One of Paul Bilal Williams’ favorite conservative Christian scholars proves him wrong

I wrote this back on August 21, 2012, at another blog that I also write for:

Paul B. Williams’ favorite Christian scholar seems to be James D. G. Dunn, but he also likes to use Richard Bauchkam on some issues, but on the issue of Mark 10:17-18, Williams cannot use Bauckham, for Bauchkam clearly refutes Williams’ take on Mark 10 when Jesus says, “Why do you call Me good?  Only God is good.”  Bauchkam called this a “wonderful double entendre” and shows how Jesus is indirectly claiming to be God.  Jesus is saying, “If you recognize Me as good; and only God is truly good; then you should realize that I am God, for only God is good.”

See also:  “No Muslim can deal with Mark 10:23-27

Posted in Deity of Christ, Gospel according to Mark, Islam, Muslims, Paul Bilal Williams | Leave a comment

Rabbi Admits that the Day of Atonement is parallel to Jesus Christ!

Originally posted on Apologetics and Agape:

In this lecture, beginning at around the 1:29:00 mark (between the one hour and 29 minute mark and 1 hour 32 minute mark)- Rabbi Michael Skobac admits that the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur = יום כפר ) of Leviticus 16 is the closest parallel to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!  He tried to argue that Jesus did not fulfill the Passover the Sacrifice, yet the New Testament teaches just that.  (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)  Jesus fulfilled the passover lamb also, as “not a bone of him was broken”. (see Exodus 12:46 and John 19:33, 36)  One of the most amazing things he says is that the Passover sacrifice has nothing to do with sin!  Really?  The idolatry and the false gods of Egypt was not sin?  The Passover sacrifice was a judgment against the idolatry and false gods of Egypt. (Exodus 12:12)  Only by the substitutionary sacrifice of…

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Posted in Answering Jewish objections to Jesus, Apologetics, Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Substitutionary Atonement, The Atonement of Christ | 6 Comments

The Forbidden chapter from the TaNaKh (the OT = the Torah, Prophets, and Writings)

Posted in Answering Jewish objections to Jesus, Apologetics, Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Prophesy Fulfilled, Substitutionary Atonement | Leave a comment

Mark 11:11-26 and 12:1-12 and faith

A person needs to read the whole chapter of Mark 11 and 12:1-12 and the parallel passages in Matthew 21-22.

Jesus does ask “Do you believe I am able to do this? Matthew 9:28


Daniel 3:17-18 speaks of “God is able”, but not a guarantee that He will do what we ask Him to do.  Daniel’s friends say, “our God is able to deliver us” ( ie, “God is able to heal and answer my prayers”) and “O king, even if God does not save us, we will not bow down to your idol”.  (If God does not heal me or give what I ask for, I will not become bitter or anger at God or forsake Him, I will continue to trust Him that He knows best in His perfect wisdom, love, and sovereignty.”)

What is your take on Mark 11:22-23 ?
I usually emphasize the surrounding context of Jesus cursing the fig tree and cleansing the temple (Mark 11:11-26 and 12:1-12 (with parallel in Matthew 21 – 22) = you should pray against your lack of fruit in your life.

Very important to see “the temple of the mountain of the Lord” in these OT texts:

And “the mountain of the temple of the Lord” has background in Isaiah 56:3-8 (Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 in Mark 11:17 – “My house shall be a house of prayer for all the nations”)
“mountain of the temple” – background in
in Micah 4:1-3; 6:1-2; 3:12

But after all that study of background and context, and taking into account God’s sovereignty (1 John 5:14 – “according to His will”), what do you think Jesus was trying to say in Mark 11:22-23 ? (a favorite text of the “name it claim it ” Prosperity, Health and Wealth preachers)

Was Jesus predicting the future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD? (“this mountain” = Mt. Zion, where the temple was)

“this mountain” (the temple, money changers, etc.) had no fruit =  no repentance, change, good works, good heart, etc.

Does “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22) mean “repent of the old Jewish works and ritualistic system and believe in the true God, who has sent His Son – Messiah (Jesus)” ?

Yes, that is what it seems.  It is not what the Word of Faith Prosperity teachers say it means, “have a God-kind of faith and speak things into existence” – ridiculous!

Mark 11:25 has another condition for answered prayer – forgiving others.

Mark 11:24 – the “Word of Faith”, “name it claim it” Prosperity preachers say  it means: “believe that you have already received it and it will happen”, etc.

No; rather it means if you pray for godly things, like holiness and fruit and for people’s souls to be saved and for God’s glory, God will answer your prayers according to His will.

Faith is not psychological certainty that something will happen in the future, rather faith in God is trusting Him and loving Him even if He says to us “no” to our prayers for certain things.  We are to have an attitude of humility and surrender to God’s sovereignty, “Your will be done”.  (Matthew 6:10; Luke 22:42; 1 John 5:14)

What was Jesus getting at by telling the disciples to “speak to the mountain” ?? (verse 23)

Was He predicting the old covenant system with the sacrifices would cease?  (Jesus is the final sacrifice – book of Hebrews; and the temple would be destroyed in 70 AD)  This seems like at some of what Jesus is getting at.

Was Jesus telling us to pray against our lack of fruit and genuineness in our own lives?  Pray against sin and hypocrisy and lack of holiness and fruit; in other words, “make war on your own sins of pride and hypocrisy, etc.”

The bottom line is God’s Sovereignty
Matthew 6:10  – “Your will be done”
Luke 22:42 – “not My will, but Thy will be done”
1 John 5:14 –  If we ask and pray according to the will of God, God hears our prayers . . .

Posted in Faith, Prayer, Word of Faith heresies | Leave a comment

The Bible Was My Lifeline

Ken Temple:

I just finished this book, and Lord willing, I will write more on this book later, but below is a powerful excerpt from Nabeel Qureshi’s excellent book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”.

I will make a few comments before the re-blog from “The Reformed Reader”.

Several things struck me:
1. The genuine friendship that David Wood made with Nabeel and how that was a major factor in getting him to read the Scriptures in context and also how a true friendship of showing true Christian love is key in evangelism.
2. That Nabeel admitted when he was a Muslim he only knew the verses in the Bible that Muslim apologists were using and he was reading them in their materials. When he started the reading the Bible verse by verse in context, that is when the word of God started really having an impact on his soul.
3. What a pivilege Nabeel had to have meet Dr. Mike Licona and Dr. Gary Habermas and they were able to refute the Islamic polemics against the New Testament and refute the Muslim (and Ahmadi) arguments against the death of Christ on the cross. (Surah 4:157)
4. While the dreams were vivid and amazing (especially the one of the Cricket eating the Iquana (meaning: Christianity eating Islam); they seem to confirm experiencially for him what he was studying as he studied both the Bible; and the problems he found in Islam when he read the Ahadith (traditions of Muhammad, plural of Hadith) and Sira (the life of the prophet Muhammad), and Islamic commentaries for himself.   He found a lot of problems with Islam in the traditions of Muhammad (Hadith) and other Islamic sources.  He had a lot of the word of God (The Bible) rolling around inside his mind and soul that the dreams were seemingly icing on the cake. But the cake was the Scriptures and David’s friendship.  The Scriptures are the real spiritual power, read and studied in their context.  The Holy Spirit uses His word to work on people’s mind and heart and brings conviction and new life.  The genuine friendship of David Wood broke down the cultural and relational barriers that exist that keep Muslims from taking an honest and open look at the Bible.  See my previous article on “More Than Dreams”.


David Waltz also has a good intro with helpful links to this book. (Note especially the link to where Nabeel Qureshi explains how he understands the Ahmadiye Sect of Islam.)

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

I could not set this book down: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi.  It’s an autobiography of a Pakistani-American man’s leaving Islam to follow Jesus.  Qureshi’s journey was (is!) a long, hard, thought-filled, prayer-filled, journey into the Christian family.  The book is well written, respectful of Muslims, a testimony to Jesus the Son of God, and it strengthened my faith in the truths of Scripture.

There are many excellent parts of this book; here’s one section that has stuck with me.  He wrote it after several years of agonizing over the teaching of Islam and the teaching of Christianity.  His past foundation was crumbling, his world was turning upside down, so he put the Bible and the Quran next to each other.  He first opened the Quran:

“[I was] frantically flipping from page to page, hoping for something, anything that would comfort me.  There was nothing there for…

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God spoke through the prophets and at last finally, in His Son

The Greek Text of Hebrews 1:1-2a (Dr. Thomas Schreiner of Southern Baptist Seminary)

The nuances of the Greek text of Hebrews 1:1-2 are beautiful.

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις

ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ . . .

Dr. Schreiner notes the illiteration of the letter π (p), and the parallels of contrast between “of old” vs. “in these last days” and “spoke through the prophets” vs. “has spoken in His Son” and “spoken to the fathers” vs. “has spoken to us”.

Dr. Schreiner makes a great point of the contrast between the participle (“speaking” or “was speaking” = λαλησας – in the past in the prophets) vs. the aorist Active Indicative (“spoke”, or “has spoken” in these last days in His Son – ελαλησεν).

The idea is, “In the past, God was speaking progressively through the prophets in the OT (and they were written down); and in these last days, God has spoken finally and decisively in His Son. (and the “speaking of God through His Son” was written down by the apostles of Jesus Christ (and those under apostolic authority) in the NT, 4 gospels, letters, Acts, Revelation)

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”   John 16:12-15

“For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.”  John 17:8

The words of the apostles that were eventually written down, were the words of Jesus that God the Father gave to Jesus. The Holy Spirit revealed the rest of the truths of the faith to the NT writers.

Hebrews was probably written around 68-69 AD – definitely before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. We know this because of the verb tenses of the descriptions of the work of the priests in the temple, when the writer of Hebrews describes them, they are in the present tense. (see Hebrews 5:1-2; 8:3-5; 9:6-7) Also, if Hebrews had been written after 70 AD, for sure the writer would have made a point about that, since he has already said several times that Christ was the final “once for all” sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 9:26; 9:27; 10:10; 10:12; 10:14)

God inspired this book, as “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16; see also 2 Peter 1:20-21), as the content has all the qualities and heavenly marks of being “God-breathed”.

The human writer of Hebrews is unknown dogmatically, and several have been proposed throughout church history: the Apostle Paul, Luke, Apollos, Silas, and Barnabas. Personally, I think the evidence points to Barnabas, who was on Paul’s missionary team on his first missionary journey (Acts 13-14). Barnabas is called an Apostle (Acts 14:4; 14:14), he was a Levite (Acts 4:36), which explains his great familiarity and details about the priesthood and the temple sacrifices in Hebrews chapters 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement/ exhortation” and he seems to leave a clue for that in Hebrews 13:22 (bear with this brief letter of encouragement/ exhortation). Tertullian also proposed that the writer of Hebrews was Barnabas. (De Pudicitia = “Of Modesty”, 20) The fact that the writer does not say “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ . . . “, etc., which Paul always did in all his other letters, along with the different Greek style, points to the fact that Paul probably did not write Hebrews. Some believe that Luke wrote it for Paul, since the Greek is very high and elegant, like Acts and Luke are.

Posted in Canon of Scripture, The Book of Hebrews, The Canon of Scripture | Leave a comment

1 verse of Quran – Surah 5:47- causes a Muslim to Question Islam and eventually Convert from Islam to Christ

Sahih International
“And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.” Surah 5:47

Posted in Apologetics, Islam, Muslims | Leave a comment