Wednesday, 23 December 2009

John Lennox refuting the atheist

I want to make the reader aware of John Lennox, an excellent Christian apologist and debater and author of several books, such as God's Undertaker among others, see:

Lennox recently debated the radical evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins and did a fairly good job in representing the Christian faith and view.

Lennox blog can be seen here:

Personally I find the atheist position extremely weak, dishonest and selective.

I can't help referring to Richard Carrier's methodology that only non-theist scientists can be considered as reliable, since they are non-theists, a claim which proves utterly devestating for the integrity of atheist reasoning; see

Here I guess theists show much more virtue than the majority of radical atheist, a point which Lennox himself brings up:

Here is also a list from youtube on the famous particular blunder of Richard Dawkins to respond to a simple question related to DNA, which is foundational for his evolutionary view and theory:

Of particular interest is this one:

I did read the book in which Richard Dawkins refers to this particular incident prior to our privilege of Youtube; great actually to watch the interview and the reaction of our atheist friends. You will find it interesting from these youtube videos that it is becoming more and more of an atheist claim that theists fabricate or corrupt interview records, which is a desparate claim indeed. Quite similar to the reaction we had to Antony Flew's conversion from atheism to theism or deism.

Well it seems that Dawkins confirms that the recording was not tampered with. Hence he was stuck when a fundamental question and issue was raised and funny Dawkins has failed to adequately address this issue with anything that impresses a mind that actually conforms to actual reason.

In any case the evolution theory is hardly an adequate refutation of either the Bible (according to some) or God (and I personally hold to the creationist view).

Monday, 14 December 2009

Refuting the Muslim Misuse of Jeremiah 8: 8 Concering the Corruption of the Torah

In a fairly desprate attempt to prove Bible corruption modern muslims have even resorted to the Biblical text for supporting indication. The most frequent passage being quoted by these Islamic missionaries is Jeremiah 8: 8 which reads:

How can you say, ‘We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,’ when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?"

Basically, the people of Jerusalem cannot claim to possess the Law since the scribes have falsefied it, or so the muslim argument runs, hence the Torah in our possession today is corruption.

This argument was originally utilized by a radical critical scholar named Albertz Rainer in his book ‘A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period: From the Beginnings to the End of the Monarchy’.

Rainer along with a number of radical critics utilized this passage in Jeremiah to support a yet another speculative attempt to undermine scripture namely the popular theory of an early religious conspiracy to turn Judea from its polytheistic state towards monotheism and back to the prophetic, priestly and political function of Moses (Rainer, pp. 203-207).

That Josiah’s reform indeed was a return to the original movement of Yahweh and the Law of Moses if accurate, but it is virtually impossible to prove that Josiah and his contemporaries forged the Deuteronomy document and neither Rainer nor any of his associates achieves this.

The book is an enjoyable reading yet apart from its academic outfit as fictionous as the Davinci Code itself.

The problem with the argument of Rainer is as Weinfeld points out that the particular word ‘sheqer’ in Jeremiah 8: 8 has multiple meanings such as untruth, shame, lie or in vain, and is far more accurately translated ‘writing in vain’ in this context. In fact the same word is found in 1 Samuel 25: 21, where David uses the same wording, which is often translated: ‘it’s been useless’

In that case the scribes of Jerusalem in Jermiah’s time are not corrupting the Law of Moses, but what they write is useless because they fail to abide by it.

Furthermore, that ‘writing in vain’ is an accurate translation of ‘sheqer’ in this passage is also supported by the context itself. In Jeremiah 26: 4-6 we are told that the Law still exists and should be followed:

"Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: If you do not listen to me and follow MY LAW, which I have set before you, and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened) then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city an object of cursing among all the nations of the earth.’"( Jeremiah 26:4-6)

Hence if the Mosaic Law still exists and should be followed, how can it be corrupted?

Interestingly a few decades later Daniel the prophet reads the book of Jeremiah:

"In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom - in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the LORD and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes." (Daniel 9:1-3)

And confirms in the same book that the Law of Moses is still intact:

"Therefore the curses and sworn judgments WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth." Daniel 9:11b-13

This only supports that the meaning of Jeremiah 8: 8 is not that of corrupting the text but that of copying the Law in vain since the people of Jerusalem failed to abide by it anyway.

Furthermore, even if Jeremiah attests to a group of scribes falsifying the Law of Moses, it does not support the view that the Law of Moses was universally corrupted. Scribes were not only residing in Jerusalem and both Jeremiah himself and Daniel confirm that the Law remained intact and existed as such in Jeremiah’s time and in the era of Daniel.

Furthermore, if the argument of Rainer is used by a Muslim, how does the Muslim explain the Qur’anic description of the Torah in Muhammad’s time and era:

"But why do they (the Jews) come to thee for decision, when they have the Torah in which IS the command of God." (Sura 5: 46)

"But when the truth has come to them from Us, they say: `why is he not given the like of what was given to Moses?' Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Moses before? They say: `Two kinds of magic (the Torah and the Quran) each helping the other!' And they say: `Verily! In both we are disbelievers.' Say (to them, O Muhammad): `Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these TWO (the Torah and the Quran), that I may follow it, if you are truthful.'" (Sura 28: 48-49)

"The Jews say, `The Christians are not (founded) upon anything.' And the Christians say, `The Jews are not (founded) upon anything.' And yet THEY READ THE BOOK." (Sura 2: 113)

Obviously Rainer’s view and the view of the modern Muslims does not cohere with the teachings proposed by the author of the Qur’an.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Misquoting Jesus

As I am critically writing a review of Barth Ehrman's Misqouting Jesus, I am amazed at the publicity this book has received as becoming a main academic source of contribution to the effort of the critic to debunk the historical reliability behind the NT text. Personally I think this is a brilliant book of this field of study, even though simple and merely a work of popular literature. My main disappointment is that Ehrman simply reiterates what he has already covered in other books such as 'Orthodox corruption' and 'Lost Christianity'. Yet despite being an excellent source of informaton, it amounts to nothing more than I already have covered at Bible college.

The book has nevertheless been utilized by muslims to promote their case against the Bible. Personally, I don't think New Testament Textual criticism supports this muslim myth, neither does the book of Ehrman.

I wonder therefore if my Muslim friends could elaborate on how the textual criticism Ehrman proposes defends the modern islamic view (not Quranic view) that the Gospels have been corrupted, to the extent the modern muslim individual promotes it.

(note: the modern muslim who adheres to the view of Bible corruption is not obedient to the teachings of the Qur'an which describes the Injeel intact; in fact such a muslim is according to the Qur'an not a muslim but a individual who has driven far away from the true path)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

My Email Address

I have just discovered that the email address attached to this blog does not work (at least if you email me from my profile). I anyone has tried to contact me within the last four weeks by the 'email' under profile, then I have not received your post.

I am trying to find out why emails do not reach me from this blog. In the mean time if you wanna get in touch with me I have included my email address under the 'about me' on the front page of this blog.

My email address is

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Additional Questions for Yahya Snow: The prophet in John 1: 19-28

Concerning the prophet in John 1: 19-28

1) Do you believe this passage is authentic?

2) If it is authentic do you believe it was a part of the original Injeel?

3) If you believe that John's Gospel is simply a corruption but you are merely making a point from what you believe to be corrupted or fabricated material, are you not then wasting your time?

4) If you believe some words or phrases in the passage are authentic or even revelatory how do you differentiate between these and the fabricated part?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Did the Qur'an Suffer Textual Corruption?

I am not making myself an expert on the field of Qur'anic textual criticism, yet I think this issue demands our consideration.

This youtube video reveals that Qur'anic experts in textual criticism assume based upon early Qur'anic manuscripts and the earliest Qur'anic manuscript in existence that the Qur'anic text was manipulated and formulated from an earlier version to the standard version we possess today. They estimate that this corruption which preceeds other later Qur'anic manuscripts took place within the fifty earliest years of Islam. When considering the Hadiths and Sira and the vast corruption and fabrication of material, this is not all surprising.

It seems that the matter of Qur'anic textual criticism is a future field of study that will greatly challenge the traditional claim of Islam that the Qur'an has suffered zero corruption.

Let me in addition refer the reader to this particular debate which took place in London this summer between Bassam Zawadi and Nabeel Quershi:

Bassam was well prepared for this debate, however, the very matter which Nabeel wished to pin point was firmly established, namely that the early Qur'an's contain variants and to this Bassam agreed, yet he dared to refer to these as divine variants. I have to say that such a reply to Nabeel's argument does not impress me at all, it goes against both logic and history. Bassam seemed here to point out a reply later stressed by Muslims to avoid the difficulties. In fact even if the Qur'an originally existed in multiple forms (which is logical but hardly is connected to this matter raised by German scholars) there is no clear evidence that these forms constitute the variants and textual inconsistencies which have been detected with early Qur'anic manuscripts and from the early historical sources.

Bassam and the Muslims present sought to argue that these variants were parts of revelations revealed in different forms to Arabic tribes of different dialects and that each form has been perfectly preserved wherever possible.

There are nevertheless a number of refuting points to this argument.

Firstly, Nabeel pointed out effectively that there forty different views among Muslims concerning these variants, and certainly no evidence that these were merely dialectical variants. In fact why would Allah commit such a foolish error in the first place, an error, which later almost lead to civil war. And if it was Allah's will to reveal the Qur'an in seven forms, based upon what revelatory authority did Uthman and later Islamic leaders discredit these forms and burn them?

It also came across rather clearly that the best reciters of Muhammad transmitted Qur'ans in dialects that later were burned; that is if the matter relates to dialects only. However, early Islam gives no real evidence that this was only a matter of dialects, and the reaction toward the Islamic rulers who inagurated this Qur'anic reform and revision of the text seem to reveal an attempt to cover up a real problem, namely that the early Qur'an was not preserved, which led to the corruption and later stratums of periods in which Qur'ans were burned; hence a development in textually formulating the Qur'anic text within the first fifty years of Islam.

Furthermore, the German scholars have effectively established that under the printed text they have discovered a text that has been erased, which reveals a number of stages in which the text has been polished and reformulated, hence the variants are not resulted from divine logic in providing a number of texts for various dialectics but the result of an early corruption of the text. This refutes the claim of the Muslims that the existing variants reveal dialectic form, rather the variants reveal a fluid transmission and a text that underwent a lengthy development.

We need also to reject the claim of Muslims that the variants reveal seven variant forms, which despite their variants remain in each their own preserved form. In fact the scrutiny of the early manuscripts reveal that the variants result from rewriting and rearranging the text, which in the typical Muslim mindset is corruption.

While I am not a keen favorit of source criticism and the typical theoretical methods behind it, this certainly rekindles my desire to consider the works of Chrone and a number of scholars who propose that the present Qur'an was fabricated under a Syriac influence and that much of the transmitted transmission related to the earlist history of Islam and the biography of Muhammad is early fabrication and corruption of reality.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Yahya Snow and the Prophet in John 1: 19-21 an Example of the Inconsistency of Islamic Apologetics

An interesting debate that has taken up in recent weeks concerning the prophet in John 1: 19-21 has been heavily stirred up by a certain Muslim named Yahya Snow. Yahya much like most of his muslim buddies would attempt to argue that this particular prophet is no one else but prophet Muhammad.

In this post I will not address the actual details of the debate; my brothers, Sam Shamoun, David Wood and Semper Paratus have already effectively refuted Yahya Snow and smashed his arguments to pieces:

However, I want to address another particular problem with Yahya Snow's methodology, which is typical of muslim apologetics as a whole, and which I have already posted on

The problem with the Muslim approach here, is that in Muslim apologetics, the Gospels reveal a progress in corruption: Mark being the earliest Gospel, being the least corrupted and hence the most islamic Gospel. Followed by Matthew and Luke, which are slightly more corrupted and embellished (such as the inclusion of the virgin birth, which unfortunately for the muslim is found in the Qur'an) and finally joined by John's Gospel which is the ultimate corruption (according to Muslims and other critics) and which according to Muslims has included a number of trinitarian details, teachings contradictory of the Qur'an, narratives and ideas; but unfortunately also references that according to muslims may support the Qur'anic position, such as the reference to the three: Christ, Elijah and the prophet, including the 'paraclete' in John 14: 16-17, which muslims mistake for Muhammad the prophet of Islam.

The question I always ask is, why is the Paraclete not found in Mark's Gospel? And why is the reference to the prophet in John 1: 17-21 not found in Mark's Gospel.

Muslims cannot simply state that parts of John's Gospel are parts of the Injeel along with parts of Mark's Gospel! Firstly because many of these passages such as John 1 related to the prophet is narrative, in that case the original Injeel was not a book from heaven but a human narrative.

Furthermore, based upon the progressive-corruption argument held by muslims, muslims can only appeal to Mark's Gospel, and therefore prove themselves inconsistent if they move even onto Matthew or Luke.

Either they cannot hold to the view of progressive corruption, and the Muslim can then pull verses out of context whereever he desires from the four Gospels (which in itself is embarrasing) and which they do, but which then implies that he (the muslim if he is consistent) needs to consider the Christological and Trinitarian sayings of Jesus in John's Gospel also.

Or the Muslim can hold to progressive-corruption, but then the prophet in John 1: 17-21 is completely futile for their argument, and then the Qur'an refers to a corrupted passage when claiming that Muhammad was predicted in the Gospel, which implies that the Paraclete in John 14 is not an argument the muslim can appeal to provide proof for a prediction of Muhammad in the Gospel.

So, go ahead muslim, which view do you hold to? Be consistent. However, it is obvious that whatever view the Muslim adheres he will yet again shoot himself in the foot.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Qur'an and the Big Bang Theory: Seven Easy Questions for the Muslim

As I am preparing my youtube videos on the Qur'an and modern science, I would first wanna hear the Muslim opinion and interpretation on this particular passage in the Qur'an:

Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (Sura 21: 30)’

Do Muslims actually believe:

1) That the heaven and earth were fused in cosmological time?

2) That the earth actually separated from this primordial entity?

3) That this view of the Qur'an correlates with modern science?


4) Who are these disbelivers?

5) How did the disbelivers know something that modern science has just recently revealed?

6) If the disbelivers already knew, what makes this passage in the Qur'an so special?

7) If the disbelievers already knew, what makes us deny the possibility that the Qur'anic author simply plagiarized this particular claim and other scientific claims from intellectuals who were contemporaries of Muhammad?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A New Testament Insight into Apologetics

This post introduces my own notes on my teaching on 1) apologetics; 2) how to prepare for apologetics; 3) and how to become an effective apologist. I believe Christians more than ever need to grasp the vital aspect of this ministry within the Christian community and by the grace and wisdom given by God, prepare themselves to take a stand against the desperate attacks of the opponent and falsehood.

The meaning of apologetics:

In apologetics there are two terms we need to consider:

· Apologetics = defending your faith
· Polemics = criticising the view of your opponent

Both approaches are Biblical and in most cases these two are combined into one approach.

The four primary purposes of apologetics:

1. To defend the gospel (Philippians 1: 7)
2. To communicate the gospel by means understandable to the hearers (Acts 17)
3. To give an answer to those who question our faith (Colossians 4: 6) (1 Peter 4: 15)
4. To expose falsehood (Matthew 23) (Acts 17)

Christian attitude in apologetics:

Apologists who resort to insult, personal attacks, accomplish little in their attempt to defend Christianity or expose falsehood.

· Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4: 6)

· But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3: 15-16)

However we need also to consider the attitude of Jesus to those who were willing to communicate with him yet with the sole intention to insult, humiliate or attack him (Matthew 12: 24, 38) (16: 1). Jesus knew these types of people, to whom he often engaged with by appealing to polemics (Matthew 23) and spoke with harsh words (Matthew 12: 39) (Matthew 23) (Luke 11: 37-52). On some occasions he decided simply to ignore these and move on (Matthew 15: 12-14) (16: 4). Jesus referred to these are wicked (Matthew 16: 4), blind (Matthew 15: 14), hypocrites (Matthew 23: 27-28) and even brood of vipers (Matthew 23: 33). Whether you like it or not, there is a place for this within Christian communication towards certain categories of opponents. Yet in the light of 1 Peter 3: 15-16 we need to act wisely. Also note that insult is not to be misunderstood as challenging or exposing your opponent.

Preparation for apologetics:

Be ready spiritually: Jesus Christ needs to be the focus of your life:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord (1 Peter 3: 15)

A good apologist keeps his spiritual life intact. In other words Christ being Lord of our life and our life and our belief has to correspond: ‘If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness we lie and do not live by the truth’. The word used here is ‘pseudometa’; which implies that unless Jesus is Lord of our life we simply lie to ourselves. Jesus emphasises this in the Gospel: ‘why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say’ (Luke 6: 46)? That is ‘pseudometa.’ Rather we should practice as Paul reinforces: ‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him’ (Colossians 2: 6). Notice here how conversion, life and faith has to correspond.

· ‘...aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you’ (2 Corinthians 13: 11)
· ‘Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice. And the God and peace will be with you’ (Philippians 3: 9)
· ‘Keeping a clear conscience’ (1 Peter 3: 16)

Conclusion: Holy lifestyle and a Christ-like attitude is essential for a successful apologist

Be rooted in your faith:

This is applies to the Christian to know his faith and be strong in his faith. The Bible commands us to be strong and rooted in our faith:

· Be on your guard: stand firm in the faith (1 Cor.16: 13)
· I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends upon human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2: 4-8)

Be courageous:

We need a lot of boldness as Christians to face the society we live in, be it in a college, in a university or a work place. It is a fact the community, the authorities, the education system and the media almost work collectively to derive us from the freedom to speak and hold onto our opinion, and indeed to study and research Christianity from a positive standpoint. Furthermore these aspects of society frequently question the Christian faith and undermine it. Now wonder so many Christians are driven by fear and hence fail to stand up for their belief, which they realise might cause them to fail in any given work or study, while the reality is that our fear hinders our progress. If we want breakthrough, risks have to considered and contrary to what Christians often tend to perceive, the common person is often impressed with our courage.

The Bible says:

· Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened (1 Peter 3: 13)
· Be on your guard: stand firm in the faith: be men of courage: be strong (2 Cor. 16: 13)

Be ready time- wise:

That apologetics is a tool and skill we need to be ready to practice spontaneously at anytime only reveals how urgent this aspect is in the life of every Christian. We read:

· Always...(1 Peter 4: 15a)
· prepared (1 Peter 4: 15b)

Be prepared with and know your information:

Know the Bible:

· ...go make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28: 16)

· They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2: 42)
· Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom (Colossians 3: 16)
· You will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3: 14)
· But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 14-17)

Know the sources of your opponents:

Paul’s sermon at Areopagus reveals that he possessed an excellent insight into the books and beliefs of the Greek ideas and philosophies (Acts 17). This requires Christians to possess knowledge about atheism, Islam and other views that oppose the Christian faith.

Organising your study:

The Christian needs to engage in study and daily set of time for study and research; here are a few vital categories of studies:

· Topic study (topics and verses that cover a number of doctrinal topics and then to memorize them within a specific amount of time)

· Context study (find methods that help you to memorize the context and the passages, and methods that provide you with insight into the structure of the Biblical books.

· Set of time to gain inside into philosophy, science, church history and other religions

The purpose with this is:

· that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4: 6)
· ...always be prepared to give an answer to everyone (1 Peter 3: 15)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Oral Transmission and Bible Memorization

Bible memorization and memorization of information is the ambition of my life; my foremost goal at the present moment is to memorize the entire New Testament and in future to do so in Greek language also.

Why do I believe this to be so vital? I believe this is the strenght and the impetus that constitutes effective ecclesiastical training, accurate doctrine and successful dealing with the external factor, such as mission, apologetics and debating.

Currently, many Christians engage themselves in memorization, whether through straight through repetitition:

Or memorization technics:

We know that Christians in China and other Communist countries have not had much choice but to emphasize memorization since these atheist regimes have either banned or reduced the spread of Bibles.

There are a number of stories in the Chinese underground church how one Bible or a part of it has circulated from one church to the other and been memorized.

Memorization proved a vital part in the early Christianity.

Prior to the writing of Mark, the Christians utilized a oral transmission, which today is included in the four Gospels. However, memorization in the first, second and third century church continued to utilize the oral transmission alongside the written transmission.

The early church father Ireneaus (120-190 AD), the disciple of Polycarp (70-150 AD) who himself was a disciple of John the apostle (died 90/95) the disciple of Jesus, records a number of details relating to memorization and oral transmission. In his Against Heresies, Book 3, chapter 3 and verses 2-3 he records from the line of Roman successors and narrators:

‘...the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul...The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles... To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him...

Hence Clement of Rome the bishop of Rome and an apostolic successor was in position to memorize and recite the apostolic tradition.

Irenaeus himself records in the Fragments of the Lost Sayings of Irenaeus, chapter 2, how he sat under the influence of Polycarp the successor of John the apostle and memorized the traditions:

‘...I then listened to them attentively, and treasured them up not on paper, but in my heart; and I am continually, by God's grace, revolving these things accurately in my mind’.

Indeed Irenaeus records in Fragments of the Lost Sayings of Irenaeus, chapter 2 how Polycarp had engaged in memorization from the apostles, those who were eyewitnesses and hearers of Jesus:

‘...and how he would call their words to remembrance. Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracls and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all...

We read here of two lines of successors, both lines leading us back to the apostles and then to Jesus, of which both lines of successors are engaged in memorization.

Of similar lines of successors we could refers to Papias who memorized the ‘The Living and Abiding Word’ (that is information transmitted by an eyewitnesses of the account and under his control) from John the Elder and Eyewitnesses and disciple of Jesus (Eusebius, The History of the Church Book 3, chapter 39).

Irenaeus confirms in Irenaeus in his Against Heresies, Book 3, chapter 4, verse 1, that in 180 AD the oral transmission is still so intact within the church, that even with no Bible the oral preservation of the Gospel would be sufficient to preserve the entire tradition:

For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

As Christians we need to continue with this practice; we need to consider its importance in equipping the teachers, the preachers, the apologists and the average Christian. Furthermore, we need to consider this practice if it should come as far that the Christian community in the West should be persecuted and the Bible banned.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Has the Injeel been corrupted: A challenge to Etheshaam

This is mainly a response to Gulam Etheshaam and a refutation of his response to my previous thread. In my previous thread I considered three foundational answers to a muslim who claimed that the Injeel is corrupt. Etheshaam replies back in the comments as a response to my third answer, in which I stated that the Qur'an itself does not include the idea that the Injeel has been changed and was in fact intact in Muhammad's own time.

Etheshaam replies:

"if the Injeel is corrupt, how will the Muslim respond to his own book, the Qur'an, which does not state that the Injeel was corrupted, but rather attests to its preservation and accuracy Muhammad's era. "I don't know how many times I Have to say it, The Quran 4:157-- clearly says the New Testament is corrupt. The Quran is talking about the Gospel of Jesus (which We don't have) not the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John or Paul.

Hogan Elijah replies:

Firstly, lets consider what the Qur'an truly says:

“If you Muhammad are in doubt regarding that which we have revealed to thee, ask THOSE who READ the BOOK from BEFORE YOU” (Sura 10:94).

In this passage Muhammad is to approach those who read the previous revealation and consult with them if he is in doubt. Now elaborate on this for a while: Muhammad has received and is receiving the superior book, the Qur'an (according to the muslim view), why does he need to consult those who follow a corrupted book? Unless of course, the previous book is not corrupted.

...whom they find written in the Torah and the Gospel that IS WITH THEM (Sura 7:156-157)

In this passage we find the claim that Muhammad is found in the Torah and the Gospel. In fact he is found in neither of these, but we know which passages the Qur'an is referring to. The passage of greatest interest is John 14: 16, which refers to the paraclete, the comforter, which in its Aramaic wording was used for a councellor or an advocate but also for the Holy Spirit.

What is interesting here is that the Qur'an is here referring to the fourth Gospel, the Christological and Trinitarian Gospel, the Gospel that Muslims hate the most. This blows away completely the Muslim view that there was a gradual corruption in line with some source critical theories, in which the muslim argues that the Gospel of Jesus was corrupted into Mark's Gospel and then embellished into Matthew and Luke, which then implies that the virgin birth is a corruption and hence debunks the Qur'an, and which finally led to the fabrication of John's Gospel, which the Qur'an actually refers to as the Word of God. Perhaps Etheshaam can be consistent here and explain to us why the Paraclete is not found in Mark's Gospel or why the Qur'an is referring to John not Mark.

In fact, this answers Etheshaam's question: 'where is the Gospel of Jesus', well the Qur'an is quite explicit here, the Gospel of Jesus is the particular Gospel which supposedly predicts the comming of Muhammad, in other words, the Gospel of John; how more simple can it be.

Sura 7: 156-7 clearly says: ...the Gospel that is With them

Hence a Gospel that the Christians possessed and used in Muhammad's time. This clearly confirms that the Gospel of John is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Say, O people of the book! You are not founded on anything until you PERFORM the TORAH and the GOSPEL, and what was revealed to you from your Lord” (Sura 5:68-71)

This implies, that I a Christian am to follow my book, the Injeel and if a Jew, I am to follow the Torah. Why would Allah reveal anything near this line of reasoning if the Injeel was corrupted? Would Allah not rather warn us clearly to throw the previous revelation in the bin, rather than revealing something like this?

We find nothing the Qur'an that warns us against the Injeel or states that the written Injeel is corrupted, what we find are passage like these that confirm its reliability and preservation.

Here the Qur'an urges me to follow my book. Now consider this: am I to listen to Allah or Ethesham?

Be courteous when you argue with People of the Book except with those among them who do evil. Say: “ We believe in that which is revealed to us and which was revealed to you. Our God and your God is one”. (29:46)

This Sura 29: 46 is for the Muslim, it basically instructs and commands the Muslim to believe in the Injeel as it is read in Muhammad's time. Notice that according to this passage Etheshaam and other muslims are being disobedient to their own book and the command of Allah when they argue with the Christians and disbelieve the previous revelations.

Thus this attempt of muslims to attack previous revelations and the book of the Christians is a clear violation of the command of Allah, these are disobedient Muslims who do not understand nor follow their own book.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and his Messenger, and the SCRIPTURE WHICH HE SENT TO HIS MESSENGER, AND the SCRIPTURE WHICH HE SENT TO THOSE BEFORE (HIM). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His BOOKS, His messengers, and the day of judgement, hath gone fare astray (Sura 4:136)

Can it be more simple, a Muslim who doubts the previous revelations, has gone astray. How am I to understand this? I can only conclude either that Muslim like Etheshaam are either not Muslims or are deceived Muslims.

If I am wrong about these passages, I want Etheshaam to prove to me from the Qur'an or from the words of Muhammad himself, not Abbas, Tabari or any other scholar, but from the Qur'an or Muhammad's own words how these verses are to be understood otherwise, but it has to be a clear rejection (from the Qur'anic context) of the clarity of these passages.

Ethesham brought up Sura 4: 157 which reads:

That they say in boast “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the apostle of Allah”; but they killed him not nor crucified him, but so it was made appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no certain knowledge but only conjecture to follow for of a surety they killed him not (4: 157-159).

Etheshaam concludes that this passage proves that the Injeel is corrupted, however where does the passage say that? It says that Christians follow conjecture when they say this, yet it does not imply that their book is corrupted.

There are a number of problems here:

Where in this passage does it imply that that the Injeel is corrupted?

If this implied Bible corruption, would that not contradict all the previous passages?

It seems much more likely that the author of the Qur'an considers this to be an idea that flourished among the Christians but not a doctrine included in their revelation, otherwise the passages I quoted earlier are deceptive and are bound to lead both Christians and Muslims to hell.

In other words, the author of the Qur'an is being inconsistent here and limited in knowledge; this is an error that clearly reveals that the author of the Qur'an was a human being.

I want to challenge Etheshaam to present to us a passage from the Qur'an that clearly and explicitly says something like: the Injeel on a universal level has been corrupted by writing

If he fails to do so, Etheshaam has simply lost in this matter.

When a Muslim asks me: Is the Injeel corrupted?

When a Muslim asks me: what do you answer to the claim that the Injeel is corrupted, I answer with

Firstly: Define corruption? To what extent do you mean corrupted? Are you referring to local corruption or universal? Are you referring to the term 'corruption' often utilized within the field of Biblical criticism, which is slightly different from the typical muslim understanding of the word?

Secondly: Prove from primary sources that the modern muslim view of Bible corruption took place:

I want to know 1) who corrupted it, their names 2) where it was corrupted, the city and country, 3) when it was corrupted, which year, which century, 4) how it was corrupted, 5) why it was corrupted.

I would ask the muslim to provide primary sources for all these three.

Now the Muslim might refer to textual criticism and claim that corruption took place gradually. However, the corruption referred to in textual criticism is a completely different matter than the corruption pre-supposed by modern muslims.

Within textual criticism there is doubt about the 5 procent of the NT, this is not to say that remaining is corrupt, but rather that we do not have sufficient lacks the earliest attestation and cannot be effectively composed by the manuscripts, unfortunately for the muslims this does not imply that meaning of these passages are corrupted or missing. Hence this remaining part is left for our own individual belief or disbelief. Thus it would still confirm that Jesus died and resurrected, it would leave within the gospel the narrative and the sayings; this would hardly fit the nature of the Book Allah gave to Jesus.

Now the Muslim may go beyond textual criticism to source criticism, however now were are gona have a number of problems; firstly, this approach is utterly speculative, yet if factual as many muslims claim, it would would exclude Jesus' miracles, virgin birth (which are found in the Qur'an), it would exclude the paraclete (the presupposed Muhammad); it would leave utterences related to Jesus being the Son of God and Jesus being the one to baptise in the Holy Spirit as intact, which both contradict the Qur'an.

Hence if the modern muslim theory of corruption took place, the muslim needs to consider the five questions I asked earlier.

Thirdly: if the Injeel is corrupt, how will the Muslim respond to his own book, the Qur'an, which does not state that the Injeel was corrupted, but rather attests to its preservation and accuracy Muhammad's era.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Muslim Debate and Rhetoric

In all my years engaging in muslim apologetics and debating I have noticed a certain three-fold trend in the way many (though not all) Muslims interact with Christians in dialogue, namely the habits of 1) asking questions or making strong claims followed by an 2) unwillingness to either allow the Christian to respond or let the Christian speak but not listen to his answer, followed by 3) changing the topic by bringing up another claim.

Anyone who engages with Muslims is aware of this islamic tactic of debating and the difficulty it poses to sincere and effective dialogue.

For example (and this in fact occurred in the recent talkshow on the Aramaic channel hosted by Sam Shamoun and David Wood) a Muslim brought up the claim that the prophet of Deuteronomy 18 is similar to Muhammad in action, deed and circumstances (a ridicolous claim and easily refuted). In fact the argument originally derived from the famous Islamic apologist Ahmed Deedat and provides details of such ignorant and non-scholarly nature, that most theologians find anyone promoting it a laughinstock.

This was effectively dealt with by both Shamoun and Wood in approximately 5-7 minutes. Shamoun took a scholarly approach, left out the imagination and stupitity and dealt with the passage in its historical context. The refutation totally blew the islamic use of the passage into pieces.

I was mildly speaking in shock, so was Shamoun and I guess must viewers when realising that this muslim who phoned the show had not even bother listening to the answer from Shamoun and merely began reiterating the same details.

However, this example establishes but one of the most difficult issues related to Christian-Muslim debating: why does the Muslim blindly presuppose that his view is correct which gives him the superior right to keep talking and not listening?

Personally I am more aware of this presupposed islamic superiority and choice to downplay the opponent as simply inferior, when I spend time with my Christian Pakistani friends and co-workers. These Christian brothers of mine were born and raised up in a country in which they were considered inferior and second class citizens merely due to their Christian faith. What strikes me is that it was enforced upon them to listen and listen and learn and certainly not to speak up. In words, this is the Muslim trend of dealing with e.g. Christian in a Muslim society.

This is why Muslims in UK and USA when engaging with Christians in dialogue find it difficult to engage in a proper, lengthy and focused debate, they simply do not believe in listening and learning from a non-muslim, neiter dare they. This is why dialogue with a muslim begins with any topic and quickly ends up with a topic on the other side of the spectrum; they simply do not want your answer, hence, neither can they respond to it, so the easiest way is to change the topic.

Interestingly when these Christians from muslim countries settle in England or the West, this changes drastically. These Christians who have had no choice but to remain silent and humbly listen, have decided to turn the tables, now it is their turn to get vocal and it is the Muslim who has to listen, which is logical.

And it works.

We quickly notice here the effectiveness of these Christians to debate Muslims, refute and expose them since they for the first time in their entire life have the chance and freedom to speak, rather than the approach of Western Christians simply to give in for the Muslim tactic in allowing them to control the dialouge and conversation; those who grew up in Muslim countries and first hand experienced the suppression will not buy that.

My encouragement to my Christian brothers and sisters is: be bold, speak out, stand up for the truth, learn to debate. Be firm: do not listen unless the Muslim himself is willing to listen, and speak only if he is willing to listen. Get yourself used to not only to be on the defence and answer the typical rhetorical question of muslims, get used to ask the questions, demand that the muslim answers your question and make sure he stays on the topic.

Go for it, God bless

Friday, 2 October 2009

Evidences for the Qur'an: a reply to Ethesham

My dear brother Ehtesham has listed a number of evidences for Islam on his website. I will just list them here and lightly respond to them. God-willing when he provides a detailed description of all these points I will respond to them also.

Ethesham wrote:

1.) The Quran says the Bible (Both the Old and New Testaments) is corrupt. Today Scholars of the Bible say the same exact thing-- Both the Old and New Testaments(especially the New Testament) have been badly edited, corrupted and distorted over time.

Elijah replies:

The first problem with this statement is the fact that the Qur'an does not imply that the Injeel is corrupted.

Secondly, the scholars who imply this are secular and humanists who apply certain methods to exclude the supernatural aspect of the Bible. These methods are philosophical in nature not historical; furthermore, these methodologies will equally debunk the Qur'an and hence the religion of Islam.

Thirdly, Christians who apply e.g. textual criticism or redaction criticism often apply the words critic, problem, corruption (I myself do that), however these words are not meant in a way to imply the nature or extent of corruption, which the Muslim is in need of to protect his own Qur'an from the reliability of the previous revelations.

Ethesham wrote:

2.) Scienctific Miracles from the Quran. Nobody has been able to refute many Scientific claims of the Quran. This is the biggest evidence that the Quran is not from a human
rather from Allah-- the God of All.

Elijah replies:

This claims seems very odd to me. I have done extensive studies on science also in relation to Islam and Greek philosophy. The fact is that most of the science described in the Qur'an is wrong. Furthermore, these claims were also common knowledge among the ancient intellectuals who preceeded Islam.

Ethesham wrote:

3). The Miracles of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammad was able to perform miracles, something a false prophet can't do or an ordinary human
can do-- there was something supernatural in him where he was able to do miracles.

Elijah replies:

Firstly I disagree with the statement that a false prophet cannot perform miracles. Many hindu holy men, satanists and spiritists perform miracles.

Secondly, the Qur'an nowhere ascribes any miracles to Muhammad, quite the opposite it claims that the only miracle of Muhammad was revelation of the Qur'an, a book whose integrity has been refuted both historically, logically, scientifically and textually.

Thirdly, even though the Hadiths records miracles ascribed to Muhammad, Ethesham and other Muslims have to agree that based upon their own methodology these are human writings and ideas that were passed on from person to person for hundreds of years. If these traditions are to be considered reliable why does Ethesham distrust the succession, transmission and preservation of the Gospel material in the first century?

Ethesham wrote:

4.) True Prophcies of the Quran. More evidence its from the divine.

Elijah replies:

I am at loss as to what prophesies we are dealing with here.

Ethesham wrote:

5). True Prophcies of Prophet Muhammad-- more evidence he is a Prophet of God.

Elijah replies:

Again, I which which prophesies we are dealing with here.

Ethesham wrote:

6) Perservation of the Quran-- Allah said he would protect the Quran (Quran 15:9). This is another miracle of the Quran.

Elijah replies:

An assessment of the Islamic material shows that Muhammad was indeed dependent upon his followers in the writing or creation of the Qur'an; hence the Qur'an seems to be more of a fabrication. The number of Greek scientific ideas, Jewish fables, and Gnostic ideas simply confirms this.

Secondly, the Hadiths reveal that Muslims and even Muhammad in Muhammad's time were unable to preserve the Qur'an. When Muhammad died the situation of the Qur'an was chaotic and much of its content had been lost.

Thirdly, when the Qur'an was compiled after Muhammad's death, a civil war almost broke out since the variaty Qur'an versions were not matching.

Forthly, the Muslim rulers decided to favour only one Qur'anic version (the one of Zaid) an inferior version and burn the remaining ones. Those who had proved themselves to the most of reciters within Muhammad's time were literally forced to hand over their qur'ans to be burned.
Sounds to me like an organised and enforced corruption, of political nature. The fact is, there is no reason to trust a trustful transmission of the Qur'an before we see the varity of these Qur'an's that existed prior to Uthman's destruction and corruption of the Qur'an and we can compare these.

Fifthly, we know that even the manuscript of Hafsa, which Uthaman utilized for the corruption of the Qur'an was later destroyed to cover up errors.

Ethesham wrote:

7) Prophet Muhammad was foretold in the Old Testament. He may have also been foretold in the New Testament as well.

Elijah replies:

There not a single reference to Muhammad in the Bible, neither in the Old or New Testament.

The prophet in the Torah is Israelite and does not apply to Muhammad neither in nature or action.

The paraclete in John's Gospel does not apply either and neither can it since Muslims claim that John's Gospel is a complete corruption and fabrication and total embellishment of primitive Christianity.

Furthermore, from a Christian point of view, the only mention of Muhammad in the New Testament is categorized under the variaty of warnings of future false prophets, who do not meet the standard or doctrine of Jesus' or apostolic doctrine.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Science in the Qur'an and the External Sources.

A common claim propagated by Muslims in the recent era is the claim of modern scientific discoveries being predicted in the Qur'an, which then obviously begs the question: how could a nomad such as Muhammad, who cut of from the world and aquainted only with the dessert and the camels possess such knowledge?
Let me first say, that I have done extensive study on must of these so-called scientific predictions in the Qur'an and my conclusion remains that the Qur'an reveals the knowledge of Muhammad's era only; hence the claim that the Qur'an is miracolously predicting in the seventh century what science recently has discovered is not a sustainable claim.
In this short thread I intend merely to assess the claim that Muhammad was so cut off and remote from the outside world, its knowledge and science as Muslims want us to believe. Or is it plausible that such knowledge was available and obvious to the prophet of Islam via those individuals to whom he was aquainted?
Muhammad and the two claims
Pre-Islamic Arabs are usually portrayed as simple nomads, strongly acquainted with dessert-life and particularly poetry; yet lacking every existing insight into the thought and science of its present era.[1] According to Iabal the scientific advancements that emerged with Islam were caused primarily by the appearance and study of the Qur’an; which later laid the foundation for Islam’s interaction with the world-powers and their knowledge.[2]

Based on this, two assertions run frequently: primarily that Muhammad would have no access to nor possess any knowledge of the science promoted by his contemporaries; secondly, that the cause behind the science promoted by the Qur’an must therefore be of divine revelatory origin.
This proposition has in recent years been particularly promoted by Maurice Bucaille, who writes:

How could a man living fourteen hundred years ago have made corrections to the existing description to such an extent that he eliminated scientifically inaccurate material and, on his own initiative, made statements that science has been able to verify only in the present day? This hypothesis is completely untenable’.[3]

Hence to assess this claim, we need to ask whether Muhammad was divinely inspired and uninformed, or whether he possessed access to the scientific postulates of his day. Furthermore, we need to ask whether the scientific claims of the Qur’an are consistent with the claims of modern discoveries.

Muhammad a man of knowledge

O’Leary points out that there are elements of definite Greek scientific origin, which made its way to the Arabs by a transmission of which route and date are uncertain.[4] This suggests that early Arabs might have possessed a slight insight into the ideas of the Greeks, even prior to the era of Islamic conquests. According to early sources Muhammad possessed knowledge and pursued it, as evident from Tabari’s narration: ‘Muhammad said:
Man’s glance at knowledge for an hour is better for him than prayer for sixty years”. He therefore commanded all believers to seek knowledge and to go to China in search of knowledge, if required’.[5]
Muhammad certainly possessed insight into the celestial world and their orbits; al-Tabari writes:
The Prophet [Mohammed] replied: “Ali, they are five stars: Jupiter (al-birjis), Saturn (zuhal), Mercury (utarid), Mars (Bahram), and Venus (al-zuhrah). These five stars rise and run like the sun and the moon and race with them together. All the other stars are suspended from heaven as lamps are from mosques,… al-Tabari vol.1 p.235-236.”[6]
If therefore, Muhammad was acquainted only with the impoverished life of northern Arabia and its cultural exclusiveness and remoteness, from where did such insight derive? Is it plausible that Muhammad’s environment and social circle was not as scientifically impoverished as we are made to believe? Is it possible that Mecca and dessert cities were indeed impacted by external cultures?

Here we first need to consider the situation and history of ancient Arabia.
Prior to Muhammad Arabia was divided into the South, the Sabaens, also referred to as the Yemenites, and the North, referred to as Arabs.
The South was a populated and sedentary community, living in cities, while the North was inhospitable, nomadic and isolated; hence we know that Arabia was not solemnly remote and isolated. Yet were there any interactions between Arabs in the south and north and other factions that might have enriched or established knowledge among the dessert people? The Sabaenas, ran two trade routes, an ocean based route between India and Africa, and the land-based, particularly toward Syria and Egypt.[7]
There is evidence that literary interaction between the South-Arabs, the Greeks and the Indians took place even centuries before Islam. Since 1300 BC, the South Arabs left inscriptions in the North, what the nomads referred to as musnad. Interestingly, the musnad alphabet was effected by Greek language, which reveals the impact of Hellenism even in the south prior to appearance of Islam. Furthermore since alters to Arabic deities have been found in Delos we know that the Arabs actually traded in the Greek world.[8]
For these routes to operate intermediate centres were needed; these were the oasis alongside the land-route between Yemen and Syria of which one was Mecca.[9] This confirms that the trades required among the Arabs a certain acquaintance with Greek and other languages, which became the communication of administration.[10] Hence the influence of trade and their international influence and the stations, certainly imply that Greek knowledge was spreading around.
Yet there were also other means of international interaction, such as the intervals of Northern dominance.
At one point the South weakened and the Northern tribes took the advantage to invade extensive parts of the South Syrian territory.[11] Even though no signs are evident of the Greek culture passing to the Arabs here, yet because Arab states were formed a long the eastern border of Syria and left untouched,[12] it is plausible that centuries of proximity prior to Muhammad’s era caused ideas to pass on. Further escalation between the political powers of the Byzantine in the North, the Persians in the East and the rulers of the south caused North Arabia to be caught in between.[13]
In 450 AD the community in the South suddenly declines, its proliferation vanishes, which causes massive migration to the North. These immigrants strengthened the oasis and their communities and establish intellectual centres among the people of the dessert.[14]
A third influence was the dispersion of various Christian sects and Judaism, which also impacted the dessert community.[15] The Christian Nestorians reached deep into the Arabian dessert with their message, as far as to Wadi I-Qura, near Medina. Beside the Nestorians, there were other Christian factions who expanded their influence; such as the Monophysites whose centre in Arabia was Najran.[16]
These sects were connected to Christian factions to which science was greatly valued; who possessed schools which emphasised and propagated the Christian faith, including philosophy and science. Their contribution to translating literature e.g. into Syrian language and their knowledge was not only confined to monasteries but were transmitted to the communities.[17]
The extensive influence impacted even scientific centres such as Jundishpur in Persia, in which global science was accumulated and dispersed into all direction;[18] plausibly into Arabia.
We need to consider that these factions of Christianity were proliferating in Arabia prior and in Muhammad’s era. We know also that Muhammad visited Syria at least once.[19] Arthur Jeffery suggest that a range of religious vocabulary in the Qur’an, such as Qur’an, Isa and Injil derives from the Syrian Christian faction. If this is true it reveals strong, intellectual interaction and borrowing, which Jeffery seems to suggest.[20]
In the early era of Islam a group of Muhammad’s followers settled in the Christian Abyssinia, which led to interaction between Muhammad, the earliest Muslims and the ruling body of Abyssinia.[21]
Furthermore, O’Leary points out the possibility of runaway Ethiopian slaves who joined the Muslims, who interestingly might be the ones who were suspected to help Muhammad composing the Qur’an.[22] The Bukhari indeed refers to a Christian convert to Islam, who helped narrating Muhammad revelations. Initially he left Islam and informed about his contribution to fabricate the Qur’an with Muhammad; Bukhari informs us that Allah caused him to die.[23]
Greek scientific ideas would also have been passed on to Muhammad by the Jewish community; in fact some of the scientific ideas of the Qur’an, both terminology and chronology, resemble the writings of the Talmud significantly.[24]
A strong notion to this influence upon the author of the Qur’an does not only derive from the presence of the Jewish community, to which Muhammad interacted, but early Jewish converts to Islam. One of these Jewish converts was Abdullah ibn Salim who lived in Medina and was a companion of Muhammad. Qadir, points out that Salim was acquainted with cosmology and even ‘spread his knowledge among the Muslims’.[25]
Based on this information; Muhammad would be acquainted with Christians and Jews who were aware of Greek science; particularly being based in Mecca and then Medina. Additionally, he might presumably possessed insight into the information passed on through centuries of trading, invasions, political interactions and simply information being passed on by travellers, settlers and immigrants.
[1] Hottinger points out that the Greek philosophy and science was virtually absent from Arabia as fruitful contact between the two worldview was still nonexistent; the Arabic hold upon the Greek heritage was to arrive in the Abbasid era (Arnold Hottinger, The Arabs, Their History, Culture and Place in the Modern World, London: Thames and Hudson, 1963: 80); see also Muzaffar Iqbal, Islam and Science, England, Hampshire, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2002:6-9; he states that the rapid invasions of nations brought the Muslims in contact with the existent scientific centres of the world
[2] Iqbal, 2002: 1; Iqbal refers to the two advancements as the intellectual (the Qur’an) and the social revolutions (Islam’s expansion).
[3] Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, Pakistan, Karachi: Idaratul Qur’an, Wa-Uloom – Il Islamia: 1975: 148; here Bucaille emphatically states that Qur’anic science is unique and distinct from any former religion and philosophy
[4] De Lacy O’ Leary: How Greek Science passed to the Arabs, part one, chapter one: Introduction, 1979

[5] C.A. Qadir, Philosophy and Science in the Islamic World, London and New York: Routledge 1990: 15-6; Qadir
comments on this Hadith: ‘In the eyes of the Prophet, knowledge ranked higher than worship.’
[6] al-Tabari vol.1 p.235-236 (Astronomy and the Qur’an, 2005
[7] Richard Hooker, World Civilizations: Islam: Pre-Islamic Arabic culture, 1996
[8] D.M. Dunlop, Arab Civilization to AD 1500, Longman, Librairie du Liban, Beirut, 1971: 6-7; musnad means
uncertain, perhaps, set up; which implies their inability to read it; the Delos alters existed already in 2nd century BC
and reveals virtually centuries of trade and interaction between these civilisations. These alters were built to Wadd an
Arabic deity, mentioned in the Qur’an (Sura 71: 23).
[9] Dunlop, 1971: 10; Dunlop states that Meccah was prosperious by contemporary standards, but less significant than
e.g. southern cities such Ma’rib and Ma’in; hence Muhammad was used to city life, not the nomad life.
[10] Qadir, 1990: 34; Greek, Syriac and Persian were the official languages used for administration even beyond the
inauguration of Islam. It was only much later that Muslims demanded Arabic to supplement it with Arabic.
[11] The oasis might have been dominated by the south at least until the sudden decline of political power in Mesopotamia
and South Arabia in the first millennium BC, which not only gave the north Arabians control over these centres but
also mobilized the tribes to expand their control beyond their territory. Later as the Ancient Seleucids Syria turned
politically and militarily weak, the northern Arabs took their advantage and occupied its territories all way north to
Petra and toward the south to Najran; initially they collided with Roman militia (65 BC), who arrived mainly to take
provincial control over Syria; this caused the Arabs to retreat back south (Richard Hooker, World Civilizations:
Islam: Pre-Islamic Arabic culture, 1996; see also O’ Leary, Chapter II: Hellenism in Asia: (1) Hellenization of Syria,
[12] O’ Leary, Chapter II: Hellenism in Asia: (1) Hellenization of Syria, 1979
[13] Richard Hooker, World Civilizations: Islam: Pre-Islamic Arabic culture, 1996
[14] Dunlop, 1971: 7-8; Dunlop refers to the centres of Lakhmids (al-Hira) and Ghassanids (Syria)
[15] Richard Hooker, World Civilizations: Islam: Pre-Islamic Arabic culture, 1996
[16] O’ Leary mentions the city of Hira which had become a centre of great significance; it was the most influential Arab
city located by the Persian border. At the time of Muhammad, the king of Hira, Nu’man embraced the Nestorian type
of Christian faith; see O’Leary, Chapter 3 (3) The Nestorian Schism, 1979) (http://evans-/ (
[17] See Qadir, 1990: 31-33 & Iqbal, 2002: 172
[18] Dunlop, 1971: 219 (see also Iqbal, 2002: 39-41): The Persian Jundishapur, is also of importance here as it became a
centre in which Christian and Zoroastrian schools of thought as well as Greek, Syrian, Persian, Hindu and Jewish,
culture and science was accumulated, and its written works translated into various languages. When the school of
Edesse was closed down in the middle of the fifth century, the students fled to e.g. Nisibis in Persia, these impacted
Jurundishapur and the community. Initially in 531-79 AD, ‘Jundishapur was the principal intellectual centre of the
world.’ While no direct connection to Muhammad’s environment has been recorded, it is highly likely due to its
international impact and its proximity, that the intellectuals of Northern Arabia and Christians communities and
monasteries gained a hold on its insight.
[19] Dunlop, 1971: 11; this particular journey occurred in Muhammad’s early years, while he was still married to Khadija
[20] Arthur Jeffery Y, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’an, Oriental Institute Baroda, 1938; 71 (Isa); 219 (Qur’an); 233
(Injil). Jeffery assess hundreds Qur’anic terms and traces them back to their Syrian and Aramaic origins. The entire
book can be read on
[21] Martin Lings, Muhammad, His life based on the earliest Sources, London Unwin Paperbacks, 1986: 80-4; the
accounts describes the early Muslim connection with king Negus in Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
[22] O’Leary, Chapter 4: The Monophysites: 4 Organization of the Monophysite Church, 1979 (http://evans-/ An additional probability of influence upon the environment of
Muhammad was the arrival of run-away Ethiopian slaves. The Ethiopian invasion of Arabia approximately AD 570,
led to the Arabian trend to obtain Ethiopian slaves as mercenaries; several of these later escaped to Medina and joined
Muhammad. Some scholars have suggested that these were the secret teachers (Sura 22: 12), who derived there by
violence and fraud (Sura 25: 5), with foreign tongues (Sura 16: 105) from whom it was suspected that Muhammad
obtained much of his Qur’anic information
[23] Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 814: Narrated Anas, Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Translator: M.
Muhsin Khan (
[24] The Qur’an makes reference to seven heavens and an equal number of earths (65: 12); this number follows in line
with the Talmud; see Aboth D ’Rabbi Nathan, chapter XXXVII, A, Cohen (ed.) The minor Tractates of the Talmud,
Massektoth Ketannot, vol.2, London:
The Soncino Press, 165, 185. For further information on the influence of Greek philosophy on the Jewish community
see Stead Christopher, 1998, in (ed) Craig, Edward, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Volume 5, London and
New York, Routledge 1998: 819 & Zeller Eduard, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, USA, Cleveland and
New York, Meridian Books/The World Publishing Company, 1963: 277-84
[25] Qadir, 1990: 27; for more information see The Encyclopedia of Islam, New EDN, Vol.1 A-B, edited by an editorial
committee consisting of H.A.R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, J. Schacht, assisted by S.M. Stern as
Secretary General (pp.1-320). B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat and J Schacht, assisted by C. Dumont And R. M. Savory as
editorial secretaries (pp.321-1359), London, Luzac & Co, 1960: 52

Sunday, 27 September 2009 is Virus loaded (Warning)

I come across more and more individual Christians and even Muslims who now warn against accessing the website of Osama Abdallah 'Answering-Christianity'.

Some of these raise the concern after suspecting that their computers caught something after having surfed around on the website.

I have to admit that the computer I used late last year did not receive a warning from MacFee in the month of July. However, having said that, others claim still to receive warnings from virus security systems when accessing.

In recent months a number of Christian websites dealing with the religion of Islam have been hacked into and destroyed. Even a number of missionaries have experienced attacks on their own computers.

It seems that the dialogue and debate with islam online has turned into a cyber war.

In fact a number of sources have revealed that a number of well-trained Islamic internet terrorist teams are operating continueally to supress the Christian witness and response online.

The suspicion that Osama Abdallah and his website are included into this sort of internet-Jihad is not to be taken lightly; the warning of internet virsus protection systems are sufficient reason to raise the warning. Furthermore, Osama contiunally invites Christians to enter his website to check out his articles.

I you intend to do so, remember that you have been warned. When you do so, you may expose yourself to Osama and those who co-operate with him. If you are a Christian missionary or debater, you may reveal your personal data, address, phone-number, possibly bank details, etc.

This has already lead to harasment and persecution of Christians in the West.

I want to emphasise again therefore: avoid completely the internet websites of Osama Abdallah and spread the warning.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Did the Christians forget their Covenant? Does it Imply that the Injeel was Corrupted?

My dear brother Ethasham has raised some good questions in some previous threads. I have decided to post some of these issues on separate threads, not to expose or attack Ethasham (in fact these are issue raised by Muslims generally), but so we can effectively deal with these issues separately; otherwise it will extend one thread so heavily that the reader will find it difficult to get along.

In this thread we will look particularly at the Christian covenant. Does the claim of the Qur’an that the Christians forgot parts of the covenant imply that they corrupted the Gospel?

Ethasam Gulam wrote:

As for the Quran 5:13-15, the Christians forgot their covenant as in, they made up certain doctrines, such as the divinity of Jesus, physical resurrection, etc. Also the original gospel was the Q Gospel-- which had sayings of Jesus and not the crucifixion or resurrection narratives. So according to Muslim Scholars-- this points out to the New Testament being corrupted.

Elijah replies:

Firstly Ethasham implies that forgetting some of the covenant implies that the Gospel was corrupted.

Before we look at the covenant let me just raise a few pointers here:

Firstly, the Qur’an is here stating that the Christians forgot some parts of the covenant, it does not say Scripture; there is a clear distinction in Jewish and Christians cicles between these two. God gave scripture to both the Jews and the Christians, yet to forget that covenant or parts of it is not tantamount to forget the Scripture.

Secondly, the Qur’an states that the Christians 'forgot', it does not state that the Christians corrupted. If forgetting is corrupting, how does the Muslim explain Sura 87: 6-7:

• By degrees shall we teach thee (Muhammad) to declare (the message), so thou shalt not forget, except as God wills ... (Sura 87:6-7, Yusuf Ali).

In other words parts of the Qur’an were also forgotten; hence if forgotten is corruption, then the Qur’an is corrupt. In fact forgetting seems to have been a major problem among the early Muslims even in case of Muhammad:

• Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Why does anyone of the people say, 'I have forgotten such-and-such Verses (of the Qur'an)?' He, in fact, is caused (by Allah) to forget." (Bukhari: volume 6, book 61, number 559, Khan)

Even Muhammad forgot revelation

• Narrated 'Abdullah: ... (Muhammad said) I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me ... (Bukhari: volume 1, book 8, number 394, Khan)

According to Sahih Muslim 300 reciters had forgotten an entire chapter of the Qur’an which is still missing (Muslim: book 5, number 2286)

Thirdly, the Qur’an states that Christians only forgot a part of the covenant and even though the passage referred to the Injeel it implies that what was not forgotten was retained, which then implies that the Injeel we have today consists of those remaining parts, which then applies that the Injeel we have today is the truth, which would include Jesus death, resurrection and divinity.

Now lets turn to the actual meaning of covenant.

Ethasham claims that the covenant that was partly forgotten was totally corrupted, but can you (Ethasham) define covenant here, what covenant did the Christians supposedly forget?

Let me point out the problem here:

We only read of one covenant, and it is recorded in what you believe to be the earliest gospel, namely Mark’s Gospel.

Notice that many scholars believe Mark to be written 30-35 years after Jesus death, resurrection and ascencion. Some scholars say that Mark was written after years 70 AD, however this conclusion is based upon the humanist notion that miracles cannot occur and since Jesus in all the Synoptic Gospels predicts the fall of Jerusalem, many scholars date them late otherwise miracles occurs and pure naturalism is therefore questionable. These scholars have no other basis behind the conclusion except their own philosophical paradigm of the world, which renders liberal theology a practice of philosophy not as a basis historical studies.

Many Christians would not have a problem believing that Mark was written 60 AD, thirty years after Jesus, however, early tradition states that Mark was written in 50-55 AD, 25 years after Jesus.

So imagine we are here 25-30 years after Jesus ascended to heaven. Peter, Paul, John and many others are still alive; in fact most of the eyewitnesses are still alive at this time.

Furthermore, the church at this time is organised, much like Muslims, Christians are at this time memorizing their tradition (the gospel) orally under the influence of successors, who are either apostles or apostolic disciples (they will do so until 200 AD alongside the written transmission).

In addition the churches worldwide are united and are interactive even at this time.

At this time based upon Papias account who writes in 110 AD (based upon the living and abiding word of Aristion and John the Elder) Peter, the apostle of Jesus is giving his own personal account of the Gospel account in Rome and Mark records it.

Interestingly enough amid all this there is a covenant recognised among Peter and the Christians at this time, only 25-30 years after Jesus’ ascencion. It is recorded in this earliest written gospel, in chapter 14: 23-24:

‘Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it “This is my blood of the covenant ,” he said to them “which is poured out for many”’.

See Gulam this is the covenant and it is based upon the earliest written account of the gospel; it refutes the Qur'anic allegation Christians ever forgot their covenant partly or entirely.

It is interesting because we do based upon early church history know how Christians presereved their information through succession and transmission and how everything was controlled by the apostles and their disciples.

However we also know as Helmut Koester claims in his review of ‘Written gospels or oral traditions’ (Journal of Biblical Literature, Summer94, Vol. 113 Issue 2, p.293) that a third factor was always utilized in early transmission namely a tangible object, which in the Christian circle would be the Eucharist or the consummation of bread and wine to remember Jesus the doctrines, which is what we read off in Mark 14: 23-24.The Christian covenant is therefore according to Jesus' own words as recorded by a the apostle Peter in 55-60 AD based upon the death of Jesus Christ.

That was the covenant as understood by the early apostles. The Qur’an as every Muslim is aware of ascribes great honour to the apostles and describes them as victorious, hence their wording from 60 AD ought to be considered factual and reliable by the Muslim community, that is if they adhere to the Qur'anic teaching.

Revelation Art

I have in the recent months decided to get more into art. To be quite honest I find painting to be the most effective means to let the brain have a break and let the daily stress and tiredness that drains run out of your body.

This my first painting, not completed at all, but at least I got this far. I find the greatest challenge to be mixing the colours and escape the ussual ones. I have to say: considering this being my first actual attempt, I am pretty proud of myself.

Since I am a keen student of the Revelation and the endtime study in the Bible, I somehow decided to draw an endtime event, and I intend to draw a number of endtime events both negative and positive ones; this is certainly a negative one.

It depicts a deep impact from space as recorded in the Book of Revelation, chapter 8, verses 8-10, which records two such events:

'The second angel sounded his trumpet and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood...The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky...'

Scary right. Pretty much the picture we get when we watch movies such as Deep Impact, Armageddon and the yet to come 2012. Well, the impact in the Revelation will however not be of that calibre yet fairly destructive, particularly to the water, sea and sealife.

But I am interested, are there any comments on this picture, on the colours, shadows, I wonder what to do with the background, I guess I have to give the sea a slightly more green colour, and that poor man (well he has had it), I guess his nose became too large.

Then the most important question of all: will it sell? Are you perhaps willing to be the lucky owner, what shall we say 100 pounds, yeah right, lol.

A response and challenge to those who oppose the Christian faith.