Thursday, 17 March 2011

Problems Facing Christian Apologists

Christian apologist, James White, highlights what he perceives to be the biggest problem Christian apologists are facing. White believes it to be a disconnection with the local church. As an outsider who regular looks into Christian apologetics’ ministries I reckon White has a point when he refers to Christian apologists who have become “apologetics disasters” – some of these disasters are catalogued on this very blog.

However, a lack of attachment in the church is not the biggest obstacle Christian apologists are facing. James, as an apologist, should know this!



The two biggest problems Christian apologists are facing are thus:

Christianity itself – the product they are working with is dysfunctional - noticeably dysfunctional. It comes as no surprise to see Christian apologists struggle in the field whilst regurgitating inadequate arguments from apologetics manuals from a bygone era. This is all they have to work with.

To give you a quick example, the Gospels are obviously unreliable and errant. Prior to Von Tischendorf’s find in the 1800’s, Christians believed the last portion of Mark was the inspired word of God. After this find, we now realise it’s a forgery!

Simple, if you need folk to hunt down manuscripts in order to pluck out forgeries your Gospels are unreliable – the possibility of further significant manuscript finds still haunts Christian apologists. Please do keep in mind we have not even mentioned the irreconcilable contradictions between the Gospels when describing the SAME event or the noticeable evolution of Christianity from Mark to John (Mark is a Gospel which does not present Jesus as divine but John does present Jesus as divine).

Dishonesty – Christian apologetics is riddled with dishonest folk, thus lay people distrust Christian apologetics. Ergun Caner is the highest profile dishonest casualty in apologetics. It took a Muslim, Mohammad Khan, to blow the whistle on Caner’s dishonesty. Other notable dishonest folk within Christian apologetics include Kent Hovind, Jack Chick, Sam Shamoun, Father Zakaria Botros, David Wood, Robert Morey and Pastor Joseph Najm.

Book: James White on Islam

Sexism: A reason to change the Bible?

Feedback: yahyasnow@hotmail.com

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest problems facing Islamic apologists is cowardice. To showcase just one example, Yahya Snow is too afraid to try and defend his false god and false prophet or to put his claims about the unreliability of the Bible or the idea that the Gospels represent an evolving picture of Jesus to the test. I know at least a couple of people who tried but to no avail. The guy just makes claims and hides on his blog. Someone should tell Yahya that brave people only die once; cowards die numerous times.

Abdul said...

"...the idea that the Gospels represent an evolving picture of Jesus..."

Would you claim that this is not the case then anonymous?

Yahya Snow said...

@anonymous,

You fundamentalist Christians have had ample opportunity to prove your case - you have failed spectacularly, so much so that some of you have resorted to outright dishonesty.

You are given a platform to tackle any blog/vlog I produce. I always leave my email address and a comment section which is open to anonymous folk - the shy and retiring type are quite evident in fundamentalist circles or is it more to do with circumnavigating oneself from accountability with regards to the shoddy and tired response advanced?

As for my faith, I have seen nothing from you folk which is of any concern - you have struggled to prove God does not exist and you have struggled to disprove His last messenger, this struggle is emphasised by the willingness of Christian apologists to resort to dishonest modes in their argumentation.

Cowardice? Do not rewrite history. Sam has been put on his backside by every Muslim apolgist worth their salt.

I don't want to blow my own trumpet but hey, this blogger has sent that bloke away with a bloody nose more than once. Heck, it's catalogued on this site - spend some time navigating the delights on offer, it will save you from such revisionism in your comments. Perhaps you are one of the dishonest folk we have alluded to or perhaps you were genuinely unaware of the reality

Last I checked on that fella's apologetics track record, he tapped out of a debate against Jibreelk. Maybe yellow-belly is something ubiquitous amongst the dishonest variety within Christian apologetics.

As for the other bloke you allude to, his speciality is arguing for his personal belief (he vehemently believes an angel in the OT was God). As you can imagine, it's a little difficult to deal with him as he is the type of person who, upon noticing his house is on fire, will tend to singed plants in his garden whilst the house goes up in flames!

So the two blokes you advance are hardly fearsome warriors in Christian apologetics. They've been put on their backsides in the past and I'd imagine if they do decide to raise their heads above the parapet they will recieve similar defeats. Nobody is afraid of any Christian apologist - the reason being the faulty product the Christian apologist has to work with.

In fact, they seem to operate in conjunction with others now - I guess they must believe firmly in the old adage of "safety in numbers"

That's enough banter with yourself for one night. If you can detach yourself from the role of the wind-up please do look into Pastor rob Bell's latest work - it's setting pulses racing amongst fundamentalist Christians.

I recently posted Basil Mitchell's concern with regards to the way Christians could use the "personal" to shoe-in their version of Christianity (be it a gay/lesbian, colour-centric, promiscuous version). Looks like Basil Mitchell has a point as Pastor Rob Bell is causing waves.

But hey, you folk will have pot-shots at those "evil Moooslims" and ignore the holes in your arguments and the problems within the evangelical community. At least James R White critiqued his own...

Anonymous said...

You only impress yourself with all that dribble. We have all seen you run from one debate after another and be embarassed on one point after another. Your blog is open to response alright. And the responses I have seen to it, especially the most recent one by Mr. Rogers was enough to leave us all in stitches about how highly you think of yourself entirely without warrant. You are a legend in your own mind.

ABN NEWS said...

It's that time again. Sam and I will be on "Jesus or Muhammad" from 8:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time) this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday, we'll be interviewing our brother and former Muslim C.L. Edwards. On Saturday, we'll be discussing an interesting topic: "Did Allah Kill Muhammad?" Sunday we'll be addressing the blatant taqiyya of Rep. Keith Ellison.

If you don't get ABN via satellite, you can watch live on the internet

Abdul said...

"...the idea that the Gospels represent an evolving picture of Jesus..."

Would you claim that the Gospels do NOT present an evolving picture of Jesus then anonymous?

Come on now, don't be shy ;)

Anonymous said...

Tell Abn to read this and shut there polemicist up

Were there Pagan Gods who were exactly like Jesus before the New Testament was written? Ehteshaam analyzes the critics of Christians claims of pagan influences that shaped the Christ story and clarifies myths and misconceptions about the topic.

By Ehteshaam Gulam

First off I want to say that the book The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors By Kersey Graves shouldn't really be trusted and scholars really count that book as useless. You can read a critical review of the book by Dr.Carrier here.

However that's not to say that there weren't any Pagan Influences in Christainity. There were in fact two Pre-Christian Gods who are exactly like the Christian version of Jesus. They are the Thracian god Zalmoxis who was buried and resurrected during his time (this story was invented around 500-400 B.C.E. By Pagan Greeks). The other Pre-Christian Pagan Godess who is like the Christian Jesus would be Inanna who was crucified and was physically resurrected. The story is told in Clay Tablets dating back to 1500 B.C.E. There is a lot of evidence that the idea of worshipping a "crucified" diety did pre-date Christainity and entered into Jewish society in 1st century Palestine. It is said that there are other Pre-Christian Gods whose story is strikingly similar to the Christian story of Jesus. Even Justin Matyr (an early Christian apologist and saint) wrote that there were many similarities between Jesus and Pre-Christian Pagan Savior Gods. He wrote to the Pagans:

"When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)." [First Apology, ch. xxi]

However I don't really know what scholars have to say about these Pre-Christian Gods--who are exactly like the Biblical Jesus. I'll list them.

Horus- The Egyptain Pre-Christian God Horus bares many similiarities to the Christian version of Jesus. For example Horus was considered the "son of God" Horus baptized with water by Anup (Jesus baptized with water by John), Horus was seen as the Lamb (Jesus as the Lamb), Horus was identified with the Tat Cross (Jesus with the cross), and Horus had 12 disciples...just like Jesus. (Leedom, Massey)

Isis and Osiris (2500 BCE) Dating from the Egyptian empires, Isis and Osiris were popular gods in Roman times. Isis was an Egyptian mother goddess depicted by artists as a Madonna holding her infant son Horus. Isis was the center of a mystery cult in the Roman era that promised believers personal help in attaining a happy existence after death. Her male consort Osiris suffered death by being torn to pieces, but was restored to new life as god of the Underworld.

Quetzalcoatl (1300 BCE) The aztecs in Pre-conquest Mexico believed that Quetzalcoatl was born of a virgin and was tempted and fasted for 40 days. He was crucified, rose from the dead, and went into the East. The Aztecs were awaiting and expecting his return when Cortez and the Spanish invaded the Valley of Mexico. Moctezuma mistook the blond Cortez with his plumed helmet for the promised Quetzalcoatl and welcomed him and his small army inside the gates.

Attis (1000 BCE) The Phyrygian god Attis is one of the earliest "dying god" figures. His death and renewal ritual includes a "Day of Blood" and a "Day of Joy" both in early Spring. Attis is hanged on a tree and is united with the Great Goddess (the virgin Nana) after his death.

Anonymous said...

Tell Sam and david to read this

What about other Anti-Islamic sites? What do you do about them?



I just leave them alone. I used to care about them, but I no longer care. I moved on. Almost all Anti-Islamic claims by both Christians and atheists have already been answered by other Muslim apologists (*)(*)(*)(*) I have no interest in refuting every single anti-Islamic site out there on the internet (there are 100’s maybe thousands of anti-Islamic sites out there on the internet, just like there are thousands of books out there that are heavily Anti-Islamic.) In the past I tired doing that, but its exausting. I just don’t have the time or energy to put up with or respond to every single criticism against Islam on the internet. Think about it, I have go online to a lot of anti-Islamic sites, refute their unscholarly polemic material also while going to school as a full-time student, and trying to look for a job (that’s right I am a college student without a job--- I know I am pretty much screwed). Not to mention spending time with my family, friends, doing prayers, etc. I just don’t have the time for it and I am no longer interested in doing that. I am interested in historical scholarship and not in polemic Anti Islamic material. And I don’t think Muslims either should waste their time trying to refute all Anti-Islamic material on the web.

Abdul said...

Why is it that Muslims are far more open to debate than Christians?

It's just an observation but I find that those who run Christian channels/blogs are much more likely to block users, wipe comments, not allow anonymous comments etc than Muslim channels/blogs.

Why is it that so many of you stifle free speech in this way? ('Professor' David Wood being, ironically, one of the worst offenders).

minoria said...

Hello Abdul:

Your question was:"Would you claim that the Gospels do NOT present an evolving picture of Jesus."

They don't.You mean the Shabir Ally,Ali Ataie claim that Mark,Luke and Matthew do NOT claim Jesus was God while John does.

All the 4 gospels say Jesus was God:

You can translate the articles with Google Translate:

Article 1:(I quoted Luke but the same story appears in Matthew)

http://www.avraidire.com/2011/01/la-reponse-a-laffirmation-dahmed-deedat-que-jesus-ne-dit-nul-part-dans-la-bibleje-suis-dieuadore-moi/

Article 2:(all the 4 examples in Mark)

http://www.avraidire.com/2011/01/jesus-a-t-il-dit-quil-netait-pas-dieu/

Article 3,all the other examples in Matthew and Luke,4 in all

http://www.avraidire.com/2011/02/quatre-exemples-additionnels-ou-jesus-dit-etre-dieudans-matthieu-et-luc/

minoria said...

Abdul:

There are several passages in the 4 gospels that say people thought he was not well in the head,or did miracles with the help of demons, or that he was no prophet.

Scholars believe they are true,due to the criterion of embarassment of the Historical Method.

The reason is Jesus said he was God.I argued that was the reason why the Jewish leaders did NOT accept Jesus even with the evidence of the resurrection,they thought it was a trick of Satan.

You believe Jesus did miracles based on the Koran.The historical evidence that people thought he was mad can not be attributed to doing miracles,but to his claim of Deity:

http://www.avraidire.com/2011/03/le-pourquoi-les-pretres-juifs-nont-pas-cru-en-jesus-meme-avec-levidence-de-la-resurrection/

Ken said...

Christians are honest about the manuscripts, so that is actually a very positive point about the manuscript evidence of Mark 16:9-20. We have nothing to fear from the archeological and manuscript evidence. The evidence is positive for the OT and NT.

Mark 16:1-8 includes the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which includes the crucifixion and the necessity of His death - so, this is not a strike against Christianity itself.
(and solid manuscript evidence of His trial and sufferings and crucifixion and death in Mark chapters 14-15)

The death and resurrection of Christ are included in the rest of Mark (1:1-16:8), so it is valid and contradicts the Qur'an denial of real history (the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih) in 4:157.

Islam seems to deny real history - in 4:157, (but believes the miracle of the virgin birth of Christ, which Muslims affirm - Surah 19:19-21; Surah 3:45-48), whereas even liberals like John Dominic Crossan, the late Robert Funk, John Shelby Spong, and Bart Ehrman ALL agree that the histoical Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and died in history under Pontius Pilate, the Romans, and the Jewish council (Caiaphas, Annas, chief priest, scribes, Pharisees, etc.) around 30 AD.

Furthermore, the correct doctrinal content of Mark 16:9-20 is testified in Matthew, Luke, John, and Acts. ( the resurrection appearances and the Great Commission in 16:15 are in matthew 28, Luke 24; John 20-21; and Acts chapter 1) The only questions are about
a. appearing to them in another form
b. including baptism as he does in Mark 16:16 -
c. the part about tongues and snakes. (although God did do a miracle and protected Paul from the snake bite in Acts 28)

The rest of it is all orthodox (correct) in doctrine.

Have you read Dr. White's discussion of the longer version of Mark (16:9-20) in his book, The King James Only Controversy?? ( pp. 225-227 in the first edition, 1995) (He has a newer edition out which is even better; I just don't have the money to keep buying updated versions of so many books. Smile)

He answers the questions that arrise about this passage.

So, the issues of the longer ending of Mark (16:9-20) in no way takes down the rest of the Scriptures of the NT or the Bible, nor Christianity itself.

There are no real contradictions in the gospels; (they have all been answered) and there is no evolution from Mark to John, etc. That idea of "evolution" of the gospels and "redactions", etc. is an anti-supernatural bias against miracles and against God being able to speak and reveal Himself through prophets and books. Since Islam agrees with the truth of God, monotheism, and that He send prophets and books; Islamic apologists should not use arguments from liberals who operate from the same anti-supernatural bias.

The telescoping and including some details that others don't; and other writers excluding other details are not contradictions, they are actually stronger evidences of a real eyewitness testimony, because if it was the exact same words four times, they would know that there was collusion. (as a detective or policemen know when investigating the historical circumstances of a case.)

Sincerely,
Ken

Abdul said...

Hi Minoria

You've posted alot of information and brought in quite a few issues.

First things first - you say that the Gospels do not present an evolving picture of Jesus.

I would have to counter argue that they most certainly do. There is a clear evolution of Christology between the synoptics and John. Even most Christians admit this.

As for you saying that:

"All the 4 gospels say Jesus was God"

Show me where it says that in Mark's Gospel.

Hi Ken

"Christians are honest about the manuscripts, so that is actually a very positive point about the manuscript evidence of Mark 16:9-20. We have nothing to fear from the archeological and manuscript evidence. The evidence is positive for the OT and NT"

Heard that line so often now. Yeah very positive - great spin ;)

"That idea of "evolution" of the gospels and "redactions", etc. is an anti-supernatural bias against miracles and against God being able to speak and reveal Himself through prophets and books"

Redaction criticism has nothing to do with a bias against the supernatural. It's just a form of criticism that looks in depth at the text itself. John's Gospel has a clearly higher Christology than Mark - how can you argue against this?

mike said...

HAHAH Anonymous, seriously? you are accusing Yahya of cowardice and you are posting anonymously. I highly recommend you evaluate yourself.
mike

Radical Moderate said...

@Yahya Snow
Whats wrong?

Man, there is a Christian who is a X revert on ABN with Sam and David, why don't you call in and invite him back to Islam.

He said that when he was a Muslim for 10 years he was spiritually bankrupt.. Call in and tell him to come back to a relationship with God, a relationship where God is at your THROAT. I guess he missed how spiritual that is.

This is your chance man.

Yahya Snow said...

RadMod

Just responded to your comment here:

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2011/03/spirituality-and-ex-muslim-abn.html

1moremuslim said...

To Anonymous:

o put his claims about the unreliability of the Bible or the idea that the Gospels represent an evolving picture of Jesus to the test.


LOL . you are speaking as if nobody has challenged the reliability of the Bible before. Have you listen the debate between Bart Ehrman and James White? Have you listened to the excerpt from that debate on my channel, where I showed the amazing inconsistency of your "best" apologist?

Let alone Scholars and manuscripts and all that complicated stuff, can you please (seriously) tell me, When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus, did she actually speak to Jesus, or did an angel told her that he went ahead to Galilee, and Mary went away without speaking to Jesus?

Anonymous said...

Mike my boy,

Yes, I pointed out the cowardice of Yahya. Posting anonymously has nothing to do with it. I post in reputable plaes under my actual name. Muslims certainly don't scare me. However, what I am pointing out is that your champion won't debate people who have challenged (and embarassed) him. It's simply a fact, my boy.

Ken said...

Yes, the gospel of John is more explicit in its theology of Christ, and higher than Mark, but that does not mean that there was an “evolution” or “development” of changing the reality and doctrines and attributes of who Jesus is.

There is no logical necessity that demands that Mark evolved ontologically into Matthew and Luke and then they evolved into John. They are four eyewitnesses to the one historical reality of Jesus and His life and death and resurrection.

Anyway, Mark has enough about the Deity of Christ and the crucifixion and the resurrection, and since it is older than the Qur’an, and the Qur’an says the gospel is true (2:136; 5:46-48; 10:94) and no one can change the words of Allah; then the gospels are all true.

But Mark has enough to call you to repentance.

Mark 2:10 – Jesus has authority to forgive sins. Only God has that kind of authority. The Pharisees and the scribes and Jewish leaders knew that Jesus was claiming to be God in the flesh.

Mark 2:28 – Jesus says that He is Lord of the Sabbath Day. Since God created the Sabbath Day and blessed it and made it holy (Genesis 1-2 and Exodus 20:1-17), He again is claiming to be God in the flesh.

Mark 8:38- Jesus’ second coming, in glory, with angels.

Mark 13:31 – Jesus’ puts His own words equal to God’s words – another claim of Deity.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Mark 13:26 – coming in the clouds with great power. (allusion to Daniel 7:13-14 – one who comes up to the ancient of Days on the throne in heaven (ascension) and rules and reigns over the kingdom of God of people from all the nations.

Ken said...

Mark 14:60-64 – a clear claim to Deity and the Jewish Monotheists knew He was claiming Deity and so they charged Him with blasphemy. (kufr; shirk)

60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"

61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"

62 And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, "What further need do we have of witnesses?

64"You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Mark 10:45 – Jesus says He came to give His life a ransom for many.

The word ransom (fedieh فدیه in Arabic and Farsi translations) is the same concept as in the Qur’an 37:107-108 – “We have ransomed you with a mighty sacrifice”. This shows the original intention of the revelation in Genesis 22 , when God told Abraham to sacrifice his unique beloved son. The innocent ram (or sheep or goat or lamb) was a substitute, ransom for the guilty sinful humans. The sacrifice (zebh ذبح , ghorban قربان ) of Abraham was a foreshadowing and prophesy of the Messiah to come. Isa Al Masih fulfilled that prophesy.

Why do Muslims have the feast of sacrifice of today? The real original meaning was the substitutionary sacrifice of an innocent sinless victim for the guilty sinful humans.

Mark 1:15 – Jesus says “Repent and believe the gospel”. Jesus demands repentance. Acts 17:30-31

Mark 7:14-23 – external washings and religious rituals cannot cleanse your heart.

Think about that.

Yahya Snow said...

Ken,

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the manner in which you conduct dialogue and focus on the topic in hand.

Firstly concerning the Gospel of Mark, Bart Ehrman believes Mark represents Jesus as a human and not divine. This obviously allows for the possibility Jesus was being presented as a Prophet.

Before discussing the passage you cited I shall tell you of a discrepancy between Codex Sinaiticus and the modern Bibles.

In the Gospel of Mark (1:1) Jesus is added the title of “son of God” BUT in your earlier manuscript (Codex Sinaiticus) the title “son of God” is NOT there. Perhaps a dishonest scribe felt Mark did not present Jesus as divind and added this title in there…

Ken, I was slightly disappointed in you bringing up references to Jesus as “son of man” and veing “at the right hand” whilst connecting them to divinity. Bart Ehrman does not think these verses reflect divinity.

I think it is quite telling that you have to grasp onto such vague verses in order to claim Mark presented Jesus as divine.

I will also leave you with a thought, we KNOW the scribes have been adding there own bits to the Gospels, how can you trust the Gospels as we could find another early manuscript tomorrow which tells us of FURTHER FORGERIES. Remember, prior to Von Tischendorf’s find of Codex Sinaiticus Christians believes in the forgeries in the last part of Mark, Mark 1:1 Luke 11, Luke 9, John 5.4 etc etc

Ken, you are a bright fella…please think about this. This militates against the reliability of the Gospels hugely as Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in the 1800’s SO your predecessors (co-religionists) were believing in what we KNOW to be forgeries. And what of your belief in the Holy Spirit, why did the Spirit not correct these Christians?

I put logical concluding to you, the Gospels are not reliable and the Holy Spirit is not guiding you in the bible.

Yahya Snow said...

Ken

You also claimed the Quran confirms your gospels. Come on Ken, I EXPECT more intellectual substance from you rather than rhetoric from missionary tomes.

One of the Quranic Verses you referenced was 2:136, the relevant part of the translation “and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus)” [Hilali/Khan translation]

Now, OBVIOUSLY we believe in something which Jesus had WITH him. Your four Gospels ALL came AFTER Jesus – decades AFTER Jesus.

Ken, I don’t know where you got this polemic from…please realise it is faulty. Further explanation, just in case I did not make myself clear enough:

Yes, the Quran was revealed after the Gospels were written BUT Jesus was preaching the GOSPEL (the good news) in his life time. So obviously Jesus was not preaching the four “gospels” you have today as they were all written DECADES AFTER Jesus’ departure from this world.

So the four Gospels you have were not sanctioned nor seen by Jesus. Do you really want us to believe the Quran is confirming these books which were written by unauthorised folk RATHER than the original Gospel which Jesus was preaching during his life time.

Be fair. I mean, if one was to conduct such unfair reasoning as yours they could quite easily crack open Bart Ehrman’s Lost Scriptures and start citing all those other Gospels which were never canonised by the church, such as the Gospel of the Nazarenes, Gospel of the Ebionites, those according to the Hebrews and Egyptions, the Gospels of Peter, Mary, Philip etc etc etc.

No, ALL these Gospels including the four which you cherish were unauthorised and never seen by Jesus. We believe in what was given to Jesus as the TRUE Gospel.

I am surprised you Christians do not ask your pastors as to why Jesus never saw the “Gospels” you have and why you have four. Should you not only have one? In addition, you could have a lot more than four as Bart Ehrman points out there were other writings at the time the Gospels were being written. Also, the early church could have canonised the Gospels which did not make the canon – some of which have already been mentioned above (see the Ehrman’s Lost Scriptures)

Puzzling? Yes. Worrying? Yes.

Yahya Snow said...

Ken, you wrote:
There is no logical necessity that demands that Mark evolved ontologically into Matthew and Luke and then they evolved into John. They are four eyewitnesses to the one historical reality of Jesus and His life and death and resurrection.



Me: I don't think you understand what we mean by evolution. We are talking about beliefs evolving from Mark to John. This is quite clearly explained by Ehrman and a possible explanation to the evolution of Jesus to a "man-god" is posited by Prof Ehrman in that the early converts to Christianity came from paganism. Specifically, Greek paganism. Greek pagans had a ton of characters who were humans but considered divine (sound familiar/?).

Ehrman points to a contemporary of Jesus - Appolonius of Tyana. AOT, had followers who presented AOT as divine. Are you trying to tell me, NO EVOLUTION took place despite the pagan culture in which the stories of Jesus travelled in and the competition between other "men-god" characters wuch as AOT?

This evolution is a real explanation as your EARLIEST Gospel does not present Jesus as divine. WHY?

PS, I have already addressed the paltry and vague verses you cited from Mark in order to prop your argument.

I'm asking you; if you were writing a book about a man you believed to be God, would you not make certain you conveyed this belief?

Why did Mark not do this? Because Mark believed Jesus NOT to be divine but to be a holy man (Prophet)....


I invite you to Islam

PS, if I missed something which you would like me to touch on...please let me know.

Thanks

Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another - Proverbs

Abdul said...

Hello Ken

"There is no logical necessity that demands that Mark evolved ontologically into Matthew and Luke and then they evolved into John"

No logical necessity? - c'mon it's very obvious that Matthew and Luke utilized Mark as the foundation for their portrayals. Have you looked into the reasons why Christian scholars come to this conclusion?

"Yes, the gospel of John is more explicit in its theology of Christ, and higher than Mark, but that does not mean that there was an “evolution” or “development” of changing the reality and doctrines and attributes of who Jesus is"

I kind of get what you are saying here, although I do think that due to John being a later composition than the earliest Gospel (Mark) there are grounds for believing that an evolution of Christology took place.

This evolution can be seen quite clearly between the synoptics and there is good reason to believe that John used the synoptics as a foundation for his portrayal.

Ken said...

Yahya wrote:

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the manner in which you conduct dialogue and focus on the topic in hand.

You are welcome! I sincerely try my best in the name of Jesus the Messiah, the eternal Son of God from all eternity, the word of God, who became flesh. John 1:1-5; 14, 18; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:3, 6, 8) He was born of the virgin Mary, and for this reason, He is called “the Son of God”. (Luke 1:34-35) He was crucified in history and died for the sins of sinners from all nations (Revelation 5:9, 7:9) and His resurrection from the dead proved that His death was an atoning sacrifice, a propitiation, a satisfaction of the justice of God against sin. (Romans 3:25-26; I John 4:10-19; I John 2:2; Romans 10:9-10.

Firstly concerning the Gospel of Mark, Bart Ehrman believes Mark represents Jesus as a human and not divine. This obviously allows for the possibility Jesus was being presented as a Prophet.

Ehrman did not have real faith; and abandoned the faith totally, by the same suspicion that you have at the text - he and you say, "guilty under proven innocent". Conservative Christians say, "innocent until proven guilty".

Ehrman doesn’t believe in any miracles or prophesy or that God can speak through revelation and books. But Bart Ehrman (and all other liberal scholars and agnostics and atheists) does believe in the historical reality of the crucifixion. How do you explain that Islam denies historical reality – one of the most documented historical facts of history? Surah 4:157 ? This is the most haunting fact that should bother all Muslims. All of history testifies to the crucifixion of Jesus, yet the Muslim world denies centuries of history by one verse in the Qur’an, “40 lonely Arabic words”. (James White’s famous phrase of this verse.

Mark presents Jesus as the Son of God in Mark 15:39, where the Roman Centurion says, “Surely this man is the Son of God!” after seeing His character and the way he died. And there is no textual variant there!


More later, Ensha'Allah, need to go and get ready for church now.

Ken said...

Have you looked into the reasons why Christian scholars come to this conclusion?

Abdul,
Yes, I studied all of that in Seminary. I don't buy into the anti-supernatural presuppositions; and the skepticism and suspicion and the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude. Liberal scholars never impress me.

Ken said...

Yahya wrote:

In the Gospel of Mark (1:1) Jesus is added the title of “son of God” BUT in your earlier manuscript (Codex Sinaiticus) the title “son of God” is NOT there. Perhaps a dishonest scribe felt Mark did not present Jesus as divind and added this title in there…

Have you read the conservative view of that textual variant? The view that has faith in God and faith in Al Masih? (eeman - ایمان )

Do you understand that they have copies of Codex Sinaiticus that shows that a scribe corrected that because he knew the copyist left it out, but it was originally there, because of what is called “homoioteleuton” (seeing the similar endings) – 5 words in a row all end in the Greek letters ou, so the human eye mistakenly thought the ou was there. It is a common copyist error, when one studies the other available copies.

Furthermore, in many Greek manuscripts, they shortened the “nomina sacra” (Divine Name) and so there was a lot of ouououou crammed together. It is easy to understand the human mistake that someone can make with the eye and anyone who has copied things by hand knows this.


Ken, I was slightly disappointed in you bringing up references to Jesus as “son of man” and veing “at the right hand” whilst connecting them to divinity. Bart Ehrman does not think these verses reflect divinity.


What does “veing” mean? Did you mean “being”? You shouldn’t be disappointed, because “son of Man” in Daniel 7:13-14 is a Messianic term and a term that points to the Deity of Christ. “The Son of Man” is clearly from Daniel 7:13-14 and Jesus starts with that to show that He became human and then was ascended to heaven “going up to the ancient of Days”, after the resurrection. He is at the right hand of God the Father, interceding and judging and ruling. (Revelation 5:1-10) Mark declares the Deity of Christ also, as I clearly showed you. If you look at what Daniel 7:13-14 says, and also the reaction of the Jewish Pharisees and leaders; it is obvious that Jesus is claiming to be the Son of the Blessed One, the Son of God; God the Son. (Mark 14:60-64) The Jewish Pharisees knew that the Messiah would be the Son of God. Psalm 2 (especially verse 7, “you are My son” and verse 12 “worship the Son” or “do homage to the Son”, Proverbs 30:1-6 “whose Son is He?”; Psalm 110:1, etc. The reason why the Pharisees charged Jesus with blasphemy was because they knew by Him saying “I am”, to their question, “are you the Son of the blessed one?” and by Him quoting Daniel 7:13-14 where the “Son of Man goes up to the ancient of Days, and is given a kingdom of peoples from all nations, they knew that Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God, who was God the Son from all eternity. He humbled Himself and became flesh and allowed himself to be crucified and He proved everything he said was true by His resurrection from the dead.

Proverbs 30:1-6 -

"The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?

Surely you know! Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Proverbs 30:1-6

Ken said...

More about Mark 1:1

αρχη του ευαγγελιου ιησου χριστου υιου θεου

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God"

Notice that 5 words in a row all have the same ending - ou.

When they are crammed together with no spaces in between words, the scribe thought he already copied υιου θεου; and the sacred name was shorted also. These evidences show that the scribe made a mistake.

But because we have so many other copies, the mistakes can be corrected and we can "get to" the original, by process of elimination and careful analysis.

Ken said...

Yahya wrote:

I think it is quite telling that you have to grasp onto such vague verses in order to claim Mark presented Jesus as divine.

They are actually not vague if you study the OT and the context and see the reaction of the Jewish monotheist Pharisees. They knew He was claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and they tore their robes and cried out, “blasphemy!”. He was eastern. Easterners speak indirectly. “the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins”. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders said, “how can He forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins! “ (Mark chapter 2, Matthew chapter 9) He was indirectly claiming to be God.

I will also leave you with a thought, we KNOW the scribes have been adding there own bits to the Gospels, how can you trust the Gospels as we could find another early manuscript tomorrow which tells us of FURTHER FORGERIES. Remember, prior to Von Tischendorf’s find of Codex Sinaiticus Christians believes in the forgeries in the last part of Mark, Mark 1:1 Luke 11, Luke 9, John 5.4 etc etc

All the textual variants are there and open for anyone to research and study. The variants do not do away with any doctrine or tenant of orthodoxy.

Ken, you are a bright fella…

Thanks, but I am nothing special.

Maybe I am just a simple man with simple faith in the God of the bible, who is real and relational and personal and pure truth الحق , love محبت , holiness قدوسیت, and justice عدالت all at the same time; and that He revealed Himself through prophets and books. Maybe the Holy Spirit truly does speak to people’s hearts through the Scriptures, when we read them with openness and submission to God, rather than suspicion.


please think about this. This militates against the reliability of the Gospels hugely as Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in the 1800’s SO your predecessors (co-religionists) were believing in what we KNOW to be forgeries. And what of your belief in the Holy Spirit, why did the Spirit not correct these Christians?

The Holy Spirit inspired the original writings. The autographa is what is God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Jesus promised the Spirit would come for the disciples/apostles and lead them into all the truth, to write the NT Scriptures. (John 14-16) That promise does not require perfection in copying over the years and centuries.

The reality of history is that scribes made mistakes because they are human. But comparing all of the manuscripts allows us to know what happened in order to find mistakes that have crept in. But comparing all of 5,800 some odd manuscripts gives us the original.


I put logical concluding to you, the Gospels are not reliable and the Holy Spirit is not guiding you in the bible.

No, the gospels are very reliable and so are the epistles and the Holy Spirit does speak and guide through the Scriptures, if the person is born-again, has the Spirit of God; and submits to God. (Which you believe in – submission to God; so do we.)

minoria said...

Hello Abdul:

I gave you the link with the 4 examples where Mark has Jesus saying he is God,according to Judaism.

Jesus was a Jew,he spoke to the a Jewish audience,of course they understood him.


The Messiah will be Yahweh,according to the OT

First,the OT gives the name of the Messiah,as Yeshuah(Jesus):
(based on 2 passages in Isaiah,2 in Jeremiah and 2 in Zechariah)

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/04/the-old-testament-says-the-messiahs-name-is-yeshua-jesus/

Second,the OT has Yahweh sending Yahweh to the people of Jerusalem:

(which coincides with Zech 9 which has the Messiah entering Jerusalem):

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/06/zechariah-says-yahweh-will-send-yahwehthe-messiah-to-jerusalem/

Then we have that the OT says the Messiah is Yahweh

It has always been the Jewish custom to name people with a portion of Yahweh,God's name:like Eli-yah,Zakari-yah but never using the COMPLETE name of God(it is blasphemy)like Eli-Yahweh or Zakari-Yahweh:

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/04/the-ot-says-the-messiah-will-be-yahweh/

Ken said...

Yahya wrote:

One of the Quranic Verses you referenced was 2:136, the relevant part of the translation “and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus)” [Hilali/Khan translation]

Now, OBVIOUSLY we believe in something which Jesus had WITH him. Your four Gospels ALL came AFTER Jesus – decades AFTER Jesus.

Many other verses in the Qur’an affirm the written Scriptures.

3:48; 5:46-48; 5:68; 10:94; 29:46


Al Kitab, Al Injeel, and the Christians and Jews, "the people of the book" - “Ahl e Al Kitab”. اهل الکتاب

Of course, strictly speaking, John 17:8 agrees with َQuran 2:136 - the fact that the Father gave revelation to Jesus and Jesus gave it to the disciples; and Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would lead them into all the truth, which they wrote down. Since there is 600 years of confirmation of those written scriptures, you cannot come centuries later and say, “no somehow it got corrupted between 30 AD and 70 AD. Even Muhammad didn’t believe that – “no one can change the word of Allah”.

continued.

Ken said...

Muhammad also said the companions of Jesus, the disciples were believers in Allah, full of integrity, the helpers of Allah, so Matthew, Peter, John, and Mark as Peter's secretary, and Paul (I know you think Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, but that is too bad; he was; and Acts and his epistles testify to this) as an apostle were all true and helpers of Allah. Surah 61:14; 3:52

۞ فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

3:52 When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: "Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?" Said the disciples: "We are Allah´s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims."

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا أَنصَارَ اللَّهِ كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّينَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ ۖ فَآمَنَت طَّائِفَةٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَكَفَرَت طَّائِفَةٌ ۖ فَأَيَّدْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّهِمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا ظَاهِرِينَ

61:14 O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?" Said the disciples, "We are Allah´s helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed."

Since they "prevailed", those Scriptures they wrote down are true. This shows that they cannot be the small Gnostic sects that the Qur'an quotes from; nor the Ebionites or Arians, or Apollonarians or Nestorians, since those groups did not prevail. They were heresies. So, The Qur'an testifies to this, that the ones who prevailed are the ones that orthodox Christians believe in were the authors of the NT books and beleived in the Deity of Christ, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the 2 natures of Christ, and the Trinity. They were the ones that prevailed.


How can puny man change the revelation of Jesus? (or Moses or Davood?)

Qur'an Surah 3:48 - Jesus was given the written revelation also. (The Disciples wrote it all down - 27 books of NT - John 17:8; 14:16; 16:12-14; etc.

Ken said...

Most of the NT books were written between 48-69 AD; except maybe Jude in AD 80 – “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”.

Personally, I believe John and Revelation and John’s 3 letters were all also written before 70 AD. Some scholars do believe that, although it is true that most believe John and Rev. and 3 epistles were written between 80-96 AD.

The writer of the Qur’an did not know much about Biblical Christianity or the real Injeel. He heard oral stories floating around from Jews in Medina and N. Arabia and nominal Christian sects and heresies from N. Arabia to Damascus. Later, the compilers of Hadith in Bagdad, and other places in the Islamic empire learned more about the Nestorians and Monophysites, it seems.
Muhammad was illiterate, couldn’t read, which even Islam admits.

Don’t be offended, I am only affirming what Islam teaches in that Muhammad was illiterate. Unfortunately, the bible was not translated into Arabic until around 900 AD. That was a tragedy! That shows he got things orally and mixed it up and words got changed - for example, "euangelion" (gospel) that the Byzantine Christians spoke, got corrupted to "injeel" انجیل

You believe Muhammad got revelation from God; Christians do not believe that. I sincerely believe he was just a man with no divine revelation, who started a new religion. He sincerely wanted to help the Arabs get away from paganism and idolatry and ignorance and get back to the true religion of Abraham.

But he was getting bits and pieces from nominal eastern Christians, Collyridians, Gnostics in the desert, Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, those that worshipped Mary and prayed to her and made icons and statues to her. It is obvious that Muhammad thought the Trinity was “The Father, the Son, and the Mother” (Surah 5:116; 5:72-75) Some of the stuff in the Qur’an came from apocryphal Gnostic gospels and legends (Cave of the Seven Sleepers) and fairy tales and Jewish Midrash sources; and then Muhammad mixed it all up and changed a few details of each biblical person and account.

Ken said...

قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

3:47 She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ´Be,´ and it is!

وَيُعَلِّمُهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ

3:48 - "And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel,"

Jesus not only got the revelation from Allah (2:136); but this shows the Qur'an believed he got the written books also. Since the Quran also says the disciples of Jesus were full of integrity, then they wrote it down from 48-70 AD; then the Qur'an fully confirms the written 27 NT books of today.

1moremuslim said...

To Minoria:
1 Kings 18 clearly says that Yahweh does not sleep, Yahweh does not travel, Yahweh cannot be busy with thoughts. So Jesus who did all of the above, cannot be Yahweh. Elijah cannot possibly believe in Jesus.

Ken said...

Regarding I Kings 18 and Yahweh -

It is true that Yahweh did not travel or sleep and does not need sleep, and can think one million thoughts at the same time; He knows all.

But when the second person of the Trinity became flesh/human - Yahweh the Son took on an addition nature. He humbled Himself and became man. The Father Yahweh did not become flesh/human; but the Son did.

So, since the eternal Son took on an additional nature, He voluntarily allowed Himself to be limited by taking on a human nature while on earth, without giving up any of His Deity. That is what Philippians 2:5-8 teaches. (also John 1:1-5; 14-18) The Word became flesh.
کلمه انسان شد.

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.

در ازل کلمه بود، کلمه با خدا بود و کلمه خود خدا بود. (John 1:1 in Persian/Farsi)

Below is John 1:1-6 in Arabic. Notice how many times "Allah" اللَّهِ is used. See website below. Arab Christians do not use the Persian word "Khoda". (As Ergun Caner has claimed several times.) Allah is the best word in Arabic for translating "Elohim" in the OT and "theos" in the NT.

فِي الْبَدْءِ كَانَ الْكَلِمَةُ وَالْكَلِمَةُ كَانَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ الْكَلِمَةُ اللَّهَ. 2هَذَا كَانَ فِي الْبَدْءِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ. 3كُلُّ شَيْءٍ بِهِ كَانَ وَبِغَيْرِهِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْءٌ مِمَّا كَانَ. 4فِيهِ كَانَتِ الْحَيَاةُ وَالْحَيَاةُ كَانَتْ نُورَ النَّاسِ 5وَالنُّورُ يُضِيءُ فِي الظُّلْمَةِ وَالظُّلْمَةُ لَمْ تُدْرِكْهُ. 6كَانَ إِنْسَانٌ مُرْسَلٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ اسْمُهُ يُوحَنَّا.

http://www.al-ketab.net/

Genesis 1:1 in Arabic:

فِي اَلْبَدْءِ خَلَقَ اَللهُ اَلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَاَلأَرْضَ

1moremuslim said...

To Ken:

The summary of what you said:
Yahweh doest sleep or Travel... But he can.
If Yahweh can sleep and travel, then why was Elijah mocking a God who dies these things. What was Elijah mocking? Prove to me that you can think, but I bet you won't, because if you think, you would leave your religion. Christians are in a state of denial. whatever clear evidence you show them, they will find the way to twist the scripture to make it fit the old doctrines.
One final Question: When Mary Magdalene went to the Tomb, did she actually spoke with Jesus, or did she met an Angel who told her Jesus departed ahead to Jerusalem?

Radical Moderate said...

@Ken

WOW, I don't know how I missed your comments on this post. BUT WOW. Do you have a blog sir. Simply amazing great stuff really edifying.

Thank you.

Radical Moderate said...

@1moremuslim

You said...
"Yahweh doest sleep or Travel... But he can.
If Yahweh can sleep and travel, then why was Elijah mocking a God who dies these things. What was Elijah mocking? Prove to me that you can think, but I bet you won't, because if you think, you would leave your religion."


That's too messed up to even know where to start. Elijah is mocking the god Baal, who like your allah does not exist. So when Elijah mockinly says "where is your god, Baal, perhaps he is sleeping, or traveling" it is not to the true living GOD, but instead to a false god, as Elijah proved, when BAAL did nothing, and the true GOD YHWY set the wood soaked with water on fire and even consumed the wood set for Baal.

Dude, you have just proved that you can not think. So please stay in Islam. You are the greatest weapon against Islam.

1moremuslim said...

To Radical Moderate:


This response is not for you but for those who are not blinded by their theology.

Elijah was making a sarcasm about a God (Baal for instance) who sleeps and travel. I cannot mock you for having a car with 4 wheels, if my car is like yours.

Don't bather respond to me, if you are still to ignore the clear Text.

minoria said...

hello 1more Muslim,

You were referring to 1 Kings 18:27.

Ok,Elijah read and knew the TORAH.In the Torah we have that Yahweh appeared to Abraham(traveled)and ate with him.And told him he would have a son,Isaac.

So his sarcasm was to the false god Baal,A PRODUCT OF THE IMAGINATION,who can never appear to his creation and do X things,like a human.

1moremuslim said...

To Minoria:

What you pointed out is how inconsistent the Torah is. Elijah was mocking Baal, because Baal is imaginative false God, TRUE. I am not discussing WHY Elijah was mocking Baal, I am discussing HOW was Elijah mocking Baal. Elijah was mocking him by pointing toward his human characteristics ( Travel, get busy, sleep...) That only shows that Elijah cannot believe in a God who has these characteristics.
If I believe that Zeus is false God, I would not mock Zeus saying that he created handicapped men, because I would be mocking my own God. Understand?

Fisher said...

Simple, if you need folk to hunt down manuscripts in order to pluck out forgeries your Gospels are unreliable – the possibility of further significant manuscript finds still haunts Christian apologists.

Actually, the manuscript record is the greatest testimony to the preservation of the Biblical text. None of the textual variants in the manuscript record pose any real problem to the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture.

Please refer to the two articles that I wrote on this topic last year for more info:

http://aristophrenium.com/fisher/a-look-at-alleged-biblical-corruption-part-1/

http://aristophrenium.com/fisher/a-look-at-alleged-biblical-corruption-part-2/

(Mark is a Gospel which does not present Jesus as divine but John does present Jesus as divine).

Read 'em and weep:
http://aristophrenium.com/fisher/the-christology-of-mark/

I prefer that you leave your comments on the Aristophrenium site itself, rather than here on your blog. We'd love to hear what you have to say there.

Peace.

Fisher.