Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World"

PHILOLOGOS: The Origins of the Precept "Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World." And what they tell us about particularism and universalism in Jewish tradition (Mosaic Magazine).
An Islamic principle? Isn’t the precept cited by Saleh, the startled reader asks, a Jewish one, one of the noblest of its kind, found in the Mishnah as well as other talmudic-period texts? How can it be claimed for the Quran, which was written in the 7th century after the entire Talmud was redacted?

And yet Saleh was not making it up. In the 32nd verse of the fifth Sura, or chapter, of the Quran is a retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. ...
There follows a wending journey through medieval Mishnah manuscripts and back to the Qur'an.

This essay is from October of 2016. This was before I noticed Philologos's new home at Mosaic, so I missed it. Here it is now.

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