71 replies

  1. Come on Paul, you know that this is pure nonsense. You yourself agree over against Singer, as does Ehrman whom Singer is badly parroting, that John depicts Jesus as God Almighty and co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

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  2. I think you over state your case about John’s gospel. John’s Jesus (a portrait scholars consider part fact, part fiction) says ‘the Father is greater than I’, so he is hardly ‘co-equal’ the Father. Anyway serious scholars of the historical Jesus do not use the fourth gospel in their research.

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  3. Paul, do I need to hunt down the quotes where you yourself admitted that John does teach that Jesus is God in an absolute and eternal sense? Moreover, the question is not whether “serious scholars” of the historical Jesus use John or not, but Singer’s assertion that John doesn’t teach the absolute, essential and eternal Deity of Christ.

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    • I do not believe that John teaches ‘that Jesus is God in an absolute and eternal sense’ – as opposed to God in a temporal and relative sense?? I don’t think I have ever claimed that. Divine/God in some sense yes. But inferior to the father. John’s Jesus says he is inferior to God the Father.

      You obviously have a chip on your shoulder about Singers views. I am more interested in the fact that leading New Testament scholars including evangelicals (such as Professor Craig A. Evans) have concluded that John’s portrait of Jesus is NOT the historical Jesus. Jesus did not actually utter the famous ‘I am’ statements. Does that not cause you anxiety? It did me when I was a Christian.

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  4. Williams,

    You wrote:

    “I do not believe that John teaches ‘that Jesus is God in an absolute and eternal sense’ – as opposed to God in a temporal and relative sense?? I don’t think I have ever claimed that. Divine/God in some sense yes. But inferior to the father. John’s Jesus says he is inferior to God the Father.

    Exegete and explain the meaning of John 1:1-5 for me.

    “You obviously have a chip on your shoulder about Singers views. I am more interested in the fact that leading New Testament scholars including evangelicals (such as Professor Craig A. Evans) have concluded that John’s portrait of Jesus is NOT the historical Jesus. Jesus did not actually utter the famous ‘I am’ statements. Does that not cause you anxiety? I did me when I was a Christian.”

    The better question is, if you are consistent then doesn’t it trouble you that no bonafide NT scholar or historian would ever take what the Quran reports about Jesus seriously? Does it not bother your conscience that scholars such as Evans would view the speeches of Jesus in the Quran as nothing more than fairytales and myths which Muhammad concocted and/or modified from sources that no credible scholar accepts as containing authentic material on the life of the historical Jesus? In fact, cite me one NT or historical Jesus scholar that believes the fairytale of Jesus speaking as an infant as reported in the Quran.

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    • Sam an obvious ploy from you to avoid answering the questions/issues.

      Explain why leading New Testament scholars including evangelicals such as Professor Craig A. Evans have concluded that John’s portrait of Jesus is NOT the historical Jesus. That Jesus did not actually utter the famous ‘I am’ statements. These are Christian experts on the gospels, who share your own faith! Does that not cause you anxiety? I would imagine it does. The irony of ironies Sam is that I agree with your gospel experts on the nature of John, and you do not! Why is this? give me you reasons.

      John’s Jesus says ‘the Father is greater than I’, so he is hardly ‘co-equal’ the Father as you mistakenly claim. You have avoided dealing with this point which refutes your theology.

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  5. Williams, an obvious case of the pot calling the kettle black and also of projecting unto me that which you yourself are guilty of. Therefore, instead of evading my questions please answer them directly so I can then come back with my replies. Only then will I tackle your misinterpretation and misappropriation of John 14:28.

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  6. It is a shame you choose not to actually deal with the question raised in this post (your own evangelical scholars views on John’s gospel and the historical Jesus). It speaks volumes Sam. But I will deal your questions regardless.

    You wrote:

    ‘if you are consistent then doesn’t it trouble you that no bonafide NT scholar or historian would ever take what the Quran reports about Jesus seriously? Does it not bother your conscience that scholars such as Evans would view the speeches of Jesus in the Quran as nothing more than fairytales and myths which Muhammad concocted and/or modified from sources that no credible scholar accepts as containing authentic material on the life of the historical Jesus? In fact, cite me one NT or historical Jesus scholar that believes the fairytale of Jesus speaking as an infant as reported in the Quran.’

    Yes, it is certainly true that western scholars do not take Quranic statements about Jesus (e.g. that he was not crucified) and miraculous stories about him (Jesus speaking as an infant) as historical evidence. Let’s investigate why this might be so.

    Western historical scholarship does not accept the miraculous as a data in historical research. It certainly would not accept the Quran (a book from the 7the century) as the actual words of the Creator who knows all things. Such a move would be alien to the presuppositions of western secular historical research. These same scholars’ comments on John are not bound up with questions of the miraculous – but are based on comparisons between the 4 gospels, their differences, and the likely historical realities of Jesus of Nazareth.

    So a typical western secular historian who looks at a Book apparently created in the 7th century AD showing Jesus speaking from the cradle, or Jesus not being crucified, or Jesus turning clay birds to life, would see these stories as inadmissible evidence, a priori. The miraculous and the supernatural are inadmissible to western historians on philosophical (not historical) grounds – they just do not happen.

    The author of John’s gospel tantalisingly claims,

    ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’ John 21:25

    So we know that other stories were circulating at the end of the 1st century. It is unreasonable to insist they have ALL been lost forever. The Quran informs us otherwise. God is all knowing and is quite capable of reminding mankind of events in the life of Jesus that have been forgotten or dismissed as myth or legend.

    Concerning the alleged crucifixion of Jesus I reproduce the following comments from my book Resurrecting Jesus: Rediscovering the original Jesus in the light of modern Bible Scholarship and the Quran.

    “A Bad Case of Cherry Picking?”

    A friend kindly offered me his critique of my belief in ‘an extraordinary convergence: another sign of the Quran’s Divine origin.’

    He wrote, ‘I like the idea of quoting scholars who say this kind of stuff, however how would you respond to someone who says that you are doing selective citation? For instance, the scholars you cite would surely agree that Jesus was crucified, which contradicts Islam. Some may argue that you are cherry picking.’

    I replied:

    That is a very good point. In response I would want to make to points:

    1) that my focus is on Christology: who Jesus was – God, a man or somehow both? Not the circumstances of his birth or death. It is crucial for the Christian case that Jesus was actually God incarnated as a human being. But this very claim has been thoroughly undermined by scholars because an exhaustive enquiry into the earliest Jesus tradition suggests there is no evidence that Jesus thought of himself as God. This is expressed by Dunn:

    “Alternatively, it still remains open to us to say, Of course Jesus was much more than he ever knew himself to be during his earthy life. But if we are to submit our speculations to the text and build our theology only with the bricks provided by careful exegesis we cannot say with any confidence that Jesus knew himself to be divine, the pre-existent Son of God‘[2]

    2) The Quran makes a very interesting claim:

    “God has sealed them [the Jews] in their disbelief, so they believe only a little – and because they disbelieved and uttered a terrible slander against Mary, and said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to Himself. God is almighty and wise.’

    Surat An-Nisā’ 4:155-157. Translation by Abdel Haleem

    Is this claim at all plausible from a historical perspective? Was Jesus miraculously saved from crucifixion by God? Why should mankind pay any attention to what the Quran claims anyway?

    The distinguished Christian philosopher and believer in the crucifixion Rev Professor John Hick, was honest enough to admit,

    ‘Historically it is very difficult to dispute the qur’anic verse since presumably it would not be possible for observers at the time to tell the difference between Jesus being crucified and his only appearing to be crucified – unless what is suggested is that someone else was crucified in his place.’

    Religious Pluralism and Islam, Lecture delivered to the Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, Tehran, in February 2005.

    (The disputed historical question of the crucifixion of Jesus is really a very minor issue for Muslims as Jesus did not go around Galilee preaching that forgiveness of sins was made possible through his death but instead through simple repentance to God – without a mediator – which is what Islam teaches too, see Matthew 5-7 ‘The Sermon on the Mount’).

    So why do Western historians not use the Quranic data in their research into the historical Jesus?

    The problem of miracles. Bart Erhman writes apropos the resurrection of Jesus,

    “But that is not why historians cannot show that miracles [including the miraculous deliverance of Jesus from crucifixion?], including the resurrection, happened. The reason instead has to do with the limits of historical knowledge. There cannot be historical evidence for a miracle. To understand why, we need to consider how historians engage in their craft. Historians work differently from the way natural scientists work. Scientists do repeated experimentation to demonstrate how things happen, changing one variable at a time. If the same experiment produces the same result time after time, you can establish a level of predictive probability: the same result will occur the next time you do the experiment….”

    Erhman continues,

    “Historians work differently. Historians are not trying to show what does or will happen, but what has happened. And with history, the experiment can never be repeated. Once something has happened, it is over and done with…..”

    “Did Lincoln write the Gettysburg address on an envelope? Did Jefferson have a long-term love affair with one of his slaves? ….Make up your own questions: there are billions..There is nothing inherently improbable about any of these events; the question is whether they happened or not. Some are more probable than others. Historians more or less rank past events on the basis of the relative probability that they occurred. All that historians can do is show what probably happened in the past.”

    “That is the problem inherent in miracles. Miracles, by our very definition of the term, are virtually impossible events…..by their very nature, (they) are always the least probable explanation for what happened. This is true whether you are a believer or not. Of the six billion people in the world, not one of them can walk on top of lukewarm water filling a swimming pool. What would be the chances of any one person being able to do that? Less than one in six billion. Much less.”

    “….historians cannot establish that miracles have ever happened. This is true of the miracles of Mohammed, Hanina ben Dosa [3]”, Apollonius of Tyana[4]” – and Jesus.”

    “But what about the resurrection? I’m not saying that it didn’t happen. Some people believe it did, some believe it didn’t. But if you do believe it, it is not as a historian, even if you happen to be a professional historian, but as a believer. There can be no historical evidence for the resurrection because of the nature of historical evidence.”[5]

    Erhman’s comments about historical method (more precisely Western post-Enlightenment secular historiography) and the resurrection apply with equal force to the Quranic claim,

    ‘They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them’.

    Why should mankind pay any attention to what the Quran claims anyway? The Bible does not claim to be a revelation from Almighty God. Some parts of the Bible even deny that they are from God at all, for example, ‘To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer…’ from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 7:12. Here Paul carefully distinguishes between ‘the Lord’s’ teaching and his own opinion which is by definition not Revelation from Almighty God.

    In contrast the Quran actually claims to be a Revelation from Almighty God,

    ‘Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction’ Surah 4:82.

    If there is a God then it is very likely indeed that he would wish to reveal His Will to guide us in the path most pleasing to Him. The Quran is one of very few extant books to claim a Divine origin. Therefore it would be sensible and wise to ponder the Quranic message – as it indeed invites readers to do.

    Consider the Quran’s claims about itself…

    ‘He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except “men of understanding.’ Surat ‘Āli `Imrān 3:7”

    —————————————

    Notes:

    “[2] JDG Dunn, Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, p32.
    [3] Hanina ben Dosa (1st century, CE) was a scholar and miracle-worker.
    [4] Apollonius of Tyana c.15? to c.100? CE was a Greek philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. Little is known about him with any certainty. He is thought to have lived around the time of Christ and was compared with Jesus of Nazareth by Christians in the 4th century and by various popular writers in modern times.
    [5] From Bart Erhman Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them).”

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  7. A corespondent emailed me the following comments on my reply to Sam. I have reproduced them with permission:

    A. No NT scholar takes the Quran seriously:

    1. So what if no NT scholar takes the Quran seriously in what it says about Jesus? That doesn’t mean the quran is wrong.

    2. All NT scholars are trained in Biblical studies and that’s what they focus upon and know little about the Quran and neither have the time to specialise in the latter. So the question is not generally that of “seriousness.” This is DIFFERENT from the case of NT scholars not taking GJohn as a brute historical account and not considering it as serious history.

    3. Most NT scholars are committed Christians. They have specific presuppositions and world views, which causes them to a priori dismiss beforehand any accounts about Jesus outside of the canonical literature. Yet there are some who do not share such presuppositions and who are more open to consider outside accounts with more seriousness.

    4. Even if all NT scholars dismissed the Quranic account, that wouldn’t matter at all. They’re not generally experts of the Quran and know very little about it to begin with.

    So the entire comparison here (NT scholars dismissing GJohn as historical source and NT scholars dismissing the Quran is a FALSE comparison).

    B. why is Jesus speaking as a baby a fairytale more than Jesus turning water into wine, walking on the sea, performing exorcisms, multiplying food etc etc? The answer is simple: ones presuppositions = a particular Christian presumes the NT to contain facts about Jesus and presumes another account narrating other miracle events “must be” false, well because, it “must be.” It does not get more complicated than this.

    Other than the above quick thoughts, your own answer is most appropriate and nothing more needs to be added.

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  8. You had the audacity to write:

    “The author of John’s gospel tantalisingly claims,

    ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’ John 21:25

    So we know that other stories were circulating at the end of the 1st century. It is unreasonable to insist they have ALL been lost forever. The Quran informs us otherwise. God is all knowing and is quite capable of reminding mankind of events in the life of Jesus that have been forgotten or dismissed as myth or legend.”

    How truly embarrassing and humiliating, as well as dishonest of you to appeal to the very same Gospel that you have attempted to debunk as unreliable and unhistorical. Now let us see what John wrote concerning Jesus’ signs IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS GOSPEL which you conveniently choose to ignore to your shame:

    “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. THIS BEGINNING OF MIRACLES DID JESUS IN CANA OF GALILEE, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” John 2:1-11 AV

    The very writer that you cited EXPLICITLY AND EMPHATICALLY TESTIFIES that the first miracle Jesus ever did WAS WHEN HE TURNED WATER INTO WINE, which took place at the start of his public ministry when he was an adult. This serves to debunk Muhammad and his Quran, since it shows that Muhammad had no clue that he was quoting myths and fables which he then ignorantly tried to pass off as revelations given to him from his deity.

    And to implode another one of your lies:

    “The distinguished Christian philosopher and believer in the crucifixion Rev Professor John Hick, was honest enough to admit,”

    Hick was NO Christian philosopher and believer since he himself admitted that he lost faith in Christianity long before he died. This again either exposes your dishonesty or your ineptness since you speak on matters that you are truly ignorant of and have business addressing. So much for your authority.

    Now with that said, please quote a single reputable NT scholar and/or historian who denies that Jesus was killed by crucifixion. Just one.

    OUCH!

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  9. Now that I jus dissipated your smokescreen for all to see, let me repeat my two questions.

    1. Please exegete John 1:1-5 for all of us to read.

    2. Quote one reputable NT scholar and/or historian WHO DOESN’T REJECT miracles off hand that would agree with the Quran that Jesus wasn’t crucified and that he spoke as an infant.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

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  10. And tell your friend Yahya Seymour that he needs to come up with some better responses than the ones you presented here since he obviously didn’t get the fact that I am using the very same scholars THAT YOU YOURSELF ENDORSE AND CITE as authorities against you. So the nonsense of their not being experts of the Quran is not only irrelevant, but simply silly and desperate since one doesn’t have to be an expert on a 7th-8th century book filled with lies and fairytales in order to be able to ascertain whether what such a document says concerning Jesus is historical or not.

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  11. ‘Lines lead from the very first Jewish Christianity to the seventh century, indeed to Islam…The analogies between the Qur’anic picture of Jesus and a Christology with a Jewish-Christian stamp are perplexing. These parallels are irrefutable and call for more intensive historical and systematic reflection.’

    Hans Kung, Islam, Past, Present and Future (2007, One World Publications, pp 37, 44)

    ‘Muslims do not worship Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic, nor do they consider him
    divine, but they do believe that he was a prophet or messenger of God and he is called the
    Messiah in the Qur’an. However, by affirming Jesus as Messiah they are attesting to his
    messianic message, not his mission as a heavenly Christ.

    There are some rather striking connections between the research I have presented in The
    Jesus Dynasty and the traditional beliefs of Islam. The Muslim emphasis on Jesus as
    messianic prophet and teacher is quite parallel to what we find in the Q source, in the book
    of James, and in the Didache. To be the Messiah is to proclaim a message, but it is the
    same message as that proclaimed by Abraham, Moses and all the Prophets.

    Islam insists that neither Jesus nor Muhammad brought a new religion. Both sought to call
    people back to what might be called “Abrahamic faith.” This is precisely what we find
    emphasised in the book of James. Like Islam, the book of James, and the teaching of
    Jesus in Q, emphasise doing the will of God as a demonstration of one’s faith. Also, the
    dietary laws of Islam, as quoted in the Qur’an, echo the teaching of James in Acts 15
    almost word for word: “Abstain from swine flesh, blood, things offered to idols, and
    carrion” (Qur’an 2:172).

    The Christianity we know from the Q source, from the letter of James, from the Didache,
    and some of our other surviving Jewish-Christian sources, represents a version of the
    Jesus faith that can actually unite, rather than divide, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. If
    nothing else, the insights revealed through an understanding of the Jesus dynasty can
    open wide new and fruitful doors of dialogue and understanding among these three great
    traditions that have in the past considered their views of Jesus to be so sharply
    contradictory as to close off discussion.’
    James D Tabor, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina,
    The Jesus Dynasty, (2006, HarperElement, pp. 287-288)

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  12. But if Muslims’ appreciation of Jesus is grounded in the Quran, their knowledge of Jesus is also limited to the Quran and to what later Muslim commentators made of what they found there. Which was not a great deal. The Quran gives no signs of being acquainted with the actual Christian Gospels, which are our earliest and best sources of information about Jesus. Rather, the Quranic information about Jesus seems late, derivative, and legendary. And since the Quran is the authoritative word of God, the Muslim has little incentive to consult the Gospels, which are, in any event, unreliable since they were tampered with by the Christians, according to a well-established Muslim article of faith.
    F. E. Peters, Jesus & Muhammad: Parallel Tracks, Parallel Lives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. xix-xx

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  13. Sam you wrote:

    ‘And to implode another one of your lies:

    “The distinguished Christian philosopher and believer in the crucifixion Rev Professor John Hick, was honest enough to admit,”

    Hick was NO Christian philosopher and believer since he himself admitted that he lost faith in Christianity long before he died. This again either exposes your dishonesty or your ineptness since you speak on matters that you are truly ignorant of and have business addressing. So much for your authority.’

    I am happy to report that Hick remained a Christian all his life, though a decidedly unorthodox one. In Hick’s lecture to the Iranian Institute of Philosophy, in Tehran, March 2005 he said,

    ‘First let me indicate my own position within Christianity, which is as internally varied as is the Islamic world. I am an ordained minister of the United Reformed Church, which is a small part of the section of Christianity that split away from the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century CE, and within this I belong to the reforming end of the spectrum of positions. It is from this point of view that I am speaking. I am not however an official representative of that church, but am here entirely in my own personal capacity.’

    http://www.johnhick.org.uk/…/7-islam-and-christianity

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  14. Sam you chastise me thus,

    ‘How truly embarrassing and humiliating, as well as dishonest of you to appeal to the very same Gospel that you have attempted to debunk as unreliable and unhistorical.’

    Firstly, I have not debunked John as ‘unreliable and unhistorical’. You should read what I say more carefully.

    I wrote,

    ‘in the fact that leading New Testament scholars including evangelicals (such as Professor Craig A. Evans) have concluded that John’s portrait of Jesus is NOT the historical Jesus. Jesus did not actually utter the famous ‘I am’ statements’

    So this is not a wholesale rejection of everything in John as unhistorical. No. It contains many historical nuggets. But the famous I ams are unhistorical as are the long discourses. But other features of the gospel might have some historical basis.

    Historically I have no problem with John’s claim (though it is expressed hyperbolically), that ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’ John 21:25

    Why not?

    I don’t get the point of your citation of John 2:1-11 AV..

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  15. Greetings, Gents.

    Look at the Gospel of John as a whole. It doesn’t identify Jesus as God, but it does identify someone other than Jesus, the Father, as the one true God. Jesus, in John, has a god (the God) over him, who sends, leads, and empowers him. God doesn’t. Here’s a recent presentation in which I survey the book, though I don’t spend long enough on explaining John 1. http://youtu.be/2gaxOLsXHSs

    About John 1, I think the Rabbi here is mistaken that John 1 asserts Jesus to be a god (though not God). In brief, the Logos isn’t supposed to be the pre-human Jesus. The passage is saying that God’s eternal logos, by which he made all things, was fully expressed in the life of the man Jesus. Some reasons here: http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-71-proverbs-8-jesus-part-1/ Yes, John does consider Jesus’ sonship as having always been, but this is because he views Jesus as predestined from all eternity to be the Messiah. “Before Abraham was, I am [the Messiah].”

    If Mr. Shamoun wants to say that the book implies that Jesus and God are numerically one (identical), then he implies that the author of John contradicts himself in multiple ways. Why? Because we all know that a thing can’t at one time differ in any way from itself. But in this book, Jesus differs from God, as Mr. Shamoun will have to admit. e.g. God has a Son. It is not the case that Jesus has a Son. To imply that Jesus and God are identical, then, is to imply that they haven’t, don’t, won’t, and can’t differ in but the smallest way. But, they do.

    Of course, Mr. Shamoun is correct in saying that the Qur’an isn’t considered a historical source on the life of Jesus; there is just too big a gap in time and space, not to mention cultures and languages.

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  16. Hi Dale, good of you to drop by.

    You say:

    ‘…the Qur’an isn’t considered a historical source on the life of Jesus; there is just too big a gap in time and space, not to mention cultures and languages’

    If we look at the question of the Quran’s origins rationally, there are logically two posible options for a Book that claims to be authored by the Creator (as the Quran does):

    Either:

    1) It is not from the creator but is a man-made artefact

    or

    2) It is the very words of God Himself

    If 1) is true than 2) is false. But if 2) is true 1) is false.

    If the Quran is the eternal Word of the Creator, Who is not bound by our space and time, then your objection, ‘there is just too big a gap in time and space’ is not a decisive objection to the Quran’s claims about itself.

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    • Hi Paul,

      That’s right – the Qur’an has evidential value on the subject matter of Jesus only if M really was a prophet of the one God, and if the book as we now have it accurately enough convey’s M’s message. So in arguing with non-Muslims, one can’t appeal to the Qur’an as evidence concerning Jesus. Either you first convince us that the Qur’an is God’s genuine and well-preserved word, or we will quite correctly consider it irrelevant to the historical Jesus. And non-Muslim historians will, quite reasonably, ignore what the Qur’an says about Jesus when they are doing history (about Jesus). Things are interestingly different when it comes to the New Testament. Scholars may try to sort out what they think are later or unreliable reports there, but all but a tiny, radical fringe takes some of these books to be our earliest evidence about the man Jesus. e.g. Paul’s undisputed latter, Mark, Acts.

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  17. thanks for that Dale.

    Changing tack slightly, Christians have a similar problems speaking with non-believers. Consider the claims and teaching of Jesus. Are these true? How can an historian adjudicate the question (qua historian)? Jesus spoke of other worlds in different dimensions: heaven and hell; he taught about the character of God; the Day of Judgement; demons and angels; etc.

    The Quran is a different genre of writing than the NT. The latter is a library of man-made historical writings concerned with God and Jesus. They do not claim inspiration or inerrancy. They are frequently contradictory. The Quran is a different entity. It contains the direct unadulterated speech of the Creator. Western secular historians reject all Revelation in their public work (though of course privately they may believe in the truth claims of Christianity).

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  18. Things are interestingly different when it comes to the New Testament. Scholars may try to sort out what they think are later or unreliable reports there, but all but a tiny, radical fringe takes some of these books to be our earliest evidence about the man Jesus. e.g. Paul’s undisputed latter, Mark, Acts.

    ————————————-

    Paul himself is not the earliest, but later and un disciple (not disciple) of Jesus Christ. How do you consider him undisputed that the earliest disciples of Jesus?

    ————————————

    Things are interestingly different when it comes to the New Testament. Scholars may try to sort out what they think are later or unreliable reports there

    ———————————–

    What they think? Not from God but what they think? Some people with their scholars also think what they(your Church Fathers and their scholars) left out like the Gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Banabas, the Sherpert Hermas and many more non canonical gospels are true gospels and evidence of the true Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When your scholars or Church Fathers are busy sorting out the circulating gospels and deciding which ones they will choose and canonize, other sect of Christianity are also busy sorting out and selected the some gospel that your scholars did not select as their canonical gospels like the Gospel of Thomas which was found in the coffin of a Christian priest.

    There is now some Christian scholars who think the other gospels apart from the canonical ones are indeed true gospels and must not be rejected.

    Gospel of Thomas has fairy tales? because you do not like it. The canonical gospels like John, Mark, Luke, Mathew has miracles like raising the dead too and that is more of a fairy tale than the gospel of Thomas and must be rejected.

    If you live is a glasshouse do not throw stones

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  19. Paul, I will allow Bart Ehrman make my case for me:

    “Things are quite different in the Gospel of John. In Mark, Jesus teaches principally about God and the coming kingdom, hardly ever talking directly about himself [sic], except to say that he must go to Jerusalem to be executed, whereas in John, that is practically all that Jesus talks about: who he is, where he has come from, where he is going, and how he is the one who can provide eternal life.

    “Jesus does not preach about the future kingdom of God in John. The emphasis is on his own identity, as seen in the ‘I am’ sayings. He is the one who can bring life-giving sustenance (‘I am the bread of life’ 6:35); he is the one who brings enlightenment (‘I am the light of the world’ 9:5); he is the only way to God (‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me’ 14:6). Belief in Jesus is the way to have eternal salvation: ‘whoever believes in him may have eternal life’ (3:36). HE IN FACT IS EQUAL WITH GOD: ‘I and the Father are one’ (10:30). His Jewish listeners appear to have known full well what he was saying: they immediately pick up stones to execute him for blasphemy.

    “In one place in John, Jesus claims the name of God for himself, saying to his Jewish interlocutors, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (John 8:58). Abraham, who lived 1,800 years earlier, was the father of the Jews, and Jesus is claiming to have existed before him. But he is claiming more than that. He is referring to a passage in the Hebrew Scriptures where God appears to Moses at the burning bush and commissions him to go to Pharaoh and seek the release of his people. Moses asks God what God’s name is, so that he can inform his fellow Israelites which divinity has sent him. God replies, ‘I Am Who I Am … say to the Israelites, “I Am has sent me to you”’ (Exodus 3:14). So when Jesus says ‘I AM,’ in John 8:58, he is claiming the divine name for himself. Here again his Jewish hearers had no trouble understanding his meaning. Once more, out come the stones.” (Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We don’t Know About Them) [HarperOne, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 2009], Three. A Mass Of Variant Views, pp. 79-80; capital emphasis ours)

    And:

    “… John starts with a prologue that mysteriously describes the Word of God that was in the very beginning with God, that was itself God, and through which God created the universe. This Word, we are told, became a human being, and that’s who Jesus Christ is: the Word of God made flesh. There is nothing like that in the Synoptics… Jesus also preaches in this Gospel, not about the coming kingdom of God but about himself: who he is, where he has come from, where he is going, and how he can bring eternal life. Unique to John are the various ‘I am’ sayings, in which Jesus identifies himself and what he can provide for people. These ‘I am’ sayings are usually backed up by a sign, to show that what Jesus says about himself is true. And so he says, ‘I am the bread of life’ and proves it by multiplying the loaves to feed the multitudes; he says ‘I am the light of the world’ and proves it by healing the man born blind; he says ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ and proves it by raising Lazarus from the dead.” (Ibid, pp. 72-73)

    Again:

    “John does not make any reference to Jesus’ mother being a virgin, instead explaining his coming into the world as an incarnation of a preexistent divine being. The prologue to John’s Gospel (1:1-18) is one of the most elevated and POWERFUL passages of the entire Bible. It is also one of the most discussed, controverted, and differently interpreted. John begins (1:1-3) with an elevated view of the ‘Word of God,’ a being that is independent of God (he was ‘with God’) but that is in some sense equal with God (he ‘was God’). This being existed in the beginning with God and is the one through whom the entire universe was created (‘all things came into being through him, and apart from him not one thing came into being’).

    “Scholars have wrangled over details of this passage for centuries. My personal view is that the author is harking back to the story of creation in Genesis 1, where God spoke and creation resulted: ‘And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.’ It was by speaking a word that God created all that there was. The author of the Fourth Gospel, LIKE SOME OTHERS IN JEWISH TRADITION, imagined that the word that God spoke was some kind of independent entity in and of itself. It was ‘with’ God, because once spoken, it was apart from God, and it ‘was’ God in the sense that what God spoke was a part of his being. His speaking only made external what was already internal, within his mind. The word of God, then, was the outward manifestation of the internal divine reality. It both was with God, and was God, and was the means by which all things came into being.

    “In John’s Gospel, this preexistent divine Word of God became a human being: ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory’ (1:14). It comes as no surprise who this human being was: Jesus Christ. Jesus, here, is not simply a Jewish prophet who suddenly bursts onto the scene, as in Mark; and he is not a divine-human who has come into existence at the point of his conception (or birth) by a woman who was impregnated by God. He is God’s very word, who was with God in the beginning, who has temporarily come to dwell on earth, bringing the possibility of eternal life.

    “John does not say how this Word came into the world. He does not have a birth narrative and says nothing about Joseph and Mary [sic], about Bethlehem, or about a virginal conception. And he varies from Luke on this very key point: whereas Luke portrays Jesus as having come into being at some historical point (conception or birth) [sic], John portrays him as the human manifestation of a divine being who transcends human history.” (Ibid, pp. 75-76; capital emphasis ours)

    Finally:

    “The last of our Gospels to be written, John, pushes the Son-of-God-ship of Jesus back even further, into eternity past. John is our only Gospel that actually speaks of Jesus as divine [sic]. For John, Christ is not the Son of God because God raised him from the dead, adopted him at the baptism, or impregnated his mother: he is the Son of God because he existed with God in the very beginning, before the creation of the world, as the Word of God, before coming into this world as a human being (becoming ‘incarnate’)… This is the view that became the standard Christian doctrine, that Christ was the preexistent Word of God who became flesh. He both was with God in the beginning and was God, and it was through him that the universe was created. But this was not the original view held by the followers of Jesus [sic]. The idea that Jesus was divine was a later Christian invention [sic], one found, among our gospels, only in John… What led Christians to develop this view? The Gospel of John does not represent the view of one person, the unknown author [sic] of the Gospel, but rather a view that the author inherited through his oral tradition, just as the other Gospel writers record the traditions that they had heard, traditions in circulation in Christian circles for decades before they were written down. John’s tradition is obviously unique, however, since in none [sic] of the other Gospels do we have such an exalted view of Christ. Where did this tradition come from?” (Ibid, Seven. Who Invented Christianity?, pp. 248-249)

    As far as Dale’s idolatrous appeal to “logic” to debunk the explicit teaching is concerning, I will simply defer to Stephen Haye’s rebuttals which Dale has yet to recover from: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/search?q=Dale+Tuggy

    OUCH!

    Like

    • Sam thank you for quoting a great scholar who utterly refutes your views. Bart has shown conclusively that John’s portrait of Jesus is not historical at all! Jesus did not say the I AM sayings.

      OUCH!!

      Like

  20. It seems I am going to have to again implode your lie that Hick was a Christian. Here goes:

    Pluralism

    In light of his Kantian influences, Hick claims that knowledge of the Real (his generic term for Transcendent Reality) can only be known as it is being perceived. For that reason, absolute truth claims about God (to use Christian language) are really truth claims about perceptions of God; that is, claims about the phenomenal God and not the noumenal God. Furthermore, because all knowledge is rooted in experience, which is then perceived and interpreted into human categories of conception, cultural and historical contexts which inevitably influence human perception are necessarily components of knowledge of the Real. This means that knowledge of God and religious truth claims pertaining thereof are culturally and historically influenced; and for that reason should not be considered absolute. This is a significant aspect of Hick’s argument against Christian exclusivism, which holds that although other religions might contain partial goodness and truth, salvation is provided only in Jesus Christ, and the complete truth of God is contained only in Christianity.

    Perhaps the simplest manner in which to understand Hick’s theory of pluralism of religions is to share the comparison he makes between his own understanding of religion and the Copernican view of our solar system. Before Copernicus disseminated his views of the solar centered universe, the Ptolemaic system ruled in which the stars were painted in the sky, and the sun rose and set around the earth. In short, the rest of the universe existed for and was centered on our little planet. On the other hand, Copernicus asserted that the earth, and other planets as well, circled the sun, which in fact, did not move, but only appeared to move due to the revolution of our planet. Copernicus introduced our world to the understanding that other planets took similar paths around the sun; while each path differed, all served the same purpose and generated the same result: every planet makes a full path around our central star. Rotation of a planet about its axis creates day and night for that planet, just as day and night occur on earth. Although the time frames for a full trip around the sun and for a full day-night cycle differs on a planet-by-planet basis, the concept remains constant throughout our solar system.

    Similarly, Hick draws the metaphor that the Ptolemaic view of religion would be that Christianity is the only way to true salvation and knowledge of the one true God. Ptolemaic Christianity would assert that everything exists and all of history has played out in specific patterns for the glory of the Christian God, and that there is no other possible path that will lead to salvation. Hick appears as Copernicus, offering the belief that perhaps all theistic religions are focused toward the one true God and simply take different paths to achieve the same goal.[16]

    A speaker on religious pluralism, Keith E. Johnson, compares Hick’s pluralistic theology to a tale of three blind men attempting to describe an elephant, one touching the leg, the second touching the trunk, the third feeling the elephant’s side. Each man describes the elephant differently, and, although each is accurate, each is also convinced of their own correctness and the mistakenness of the other two.[17]

    Robert Smid states that Hick believes that the tenets of Christianity are “no longer feasible in the present age, and must be effectively ‘lowered'”.[14]

    Moreover, Mark Mann notes that Hick argues that there have been people throughout history “who have been exemplars of the Real”.[18][19]

    Hick’s position is “not an exclusively Christian inclusivism [like that of Karl Rahner and his ‘Anonymous Christian’], but a plurality of mutually inclusive inclusivism.” [20] Hick contends that the diverse religious expressions (religions) are the result of diverse historically and culturally influenced responses to diverse perceptions of the Real. He states that “the different religious traditions, with their complex internal differentiations, have developed to meet the needs of the range of mentalities expressed in the different human cultures.” [21]
    SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hick#Pluralism

    Now let’s see you twist Hick’s anti-biblical and anti-Christian views on the nature of God and revelation in order to make them fit within a Christian worldview.

    Like

    • Sam, Christianity is a very broad church containing a wide diversity of views about God, Jesus, other religions and so on. Your comments do not contain actual quotes by Hick speaking for himself, but cut and past quotes about him. As a fundamentalist Christian you view interpretations of Christianity other than your own very conservative views as non-Christian. Others are not obliged to follow this sectarian agenda.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Time to have some fun with Burhan’s post. He wrote:

    BEGIN
    ‘Lines lead from the very first Jewish Christianity to the seventh century, indeed to Islam…The analogies between the Qur’anic picture of Jesus and a Christology with a Jewish-Christian stamp are perplexing. These parallels are irrefutable and call for more intensive historical and systematic reflection.’

    Hans Kung, Islam, Past, Present and Future (2007, One World Publications, pp 37, 44)

    ‘Muslims do not worship Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic, nor do they consider him divine, but they do believe that he was a prophet or messenger of God and he is called the Messiah in the Qur’an. However, by affirming Jesus as Messiah they are attesting to his messianic message, not his mission as a heavenly Christ.

    There are some rather striking connections between the research I have presented in The Jesus Dynasty and the traditional beliefs of Islam. The Muslim emphasis on Jesus as messianic prophet and teacher is quite parallel to what we find in the Q source, in the book of James, and in the Didache. To be the Messiah is to proclaim a message, but it is the same message as that proclaimed by Abraham, Moses and all the Prophets.

    Islam insists that neither Jesus nor Muhammad brought a new religion. Both sought to call people back to what might be called “Abrahamic faith.” This is precisely what we find emphasised in the book of James. Like Islam, the book of James, and the teaching of Jesus in Q, emphasise doing the will of God as a demonstration of one’s faith. Also, the dietary laws of Islam, as quoted in the Qur’an, echo the teaching of James in Acts 15 almost word for word: “Abstain from swine flesh, blood, things offered to idols, and carrion” (Qur’an 2:172).

    The Christianity we know from the Q source, from the letter of James, from the Didache, and some of our other surviving Jewish-Christian sources, represents a version of the Jesus faith that can actually unite, rather than divide, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. If nothing else, the insights revealed through an understanding of the Jesus dynasty can open wide new and fruitful doors of dialogue and understanding among these three great
    traditions that have in the past considered their views of Jesus to be so sharply contradictory as to close off discussion.’ James D Tabor, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, The Jesus Dynasty, (2006, HarperElement, pp. 287-288)
    END

    In the next series of posts I am going to cite from Q, James and the Didache to prove that these sources actually condemn Muhammad as a false prophet. I am going to start with James. Here is what he writes concerning Jesus:

    “James, a servant of God AND OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” James 1:1

    “My brethren, have not the faith OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE LORD OF GLORY, with respect of persons. ” James 2:1

    “Be patient therefore, brethren, UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWETH NIGH. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. ” James 5:7-9

    James identifies himself as a slave of both God and the Lord Jesus, describes Jesus as the believers’ Lord and the Lord of glory whose coming to judge mankind draws near, all of which contradicts the Quran. The Quran claims that Allah would not permit anyone from becoming a servant of any prophet or from taking a prophet as his/her Lord:

    Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). S. 3:64 Pickthall

    It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: BE SLAVES OF ME INSTEAD OF ALLAH; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof. AND HE COMMANDED YOU NOT THAT YE SHOULD TAKE THE ANGELS AND THE PROPHETS FOR LORDS. Would he command you to disbelieve after ye had surrendered (to Allah)?S. 3:79-80 Pickthall

    The Quran further attests that it is Allah who is coming to judge the world:

    Nay, but when the earth is ground to atoms, grinding, grinding, And thy Lord shall come with angels, rank on rank, And hell is brought near that day; on that day man will remember, but how will the remembrance (then avail him)? S. 89:21-23 Pickthall

    Hence, if James is right (and he is) than Islam is false and Muhammad was therefore a false prophet (which he was).

    To top it all of, James identifies the child whom Abraham offered up as a sacrifice as Isaac, not Ishmael:

    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” James 2:21

    Now this doesn’t pose as great a problem as the previous objection since the Quran itself fails to explicitly identify the child by name, which is why Muslim scholars were all divided over who exactly Abraham offered up. See the following for the details: http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/sacrifice.htm

    So much for James being more compatible with the false teachings of Islam.

    Lord willing, more to come shortly.

    Like

  22. LOL, Shamoun, why don’t you give yourself a break and stop embarrassing yourself?

    Allahumma salli ‘ala SAYIDDINA Muhammad wa `ala ali sayyidina
    Muhammad kama salaita `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala ali Sayyidina
    Ibrahima innaka hamidun majid. Allahumma barik `ala Sayyidina Muhamad wa
    `ala ali ayidinna Muhammad kama barakta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala
    ali Sayyidina Ibrahim innaka hamidun majid.

    OUCH!!

    Like

  23. Dear Amin,

    In your post you’ve made a few points. Allow me to reply:

    “Paul himself is not the earliest, but later and un disciple (not disciple) of Jesus Christ. How do you consider him undisputed that the earliest disciples of Jesus?”

    We know that Paul went to Jerusalem, and the leaders of the early Church there “contributed nothing to me [Paul]. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.” (Galatians 2: 6-9) There is simply no evidence that the disciples disagreed with Paul about his Christological teachings.

    “What they think? Not from God but what they think? Some people with their scholars also think what they(your Church Fathers and their scholars) left out like the Gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Banabas, the Sherpert Hermas and many more non canonical gospels are true gospels and evidence of the true Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When your scholars or Church Fathers are busy sorting out the circulating gospels and deciding which ones they will choose and canonize, other sect of Christianity are also busy sorting out and selected the some gospel that your scholars did not select as their canonical gospels like the Gospel of Thomas which was found in the coffin of a Christian priest.
    There is now some Christian scholars who think the other gospels apart from the canonical ones are indeed true gospels and must not be rejected.”

    The canonical Gospels are quite simply the only ones which can be traced back to the first century. The Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas are not gospels (i.e., biographies of Jesus), and while some scholars think that some portions of the Gospel of Thomas date from the first century, many others have found the evidence to been very wanting. By the way, which “Christian scholars” exactly are you speaking about?
    By the way, the Gospel of Thomas was not found in the coffin of a Christian priest. Rather, a Coptic version of this work was found among the Nag Hammadi writings, buried in a sealed jar. I think you’re confusing the Gospel of Thomas with the Akhmim fragment (often identified as the Gospel of Peter) which was found in the coffin of an Egyptian monk. Correct me if I’m wrong, but have you been listening to Dr. Yasir Qadhi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu707oWxGqM), who made the same mistake (although it appears from his talk that he’s also confusing the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas)?

    “Gospel of Thomas has fairy tales? because you do not like it. The canonical gospels like John, Mark, Luke, Mathew has miracles like raising the dead too and that is more of a fairy tale than the gospel of Thomas and must be rejected.”

    Let me just first state that I think you’re, like Dr. Yasir Qadhi, conflating the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Assuming you’re talking about the latter, scholars across the spectrum think it is unhistorical, not because they “do not like it”, but because it is simply too late to contain reliable historical information about the Historical Jesus. By the way, have you ever read the Infancy Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Thomas?

    “If you live is a glasshouse do not throw stones”

    Exactly. If you think the Qur’an is a reliable source on the Historical Jesus, then you must either prove that it is the Word of God, or acknowledge that the canonical Gospels (or even works such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas) are earlier and therefore better sources.

    Like

    • ‘There is simply no evidence that the disciples disagreed with Paul about his Christological teachings.’

      What evidence do we have from Jesus’ disciples? We do not have any writings from them.

      Like

  24. Time to further humiliate Burhan. He wrote:

    BEGIN
    LOL, Shamoun, why don’t you give yourself a break and stop embarrassing yourself?

    Allahumma salli ‘ala SAYIDDINA Muhammad wa `ala ali sayyidina
    Muhammad kama salaita `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala ali Sayyidina
    Ibrahima innaka hamidun majid. Allahumma barik `ala Sayyidina Muhamad wa
    `ala ali ayidinna Muhammad kama barakta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala
    ali Sayyidina Ibrahim innaka hamidun majid.
    END

    In the first place, the Arabic word that of Q. 3:64 and 79-80 employ for lord IS NOT Sayyid BUT RABB!

    Secondly, here is what your own prophet said concerning the use of the term Sayyid:

    Narrated from Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir who said:

    I went with a delegation of Banu ‘Aamir to Allah’s Messenger and we (the delegation) said, “You are our lord (Sayyid).” To this he replied, “The Lord ((as-Sayyid)) is Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.” Then we said, “You are one of us most endowed with excellence and superiority.” To this, the Prophet replied, “Say what you have to say, or part of what you have to say, and do not let the Satan get you carried away.” [Abu Dawud reported this Hadith with valid Isnad]

    It is narrated from Anas:

    Some people said, “O Messenger of Allah, O the best amongst us and son of the best of us, you are our master and also the son of our master.” So he (the Prophet) said, “O people, say what you have to say; do not allow the Satan to fascinate you. I am Muhammad, the slave of Allah and His Messenger. I do not like you to raise me above my status to which I have been raised by Allah, Most Noble and Majestic is He.” [Reported by An-Nasa’i with valid Sanad] (Kitab At-Tawheed, by Sheikh-ul-Islam Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, translated by the Compilation and Research Department Dar-us-Salam [Dar-us-Salam Publications Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, 1996], CHAPTER No: 66. The Prophet’s safeguarding of Tauhid, pp. 185-186)

    So your own prophet Muhammad is reported to have forbidden his followers from calling anyone Sayyid or Master since Allah is the only Sayyid a Muslim has. Yet here you cite a prayer where Muhammad is called Sayyid, threbey helping me to prove that your orpphet was an inconsistent mushrik since he allowed and commanded his followers to take him as a sayyid!

    It gets worse for you and for your prophet since Muhammad must have forgotten that according to the Quran there is another Sayyid besides Allah, specifically John the Baptist!

    And the angels called to him, standing in the Sanctuary at worship, ‘Lo, God gives thee good tidings of John, who shall confirm a Word of God, a chief (sayyidan), and chaste, a Prophet, righteous.’ S. 3:39 Arberry

    Notice how the following English commentary translates the title:

    And the angels, namely, Gabriel, called to him, standing in the sanctuary, in the temple, at worship that (anna, means bi-anna; a variant reading has inna, implying a direct speech statement) ‘God gives you good tidings (read yubashshiruka, or yubshiruka) of John, who shall confirm a Word, being, from God, namely, Jesus, that he is God’s Spirit; he is referred to as [God’s] ‘Word’, because he was created through the word kun, ‘Be’; a lord, with a following, and one chaste, forbidden from women, and a prophet of the righteous’: it is said that he never sinned and never so intended. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold and underline emphasis ours)

    It must have also slipped Muhammad’s mind that Allah in the Quran calls Potiphar, the man who took Joseph in, Sayyid or lord of his wife:

    So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back. They both found her lord (sayyidaha) (i.e. her husband) at the door. She said: “What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife, except that he be put in prison or a painful torment?” S. 12:25 Hilali-Khan

    What makes this particular example quite interesting is that not only does Allah address Potiphar as Sayyid he even goes so far as to call him al-Aziz,

    And women in the city said: “The wife of Al-‘Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man, indeed she loves him violently; verily we see her in plain error.” S. 12:30

    (The King) said (to the women): “What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Yusuf (Joseph)?” The women said: “Allah forbid! No evil know we against him!” The wife of Al-‘Aziz said: “Now the truth is manifest (to all), it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful.” S. 12:51

    Which happens to be one of the exclusive names of Allah!

    Say: Show me those whom ye have joined unto Him as partners. Nay (ye dare not)! For He is Allah, the Mighty (al-azizu), the Wise. S. 34:27

    Allah is gracious unto His slaves. He provideth for whom He will. And He is the Strong (al-qawiyyu), the Mighty (al-azizu). S. 42:19; cf. 22:40; 30:5

    Like I said before…. OUCH!

    Lord willing, more pain for Burhan to come.

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  25. Paul, you have proven yourself to be a master of evasion. Is this the best you can say?

    BEGIN
    Sam thank you for quoting a great scholar who utterly refutes your views. Bart has shown conclusively that John’s portrait of Jesus is not historical at all! Jesus did not say the I AM sayings.

    OUCH!!
    END

    Now instead of evading my question and attacking straw man, my question to you is DO YOU AGREE WITH EHRMAN’S ASSESSMENT OF JOHN’S PORTRAYAL OF JESUS? Whether it is historical or not is irrelevant to my objection and challenge.

    Therefore, OUCH right back at ya! 😉

    Like

  26. In general of course I agree with Bart’s understanding of the 4th gospel. What of it?

    A question to you: what do you make of Bart’s assessment of John?

    Like

  27. Sam

    I don’t know if you have a personality disorder or where just brought up very badly by your parents, but your behaviour on this site is unacceptable and unChristian.

    You wrote this above:

    “Time to have some fun with Burhan’s post.”

    and this:

    ‘Time to further humiliate Burhan’

    Humiliating people is the work of a bully. It is unchristian. This blog is for serious discussion and debate. It is not the place for childish games and having “fun” with peoples sincerly held views.

    Grow up and behave like an adult or be banned

    Paul

    Like

  28. My apologies Paul. The reason why I respond to Burhan in this manner is because he has been very nasty with myself and others in the past. But you are correct and I will try to avoid treating Burhan the same way he treats others.

    Like

  29. “Stephen Haye’s rebuttals” LOL.:-P

    “Time to further humiliate”
    Sam, do you think that humiliation is the point of discussions like this? Take care – Jesus will be held accountable for these words.

    I note that you ignore my important but simple point. Sam, in your view, is there anything true of Jesus which isn’t true of God? And is there anything true of God that’s not true, in your view, of Jesus? Yes, or no. If yes, please say what they are.

    Bart Ehrman indeed wants to say that John, unlike Mt, Mk, and Lk, teaches that Jesus is divine (though not God himself – he’s clear about this in the book). In this, he agrees with evangelicals (that Jesus is divine in John), because he is still stuck in viewing John through their lens, and because it serves his purposes, namely that the message evolved and changed as time went on, so that the message in John is inconsistent with the earlier ones. http://trinities.org/blog/do-the-gospels-disagree-about-jesus-and-god-part-1-three-options/ His readings are sometimes quite poor. http://trinities.org/blog/ehrmans-misreading-of-john-1030/

    Paul, it is quite possible that Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I am” – once you understood what he meant, what his hearers would have understood in the context. http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-episode-62-dr-dustin-smith-on-the-preexistence-of-jesus-in-the-gospel-of-john/

    For the record, I’ve spent many years reading Hick. He was, when young, an evangelical. In the 60s and early 70s, he was still a Christian, though of an “liberal” sort and very active in politics, and starting to form pluralistic views. Some time in the 1970s, he switched from viewing the ultimate reality as a perfect being, as God, to viewing the ultimate an an ineffable something, not a god. So, he ceased to be a monotheist. In his earlier pluralist writings, he appeals to fairness, and to what a perfect God would do. But later, he drops those arguments. All along, he’d say he was a pluralist Christian; but of course, in regards to other religions, he was saying something that clashes with what most Christians have thought. Most have been what’s usually called inclusivist or exclusivist (or particularist).

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Oops – rather: you will be held accountable for your words by Jesus. And me, for my typos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Mark

    It is not good to believe the earlier a literature about something the true it becomes. No, that is not how one should think. An earlier literature about anything can contain lies and a latter one contain truths. One must use his God given common sense to ascertain the truth, but not how early or latter a literature is. Besides, it is people who make these assumptions with regards to dates of manuscripts. Those making the dates can lie, approximate, or add their biases with regards to what they believe. These biases are evident all over with scholars differing about dates.

    The thing is all the scriptures are ancient and therefore can contain truths and lies. Here comes the human common sense in action to decide the truths. It is evident, that there were so many gospels in circulation and some people chose the ones we he have today and called it canonical. That is why it is called canonical because the others were not selected and canonised. And now, we are beginning to see some of the gospels canonised by other sect of Christians and are using it.

    It is not good to call those you do not believe as fairy tales because you do not believe in it. The canonized ones has more fairy tales than the ones canonized by others and they are all ancient.

    Dr. James White dismissed the other gospels as fairy tales because they believe God can become a bird. This honourable Doctor forgot he believed the Almighty God died and also the Almighty God became man. Man and bird are all creations of God. Christians scholars are philosophers as well and they must stop insulting other found gospels because the theology are the same as the ones we knew.

    This is Mike Licona ana Elaine Pagels battling it out with regards to my argument. It is interesting.

    Brother Paul did well in quoting John gospel to buttress these Christians attack on other gospels.

    Like

  32. Dear Amin,

    “It is not good to believe the earlier a literature about something the true it becomes. No, that is not how one should think. An earlier literature about anything can contain lies and a latter one contain truths. One must use his God given common sense to ascertain the truth, but not how early or latter a literature is. Besides, it is people who make these assumptions with regards to dates of manuscripts. Those making the dates can lie, approximate, or add their biases with regards to what they believe. These biases are evident all over with scholars differing about dates.”

    Again, scholars from across the spectrum think that the Gospels for the New Testament are our best sources for the Historical Jesus. Of course “earlier literature can contain lies and a latter one contain truths”, but historians think (and I agree) that the earlier literature has the best chance of being authentic. Which of course makes the Qur’an irrelevant for research on the Historical Jesus.

    “The thing is all the scriptures are ancient and therefore can contain truths and lies. Here comes the human common sense in action to decide the truths. It is evident, that there were so many gospels in circulation and some people chose the ones we he have today and called it canonical. That is why it is called canonical because the others were not selected and canonised. And now, we are beginning to see some of the gospels canonised by other sect of Christians and are using it.”

    There is no other Gospel on the planet besides Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which can be dated to the first century. That both heretical and orthodox Christians also used other Gospels does nothing to change that.

    “It is not good to call those you do not believe as fairy tales because you do not believe in it. The canonized ones has more fairy tales than the ones canonized by others and they are all ancient.”

    When did I ever do that? By the way, have you ever read, say, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Peter? Because I’m simply baffled by your statement that the “canonized ones has [sic] more fairy tales”.
    And yes, many (not all) Gospels are ancient, but some are more ancient than others, and those are the ones we use in historical research.

    “Dr. James White dismissed the other gospels as fairy tales because they believe God can become a bird. This honourable Doctor forgot he believed the Almighty God died and also the Almighty God became man. Man and bird are all creations of God. Christians scholars are philosophers as well and they must stop insulting other found gospels because the theology are the same as the ones we knew.”

    Where did Dr. White do that? And which “other gospels” exactly was he speaking of? And Christian (as well as Jewish, atheistic, agnostic etc.) scholars do not dismiss the other Gospels simply because they do disagree with the theology presented in these, but because they are too late to contain reliable independent historical information.

    “This is Mike Licona ana Elaine Pagels battling it out with regards to my argument. It is interesting.”

    This is about the Gospel of Thomas, and I think you’re again confusing it with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Most scholars date the Gospel of Thomas to ca. 150 CE, and it demonstrably draws on the canonical Gospels (including the Gospel of John) as well as other books from the New Testament. Here is an interview with Simon Gathercole, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Cambridge, who has written two recent books about the Gospel of Thomas: http://tyndalehouse.cmail2.com/t/ViewEmail/r/73288CE1828B1E6A2540EF23F30FEDED/773DE26A7959A2C381176E9AA71FFAE9. He says that the Gospel of Thomas “is very clearly influenced by Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels, and by Paul’s letter to the Romans. The argument that Thomas is earlier than the New Testament Gospels is unsustainable. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that the form of the sayings and parables of Jesus are preserved more authentically in Thomas than in the New Testament Gospels” and that it “was written (not by the apostle Thomas!) some time roughly in the middle of the second century”. Dr. Gathercole also says that “my initial impression was confirmed that Thomas cannot possibly give us an accurate picture of who Jesus really was in his earthly ministry.”

    Like

  33. Shamoun, the name is Burhanuddin, one fact you can’t get straight.

    Fact: Muslims use the title “sayyid” for prophet Isa alayhi salam.

    My opinion: Jesus’ disciples most probably used a similar aramaic term in the same sense.

    Fact: Bart Ehrman and evangelical scholar Craig Evans both agree Jesus is best understood as a prophet who seemingly received revelation.

    My opinion: That’s closer to the Muslim than to the trinitarian understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Mark

    Again, scholars from across the spectrum think that the Gospels for the New Testament are our best sources for the Historical Jesus. Of course “earlier literature can contain lies and a latter one contain truths”, but historians think (and I agree) that the earlier literature has the best chance of being authentic. Which of course makes the Qur’an irrelevant for research on the Historical Jesus.

    ———————————

    Elaine Pagel is a professor of religion and she agreed with me. The video I presented to you is a Christian broadcasting and at the beginning the host said, now scholars are asking for the other gospels to be added to the Bible. So, scholars believed there are other gospels but you do not believe that because of your religious bias.

    I know different scholars have different dates with regards to your canonical Bible, so it is assumption, estimation, or religious bias as can be demonstrated on the video. No body has Jesus’s authentic writing or saying by himself and that would have been the truth. All gospels were written by others claiming to be from Jesus and there is no date stamp on it and the gospels we knew were anonymous and that makes it no better than the others.

    ——————————-

    He says that the Gospel of Thomas “is very clearly influenced by Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels, and by Paul’s letter to the Romans. The argument that Thomas is earlier than the New Testament Gospels is unsustainable. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that the form of the sayings and parables of Jesus are preserved more authentically in Thomas than in the New Testament Gospels” and that it “was written (not by the apostle Thomas!) some time roughly in the middle of the second century”. Dr. Gathercole also says that “my initial impression was confirmed that Thomas cannot possibly give us an accurate picture of who Jesus really was in his earthly ministry.”

    ——————————

    Well Elaine, who is a professor of religion and many other scholars does not agree with Simon Gathercole. That is how it is for the gospels(known ones and unknown ones) scholars disagree with others on most issues.

    Bart Erman has to stop being a Christian, Dr. Jerald Dirks a master of divinity and a deacon has to stop Christianity and many others, so it has to do with one thinks and not true that the canonical gospels are the truth because they are earlier. No, they do not necessarily the truth because they contain the same theology with others. Thomas gospel said God can become a bird according to Dr. James White, so it is not credible, but the gospel of Luke, Mark, John etc. said God died and God became man

    Like

  35. Dear Amin,

    I apologise in advance for the long post.

    “Elaine Pagel is a professor of religion and she agreed with me. The video I presented to you is a Christian broadcasting and at the beginning the host said, now scholars are asking for the other gospels to be added to the Bible. So, scholars believed there are other gospels but you do not believe that because of your religious bias.”

    I would appreciate it if you’d stop speculation about my “religious bias”. And which scholars, which (parts of) Gospels? Of course I do believe there’re other writings that claim to be or are called “gospels”, but what evidence do you have that these date to the first century?
    And perhaps Dr. Pagels agrees with you (I would have to read her works on this subject to fully understand her position) but the majority of scholars agrees with me. Interestingly, Bart Ehrman writes about the Gospel of Thomas: “Although we cannot know whether a source like Thomas existed during the first century, there are good reasons for thinking the Thomas itself did not. The most obvious is that the full-blown Christian-gnostic myth that many of Thomas’s sayings presuppose cannot be documented as existing prior to the second century.” (Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian writings, 5th ed., p. 226).
    By the way, even if we take the view that the Gospel of Thomas was written during the lifetime of Jesus (which no scholars thinks), would you think that this helps Islam? Here are some passages from this work:

    * Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. But the Kingdom is inside you and outside you. When you (truly) know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are impoverished—and you are poverty itself! (Gospel of Thomas 3)

    * Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to someone and tell me whom I am like.” Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a righteous angel.” Matthew said to him, “You are like a wise philosopher.” Thomas said to him, “Master, my mouth is completely unable to say whom you are like.” Jesus said, “I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling spring that I have tended.” And he took him, went out, and told him three things. When Thomas returned to his companions, they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?” Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the things he told me, you will pick up stones and hurl them at me. A fire will emerge from the stones and burn you up.” (Gospel of Thomas 13)

    * Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves. And if you pray, you will be condemned. And if you give alms, you will injure your spirits. When you enter any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal those who are sick among them. For what goes into your mouth does not defile you; what comes out of your mouth will.” (Gospel of Thomas 14)

    “I know different scholars have different dates with regards to your canonical Bible, so it is assumption, estimation, or religious bias as can be demonstrated on the video. No body has Jesus’s authentic writing or saying by himself and that would have been the truth. All gospels were written by others claiming to be from Jesus and there is no date stamp on it and the gospels we knew were anonymous and that makes it no better than the others.”

    Again, the canonical Gospels are widely regarded as our best sources and date to the first century. I advise you to read some of the scholarly literature on this subject. “The Jesus Legend” by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory E. Boyd is a good start, or perhaps “The Historical Jesus of the Gospels” by Craig S. Keener.
    By the way, the Qur’an claims to the Word of God. What evidence do you think supports this claim?

    “Well Elaine, who is a professor of religion and many other scholars does not agree with Simon Gathercole. That is how it is for the gospels(known ones and unknown ones) scholars disagree with others on most issues.”

    Of course scholars disagree with each other on many, if not most, issues. This is both the case in New Testament Studies and Islamic Studies. But again, Dr. Pagels is in the minority here, and please note that I know of no scholar who thinks that the Infancy Gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which became sources for the Qur’an) are reliable sources for the Historical Jesus.

    “Bart Erman has to stop being a Christian, Dr. Jerald Dirks a master of divinity and a deacon has to stop Christianity and many others, so it has to do with one thinks and not true that the canonical gospels are the truth because they are earlier.

    Indeed, Dr. Ehrman is no longer a Christian. On the other hand, Dr. Craig S. Keener converted from atheism to Christianity (http://www.craigkeener.com/funeral-oration-for-craig-keener). Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a German scholar of Islamic Theology at Munster University, converted to Islam when he was 15 but in 2008 announced that he believed Muhammad probably never existed (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122669909279629451).
    Now I actually do believe that Muhammad existed, but the point is that scholars (as all people) sometimes convert to another religion (or become atheists or agnostics). But virtually all scholars believe that the canonical Gospels are our best sources, and that the Qur’an should not be considered as a reliable source for the Historical Jesus.

    “No, they do not necessarily the truth because they contain the same theology with others. Thomas gospel said God can become a bird according to Dr. James White, so it is not credible, but the gospel of Luke, Mark, John etc. said God died and God became man.”

    Again, where did Dr. White say this? I can think of no passage in either the Gospel of Thomas or the Infancy Gospel of Thomas which says that God can become a bird. And exactly about which of these two Gospels are you speaking of? You still haven’t told me.

    Like

  36. Time to respond to Burhan again. He writes:

    BEGIN
    Shamoun, the name is Burhanuddin, one fact you can’t get straight.

    Fact: Muslims use the title “sayyid” for prophet Isa alayhi salam.

    My opinion: Jesus’ disciples most probably used a similar aramaic term in the same sense.

    Fact: Bart Ehrman and evangelical scholar Craig Evans both agree Jesus is best understood as a prophet who seemingly received revelation.

    My opinion: That’s closer to the Muslim than to the trinitarian understanding.
    END

    It is obvious you didn’t bother reading what I wrote carefully since James styled himself a slave of God AND OF Jesus and identified Christ as the Lord who is the Glory. This goes above and beyond merely calling Jesus his sayyid or master.

    And as far as Ehrman is concerned, here is what he wrote regarding Jesus’ own followers identifying their risen Lord with the Lord spoken of in Psalm 110:1:

    “… The followers of Jesus, during his life, believed that he would be the king of the future kingdom, the messiah. Now that they believed he had been exalted to the heavenly realm, they realized they had been right. He was the future king; but he would come from heaven to reign. In some traditions of the Jewish king in the Hebrew Bible, as we have seen, the king–even the earthly son of David–was thought to be in some sense God. Jesus now had been exalted to heaven and is the heavenly messiah to come to the earth. In an even more real sense, he was God. Not God Almighty, of course, BUT HE WAS A HEAVENLY BEING, A SUPERHUMAN, A DIVINE KING WHO WOULD RULE THE NATIONS.

    “Before Jesus’s death the disciples believed he would sit on the future throne. If God has taken him up into heaven, he is already sitting on a throne. In fact, he is at the right hand of God. On earth the disciples considered him their master and ‘lord.’ Now he really is their Lord. The disciples recalled the scripture that said, ‘The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool”’ (Ps. 110:1). God had taken Jesus, exalted him to his right hand in a position of authority and power, MADE HIM THE LORD OF ALL, WHO WOULD RULE OVER ALL THINGS. AS ONE WHO RULED FROM BESIDES GOD’S THRONE, Jesus was in that sense also God.” (How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee [HarperOne, First edition 2014], 5. The Resurrection of Jesus: What We Can Know, pp. 208-209; capital emphasis ours)

    And this is what Ehrman writes in regards to Acts 5:31:

    “A similar view is set forth in yet another speech of Acts, which again incorporates A VERY EARLY VIEW OF CHRIST AS ONE EXALTED TO A DIVINE STATUS AT HIS RESURRECTION… Once more, then, in an EARLY TRADITION, we find that Jesus’s resurrection was an ‘exaltation’ specifically to ‘the right hand of God.’ In other words, God had elevated Jesus TO HIS OWN STATUS and given him a prominent position as the one who would ‘lead’ and ‘save’ those on earth.” (Ibid., 6. The Beginning of Christology: Christ as Exalted to Heaven, pp. 228-229; bold and capital emphasis ours)

    And here is what he wrote concerning the meaning of Psalm 110:1:

    “The son of a human is human, just as the son of a dog is a dog and the son of a cat is a cat. And so what is the son of God? As it turns out, to the surprise of many causal readers of the Bible, there are passages in which the king of Israel is referred to as divine, as God.

    “Hebrew Bible scholar John J. Collins points out that this honor ultimately appears to derive from Egyptian ways of thinking about their king, the Pharaoh, as a divine being. Even in Egypt, where the king was a god, it did not mean that the king was on a par with the great gods, any more than the Roman emperor was thought to be on a par with Jupiter or Mars. But he was a god. As we have seen, in Egyptian and Roman circles, there were levels of divinity, and so too in Jewish circles. Thus we find highly exalted terms used of the king of Israel, terms that may surprise readers who think–on the basis of the kind of thinking that developed n the fourth Christian century–that there is an unbridgeable chasm between God and humans. Nonetheless, here it is, in the Bible itself, the king is called both Lord and God.

    “For example, Psalm 110:1: ‘The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ The first term, LORD–traditionally printed in capital letters in English–is the Hebrew name of God YHWH, often spelled Yahweh. The four Hebrew letters representing that name were considered so special that in traditional Judaism they were not (and are not) pronounced. They are sometimes called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for ‘four letters’). The second term, ‘Lord,’ is a different word, adn (= adonai, or adoni), which is a common term for the Lord God but is also a term that could be used, for example, by a slave for his master. What is striking here is that YHWH is speaking to ‘my Lord’ and telling him to ‘sit at my right hand.’ ANY BEING ENTHRONED WITH GOD IS SHARING THE GLORY, STATUS, AND HONOR DUE TO GOD HIMSELF. There is not a question of identity or absolute parity here–the king, sitting at God’s right hand–is not God Almighty himself. That is clear from what is said next: God will conquer the king’s enemies for him and put them under his feet. But he is doing so FOR ONE WHOM HE HAS EXALTED UP TO THE LEVEL OF HIS OWN THRONE. THE KING IS BEING PORTRAYED AS A DIVINE BEING WHO LIVES IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD ABOVE ALL OTHER CREATURES.” (Ibid., 2. Divine Humans in Ancient Judaism, pp. 77-78; capital emphasis ours)

    According to Ehrman, Jesus’ own disciples proclaimed that Jesus was raised from the dead and exalted to God’s own presence in order to sit on God’s own heavenly throne and thus shares in God’s own glory, status, and honor, which therefore places him above all creatures.

    Now let us see what the Quran says about Allah sharing his status, glory and sovereignty with anyone:

    And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, AND WHO HATH NO PARTNER IN THE SOVEREIGNTY, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. S. 17:111 Pickthall

    He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son NOR HATH HE ANY PARTNER IN THE SOVEREIGNTY. He hath created everything and hath meted out for it a measure. S. 25:2 Pickthall

    So much for your appeal to Ehrman since his own statements prove that not only were Jesus’ followers NOT Muslims, but what they taught directly opposes the teachings of Muhammad.

    TRIPLE OUCH!

    Like

  37. Time to respond to Burhan again. He writes:

    BEGIN
    Shamoun, the name is Burhanuddin, one fact you can’t get straight.

    Fact: Muslims use the title “sayyid” for prophet Isa alayhi salam.

    My opinion: Jesus’ disciples most probably used a similar aramaic term in the same sense.

    Fact: Bart Ehrman and evangelical scholar Craig Evans both agree Jesus is best understood as a prophet who seemingly received revelation.

    My opinion: That’s closer to the Muslim than to the trinitarian understanding.
    END

    It is obvious you didn’t bother reading what I wrote carefully since James styled himself a slave of God AND OF Jesus and identified Christ as the Lord who is the Glory. This goes above and beyond merely calling Jesus his sayyid or master.

    And as far as Ehrman is concerned, here is what he wrote regarding Jesus’ own followers identifying their risen Lord with the Lord spoken of in Psalm 110:1:

    “… The followers of Jesus, during his life, believed that he would be the king of the future kingdom, the messiah. Now that they believed he had been exalted to the heavenly realm, they realized they had been right. He was the future king; but he would come from heaven to reign. In some traditions of the Jewish king in the Hebrew Bible, as we have seen, the king–even the earthly son of David–was thought to be in some sense God. Jesus now had been exalted to heaven and is the heavenly messiah to come to the earth. In an even more real sense, he was God. Not God Almighty, of course, BUT HE WAS A HEAVENLY BEING, A SUPERHUMAN, A DIVINE KING WHO WOULD RULE THE NATIONS.

    “Before Jesus’s death the disciples believed he would sit on the future throne. If God has taken him up into heaven, he is already sitting on a throne. In fact, he is at the right hand of God. On earth the disciples considered him their master and ‘lord.’ Now he really is their Lord. The disciples recalled the scripture that said, ‘The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool”’ (Ps. 110:1). God had taken Jesus, exalted him to his right hand in a position of authority and power, MADE HIM THE LORD OF ALL, WHO WOULD RULE OVER ALL THINGS. AS ONE WHO RULED FROM BESIDES GOD’S THRONE, Jesus was in that sense also God.” (How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee [HarperOne, First edition 2014], 5. The Resurrection of Jesus: What We Can Know, pp. 208-209; capital emphasis ours)

    And this is what Ehrman writes in regards to Acts 5:31:

    “A similar view is set forth in yet another speech of Acts, which again incorporates A VERY EARLY VIEW OF CHRIST AS ONE EXALTED TO A DIVINE STATUS AT HIS RESURRECTION… Once more, then, in an EARLY TRADITION, we find that Jesus’s resurrection was an ‘exaltation’ specifically to ‘the right hand of God.’ In other words, God had elevated Jesus TO HIS OWN STATUS and given him a prominent position as the one who would ‘lead’ and ‘save’ those on earth.” (Ibid., 6. The Beginning of Christology: Christ as Exalted to Heaven, pp. 228-229; bold and capital emphasis ours)

    And here is what he wrote concerning the meaning of Psalm 110:1:

    “The son of a human is human, just as the son of a dog is a dog and the son of a cat is a cat. And so what is the son of God? As it turns out, to the surprise of many causal readers of the Bible, there are passages in which the king of Israel is referred to as divine, as God.

    “Hebrew Bible scholar John J. Collins points out that this honor ultimately appears to derive from Egyptian ways of thinking about their king, the Pharaoh, as a divine being. Even in Egypt, where the king was a god, it did not mean that the king was on a par with the great gods, any more than the Roman emperor was thought to be on a par with Jupiter or Mars. But he was a god. As we have seen, in Egyptian and Roman circles, there were levels of divinity, and so too in Jewish circles. Thus we find highly exalted terms used of the king of Israel, terms that may surprise readers who think–on the basis of the kind of thinking that developed n the fourth Christian century–that there is an unbridgeable chasm between God and humans. Nonetheless, here it is, in the Bible itself, the king is called both Lord and God.

    “For example, Psalm 110:1: ‘The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ The first term, LORD–traditionally printed in capital letters in English–is the Hebrew name of God YHWH, often spelled Yahweh. The four Hebrew letters representing that name were considered so special that in traditional Judaism they were not (and are not) pronounced. They are sometimes called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for ‘four letters’). The second term, ‘Lord,’ is a different word, adn (= adonai, or adoni), which is a common term for the Lord God but is also a term that could be used, for example, by a slave for his master. What is striking here is that YHWH is speaking to ‘my Lord’ and telling him to ‘sit at my right hand.’ ANY BEING ENTHRONED WITH GOD IS SHARING THE GLORY, STATUS, AND HONOR DUE TO GOD HIMSELF. There is not a question of identity or absolute parity here–the king, sitting at God’s right hand–is not God Almighty himself. That is clear from what is said next: God will conquer the king’s enemies for him and put them under his feet. But he is doing so FOR ONE WHOM HE HAS EXALTED UP TO THE LEVEL OF HIS OWN THRONE. THE KING IS BEING PORTRAYED AS A DIVINE BEING WHO LIVES IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD ABOVE ALL OTHER CREATURES.” (Ibid., 2. Divine Humans in Ancient Judaism, pp. 77-78; capital emphasis ours)

    According to Ehrman, Jesus’ own disciples proclaimed that Jesus was raised from the dead and exalted to God’s own presence in order to sit on God’s own heavenly throne and thus shares in God’s own glory, status, and honor, which therefore places him above all creatures.

    Now let us see what the Quran says about Allah sharing his status, glory and sovereignty with anyone:

    And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, AND WHO HATH NO PARTNER IN THE SOVEREIGNTY, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. S. 17:111 Pickthall

    He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son NOR HATH HE ANY PARTNER IN THE SOVEREIGNTY. He hath created everything and hath meted out for it a measure. S. 25:2 Pickthall

    So much for your appeal to Ehrman since his own statements prove that not only were Jesus’ followers NOT Muslims, but what they taught directly opposes the teachings of Muhammad.

    TRIPLE OUCH!

    Like

  38. Mark

    But again, Dr. Pagels is in the minority here, and please note that I know of no scholar who thinks that the Infancy Gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which became sources for the Qur’an) are reliable sources for the Historical Jesus.

    ——————————————————–

    Mark, that is what you think because you are biased towards your theology. It is natural. I am also biased towards Islam, so I will always insist God is One, Only alone as the Bible said. I am yet to have a compelling evidence that God is not 1.

    Dr. Elaine Pagel is not in the minority on my side but the scholars are evenly divided on this topic because we have the earliest camp and the latter camp of the Gospel of Thomas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas

    Another argument for an early date is what some scholars have suggested is an interplay between the Gospel of John and the logia of Thomas. Parallels between the two have been taken to suggest that Thomas’ logia preceded John’s work, and that the latter was making a point-by-point riposte to Thomas, either in real or mock conflict. This seeming dialectic has been pointed out by several New Testament scholars, notably Gregory J. Riley,[37] April DeConick,[38] and Elaine Pagels.[39] Though differing in approach, they argue that several verses in the Gospel of John are best understood as responses to a Thomasine community and its beliefs. Pagels, for example, says that John’s gospel makes two references to the inability of the world to recognize the divine light.[40][better source needed] In contrast, several of Thomas’ sayings refer to the light born ‘within’.[41]
    ———————————————————-

    All these dates are assumptions, estimations, believes, wishes etc. What is real is that, there were so many gospels or stories of Jesus circulating in the ancient times and people just keep grabbing what they like according to sorting and selecting and then insulting what they do not like. They all appear to have fairy tales in them, including John, Mark, Luke and Mathew.

    It is not good to call other stories of Jesus(gospels) you did not select, but others selected it as fairy tales, when you said God died and Jesus walked on water and turned water into wine.

    John gospel as Quoted by Paul on this blog believes that they are so many things about Jesus that cannot be contained in a book. It is true because the canonical gospels are four. We know there were others too according history and the gospels themselves. Jesus himself preached the gospels and not the Mark, Mathew, Luke and John. Gospel according to Jesus i.e. the one Jesus himself preached would be the original gospel. The rest have the same problem.

    Like

  39. Mark
    But again, Dr. Pagels is in the minority here, and please note that I know of no scholar who thinks that the Infancy Gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which became sources for the Qur’an) are reliable sources for the Historical Jesus.
    ———————————————
    The canonical gospels too are sources for the Quran, and so is the Torah and science(embryology), the big bang, Moses’s time pharaoh in Egypt right now etc. Miraculous birth of Jesus with regards to the canonical gospels, Jesus is a messiah, Jesus said “I have a God to the children of Israel”, etc.
    Jay Smith said, Prophet Mohammed borrowed the embryology from a Greek philosopher. Quran has so many sources, so if the gospel of Thomas is not true based on that, then the gospel of Mark, Mathew, Luke and John are also not true because there are some similar stories in there in the Quran.

    Now, the puzzle for you to solve is to think why will an illiterate Arab in the desert of medieval Arabia, has all these sources? He was able to remove all the bad things said about God from these sources and corrected them with the remaining good ones.

    In the Canonical gospels, the Quran said, Jesus is the messiah and a prophet from God and corrected the Jews to believe in their messiah. The Jews believe their messiah cannot be crucified, and the Quran and Prophet Mohammed told, them, yes your messiah is Jesus and he was not crucified and will come to rule the world were only one and alone God of Abraham will be worshiped.

    The Quran talked about the miraculous birth, but did not say anything about God becoming man, God died for our sins(which is impossible anyway), and Jesus talked as and infant. To you, is he not God? If he is God why can’t God talk when he is infant? for you to call it a fairy tale. To you God died, so you cannot discredit what anybody said about God.

    From the Gospel of Thomas, similar story of Jesus using clay to mould a bird and the bird became a real bird with the permission of Allah. The Quran corrected the Gospel of Thomas by adding with the permission of Allah. What is wrong with that?

    Like

  40. “Mark, that is what you think because you are biased towards your theology. It is natural. I am also biased towards Islam, so I will always insist God is One, Only alone as the Bible said. I am yet to have a compelling evidence that God is not 1.”

    No, I say that Dr. Pagels is in the minority because she is. The majority of scholars, including atheists, agnostics (such as Dr. Ehrman), Jews etc. think that the Gospel of Thomas dates from the second century.

    —————————————————————–

    “Dr. Elaine Pagel is not in the minority on my side but the scholars are evenly divided on this topic because we have the earliest camp and the latter camp of the Gospel of Thomas.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas
    Another argument for an early date is what some scholars have suggested is an interplay between the Gospel of John and the logia of Thomas. Parallels between the two have been taken to suggest that Thomas’ logia preceded John’s work, and that the latter was making a point-by-point riposte to Thomas, either in real or mock conflict. This seeming dialectic has been pointed out by several New Testament scholars, notably Gregory J. Riley,[37] April DeConick,[38] and Elaine Pagels.[39] Though differing in approach, they argue that several verses in the Gospel of John are best understood as responses to a Thomasine community and its beliefs. Pagels, for example, says that John’s gospel makes two references to the inability of the world to recognize the divine light.[40][better source needed] In contrast, several of Thomas’ sayings refer to the light born ‘within’.[41]”

    The fact that there are two camps says nothing about an equal division between the two. I find the argument that is mentioned in this quotation not very convincing.
    And again, how does an early date for the Gospel of Thomas help Islam? You’re probably still conflating the Gospel of Thomas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas) with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infancy_Gospel_of_Thomas). If the Gospel of Thomas is a reliable historical source, that would actually argue against the claim that the Qur’an is the Word of God. Again, consider a few quotations from the text you apparently want to date to the first century. Please, read them and ask yourself if they are compatible with Islamic doctrine:
    * Jesus said to them: ‘If you fast, you will bring forth sin for yourselves. And if you pray, you will be condemned. And if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. And if you go into any land and wander from place to place, (and) if they take you in, (then) eat what they will set before you. Heal the sick among them! For what goes into your mouth will not defile you. Rather, what comes out of your mouth will defile you.” (Gospel of Thomas 14)
    * Jesus says: “Where there are three gods, they are gods. Where there are two or one, I am with him.” (Gospel of Thomas 30)
    * His disciples said: “When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?” Jesus said: “When you undress without being ashamed and take your clothes
    (and) put them under your feet like little children (and) trample on them, then [you] will see the son of the Living One, and you will not be afraid.” (Gospel of Thomas 37)
    * Jesus says: “Whoever blasphemes against the Father, it will be forgiven him. And whoever blasphemes against the Son, it will be forgiven him. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither on earth nor in heaven.” (Gospel of Thomas 44)
    * His disciples said to him: When will the of the dead take place, and when will the new world come?” He said to them: “That (resurrection) which you are awaiting has (already) come, but you do not recognize it.” (Gospel of Thomas 51)
    * His disciples said to him: “Is circumcision beneficial, or not?” He said to them: “If it were beneficial, their father would beget them circumcized from their mother. But the true circumcision in the spirit has prevailed over everything.” Gospel of Thomas 53)
    * Jesus said: “Two will rest on a bed. The one will die, the other will live.” Salome said: “(So) who are you, man? You have gotten a place on my couch as a and you have eaten from my table.” Jesus said to her: “I am he who comes from the one who is (always) the same. I was given some of that which is my Father’s.” “I am your disciple!” “Therefore I say: If someone becomes (God), he will become full of light. But if he becomes one, separated (from God), he will become full of darkness.” (Gospel of Thomas 61)
    * Jesus says: “I am the light that is over all. I am the All. The All came forth out of me. And to me the All has come. Split a piece of wood – I am there. Lift the stone, and you will find me there.” (Gospel of Thomas 77)
    * Jesus says: “Whoever will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself will become he, and what is hidden will be revealed to him.” (Gospel of Tomas 108)

    —————————————————————–

    “All these dates are assumptions, estimations, believes, wishes etc. What is real is that, there were so many gospels or stories of Jesus circulating in the ancient times and people just keep grabbing what they like according to sorting and selecting and then insulting what they do not like. They all appear to have fairy tales in them, including John, Mark, Luke and Mathew. ”

    To simply call the scholarly dating of documents “wishes” is an insult to New Testament Scholars. Your insistence that every ancient document is as reliable as the others are is (and I really do mean this) utterly absurd en ridiculous beyond measure. No scholar (including Dr. Pagels, Dr. DeConink and Dr. Riley) thinks that. Again, I advise you to read up on the scholarly literature regarding this subject. Simply pointing to some scholars claiming that (parts of) the Gospel of Thomas date to the first century, and then based on that arguing that no Gospel is more reliable than any other only demonstrates that you simply do not know the field. That’s like me pointing to some scholars who think that the Qur’an was not written down under Uthman but under al-Hajjaj at the end of the seventh century, and then arguing that because scholars disagree about this, the Qur’an might as well date from the tenth century.

    —————————————————————–

    “It is not good to call other stories of Jesus(gospels) you did not select, but others selected it as fairy tales, when you said God died and Jesus walked on water and turned water into wine.
    John gospel as Quoted by Paul on this blog believes that they are so many things about Jesus that cannot be contained in a book. It is true because the canonical gospels are four. We know there were others too according history and the gospels themselves. Jesus himself preached the gospels and not the Mark, Mathew, Luke and John. Gospel according to Jesus i.e. the one Jesus himself preached would be the original gospel. The rest have the same problem.”

    Yes, John did not write down everything that Jesus did, but that doesn’t mean that every document has the same historical value. The canonical Gospels are our best sources for determining who Jesus was, what he said and what he did. The Gospel of Thomas is not a good source, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas is very unreliable and the Qur’an has nothing to say about Jesus that we can trust historically.
    By the way, I never used the term “fairy tale” to describe the stories found in the non-canonical gospels. You’re the only who uses it, and then accuses me of using it.

    Like

  41. Dear Amin,

    “The canonical gospels too are sources for the Quran, and so is the Torah and science(embryology), the big bang, Moses’s time pharaoh in Egypt right now etc. Miraculous birth of Jesus with regards to the canonical gospels, Jesus is a messiah, Jesus said “I have a God to the children of Israel”, etc.”

    I’m glad you agree with me that the author of the Qur’an used sources. By the way, despite what many Muslims believe, the Qur’an does not get human embryology right, nor does it talk about the Big Bang. Surah 21:30 is simply based on earlier pagan mythology. See the following quote from an ancient Sumerian text (especially the last two lines):

    “In those days, those far-off days,
    in those nights, in those distant nights,
    in those years, in those far-off years,
    in olden times, after what was needed had become manifest,
    in olden times, after what was needed had been taken care of,
    after bread had been swallowed in the sanctuaries of the land,
    after the ovens of the land had been fired up with bellows,
    after heaven had been parted from earth,
    after earth had been separated from heaven,” (Bilgames and the Netherworld 1-9; translation from Andrew R. George, The Epic of Gilgamesh, pp. 178-9)

    —————————————————————————————

    “Jay Smith said, Prophet Mohammed borrowed the embryology from a Greek philosopher. Quran has so many sources, so if the gospel of Thomas is not true based on that, then the gospel of Mark, Mathew, Luke and John are also not true because there are some similar stories in there in the Quran.”

    You’re argument is fundamentally flawed. No one (including me) thinks the Gospel of Thomas is not true because it is a source for the Qur’an (it actually isn’t, unlike the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which is a source for the Qur’an), but because it was written too late after Jesus to be considered reliable. If Qur’an uses material from source X, then that doesn’t mean that source X becomes unreliable. Rather, the Qur’an uses sources which are considered to be unreliable for other reasons.
    By the way, I have never listened to or read anything written by Jay Smith, but I very much doubt that he said that Muhammad “the embryology from a Greek philosopher”. More likely is that Mr. Smith said that Muhammad used Greek embryology, which ultimately stems from the Greek philosophers and physicians (these two claims are not the same).

    —————————————————————————————

    “Now, the puzzle for you to solve is to think why will an illiterate Arab in the desert of medieval Arabia, has all these sources? He was able to remove all the bad things said about God from these sources and corrected them with the remaining good ones.”

    Muhammad knew about the Jewish and Christian stories from oral sources. We know that the Hijaz region was surrounded by areas and places where Christianity and Judaism flourished. In fact, many scholars have argued that the Qur’an’s frequent allusions to Jewish and Christian stories actually indicates that Muhammad’s audience was already familiar with them.
    Your argument that the Qur’an says nothing bad about God is based on your presupposition that the Qur’an is the Word of God and therefore true. In other words, you have things backwards here.

    —————————————————————————————

    “The Quran talked about the miraculous birth, but did not say anything about God becoming man, God died for our sins(which is impossible anyway), and Jesus talked as and infant. To you, is he not God? If he is God why can’t God talk when he is infant? for you to call it a fairy tale. To you God died, so you cannot discredit what anybody said about God.”

    I never used the word “fairy tale” so stop putting words into my mouth. And I have never argued that Jesus couldn’t talk when he was an infant. I simply argue that the only sources that mention Jesus talking as an infant are widely considered to historically unreliable, meaning there is no real evidence that Jesus talked when he was still an infant. It’s not about whether or not Jesus could talk as an infant, it’s about whether or not he actually did.
    And I simply cannot comprehend that because I think that Jesus died on the cross, I cannot discredit anything anyone says about God.

    —————————————————————————————

    “From the Gospel of Thomas, similar story of Jesus using clay to mould a bird and the bird became a real bird with the permission of Allah. The Quran corrected the Gospel of Thomas by adding with the permission of Allah. What is wrong with that?”

    Again, you are conflating the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. What’s wrong with the Qur’an ‘correcting’ the story about Jesus making clay birds and turning them into real birds? One thing, we have no reliable evidence that Jesus ever did this. By the way, Dr. Samir Khalil Samir actually thinks that the Qur’anic story clearly shows signs of Christian Christology. He writes:

    “The verb khalaqa [used in 3:49 and 5:110] is found 180 times in the Qur’ān and it is always translated, in various languages, with “to create.” With the exception of Q 20:17 [sic ‒ 29:17] (takhluqūna ifkan = you invent a lie), it always designates the creative action of God. In 177 cases, the subject of the verb is God, while in the other two cases (3:49 and 5:110) it is Christ. Evidently this could only come from Christians; Muslim tradition, with could not uphold this meaning (the only one attested in the Qur’ān), interprets with the meaning of “to fashion, mold.” Meanwhile, the action of “breathing into” is, in the Bible as in the Qur’ān, typical of the creative action of God.
    Thus the two verbs used in this verse both reflect the divine creative action, and not the human action of a potter, for example, thereby confirming the Christian origin of this verse.” (Samir Khalil Samir, “The Theological Christian Influence on the Qur’ān,” in Gabriel Said Reynolds (ed.), The Qur’ān in Its Historical Context, p. 146)

    Like

  42. Mark

    I never used the word “fairy tale” so stop putting words into my mouth. And I have never argued that Jesus couldn’t talk when he was an infant. I simply argue that the only sources that mention Jesus talking as an infant are widely considered to historically unreliable, meaning there is no real evidence that Jesus talked when he was still an infant. It’s not about whether or not Jesus could talk as an infant, it’s about whether or not he actually did.
    And I simply cannot comprehend that because I think that Jesus died on the cross, I cannot discredit anything anyone says about God.

    ———————————————————————————–
    Miraculous birth of Jesus is in the canonical gospels and in the Quran as well. Is the miraculous birth of Jesus too unreliable? If no, then the Quran is reliable. If the prophet Mohammed you think got all this from Christians and Jews of his time, then name me one Jew or Christian who saw him(Mohammed) listening to them for a very long time about their religion before beginning to dictate the Quran to his disciples. You know they accuse prophet Mohammed on so many issues but there is no evidence that, they saw him getting information from them to write the Quran. The Quran has long stories that relates to the Jews and Christians and most are the same like what is found in the Jewish and Christian literature, so he might have studied this long passages from them. Guess what? There is no single evidence that even one of them complained of seeing him listening, learning and studying their oral tradition or literature to come out with this long Quranic stories. You do not have evidence that, the prophet copying anything from the Jews and Christians. Mohammed’s message is straight from God.

    ————————————————————————————
    Again, you are conflating the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. What’s wrong with the Qur’an ‘correcting’ the story about Jesus making clay birds and turning them into real birds? One thing, we have no reliable evidence that Jesus ever did this. By the way, Dr. Samir Khalil Samir actually thinks that the Qur’anic story clearly shows signs of Christian Christology. He writes:

    “The verb khalaqa [used in 3:49 and 5:110] is found 180 times in the Qur’ān and it is always translated, in various languages, with “to create.” With the exception of Q 20:17 [sic ‒ 29:17] (takhluqūna ifkan = you invent a lie), it always designates the creative action of God. In 177 cases, the subject of the verb is God, while in the other two cases (3:49 and 5:110) it is Christ. Evidently this could only come from Christians; Muslim tradition, with could not uphold this meaning (the only one attested in the Qur’ān), interprets with the meaning of “to fashion, mold.” Meanwhile, the action of “breathing into” is, in the Bible as in the Qur’ān, typical of the creative action of God.

    ———————————————————————————-

    Mark, you and your Dr. Khalil did not do your research well, because you have no evidence that the Jews and the Christians ever caught the prophet listening, learning and studying from them to write the long stories in the Quran. At least there could have been one registered story of a Jew or Christian catching our prophet listening to them.. There were registered stories of Jews and Christians publicly accusing and ridiculing him of not being a prophet. But non of them ever caught him learning, studying and listening from them to come out with these long Quranic stories.

    ———————————————————————————-

    Again, you are conflating the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. What’s wrong with the Qur’an ‘correcting’ the story about Jesus making clay birds and turning them into real birds? One thing, we have no reliable evidence that Jesus ever did this

    ———————————————————————————-

    What reliable evidence do we have Jesus turning water in to wine? In the gospels or stories of Jesus by someone claiming to be disciple. The same applies to the Gospel of Thomas or infancy gospel of Thomas who claimed to be the disciple of Jesus, and he making clay birds and it became real.

    ——————————————————————————

    I never used the word “fairy tale” so stop putting words into my mouth. And I have never argued that Jesus couldn’t talk when he was an infant. I simply argue that the only sources that mention Jesus talking as an infant are widely considered to historically unreliable, meaning there is no real evidence that Jesus talked when he was still an infant. It’s not about whether or not Jesus could talk as an infant, it’s about whether or not he actually did.
    And I simply cannot comprehend that because I think that Jesus died on the cross, I cannot discredit anything anyone says about God.

    ———————————————————————————-
    Some scholars say the New Testament is unreliable, don’t they? but you as a believer will never mind them. So those who believe in the Gospel of Thomas or infancy gospel of Thomas will not mind you when you say it is not reliable. All of the Jesus’s story were circulating at that time and all the scriptures are ancient and scholars have different dates. How do you want us to believe the date you believe, while you will not believe the date of other scholars?

    —————————————————————————————
    To simply call the scholarly dating of documents “wishes” is an insult to New Testament Scholars.
    —————————————————————————————

    I said this because there are so many different dates on the same document. Which is which? Which are we to believe? I will believe Dr. Elaine and others who put the date of the Gospel of Thomas much earlier than yours. Even if it is later, it can contain truths in it. The earlier can contain lies anyway.

    Lets say the Quran picked something from it. What the Quran picked could be truth. To say because it is late, so everything is not true does not sound philosophical when you consider the fact that, there were a lot of stories of Jesus circulating and people are choosing the ones they like. How about the miraculous birth story in NT and the Quran? Do you consider the Quran getting unreliable sources from the NT?

    You quoted a lot of bad things from the gospel of Thomas and or Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The Quran never used those bad things you quoted but used something similar to Jesus moulding clay birds and putting life into them and left the negative ones. Does that not sound good about the Quran?

    The same is applicable to the canonical gospel, the Quran corrected it by saying yes, Jesus has miraculous birth and like the Gospel of Thomas it corrected the canonical gospel and said, Jesus is not God nor a literal son of God, nor God died, nor God is a man etc.

    Like

  43. Dear Amin,

    “Miraculous birth of Jesus is in the canonical gospels and in the Quran as well. Is the miraculous birth of Jesus too unreliable? If no, then the Quran is reliable. If the prophet Mohammed you think got all this from Christians and Jews of his time, then name me one Jew or Christian who saw him(Mohammed) listening to them for a very long time about their religion before beginning to dictate the Quran to his disciples. You know they accuse prophet Mohammed on so many issues but there is no evidence that, they saw him getting information from them to write the Quran. The Quran has long stories that relates to the Jews and Christians and most are the same like what is found in the Jewish and Christian literature, so he might have studied this long passages from them. Guess what? There is no single evidence that even one of them complained of seeing him listening, learning and studying their oral tradition or literature to come out with this long Quranic stories. You do not have evidence that, the prophet copying anything from the Jews and Christians. Mohammed’s message is straight from God.”

    Yes, the canonical Gospels of Matthew and Luke mention the virgin birth of Jesus. But the fact that the Qur’an used them as sources doesn’t make the Qur’an reliable on every subject. Even though I believe in the virgin birth, I do not regard the Qur’an as a valid source on this. The Qur’an simply uses valid sources with regards to the virgin birth, but very unreliable sources on many other occasions.
    Your request to have specific evidence of the Jews and Christians (of Muhammad’s time, I assume) complaining that Muhammad used their material strikes me as an unreasonably high standard. With such standards, historical research becomes almost impossible.
    But actually, Muhammad’s audience accused him on multiple occasions of telling “fables of the ancients” (e.g., Qur’an 6:25; 8:31; 68:15; 83:13). They also accused him of plagiarizing the “fables of the ancients”, that certain (unnamed) man had taught him (16:103; 44:14; cf. 6:105). In the Hadith literature, we have the story of a Christian who became a Muslim and served as a scribe for Muhammad, but later returned to the Christian faith and proclaimed that “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3617)

    ————————————————————————————

    “Mark, you and your Dr. Khalil did not do your research well, because you have no evidence that the Jews and the Christians ever caught the prophet listening, learning and studying from them to write the long stories in the Quran. At least there could have been one registered story of a Jew or Christian catching our prophet listening to them.. There were registered stories of Jews and Christians publicly accusing and ridiculing him of not being a prophet. But non of them ever caught him learning, studying and listening from them to come out with these long Quranic stories.”

    As shown above, Muhammad’s audience accused him of plagiarizing other material. It is unreasonable to ask for evidence of Muhammad getting caught listening to a Jew or Christian, especially in light of the fact that we don’t know much about Muhammad besides what the Qur’an and later Islamic tradition tells about him.
    But, as mentioned in a previous post, the Qur’an itself seems to suggest that Muhammad’s audience was already familiar with the Jewish and Christian stories, which probably spread orally through the region. If Muhammad’s audience was already familiar with the stories of the Jews and Christians, why should we think that Muhammad could have only acquired them through direct revelation?

    ——————————————————————————

    “What reliable evidence do we have Jesus turning water in to wine? In the gospels or stories of Jesus by someone claiming to be disciple. The same applies to the Gospel of Thomas or infancy gospel of Thomas who claimed to be the disciple of Jesus, and he making clay birds and it became real.”

    The difference is that the Gospel of John dates from the first century, while the Gospel of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas both don’t. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which mentions the story of the clay birds, is dated to the second century.

    ——————————————————————————

    “Some scholars say the New Testament is unreliable, don’t they? but you as a believer will never mind them. So those who believe in the Gospel of Thomas or infancy gospel of Thomas will not mind you when you say it is not reliable. All of the Jesus’s story were circulating at that time and all the scriptures are ancient and scholars have different dates. How do you want us to believe the date you believe, while you will not believe the date of other scholars?”

    Actually, I do listen to scholars who consider the New Testament to be unreliable, although I should note that only a very tiny radical fringe thinks that the New Testament is completely unreliable when it comes to information about the Historical Jesus. Likewise, I listen to scholars who want to date (parts of) the Gospel of Thomas to the first century. But after considering their arguments, I came to the conclusion that they’ve simply not convinced me. With regards to the dating, there are as far as I know simply no “other scholars” who date the Infancy Gospel of Thomas to the first century.

    —————————————————————————————

    “I said this because there are so many different dates on the same document. Which is which? Which are we to believe? I will believe Dr. Elaine and others who put the date of the Gospel of Thomas much earlier than yours. Even if it is later, it can contain truths in it. The earlier can contain lies anyway.”

    Of course, but scholars usually consider the earlier documents more reliable than the later ones. Dr. Pagels would agree with me here. She and other scholars disagree with each other about the dating of the Gospel of Thomas, but they still think that the earlier the source the more reliable it is.
    And, as I showed in my previous post, if the Gospel of Thomas actually dates to the first century that makes it more likely that Jesus said the things ascribed to him in this work. And if the Gospel of Thomas dates to the first century, that would do nothing to increase the truthfulness of the Qur’an, since the Qur’an never makes use of the Gospel of Thomas (unlike the Infancy Gospel of Thomas).

    —————————————————————————————

    “You quoted a lot of bad things from the gospel of Thomas and or Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The Quran never used those bad things you quoted but used something similar to Jesus moulding clay birds and putting life into them and left the negative ones. Does that not sound good about the Quran?”

    My quotes were from the Gospel of Thomas, which Dr. Pagels apparently wants to date to the first century (and you agree with her), and she seems to regard it as a reliable source to know what Jesus taught. I do not regard the story of Jesus making clay birds (from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas) to be “negative”, but I do think that there is no reliable historical evidence that it’s true.
    By stating that the Gospel of Thomas is from the first century but whatever doesn’t agree with Islamic theology is false, you’re committing the fallacy of cherry picking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_%28fallacy%29). I could also argue that Muhammad was a celibate and simply dismissing every piece of evidence that points to the contrary (in both the Hadith and the Sira literature) as false. Presumably, you would not accept that kind of reasoning.

    —————————————————————————————

    “Lets say the Quran picked something from it. What the Quran picked could be truth. To say because it is late, so everything is not true does not sound philosophical when you consider the fact that, there were a lot of stories of Jesus circulating and people are choosing the ones they like. How about the miraculous birth story in NT and the Quran? Do you consider the Quran getting unreliable sources from the NT?”

    Actually, my approach is the standard approach used in history. If someone in the 19th century made up stories about Muhammad you would presumably also regard them as unreliable because they didn’t exist before that time.
    Perhaps the Qur’an only used the stories which are true, but to me that seems rather unlikely considering the Qur’an usually uses the later instead of the earlier sources. This becomes even more apparent in the case of the story of Dhu’l Qarnayn, which is probably based on legends surrounding the figure of Alexander the Great.
    I do not think that the Qur’an gets unreliable sources from the New Testament because (1) I regard the New Testament as a reliable source; (2) the Qur’an barely uses the New Testament, but seems more inclined to use non-canonical sources.

    Like

  44. Mark

    Actually, my approach is the standard approach used in history. If someone in the 19th century made up stories about Muhammad you would presumably also regard them as unreliable because they didn’t exist before that time.
    Perhaps the Qur’an only used the stories which are true, but to me that seems rather unlikely considering the Qur’an usually uses the later instead of the earlier sources. This becomes even more apparent in the case of the story of Dhu’l Qarnayn, which is probably based on legends surrounding the figure of Alexander the Great.
    I do not think that the Qur’an gets unreliable sources from the New Testament because (1) I regard the New Testament as a reliable source; (2) the Qur’an barely uses the New Testament, but seems more inclined to use non-canonical sources.I

    ——————————————————————

    I did mention about bias when I started dialoguing with you. The name of your gospels Mark, Mathew, Luke and John as canonical reaffirms the history of so many stories about Jesus circulating in the ancient times and people and groups started grabbing the stories about Jesus in which they are interested and making it canonical. So, there are other gospels or stories about Jesus which did not find its way into your canonical gospels of John, Mark, Mathew and Luke.

    Even, Christians today have different books added to their scriptures and some Christian denominations do not accept some part of other Christian denominations manuscripts.

    The Roman Catholics additional books
    The Eastern Ethiopian Orthodox Church has additional books

    We have the King James only Christians who will not accept any Bible except the King James version.

    Jehovah witness, who are Christians and believed Jesus died for their sins like you do, tells us the truth by indicating errors in the New Testament and therefore NT is just like gospel of Thomas and or Infancy gospels with some truths and lies about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Quran removed the bad things said about Jesus and corrected all the gospels canonical and non canonical by bringing similar stories about the prophet of God who will not say the Almighty God died.

    The gospel of Mark has some longer ending and some shorter ending. The Christians added some longer verses and later removed it and added it. And remove and add and remove. It proved that, the gospels have a field day and play from the ancient times where people could select the stories they want and build their Christology or theology upon it.

    The Trinity formula was added to your canonical gospels and later removed and added and so now some Bible have Trinity formula and some Bible do not have it. So, it is not philosophical to use your bias towards your religion to dismiss scholars who said New Testament is unreliable. I am not a theological scholar at all, but this simple facts prove the New Testament to be unreliable. The earlier a document, does not mean that, no body cannot add lies to it to prove his whims and caprice.

    Quran did not mention Alexander the Great, that is your thinking. People have their Opinions of Dhu’l Qarnayn.

    The gospel of Thomas and or infancy gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Banabas, The Sherpered Hermas and any other gospels could contain some truths and lies like how the THE CANONICAL NEW TESTAMENT CONTAIN SOME TRUTH AND LIES, excuse me for the capitalization. I want to stress a point. The New Testament is not reliable as said by scholars.

    ————————————————————————-

    Yes, the canonical Gospels of Matthew and Luke mention the virgin birth of Jesus. But the fact that the Qur’an used them as sources doesn’t make the Qur’an reliable on every subject. Even though I believe in the virgin birth, I do not regard the Qur’an as a valid source on this. The Qur’an simply uses valid sources with regards to the virgin birth, but very unreliable sources on many other occasions.
    Your request to have specific evidence of the Jews and Christians (of Muhammad’s time, I assume) complaining that Muhammad used their material strikes me as an unreasonably high standard. With such standards, historical research becomes almost impossible.
    But actually, Muhammad’s audience accused him on multiple occasions of telling “fables of the ancients” (e.g., Qur’an 6:25; 8:31; 68:15; 83:13). They also accused him of plagiarizing the “fables of the ancients”, that certain (unnamed) man had taught him (16:103; 44:14; cf. 6:105). In the Hadith literature, we have the story of a Christian who became a Muslim and served as a scribe for Muhammad, but later returned to the Christian faith and proclaimed that “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3617)

    ————————————————————————

    The hadiths has chain of Narrations with names from the source that trace it the narrator. In the ancient Islamic history, lies are controlled, because the religion is clearly against lies, so before hadith is accepted, there must be names, narrators and chain of narrations. Any hadith without name or lack of proper narrations is considered to be lies and untruth.

    Telling the Prophet that he has fables of the ancients is different from saying that we saw you Mohammed studying, copying, listening to our stories, literature from so, so and so. That never happened, but they accuse him anyway. The have all this chance on earth to accuse him of seeing him red handed learning from them. I am stressing on this because no one can come out with the long Quranic stories without being to a say Bible school, seminary or having a dedicated teacher.

    The Quran contains long stories about Moses, Jesus, Noah, etc. and predicted Moses’s time Pharoah’s body will be in Egypt today. The Quran said God will preserve the body as a witness for the future generation to see and the body was flown all over the world to see. If the prophet was copying from the Bible, why was this little piece not in the Bible? as can be witnessed today?

    Scholars have differing opinions of all gospels including the canonical ones. So, you cannot appeal to scholars on this matter because some NT scholars believed it is full of lies and some believed it is the truth and so is the gospel of Thomas and other gospels.

    The dates are different and are approximations, projections and estimates and not reality. I realized you are not happy about the “wishes” I earlier said, so for the respect of you I will not include it.

    ————————————————————————-

    Actually, I do listen to scholars who consider the New Testament to be unreliable, although I should note that only a very tiny radical fringe thinks that the New Testament is completely unreliable when it comes to information about the Historical Jesus. Likewise, I listen to scholars who want to date (parts of) the Gospel of Thomas to the first century. But after considering their arguments, I came to the conclusion that they’ve simply not convinced me. With regards to the dating, there are as far as I know simply no “other scholars” who date the Infancy Gospel of Thomas to the first century.

    ———————————————————————–

    You argued of no scholar taking other gospels especially gospel of Thomas as reliable, I prove you wrong by bringing Dr. Pagel, you said, she is minority, I again brought others and you are still calling them “tiny radical fringe”. If you listened to the Christian broadcaster host between Mike Licona and Dr Pagel, he said scholars want other gospels to be added to the modern day Bible.

    The scholars have realized that all of the gospels contains some truths and or lies

    At least some scholars put the dates of other gospels as early as your canonical ones. Early does not mean correct Mr. Mark. Later does not mean wrong. They are all ancient and there is a history of selected some stories about Jesus and rejecting others by people who want what they selected to match their theology. The unselected ones could contain truths. I do not know, you do not know, a scholar do not know but can estimate and estimation is not the best. Only God knows and not Mark or scholars.

    God gave us the good gospels in the Quran and rejected the Almighty God died or became Man.

    Like

  45. Dear Amin,

    Your long part about textual criticism and denominations differing about the canon has nothing to do with what we discussed. Again, I’m using the canonical Gospels not because they’re canonical, but because they’re the only ones which can be dated to the first century. And Bart D. Ehrman, probably the most famous textual critic at the moment (and certainly no friend of orthodox Christianity), agrees with me here.
    By the way, neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Ethiopian Orthodox Church regards any other gospel than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as canonical, making your point rather moot.

    ————————————————————————

    “Quran did not mention Alexander the Great, that is your thinking. People have their Opinions of Dhu’l Qarnayn.”

    Yes, and the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the figure of Dhu’l Qarnayn is based on legends surrounding the figure of Alexander the Great.

    ————————————————————————

    “The gospel of Thomas and or infancy gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Banabas, The Sherpered Hermas and any other gospels could contain some truths and lies like how the THE CANONICAL NEW TESTAMENT CONTAIN SOME TRUTH AND LIES, excuse me for the capitalization. I want to stress a point. The New Testament is not reliable as said by scholars”

    Again, the canonical Gospels are the earliest we have, and therefore probably the most reliable. This is simply how historical research works. If you want to disagree with me then that’s fine, but simply know that you’re disagreeing with a widely accepted principle in doing historical research, which would make further discussion rather futile. And which scholars actually say that the New Testament is not reliable?

    ————————————————————————

    “The hadiths has chain of Narrations with names from the source that trace it the narrator. In the ancient Islamic history, lies are controlled, because the religion is clearly against lies, so before hadith is accepted, there must be names, narrators and chain of narrations. Any hadith without name or lack of proper narrations is considered to be lies and untruth.”

    My quote was from Sahih al-Bukhari, widely considered by orthodox Sunni Muslims to be the most reliable collection of Hadith. You can find the specific Hadith here: http://sunnah.com/bukhari/61/124.

    ————————————————————————

    “Telling the Prophet that he has fables of the ancients is different from saying that we saw you Mohammed studying, copying, listening to our stories, literature from so, so and so. That never happened, but they accuse him anyway. The have all this chance on earth to accuse him of seeing him red handed learning from them. I am stressing on this because no one can come out with the long Quranic stories without being to a say Bible school, seminary or having a dedicated teacher.”

    Actually everything the Qur’an says about the biblical figures can be learned from oral tradition. Dr. Gabriel Said Reynolds has even pointed out that the Qur’an’s choice of biblical material seems to reflect oral tradition.

    “The Qur’an’s imperfect knowledge of the Bible is also suggested by the sorts of biblical traditions it refers to. The Qur’an refers frequently to the characters of the book of Genesis; it also refers to the stories of David, Solomon, and Jonah. Yet it has little to say about the wisdom or prophetic books of the Old Testament. The Qur’an is quite interested in the birth and the miracles of Jesus, but it has little to say about the rest of his life. Moreover, it has nothing to say at all about the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul, the Pastoral/catholic Epistles, or the Book of Revelation.
    The uneven distribution of biblical material suggests that the Qur’an was aware of oral traditions about biblical characters but not of the Bible itself. It could be that the Qur’an refers to the stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, and Jonah because they are the sorts of stories that were told (as they are now) in popular settings. The prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel, however, are not the stuff of storytellers.” (Gabriel Said Reynolds, The Emergence of Islam, p. 126)

    ————————————————————————

    “The Quran contains long stories about Moses, Jesus, Noah, etc. and predicted Moses’s time Pharoah’s body will be in Egypt today. The Quran said God will preserve the body as a witness for the future generation to see and the body was flown all over the world to see. If the prophet was copying from the Bible, why was this little piece not in the Bible? as can be witnessed today?”

    As for the preservation of Pharaoh’s body, Mr. Shamoun has already written an extensive reply to these claims: http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/body_pharaoh.html. It seems that the Qur’an is simply relying on both the Bible and the Jewish Talmud here.

    ————————————————————————

    “Scholars have differing opinions of all gospels including the canonical ones. So, you cannot appeal to scholars on this matter because some NT scholars believed it is full of lies and some believed it is the truth and so is the gospel of Thomas and other gospels.”

    Actually, one can appeal to New Testament scholars and the arguments they present, especially if there is a consensus. And in this case, the consensus is against the usefulness of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Qur’an.

    ————————————————————————

    “You argued of no scholar taking other gospels especially gospel of Thomas as reliable, I prove you wrong by bringing Dr. Pagel, you said, she is minority, I again brought others and you are still calling them “tiny radical fringe”. If you listened to the Christian broadcaster host between Mike Licona and Dr Pagel, he said scholars want other gospels to be added to the modern day Bible.”

    I’m afraid that you have severely misunderstood me, and are now committing the straw man fallacy. I never once said that “no scholar taking other gospels especially Gospel of Thomas as reliable”. I simply said that the majority of scholars do not see the Gospel of Thomas as a reliable source, although a minority thinks (portions of) the Gospel of Thomas date to the first century. Dr. Pagels is simply in the minority here.
    The “tiny radical fringe” was referring to scholars who think that the New Testament is completely unreliable for research on the Historical Jesus, and had nothing to do with the current status regarding the dating of the Gospel of Thomas. Of course, there’s a wide range among scholars as to what extent the canonical Gospels can be trusted, but even Dr. Pagels think that the New Testament contains at least some reliable material about the Historical Jesus. In fact, the only scholars who think that the New Testament is completely unreliable (and, thus, are part of the “tiny radical fringe”) are as far as I know mythicists, i.e. they think that Jesus probably never existed.

    ————————————————————————

    “The scholars have realized that all of the gospels contains some truths and or lies”

    And all scholars have decided that the Infancy gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas are unreliable for historical research. Name me one scholar, just one, who thinks that either of these two gospels is a valid source.

    ————————————————————————

    “At least some scholars put the dates of other gospels as early as your canonical ones. Early does not mean correct Mr. Mark. Later does not mean wrong. They are all ancient and there is a history of selected some stories about Jesus and rejecting others by people who want what they selected to match their theology. The unselected ones could contain truths. I do not know, you do not know, a scholar do not know but can estimate and estimation is not the best. Only God knows and not Mark or scholars.
    God gave us the good gospels in the Quran and rejected the Almighty God died or became Man.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you’re simply not reading what I write. No scholar on the planet thinks that all gospels are just as valid as historical sources. Your position seems to be that whatever agrees with the Qur’an is true and whatever goes against the Qur’an is wrong. But you’ll have to prove that the Qur’an is the Word of God to even consider the Qur’an as a yardstick. You’ve failed to do that.

    Like

  46. Mark

    Actually, one can appeal to New Testament scholars and the arguments they present, especially if there is a consensus. And in this case, the consensus is against the usefulness of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Qur’an.

    ——————————————————————-

    No Sir, I provided my scholars who do not agree with your dates. Their dates differs significantly with your scholars. The scholars I believe in say the gospel of Thomas is also earlier as the other gospel and also just consider the stories about Jesus circulating and people and groups are choosing the ones they want. What your Church Fathers chose and canonized might not be the only stories about Jesus.

    There are other stories about Jesus, that is why your gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Mathew are called canonized. Who canonized it? God? or Man? or God inspired your Men to canonized it? Others will also say God inspired their Men to canonize or pick or chose the gospel of Thomas and the others.

    —————————————————————-

    Again, the canonical Gospels are the earliest we have, and therefore probably the most reliable. This is simply how historical research works. If you want to disagree with me then that’s fine, but simply know that you’re disagreeing with a widely accepted principle in doing historical research, which would make further discussion rather futile. And which scholars actually say that the New Testament is not reliable?

    —————————————————————-

    Who told you or what history taught you that, an earlier document cannot contain lies in it? and is free from unreliability? or a later document can never ever has some truths in it? It is an un philosophical argument. Hindus claim their scriptures is older than the Bible and the Quran. Does that mean that it is a reliable word of God the Only One and Almighty on whom Alone must be worshiped?

    Some people can realize their earlier manuscript is not reliable and will try to correct it to a newer manuscript. There are so many changes in the Bible and it can be seen by anyone including Christians themselves. If the canonical gospels were reliable, why adding and deleting verses? The New Testament is not reliable. I do not need a scholar to tell me that, because it is visible if you are a little bit interested in theology. How do you use NT which is not reliable as a yardstick against other gospels or stories about Jesus?

    —————————————————————-

    As for the preservation of Pharaoh’s body, Mr. Shamoun has already written an extensive reply to these claims: http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/body_pharaoh.html. It seems that the Qur’an is simply relying on both the Bible and the Jewish Talmud here.

    —————————————————————-

    Mark, you are asking me to provide scholars to back my arguments and when I do you call them names like minority, fringe etc. and is Sam Shamoun that you are now providing me as your scholar?

    I swear, I have read so many articles of Sam Shamoun and it lacks philosophical arguments but just attacking Islam with no basis or facts. Mr. Shamoun has no any formal education in both Christianity and Islam, so he is not qualified to educate me about the preservation of pharaohs body.

    It is clearly in the Quran that Allah promised to preserve Pharoahs body, but it is not in the Bible or anywhere.

    Mr. Shamoun does not know Greek, Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew and has no any qualification in Islam and or Christianity, but attacking Islam, so he is not qualified to be taken serious.

    Lesley, Hazelton, John Exposito of George Town university, Karyn Armstrong etc. are among so many non Muslim Islamic scholars who have spend years independently researching on Islam and know Arabic and they are the ones you should appeal and not Sam Shamoun who gets his pay by insulting Muslims. I am not calling Mr. Shamoun names at all but he does not have any Islamic qualification.

    Shabbir Ally is a Muslim, but he spent time to learn Christianity and know their scriptures and when he is talking he knows what he is talking and most Christians like him. Dr. Jerald Dirks has masters of divinity and a former deacon as a Christian, he is now a Muslim and speak with authority that the New Testament is unreliable.

    ————————————————————-

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you’re simply not reading what I write. No scholar on the planet thinks that all gospels are just as valid as historical sources. Your position seems to be that whatever agrees with the Qur’an is true and whatever goes against the Qur’an is wrong. But you’ll have to prove that the Qur’an is the Word of God to even consider the Qur’an as a yardstick. You’ve failed to do that.

    ———————————————————-

    Proof

    Bible

    14.”I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5
    15.”Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14
    18.”I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” Isaiah 46:9

    Quran

    21:25 – We did not send any messenger before you except with inspiration: “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone.”
    21:22 – If there were in them (the Heavens and the Earth) other gods besides ALLAH, there would have been chaos. Glory be to ALLAH; the Lord with absolute authority. He is high above their claims.
    14:2 – ALLAH; the One who possesses everything in the Heavens and everything on Earth. Woe to the disbelievers; they have incurred a terrible retribution
    37:96 – “When ALLAH has created you, and everything you make!”

    The God of Quran Mr. Mark is no other God than the God of Abraham.

    Proof.
    Quran 2:136
    Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).”

    Quran is not from Satan or anything opposed to One God of Abraham

    When thou dost read the Quran, seek God’s protection from Satan the rejected one. No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. His authority is over those only, who take him as patron and who join partners with God. (16: 98–100)

    Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents,that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. (35: 6)

    If a suggestion from Satan assail thy (mind), seek refuge with God; for He hears and knows (all things). Those who fear God, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, bring God to remembrance, when lo! They see (aright)! But their brethren (the evil ones) plunge them deeper into error, and never relax (their efforts). (7: 200–02)

    My friend Mark, the above verses from the Bible and the Quran clearly stated that God is not like anything and how is he a man? nothing besides Him, how does He have a Son/son?

    The Quran is here to correct you and it is reliable and brought the true story of Jesus speaking as infant, that your Church Fathers did not select.

    Like

  47. Dear Amin,

    “No Sir, I provided my scholars who do not agree with your dates. Their dates differs significantly with your scholars. The scholars I believe in say the gospel of Thomas is also earlier as the other gospel and also just consider the stories about Jesus circulating and people and groups are choosing the ones they want. What your Church Fathers chose and canonized might not be the only stories about Jesus.”

    As you say, you only mentioned scholars who think that (parts of) the Gospel of Thomas date to the first century. You’ve not mentioned any scholars who think that the Infancy Gospel of Thomas dates to the first century, and as far as I know, there are simply none.

    ——————————————————————

    “There are other stories about Jesus, that is why your gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Mathew are called canonized. Who canonized it? God? or Man? or God inspired your Men to canonized it? Others will also say God inspired their Men to canonize or pick or chose the gospel of Thomas and the others.”

    Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter who canonized Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As noted before, I do not regard the canonical Gospels as reliable because they’re canonical, but because they’re the only ones that date to the first century (the Gospel of Thomas is probably the only other gospel where there’s a chance that it dates to the first century, and if that were the case, I don’t see how it would support Islam).

    —————————————————————

    “Who told you or what history taught you that, an earlier document cannot contain lies in it? and is free from unreliability? or a later document can never ever has some truths in it? It is an un philosophical argument. Hindus claim their scriptures is older than the Bible and the Quran. Does that mean that it is a reliable word of God the Only One and Almighty on whom Alone must be worshiped?”

    Several scholars have written on this subject. For instance, Dr. Ehrman writes:

    “In general, historical sources closest to an event have a greater likelihood of being accurate than those at a further remove. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, of course―sometimes, later sources can recount events more accurately than earlier ones. But not usually, and especially not in antiquity, when later authors did not have the research techniques and data retrieval systems available to us today. The rule of thumb, particularly in the ancient world, is that earlier is better.” (Bart Ehrman, The New Testament, 5th ed., p. 244)

    You probably noticed that indeed Dr. Ehrman mentions that a later document can be more reliable, and certainly I agree with you that an early source can contain false claims. But if we want to do historical research in the most objective way possible, we simply have to use what Dr. Ehrman calls the “rule of thumb” that early sources are probably more reliable.
    With regard to the Hindu sources, I would actually consider the earliest Hindu sources to contain more reliable information about the history of Hinduism than later sources (Hindu or not). That doesn’t however mean that I agree with Hindu theology. There is a difference between theology and history. For instance, the early Greek sources probably contain our best information about Greek history, but that doesn’t mean that I believe in the Greek gods (or, for instance, Platonism).

    —————————————————————

    “Some people can realize their earlier manuscript is not reliable and will try to correct it to a newer manuscript. There are so many changes in the Bible and it can be seen by anyone including Christians themselves. If the canonical gospels were reliable, why adding and deleting verses? The New Testament is not reliable. I do not need a scholar to tell me that, because it is visible if you are a little bit interested in theology. How do you use NT which is not reliable as a yardstick against other gospels or stories about Jesus?”

    The canonical Gospels are reliable sources, and with textual criticism we can discover with rather great certainty what the originals said. Remember that Dr. Ehrman still uses the canonical Gospels in his historical research. Apparently he thinks that they’re still reliable. Considering that the texts in the New Testament are the best preserved from Antiquity that we have, it would mean that if the Gospels are not reliable, we can probably know virtually nothing about Antiquity. By the way, new research may show that the manuscripts we have are more directly related to the autographs than earlier thought: http://michaeljkruger.com/is-the-original-text-of-the-new-testament-lost-rethinking-our-access-to-the-autographs/.

    —————————————————————

    “Mark, you are asking me to provide scholars to back my arguments and when I do you call them names like minority, fringe etc. and is Sam Shamoun that you are now providing me as your scholar?
    I swear, I have read so many articles of Sam Shamoun and it lacks philosophical arguments but just attacking Islam with no basis or facts. Mr. Shamoun has no any formal education in both Christianity and Islam, so he is not qualified to educate me about the preservation of pharaohs body.
    It is clearly in the Quran that Allah promised to preserve Pharoahs body, but it is not in the Bible or anywhere.
    Mr. Shamoun does not know Greek, Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew and has no any qualification in Islam and or Christianity, but attacking Islam, so he is not qualified to be taken serious.”

    Perhaps I was being unfair and hypocritical, and I do apologize. Unluckily I don’t know any scholars who have written on the subject of Pharaoh’s body (whether arguing for it or against it). But I do think it’s fair to say that, as Mr. Shamoun pointed out, that we simply do not know who the Pharaoh exactly was (“Pharaoh” is of course a title, not a name) making identification with a particular corpse rather difficult. And that Ibn Kathir thought that the Qur’anic passage meant that the Israelites would see Pharaoh’s body lying on the shore, confirming that he was dead, and says nothing about Pharaoh’s body being preserved after that.

    —————————————————————

    “Lesley, Hazelton, John Exposito of George Town university, Karyn Armstrong etc. are among so many non Muslim Islamic scholars who have spend years independently researching on Islam and know Arabic and they are the ones you should appeal and not Sam Shamoun who gets his pay by insulting Muslims. I am not calling Mr. Shamoun names at all but he does not have any Islamic qualification.””

    That’s right, and I accept your rebuke. The only thing I would like to mention that Mrs. Karen Armstrong is actually not a scholar. She has written various books on Islam and Muhammad, but that doesn’t make her a scholar. The same goes for Mrs. Lesley Hazleton.

    —————————————————————

    “Shabbir Ally is a Muslim, but he spent time to learn Christianity and know their scriptures and when he is talking he knows what he is talking and most Christians like him. Dr. Jerald Dirks has masters of divinity and a former deacon as a Christian, he is now a Muslim and speak with authority that the New Testament is unreliable.”

    Shabir Ally is probably the best Muslim apologist of this day, and I certainly respect him, but with regard to the New Testament he only seems to have a BA in Religious Studies with specialization in Biblical literature. Jerald Dirks is actually not an authority. I’ve never seen any other scholar quote or even mention him (including very liberal scholars), nor does searching for his name on the site of the Society of Biblical Literature wield up any results (http://www.sbl-site.org/searchresults.aspx?cx=012028072752611992285%3A7gzu507oe6k&cof=FORID%3A10%3BNB%3A1&ie=UTF-8&q=jerald+dirks).
    The reliability of the Gospels has been thoroughly demonstrated by several scholars, including the two books (“The Jesus Legend” by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd, and “The Historical Jesus of the Gospels” by Craig S. Keener) I mentioned earlier. There’re undoubtedly many more, but unfortunately as per yet I’ve not been able to read them

    ————————————————————

    “Proof
    Bible
    14.”I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5
    15.”Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14
    18.”I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” Isaiah 46:9
    Quran
    21:25 – We did not send any messenger before you except with inspiration: “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone.”
    21:22 – If there were in them (the Heavens and the Earth) other gods besides ALLAH, there would have been chaos. Glory be to ALLAH; the Lord with absolute authority. He is high above their claims.
    14:2 – ALLAH; the One who possesses everything in the Heavens and everything on Earth. Woe to the disbelievers; they have incurred a terrible retribution
    37:96 – “When ALLAH has created you, and everything you make!”
    The God of Quran Mr. Mark is no other God than the God of Abraham.
    Proof.
    Quran 2:136
    Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).”
    Quran is not from Satan or anything opposed to One God of Abraham
    When thou dost read the Quran, seek God’s protection from Satan the rejected one. No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. His authority is over those only, who take him as patron and who join partners with God. (16: 98–100)
    Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents,that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. (35: 6)
    If a suggestion from Satan assail thy (mind), seek refuge with God; for He hears and knows (all things). Those who fear God, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, bring God to remembrance, when lo! They see (aright)! But their brethren (the evil ones) plunge them deeper into error, and never relax (their efforts). (7: 200–02)
    My friend Mark, the above verses from the Bible and the Quran clearly stated that God is not like anything and how is he a man? nothing besides Him, how does He have a Son/son?
    The Quran is here to correct you and it is reliable and brought the true story of Jesus speaking as infant, that your Church Fathers did not select. ”

    I actually agree that there is no god but YHWH. Every orthodox Christian thinks that. But we do think that YHWH is a trinity, consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And every orthodox Christian thinks that God is not a man, but we do think that some 2000 years ago, the Son entered into creation and took on human flesh. That doesn’t mean that he gave up his divinity.
    And saying that the Qur’an agrees with the Bible (or even only the Old Testament) doesn’t mean that it’s from God. Even if I would agree (and I don’t) that the Qur’an is in agreement with the Old Testament, I wouldn’t consider that as evidence. If I write a book that preaches unitarianism (and thus agrees with the Qur’an) would taht mean that my book was inspired by God?
    Perhaps I should have been more clear. Can you find evidence that supports that the Qur’an is the Word of God by demonstrating, for instance, that it contains information a human author could never have known? Muslims who claim that the Qur’an contains so called “scientific miracles” have attempted to do this, but I have yet to find an example that would actually hold up. And it seems to me that both Muslim scientists (see for instance “Islam’s Quantum Question” by Nidhal Guessoum) as well as Muslim religious scholars (see for instance http://www.aqidah.com/creed/articles/mevrk-shaykh-salih-al-fawzan-on-the-study-of-the-scientific-miracle.cfm😉 have severely criticized these claims. In fact, here is an article by someone who would fall in both categories, being both a Muslim scholar as well as a theoretical physicist: http://muslimanswers.net/2013/09/20/an-analysis-of-hamza-tzortzis-paper-on-the-quran-and-so-called-scientific-miracles.

    Like

  48. Mark

    I actually agree that there is no god but YHWH. Every orthodox Christian thinks that. But we do think that YHWH is a trinity, consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
    ——————————————————————-

    Where in the Bible does it say YHWH is Trinity? and consists of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    It contradicts these verses. They are opposites. Is your God opposites.

    These verses says YHWH is One, Only and Alone.

    2.”there is no one like Yahweh our God.” Exodus 8:10
    3.”Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” Deuteronomy 4:35
    4.”Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:39
    5.”See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me” Deuteronomy 32:39
    1.”Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [echad]!” Deuteronomy 6:4
    6.”You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You” 2 Samuel 7:22
    7.”For who is God, besides Yahweh? And who is a rock, besides our God?” 2 Samuel 22:32
    8.”Yahweh is God; there is no one else.” 1 Kings 8:60
    1.”You are the God, You alone [bad], of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
    9.”O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20
    1.”You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6
    10.”For who is God, but Yahweh? And who is a rock, except our God” Psalm 18:31
    1.”You alone [bad], Lord, are God.” Isaiah 37:20
    11.”Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.” Isaiah 43:10
    ——————————————————————–

    Mark, you see how important the Oneness, Lone, and Alone of God is? to merit all these verses stressing about that? and the Quran is here to draw your attention back to this original message to God creation?

    If God is Trinity, why no single message from God like the ones above stating clearly and unequivocally that “God is Trinity”, so that He(God) becomes fair in dealing with those who rejected his message?

    I know the Trinity formula in the Bible is fabrication. If the gospels are reliable why fabricate a story or verses?

    ——————————————————————–

    And every orthodox Christian thinks that God is not a man, but we do think that some 2000 years ago, the Son entered into creation and took on human flesh. That doesn’t mean that he gave up his divinity.

    ———————————————————————-

    My good friend Mark, now tell me when God took the human flesh and did not gave his divinity, does that mean His divinity died? because the divinity is with him. If the divinity died, then it is blaspheme and If Gods divinity died who control the universe?

    Some Christians will tell me “oh the answer to your question is simple, the Father controls the universe because it was the Son who died”. My Christian friends forgot that if one God dies and the other is alive then we have 2 Gods and that is polytheism and or idolatry.

    Like

  49. Dear Amin,

    “Where in the Bible does it say YHWH is Trinity? and consists of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

    Where does the Qur’an mention the word “Tawhid”? The Bible clearly teaches that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are God, and yet that there is only one God.
    You quoted a number of passages, but most of them only say that there is no God but YHWH, which again all Christians affirm. But monotheism is not the same as unitarianism.
    With regard to Deuteronomy 6:4, the word “one” (echad) does not mean that God can’t be one in nature but three in person. In Genesis 1:5 “one (echad) day” is composed of evening and morning, in Genesis 2:24 man and woman form “one (echad) flesh”. In Numbers 13:23 a “single (echad) cluster of grapes” is mentioned, while in Ezekiel 37:17 the prophet Ezekiel is commanded by God to join two sticks “to another into one (echad) stick, so that they may become one (echad) in your hand”.
    You might find the following article by Dr. James White to be interesting: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2013/01/04/the-trinity-the-definition-of-chalcedon-and-oneness-theology-vintage/.

    ——————————————————————–

    “If God is Trinity, why no single message from God like the ones above stating clearly and unequivocally that “God is Trinity”, so that He(God) becomes fair in dealing with those who rejected his message?”

    The Bible may not use the word “Trinity” (like the Qur’an doesn’t use the word “Tawhid”) but that doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t teach it. But if you think that God needs to be fair with those who rejected his message, can you please tell me why the Qur’an never actually tells what the Trinity is and why it is wrong? Surely in the seventh century the doctrine of the Trinity was well established, but it seems to me that the author of the Qur’an doesn’t really know or understand what the Trinity is.

    ——————————————————————–

    “I know the Trinity formula in the Bible is fabrication. If the gospels are reliable why fabricate a story or verses?”

    If the early Christians were all about fabricating stories and verses, than why did they never fabricate any stories about Jesus telling them whether or not Gentile converts needed to be circumcised? That was a big issue in the early Church (see for instance Acts 15), but there is no evidence that anyone made up a saying from Jesus about it.

    ——————————————————————–

    “My good friend Mark, now tell me when God took the human flesh and did not gave his divinity, does that mean His divinity died? because the divinity is with him. If the divinity died, then it is blaspheme and If Gods divinity died who control the universe?”

    What I meant was that Jesus didn’t seize to be God. Instead he took on human flesh, and became the God-man.

    ——————————————————————–

    “Some Christians will tell me “oh the answer to your question is simple, the Father controls the universe because it was the Son who died”. My Christian friends forgot that if one God dies and the other is alive then we have 2 Gods and that is polytheism and or idolatry.”

    Jesus’ human nature died on the cross, but his divine nature did not die. By the way, as Dr. James White has said on many occasions, neither Muslims nor Christians think that dying means that one seizes to exist.
    And again, we do think that de Son and the Father are two different persons, but they are not two different Gods/gods.

    On a side note, you might also be interested in a recent discussion on Premier Christian Radio between Abdur Raheem Green and Jonathan McLatchie on Tawhid and the Trinity (http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-The-Islamic-vs-Christian-view-of-God.-Abdurraheem-Green-vs-Jonathan-McLatchie). Now I should mention that neither of these two gentlemen is a historian. That being said, Mr. Green is the founder of the London-based Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), while Mr. McLatchie is a PhD student in Cell biology who clearly knows his Church History.

    Like

  50. Mark:

    “Where in the Bible does it say YHWH is Trinity? and consists of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

    Where does the Qur’an mention the word “Tawhid”? The Bible clearly teaches that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are God, and yet that there is only one God.
    You quoted a number of passages, but most of them only say that there is no God but YHWH, which again all Christians affirm. But monotheism is not the same as unitarianism.
    With regard to Deuteronomy 6:4, the word “one” (echad) does not mean that God can’t be one in nature but three in person. In Genesis 1:5 “one (echad) day” is composed of evening and morning, in Genesis 2:24 man and woman form “one (echad) flesh”. In Numbers 13:23 a “single (echad) cluster of grapes” is mentioned, while in Ezekiel 37:17 the prophet Ezekiel is commanded by God to join two sticks “to another into one (echad) stick, so that they may become one (echad) in your hand”.
    You might find the following article by Dr. James White to be interesting: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2013/01/04/the-trinity-the-definition-of-chalcedon-and-oneness-theology-vintage/

    ———————————————————————————–

    Mr. Mark, Muslims do not worship Tawhid, but Trinitarians worship “Trinity” and that is the big difference. Tauhid and Trinity is not the same at all with all due respect to Dr. James White who initiated this argument.

    Notice the difference.

    Some Muslims never heard of the word “Tawhid” at all but worship only one and alone God of Abraham. “Tawhid” just happens to mean “One God” in Arabic. So it does not have to be in the Quran, because Muslims do not worship “Tawhid”. Unlike Trinity which means 3 in 1, “Tawhid” has no 3, 2, 4 etc. in it to make God a collection. According to the Bible God is One and there is no where does it say that God is a collection.

    If you insists your God is a collection of Persons/persons then it is excuse me polytheism and or idolatry because Mormons, Hindus, and many idol worshipers believe God is a collection of either Persons/persons and or objects.

    Tri means 3 and the Quran said “do not say 3, desist, it is better for you” and the Bible itself does not understand “Trinity” and does not mention it, how do you want the Quran to waste its time explaining what the Trinity is? Quran is a scripture of corrections and not a scripture of defining terms i.e. “Trinity” which is not in the Bible.

    Dr. James White said, since the Quran did not mention Trinity, then the Quran is not addressing him to stop worshiping Trinity. My dear Dr. White as a philosopher must equally know that on that premise, since the Bible did not mention “Trinity”, then Dr. White is not worshiping any God at all.

    No Muslim will tell you that God is Tawhid or Allah is Tawhid, but will tell you that Allah is One and Only and Alone as the Bible said on numerous occasions.

    Muslim will tell you Tawhid is an Arabic word to mean One and Only God (of Abraham) and Tawhid is not God Almighty Himself, so Quran is not a book of definitions for Arabic words, so it is not necessary to be in the Quran at all. Christians on the other hand worships “Trinity” and their God is “Trinity” itself, so it is different to Tawhid which is just a definition but not God Himself. A first year student of philosophy must be able to identify the difference and so if a philosophical Dr. did not get it this way, then I do not know what s wrong.

    Get it here once and for all.

    1. Tawhid is not a Muslims God as Trinity is a Christian God
    2. Muslims do not worship Tawhid but Christians worship Trinity
    3. Tawhid is only definition in Arabic dictionary but not God Himself but in Christianity Trinity is God Himself.
    4. Some Muslims have never heard of the word Tawhid, as it is not God, but worships Only One God of Abraham, but Christian has Trinity as his God.
    5. Tawhid is a definition meaning One God and that is all but Trinity has 3 in it and was derived from Tri which means 3, so the Christian God is not One as the Bible said, but a collections. Bible never said God is collections but God is One. Hear O Israel Our God is One, it did not say collection.

    It will be good if you can post this comment to Dr. White, so that he can save himself this philosophical blunder.

    ——————————————————–
    You quoted a number of passages, but most of them only say that there is no God but YHWH, which again all Christians affirm. But monotheism is not the same as Unitarianism
    ——————————————————–

    Monotheism is the same as Unitarianism and that is why any Muslim believes he worships the same God with Unitarian Christians, Jews and any one who believes God is absolutely One, Only and He alone Must be worshiped.

    —————————————————

    Muslims and Jews do not believe Tri which means 3, is mono, or monotheism or uni which means unit and not collection because the Bible said Hear of Israel, your God is One. Anything can be a collection of One like the example you gave but not God. God is absolutely One and that is why the Bible repeats them and not collection.

    .”You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6

    The above verse said God is alone and you are saying He is 3 Persons/persons and has a Son/son. 3 Persons/persons and a Son/son are not alone my dear Mark. They can be collectively called One, may be One family, One friends or One divine. The divine God is not collection and there is no where in the Bible does it say so.

    mono means 1 =mono theism = Only One God = True God of Abraham

    tri means 3 = tri theism = a God who cannot be found in the Bible.

    Quran warns
    Do not say 3, desist, it is better for you.

    If monotheism can be collections of Persons/person and or objects, then Hindus, Mormons, Buddhist can call themselves monotheist. Mr. Mark, your God has 3 or Tri in it and it is not the Only One God of Abraham

    ————————————————————————-
    If the early Christians were all about fabricating stories and verses, than why did they never fabricate any stories about Jesus telling them whether or not Gentile converts needed to be circumcised? That was a big issue in the early Church (see for instance Acts 15), but there is no evidence that anyone made up a saying from Jesus about it.
    ———————————————————————
    Long and short ending of Mark, Trinity formula, gospel according to without names is clearly fabrications and so, the NT is not a reliable word of God. Just like the gospel of Thomas it might contain some true stories in it.
    ———————————————————————-

    Like

  51. Mark

    But if you think that God needs to be fair with those who rejected his message, can you please tell me why the Qur’an never actually tells what the Trinity is and why it is wrong? Surely in the seventh century the doctrine of the Trinity was well established, but it seems to me that the author of the Qur’an doesn’t really know or understand what the Trinity is.G

    ——————————————–

    The Quran clearly stated in so many instances that associating other things with the Only, One God is Shirk and must be stopped. The Bible also confirmed the Quran by saying;

    ”You are the God, You alone [bad], of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
    ”O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20
    ”You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6e

    Mr. Mark, the Bible said, Yahweh is alone and you are saying He has a Son/son and you are wrong. You also said He is 3 in One and it contradicts this;

    2.”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27no
    3.”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    The above did not say there is no God but 3 in 1. The Trinitarian God cannot be God without 3 and it is against the Bible Only ONE and Alone God.

    —————————————–
    What I meant was that Jesus didn’t seize to be God. Instead he took on human flesh, and became the God-man.
    —————————————–

    If Jesus did seize to be God, then he should have been able to tell us the end days or simply say “I will not give out the end day now”. What God is that, who does not know the end day?

    God-Man-Where in the Bible does it say God is God-man? Please do not make up things about God. It is better for you. The Bible clearly said;

    2.”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27no
    3.”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    Besides God-man is impossible like a Married-bachelor.
    ——————————————

    Jesus’ human nature died on the cross, but his divine nature did not die. By the way, as Dr. James White has said on many occasions, neither Muslims nor Christians think that dying means that one seizes to exist.
    And again, we do think that de Son and the Father are two different persons, but they are not two different Gods/gods.

    —————————————–

    Yes, death means seize to exist because soul or spirit alone is not a human being. The human being is decayed in the cemetery or cremated and the spirit alone is not a human being so the human being seizes to exist after death. The Almighty God who does not die will raise the dead. It is about death my dear Doctor but not seizing to exist. God does not die and is immortal according to the Bible.

    So, is God mixture of human and divine nature? I do not think God is a mixture of human and divine nature. God is divine but not a mixture of natures. Human nature tells lie and God cannot lie.

    I have never seen or known or perceive any Person/person who is not a “Being”. Every Person/person is a Being, so you are worshiping 3 beings and either divine beings or combinations of divine and human beings and it is polytheism and or idolatry.

    God is Only One and Alone divine being according to the Bible.

    Like

  52. Mark

    But if you think that God needs to be fair with those who rejected his message, can you please tell me why the Qur’an never actually tells what the Trinity is and why it is wrong? Surely in the seventh century the doctrine of the Trinity was well established, but it seems to me that the author of the Qur’an doesn’t really know or understand what the Trinity is.G

    ——————————————–

    The Quran clearly stated in so many instances that associating other things with the Only, One God is Shirk and must be stopped. The Bible also confirmed the Quran by saying;

    ”You are the God, You alone [bad], of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
    ”O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20
    ”You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6e

    Mr. Mark, the Bible said, Yahweh is alone and you are saying He has a Son/son and you are wrong. You also said He is 3 in One and it contradicts this;

    2.”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27no
    3.”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    The above did not say there is no God but 3 in 1. The Trinitarian God cannot be God without 3 and it is against the Bible Only ONE and Alone God.

    —————————————–
    What I meant was that Jesus didn’t seize to be God. Instead he took on human flesh, and became the God-man.
    —————————————–

    If Jesus did seize to be God, then he should have been able to tell us the end days or simply say “I will not give out the end day now”. What God is that, who does not know the end day?

    God-Man-Where in the Bible does it say God is God-man? Please do not make up things about God. It is better for you. The Bible clearly said;

    2.”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27no
    3.”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    Besides God-man is impossible like a Married-bachelor.
    ——————————————

    Jesus’ human nature died on the cross, but his divine nature did not die. By the way, as Dr. James White has said on many occasions, neither Muslims nor Christians think that dying means that one seizes to exist.
    And again, we do think that de Son and the Father are two different persons, but they are not two different Gods/gods.

    —————————————–

    Yes, death means seize to exist because soul or spirit alone is not a human being. The human being is decayed in the cemetery or cremated and the spirit alone is not a human being so the human being seizes to exist after death. The Almighty God who does not die will raise the dead. It is about death my dear Doctor but not seizing to exist. God does not die and is immortal according to the Bible.

    So, is God mixture of human and divine nature? I do not think God is a mixture of human and divine nature. God is divine but not a mixture of natures. Human nature tells lie and God cannot lie.

    I have never seen or known or perceive any Person/person who is not a “Being”. Every Person/person is a Being, so you are worshiping 3 beings and either divine beings or combinations of divine and human beings and it is polytheism and or idolatry.

    God is Only One and Alone divine being according to the Bible.

    Like

  53. Dear Amin,

    Let me first apologize for waiting so long to reply. I’ve been rather busy lately.

    To be quite frank, you do not seem to understand what the Trinity is. For instance, you suggests that Christians are tritheists, which is simply not true. Since Christians believe that there is only one God, they are monotheists. Hindus are polytheists since they believe in a number of gods, multiple in both nature and person, while Christians believe that God is one in nature but three in person. I can’t speak for Mormons, since I do not know much about their religious beliefs (in my humble opinion, Mormonism seems to be a rather American ‘phenomenon’). With regards to Buddhism, it seems to be a ‘non-theistic’ religion. But I do want to mention that monotheism and unitarianism are simply not the same.
    Christians also do not worship “Trinity”, which you almost seem to consider as some sort of name. We worship God (who is a Trinity). Muslims also worship Allah, whom they consider to be a Unity (for lack of a better word).
    I must confess that I’m probably not the one to discuss Trinitarian theology with you, since I have much to learn and read on this (admittedly difficult) subject [1]. Undoubtedly there are other people who’re far more familiar with this subject than I am. But I do want to mention that Islam seem to have its own theological problems and paradoxes that come with unitarianism. For instance, Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the speech of God and therefore one of his attributes. But how can one of God’s attributes be ‘inlibrated’ (to use the term of Gai Eaton: https://bloggingtheology.net/2015/05/14/the-western-reader-and-the-quran/)while God stays in heaven? Are God’s attributes separable from Him?

    With regards to the Qur’an description of the Trinity, I’ve never said that the Qur’an needs to explain what the Trinity is. But if the Qur’an is, as you call it, “a scripture of corrections” than it might be good if it actually understands what it’s supposed to be correcting. It’s not simply that the Qur’an doesn’t tell the reader what the Trinity is, but that the author of the Qur’an itself doesn’t seem to understand what the Trinity is. Surely correction is much easier when you can accurately critique the thing you’re trying to correct. Or do you think that God simply wants to use the fallacy of the straw man?

    As for Mark 16:9-20, I’m perfectly aware of the fact that it is not original, just as the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the New Testament is unreliable. In fact, since these two parts are later additions, they have no impact on the historical reliability of the canonical Gospels.

    [1] Of course, one could say that God is difficult (or even impossible) to understand anyway. For instance, how can a human person grasp what it is to be timeless and spaceless, limited as we are by our own experience one earth (bounded by space and time)?

    Like

  54. Mark,

    I hope you don’t mind my chiming in, even though Amin basically attacked my character by claiming I am a nobody who has no scholarly credentials in order to discredit my arguments (which is nothing more than an ad hominem and a genetic fallacy), but I couldn’t let him get away with this blatant statement of shirk. Note what he wrote:

    “I have never seen or known or perceive any Person/person who is not a “Being”. Every Person/person is a Being, so you are worshiping 3 beings and either divine beings or combinations of divine and human beings and it is polytheism and or idolatry.”

    The problem with this assertion is that it pretty much ignores what Amin’s own scripture says about the incomparability and uniqueness of Allah’s mode of existence. Note carefully what the following texts proclaim:

    No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: HE IS ABOVE ALL COMPREHENSION, yet is acquainted with all things. S. 6:103

    (He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: THERE IS NOTHING WHATEVER LIKE UNTO HIM, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). S. 42:11

    And there is none like unto Him. S. 112:4

    Since the Quran says the Deity is beyond comprehension and comparison this means that we should not expect to find anything in creation that is identical to God in his mode of existence. Therefore, Amin’s argument is nothing more than shirk since he is likening God to the creation in order to argue against the possibility of God being a multi-personal Being. In other words, just because Amin may have not seen any person who is not also a being, which thereby implies that all beings must be unipersonal including God himself, doesn’t mean anything since Amin is not God, and therefore doesn’t know all things, nor has he seen everything.

    To simplify my argument, for Amin’s argument to work he must assume that Allah’s mode of existence is identical to that of his creatures which, as I have already noted, goes against what even his own Muslim scripture teaches and is nothing more than shirk, i.e. Amin likens the creation to the Creator.

    Like

  55. Mark

    [1] Of course, one could say that God is difficult (or even impossible) to understand anyway. For instance, how can a human person grasp what it is to be timeless and spaceless, limited as we are by our own experience one earth (bounded by space and time)?

    ——————————————————————————–

    Well my dear Mark, God has made it simple for us to understand Him in the Holy Bible Sir.

    2.”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27no
    3.”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4
    ”You are the God, You alone [bad], of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
    ”O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20
    ”You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6

    God said He is One, Alone and Only and period and full stop. I mean(.). Put your full break there for it is clear. Is One, Only and Alone difficult and complex to understand? I do not think so. Any child will not find it difficult to understand these words that keep repeating over and over in the Bible.

    He did not mention Trinity, hypostasis, God-man, human nature, divine nature etc. at all when He defines who He(God) is. It is man-made complexities for their wrong theology about God.

    It is serious My Good friend Mark to emancipate or free yourself from this mental slavery created by man so that you stick to what the Bible clearly say about God describing Himself numerous times and get your salvation than following a man-made religion or blind faith. Because your family are Christians, so everything about Christianity is correct even though it goes against the Bible it self.

    ——————————————————————————
    With regards to the Qur’an description of the Trinity, I’ve never said that the Qur’an needs to explain what the Trinity is. But if the Qur’an is, as you call it, “a scripture of corrections” than it might be good if it actually understands what it’s supposed to be correcting. It’s not simply that the Qur’an doesn’t tell the reader what the Trinity is, but that the author of the Qur’an itself doesn’t seem to understand what the Trinity is. Surely correction is much easier when you can accurately critique the thing you’re trying to correct. Or do you think that God simply wants to use the fallacy of the straw man?

    ——————————————————————————

    Don’t you have 3 in your God? Can your God be God without 3? Your God cannot be God without 3 but the Bible continuously said God is One, Only and Alone and the Quran is warning you to not say 3 for God but One, Only and Alone as the Bible said to correct you. You want it to define Trinity which is not defined in the Bible itself and some Trinitarians have different interpretations and the Rastafarians have Emperor Haile Selaissie as part of Trinity. It is all man-,made and not in the Bible, so you do not want the Quran to waste its time defining it but just to use some few divine short sentence to correct it because it has so many things to correct.

    Before the 3, the Quran mentioned about Jesus and his mother being human beings who ate food and therefore are human beings and not God to be worshiped. Trinity came from Tri which means 3 and that is what the Quran is simply correcting and to use its(Quran) time for other important things for mankind. It has so may things to correct, so it is impractical to waste its time on Trinity and defining it .

    —————————————————————————–

    Christians also do not worship “Trinity”, which you almost seem to consider as some sort of name. We worship God (who is a Trinity). Muslims also worship Allah, whom they consider to be a Unity (for lack of a better word).

    —————————————————————————–

    Who worship Allah who is not Tawhid itself but Trinitarian God is Trinity itself.

    —————————————————————————-

    No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: HE IS ABOVE ALL COMPREHENSION, yet is acquainted with all things. S. 6:103

    (He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: THERE IS NOTHING WHATEVER LIKE UNTO HIM, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). S. 42:11

    And there is none like unto Him. S. 112:4
    ————————————————————————–

    The above is from the Quran by Mr. Shamoun. Do you see “One” and “none like unto Him”?

    .

    Like

  56. Mr. Shamoun

    Sorry, If I stepped on your toe but I was trying to clarify things and you are neither an Islamic or Christian scholar. This is not an insult at all. It is something you are not and therefore do not have authority in both religions. To be credible, you can enrol your self at Sheikh Hamza Yusuf,s Zaituna Institute for some Arabic lessons and or Quranic exegesis like how Dr. Shabbir Ally did in a Christian study at University and you will be credible. Dr. Jonathan Brown, is white but speaks Arabic fluently than most Arabs because of his religion, so is Mark Hanson, Husssain Yee, Timothy Humble, Timothy Winter, Khalid Yasin, Bilal Philip, Abdul Rahim Green, and many more.

    You can also spend some time learning Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew to have some certification and this advice is for your own good, so that you can boast and tell Muslims you see, I have the command of the ancient scriptural languages. It is better for you than to resort to insults

    Like

  57. Dear Amin,

    You keep quoting passages from the Bible which say that there is only one God, and that there is no other god. Again, Christians agree with this.
    With regard to the Bible saying that God is one, does that mean one in being or also one in person? Since Christians believe that the Bible portrays God as being multi-personal, we argue that the oneness of God isn’t referring to the personhood of God. We let Scripture define Scripture, as we (should) allow Muslims to let the Qur’an define what the Qur’an says. For instance, when the Qur’an says that Allah is one, you assume that this is not talking about His attributes, although other people would think that the idea of God having attributes violates His oneness. On what basis do you think that it is referring to the personhood of God?

    Jesus had both a divine and a human nature, but the two did not mix. On the cross the human nature of Jesus died, since it was human. The divine nature did not die, since it was divine.
    That Jesus had both a divine and a human nature is quite clear from the Bible. Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:11) and acts like YHWH on many occasions. For instance, in Mark 4:35-41 Jesus stills the storm, while the Old Testament says that God is the one who controls the sea (Psalm 65:7; 89:9; 107:29). In Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 John the Baptist says that Jesus will baptize with the Spirit and fire, while in the Old Testament only God pours out the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29). In Mark 6:48-51 Jesus walks on water, again reminding us of the Old Testament where it is said that God treads on the waters (Psalm 77:19) and Jesus calms his disciples by saying that “It is I” (“ego eimi”), recalling the divine Name of God. On this passage, Dr. Larry W. Hurtado writes:

    “This is the second sea miracle in Mark (see also 4:35-41), and in our comments on the earlier one we noted that Jesus’ command of the sea is so described as to make him seem to exhibit God’s own power over nature. The same is true here, where Jesus not only calms the sea (6:51) but also walks upon it. Readers familiar with the OT [Old Testament] would recognize the similarity to the way God is described there as the one who treads upon the sea, showing his mastery of it.
    Now this suggests that the sea miracles depicts the one who fed the multitude in the preceding account as more than a new Moses or a new shepherd-king like David; he possesses divine power. We have noted already that Mark’s favorite title for Jesus is “the Son of God,” and that for Mark this term signifies that Jesus has a relationship with God far more direct than is indicated by the previous use of the term for human beings in the OT or Jewish traditions. This sea miracle Mark enlists as further evidence that Jesus is not just human but has a supernatural quality and divine significance. Even the way Jesus addresses the disciples, It is I, implies this. The phrase appears in the OT as almost a title or formula of divine self-disclosure (e.g. Isa. 43:25; 48:12; 51:12, and see note), and it is likely that Mark’s readers were intended to catch the allusion to these OT passages in Jesus’ words and see the point that Jesus is speaking the way God does.” (Larry W. Hurtado, Mark, p. 103)

    Yet it is also clear that Jesus has a human nature, since he gets hungry (Mark 11:12) and eventually dies on the cross.
    You say that every human person is a being. That may be the case, but not every being is a person, so the two do not necessarily go together. And why can’t God be one in nature but three in person? There are no human persons who are also beings, but since God is not a human that point is rather moot. I’ve never seen a person who didn’t need a physical brain to interact with other humans, but does that mean that God needs a physical brain to interact with humans?

    Your point that the Bible does not mention terms such as hypostasis and Trinity seems to be rather moot, since that doesn’t mean those concepts are not taught in it.

    I do not think the concept of the Trinity is some form of “mental slavery”. It might be difficult to understand, but that only encourages me to become more informed about the subject. I’ve already admitted that I have much to learn and read on the Trinity (I’m thinking of buying “The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity” by Richard Shumack). This may perhaps be similar to some Muslims finding it difficult to merge Islam’s unitarianism with the eternality of the Qur’an. Remember that the Mutazila school denied the eternality of the Qur’an precisely because they thought it went against the doctrine of Tawhid, and were not afraid to use physical violence to silence their critics. In the discussion I mentioned earlier Mr. Green conceded that the eternality of the Qur’an seems difficult to square with the oneness of God.
    I do find it strange that you accuse me of viewing everything through a Christian lens when you think that the Bible talks about unitarianism because it agrees with the Qur’an, or that the Gospel of Thomas is early because it’s not among the canonical Gospels. And since you don’t know anything about my family, I find it even stranger that you simply assume they are a factor in my acceptance of Trinitarian theology. How do you now my family doesn’t consist of, say, Muslims or even atheists?

    I was wondering why you think that it is impossible for God to take on a human nature. On what basis do you deny God the possibility to enter into His own creation? In the Hadith, it is mentioned how God enters the lowest heaven, apparently entering into His own creation (Sahih Bukhari 1145; Sahih Muslim 1261; also see http://islamqa.info/en/20081).

    Like

  58. Mr. Shamoun,

    Feel free to enter this discussion.

    Mark

    Like

  59. Mark

    You keep quoting passages from the Bible which say that there is only one God, and that there is no other god. Again, Christians agree with this.
    With regard to the Bible saying that God is one, does that mean one in being or also one in person? Since Christians believe that the Bible portrays God as being multi-personal, we argue that the oneness of God isn’t referring to the personhood of God. We let Scripture define Scripture, as we (should) allow Muslims to let the Qur’an define what the Qur’an says. For instance, when the Qur’an says that Allah is one, you assume that this is not talking about His attributes, although other people would think that the idea of God having attributes violates His oneness. On what basis do you think that it is referring to the personhood of God?

    —————————————————————————————

    Attributes are different from Person/person or being i.e. divine being, angelic being, satanic being, human being. The attributes are just names and are not substance but any being is a substance, so the two are completely different. Every being has consciousness and an attribute or name i.e. Merciful, love, gracious by themselves alone are not beings or Persons/persons but just label.

    Your name is Mark. Mark by itself is not a human being or being or Person/person or a substance or has weight and occupy space, so “Mark” on its own is nothing but name or attribute.

    Allah’s attribute by themselves alone for example “Mercy” is nothing and also not substance or being. We use it as a name or characteristics of Allah as He shows Mercy to His creations. You can also Mr. Mark be merciful to your fellow human being, does that mean that “Mercy” should be counted as yourself? No, Mercy is your characteristics of forgiving your fellow human being but “Mercy” is not yourself and “Mercy” is not a Person/person or being. Mercy is a word and it means to forgive and that is and not a divine by itself and not a being or a Person/person by itself.

    So the 99 names of Allah are what they are “names” or “attributes” of Allah but each on its own is not Allah Himself, since you can also be merciful for merciful is an act and a verb or noun which mean doing something and also a name.

    Mr. Mark, Person or being is different from attributes and names in that they are substance and have weight and or occupy space and or consciousness, and so each Person/person is countable. And every Person/person is a being. So if you count 3 Persons/persons you count 3 beings and it goes against the Bible that says on numerous occasions that God is One, Only and Alone. And the Quran simply said “do not say 3, desist it is better for you” to correct you. It started by saying both Jesus and his mother ate food and so are not God to be worshiped. It did not say Jesus and his mother are Trinity as Dr. James White always confuse himself with this.

    The same goes to God’s word or Quran which is not a being and not a divine being by itself. God’s word is what it is God’s word but not God Himself at all. Those who say Quran or God’s word is God Himself are just confused individuals. Al Quran is not God at all, so it cannot be counted as God.

    ————————————————————————–

    With regard to the Bible saying that God is one, does that mean one in being or also one in person? Since Christians believe that the Bible portrays God as being multi-personal, we argue that the oneness of God isn’t referring to the personhood of God.

    —————————————————————————

    The Bible clearly on so many occasions states that God is One, Only and Alone and there is no single verse in the Bible that clearly states “God is multi-personal”. Mr. Mark, why are you finding trouble and problem for yourself? because of “belief” created by men at some councils? be it Calcedon, Nicea or many others?

    ”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27
    ”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    The above is clear, and there are so many clear and unequivocal passages in the Bible that states God is One, Only and Alone. And not a single that says “God is multi-personal”. You created the “multi-personal” which are beings and have consciousness, and or weight and or occupy space and therefore are objects and is against the Bible worshiping other beings or Persons/persons except the Only, One and Alone God of Abraham.

    Again you worship Jesus who has 100% human being in him and it is idolatry to worship any 100% human being. God makes it simple to understand him by clearly and repeatedly stressing He is One, Only and Alone and man is bringing the theology of Greek Mythology of God of Love, God of Beauty, God the Son(which is not in the Bible), God-Man etc. to deviate the consistent message of Only, One and Alone God preached by Prophet Abraham and all prophets

    ————————————————————————

    That may be the case, but not every being is a person, so the two do not necessarily go together. And why can’t God be one in nature but three in person?

    ———————————————————————–

    Because the Bible does not say so. This is what the Bible clearly said in numerous occasions to emphasize its importance.

    ”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27
    ”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    ————————————————————————-

    There are no human persons who are also beings, but since God is not a human that point is rather moot.

    ————————————————————————

    Ah, you forgot you said God became man? and you worship Jesus who is a man? and claim he is God? Now, you are confused and contradicting yourself in that God is not a human. I thank God you are gradually becoming a Muslim because you believe Jesus who is a man cannot be God, because God is not a human as you rightly said. Why are you confusing yourself and worshiping a man but believing truly well that God is not a man?

    This is a free blog created by a Muslim to dialog with Christians, so Mr. Sam Shamoun is welcomed to join the discussions as far as he can stay respectful like you and take the spirit of the dialog rather than insults.

    ……………………..to be continued.

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  60. Mark

    Jesus had both a divine and a human nature, but the two did not mix. On the cross the human nature of Jesus died, since it was human. The divine nature did not die, since it was divine.
    That Jesus had both a divine and a human nature is quite clear from the Bible. Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:11) and acts like YHWH on many occasions. For instance, in Mark 4:35-41 Jesus stills the storm, while the Old Testament says that God is the one who controls the sea (Psalm 65:7; 89:9; 107:29). In Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 John the Baptist says that Jesus will baptize with the Spirit and fire, while in the Old Testament only God pours out the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29). In Mark 6:48-51 Jesus walks on water, again reminding us of the Old Testament where it is said that God treads on the waters (Psalm 77:19) and Jesus calms his disciples by saying that “It is I” (“ego eimi”), recalling the divine Name of God. On this passage, Dr. Larry W. Hurtado writes:

    ——————————————————————-

    Because of miracles on water, you call Jesus God? May be you do not watch David, Blaine, Chris Angel and many more walking on water and turning water into wine or Prophet Moses parting the red sea. Does that makes them God?

    ——————————————————————

    If on earth Jesus miracles makes him God, then on earth ignorance of the end days makes him not God, because God is not ignorant. He could have said, “Oh I will not provide the day to you now” but he said, “Not, the Son(Jesus), not even the angels knew that day except the Father”

    A Unitarian Christian on this blog told a Trinitarian Christian that it is human beings that die but not nature. So, if Jesus’s human being died, it is human being that dies but not nature. It has nothing to do with God, because you admit God is not a man. Remember, according to Bible, Adam is the first human being to be created. So, at one point Jesus did not have his human part. The Bible said God is the same and does not change, so adding a human part to God through reincarnation is unbiblical

    ———————————————————–
    I was wondering why you think that it is impossible for God to take on a human nature. On what basis do you deny God the possibility to enter into His own creation? In the Hadith, it is mentioned how God enters the lowest heaven, apparently entering into His own creation (Sahih Bukhari 1145; Sahih Muslim 1261; also see http://islamqa.info/en/20081).

    ———————————————————–

    God nature is Creator and human nature is created and these are totally different and opposite and cannot be the same, so God cannot become a man as you admitted somewhere else.R

    Bill Gates is the creator of Microsoft Windows and it is impossible for bill gates to turn himself into Microsoft windows because before Microsoft windows which is a software, Bill Gates exists as a human being. Human being cannot become a computer software as a computer software is not a being and does not have consciousness. God is the Creator and cannot become created and every man is a created being.

    ———————————————————–

    Your point that the Bible does not mention terms such as hypostasis and Trinity seems to be rather moot, since that doesn’t mean those concepts are not taught in it.

    I do not think the concept of the Trinity is some form of “mental slavery”. It might be difficult to understand, but that only encourages me to become more informed about the subject. I’ve already admitted that I have much to learn and read on the Trinity (I’m thinking of buying “The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity” by Richard Shumack). This may perhaps be similar to some Muslims finding it difficult to merge Islam’s unitarianism with the eternality of the Qur’an. Remember that the Mutazila school denied the eternality of the Qur’an precisely because they thought it went against the doctrine of Tawhid, and were not afraid to use physical violence to silence their critics. In the discussion I mentioned earlier Mr. Green conceded that the eternality of the Qur’an seems difficult to square with the oneness of God.
    I do find it strange that you accuse me of viewing everything through a Christian lens when you think that the Bible talks about unitarianism because it agrees with the Qur’an, or that the Gospel of Thomas is early because it’s not among the canonical Gospels. And since you don’t know anything about my family, I find it even stranger that you simply assume they are a factor in my acceptance of Trinitarian theology. How do you now my family doesn’t consist of, say, Muslims or even atheists?
    ———————————————————-
    We are talking about who God said, He clearly is in the Bible and that are just to name a few

    ”to the only [monos] wise God, Amen.” Romans 16:27
    ”there is no God but one [hen]” 1 Corinthians 8:4

    If you do not want any trouble with your creator, stick to what He clearly said He is above and in numerous occasions in the Bible, that to follow what is not clearly said. I am glad you are going to learn independently like what I did and the Quran encourages all humans to use their intellect to find truth rather than blind faith created by human beings with untruth ‘s and lies like saying “God died for the sins of mankind” and the Bible clearly said God is immortal and cannot die.

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  61. Dear Amin,

    “The same goes to God’s word or Quran which is not a being and not a divine being by itself. God’s word is what it is God’s word but not God Himself at all. Those who say Quran or God’s word is God Himself are just confused individuals. Al Quran is not God at all, so it cannot be counted as God.”

    I’ve never said that the Qur’an is God, but Muslims do believe that it is the Word of God. How can God’s Word become a book, while God stays in heaven? Are God and His Word separable? If so, doesn’t that mean that there are two eternal beings? I’ve already mentioned that the Mutazila school thought that this was the case, and that Mr. Green admits that the eternality of the Qur’an is difficult to square with the doctrine of Tawhid.

    ———————————————————————-

    “Because of miracles on water, you call Jesus God? May be you do not watch David, Blaine, Chris Angel and many more walking on water and turning water into wine or Prophet Moses parting the red sea. Does that makes them God?”

    You complete overlook the fact that Jesus does and says things which are only attributed to God in the Old Testament. How can a mere human being addresses other human beings while using “a title or formula of divine self-disclosure”? How can Jesus baptize in fire and Spirit when John the Baptist only baptized with water (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16) and only God pours out the Spirit?
    Furthermore, Jesus says that he wants to gather the children of Jerusalem like “a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34). This again reminds us of several passages in the Old Testament where people want to find refuge in the shadow of God’s wings (e.g., Ruth 2:12; Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4). Don’t you find it strange that Jesus is using this kind of language? And I could also point to the fact that John the Baptist also says that he is “not worthy to carry his [Jesus’] sandals” (Matthew 3:11).

    ———————————————————————-

    “If on earth Jesus miracles makes him God, then on earth ignorance of the end days makes him not God, because God is not ignorant. He could have said, “Oh I will not provide the day to you now” but he said, “Not, the Son(Jesus), not even the angels knew that day except the Father””

    If you accept the authenticity of this passage, do you know that Jesus places himself here above the human beings and the angels? How could a mere creature do this?

    ———————————————————————-

    Again, you keep quoting passages which say that there is one God, which Christians agree with. As for the passages saying that God is one, I’ve already mentioned that this doesn’t mean unitarianism. And since you quote two passages from Paul’s letters, do you know that Paul says that Jesus existed “in the form of God, (…) but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-8) and that he repeatedly applies the title of “Lord” to Jesus (used by Jews to refer to YHWH)? Paul also writes that “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13). The “Lord” in this passage is Jesus (see Romans 10:9), but Paul is applying a verse from the Old Testament about God to him (Joel 2:32). In other words, Paul agrees with me here.

    ———————————————————————-

    “God makes it simple to understand him by clearly and repeatedly stressing He is One, Only and Alone and man is bringing the theology of Greek Mythology of God of Love, God of Beauty, God the Son(which is not in the Bible), God-Man etc. to deviate the consistent message of Only, One and Alone God preached by Prophet Abraham and all prophets”

    If you think that God is easy to understand, then why does the Qur’an say that Allah is “above all comprehension” (6:103)?

    ———————————————————————-

    “God nature is Creator and human nature is created and these are totally different and opposite and cannot be the same, so God cannot become a man as you admitted somewhere else.”

    You completely skate over the two Hadith I mentioned which speak about Allah entering into the lowest heaven. Do you think that after God created the Universe, that means he is completely locked out of His creation? Apparently God’s word can take on a “book nature”, so why can’t God take on a human nature?

    ———————————————————————-

    “If you do not want any trouble with your creator, stick to what He clearly said He is above and in numerous occasions in the Bible, that to follow what is not clearly said. I am glad you are going to learn independently like what I did and the Quran encourages all humans to use their intellect to find truth rather than blind faith created by human beings with untruth ‘s and lies like saying “God died for the sins of mankind” and the Bible clearly said God is immortal and cannot die.”

    The Bible does say that God cannot die, which is why it was the human “nature/part” of Jesus that died on the cross. Jesus was both God and human, the God-man. I’m sorry but I can’t think of a way to make this more clear to you.
    Furthermore, while I do not wish to offend you, it seems to me that while the Qur’an says that the unbelievers should reflect (e.g., Qur’an 37:155), it does require of the believing Muslims a rather complete, blind devotion with no questioning whatsoever allowed:

    “O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask them while the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be shown to you. Allah has pardoned that which is past; and Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. A people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers.” (Qur’an 5:101-102)

    “The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.” (Qur’an 24:51)

    “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” (Qur’an 33:36)

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  62. Mark

    [I’ve never said that the Qur’an is God, but Muslims do believe that it is the Word of God. How can God’s Word become a book, while God stays in heaven? Are God and His Word separable? If so, doesn’t that mean that there are two eternal beings? I’ve already mentioned that the Mutazila school thought that this was the case, and that Mr. Green admits that the eternality of the Qur’an is difficult to square with the doctrine of Tawhid.

    ——————————————————————-
    God is a divine being and He is One, Only and Alone according to the Bible in numerous occasions. His(God) “word” is not divine being or being or Person/person but His word, His Mercy is His Mercy but not He(God) himself and neither is it “being” or a “Person/person”. God word is not a human being because even though we cherish Gods word or mercy etc. they still remain word or mercy but not God Himself. If you perceive either becoming flesh and so it is God, then you blaspheme against God and the Bible because you just created another “being” or “Person/person” and associated it with the only one and alone God of Abraham. It is simple a word is not a being

    Divine Mercy ≠ Divine being

    Divine word ≠ Divine being

    Divine being is Only One God according to the Bible. That One God can have many attributes, characteristics, names etc. which themselves are not divine being but divine attributes.

    So, both Jesus and the Quran are not divine beings at all. Why worship Jesus? or say divine being? It is simply untruth. There are disagreements among Muslims whether the Quran is eternal, but all the disagreeing factions believe even if it is eternal, it is not “being” or “divine being” or Allah Himself but just His words. You can be where you are Mr. Mark and your word which is not you yourself or “human being” as your self will be somewhere and people will hear it.

    So, Allah wants us to hear His words which is not He Himself and it does not contradict the concept of tawhid, because His words are not He Himself or His Son or became flesh or a human being or a God-man etc. as the Christians will like us to believe.

    ———————————————————————–

    “Because of miracles on water, you call Jesus God? May be you do not watch David, Blaine, Chris Angel and many more walking on water and turning water into wine or Prophet Moses parting the red sea. Does that makes them God?”

    You complete overlook the fact that Jesus does and says things which are only attributed to God in the Old Testament. How can a mere human being addresses other human beings while using “a title or formula of divine self-disclosure”? How can Jesus baptize in fire and Spirit when John the Baptist only baptized with water (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16) and only God pours out the Spirit?
    Furthermore, Jesus says that he wants to gather the children of Jerusalem like “a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34). This again reminds us of several passages in the Old Testament where people want to find refuge in the shadow of God’s wings (e.g., Ruth 2:12; Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4). Don’t you find it strange that Jesus is using this kind of language? And I could also point to the fact that John the Baptist also says that he is “not worthy to carry his [Jesus’] sandals” (Matthew 3:11).

    —————————————————————————

    Mr. Mark, no disrespect to you or Jesus, because you are my brother and Jesus Christ is my prophet so I will not disrespect all of you at all but I am making my point clear.

    All those things that you claim Jesus said makes him God is nonsense and stupid to me if he does not clearly and unequivocally state something like this

    13.”Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” Isaiah 44:8
    14.”I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5
    15.”Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14
    16.”I am Yahweh, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:18
    17.”Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.” Isaiah 45:21
    18.”I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” Isaiah 46:9

    You see Mr. Mark, it is about putting people who do not believe in the above in hot fire, so it must be clear for Jesus to say

    I am God and I am the only one to be worshiped and none. or I am God worship me or

    I am God-man, Multi-Pesonal, 3 in 1 God, Trinity etc.

    In Quran there are a lot of metaphors, but when it comes to salvation God makes it clear in the He is the Only One God to be worshiped. He said categorically, in numerous verses in the Quran just like the above oneness in the Bible that “I Allah am the Only One and Alone God to be worshiped” because it involves burning fire.

    If by that vague statement Jesus means to be God and worshiped, then he is not being fair, because it is not clear to us and it does not mean anything to a human being who needs truth and not lies. At least Yahweh is a fair God and Jesus is not Yahweh. Jesus never said I am Yahweh.

    The Quran exonerated Jesus Christ and said categorically that Jesus never said he is God and must be worshiped and it is true you cannot find in the whole Bible Jesus saying he is God and he must be worshiped. Do not bring me the story about doubting Thomas. Jesus did not say he is God at all.

    ————————————————————————————————
    If you accept the authenticity of this passage, do you know that Jesus places himself here above the human beings and the angels? How could a mere creature do this?
    ————————————————————————————————

    Putting one self above angels does not make that one God at all. When God created Adam, He asks all His creations including angels to bow down to Adam, putting Adam above angels. Does that mean Prophet Adam is God? No Sir it does not make Adam God, so Jesus Christ is still ignorant in the passage and God Almighty is not ignorant, so Jesus is not God at all.

    ————————————————————————————————
    If you think that God is easy to understand, then why does the Qur’an say that Allah is “above all comprehension” (6:103)?
    ————————————————————————————————-
    It simply means there is nothing like God and it is easy as ABC. Some interpreters interpret it as there is nothing like God. That is why studying Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic is crucial to any apologetics. Even, if it says above all compression and that is all that it said and full stop and period(.). It did not God and bring lies like God died for our sins which is a big lie because according to the Bible God does not die and human beings that die and nature is not a substance and therefore nature does not die. So, whatever human being died it has nothing to do with God Almighty dying. If the human part of Jesus died, why lie and tell people that God died for their sins?

    God is above all comprehension does not mean God-man, God died, God is 3 beings etc. which are all lies that crept into the Bible from the Pagan Greek mythologies of God the Son, The God of Love, The God of Beauty, etc.

    God is above all comprehension is easy to understand and it means what it said and it is simple and it does not equate to Christian doctrine. I told you Sam Shamoun is not a scholar, so stop copying from him otherwise he will disgrace you miserably as his is not dialog but to attack and get his pay.

    to be continued……………………………..

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  63. Mark

    You completely skate over the two Hadith I mentioned which speak about Allah entering into the lowest heaven. Do you think that after God created the Universe, that means he is completely locked out of His creation? Apparently God’s word can take on a “book nature”, so why can’t God take on a human nature?

    ——————————————————————
    Nature. What do you understand by nature? Nature is nature but not God Himself or human being himself or being or Person. It is human beings that die but nature do not die. So if you burn the Quran it does not affect God at all. Muslims do burn Qurans which are out of order everyday and the Quran itself encourages us to do that and it does not affect God at all. So if a human dies, it does not affect God at all. It is a great lie to say the death of a man has affected God cause God to die for peoples sin. This is not true at all. It is a lie.

    Human nature. Is human nature human? No human nature is not a being or a person. Divine being has His natures and they are not divine being but divine nature. Do not confuse nature with being or person. Being or Person are substance and entity that can be counted and has consciousness and or weight and or occupy space and nature does not have these attributes, so nature cannot die. It is absolutely lie to say nature die. Nature do not die but human beings, animals etc.

    Hadith are man made and if I see a hadith I do not like I discard it, but I cannot discard what the Quran says. I am not familiar with the hadith you brought and the Quran clearly stated God is not locked out of His creations but He is closer to His creation than the vein situated in their neck. It does not mean He(God) is so many Gods in each human vein but it means God knowledge knows everything. That is what it means God knows everything and sees and hears everything does not mean it is different Gods hearing to different people conversation.

    ———————————————————————-

    Furthermore, while I do not wish to offend you, it seems to me that while the Qur’an says that the unbelievers should reflect (e.g., Qur’an 37:155), it does require of the believing Muslims a rather complete, blind devotion with no questioning whatsoever allowed:

    ———————————————————————–

    {The similitude of the life of the world is only as water which We send down from the sky, then the earth’s growth of that which men and cattle eat mingleth with it till, when the earth hath taken on its ornaments and is embellished, and its people deem that they are masters of it, Our commandment cometh by night or by day and we make it as reaped corn as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We expound the revelations for people who reflect.} (Yunus 10:24)

    ———————————————————————-

    Mr. Mark, the choice of reflection on what Allah revealed is there. So, it is up to the individual to reflect what Allah revealed and either believe or not, that is why the reflection on even the Quran itself is in the Quran so that one can either believe or not or you can disbelieve if you are a believer. The Quran even asks the prophet to ask Christians and Jews about prophets that He sent to them.

    The Quran and Islam is open to criticism and challenges by engaging the reader to reflect what it said and research, ponder etc. about it. It is not a blind faith at all. Tell me where in the Bible does it say people must challenge it? Quran even asks the prophet to challenge it and asks the Christians and Jews to verify, if Allah has sent scriptures and prophets to them. This does not mean there is no corruptions in their scriptures. Dr. White and other Christians confuse it as affirming the corrupt scripture of Christians. That is not the case here but just to confirm something and for Prophet Mohammed to know the truth of What God is saying by investigating, reflecting and confirming.

    If you are a believer, the option of reflection is open to you, it is avoiding too much questioning by human beings just like the Jews use to question everything Allah said. It cuts too much questioning but the reflection and accepting or rejecting the revelation is still open to believers. You either reflect and believe it or not. That is what we have been doing here and the Quran and Islam encourages that, so it is not a blind faith.

    I swear God, If the Quran says Almighty God died, so many Muslims including me will leave Islam. If the Quran said the Almighty God turned Himself into man Jesus and was beaten to death, so many Muslims will leave Islam.

    Fortunately, because the Quran is from God is free from such contradictions, lies, illogicalities, inconsistencies etc. like God-man i.e. Married-Bachelor. The Quran itself said If it had been from someone other than God, we would have found so many inconsistencies.

    At least God was not beaten to death and humbled himself to his creations(Man) in the Quran. That would have pulled me and so many Muslims from Islam. I am happy there is no such thing in Islam and I am a happy Muslim.

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  64. @ Mark “If so, doesn’t that mean that there are two eternal beings? I’ve already mentioned that the Mutazila school thought that this was the case,…”
    As far as I know the Mutazila thought the Quran is not eternal, but created

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  65. @ Mark “Jesus had both a divine and a human nature, but the two did not mix. On the cross the human nature of Jesus died, since it was human. The divine nature did not die, since it was divine.”

    If only human nature died, the Christ, the entity of one person in two natures, did not die.

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