Christians and Muslims : from double standards to mutual by Hugh Goddard

By Hugh Goddard

Probably the most chronic difficulties in Christian-Muslim relatives over the centuries has been the tendency via each one to pass judgement on the opposite via criteria and standards no longer utilized in assessing itself. Goddard argues that such isn't any longer admissible and proceeds to provide a couple of important insights.

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22 Translations have been made in different periods, however, into Persian and Turkish in the medieval period, and into Persian and Urdu in more modern times in the Indian Sub-continent by Sh h Wal ull h (d 1762CE/1176AH) and his sons respectively. The different attitudes of the two traditions to the question of translation is also reflected in their more general attitudes towards the study of their scriptures, especially in modern times. Many Christians have therefore been happy to apply a more inductive approach to the study of the Bible (what scripture means to me), leading to such activities as group Bible-study, whereas in the Muslim community a more deductive approach, relying for understanding on the interpretations of the great masters of the past, is more prevalent But it should be stressed that this is also true of significant parts of the Christian world, it being particularly in Protestant churches that the inductive approach is most established.

20 CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS Jesus, accompanying him throughout much of his travelling. Not particularly intellectual, they were very much ordinary Jews from Palestine, many of them having originally been fishermen. Many others, including many women, also became followers of Jesus, even if they were more like occasional visitors than permanent followers. It is clear, therefore, that Jesus’ message proved very attractive to many people in the Palestine of his day. This was not the case for all, however, since for a number of reasons Jesus’ teaching and actions managed to alienate and anger most of the existing schools of thought in the Jewish community at the time.

4 The contents of the Qur' n thus became known through the agency of one human being, in a relatively short time. SCRIPTURES 33 The situation with respect to the Christian scriptures, by contrast, is far more complex. For a start the Christian scriptures include not only specifically Christian books, books that is which were written by Christian authors on recognisably Christian concerns. They also include a number of books whose origins lie in pre-Christian times and whose authors were Jews. There are thus two substantially different sections, or testaments, within the Christian scriptures.

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