Christian or Jew: We’re All Gettin’ Judged
Verse 113 is really capturing an age-old argument, huh? The latter half of the verse says that God alone will judge Jews and Christians in their differences on the Day of Reckoning, but I can’t help but think that this is not saying that God will judge who is right, Christians or Jews, but rather that each will be judged on his individual merit, like Muslims.
Jews and Christians both believe in God and the Day of Judgment and as the Quran has already told us, with those elements in place, they are now to be judged based on whether they have done good. This, I think, is a great attitude for the Quran to have about such matters. It’s almost a, “stop bickering now, do what you’re supposed to, and we’ll just have to see on the Day of Judgment” sort of attitude.
Let’s Talk Jesus
Verse 116 does seem to be taking issue with the whole Jesus thing (his son status, not his prophet status), and interestingly, what is implicit here is actually the way that the original phrase, Son of God, was intended. The Quran says that everything belongs to God and that all are obedient to Him. Thus, calling Jesus God’s son seems to be a tautology. For we are all of God. Indeed, in Jesus’ time the phrases “Son of God” and “Children of God” were very common and everyone used them. Today, we over-interpret them to make Jesus the actual Son of God. The Quran seems to acknowledge this fact.
Verse 118 actually reflects a concern of Jesus, that only the wicked in any generation ask for signs (Matthew 16:4) – the Quran seems to agree. Signs come when God wants to give them, and asking for them is tantamount to not having faith.
How Do We Read the Quran? As It Should Be Read, of course
The remaining verses affirm the veracity of the Quran (I think I’m right in assuming that’s the book being referred to here?), and note that the Jews and Christians will continue trying to instigate a reversal of belief in the Quran.
I do find the words “read it as it should be read” to be very interesting. First, it means that there must be a vast literature on how the Quran should be read and surely not everyone agrees on how (plain sense only, deeper meaning beneath, interpreted like crazy, etc.) and second it means that people then have the ability to say that it is they who are “reading it as it should be read.” Just seems like the line, though intended innocently enough to say that you can’t read the Quran however you please, will actually be used to claim authority and back up people’s varying interpretations.
What do you think of these verses? Do you have anything to add? Please share with us.
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Read More Quran Read-A-Long.
The Cow 113 – 121
113. The Jews say: “The Christians are not right,” and the Christians say: “The Jews are in the wrong;” yet both read the Scriptures; and this is what the unread had said too. God alone will judge between them in their differences on the Day of Reckoning. 114. And who is more unjust than he who prohibits the name of God being used in His mosques, who hurries to despoil them even though he has no right to enter them except in reverence? For them is ignominy in the world and severe punishment in the life to come. 115. To God belong the East and the West. Wherever you turn the glory of God is everywhere: All-pervading is He and all-knowing. 116. Yet they say that God has begotten a son. May He be praised! Indeed every thing in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him, and all are obedient to God. 117. Creator fo the heavens and the earth from nothingness, He has only to say when He wills a thing: “Be,” and it is. 118. But those who are ignorant say: “Why does God not speak or show us a sign?” The same question had been asked by men before them, who were like them in their hearts. But to those who are firm in their faith We have shown Our signs already. 119. And We have sent you with the truth to give glad tidings and to warn. You will not be questioned about those who are inmates of Hell. 120. The Jews and Christians will never be pleased with you until you follow their way. Say: “God’s guidance alone is true guidance;” for if you give in to their wishes after having received the (Book of) knowledge from God, then none will you have as friend or helper to save you. 121. Those to whom We have sent down the Book, and who read it as it should be read, believe in it truly; but those who deny it will be losers.