Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Bible and History defeat the Qur'an

The Grandverbalizer19,here, and other places at his aggressive blog, thinks he has refuted Christianity. The late Ahmad Deedat, and Shabir Ally and other Muslim debaters, think they have refuted Christianity. (see also Dr. White's debate with Shabir Ally on the NT; and the cross debate)

Muslim apologetics can never refute the truth of the Bible. The truth of the Bible is what refutes the Qur’an, since the Qur’an came 600 years later and is not inspired by God at all. Whatever good is in the Qur’an is stolen from the previous Scriptures, the OT and the NT. Most of the truths of the Scriptures that are talked about in the Qur’an have been changed in many ways. It is the Qur’an that “corrupted” the message of the Bible. Muhammad did not know the details of the Bible, but he thought he did; by hearing about it orally (mostly from heretics and nominal "Christians")and some others seemed to have redacted his original material. The Qur’an affirms the Bible, especially in 5:46-48 and 5:68 and 10:94 and 2:136 and 29:46 and other places, because the writers and compilers of the Qur’an thought the previous Scriptures were perfect and unchangeable without even knowing what it was all about and did not know the contents of it. “No one can change the words of Allah” is said many times in the Qur’an, which I showed here:

No one can change the words of God

The Grandverbalizer19, a Muslim, wrote: (at David Waltz' combox at this post, here.
“Any Christian who thinks that the Qur'an settles the intra-Christian dispute on "NT" canon if it was 22 or 27 books or the intra-Christian dispute on the "OT" canon if it was 37 or 46 books is simply dishonest.”

I never stated that the Qur’an settles the canon issue for Christians, so you are the one who is being dishonest now, if you think I have ever claimed that the Qur’an settles the canon issue, either OT or NT. The canon issue was settled long before the Qur’an came along. The 27 books of the NT were "canon" (meaning "standard", "criterion", "rule", "principle", "law", "measuring rod") as soon as they were written, between 48-96 AD.

Recommended: On the canon and Sola Scriptura and On Sola Scriptura and the Early church fathers

That there was a historical process of collecting all of them under one cover for all the churches is not disputed. Origen quoted all the NT books as Scripture, the same 27, written around 240 AD. Origen died about 253/254 AD. Athanasius wrote them all in a list in 367 AD. You throwing out the issue of “NT 22 vs. 27 books” is a red herring and has nothing to do with the issue of here at all. The Muratorian Canon, a fragment, dated around 160- 170 AD, attests to the undisputed 20 books plus Jude, Revelation, and probably 2 John. That it is a fragment explains why some other books are not mentioned.

Here is a good article on the 27 book of the NT issue:
27 book NT before Athanasius

Muslims need to digest all of these excellent articles to get a proper handle on the canon and church history and what led to the Reformation:
historical roots of the Reformation

Even so, if we take the 20 NT books (all four gospels, Acts, all of Paul’s epistles, 1 Peter, I John) that were universally agreed upon by the churches in the Christian world by 200 -250 AD, they still all take down Islam as a false religion, since they all affirm all the doctrines that make Christianity true and show Islam to be false. All 27 books of the NT were written from 48-96 AD, and most of them by 70 AD, and so they were in existence separately, in different places, but it took a while for all the churches to get them all under one “book cover”, because of the persecution, and the nature of how they were written (individually, at different times, at different locations).

Here I am assuming the Grandverbalizer19 means what Origen and Eusebius and other early church fathers called the 5-7 “disputed” books – (Revelation, Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, Jude, 2-3 John) – “disputed” just means that some parts of the Christian world questioned them and were not sure. But other parts of the Christian world exhibit evidence of knowing about the rest of these books, although no one church or area or writer mentions all the books at one time until Origen and Athanasius. Some of these "diputed" books are clearly used by some early church writers – for example Irenaeus alludes to or quotes from every NT book except Philemon, 2 Peter, 3 John, and James. He alludes to a lot of material from Revelation and he is writing between 180-200 AD. Tertullian, also around 200 AD, also quotes from all the NT books except for Philemon, 2 Peter, 2-3 John, and James. I Clement, written in 96 AD, quotes extensively from Hebrews and quotes from James also. The “Epistle of Barnabas”, written somewhere between 70 and 132 AD, cites 2 Peter 3:8.

The important thing to remember is that all the NT books were written separately to different places, from different places and by different authors. The fact that the Early Church was under persecution and on the run, and that the Romans burned many of the earliest copies explains why did not have time to collect all of the 27 books under one cover in all the places until after the persecution died down.

Christianity grew under persecution; Islam did not; Islam used the power of the sword to force the Arabians to submit. Then the Byzantine Empire to the North and West of Arabia, the Persian Empire to the east of Arabia, and N. Africa were all conquered by aggressive, unjust, evil wars. And Islam used the power of the sword to burn almost all other copies under Uthman and create the text of the Quran, which is the basic one for the Qur’an today. Islam used the power of the state, politics, force, Sharia law, military power, and taxation to subjugate and subdue its enemies, and created its text. Christian history is more honest with its textual variants. The average Muslim denies that there are any variants in the Qur’an, yet there are, as some Muslim scholars admit.

GV19 wrote:
“Any Christian who thinks the Qur'an confirms Mark 16:9-20, and John 8:1-11 (both accepted as canon at the time of Qur'anic revelation) is sleeping at the wheel.

As I told you before, Mark chapter 15 and 16:1-8 takes down Islam also, as it testifies to the details of the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus, and the endings of Matthew, Luke, John, and beginning of Acts supply us with all the “God-breathed” details of the resurrection and great commission and ascension of Jesus, so not having Mark 16:9-20 does no damage at all to the Christian message. Lacking John 8 also does no damage to the Gospel of the Messiah, His mission, His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, and so it is you my friend who are “sleeping at the wheel”.

Therefore, it does not matter if some churches questioned a few of the NT books, or that Mark 16:9-20 or John 8:1-11 is not in the earliest manuscripts. Even without those, the gospel of Jesus as Son of God, God the Son, the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, the substitutionary sacrifice of the innocent lamb of God for the sins of humans from all the nations (Rev. 5:9; Mark 10:45; John 1:29); the resurrection of Christ from the dead; justification by faith alone, salvation by grace alone; the inherent sinfulness and blindness and deadness of all humans; ie, the doctrines of the “gospel” are all there in the undisputed NT texts, the gospel, which the Qur’an affirms (2:136; 5:46-48; 5:68; 10:94) still stand after you try to cast doubt on the NT by throwing out red herrings.


Anonymous said...

Not following along with the Grandverbalizer19 very carefully over the last little while that he has made comments on the various few blogs I frequent but after reading this I can say a "deep" cord was touched by him and it becomes evident reading this thread.

There is one sentence near the end of this thread I would comment on: Therefore, it does not matter if some churches questioned a few of the NT books, or that Mark 16:9-20 or John 8:1-11 is not in the earliest manuscripts.

I would note the difference between the Qu'ran and the Bible.

The Qu'ran is inspired by "one" man and most of us who have studied anything about the man, if we are intellectually honest with ourselves, come away with a sense that there was an evil power or dynamic behind him and his inspiration in writing it.

The Bible on the other hand, well, let me shine some of a personal light on my own experience as I have come to an understanding of it?

I remember clearly being moved upon by some "force", some "power" and that ever so gently. There was a deep sense of a refreshing rest that was breathing upon my soul and coming over me. There was a sense of a "presence" of Peace upon my soul as I was became more aware of a growing desire within to "know" God as I read the Bible.

I found myself in a situation one morning where I was given a Bible to read. I began studying the Bible. I remember clearly that this was a compilation of books with various writers. I remember also clearly setting the Bible down dumbfounded after reading the Book of Exodus. That read struck a deep cord in me and caused me great trouble. I became frightened.

I just was not ready to read about the things I read about God doing to the Egyptians and Pharaoh in the Book of Exodus. It really frightened me.

It took some time and fellowship with other True Believers helping me "understand" the Book of Exodus. It was not by force or fear that this happened. It was by a gentleness of Presence and a sense of Holiness within these True Brethren that brought about the assurance I needed to continue reading the Bible.

As things progressed, two things became very clear. One, my personal relationship with God was going to have to be by myself. I could not rely upon others to have my relationship with God for me. And as I grew in the Spirit and Truth, I came to read and understand that the Bible is an accountings and experiences shared from two points of view, not just one as the Qu'ran is.

God is a gentle giant you might say.

God is forceful.

God is powerful.

God is always near.

Yet God is kind and loving and thoughtful and gentle who brings about a deep satisfaction to me on my behalf even in spite of me and my errant ways!

Anonymous said...

I would add further I guess I can now sum up what I am saying this way. I am monergistic now. And something Peter wrote to the Churches he was called by God to care for after he turned, to strengthen the brethren, has done me good all these many years and has given me great comfort and emotional rest.

It is this:

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Bible is composed of many stories by and between God and man.

Some will hate this Book as they hate God. That truth is taught in this Book.

Some will not.

I am one of those who do not hate God or His Book, "books" written by and for men and women, boys and girls, all children first with God no matter at what age you begin entering into the Kingdom of God; stories and profound truths that have give us a place with God and a living Hope in this world because of His generous and very abundant Grace and the Gift of Righteousness that He gives us through Christ Jesus Our Lord so that by Faith in the Truth and in the fellowship with others in the Scriptures in daily life and in fellowship with God the Father through Christ the Lord by the same Holy Spirit in prayers and meditations continually, we have His Peace and the freedom to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in our communities starting where we live and supporting others where they live until we have fulfilled the great commission to bring this Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations and to every creature for a witness and then the end shall indeed come and life as we know it will be over as we the Elect of God enter into a new heavens and earth wherein dwells righteousness!

Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.