Wednesday, July 04, 2007

On mercy, killing and the release of prisoners

Fantastic news about Alan Johnson being freed. How wonderful to switch on the TV and hear good news.

By an odd coincidence, I was doing a bit of research for something I am working on when I heard about Alan's release. I will share some of the findings with you, as this blog has come over all theological recently.

Okay readers. Here's some topical words from the Qur'an, the Torah/Prophets/Old Testament and the New Testament.

Can you spot which quotation is from which book?

(a) ''... give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts-- these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).''

(b) ''I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness''

(c) ''The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed''

Interesting, hmmm? Right, here's three more...

(d) "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.''

(e) ''And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the [Sacred Place] until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

(f) ''You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you''.

Slightly trickier, I think. See if you are right - answers tomorrow.

Interesting fact: There are 44 matches for 'kill' in the Qur'an, and 151 matches for 'mercy'
In the Bible, there are 124 matches for 'mercy' - and 421 matches for 'kill'.

Ho hum.

People have of course been using their holy books to provide justification for lamping seven shades out of each other for many centuries. They have also been feeding the poor, releasing prisoners and caring for the sick whilst pointing out that their holy books instruct them too as well.

If I was God, I would send down a clearer instuction manual. Or gnash My teeth that after all these years, My creatures were still failing to live together in peace, despite centuries of professed gratitude to Me for creating and sustaining life, and calling all life sacred.



Blogger Henry North London 2.0 said...

F and D from the Bible, A from the Quran, B from the Torah ( ie the first five books of the old testament Bible) E from the Torah) C from the Quran

By the way Im completely guessing...

July 04, 2007 8:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I quite get the point about the number of times 'kill' and 'mercy' appear in the Koran and the Bible.

Surely the point is that no one should be using any religion to justify murder... And at the moment, anti-abortion fundamentalists not withstanding, using theology to justify killing does seem to be rather more common in Islam than other religions.

July 04, 2007 8:51 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Well, absolutely, Woffle, nobody should use religion to justify murder ( hence the 'if I was God I would gnash my teeth...').

The point was because there has been quite a lot of stuff recently about 'how violent the Qu'ran is'. So I thought it would be interesting to look at how violent the Bible is by comparison. Surprise, surprise...

July 04, 2007 8:58 pm  
Blogger David Mackinder said...

a) = Qu'ran
b) = Old Testament (Isaiah)
c) = New Testament (Jesus quoting Isaiah)

d) = New Testament (Jesus, again)
e) = Qu'ran
f) = Old Testament (Leviticus)

I knew that theology degree would come in useful one day!

July 05, 2007 12:17 am  
Blogger dc007 said...

Why are you all making the same error in writing Qur'an?

July 05, 2007 1:49 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

dc007 We've all made completely different errors as it happens. Quran, Qu'ran, and Koran( which is a correct form) Thanks, though, I've changed mine. .

July 05, 2007 3:37 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

And David is the winner!

July 05, 2007 3:37 pm  

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