Tag Archives: theology

The nude young man of the Gospel(s)!

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

The nude young man of the Gospel(s)!

Investigating the weird presence of a mysterious man with biblical Jesus (peace be upon him)

Question Mark

Introduction

It was one of the most critical juncture in biblical Jesus’ (peace be upon him) life time. Only a few hours before he was to be confiscated by the colluded forces of Jewish elders and Roman authorities; Jesus (peace be upon him) was in the garden of Gethsemane with a “distressful”, “anguished” heart “crushed under sorrow” (Mark 14: 33-34).

Given the ponderous situation, Jesus (peace be upon him) wanted, as naturally expected, his most loyal and some of the best disciples to accompany him in the garden. He bestowed Peter, James and John with the privilege (Mark 14:33).

However, mysteriously Jesus (peace be upon him) was also followed by an hitherto unknown person:

And they all left him, and fled. And a certain young man followed with him, having a linen cloth cast about him, over his naked body: and they lay hold on him; but he left the linen cloth, and fled naked. (Mark 14:50-52, Revised Version)

Then all the disciples left him and ran away. A certain young man, dressed only in a linen cloth, was following Jesus. They tried to arrest him, but he ran away naked, leaving the cloth behind. (Mark 14: 50-52, Good News Edition)

The above “verses” perfunctorily looks simple. However, it entails with it rather intriguing and important queries:

  1. Who was this “young man”?
  2. Why did he dress up so unusually with only a thin linen sheet covering his nakedness going to otherwise public place – the gardenof Gethsemane, under sensitive setting of seizure of Messiah (peace be upon him) who was to be put to death?
  3. What motivated this young man to endanger his life by following Jesus (peace be upon him) in that risky situation?
  4. Did he “follow” Jesus (peace be upon him) as his disciple?
  5. If he was a disciple, why was he not introduced before?
  6. Furthermore, except Mark, why are every other New Testament author, including the gospel authors, absolutely silent about him?

Moreover,

  1. Why did the “Holy Ghost” felt it now important enough to mention him who was hitherto un-introduced?
  2. What did the author achieve by mentioning the young man in not more than two “verses” in the “God’s word”? After all every portion of scripture has to attain some objective (2 Timothy 3: 16-17)
  3. Why did the “Holy Ghost” inspire the author to stress on young man’s dress that he was wrapped in only a linen sheet – implying and later expressly informing that he was naked underneath?

Yet further,

  1. The abrupt appearance of an unusual man out of nowhere in the gospel;
  • Does it allude that these “verses” are a result of interpolation?
  • Or, does it prove that there was much more in the gospel of Mark than which survived in the “New Testament”; and the presence of the young man is just an allusion of that larger, more elaborative gospel of Mark now lost for good!?

The queries are numerous around otherwise innocent looking only two verses long “God’s word”! However, there simply isn’t enough information in the New Testament(1.) about the young-man to answer the above queries. As Bible expositor Albert Barnes noted, “A certain young man – Who this was we have NO means of determining” (Albert Barnes’ notes on the Bible, Mark 14:51)

Nevertheless, (not) surprisingly we do have ancient Christian writings which directly allude to the intriguing only linen laden otherwise nude young-man. Even more interestingly, these writings were also authored by the same author Mark (!) – remember no other author in the entire New Testament has referred to this young-man except Mark – entitled as the “Secret Gospel of Mark”.

  

Secret gospel of Mark 

 

New Testament giant Morton Smith made a remarkable discovery of a letter from Clement of Alexandria – an early (merely second century), influencing and “orthodox” church father. The Clementine letter was discovered in one of the not-so-easily-accessible monasteries in the so-called “Holy Land”! This was an orthodox monastery in Mar Saba.

In the letter, Clement alludes to the circulation of several other versions of gospel of Mark in Alexandria during his time:

“Clement indicates that Mark wrote an account of Jesus’ public ministry based on his acquaintance with the apostle Peter in Rome; in his Gospel, however, Mark did not divulge the secret teachings of Jesus to his disciples. But after Peter was martyred, Mark moved to Alexandria and there composed a second“more spiritual Gospel” for those who were more spiritually advanced. Even though he still did not divulge the greatest secrets of Jesus’ teachings, he did add stories to his Gospel to assist the Christian elite in progressing in their knowledge of the truth.

According to this letter, in other words, there were three versions of Mark’s Gospelavailable in Alexandria: the original Mark (presumably the Mark we are familiar with in the canon); a Secret Mark, which he issued for the spiritually elite; and a Carpocratian Mark, filled with the false teachings of the licentious heretic. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 73)

It was a quotation from “Secret Mark” which Clement cited in his letter and which eventually has relevance to our mysterious, only linen laden young-man. Consider the following intriguing account from the “Secret Mark” which took place just after the “canonical”New Testament Mark 10:34:

They came to Bethany, and a woman was there whose brother had died. She came and prostrated herself before Jesus, saying to him, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” But his disciples rebuked her. Jesus became angry and went off with her to the garden where the tomb was. Immediately a loud voice was heard from the tomb. Jesus approached and rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. Immediately he went in where the young man was, stretched out his hand, and raised him by seizing his hand. The young man looked at him intently and loved him; and he began pleading with him that he might be with him. When they came out of the tomb they went to the young man’s house, for he was wealthy. And after six days Jesus gave him a command. And when it was evening the young man came to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. He stayed with him that night, for Jesus was teaching him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. When he got up from there, he returned to the other side of the Jordan. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p.74)

We pointed out earlier the abrupt presence of the “young man” in the “canonical” gospel of Mark. However, if we accommodate the notion that Mark actually wrote a much larger version comprising of the canonical gospel of Mark and the Secret gospel of Mark; then we then find a confluent flow of the text.

Now we have a context in which the mysterious “young man” is no more mysterious! We now know that he was a dead man in Bethany and Jesus (peace be upon him) raised him up miraculously upon the request of his sister. Consequently, he became a disciple of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Although we may now know who this young-man was, yet we do not know why he chose to wear just a linen cloth? We still need to investigate this. It is a fact that every human wearing any cloth, let alone a linen wrapping, would be nude underneath it. Thus, it is intriguing to note that the author Mark chose to emphasize that the man was nude under his linen wrapping in both his “canonical” and “Secret” works!

On the foregoing, Christian scholars, not Muslim “propagandists”, have asserted that (i) young-man’s unusual dressing sense (ii) his overnight stay with Jesus (peace be upon him) and (iii) Jesus (peace be upon him) “teaching” him “mysteries” of Kingdom of God the whole night; have homoerotic overtones:

It is this newly recovered story which has caused the greatest stir in connection with Smith’s discovery. For even though it is similar to stories in the canonical Gospels, such as the raising of Lazarus in John 11 and the story of the rich young man in Mark 10, there are significant differences. And some of the differences, especially near the end, have appeared to some interpreters, notably Smith himself, to have clear homoerotic overtones. Jesus becomes acquainted with a young man who loves him and who comes to him wearing nothing but a linen cloth over his naked body. Jesus then spends the night with him, teaching him about the mystery of the Kingdom. What is that all about? (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 74)

 

These Christian scholars could see erotic insinuations since they somehow see its roots in the New Testament itself; it was indeed a Christian (cult) practice in early churches to get “baptized” nude and unite with Christ (peace be upon him):

[Morton] Smith is struck, quite understandably, by the fact that the young man comes to Jesus wearing nothing but a linen cloth over his nakedness. That sounds like someone coming forward for baptism, since in the early church, people were baptized, as adults, in the nude (after taking off a simple robe worn to the ceremony). Now the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not indicate that Jesus baptized people. But the Gospel of John indicates that he may have done so (John 3:22; 4:1–2).Moreover, the apostle Paul talks about baptism and indicates that at baptism a person is somehow “united” with Christ (Rom. 6:1–6). Did Paul, after Jesus’ death, make up such a view himself? No, argues Smith, it was a view known to Jesus’ followers before his death, because it was Jesus’ own view. Jesus himself baptized people, and in that baptism they came to be united with him. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p.80)

 

Authenticity

  

The easiest way out for Christians is to simply discard the letter of Clement as fictitious (2.). However, there is sizeable Christian scholars who do consider the Clementine epistle to be authentic!

Morton Smith being the scholar that he was had the following consensus of scholars:

But how could one establish that the letter was from Clement rather than, say, from a forger pretending to be Clement hundreds of years later (who fooled, then, the eighteenth-century scribe who copied the letter)? The first step Smith took in answering the question was to show the letter to scholars who were experts in Clement, who had spent their lives studying Clement, who would recognize a new work by Clement simply on the basis of its subject matter and writing style. When he did so, the majority of the experts agreed, this looked very much like something Clement would write. If someone had forged it, she or he had done highly credible work. But how could one know for sure? The only way to decide is by making a careful point-by-point comparison of the vocabulary, writing style, modes of expression, and ideas found in the letter with the vocabulary, writing style, modes of expression, and ideas found in the writings known to have been produced by Clement. This, needless to say, is not a simple task, not the sort of thing most people would care to undertake. But Smith did it. One word at a time. It was slow, arduous, painstaking work of many years. The results are published in his scholarly volume, and they are impressive.

This was not an easy kind of work to produce in the days before computers. But Smith was able to use this and similar resources to determine whether his discovery followed Clement’s writing style and used his distinctive vocabulary and whether it ever used a style or words uncharacteristic of Clement. The end result was that this letter looks very much like something Clement would have written. In fact, it is so much like Clement that it would be well nigh impossible to imagine someone other than Clement being able to write it, before tools like those produced by modern Clement scholars such as Stählin were available. Smith’s verdict was that the letter actually was written by Clement of Alexandria. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 77-78)

Smith went on to establish that not merely was the Clementine letter authentic (3.)but that the Markan quotation was also in line with author Mark:

But were the quotations of Secret Mark in this letter of Clement actually written by the author of the Gospel of Mark? Here again, it is a question of vocabulary, writing style, modes of expression, and theology. A careful analysis of the quotations of Clement indicates that these passages, while not in the style of Clement himself, are very much in the style of Mark as found in the New Testament. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 79)

At the outset, however, I should emphasize that the majority of scholars Smith consulted while doing his research were convinced that the letter was authentic, and probably a somewhat smaller majority agreed that the quotations of Secret Mark actually derived from a version of Mark. Even today, these are the majority opinions. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 81)

To add more value to the genuineness of the letter, it is fact that the letter is now out-of-sight from the library of Mar Saba which ironically had always been a highly restricted area!

Some years later, someone told Stroumsa of a rumor that the letter of Clement had been cut out of the book for “safe-keeping.” Stroumsa called the librarian at the Greek Patriarchate and was told that it was true. He himself had done just that. And he now did not know where the pages were. And that’s the end of the story. Did the librarian hide the pages, to keep scholars from rifling through the monks’ treasured possessions looking for lost Gospels? Did he burn the pages simply to get them off his hands? Where are they now? Do they still exist? I’m afraid that as of this moment, no one appears to know. Maybe that will change. What is certain is that no one has carefully examined the book itself, and it may be that no one ever will. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p.84)

The “loss” of such a critically acclaimed antique letter, in this age of science, technology and preservation points forcefully to the fact that there was something(to say the least) which was rather embarrassing to the “orthodox” Christianity. Otherwise how and why would a letter of antiquity be “lost” – just like that, from a highly restricted and reserved site!

As if these were not enough, we even have scholars who assert on “good reasons” that the nude companion of Jesus (peace be upon him) was the author Mark himself (!):

“His disciples failed Him, but as He submitted to the Father’s will His spirit rose triumphant. Sleep on now-the past is irrevocable. The disciples fled as fast as their feet would carry them. If only they had prayed, they would have been steadfast and unmovable. There are good reasons for supposing that the young man mentioned here was Mark himself.” (Mark 14:32-52, Alone in the hour of Trial, Through the Bible Day by Day by F.B. Meyer)

F.B. Meyer is not the only scholar, even Robertson concurs with him:

A certain young man (neaniskos tis). This incident alone in Mark. It is usually supposed that Mark himself, son of Mary (Act_12:12) in whose house they probably had observed the passover meal, had followed Jesus and the apostles to the Garden. It is a lifelike touch quite in keeping with such a situation. Here after the arrest he was following with Jesus (sunēkolouthei autōi, imperfect tense). Note the vivid dramatic present kratousin (they seize him). (Mark 14:51, Robertson’s Word Pictures)

It cannot, therefore, be mere coincidence that (i) we have “Holy Ghost” only inspiring Mark about the young man, (ii) the secret gospel is also attributed to Mark with a good level of authenticity and (iii) multiple orthodox conservative scholars asserting that the nude man was Mark himself!It is all Mark, Mark and Mark!

Christians might reject it on “obvious” grounds however, the preceding chain of observations strongly imply that the nude man’s presence in the garden had some pretext not worthy of mention in the “canonical” gospel!

Furthermore, let’s apply the Principle of Embarrassment to the incident of nude man. We are applying the Principle since Christian apologists love applying it against Islam especially when they deal with the issue of “Satanic Verses”. So we thought of applying the same on Christianity as well.

The following Christian polemical source defines the Principle for us:

Principle of Embarrassment: is a principle that is employed to validate the trustworthiness, authenticity, and truthfulness of any historical document. Christian apologetics also applies this principle to determine the historicity of the events described in the Bible. When a source (s) that can potentially damage/s its case admits something embarrassing, these assertions are unlikely to be invented or fabricated. (CAFN)

Based on the observed facts that we have, namely, (i) a “Christian” text, (ii) found in highly restricted “Christian” monastery, (iii) discovered by “Christian” scholar, (iv) approved by “Christian” academia, (v) attributed to “inspired” “evangelist” Mark himself!, it can be concluded on the lines of Principle of Embarrassment that the text could not possibly be an invention or fabrication.

Conclusion

 

In the last few pages of the canonical gospel of Mark we found bizarre presence of a mysterious young-man. Hitherto, unknown in the gospel (or in any of the gospels for that reason)! Neither did we have any clue as to who he was nor were we given any context alluding to this weird person.

Moreover, out of nowhere, we find him in the one of the most critical place with one of the most important man in Christianity – Jesus (peace be upon him). What he was doing in such a risky place – the garden of Gethsemane – where authorities came to handcuff Jesus (peace be upon him) to put him to death!

The young-man’s presence made the flow of the gospel rather jerky and as such it pointed to either of the two possibilities: (i) either, for some unknown reason, the verses concerning the young-man was interpolated in the text of the gospel or (ii) the gospel itself was a crafty redacting/editing work of a larger text. Both the conclusions raises question on the preservation of the so-called “Injeel”.

On the foregoing [point (ii)], the unaccounted and abrupt presence of the young-man was easily explained when we allowed that at one point of time the gospel of Mark was much larger than the present one.

However, besides explaining the identity and purpose of the young-man, this larger version of gospel of Mark also added the embarrassment of “homoerotic overtones” upon Jesus (peace be upon him) – the second god of the Trinitarian godhead. To add more chagrin, Christian scholars consider the narration to be genuine.

Of course, as a Muslim, based on the information of Qur’an and Hadith, we do not believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) would have ever tolerated any man in merelinen wrapping, let alone teaching him about any “Kingdom of God” the whole night, he would have chided him towards modest dressing! Nevertheless, we are not dealing with the information from Qur’an or Hadith. We have the so called God breathed, canonized gospel of Mark.

 We do not believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) could be attributed with any “homoerotic” attribution, this is not because certain Christian scholar has doubted the authenticity of Clementine letter, but because we believed in what Mohammad (peace be upon him) taught us about Jesus (peace be upon him) six hundred yearsafter his ascension. Nevertheless, marginalizing “homoerotic” twists from the text does not explain who this (nude) man was, what was he doing in the garden especially in that eccentric attire so on and so forth?

In the light of the above, either the mysterious young-man would always be mysterious since neither Mark nor any other evangelist took pain to inform sufficiently about him. Or, since Mark has referred to him, we would have to painfully refer to the larger version of Mark at the cost of imputing “homoerotic overtones” on the person otherwise labeled as “lord” Jesus (peace be upon him) of the Christians.

 

Notes:

 

  • Unless otherwise mentioned all biblical texts taken from Good News Edition.
  • Emphasis wherever not matching with original is ours.
  • A few Christian apologists like using the argument that Qur’an does not elaborate who Zaid was? And thus they deem it incomplete. However, such apologists need to be careful the next time they use any such argument. Because we would certainly enquire who was this (ironically) nameless young man, let alone his purposes with Jesus (peace be upon him).

 

Footnote:

 

(1.)  That is the “New Testament” which was handed to us after church’s century long deliberations after suppressing and destroying many other New Testaments.

 

(2.) It is an open secret now why Christian apologists would deem the incident of nude man learning “Kingdom of God” from Jesus (peace be upon him) as dubious. They would not accept the appeal to “apocryphal” notwithstanding the internal and external proof of authenticity Christian scholars give.

However, this helps us expose these apologists for their double standards: they have no qualms when imposing all sorts of Islamic “apocrypha” on Muslims. One can easily see a pattern where either disowned “Hish  hhJJHistory” of At-Tabari; or unknown sources of Ibn Ishaq; or mere “Chronicles” of Waqidi etc are used. None of the preceding texts are “canonical” in Islam yet they are widely used to demonize Islam. Next time Christian apologists are required to be more prudent with their choice of Islamic texts.

(3.) Contrarily there had been few scholars who doubted the authenticity of the letter. However, because of the majority positive opinion towards the letter, they could never come to a concrete and common consensus.

Some scholars have thought the letter was forged, either in antiquity or in the Middle Ages or in the modern period. Some have suspected from the beginning that Smith forged it. Those who think so appear to be increasing in number—or at least they are speaking out more, now that Smith is not around to respond. Among the earliest doubters was one of the greatest scholars of Christian antiquity of the twentieth century, Smith’s own teacher at Harvard, Arthur Darby Nock,… But Nock evidently did not think that it would have been a modern forger, let alone Smith. Others have thought otherwise. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 82)

Refutation: Jesus says that the Father is greater than he is, proving that he is not God.

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

Jesus says that the Father is greater than he is, proving that he is not God. There is no one who is greater than God.

Answer:

Sam introduces the passage upon which the question is based, it reads:

“You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you ‘ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater (meizon) than I.” John 14:28

His immediate response is to confuse himself, he says and I quote:

Yet, if God is a Trinity, a Trinitarian Being (i.e. one eternal God existing in three distinct, yet inseparable Persons), then it is quite possible for one member or Person of the Godhead to be greater in some sense than the other members. It would be true that nothing outside of the Holy Trinity’s own existence could ever be greater, but this doesn’t necessarily imply that there cannot be some type of authority structure or ranking within the internal life and relationships of the Trinity itself.

Logically speaking, this form of reasoning is highly fallacious. Since each member of the Godhead is fully God, and God is perfect in each and every way, to have one God being superior to another God, has to mean that the definition and understanding of God has to change. We must accept that God is perfect, one perfect being cannot be superior to another unless one is less perfect than the other. If a being who is assumed to be a God is not absolutely perfect, then this being cannot by very definition, be considered a God. Hence for there to be a hierarchy within the Godhead, we are dealing with one superior God and two lesser Gods. This presents a theological conundrum, as it must be understood that if the first God in the hierarchy is perfect and there is a second God, then this second God is less perfect than the first, thus it logically follows that the third God would therefore be less perfect than both the first and second Gods. With this in mind, it would be best that Sam disuse the premise that their could possibly be a hierarchy within the Godhead. Notwithstanding the evidential fact that the Godhead in itself is polytheistic in nature.

Polytheistic in the sense that if God is one, then in what sense is this God, multi-personal? In what way is God considered a ‘person’ (an individual of specified character)? If I am to believe that God has specific traits, how can God then be multi-personal without increasing or decreasing His traits amongst distinct individuals, exclusive of Himself? Thus, consequentially, by this very description of God being multi-personal (i.e. the nature of the Godhead), God has been relegated to a person among other persons, therefore equating to multiple Gods. Rather, to foster a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the Godhead in light of personhood, it would equate itself to God with gods. Seeing that I have aptly demonstrated the incredulous nature of a hierarchy within the Godhead and the illogical and polytheistic nature of the Godhead, let’s continue to examine Sam’s fallacious reasoning:

“For now, let us deal with what Jesus intended to convey to his disciples that the Father was greater than he. In the first place, the term for “greater” (Greek – meizon) does not necessarily imply one who is greater in nature or essence. It can refer to someone or something being greater in position and/or authority

Since God’s nature is to be all powerful and all perfect, how does Sam seek to qualify his statement in the response he has given? If God is perfect, then he cannot increase or decrease in position, without losing or gaining Godly traits, thus becoming a lesser God or greater god. Therefore the notion that God increasing or decreasing in position or authority means that it does not affect His nature, is highly erroneous and non-sensible. He continues:

“A careful look at the entire chapter of 14 shows the Lord Jesus claiming to have all of God’s omni-attributes:

“And I WILL DO whatever you ask IN MY NAME, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask ME for anything in my name, AND I WILL DO IT.” John 14:13-14

Christ is capable of personally answering all prayers that are directed to him or are addressed in his name. The only way that Christ can both hear and answer all these prayers is if he is both omniscient and omnipotent!”

Sam contradicts himself. At first he claims that their is a hierarchy, now he claims Christ is equal to God. After he has spent a lengthy period demonstrating that the word meizon in Greek can be used to differentiate in power and authority, to promote the understanding that it does not refer to nature (which I have demonstrated is quite ridiculous), he then makes an about turn, negates his previous arguments and tries to demonstrate that Christ is equal to God. This is a sign of a clearly confused individual, trying to reconcile an imperfect doctrine. If Jesus does have all of God’s attributes, then how is he distinct from the person of the Father? Sam’s statement, therefore negates the logic behind the Godhead, well done Sam. On that note, let’s see what the Greek of the verse also indicates. We must be reminded that the Greek of the Biblical text, as with all other languages, has depth. Subsequent to this depth, translations are often consequent to their context. In the case of the Bible, which is a religious scripture, it is quite obvious that the Christian rendition of the text, would attempt to signify Christ’s importance and stature. However, when examining the Greek, as a Muslim, I am able to explore the depth of the text and consider alternate renditions in accordance with the definitions of the words thereby employed. It is with this in mind, that I present an alternate translation based on the Greek of the text:

“And I will do whatever you ask (αιτέω) by (εν) my (μου) authority (ονομα), so that the Son may glorify to the Father. You may ask me for certain things (τίς) by (εν) my (μου) authority (ονομα), and I will do it.” – John 14:13-14, based on the GNT of the Nestle Aland 26th Codex, by way of Strong’s Greek Lexicon.

A Christian would obviously disagree with this rendition because of his presupposed theological views. However, a person who is objective and willing to examine the text for what it is, without biased presuppositions, will be able to accept this English rendition based on the depth of the words used in the verses. This is not perverting the text, as it is normal to find one Biblical verse being rendered in various ways throughout the multitude of Bible translations available to us. In fact, Sam accepts this rendition of the words from the verse used above, as he demonstrates in this article:

I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” John 5:43

Just as the late, renowned NT Greek grammarian and scholar, A.T. Robertson noted in his comments on Matt. 28:19:

… The use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority… (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testamentonline source; underline emphasis ours)

Thus, Sam’s reliance on one translation is very narrow minded and negates other interpretations of the Greek text, which removes Jesus’ alleged assumption of deity. It is clear from the Greek rendition provided above, that Christ is saying he can do only what he can, by which his authority allows him, therefore he is not omnipotent. Sam does say that Christ is capable of answering all of a Christian’s prayers, so I am going to apply the principle of proof by contradiction and challenge Sam to pray to Christ and ask for a unicorn to appear in front of me, as his rendition of the verse claims that you can ask Christ for anything and he would do it. Since this is not true, and a unicorn will not appear, it is then quite understandable that the verse’s rendition and the conclusions of which Sam has derived from it, are highly inaccurate. He continues by appealing to another verse:

“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, AND I AM IN YOU. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:20-21″

Again, with returning to the Greek of the text, Sam’s conclusions can be easily negated:

“On that day you will know that I am before/ wherewith (εν) my Father, and you are before/ wherewith (εν) me, and I am before/ wherewith (εν) you. Whoever has my commandments and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him”. – John 14:20-21, based on the GNT of the Nestle Aland 26th Codex, by way of Strong’s Greek Lexicon.

The word “before” is used in the sense that you are in the presence of someone (e.g. I can’t talk now, I’m before the judge), hence the inclusion of the alternate word, wherewith, meaning with a person.This makes the most sense, as Jesus would show himself to those persons and therefore will be before (in the presence of) them and the Lord. Sam makes an interesting interpretation of the verse, he says:

“Christ says that he is IN all the disciples, an impossible claim if he was only a man, or even an angel. But since Jesus is God, and since God is omnipresent, it therefore makes perfect sense for Christ to say he is able to dwell in all the believers at the same time.”

What does he mean that God will be ‘in the disciples’? Does he mean physically? Spiritually? This doesn’t prove Christ’s deity, rather it raises a rather serious theological issue, what does God mean that He will be ‘in’ us? This clearly brings to the forefront, more questions than answers, but if it is one thing Sam’s statements does in this case, it is clearly not proving Jesus’ deity. Sam continues:

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.’” John 14:23

Both the Father and the Son make their home with all true believers! Christ is clearly claiming co-equality with the Father since he is present with every believer in the same way that the Father is!”

Sam’s logic is that if God accompanies the believers with Christ, then Christ is claiming he is co-equal to the Father. Using Sam’s logic, since the believers are going to be present with the Lord in the same way Christ is present with the Lord, then the believers are all ‘clearly claiming co-equality’ with the Father. Since the latter is nonsensical, how can the former be true? Sam’s logic is clearly infantile, if it cannot work both ways, why does he expect it to work one way? This then, manipulates the full meaning of the text beyond its intended scope. Sam spends the rest of his time trying to equate Christ with the Lord, all of which are easily explained and debunked with employing basic logic and reasoning.

One problem with Sam’s understanding, is that if Sam is promoting the belief that their is a hierarchy, why is he investing so much time into explain ways in which Christ is equal to the Father? Does he not understand how a hierarchy works? By claiming the Father can be greater than the Son, and then demonstrating how the Father is not equal to the Son, Sam is actually contradicting himself. Therefore, in light of Sam’s rivalling explanations, I must ask him, do you believe that the Son is equal to the Father or that the Son belongs in a hierarchy with the Father? The both cannot be true, as either the Son is on par with, or below or greater in rank and authority than the Father. Lastly, Sam claims:

“Thus, the Father was greater in position and rank, not in essence and nature. The questioner is, therefore, committing a categorical fallacy. He/she is confusing the category of position and rank with the category of essence and nature, erroneously assuming that if one is greater in one way, i.e. position and authority, than he/she must be greater in every way, i.e. essence and nature. In light of these clear biblical truths, such is not the case at all.”

Sam’s conclusion is beyond absurd and borders dogmatic arrogance. How can the Father’s rank not describe his essence? How can the Father be greater in rank, but equal in nature? This is like saying, in a track race, the three fastest runners are equal, but the one track runner is first, another second and another third. There clearly is a contradiction in his reasoning and the more he tries to explain it, the more he seems to put his foot in his mouth.

Think of it this way, if the Father is the exact same to the Son in essence and nature, in what way does the Father differ to be superior (greater) than the Son? Sam’s answer is that being greater means that the Son is still the same with the Father, therefore it is either that Sam does not understand the meaning of the word ‘greater’, or the word ‘hierarchy’ or he does not understand the meaning of both those words and the logic behind them. Since this is the case, consider this to be another case of Shamounian logic.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Top 10 Muslim vs Christian Debate Clips

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Br. Muslim by Choice has released a hilarious 10 clip countdown of the best Muslim vs Christian debates. Some familiar faces include Dr. Shabbir Ali, Br. Sami Zataari and Ustadh Ali Ataie, alongside infamous Islamophobes, James White, Jay Smith and arsonist Anis Shorrosh. Entertaining and educational, it’s quite the video to watch:

wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

New Covenant, Old Traditions

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

The crucifixion of Christ is alleged to have herald into commission, the New Covenant [1].  However, if we are to do a basic reading of the New Testament narrative of Christ’s alleged death, we run into some theological conundrums. The unknown authors of the synoptic Gospels were familiar with the Tanach, citing it at every chance they got, yet in doing so they’ve unearthed a vast amount of room for misapplied dogmas and theological errata. Often times, leading to the mess we’re about to uncover. On the cross, Jesus is alleged to have said:

“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d]” – Matthew 27:46.

Most people see that little citation, that “d” and don’t seem to investigate it. So where does that “d”, lead to?

Matthew 27:46 – Psalm 22:1

Therefore, it is apparent that while Jesus was on the cross, he was referencing this chapter from Psalms. If we go to the chapter in Psalms, most people upon reading would be shocked at the contents within:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

According to the reading, God has abandoned Christ on the Cross. This is a far worse depiction of Christ, than any Pharisee could muster. Christ is depicted as abandoned by God, he is suffering and is not being saved by God, hardly a ‘willing sacrifice’ if you were to ask me. Strikingly, even Jesus concedes to the fact that if he was being crucified, that his own “Father”, did not answer his cries for help, this wasn’t for a moment, but lasted day and night. A most strange circumstance, considering that Christ is alleged to have said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.[2]” Unfortunately for Jesus, this was not the case, as God never answered him. If it didn’t work for Christ on the Cross, why do Christians expect anything to be granted to them, save for them believing they are greater than Christ, for if Christ’s sonship could not merit mercy from the “Father”, on what grounds should a lay Christian expect to be given more mercy than the son himself?

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

The diatribe continues by questioning God’s actions, see, God saved the Israelites when they called out to Him, yet when His own alleged Son calls out, there was no answer. Christ is also indicating here, that he was put to shame, yet the Israelites were not, can any Christian answer as to why Jesus was put to suffer and was void of God’s mercy and help?

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

At this point, Christ, in referencing these verses, he no longer considers himself a ‘man’, he considers himself to be less than a man. We’ve all heard of the hypostatic union, half man, half God, well as it turns out, Christ negates being a man and assumes the role of a worm. I guess this is the Hypostatic Union Version 2.0. It’s also telling that Christ says there is no one to help him, this would either mean that Christ who is God, could not help himself or God, the all powerful, failed to help his son.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.

This is most intriguing, why does Christ reference Psalms 22, when it is in these passages that insults to Gentiles are still considered to be normal? If Christ was dying for their sins, shouldn’t he be dying with the intention of, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.[3]” Yet this is not Jesus’ attitude, it’s quite the opposite, he lowers himself to mocking and insulting, with curses meant for gentiles. In fact, this verse contains some level of anti-Semitism (not too dissimilar to John 8:44-48), Adam Clarke, a famed Christian exegete comments:

The bull is the emblem of brutal strength, that gores and tramples down all before it. Such was Absalom, Ahithophel, and others, who rose up in rebellion against David; and such were the Jewish rulers who conspired against ChristBashan was a district beyond Jordan, very fertile, where they were accustomed to fatten cattle, which became, in consequence of the excellent pasture, the largest, as well as the fattest, in the country. See Calmet. All in whose hands were the chief power and influence became David’s enemies; for Absalom had stolen away the hearts of all Israel. Against Christ, the chiefs both of Jews and Gentiles were united. [4]

Christ therefore, according to Christian theology, in his weakest moment, not only questioned God’s mercy but he fell privy to the sin of insulting and cursing both Gentiles and Jews. This as previously stated, in direct contrast to the earlier statement of, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.

Lastly, we jump to the last of the insults, using a term that he also used to describe gentiles in Matthew 7, which reads:

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Who are these dogs? According to several commentaries, it refers to ‘disbelievers‘, therefore Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists are all considered to be dogs by the Christian God while bringing into commission, the New Covenant. The People’s New Testament Commentary says:

The dog was regarded an unclean animal by the Jewish law. They probably represent snarling, scoffing opposers. The characteristic of dogs is brutality. To try to instill holy things into such low, unclean, and sordid brutal minds is useless. [5]

Therefore infidels (those who are unfaithful) to Christ, are like dogs, because we oppose the religion of Christianity. How strange are these words indeed, especially when Christ was supposed to be dying for our sins. In his supposed ultimate act of mercy and sacrifice, Christ berates, curses and abuses the very people he is allegedly killing himself for.

Conclusion

While Christ was dying for our sins, he references Psalms 22. Upon reading Psalms 22, we discover that it entails a man who is abandoned by God, void of God’s mercy, leading the one in pain to question God’s authority and means of grace. The person suffering then decides to insult, mock and curse those who do not accept his beliefs. If these verses were referenced by Christ as a means of expressing his emotion while on the cross, then the notion that Christ introduced a New Covenant is hogwash, as Christ insults, mocks and curses both Gentiles and Jews. If this is not what Christ intended to communicate with his referencing of the aforementioned passages, why would he allegedly reference them to begin with?

Sources:

  1. Luke 22:20, “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”.
  2. Matthew 7:7.
  3. Luke 23:34.
  4. Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Psalms 22:12-13.
  5. People’s New Testament Commentary, Matthew 7:6.

Refutation: Is Jesus God because he did mighty miracles?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

Some Christians believe that Jesus’ miracles prove that he is God. The problem with this claim is that almost every single miracle performed by Jesus finds a parallel within the OT. There are many OT prophets that performed the very same kinds of miracles that Jesus did. If the miracles of Jesus make him God then why don’t the miracles of the other prophets prove that they are God/gods as well?

Answer:

Sam’s response is quite muddled, in the sense that while he does attempt to answer the question, he actually falls just short. I understand that this was an honest attempt at responding to the question, but Sam seems unable of directly answer questions. Whether this is due to a lack of faith or a lack of intelligence, I cannot say. but clearly he has lost the plot. He says, and I quote:

 In the first place, it isn’t so much the miracles which make Jesus God, but the divine claims of Jesus which the miracles serve to validate. Jesus made certain statements that no other true prophet before him ever did, and then performed supernatural miracles to back up the truthfulness and validity of those claims:

“‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.” John 10:25-39

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24

“concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God IN POWER according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 1:3-4

Thus, the miracles do not make Jesus God, but rather it is Jesus’ own claims which demonstrate that he at least believed he is God. The miracles only served the purpose of providing divine validation for Christ’s claims.

According to Sam, it’s Jesus’ own words which make him into their God and the miracles Jesus did are simply done to validate Christ’s statements. However, this is a dogmatic answer, it is quite well known that these statements attributed to Christ in the Bible are not first person verbatim (Greek: grapho) statements. Meaning then, that they cannot directly be traced back to Jesus, but can be traced back to someone attributing them to Jesus. If I were to throw this piece of knowledge out of the discussion and assume that Jesus did speak these words, we would still reach at the conclusion that Christ is not a God. For example, using Sam’s quote from John 10 above, we read:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand……I have shown you many good works from the Father;

If we also examine his quote of John 14, we see:

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

While Jesus is able to do the miracle, he is claiming that the source of the miracle is not himself, but the Father (God). Jesus is making it clear that the authority who is permitting him to exercise these ‘miracles’ are from the Father (God). Sam’s quote of Romans is irrelevant as these are Paul’s words and not Christ’s. If he cannot prove Christ’s divinity without needing Paul, then clearly he has failed at proving Christ’s divinity, as this would mean that Christ’s words alone are not sufficient in determining his deity. There exists another problem, Sam’s argument can be summarised as such:

  • Christ is God because of what he says.
  • Miracles add validity to his claim of being a deity.

The logic being:

  • If Christ says he is a God.
  • Then miracles add credence to his claim.

Yet, none of Sam’s passages, whether they be Mark 2:5-12, Mark 3:9-11, Matthew 14:22-23, John 6:5-15, 26-42, 47-59, John 11:1-3, 23-27, 38-43 or John 5:2-10, 16-21, 25-26, 28-29, demonstrate that Christ is God, Sam has instead, skipped his initial premise and jumped into the second premise, foregoing his onus of having to prove that Jesus claimed to be a deity. He recognized this by labelling them miracles:

  • Miracles Proving that Jesus Forgives Sins
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is Sovereign over both the Spiritual and Physical Realms
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is the Sustainer and the Source of Life
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is co-equal to the Father

Therefore by Sam’s purposeful ignoring of his own criteria, and because of his own actions, he has intentionally rested his case on miracles and not on Christ claiming to be a deity. This would then mean that because Sam has not proved Christ’s deity through Christ’s own words, then logically, the miracles do not add validity to the claim of Jesus being a deity. Thus rendering Jesus as a miracle worker and not a man-God. If we examine Sam’s ‘miracles‘, what do we see? If we take each of the miracles that Sam has used an example and refer them to Acts 2:22, which reads:

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. – Acts 2:22.

and John 5:30, which reads:

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. – John 5:30.

Our resulting conclusion of those miracles should be that:

  • Jesus told someone that there sins were forgiven because the Father forgave the person.
  • Jesus was called the Son of God (a title given to many throughout the OT and NT), and his hand was licked like a dog licking its master’s hand (the word used for worship is  ‘προσκυνέω’ – Strong’s Lexicon, G4352, ‘From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand)’.
  • Jesus brings life to those who are spiritually dead, he will ‘resurrect’ their spirituality.
  • The Father has sent Christ to do works in His name.

Practically nothing that Sam has quoted or referenced, lends credence to the claim that Christ is a deity, in fact, what we’ve seen is the direct opposite. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the work or will of God, by the authority of God. After not proving Christ’s deity and relegating Christ’s miracles as a sign that he is not a God (Note: Sam said that miracles do not make Christ a God, yet Sam constantly tries to demonstrate the miracles which allude to Christ being a God). Sam goes on to say:

No prophet or apostle ever made the claims that the Lord Jesus made, and none of their miracles were done to validate their claims of being Deity.

None of the passages above demonstrate any odd claims that Jesus made. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the will of the Father (God), in fact, Christ never lays claim to deity, as opposed to his alleged ‘Triune Father’ – YHWH who boasted of it, and made it known to thousands constantly – see my article, “The Christian God: Non Compos Mentis“. Sam continues by saying:

The prophets went out of their to show that they were nothing more than fallible human beings whom God empowered to carry out his specific purpose and will. This is quite unlike the Lord Jesus.

How is this, ‘unlike Jesus‘? Jesus showed that he was weak and feeble, that he had to run and hide, as any other man would, when his life was threatened:

 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. – John 12:36.

Sam, realising that he can’t prove Jesus’ deity through Jesus’ own words, then tried to prove Jesus was God through another alleged miracle, he attempted to do so using Mark 9:38, which reads:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

The phrase, ‘in your name’, is rendered as: ‘εν σου ονομα‘, which according to the Greek, also reads, ‘by your authority‘ (see: Strong’s Lexicon, G1722, G4675, G3686). Therefore Sam’s appeal to the text is fanciful at best as the text can be rendered both ways, which is in light of the Gospel’s account of him, which reads:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:29.

Therefore, in Mark 9:38, the person was able to drive out demons, by the authority of Christ’s teachings. Similarly, the account in Acts which  Sam has appealed to are once again based on experiences of Paul and not from Jesus, thus directly contradicting his own criteria. If Sam needs more than what Jesus said or did to prove him to be a deity, as opposed to using examples of Christ-only events, then Christ’s own testimony is not sufficient to qualify his claims. Sam then says:

The Quran mentions many of the miracles of the prophets but fails to record a single miracle of Muhammad.

Which is a bit funny, as he then goes on to quote two ayat (verses) from the Qur’an, which says that the Qur’an itself is one of the miracles attributed to Muhammad [saws] (see quote below). That being a direct contradiction of his previous claim:

In fact, many passages of the Quran explicitly deny that Muhammad could perform any sign or wonder. Here are a couple of verses:

But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, “Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?” Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: “Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!” And they say: “For us, we reject all (such things)!” S. 28:48

Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge; and none denies Our signs but the evildoers. They say, ‘Why have signs not been sent down upon him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner. What, is it not SUFFICIENT FOR THEM that We have sent down upon thee the Book that is recited to them? Surely in that is a mercy, and a reminder to a people who believe. S. 29:49-51 A.J. Arberry

It should be noted that none of the ayat say that Muhammad [saws] could not perform any sign or wonder. I know that Sam can be desperate at times, but to quote something and then directly lie about what he has just quoted either demonstrates abject dishonesty or really horrible comprehension abilities. He continues his eisegesis of the Qur’an by saying:

The last passage expressly states that the Quran is sufficient as a sign, which means that no other sign or miracle was necessary. Thus, this surah poses huge problems for Muslims since if Muhammad did perform miracles then this means that the Quran is not sufficient, thereby falsifying the claims of the Quran!

In a previous response to Sam, I dubbed the term, “Shamounian Logic”, and it’s mostly certainly showed up again. The Qur’an clearly says that the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle for those who have knowledge and understanding, it does not say that it is the only miracle that is necessary, or that other miracles would be more sufficient, or that there would be no other miracles. In Sam’s reasoning, although the Qur’an says it is sufficient, if more miracles were done, this somehow makes the Qur’an less sufficient. His reasoning is not clear, the Qur’an does not say that nothing else is a sufficient miracle or that there would be no more miracles, but what it does say, is that by itself, the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle, if there are other miracles that are sufficient for other persons, that does not negate the appropriateness or sufficiency of the Qur’an. I’ll give an example of Sam’s reasoning using Paul and “the sufficiency of Christ’s Grace“. In 2 Corinthians 12 we read:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

Even though Christ’s grace was supposed to be sufficient enough for Paul to deal with the messenger of Satan tormenting him, Paul still begged and pleaded for the ‘thorn in his flesh’ to be removed. This thorn was never removed, does this mean that Christ’s grace was not sufficient? According to Sam’s reading, the answer is “Yes”. Sam then admits that while there are miracles that the Prophet Muhammad [saws] did do, that these are recorded in ahadith and they are therefore ‘all made up or false‘, an appeal to ignorance really. Sam does not understand Ulum al Hadith, of which is the basis for the modern science of Textual Criticism. Hadiths were not written later or hundreds of years after the Prophet [saws], but during and directly after his lifetime, see the following excerpt from this article by Brother Jibreel (a former Christian convert to Islam):

2. The Muslim Methodology of Preserving Information

The Jewish and Christian Scriptures suffered at the hands of the very people who should have guarded them. Because of this, the Muslim community felt a pressing need to safeguard the knowledge that was entrusted to them. To write a book using a false name is tremendously easy; in the literary world the use of pen names is commonplace. Similarly, it is possible to tamper with someone else’s work then republish it under the original author’s name…Muslims devised a working solution long ago, developing a watertight system which they employed faithfully for eight or nine centuries.[4] Starting from the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) him receiving the firs revelation, knowledge proliferation has been at the core of the Muslim nation. Upon reaching Madinah the prophet (peace be upon him) arranged schools and ordered scribes to write whatever he dictated. Many companions had copies of his letters dispatched to different people.[5] Not only those things were written down with the outmost care, but also at the same time information was being checked for reliability and content. From the affairs of the government during the reigns of the three caliphs to the administrative lessons, religious rulings, political and military strategies and all of the prophet’s traditions were passed on through a very strict system.[6] The Muslims methodology of gathering information, verifying it and passing it on had no match. The isnad systems that were developed to make sure that each incident or rapport is reported by an unbroken chain back to the original narrator[7]. Evidence for the transmission of knowledge in this manner comes from thousands of ahadith bearing identical wordings but coming from different corners of the Islamic world, each tracing its origin back to a common source – the Prophet, a Companion, or a Successor.[8] For example the hadith of Abu Huraira about the obligation of following the Imam is recorded at least 124 times, and reported by 26 third-generation authorities that unanimously trace its origin to Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[9] However theisnad system was only the first step in establishing authenticity and preserving information. Establishing trustworthiness (morality, ability, memory etc.) of the narrator was another important step in the Muslim methodology of preserving information. Umar Al Khatab and Abu Bakr, when collecting the Quran in one book, they followed the instructions of Allah the Almighty:

“…and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice.”[10]

The people of ahlul suffah (companions of the rows) used to dedicate their whole lives just to record and propagate the teachings of Islam during the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many companions such as Uthman, Ali, Umar and others memorized not only the sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also the whole Quran. The knowledge they preserved was passed on in the forms of books through a very stringent system that involved different levels of information delivery such as Sama’ (teacher reading to student), Ardh(student reading to teacher), Munawala (hading someone a text and allowing transmission), Kitaba (a form of correspondence), and Wasiyya (entrusting someone with knowledge to be delivered). These are just a few examples of the strict methods taken by Muslims to preserve information and the early stage in which such began being implemented[11]. Now we turn our attention to the proofs of the documentation of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his time.

3. Documentation of the Sunnah during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time

It is agreed upon that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not fully recorded in written form during his life time, however as we have pointed out the Muslim methodology was not restricted to writing, and it relied heavily on memorization. However much of the ahadtih have been recorded in writing and books during the lifetime of the prophet (peace be upon him). There are many evidences showing that companions (in this case Abu Shah) used to write the speeches of prophet Muhammad such as the example of the speech of the inviolability of Makkah.[12] The prophet (peace be upon him) also wrote letters to many kings inviting them to Islam, some of them still being available today. Some critics have raised an objection by quoting the hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who narrates that prophet Muhammad said:

“Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Qur’an, he should efface that…”[13]

They claim that prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not allow hadith to be recorded, however they selectively take what suits their agenda and ignore the whole corpus of ahadith. It is clear from the wording of prophet Muhammad that such a statement was general and it was during the time when the writing of the Quran was in it’s early stages. The prophet allowed and encouraged his companions to write ahadith once the system for recording Quran was in place. He did not want companions to mix the Quran with ahadith, and indeed we see today that such genius paid off. When some companions heard that Amr ibn Al As’s had scrolls of ahadith, they reproached him, however he went and told the prophet who said:

“Write from me, for by the One Who has my soul in His hand, nothing other than the truth has ever come out of my mouth”.[14]

The same Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al As’s collected the book called Al-Sahefah As-Sadiqah. This is a book that contained many ahdith of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was spread amongst the companions and later generations. The Sahefah of Abu Hurayrah, which was proliferated by his student Hammam ibn Munabbih, that has survived till today and was published by Dr. Hamidullah.[15] It is without a doubt that there is sufficient information in the history of Islam to show that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was recorded and passed on with his permission and during his lifetime. Those who say that the Sunnah was recorded only centuries after prophet Muhammad during the time of Bukhari and Muslim are far away from the historical proofs that are widely available, wishing only to escape the strict security measures that were divinely implemented in guarding not only the Quran and the Sunnah, but also Islam as a way of life.

4. Documentation of the Sunnah after the Death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

After the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him), his companions took an even stricter approach in preserving and reporting the Sunnah. In this period, a number of leading companions wrote down narrations and preserved them. Abu Hurayrah to whom 5374 channels of hadith are attributed, had many books in his possession as reported by Hasan ibn Amr ad-Damari.[16] Abdullah ibn Abbas to whom 1600 channels of narrations are attributed used to write whatever he heard and used to hire his servants to write ahadith for him.[17] Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Aas to whom 700 channels of narration are attributed recorded ahadith in his Sahefah, while Abu Bakr was also amongst those who used to possess written copies of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).[18] After the companions of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), their students passed on the knowledge to their students. Abu Hurairah had nine students writing down from him, Ibn Umar had eight, Anas had sixteen, Aisha had three, ibn Abbas had nine, Jabir had fourteen, and others did the same as well.[19] The time in history is known as the era of the Tabi’oon and in this era the science of gathering ahadith became stricter, as people began inventing ahadith. It is very important to highlight here the fact that fabrication was discovered and dealt with. This shows the strict nature of the system and the strong filters it had for innovations and lies. Under the reign of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez[20] the scholars compiled books of ahadith containing biographical data on the various narrators of ahadith, exposing the liars and fabricators.[21] The hadith proliferation spread with such a great strength and precise science that the science began influencing the other branches of Islamic knowledge such as Aqeedah, Fiq and other. The people would not accept the authority of any teacher of any subject, unless he or she would possess the unbroken link till prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) coupled with the reliability criteria for that person in question. The collection of ahadith and knowledge was so intense and serious that some would not wait for the ahadith to reach them but they would travel for long periods of time to hear and verify ahadith. Jabir ibn Abdullah heard of a hadith and traveled on a mount that he had purchased, and after one moth of travel he gathered the hadith and returned back. The same happened to Abu Ayoob al Ansari.[22] The sciences have only intensified and crystallized as time advanced and following the ear of the companions, the followers and their followers came the ear of the Saheehs, which was the pinnacle of hadith sciences[23].

The following excerpt is from “The Compilation of Hadith, by Shaykh Abdul Ghafar Rahmanee“, wherein he mentions the earliest codices of ahadith, dating from the time of the Prophet [saws], to directly after his death, not several hundred years later as Sam has dishonestly stated:

The Written Works of the First Period

1. Saaheefa Saadiqaa
This has been attributed to Abdullaah Ibn Amr al-Aas (d.63H at the age of 77). He had a great love for writing and making notes and whatever he heard from the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), he would write down. He personally had permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).5 This treatise is composed of about 1000 ahaadeeth. It remained secure and preserved
within his family for a long time. All of it can be found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah).

2. Saaheefa Saheehaa
This is attributed to Humaam Ibn Munabbeh (rahimahullaah) (d.101H). He was from the famous students of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu); he wrote all the ahaadeeth from his teacher. Copies of this manuscript are available from libraries in Berlin (Germany) and Damascus (Syria); Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) has categorised all of this Saaheefa in his Musnad, under Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu).6 This treatise, after considerable effort by Dr. Hameedullaah, has been printed and distributed from Hyderabad (Deccan). It contains 138 narrations. This Saaheefa is a part of the ahaadeeth narrated from Abu Hurairah, most of its narration’s are in Bukhaaree and Muslim; the words of the ahaadeeth are extremely similar and there are no major differences between them.

3. Saaheefa Basheer Ibn Naheek
He was the student of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). He also gathered and wrote a treatise of ahaadeeth which he read to Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), before they departed, and he verified it.7

4. Musnad Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
It was written during the time of the Companions. Its copy was with the father of Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), Abdul Azeez Ibn Marwaan, the Governor of Misr who died in 86H. He wrote to Katheer Ibn Murrah instructing him to write down all the hadeeth he heard from the Companions and to send them to him. Along with this command, he told him not to send the ahaadeeth of Abu Hurairah as
he already had them.8 And the Musnad of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) was hand-written by Ibn
Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah). It is available in a library in Germany. 9

5. Saaheefa Alee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
We find from Imaam Bukhaaree’s checking that this collection was quite voluminous and it had in it issues of zakah, and from the actions that were permissible or  impermissible in Madeenah, the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah and Islaamic guidelines.10

6. The Final Sermon of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)
On the conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) told Abu Shah Yamanee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) to write down the final sermon. 11

7. Saaheefa Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
His students, Wahb Ibn Munabbeh (d.110H) and Sulaymaan Ibn Qais Lashkaree, collected the narrations of Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). In it they wrote down issues of Hajj and the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah.12

8. Narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa (radi-Allaahu ‘anhaa)
The narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa were written by her student, Urwah Ibn Zubair.13

9. Ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
There were many compilations of the ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). Sa’eed Ibn Jubair would compile his ahaadeeth.14
10. The Saaheefa of Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) Sa’eed Ibn Hilaal narrates that Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would mention
everything he had written by memory; whilst showing us he would say: “I heard this narration from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhe wa sallam) myself and I would write it down and repeat it to the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) so that he would
affirm it.” 15

11. Amr Ibn Hazm (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
When he was made the Governor and sent to Yemen he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines but he also added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and he made it into the
form of a book.16

12. Risaalah of Samurah Ibn Jundub (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
This was given to his son in the form of a will; this was a great treasure.17

13. Sa’ad Ibn Ubaadah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
He knew how to read and write from the time of Jahiliyyah.

14. Maktoob Naaf’i (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
Sulaymaan Ibn Moosaa narrates that Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would dictate and Naaf’i would write.18

Citations and Sources:

5 See Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (pp. 36-37).
6 For further details see Saaheefa Humaam of Dr. Hameedullaah and Musnad Ahmad (2/312-318).
7 See Jaami al-Bayaan (1/72) and Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (1/470)
8 See Saaheefa Humaam (p.50) and Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad (7/157)
9 Muqqadimah Tuhfatul-Ahwadhee Sharh Jaami Tirmidhee (p.165)
10 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Ei’tisaam bil-Kitaab was Sunnah (1/451)
11 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1/20), Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (p. 36) and Saheeh Muslim (1/439)

12 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/215)
13 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (7/183)
14 ad-Daarimee (p. 68)
15 Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p. 34) from Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and al-Haakim (3/574)
16 al-Wathaiq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)
17 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/236)
18 Ad-Daarimee (p.69) and Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p.45) from Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad

You can see more of the Prophet’s [saws] miracles here and here:

Ergo, Sam Shamoun has been duly debunked, his incompetence demonstrated and his dishonesty made public. He has thus far, failed to answer the question, abused his own logic, and lied against common ahadith knowledge. His attempts to deceive and pervert basic historical information have been shown to be infantile, and I must conclude that Sam’s arguments have been thoroughly reduced to nothing more than an ignorant’s rants.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

Some Comments on James White and Adnan Rashid’s Debate

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

I was taken aback by some of James White’s arguments in yesterday’s debate with Br. Adnan Rashid, however I was pleased with the simplicity of his presentation. The topic being debated was, “Was the Qur’an or the Bible Reliably Transmitted? ” and what a show it was. James’ presentation was rather straight forward, to the point and predictable. Admittedly, he’s a seasoned orator which would impress the lay Christian, but as a person who studies the Christian scriptures and their textual history, I felt nothing but shame for James White. His arguments were borderline facetious, if not absurd and really demonstrated a lack of honesty on his part. I’m not sure if he would be willing to defend his statements, but many of his comments were dishonest to say the least. Let’s examine his main point:

  • An Uncontrolled Text is Superior to a Controlled Text.

James’ reasoning, revolved around the idea that if multiple people, at multiple places, at multiple times wrote a documents which ‘largely agreed’ with one another, the autograph would be more preserved and thus rendering the text, ‘reliably transmitted’. This view is largely held by neo-inerrantist Christian scholars such as Maurice Robinson, William Pierpont, Zane Hodges and Aruthur Farstad. There view can be summed up in this excerpt:

“from a transmissional standpoint, a single Textform would be expected to predominate among the vast majority of manuscripts in the absence of radical and well-documented upheavals in the manuscript tradition.” – Maurice Robinson, “The New Testament in the Original Greek According to the Byzantine/Majority Textform”, Preface to the 2nd Ed.

It must be understood however, that this understanding is not due to the science of textual criticism, but based on faith that God preserved the Bible, see Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, pg 219, Citation #29. Therefore James’ position is not based on sound research and study, which he alluded to, but based upon dogmas. It is with this in mind that I’d like to contest his view of preservation through ‘uncontrolled copying‘, by providing a simple example:

  • Scribe writes epistle.
  • Some time passes.
  • Later scribe copies epistle (emendations/ interpolations occur).
  • Some time passes.
  • Another scribe copies the mistakes of the previous scribe and adds mistakes of his own.
  • At this point the original epistle is lost and the autographs of the two later scribes are preserved.

The question we’d have to ask James, is which manuscript autograph would he give precedence to? Would his criteria be based upon dating or level of variance after comparison with his current New Testament codex? If it’s a combination of both, then what would be common to both manuscripts would be the errors of the first copyist and the recopied errors by the second copyist, thus leaving us with something vastly variant to the original:

In some cases the evidence will be found to be so evenly divided that it is extremely difficult to decide between two variant readings. – Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, Preface XV.

Occasionally, none of the variant readings will commend itself as original, and one will be compelled either to choose the reading that is judged to be the least unsatisfactory or to indulge in conjectural emendation. – Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, pg 343.

However, let’s say that we oppose James’ view and we examine a controlled text.

  • A Controlled Text is Superior to an Uncontrolled Text.

What if the original scribe oversaw the copying of his manuscript, and left instructions that any copy henceforth would have to be double checked with his manuscript. That’s a level of control that at the minimum preserves the text by one generation. If this method is continued, essentially all generations of copyists would be able to preserve the original scribe’s works. This is essentially what the Ijaza is in Islam. A person is given the authority to transmit knowledge/ data, because they have achieved a level of approval according to the one who has received authority from one with authority to transmit the knowledge/ data. We know that later Christianity adopted controlled textual transmission, because it better preserved the texts:

It is a striking feature of our textual record that the earliest copies we have of the various books that became the New Testament vary from one another far more widely than do the later copies, which were made under more controlled circumstances in the Middle Ages. – Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, pg 275.

The vast majority of Christian texts which have survived are from the Middle Ages:

Furthermore, the work of many ancient authors has been preserved only in manuscripts that date from the Middle Ages (sometimes the late Middle Ages), far removed from the time at which they lived and wrote. – Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, pg 275.

The end of the twentieth century saw a resurgence of interest in the Byzantine text type among those who believe that the original text is best preserved in the vast majority of witnesses produced in the Middle Ages.’ – Dr. B. Metzger and B. Ehrman, ‘The Text of the NT: It’s Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, 4th Ed, pg 218.

Therefore the correlation being that texts which are controlled, have been vastly more preserved as opposed to the earlier uncontrolled texts of which are sparse and often vastly variant with one another:

Complaints about the adulteration of texts are fairly frequent in early Christian literature. Christian texts, scriptural and nonscriptural, were no more immune than others from vicissitudes of unregulated transmission in handwritten copies. In some respects they were more vulnerable than ordinary texts, and not merely because Christian communities could not always command the most competent scribes. Although Christian writings generally aimed to express not individual viewpoints but the shared convictions and values of a group, members of the group who acted as editors and copyists must often have revised texts in accordance with their own perceptions. This temptation was stronger in connection with religious or philosophical texts than with others simply because more was at stake. A great deal of early Christian literature was composed for the purpose of advancing a particular viewpoint amid the conflicts of ideas and practices that repeatedly arose within and between Christian communities, and even documents that were not polemically conceived might nevertheless be polemically used. Any text was liable to emendation in the interest of making it more pointedly serviceable in a situation of theological controversy. – H. Y. Gamble, Books And Readers In The Early Church: A History Of Early Christian Texts, 1995, Yale University Press: New Haven & London, pp. 123-124.

It is with the above being said, I must thereby conclude that James White’s position in his debate with Br. Adnan Rashid is unscholarly, deceptive, displays a significant level of ignorance of the history and the science of textual criticism and is nothing short but a disgrace to the field of academia. I pray that God guides James White to admitting his erroneous position and that he corrects himself, sooner rather than later.

wa Allaahu Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

Zakir Hussain Baptises James White

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Well, that didn’t take long! The day after James White’s debate with Br. Zakir Hussain (details here, audio stream here, or right click ‘save as’ to download here), James released an article conceding to his clear ineptitude, inability to respond to well founded research and lack of basic comprehension skills. By basic I mean not being able to find a word and correctly identify its meaning, even after having used a computer to search for it (even though he’s a self claimed expert on the Greek language). I really must question not only his basic comprehension skills, but his lazy and hypocritical attitude as well. Yet, before I do so, let’s examine his statements:

First, having quoted John 1:1 in Greek a few thousand times in my life, I think I ended up trying out for a spot on the TBN team at one point last night, but without an interpreter. My apologies.

Ask a 3 year old Muslim to recite 7 ayat from Surah Fatihah and they would be able to do so with perfect pronunciation (tajweed), which I can demonstrate as being possible here and here, ask James White to repeat something he’s done several thousand times and he can’t. What’s worse is that James White even released a video condemning Shaykh Ahmad Deedat for not pronouncing the Greek of John 1:1 correctly, but James himself could not do so. In the video, he says:

Ahmad Deedat’s comments on John 1:1 were inaccurate and incorrect, you will remember that I documented that he didn’t even have the proper Greek terms…..he was actually unable to handle the Greek language, he claimed to be able to do so…..I’m not sure how you are able to properly understand his (Deedat’s arguments) upon not being able to read the language…..in the process he demonstrates that he (the person in the video, not Deedat) cannot read Greek…..he doesn’t known the difference between a v and a nu , he regularly mispronounces the words and he (the person in the video, not Deedat) just does not know the language.

Unfortunately for James, it seems as if his hypocrisy has shown through his facade of using the Greek language. If he can produce a 9 minute video condemning Shaykh Ahmad Deedat (who never formally studied Greek), as opposed to James claiming to have studied Greek and using one verse’s Greek ‘a few thousand times‘, that either means James has to produce a video condemning himself while retracting the video about Shaykh Ahmad Deedat, or James has to concede that he is largely uneducated in this field. This isn’t a situation of ‘either or’, but a situation of ‘and’. Mr. White’s pretentious use of the Greek language was also exposed by myself earlier in this earlier post. What’s worse is that he can’t read Greek by himself, as James has stated that he needs an interpreter as he wrote himself (as seen above).

 Anyway, Zakir was talking at the speed of sound in the rebuttal period (as my notes show) and it was next to impossible to keep up with the references as they flew by.

James was unable to keep up with the vast amounts of information that Br. Zakir used in his presentation, not only was James unable to match his level of research, or keep up with Br. Zakir’s arguments, James later concedes that he intentionally refused (much like a petulant child) to respond to several of the brother’s arguments. Let’s examine James’ inability to properly search for a word, he writes and I quote:

At one point he raised the issue of the Matthean reference to the prophecy (2:23) about the Nazarene. I did a quick search on my computer looking for the right reference and…got the wrong one in my haste.

As opposed to this baby who can actually use an iPhone to search for a song (you can see the baby scrolling through a list and then selecting what it wants; something which James seems unable to do!):

It’s really embarrassing to note that this man is supposed to be, keyword: ‘supposed’ to be, an intellectual of the Christian religion, a representative of their faith and he’s unable to do something for which he condemns others for. Reminds me very much of Matthew 7:1-5:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Sad to say this James, but this is one time you’re going to have to face the music. James then goes on to say this:

 I did a quick search on my computer looking for the right reference and…got the wrong one in my haste. Oh, I got “branch” alright, but I wrote down the reference below what I wanted in the search list, Isaiah 14:19. My apologies. I didn’t have time to read but a single line, saw “rejected branch,” and scribbled it down.

At this point, you must be questioning James’ rationale. James searches for a word, turns out to be the wrong one, he sees a word/ phrase that looks similar to what he wanted to use and decides to give up on academic standards and just ‘wings it’, his reasoning can be seen as the equivalent to another popular right wing nut, Bill O Reilly! See his rant here:

James then ends that portion of the article with this statement:

 I will set up a donation fund for some prescription mid-range reading glasses.

James, I think you need more than glasses. There are many vocational schools that can help you with your comprehension problem, but as for your integrity and dignity, I can offer you nothing but a broom to sweep the fragments of them off of the floor (I’m sort of cheap, get the scoop yourself).

James then decided to use the age old tactic of anti-intellectual argumentation, by generalizing his opponent’s argument and then belittling his generalization:

Finally, I did not get into the issue of the wavy hair and light skin because, as anyone can see, that kind of description could have been applied to any number of the Muslims attending the debate that night, and even some of the Christians.

This is a problem, as James betrays his own methodology of searching for prophecies of Jesus the Christ in the Jewish Tanach. For example, to witness James’ double standards, in this debate with Br. Shabbir Ali, James refers to the physical description of Christ as a ‘key prophecy’, which allegedly foretold of his ‘coming’. However, apparently when a Muslim uses the same methodology of referring to a ‘physical description’, it’s belittled by James. Why can’t the argument James sources from Deuteronomy also be applied to any of the other Jewish Messiahs? Why his God? Is that not confirmation bias? James has once again betrayed any form of dignity. He continues:

the only real issue is whether the term machamad is actually the name of Muhammad. I obviously argue that such a connection is absurd.

On the same note, David is not Dawud, Echad is not Ahad, Abraham is not Ibrahim, Moses is not Musa, Iyov is not Ayub, Ketuvim is not Kutub, Miriam is not Maryam, of course, such relations are just ‘absurd’, and have nothing to do with two Semitic languages mirroring each other! He continues (to his own peril):

Utilizing verbal roots in this fashion can be used to prove anything, as I have noted already by finding both Shabir Ally and Zakir Hussain in the Old Testament using the same methodology.

Apparently James find such a method quite silly, yet ask him what Shemot (Exodus 3:14) is supposed to mean (note: it’s a series of verbs: ‘ehyeh asher ehyeh’ – I will be who I will be – future perfect tense) and that’s supposed to mean Ego Emi (a present tense statement), referring to Christ’s deity. As opposed to an actual name being used, as is clearly demonstrated above. James then concedes to making more mistakes, it just doesn’t get any better for him:

 But I did want to note two things for the sake of accuracy once again. First, at least two people have mentioned to me that I was in error on an ABN show regarding the root H M D in either Arabic or Hebrew, and I may have been, I haven’t taken the time to go back and try to find the comments.

After being corrected by two persons, and after making grievous mistakes and spreading misinformation on live TV, James still did not review his statements, nor did he try to find what was wrong with his presentation, yet he admits to using the same incorrect information during his debate:

 I do recall doing a program on a particular video on YouTube (well, we quoted material from it anyway)

In ending, James’ article is nothing short of a direct result of being baptised by Br. Zakir. The term ‘baptised’ simply means to be ‘whelmed’ that is, ‘overwhelmed’ (see Strong’s Greek Lexicon: G907, ‘βαπτίζω‘). James White, was baptised into conceding that he was misinformed, deceitful and that he demonstrated clear cut pseudo-intellectualism. Br. Zakir most certainly did excellent to evoke such emotions from James White. Please do check out his debate, you will not be disappointed.

wa Allaahu Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

Calling Christians Now Live!

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

I would love to announce the launch of CALLINGCHRISTIANS.COM . For sometime now this former blog on theology has grown from a few hits per day to nearing 10,000 10,000+ unique views. With the success of the numerous articles, debates and dialogues that have occurred through our da’wah, it was decided that we should dutifully expand our operations (that means more articles, debates, contradictions, rebuttals!). We will continue with our modus operandi of debating, dialoguing and discussing theology in light of Islam. We ask that you support us and share our articles, videos and debates insha Allaah (God Willing).

To see a list of recent changes made from blog to full blown website, click here.

What’s to Come:

  • Testimonials page (both Muslim and Non-Muslim interviews!)
    [Update: Testimonials being written by respective authors, soon to be posted!]
  • Rebuttals page.
    [Update: Already rebutted a few ignorant anti-Islamists, will place into a single page soon.]
  • Articles Section.
    [Update: Quite a number of articles written, will place into a single page soon.]

Please feel free to contact us on our progress, articles, debates by clicking here.
and Allaah [God] knows best.

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