Did Muhammad Ever Really Live?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ps104_33, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    There is a group of prominent German Islamic scholars, who are becoming increasingly aggressive about questioning whether the existence of the Prophet is even historically accurate. The theory got its most recent backing from the University of M√ľnster's Professor Muhammad Sven Kalisch, who is in charge of training teachers for Islamic education at the secondary-school level. The Ministry of Education of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is now planning to calm the waters by appointing an additional professor of Islamic pedagogy. Are we witnessing a split into




    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,579052,00.html
     
  2. Major B

    Major B
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    I'd walk around in a flak vest if I'd published such an idea--somebody will be issuing Fatwa's just about any time now, I reckon.
     
  3. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy
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    Hey German Higher Criticism hits Islam! The next thing you know they'll be holding a "Muhammad Seminar" with black and red marbles and everything...
     
  4. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    It does sound a bit like holocaust-denial.

    Enough is known from objective sources the bare bones of Mohammed's life that I do not see how this critique could stand up.

    Interesting, however, isn't it, that we have no sources external to the New Testament about the life of Jesus?
     
  5. TC

    TC
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    Really??

    http://www.provethebible.net/T2-Divin/D-0201.htm
     
  6. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    These are evidences of Christianity, not of Jesus. They show us that indeed there were people who believed in Jesus as the Christ. But they give us no information about Jesus himself.
     
  7. TC

    TC
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    No, they are not just evidences of Christianity. The ancient historians (not believers in Jesus) wrote that Jesus lived, healed people, gained a following of disciples, and was crucified by Pilate. This proves that Jesus was a real person that actually lived and is not a made up myth.
     
  8. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Well, I think we are looking at the idea of evidence differently. These writers were not eye-witnesses. They did not interact with Jesus. I think it is reasonable to say that they did not interact with the eyewitnesses. And so at that remove theirs is "hearsay" evidence, though I do not mean anything pejorative by that. They knew, or knew of, people who believed in Jesus. But they did not have documentable knowledge of His life.

    Now let me turn my argument on its head, however, to say that no one in the ancient world questioned whether He actually lived. Surely no one then or now could seriously argue that these world-changers grew out of only the "idea" of a Christ.

    My only point, at the beginning of this discussion, was to say that just as the group of people cited argue that Mohammed may not have actually lived because there are no sources external to the Koran to prove it, and that that is not proof that he was a figment of sanctified imagination, so also we cannot really go outside the Bible to document Jesus. We can document His followers, but not Him. But in neither instance does it make sense to jump to the conclusion that no such person lived.

    I think you and I are on the same page, just on different sides of it!
     
  9. Gold Dragon

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    I think you are placing an unreasonable standard for historical evidence. There is very little historical writing that is actually direct eye-witness reports. What eye-witness reports were made often did not survive the test of time.

    The number of people who could write, had the materials to write and the clout to have their writings copied and distributed was miniscule compared to the ease that it is done today.

    While I agree that the number and amount of information we have from non-Christian sources about Jesus is small, it is probably more than many other historical figures whose writings about them were even further removed from the source, especially if you want to remove what could be potentially "biased" views from people who were close to the source like we do when we exclude Christian sources.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    I agree with your main argument that this is not proof that Mohammad didn't exist. But it is fair to say that Christ does have some fairly solid historical evidence of existence from non-Christian sources where Mohammad has very little or none from non-Muslim sources.
     

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