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Very well said

Reader comment on item: Salman Rushdie and British Backbone
in response to reader comment: To Raqib Ahmed Asif : Yeshua = Joshua = Jesus - never isa

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 4, 2007 at 08:22

Yes; you are correct about the linguistic landscape in the Middle East in the late antique period.

But there is no doubt that most important language in the Middle East in 632CE when Muhammad died was Syriac. And yes the Qur'an is full of Syriac words and I include here tur (mountain), al-ruum (the Greeks) and srat from Latin strata via Syriac (the path in surat al-fatiha). What is most amazing for a book, the Qur'an that is, that claims to be a clear book written in pure Arabic that the auhtor uses the above Syriac words when there are indeed good Arabic words which he could have used instead of loan words from Syriac eg: jabal is mountain, al-ighreeq or al-yunaniyoon is the Greeks, and al-tareeq is the path.

Now take the case of the Arabic word 3Isa or 'Isa if you wish and as was proven by Mingana that such word was used bofore 632CE by Syriac speakers and more likely than not it is a loan word from Syriac (the word Allah is also a loan word from Syriac Alaha or Allaha and it is the word for God) and he also wrote that there was a monastery in Syria by the name of 'Isaniya or "of the followers of Jesus" and in the Marcionite Gospel the name of Jesus is Syriac is 'Isa!! I do believe that he is correct and that the word 'Isa is of Syriac origin and a loan word in Arabic and it means Jesus.

In present day Christian Arabic the Copts never us the word 'Isa and use instead: al-sayyid yasoo3 al-maseeh. Where yasoo3 is Jesus.

As for the word salvation: you have the following choices in Arabic: khalas (this is the favorite word in Christian Arabic), najat, 'inqadh. But they do not mean very much in Arabic except for their secular meanings of salvation

Now enter those those Pakistanis that do not know any arabic or Syriac or latin or Greek or Hebrew but that does not stop them from pontificating about such linguistic issues that they seem to be clueless about.


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