Paul B. Williams’ favorite scholar affirms the apostle Paul and 1 Corinthians 15:1-9

Muslims like to cast doubt on the apostle Paul and his writings; and they like to use liberal scholarship. Paul Bilal Williams likes to use James D. G. Dunn a lot in his polemics against the New Testament and against the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Al Masih.

James D. G. Dunn on the apostle Paul’s testimony in 1 Corinthians 15:1-9  - “This tradition, we can be entirely confident, was formulated as a tradition within months of Jesus’ death.” Jesus Remembered, page 855. (some online sources that are quoting this, say the page number is 825, but I have the electronic version of Jesus Remembered and it is on page 855.

Interesting that Paul B. Williams’ favorite NT scholar affirms 1 Corinthians 15!

1 Corinthians 15
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection

15 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Posted in Apologetics, Apostle Paul, Bible is not corrupted, Historical reliability of the Bible, Islam, Muslims, Reliability of the Bible, The Atonement of Christ, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

Response to Matthew Vines’ book, “God and the Gay Christian”

God and the Gay Christian?”  A Response to Matthew Vines’. 


Denny Burk had an article on Matthew Vines’ book earlier this morning.

I responded with a couple of comments:

Ken Temple April 22, 2014 at 9:27 am #
James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries also responded to Matthew Vines’ video lecture that he argued for his “Gay Christian” position. ( for 5 hours total )

one person named Nathan Cesal quoted Ezekiel 16:49
Nathan Cesal April 22, 2014 at 10:48 am #
Ezekiel 16:49 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

To which I replied:

Ken Temple April 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm #
You left out verse 50, which includes homosexual acts – the word “abominations” (also used to describe homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and adultery and incest in Ezekiel 22:11 and other sins like stealing, murder, adultery, lying, idolatry, etc. in Jeremiah 7:9-10.

The Hebrew word, to’evah (תועבה = abomination) is clear.

Ezekiel 16:50 “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”

Posted in Homosexuality, moral corruption of culture, The gay agenda | Leave a comment

Refuting Paul William’s take on “but some doubted” in Matthew 28:17

Paul Bilal Williams, in a tweet to Nabil Qureshi, asks about Matthew 28:17, “but some doubted”.   Interesting that he left out the part about the disciples “worshiping Jesus”.  Indeed.  The Greek construction seems to point to the 11 worshiping Jesus, but that there were others there that “doubted”.  The “doubting” is probably a term of amazement as in “wow, I don’t believe it!”  or “Amazing! It’s too good to be true!”  Luke 24:41 captures the essence of this statement - “they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement” (Luke 24:41, NASB)   If it was real doubt, it was only temporary, whether it was some of the 11 or the others, as in the 500 brethren of I Corinthians 15:6.  

Keith Thompson demonstrates that the 500 brethren who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ was in Matthew 28:10-28.

James D. G. Dunn on Paul’s testimony in 1 Corinthians 15 - “This tradition, we can be entirely confident, was formulated as a tradition within months of Jesus’ death.” Jesus Remembered, page 855. (some sources, say the page number is 825, but I have the electronic version of Jesus Remembered and it is on page 855. Interesting that Paul B. Williams’ favorite NT scholar affirms 1 Corinthians 15!


“but some doubted” – this comment by Tim Chaffey seems to capture the essence of what Matthew is trying to say: 

The doubt exhibited here is not unbelief, but more like hesitation, which is what the Greek word distazo implies (see BDAG, p. 252). This is not the typical word for doubt used in the New Testament (diakrino). In fact, it is only used in one other time (Matthew 14:31, see below for explanation). Instead of refusing to believe what they were seeing, like some have said, the disciples were amazed. The concept here is somewhat comparable to our modern statements like “It’s too good to be true,” or “Pinch me, I’m dreaming.”  (Tim Chaffey) 

It seems the “some” ( Greek, hoi = literally “those”, plural of “he” ho) are others who are there with the 11 disciples.  


There are other passages that support this idea and show why the three claims listed in the introduction are illegitimate interpretations. Jesus appeared to the group of disciples (minus Thomas) on Easter night. At first, they were afraid, but He comforted them by showing them His hands and feet and telling them not to be afraid. Even after these things, we read that “they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement” (Luke 24:41, NASB). The disciples already believed Jesus had risen from the dead. Just minutes earlier they told the two disciples who had seen Jesus on the road to Emmaus: “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:33–34). But now that they could see Him with their own eyes, they were amazed and rejoiced, which was the reason for their “doubt.”


Earlier in His ministry, a man with a demon-possessed son pleaded with Jesus to cast out the demons. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” The man’s response is intriguing—he cried out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:14–24). (Tim Chaffey) 

Posted in Apologetics, Apostle Paul, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

Christianity is historical, public, objective, all other religions are private and subjective

How Christianity Got started vs. How other religions got started

Michael Patton, author of Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus, writes:

“The believer in the Islamic faith has to trust in a private encounter Muhammad had, and this encounter is unable to be tested historically. [ the link is to a post at a Muslim site, but the statement is Michael Patton's - see full article below.]

We have no way to truly investigate the claims of Joseph Smith (and when we do, they are found wanting). [Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion]

Buddhism and Hinduism are not historic faiths, meaning they don’t have central claims of events in time and space which believers are called upon to investigate. You either adopt their philosophy or you don’t. There is no objective way to test them.

Run through every religion that you know of and you will find this to be the case: Either it does not give historic details to the central event, the event does not carry any worldview-changing significance, or there are no historic events which form the foundation of the faith.”

Read Patton’s full article here:  This is what it looks like:


How Christianity got started


How Other Religions got started


Adbul Hakim Murad, Paul Williams and other Muslims make a very unintelligent statement and goofy claim here. Islam denies real history, as it denies the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih. Islam seems to cause you to turn off your brain (on the issue of history and the crucifixion of Jesus Al Masih).

Posted in Apologetics, Historical reliability of the Bible, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ | 2 Comments

Can We Still Believe the Bible?

Can We Still Believe the Bible?.  Greek scholar Daniel Wallace reviews chapter 1 of Craig Blomberg’s book, Can We Still Believe the Bible?, where Blomberg skillfully takes on Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus. Wallace blogs about the first chapter, “Aren’t the Copies of the Bible Hopelessly Corrupt?”


In this chapter, Blomberg rightfully shows the misrepresentations of the situation by Bart Ehrman, in his book, Misquoting Jesus. For example, of the approximately 400,000 textual variants among New Testament manuscripts, many who read Misquoting Jesus get the impression that this one datum is enough to destroy the Christian faith. But the reality is that less than one percent of all variants are both meaningful and viable. And even Ehrman himself has admitted that no cardinal doctrine is jeopardized by these variants.

Blomberg lays out a compelling argument, with much nuance, about the reliability of the NT and OT manuscripts. His chapter on the text of the Bible is organized as follows:

Misleading the Masses
The Truth about Variants (New Testament, Old Testament)
Did Originals Originally Exist?
Comparative Data
Avoiding the Opposite Extreme
In the opening section, the author takes on Bart Ehrman’s wildly popular book, Misquoting Jesus. In characteristic fashion, Blomberg critiques both what Ehrman does and doesn’t say, doing all with wisdom and wit. He points out, for example, that virtually nothing in Misquoting Jesus is new to biblical scholars—both liberal and evangelical, and all stripes in between. Non-scholars, especially atheists and Muslim apologists, latched onto the book and made preposterous claims that lay Christians were unprepared for. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. Earlier in the chapter when Blomberg mentioned that there are as many as 400,000 textual variants among the manuscripts, he bemoans: “It is depressing to see how many people, believers and unbelievers alike, discover a statistic like this number of variants and ask no further questions. The skeptics sit back with smug satisfaction, while believers are aghast and wonder if they should give up their faith. Is the level of education and analytic thinking in our world today genuinely this low?” (13).


Posted in Apologetics, Bible is not corrupted, Historical reliability of the Bible, Reliability of the Bible | 1 Comment

Dr. James White asks Mitchell Pacwa some pointed questions about the Roman Catholic priesthood

The issues:

1.  Is the office of priesthood a legitimate church office?  It is not even in the New Testament.

2.  1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10 teaches and shows us that all Christians are considered priests.

3.  The book of Hebrews does not mention a NT office of priests, but does mention Jesus Christ as our only high priest.

4.  Mitchell Pacwa admitted that Roman Catholic Priests cannot be married.  (except for the eastern catholic rites, and a few Roman Catholic priests who were married before they converted to Roman Catholicism.)  This obligatory rule is a “discipline” (but not a dogma), but it is still contradictory to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, where the elders/ministers were expected and assumed to be married.  Some people have the spiritual gift of singleness (1 Corinthians 7:7), but for the Roman Church to make that a rule is very contradictory to Scripture.  All the apostles were married, except for the apostle Paul.  (1 Corinthians 9:1-5)

5.  Mitchell Pacwa admitted that Roman Catholic priests who are married are expected to abstain from sexual relations, at least in the early church and middle ages.  Wow.  Is that still true today?  What a contradiction to 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; Genesis chapters 1-2, Proverbs 5:15-23, and the Song of Solomon, a book that celebrates romantic sexual love in marriage.

5.  Mitchell Pacwa thinks that the Roman Catholic priesthood has as much Scriptural basis as the doctrine of the Trinity.  Wow.  That is truly amazing.

6.  A Roman Catholic priest is considered an “alter Christus” = “another Christ” in Roman Catholic theology, one who can, like Christ, offer sacrifices and perform grace giving powers – like speaking the words in Latin over the bread and wine and causing them to change into the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, hearing someone’s confession, proclaiming forgiveness of sins over a person.

7.  It seems that the Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus) would have mentioned the office of priest, if it was suppossed to be God’s plan for local church leadership.  They mention elders (presybuteros) and overseers/bishops (episcopos) and deacons, but not priests.  The elders and overseers are the same office.  (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4)   Even other early church writings such as 1 Clement (96 AD), the Shepherd of Hermas (140-155 AD ?), and the Didache(70-120 AD), all very early, point to only 2 offices in the church – elders/overseers and deacons.  1 Clement 44 shows that the presbyters and overseers/bishops/episcopais are the same office.  There was no mono-episcopacy (one bishop over the college of elders) in the NT nor in the earliest church history.  (“earliest”, meaning earlier than Ignatius (107-117 AD) – so “earliest” history is mainly in the canonical Scriptures (48-96 AD),  1 Clement (96 AD) and the Didache (70-120 AD).   I realise there is some time overlap in here with Ignatius and the Didache and Shepherd of Hermas; and also 96 AD is very close to 107-117 – they are contemporaries.  But in Ignatius we see a distinct change from the church government of Clement of Rome to Ignatius’ writings.  Ignatius does not mention a mono-episcopate bishop (bishop over the college elders) when writing to the church at Rome, at that time, which is very interesting, because he does mention a mono-bishop in all the other churches that he writes to.  The evidence for the college of elders in Rome is also in The Shepherd of Hermas.  Later, Jerome, around 400 AD, even admits that the elder and bishop are the same office, and that is was “custom” and “not divine appointment” that created the office of the mono-episcopate (one bishop over the college of elders).  (see below in addendum *)  The Roman Catholic Church claims that a priest is a development later in church history of the word “presbyter”.  There are many problems with this, especially adding the sacrificial aspects of the office.  They seem to apply the OT ideas of a mediator and priest and possibly the Roman pagan ideas of the culture onto the idea of elder/presbuteros.

You can order the entire debate here.  

* Addendum 1 – Jerome’s comments on bishops and elders:

“When subsequently one presbyter was chosen to preside over the rest, this was done to remedy schism and to prevent each individual from rending the church of Christ by drawing it to himself.” (Jerome, Letter 146:1)

“A presbyter, therefore, is the same as a bishop, and before dissensions were introduced into religion by the instigation of the devil, and it was said among the peoples, ‘I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, and I of Cephas,’ Churches were governed by a common council of presbyters; afterwards, when everyone thought that those whom he had baptized were his own, and not Christ’s, it was decreed in the whole world that one chosen out of the presbyters should be placed over the rest, and to whom all care of the Church should belong, that the seeds of schisms might be plucked up. Whosoever thinks that there is no proof from Scripture, but that this is my opinion, that a presbyter and bishop are the same, and that one is a title of age, the other of office, let him read the words of the apostle to the Philippians, saying, ‘Paul and Timotheus, servants of Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons.’” (Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, “Commentary on the Epistle to Titus”, PL 26:562-563)


“Therefore, as we have shown, among the ancients presbyters were the same as bishops; but by degrees, that the plants of dissension might be rooted up, all responsibility was transferred to one person. Therefore, as the presbyters know that it is by the custom of the Church that they are to be subject to him who is placed over them so let the bishops know that they are above presbyters rather by custom than by Divine appointment, and ought to rule the Church in common, following the example of Moses, who, when he alone had power to preside over the people Israel, chose seventy, with the assistance of whom he might judge the people. We see therefore what kind of presbyter or bishop should be ordained.” (Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, PL 26:563)

Dr. White cited these Jerome passages in his response to Paul F. M. Zahl, who argued for the Anglican-Episcopal -mono-episcopate church government. (Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity, Edited by Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman; Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2004, p. 252-252) [my emphasis and bolding]

Addendum 2:

For more details on early church history related issues, see here:

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History – Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

Part 4 –

Historical Developments that led to the eclipsing of the doctrine of justification by faith alone until the Reformation.  



Posted in Apologetics, church history, Roman Catholicism | Tagged | 6 Comments

Still looking for two references to famous Al Ghazzali quotes; the essence of differences between Islam and Christianity

Paul Bilal Williams said that the Bible’s statement, “God is love” is incoherent, non-sense, and incorrect grammar, for English, and says it should be “God is loving”.  But I pointed out that we go by the Greek text and not by the English text.  The Greek word is definitely “the love”, a noun, a concept.

Love is a noun, a concept. “to love” is a verb.

In Greek is used as a noun

” . . . ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν. 9 ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν, ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα ζήσωμεν δι’ αὐτοῦ.  (from 1 John 4:8-9)

” . . . for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.


Hey Paul, I thought you believed in intellectual scholarship and that scholars should study the original languages to prove religion? Muslim theologicans and apologists study the original language of Arabic, etc. and Christians [should more than actually do] study the original Greek of the New Testament to base apologetic and theological issues on.

The second usage of the Greek noun is even more clear, with the definite article “the” = ‘η = pronounced, “hey”

“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”   1 John 4:7-14

But, it is reported that Al Ghazzali, one of the most famous Muslim theologians and Sufi’s in history, said that Allah does not love.  So what is it?  Yet there are verses that say “Allah loves those who love Allah” and “Allah does not love the unbelievers”, etc.   One of the 99 names of Allah is “wadood” ودود, which is more like, friendly, warm-hearted, congenial, according to several Arabic speakers I have asked over the years.  I remember Georges Houssney telling me this, personally.  He is a national Arabic speaker from Lebanon.  But the word in Arabic that comes closest to the Greek word, agape / αγαπη, is the Mohabah/Mohabat/hobb words.  محبه – محبت – حب

That root word is used in the Qur’an to describe Allah’s love of those who believe in Him and follow Him and obey Him first; but the Qur’an does not have anything like the Bible, the principle of “God loves sinners” first and takes the initiative, and “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8  

Does Islam have a god who is love or loving or neither?

Al-Ghazzali reportedly said: “Love is to sense a need of the beloved and since Allah cannot be said to have a need or an experience of a need, it is therefore impossible that Allah should love”.

I wish that someone would give the exact reference for this.  The book, page no. , date when written, etc. and even the original Arabic or Farsi.  Al Ghazzali was a Persian/Iranian from the city of Tus in northern Iran. Did he write his works in Arabic or Farsi?


Abdullah Kunde, at the end of one of his debates with Samuel Green, said something to the effect that Allah can change His mind at the last second and sent all the good people to hell, and all the bad people to heaven, and that we have no right to question.  (see the last video section. During the question and answer time, beginning at the 8:25 mark. )

This is one of the best debates out there, in my opinion.

Does anyone know where the quote from Al Ghazzali is found?

Abdullah Kunde quoted it at the end on the last video section of questions from the audience.

“If on the day of judgment Allah decides to send all the good people (believers in Allah) to hell and all the evil people to paradise, He can do that, and we have no right to question.” (I am remembering it from memory, so it may not be an exact quote.)

Can anyone  track that down and publish the reference? 

If all or even most Muslims agree with that statement that it is Islamic theology and not much disagreement; then that is enough for anyone not to want to become a Muslim, for it reveals the arbitrary and capricious nature of Allah and that His capricious will is above His nature/character and any promise or word to be faithful to that promise that He would give to believers.

But the God of the Bible cannot lie and is faithful to His promises.

Titus 1:2
God cannot lie.  What a wonderful verse ! – God cannot do anything that is against His nature.

James 1:13-14
God cannot sin, and is not tempted by sin.

I guess that is why Muslims do not really have real peace in their hearts, for they know that Allah can “outwit” / deceive / trick them on the final day.

Allah is the best of deceivers/schemers/tricksters” (Quran 3:54; 8:30; 10:21)  الله خیر المکارین 

The verses in the Bible that seem to say that God has decieved only mean that God sovereignly allowed humans and demons to deceive people.  But maybe that is what the Qur’an and Muslims believe also.

Yet, Jesus promises true peace (John 14:27, Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 5:1-11) and eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 20:30-31; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10, many others.

Another side point:  Abdullah Kunde also revealed why the west should never allow Sharia law to be introduced – he admitted that it is a rule that Christians cannot build new churches, in Islamic territories. (based on the Pact of Umar) What an unjust religion and exposes the agenda that many Muslims in the west.  In history, once the Muslims take over an area, through war and Jihad, and they are victorious, there is no freedom to evangelize or witness to Muslims or build new churches.  That is where the development of the doctrines and principles of “Dar al Islam” (The territory or abode of Islam and peace) vs. “Dar Al Harb” (the territory or abode of war, that it is acceptable to attack that area in war) came from, some time later in Islamic history.

I recommend the discussion I had with Paul Williams and other Muslims in the com boxes of Paul’s article were he critizes the doctrine of substitutionary atonement in the Bible and Christianity. Eventually, Paul stopped allowing my comments to go through.  I wonder why?  It seems he cannot deal with reason and good responses to his attacks.

In criticizing the atonement and Jesus taking on the wrath of God for sin and John Piper’s sermon, the part that Paul Williams leaves out is that Jesus the Son of God voluntarily chose, out of love to become flesh (John 1:1-5, 14; 17:5) and die for our sins and take on the wrath of God against our sin. He chose voluntarily to take the punishment, the curse.

John 10:18
Jesus said:  “No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down voluntarily on My own initiative. . . ”

Galatians 3:13-14

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Muslims then accused Jesus of committing suicide!

It was not really a suicide, since Jesus’ goal was to obtain redemption, forgiveness, and salvation for people. It was not a suicide, because suicides are sinful and tainted with self-pity, lack of faith in God and lack of hope; despair. Jesus counted the suffering and shame as nothing (Hebrews 12:1-2), “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, counting as nothing the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Rather it was the highest act of love in history for human beings; for sinners from all the nations. (Revelation 5:9; 7:9) Christ’s work on the cross accomplished two things 1. the atonement for sin (verse 24) and 2. Jesus is modeling how to respond to injustice; unjust suffering.

Jesus is the greatest model for mankind, not Muhammad.

Christ is our Example:

19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:19-25

The second person of the Trinity, the Word کلمه الله , the Son, took on a body and human soul, so God did not have a body in eternity past obviously (John 1:1-5; Philippians 2:5-8; John 17:5), but He (the Son, the Word, NOT the Father) took on a body and had a body on the cross, yes.

Posted in Apologetics, famous Muslim theologian, Gospel Truth, Incarnation of Jesus Christ, Islam, Muslims, The Atonement of Christ | Leave a comment