Choosing Faith Rediscovering the Commanalities Between Islam by David Liepert

By David Liepert

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Jesus ben Sira was reportedly a devout Jew of Jerusalem who had lived about two centuries before Jesus Christ. The book he wrote, ‘Sirach’ or ‘Ecclesiasticus’, was included in all editions of the Bible up to the time of the reformation when it was excluded from Protestant and Calvinist texts. According to my Oxford Companion, the grounds for this exclusion had been that only Greek translations were available at that time and that its canonicity had been therefore somewhat questionable. Since then, Hebrew versions had been found at Qumran and Masada and because of this the exclusion seemed to me to be invalid.

Peter had always been one of my favorite apostles. In Church, my pastors and teachers had often focused on his flaws, including when he was rebuked by Jesus, or the night he rejected Jesus, when Peter had been afraid for his own life and freedom. To me, Peter had been the most human of Jesus’s followers. Although he had faults, he also showed a powerful yearning to be more and better than he was. I found him easy to relate to. I wasn’t surprised to discover that Peter did not teach Jesus was God, nor did he contradict Jesus in any other way.

For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of His goodness. Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets”. I remember feeling quite angry that no-one had ever mentioned the creation story in Proverbs to me before, or anything else about the Spirit of Wisdom, because “she” was quite able to fill the role of the Word spoken of at the beginning of the Gospel of John and not be God.

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