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12th Century Christian Apologetics

theLords

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I found this link online: Medieval Sourcebook: A CHRISTIAN/MOSLEM DEBATE OF THE 12TH CENTURY (or http://www.fordham.*** edu/halsall/source/christ-muslim-debate.html -- remove the *** when copying and pasting)

It's a debate between a Christian Monk and Muslim Prince. What I found fascinating was that these two in the year 1160 AD were debating what we in the year 2011 are debating! :lol It gave me quite the laugh.

Here's an except:

The Moslem-- Woe unto you! We contest what you make God a child, and that the Christ is God's son, and that he is Eternal God and Creator of the creatures while he is human and was born from a woman and God considers him like Adam to whom he said, " Be!" and he has been (created).

The Monk-- So, Abu-Salamah, you believe in all what your Prophet mentioned in your Book and that (this book) was inspired by God?

The Moslem-- Yes, everything mentioned in the Koran was inspired to Mohammed.

The Monk-- The Koran doesn't mention that the Christ is the Spirit of God and his Word given by God to Mary?

The Moslem-- Not eternal (word) but created.

The Monk-- Was God, at any time, dumb, deaf, or empty from any word or spirit?

The Moslem--God forbid! God, his Word and Spirit are always (present).

The Monk-- Is God's Word Creator or created?

The Moslem-- Creator.

The Monk-- You worship God along with his Spirit and Word, isn't it?

The Moslem-- I adore God, His Word and His Spirit.

The Monk-- Say now, then, " I believe in God, in His Spirit and in His Word."

The Moslem-- I believe in God and in His Spirit and in His Word. But I do not make them three, but one God.

The Monk-- This is my opinion, too; and my beliefs and those of all Christians of Orthodox faith. I like now to explain the meanings of the Holy Eternity: the Father is God; the Son is His Word; and the third (person is) the Holy Spirit.

The Prince was laying down. He then stood up, glanced to the Moslem, laughed and told him,-- " Abu-Salamah, the Monk Christianized you and introduced you to the Christian's religion; you are then Christian."

Abu-Salamah was furious. Then, a jurisprudent called Abul-Fadl Al-Halabi, told his friends: If you had permitted me from the beginning, I had a dialogue with the Monk and I showed you his defeat. Afterwards, he looked at the Prince and said, -- "Be informed, O Prince, that the non-believers are in the fire (in the hell) and whoever approaches them burns himself, and Satan who is the spirit of the tyranny speaks through their mouths."

The Monk-- Why do you insult us? Why do you attribute to us what is related to you and to your prophet? Didn't we talk and prove that the Christ is the Spirit of God and His Word from your Koran and your Prophet? If you are sure that what we cited is satanic, it should be from your Prophet and your Book.

The Prince-- Shame of you, Abul-Fadl! Your silence was better and more fruitful than your speech. I wish God had furnished you with silence and dumbness; then we would have been quite at ease.

Then Abdul-Fadl, ashamed, went away.

It amused me that this could be a conversation taking place right now. There truly is "nothing new under the sun."

There is, however, this footnote at the end: "What I am unable to do is verify the historicity of this document, beyond the notes by Fr. Johnson at the beginning."

Has anyone ever come across this before? Any way to verify this source? Coincidentally, I was given this link by an atheist (of all people, right)?

Anyone know if there is any truth to this claim of a 12th C. debate?
 
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cyberjosh

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I know from previous studies of midieval Christian scholars and thelogians that they were quite aware of the growth of Isalm and some even wrote entire treatises against Islam back then. I believe there is an earlier example (I just can't remember who at the moment) of a Christian Hebrew scholar before the 10th century BC who wrote some things against Islam, but I do know that St. Nicolas of Lyra who lived ca. 1270–1349AD (a big midieval Hebrew scholar to whom Martin Luther was indebted in his translation of the Old Testament) wrote things about Islam as well. So I wouldn't be surprised...

God Bless,
~Josh
 
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I know from previous studies of midieval Christian scholars and thelogians that they were quite aware of the growth of Isalm and some even wrote entire treatises against Islam back then. I believe there is an earlier example (I just can't remember who at the moment) of a Christian Hebrew scholar before the 10th century BC who wrote some things against Islam, but I do know that St. Nicolas of Lyra who lived ca. 1270–1349AD (a big midieval Hebrew scholar to whom Martin Luther was indebted in his translation of the Old Testament) wrote things about Islam as well. So I wouldn't be surprised...

God Bless,
~Josh

Josh,

Perhaps you are thinking about Aquinas' "Summa Contra Gentiles".

Here is a link. Jacques Maritain Center: Of God and His Creatures

Interesting to note in the Preface how every religious error stems from inadequate or false notions of who God is - and so St. Aquinas writes specifically to Muslims and Jews to explain Who God is.

Regards
 

theLords

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Wow, so this document is legit then? I found the whole thing somewhere else. The Monk's debating skills were so impressive. It's so amazing how it's the same accusations thrown at Christians for all these centuries.

Thanks for the link, Joe. (and your reply Josh) :)
 

cyberjosh

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Josh,

Perhaps you are thinking about Aquinas' "Summa Contra Gentiles".

Here is a link. Jacques Maritain Center: Of God and His Creatures

Interesting to note in the Preface how every religious error stems from inadequate or false notions of who God is - and so St. Aquinas writes specifically to Muslims and Jews to explain Who God is.

Regards

Thanks Joe. I want to say it was even further back than Aquinas but I've totally forgotten who it was now.

It's also interesting, tangentially, that you mentioned religious errors stemming from false notions of God because I have been going through a book with a group from Church on the names of God, and many times we have talked about how God's names reveal truths and characteristics about His nature that we can clearly see are perverted in/by paganism. One such thing was how elohim used of God singularly was perverted in to polytheism with multiple "gods". We also saw how the understanding of God as "El Shaddai" who blesses people with fertility and abundant blessings was twisted by worshiping idols that focused on the genial/generative powers of nature (Baal and Asherah were worshipped in fertilty cults). Basically the idea was that simple beautiful truths about God were terribly perverted by unbelieving men in the past.

But that is getting off topic, but I can easily see how that applies to Islam as to perverting the truths about Jesus and the Scripture.

Thanks for the link!

God Bless,
~Josh
 
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Free

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A prof once said that if one learned Syriac, one could find all sorts of apologetics against Islam.

Fantastic links!
 
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