Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
I know what you must be thinking, how on earth can you spell ‘contradiction’ wrong? In an ironic twist of hilarity, Chessie Edwards has authored a piece about a contradiction in scripture. Unfortunately, he started off on the wrong foot as shown below:
He starts off a rebuttal by contradicting the spelling of the word contradiction. I guess we must take this as another sign of his ineptitude. After failing to respond to numerous posts of mines, he decides to take on a common contradiction from the Bible which we covered here. So what does Chessie say this time around?
It seems as if some of our Muslim dawahist(And yes I did coin the phrase) have reached deep down into the atheist materialist liberal grab bag for a argument to attack The Bible with. This time around its the variants found in the genealogy recorded in 1 Chronicles 8:29-35 and 1 Chronicles 9:35-44.
So, after deciding to call me names, “dawahist”, a phrase so intellectually profound, he actually had to “coin” it as it’s so unique and amazing. We congratulate him on what is to be his biggest contribution to the English language thus far, we certainly do look forward to see what other contridicting dawahist terms he can bring forth to our future discourses. Yes, that indeed was sarcasm. Moving along, he decides to label pointing out Biblical contradictions as being “atheist materialist liberal“. To help our clearly ignorant counterpart, you don’t have to be atheist to see a contradiction in the Bible, any person with normal cognitive and critical thinking skills can indicate to themselves when they see two contradictory statements. I also don’t seem to see how I’m a “materialist” for pointing out clear errors in his scripture. Let me just demonstrate the logic behind his statement:
(If) you can do basic comprehension (then) you are an atheist.
(If) you can point out contradicting statements (then) you are materialist.
This follows the basic logic implication (if) this (then) => (it implies) that.
Can someone buy Mr. Edwards a dictionary before he starts saying instead of coining new terms, he’s moved on to redefining words. Now, I do hear you, we did see him exposing his lack of foresight, after claiming that this “contradiction” in 1 Chronicles is reaching into “atheist liberal materialist arguments”, he then admits it’s a variant. Varying here, meaning not the same, or did he not realise that he “contradicted” himself within this opening paragraph so many times, it’s practically stupendous to assume he was sober upon authoring it. Moving on:
Some how the people of conspiracy theories(I coined that one also) want us to believe the son’s of Pigs and Monkeys “corrupted” Allah’s Torah by putting two conflicting versions of the same genealogy side by side in the same book. These dastardly Yahud either did this without noticing or on purpose for whatever strange diabolical “evil Jew” reason(Do evil Jews need a reason to be evil? com’on).
I’m not sure what his fascination with coining terms is, but it’s really appauling to see him trying this hard, to desperately make himself seem as a thinker. It’s hard to believe that on one end he “coins new terms” (creativity), while bashes questioning his scripture (arrogance and ignorance). He’s playing with a double edged sword and it really isn’t helping him. His own writings are the very arguments against himself. A bit funny, isn’t it? Don’t see why he thinks the children of pigs and monkeys wrote a book, or why he thinks that God, sanctioned the writing of the Islamic Tawrah. This has led me to believe he doesn’t seem to know much about the Tawrah. To educate our ignorant friend, Muslims do not believe that the current canon and codex of the Judaic or Christian Tanakh is from Allaah. Rather we believe it’s a version originating with Priest Hilkiah as the Judaica Encyclopedia willingly suggests, translated by Jews who faltered in there translation (purposefully) for a Pagan king, which Christians ended up believing in.
As for him asking if Jews need a reason to be evil, let’s see what the Bible says:
43Why[a] do you not understand my way of speaking? Because you are not able to listen to my message. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father! That one was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand firm in the truth, because truth is not in him. Whenever he speaks the lie, he speaks from his own nature,[b] because he is a liar and the father of lies.[c]45 But because I am telling the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who among you convicts me concerning sin? If I am telling the truth, why[d] do you not believe me? 47 The one who is from God listens to the words of God. Because of this you do not listen—because you are not of God.”
48 The Jews answered and said to him, “Do we not correctly say that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” – Bible : John (8) : 43 – 48.
Let’s see, they’re ignorant, children of satan, they do the desires/ works of satan, they’re murderers like their fathers, they don’t stand firm in truth, lying is their nature and they’re not of God. Very touching words. If Mr. Edwards has a problem with this quotation, please take issue with well…………… Christianity. So how does he try to explain the extant contradiction in the Bible?
First as I have said regrading such misunderstands of the Bible, the number one principle in exegesis is “AUTHORIAL INTENT”, i.e what was the author intending to communicate. Also another aspect of”AUTHORIAL INTENT” is how would the original audience have understood the text. As usually dawahist could careless about trivial issues like “AUTHORIAL INTENT”.
So after spouting around some terms he just googled, for some reason he’s deduced (quite expectedly and unsurprisingly) that the reason the Bible contradicts with regards to the geneaology is because the author intended so. He’s trying do what we call, “appeal to authority” and appeal to a common fallacy in exegesis, i.e. “fallacy of reading between the lines”. One can view a few of those fallacies here. So let’s try to explain to him that these contradictions in genealogy do not exist because the author intended so, rather they exist because the manuscripts themselves contradict. What we’re saying here is that there are many manuscripts which indicate a difference in genealogies among the many scribes and authors of that time (i.e scriptural corruption):
The corruption of these texts are clear to anyone who actually reads the Bible. Footnotes make it clear that variants, numerous as they are, quite clearly exist. In fact, the author and his intent is already known to us, unlike Mr. Edwards, most of you who would have read this previous post, would have seen this quote:
This passage to the end of the 38th verse is found with a little variety in the names, 1 Chronicles 9:35-44.
The rabbins say that Ezra, having found two books that had these passages with a variety in the names, as they agreed in general, he thought best to insert them both, not being able to discern which was the best.
His general plan was to collate all the copies he had, and to follow the greater number when he found them to agree; those which disagreed from the majority were thrown aside as spurious; and yet, in many cases, probably the rejected copies contained the true text.
If Ezra proceeded as R. Sol. Jarchi says, he had a very imperfect notion of the rules of true criticism; and it is no wonder that he has left so many faults in his text.
The reason that these two contradicting genealogies made it into the Bible’s codex (collection) is due to the fact that the author just didn’t know which one to include! He could not decipher the veracity of God’s holy word (according to the Exegesis quoted above). Hence, I don’t see how Mr. Edwards can say we ignored scholarly exegesis or refused to take it into consideration when it fact it was included in our first post on this topic. We do hope he can confess that he either did not read the initial post or come to terms with his selective amnesia. In fact, he goes so far as to claim it was on purpose that the genealogies contradict:
The chronological differing between the two genealogies of 1 Chronicles is a purposeful anachronism, and it is not the only incident of intentional gapping being used by Biblical writers, in fact it was quite a common device in oral cultures who routinely compressed information.
Yet, he later contradicts himself by quoting a scholar who says the only reason this contradiction existed, is due to manuscript and scribal errors:
” This register has already occurred in 1 Chron 8:29-38, along with those of other families of the tribe of Benjamin, and is repeated here only to connect the following history of the kingship with the preceding genealogical lists. It forms here the introduction to the narrative of Saul’s death in ch. 10, which in turn forms the transition to the kingship of David. The deviations of this register from that in 1 Chron 8:29-38, show that it has been derived from another document in more complete preservation than that in ch. 8, which had been handed down in connection with other genealogies of the Benjamite families..”[DELITZSCH BIBLE COMMENTARY – THE BOOK OF 1 CHRONICLES]
Apparently, unable to read what he’s quoting, Mr. Edwards presents two contradicting narratives:
(1) It was the author’s intent to have two contradicting genealogies, one chapter after the other.
(2) It was manuscript corruption and lack of preservation which caused the contradictions.
Unless the author some how magically intended to differ the genealogies by manuscript corruption, hundreds of years after the text was written, I can safely doubt Mr. Edward’s is rational.We would like to thank him for providing his contradicting arguments, or shall I say, “contridicting” arguments and the wonderful quote which proved that this contradicting genealogy exists due to manuscript corruption and lack of preservation.
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]