FaithWorld

A rabbi, an imam and a priest discuss their “painful verses”

June 5, 2008

The Painful Verses, published by Editions Lessius, BrusselsA rabbi, an imam and a Catholic priest have written a book about the “painful verses” in scriptures that offend other faiths. Instead of plucking quotes out of each others’ holy books, however, they went to their own texts and picked out the passages they found difficult themselves. The result, recently published in France in the book Les Versets douloureux (The Painful Verses), amounts to an interfaith dialogue that goes straight for some of the most sensitive topics between different faiths.

The trio — Rabbi David Meyer, Imam Sohaib Bencheikh and Rev. Yves Simoens — thought it was a needed switch from the polite interfaith meetings they were used to attending.

Here’s a feature I wrote today after their book presentation this morning.¬†Meyer said there were no plans yet to translate it but their publisher Editions Lessius was in contact with counterparts in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, a group Meyer and Bencheikh are active in, has posted a short summary of the book in English.

Comments
21 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Religion: the principal obstacle to world harmony and understanding.

Posted by Dilberth | Report as abusive
 

Amen, Dilberth!!!
I can say no more. :)

 

Thats exactly why they’ve written the book in the first place.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

Religion is man made. Jesus spoke very powerfully to harmful religious practice. He broke nearly every religious taboo. If we focused on the relationship aspect with our God and realised we all fall short of perfection, we could seek His plan for us more clearly. Ditch the religion, get the relationship we all need, with the God who cares for every person on this planet.

Posted by andrew allen | Report as abusive
 

God cares for everything in the universe.

Religon hurts people and helps people. It is a crutch and a wonderful gift.

Posted by Yar | Report as abusive
 

What an interesting book–it’s about time people of the various religious traditions faced the uncomfortable parts in a non-dogmatic way. Too often, well meaning but too literal minded people assume a “take it or leave it” attitude which is the religious equivalent of a unilateralist foreign policy. It neither is true to what faith is, or even what our prophets have said: “The word killeth”. The time is coming when all of the religions will share their revered figures, when all will be seen to have come from the same divine tree of wisdom. My personal feeling is that very soon, a uniting figure named Maitreya will begin speaking to the need to live by our most sacred beliefs, rather than arguing about our differences.

Posted by Mike Nolley | Report as abusive
 

Sounds to be an interesting book. Pointless to me, however, because it is all about the need to have a script for beliefs that people apparently need to adhere to. But it is what it is. Fiction of the past. Unfortunately, there are new fictions of the same troublesome kind in the process of being written daily.

Posted by Richard McDonough | Report as abusive
 

So why didn’t the rabbi dissect the Talmud, which is far more central to orthodox Judaism than the Torah? A limited hangout?

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive
 

There is only ONE book. There is only ONE TRUE GOD. In HIM is the FATHER, SON and THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Whoever, does not want to listen to the ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, will die in his sin, forever. AMEN

Posted by Cindy | Report as abusive
 

can some one say chaching? !…
the basis for all religion from the first one to the last one.

Posted by Igor | Report as abusive
 

This would be a fascinating read, particularly as I’ve observed a tendency for people to criticize certain beliefs without an understanding of their full context, depth of meaning, or implications. I would think the authors might be able to better give such context to the difficult sayings… one can hope.

Also, those are some spot-on comments about religion there. That said, though, I’m afraid Jesus won’t be jiving well with this Maitreya entity Mike Nolley mentions. Jesus’ claims were radical and exclusive. Many “revered figures” have said they’ve ‘found’ the way or ‘know’ the way, but Jesus claimed to *be* The Way.

Any attempt to portray Jesus as a good teacher, prophet, or all-around-nice-guy unplugs him from his own teachings and claims. Either he was a madman, or he really was who he claimed to be and what he taught is true. He didn’t really leave any wiggle room there.

Posted by Joshua | Report as abusive
 

It is time for the one religion that hates all other religions and aims to destroy them, in the name of brotherhood (which it really works to undermine), freedom (as false as it may be), and humanity (an enemy of which it is) to be held accountable for its own painful verses and the corruption of all other religions.

The religion of freemasonry, for which an international meeting of Muslim scholars in the holy city Makkah declared to be enemy number one to Islam in the 1990′s.

That is the most corrupt religion, a religion that twists reality and has appointed or influenced people to propagandize even down here.

Yes, there is bad in a church system, for which many Christians protested, and for which Muslims never believe in anyways. When the USA founders said separation of Church and State, they really meant freedom from Papacy’s hegemony.

Posted by Fawaz Alduaij | Report as abusive
 

Patrick, it wasn’t a limited hangout on Rabbi Meyer’s part, it was limited space on mine! I could only pick out a few examples of the issues these three touched on, so I chose a few I thought would be interesting for most readers. He also discusses passages from the Book of Joshua and from the Talmud (where the part about stealing from a non-Jew comes from). Like the authors, I hope the book gets translated soon so it can reach beyond the French-speaking world.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive
 

WERE ALL HUMANS AND SHARE THE SAME PLANET SINCE

BEGINNING OF TIME . NO RELIGION WILL MAKE ANYONE OF

US OR THE WORLD ANY BETTER BUT OUR OWN SELFLESSNESS

AND RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER

LETS FOCUS MORE ON NECESSITY OF SURVIVAL

AND IMPROVED FOR BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS THAN TOPICS

THAT CANNOT BE PROVEN OR SHOULD IT MATTER TO BE PROVEN

WE ALL WILL BORN AND DIE ANYWAYS IN THE END.

WHAT MATTTER THE MOST IS MAKING THE BEST OF ENJOYING OUR

LIVES TO BE AS HAPPY AS POSSIBLE JUST BY SIMPLE RESPECT

IT DONT TAKE A GENIUS OR A PROPHET TO FIGURE THIS OUT.

SORRY IF I OFFFENDED ANYONE OUT THERE BUT WHAT I THINK

OF LOGICAL REASONING IS WHAT MAKES SENSE . ITS UP TO

PEOPLE WHO CHOSE TO UNDERSTAND THE FACTS OF LIFE AS

SIMPLE AS IT IS OR MAKE IT HARDER THAN WHAT IT IS

SO HISTORY WILL ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF AND FOR WHAT

CAUSE?

 

There is no God. So this is all pointless wittering anyway. The fact of the matter is that human beings will use any excuse, real or imaginary to slaughter each other. Long may it continue; more air and food for me.

Posted by El Guapo | Report as abusive
 

If there is a god, he’s either insane or an idiot, or both.

Posted by bob | Report as abusive
 

Once they publish this book in English, I’d love to read it. Maybe this could be the (or one of many) missing links that the three major monothelogic religions need in order to better understand each other. I’ll be honest, I sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable being around Muslims, but I don’t want to be. Its the conflict in the Middle East and the picture being painted by the media that is the cause of this, and not to mention bad decisions by a small percentage of the Islamic community. Though Jewish and Christians have their bad eggs as well, we just don’t hear about it that much.

Again, I’ll buy the book.

Posted by Jake | Report as abusive
 

Can’t wait to read this book. Since when has freemasonary been as, Fawaz Alduaij put it “…the most corrupt religion, a religion that twists reality and has appointed or influenced people to propagandize even down here.” Isn’t that what fundamentalists of any religion do anyway? (The non-religious terrorists blaspheming Allah, the zealous christian’s doing the same with the name of God and Jesus). Obviously the Freemasons Fawaz has come across are a different breed/concept of those elsewhere – this is an irrational interpretation and in complete contrast to all literature readings (and my experiences) of Freemasons and Freemasonary, which is NOT a ‘religion’. Again the ignorant blaming the society / religion and not the irrational, (and even psychotic)fools from within.

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive
 

If everyone stuck to his own lane, followed what he thought best and refrained from commenting upon others’ faiths, the world would be so much better.

Posted by Azeem Taqi | Report as abusive
 

what is religion? it is a way of life, a lifestyle. if a person thoroughly studies his religion, and decides to follow it to its entirety, there will be no mischief in this world. no matter which religion you belong to, god has always wanted you to put others in front of you, and that should be enough to respect all human beings for their values. i am a Muslim, and i think about this everyday in my life. life is all about building relationships so that we can all live in peace and harmony.problems begin when you think you are an expert of other religions. if you want to study another religion, try to study it from one of its adherents, not an ignorant hater from your own religion. to all, salamualaikum.

Posted by shaikh rahman | Report as abusive
 

Religous people have what they call faith or belief. This is not unlike believing there is a santa claus. To bad they refuse to read history and fact. Believing that the bible is the word of god is the ultimate fantasy. To bad there are so many who’s life is so empty they must believe in a book that was written by writer’s of fantasy. Not one chapter is even similar to the others writings. Even when they are talking about the same story,time and date! Belief is the drug of the masses. The catholic church backed Hitler, gave protection the the generals after the war, never condemed the murder of jews. It’s all money!

 

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