Desperate and Dubious Muslim Polemical methods

Muslim polemical methods are very dubious and desperate. They constantly use liberals like Bart Ehrman, an agnostic and skeptic; and, yet, as we have pointed out before, even Bart Ehrman knows that Jesus was crucified in history.
Attacking the gospel of John
Muslims attack the gospel of John as not written by the apostle John and claim that “most scholars” say it was not written by John and very late, etc.
However, according to Irenaeus, John lived up until around 96 AD; and so the traditional view is that John the disciple and eye-witness, the beloved disciple, the son of Zebedee, did indeed write the fourth gospel.
Also,

http://bible.org/seriespage/gospel-john-introduction-argument-outline

Muslims try to use the Ebionites
Muslims attempt to say that the Ebionites were the “original Christians” that the Qur’an speaks about.
Scroll down and find the Unbelievable Radio program on June 20, 2009. (“Before Nicaea”) (Thanks to Dr. James White for pointing me to this.)
Some of Dr. McRoy’s key points:
1. where is the evidence that the Ebionites were the early Christians or even around in the first century? Abdul Haqq, a Muslim could never answer that question.
2. They were a heretical sect first mentioned by Irenaeus around 180 in Against Heresies. Abdul Haqq could not refute that.
3. Several early church fathers note that the Ebionites were like the docetist Cerinthus and other Gnostics who denied the virgin birth of Christ and separated the man Jesus from the divine logos, the Christ, and that the logos left the man Jesus before He was crucified.
Notice what Irenaeus, around 180 AD, says about the Ebionites and their belief about Jesus was similar to Cerinthus who was called by Polycarp a heretic and “son of Satan”; and other heretics.  Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 1, chapter 26, paragraph 1-2:

1. Cerinthus, again, a man who was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians, taught that the world was not made by the primary God, but by a certain Power far separated from him, and at a distance from that Principality who is supreme over the universe, and ignorant of him who is above all. He represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the ordinary course of human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous, prudent, and wise than other men. Moreover, after his baptism, Christ descended upon him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles. But at last Christ departed from Jesus, and that then Jesus suffered and rose again, while Christ remained impassible, inasmuch as he was a spiritual being.

2. Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates. [see above] They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavour to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practise circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God.  [ my emphasis]

It is inconsistent for Muslims to use the Ebionites, as most of them did deny the virgin birth of Christ, yet Islam affirms the virgin birth of Christ. (Surah 3:45-48; 19:19-21)

According to some scholars, there were some sub-groups of Ebionites that did not deny the virgin birth of Christ.

 

4. Muslims also try to use Basilides, another Gnostic heretic mentioned by Irenaeus, to say that Jesus was not crucified. Basilides was another Gnostic teacher who taught that the body was evil and the the creator of the physical world was evil; therefore, that is the reason why they could not accept the crucifixion of Christ. It seems that Muhammad, since he was illiterate and could not read, and did not have the gospels or NT in Arabic, heard lots of Gnostic teaching going around and incorporated it into his Qur’an. Basiledes taught that Simon the Cyrene was crucified. Abdul Haqq makes a desparate attempt to say that Mark 15:27 means that Simon “bore the cross” in a crucifixion sense, seemingly trying to tie it to the idea of “Jesus bearing our sins”; but Anthony McRoy points out that the Greek word means that he carried the cross for a while. Jesus the Messiah bore our sins on the wooden cross. (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:1-12)
5. It is inconsistent for the Muslims to use Basilides or Cerinthus, since they both objected to the crucifixion on philosophical grounds, that the body (and sex and physical creation) are evil intrinsically, yet Islam affirms that the body is not evil, and in fact, in paradise in Islamic teaching, sex and eating and drinking and sensual pleasures will go on for eternity for the Muslim believers.
Trying to make James and Jude the first “proto-Muslims”
Muslims also make desperate attempts to say that James and Jude did not accept the apostle Paul and did not accept the Deity of Christ, nor the crucifixion or resurrection; and they are even more deparate when they use Dr. James Tabor as a source for this.
Dr. James Tabor, a former member of the Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, was one of the consultants for The Jesus Family Tomb film by James Cameron (Oscar winning director of very successful films such as Aliens, The Titanic, Spiderman, and Avatar). He should have stuck to his science fiction and fantasy and other fiction!

The Muslims here make a lot of mistakes in their attempt to use Dr. Tabor and mix a lot of things together so that the unknowing public thinks, “wow, that sounds really scholarly and intelligent!”:

http://hardquestions.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/ebionites-theology-and-early-christians-beliefs/

He totally avoids all the early evidence we do have for James as being in complete harmony with the apostle Paul. (see Galatians chapters 1-2 and I Corinthians 15:1-9)

James White did an excellent job of refuting the book and film on “The Jesus Family Tomb” in  From Toronto to Emmaus : The Empty Tomb and the Journey from Skepticism to Faith.     http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=40_47&products_id=41

Wrong use of the Didache

The part about the Didache in the “hard questions” documentary was very shallow and left out one of the earliest quotes that affirms baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! Yes, the Didache 7, quotes from Matthew 28:19. See  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running, flowing] water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before. [ my emphasis]

See the phrase, “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit in living water.” – in Greek even:   http://www.ccel.org/ccel/lake/fathers2.v.html

βαπτίσατε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐν ὕδατι ζῶντι.

The 3 persons of the Trinity are named there. Dr. Tabor forgot that. Oops! He also left out that James calls Jesus “the Lord” twice. (James 1:1, 2:1 – “glorious Lord”) Lord is kurios, also used in the LXX for “Yahweh”. (see Psalm 110:1, which is quoted in all the synoptic gospels (Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43) and Acts (2:34-35) and Hebrews (1:13) and alluded to in I Corinthians 15:25 – and other places that talk about Christ’s ascension and session at the right hand of the Father; all to point to the Deity of Christ. Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 3:1)

They also seem to skew what the Eastern/Greek Orthodox priest says in the video documentary, but at least it is clear that the Orthodox priest says that belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential!

I am not impressed with Dr. Tabor as a scholar, when one looks a little deeper into the historical facts of these issues.

One cannot just name the Ebionites and connect them without any evidence to Jewish Christians or Jews or “the Nazarenes” in the first century. Muslims seem desparate to try and make a case for “proto-Muslims” from the first century in the Ebionites and Arians in the 4rd Century onward; as they both rejected the Deity of Christ. But, wait, most of them accepted the crucifixion and yet most of the Ebionites rejected the virgin Birth!

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About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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27 Responses to Desperate and Dubious Muslim Polemical methods

  1. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for coming by here and commenting.

    You wrote:
    Hi Ken (glad to find you have a name), I see you are up to your usual Muslim bashing! As a Christian minister and teacher I would have hoped you would show more love towards your ‘enemies’ than you do…

    I put my name up on my first entry at your site.
    Look again on my first entry under your “Messiah” post.
    on June 14, 2011 at 3:04 am

    How is it “Muslim bashing” ?? Where did I bash anyone personally?

    I did not bash any one personally, but rather I was addressing “dubious and desperate Muslim polemical methods” or argumentations in yours and other issues and methods in the way you attack the Bible and Christianity as a religion.

    Your web-site has much more attacks on the Scriptures and Christianity – but I don’t say you are “Christian bashing”. Maybe “Christianity bashing” or “Bible bashing”, but not “people bashing”.

    In what way have I not shown love, both here and at your web-site? Did I ever do any ad hominem or attack you or anyone else as a person? If I did, please show me.

    Do Christians have the right to defend arguments with reason and evidence and scripture? Or is any defense of our religion considered “unloving” ?

    Please show me anywhere where anything I have said or written is unloving. If we believe the Bible is true and Christianity is true; and God’s word is truth (John 17:17), then speaking the truth is right and good and can be done in a loving way, even if you disagree and get offended.

    I don’t consider you nor any Muslim my enemy. I sincerely do love Muslims. You may not believe me, but I do and have 27 years of friendships and outreach to Muslims; and many Muslims have said that they appreciated my sincere efforts, even though we disagree; and I have drunk lots of hot tea and coffee and had shish-kebab, roasted pumpkin seeds, hummus and felafel, cucumber salads, etc. and we have learned to cook several middle eastern foods/cuisines and learned one ME language fluently and appreciate many aspects of the different cultures.

  2. In light of the above, even if we are to accept the fourth gospel as a product of an eyewitness, it does not mean that we can simply read off from its surface the words attributed to Jesus (peace be upon him) as if Jesus (peace be upon him) literally uttered them in his historical ministry.

    Why not?

    Does Allah reveal Himself and the meaning of things by نزل or نازل (coming down) or وحی ?? (inspiration)

    Why cannot John, as one who was closer to Jesus (he and Peter and James are mentioned several times as being the inner circle of disciples within the larger circle of the 12), have deeper insight and true revelation and God put those thoughts in His mind to write them? Of course, whatever says, “Jesus said . . . is true and they are are the historical words of Jesus, even if not in the other 3 gospels. For example, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) He really said that. Otherwise, it would be false testimony. And whatever says, “Jesus went . . . ” etc. means it really happened in history.

  3. Richard Bauchkam and I. Howard Marshall are good scholars and yet they are not infallible. They are just humans and their opinions are human opinions. Only God and His Word is infallible. “there is no changing the word of Allah” (Qur’an 6:34; 6:116; 10:65; 18:27)

    Using their scholarship is actually fatal to Islam as a religion. They believe that generally, the things in the gospels are true. They believe Jesus died on the cross. (Matthew 27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23; John 19-20) That one fact makes your arguments of using them inconsistent. History proves Islam is not true because it proves Qur’an Surah 4:157 is not true; because Jesus really did die on the cross in history. God demonstrated His love – in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for sinners and by His own power and authority took it up again. (John 10:18) God’s love for sinners from all the nations is beautiful. Revelation 5:9 “some from every people, nation, tribe, and language were redeemed by the blood of the lamb”. Yahya said, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

    do they (Marshall and Bauchman) believe Jesus is the Son of God? using them is fatal to Islamic arguments.

    Sorry, your polemics failed.

  4. You never answered my questions at the beginning – where was I attacking anyone as a person?

    Where do Bauckham and Marshall and Dunn and others draw the line? Their conclusions did not force them to become Muslims, so there is something wrong with your argument. Most of the material you present is just a general statement that seems to be saying, “John is an eyewitness (Bauckham), but he sort of added things and got imaginative and inventive to Jesus actual words”
    (Marshall, Dunn) (basically) Rather than push John as a whole toward an Islamic understand; just having Bauckham admit that he was the apostle John and an eyewitenss is a plus for our side of the argument. I would have to know specifically what texts in John Bauckham thinks are true and historical, and which ones he thinks John “added stuff” to. Then, we would have to know if he thinks that means John is lying or John is inspired in some way (theopneustos = “God breathed”, 2 Tim. 3:16) – θεοπνευστος

    Same for the other scholars you are quoting. You are leaving out lots of other things also. Doesn’t make sense, and those long quotes, some of them I already read at your website.

    Obviously, they have drawn a line in what they do accept as the historical Jesus and truth about Him and so one would have to know:
    1. Where they draw the line.
    2. What specific texts in both Synoptics and John do that take as real and true and historical.
    3. How that affects each individual orthodox doctrine on the Incarnation, virgin birth, atonement, resurrection, etc.

    How does using them help Islam at all, if they draw a line and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Messiah and died for sin and was raised from the dead.

    They all agree that Jesus is Messiah, died on the cross for sin. That is your problem and burden of proof. (Surah 4:157 contradicts history and scholarship and a bigger problem for you. Using them to create some doubt in the gospel of John does not help your case at all. )

    Seems to me using them does not help your case for Islam.

    It is an inconsistent way of arguing.

  5. http://www.ligonier.org/blog/top-5-commentaries-on-the-gospel-of-john/

    These are scholarly and believing (they have faith – ایمان – a consistent, thinking faith) commentaries on the gospel of John that are more consistent in their thinking and argumentation.
    Lord willing, I pray to have some money to invest more in some of these.

    If the scholars you cite think John is lying, then that is inconsistent and does not make sense. That is not an option for any Christian. It is inconsistent.

    If John is an eyewitness, the beloved disciple, (which Bauckhman agrees) and, as such, John knows more specific details, and we believe God is powerful enough to inspire writers to write books that are “God-breathed”, then the approach of these commentaries, like D. A. Carson and Andreas Kostenberger are more consistent and don’t allow for spiritual schizophrenia. It is not a problem at all that the other writers don’t repeat any of the “I am” statements. For example, God inspired John to write John 1:1-18. It is all true and teaches the Deity of Christ. It is explaining and fully consistent with the virgin birth in Matthew 1:18-25 and 2:1-12 and Luke chapters 1-2; and the theology of Mark that Jesus is the Son of God – Mark 1:1; 1:11; 3:11; 5:7; 9:7; 14:61-64; 15:39. Yes, I know about the textual variant in Mark 1:1. there is a good discussion of that issue in Philip Comfort’s book, “New Testament Text and Translation Commentary” p. 92. (Tyndale) Anyway, Bauchman and Marshall and others you are using may believe that John was inspired by God to explain what those passages about the virgin birth and “Son of God” means in the synoptics.

    No, John is not lying and his gospel is true. You need to heed the exhortation of it – repent and believe in the Lord Jesus the Messiah as the Son of God, “I am”, the way, the truth, and the life, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, in order to be saved from sin. (John 1:29; 8:24; 14:6; 20:30-31) The truth will set you free. John 8:31-32; if you truly trust it and if God changes you, so that you continue in it.

  6. Paul,
    You never answer my questions. hmmmm . . .

    All of your issues about the Gospel of John and the issues that Dunn (and others) brings up are dealt with in Carson, Kostenberger, Leon Morris, and Craig Keener’s and other commentaries on the Gospel according to John.

    Since you reject them out of hand as “fundamentalists” (as you made clear at your blog after we have already gone over this stuff), then it is you who are the negative side of a “fundamentalist” (someone who refuses to even look at the other side) and it is you who hides your head in the sand as to growing in knowledge of the answers to those issues in a consistent and truthful manner. Until you interact with them; I see no reason to keep beating this dead horse of the “James D. G. Dunn argument” with you. I have given you the link where you can find good biographical information. Do some real study.

    God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) So John did not lie in his gospel. Sorry. This view of mine is consistent as the reasonable and logical reason for rejecting Dunn and other’s hypothesis – they are just theories with no real evidence.

    It is obvious that you were never really born again (John 3:1-8) in your claim of an “evangelical experience”. You are claiming that you were a Christian, but no longer. What happened?
    If you think Islam is true, then that necessarily means that there was nothing to your born again experience, and it was not the Spirit of God working on you, but what ? Just an emotional experience? What do you think it was, given your epistemology and assumption of Islam as true?

    I don’t know what happened to you that made you bitter against the God of the Bible and the Bible, and all of Christian history and civilization and go toward that road of Islam. It seems that something else happened to you while at the evangelical church. Your advocacy of a “Khalifate” suggests this. You obviously think Islam and the Sharia under a Khalifate is the answer to the world’s problems. How sad. Do you think those Sharia controlled community efforts from Anjem Choudary and those like him are legitimate?

    There is nothing inconsistent about Jesus being one person with 2 natures.
    nothing is impossible with God, which you are also obligated to believe in Islam.

    God the word ( کلمه Kalima ) entered into flesh, humanity, time, space. ( John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8; Luke 1:34-35; Hebrews 10:5)
    While Jesus was on earth, He did not know the day of His return. (Matthew 24:36) But of course He knows now.

    He voluntarily became weak for 33 years and allowed Himself to be killed. (John 10:18)

    Since you boast so much of being up on scholarship, etc. what systematic theologies have you seriously read that explains all of these issues clearly? (especially the issues of the Trinity, Incarnation) What part of plain English – “voluntarily” and “temporarily” do you not understand?

    So, no; the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity are not contradictory at all.

    Your argumentation fails.

  7. I will start with the last issue you bring up; and realize that I don’t have time today to deal with everything, but will address other issues later, possibly next week, Lord willing.

    I wrote:
    ‘There is nothing inconsistent about Jesus being one person with 2 natures.
    nothing is impossible with God, which you are also obligated to believe in Islam.’

    I stand by this; except that nothing is impossible with God unless it is against His nature.
    My mistake was not qualifying that statement and not saying that at first.
    Sami was right in principle that God cannot contradict Himself; until he got to the part about God becoming Satan and lying – that was really really bad logic; since Christian theology also agrees that God cannot do what is against His nature.

    So you believe God can sin?
    No, of course not. I already proved that by citing Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18; also I John 1:5 is another good verse on that.

    “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (Therefore He cannot sin, nor lie, nor become Satan.)

    You believe God can create another god?
    No, of course not. It is against His nature, and against the very definite of God.

    You believe that God can become Satan?
    Of course not. We agree with each other that God cannot do anything that is against His nature. But the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son, who was spirit before the incarnation, the Word, becoming man and volunteering to become flesh and allowing Himself to suffer and be killed; is not contradictory to that.

    Since God cannot lie, nor sin, nor become Satan, it does not follow that God, the Second person of the Trinity cannot become flesh, or a human, and take on voluntarily some of the limitations of humans for 33 years or so, without sin.

    Sami and your argument does not follow at all.

    Christians claim God can do anything.

    I sincerely thank you for catching my incomplete mistake. I will agree that I should have written, “God can do anything that is not against His nature.” yes; we agree with that, and that God cannot sin, cannot lie; and cannot become Satan and cannot create another god.” But it does not follow that because cannot do those things, that He cannot take on a human nature /become flesh/human for about 33 years and enter into history and space and time and at the time time retain His divine nature.

  8. I already watched your video twice; and we got up to some 77 comments there at your blog; but it does not explain everything. Do you now admit that you were never a Christian, since by nature, if, for the sake of argument, if Islam is true, according to you, that means that there is no such thing as people being born again or having real repentance and faith in Christ as the NT teaches? According to Islam, it is a lie; and Christians for 2000 years have been deceiving themselves that there is any such thing.

    But in reality, according to Christian worldview, the definition of a Christian is one who has been born again by the Spirit of God, (John 3:1-8), their natures are changed. (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Romans 6:6); so if Christianity is true, it means you were never really a Christian at all; you just thought you were by some kind of psychological or emotional experience.

  9. Really? So God is John? No.

    Obviously not; come on. You know what Christians have always believed. That the Bible is inspired by God, “God-breathed” – 2 Tim. 3:16.

  10. Paul –
    you wrote:
    Yes, I was a committed born-again evangelical Christian for many years.

    Do you now admit that you thought you were “born again”, because according to Christianity’s definition of it (Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:1-8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Romans 6:6) you were not; and according to Islam, if Islam is real and true, as you would claim, it means that you were never really “Born-again” by God’s Spirit, since if Islam is true, there is no such thing as that. You thought you were a Christian and you went to church and had some kind of emotional and psychological experience, but in reality, you were not really changed on the inside with the definition of what the NT says it means to be born – again.

    You are not really a follower of Jesus Christ, but rather you are a Muslim, a follower (imitator of the ways, the path, of prophet as what the Sunnah means) of Muhammad, as the the Qur’an and Sunnah stipulates that he is the best example and you must follow his example.

    No time for more today. Lord willing next week.

  11. Paul W. wrote:
    4) ‘Had the striking ‘I am’ self-assertions of John been remembered as spoken by Jesus, how could any Evangelist have ignored them so completely as the Synoptics do?’

    First, what logical necessity requires that Matthew, Mark, and Luke MUST mention them in the form or way you want? That is your demand; and it is not right for man to make demands on God on how His word should have been revealed. (it is a similar arrogance to demanding that God come down to our level and do things the we humans want them done. see Romans 9:20-23)

    “Who are you O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, why did you make me like this, will it?”

    the parallel is: “Four gospels is not enough, and I demand that some of the stuff written in one of them has to be metntioned in one or two of the other three.”

    The Qur’an mentions Jesus the Messiah as “the Word of God” – “kalimat Allah”; “His word” (4:171; – the Qur’an actually confirms the gospel of John more than the other 3 gospels, since it uses the linguistic equivalent of John 1:1 and 1:14, even though the Islamic interpretation of John 1:1 and 1:14 and Luke 1:34-35 is not John’s understanding. Therefore, the Qur’an is wrong.

    Why doesn’t the Qur’an include any more (that it does) of the other details of Jesus’ life?

    God’s purpose in having John write his gospel is so that we would have those statements. Why does John not have the virgin birth narratives? (Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2) All of them together provide us with the full picture; like four pieces of a puzzle. Matthew and Luke give us the history of the virgin birth. John goes behind the scenes to explain more of the meaning of the virgin birth and why He had to born of a virgin; pointing to the Deity of Christ and His divine nature from God – Luke 1:34-35; and that Jesus is also human and got His human nature from Mary.

    2. Secondly, there are traces of the “I am” teaching in the synoptic Gospels – Matthew 14:27, Mark 6:50 and Mark 14:62. These are similar to the “I am” sayings of John 8:24; 8:56-58; 13:19; and 18:1-6.

    “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

    Lee Strobel asked Dr. Craig Blomberg:

    “John makes very explicit claims of Jesus being God, which some attribute to the fact that he wrote later than the others and began embellishing things,” I said. “Can you find this theme of deity in the synoptics?”
    “Yes, I can,” he said. “It’s more implicit but you find it there. Think of the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52. Most English translations hide the Greek by quoting Jesus as saying, ‘Fear not, it is I.’ Actually, the Greek literally says, ‘Fear not, I am.’ Those last two words are identical to what Jesus said in John 8:58 when he took upon himself the divine name ‘I AM,’ which is the way God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. So Jesus is revealing himself as the one who has the same divine power over nature as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament.” (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ [Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids, MI 1998], Part 1: Examining the Record. Chapter 1. The Eyewitness Evidence – Can the Biographies of Jesus be Trusted?, by Dr. Craig Blomberg, pp. 35-36)

  12. Paul W. wrote:
    This is where you are out of order Ken

    how is my question out of order?
    – just because something does not fit your theology does not make it untrue.

    This not exactly what I am saying. Doesn’t the claim that Islam being true necessarily make all past Christian experience untrue? (you and your friends who were Christians) ie, “The Spirit of God really never worked on me in the insides, He did not cause me to born again, it never happened in reality on the inside, I just thought I was born again’, It was stage of spiritual investigation that I went through for a period until I came to Islam, etc.

    I have known of many committed born again charismatic Christians (some where ordained) who have enquired into Islam, seen the truth of its claims and embraced islam as a result. This is something your fundamentalist ideology just cannot accept so you resort to denigrating the faith of your erstwhile co-religionists. Perhaps a bit of spiritual humility on your part might not go amiss…

    How is my question out of order? I am not doubting that you had some kind of experience and went to church, etc.; it is not so much about your subjective experience (that you sincerely had some kind of experience or feeling or peace and that you went to church for a time, etc.) or about others who claimed to be Charismatic Christians (same for them) and then became Muslims. I am asking about logical reality of time and space. If Islam is true, as you believe it is; their is no such thing as “the Son of God” or “the Holy Spirit” who lives in a person’s heart when they are born again.

    If Islam is true, then that means necessarily that all Christian claims of being “born again” (John 3:1-8) cannot be true, since in Christian theology and experience, one must be born again by the Spirit of God and a true Christian knows that the Holy Spirit lives within them and He testifies that we are children of God. (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:14-16) So, logically, it was all a lie and deception.
    And it also means that you were never a Christian, according to Christianity’s own definition. What was it then?

    I am not denigrating your faith as you claim; I am just asking a logical question.

    Do you think Allah works in the world to first lead people to think they have been “born-again” by the Spirit of God; and then they can “upgrade their theology” (as you put it) and follow Islam, and then realize that there is not such thing as The Holy Spirit or regeneration or internal change or being a new creature?

    It’s a question about reality and logic, not meant to be an insult or denigration. Don’t you see that?

    Humility ? If Islam is true, Christianity is false. And if Christianity is true, Islam is false. This is a logic issue, not a humble or proud issue. I don’t doubt you went to church and thought you were sincere and thought you were born again for a time, but after doubting and then concluding that Islam is true, this logically and necessarily means that Christianity is false.

  13. Paul W. wrote:
    You take 2 Tim 3:16 out of context (fundamentalists ALWAYS do this) and therefore misrepresent the teaching of the passage.

    Not true. My answer is true in its own context and I did not mis-repesent it’s teaching.

    Here it is in full. Read it and tell me if it applies to the NT? (Answer is no!)
    The answer is “Yes!”, because verse 15 is about the OT and verse 16 opens it up to “all Scripture” and that includes the NT.

    14 ‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,

    Verse 14 included the things he learned from Paul (NT, 2 Tim. is the last letter of Paul) and what he learned growing up. All through I Tim. and 2 Timothy Paul talks about sound doctrine and the things Timothy learned from Paul orally, and the deposit of faith, the treasure, the things you have heard from me, etc.

    15 and in addition to this, how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
    clearly the OT, but he is showing that the OT is the foundation for current NT revelation and teaching and then he opens it up more to “All Scripture”.
    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’

    verse 16 opens it up to “all Scripture”, not just the OT, as in verse 15.

    verse 17 shows us the purpose – so that the man of God (Timothy, the pastor-teacher-elder) will be sufficiently equipped to do the work of pastoring the church in Ephesus. Read the entire letters of 1 and 2 Timothy to get the whole context. (1 Timothy 1:3-20; 3:14-15; 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2:2

  14. No; sorry Paul; your exegesis is rubbish.

    The New Testament under one book cover (codex form) did not exist, true; but most of the books of the NT existed separately. Individual scrolls were the way they wrote before the invention of the codex (by Christians in the 2nd and 3rd Century)-

    I thought you studied this issue?

    You come across as very ignorant and also, to me, you come across as very arrogant.

    Since 2 Timothy (64-67 AD) is the last book of Paul, all the other letters of Paul come before it. (48-63) Most of the books and letters existed by that time.

    So, at least, Mark(48-55), Matthew(50-60), Luke(60-61), Acts (61-62))and the other 12 letters of Paul existed (48-63 AD) before 2 Tim., and James (50 AD), and I Peter (64).
    Hebrews was written around 68.
    2 Timothy sometime in 64-67 AD.
    2 Peter before Peter was executed by Nero, around 64-67 AD, but after 2 Tim. And 2 Peter 3:16 affirms all of Paul’s letters as Scripture.

    Granted Jude was written later, probably around 80 AD. “The faith was once for all delivered to the saints” Jude 3 – suggests that all the books were written by that time.

    Gospel of John, 1-3 John, Revelation – either 65-69 AD or 80-96 AD.

    Those few that come after 2 Tim. does not mean that they cannot also fall within what Paul means – for he is saying “All that is Scripture is God-breathed”; and “what ever has the quality of being God-breathed means that it is holy Scripture”, so even if a few books were written later, the principle is the same.

    Your rubbish arguments and bad exegesis fails again.

  15. “you are denigrating my erstwhile Christian faith ”

    Obviously, if you turned away from the Christian faith, you do not have any Christian faith at all now. You have no Christian faith at all. That is just logic. It is not an insult. You turned away from Christ as He really is and you apostatized. You could be in danger of 2 Peter 2:18-22 and Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26. You had intellectual knowledge of whatever you read and learned at that church, and you had some kind of emotional or psychological experience, but you were not born-gain.

  16. You are confusing the individual existence of books that eventually came to be called ‘scripture’ (‘The New Testament’), with the existence of the NT canon itself.

    No, they were “God-breathed” ( θεοπνευστος – theopneustos ) the moment they were written down, the moment they existed. The were Scripture before the human process of discovering and discerning and putting them all under one “book cover”. They were “canon” (the Greek word means “standard”, “law”, “rule”, “criterion”) when written, because they were inspired. But the discovery of all of them and collection of all of them into one book took some time because they were originally written separately and to different churches and different areas, and because of the persecution and difficulty of communication in those days. Yes, I understand the distinction and I am not confusing the difference between the two.

    Your argument fails historically because you are not familiar with history of the formation of the Bible.

    Not true, since I am quite familiar with the history of the formation of the Bible.

  17. It was later Christians who made that decision – and they disagreed about which books belonged in the canon.
    There were 5-7 books that were questioned or the churches were cautious about them for a time, but eventually they discerned and discovered that they were “canon”. And there were a few that were thought might be Scripture in some churches for a time, but soon they were discounted.

    Christians still disagree today about this!

    Not much. The Roman Catholic church and Eastern Orthodox and Protestants are in agreement over the 27 books of the NT. The RCC has added the Apocrypha to the OT from the Council of Trent onward. (1545-1563) But even Jerome around 400 was clear that they were not canonical.

    Your pseudo-certainty about dating NT texts is amusing given that no scholar actually knows when any text was written. For example, you dogmatically and arbitrarily assert that ‘Hebrews was written around 68′. Really? How on earth do you know that!? Do let the rest of the world know the basis of your certitude!

    It is well known that if Hebrews was written after 70 AD, the author would have said something about that, because one of his main arguments is that Christ is the “once for all sacrifice for sin”. (Hebrews chapters 7-10) he wrote in the present tense when describing the temple sacrifices and the priest. “every priest in the temple is standing when performing the sacrifices”, etc. He would have easily pointed to the destruction of the temple as proof that Christ was the final sacrifice, and God in His sovereignty has demonstrated this by bringing the Romans to destroy the temple so that there would be no more sacrifices in the temple. Since he doesn’t mention 70 AD, most scholars agree that Hebrews was written before 70 AD; maybe 68 or 69 AD. I am surprised that you don’t know about that stuff.

    The great irony in your use (abuse) of 2 Tim 3:16 is that if most Christian scholars are correct then the letter is not by Paul at all – but is a forgery! Having studied the matter objectively I think the balance of probabilities is that it is a fake letter.

    No; it is not fake at all. Genuinely written by Paul himself before he was executed by the emperor Nero.
    . . .
    Obviously there is no point in discussing this subject further.
    I agree with that.

  18. Ken your patronising and know-it-all criticism of my former Christian faith does you no credit, and betrays a deep need on your part to rubbish another’s faith history.

    Do you think you were born-again by the Holy Spirit of God, the 3rd person of the Trinity? (John 3:1-8; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Acts 16:14; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6; I Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:29-32; Galatians 5:22-25)

    Wait . . . Muslims don’t believe in the Trinity nor the Holy Spirit . . . I guess you were not born-again; and therefore, you were never a Christian, and you certainly are not one now. You are a Muslim, not a Christian at all.

  19. Can you describe yourself as a slave of God?

    Yes – Romans 6:22 –
    22. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

    see also the whole chapter – Romans 6 – note verse 23 –
    23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  20. Sam Shamoun says:

    Brother Ken, this is Sam Shamoun of Answering Islam. We just updated the site with a new section consisting of a host of rebuttals exposing Paul Williams. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

    http://answering-islam.org/New/new.html
    http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/williams.html

  21. Thank you very much, Sam! Merry Christmas to you and God bless you also! I look forward to reading your material.

    Thanks for all your hard work and research and letting me know here about the new material.

  22. Sam Shamoun says:

    Your welcome brother. All glory to our risen Lord Jesus who enables us to do what we do for his glory. Please let me know what you think about the quality of our rebuttals. Christ is risen!

  23. Sam Shamoun says:

    Hey bro, Williams tries to discount Paul’s encounter with Christ on the grounds that it was a vision. This again shows just how inconsistent he is. This is because the Islamic traditions teach that visions and dreams are some of the means through which God communicates his revelations. For instance, Muhammad received the first in a dream:

    Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):
    The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle WAS IN THE FORM OF GOOD DREAMS which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

    Narrated Aisha:
    The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of true dreams. The Angel came to him and said, “Read, in the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists), has created man a clot. Read! And your Lord is Most Generous”… (96.1,2,3). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 479)

    Muslim historian al-Tabari relates Muhammad’s “call” to prophethood:

    “… When the night came on which God ennobled him by making him his Messenger and thereby showed mercy to his servants, Gabriel brought him the command of God. The Messenger of God said, ‘Gabriel came to me AS I WAS SLEEPING with a brocade cloth in which was writing. He said, “recite!” I said, “I cannot recite.” He pressed me tight and almost stifled me, until I thought that I should die. Then he let me go, and said, “Recite!” I said, “What shall I recite?” only saying that in order to free myself from him, fearing that he might repeat what he had done to me. He said:

    Recite in the name of your Lord who creates! He creates man from a clot of blood. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Bountiful, He who teaches by the pen, teaches man what he knew not.

    I recited it, and then he desisted and departed. I WOKE UP, and it was as though these words had been written on my heart. There was no one of God’s creation more hateful to me than a poet or a madman; I could not bear to look at either of them. I said to myself, “Your humble servant (meaning himself) is either a poet or a madman, but Quraysh shall never say this of me. I shall take myself to a mountain crag, hurl myself down from it, kill myself, and find relief in that way.”’” (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume VI, Muhammad at Mecca, tran. By W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press, Albany 1988]. p. 71; bold and capital emphasis ours)

    Hence, Muhammad received his “call” to prophethood in a dream. Muhammad also claimed that he “received” the command to marry 6-year-old Aisha in his dreams:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    Allah’s Apostle said (to me), “You have been shown to me twice IN (MY) DREAMS. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, ‘This is your wife.’ I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, ‘If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15)

    In fact, it was the dreams of his companions that led Muhammad to conclude that the Night of Power occurred during the last seven nights of Ramadan:

    Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
    Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah’s Apostle said, “It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 232)

    Furthermore, the Islamic traditions claim that the dreams of prophets are divinely inspired and that dreams are the only remaining part of prophethood left:

    Narrated Kuraib:
    Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet slept till he snored and then prayed (or probably lay till his breath sounds were heard and then got up and prayed).” Ibn ‘Abbas added: “I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt, Maimuna, the Prophet slept for a part of the night, (See Fateh-al-Bari page 249, Vol. 1), and late in the night, he got up and performed ablution from a hanging water skin, a light (perfect) ablution and stood up for the prayer. I, too, performed a similar ablution, then I went and stood on his left. He drew me to his right and prayed as much as Allah wished, and again lay and slept till his breath sounds were heard. Later on the Mua’dhdhin (callmaker for the prayer) came to him and informed him that it was time for Prayer. The Prophet went with him for the prayer without performing a new ablution.” (Sufyan said to ‘Amr that some people said, “The eyes of Allah’s Apostle sleep but his heart does not sleep.” ‘Amr replied, “I heard ‘Ubaid bin ‘Umar saying that the dreams of Prophets were Divine Inspiration, and then he recited the verse: ‘I (Abraham) see in a dream, (O my son) that I offer you in sacrifice (to Allah).’ (37.102) (See Hadith No. 183). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 140)

    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah’s Apostle said, “The (good) dream of a faithful believer is a part of the forty-six parts of prophetism.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 117)

    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Nothing is left of the prophetism except Al-Mubashshirat.” They asked, “What are Al-Mubashshirat?” He replied, “The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 119)

    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah’s Apostle said, “When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of forty-six parts of prophetism, and whatever belongs to prophetism can never be false.” Muhammad bin Sirin said, “But I say this.” He said, “It used to be said, ‘There are three types of dreams: The reflection of one’s thoughts and experiences one has during wakefulness, what is suggested by Satan to frighten the dreamer, or glad tidings from Allah.’ So, if someone has a dream which he dislikes, he should not tell it to others, but get up and offer a prayer.” He added, “He (Abu Huraira) hated to see a Ghul (i.e., iron collar around his neck in a dream) and people liked to see fetters (on their feet in a dream). The fetters on the feet symbolizes one’s constant and firm adherence to religion.” And Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Ghuls (iron collars) are used only for necks.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 144)

    Finally, the Quran itself mentions prophets receiving divine instructions through dreams and visions:

    When Allah showed them to you IN YOUR DREAM as few; and if He had shown them to you as many you would certainly have become weak-hearted and you would have disputed about the matter, but Allah saved (you); surely He is the Knower of what is in the breasts. S. 8:43 Shakir

    And when he attained to working with him, he (SAM- Abraham) said: O my son! surely I have seen IN A DREAM that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father! do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones. S. 37:102 Shakir

    Certainly Allah had shown to His Apostle THE VISION with truth: you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear, but He knows what you do not know, so He brought about a near victory before that. S. 48:27 Shakir

  24. Sam Shamoun says:

    Moreover, Williams has to explain why did Allah allow the followers of Christ to have visions that Jesus had been raised from the dead if such was not the case and then allow them to go around proclaiming that Christ had conquered death on the third day by his resurrection? If these visions were not from Allah then why didn’t Allah intervene and protect them from being deceived into preaching a false message, especially when Allah swore that Jesus’ followers would prevail and remain dominate from Jesus’ ascension until the day of resurrection? See Q. 3:55 and 61:14.

  25. Sam Shamoun says:

    BTW, http://www.quranbrowser.com belongs to the Answering Islam site. http://www.quranbrowser.org seems to be Muslim.

  26. oh, thanks for that info Sam. I didn’t know.

  27. Pingback: Testimony to the Apostle Paul against Muslim polemics | apologeticsandagape

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