Friday, November 18, 2011

Can God Become a Man? Debate between Dr. James White and Abdullah Kunde

1. The audio of the debate: “Can God become a man?” James White vs. Abdullah Kunde
I look forward to getting the video/DVD of this debate later, if there are plans for that (probably at but the audio has been available here.

2. Abdullah Kunde, at his blog, answers some of my questions regarding the collection and history of the Hadiths.
I learned a lot here from Abdullah about other collections of Hadiths حدیث (Ahadith – احادیث plural in Arabic) that I had not known about before. I had heard of Imam Malik before and even seen the Al Muwatta mentioned in Muslim writings; however, I did not know exactly what this book was and when it was written and that it is also considered an orthodox collection of Hadith. It also has jurisprudence (laws and rulings = Fiq = فقه) in it.
He mentions several earlier (than Al Bukhari and Al Muslim) collections of Hadith that are shorter.
1. Imam Ibn Shihab az Zuhri
2. Abu Hanifah Kitab Athar
3. Imam Malik Al Muwatta
See Abdullah’s explanation in the combox as to why we don’t hear about these Hadith collections more often.
It is very interesting to me that most or all of the latter six official collections of Sunni Hadith were done by ethnic Persians ( Iranians). Look them up and google them for details. (see also at the end of this article)
Abdullah shows that Muslims also disagree with each other on the dates of when things were written down and compiled. The dating seems to disagree with the source that I cited there.
3. Abdullah Kunde responds to the issue of “Category Mistakes”
See my initial response at the com-box. I have made some changes, additions, corrections, clarifications here.
Thanks for this fleshing out of the issues of categories and category errors.
Abdullah wrote:
1) Perfect, in the absolute sense. This can only be applied to God, for the reasons I suggested, primarily His being Self-Subsistent (without need).
My response: It seems to me that you and all Muslims demand that the incarnation has to mean that the human nature of Jesus has to be perfect in the sense of category # 1, that is “unlimited, eternal, independent, self-existent; omnipotent, omniscient”; but that is not what Christians believe, – except that Jesus in His perfect human was without sin. (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22) Even the Qur’an speaks of Jesus Al Massih as a “sinless or faultless son” – Surah Maryam 19:19-21. زکیا
(I made a misprint in the combox, but corrected here.) Surah Maryam 19:19 below.
"He said, No; I am only a messenger from Your Lord, that I may bestow on you a faultless son." Surah Maryam 19:19. You can see the last word in Arabic, زکیا , (zakiyyan) which is translated "fault-less", "pure", "most holy", "righteous".
The human nature of Jesus is now glorified after the resurrection; but it came into being at the conception in the womb of Mary – Luke 1:34-35, and so the human nature of Jesus is not eternal into the past.

Jesus is clearly sinless; yet Muhammad asked for forgiveness 3 times in the Qur’an. 47:19; 40:55; 48:2

Since Jesus did have a perfect human nature with respect to other humans and also never sinned, it seems that you have made a category error, because we don’t demand nor teach that Jesus’ human nature is in category # 1. (eternal, self-existent, unlimited, etc.)
Abdullah wrote: 2) Perfect with respect to a genus. I said that ‘perfect’ could be applied to created things, but only within their own context. I said that a car may be called perfect if it is considered to be superior to all other cars. I agreed that a human could be called perfect with respect to other humans, however I affirmed that perfect with respect to a genus is not the same as absolutely perfect, because it can only ever be applied within the category it is referring to (not in an absolute or even comparative sense).
My response: This is the sense that Jesus’ human nature was; and also without sin. That is why He as one person in the incarnation was limited temporarily to time and space while on earth for 33 years and did not know the day of the second coming ( Matthew 24:36) But now in His glorified resurrected body, He surely knows the day of His second coming. The divine nature did not change, rather, as Dr. White was basically seeking to explain, and as all Christians have believed and taught, Jesus the eternal Son, the eternal Word of God (John 1:1-5), voluntarily “emptied Himself” or "did not use His divine privileges", by becoming a man. Philippians 2:5-8. (also John 1:14; Hebrews 10:5; Luke 1:34-35) (see Addendum for more articles on Philippians 2:5-8)
On the Six Official Sunni Hadith Collections:
Granted, this following information is gathered from Wikipedia, but it is convenient and seems true to what I have read. If anyone sees any factual errors, feel free to comment.
1. Sahih Al Bukhari - (810 - 870 AD / 196 - 256 AH = After Hejira (622 AD)) صحیح البخاری - born in Bukhara, - at the time, was part of the Persian Empire, and is ethnically Persian or Tajik, but was later gained by the Russians and is in today southern Uzbekistan. They Tajiks of Bukhara and Samarkand are more related to the Tajiks of Tajikistan, but the Soviet Union divided Uzbekistan and Tajikistan up the way they did so they could “control the minority peoples" within the Soviet Union.
2. Sahih Muslim - lived around 206–261 AH / 821-875 AD - صحیح مسلم - he was also born in the Khorrasan area of Iran, in the city of Nishapour. (Today in Northeast Iran, near Turkmenistan.) Some sources claim he is ethnically Arab.
3. Sunan Abu Dawood - Abu Dawood Sulayman ibn Ash`ath Azdi Sijistani (died, 889 AD)
ابو داود سليمان بن اشعث السجستاني
(commonly known as Abu Dawud, was a noted Persian collector of Hadith. .
He was born in Sistan in east of Iran, (then Persia) and died in 889 AD in Basra.
4. Jami’ Al Tirmidhī (Persian: ترمذی), also transliterated as Tirmizi, full name Abū ‛Īsá Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsá ibn al Ḍaḥḥāk al-Sulamī al-Sulamī al-Tirmidhī (824–892, i.e. 209 AH – 13 Rajab 279 AH) or 8 October 892 CE was a Persian collector of hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) The city of Termez was also part of Khorrasan, Persia, but now is in Uzbekistan.
5. as-Sunan as-Sughra (Arabic: السنن الصغرى‎), also known as Sunan an-Nasa'i (Arabic: سنن النسائي) is one of the Sunni Six Major Hadith collections, and was collected by Al-Nasa'i. Al-Nasā'ī (214 – 303 AH/ ca. 829 – 915 AD/CE), The city of Nasa was also in the area of Khorrasan, Persia, but today it is in Turkmenistan, just north of Iran.
6. Sunan Ibn Majah (Arabic: سُنن ابن ماجه) is one of the Sunni Six Major Hadith collections, collected by Ibn Majah. He was also from a Persian area, the city of Qazvin, which is near Tehran in Iran today.
What is really strange about the fact that most of Sunni Hadith collections were done by ethnic Persians; is that today, Iran is officially and mostly Shiite, and the Shiite’s don’t accept the Sunni Hadith collections. Iran became Shiite during the Safavid Dynasty (1502-1732), by the decree of a king of Iran, Shah Ismail I, 1502-1524 AD. Interesting that it is around the same time as the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In becoming Shiite, it seems that the Persians were reacting to the Arab Sunni masters and the Ottoman Sunnis (The Turks). They wanted to assert their Persian identity; and it is very common for Persians today to let westerners know up front that they are not “Arabs”; nor “Turks”. Iranians are still pretty angry at Umar for attacking Iran/Persia in unjust Islamic Jihad and killing millions of people and forcing them to become Muslims. See also about the Shu'ubiyyat movement in Persia/Iran; and here.


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