Jonathan Brown sets the record straight about his ‘error’

In a previous post I suggested that Jonathan Brown had made an error in his latest book Misquoting Muhammad. I contacted him about this and here is his reply. He admits that his statement was ‘ambiguous’ but he does not consider it requires correction.

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Categories: Christianity, History, Islam

56 replies

  1. Is this guy for real? LOL

    So he writes… “Church Fathers like Papias heard of wandering prophets who drew crowds from Europe to Asia Minor, claiming to be the awaited Paraclete mentioned in John’s Gospel, bringing the final apocalyptic chapter of Jesus’ message. ‘”

    Yet the work that he cites as you point out makes no mention of a “wandering prophet who drew crowds”

    So not only is he wrong about Papias, he is wrong about the other garbage he wrote. Funny he mentions Papias but now claims he meant Ireaneous which he does not mention. But even if he did mean Ireaneous it still does not change the fact that no where in that work he cites does it mention ” “wandering prophet who drew crowds”

    So he is just lying.

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  2. Paul in the work he cited, is there any mention of a “wandering prophets who drew crowds from Europe to Asia Minor, claiming to be the awaited Paraclete mentioned in John’s Gospel,”?

    If not then he did not clarify anything all he did was LIE about his LIE

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  3. Well good I hate liars, I especially hate liars who lie about Christ and Christianity. But so what how does that change the fact that AC Brown LIED, and the lied about his LIE?

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    • Hate frustration and … confusion! You are confusing fact and opinion

      Liked by 1 person

    • its a start that you admit to your hate. Next step is to deal with it.

      Brown did not lie. Now we know how he intended this passage to be understood I will be generous and leave the mater there.

      But haters are gonna hate regardless.

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  4. Robert Grant is a recognized church historian.

    Montanus and 2 women with him, Maximillia and Priscilla were like the first Charismatics – ( In Phrygia, around 150s-170s AD) they believed they filled with the Holy Spirit (the Paraclete) and spoke in tongues and went into ecstatic utterances and spoke prophesies about the end times. (see 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14) (speaking about the age of the Millennium, as in Revelation 20).

    they believed they were filled with the Spirit and spoke prophesies and spoke in tongues; they were not claiming to be humans who were the Paraclete, they were claiming that the Spirit, the Paraclete was speaking in them and through them. Since there were three of them, they did not believe that one was the Paraclete Himself as a human, but that the Paraclete is a spirit who works in them and speaks through them spiritual prophesies and tongues.

    This is not a very good parallel that Brown is trying to make to Muhammad, who claimed to be a human prophet/apostle.

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    • What is this based on? Grant says that Montanus’ followers regarded him as the Paraclete, with no mention of his two female disciples:

      “…in the Fourth Gospel they had found the promise of the Paraclete, which they believed was realized in their leader Montanus.”

      It is interesting that Christian sources have tried to downplay what their own historical sources actually say. For example, on CCEL we find the following:

      ” It is asserted that Montanus claimed himself to be the Paraclete; but we believe this to have merely arisen out of the fact that he claimed to be an inspired organ by whom the Paraclete spoke, and that consequently words of his were uttered and accepted as those of that Divine Being” (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wace/biodict.toc.html?term=montanus).

      Notice how it essentially reinterprets what the sources actually state and claims that the belief that Montanus claimed to be the Paraclete “merely [arose] out of the fact that he claimed to be an inspired organ by whom the Paraclete spoke”.

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  5. Yah Right

    Jonathan Brown is basically saying that there are those in the early Christian Church who believed that the paraclete was not the Holy Spirit but rather another person. The Montanists were one such group who got the attention of the Church Fathers. We have evidence of Iranaeus of Lyon writing against their views.

    The Montanists and others were situated in Asia Minor. Therefore Browns statement in his book is accurate historically if not a little ambiguous in as far as how he words it. Papias was among these early Church Fathers known as the ‘Apostolic Fathers’ due to their being the students of the Apostles.

    The truth is that unlike what most Christians claim when debating Muslims the Paraclete being the Holy Spirit was not believed by everyone and we have evidence for this.

    Its up to you whose side to take but facts are facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jonathan Brown is basically saying that there are those in the early Christian Church who believed that the paraclete was not the Holy Spirit but rather another person.

    but this is not what Montanus, Maximillia, and Priscilla believed. they still believed the Paraclete was a spirit, namely the Holy Spirit, speaking through them in prophesies and tongues and ecstatic utterances. They put it together with 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 and the “gifts of the Holy Spirit”.

    Brown is still wrong, because they did not believe there was a human who was a Paraclete (like the way Muhammad was just a human who claimed to be the final prophet or apostle) – rather they saw the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit speaking through them, very much like modern Charismatics do today.

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  7. I had not seen your initial reply until after i posted mine so whoops!

    After reading up a little about the Montanists and their beliefs I have to agree with you Ken that they still believed that the Paraclete was the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit gave them the ability to prophecy even such ‘revelations’ supercede the words of Jesus!

    Although there wasn’t much information about them outside of the rebuttals of the Church Fathers so i am hesitant to think we know everything about them.

    BOOM to me! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul wrote..
    “its a start that you admit to your hate. Next step is to deal with it.”

    Wow so hating lies, is something to be dealt with? Hating lies is a positive attribute.

    You wrote.
    “Brown did not lie. Now we know how he intended this passage to be understood I will be generous and leave the mater there.”

    Really? How so? Let’s take a look at what he wrote in his book.

    “‘Church Fathers like Papias heard of wandering prophets who drew crowds from Europe to Asia Minor, claiming to be the awaited Paraclete mentioned in John’s Gospel, bringing the final apocalyptic chapter of Jesus’ message. ‘

    He then cites Robert M. Grant, ‘Historical Criticism in the Ancient Church,’ 188-189 to back up his absurd claim.

    But as you yourself discovered to your “shock” not only is Papias not mentioned but nowhere is any “Wandering prophets who drew crowds…claiming to be the awaited Pacaclete”.

    So what is Browns response to this bold face lie?

    He says he checked the references and they “clearly refer Montanists and their use” of John “The Paraclete claim”

    Do they Paul? Where in that citation does it say the Monatnists viewed the Paraclete as awaited coming Prophet? If it doesn’t then this is LIE.

    He continues on with his lie about his lie.

    He says this is undisputed and “clearly referenced in those texts” Ok where? Where is it referenced that the Monatanists believed the Paraclete was an awaited coming Prophet?

    He continues claiming,(what I can only call) stupidity as his defense, by saying ‘oh I meant to say Iraneious not Papias’. LOL.

    So where does Iraneious say that Montinests believed the Paraclete in John is an awaited coming Prophet? And more to the point where in the text that he cited does it claim that Iraneious wrote that the Montanists believe in such a thing?

    If you believe that this is an “explanation” when it goes against the facts of what he wrote. Then clearly you wish to be deceived. This is supernatural. For as Christ said…

    “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
    And you definitely are not his elect.

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  9. This is also common knowledge in standard recognized church history books.

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  10. Paul,
    Are you going to follow-up to Dr. Brown and point out that he is still wrong about those Christians thinking the Paraclete is a human being? (Grant is talking about Montanus and the two women with him, and they were clearly not viewing the Paraclete as a human, but rather a spirit, the Holy Spirit.)

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    • No I wont be following this up any further.

      Now, you were going to explain how this relates to Farsi?

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    • You should follow up to him and help him realize his mistake. Even Patrice recognized this; and it could be embarrassing for him as a scholar to make such an elementary mistake about church history. He seems to dig his heels in; and that is not good.

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    • ” Even Patrice recognized this;”

      Thanks Ken you certainly know how to make someone feel special 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I stopped talking about Farsi, did not even mention that issue here at all.

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  12. See article here. Brown needs to fully correct his mistake. I won’t say “deliberately lying”, but he does seem to dig his heels in, even when corrected.

    Even Patrice realized he was wrong. Even non-scholars can recognize when a scholar is wrong.

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/muslim-scholar-makes-a-mistake-from-church-history-and-seems-to-dig-his-heels-in-when-corrected/

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  13. Hey Yah wrong,

    You never answered me. Does your god have 4 eyes?

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  14. “And you never answered me sir, How many eyes does allah have? And are they all right eyes lol”

    Still avoiding the question? LOL!! Surely you realize that one doesn’t respond to a question with another question. So I ask again, does your god have 4 eyes?

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    • Faiz still avoiding the question I see, so I ask again how many eyes does your god allah have, and are they all right eyes?

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  15. A classic taqiya moment.

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    • Paul

      Let’s put it this way….

      British muslims and muslim converts like Paul Williams believe that islam permits enslavement of non-muslims and sex with girls as young as is permissible.

      The overall message is clear and true since there are muslims who defend marriage and sex with young girls and slavery. The association of your name and the general category of british muslim converts with these beliefs adds a different dimension of accuracy and nuance that changes the entire meaning of the statement.

      This johnathan brown guys sounds like a charlatan. Ditch him and come back to jesus.

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  16. Lol! A classic goofball moment from a Christian!

    I noticed you have been avoiding posts, Fido! What’s a matter? Your bark more bad than your bite?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “Ditch him and come back to jesus.” I am with Jesus, the real McCoy. And my personal Jesus tells your personal Jesus that he is a fake.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Burhanuddin1

      Which jesus is that? The one whose uncles are moses and aaron? The one whose life is only mentioned in passing, whose place in history and geography is never established? Is it the jesus who “taught islam” even though there is no evidence for this outside the vague and dubious and contradictory claims of a largely incoherent book written 600 years after the fact by men who seemed to have no idea that jesus lived in palestine under the roman occupation in the 1st century? Is it the jesus in a book that was “revealed” by who knows which of your god’s personalities? Did the other personas agree with it?

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    • ‘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)

      Fr Hans Küng is a professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen.

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    • Burhanuddin1

      “Fr Hans Küng is a professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen.”

      Is that the same Hans Kung who is not an islamic scholar, does not know any arabic languages and who has no meaningful academic expertise in the faith?

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    • The Hans Kung who speaks about the real Jesus.
      Not a self-contradictory mirage invented to serve your ego.

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    • Burhanuddin1

      “The Hans Kung who speaks about the real Jesus.
      Not a self-contradictory mirage invented to serve your ego.”

      But who wrote a book about Islam even though he is not a scholar on the subject, does not speak any arabic languages and has no academic expertise on the subject? Don’t you get it? The concept of the muslim jesus is not his area of study – why believe what he has to say?

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    • Why don’t you read his book? He does not stand alone with his opinion.
      You and your own personal Jesus of faith you stand pretty isolated. No one else can never know what “inhabits” you.

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    • Burhanuddin1

      “Why don’t you read his book? He does not stand alone with his opinion.”

      Why do you think I haven’t? He’s not an islamic scholar.

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    • and neither are you. So take your own advice and shut up lol

      Liked by 1 person

  18. “And they shall not depart from any counsel of the law to walk in all the stubbornness of their heart, but they shall be governed by the first ordinances in which the members of the community began their instruction, until the coming of the prophet and the anointed ones of Aaron and Israel”

    [Manual of discipline 9.9b-11]

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  19. LOL, Fido is really getting more and more desperate!

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  20. Fido said:

    “Ditch him and come back to jesus.”

    Is this the same Jesus whom you can’t figure out whether he is “God” or not? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Yah wrong said:

    “Faiz still avoiding the question I see, so I ask again how many eyes does your god allah have, and are they all right eyes?”

    LOL! I guess I won’t be getting an answer. My question seems to have struck a nerve with the Christians. First Fido, now Yah wrong…Oh well!

    Yah wrong, I guess your god forgot to teach you that one does not answer a question with another question. First, one needs to answer the question, and then one can ask his/her own question. You see how it works? I guess your 4-eyed god forgot to teach you this basic concept of debate and discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Did you ask him through the contact form on his website? Cause I also send him one remark on one of his points in Misquoting Muhammad but I’m still waiting for an answer…

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  23. i emailed him via his university

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