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Bible Quran trinity

Page history last edited by Kaisiris Tallini 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Jews, Christians, and Sabeans



The trinity mentioned in the Bible and Qur'an

There are three groups, a kind of trinity of peoples, who shall be rewarded from their Lord, according to both the Bible and the Qur'an.


Isaiah 44:5, New Living Translation, states:


"Some will proudly claim, 'I belong to the LORD.'

[Called Christians today.]


"Others will say, 'I am a descendant of Jacob.'

[Called Jews today.]


"Some will write the LORD's name on their hands

and will take the name of Israel as their own."

[What are these people called?]


What are those who will take the name of Israel as their own called today, and who are obviously distinct from the descendants of Jacob or Yisrael?


A hint comes from Revelation 3:12, New Living Translation:


All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God — the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.


What is Jesus' "new name" (Revelation 3:12), and why is he also called "Israel" or Yisrael (Isaiah 44:5)?


Wasn't Jesus' full name either Yeshua HaNotzri [יֵשׁוּעַ הַנָּצְרִי] in Ectohebrew, Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος in Ectogreek, or Jesus the Nazorean in Ectoenglish?


It should be noted that it seems obvious, at least to me, that this third group, distinct from both Jews and Christians, will be able to understand the reason why Jesus is also called "Israel" or Yisrael.


However, the Qur'an also supports a kind of trinity of true or righteous believers — or more broadly, a group of happy, successful, prosperous, and free-from-anxiety people, according to the best Muslim interpretation of the Quranic terms muflihoon [مفلحون], aflaha [افلح], and falah [فلاح] — in Surah 2:62, Talal Itani translation (2012):


Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans — any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously — will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.


"Those who believe" are the true Muslims, of course, and clearly the verse above also states that true Jews and Christians will see a reward from their Lord.


Many Muslims believe that the verse above suggests that only the Jews and Christians of back then, the "People of the Book" before Islam, that is, are the ones who shall be saved, not the Jews or Christians of today.


This, strictly speaking, however, doesn't make any sense.


First of all, Muhammad made the Constitution of Medina — which gave autonomy and freedom of religion to non-Muslims — for non-Muslims who were alive during Muhammad's life, but also for non-Muslims thereafter.


If there is anybody violating the constitutional law of Muhammad today, it is the so-called Muslims of Saudi Arabia, who do not allow freedom of religion for non-Muslims. This is also true, at least to a degree, in many other Muslim countries.


There are other issues also.


How can Jews and Christians that lived in Muhammad's time be saved if they are dead? Surely their life cannot be spared or improved!


Also, it must be observed from the verse above that the saved by the Lord shall not "grieve", but the dead cannot physically grieve. It is the living who (characteristically) grieve! This is like the concept of life insurance. Who is life insurance made for? The living, not the dead, and the verses above also apply to the living, not the dead, for these people shall not grieve!


Moreover, the position that negates salvation for non-Muslims implies that religious exclusivism is the position of a true religion, when in reality that it is the position of religious fools, not wise religious scholars or theologians. The verses above also make it clear that religious triumphalism, which speaks abundantly of a God of love, not a God of hatred, is even the correct Muslim view.


Who are the Sabeans — or Sabians — mentioned above?


The Sabeans existed before Muhammad, and are said to have read from a book called the Zabur — ie, the Bible's Book of Psalms.


Further descriptions of Islamic writers from the period of about 650 CE, and onward, say that the Sabeans lived in Iraq, and they "wash themselves with water", and had "long hair" and "white gowns". They had a monotheistic faith, and acknowledged the prophets. Their theology resembled that of Judaism and Christianity, yet the Sabeans were neither.


Sabeans today know a monotheistic God, and speak to angels in their meditations, each of whom they believe dwell in different stars. Various religious groups holding some Gnostic Harranian beliefs — like the Mandaeans — have sought to justify application of the term 'Sabean' to themselves, in the hopes of avoiding persecution. It seems that all legal affairs went downhill, towards Hell that is, after the death of Muhammad.


Some scholars hold that the Sabeans mentioned in the Qur'an are those currently referred to as Mandaeans.


Mandaeism or Mandaeanism is a monotheistic religion with a strongly dualistic world view. Mandaeans revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh (not to be confused with Enoch ben Jared), Noah, Shem ben Noah, Aram, and especially John the Baptist.


Mandaeans are Gnostic, yet believe in marriage and procreation. Consequently, Mandaeans do not practice celibacy or asceticism. Mandaeans will, however, abstain from strong drink and red meat.


Mandaeans recognise several prophets, and John the Baptist is accorded a special status, a much higher role than he enjoys in Christianity and Islam.


Mandaeans do not consider John the Baptist to be the founder of their religion, but revere him as one of their greatest teachers, tracing their beliefs all the way back to Adam.


Mandaeans maintain that Jesus was a mšiha kdaba, a "false messiah" who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John the Baptist.


Some Mandaeans, motivated perhaps by a more ecumenical, a truer religious spirit, translate the words mšiha kdaba differently, and say that Jesus was not a "lying Messiah", but a "book Messiah", the book in question presumably being the Christian Gospels of the New Testament.


The notes of the Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an state that latest research has revealed a small remnant of a religious community numbering about 2,000 souls in Lower Iraq, near Basra. In Arabic, these people are called Subbi [السبي] — plural: Subba [السوبا].


They are also called Sabeans and Nasoraeans — Nazoreans like Yeshua the Nazorean! —, or Mandaeans, or Christians of St John.


They claim to be Gnostics, or Knowers of the Great Life.


They dress in white, and believe in frequent immersions in water. Their Book Ginza, is in a dialect of Aramaic. They have theories of Darkness and Light, as in Zoroastrianism. They use the name Yardan (Jordan) for any river.


They live in peace and harmony among their Muslim neighbours, and they resemble the Sabeans mentioned in the Qur'an, but are probably not identical to them.


The pseudo-Sabeans of Harran, who attracted the attention of Khalifah Ma'munal Rashid in 830 CE by their long hair, and peculiar dress, probably adopted the name as it was mentioned in the Qur'an, in order to claim the privileges of the "People of the Book".


They were Syrian star worshippers with Hellenistic tendencies, like the Jews who were contemporary with Jesus. It is doubtful whether they had any right to be called "People of the Book" in the technical sense of the term.


Yusuf Ali, however, thinks that — although he admits many authorities would probably disagree — the term "People of the Book" can be extended by analogy to cover earnest followers of Zoroaster, of the Vedas, of the Buddha, of Confucius, and other Teachers of the moral law.


There was also another people called Sabaens, who played an important part in the history of early Arabia, and are known through their inscriptions in an alphabet allied to the Phoenician and the Babylonian. They had a flourishing kingdom in the Yemen tract in South Arabia in about 800–700 BCE, although they may have originated in North Arabia.


These Sabeans worshipped the planets and stars, such as the Moon, the Sun, and Venus. Probably the Queen of Sheba is connected with them. They succumbed to Abyssinia in about 350 CE, and to Persia in about 579 CE. Their capital was near San'a — the capital of Yemen today.


Surah 22:17, of the Talal Itani translation (2012), also mentions the Sabeans:


Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Sabeans, and the Christians, and the Zoroastrians, and the Polytheists — God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection [or Judgement]. God is witness to all things.


This surah (chapter 22) and ayah (verse 17) of the Qur'an, employs the broader definition of "People of the Book" which Indian-British barrister, and Muslim scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali (14.04.1872 – 10.12.1953) would favour.


Moreover, Surah 3:55, of the Talal Itani translation (2012), also states:


God said, "O Jesus, I am terminating your life, and raising you to Me, and clearing you of those who disbelieve. And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection [or Judgement]. Then to Me is your return; then I will judge between you [your true followers] regarding what you were disputing."


Did Jesus die on Friday, 7 April, in the year 30 CE, or did he actually die on Saturday, 8 April, in the year 30 CE?


According to the surah (chapter 3) and ayah (verse 55) above, Jesus did indeed die, unlike what Christians suggest with the probably very Constantinian resurrection story, but it will be God to settle all these religious disputes, even any uncertainties about the exact Julian calendar date on which Jesus died, like I have.


MT Kaisiris Tallini




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