Tag Archives: Yusuf Ismail

Debate Review: Are the New Testament Gospels Based on Eyewitness Testimony?

On Saturday 20th October, Attorney Yusuf Ismail debated a UK-based Biologist, Jonathan McLatchie on the topic of, “Are the New Testament Gospels Based on Eyewitness Testimony?”. Presented here is an amended review of the initial review posted on our Facebook page.

Roughly one year ago, the same Christian, UK-based Biologist was called out by this website for plagiarizing during another debate with Attorney Yusuf Ismail. We initially published a video detailing one instance of plagiarism:

Consequently, the Christian speaker issued a statement indicating that this was a one-off occurrence that did not happen throughout the rest of that debate or any debate previously. Contrary to this, we then published another video detailing multiple instances of plagiarism:

What followed was a tale of abject dishonesty and personal hostility on the part of the Christian speaker who became incensed due to our expose, we ignored this behaviour. He eventually conceded that he had in fact, had his opening statement (presentation) for that debate, written by another Christian speaker. This was not surprising given the evidence we had published. This year we had hoped that he learned his lesson and would be professional at this event. This was not the case (information forthcoming), but for a large part, his opening statement this year was largely written by him and consisted of a lecture he had been delivering in various Churches on “undesigned coincidences” in the Gospel narratives.

Jonathan McLatchie’s main and only argument was that the Gospels corroborate each other in some minor details therefore they must be based on eyewitness testimony. This approach is problematic because the manuscript record actually shows that the gospel authors and editors had a tendency to harmonize details between the gospels to make their stories more coherent:

“Colwell and Royse both recognize a tendency to harmonize readings with remote parallels in other Gospels (Colwell, 112-114; Royse, 536-544).”

This is as stated by the conservative New Testament British textual critic, Timothy Mitchell citing:

  • Royse, James R., “Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri.” NTTSD 36. Leiden: Brill, 2008.
  • Colwell, Ernest C., “Method in Evaluating Scribal Habits: A Study of P45, P66, P75,” pages 106-124 in “Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament.” NTTS 9. Leiden: Brill, 1969.

This fundamentally undermines the Christian’s claims during the debate. In fact, I, myself lost count of the verses he quoted from the Gospel attributed to John where papyrus 66 (a manuscript of the gospel of John that is dated between 150 – 399), does not confirm what the modern English versions were saying. He was effectively quoting the gospel attributed to John where the initial author’s writing was changed by later correctors to match/ harmonize what the other gospels said by later editors. A simple review of basic textual critical resources would have easily indicated to him that this was both a bad line of reasoning and counter-evidential to his position.

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(Left) Attorney Yusuf Ismail, (Right) Jonathan McLatchie

At the start of the debate the Christian speaker claimed his beliefs in Christianity were based on evidence, however when challenged on his views on the dead rising in the gospel attributed to Matthew he claimed he believed in a literal rising miracle of the dead in Jerusalem (back to life) without any evidence, thus proving himself wrong. At this point he also became hostile and in a raised voice, demanded to know why such a question was relevant in the first place, it is possible that he had a memory lapse at this point or had become plainly aware of his earlier statement, thus his reaction was largely based on embarrassment.

He also conceded during a rebuttal period that several verses in the gospel attributed to John were written by anonymous authors and therefore they were not authored by eyewitnesses thus conceding the debate to Attorney Yusuf Ismail.

On the other hand, I was duly impressed by Attorney Yusuf Ismail who is currently pursuing theological studies. I found his presentation and citation of classical Christian authorities on the anonymity of the Gospels to both be stringently academic and quite diverse. Meaning then, that he did not isolate these statements from “liberal” scholarship, nor did he quote-mine. In fact, during their cross-examination section, Attorney Yusuf Ismail produced a brilliant quote by Richard Bauckham which justified his position on the Gospels being anonymous in authorship. In addition to this, it was his opponent that had cited Bauckham as an authority in the first place, thus adding to the strength of Attorney Yusuf Ismail’s position. When reminded of this, the Christian speaker decried the reference, stating that he did not agree with everything Bauckham said, while this is a reasonable position, the Christian speaker did not clarify on what well-researched basis he made this distinction of agreeing and disagreeing with the author.

Surprisingly, Yusuf Ismail did not end there, he was on a roll. McLatchie was asked if he accepted Matthaean Priority (that is, the view that Matthew was authored first, followed by Mark and Luke). McLatchie (the Christian speaker) acknowledged that this was the position he was leaning towards. This is where I believe Yusuf Ismail showed his brilliance, he asked McLatchie if he accepted Papias’ (an unreliable early Church Father, as per Eusebius) claim that the gospel attributed to Matthew was initially written in Hebrew (and then translated into Koine Greek). McLatchie confusingly stated he did not study this position on the gospel attributed to Matthew. It therefore is problematic that he in one instance claims that he can lean towards one view on the original authorship of the gospel and then in another state he had not studied it at all. If he had not studied the genesis of Matthew’s gospel, how then can he lean to its position in authorship? This effectively summarized what was an overall brilliant evening for Yusuf and a disaster for McLatchie.

The debate can be viewed here on Facebook:

and Allah knows best.

 

Upcoming Debate: Br. Yusuf Ismail and Pastor Fluech

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To contact IPCI for further details, please see their Facebook page. We have requested details about a possible livestream and we have received information that there most likely will be one. As soon as we get any further information we’ll share it, and we’ll also post the link to our social media pages.

The time for the debate for those of us outside of South Africa is as follows:

  • London, UK – 4 PM.
  • New York, USA – 11 AM.
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad – 12 Noon.
  • Lahore, Pakistan – 9 PM.

and God knows best.

I Forgive Jonathan McLatchie

Recently I demonstrated that Jonathan McLatchie plagiarized in his recent debate with our esteemed Br. Yusuf Ismail.

The two videos published on the issue have gathered more views than the debate itself ever will, I haven’t even factored in the views it got on Facebook when several other Muslims uploaded it either. The point being, that I just wanted to provide some context for what I’ll say in this article. A person could respond in a lot of ways to allegations of plagiarism, it’s part of fair criticism when one is in the interfaith-apologetics field. People analyse your statements, double check your references, these are expected things to happen when you debate because this isn’t a game. You’re calling people to change their entire worldview, base their salvation on what you are saying, so you expect debaters to put their best, most accurate and honest foot forward.

Jonathan responded in three ways to my pointing out his plagiarism. Firstly, he accused me of plagiarising from Rabbi Tovia Singer in a now deleted comment on Facebook. He later on removed that comment after I asked him for proof, evidently he misheard a comment from Dr. James White on Muslims in the UK (which by itself is also unproven). I’m neither from, nor have I been to the UK. To be clear, he didn’t apologize for the lie, he just deleted it as he did with his comments about Br. Mansur recently. Secondly, he then posted a status referring to me as deceptive and then allowed copious amounts of insults to be posted about me from some Paltalk friends he has who are aligned with Sam Shamoun. That’s neither unexpected or interesting, at this point it’s sort of expected behaviour from those people.

Thirdly, he lashed out and posted an unverified photo of a Facebook comment where I apparently insulted David Wood. I’m not really sure what he was expecting? I read the comment thread where his verification process basically entailed asking (and I’m paraphrasing here), “is that Ijaz’s Facebook profile from last year in the photo? By golly, that must mean he actually said it!” He’s apparently unaware that anyone could create false photos from Facebook using someone’s profile picture, it’s something fairly common. It also turns out, when questioned for evidence that I actually posted it…that the only person who claimed to have seen when I did post it…was a person who had blocked me roughly two years ago on Facebook (effectively predating the date on the alleged photo altogether), in fact…that same witness boasted in another post of Jonathan’s that he had blocked me and that his Facebook experience was peaceful for that very reason. Lying, is not their forte to say the least. That person is Robert Wells. He also happens to be the person who threatened my life when I used to interact with him on Paltalk:

robert wells

So, do I fault Jonathan for not doing proper checks before “exposing” me? Yes, I do. Do I fault him for trusting the testimony of someone who blocked me on Facebook and threatened to kill me? Yes, I do. Will I respond in like? No. See, I happen to forgive Jonathan because I understand how much my two videos about his plagiarism may have affected him. I definitely understand how embarrassing it must’ve been, and so I can understand why he lashed out. On the other hand, this isn’t a tit for tat game. I criticize him fairly when it comes to his apologetics and Islamo-political claims, I criticize him fairly when he slanders my colleagues like Br. Mansur and Br. Hamza. His reaction however, was not something related to any of those areas of interest, his lashing out was personal and I do not respond to personal attacks.

So, while I am disappointed in his behaviour, I’m sorry Jonathan, but I’m not interested. Perhaps when you can learn to meaningfully interact with my publications and videos, I’ll gladly respond, but when you go low, I’ll go high. I forgive you.

“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” – Qur’an 7:199.

and God knows best.

Jonathan McLatchie Caught Plagiarizing During Debate with Yusuf Ismail

Several days ago I published a quick review demonstrating that most of McLatchie’s time was spent reading from the Bible (20 of 30 minutes) during his debate with Br. Yusuf Ismail. Yet of those remaining 10 minutes it has been discovered that he was not reading from his own words, indeed he has copied from an online article by Sam Shamoun entitled, “Jesus Christ – The God of Gods and the Prince of princes” on Answering Islam. This was an unashamed, word for word reading from an online article during what was presumably supposed to be a demonstration of McLatchie’s “apologetics”, apparently plagiarism is now part of his apologetics:

Direct YouTube Link: Click Here.
Watch on Facebook: Click Here.

Do honesty, integrity and professionalism no longer matter in the world of Christian apologetics?

and God knows best.

Dr. James White Rebukes Sam Shamoun

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

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

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

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Sam Shamoun “liked” the comment.

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

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

and God knows best.

 

Jonathan McLatchie Flops in South Africa

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Embarrassing. This is the term being used by Christians in response to erratic, untruthful and dishonest claims made by Jonathan McLatchie about his South African events. Despite having the support of his close friend and teacher Sam Shamoun, Jonathan’s events in South Africa have had appallingly small crowds (?) attending those events. One South African speaker, Br. Yusuf Bux, decided to question Jonathan about the size of attendance at his events:

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Jonathan replied with a large figure, 200 people! However, Br. Yusuf Bux responded with a picture that clearly showed roughly 20 people in attendance or less. In questioning Jonathan’s integrity, Br. Yusuf Bux replied as follows:

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Jonathan insisted that the photos were taken at a bad time, however these are photos from two different debates, both showing less than 100 people at either event. Instead of responding with photographic evidence to the contrary, Jonathan insisted that “someone did a headcount”. Unfortunately for Jonathan, the pictures were taken by attendees who confirmed that such numbers from Jonathan are not only imagined, Jonathan was simply lying. Another person who attended the event also replied and confirmed that Jonathan’s numbers were simply made up:

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According to the above eyewitness, the testimonies of both Christians and Muslims, and the photographs of the events, Jonathan is simply making up attendance numbers at will. In fact, Br. Yusuf Ismail has mentioned that there were 40 people at the first event and 70 at the second. No where near the large figures that Jonathan claimed:

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Not only have the events themselves failed to draw in any crowds, attendees from both Islamic and Christian backgrounds have complained that Jonathan’s arguments were not only poor, but he was significantly repetitive, leading to crowds leaving while he was speaking. As seen in this photo below, the room is practically empty while Jonathan is speaking:

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In another event, there are 4-5 more people, but the seats are simply empty while Jonathan is speaking:

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There’s no need to make up numbers Jonathan, the pictures speak for themselves. If anyone would like to submit further pictures of the crowds, send us an email or post them to our Facebook Page.

and Allah knows best.

 

Debate Review: Jay Smith and Yusuf Ismail – The Biblical and Quranic Approach to Peace & Violence

You can view this debate for yourself to see Jay Smith’s arguments get pulled apart by Yusuf Ismail. Jay does not only get branded as inconsistent by Yusuf but also as dishonest. I’ve made a few points on this debate below to serve as a review and rebuke of some sort. There’s nothing positive to be said about Jay Smith’s scholarship, that’s for sure. This man seems determined to lead Christians down an unpleasant road.

Listen to Yusuf Ismail’s opening statement, his arguments and  his comments towards Jay Smith. If that makes you want to expose your ears to the yapping of Jay Smith then here’s the full debate. Yusuf’s OS is quite lively – definitely will get a few pulses racing so if you’re of a disposition where you really could do without an increased heart beat this one just is not for you. However, read the points below.

The Biblical and Quranic approach to Peace and Violence – Yusuf’s Opening Statement

Jay Smith is disingenuous and inconsistent in this debate. What’s new? This is not new for Jay Smith. It’s this type of inconsistency and disingenuous argumentation that drives away the more thoughtful and astute Christians away from Christian apologists.

Read more

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