The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Scripture Pointing

Below are six scriptural verses. Three are from the Bible, and three are from the Qur’an. Can you tell which is which? My guess is that, unless you are a religious scholar or an ardent believer in Christianity or Islam, then you are likely to have trouble identifying which is which – Bible or Qur’an.

A.    ‘Whoever would not seek (the Lord) should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.’

B.    ‘As for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’

C.    ‘Slay the idolators wherever ye find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.’

D.     ‘Remember when your Lord inspired the angels…I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve…Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.’

E.     ‘Slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.’

F.     ‘Now go and strike... and devote destruction to all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep and donkey.’

Can you do it? Can you identify which verses are from the Bible, and which from the Qur’an?

Often we hear people pointing at the verses from one or the other of these holy books in order to claim that the other (i.e. not their own) religion is not peaceful or proclaims that killing is justified.

Yet, for those who would point to passages in the holy book of the others, half of the passages quoted above come from their own holy book.

My intention in quoting these scriptures is not to disrespect the Bible or the Qur’an. Nor is it my purpose to dishonour the believers of either religion. My intent is the following:

By pointing at a piece of scripture from the holy book of the other the (often tacit) inference is that those belonging to the other religion are heathens, infidels, non-believers, idolators, or at worst - evil. After all, “they” condone killing.

The scriptural texts quoted above are not, in and of themselves, the source of these issues. The source is the willingness – even eagerness - to point the finger at others, meanwhile ignoring the fact that each of us is as guilty or blameworthy as anyone else.

Thus it is that the pointing of the finger of accusation (or blame or guilt) at other people is at the core of the mistrust, polarisation, and violence (both latent and explicit) of the world.

Those who do point the finger, at either the scripture or the person, might do well to remember another piece of scripture, viz.

‘Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged...And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye. Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’

-        Matthew 7: 1-5 (the Holy Bible)

That is a verse we all, believers and non-believers, might well try to remember as often as possible. If we were to do so, we would find that we are indeed all brothers, all sisters, all family.

Regarding the six passages quoted at the beginning of this post, it should be noted that they are all quoted out of context. Quoting out of context is very easy to do, yet by doing so it is possible to bestow meaning on a piece of text that the full context may not support.

And, in case you want to know the source and context of each of these quotations, they are as follows:

A.    Bible, 2 Chronicles 15: 12-13

B.    Bible, Luke 19: 27

C.    Qur’an 9:5

D.    Qur’an 8:12

E.     Qur’an 2: 190-191

F.     Bible, 1 Samuel 15: 2-3

It is worth noting that the comments above are not restricted to the religious realm. The pointing of the finger of blame occurs in many fields of human endeavour.

Finger pointing is, arguably, one of the biggest barriers towards a peaceful, tolerant, and harmonious world.

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