What Do James & Mohammad Have In Common?

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How was Mary selected to be the mother of Jesus? How was Joseph selected as her husband? The Quranic account is identical to a work of fiction know as the Protoevangeloin of James.

In the Quran, 3:44, tells how Joseph came to be the husband of Mary, the mother of Isa.

This is of the announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to you; and you were not with them when they cast their pens (other translations: lots) to decide which of them should have Marium in his charge, and you were not with them when they contended with one another.” 

This account is given in the Protevangelion of James (sometimes called “of Mary”) in 8:9-16. 

“After the High–Priest had received their rods, he went into the temple to pray; and when he had finished his prayer, he took the rods, and went forth and distributed them, and there was no miracle attending them. The last rod was taken by Joseph, and behold, a dove proceeded out of the rod, and flew upon the head of Joseph. And the High Priest said, ‘Joseph, you are the person chosen to take the virgin of the Lord, to keep her for Him.’ But Joseph refused, saying, ‘I am an old man, and have children, but she is young, and I fear lest I should appear ridiculous in Israel.’ The the High Priest replied, ‘Joseph, fear the Lord your God, and remember how God dealt with Dathan, Korah, and Abiram, how the Earth opened up, because of their contradiction. Now therefore, Joseph, fear God, lest the like things should happen in your family. Joseph then, being afraid, took her into his house….” 

Notice the similarities: Lots or pens in one translation as to rods, seeking a sign of some sort for the taking of Mary. Also, the part in the Quran about the contention, which in the second passage happened between Joseph and the High Priest. 

Again we see that a story taken from Christianity’s fable lore is related as historical fact in the Quran. If the Quran’s injunction that it is completely unique and that there is no other text like it is to be taken literally, how do you judge that claim in light of this evidence?

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