By Gabriel Reynolds
In 385 AH/AD 995 the Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar, renowned for his Mu'tazili theological writings, wrote the affirmation of the Proofs of Prophecy, a piece that features a inventive polemic opposed to Christianity. 'Abd al-Jabbar reinterprets the Bible, Church heritage (especially the lives of Paul and Constantine) and Christian perform to argue that Christians replaced the Islamic faith of Jesus. the current paintings starts with an exam of the arguable concept that this polemic used to be borrowed from an unknown Judaeo-Christian staff. the writer argues that 'Abd al-Jabbar's polemic is best understood as a reaction to his specific milieu and the on-going inter-religious debates of the medieval Islamic global. via analyzing the lifestyles and regarded 'Abd al-Jabbar, in addition to the Islamic, Christian and Jewish antecedants to his polemic, the writer uncovers the intimate dating among sectarian controversy and the improvement of an Islamic doctrine on Christianity.
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42 It is not clear, however, who the ﬁrst of these pioneers was. There are a number of polemical texts attributed to Wàßil b. 43 S. Griﬃth, meanwhile, considers the possibility that Wàsil b. 'A†à" might be the “Wàßil alDimashqì” referred to in a disputational text set in the court of the Byzantine emperor Leo III (r. 44 Yet, as Griﬃth notes, there is not enough known about Wàsil (except, perhaps, that he was not a dimashqì, “Damascene”) to make a conclusive judgment on this. More is known of Îiràr b.
Reference from G. Monnot, Penseurs musulmans (Paris: J. Vrin, 1974), 143. Elsewhere Fàràbì, himself on the receiving end of the mutakallimùn’s intellectual aggression, suggests that these oﬀensive tactics are a way for those scholars to cover up their own defects: 38 A certain group of them hold the opinion that they should defend things of this sort, which they imagine to be absurd, by looking into other sects and selecting the absurd things in them, so that when a follower of one of the other sects seeks to vilify something in theirs, they will confront him with the absurd things in the sect of the other and thus ward oﬀ his assault upon their own sect.
Pines’ devotion to this project, it seems to me, is akin to the devotion of an archaeologist who is convinced that there lie, somewhere under the ground, traces of a forgotten civilization. He excavates many sites seeking to unearth the proof that he knows is there. 3. The Goals of the Present Work In the preceding survey I have introduced, essentially,76 the sum of western scholarship on the Critique, and it is clear that the lacunae 74 Pines comments: “In the second century, Tatian, who had been a student of Justin’s and was subsequently decried as a heretic, composed in Syriac a Harmony of the four Gospels, which, because of its four components, was known as the Diatesseron.