Muslim argument defeated

To begin, this is an illogical argument because one can take any religious text and add or delete a verse from it. There’s no magical force field around the text itself.

Stewjo004, a Muslim, and author of the article:

“Corruption of the Scriptures: Part I – Does Islam Confirm the Bible As a Scripture from God?”

Thank you! Yes, that is why the charge of 2:79 and 3:78 [ the charge that Muslims make; that the Jews and Christians totally corrupted the text of the Bible] holds no water, considering that it was a “party of them” that misinterpreted the book and a group that wrote things down and claimed it is from God, etc. – it would not result in the wholesale loss of the Bible (Torah, Zobur, Prophets, Gospels, NT) because there were so many other copies of the Bible before and at the time of Muhammad.

All we have to do is to do comparison and textual criticism and we can get to the originals with 99.9 certainly, giving allowance for copyist errors and textual variants. (which we are open and honest about)

The Qur’an affirms the previous Scriptures and claims to watch over them and guard and protect them at the time of Muhammad.

Surah 10:94; 3:3; 5:46-48; 5:68)

So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.  Surah 10:94

He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.  Surah 3:3

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.

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.

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming (مصدقا ) that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a watcher/guard/protector (muhaymenan مهیمناً )  over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.  Surah 5:46-48 (with my emphasis)

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. Surah 5:68

Other verses which show that God calls the previous Scriptures “the Reminder” الذکر (Al-Zekr or Zikr) and “the Criterion” الفرقان (Al-Furqan)

Surah 15:9:

Verily, we have sent down the Reminder الذکر (Al-Zekr) , and, verily, WE will guard it.”

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ – 15:9

The verse states clearly that God is promising to protect the scripture (the Reminder).

It also demonstrates that the text of the Holy Bible is not corrupt, nor can it be, by the Qur’an’s own admission.

If anyone argues that the word “Reminder (Zikr – Arabic)” is only talking about the Qur’an, the following verses refute that argument, since it also refers to the Torah as “Reminder”:

And already have we written in the Psalms after the reminder that the earth shall my righteous servants inherit.” Surah 21:105

And We have already written in the book [of Psalms] after the Reminder (Al Zekr / الذکر  that the land [of Paradise] is inherited by My righteous servants.

These other passages also identify the scriptures in the possession of the Jews and Christians as the Reminder:

Surah 16:43

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ – 16:43

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL

And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. <b>So ask the people of the message (Al-Zekr = the Reminder)  if you do not know.</b>

Surah 21:7

And We sent not before you (O Muhammad SAW) but men to whom We inspired, so ask the people of the Reminder [Scriptures – the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel)] if you do not know.

Surah 21:48

And We had already given Moses and Aaron the criterion (Al-Furqan – الفرقان )and a light and a reminder ذکرا  for the righteous

Surah 40:53-54.

And, indeed We gave Musa (Moses) the guidance, and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the Scripture [i.e. the Taurat (Torah)],

A guide and a reminder ذکری for men of understanding.

Addendum:

I discussed and debated these and other issues with several Muslims here at “Blogging Theology 2” in the article:  “Matthew made stuff up” – over 400 comments.

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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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30 Responses to Muslim argument defeated

  1. Pingback: Context of Surah 2:79 is 2:78 and 2:75 | Apologetics and Agape

  2. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken

    This is almost not even worth responding to. If youre going to write an article “refuting” someone at least have to common courtesy to READ it a pretty much ALL these verses you misquoted have been addressed in the article and you have provided no scholarly evidence for any of your claims other than your personal opinion.

    And may God guide those who are sincere to the path most pleasing to Him.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Thanks for your comment. We debated the details at other posts at “Blogging theology2” (“Matthew made stuff up” – see link below) and the comment section is over 400 comments. Perhaps I should link to that also within the article; ok I did here.

      I also added an addendum and link to our discussion of over 400 comments at the end of the article.

      My point here was to just point out one thing about your comment that I quoted at the beginning. I did not not misquote the Qur’an’s verses.

  3. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken
    I’m going to help you Ken as you seem confused. My argument that the claim that the Scriptures can’t change because the Qur’an verse being stripped from context saying that God’s words (decrees) can’t change is illogical because God does NOT magically make someone’s hand possessed if a person adds or deletes a letter in the wrong spot. This does not validate the Bible in some way. I’m saying this interpretation being given by you (that is backed by no scholarly evidence btw) is just illogical by itself before I begin to quote the true meaning of the verse and its proper context. So next time you claim to “defeat” an opponent’s argument try to understand it first.

    • Ken Temple says:

      I am not confused at all. The Qur’an does seem to validate the Bible (The OT and the NT)
      Surah 5:46-48, in the last verse (48) says the Qur’an affirms/confirms (the root of the
      تصدیق / مصدق word and that it acts as a watcher / protector / guard over them. (Muhaymenan مهیمناً ) The Qur’an also calls the previous Scriptures the Reminder and the Criterion. See the last 2 articles posted here and details. It encourages Muhammad to ask the people of the book. (10:94; 21:7)
      We exhausted the issue of 6:114-115. God’s word, whether oral judgements that are recorded in writing, or those that are not recorded, are BOTH unchangeable and God will protect His written word, even if some people go aside and write something that is not from God. (2:79)
      It is only later in Islamic history, after the Muslims conquered the Byzantine Empire and learned of the details of what the Bible, especially the New Testament actually say, that Islamic theologians had to come up with the concept that the text of the previous Scriptures was corrupted and lost forever. (Tahreef al-nas or Tahreef al-Matn
      تحریف النص یا تحریف المتن ) The Qur’an only says that there was Tahreef Al-Ma’na تحریف المعنا – “change in the meaning, as in Surah 3:78 – “distorting with their tongues” – wrong verbal, oral interpretations.)
      See all the other articles I have written under the category of “Bible is not Corrupt”.
      Thanks.

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Ken

        There was no “exhausting the issue” you simply made claims with no evidence or references to back up what you’re saying, ignored my mountain of evidence and then said “Oh well agree to disagree I guess”

        Moving on yes you are confused because for some reason you understand my statement in the article to somehow be validating the Bible let’s read what I wrote with my own intermission symbolized with ( ) and caps:

        “The Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice. There is no power that is capable of changing His Words because He is the All-Hearing and Knowing.”[1]

        The argument presented by missionaries is that the Scripture can’t change because the Qur’an says that God’s words can’t change. To begin, this is an illogical argument (BEING PRESENTED BY MISSIONARIES) because one can take any religious text and add or delete a verse from it. There’s no magical force field around the text itself. The proper context of these verses has nothing to do with God’s Scriptures. They’re referring to God’s Commands which He throughout the Qur’an calls His Word because He says “Be” and then it happens. Let’s look at some examples…”

        So again I said the argument being presented:

        “The Qur’an validates the Bible because it says God’s words can never change” Makes NO sense because I can go grab a pen right now and cross out a sentence. Its things like this which is why I said on Blogging Theology that you have HORRIBLE reading comprehension.

        Finally, all the Qur’an verses that you are misquoting have been dealt with in the article and you again just brushed it all underneath the rug and continue spreading misinformation with no evidence from reputable scholarship to back it up.

  4. Ken Temple says:

    Yes, we already exhausted the issue. If anyone wants to read the 400+ comments in the article I linked to, they are free to do that.

    Also, I was grateful for your comment:

    Makes NO sense because I can go grab a pen right now and cross out a sentence. (which is what the group of Jews did in 2:75, 78-79; and it seems exactly what the founder of Islam did – he is just hearing things, he doesn’t know the Scriptures, and even your own Qur’an says he was illiterate and uneducated. (7:157) (“unlettered”, “not formally educated”) That does not mean he was not smart, or that he could not do some basic writing (as he was the accountant for his first wife Khadija for her business, according to Islamic sources.

    Similar to the one I quoted at the beginning of my article, which was also at the beginning of your article. Since we have many copies that go back to the centuries before Muhammad (both OT and NT), it does not mean that an individual or group cannot do what you are giving an example of; what it means that if we compare all the texts and textual variants, we still have the written word of God, because “someone who goes and grabs a pen right now and cross out a sentence” does not affect all the other copies.

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Ken

      What? That is nor what I said at ALL. See what I’m talking about regarding reading comprehension? Those two statements aren’t even partly related.

      Next, I again dealt with the “copies argument” in the article. All your doing is ignoring and cherry picking out of a text and declaring victory prematurely. Again if you claim to “defeat” an opponent actually address his points and contentions don’t just copy and paste the same ramble over and over again as if that somehow affects anything. There is NOTHING in Chapter 6 of the Qur’an to support what you’re claiming.

      • Ken Temple says:

        What you said confirms that “no one can change the words of God” by principle, because no one can change the written words of God in a way that causes the whole thing to be forever lost or corrupted and mixed with falsehoods to the point that another religion has to come along 600 years later and claim to be the corrector. Because we have too many other copies that refute that claim.

        You did not deal with the “copies argument” because you clouded the textual variant issues by your “frankenstein monster books” comments and charts full of hypothetical theories based on anti-supernatural liberal theology.

        The point still stands by principle that Surah 6:114-115 says that God is the Judge and His words (whether oral decrees/judgments or whether written words) – the plural and the mention of written scripture and the previous written Scriptures, all together shows that the principle still stands.

  5. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken

    What are you talking about? The fact that you have textual variants is enough proof they were changed.

    [ No, not all. textual variants do not prove that they were changed enough to be lost or require a 600 year late religion to come along in a different context with almost no knowledge of the contents of the previous Scriptures (he only knows basic stuff he heard about Monotheism and judgement day and a similar 10 commandment morality; and a few phrases about Jesus – “Al Masih”, “word and a spirit from God”, did miracles, son of Mary, born of a virgin, etc.) ]

    Next, it isn’t hypothetical when one can easily demonstrate it being done. Do you agree that the synoptic authors plagiarized one another, if not how do you explain a word for word retelling of the event?

    [No, not at all. Each one used common material and added truthful details or left out other detains that others reported on. The fact that each pericope has some variation indicates they are like 4 eyewitnesses re-telling the events from 4 angles/ perspectives/directions – like one eyewitness each on 4 corners of a street accident. Each one is inspired by God and God-breathed Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – all of the NT is “God-breathed”]

    Furthermore, almost all your copies are late. The earlier you get the more variance that takes place which means the text changed early in its life and settled after a master copy was created (i.e the same thing Uthman(ra) did).

    [no. Read James White’s book, “The King James Only Controversy” ]

    Finally, what does any of this have to do with you stripping a Quran verse from its context and putting your own baseless commentary on it that is not supported by the context or scholarly research?

    [God is sovereign and has spoken to mankind (Hebrews 1:1-3). The principle of 6:114-115 is true that “no one can change the words of God” (whether oral decrees or written down) in such a way as to become “frankenstein books” like your silly charts.]

    • Ken Temple says:

      See my comments above embedded within your comment.

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Ken
        So your comment in a nutshell:
        1. I can’t explain why word for word copies of an event exist in the Synoptics.

        [I added some additional comments to that. See my additional comments there regarding the synoptic problem, etc. After those points, silence in history and mysteries are realities; not everything in life is explainable. There are some, in fact many mysteries in life, such as How God is sovereign in allowing sin and yet also not a sinner and not the author of sin.]

        2. I can’t explain how I have textual variants but somehow nobody changed the text

        [ A skewed understanding of textual variants and deliberate twisting of my point.]

        3. I can’t explain away some of the most common agreed upon theories that even conservative scholars agree with and is taught at pretty much every institute of Christian higher learning.

        [ Even many conservative scholars who agree that Mark is first and that there is some literary dependency, can still hold on to inerrancy. Although, some, like Richard Bauckham (in his view of 2 Peter) and even Mike Licona (who seems to deny inerrancy, but claims he still believes in inerrancy), have made concessions in some areas that give you guys “red meat” to use against us. I don’t consider James D. G. Dunn to be “conservative” at all.
        His writings have done much damage to the Christian faith, as evidenced by the way Paul Williams uses them; but in some respects even some of his quotes can be used to refute you and Paul Williams and Shabir Ally

        as in this post. ]

        4. I can’t explain how they are able to tear apart stories in the Bible like Balaam’s into two different tales and show how they had been weaved together.

        [ I don’t agree with your premise there.]

        5. I can’t refute that I have mostly late manuscripts and even my earliest is still far from the time period it speaks on AND have no chains of narration.

        [Christian history and available texts of non-canonical writings in the 2nd and 3rd, and 4th century do not follow the same Islamic “chains of narration” Isnad Hadith principle because we did not have government control or the power of the sword like Uthman did. See my 2 articles on the Uthman recension in the side bar categories. You are imposting an Islamic standard that came along 2-300 years after the Qur’an and 800-900 years after Christianity, which was persecuted off and on during the first three and almost 1/4 centuries with the Romans burning lots of manuscripts]
        6. I will continue to assert my claim about a Qur’an verse with no evidence and ignore its context and other Quranic passages that explain it because my goal is to purposely mislead others and fulfill the passages actual meaning.

        [The principle is based on the truth of God’s Sovereignty, history, the previous Scriptures, and the fact that the Qur’an claims to both affirm and protect the previous Scriptures.]

        Thanks, Ken.
        [You are welcome.]

  6. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken
    Also p.s. I know SEEING it in chart form to show you how many issues there are is rough but that is the reality of the Biblical text. You are all trying to get back to the late “Original Hebrew Bible” part of the chart when there is MUCH more in between.

    • Ken Temple says:

      I know all about those liberal theories – I learned them in 1983-1985 and 1987-1988 in seminary, finished with an M.Div.

      Unfortunately, academic freedom and apostasy of many western Christians and apostate Universities and whole denominations and many churches give Muslims lots of “scholarly” materials to attack the Christian faith.

  7. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken

    1. Literary plagiarism
    It’s not “unexplainable” it’s easily explainable of the 3 authors, 2 plagiarized which is why the story is retold word for word.

    [Response written on July 6, 2019, after a short trip. I wrote that “After those points”, meaning after one studies all the issues, and allowing for the full picture of the debates and issues; “after that”, I meant that “after all the facts and debates are fully studied” there are other things/ issues / similarities / dissimilarities that are “unexplainable”.

    My wording was not good and it was my way of trying to come up with a response that was compatible to the time I had (getting ready for a trip), and the time it would take to go back and review the details from the 4-5 sources (and there are many others in this field that I could take time to gather together, but these should be considered a good introduction to the issues.) that I will mention here in the following:

    Previous comment where the “unexplainable” word is used and you jumped on. I added some additional comments to that. See my additional comments there regarding the synoptic problem, etc. After those points, silence in history and mysteries are realities; not everything in life is explainable. I should not have used that word; I should have written something like, “no time right now to answer, but Lord willing, after I get back from a trip.”

    The issues of the “Synoptic problem”, Literary dependency on Mark, history of the debates, etc. are too much for a comment box, but I offer an answer with recommendations of several books for you to read. Muslims are just picking and choosing the more liberal theories and using them to their advantage without really understanding the big picture of the history of the debate and the balance of the other side of the arguments. I disagree with the charge of “plagiarism” as that is a modern concept that cannot be imputed to ancient writers. I have read a lot in this area over the years ever since seminary in 1984, in the Gospels class, as our main textbook was “A Harmony of the Gospels”, edited by Robert L. Thomas and Stanley N. Gundry. (Moody Press, 1978) There are many good articles at the appendices of this work that discuss many of the issues involved with Gospel studies and harmonization and the “Literary Dependence Theory” (that both Matthew and Luke depended on Mark with the presupposition that Mark is first.) Dr. Thomas shows that it is possible that Matthew is first and/or Luke, if one begins with other presuppositions and qualifications and theories. In the year 2000, Dr. Robert Thomas had a written debate/discussion with Dr. Grant Osborne and these are available in a scholarly journal called “The Journal of Evangelical Theological Society” (JETS), March of 2000, Volume 43, issue 1. both views are valid under Evangelical Protestant Orthodoxy of Inerrancy. I recommend the Harmony of the Gospels and also that issue of JETS; along with Jesus Under Fire. “Jesus under Fire” (edited by J. P. Moreland and Michael Wilkins, 1995. And also: “The Case for Jesus” by Brant Pitre, 2016. Pitre is a Roman Catholic, but this book is about the Gospels and answers the presuppositions and assumptions and theories and inaccuracies of Bart Ehrman in a great way of summarizing the main issues and any believing Protestant would agree with this book. Dr. Michael J. Kruger wrote a summary of what an excellent book that is, “A Breath of fresh air” indeed.

    Luke tells us he knows of “other accounts” (Luke 1:1-4) (Mark, Matthew, and possible the materials that later became their sources /materials or even John’s materials; which many of the eyewitnesses disciples could have had a part in in compiling with the apostle John writing the final copy; the Lord guiding the whole time; and Luke telling us that he is filling in other details that he learned from Mary, Paul, and the other disciples. (interviewed many eye-witnesses, Luke 1:1-4) Each one used common material and added truthful details or left out other detains that others reported on. The fact that each pericope has some variation indicates they are like 4 eyewitnesses re-telling the events from 4 angles/ perspectives/directions – like one eyewitness each on 4 corners of a street accident. Each one is inspired by God and God-breathed Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – all of the NT is “God-breathed”.]

    2. Textual variant and deliberate alterations
    It’s not “skewed” we know they changed things because of theological issues, for example, did Jesus(as) get angry at a man who asked him to heal him or feel sorry for him? They both can’t be correct so which is the more likely to have been changed due to implications? Or the passage where I showed you Jesus(as) of lying in John and a scribe altered the text from “I am not going to the festival” to “I am NOT YET going to the festival” to try and cover it. So even just sticking to these is enough to show corruption.

    [I remember reading many conservatives answers to that Ehrman charge – Dan Wallace, Darrell Bock, James White, etc. – I don’t have time to find the details; but there are excellent answers to the “anger” vs. “compassion” charge of theological bias, and change, etc. and also John Piper’s explanation of John 7 stands as the best explanation that I have seen, without the “not yet” explanation; because it considers the whole context of the verses before and afterward. Interpreting something in context and the flow of the narrative is key. ]

    3. Higher learning and the Actual Torah and Gospel
    There is nothing to “refute” regarding me this is pretty basic stuff taught in higher learning that most Christians/ Jews aren’t aware of regarding things such as 2/3/4 source theory, Farrer theory, Deuteronomy hypothesis, etc all I have done is make it simple to understand. AND explain how it fulfills what the Quran speaks of. The collection of Frankenstein books being read today in Church and the Synagogues are NOT the scriptures revealed to Moses(as) and Jesus(as).

    [ Not at all, as we so many ancient copies, including the OT that goes back so far that when all is said and done, this charge of yours of “Frankenstein books” is just silly and not substantiated.]

    4. Stitching stories
    It doesn’t matter if you agree its can it be proven and the answer is a definitive yes
    A. Balaam’s story (one he is a protagonist the other an antagonist)
    https://www.badtheologians.com/2017/07/balaam-prophesies-for-moab.html

    B. Noah’s (One God is anthropomorphic the other transcendent)
    https://www.livius.org/articles/misc/great-flood/flood1-t-bible_2/

    I noticed even prior to learning about this as the Biblical text reads “weird” sometimes

    [I don’t agree with this from what little I read on the article about Balaam. I just don’t have right now to digest it all. I don’t have time to delve into those 2 issues/articles right now. Lord willing, maybe I will look at those things later.]

    5. Uthman (ra) and having a standardized text
    For one Uthman(ra) didn’t kill or oppress others over their texts it was voluntary as Ahruf can sound different. There was no government crackdown this was actually EXTREMELY important as it stops variations from spreading.

    [I don’t know that – (that he didn’t oppress or kill others. even if he did not, the threat is there. Fear kept them in line. after all, a group of people hacked Uthman up with swords and hackets while he was praying before an open Qur’an, etc. The violence of Muslims and killing each other is well documented. Hassan’s wife poisoned him. The Kharijites killed Ali. Waawiya and Yazeed ambused Hossein and mauled him up. Someone killed Omar, etc. a Jew poisoned Muhammad with the meat, which is documented in the Muslim sources, etc.

    The warlike and aggressive nature of Islam from the beginning, after the Hijra, (especially Surah 9, 8:39 (fitneh فتنه = “mutiny”, “rebellion”, “chaos”, “confusion”, not “trial” or “persecution” or “oppression”)and the corresponding Hadiths, “I have been commanded to fight until . . . “,

    “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”
    https://sunnah.com/muslim/1/36

    etc. “no 2 religions will be allowed in the Hijaz / Arabian peninsula, etc. Ibn Kathir’s commentary on Surah 9:28-29 – “if you fear poverty”, etc.) and the harsh punishments of Sharia law, and the basic history of the whole Muslim world being able to keep information away from the Muslim masses (until the internet and Satellite TV era and global business and “Global village” era of today, etc.)- kept everyone in check by fear. Islam thrives by fear, for centuries. Sorry, your argument holds no water at all. It does not pass the smell test.]

    Common sense dictates you want one standardized text to compare the rest of your manuscripts to, that way if something off, the person behind him can see where the scribe went wrong instead of allowing his corrupt copy to circulate. This is what Christians and Jews ended up doing ANYWAYS in the Middle Ages and that’s why you don’t see as drastic differences in later biblical manuscripts. And yes this was a very big difference between us because Muslims were the government it stops the “secret telephone note passing” going around and everything is public. Finally, chains of narration have existed since Islam’s beginning dude you will see Disciples of the Prophet asking others where they got stuff from. Again it is not unreasonable for someone to LIST THEIR SOURCES. This was done even in the antiquity of the Early Christian era especially if someone like “Luke” is claiming to set up an accurate account.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Islamic governments and harsh Sharia law is like the evil Empire in Star Wars.

      “Fear will keep the local systems in line”

    • Ken Temple says:

      Copying my responses in separate com boxes, because it gets confusing because of the time lapse of my response and the dating.

      Stewjo004 wrote:
      1. Literary plagiarism
      It’s not “unexplainable” it’s easily explainable of the 3 authors, 2 plagiarized which is why the story is retold word for word.

      Me: (Ken Temple) [Response written on July 6, 2019, after a short trip. I wrote that “After those points”, meaning after one studies all the issues, and allowing for the full picture of the debates and issues; “after that”, I meant that “after all the facts and debates are fully studied” there are other things/ issues / similarities / dissimilarities that are “unexplainable”.

      My wording was not good and it was my way of trying to come up with a response that was compatible to the time I had (getting ready for a trip), and the time it would take to go back and review the details from the 4-5 sources (and there are many others in this field that I could take time to gather together, but these should be considered a good introduction to the issues.) that I will mention here in the following:

      Previous comment where the “unexplainable” word is used and you jumped on.

      “I added some additional comments to that. See my additional comments there regarding the synoptic problem, etc. After those points, silence in history and mysteries are realities; not everything in life is explainable. “
      I should not have used that word; I should have written something like, “no time right now to answer, but Lord willing, after I get back from a trip.”

      The issues of the “Synoptic problem”, Literary dependency on Mark, history of the debates, etc. are too much for a comment box, but I offer an answer with recommendations of several books for you to read. Muslims are just picking and choosing the more liberal theories and using them to their advantage without really understanding the big picture of the history of the debate and the balance of the other side of the arguments. I disagree with the charge of “plagiarism” as that is a modern concept that cannot be imputed to ancient writers. I have read a lot in this area over the years ever since seminary in 1984, in the Gospels class, as our main textbook was “A Harmony of the Gospels”, edited by Robert L. Thomas and Stanley N. Gundry. (Moody Press, 1978) There are many good articles at the appendices of this work that discuss many of the issues involved with Gospel studies and harmonization and the “Literary Dependence Theory” (that both Matthew and Luke depended on Mark with the presupposition that Mark is first.) Dr. Thomas shows that it is possible that Matthew is first and/or Luke, if one begins with other presuppositions and qualifications and theories. In the year 2000, Dr. Robert Thomas had a written debate/discussion with Dr. Grant Osborne and these are available in a scholarly journal called “The Journal of Evangelical Theological Society” (JETS), March of 2000, Volume 43, issue 1. both views are valid under Evangelical Protestant Orthodoxy of Inerrancy. I recommend the Harmony of the Gospels and also that issue of JETS; along with Jesus Under Fire. “Jesus under Fire” (edited by J. P. Moreland and Michael Wilkins, 1995. And also: “The Case for Jesus” by Brant Pitre, 2016. Pitre is a Roman Catholic, but this book is about the Gospels and answers the presuppositions and assumptions and theories and inaccuracies of Bart Ehrman in a great way of summarizing the main issues and any believing Protestant would agree with this book. Dr. Michael J. Kruger wrote a summary of what an excellent book that is, “A Breath of fresh air” indeed.

      Luke tells us he knows of “other accounts” (Luke 1:1-4) (Mark, Matthew, and possible the materials that later became their sources /materials or even John’s materials; which many of the eyewitnesses disciples could have had a part in in compiling with the apostle John writing the final copy; the Lord guiding the whole time; and Luke telling us that he is filling in other details that he learned from Mary, Paul, and the other disciples. (interviewed many eye-witnesses, Luke 1:1-4) Each one used common material and added truthful details or left out other detains that others reported on. The fact that each pericope has some variation indicates they are like 4 eyewitnesses re-telling the events from 4 angles/ perspectives/directions – like one eyewitness each on 4 corners of a street accident. Each one is inspired by God and God-breathed Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – all of the NT is “God-breathed”.]

    • Ken Temple says:

      2. Textual variant and deliberate alterations
      It’s not “skewed” we know they changed things because of theological issues, for example, did Jesus(as) get angry at a man who asked him to heal him or feel sorry for him? . . .


      Me: (Ken Temple)[I remember reading many conservatives answers to that Ehrman charge – Dan Wallace, Darrell Bock, James White, etc. – I don’t have time to find the details; but there are excellent answers to the “anger” vs. “compassion” charge of theological bias, and change, etc. and also John Piper’s explanation of John 7 stands as the best explanation that I have seen, without the “not yet” explanation; because it considers the whole context of the verses before and afterward. Interpreting something in context and the flow of the narrative is key. ]

    • Ken Temple says:

      Stewjo004:

      3. Higher learning and the Actual Torah and Gospel
      . . . The collection of Frankenstein books being read today in Church and the Synagogues are NOT the scriptures revealed to Moses(as) and Jesus(as).

      Me: [ Not at all, as we so many ancient copies, including the OT that goes back so far that when all is said and done, this charge of yours of “Frankenstein books” is just silly and not substantiated.]

    • Ken Temple says:

      Stewjo004 wrote:

      5. Uthman (ra) and having a standardized text
      For one Uthman(ra) didn’t kill or oppress others over their texts it was voluntary as Ahruf can sound different. There was no government crackdown this was actually EXTREMELY important as it stops variations from spreading.

      Me: (Ken Temple): [I don’t know that – (that he didn’t oppress or kill others. even if he did not, the threat is there. Fear kept them in line. after all, a group of people hacked Uthman up with swords and hackets while he was praying before an open Qur’an, etc. The violence of Muslims and killing each other is well documented. Hassan’s wife poisoned him. The Kharijites killed Ali. Muawiya and Yazeed ambushed Hossein and mauled him up. Someone killed Omar, etc. a Jewish woman poisoned Muhammad with the meat, which is documented in the Muslim sources, etc.

      The warlike and aggressive nature of Islam from the beginning, after the Hijra, (especially Surah 9, 8:39 (fitneh فتنه = “mutiny”, “rebellion”, “chaos”, “confusion”, not “trial” or “persecution” or “oppression”)and the corresponding Hadiths, “I have been commanded to fight until . . . “,

      “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”
      https://sunnah.com/muslim/1/36

      etc. “no 2 religions will be allowed in the Hijaz / Arabian peninsula, etc. Ibn Kathir’s commentary on Surah 9:28-29 – “if you fear poverty”, etc.) and the harsh punishments of Sharia law, and the basic history of the whole Muslim world being able to keep information away from the Muslim masses (until the internet and Satellite TV era and global business and “Global village” era of today, etc.)- kept everyone in check by fear. Islam thrives by fear, for centuries. Sorry, your argument holds no water at all. It does not pass the smell test.]

    • Ken Temple says:

      Finally, chains of narration have existed since Islam’s beginning dude you will see Disciples of the Prophet asking others where they got stuff from. Again it is not unreasonable for someone to LIST THEIR SOURCES. This was done even in the antiquity of the Early Christian era especially if someone like “Luke” is claiming to set up an accurate account.

      The lies of the Qur’an about the crucifixion of Jesus (Surah 4:157) and the ignorance of the author (s) / compilers of the Qu’ran about the doctrine of Trinity and many other scientific and historical errors and using fables and legends and apocryphal stories and Gnostic texts, all together, with the harshness of Islam as a whole, discredit the entire religion and your false accusations against the NT and Luke here. It is your prophet and his claims and the explanations and commentaries and chains of narration in your religion that is not credible; when one looks at all the evidence and fruit.

    • Ken Temple says:

      4. Stitching stories
      . . .

      [I don’t agree with this from what little I read on the article about Balaam. I just don’t have right now to digest it all. I don’t have time to delve into those 2 issues/articles right now. Lord willing, maybe I will look at those things later.]

  8. Ken Temple says:

    Stewjo004 –
    Going out of town for a few days. I hope to get to the other comments still in moderation later.
    Sorry I don’t have time to work on that now.

  9. mr.heathcliff says:

    test

  10. stewjo004 says:

    @ Ken

    1.Plagirism and the importance of a proper chain of narration

    Plagiarism is not a “modern concept” it is quite old and people were as mad then as they get now. Next you didn’t read what I wrote I said there were other theories I just said Mark being the first is the least damaging which is why I put that one instead of say Farris’s) You must not understand the Synoptic problem if you’re still using the “four witnesses to a car accident argument”. Witnesses describe things in their own words, they don’t alter a story to make a “theological point”. You simply retell the tale. You are going under the assumption that all of these were meant to be read together when they weren’t and it’s disingenuous to state otherwise. Again if someone is making an orderly account you list your sources for others to verify. It makes no sense to not do this when you have other accounts floating around then all you did was make another account. Let’s look at the following article about hadith chain of narration and its importance (what the story is, is irrelevant in our discussion we’re simply looking at the analysis and it’s easier to do this in pic form like they provided as opposed to writing)
    http://www.twelvershia.net/2019/04/24/hadith-al-safinah-is-not-authentic-from-shia-sources/

    Like Christians, Rafidah will clap their hands research wise and argue the “abundance” of narration makes it authentic (some in ignorance even attempt to argue “muttawatir” i.e. mass reported like how Christians do for the crucifixion or say something like “it’s such an early witness!!!”). However the reality of these chains is there is an OVERWHELMING amount of unknown people and weak narrators (i.e. his memory started to go or he embellished real tales for dramatic effect, etc) So all these chains are no good. As the article notes (edited to drop Arabic terminology):

    “It must be similarly noted that the extreme weakness in each of these chains of narration opens the possibility that they may all actually stem from one source, even though they may apparently not seem to. One cannot dispel the possibility that the tens of anonymous and unknown transmitters who all transmitted this report may have colluded with each other, or erroneously ascribed the report to multiple chains of narration.”

    And yes this has happened where tens of people got together and forged a tale to push an agenda. Not only that like Jesus’s (genealogy) there are contradictions in the chain. Because you don’t have this one cannot verify information and this is enough to doubt the report. Now compare the first claimed mutawtir report from people who have never even met. THIS is what we Muslims want to see.

    Visual
    http://twelvershia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hadith-ul-Afdaliyyah_TreeOfChains.pdf

    Text
    http://twelvershia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hadith-ul-Afdaliyyah_ListOfChains.pdf

    2. Textual variants
    What? There is a clear change due to bias. For example, Ishmael is an ass of a man or a Ishmael is a fruitful man. Either way someone altered the text. You do not mistake “anger” and “compassion”, “donkey” and “fruitful”, etc. Both cannot be right. Again this kinda stems into point one of the naivenesses of thinking people wouldn’t alter or forge things.

    3. Higher learning and the Actual Torah and Gospel
    Making claims is not evidence. None of your sources are early. Since you made a claim about the Hebrew Bible let’s see how far back your “ancient witnesses” (which means nothing in and of itself as I just showed) Moses is estimated to have lived around 14-13 BCE. For the readers what is the earliest Hebrew Bible codex and what is the earliest Hebrew Bible manuscript? (Spoiler alert TWO major breaks in transmission that equal over 1,000 years)

    4. Uthman (ra) and having a standardized text
    Besides being incorrect on pretty much the majority of what you listed (for example, not even knowing the proper names of the people involved, let alone what is authentic) this entire point (and majority of your response) is a “Fear fallacy” (and just plain immature name calling) If you would like to go this route if early Islam is the “Empire Strikes Back” then we can sum up Early Christianity and your religious ancestors as this (@ 1:00 and 5:00) (Acts 14:11-12, Acts 28:6, Acts 8:10, Acts 12:22, John 1:1)

    Now that we got that out of the way:

    A. None of these issues were due to religion and no report as such (I can’t argue with hypothetical boogeymen)
    B. Surprise! The Qiraat are actually independent of each other. For example one comes from the city of Basra’s reciters which was HUGE in political uprisings and distention, guess what it’s the same.
    C. We have manuscripts outside the Uthmanic tradition such as Arabica or the Sana’a manuscripts.
    D. We still know how to recite the other Qiraat I’ll let you hear for yourself why Uthman(ra) had to do what he did:

    This is the largest difference in sound I have personally heard:

    Hafs

    Khalaf

    Here is another one where they recite verse by verse next to each other (Hafs and Al Tousi)

    These aren’t different “versions” that were suppressed, new Muslims not being able to speak Arabic may hold or pause wrong on the sound and change meanings on an accident or someone might do a different sounding one and people not familiar with it might think the reciter is messing up what he’s saying when he’s not. These different “sounding” qiraat were mainly for the benefit of different Arab tribes (as a sound might be easier on their tongue) since this doesn’t apply to new Muslims (since they don’t speak Arabic to begin with) Uthman(ra) standardized Quraysh as it was the first one revealed.
    https://islamqa.info/en/answers/5142/the-revelation-of-the-quraan-in-seven-styles-ahruf-sing-harf

    This is why people who attempt to criticize this have no idea what they’re talking about. These recitation styles existed during the time of Prophet(saw). They didn’t just pop out of nowhere one day. Basically, all Uthman(ra) did was just use this one to make it easier for non Arabs.

    5. Centralized Religious Authority
    You always want a centralized religious authority a good example of why from Christian history is someone like Marcion. He just comes and says: “Oh yeah I have the real NT!” and NOBODY could refute him (apparently he was going to be the bishop of Rome AND a student of Paul) The fact that this dude was controversial shows a lack of religious authority and knowledge. Finally, the ONLY reason they even became a mainstream religion and “orthodox” prevailed is that Constantine (i.e. the government) became a trinitarian and thus crushed the other sects and propagated the Trinity and the rest of your doctrines. Again you guy did the EXACT same thing we did, we just did it earlier and by people who learned directly from the Prophet(saw).

    6. Relevance
    I just realized while typing this response, what do ANY of these tangents have to do with my article you claimed to have refuted?

    • Ken Temple says:

      Stewjo004 –
      The main issue for me right now is time. Sorry I don’t have time right now to do all that research on on those links and videos and continue to interact. Life and work and family, etc.
      But also the guy who I think is “CP” or a disciple of his, is not acting like a Christian and destroyed dialogue at “bloggingtheology2”. But Faiz / QB also is just like him. You are more reasonable but the whole atmosphere got destroyed there recently.

  11. Ken Temple says:

    Hey Stewjo004,
    You put so much information that it will take me a long time to even work through it all, read all the links; listen to videos, etc.
    I don’t have time for all of that right now. I respond to things that I already know about.

    Regarding your first point:
    I do understand the Synoptic Gospel problem and priority of Mark and literary dependence vs. independence. I have read whole books on the issue. (the 4 or 5 and others that I gave you)
    All four gospels are God-breathed and that is it. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

    Talk about Plagiarism –
    I believe the Qur’an is a human book, 600 years late; contradictory to the previous Scriptures, therefore cannot be true; one man’s claim, or compiled by one or more others after Muhammad died. (or even by Uthman with additions or subtractions, etc.) He or they plagiarized from legends, Jewish Midrash, heretical gospels and heretical Gnostic gospels; he/ they did not give the sources. It is obvious he is just hearing things, is not educated (formally), and did not know the previous Scriptures, even though he or they (the Qur’an) fully affirmed the previous Scriptures.

    It is obvious to me the fruit of Islam is violence and unjust warfare (and the unjust conquering of Byzantine and Persia, etc.) that comes from the spirit of war and force that also produced reactions and counter reactions of the Khauijites (whatever the spelling is in English – I know the word, we have it, or derivatives of the word, in Farsi also, as it comes from the Arabic for “outside”, the killing of Ali, Hossein, Omar, Uthman, the poisoning of Hassan’s wife, and the Jewish lady the poisoned Muhammad’s meat.

  12. Ken Temple says:

    It is obvious he/they (Qur’an, Mohammad, authors, compilers) is just hearing things, is not educated (formally), and did not know the previous Scriptures, even though he or they (the Qur’an) fully affirmed the previous Scriptures.

    It is actually he/they who did what Surah 2:75 and 2:78-79 describes.

    • stewjo004 says:

      Got it you’re ignoring all evidence that refutes your unsubstantiated claims and will keep on repeating them for people who don’t know any better. That explains the comment moderation I guess.

      If you don’t know about the topi then why are you even commenting in the first place? But alrighty if you make an actual refutation to my article instead of cherry-picking and twisting it to say something I did not I’ll respond in kind. Later.

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