Mistake in the Qur’an?

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‘Then she brought the baby to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary (Maryam)! Indeed you have brought a thing an unheard mighty thing. O sister of Aaron (Harun)! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.’ 19:27-28

Islam critics often point out that the fact that Mary, mother of Jesus, is called the sister of Aaron (brother of Moses) is proof that the Qur’an can’t be from God, as this is a mistake. Scholars have several plausible explanations for this though. When the Qur’an calls Mary ‘sister of Aaron’ it isn’t meant literally. It could simply refer to her noble lineage as in calling Jesus ‘son of David’.

There is a tradition in the Arabic language in which family references like ‘son/sister/brother of’ simply mean ‘from the tribe of’.

There is another explanation too. Aaron’s sister, who was also called Maryam, like Jesus’ mother, was known for her virtuousness and piety. By calling Jesus’ mother ‘sister of Aaron’ it refers to the two Maryams having in common that they were both virtuous and pious women. It is used in defending her against the accusations of unchasteness.

I used to have a neighbour who often played football with his young son in the garden. Sometimes you could hear him shout ‘come on Gary Lineker’ to his son, ascribing to him the qualities of the great player. In a way this is not dissimilar to the way Aaron’s sister is referred to in this Qur’an verse.

Peace and blessings.

source



Categories: Islam, Qur'an

40 replies

  1. 2.87We gave Moses the Scripture and We sent messengers after him in succession. We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit….

    sample logic really!!
    //moses-a lot of messengers-jesus

    another verse..

    57.27We sent other messengers to follow in their footsteps. After those We sent Jesus, son of Mary: We gave him the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers…..

    //many messengers-jesus

    another verse..

    5.44We revealed the Torah with guidance and light, and the prophets, who had submitted to God, judged according to it for the Jews. So did the rabbis and the scholars…

    //torah(moses)-many prophets who had submitted to God and rabbis and  scholars-

    lets go to the next verses.. same ch

    5.46We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in their footsteps, to confirm the Torah that had been sent before him….

    //torah(moses)-many prophets who had submitted to God and rabbis and scholars- Jesus in their footsteps.

    not jesus and his uncle moses

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is possible that Jews used to call Mary the sister of Aaron because she was incomparable in piety to the other Aaronites of her time. Alternatively, her parents gave her the name Mary because they expected her to live up to the same standards as the actual sister of Aaron, and this was known in the community.

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    • There is another complexity involved which is that Amram (Imran) is the name of the father of Moses(as).
      So, there is a Mary in history who has Aaron(as) as her brother and Imran(ra) as her father.

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  3. If I remember correctly, Reynolds (The Qur’an and Its Biblical Subtext?) and other scholars have have argued that the idea of Mary sister of Aaron is probably not so much a statement of history, to be taken literally, but rather is an expression of literary typology. Perhaps someone can remember the correct references.

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  4. It’s not a mistake. It’s simply an unhistorical legend, a made up story.

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    • The Quran takes many unhistorical Christian legends as true stories. Tweaks them here and there and we got ourselves a nice story.

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      • @ Bashar

        I think there’s a mistake the Quran doesn’t take from Luke’s 3 “wise men” tale or “Night of the Innocents”.

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      • Bashar: The Quran takes many unhistorical Christian legends as true stories. Tweaks them here and there and we got ourselves a nice story.

        How come the Christians of Najran didn’t accuse the Quran of containing ‘unhistorical Christian legends’? How come early Christian polemics on Islam don’t say the Quran contains ‘unhistorical Christian legends’? How come contemporary Christian scholars of the Quran such as Sidney Griffith do not say the Quran contains ‘unhistorical Christian legends’?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there’s a mistake. There is no story in Luke or anywhere else in the Bible of “3 wise men”. But there is an unhistorical Christian legend in the Quran about Mary’s childhood and Jesus’ speaking from the craddle.

        Yes there’s mistake. Sidney Griffth and other scholars do say there are unhistorical Christian legends in the Quran such as the cave and sleepers of pagan origins as a simple google search shows on page 116

        https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Qur_an_in_Its_Historical_Context.html?id=LKt8AgAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

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      • Ahh yes, the time-time honored apologetic approach of verbal abuse and deflecting to the Bible, when it is pointed out that an unhistorical Christian legend is included in the Quran according to a source I didn’t bring up to begin with but a Muslim did.

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      • John 20:30 Therefore **many other signs** Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are **not written in this book**

        Commentaries:

        Rich Cathers – “Scholars have concluded that the gospels only record about 50 days of Jesus’ ministry in all the combined gospels. Yet Jesus’ total ministry of 3 ½ years comes to about 1080 days. That means that we only have record of 4.6% percent of Jesus’ ministry. Imagine the teaching, conversations, and ministry we’ve never heard about.”

        Calvin – comments on many other signs – “If the Evangelist had not cautioned his readers by this observation, they might have supposed that he had left out none of the miracles which Christ had performed, and had given a full and complete account of all that happened. John, therefore, testifies, first, that he has only related some things out of a large number; not that the others were unworthy of being recorded, but because these were sufficient to edify faith”

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    • Bashar: Bashar: Yes, there’s a mistake. There is no story in Luke or anywhere else in the Bible of “3 wise men”. But there is an unhistorical Christian legend in the Quran about Mary’s childhood and Jesus’ speaking from the craddle.

      What is the historical account of Jesus’ childhood?

      Bashar: Yes there’s mistake. Sidney Griffth and other scholars do say there are unhistorical Christian legends in the Quran such as the cave and sleepers of pagan origins as a simple google search shows on page 116

      According to Griffith, the sleepers of the cave were a part of the ‘Syriac homiletic and liturgical tradition’. Looks like the Syriac Christians did take this story seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Who care if they did. It”s a legend of pagan origin. Griffith says it’s a legend so you’re wrong.

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      • I owned and have read Griffith book, “The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the “People of the Book” in the Language of Islam”, I don’t think what Griffith meant when he refer to “legend”, that it did not happen.

        Here is the quote from his book:

        ..The same may be said for other Qurʾānic passages that comment on non-biblical, Christian stories such as the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus or the Alexander legends; they inevitably reveal their Syriac background.

        The point to be made here is not just that a large part of the biblical, apocryphal, and ecclesiastical lore in the Qurʾān has an immediate Aramaic/Syriac background, even when Greek, Coptic, or other expressions of it can also be found, but that they all had a circulation in the so-called Melkite, Jacobite, and Nestorian Christian communities of the first third of the seventh century. And all of these, on the basis of historical evidence, can arguably be found pressing into the Arabic-speaking milieu of Muḥammad and the Qurʾān in that period.

        If some written/oral Aramaic/syriac tradition, which were similar with Quranic expressions, did not make into NT canon, it does not make it untrue according to Islam. We dont believe the canonisation of the NT in any way a divine commission.

        Perhaps you also misunderstood what is a Legend. Encyclopaedia of Britannica define legend as

        Traditional story or group of stories told about a particular person or place. Formerly the term legend meant a tale about a saint. Legends resemble folktales in content; they may include supernatural beings, elements of mythology, or explanations of natural phenomena, but they are associated with a particular locality or person and are told as a matter of history…

        So a legend does not have to be fairy tale. And We see this as a supernatural / miraculous event (karamah) by God permission to show his wonders.

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      • Bashar: Who care if they did.

        Who cares what you think? You’re just some random internet troll.

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      • @ Bashar

        Oh wow, we have a bunch of ways to show you don’t know what you’re talking about, how exciting:

        1. “There is no story in Luke or anywhere else in the Bible of “3 wise men”.

        Oh well I’ll just leave this here (I will admit I made a mistake between both legendary tales and it was “Matt” (aka we don’t know who the heck this is))

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi

        However “Luke” is just as unhistorical with his “censure of the whole world”

        2. I am not familiar with any tale in the Quran of Mary’s childhood. I think you meant to say a story involving her mother when she was pregnant. Since you claim “borrowing” quote both text side by side.

        3. Thank you for showing you didn’t read Griffth’s work:

        A. He does NOT say the origin is pagan. So I believe that’s enough to show you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        B. He states:

        “The Qur’an does not borrow from, or often even quote from these earlier texts. Rather, it alludes to and evokes their stories, even sometimes their wording, for its own rhetorical purposes. The Arabic Qur’an, from a literary perspective, is something new. It uses the idiom, and sometimes the forms and structures, of earlier narratives in the composition of its own distinctive discourse. It cannot be reduced to any presumed sources.” (pg 116)

        Click to access Reynolds,%20G%20(ed)%20-%20The%20Qur%E2%80%99%C4%81n%20in%20its%20Historical%20Context.pdf

        C. What is your proof the story is “unhistorical” and what are you using to determine that?

        D. We never claim to be “unique” so another story of a people involving God is no big deal to us. It would be no different than saying what happened with Abraham(as) or Noah(as).

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      • Very exciting indeed. You already showed in a bunch of ways, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        1. There’s no story of “3 wise men” in Luke, Matthew or anywhere else in the Bible.

        2 I said the legend is of pagan origin. Griffith says it’s a Christian legend. https://books.google.com/books?id=xd_iwgEACAAJ&pg=PA7&hl=da&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false page 132 and 133

        3. Thank you for showing you didn’t read Griffth’s work. Here’s what he says on page 116 and 117:

        “The legend of the “Companions of the Cave” or the “Sleepers of the Cave” is a good example of Christian lore current in the Syriac homiletic and liturgical tradition prior to the rise of Islam, to which the Qur’an alludes and portions of which the Qur’an includes in its own narrative for its own purposes, addressing its own Arabic-speaking audience who are presumed to be familiar with the details of the legend. For the present purpose it seems best first of all to recall the setting of the references to the legend of the “Companions of the Cave the Qur’an, then to discuss the forms in which it circulated among Christians in Syriac in pre-Islamic times, and presumably also in Christian Arabic folklore, and then to examine the recollection of the details of the legend as it survives in the earliest extant Syriac homiletic text which includes it.”

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      • I said the legend is of pagan origin. Griffith says it’s a Christian legend. https://books.google.com/books?id=xd_iwgEACAAJ&pg=PA7&hl=da&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false page 132 and 133

        Hi Bashar, where is in the book that says seven sleepers is of pagan origin? I can not find it from your link.

        3. Thank you for showing you didn’t read Griffth’s work. Here’s what he says on page 116 and 117:

        “The legend of the “Companions of the Cave” or the “Sleepers of the Cave” is a good example of Christian lore current in the Syriac homiletic and liturgical tradition prior to the rise of Islam, to which the Qur’an alludes and portions of which the Qur’an includes in its own narrative for its own purposes, addressing its own Arabic-speaking audience who are presumed to be familiar with the details of the legend. For the present purpose it seems best first of all to recall the setting of the references to the legend of the “Companions of the Cave the Qur’an, then to discuss the forms in which it circulated among Christians in Syriac in pre-Islamic times, and presumably also in Christian Arabic folklore, and then to examine the recollection of the details of the legend as it survives in the earliest extant Syriac homiletic text which includes it.”

        From what Griffith book is it?

        From these quote nothing indicate that Griffith believe “Sleepers of the Cave” was unhistorical or did not happen. He writes:

        “Sleepers of the Cave” is a good example of Christian lore current in the Syriac homiletic and liturgical tradition prior to the rise of Islam,”

        Im familiar with Griffith work, what he meant was the Qur’anic expression may have immediate Aramaic/Syriac background in Qur’an own milieu. It does mean it is unhistorical.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Eric,
        It’s on page 132 and 133. It was from a Greek myth.

        Griffith, is from the article linked to.

        When Griffith says: there are “Christian legends” to “…which the Qur’an alludes and portions of which the Qur’an includes in its own narrative…” i assume he means what he says. Christian legends are included in the Quran. This was the answer to KMAK. When someone says he takes it as a myth or a legend I assume he means it is unhistorical. Had he meant it was historical he would have said so and not called it legend.

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      • Im afraid there is confusion on your part, nothing in page 132- 133 in the book you share , mentione 7 sleepers is of pagan origin.

        It basically says: seven christians who suffer from persecution during pagan times.

        When someone says he takes it as a myth or a legend I assume he means it is unhistorical

        No, a legend does not necessarily mean a unhistorical fairy tale, not especially in christian context as Griffith is subscribed to. Legends may describe history in fantastic terms including supernatural event but it does mean it did never happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @ Bashar

        One of use DEFINITY doesn’t know what he’s talking about:

        1. There’s no story of “3 wise men” in Luke, Matthew or anywhere else in the Bible.

        Links with emphasis for the blind:

        “The Bible story of the THREE WISE MEN, FROM THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, is also known as the biblical Magi or the Three Kings. This Bible story regards a group of scholarly foreigners who traveled to visit Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. ”

        https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/three-wise-men.html

        “The THREE WISE MEN, also known as magi, were men belonging to various educated classes. ”

        https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/what-were-names-three-wise-men

        Magi, Kings, or Wise Men?

        The Greek word μαγοι (mάgoi) is translated as “WISE MEN” in the NKJV, KJV, and ESV, while the NASB and NIV use the word magi. Originally, the word often referred to a class of Persian WISE MEN, and possibly priests, who were interpreters of special signs, particularly in astrology….

        The book of Matthew contains the account of the WISE MEN:

        Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, WISE MEN from the East came to Jerusalem, saying “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1–2)

        The original meaning of mάgoi is likely in view here—wise men who interpreted special signs”

        https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/

        It’s okay I know that must be embarrassing. But wait there’s more!

        2. ” I said the legend is of pagan origin. Griffith says it’s a Christian legend.”

        Oh so no scholarship said this just the recess of your butt. Got it. So because both stories mention people slept for a long time they are the same story lol? Even your source doesn’t make this link it told the story of one and said probably the best known similar story in the Western world of people sleeping is this. As noted I guess in your mind you think Rip Van Winkle is inspired by both tales as well. It’s okay just read slower next time so you don’t get confused.

        3. Thank you for showing you didn’t read Griffth’s work.

        No, I haven’t read it and never claimed to as it wasn’t my source you see? (Wow! I know!) As noted by Eric just because its miraculous event doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. This would again be no different than Moses(as) splitting the sea or Jesus(as) healing a leper.

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      • @ Eric

        Yeah I was hoping he didn’t misread that that’s why I said he must think that because there is a story somewhere about people falling asleep for a long time that means EVERY story of people falling a long time in sleep is inspired by it.

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      • You’re so much fun. You responded presumptuously to me, that I don’t know what I’m talking about and all, and now you go all out of your way to not actually quote from the Bible itself? Why did you quote from every other source than the Bible itself? Is that because you have now once more been exposed as not knowing what you are talking about? Have you actually read the Bible that you make so many mistakes and not wanting to quote it?

        First off, in Matthew and not in Luke is there a story of magi. Second, no number is given for the magi, but many believe there were a whole lot more of them. The tradition of the number three is from the three gifts given and comes from later interpretations. If you had studied just a tiny bit, you would have known. I don’t mind you don’t know about the Bible, but to respond so arrogantly is plain ole silly if you haven’t studied it.

        Yep, the Christian seven sleepers legends probably developed slowly from Greek and other antique myths and legends. A legend is a legend and the Christian legend is included in the Quran just as Sydney Griffith said. KMAK found the right paragraph because he actually read the whole page and Griffith was his “source”, though he actually contradicted his claim. If you want to make such far out apologetic excuses that legend is fantastic history and that Griffith subscribes to this being historical have at it. I know, the academia world of Griffith is densely populated with scholars who believe and argue that legends such as the seven sleepers are historical.

        Arrivederci signore e grazie

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      • @ Bashar

        Yes, this is quite entertaining:

        1. “…now you go all out of your way to not actually quote from the Bible itself? Why did you quote from every other source than the Bible itself? Is that because you have now once more been exposed as not knowing what you are talking about? Have you actually read the Bible that you make so many mistakes and not wanting to quote it?”

        My apologies I didn’t know this was the Bible as I said previously when quoting from the Answering Genesis link:

        Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, WISE MEN from the East came to Jerusalem, saying “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1–2)

        So now that we see you’re clearly suffering from dyslexia let’s continue:

        2. “First off, in Matthew and not in Luke is there a story of magi. ”

        Oh you mean like I alreay said I made a mistake in? Let’s me go ahead and repost to further demonstrate that dyslexia:

        “Oh well I’ll just leave this here (I will admit I made a mistake between both legendary tales and it was “Matt” (aka we don’t know who the heck this is))

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi

        So now that we’ve knocked that out the way

        3. “Second, no number is given for the magi, but many believe there were a whole lot more of them. The tradition of the number three is from the three gifts given and comes from later interpretations. If you had studied just a tiny bit, you would have known. I don’t mind you don’t know about the Bible, but to respond so arrogantly is plain ole silly if you haven’t studied it.”

        I’m not responsible for following every new invention your religion makes every couple of years. Simple questions, is the tale commonly known as the “Three Wise Men”? And did you know what was being referred to when I said it the first time?

        4. “Yep, the Christian seven sleepers legends probably developed slowly from Greek and other antique myths and legends”

        Once again where is the proof for this claim? I’m sorry to tell you but your butt is not a source. Again using this “logic” so did Rip Van Winkle. Again, almost none of the biblical text is “historical” and if you’d like to argue this show me a source other than the NT that:

        A. Mentions Matt’s zombie parade
        B. Has in Jewish Law that claiming to be the “Son of God” or the “Messiah” is blasphemy
        C. Highway Robbers are crucified

        You’re simply saying “I believe in this but…uh…yeah that must be a legend”, Again why can I not turn this around on Moses(as) splitting the sea or Jesus(as) resurrecting the dead then?

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      • And the battle continues. And with battle I mean bashar is getting spanked.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. @ Bashar

    “Ahh yes, the time-time honored apologetic approach of verbal abuse and deflecting to the Bible, when it is pointed out that an unhistorical Christian legend is included in the Quran according to a source I didn’t bring up to begin with but a Muslim did.”

    Oh get over yourself. You have yet to prove anything as “unhistorical” other than you think (despite no evidence) that it developed from paganism. What are we supposed to “refute” you simply saying that a story is “unhistorical”? List your proofs that the story is and we can move on. Once again your butt does not decide the universe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, please supply us with more specimens of that fine language, rhetorical flourishes, artful and superb argumentation such as “Once again your butt does not decide the universe”.

      So tell me why anybody should believe a Christian legend, now included in the Quran, found in various versions and forms before Islam, of people sleeping in a cave for hundreds of years and that nobody takes as historical? Do you have any historical evidence? Did the sleepers write down the story perhaps? Did they report the story so others wrote it from what they heard from their own mouths? Were their names recorded in a trustworthy manner and preserved in historical archives? Did they perhaps pass on physical objects such as clothes, shoes, purse, coins, personal items etc. we can examine?

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      • @ Bashar

        Well one has too find some way of entertainment when dealing with simpletons. Again why can I not apply this same standard to pretty much every Biblical story (that you take as “historical”) again? 🤔🤔🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      • @ Bashar

        Oh and as I thougjt about how to prove how much bs you’re spewing. If I bring a mass attessted early source of Muhammad’s (saw) miracles would you accept that it happened? How eager I await your reply…

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      • The historical evidence for the Christian legend will do as I asked, instead of deflecting all over the place.

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      • @ Bashar

        @ Bashar

        Not deflecting you see? Why? The reason is:

        1. If you use this criteria you’ve presented and I apply this to Muhammad’s (saw) miracles then we can conclude he is a prophet who spoke with God and so there’s the end to that. God said it and so I win.

        2. If you say no, then we can conclude even if you had the information you requested you still would’ve made an excuse and not believed and were this arguing for the sake if arguing. And thus I win again.

        So since its Eid I’ll defer to you in how would you like to give me “the w” today?😊😊😊

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      • @ Bashar

        Oh and silly ol me I forgot as you must’ve mentioned it why can’t apply your same standards to the Bible again? 🤔🤔🤔

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      • Ah yes, once more that superb line of argumenation instead of answeing the questions and supplying the evidence requested.

        “you still would’ve made an excuse and not believed and were this arguing for the sake if arguing. And thus I win again.”

        If that helps you feel better, no problem.

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      • @ Bashar

        Oh well you wouldn’t have believed if you had the information and so there’s no point. And so with that being said, I believe you used some Italian earlier. Forgive me as I don’t speak the language but I can give your poor hypocritical argument my condolences in Latin:

        Requiece in pace

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      • Funny guy, insults others for being dyxlexic and then goes on to misspell a Latin phrase.

        Deflecting to the Bible and tapdancing all around instead of anaweing a simple queestion.

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      • @ Bashar

        How clever it only took you a few days to finally come up with that huh.

        PS

        In my defense that was spell check.

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      • Still doing the tapdance around?
        How about answering the simble question?

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  6. Mary growing up in the temple, being miraculously fed by angels, the palm tree birth narrative, Jesus speaking from the cradle, … all these are late legends found in various late apocryphal Christian sources with virtually no historical credibility. Nothing of this stuff is found in the earliest historically reliable sources.

    Like

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