Tag Archives: michael brown

DEBATE: The Qurʾān or the Bible, Which is the Word of God? Dr. Michael Brown & Ust. Ijaz Ahmad

Bismillāh, Alḥamdulillāh, As-Ṣalātu was-Salāmu ʿAla Rasulullāh.

In April of 2021 I had the pleasure of debating Dr. Michael Brown (Line of Fire) on a new short form debate series for AWKING TV, a Christian streaming channel. The series, That’s Debatable was meant to cater for hot topics in short form debates with a focus on robust rapid fire segments. In total, my episode was the last to debut at #8 and generally holding to the same 25-30 minute format of the show. Br. Zakir Hussain (Muslim Debate Initiative) referred me to the show and after a quick round of emails everything was set up, including a contract which allowed me to distribute a recording of the episode after a sunset period. That clause kicked in to effect last month and it is with that in mind that I’ve released the debate video.

Notably, this is the only episode that was not advertised publicly. Neither Dr. Michael Brown, nor his team promoted this episode. Reviews and reactions have piled in swiftly since the video’s debut a number of days ago and the consensus (both in the comments and otherwise) seems to indicate that the Muslim side presented itself quite brilliantly. It should go without saying that everyone believes they perform better at their own debates, after all, why do this if one weren’t confident in their own ability for the sake of God? Farid Responds has done a fantastic reaction and review of the debate. Personally, I enjoyed the fiery style of this debate and while short, I did not find time to be an issue. I tried my best to respond with references and data which evidenced my claims and with the assistance of EFDawah and Br. Erfan al Farisi, we managed to have the subtitles fully transcribed and burnt-in to the video.

One of the more astounding claims to come out of this debate by Dr. Brown was that Christians possessed 5000 manuscripts of the New Testament within Christianity’s first centuries, to date, that remains to be an unqualified claim. Of peculiar interest are claims from some Christian audience members that the debate must be a deep fake video, Dr. Brown could not have possibly said the things he did, and yet he did. Other Christian audience members have asked if the video was perhaps cut in some way to make Dr. Brown claim awkward things, and yet it was not. The video is available via the streaming service here. As for why some Christian audience members have such disbelief about Dr. Brown’s claims in the debate, I leave that for you, the audience to decide. It should be noted that the video was available to watch freely, behind no paywall as of July 2022, that a paywall has gone up by the Christian streaming service at the same time I’ve freely released the debate is peculiar, but I lay no claim here, it may just be coincidental.

Overall, audiences have reacted very well to the debate, feedback has been heartwarming and all in all, I think it is fair to say that Christian academics are struggling to defend the New Testament’s reliability both textually and historically, as seen in this very debate.

Yours in Islām,
Ust. Ijaz Ahmad.

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.

Christian Apologists Disagree on God’s Real Name

Many people are familiar with Dr. Michael Brown and Matt Slick of CARM. They are after all, Christian apologists. Knowing God’s name is a pretty straightforward topic, not so for Christianity. Matt Slick writes:

For people to say that Jesus’ real name is Yashua or Yahusha or Yahushua, etc., is Jesus’ real name is just a statement of pushing an agenda and not believing the New Testament text.

Interestingly, Dr. Michael Brown accuses Matt of being wrong on knowing the true name of God. In a discussion with Br. Mustafa Sahin of Australia, Browns says:


What can we learn from this? Brown considers people like Matt Slick who argues that Jesus is God’s real name are incorrect and wasting their time. On the other hand, Matt considers people like Dr. Michael Brown who argue that Jesus isn’t God’s real name are pushing an agenda and not believing in the New Testament text.

The question is, since Dr. Michael Brown rejects that Jesus is God’s real name, is Matt Slick correct in referring to him as a disbeliever in the New Testament?

and God knows best.

Dr. Michael Brown’s Inflammatory Posts About Muslims

Religion is supposed to cross ethnic, cultural and socio-economic divides. Unfortunately, it has become quite too easy and quite too profitable for some religious individuals to misuse religious ideals to demonize those they disagree with. Below is a post by Dr. Michael Brown, a Christian scholar and missionary who many in the Christian community respect due to his knowledge about Judaism and his works in converting the Jewish peoples. To my displeasure, I saw an inflammatory post by Dr. Brown regarding Muslim beliefs and it is because of this I have decided to share my thoughts on his disrespectful and immature statements. While I understand that he supports the illegal State of Israel, and he is free to do so, and while I understand his ire with ISIS, I cannot allow him to demonize the entire Islamic community by defacing the message of the Qur’aan. Out of all people, he himself should know that it is irresponsible and intellectually dishonest to misrepresent what scripture teaches. Below, we can read the image he has been circulating quite proudly, one may note his watermark in the lower right corner of the image:

askdrbrownI produced the following image, which I encourage Muslims to share with their Christian and Right-Wing friends, including Dr. Michael Brown on his Facebook page.


and God knows best.