Category Archives: Rebuttals

Sam Shamoun Says Paul of Tarsus Preached in Mosques

Maybe it’s due to the lack of sleep since being condemned by a significant portion of the Christian community for attacking Dr. White, or perhaps it’s from the stress of changing core Christian beliefs when it comes to atonement. Needless to say, Sam has a vivid imagination, one can see it in his colourful use of insults and innate pervisity. Today however, we have quite the comment by our friend Sam:

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He says, “I am all for White going to mosques and preaching the Gospel like Paul did.” The question begs itself, when did Paul ever enter a Mosque?

What should be noted though, is that perhaps Sam may refer to the conjunctive term in the sentence and claim it refers to two distinct subjects, yet he denies this when it comes to the Shahadah mentioning two subjects (God and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). He claims the conjunctive term equates the two subjects (he claims the Prophet is  God). So either it is that Sam believes that Paul of Tarsus preached in Mosques, or he accepts that his interpretation of the testimony of faith in Islam (Shahadah) is faulty due to his poor grammatical and comprehension skills.

and God knows best.

Dr. James White Rebukes Sam Shamoun

On the 1st of February 2017, Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries responded to Sam Shamoun’s incessant attacking of him, dating back to March of 2016. Following months of insults, mockery, and taunting by Sam, Dr. White finally responded to him given the fallout after his dialogues with Dr. Yasir Qadhi. As a consequence of the dialogues, Sam Shamoun led a campaign, asking his social media followers to stop Dr. White’s ministry, which included calling event halls, Churches and conferences to request that they cancel his appearances.

In March of 2016, Sam Shamoun began to openly insult and mock Dr. White for associating and debating Br. Yusuf Ismail of South Africa. In November and December of 2016, following Dr. White’s dismissal of Robert Morey’s call to “destroy Islam” by “destroying the Kabah” in Makkah, Sam Shamoun became increasingly infuriated with Dr. White. Finally, in January of 2017, following Dr. White’s dialogue with Dr. Qadhi in a Church, Sam Shamoun openly endorsed statements referring to Dr. White as an apostate:

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Comment on Sam’s Facebook Page referring to Dr. White as an apostate.

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Sam Shamoun “liked” the comment.

The below video is the summarized version of the 2 hour long Dividing Line episode which aired on the 1st of February, 2017. In this episode, Dr. White responded to Sam’s claims as posted on social media, while also commenting on Sam’s behaviour, trustworthiness (or lack thereof) and anger issues. As acknowledged, Sam cannot control his temper, has anger issues, is openly vitriolic and abusive, and is also referred to as a bully. The summarized version as presented below, includes 40 minutes of Dr. White directly addressing Sam Shamoun:

An earlier Missionary Mishap post covered a timeline of events leading up to the Dividing Line program. We have also produced two short videos based on statements made from the Dividing Line program, one where Dr. White states that Sam views himself as a “Prophet“, as well as another video where Sam’s uncontrolled temper, anger and foulmouthed behaviours are addressed.

and God knows best.

 

Cairo Church Bombing in Perspective

Indeed, it is a tragedy whenever lives are lost. We all grieve when the lives of the innocent are taken. Unfortunately, there are people among us who thrive off of the deaths of others, who use the blood of the innocent as a means for their political, theological and financial motives. The loss of life in Cairo to a Church bombing is awful, as is the loss of life in Istanbul from the twin bombings in that city. Yet, we must keep perspective. Inasmuch as some people enjoy and thrive off of a persecution complex, the world of Christianity had a greater disaster with many more lives lost this week. However, those lives did not matter. The deaths of some Christians matter more than the deaths of others. In Nigeria, a Church collapsed killing as much as 160 people. Yet, since it was not a bomb, and because no Muslims were involved, the deaths of 160 Christians did not matter.

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160 or more Nigerian Christians are Dead from Church Collapse

Acts17/ David Wood? Silent about Nigeria, but loud about Cairo.

Answering Muslims’ Tony Costa? Silent about Nigeria.

McLatchie? Silent about Nigeria.

Nabeel Qureishi? Silent about Nigeria. Why the silence?

Do they only care about Christians if they’re not African? Do they care only if a Muslim is involved? They can’t get donation money or fame out of truly caring about their Christian brethren. Then again, they probably have short memories and while quick to put the blame of the Cairo bombing on Muslims and Islam (without evidence), a little bit of history goes a long way:

Egypt’s general prosecutor on Monday opened probe on former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly’s reported role in the New Year’s Eve bombing of al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria in which 24 people were killed, an Egyptian lawyer told Al Arabiya.

Laywer Ramzi Mamdouh said he had presented a proclamation to Egyptian prosecutor Abd al-Majid Mahmud to investigate news media reports suggesting that the former interior ministry had masterminded the deadly church attack with the intent to blame it on Islamists, escalate government crackdown on them, and gain increased western support for the regime.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to care about Nigerian Christians, why should we expect them to care about anything other than themselves?

and God knows best.

The Rise of Modern Christian Extremism

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The following are quotes from Christian author and journalist, Chris Hedges’ book “Wages of Rebellion”:

The breakdown of American society will trigger a popular backlash, which we glimpsed in the Occupy movement, but it will also energize the traditional armed vigilante groups that embrace a version of American fascism that fuses Christian and national symbols.

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Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the US House of Representatives, was shot in the head in January 2011 as she held a meeting in a supermarket parking lot in Arizona. Eighteen other people were wounded. Six of them died. Sarah Palin’s political action committee had previously targeted Giffords and other Democrats with crosshairs on an electoral map. When someone like Palin posts a map with crosshairs, saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” there are desperate, enraged people with weapons who act. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who believe it. When a Republican lawmaker shouts “Baby killer!” at Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, there are violent extremists who see the mission of saving the unborn as a sacred duty. They have little left to lose.

The kind of extremism that Hedges refers to, can be seen in the vitriol of Christian extremists such as Robert Spencer and Jonathan McLatchie. The next quote more accurately refers to these two missionaries:

Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans.

More specifically, their self-delusion in referring to groups they dislike, as in the case of Jonathan McLatchie referring to Muslims as a cancer in European civilization speaks to their extremism. Hedges further says:

The ethnic groups, worshiping their own mythic virtues and courage and wallowing in historical examples of their own victimhood, vomited up demagogues and murderers such as Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. To restore this mythological past they sought to remove, through exclusion and finally violence, competing ethnicities. The embrace of non-reality-based belief systems made communication among ethnic groups impossible. They no longer spoke the same cultural or historical language. They believed in their private fantasy. And because they believed in fantasy, they had no common historical narrative built around verifiable truth and no way finally to communicate with anyone who did not share their self-delusion.

In conclusion about these extremists, he says:

Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. Attacks on their myths as untrue trigger not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash.

That last quote reminds me solely of Sam Shamoun. Rather than engage in intellectual dialogue, he copy pastes articles, and insults those he disagrees with. Thus, the rise of Christian fascism, and its role in spreading hatred and violence towards Muslims is a growing pattern among polemicists such as Robert Spencer, David Wood, Sam Shamoun and now recently Jonathan McLatchie. The result of this hate can only be expressed as follows:

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and God knows best.

Second Response to Dr. James White on John 9:38 and John 20:28

Apologies – I thought I had already posted this video to the site since it got more views than the original video that brought about the discussion in the first place! A few people duly pointed out that the second response hadn’t yet made its way to the main website and already had 4x the views of the original video. 10 days late, but here it is:

There are some interesting comments that came about due to this discussion which I’ll have to write about later on, but at the end of it all, this was a healthy discussion about New Testament Textual Criticism between a Muslim and a Christian. Not many people can fully appreciate how in-depth the discussion got, but it’s a start.

and Allah knows best.

Between Ehrman and Error

Recently on Blogging Theology I posted a video on the tenacity of the proposed ausgangstext which filled the lacuna of John 20:28. The vast majority of Muslims (expectedly) were enthusiastic about discussing the tenacity of Doubting Thomas’ alleged statement. The vast majority of Christians were not, which was also understandable. Then there were those caught in-between, educated enough to know that there had to be, or that there was more evidence behind what I had published, and there were others who were incredulous as to what that evidence could have been. Upon release of my second response video, I took a little more time, some 20 minutes and expanded on the rationale leading to the conclusions I mentioned in my first video on the topic.

Everyone knows about Dr. Ehrman’s famous statement, “copies of copies of copies of copies”. Yet the only two arguments I received in return were quite amusing. The first of which was that some people were curious as to whether Dr. Ehrman had commented on this passage or not. For some reason I have yet to discover, some Muslims’ hold on simple textual criticism of the New Testament is limited to only what Dr. Ehrman says, yet at the same time they are fully willing to simultaneously argue against his famous aforementioned quote. I duly provided a list of scholarship that not only knew of the work I gained the reference from John 20:28 on, I also provided the name of a seminary which uses the work itself, while also foregoing to mention that the scholar in question has been cited by Dr. Ehrman himself – one of the Muslims who opposed me in those comments had perhaps not yet read Dr. Ehrman’s references to this scholar (and his conclusions).

Nonetheless, the second argument I received was that no other variant of John 20:28 existed post p66, although I did point out that this was the case in Codex Bezae, as minor of a variant as it is, the challenge that not one variant exists has thoroughly been debunked (for those unread, the manuscript was eventually edited by a scribe).

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Following from this ignorant argument, was the case that since we know what every text post p66 said, then we must know what p66 itself said. This again, coming from those who agree with Dr. Ehrman’s aforementioned statement. We are therefore left with the following problem. Hence the title, Between Ehrman and Error. We have the following from the gracious Dr. Ehrman (emphasis mine own):

My point has always been (for example, in Misquoting Jesus) that we can’t know with absolute complete certainty what was said in each and every passage of the NT. That point – which I think cannot be refuted – is principally directed against fundamentalists who want to claim that every word of the Bible is inspired by God. How can we say the words were inspired if we don’t know in a lot of cases what the words were???Source.

I don’t think there’s an easy answer to these questions.  But they shouldn’t be ignored, as they ALWAYS are (in my experience) by people who want to assure us that we “know the original text in 99% of all cases.”   Really?   Which original?

If it were just up to me, I would say that the “original” is the first form of the text that was placed in circulation.  But since that in fact is not the oldest form of the text, maybe we shouldn’t call it the original. – Source.

One very interesting piece of evidence for this view involves a fact that is not widely known outside the ranks of the professional textual critics.  It is this:  new papyri manuscripts – relatively very old ones – do show up all the time (several in the past few years).  Whenever a new papyrus turns up, it almost NEVER contains a textual variant that is completely new.  The variants are almost always variants that we know about from our later manuscripts.  This shows, the argument goes, that variants were not created later.  Our later manuscripts preserved variants, they didn’t create them.  And this shows, it is argued, that all of the earlier variants are to be found even in the later manuscripts.

This is a terrific argument, and very interesting.  On the surface, it seems pretty convincing.  But in fact, in my view, it does not actually show that we have the original reading or that we can know that we do.  I will explain why in the next post. – Source.

I don’t think our New Testaments are likely ever to change much.  And I don’t think we know in a lot of places what the originals said.  Where’s the contradiction?  I’m not saying that we *know* that we have the original text in 99.9% of the passages of the NT.  I’m saying we *don’t* know – for a wide variety of reasons that I haven’t gotten into very much here.   But I’m emphasizing the word “know.”  We simply don’t know.

Do I *suspect* that most of the time we are pretty close or even there?  Yes, that would be my guess.  But it’s just a guess based on scholarly assumption and suspicion. – Source.

During those 300 years, Mark was being copied, and recopied, and recopied, by scribes.  Until we get our first full copy.  Can we know that this copy from 300 years later was 99% like the version that came directly from the pen of the author?  Of course we can’t know.  How would we know?Source.

Between Ehrman and Error. It’s really as simple as that. Dr. Ehrman used the word “guess”, I used the word “guesswork”. Dr. Ehrman used the word “suspicion”, I used the word “speculation”. Dr. Ehrman repeatedly points out that we cannot know what the original text said. He repeatedly points out that most variant units are decided on guesses and suspicion. So the question begs itself, how far are the conclusions in my video, different from that of Dr. Ehrman’s himself?

The problem presents itself, as he described regarding Mark, we don’t know what version of what copy we received. Given that basic, common sense principle, extend that to John 20:28, given that p66 is our earliest and we have no intermediate text (that is, the text between what the original author(s) wrote and the text of p66 itself), and that it has a lacuna or gap for the famous, “and my God” – then there is no way of certainty of knowing what p66 itself said or what the intermediate text(s) said, what the archetypal text said, or what the autographic text said. To require that we must need a variant before being able to dispute what a missing text says, is essentially self-refuting, the gap itself presents us with a problem, we don’t know what it said and we don’t know if any of the intermediate texts said something variable. We simply cannot know, just as Dr. Ehrman says.

So between Ehrman and Error, I agree with him, we cannot know, it involves guessing and suspicion. Those who disagree, disagree with the very goodly Dr. they appealed to in the first place and are as such, in error.

and Allah knows best.

Ijaz Responds to James White’s Video on Textual Criticism

Here is my response to Dr. White’s criticism of my video on the unreliability of the Bible. Of note are incorrect claims made on his part, conflating my statement of lacunae with his misrepresenting that statement as a ‘textual variant’ for over 40 minutes. Also his facetious and incredulous disregard for the science of higher criticism which he labeled as ‘mind reading’, along with citing or basing his arguments on misdatings of both p52 and p66.

There were a lot more errors on his end, and there was not a single rebuttal to the claims I presented and I was extremely disappointed to see negative comments about my character throughout his video despite both at the beginning and at the end of his video he said that this behaviour should not be condoned.

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