Tag Archives: Mark

Is Part of the New Testament Lost?

Most believers in the tenacity of the New Testament would tell you the answer is absolutely “no”, but there is reason to disagree once one takes a look at the manuscript evidence. Today we’ll be taking a look at Mark 16, but not in the way you’re usually accustomed. As a quick recap, Mark 16 in the earliest Greek manuscripts, ends presumably at verse 8. Later manuscripts in Latin extend the ending up to verse 20. Let’s take a quick look at what these look like in the English language:

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Trans.: NIV, verse 8).

and…

9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Trans.: NIV, verses 9-20).

Both codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) date from the 4th century CE, roughly 300 years after Jesus (peace be upon him) walked the earth. They both end at verse 8. However, verses 9-20 can be found in codices Alexandrinus (A, 5th century CE), Ephraemi-Rescriptus (C, 5th century CE), Bezae (D, 6th century CE) and Washingtonianus (W, 5th century CE). You may be familiar with the claim of a longer ending, but there are actually five endings. In one of those five endings there is the case where the women then proceed from the tomb to a group of people who were with the disciple Peter. This ending can be found more notably in the Latin Codex Bobbiensis from the 5th century CE.

There is also another version where an addition is at Mark 16:14 which can be found in Codex Washingtonianus (circa 5th century CE) where it speaks of a more apocalyptic ending. In this ending Satan rules the world and the manuscript quite oddly says that due to Satan, God cannot rule the world…:

“This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits.”

The text in Koine Greek reads as follows:

οτι ο αιων ουτος της ανομιαϛ και της απιστιας υπο τον σαταναν εστιν ο μη εων τα υπο των πνευματων ακαθαρτα την αληθειαν του θεου καταλαβεσθαι δυναμιν

Moving on, the Nestle-Aland 28 Greek New Testament (the Greek text used for most of today’s modern translations) renders verse 8 as follows:

Καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ

It uses codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus as the basis for the above Greek version. Do note that the sentence ends with the word “gar” (γάρ), I’ll explain more on the significance of that word shortly. So what do the manuscripts read? We are looking at the ending of verse 8. Codex Sinaiticus reads as follows (here’s the link to view page online):

cc-2018-media-garSinaiticus

Folio 228 of Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Sinaiticus ends verse (and by extension the Gospel of Mark) 8 with the word “gar” (γάρ – do note the text is written in majuscule not minuscule Koine Greek so while the words appear to be different, they’re exactly the same). In majuscule Greek as we find in Codex Sinaiticus we will see γάρ written as ΓΑΡ. Codex Vaticanus reads as follows (here’s the link to view the page online):

cc-2018-media-garVaticanus

Folio 1303 of Codex Vaticanus

Verse 8 once again ends with the word ΓΑΡ (“gar”), and by extension the Gospel of Mark ends with this word. So what is the significance of the word “ΓΑΡ” (gar)? The word “ΓΑΡ” (gar) is a conjunctive. A conjunction is a word that combines two clauses, phrases or sentences. HELPS Word-studies states on the use of the word:

1063 gár (a conjunction) – for. While “for” is usually the best translation of 1063 (gár), its sense is shaped by the preceding statement – the “A” statement which precedes the 1063 (gár) statement in the “A-B” unit.

Do note, the Strong’s number for this word is 1063 and can be read here. In other words, ΓΑΡ (“gar”) is a word that combines two phrases, for example in the English we can understand it to operate like the word “and” or like the terms “because”, “therefore”, “due to”, “hence”, “henceforth”, etc. This means that the verse is essentially incomplete if it ends with a conjunction. Normally in a sentence when you read the word “because”, you expect something to be written afterwards.

  • they were afraid because…what?
  • they were afraid therefore…what?
  • they were afraid due to…what?
  • they were afraid hence..what?

When you end a sentence abruptly with any of the terms above, you necessarily expect a word or phrase to follow. Grammatically this is known as an anacoluthon (see the definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary):

syntactical inconsistency or incoherence within a sentence; especially : a shift in an unfinished sentence from one syntactic construction to another

In other words, verse 8 is an unfinished sentence. This explains why there were additional endings that were later developed and added to the text, because the way the verse ends is incorrect and suggests that something is missing. This ultimately brings us to our question, if the verse is grammatically incorrect and unfinished, it possibly means that something followed from the word ΓΑΡ (“gar”) and is now no longer evidenced by the earliest surviving Greek manuscripts some 300 years after Jesus (peace be upon him) walked the earth. One may argue apologetically that perhaps the verse was phrased this way for rhetorical effect. That is possible but unlikely due to the authors of Mark never having done this previously in the entire gospel. In fact, I’m not aware of any other instance in the New Testament where ΓΑΡ (“gar”) is used to end a sentence where nothing follows after it. Such an argument is also implausible because it is clearly grammatically incorrect to the point we have multiple endings having been added to it thus showing that readers correctly noted an error has been made.

In the English language, if someone wrote:

There was a boy with a cat. The cat was afraid because…

The cat was afraid because what? The sentence does not continue and so we don’t know. Therefore in either English or Greek, there is a mistake here and so we must ask what did the sentence originally contain and what words did it end with? Were there just a few words more, or many sentences after? How much have we lost? We cannot clearly determine the amount that is lost to us. It is then clear that the last words of the Gospel attributed to Mark are lost to us and therefore a portion of the New Testament is lost to us. Ipso facto, the theological beliefs of tenacity and the preservation of the New Testament are proven to be false.

and God knows best.


Author’s Post Publication Note:

In this article I assumed the A-B unit as the structure of the verse, however given that Mark 16:8 contains two sentences, the first sentence contains this A-B structure (emphasis mine own, taken from the NA 28 GNT online):

Καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν·

In this first sentence of Mark 16:8, we see this A-B formula in work. In the very next sentence, we do not see it at work:

ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

While this is a correct sentence in and of itself, if we only and absolutely take this sentence into isolation, it would be grammatically correct (there is disagreement on this and it is discussed below). However, when we take it into the context of the author’s normal usage of the term ΓΑΡ (“gar”) within this very verse, then it would break the pattern and thus establish itself as being against the norm and therefore in error.

Furthermore, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon (scroll down) argues for a succeeding repetition [with the word ΓΑΡ (“gar”)] as the norm (emphasis mine own):

When in successive statements γάρ is repeated twice or thrice, or even four or five times, either a. one and the same thought is confirmed by as many arguments, each having its own force, as there are repetitions of the particle…

There is no argument for the second sentence of the verse, therefore it also breaks this norm. There is one more alternative (emphasis mine own):

b. every succeeding statement contains the reason for its immediate predecessor, so that the statements are subordinate one to another: Mark 6:52…

Again, there is no reason explaining the fear, thus breaking the norm again. Regardless of the apologetic arguments to defend the incompleteness of Mark 16:8, there is no sufficient argument to plainly excuse the break in grammatical norms for this specific verse, though I want to thank at least one individual with knowledge of Greek for trying.

Further Reading

As mentioned above, the same individual raised the point of “ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ” being a complete sentence and has argued it is perfectly reasonable to end a sentence with such a word. Though I did not argue the point that “ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ” was the start of a new sentence (as incorrectly stated by the person), they also argued that no Greek scholar would agree with my conclusions. It should be noted though that I am not the person that has made these conclusions. One noted scholar of Greek and the New Testament, Robert Gundry states in his book Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross on page 1009 that verse 8 in the autograph of the Gospel attributed to Mark was not a conclusion but the beginning of a new unit, “the rest of which is now lost.” He also clarifies that while there is at least one possible example for the word “γάρ” in ending a book, which is possibly the case in the thirty second treatise of Plotinus as edited by Porphyry (though many others disagree), it is rather the exception to the norm and he conclusively states that no other book ends with the word “γάρ”. It should also be noted that New Testament scholar N. Clayton Croy in his work, “The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel”, also argues that the ending of Mark is incomplete at verse 8 and he also argues that this is in part due to the presence of “γάρ” which he notes is extremely rare and thus unlikely the author of Mark intended to end the Gospel with such a word.

As for the use of “ἐφοβοῦντο”, Collins and Attridge in their work, “Mark: A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark”, on page 799 states:

Some opponents of the thesis that v. 8* is the original conclusion of the Gospel have argued that the verb “they were afraid” (ἐφοβοῦντο) is incomplete as it stands and must have been followed originally by an object, an infinitive, or a clause introduced with the conjunction μή (“that … [not]” or “lest”). Apart from 16:8*, the verb “to be afraid” (φοβεῖσθαι) occurs eleven times in Mark. It is used with a personal object four times (6:20*; 11:18*, 32*; 12:12*). Once it is used in the phrase ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν (“they were very fearful”; lit. “they feared a great fear”) (4:41*). On one occasion it is used with the infinitive: “they were afraid to ask him” (ἐφοβοῦντο αὐτὸν ἐπερωτῆσαι) (9:32*). This verb is never used with the conjunction μή (“that … [not]” or “lest”) in Mark. It is used five times absolutely, as in 16:8*.

Post Publication Note dated 29.08.18, with a note for Further Reading on 06.09.18.

1st Century Markan Fragment?

In 2012, during a debate with Dr. Bart Ehrman, Dr. Daniel Wallace proclaimed that there had been a discovery of a 1st century fragment of the Gospel attributed to Mark. Textual critics have been waiting for over 5 years to finally see a 1st century manuscript only to receive some bad news today. As covered on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, if the fragment published about in the The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Vol. LXXXIII, is the one Daniel Wallace claimed was from the 1st century (and this looks increasingly likely) then it should at least be known now that it actually dates from the late second to early third centuries CE:

markdating

The absolute silence from Wallace, Habermas, Evans and others who promoted a 1st century dating is palpable, they all seem to have gone silent with this recent news. Hopefully more information can be made available soon. Thanks to Peter Gurry for the scan of the journal’s page on the dating of the fragment.

and God knows best.

Textual Criticism Versus Evangelical Beliefs

There has been a trend of late where evangelical apologists are trying to normalize the cc-2018-sitenews-clashingheadsuse of textual criticism in their understanding of the New Testament. This however, leaves them in an untenable position trying to balance the divergence of textual critical axioms, arguments and evidences with those of their normative faith. This can be seen with apologists such as Dr. White, Dr. Licona and Dr. Wallace. All three are studying or have studied textual criticism to some degree and there stands a myriad of obvious issues that need be sorted out.

Consider the case of the nature of revelation itself. On a recent Dividing Line program Dr. White along with Dr. Brown chose to argue that the Greek Septuagint was stronger in its wording than the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls were when it came to prophecies about Jesus (John Calvin notably argued the same for Paul’s use of the Septuagint and its associated divergences). The obvious issue here is that according to their own classical beliefs, the Old Testament was not revealed (and written) in Greek. Surely then, according to the confessions, it is traditionally understood that inerrancy primarily refers to the autographs. In other words, God chose the men who wrote the “books” of the Old Testament in a specific language. God chose men, again, according to their beliefs to word scripture to the best degree of accuracy and understanding possible. How is it then possible that a translation by unknown people can represent scripture better than the people that God chose to represent His teachings for Him? That does not make sense. Yet this is the position they now hold to, a position that is absolutely advantageous for Muslims doing da’wah.

Then there is the other argument of the Old Testament (as per the program responded to here), that it descended to us in various streams and that different scribes (as well as copyists) chose one variant over another because they completed the exposition of a verse better, as Dr. White referred to it, “sermonic expansion”. So there was addition to the text, addition not by the initial authors whom God chose, yet somehow this is not corruption. Odd reasoning here. Clearly cognitive dissonance at work. What then do we make of the claim that there were different streams? Yes, we agree, but did God intend to give authority to each stream? If that was the case then the later Masoretic Text would have authorial primacy and importance, rather than a translation in the form of the Septuagint that came before it, if we were to consider it with respect to chronology. Yet we find most Christian apologists referring and giving importance to the Septuagint while wholly ignoring the Latin and Samaritan texts, are those too not viable streams? Who then, gave the scribes authority to choose from those streams? Those anonymous and unknowable scribes? Again, problems arise.

What then do we make of the claim that there existed actual men within the first century by the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who would be considered the initial authors? Isn’t it the case in New Testament Textual Criticism through stemmatics and philology that each Gospel is a composite work, the result of more than one author in various periods throughout history? How then can Matthew be one man and yet many, not existing at one time, but many simultaneously? Yes, I do recognize such thinking to be absurd, which is why I find it almost impossible to take anyone seriously who argues for a singular, inspired authorship, yet still accepts – at the same time – that there were multiple authors to one text as is the standard position. Yes, you are right in asking that no right thinking evangelical would accept composite authorship, yet today in the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, the standard critical text that the aforementioned men believe in, contains conjectural emendations. These are instances where the textual critic has decided that their version of a passage best represents the original without any manuscript evidence for their version ever having existed. Surely, today’s evangelicals don’t hold to the position that the folks on the Nestle-Aland committee are inspired by God, so wouldn’t that then confirm they accept the words of multiple people for one Gospel, rather than one individual from the 1st century? It does, yet again we arrive at a problem.

So while I am happy that today’s Christian apologists are becoming more liberal towards the New Testament and affirming the Qur’an’s claims about their attitude to Scripture, I also mourn for the aloofness that abounds otherwise.

and God knows best.

Refutation: Missing the Mark: Unveiling Mark’s High Christology of Divine “Inclusion”

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Introduction

On this day has probably dawned the end of Anthony Roger’s apologetics career. I’ve read a vast majority of his “articles”, been privy to a debate with him, but I was completely flabbergasted to read his latest article on the Answering Islam website. Whether it is or not this was something hastily written in fifteen minutes or an early April fools joke, I’m still not quite sure, but whoever is managing quality control at that “website”, seriously needs to be reprimanded for allowing this to slip through the cracks. Essentially Anthony’s article boils down to:

  1. Mark’s Gospel uses the term ‘son of God’.
  2. As a Christian we believe in a literal ‘son of God’.
  3. If Mark uses this term, it must refer to the ‘son’ I believe in.

This argument can be simplified to realise its absurdity:

  1. The Old Testament in English uses the term, ‘God’.
  2. As a theist, I believe in God.
  3. Since the Old Testament uses the term God, it must refer to the ‘God’, I believe in.

If you don’t believe this was Anthony’s argument, he even explicitly states this at the beginning of his article, I quote:

“The following article seeks to show a stunning way by which Mark identifies Jesus as the divine Son of God and heir of all things.”

That ‘stunning’ way, is simply Mark using the term, ‘Son of God‘. In Anthony’s case, he tries to redefine ‘Son of God’ to be ‘Divine son of God’, unfortunately for him, the verbatim term, ‘Divine son of God‘, is nowhere to be found in the Markan gospel, or for that matter, anywhere in the Greco-Roman New Testament. He essentially begins his article by being deceitful, not that I expected any better of him.

The Son of God

He begins by conceding to the fact that many do not consider the Markan Gospel to contain a high Christology:

It is commonplace to hear that Mark’s Gospel does not embody a high Christology, and this in spite of the fact that the thesis statement at the incipit of the book, one that is explicated in the course of the narrative, boldly declares that Jesus is the Son of God.

He goes on to reference the following verses: Mark 1:1, 3:11, 5:7, 15:39, 13:32, 14:61, 1:11, 9:7. You might wonder why Anthony did not quote the verses he referenced, well that’s mostly because what he implies by referencing and then what they actually state are two fundamentally different things. For example, Anthony says:

The meaning of this title is unpacked in the ensuing narrative which makes it quite clear that Jesus is God’s Son in a unique and exclusive sense (1:11, 9:7).

Those two verses read:

  • A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”
  • Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Which turns out, isn’t that unique, David who is also called God’s son (Psalms 2:7) is said to be the heart of God:

  • And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. – Acts 13:22
  • But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart. – 1 Samuel 13:14

Also speaking in reference to David, the God of the Bible also says:

  • But I will never stop showing him my love as I did to Saul, whom I took out of your way. – 2 Samuel 7:15.

At this point, I’m not quite sure as to what Anthony’s definition of unique is, but that poorly written argument seems to have backfired from the moment he wrote it. Anthony then continues to show the ‘divinity of Christ’ by using one of the most absurd evidences known to reason, and I quote:

one that sets Him quite apart from angels and men (13:32)

What does Mark 13:32 actually state? It says, “No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.” Now this is a problem, if God is all knowing and Jesus is supposed to be a divine son of God, then Jesus is expected to have the same attribute of being all knowing as God. Since Jesus is not all knowing, this verse actually proves that Jesus is not a divine being.

  • If God is all knowing and God increases in knowledge, then it would mean that before God gained this knowledge He was not all knowing. Such a being cannot be God, as God is not ignorant.
  • If God is all knowing and decreases in knowledge (as is the case of Christ in Mark 13:32), then since God is ignorant, He cannot be considered to be ‘All Knowing’.

Anthony’s case for the divinity of Christ takes a further step back in his following argument, I quote:

“As the unique Son of God Jesus is to be obeyed (9:7)”

We referenced 9:7 earlier which read:

  • Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Apparently if God tells you to obey someone, then that person becomes a divine being, which is a problem, as God in the Old Testament did command his followers to obey many others:

  • A scepter will never depart from Judah nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes and the people obey him. – Genesis 49:10.
  • Give him some of your authority so that the whole community of Israel will obey him. – Numbers 27:20.
  • Does this then mean that Shiloh and Joshua are both divine beings, since God has commanded the people to obey them? If not, what’s the reason Mr. Rogers?

The rest of the verses follow the same pattern, he cites a verse, makes an overtly generalized statement and then when actually read the verses themselves do not seem in the least to portray what he’s trying to imply. I honestly believe that this was a last minute article, given the number of errors, contradictions and mistakes he’s made thus far it is almost impossible to believe that any actual study and research went into its writing.

The Son-Inclusio

After referencing the following two sets of passages of Mark 1:9-11 and Mark 15:33-41, Anthony makes the argument:

That these two passages strategically located at the beginning and end of Christ’s ministry form an inclusio is discernable from several notable factors.

Essentially, an inclusio takes the form (this is an analogy of the form of an inclusio, using Anthony as our main character):

  • Start of Story: Anthony likes kittens.
  • Body of Story: Anthony likes to act, his role model is Alexis Arquette.
  • End of Story: Anthony likes kittens.

Taking a page from Anthony’s book, it must be a very amazing miracle that Anthony liking kittens is at the beginning and end of his biography. As we now return to reality, I still do not understand, or grasp how Mark’s statement that Jesus is a Son of God at the beginning and end of a book about Jesus, is a miracle. Anthony definitely seems to think it’s a miracle and he gives 8 reasons why. Therefore I’m going to summarize his 8 reasons:

  1. Both passages call Jesus a son of God.

    Well that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? This is a title reserved for many persons by God throughout the Old and New Testaments, Adam was a Son of God (Luke 3:8), God has sons and daughters (Genesis 6:2), Israel is God’s son (Exodus 4:22), David is God’s son (Psalms 2:7), Christians are the sons of God (Romans 8:14), etc. There is nothing special or unique about being referred to as the son of God and the mere fact that this title is used to describe Jesus throughout the Gospel of Mark, (including the center, not just the beginning and the end), is an awful attempt and wishful thinking by Anthony Rogers.

  2. Similar language of being baptised and having life poured out of Him.

    I’m still trying to see whether Anthony was attempting to make a poorly worded joke here or not. His reasoning works a little something like this:

    * Baptising has to do with water.
    * Water is something you pour.
    * Jesus’ life was poured out of him.
    * MIRACLE!

    Again, I am not sure this article or his reasoning was an attempt to be funny, but if indeed this is what Anthony considers a miracle and proves the divinity of Christ, then I am most certain this is as desperate as you can get.

  3. Both passages reference Elijah.

    I most certainly retract my previous declaration, this is the most ridiculous reasoning a man can make. Why would being referenced to another Prophet make Jesus a divine being? He’s being compared to a Prophet, the only way Anthony can possibly use this as an excuse to link Jesus being a divine being, with Elijah being mentioned, is if Elijah is also considered to be a deity.

  4. One passage refers to the spirit, the other uses the term ‘Jesus breathed out’.

    You would like to think at this point I was joking, however I’m not, again Anthony’s immature reasoning is really beginning to shine:

    * Spirit is a Greek word for breath.
    * Jesus breathed.
    * Jesus is God because he breathed!

    I wish I was making this reasoning up, but I’m going to quote him on this one:

    “Both passages speak or allude to the Spirit: in the former passage the reference to the Spirit is explicit; in the latter it is implicit in the word “breathed” or “expired,” ἐξέπνευσεν,exepneusen, which is a cognate word in Greek for “spirit,” πνεῦμα, pneuma.” *

  5. God speaks in the beginning of the book of Mark and at the end of Mark, Jesus speaks. Since God is speaking at the beginning of the Book and Jesus is speaking at the end, then Jesus is God. Let me quote him so no one thinks I’m making this stuff up:
    1. “Both passages speak of a voice, φωνὴν, phonen: In the former it is the voice of the Father from heaven; in the latter it is that of the Son from the cross.”

    So far this guy’s reasoning has been: Baptising has to do with water and Jesus’ life is poured out, therefore MIRACLE. Spirit is mentioned in the beginning, its Greek word means breath, Jesus breathes, therefore MIRACLE. God speaks in the beginning, Jesus has a voice, therefore MIRACLE. [I can’t stop laughing at the absurdity here!]

  6. He states and I quote, “In both passages something is said to descend: in the former it is the Spirit; in the latter it is the veil of the temple, “from top to bottom.”. Again, Anthony’s reasoning can be summed up as:

    *Spirit descends, that means he goes downwards.
    * Something was torn and wait a minute….
    * The veil was torn from top to bottom….this means…
    * The veil also descended!
    * MIRACLE!

  7. He states and I quote, “In both passages something is torn, σχιζω, skidzo: in the former passage it was the heavens; in the latter it was the veil of the temple.” Again, his reasoning can be summed up as:

    * The sky opens.
    * The veil was torn.
    * I wonder if the sky ripping open is the same word for the veil tearing, because the veil was you know, ripped in half.
    * MIRACLE! They use the same word “tear = rip”.
    * Irrefutable evidence Jesus is God!

  8. Lastly, Anthony ends his amazing comedic performance with saying: “In both passages mention is made of Jesus being or having been ministered to: the former passage refers to angels; the latter refers to Christ’s women followers.” Apparently, in Anthony’s reasoning, in a book about God where people preach to and about God, it’s a miracle that people are preaching at the beginning and end of said book. It’s like going to an action movie and being surprised that there is action at the start of the movie and at the end of the movie or it’s like reading a Harry Potter book and being surprised it involves magic at the start of the book and at the end of the book.

Conclusion

This article by Anthony has served no other purpose than to demonstrate the low level thinking involved in preaching Christianity. Not only am I ashamed for Anthony, I am ashamed that Sam Shamoun calls a man with such childish reasoning, “the greatest apologist of our time“. This article went out of the way to draw links which were far out, remotely related and was severely coated with a dressing of desperation. I’ve seen people being criticised for lack of intellectualism, perhaps even grasping for straws, but this certainly was the single most shallow use of the Bible by a Christian I have ever seen. Anthony, if you do end up reading this, please know that if this is the reasoning you employ to remain in Christianity, then I am sorry but you’re insulting yourself and God for not using the brain He gave you. I expected much better from him (who am I kidding?), but this was possibly the most degenerate, backward, irrational, pre-school, toddler reasoning I have ever witnessed from a Christian apologist. You most certainly have my pity.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and God knows best.