Analysing a Manuscript Argument Against 1 John 2:22

Recently, there was a bit of online fuss over a 1 John 2:22 manuscript. The argument made was casting doubt on whether the highlighted portion (bold) of 1 John 2:22 was part of the original text.

Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. [1 John 2:22]

It is true for this particular manuscript the saying “Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son” is “missing”. It ends at: ουκ εστιν ισ

The manuscript exists although, I understand, Mustafa Ahmed’s  article initially got the nomenclature mixed up hence the difficulty and confusion in finding the relevant manuscript. No need for anybody to call Mustafa Ahmed  a liar here. It exists, his article wasn’t making all this up. Those who did resort to such finger pointing need to apologise for false witness.

OK, but is it an argument with efficacy? I am not convinced. There’s a lot of confusion around this manuscript.

1. The first bout of confusion arises, from the reader’s view point, due to the automatic assumption that it is written on papyrus, paper or parchment (as most NT manuscripts are). It’s actually written on clay. It’s a piece of pottery (material ostracron)

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Having seen it one automatically knows that it’s no big deal that it does not carry the sentence “Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son”. It’s a small fragment of pottery, there’s no reason why it should contain the whole verse. This can only be concluded once the fragment is seen rather than relying on a database of the text on each manuscript. It’s a good learning experience for everybody.

2. Secondly, Codex Sinaiticus is older (mid 4th century) than this piece and Codex Sinaiticus contains the whole of 1 John 2:22.

The article states:

“between ~300 CE and 600 CE, this folio (page) falls into the earlier period of ~300 CE. This is the earliest manuscript of 1 John we have”

The earliest date is used from a given range but it’s dated to be mid to late 5th century here and University College London range it from 395CE and beyond.

It’s later than Codex Sinaiticus.

I don’t believe the argument in Mustafa Ahmed’s article is a convincing argument due to it being built on premises that have not been fully or clearly established. It’s an adventurous effort to inject a new argument into the bloodstream of polemics but right now caution is the watchword. Perhaps that argument can be revised in some way albeit I personally don’t see a legitimate route for this argument to be carried further.

Hey, why was a new route even necessary? Are these words from Jesus? Isn’t 1 John anonymous? Does 1 John carry any authority?

The author doesn’t appear to be a Trinitarian!

If there was an oral tradition floating around, which the author of 1 John based this statement of whoever denies the Son has denied the Father on we don’t know the context of the statement. Christians readily admit they don’t know the context of purported quotes of Jesus: the well-known fact that we often do not have the original context in which Jesus’ sayings were spoken, much less their precise wording [William Lane Craig]

In addition, if there’s some Prophetic grounding to the statement, it’s not an un-Islamic statement as it would appear to be a teaching of whoever denies the Prophet of God has denied God. Isn’t that what people who reject the messengers of God essentially wind up doing?

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Categories: Islam

29 replies

  1. Great article!

    I largely agree with what you’ve said though I would recommend reading Thomas Kraus’s 2010 journal article titled, “Reconstructing Fragmentary Manuscripts—Chances and Limitations”.

    I’m not sure what to say about the Christian response to it. From what I’ve noted (I’ve been busy), I think the initial article had an error and I messaged Br. Mustafa about it. He corrected it and put a note. Which was good, but the missionaries referred to that as “taqiyyah”. The very purpose of a noted correction is to indicate a change was made and they faulted him for that, how exactly can it be dishonest to make a correction? I don’t know.

    What was disappointing was the name calling and there was quite a lot of it. Ranging from liar, to fool, to quite a lot worse words, rather than reaching out to Br. Mustafa, they chose to refer to him and myself as a liar, and when they did eventually find what he was referring to, they did not correct themselves. They boldly claimed his source was made up, both before and after the correction, and yet when they realised it was not, they did not apologize. How does that work?

    I think Jonathan Mclatchie’s “Academy” is producing reactionaries. The moment something comes out that they cannot understand or find, they either push the idea it’s fake or the person is lying. As I mentioned to them, their inability to do research, know of the topic or have access to the documents does not mean the research, topics or documents are not real. I really do not understand how their inability to find something means it does not exist, then again this is the thinking that Jonathan McLatchie’s “academy” is producing.

    Just a short note, since people may be confused:

    – Manuscript refers to any written document regardless of the material used.

    – Folio traditionally means surface or page, in this case it refers to the verso and recto sides of the pottery.

    So usage of those terms is okay, they just have to understand that they are relational nouns. Additionally, just so it’s clear, the method used to analyse the fragment is the same used for papyri, so should one doubt the conclusions reached from *this* fragment, it would mean they have to also doubt conclusions reached from any other fragmented papyri to remain consistent.

    Thanks for the post Br. Yahya, I appreciate your comments and Br. Mustafa’s foray into apologetics.

    Regards,
    Br. Ijaz.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Ijaz, always appreciated.

    Yeah I was very disappointed at the gentlemen (won;t mention them by name) who were angrily accusing Mustafa of false witness. The irony is, earlier on in 1 John it warns against behaviour that is unChrist-like.Lessons learned.

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was at the Petrie museum though and for me it was an eye-opener that a piece of pottery would be called a manuscript.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So let me get this straight. Ijaz Manuscript A says or omits something from 1 John, only problem is that manuscript A has nothing to do with 1 John. So when Ijaz gets busted instead of fessing up and saying he made a mistake and he really meant Manuscript B. Ijaz in classic Ijaz style just makes up some unsubstantiated nonsense that manuscript A is really an “alias” for manuscript B, the manuscript he was actually referring too. Putting aside the fact that manuscript B is not really a manuscript but a pottery fragment, its really funny that Muslims actually believe him on anything. .

    Like

    • Well you didn’t get it straight.

      I didn’t say anything about any manuscript. A post was made on a colleague’s blog that had an error on his part, and when shown to me, I corrected him. His mistake is not my mistake. If you had bothered to read my colleague, Br. Mustafa’s post, he even indicates I’m the one that told him there was an error and what to correct that error with. Br. Mustafa did indicate he made a mistake, hence the note explaining his edit.

      In my posts after seeing my name mentioned, I only ever stated the name of the manuscript as GA Ο23. Nothing else. You are free to quote me where I stated otherwise. I corrected the Christians who got the name wrong, there is no number “0”, or English letter “O”, it’s “Ο”. The majuscule koine letter omicron, in this case meaning “Ostracon”. After 6 hours of the missionaries being unable to find it by the given name, I gave them an alias to find it by, which they eventually did and thanked me for the photo that led them to find it. If I gave them an irrelevant alias, how then did they use that very alternate name to find it?

      Lastly, it is referred to as a manuscript because that word refers to a writing on any surface. A manuscript can refer to writing on papyri, parchment, stone, pottery, paper etc. This is basic knowledge. Since I got nothing wrong, there was nothing to not believe.

      Thanks for your uninformed comment.

      Regards,
      Br. Ijaz.

      Like

    • Ijaz here is a quote from you

      ” One of the reasons I gave just one alias of the manuscript was to see how well they were educated and skilled. It would therefore seem that without knowing the other aliases for the manuscript that they can’t find any other information about it. Quite embarrassing to say the least.”

      So where is your proof that Manuscript A is an alias for Manuscript B, the manuscript you via your minion was referring to?

      Like

    • What is my proof? The fact that they found it using the information I gave them on my first blog post mentioning it, is my proof.

      I gave them the standard name of GA Ο23, the Trimegistos alternative name was given in a screenshot, which is what they eventually used to help them find it. As for asking what is my proof, I answered that above, alternatively if you did follow the conversation and it is now apparent you didn’t, I gave a screenshot from Brice Jones listing it’s various aliases besides the Trimegistos one (TM 61646).

      I know you didn’t follow the conversation as it happened, because my first post on my website literally references Brice Jones and the book it of his it can be found in.

      You really need to smarten up.

      Like

    • Yahya snow I will ask you the same question

      Where is his proof of the following…

      “After 6 hours of the missionaries being unable to find it by the given name, I gave them an alias to find it by, which they eventually did and thanked me for the photo that led them to find it. ”

      Where is the proof that it is an alias?

      Like

    • ALM,

      The proof is in the fact the “missionaries” did find the MS. Clearly whatever Ijaz or Mustafa gave them was adequate.

      NOTE: I’m not here to rebuff your attacks on others. Let your past gripes with him go – it’s not something I’m interested in. Put whatever you’ve got against him behind you and move on. You’re a James White supporter: he and James White get on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ALM/ Robert,

      “Where is the proof that it is an alias?”

      In the Brice Jones citation? Are you thick?

      Like

    • Ijaz wrote…

      “In the Brice Jones citation? Are you thick?”

      Ok so provide the QUOTE or are you LYING again.

      Like

    • Yahya wrote…
      “The proof is in the fact the “missionaries” did find the MS. Clearly whatever Ijaz or Mustafa gave them was adequate.”

      My response: No that is not prof of the orignal name given by Ijaz to one of his minions is an alias to a completely different manuscript or in this case potery fragment. Since they searched for over SIX hours with the oringal name given and did not find anything and where only able to find it AFTER Ijaz gave the correct name then that is PROOF that no such alias exist.

      In order for ijaz to prove his nonessential claim he must first provide a QUOTE from “Brice Jones citation?” as a starting point. Then research has to be done to make sure that Brice Jones actually made such a quote and was actually referring to the poetry shard in question.

      What really sad about this whole thing, is that Ijaz provided a Muslim with false information, that Muslim then repeated that fasle information and then Ijaz through him under the bus and blamed him for the false information

      Like

    • Ijaz wrote…

      “I gave them the standard name of GA Ο23, the Trimegistos alternative name was given in a screenshot, which is what they eventually used to help them find it. ”

      My response: You gave a name of a manuscript you have yet to prove it is the “Standard Name” or that there is an alternative name. As far as them finding said manuscript AFTER you posted the REAL name that only proves that there is no such thing as an Alternate name.

      Please provide your quote so we can research if actual quote exits

      Like

    • Can’t wind us up 😉 Keep trying though Robbie.

      Br. Mustafa clearly indicated where the mistake was and who corrected it. So that’s been answered, though you are free to believe your own fiction. As for your other question, it was already answered, see the Brice Jones screenie I posted.

      I gave them the GA alias and the TM alias, they found it using the latter. They acknowledge that, along with their apologies. Wonder why they’d be apologizing to me…hmmm…

      Try again Robbie.

      Like

    • Wow Ijaz you really just can’t stop lying can you.

      You wrote…”They acknowledge that, along with their apologies. Wonder why they’d be apologizing to me…hmmm…”

      First there is no THEY there is a HE, and he apologized for insulting not for finding the actual text you where appealing too by its actual name.

      That is evident by this quote “..Sorry for the insults.It still doesn’t change that Mustafa and Ijaz made a MISTAKE as to regards of the text that Mustafa refered to… ”

      So he did not apologize for calling you out on your mistake or even you nonsensical cover up, but for insulting you that would be calling you an “idiot” I believe.

      So with that out of the way still waiting for your citation\quote from “Brice Jones” (whoever that is) in which he says that the first manuscript you cited, is actually an alias for the second manuscript you cited.

      Can you provide that please and then all this will go away.

      Like

    • Ijaz still waiting for that quote? Still waiting for any evidence that the Manuscript you gave Mustafa, was really an alias for a pottery shared catalogued by a completely different name.

      Ijaz you know what is sad about this whole thing, is it really was just a stupid mistake, but because of your pride you can not admit to it, instead you have to make up something that only a gullible Muslim would believe.

      Really man just fess up and it would be no big deal. Its your pride man that hurts you, its always your pride.

      Like

    • Robbie,

      Two of them have apologized. So you’re out of the loop. The initial name I gave them was GA Ο23 and they couldn’t find it with that. That’s already been said and repeated over 8 to 9 times.

      The fact that you don’t know who Brice Jones is, or that I’ve already provided that citation and a screenshot of it publicly, does not mean I’ve failed, it means you have. If you can’t access basic information and can only repeat yourself ad nauseum, while not knowing your friends have acknowledged their mistakes…that’s on you.

      Good luck.

      Like

    • Ijaz wrote…

      “Two of them have apologized. So you’re out of the loop. The initial name I gave them was GA Ο23 and they couldn’t find it with that. That’s already been said and repeated over 8 to 9 times. ”

      My response: Yah they couldnt find it since no such “alias” exists. You are the one who came up with the load of crap trying to cover yourself that the manuscript name you gave your Muslim friend was WRONG. lol

      Like

  4. American Lives Matter

    Not entirely sure if you’re Robert Wells (hi, if you are!) but you have had a track record of attacking Ijaz over the years. Try to get on.

    You’ve misunderstood the post if you think the manuscript discussed was not about 1 John. Ijaz certainly knew which manuscript he was talking about. This isn’t a guessing him, he knows Greek..he can read majuscule texts. The test on 1 John is in majuscule, he read the Greek hence how he knew the last part of the verse is “missing” from that “witness”.

    Don’t belittle him.

    And I think you’re mistaken, it’s still called a manuscript. Not all manuscripts are paper, payrus or parchment…some are amulets etc (a very small number/). This manuscript falls into that minority. It’s still called a manuscript. In fact if Codex Sinaiticus (and possibly others were not discovered, not entirely sure which or if any others as I havent check and nor do I have inclination to check) then that manuscript that Ijaz brought to the attention of Mustafa would be the earliest “witness”.

    Don’t allow your dislike of someone leas you to injustice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the critical feedback Br. Ijaz & Yahya. I’ll take your advise on reading thomas Kraus’s journal. I’m new in this field of apologetics and have a lot to learn. And Thanks for defending me against the unfair allegations of lying about the manuscript. I look forward to contributing more in the future to apologetics.

    Much appreciated

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mustafa wrote….

      “Thanks for defending me against the unfair allegations of lying about the manuscript.”

      My response: Wow are you really this dense? They didn’t defend you instead Ijaz through you under the bus. He gave you incorrect, FALSE information and then instead of admitting to this he came up with some goofy, nonsensical story that the manuscript name he gave you was really an “alias” for a pottery shard. and the reason he did this was to “see how well they were educated and skilled. ”

      So lets examine this, First Ijaz blames you for his mistake, and then goes on to say that he was testing the Christians. But funny thing is he gave YOU the false name so it was YOU who’s education and skills where being tested and evidently you failed. (But thats ok he was just making that part up to cover his epic failure)

      So Mustafa since you’re “new in this field of apologetics and have a lot to learn.” let me give you some advice.

      Any time Ijaz gives you any information double check it. For instance if Ijaz tells you the sky is blue or the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, go outside and check to make sure.

      That is all.

      Like

    • I gave him the correct information….the name GA Ο23. They couldn’t find it because they thought the “Ο” was a number (as they said in their video) and they also thought it was an English letter “O”, which they also called it by in their video.

      GA Ο23 is one of the 4 or 5 aliases for the manuscript. That’s not in contention.

      You can keep trolling Robbie, we’re okay with it. The more comments you post, the more attention our posts get, the greater the platform you give us. At least thanks for admitting you’re out of the loop.

      Keep it up.

      Like

    • Ijaz just give it up ok, man its your pride its ok to admit you made a mistake.

      You wrote…

      “GA Ο23 is one of the 4 or 5 aliases for the manuscript. That’s not in contention.”

      My response: Yah it is since you have yet to provide any proof of this. Still waiting lol

      Like

    • Ijaz wrote…

      “You can keep trolling Robbie, we’re okay with it. The more comments you post, the more attention our posts get, the greater the platform you give us. At least thanks for admitting you’re out of the loop.

      Keep it up.”

      My response: Oh good I hope more people get to see how foolish you are. Really man you gave your Muslim collegue the wrong information just fess up to it, its not an alias, there is no alias you gave him the wrong citation. This is silly man.

      You also wrote on another thread….

      ““Two of them have apologized. So you’re out of the loop. The initial name I gave them was GA Ο23 and they couldn’t find it with that. That’s already been said and repeated over 8 to 9 times. ”

      My response: Ok its truth time, you posted Stevens apology to you for insulting you that would be for calling you an idiot I believe but not for him calling you out on you giving false information.

      The other person involved Chis never apologized you to you he apologized to Yahya Snow for calling him a liar, because Yahya had nothing to do with said nonsense.

      The other person Vlad never apologized to you for anything.

      So you just keep lying for your mistake. How many lies is that now? Two, three, four? Really man just admit the plain and simple truth man, or provide a citation where “Brice Jones” (assuming thats not an alias for someone else), or anyone any cataoluge states that GA O23 is an Alias or one of many aliases for a poetry shard.

      Come on you claim you did it before I say you didn’t as is obvious for anyone that visits your blog. So post it here prove me wrong for everyone to see lol.

      Like

  6. So to start off i did not Apologize to Ijaz Ahmad because i do not believe i should but i do feel the one person that should have apologized is Mustafa Ahmad. I will explain why.

    Mustafa said this: Response to Chris Claus on 1 John 2:22.

    So Here he is addressing Soley me and he is Questioning my usage of said verse. just to make that apparent first then he goes on to say

    Recently in a conversation with Br. Ijaz Ahmad he brought to my attention an issue regarding 1 John 2:22. This obviously isn’t new information for Biblical scholars or students of textual criticism. It’s good timing to examine this passage since it was mentioned prominently in the debate between Mr. Claus and Br. Aqil on the topic of, “Is the Prophet Muhammed Pbuh Prophesied in the Bible”.

    So Mustafa says here that Ijaz Ahmad brought to his attention an issue regarding 1john 2:22. So again i will stress Mustafa is saying Ijaz gave him this information and he is going to look into my claims. oh but he continues just to make sure he says 2 more times he ASKED IJAZ AHMAD

    I questioned Br. Ijaz about this when he was advising me on apologetic methods. Even though Br. Ijaz was unable to contribute his personal opinion on the debate as he was the moderator, I asked him about 1 John 2:22 I was shown actual textual evidence regarding 1 John 2:22: Manuscript GA 023. (Note: A correction was made by Br. Ijaz, the word Sinopensis was incorrect).

    So here is Where Ijaz says he gave a wrong alias i believe because it would only make sense Since Mustafa had no idea about any manuscript because if he did then he would not have stated at least 4 times in his first 2 paragraphs. So we can know Ijaz gave him the wrong alias from this. which isn’t even my biggest contention i knew of this manuscript i just did not think it was relevant to respond to which is why in the rebuttal video i do not i just say my 2 cents about people making a post about My last debate. I wonder was Mustafa trying to do damage control? 🙂 but lets keep going so as of now we can deduct from what has been said that Mustafa felt the need to try and disprove my reference to 1john 2:22 with help from Ijaz. So lets keep going to see why?

    In short 1 John 2:22 has missing words after, “Who is the liar,” and a partial text until, “Jesus is”. The words, “Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son,” are later additions to later manuscripts.

    I advise my Christian friends to not use this verse as their shield in the future, as this is only going to backfire on them. I would like to thank Br. Ijaz Ahmad for giving me this information.

    So we see now what Mustafa and Ijaz real intentions were here. they thought that Since in the wrongly named manuscript then corrected but ijaz still hasn’t answered Robert about the Quote. Lets keep going these 2 assumed that well the manuscript we can point to Does not have the ending there see see So u can’t use this argument anymore because its not there he says it backfires against Us hmmmmm. This is prob his most ignorant statement so Far i will explain why in my conclusion. Did u see it Ijaz was mentioned again for helping Mustafa in this miraculous discovery.

    Now for my Conclusion on this matter. first Yahya is neutral and made a good blog post.
    Now to Mustafa and Ijaz Ahmad you 2 either Lied or you are not very good Students to manuscripts and scripture i feel u find 1 thing and assume u have finally refuted a Christian. First off if the actual manuscript in Question has 1 letter of 1 john or if it was destroyed and not even there it is irrelevant and u wanna know why because we have an earlier document that contains the EXACT SAME VERSE IN FULL so WE KNOW what it says so. This is either just Ignorance or a sad attempt in being liars to further Muslims agenda ill allow Mustafa or Ijaz to say which. Again Its either IGNORANCE or a LIE. So to you Mustafa and Ijaz good try but do better research next time because as Mustafa said: I advise my Muslim friends to not use this style of argument as their shield in the future, as this is only going to backfire on them. thank you i hope that put this nonsense to bed and ijaz and Mustafa can go back to Studying.

    Like

    • Chris Clause wrote…”So to start off i did not Apologize to Ijaz Ahmad because i do not believe i should”

      My response: Wow Ijaz another lie exposed. How many does that make now?

      Like

  7. Ijaz what happened? I thought you wanted to keep commenting on this thread to make it really popular, you seemed to have fissiled out and have gone all radio silent.

    I guess you really don’t want this article to get “more attention” since one even Yahya Snow recognized just how poor the argument you gave young Mustafa is, and two you definitely don’t want the several lies you have spun to be exposed lol

    Thats ok I can understand. But seriously man you really need to swallow your pride and stop lying especially when there is no reason to.

    Like

    • ALM pleasekeep the personal battles out of this. Have you reflected on the arguments at the end of the post? Let’s see some discussion on apologetics.

      Like

    • Yahya come on man even you recognized what a poor argument this was. How are you helping your friend Ijaz when you ignore his ridiculous lies. I mean really he has a problem

      Like

    • Yahya Snow asked…

      “. Have you reflected on the arguments at the end of the post?”

      My response:

      Not much to reflect on lets take a look.

      Are these words from Jesus? No

      Isn’t 1 John anonymous? No

      Does 1 John carry any authority? Yes

      The author doesn’t appear to be a Trinitarian! Yes he is.

      If there was an oral tradition floating around,— Don’t know and doesn’t have to be.

      we don’t know the context of the statement — Yes we do..

      Christians readily admit they don’t know the context of purported quotes of Jesus — What, we asblutly know the context of the ACTUAL quotes of Jesus not the made up Islamic quotes in the qruan. I think you confused the two.:

      And William Lane Craig is wrong.

      Yup not much to reflect on

      Like

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