Introduction to the New Testament (Part 1) with Br. Ijaz Ahmad

I recently did a quick 15 minute introduction to the New Testament that seems to have benefited quite a few folks, here’s the video:

and God knows best!

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Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity

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42 replies

  1. Very muchenjoyed reading this. It’s a fascinating topic that really interests me, and i think your analysis and articulation is brilliant.
    Give me a follow on my atheist blog at http://keithiest.wordpress.com to support me for free!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. as salaamu alaykum, Ijaz

    (I think around 12:30)

    I don’t think Paul endorses the use of falsehood. I think Philippians 1 can be read very charitably, since Paul was being charitable towards those who preach Christ for themselves. Paul did not want to obsess with those people, so he focused on the good that came from their insincere actions.

    I feel worried about Brother Paul “Bilal”. He does not have his twitter account anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ijaz,
    Very informative and interesting video!! The information about Simon Peter was to be expected, but it is very interesting to hear a conservative Scholar saying that there is no historically credible information available about the historical Peter, and that the two Petrine letters and the Gospel of Mark have no likely connection to Simon Peter. If Peter actually existed (or not), the Roman Church most certainly must have altered his story after his demise, in order to create their own Romanized narrative about the early origins of the Church that bolstered their own theological claims and to support their own ecclesiastical authority.

    The quotes you gave from Eusebius were both new and shocking to me. I had never heard those quotes, in which he approves of “useful fiction/good lies” and even encourages missionaries and church leaders to use falsehood in spreading and teaching the Gospel……Wow! This would seem to vindicate the Qur’anic charge that the Christians have altered their own books and replaced Gods words (if they ever had them in the first place) with lies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • so it seems like what you are saying is that peter was not one who supported the idea of crucified and resurrected messiah.

      quote :
      Bringing up the idea of Christians absolutely needing the Crucifixion, I feel the inherent bias extends also to non-Christians including historians, because I sometimes feel a same hostility from atheists, the Crucifixion seemingly running through the veins of Westerners.

      I would like to present here a brief argument, logic based as you might make (regarding method), that I will argue supports the idea that another man was crucified and misidentified as Jesus. It has to do with Peter’s denial of Jesus, which everybody knows is true.

      1. If Peter denied Jesus it is unlikely he would have gone and told people about it, and is equally unlikely that the girl or whoever asked him the question would have gone around telling people, and if she or they had, it is unlikely that Jesus followers who were now followers of Peter would have wanted that story to be told. We might thus argue it is more likely that this story was added later.

      2. This “point 1” is problematic too, because why would somebody make up something that makes the new head of the Christians look weak? Why would a story of Peter’s denial, which probably only Peter would have really known about, become so lasting in the records. This story smacks of mischief-making, added later for some other purpose.

      3. The problem is resolved when we consider that Peter denied the man was Jesus because the man was not Jesus. If Peter went about telling people that it was not Jesus who was crucified, then this event becomes highly important and most certainly must be addressed, particularly as Paul’s salvation message emerges. A spin of Peter disavowing Jesus is the perfect answer, explaining for the doubters that Peter was not really saying that Jesus wasn’t crucified, getting rid of Peter’s problematic claim that the man on trial was not Jesus, while also weakening Peter further, as having behaved cowardly.

      Historians have this certainty that Jesus was crucified, and they give this and that explanation based on their methods. As I say above, I think secular historians should not be so certain about the Crucifixion and should consider the legitimate alternative that Jesus was credited for another man’s execution. This alternative resolves other problems as well. And I wonder if there could be a Muslim bias for Western historians steering clear of this possibility.

      //////////////

      what are your thoughts ibnissam ? is there an argument here?

      ehrman says that peters DENIAL is made up crosstian belief

      he things that NO one from jesus’ companions witnessed crucifixion and that those who did see him get crucified didn’t even know who he was just like they didn’t know who the two crucified beside him.

      but ehrman sticks to his belief that crucifixion really took place and so does shabir ali. the question is , why ?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tony,
      Your argument certainly is quite an interesting proposition, and it deserves further study and consideration.

      I do think that there is some anti-Muslim bias against substitution theory, but we should not be surprised. since traditionalist Christians generally oppose any theory or argument (from Muslims or otherwise) that does not support their own orthodoxy.

      What we do know is that, in spite of special pleading by fundamentalist Christians, it cannot be historically proven that Jesus was actually crucified and/or Resurrected, and to believe so requires a huge leap of faith on the part of Christian believers.

      Like

  4. Tony, I too have thought along the same line as you regarding Peter. Another odd story is the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. Too me it’s quite odd that a disciple who witnessed Jesus’ miracles, first hand, would betray him for all the money in the world, let alone for 30 silver coins. Although this theory is problematic for many reasons it might be the case that Judas was instructed not to lead the authorities to Jesus but to another person who then was crucified in the belief that he was Jesus. This theory is a bit far fetched I admit but there’s something fishy about Judas’ betrayal story.

    Like

  5. As a matter of fact there are tons of tell tale signs of the crucifixion of Jesus being based on conjecture. You happen to have the release of someone just by coincidence called Jesus Barabbas and the tradition that nobody actually knowing Jesus witnessing the actual crucfixion and why on earth didn’t Jesus show himself to everybody after his resurrection? Wouldn’t that have been the ultimate opportunity to showcase christianity and make everybody believe and be saved.

    Like

  6. Jazak Allah Khyran, br. Ijaz.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dr. Roger Pearce is a scholar of the Early Church writings who has collected (and is a work in progress) the other early church writings that were not translated or included in the standard early church fathers set, done in the late 1800s by Philip Schaff and others. (see the text of Eusebius’ “Preparation for the Gospel” at the tertullian dot org site below)

    Eusebius’ “Preparation for the Gospel”, Book 12, chapter 31 – he is quoting Plato; he is not saying that we should use or teach falsehood. The title that you quoted is not there. So it seems you took this out of context.

    If you go to the standard “early church fathers” set at ccel.org or newadvent dot org, you will see that the titles are actually added by the editors in order to help find the subject matter of these ancient books. I don’t think that the title you quoted is actually the text of Eusebius, rather it an editor’s addition in order to summarize the chapter. It is misleading because Eusebius is quoting Plato on using falsehood; he is not approving of lying.

    When Eusebius applies the Plato quote to Christian teaching, he uses examples of literary anthropomorphisms that describe God, but understanding that the writer is using symbols/ metaphors, etc. and anthropomorphism and personification is understood.

    http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_12_book12.htm#100

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  8. How do you know that Professor Markus Bockmuehl is a conservative scholar? and by what criterion are you using to call him a “conservative scholar”?

    Believing scholars are not even considered “scholars” at all by most of the liberal scholars (like Paul Williams same attitude), so one of the main problems is constantly saying “all” or “most” about 1 and 2 Peter is misleading. Conservative scholars (believing in the Bible as inspired by God and miraculous, supernatural prophetic inspiration in the writing. 2 Tim. 3:16 – “God-breathed” and “guided by the Holy Spirit” – 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 14:26; John 16:12-15) all know that Peter used an “amanuensis” (secretary with authority to correct grammar, etc. when he is translating into another language. It is clear that Peter got Silvanus (Silas) to write 1 Peter for him. (see 1 Peter 5:12) It is also clear that the reason 2 Peter is so different because another “amanuensis” wrote it for Peter – probably Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, which explains the similarity in style and content with the letter of Jude. Peter probably orally spoke the letter of 2 Peter before he was executed by Nero, around 66-67 AD, and 1 Peter was written earlier, around 64-65 AD, during the Neronian persecution.

    Everyone agrees that the other books with Peter’s name in the second and third centuries are apocryphal and false.

    Unfortunately, the west has had 300 years of enlightenment and liberal anti-supernatural scholarship, so you have lots of material to draw from for your attacks on the Bible. You don’t nearly as much of that in Islam, as Islamic law and culture does not allow the kind of criticism of it’s text.

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  9. This is where the Shia took their Taqiya from then…

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  10. Dr. Ehrman makes an interesting testimony for Qur’an although in Islam we don’t depend on manuscripts primely. 🙂

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    • He assumes that the Qur’an has no textual variants; and yet it does; although admittedly, much less than the New Testament.

      The New Testament was transmitted mostly by regular Christians under persecution for the first 300 + years.

      The Qur’an had the state government under Uthman collect all the oldest fragments, make one standard copy and destroy all the rest. The NT had no such state power. Therefore the parallel is wrong.
      Hadith Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Hadith 509 and 510

      The Jewish Scriptures (OT) have textual variants also, especially on numbers; and he simplistically did not mention the older manuscripts and the Lxx (Greek translation) – He said Medieval, I think he means from the Masoretic tex onward.

      Like

    • To be clear, we don’t need- as muslims- dr. Ehrman’s sayings for Qur’an. But the matter of manuscripts of Qur’an, how they match with each other, and how early they are is something recognized by many western “scholars” of Qur’an.
      And to save the time for them an for you, we don’t depend on manuscripts primely.

      On the other hand, all scholars of NT agree that your NT got corrupted. In fact, you and James agree with this, but you give this fact another name instead of corruption in out of deceiving your fellowes in the churches who have no background about the bible.

      “Therefore the parallel is wrong.”
      Therefore, the playing with the cliché of “inconsistency” should stop if you’re sincere in your debates with muslims because that what we keep telling you that there’s no parallel between the situation of Qur’an and the situation of the bible, yet you keep refusing this fact.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ken Temple
      April 23, 2018 • 9:31 pm
      He assumes that the Qur’an has no textual variants; and yet it does; although admittedly, much less than the New Testament.

      The New Testament was transmitted mostly by regular Christians under persecution for the first 300 + years

      The Qur’an had the state government under Uthman collect all the oldest fragments, make one standard copy and destroy all the rest. The NT had no such state power. Therefore the parallel is wrong.
      Hadith Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Hadith 509 and 510

      I say;
      A little correction here. There is a history of Christians burning fragments of their scripture they do not agree with. So, it is not correct to say Christians did not burn their scriptures they do not agree with. The Christians also burned the whole Muslim library together with their literature and other texts when they seized Spain. Muslims never burnt Christian text when they have power.

      Muslims would have more olden literature, if the wicked Christians had not burnt their old library in Spain. They Christians will burn other Christians text to try to silence them. That is not good.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Ken Temple

      The Qur’an had the state government under Uthman collect all the oldest fragments, make one standard copy and destroy all the rest. The NT had no such state power. Therefore the parallel is wrong.
      Hadith Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Hadith 509 and 510

      I say;
      FF
      There was one OFFICIAL written text of the Quran which was with Hafsa, the daughter of Abubakar and most people have committed the whole Quran into memory and recite it daily when praying or reciting it at any giving time. The OFFICIAL written Quran and other 4 written text and Hufas(memorizers) were used as witness as Islamic legislation demands to compile the OTHMANs committed written official Quran in Quraish reading. The other OFFICIAL written Quran was never burnt and was returned to Hafsa. It is misleading to keep claiming everything was burnt. Othman only ordered all the personal copies that might containg other personal notes or other confusion must be burnt. He did not go house to house to force people to burn everything.

      There is still some Quran verses on stones, gravestones etc. today that dated back to Othman and our prophets time.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • correction.

      Ignore the FF. I swear I did not see it until I finished posting. So ignore the FF, it is a typing mistake.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Interesting that the Muslim guy interviewing Bart Ehrman did not know about Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 and all the other verses on the Deity of Christ and Deity of the Holy Spirit and that a doctrine is not based solely on one verse.

      Like

    • Intellect wrote:
      There is a history of Christians burning fragments of their scripture they do not agree with. So, it is not correct to say Christians did not burn their scriptures they do not agree with.

      No, not for the first 300 + years; so it is anachronistic to apply centuries later practices back into earlier centuries.

      Like

    • Ken Temple

      No, not for the first 300 + years; so it is anachronistic to apply centuries later practices back into earlier centuries.

      I say;
      Then why is the Epistle of Banabas, Shepered Hermas and others not in your Bible? Some gospels did not have ending of some verses. Where is the endings? Will you drink poison or allow black cobra or rattle snake bite you as the Bible says?

      These Christian follow the Bible but you do not.

      If Christians did not change their scriptures, why are the Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Ethiopians Othodox using different Bibles withe different books?

      Thanks.

      Like

    • “The New Testament was transmitted mostly by regular Christians under persecution for the first 300 + years”

      sorry, but even after crosstians got in power, people still continued to fiddle with nt text, but what is interesting is that you are admitting that there were malicious scribes in first 300 years of crosstian copying practice.

      they harmed the text by changing it and according to ehrman, when he said to white

      my words

      “your variants can’t help you bring back the original, all they can do is take you back to a copy of a copy of a copy ….

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  11. see here for more about Sahih Al-Bukhari, volume 6, book 61, Hadith 509 – 510
    and Debates of Dr. White vs. Yusuf Ismail

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/1883/

    Like

    • So you try to teach me about hadiths?! 🙂

      We are PROUD of these hadiths, man!, so save your effort.

      Like

    • Ok; and you should also see the obvious difference between the Islamic history of the text of the Qur’an being a state-government controlled text with the power of the sword after forming a standard text for all others after it; vs. a free transmission of the text for 300 + years without any state government power of enforcing or forming a standardized text from the many manuscripts.

      Don’t you see the massive difference?

      “equal scales my friends; equal scales” (Dr. White)

      Like

    • Why were they afraid that “a large portion of the Qur’an may be lost”?

      and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra’ on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost.

      and, even after that copy was made and given back to Hafsa, they continued to find more fragments of the Qur’an that apparently were not in the Hafsa copy:

      Said bin Thabit added, “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.’ (Surah 33.23)

      Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr sent for me and said, “You used to write the Divine Revelations for Allah’s Apostle : So you should search for (the Qur’an and collect) it.” I started searching for the Qur’an till I found the last two Verses of Surat At-Tauba with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari and I could not find these Verses with anybody other than him. (They were): ‘Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty …’ (Surah 9.128-129)

      Is the Hafsa copy still available? No; if “every other copy was burnt”, that seems to include that also, except for others that they could not find, that have discovered since that time. (for example, the Palimpsest Sana’a manuscript – The Sana’a palimpsest (also Ṣanʿā’ 1 or DAM 01-27.1) is one of the oldest Quranic manuscripts in existence. ; found in Yemen in 1972, etc.

      Like

    • Ken Temple

      Is the Hafsa copy still available? No;

      I say;
      The Hadith said the OFFICIAL written text of the Quran was return to Hasfsa. How will you presume it was burnt? Where is Hafsa’s copy? May be it has depreciated i.e. worn out, scraped and turned into dust or sand since the Othman committee official’s copy is the official one and is no different from the Hafsa’s.

      Or may be it got lost and we will find it one day. If Othman had something to hide, he would not have returned it the Hafsa. It was used as a witness together with other 4 text witness and other hufas(memorizers).

      ————
      Said bin Thabit added, “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.’ (Surah 33.23)
      ———–

      Ken, the above shows Zaid bin Thabit who is the Chief scribe of our prophet and later Chief scribe of Othman knows what he was searching for because he has memorized the whole Quran together with those who asked him to do the searching. They are using 4 written text and more than 4 memorizers as witness to the OFFICIAL written text. Islam demand 4 witness in anything like adultery, robbery, proof reading, marriage etc. before acceptance, so it has to be done on the OFFICIAL Quran too.

      If the committee do not know some verses must exist, why searching for the verses? They could have compiled the OFFICIAL Quran without the verses.

      Zaid said he missed the verse and he knows it because he used to hear the apostle of Allah reciting it. You see, he and the committee have used their memorization skills and the recitation of the Quran everyday during, before or after prayers to preserve the word of God as God Himself said He will protect he Quran.

      That tradition is carried on today as everyone is ready to correct an Imam when he forgets a single vowel, word or verse.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Ken,

      I’m sorry but you’ve gone off the rails completely:

      [[and, even after that copy was made and given back to Hafsa, they continued to find more fragments of the Qur’an that apparently were not in the Hafsa copy:]]

      Missed by him, not by the others, as the hadith indicated they knew it was missing and thus sought to correct it. The hadith does not indicate if it was when the mushaf was complete or not so I am not sure how you drew that connection, or how you assumed it was lost by everyone else.

      [[Said bin Thabit added, “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.’ (Surah 33.23)]]

      Re-read the hadith and correct yourself.

      Like

    • Ken Temple
      April 24, 2018 • 1:56 pm
      Ok; and you should also see the obvious difference between the Islamic history of the text of the Qur’an being a state-government controlled text with the power of the sword after forming a standard text for all others after it; vs. a free transmission of the text for 300 + years without any state government power of enforcing or forming a standardized text from the many manuscripts.

      I say;
      It is good for a government to control text than to leave it for anyone to write things that are not true with regards to the message. If someone writes about drinking poison and allowing black cobra, rattle snake or black mamba bites without going to hospital, the US government will control that and will disallow such lies. It is better than to leave it for it to be killing people.

      Because the OT and NT are not the final God words, He(God) left it in the care of the clergy/Rabbis/Priests to protect them but they could not. The Quran which is the final word of God has the promise of God to protect it Himself(God), hence the memorization and it becomes smaller than the old covenant to facilitate memorization. Everyday Muslims recites the whole Quran, during, after or before prayers.

      Ken Temple cannot recite full page of NT in Aramaic or Greek but both Arab and non Arab Muslims can easily recite full page of Quran in Arabic. Even Paul Williams and other English Muslims who are not scholars can easily recited full page of Quran in Arabic. That is the beauty and preservation of the Quran.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • “Don’t you see the massive difference?”

      I see it as the sun. Therefore, it’s very stupid to say “equal scales my friends; equal scales” :)!

      Qur’an has been transmitted faithfully by the companions of the prophet pbuh with Isnad.

      “and, even after that copy was made and given back to Hafsa, they continued to find more fragments of the Qur’an that apparently were not in the Hafsa copy:”
      This just shows that you have no idea what you;re talking about.

      Like

    • Ken Temple

      A 12 year old boy reciting the Quran in memory. This how the Angel revealed the Quran which means recitation and the tradition continue till today. No one can change anything in the Quran. Zaid bin Thabit, Othman, Abubakar, Ali, Ibn Masood and most of our prophet’s companion have memorized the Quran like this kid and the tradition continues.

      Ken and Dr. James White combined cannot recite a whole page of NT in either its original Jesus’s language of Aramaic or Greek which is not Jesus’s language.

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX13U87L64Q

      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oszf7UL6o
      Memorized the whole Quran and not looking at any book or teleprompter.

      Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people


  12. vs. a free transmission of the text for 300 + years without any state government power of enforcing or forming a standardized text from the many manuscripts.”

    in those 300 years christians hated each other , cursed each other, called one another false teachers , abandoned gospel of paul for other gospels, called one another stupid. in such enviroment malicious scribes are born and your texts were doctored. when scribes were changing text for theological reasons, isn’t that malicious reason? bart ehrman said to james white that your ORIGINALS are lost, you have no way to RECONSTRUCT ORIGINAL. all you can do is ASSUME that you have a RECONSTRUCTED COPY which is based on a copy of a copy.

    Like

  13. We don’t need the originals, which would wear out anyway, and we don’t need every extant manuscript to be the same.

    We still have the bible, either written by eyewitnesses or based on their testimony, that is a true translation to the original greek and hebrew manuscripts.

    Like

    • No he didn’t. That guy invented points I didn’t make and responded to them, we call that straw men. In the end, he refuted a 15 minute INTRODUCTION video where I barely spent more than 2 minutes on any one given point. Kudos for him on that.

      Like

    • seems like he did to me; I just read it and the content refuted yours.

      Like

    • My content wasn’t a research paper, it was an introduction video to the topic. I’m not sure what you think he refuted when I barely went finger deep into any one point. I mainly used the video to introduce terms and reference concepts. That’s like saying your Tofu didn’t taste like fried chicken, well I wasn’t trying to make fried chicken now was I? In any case, I don’t believe you to be an objective interlocutor, so it’s obvious you’ll support Kevin.

      Like

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