Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Muslim’s favorite conservative scholar proves them wrong

 Richard Bauchkam calls Mark 10:17-18 “a wonderful double entendre” and shows Jesus is actually claiming to be God!  (see below for exact place in a radio interview.)

A double entendre (literally: double meaning) is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more surface) meaning is straightforward and direct speech, while the second meaning is indirect and "underneath the surface" and usually the real intention behind the bare words.  

Oriental cultures, Middle Easterners, especially Iranians, use this kind of language and technique all the time in their poetry and their culture of “saving face” and “honor vs. shame”; has made them over the centuries experts at “indirect speech”. 

Jesus is indirectly claiming to be God, using an eastern method of indirect speech; but westerners think it is straight forward speech. 

On the Unbelievable Radio program, on October 10, 2009,  there was an excellent discussion between James Crossley and Richard Bauckham, about his book, Jesus and the God of Israel.

Muslims love to use Richard Bauckham to try and cast doubt on the NT and the gospels.  While Bauchkam is not an inerrantist, and not as conservative as I am or as Dr. White is; Bauchkam is hardly a good source for Muslims to use, because on this particular radio discussion, Bauchkam believes Jesus is claiming to be God in Mark 10:17-18. 

Shabir Ally and Paul Bilal Williams use some quotes from Bauckham as somehow trying to show that the gospels are not reliable and changed, yet in this program, Bauckham takes Paul Williams’ favorite passage (Mark 10:17-19) and demonstrates that Muslims are wrong on its meaning.  Williams brings up Mark 10:17-19 many times at his own blog. see here:  

Update to this article, Sept. 28, 2015:  I took out the old url of Paul B. Williams old blogs, because there is some kind of malware/scam there.  
(No longer available as Williams keeps changing his blog; several times.  One time he even left Islam for a few days and then came back and repented.)  Williams new blog, as of Jan. 2015, is www.bloggingtheology.net

and here, What must I do to be saved? (no longer available)

and here, "Why do you call Me good?  (no longer available)

In all three of these articles, he leaves out verses 23-27.

At Williams' three different blogs which he has changed, if you could look around, it seems that he has a blog article on Mark 10 or the gospel of John and/or liberal scholars every several blog articles.  He especially likes Mark 10:17-19 about "Why do you call Me good?" or about "keep the commandments", and seeing that from a Muslim viewpoint, he thinks Jesus said that in order to teach that someone is able to keep the law and be saved.   His Islamic worldview has blinded him from seeing the real meaning of this great passage, especially if one reads all the way until verse 27.  Of course, only the Holy Spirit can lift the blinders off sinners' hearts.

Williams constantly quotes the Mark passage, but always leaves out verses 23-27 in his polemics.  Williams constantly uses Mark 10:17-18 to try and say that Jesus is denying His Deity; and he constantly uses Mark 10:19-22 to try and say that Jesus teaches that salvation comes by obeying the law of God.  He is wrong on both accounts.  By leaving out verses 23-27, Williams is avoiding the deeper meaning of why Jesus approaches the rich young ruler the way He does.  We will address that issue later, Lord willing.

Bauckham on “why do you call me good?”

I am not going to type out every word in this section of the interview; I invite the reader to listen to the whole thing.  However, I want to include key phrases and sentences of Bauckham, and intersperse with my own comments.

Beginning at the 43:31 mark – Richard Bauckham – “can I come back to Mark ?
because in Mark chapter 2 – who can forgive sins but God alone?”, he is “expressing precisely one of these uniquely divine qualities” - qualities of God .

Mark 6 – “What kind of man is this who the wind and waves obey his voice?  Only God can rule the chaos - Order out of chaos; a very OT idea about God.”

Mark 10:17 ff – “Why do you call me good, only God is good. Actually works the other way, Jesus is good, so Jesus is God.  Bauckham calls this a “wonderful double entendre”,  and “if you are not thinking, you would say that Jesus is saying I am not God”; but Jesus is actually trying to get the rich young ruler to think about true goodness.  Thus, Bauckham is confirming the orthodox position of how to interpret this passage.  Jesus is not denying that He is good or God, but in an indirect way, Jesus is actually claiming to be God.  In effect, Jesus is saying, “If you recognize Me as good and call Me good, then you should see that I am God, since only God is good.”  But the man didn’t really understand absolute goodness. 

Mark 14:61-64

This is a very clear passage that Jesus is claiming Deity.  Even the Jews know that the Messiah is going to be “the Son of the blessed one”!  The Jews know Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7:13-14 and Proverbs 30:4 and Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14. 
Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14 and the Jewish leaders tear their robes and say that Jesus has committed blasphemy by claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus also said, “I am” ( ego eimi = εγω ειμι ) in verse 62.    Muslims and other skeptics like to make a big deal about the “I am” statements in John, and they claim that there are none of them in the Synoptic gospels.  Well, here is one.  Mark 6:50 is another “I am” statement. 

Bauckham says the clear claim of deity is there in Mark, so it is not only in the gospel of John, as some, particularly Muslims are saying, but the Deity of Christ is clear in Mark also.

Dr. White’s recent Five sermons on the Gospel according to Mark:

In his first message, “The Bookends of Mark” – he shows that Mark 1:1 (the Son of God – for an article about the textual variant here, see this.) and Mark 15:39 (“truly this man was the Son of God!”) – the centurions’ confession that Jesus is “the Son of God”, demonstrates Mark’s purpose of testifying that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.  Dr. White made a great point about the Roman Centurion and his familiarity with death, in Mark 15:43-45.  The Roman Centurion better be sure Jesus was dead, since he had to give testimony to Pilate himself.  If he was wrong, he would have been executed.  The seriousness with which the Romans dealt with soldiers and guards who did not do their job well is seen in Acts 16:27.  The Philippian jailor was about to kill himself, because he had fallen asleep earlier, and he thought that Paul and Barnabas had escaped in Acts 16:27, after the earthquake. 

There are a lot of nuggets there that Dr. White brings out in these five sermons.  Because Muslims are not only using liberal scholars, but now they are using (and abusing) more conservative scholars to attack the New Testament and the gospels, we need to equip ourselves to be “ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us” to Muslims, and take up our cross in discipleship. (see Mark 8:34-38)

For two other articles on the unity of the gospel of Mark and the Deity of Christ in Mark, see here, and on the testimony to the resurrection of Jesus in Mark, see here. 

Credit goes to someone named "Monty" in the aomin chat channel, a few days ago (last week); for pointing to this particular Unbelievable Radio program, the discussion between Bauckham and Crossley.  


1MoreMuslim said...

You have tried to respond to half of the problem for some reason , you left out the other half. Why Matt transformed " Good teacher" to " What good things" making the answer of Jesus really silly . From "why call me good" to " why you ask me about good"! If in Mark the reply of Jesus is a Double entendre, what is the purpose of Mattew's version of Jesus' reply? Is there a hidden meaning? There should be, since the appearing is really stupid and meaningless.
Note , the suppsed "double entendre" is just a theory, since no one can know what hidden meaning Jesus intended, if there is one. But for sure, the rich man didn't get it, since he stopped calling Jesus "Good" once for all.

Ken said...

Thanks for your comment!


Peace unto you!
سلام و علیکوم
Jesus gives true peace - John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Matthew 11:28-30

You are assuming that Matthew changed Mark's wording - there is no proof of this.

Jesus probably said both statements, beginning with

"why do you call Me good? Only God is good.

We can imagine the man answered, well, you do seem to be a good teacher, so can can you tell me about the good thing that I can do to be saved?

Jesus then asks, "Why do you ask Me about what is good?" There is only one who is good.

So, Jesus could have said both statements in history, just that one author records one of the statements and another author records another of the statements.

Like a report from eyewitnesses of a car accident, each eyewitness only sees aspects from his/her angle - but all four give us the full picture of the historical event. There is no contradiction.

When police separate several witnesses of a crime and they say the exact same thing, they know there is collusion; but if they are generally the same idea, they know that they did not conspire beforehand. Some will say certain details, the other eyewitness emphasizes other details. No contradiction.

and Luke 18:18-19 has the same thing as Mark.

18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Thanks again for your comment!

1MoreMuslim said...

Thank you for you reply.
You have dismissed matt copying from Mark for the lack of proof. If you are asking video tapes as proof , then we don't have proof for anything in history. You cannot dismiss one narrative for the lack of proof, and propose another story without giving any single proof. That shows that your rejection is not based on proof, but on your own bias: It's wrong because I don't like it. I found your own gospel , combining the two accounts, and your own insertion on the lips of the rich man, is even more silly, than the original version of Matt. Is there also a double entendre in Matt? What is it ? If in Mark Jesus is saying that he is God because he is good, what is he trying to convey in Matt?

Ken said...

Its not silly when you consider that lots of things happened and were said that were not recorded.

Not everything was written down. and both were said because both are "God-breathed" - 2 Tim. 3:16

Ken said...

"both" meaning the verses in Matthew and the verses in Mark.

1MoreMuslim said...

The fact that very little is recorded in ancient history, does't make your invented conversation meaningful. Your proposed conversation is more silly than the original Matt's version, You didn't offer any meaningful interpretation for Jésus' reply "Why do You ask me about What is good?". You just added insult to injury. All through the ages, Christians have being trading Jesus for church doctrines.

Ken said...

Both Mark and Matthew were written in the 50s AD, Mark maybe around 45 -48 AD.

Since they are both that old and they were copied for centuries and we have many copies of NT dating from the 200s, 300s, 400s, 500s, 600s (before Islam); and John from 120-150 AD (John Rylands fragment, P52 of John 18);

And since the Qur'an confirms that the Injeel الانجیل was never corrupted, we have a stronger witness that both Matthew and Mark are the word of God, and so that conversation makes sense, since both of them are true. (Both Mark - "why do you call Me good?" and Matthew, "why do you ask Me about what is good?" )

The Qur'ans says
10:94 - go and ask the people of the book. (that means that what they had in texts متن has not been corrupted.

5:46-48 - "let the people of the gospel judge by is revealed therein" . Therein means in the gospel itself.

Those were written / collected by Uthman around 655 AD, and since we have the gospel manuscripts much older than that, this demonstrates that the Injeel was never corrupted.

1MoreMuslim said...

The story makes sense because it's wriiten very long ago... Well, if that's how far your common sense leads you, then I understand why Paul Williams stopped interacting with you.

Ken said...

One more Muslim:

I did not write what you claimed I did.

Read it again.

The Qur'an affirms the Injeel at the time that the Qur'an was written / collected (Surah 5:46-48; 10:94)

and we have many copies that go back to 120 AD.

Therefore, it is clear that Muhammad did not think the Injeel or the Torah or the Zobur was able to be corrupted by humans.

The verses in the Qur'an that Muslims use to teach their doctrine of Tahreef are ones that speak about the interpretations of the Jews, not the texts itself - not the matn ( متن )

Williams is afraid of something, otherwise he should debate Dr. White, since he debated Chris Green, and Chris Green believes the same things as Dr. White on the issues that they debated (Who is Jesus?).

He won't interact with me anymore because he cannot handle the issues and questions I bring to him.

1MoreMuslim said...

OK, The Quran confirms the NT, implies the story of Matt makes sense. Is that better ? The best that yu can do is a diversion from the question: What Jesus intended in saying "Why you ask me about what is good" ? Until you find an alternative answer, the best (and only) answer so far, is Paul William's "theory".

Ken said...


the Qur'an confirms the Bible, coming 600 years later and confirming it (all of it - Torah, Zobur, Injeel) which means both Matthew and Mark are true, because Christians always had them and believed in both of them, since 40-55 AD.

Paul Williams theory is bogus.

1MoreMuslim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1MoreMuslim said...

In all my posts, I have never wrote the words TRUE or FALSE. Keep avoiding the real question. I gave your blog more time than it deserves. bye.

Ken said...

I don't see where I have avoided the real question.

وَلْيَحْكُمْ أَهْلُ الْإِنجِيلِ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.

Surah Al Maaida 5:47

Both statements in Mark 10 and Matthew 19 are true.

1MoreMuslim said...

A question is where the sentence ends with a character like this "?". I think, either you are dishonest, or have a serious problem of understanding.

Ken said...

I don't understand.

the real "question" can be understood in English as "the real issue"

so, I don't know what you mean; spell it out for me and communicate better.

Admin said...

This is one argument for them that they can never defend. There are sumerian tablets that are still preserved. These clay tablets are 1000-1500 years older than Moses's Law (writings of Hebrew OT in tablets) yet are still intact and writings are readable.

Since there are nothing to hide, you can see those clay tablets were entirely not destroyed or lost throughout the millenia. But not for 'Old Testament'. They do not seem to want original hebrew scriptures to exist. Why is this?

Why must Greek translations be used as guidance and assumed inpired? Are there unwanted contents in original Hebrew OT that they thought not suitable thus need to be rewrite?

As for Greek "First Edition" of the Gospel, it was written around early 2nd century. Thats arguably 80- 100 years after the preaching of Jesus in Aramaic.

'Fragment P52' oldest surviving Greek New Testament was in the time of Hadrian and has been challenged by Andreas Schmidt, who favours a date around 170 AD (late 2nd century).