The First Century’s ISIS and Al Qaeeda

Professor Reza Aslan describes a group of first century Jews who used terrorism and assassinations in an effort to further their cause. I wonder if the Roman authorities blamed the Old Testament for the terrorist actions of the Sicarii.

The Sicarii were zealots fuelled by an apocalyptic worldview and a fervent devotion to establishing God’s rule on earth. They were fanatical in their opposition to the Roman occupation, though they reserved their vengeance for those Jews, particularly among the wealthy priestly aristocracy, who submitted to Roman rule. Fearless and unstoppable, the Sicarii murdered their opponents with impunity: in the middle of the city, in broad daylight, in the midst of great hordes, during feast days and festivals…

…The leader of the Sicarii at the time was a young Jewish revolutionary named Menahem, the grandson of none other than the failed messiah Judas the Galilean. Menahem shared his grandfather’s hatred for the wealthy priestly aristocracy in general, and the unctuous high priests in particular. To the Sicarii, Jonathan son of Ananus was an imposter: a thief and a swindler who had grown rich exploiting the suffering of the people…

..In the year 56 CE, the Sicarii under Menahem’s leadership were finally able to achieve what Judas the Galilean could only dream of accomplishing. During the feast of Passover, a Sicarii assassin pushed his way through the mass of pilgrims packed into the Temple Mount until he was close enough to the high priest Jonathan to pull out a dagger and swipe it across his throat.

…the Sicarii had only just begun their reign of terror. Shouting their slogan “No lord but God” they began attacking the members of the Jewish ruling class, plundering their possessions, kidnapping their relatives, and burning down their homes. Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Reza Aslan, The Westbourne Press p51-53



Categories: Islam

52 replies

  1. “I wonder if the Roman authorities blamed the Old Testament for the terrorist actions of the Sicarii.”

    Indeed! In the Bible there are plenty of allegedly divinely sanctioned mass killings of innocent women, children and babies. See for instance 1 Samuel 15.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think that any credible NT scholars take reza Aslan’s book seriously.

    Like

    • I don’t think that anyone on this blog takes what you say seriously.

      You have a big problem:

      In the Bible there are plenty of divinely sanctioned mass killings of innocent women, children and babies. See for instance 1 Samuel 15.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I’m not pretending to out myself forward as a credible NT scholar, Aslan is, but no credible NT scholars will give his dawah the time of day.

      What is your point about 1 Samuel 15? Where in the quran is 1 Samuel 15 condemned?

      Like

    • ‘I’m not pretending to out myself forward as a credible NT scholar, Aslan is’

      No he is not.

      ‘but no credible NT scholars will give his dawah the time of day’

      He is not giving dawah he is giving us his view of the historical jesus. In fact some top NT scholars like professor Dale Martin from Yale University have give his work positive reviews.

      Martin (a Christian) concludes his review of Aslan’s book:

      “It is a serious presentation of one plausible portrait of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.”

      See this review in the New York Times.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/books/reza-aslans-zealot-the-life-and-times-of-jesus-of-nazareth.html

      “Mr. Aslan’s book has been greeted with unwarranted controversy. Some conservatives seem offended by merely the idea that a Muslim scholar would write a book about Jesus. This should be no more controversial than a Christian scholar’s writing a book about Islam or Muhammad. It happens all the time. Nor is Mr. Aslan’s thesis controversial, at least among scholars of early Christianity.”

      Have YOU read he book? Of course not.

      ‘What is your point about 1 Samuel 15? Where in the quran is 1 Samuel 15 condemned?’

      LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      Yawn….

      The meat of the review……

      Mr. Aslan’s thesis is not as startling, original or “entirely new” as the book’s publicity claims……………..the book also suffers from common problems in popularization, like proposing outdated and simplistic theories for phenomena now seen as more complex.

      Do you think we can’t read?

      Like

    • Here’s a review from a jewish publication…..

      While Aslan spills much ink arguing his thesis, nothing he has to say is at all new or original. The scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, or the “Jewish Jesus,” has been engaged by hundreds of academics for the past quarter millennium and has produced a mountain of books and a vast body of serious scholarly debate. The only novelty in Aslan’s book is his relentlessly reductionist, simplistic, one-sided and often harshly polemical portrayal of Jesus as a radical, zealously nationalistic, and purely political figure.

      …and…..

      To address the obvious problem that the Jesus depicted in Christian Scriptures is the antithesis of a zealously political, let alone ignorant and illiterate, peasant rebel and bandit, Aslan deploys a rich arsenal of insults to dismiss any New Testament narrative that runs counter to his image of Jesus as a guerilla leader, who gathered and led a “corps” of fellow “bandits” through the back roads of the Galilee on their way to mount a surprise insurrection against Rome and its Priestly lackeys in Jerusalem. Any Gospel verse that might complicate, let alone undermine, Aslan’s amazing account, he insolently dismisses as “ridiculous,” “absurd,” “preposterous,” “fanciful,” “fictional,” “fabulous concoction,” or just “patently impossible.”

      Aslan’s entire book is, as it turns out, an ambitious and single-minded polemical counter-narrative to what he imagines is the New Testament’s portrayal of Jesus Christ. The strawman Jesus against whom he is arguing, however, is a purely heavenly creature, far closer to the solely and absolutely unearthly Christ of the 2nd-century heretic Marcion, than the exceedingly complex man/God depicted by the Evangelists and painstakingly developed in the theological works of the early Church Fathers.

      …but then…….

      The persistent problem permeating Aslan’s narrative is that he never provides his readers with so much as a hint of any method for separating fact from fiction in the Gospels, a challenge that has engaged actual scholars of the New Testament for the last two centuries. Nowhere does he explain, given his overall distrust of the Gospels as contrived at best and deliberately fictitious at worst, why he trusts anything at all recorded in the New Testament. But one needn’t struggle too hard to discern Aslan’s selection process: Whichever verses fit the central argument of his book, he accepts as historically valid. Everything else is summarily dismissed as apologetic theological rubbish of absolutely no historical worth.

      That emboldened part at the end is par for the course for islamic apologists on this site (Yahya, I’m lookng at you). LOL.

      Like

  3. Like I said Dale Martin from Yale University concludes his review of Aslan’s book:

    “It is a serious presentation of one plausible portrait of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.”

    This refutes your claim that NO scholar takes him seriously. One other scholar gives him a bad review – so what? Scholars disagree.

    Btw how should the man in the street feel about a ‘holy’ book commanding genocide:

    “utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”?

    What kind of god is this? Obviously not a God of Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      Poor Paul – one dimensional thinking and inability to move beyond simplistic dichotomous thinking.

      God is love and he is a just god who – obviously – administers justice.

      Still not seeing your point about 1 Samuel 15

      Like

    • Lol you are a waste of time then.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Btw how should the man in the street feel about a ‘holy’ book commanding genocide:

      “utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”?

      What kind of god is this? Obviously not a God of Love.” PW

      How should a God of love behave?

      Like

    • Good question. What’s your view?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I provided some insight previously. The little ones go to heaven immediately and automatically. The adults were so thoroughly depraved that eventually the children may have become as wicked as their parents, so in a sense he spared them from a worse fate.

      I don’t believe God was overjoyed making this decision. I think he was in agony. He is love, after all.

      What is your position, Paul? The Qur’an adheres to some of the O.T. I believe, doesn’t it?

      Like

    • I find it alarming that Christians find it so easy seek to justify genocide in the Bible. A god whom they proclaim is “Love” commanded the deliberate targeting of children and babies for killing, but its ok because they go to heaven. SICK.

      What crime had they committed to deserve such a horrible death? None.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      Where in the quran does allah condemn 1 Samuel 15?

      Like

    • The Qur’an doesn’t quote from anywhere in the Bible so your question is redundant.

      Tell me Mr Hill, what crime had the children and babies committed to deserve such a horrible death?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hank L: “I provided some insight previously. The little ones go to heaven immediately and automatically. The adults were so thoroughly depraved that eventually the children may have become as wicked as their parents, so in a sense he spared them from a worse fate.”

      Scary comment. This is how islamists justify their attacks.

      Liked by 3 people

    • The Nazis used similar justifications to kill Jewish children –

      Liked by 2 people

    • “I find it alarming that Christians find it so easy seek to justify genocide in the Bible. A god whom they proclaim is “Love” commanded the deliberate targeting of children and babies for killing, but its ok because they go to heaven. SICK. What crime had they committed to deserve such a horrible death? None.”

      When children suffer, it isn’t easy for me to find justification for it. It is a painful, all around. As a christian, any one’s suffering is more upsetting than it was before he entered my heart. That is a sign to me that indeed God lives inside me and I wouldn’t trade it for the old me who hated and raged constantly. Did not care about nothing except satisfying the lust tearing me apart. I cannot doubt that He suffered making that decision. In fact, He’s been suffering since man fell.

      Actually, “…that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.…”

      It isn’t ok for them to go to heaven as a result, Paul. But, there is no question it is glory to cross that threshold; to make it into that vast land of golden clear streams of sunlight radiating from HIM, and brilliantly shining angels, carried away with the exquisite sounds of joyous singing, surrounded by and bathed in his pure love. To be in the presence forever and ever of The KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, surpasses human expression to describe. O death where is thy sting?

      Like

    • Child sacrifice, which was a common practice among these people, was not acceptable to a holy God, either. Their wickedness was altogether reprehensible.

      God doesn’t play games. He isn’t a theory. He is GOD ALMIGHTY. He is real and present and He means business. He is holy and he can not tolerate sin forever. Everyone must face consequences for his actions or his passivity. One lesson I glean from these accounts is that the fear of the Lord is an essential component as I interact with this One with whom we have to do. Even my children receive benefits or drawbacks from how I honor or dishonor him.

      The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

      Like

  4. Graham
    God is love vs 1 Sam 15. Sounds like u r suffering from cognitive dissonance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • God is love. God is just.

      Your allah permits injustice when it suits him. That is not loving at all. That is unjust and hateful towards those who suffer injustice.

      Let’s say allah decides to forgive a zionist who murdered a palestinian. Would you say that allah has issued justice to the zionist and been loving to the palestinian?

      ISlam, the theology of confusion.

      Like

    • I think u r the only one who is confused.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am confused by islamic theology – because it is confusing.

      You guys just can’t get your minds around the simple concept of a god who is loving and just because yours is neither. Don’t hate me, I’m just pointing out the facts.

      Like

    • Graham: I am confused by islamic theology – because it is confusing.

      No. You’re confused because you’re uneducated. If God is love then his love must encompass immoral things. In that case he is not perfect. If you say God doesn’t love immoral things then his love is conditional in which case he is not love.

      Liked by 1 person

    • kmak

      “No. You’re confused because you’re uneducated. If God is love then his love must encompass immoral things. In that case he is not perfect. If you say God doesn’t love immoral things then his love is conditional in which case he is not love.”

      Do I have to say it again? Okay.

      God is love. God is just.

      You guys just seem incapable of reading beyond the first three words of my comments. A just god does not love immoral things, so your reasoning fails.

      Like

    • Graham: You guys just seem incapable of reading beyond the first three words of my comments. A just god does not love immoral things, so your reasoning fails.

      If God is just, then he doesn’t love immoral things. If he doesn’t love immoral things, then his love is conditional. If his love is conditional, then he is not love.

      Kid, you are way out of your league.

      Liked by 3 people

    • kmak

      “If God is just, then he doesn’t love immoral things. If he doesn’t love immoral things, then his love is conditional. If his love is conditional, then he is not love.

      Kid, you are way out of your league.”

      Repeating the same fallacious comment doesn’t make true.

      I’ll spell it out for you….entities with agency do immoral things, immorality is one possible outcome of agency. So, your attempt to muddy the waters by equivocating “immoral things”, with the actions of immoral people shows that you have no idea how to reason logically, or you just don’t know what you are talking about.

      Again, a muslim displays an inability to think logically and to think beyond a simplistic dichotomy – a false dichotomy to be precise.

      God loves sinners – the injeel says so – without condition, but he is just so their immorality does not go without redress. As you know – but probably can’t get your mind around – this redress has been given through the crucifixion. Hence, god’s love and god’s justness are both met and fully expressed.

      Islam has no such concept – allah forgives who he will and tough titty to the victims of murderers whom your unjust god has chosen to forgive.

      Like

    • problem is your god ordered the slaughter of innocent children and babies. No love or justice there.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Graham: God loves sinners – the injeel says so – without condition, but he is just so their immorality does not go without redress.

      You don’t get it. If God is love, he loves sinners as well as their sins. If there are things God can’t love, then he is not love. Simple.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      WHere in the quran does allah condemn 1Samuel 15?

      Like

    • kmak

      “You don’t get it. If God is love, he loves sinners as well as their sins. If there are things God can’t love, then he is not love. Simple.”

      Oh dear.

      God is love. God is just.

      Allah does what he wills – not what is loving and not what is just.

      Simple.

      Like

    • Graham thinks something is correct the more you insist it is correct. What an idiot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Graham
      God is greater then any trait that we can apply to him. however in the Islamic understanding we don’t say he IS love but rather that he is the loving (al wadud) & the just (al Adl) among many other things.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kmak

      “Graham thinks something is correct the more you insist it is correct. What an idiot.”

      So says the moron who repeats the same illogical comments three times thinking the more he repeats it the more correct it is. LOL.

      Like

    • “God loves sinners – the injeel says so – without condition, but he is just so their immorality does not go without redress.

      but there is no redress in case of vishnu lovers

      there are millions of pagans right now who find love and connection with vishnu.
      does god love vishnu lovers?

      since they continue to worship and love vishnu even after your god self abused himself and continue to worship and love vishnu and choose vishnu over jesus’ self abuse

      how did a god ritually killing himself for pagan idolatry mean that god loves vishnu lovers?

      Like

  5. Paul is Graham Bobby ?

    Like

  6. Great Logic Graham. “if its not condemned in the Quran then its ok”. Absolutely baffling logic… It’s good to see that you are using the Quran as an authority over your sick and fraudulent scriptures though…

    by that Logic its ok to kill all children using a flame thrower because “it does not specifically condemn it in the Quran”

    Were you born stupid and obnoxious or did you have to really work at it?

    Like

    • Graham is out gunned and out classed on this blog. He is invincibly ignorant

      Like

    • Invincible you say… hmm I guess that makes it a quadrinity

      Like

    • thirstforknowledge78

      “Great Logic Graham. “if its not condemned in the Quran then its ok”. Absolutely baffling logic… It’s good to see that you are using the Quran as an authority over your sick and fraudulent scriptures though…”

      Great comprehension tfk78.

      Please show me where I said that “if it’s not condemned in the quran it’s okay”? You won’t find it, because I never argued that.

      Were you born stupid and obnoxious or did you have to really work at it?

      Like

  7. Graham over the hill…

    I will take your response to mean that you were both born stupid & obnoxious and have worked diligently to hone those traits.

    You Did argue that whether you knew it or not. This is the problem you are so intellectually challenged and full of venom that you do not realise this is the logical conclusion of your argument. So because I did not quote you word for word I will do so now, showing that there is not a bit of difference:

    YOU said: “WHere in the quran does allah condemn 1Samuel 15?”

    please enlighten us with the point of this question, I look forward to your back peddling and lies.

    Oh BTW, The Quran does condemn acts of evil and violence which your fake scriptures are sodden with.

    Once again:

    YOU said: “WHere in the quran does allah condemn 1Samuel 15?”

    What does this have to do with the fact that it is in your scripture?? Your blaming the Quran for not directly condemning the atrocities in your failed scriptures? If the Quran was to address every fallacy, corruption and abhorrent verse in all your scriptures it would never end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thirstforknowledge78

      “You Did argue that whether you knew it or not. This is the problem you are so intellectually challenged and full of venom that you do not realise this is the logical conclusion of your argument. So because I did not quote you word for word I will do so now, showing that there is not a bit of difference:

      YOU said: “WHere in the quran does allah condemn 1Samuel 15?

      please enlighten us with the point of this question, I look forward to your back peddling and lies.

      What does this have to do with the fact that it is in your scripture?? Your blaming the Quran for not directly condemning the atrocities in your failed scriptures? If the Quran was to address every fallacy, corruption and abhorrent verse in all your scriptures it would never end.”

      Thanks for showing us how stupid you are.

      First you assert that I claimed something isn’t bad if the quran doesn’t condemn it, yet now you admit that you don’t actually understand the point of my question. LOL.

      Muslims insist that the quran “corrects” the previous scriptures, yet allah doesn’t correct or condemn that muslims assert needs to be condemned. That’s a pretty major omission for a supposed god. The reason that allah and mohammed did not have anything to say about 1 Samuel 15 is because they had no idea it existed. That means you worship a being who is ignorant of some things.

      Like

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