12 November 2010

Quran 2:243-286 -- Zombie soldiers, Rip Van Winkle, bird talk, and other silly stories

Allah begins this section by asking Muhammad if he'd heard the story about the resurrected soldiers. You know, the one where back in the day there were thousands of soldiers that Allah told to die and then after they died he raised them from the dead. Yeah that one.

Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. 2:243

They even made a movie about it.

Next Allah tells us all to fight in the way of Allah.

Fight in the way of Allah. 2:244

And asks us for a loan, promising to pay us back with interest. Allah straightens and enlarges whatever is bent or small.

Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. 2:245

Then Allah starts with the Bible stories. And, as usual, he gets them all wrong. First he has angels carrying the ark.

Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. ... And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come unto you the ark ... the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) ye are believers. 2:247-8

And then he confuses Saul with Gideon when telling the stupid dog-lapping story of Judges 7:5-7.

And when Saul set out with the army, he said: Lo! Allah will try you by (the ordeal of) a river. Whosoever therefore drinketh thereof he is not of me, and whosoever tasteth it not he is of me, save him who taketh (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. But they drank thereof, all save a few of them. And after he had crossed (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: We have no power this day against Goliath and his hosts. But those who knew that they would meet Allah exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah's leave! 2:249

And, of course, every twenty verses or so, he throws in something like this.

The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers. 2:254

Then Allah says something nice for a change.

There is no compulsion in religion. 2:256

But in the next verse he ruins it by saying he'll torture non-Muslims forever after they die. There's no compulsion in religion, but you'll be tortured forever if you don't accept the right religion.

As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. 2:257

Next Abraham argues with a disbeliever by saying, "God makes the sun rise in the east. Make it rise in the west." Which totally abashed the disbeliever. But the disbeliever should have said, "I make the sun rise in the east. Ask Allah to make it rise in the west." That would have abashed Abraham and Allah.

Bethink thee of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He Who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. 2:258

Then Allah tells us about a guy who had been dead for 100 years that he brought back to life. That's even cooler than the Rip Van Winkle story.

Or (bethink thee of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death ? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried ? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have not rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! 2:259

But Abraham, even after hearing all of Allah's tall tales, still wasn't sure he believed. So Allah told him to put four birds on a hill and then call to them. (Here birdie, birdie!) Then when the birds come, you'll believe. Allah is mighty, wise, idiotic.

And when Abraham said (unto his Lord): My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe ? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my heart may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste, and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise. 2:260

And now it's time for Allah to say something nasty again about disbelievers.

Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. 2:264

The next 20 or so verses are too boring to comment on. But in verse 282, Allah tells us how much he thinks a woman is worth -- one half of a man.

And call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women. 2:282

And we finally come to an end of the longest surah in the Quran, where Allah asks himself (or somebody else) to "give us victory over the disbelieving folk."

Give us victory over the disbelieving folk. 2:286

Good luck with that, Allah.


Bogging the Quran
3: --

25 comments:

The Wise Fool said...

"Allah straiteneth and enlargeth."
Holy crap, Allah is better than Viagra! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

wentworth said...

okay, so the koran is a mish mash of jibberish. but, as i read your blog i feel a sense on unease. of course, it is easy to point out this nonsense, but in a deeper cultural sense maybe it made sense. for instance, in your last post, all the stuff about unclean women, well maybe in the desert he was just trying to promte some cleanliness, not writing about it in today's sanitized society. so, i suggest you try to do more than just recite the stupidities of it all but now move to gain a deeper grounding in the culture and thoughts of the times. as an example, i've read that muhammed was very progressive FOR HIS TIME on the rights of women. Putting aside that he was likely a narcissistic schizo child molester of a power cult, shouldn't he get credit for that? in a like minded vein, you noted it was with humor that you were saying "Paul started it all" in your last post, but can yousay anything damaging about Jesus? I don't think so, he simply preached love and compassion. What I'm getting at is that your blog seems to be a need to prove how clever you are, and I think you can do better than that.

Steve Wells said...

I understand your concern, wentworth. And I, at least somewhat, agree with you. It's easy (and fun) to make fun of the Quran, Bible, and Book of Mormon; it's much harder to find something good to say about them. And if it wasn't that several billion people (pretend to) base their most important beliefs upon these books, I'd have nothing to say about them at all.

But you give Jesus way too much credit, wentworth. Jesus did a lot more than preach love and compassion. He said, for example, that you must hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and yourself in order to be his disciple (Luke 14:26) -- along with many other nasty things that I'll get to someday if I ever blog the New Testament.

So I'm not interested in trying to find something nice to say about the terrible trinity (Bible, Quran, and Book of Mormon). I'll point the nice stuff out when I can find something nice, and I'll do the same with the nasty. But I won't pretend that the nasty is nice if you look at it from the "deeper grounding in the culture and thoughts of the times." Yes the cultures at the times of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and Joseph Smith were much nastier than today's. That's why we shouldn't base our beliefs upon books that were supposedly revealed by God to people living in those cultures.

It's time to stop making excuses for the inexcusable, wentworth. No matter how nasty it might sound.

wentworth said...

Steve- with all due respect, I'm not saying you should try to find something nice to say, I'm saying that what is said can be read in a much deeper cultural context. it still may be ridiculous, but it is much more interesting t know why it was said at the tiime it was written as opposed to just pointing out how ridiculous it is today. As for the statement regarding Christ, this is a perfect example. In the context he was, most christians feel, not talking itterally to leave one's family but spiritually to rise above the earthly emothions and strive for something greater. I challenge you to find something really damaging about Jesus - I don't thnk you can, which may prove that he is, in fact appreciably different from the pedophile Muhammed or the other crazies.

Bukko Canukko said...

It's always nice to see how other faiths' holy books are just as gibbering as Christianity's. I tried to read the Koran a couple of times, but it was so maundering that I had to put it down in boredom. No special offense meant to Muslims -- I regard them with the same hilarity as I do any believers in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

RsD said...

Wentworth,

Let me know what translation of the Bible you have that says what you are claiming that it does. Any ones I've come across mention WAY too many specific family members to support your garbage, make-myself-feel-better, I've-probably-never-even-really-read-the-Bible translation.

I guess what I'm saying, with all due respect, read your own "holy" book.

RsD said...

Also, here's something damaging about Jesus. There is nothing about his mythology that wasn't taken from mythologies before him.

Steve Wells said...

Wentworth,

If my posts about the Quran don’t interest you, don’t read them. I’m just trying to point out what the Quran actually says; I’ll leave it to others to explain why it says what it says (and why it doesn’t actually mean what it says).

But I absolutely love your response to Luke 14:26. Jesus misspoke (or was misquoted). He didn’t mean what he said. In fact, he meant precisely the opposite of what he actually said.

Here’s what Jesus said: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

But that’s not what he meant. Here’s what he meant: “If any man come to me, and love not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

If anyone else said that you had to hate yourself and your family in order to be a follower, that person would be considered to be both egotistic and insane. Jesus does that and everyone ignores it, covers it up, or denies it. Jesus says you must hate your family to be his disciple. Do you hate your family, wentworth?

Robert said...

How much do you think a woman is mworth?

Anders said...

"in your last post, all the stuff about unclean women, well maybe in the desert he was just trying to promte some cleanliness"

I've heard that argument as an attempt to justify kosher and halal. Usually with reference to things like salmonella and other diseases those people - even with the help of an active god - couldn't cure.

But women??? Are you seriously saying it should be read as "don't touch that woman, you don't know where she's been?" and that this ever made sense from any perspective, cultural, medical or psychological?

Dear me

Steve Wells said...

Robert,

How much do you think a woman is mworth?

Twice as much as Allah implies in 2:282.

wentworth said...

Most scholarly commentary says the translation of the word hate from the original greek means "love less than" and further that this was the understanding in Jewish culture. Thus, my point is simply that the word as translated into english may not have the same meaning we use it for. if any of you have studied foreign languages (as I'm sure you have)you know that some languages have phrases andexpressions that can never be meaningfully translated into english. You seem to take a joy in having an absolutist belief in your correctness that jesus was mouthing gibberish but not basing your statements on deep thought. The great irony is that the fun you make of others for believing this stuff reflects your own intellectual poverty when you are so strident in your own pride and self-satisfaction. What are you scared of Steve? Finding out that you are not God and that Jesus is your savior? This seems such a rigid outlook on life. of course it is fine and admirable for you to point out the idiocy of much of religiou teachings, but my point is still valid - you can do better. You seem really smart, so I guess I just would like to see you push yourself futher. That said, I agree with your points on he pedophile Muhammed.

Steve Wells said...

Most scholarly commentary says the translation of the word hate from the original greek means "love less than …

That’s nice. Then when Jesus used the same word “miseo” in these verses what he really meant to say was “love less than.”

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you ... for the Son of man's sake." Luke 6:22

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you." Luke 6:27

"The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." John 7:7

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." John 15:18

"He that hateth me hateth my Father also." John 15:23

And when 1 John talks about “hating” your brother (using the same word “miseo” that Jesus used in Luke 14:26) he really meant “love less than.”

"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." 1 John 3:15

Thanks for clearing all that up, wentworth. Now I can get back to my strident pride, self-satisfaction, intellectual poverty, and absolutist belief that I am God so that I can refuse to accept Jesus as my savior.

By the way, wentworth, how old do you think Lot’s virgin daughters were when that just and righteous man had sexual intercourse with them? Do you think Lot was more just and righteous than “the pedophile” Muhammad?

RsD said...

Wentworth, if your alleged inerrant word of your alleged god can't hold up to a little translating, then what value can its fairy tales really have?

Also your implication that 'hate' is a word that doesn't translate rings pretty hollow.

If you were half as smart and aware as you are currently pretending to be you would be able to figure out that the EXACT same logic you are using to determine that every "holy" book, minus one, equally proves that yours is just as much full of nonsense as the rest.

wentworth said...

it is interesting the defensiveness to which you seem to react to my comments; to me your stridancy is little different frm that of the fanatics, just at the other end f the spectrum. Christians often have bible study. The reason for this is that the bible is meant to be studied. If you buy a cholarly and reputable commentary on the bible, such as Oxford's, you will see begin to understand that language exists in context and is subject to distortion. Many Christians learn greek or have a dual greek english bible because this assists the process. Steve, i have no doubt that a few years from now you will accept Christ as your savior for the only reason that you seem really smart so I think the truth will become clear to you once you sit down and study. I suggest you join a bible group and tune into Joel Osteen on tv, who is I think the best preacher there is today. I also recomment Charles Stanley. Oh, as to your quesiton about Lot, there is a reason there is an Old Testament and a New Testament. Jesus is about salvation and peace and love; that Muhammed was a pedophile has nothing to do with Lot, who was not saved by Christ.

wentworth said...

Steve, just FYI, this is the translation of Luke 26 -14 from the new Living Translation Bibe, a widely used translation among mainstream christians: "If you want to bemy disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison..." what jesus is saying is that the world will always lead people astray, and Christ (God) must be foremost in one's life to be a victor. Steve, I'd really love to hear your thoughts on Joel osteen, check your tv listings and watch a couple of shows and let me know what you think. BTW, further to Lot, he was raped by his daughters; Muhammed raped a six year old girl. i think there's a difference. Finally, I think you have a great blog and do a real service raising these important questions.

wentworth said...

As to RsD- I feel you carry a lot of pain which leads to your defensive posture. christ loves you. Watch a couple of episodes of Joel psteen and let me know what you think.

RsD said...

I have watched him on more than one occasion and I think that Joel Osteen can not string two sentences together without squinting or talking with his eyes closed.

There is SIGNIFICANT scientific studies that tie this behavior to those who are openly lying and hoping to avoid eye contact with those he is lying to.

Your inability to even capitalize the word Christ indicates that you are also aware that he is imaginary and feel bad about lying about/for him.

Wentworth, have you ever had sex? It tends to wake a person up. Why did Lot not stop his daughters from "raping" him?

And, no, I am not angry. In fact, I get amused whenever religious people of any strip thrash the nonsense in someone else's book of fables while doing logical tap dances in order to try and defend theirs. Dance away.

trj said...

wentworth, one can simply look at one particular aspect of the overall theme Jesus preaches: per default everybody is going to hell.

Everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus, which would be about three quarters of Earth's population - billions of people - will be going to Hell according to NT.

I'd argue that no offense justifies eternal torture, and especially not when the offense can best be described as a minor infraction - not believing in Jesus as a divine savior. That he would be willing to throw people into hell for things like this reveals a petty, sadistic side of Jesus (which is actually in keeping with how God often appears in OT).

twillight said...

Seems this was the "day of wentworth" :D (one of Lovecraft's wiritings the pun points)

Here is some things that "damage" Mr. J.:
- promoting hatred
- advocating self-mutilation
- hypocracy (do as I say, not say what I do)
- disadvocating sex
- advocating being a beggar
and a lot of other things what you can find in the Bible when you finally read it.


@trj
There is no "going to Hell" thing in the New Covenant (it is NOT testament actually). There is a going to the Lake of Fire thing (what is total destruction), but no ethernal punishment (at least how I see that thing).

trj said...

@twilight:

NT usually mentions a lake of fire, but there's at least one specific use of the word "Hell" in Mark, and he uses the two interchangeably.

What's more, the fire in this lake of fire is usually described as everlasting - which to me is clearly synonymous with eternal punishment by torture. An everlasting lake of fire definitely sounds like the archetypal definition of Hell to me.

See for example:
- Mark 9:45
- Matt. 18:8
- Matt. 25:31-46
- 2 Thes. 1:8-9

twillight said...

@trj

The Fire is everlasting, but not the Punishment.

trj said...

@twilight:
Well, we can't really tell from the Bible. It's rather ambiguous as to what exactly constitutes the everlasting punishment Jesus promises us. Is it:

a) everlasting torture in the lake of fire, or

b) death, which is everlasting but without torture (though with an initial finite amount of torture in the lake of fire before you die).

How you interpret the verses in question is probably mostly decided by whichever Christian doctrine you choose to subscribe to.

If one goes for option b, I have to wonder why the fire must be everlasting as Jesus/God would have no more need for it once Judgement day has passed and the last sinners are dead.

twillight said...

@trj

My interpretation is, that the Lake of Fire is the place of the Second Death. The First Death is the Death of the Body, the Second Death is the Death of the Soul (or specific ideas).
Those who end up there get annihilated.

On the contrary those who get in Heaven, will be eternal slaves of Jealous.

The Fire (and it's smoke) is everlasting to be a memorystone/pillar/whatever to those who will reside in the Coming Kingdom. It will be kept as a reminder, a warning.

(this is actually my idea after the reading)

Onslaught Six said...

Hello! I'd just like to point out that "Zombie Soldiers" was not actually any kind of big movie. In fact, it was a really small-scale movie put together by a handful of guys and it (honestly) wasn't very good. It also had nothing to do with religion.

The guy who filmed it (my friend) and the guy who wrote and starred in it kind of had a falling out, and now the film isn't really available anywhere. But I did the music for it and have the soundtrack available for download!
http://onslaughtsix.bandcamp.com/album/zombie-soldiers-ost