Liberal Pastors and Liberal Scholars and Muslims using them

James D. G. Dunn’s liberalism; and Muslims who use his scholarship and writings.

Apologetics and Agape

Liberal Pastors

I grew up going to a very liberal United Methodist Church.  After the Lord converted me when I was sixteen year old, through the witness of some other Evangelicals; and I learned about what true faith and doctrine is from people that really believed in the OT and the NT, I went to talk to my liberal pastors over a period of several years.   My mom did not want me to leave the Methodist Church, so I endured it for several years, but at the same time, read good books by evangelicals that sustained me while I waited to go to college and my mom promised that she would let me go to an Evangelical church after I graduated from high school.  I did not enjoy the liberal church, it was spiritually dead and very dry; but I endured it out of respect for my mother.   When I…

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Posted in Apologetics, Historical Jesus, Historical reliability of the Bible, Islam, Liberal Theology, Muslims | Leave a comment

Muslim scholar Abdel Haleem agrees that the Qur’an does not teach that the text of the Previous Scriptures was corrupted

These quotes by this Muslim scholar, Muhammad Abdel Haleem, would affirm that Surah 5:47; 5:68; 10:94; 3:3-4; 2:136; 29:46 do not teach that the Christian Scriptures were corrupted in their written text; and that Surah 2:79, 3:78, and 5:13 refer to Christians and Jews who have orally misinterpreted the text and a party of the Jews who goes apart and writes new books and claims that it is from God.  (see more below *)

And remember, Paul Williams even admitted Islamic scholar Abdel Haleem told him the Qur’an does not say that the Bible was corrupted.  But, unfortunately, Paul Williams took that old web-site down.

“According to Paul Williams, world-renowned Islamic scholar Abdel Haleem confirmed for him in a phone conversation one of the two claims that Christians often make regarding the Bible. In the view of Professor Haleem, the Qur’an does NOT teach that the Bible was corrupted. Instead, it teaches that the Bible has been misinterpreted. Prof. Haleem’s statements in this connection, as PW says, “put Muslim apologist Bassam Zawadi (who has argued many times for the view that the Quran teaches textual corruption) in the wrong.” This, as Paul Williams also says, serves to “vindicate the oft-stated views of Sam Shamoun and David Wood.”
(Summary by Anthony Rogers)  (see at link above)

Summary of relevant portion from David Wood’s debate with Shabir Ally on the Previous Scriptures:  see the debate and more details here.

The Qur’an:

  1. Affirms/confirms مصدق the inspiration of the previous Scriptures – Surah 3:84, 2:136; 3:3-4
  2. Affirms/confirms مصدق the preservation of the previous Scriptures – Surah 5:47; 10:94 (between the hands – بین یدیه = what they have at the time of Muhammad)
  3. Affirms/confirms the authority of the previous Scriptures – 5:43 – why do they come to you when they have the Torah?

5:47 – let the people of the Gospel judge by what God has revealed therein –

5:68 – O people of the Scripture, اهل الکتاب you have no standing unless you observe/uphold/ hold fast to / do / obey the Torah and the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.”

“Say, “O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.”  Qur’an Surah 5:68, Sahih International translation

10:94 – Gospel and Torah authoritative for Muhammad also. Resort to the previous Scriptures; Ask the people of the book.

and since none can change the words of Allah – Surah 6:114-5 (or 116 depending on different English translation/numbering system) and 18:27; (see also 6:34, 10:65)

therefore, the previous Scriptures were not corrupted.

also, David Wood also shows why the Qur’an understands itself on why it was revealed:

Surah 46:12 and 42:7 and 6:155-157 – revealed in Arabic because the Arabs did not have a book from God and were ignorant of God’s truth and revelation, and so that they have no excuse on judgement day.

Besides these points,

David Wood Also devastated Shabir’s arguments by several other points:

Context of Surah 2:75-79

Shabir tries to say 2:79 means the Torah was completely corrupted.

  1. Surah 2:75 – “a party/sect/group from among them” ( the Jews) ” فریق منهم , who used to hear the words of Allah and distort / change (the Torah) after they had understood it.

This goes with Surah 3:78 – منهم لفریقا – “from among them there is a party/group” – a party among them who distort the Scriptures with their tongues

Surah 7:159 – a faithful party / group of the Jews.

Surah 3:113-115 – a faithful party of the Jews who stayed up late at night reciting the Scriptures.

One party cannot totally corrupt all of the Scriptures because there are so many other copies globally of the Scriptures.

So, it cannot mean that all of the original Torah was corrupted or lost.

  1. Keep reading to 2:85 – condemns people who don’t accept ALL of the Word of God. (in context, meaning The Torah or Tanakh)

The context of 2:75-79 points to some parts that people were making up and going apart and saying “this is from Allah”, but it could not effect all the other Scriptures all over the world.

I would add that 2:78 shows that this group is:
a. Uneducated / illiterate
b. Don’t know the Scriptures
c. Only going by what they hear

so this group of 2:79 are uneducated and illiterate and don’t know the Scriptures and only going by what they hear.

This is seems to be what Muhammad did – he is just hearing things, doesn’t have the Scriptures in Arabic, and cannot read Hebrew or Greek, so he doesn’t know everything about the previous Scriptures and is just assuming that he understands them and approves of them, and assumes the Christians and Jews are teaching wrong things.

Posted in Apologetics, Bible is not corrupted, Islam, Muslim scholar, Muslims, Paul Bilal Williams | 1 Comment

Who really wrote the Gospels?


see also here for more information, especially the scholarly work of Martin Hengel.

Posted in Apologetics, church history, Gospel according to John, Gospel according to Luke, Gospel according to Mark, The 4 gospels and their titles | 2 Comments

One of a Muslim’s favorite scholars refutes Islamic mis-use of Mark 10:18

More refutation of Paul Williams and other Muslims’ mis-use of Mark 10:18:

Truth never changes.  I originally wrote this on August 21, 2012, at the other blog I sometimes write at;  and it is still true.

Richard Bauchkam calls Mark 10:17-18 “a wonderful double entendre” and shows Jesus is actually claiming to be God!  (see below for exact place in a radio interview.)

A double entendre (literally: double meaning) is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more surface) meaning is straightforward and direct speech, while the second meaning is indirect and “underneath the surface” and usually the real intention behind the bare words.

Oriental cultures, Middle Easterners, especially Iranians, use this kind of language and technique all the time in their poetry and their culture of “saving face” and “honor vs. shame”; has made them over the centuries experts at “indirect speech”.

Jesus is indirectly claiming to be God, using an eastern method of indirect speech; but westerners think it is straight forward speech.

On the Unbelievable Radio program, on October 10, 2009,  there was an excellent discussion between James Crossley and Richard Bauckham, about his book, Jesus and the God of Israel.

Muslims love to use Richard Bauckham to try and cast doubt on the NT and the gospels.  While Bauckham is not an inerrantist, and not as conservative as I am or as Dr. White is; Bauckham is hardly a good source for Muslims to use, because on this particular radio discussion, Bauckham believes Jesus is claiming to be God in Mark 10:17-18. 

Shabir Ally and Paul Bilal Williams use some quotes from Bauckham as somehow trying to show that the gospels are not reliable and changed, yet in this program, Bauckham takes Paul Williams’ favorite passage (Mark 10:17-19) and demonstrates that Muslims are wrong on its meaning.  Williams brings up Mark 10:17-19 many times at his own blog. see here:
Update to this article, Sept. 28, 2015:  I took out the old url of Paul B. Williams old blogs, because there is some kind of malware/scam there.  

(No longer available as Williams keeps changing his blog; several times.  One time he even left Islam for a few days and then came back and repented.)  Williams new blog, as of Jan. 2015, is

and here, What must I do to be saved? (no longer available)

and here, “Why do you call Me good?  (no longer available)

In all three of these articles, he leaves out verses 23-27.
At Williams’ three different blogs which he has changed, if you could look around, it seems that he has a blog article on Mark 10 or the gospel of John and/or liberal scholars every several blog articles.  He especially likes Mark 10:17-19 about “Why do you call Me good?” or about “keep the commandments”, and seeing that from a Muslim viewpoint, he thinks Jesus said that in order to teach that someone is able to keep the law and be saved.   His Islamic worldview has blinded him from seeing the real meaning of this great passage, especially if one reads all the way until verse 27.  Of course, only the Holy Spirit can lift the blinders off sinners’ hearts.

Williams constantly quotes the Mark passage, but always leaves out verses 23-27 in his polemics.  Williams constantly uses Mark 10:17-18 to try and say that Jesus is denying His Deity; and he constantly uses Mark 10:19-22 to try and say that Jesus teaches that salvation comes by obeying the law of God.  He is wrong on both accounts.  By leaving out verses 23-27, Williams is avoiding the deeper meaning of why Jesus approaches the rich young ruler the way He does.  We will address that issue later, Lord willing.

Bauckham on “why do you call me good?”

I am not going to type out every word in this section of the interview; I invite the reader to listen to the whole thing.  However, I want to include key phrases and sentences of Bauckham, and intersperse with my own comments.

Beginning at the 43:31 mark – Richard Bauckham – “can I come back to Mark ?

because in Mark chapter 2 – who can forgive sins but God alone?”, he is “expressing precisely one of these uniquely divine qualities” – qualities of God .

Mark 6 – “What kind of man is this who the wind and waves obey his voice?  Only God can rule the chaos – Order out of chaos; a very OT idea about God.”

Mark 10:17 ff – “Why do you call me good, only God is good. Actually works the other way, Jesus is good, so Jesus is God.  Bauckham calls this a “wonderful double entendre”,  and “if you are not thinking, you would say that Jesus is saying I am not God”; but Jesus is actually trying to get the rich young ruler to think about true goodness.  Thus, Bauckham is confirming the orthodox position of how to interpret this passage.  Jesus is not denying that He is good or God, but in an indirect way, Jesus is actually claiming to be God.  In effect, Jesus is saying, “If you recognize Me as good and call Me good, then you should see that I am God, since only God is good.”  But the man didn’t really understand absolute goodness.

Mark 14:61-64

This is a very clear passage that Jesus is claiming Deity.  Even the Jews know that the Messiah is going to be “the Son of the blessed one”!  The Jews know Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7:13-14 and Proverbs 30:4 and Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14.

Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14 and the Jewish leaders tear their robes and say that Jesus has committed blasphemy by claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus also said, “I am” ( ego eimi = εγω ειμι ) in verse 62.    Muslims and other skeptics like to make a big deal about the “I am” statements in John, and they claim that there are none of them in the Synoptic gospels.  Well, here is one.  Mark 6:50 is another “I am” statement.

Bauckham says the clear claim of deity is there in Mark, so it is not only in the gospel of John, as some, particularly Muslims are saying, but the Deity of Christ is clear in Mark also.

Dr. White’s recent Five sermons on the Gospel according to Mark:

In his first message, “The Bookends of Mark” – he shows that Mark 1:1 (the Son of God – for an article about the textual variant here, see this.) and Mark 15:39 (“truly this man was the Son of God!”) – the centurions’ confession that Jesus is “the Son of God”, demonstrates Mark’s purpose of testifying that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.  Dr. White made a great point about the Roman Centurion and his familiarity with death, in Mark 15:43-45.  The Roman Centurion better be sure Jesus was dead, since he had to give testimony to Pilate himself.  If he was wrong, he would have been executed.  The seriousness with which the Romans dealt with soldiers and guards who did not do their job well is seen in Acts 16:27.  The Philippian jailor was about to kill himself, because he had fallen asleep earlier, and he thought that Paul and Barnabas had escaped in Acts 16:27, after the earthquake.

There are a lot of nuggets there that Dr. White brings out in these five sermons.  Because Muslims are not only using liberal scholars, but now they are using (and abusing) more conservative scholars to attack the New Testament and the gospels, we need to equip ourselves to be “ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us” to Muslims, and take up our cross in discipleship. (see Mark 8:34-38)

For two other articles on the unity of the gospel of Mark and the Deity of Christ in Mark, see here, and on the testimony to the resurrection of Jesus in Mark, see here.
Credit goes to someone named “Monty” in the aomin chat channel, a few days ago (last week)[at the time I originally wrote this in 2012); for pointing to this particular Unbelievable Radio program, the discussion between Bauckham and Crossley.

Posted in Apologetics, Deity of Christ, Gospel according to Mark, Islam, Muslims, Truth | 2 Comments

Where Did Jesus say, “I am God; Worship Me” ?

The written text and argument, along with the video, by David Wood.

Posted in Apologetics, Deity of Christ, Islam, Jesus' Teaching, Muslims | Leave a comment

Does John 14:16 predict the coming of Muhammad?

Muslims claim that the Paraclete (“Helper” or “Comforter” or “Counselor”) of John 14 and 16 is a prophesy of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, who was born around 570 AD and started having visions and dreams around 610 AD, and started preaching Monotheism in Arabia around 613 AD.

Problem is that there is absolutely no evidence of any textual variants or corruption of the Paraclete passages in John 14 and 16. It is impossible for it to have been about Muhammad, since it is about a Spirit, not a human being, who will live in the disciples of Jesus. The human Muhammad comes 600 years later; so it makes it totally impossible to be about Muhammad.

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

John 14:16-17

See article by Ryan Turner at CARM:

“First, there is absolutely no ancient textual evidence among all of the over 5,600 Greek manuscripts to place the word periclytos (“praised one”) in place of paraclete (“helper”).

2 For a Muslim to argue that the correct reading should be periclytos instead of paraclete, shows his lack of understanding of the actual Greek text and the reliability of the copying of the New Testament.

Second, in the same passage, Jesus explicitly identified the “Helper” as the Holy Spirit: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send, will teach you,” (John 14:26). Therefore, with all due respect, the Muslim argument is already defeated. Third, this “Helper” was given to Jesus’ apostles (the “you” in John 14:16) not to Arabs living over 550 years later! It was given to those who “have been with . . . [him] from the beginning” (John 15:27; cf. Acts 1:22; Luke 1:1-2). However, Muhammad was not one of Jesus’ apostles.

Fourth, this “Helper” was to abide with them “forever” (John 16), but Muhammad has been dead for over thirteen centuries! Fifth, Jesus told the disciples, “You know Him [the Helper]” (v. 17), but the apostles did not know Muhammad. He was not born until over 500 years later! Sixth, Jesus also told the disciples that the Helper would be “in you” (v. 17). How Muhammad could be “in” the disciples stretches all credibility. This reference of being “in” the disciples clearly is a reference to the Holy Spirit’s role of dwelling inside believers as the context of John (John 14:16-26) and the rest of the New Testament (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) indicates.

Seventh, Jesus said that the Helper would be sent “in My [Jesus’] name” (John 14:26). However, no Muslim believes that Muhammad was sent in Jesus’ name. Eighth, the Helper whom Jesus would send would not “speak on His own authority” (John 16:13). However, Muhammad constantly testifies of himself. For example, in Surah 33:40, Muhammad says of himself, “Muhammad is . . . The Apostle of God, And the Seal of the Prophets.” Ninth, the Helper would “glorify” Jesus (John 16:14). How would Muhammad actually be glorifying Jesus if Muhammad is the last (and the sealer) of the prophets? He really would not be “glorifying” an earlier, inferior prophet like Jesus.

Tenth, and finally, Jesus said that the Helper would come in “not many days” (Acts 1:5), but Muhammad did not come for almost 600 years! Since the Helper is the Holy Spirit, He did come merely 40 days later (Acts 1:5; 2:1ff).

Therefore, given the above evidence, the Holy Spirit clearly is the Helper in John 14:16, not Muhammad.”

by Ryan Turner at CARM

There is no evidence of any Greek word periclytos – περικλυτος

rather all Greek manuscripts have:

paraklaetos – παρακλητος

No one altered any meaning of the text.

See also here, Debate: “Is Muhammad prophesied in the Bible?”

Posted in Apologetics, Islam, Muslims

Was Muhammad a Prophet of God?

Posted in Apologetics, Islam, Muslims, Shabir Ally