Archives: Islam

Atonement- A Made Up Word with an Impossible Meaning

When, in 1530, William Tyndale translated the Pentateuch, an offence against the Church for which he would pay with his life, he found there were certain Hebrew words that had no direct equivalent in English. Tyndale, who had already translated the Christian Bible into English from Greek had known no Hebrew before he started his project. He must have doubted his grasp of the language when he came across words that, as far as he could tell, had no meaning in English.

But Tyndale was both imaginative and brave, he could hardly have dared defy Henry VIII and the Bishops otherwise. If he came across a Hebrew word he couldn’t translate, he invented a new English word to explain it. Among the new words that appear for the first time in Tyndale’s Bible are network, thanksgiving, Passover, circumcised, birthright and whoremonger.

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The Talmud and Islam

The Talmud, the great multi-volume compendium of Jewish law and thought is based on discussions in rabbinic colleges alongside the Tigris and Euphrates, in modern day Iraq. The discussions took place between the third and fifth centuries, but the Talmud was still being compiled and collated two hundred years later. By then the area was under the control of the Islamic caliphate.

In the year 750 the caliph built the sparkling city of Baghdad, not far from the site of the ruined Babylon. The new city was the most magnificent the world had ever seen. Its dazzling splendour forms the backdrop to the Tales of the Arabian Nights. Continue reading

© 2019 Harry Freedman Books