Avoiding extremes concerning the corruption of the scriptures

The View of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 A.H.)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

With regard to the Gospels that the Christians have, there are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are agreed that Luke and Mark did not see the Messiah; rather he was seen by Matthew and John. These four accounts that they call the Gospel, and they call each one of them a Gospel, were written by these men after the Messiah had been taken up into heaven. They did not say that they are the word of God or that the Messiah conveyed them from God, rather they narrated some of the words of the Messiah and some of his deeds and miracles. (Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, (3:21), cited here)

The View of Ibn Kathir, the student/disciple of Ibn Taimiyyah, says:

Our Sheikh the notable Imam Abul-‘Abbas Ibn Taimiyyah said: As for those who argued that it [the Torah] is entirely corrupted from beginning to end without sparing one letter, they are mistaken. Also, those who argued that nothing has been corrupted are mistaken. The truth is that alteration and change had reached it and they [the Jews] manipulated its words with additions and omissions as they manipulated its meanings. This is well recognized on pondering and may be explained in another occasion, and Allah knows best….(Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, Volume 2, pages 152-153)

Clearly Ibn Taymiyyah does not believe that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the Gospels that were revealed by Allah. Thus believing that the original and true Gospel has been textually corrupted.

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s famous book al-Jawaab al-Saheeh in refuting the Christians could be read here.

From Call to Monotheism



Categories: Bible, Islam

37 replies

  1. Correction. Ibn Taymiyya is “Shaykh al Islam” only according to Wahabis and Salafis.

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    • Wahabis and Salafis are Muslims, even if they may be mistaken in some of their views. Ibn Taymiyah was a great scholar who has been misunderstood by many people, both extremists and so-called “liberal” Muslims.

      Liked by 1 person

    • He’s actually Shaykh al-Islam also to the Hanaabilah and even al-Hafidh ibn Hajar al-Asqalani called him that. This attempt to malign the Shaykh is nothing but partisanship and a reaction to him being popular with a lot various groups

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “The truth is that alteration and change had reached it and they [the Jews] manipulated its words with additions and omissions as they manipulated its meanings. This is well recognized on pondering …”

    That’s what biblical scholarship tells us. The Christian fundamentalist feels compelled to deny this truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “With regard to the Gospels that the Christians have, there are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are agreed that Luke and Mark did not see the Messiah; rather he was seen by Matthew and John. These four accounts that they call the Gospel, and they call each one of them a Gospel, were written by these men after the Messiah had been taken up into heaven. “

    Very good, he admits that Matthew and John were eyewitnesses.

    They did not say that they are the word of God or that the Messiah conveyed them from God

    Yes they did – Jesus praying to the Father – John 17:8 – “for the words which You gave Me I have given to them ; and they received them, and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.”

    “Your word is truth; sanctify them in the truth.” John 17:17

    “the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all that I have taught you” – John 14:26

    “the Holy Spirit will guide you into all the truth”- John 16:13

    Matthew 28:20 – “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”

    rather they narrated some of the words of the Messiah and some of his deeds and miracles. (Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, (3:21),

    They wrote for us all that is necessary for faith and wisdom and life and godliness, along with the other 27 NT books. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:3-4 – “He has given us everything we need for life and godliness”; John 20:30-31 – I have written these things that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have eternal life.”

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    • Actually Ken, if you read his book al jawab al-saheeh, Ibn taymiyah cast doubt upon the reliablity of eyewitness, stating that being an eyewitness does not necesserily gurantee that every word is preserved or accurately recalled. He then goes on to state that another problem adding to that is a lack of reliable chain of transmission comparable to that of the hadiths.

      Now of course, the last point about an equivalence to isnad reflects his own islamic perspective but to say he admits they are eyewitnesses without adding qualification is a bit misleading.

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    • “Very good, he admits that Matthew and John were eyewitnesses.”

      Um, no. He said that the Christians were “agreed” that Matthew and John were eyewitnesses. He didn’t “admit” that they really were. In fact, if he had the luxury of modern Biblical criticism, he would have known that neither “Matthew” or “John” actually wrote the gospels that bear their respective names.

      “Yes they did – Jesus praying to the Father – John 17:8 – “for the words which You gave Me I have given to them ; and they received them, and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.””

      You misunderstand what Ibn Taymiyyah was saying. He was saying that the “gospels” are not the literal word of God that Jesus (pbuh) dictated to them. That was a correct observation because the gospels are indeed reports of Jesus’ teachings and actions. In other words, the gospels “narrated some of the words of the Messiah and some of his deeds and miracles.”

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    • Fail

      “He was saying that the “gospels” are not the literal word of God that Jesus (pbuh) dictated to them. ”

      Neither is the quran – your god can’t interact with his creation so he needed a mere angel to dictate what one of his 99 personalities wanted him to say.

      This is a clear admission that the quran cannot possibly be the literal dictated word of god since god himself did not personally interact with humanity.

      The problem is that it leaves open the possibility of angelic corruption – why should we believe that gerbil did as he was told and related your god’s word accurately. In fact, some shia contend that gerbil corrupted the quran by ignoring the revelations that were to supposedly go to Ali.

      “That was a correct observation because the gospels are indeed reports of Jesus’ teachings and actions. In other words, the gospels “narrated some of the words of the Messiah and some of his deeds and miracles.””

      Islamic miscomprehension. In the christian view, jesus is the word of god – what he says is the literal word of god. If you have recorded what jesus said, you have recorded god’s word.

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  4. Whatever Ibn Taymiyyah thought . . .

    All four of them (and the other 27 books of the NT)
    1. are both historically reliable/ eyewitness accounts (2 by eyewitnesses, one is a secretary of an eyewitness and one interviewed many eyewitnesses) and accurate (no contradictions)
    2. and inspired – God-breathed, the Word of God. ( 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

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    • A perfect summary of the Christian fundamentalist view of the New Testament. Not shared by the experts.

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    • Not shared by unbelieving experts; but there are plenty of experts and scholars who share the view of true Christians. Like Michael Kruger, Greg Koukle, Dan Wallace, D. A. Carson, James White, Andreas Kostenberger, Charles Hill, Gary Habermas, and many others.

      What is your fundamentalist Muslim view of the inspiration of the Qur’an?

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    • whether they are ‘believing’ (ie conservative evangelical) or not is irrelevant to critical scholarship of the New Testament

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sheer nonsense!

      Clearly, your definition of “historically reliable” is at odds with what reasonable people would consider “historically reliable”.

      “No contradictions”? Really? Reasonable people know that there are numerous contradictions in the gospels and the other NT books. One needs to only read the different accounts to see these contradictions.

      “Inspired”? Well, no proof exists for that and the only way Christians persuade themselves of the “inspired” nature of the NT is to…quote the NT. Reasonable people will find that sort of argument to be unpersuasive.

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    • Wrong; even the Qur’an admits the NT is inspired. (Surah 5:47; 5:68; 10:94; 2:136; 29:46; 3:84 )

      many reasonable people have written whole books that defend the historical reliability of the Bible. see Jesus Under Fire, edited by Wilkins and J. P. Moreland (chapters by William Lane Craig, Edwin Yamaouchi, Darrell Bock, Craig Evans, J. P. Moreland). See also Daniel Wallace’s works, and Michael Kruger

      There are apparent contradictions on a surface level, but not real contradictions.

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    • KT://Wrong; even the Qur’an admits the NT is inspired. (Surah 5:47; 5:68; 10:94; 2:136; 29:46; 3:84//

      I cant remember how many times I have finished reading the Qur’an in Arabic form cover to cover in my life , and Im still doing it every morning prayer till now .. strange I cant recall where the Qur’an mentioned anything about “NT”….another delusion made by temple.

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  5. Angelic corruption? Lol! How old are you D?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kmak

      “Angelic corruption? Lol! How old are you D?”

      Three and a half. Months. You?

      But you can still explain to me how your god “dictated” the quran to his prophet directly when he is unable to enter creation and your sources say this gerbil was an intercessor in the process. It is not the literal word of god if it does not from god’s own being directly.

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    • Yes, D, maybe your trolling output are not your words, maybe they are interceded by aliens that have invaded your brain and have taken the place of your own personal Jesus before it appears on our screens. Who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Fido, did you work up the courage to start barking again?

    Does your god have 4 eyes and feet like bronze? Will your “loving” god burn people in Hell for eternity?

    “Neither is the quran – your god can’t interact with his creation so he needed a mere angel to dictate what one of his 99 personalities wanted him to say.”

    LOL, I see Gentile dogs have to keep repeating the same refuted nonsense over and over again. It’s just like a dog to chase its tail!

    This was already answered in the posts which you are now avoiding like the plague!

    “Islamic miscomprehension. In the christian view, jesus is the word of god – what he says is the literal word of god. If you have recorded what jesus said, you have recorded god’s word.”

    LOL, this is classic Christian nonsense! The gospels are not verbatim records of Jesus’ actual words. They are records which purport to describe his teachings and actions, written by anonymous people who often times contradicted each other. Only a Gentile dog would believe that these “gospels” are “God’s word”!

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  7. Fido said:

    “The problem is that it leaves open the possibility of angelic corruption – why should we believe that gerbil did as he was told and related your god’s word accurately. In fact, some shia contend that gerbil corrupted the quran by ignoring the revelations that were to supposedly go to Ali.”

    LOL, I assume you meant to say “Gibril”, which is the Arabic rendering of “Gabriel”!

    Again, you show the limits of your dog brain! First of all, if you are going to throw the reliability of Gabriel to deliver God’s word, then you need to explain why anyone would believe the book of Daniel, where Gabriel tells Daniel the meanings of his visions.

    Second of all, angels in the Islamic tradition are not the incompetent trouble-makers as depicted in the Bible. Angels have no free will and they have no choice but to do God’s will. They obey him exactly and do as they are commanded.

    Your pathetic appeal to “some Shia” does not prove anything. Sunnis and Shias are agreed that the Quran has been perfectly preserved and that there is nothing missing from it or added to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. D reminds me of myself when I was very young(I’m 30 now), didn’t know much about Islam or Christianity but engaged in online debates all day long. However, I don’t think I made the kind of stupid arguments that I see D making on this blog. So no, D doesn’t really remind me of myself 15 years ago. I was and still am a lot smarter.

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    • Kmak

      I disagree that I don’t know much about islam and christianity.

      My questions on this post have to do with the claim that the quran was dictated directly by god to man – clearly that is not the case. An intermediary/intercessor – the angel gerbil (I know, that fail guy doesn’t get it) – had to do the job.

      That is simply a common sense observation – the quran is not directly from god – it came through this gerbil bloke which leaves open the possibility of corrruption. Gerbil is not the first angel to have not done god’s will.

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  9. “Wrong; even the Qur’an admits the NT is inspired. (Surah 5:47; 5:68; 10:94; 2:136; 29:46; 3:84 )”

    You sound like a broken record. No, the Quran does not admit that the NT is “inspired”. You have been refuted on this many times. The point is that claiming that the NT is “inspired” does not make it so.

    “many reasonable people have written whole books that defend the historical reliability of the Bible. see Jesus Under Fire, edited by Wilkins and J. P. Moreland (chapters by William Lane Craig, Edwin Yamaouchi, Darrell Bock, Craig Evans, J. P. Moreland). See also Daniel Wallace’s works, and Michael Kruger”

    In actuality, they are not “reasonable people”. They are just apologists, like you, who resort to leaps of faith (in most cases) to “defend the historical reliability of the Bible”. I would wager that these same people would not use the same tactics with other religious books. They tend to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt, even when the evidence shows otherwise.

    “There are apparent contradictions on a surface level, but not real contradictions.”

    This is classic Christian special pleading. A contradiction occurs when two sources say two different things with regard to the same incident. The various stories about the crucifixion, the resurrection, Paul’s conversion and others are all contradictory. Reasonable people acknowledge these contradictions.

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  10. Truth never changes. (it sounds like a broken record to you; because truth never changes)

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    • LOL, no, no. You sound like a broken record because you just repeat the same FALSEHOOD because you have closed your mind to reason. You cannot bring yourself around to accepting the truth that your Bible is a man-made document. Truth never changes, as you said!

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  11. “Hi Faiz.

    In your view is something only God’s word if it can be shown to be verbatim?”

    Hi Paulus.

    I would say that as long as God was sending revelations, either through a prophet or an angel like Gabriel, that would be “God’s Word”. But since the Gospels are just records of the ministry of Jesus, written by anonymous people who wrote in their own styles, then they cannot be God’s Word. They are the words of men.

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    • So they don’t need to be verbatim accounts in your mind?

      I wonder why you bother debating Christians if you a priori disallow the Christian doctrine of Scripture/inspiration (as seen in your comment above). I’m sure you are familiar that the Bible contains many literary features, most of which don’t fit your criteria.

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  12. Paulus, you said:

    “So they don’t need to be verbatim accounts in your mind?

    I wonder why you bother debating Christians if you a priori disallow the Christian doctrine of Scripture/inspiration (as seen in your comment above). I’m sure you are familiar that the Bible contains many literary features, most of which don’t fit your criteria.”

    I think you misunderstood what I said. God’s Word can be “verbatim” even if they came as revelations via a prophet or an angel, so long as they were not changed or paraphrased. A paraphrase would not be “verbatim”.

    I don’t believe the Bible is “inspired”. That is why I debate Christians. An “inspired” book would not be full of contradictions and errors. I have studied the Bible extensively and I have never found any evidence to conclude that it is “inspired”.

    The gospels are of course not the word of God. They are the words of men. If these men were “inspired”, then don’t you think their accounts should be exactly the same? Why are they different?

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  13. Yes, I know God’s word can be verbatim. I asked if it has to be? Are you now saying it has to be verbatim recordings?

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    • I think that it depends on whether you are saying whether something is “literally” God’s word or not. If you say that something is the “literal” word of God, then yes, it has to be verbatim.

      So for example. Muslims have a class of ahadith known as “hadith qudsi”. These ahadith record something Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has revealed to Muhammad (pbuh), but they are recorded in Muhammad’s words. In other words, they may not be the literal words of God. They are also different from the gospels because the former are not “inspired”. Rather, they are revelations given to Muhammad (pbuh) And of course, the Ahadith in general are the words of men. If we only had the ahadith, then that would be the same as having the gospels, although I would argue that the ahadith are much more reliable than the gospels. We wouldn’t have God’s words but only the words of men. But, Muslims have the Quran which is literally the Word of God. We use both the Quran and Ahadith. Christians only have the NT which is only the words of men, which often times, contradict each other.

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    • Fail

      “These ahadith record something Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has revealed to Muhammad (pbuh), but they are recorded in Muhammad’s words. In other words, they may not be the literal words of God………….. But, Muslims have the Quran which is literally the Word of God. ”

      By your own definition, the quran is not the literal word of your god – they are words revealed to mohammed by the intercessor being that khadija asserted was the angel jibril.

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  14. Ken, when you say secretary do you mean Mark vis-a-vis Peter?

    Mark’s Gospel was written shortly after Peter’s passing away. One thing is obvious, Peter would have been known to be illiterate by the masses – certainly in the immediate aftermath of his passing away. Thus the only way a serious-minded forger could have linked a Greek Gospel to Peter was by associating it to Mark (due to Mark’s companionship with Peter)

    I’m just putting this out to you, is it possible somebody else penned Mark and attributed it to Mark as it was the only way to associate that document with Peter?

    I’d appreciate your thoughts – I’m not trying to do gotcha polemics. I’m simply interested in your feedback. What do you think Ken?

    Peace

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  15. Fido barked:

    “By your own definition, the quran is not the literal word of your god – they are words revealed to mohammed by the intercessor being that khadija asserted was the angel jibril.”

    LOL, um no, Fido. As I said to Paulus, God’s Word can be verbatim even if it comes via a prophet or angel, so long as the words are not changed. A paraphrase would not be verbatim. Get it, now? Good doggie!

    Liked by 1 person

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