Skip to comments.The Earliest Evidence of Christianity in Arabia?
Posted on 01/11/2023 3:31:40 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Before the emergence of Islam in the early seventh century, Arabia was home to a different monotheistic faith. Centuries before Muhammad, some ancient Arabian tribes seem to have adopted Christianity. While the arrival of Christianity in Arabia has been known through literary sources written by outsiders, such as the famous Bible scholar and translator St. Jerome, recent discoveries present evidence of Christianity from pre-Islamic Arabia itself. The vast swaths of desert east of the Jordan River reveal thousands of ancient inscriptions, some of which bear crosses and use Christian terminology.
The Harra—the rocky basalt desert found in southern Syria, northeastern Jordan, and northern Saudi Arabia—was for millennia home to pastoral nomads who left behind thousands of rock carvings and inscriptions, some of which attest to the first arrival of Christianity in Arabia...
Likely dating to the fourth century, the inscription invokes Jesus—with the name given for Jesus in the Quran...
Possibly the earliest witness to Christianity in Arabia, the Jesus inscription from the Wadi al-Khudari is a memorial inscription, meaning that it commemorates a deceased person. It consists of three parts: It first gives the inscriber’s name (Wahb-El) and genealogy, then adds a commemoration of his deceased uncle, and finally concludes with a unique religious invocation—to Isay, which corresponds to the name given to Jesus in the Quran: “O Īsay (‘sy), help him against those who deny you.” There can be little doubt that the writer (and possibly also his uncle) was Christian.
(Excerpt) Read more at biblicalarchaeology.org ...
Is this ancient rock inscription the earliest evidence of Christianity in Arabia?Photo: Courtesy of the Badia Epigraphic Survey Project
Well, after his conversion St Paul did say he spent three years in Arabia. And since he was the Apostle to the Gentiles you can bet they had three years of good preaching. Galatians 13-18
15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days.
In the eastern part of S.A., in the vicinity of the town of Jubail, there are ancient remnants of an early Christian settlement. Neither Muslim nor Christian is allowed to visit the site though the locals refer to it in a respectful manner.
The Big Ol’ Mo’ changed the writing system and banned the use and learning of the former scripts in Arabia.
Oh, and he massacred the Jews of Arabia.
Hegra: in the Footsteps of the Nabataeans (Saudi Arabia) (2016)
It’s likely that Mohammad did not exist, at least not as personified by later accounts.
Either way, the religion justified the outcomes not the other way around, which is why early Arabian warlords used crosses and other Judeo-Christian traditions and symbols as they expanded into the Levant.
The best analogy I can make is to the uneducated who use “I” in the objective form as pretense for sophistication.
Between you and I, Mohammad was a fabrication of expansionist Arabs who seized upon local traditions without understanding them.
>>Oh, and he massacred the Jews of Arabia.<<
And Nazis massacred many more in Europe.
Where do you suppose they got the idea?
I agree with you. The texts by Tom Holland and Robert Spencer along with the archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence seems to me to be very clear that no one person called “Mohammad” existed.
Mohammad is a title meaning “praiseworthy one” - not a name. No one had that as a name prior to the alleged prophet’s time
There may have been converts as early as Pentecost:
Acts 2:5-11 NKJV
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”
Thanks, nicollo and Cronos, for those posts. Mohammed may have written some of it, but didn't write all of it, and much of what he did write he cribbed from other sources without attribution or even any kind of critical thinking about what he was including.
Watch this by Thomas Alexander
WHERE do the Germans say the Qur’an was compiled?
The Origins of Islam - 1.1 The Koran: Critical Koran Studies
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