History and its interpretation
There is a difference between the events of history and the interpretation of historical events. This difference is important for understanding Christianity, Islam, and how these religions are interpreted. Jesus died on the cross is a statement about history. Jesus died for sin is an interpretation of the historical event, and this is also known as doctrine. J. Gresham Machen explained it this way,
The narration of the facts is history; the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried”–that is history. “He loved me and gave Himself for me”–that is doctrine. Such was the Christianity of the primitive Church (Christianity and Liberalism, 29).
Recognizing the difference between the events of history and their interpretation let us look at the historical event of Muhammad’s having hundreds of Jews beheaded. Assuming that this is history, we need to interpret the meaning of this event. Does the beheading of some 600-900 Jewish men mean that Islam and its founder are peaceful?1
Bill Warner gives his interpretation of this historical event:
- Do you agree with Bill Warner? How does the Christian interpretation differ?
- Does he have a right to interpret the meaning of what happened in the time of Muhammad?
- Are the historical events of Islam only to be interpreted by Muslims?
- As a Christian, I believe discussion about peace needs to go back to the cross and Jesus Who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7; Romans 5:1-11). [↩]
Tags: religion of peace