice)---that is, law is to be used to punish a human beings for crimes. But "Law"(fiqh) was used (in Islamic history) mainly as a mechanism to settle disputes equitably. Thus the bulk of dispute resolutions concerned civil/commercial matters.... The Quran does deal with some issues that could be considered "crimes" (within Islam) such as adultury, theft, treason...etc.

    The Quran does not approve of (male) homosexuality but does not give any punishment for homosexuality so generally the verse about adultery is used---but this verse is interpreted to apply to public adultery. (4 witnesses required).

    Sharia is for Muslims only---but Modern law practices are not very amenable to legal pluralism within a geographical territory---Modernity prefers that one law applies to all. This distorts the classical practice of Islamic jurisprudence which was meant to be plural. Islamic jurisprudence has a purpose and a methodology. The Quran is a Guide---but it is not a textbook of law, and there are other sources besides the Quran in the formation of Jurists opinions.

    Generally, (classical)Muslim jurists understood that Justice must be balanced with compassion and mercy so, although criminal punishments seemed harsh (Deterrent justice) the harsh law was meant as a preventive and not to be applied. The principle was that the judge must use his/her discretionary power to bend towards compassion and mercy as much as possible.

    There are a few accusations of "literal" interpretations of the Quran---but this has little to do with law---rather, it concerns the issue of anthropomorphism of God. for example ---if the Quran mentions the "right hand" of God---is it referring to what we human beings see as the shape of the human hand or is it metaphorical---or something in-between....etc...and other such contentions/disputes....

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    "interpret Quran literally"---probably does not actually mean what the literal words say---it most likely means--interpret "law" "literally" (which in this context means harshly).
    ...for example, in some (muslim-majority) countries---the anti-blasphemy laws actually comes from British law--which was put in place as a protection of religion---but is now being abused.....(but abuse of law also occurs with modern (mis) interpretations and (mis) applications of Sharia.) My own opinion on this matter is that Modern law is formulated as a basis of punishment (retributive justice)---that is, law is to be used to punish a human beings for crimes. But "Law"(fiqh) was used (in Islamic history) mainly as a mechanism to settle disputes equitably. Thus the bulk of dispute resolutions concerned civil/commercial matters.... The Quran does deal with some issues that could be considered "crimes" (within Islam) such as adultury, theft, treason...etc.

    The Quran does not approve of (male) homosexuality but does not give any punishment for homosexuality so generally the verse about adultery is used---but this verse is interpreted to apply to public adultery. (4 witnesses required).

    Sharia is for Muslims only---but Modern law practices are not very amenable to legal pluralism within a geographical territory---Modernity prefers that one law applies to all. This distorts the classical practice of Islamic jurisprudence which was meant to be plural. Islamic jurisprudence has a purpose and a methodology. The Quran is a Guide---but it is not a textbook of law, and there are other sources besides the Quran in the formation of Jurists opinions.

    Generally, (classical)Muslim jurists understood that Justice must be balanced with compassion and mercy so, although criminal punishments seemed harsh (Deterrent justice) the harsh law was meant as a preventive and not to be applied. The principle was that the judge must use his/her discretionary power to bend towards compassion and mercy as much as possible.

    There are a few accusations of "literal" interpretations of the Quran---but this has little to do with law---rather, it concerns the issue of anthropomorphism of God. for example ---if the Quran mentions the "right hand" of God---is it referring to what we human beings see as the shape of the human hand or is it metaphorical---or something in-between....etc...and other such contentions/disputes....
    When an iman issues a fatwa about jihad and killing people, is that based on British law? Siam, would you be willing to personally tell the leaders of ISIL, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other militant Muslims that their interpretations of Islam are wrong and that they should not be killing all these people in the name of Islam?
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  4. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Meh Gerbil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    When an iman issues a fatwa about jihad and killing people, is that based on British law? Siam, would you be willing to personally tell the leaders of ISIL, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other militant Muslims that their interpretations of Islam are wrong and that they should not be killing all these people in the name of Islam?
    Are you personally responsible for confronting every crackpot Christian that misuses sacred text to justify violence?
    Siam isn't responsible for crazy people's behavior.
    Actually YOU put Trump in the White House. He wouldn't have gotten 1% of the vote if it wasn't for the widespread spiritual and cultural devastation caused by progressive policies. There's no "this country" left with your immigration policies, your "allies" are worthless and even more suicidal than you are and democracy is a sick joke that I hope nobody ever thinks about repeating when the current order collapses. - Darth_Executor striking a conciliatory note in Civics 101

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meh Gerbil View Post
    Are you personally responsible for confronting every crackpot Christian that misuses sacred text to justify violence?
    Siam isn't responsible for crazy people's behavior.
    I am certainly not suggesting he is.
    Last edited by robrecht; 12-15-2016 at 01:52 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber Meh Gerbil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    I am certainly not suggesting he is.
    What was the point of this question?

    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    Siam, would you be willing to personally tell the leaders of ISIL, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other militant Muslims that their interpretations of Islam are wrong and that they should not be killing all these people in the name of Islam?
    Look at it honestly.

    What would a 'No' answer mean?
    What would a 'Yes' answer mean?

    You're a well written person, robrecht - thoughtful, really - so don't take my bagging on you to heart.
    I just hate to see nutty right wing rhetoric make it into your otherwise thoughtful offerings.
    Actually YOU put Trump in the White House. He wouldn't have gotten 1% of the vote if it wasn't for the widespread spiritual and cultural devastation caused by progressive policies. There's no "this country" left with your immigration policies, your "allies" are worthless and even more suicidal than you are and democracy is a sick joke that I hope nobody ever thinks about repeating when the current order collapses. - Darth_Executor striking a conciliatory note in Civics 101

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meh Gerbil View Post
    What was the point of this question?


    Look at it honestly.

    What would a 'No' answer mean?
    What would a 'Yes' answer mean?

    You're a well written person, robrecht - thoughtful, really - so don't take my bagging on you to heart.
    I just hate to see nutty right wing rhetoric make it into your otherwise thoughtful offerings.
    A 'no' might simply be a completely understandable fear of violent Muslim extremists, and I would not fault siam in the least for such a response. A 'yes' might indicate an heroic willingness to confront one's own coreligionists for their shameful use of sacred texts. I would hope that some Muslim saints are doing something along these lines, but, again, this would be heroic in the extreme so I cannot say it is expected. But I would like Muslims and others to be able to talk about the best ways to confront these extremists. In the past, siam has sometimes tended to only focus on everything that is bad about Western culture, and I don't disagree with such critiques, but I do think more is needed from Muslims to address these issues.

    Thank you for the compliment, by the way.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  9. #8
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meh Gerbil View Post
    Are you personally responsible for confronting every crackpot Christian that misuses sacred text to justify violence?
    We would loudly and clearly denounce it, and denounce those who are teaching/directing the violence. AND, we would encourage and congratulate law enforcement for bringing them to justice.

    Siam isn't responsible for crazy people's behavior.
    How do you know what he does in real life?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    tWebber Meh Gerbil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    We would loudly and clearly denounce it, and denounce those who are teaching/directing the violence. AND, we would encourage and congratulate law enforcement for bringing them to justice.
    I know that when I spent time posting on atheist forums that I quickly grew tired of the demands to apologize for every goofy thing someone has done in the name of Christ over the past 2,000 years.
    I was once asked to condemn rape and apologize to a woman because she was raped by her youth pastor.

    It was downhill from there.
    Actually YOU put Trump in the White House. He wouldn't have gotten 1% of the vote if it wasn't for the widespread spiritual and cultural devastation caused by progressive policies. There's no "this country" left with your immigration policies, your "allies" are worthless and even more suicidal than you are and democracy is a sick joke that I hope nobody ever thinks about repeating when the current order collapses. - Darth_Executor striking a conciliatory note in Civics 101

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Except in Islam, going by the Koran and the early history with Mohammad hisself, the peaceful Muslims are the unorthodox ones. They are the aberration, not ISIS and the 'radical' muslims. They are just doing what Mohammad taught and did himself and wrote down in the Koran.

  12. Amen Cerebrum123, Darth Executor amen'd this post.

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