A bit more of Abu Qurra

I thought that I would translate a little more from this text:

3.  I left these people, and then Samaritans approached me, saying: “Do not pay attention to these people, but come to us, because nobody is right outside of us. We are the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the friends of God, the God of heaven and earth. He had promised our fathers that, he would save their offspring from the land of Egypt, and give them the land of Palestine as their inheritance.  He did this by the intermediary of the prophet Moses.

“God sent him to Pharaoh, and struck [Pharaoh], as well as the people of Egypt, with the well-known signs and wonders.  By force he helped our fathers escape from the hand of Pharaoh; he parted the sea for them; he drowned Pharaoh and his armies there.

“He led our fathers into the wilderness and fed them manna and quails.  He made water burst out of a rock for them.  He gave them the Law of God, which determines for them what is allowed and what is not.  He slew the Philistines and gave their land to our fathers, whose children until today we are.

“So long as we remain faithful to him in keeping the Law, he pours on us his blessings.  But when we resist him, he chastises us, and afflicts us in this world.  Those of us who do good have a prosperous life in this world, those who do ill encounter misfortune.  And when we leave this world, we perish forever.  There is no resurrection.”

Hmm.  Nothing in this suggests a real, contemporary encounter with Samaritans, does it?

4.  I left these people, and at once was approached by Jews who said, “Do not pay attention to those individuals, and don’t join them because they are in error.

“What they said to you, that God is the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Joseph, the promise that He made them about their descendants, the sending by Him of Moses, and that he brought [our fathers] out of Egypt in order to bring them into the land of Canaan, all that is true, so it happened indeed.

“But when they claim to be the descendants of Abraham and of Israel, they are liars.  They are really the sons of the Mazdaeans, and as for the descendants of Abraham and Israel, that’s us!  Truly God gave the land of Israel as an inheritance  to our fathers, where they have resided for 1500 years in unparalleled prosperity.  Then they sinned, and God was angered against them.  He delivered them into the hands of the nations, who deported them.

“But God promised our fathers to send us the messiah.  God will gather us from the ends of the earth into the land of Palestine, He will give us once again the dignity that we used to have, and we will dominate the nations.  He will also raise the dead and gather them with us.   He will command the earth, and it will bring forth bread already baked, for ever.

“God does not lie.  This word will be realised, and we are awaiting it.  Do not attach yourself to anyone else, because ours is the only religion!”

5.  I left these people, and then I was approached by the Christians.  “Do not be led astray,” they said, “by the speech of the Jews.  For God has sent the messiah of whom they speak, but they did not receive him.  So God is angry against them and has dispersed them to the far corners of the earth.  They are in perdition forever, and their hope is vain.

“But what you need is the religion of the messiah and his teaching: that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God; three persons, yet one in substance.

“This is the true religion that Christ, the Son of God, has given us in the gospel.  He has fixed in our favour what is allowed and not allowed.  He has promised to raise the dead, to reward those who do good with the heavenly kingdom, and to punish those who do evil by hell.  There is no true religion apart from ours; don’t let anyone abuse you!”

7 thoughts on “A bit more of Abu Qurra

  1. i see one sign of inaccuracy. the samaritans believe in the resurrection but early christian material suggests otherwise. could be argued to prove he never encountered real samaritans

  2. If you read the part about “Magians” in the same book, you may have the same feeling. But in fact, his “Magians” are “Zurvanists” (who were indeed “magians”, but heterodox).

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