It is sad to see the intellectual dishonesty of some leading evangelical apologists/scholars

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Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, Scholarship

68 replies

  1. “Those who turn on their heels after being shown guidance are duped and tempted by Satan” QT

    “They reject the truth and follow their own desires––everything is recorded––” QT

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  2. Yeah, kind of weird seeing Mike argue for reliability of the Gospels. For him though, historically reliable does not necessarily mean every detail has to be accurate…the more “peripheral” details can be wrong in his opinion [If I’ve understand him correctly…I’m sure he will call me deceitful if I have not understood him correctly lol]

    For me it seems weird to see a Christian believe bits of the book which most Christians believe to be inspired by the Holy spirit can have errors in it. How can he get the rest of his faith down aside from the “minimal facts” he believes can be “proven”? I’m sure he does not believe the Trinity doctrine, atonement belief or the doctrine of the hypostatic union or even the deity of Jesus is part of the Bible which he can make a “historical” case for.

    The cynic in me says Licona is under pressure to please the evangelical crowd…that’s the crowd that is the hand that feeds him and buys his material. I doubt a retirement fund would be generated without pandering to that lot.

    Perhaps he just really feels he has to believe in a certain degree of integrity of the Bible otherwise his childhood faith which he has invested his life into can’t be propped up.

    Or perhaps he really believes what he is saying and has some sort of mental block with the tensions so it does not seem think he’s contradicting himself.

    Or perhaps something else.

    Who knows? I wouldn’t be surprised if Licona does not know what and where he stands.

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  3. This is so weird. Licona says we can trust the Gospels yet Jesus supposedly didn’t make some statements found in them. His 2010 book on the resurrection was good but had problems. The same kind of problems that are boiling to the surface now more than ever. Paul Williams is 100% correct on Licona wanting to have his cake and eating it.

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  4. Is he a leading scholar?

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  5. I just noticed this but that talk was given in Calgary, which is where I live!

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  6. Yeah, I agree with Allan Ruhl. In reality, Licona seens more and more liberal and does not have much substance left, in my opinion, once he starts saying that there are errors in the Bible, but at the same time claims to believe in inerrancy; and says Jesus did not say the I am statements ( he has lost my respect for that, and for saying there are errors and contradictions, and for the way he dealt with Matthew 27:52-53 – all terrible.

    He was also terrible in several debates vs. Muslims and atheists and did not seem to even believe in miracles or the Scriptures much.

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    • Licona is becoming more and more honest about the reality of the Bible, moving away from the fundamentalist dogma of his past. He is to be applauded. But he still hopes to be accepted by his fundamentalist constituency. He cannot have it both ways. Hence my tweet to him.

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    • You were right to rebuke him in your tweet.

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    • I did not rebuke him. I called him out, and challenged him to be honest. But I sympathise with his predicament. I found myself in a similar position when as a christian I studied the NT academically.

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    • calling him out and pointing out inconsistency is a kind of rebuke, IMO; and I agree with you in principle. Same problem with the late Raymond Brown, which Geza Vermes called him a scholar who “wants his cake and eat it too”.

      Of course, studying the Qur’an academically (denial of prophesy and denial of supernatural working, miracles, etc.) would also destroy it – since it denies history and did not even know what the doctrine of the Trinity is; and has personal details in Surah 33 about Muhammad (proves it is not Eternal into the past, the “absab ol Nuzul” (reasons for the revelation, or historical context) contradict that claim) and his marrying Zainab Bint Jahash, and justifies him getting more than 4 wives, etc.

      You make a big deal about the “I am sayings” (since the historians are skeptical since they are not repeated in the other gospels); but the same principles of historical research demonstrate all 4 gospels have the arrest, trials, sufferings, crucifixion, death on the cross, burial, empty tomb, resurrection of Jesus. This proves an academic study of those aspects of the gospels proves Surah 4:157 wrong and brings doubt on Islam as a whole, showing the text is not inspired. At least Licona believes in those solid historically established parts of the NT. and that results in the Qur’an is wrong and not from God.

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    • The problem is that according to Licona – who I assume knows what he is talking about – a “majority” of evangelical biblical scholars do not think the historical Jesus uttered the famous I AM sayings. Of all scholars this group is the most committed to a high view of scripture, yet even they, remarkably, are convinced along with virtually all other NT experts, that these are made up sayings.

      I personally find their arguments compelling. At there very least there is reasonable doubt that Jesus says what John has put into his mouth.

      As a Christian this realisation profoundly damaged my faith. Licona has damaged his credibility by trying to be two irreconcilable things: an inerrantist evangelical and a good Bible scholar.

      Your other comments about the Quran are irrelevant and off topic.

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    • more and more liberal and loosing respect.

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    • James White believes that your bible is just a puzzle containing what so called “the original bible”, yet you have not solved that puzzle till now. Moreover, James does not believe in the story of adulterer and the ending of Mark to be original in your bible. Therefore, as muslims we have no clue what the “inerrancy” is christians are talking about!? It seems the religion of god’s death has a tendency to invent new meaings for the words and terms.

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    • Being honest about textual variants is a good thing, don’t you think?
      Read his whole book, The King James Only Controversy, and you will see the confidence that we have in the Greek NT and inerrancy.

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    • I used to be an inerrantist. It is a fools game. It is an indisputable fact that the Bible contains errors, contradictions and inconsistencies.

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    • You did not have a real faith in Christ, that was by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 2:20-22 seems to be what happened to you – you had some kind of experience and learned head knowledge only, then turned away. Your nature was not changed. If it was, you would not have left the Christian faith.

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    • utter speculation. You never knew me then. Your need to rubbish my sincerely held christian faith is motivated by embarrassment at my conversion to Islam.

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    • I never said you were not sincere; and you are right, I did not know you then.
      You were probably sincere, but if you were born again by the Holy Spirit, you would not turn away to Islam, and consistently believe it is totally truth from all eternity; since in Islam, there is no thing as the Trinity or the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity. Do you claim that you were truly born again by the Holy Spirit and then turned away to something that says there is no such entity as the 3rd person of the Trinity? That is a contradiction.

      Since you are a Muslim now, you can say that you had a sincere religious experience; but, under Islamic understanding of the world, etc., it could not have been the real born again experience by the Holy Spirit. (John 3:1-18; I Peter 1:3-5, etc. – you don’t even think those words are true at all and just made up by someone in 2nd century anyway.

      I don’t doubt you had some sincere experience and were trying to live the Christian life for a while, as best you understood and knew how.

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    • I sincerely trusted in Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour. I was born again of the Holy Spirit. I was a Christian. I even believed the Bible was the inerrant word of God.

      I understand your need to rubbish a Christian’s faith if he subsequently converts to Islam. But the facts are the facts. Sorry if you can’t accept them.

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    • How were born again by the Holy Spirit, when according to what you now believe, there is no such thing as the 3rd person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit?

      Please answer that – you are not making sense.

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    • you just don’t get it. Obtuse.

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    • If you sincerely believe that Islam is true and that in reality there is no such thing as a Holy Spirit as Christianity and the NT defines Him – the 3rd person of the Trinity who lives in believers and causes them to be born again; – at most all you can say is that you sincerely thought you were born again, but now you realize there is no such thing, since Islam, according to you, is true. But you can say you had a religious experience and thought that way, ok.

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    • How were you born again by the Holy Spirit when in Islam, there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit the way the NT and Christianity defines Him – the 3rd person of the Trinity, the comforter, the Holy Spirit who will be with you and in you, etc. ?

      In Islam, “holy spirit” just means a “clean spirit” – an angel.

      are you saying an angel came into your heart?

      Who was the Holy Spirit at that time, given your beliefs now?

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    • Ken you are a very confused individual. You need to discredit my former Christian faith is egregious.

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    • The problem is that according to Licona – who I assume knows what he is talking about – a “majority” of evangelical biblical scholars do not think the historical Jesus uttered the famous I AM sayings. Of all scholars this group is the most committed to a high view of scripture, yet even they, remarkably, are convinced along with virtually all other NT experts, that these are made up sayings.

      I personally find their arguments compelling. At there very least there is reasonable doubt that Jesus says what John has put into his mouth.

      As a Christian this realisation profoundly damaged my faith. Licona has damaged his credibility by trying to be two irreconcilable things: an inerrantist evangelical and a good Bible scholar.

      Your other comments about the Quran are irrelevant and off topic.

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    • Since the Gospel of John is God-breathed and God’s word, all the I am statements are true and historical and happened; just like virgin birth and resurrection and the miracles in the NT – Jesus changing water into wine; Jesus walking on water, feeding 5000, etc. It is all true.

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    • 1) it does not claim to be inspired.

      2) even if it was it could still be a fictional account like Jonah

      3) a majority of your own evangelical scholars say you are wrong. How embarrassing!

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    • comments about the Qur’an are not off topic, since when one puts it under the same academic and intellectual methods that you very arrogantly exude all the time in relation to the Bible, the Qur’an is exposed as not the Word of God at all. Just one man’s claim, a man who gave himself special permission to have as many wives as he wanted and gave the other men only 4. Doesn’t pass the smell test.

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    • it does pass the test for billions of people including many former devout Christians such as myself. Your heart is sealed against God’s light, and this has damaged your sense of smell.

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    • ” Just one man’s claim, a man who gave himself special permission to have as many wives as he wanted and gave the other men only 4. Doesn’t pass the smell test.”

      Then your sense of smell has been overpowered by your ignorance.

      Hmm, “special permission” you say? “As many wives as he wanted”, you say? Well, let’ see:

      “It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them for (other) wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and Allah doth watch over all things” (33:52).

      Status of your claim that the Prophet gave himself “special permission” and “as many wives as he wanted”: RUBBISH.

      Let’s see some more “special permissions”, shall we?

      Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prohibited observing continuous fasts beyond one day. The Companions submitted: “But you do it.” He replied, “I am not like you. I am given to eat and to drink (from Allah).”

      So, the Prophet actually kept long fasts himself but forbid his followers his followers from placing that burden on themselves. Why would he have placed a greater burden on himself?

      Some more “special permissions”:

      “Narrated Amr bin Al-Harith: When Allah’s Apostle died, he did not leave any Dirham or Dinar (i.e. money), a slave or a slave woman or anything else except his white mule, his arms and a piece of land which he had given in charity.”

      “Narrated ‘Aisha: The bed mattress of the Prophet was made of a leather case stuffed with palm fibres.”

      “Anas ibn Maalik said: No person was dearer to them [the Sahaba] than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but when they saw him they did not stand up for him because they knew that he disliked that.”

      Hmm, now isn’t that interesting?

      Status of all your idiotic claims: RUBBISH.

      You are an ignoramus. Accept it. Then get treatment. You see, the first step to recovery from your addiction to ignorance is to admit you have a problem.

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    • Surah 4, verse 3 of the Qur’an says that Muslims can marry up to four women. But we know from references in Bukhari and other sources that Muhammad had at least nine wives at one time. So why did Muhammad get more than four wives when the Qur’an says that Muslim men can only marry four women? Well, Muhammad received a special revelation, Surah 33, verse 50, which says that he, and he alone, could have as many wives as he wanted. Now I don’t know about you, but when the guy who’s receiving the revelations starts getting special moral privileges—namely, more sex partners than anyone else—I start getting awfully suspicious.

      SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
      “O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” Surah 33:50

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    • Ken like the devil seeks to slander God’s prophets, just as many Jews sought to slander Jesus in his day.

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    • You have not dealt with the specific texts of Hadith that show Muhammad had 9 wives at one time, and Surah 33:50 that gives Muhammad permission to have more than four.

      You are not very intellectual or academic when it comes to Islam.

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    • There is no problem. God gave him permission. End of story.

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    • Your denial of Jesus as eternal Son and eternal Word and God in the flesh, (John 1:1-5; 1:14; John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-8), etc. is also slander – blasphemy.

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    • It cannot be blasphemy if it is true: that Jesus as just a man. Jesus denied he was God in Mark 10.

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    • yes or no:
      Does Islam believe that the 3rd person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, exists?

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    • Ken thats Islam 101. You know the answer

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    • Yes, I already wrote it out; but you refuse to answer, because you have been proven wrong.

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    • LOL, you got refuted and then just repeated the same idiotic statement. As I showed, the very next verse from Surah Al-Ahzaab DID put a limit on how many wives he could have. So, contrary to your lie, he was not allowed to have “as many wives” as he wanted. You are a liar. You are the offspring of your true father, Satan.

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    • oh contrare

      SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
      You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will. And any that you desire of those [wives] from whom you had [temporarily] separated – there is no blame upon you [in returning her]. That is more suitable that they should be content and not grieve and that they should be satisfied with what you have given them – all of them. And Allah knows what is in your hearts. And ever is Allah Knowing and Forbearing.

      Surah 33:51

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    • you really walked into the poop on that one, Faiz !!

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    • LOL, you really are an idiot aren’t you little Kenny? Your lying spirit was caught lying. Verse 51 is followed immediately by verse 52, you nincompoop! So let’s look at them together, shall we?

      “Thou mayest defer (the turn of) any of them that thou pleasest, and thou mayest receive any thou pleasest: and there is no blame on thee if thou invite one whose (turn) thou hadst set aside. This were nigher to the cooling of their eyes, the prevention of their grief, and their satisfaction – that of all of them – with that which thou hast to give them: and Allah knows (all) that is in your hearts: and Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

      It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them for (other) wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and Allah doth watch over all things.

      It seems that it was your lying spirit that walked into the poop! You are a liar for Jesus, just like your false apostle Paul. Satan is your true father, and you will be consigned with your father in hell for the lies you spread.

      I noticed you didn’t respond to the other “special permissions” Muhammad was given. Hmm, I wonder why? Your lying spirit has no answers, does it? Poor, poor spirit.

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    • No; I saw verse 52 before when you quoted it; but it was you who skipped verse 51. So, are you saying that verse 51 limits the number of wives that Muhammad can have to 9 at one time?
      All Muslims agree that Muhammad had 9 wives at one time and even Paul Williams also wrote it earlier. (Because Sahih Hadiths show that Muhammad had 9 wives at one time, and also the verse speaks of “those whom your right hand possesses” (concubines = “sex maids” – even Yasir Qadhi admitted this – see it on You Tube.)

      The problem is the Qur’an text does not tell us that limit was. (9 or more ?)

      I just have not had time to investigate the other material. Sorry about that. I have been busy. You don’t argue in a proper way though – you don’t follow Surah 29:46 – you have too many personal attacks and insults strewed within your argumentation. Your style is a turn off – almost as bad as Shamoun’s ( full of anger and insults and ad hominem.)

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  7. “Being honest about textual variants is a good thing”
    Well…. I don’t think James is honest man. He lies when he uses the worng choice of words to describe the status of your bible.
    Remeber what you siad about Licona ?
    “in my opinion, once he starts saying that there are errors in the Bible, but at the same time claims to believe in inerrancy…,he has lost my respect for that”
    The same thing should be said about James.

    James would be honset if he said our bible got corrupted, and we working on it to get the original bible. As you have no idea why Licona uses the word “inerrancy” that his belief about the bible, we also have no idea why James uses the word ” inerrancy”.
    They both believe that the bible has been corrupted, yet they both don’t use the word (corruption).
    What they are doing has nothing to do with honesty whatsoever. Rather they just deceive their audience.

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  8. “”Your need to rubbish my sincerely held christian faith is motivated by embarrassment at my conversion to Islam””

    Converting to Islam? TBf who wouldn’t be embarrassed for you?

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  9. Ken has a point. One cannot say they were born of the spirit of they no longer believe in the spirit.

    Paul has to say he thought he was born of the spirit, which then ultimately confirms kens point that it wasn’t a true experience

    Spot on Ken.

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  10. The view that the gospels are full of errors seems to be getting a grip even among the rigid inerrantists. Licona is certainly not a lone wolf in the game anymore. William Lane Craig, Norman Giesler, James White etc all seem to be bending in the same direction. The only difference between (as Licona himself observed) is that they do not express it so plainly and in so many words.

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  11. Little Kendra is whining like a girl yet again after being exposed as a liar.

    “No; I saw verse 52 before when you quoted it; but it was you who skipped verse 51. So, are you saying that verse 51 limits the number of wives that Muhammad can have to 9 at one time?
    All Muslims agree that Muhammad had 9 wives at one time and even Paul Williams also wrote it earlier. (Because Sahih Hadiths show that Muhammad had 9 wives at one time, and also the verse speaks of “those whom your right hand possesses” (concubines = “sex maids” – even Yasir Qadhi admitted this – see it on You Tube.) ”

    Verse 52 clearly refutes your asinine and slanderous charge that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could have as many wives as he wanted.

    Concubines are not wives, stupid. Concubines were also allowed for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh).

    “The problem is the Qur’an text does not tell us that limit was. (9 or more ?)”

    But there was a limit, contrary to your claim that he was allowed to have as many wives as he wanted. Ergo, you lied.

    “I just have not had time to investigate the other material. Sorry about that. I have been busy. You don’t argue in a proper way though – you don’t follow Surah 29:46 – you have too many personal attacks and insults strewed within your argumentation. Your style is a turn off – almost as bad as Shamoun’s ( full of anger and insults and ad hominem.)”

    Yes, yes, whine like you usually do when you are exposed. Liars usually whine.

    You were so busy slandering the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that you didn’t have time to “investigate the other material”. Yep, that sounds about right.

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    • Are you off your meds again?

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    • Are you on yours?

      Now go back to reading your Bible for stories of people getting their thumbs chopped off. 😉

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    • But you are admitting that he was allowed to have 9 wives at one time, and that was a special permission by Allah to have more than the other men, who could have up to 4.

      It would be interesting to see a specific Hadith that limits it to 9, because the text of the Qur’an does not say how many.

      And there were other wives also, after some of the 9 died. Some Muslims say 11, some say 14.

      Also, are you admitting that Muhammad wanted / desired more than 9 at one time, but Allah said, “only 9”.

      It is not a lie, just not as accurate as the Hadith seems to indicate, that you can make the case that he had 9 at one time and that that was the limit.

      That exception that Allah gave him special permission to have more than 4, more than all the other men, still does not pass the smell test of being a true prophet.

      As Aisha said, “It seems Allah is quick to fulfill your desires.”

      Narrated Aishah: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Messenger and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily) it is no sin on you (to receive her again).” (Qur’an 33:51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires (hawa).”

      al-Bukhari, as-Sahih, Translated by Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh: Maktabat Dar-us-Salam, 1997) Hadith 4788

      Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 311
      Book 65, Hadith 4788

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    • You lie was exposed, and now like any liar, you are justifying your lie by moving the goal post. You said he was allowed to have as many wives as he wanted. The evidence shows this is not the case. However many wives he had, the fact remains that he did not get a special mandate to marry as many as he wanted.

      Maybe if you had bothered to do some real research, instead of rushing to slander the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the facts would be more obvious to you. But I know. Your lying spirit is not interested in facts. It is interested in slander and lies.

      Did you know that some scholars believed that verse 52 had actually been abrogated and so the restriction was lifted, giving the Prophet the freedom to marry even more women? But these scholars say that the Prophet still voluntarily decided not to marry any more women. The view that verse 52 was abrogated seems to be a minority view, but even so, it still shows that the Prophet did not marry as many women as he wanted. Ergo, your slanderous claim that he could marry as many women as he wanted was a lie. That is what happens when you don’t do the research and simply manipulate the evidence to spread false information.

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  12. The Quran is a preserved Book,whereas the Bible is not at all preserved,when we look at Codex Sinaticus,much of its Verses are Missing,For example,Matthews last few verses and a few textual variations.

    Liked by 1 person

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