Thursday, 13 March 2014

Alpha and Omega Ministries Asked To Switch The Lamp On

MuslimbyChoice, a YouTube producer of videos, has been exposed to a tremendous amount of the light of truth, and yet remains the most blind to it. He listens to almost everything I do, whether it is YouTube videos, Dividing Lines, or here, my filling in for Janet Mefferd on her program last week. But what is amazing is that though he hears the truth repeatedly, it just doesn't sink in. The phrase, "there is a veil," fits incredibly well here, sadly. We surely need to pray for this individual, for to have encountered so much light, and yet to not even seem to understand what it is saying, let alone have a response to it, is a weighty thing indeed.

James White just doesn't get it. It's sad to see this quality in a man. He will label others as blind yet fails to the see (pardon the pun) his own blindness.

James fails to see what Muslims see when he starts talking about the additions in the NT. James White feels his mere pronouncement of an addition (i.e. a forgery) to the NT coupled with some background information concerning the manuscripts in question is 'a tremendous amount of the light of truth'. The information he presents on Luke 23:34, the last 12 verses of Mark and the periscope in John (7:53-8:11) is essentially a mere luxury addition to what the lay man can find by looking at the footnotes of the NT.

What James White is not doing is pondering upon 'the light of the truth'. 'The light of the truth' outlines that there are forgeries in the NT. However, James White and his followers are not benefitting from this light.

Think about it, prior to the 18th century when Dr Von Tischendorf discovered the Codex Sinaiticus the James Whites of the time (i.e. conservative Christians) believed they had the inerrant and inspired word of God. They believed they had the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and guiding them through Christian scripture. They really believed this. They also really believed that the last 12 verses of Mark were inspired parts of scripture, they really believed in that version of Luke 23:34 and they really believed in that periscope in John. What happened?

It turned out they believed in forgeries. Additions that were not supported by their most ancient 'witnesses' (manuscripts). Christians nowadays effectively believe their co-religionists of that bygone era were believing in forgeries. Yet those Christians of the past sincerely trusted the NT and sincerely believed the Holy Spirit as guiding them through the NT.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. James, to me, for some reason does not deign to reflect openly upon this?! For him his outward enunciation of what we all know coupled with some surplus manuscript information is 'the light of the truth'. In reality, this is not the light of the truth but merely a lamp which has not been switched on yet. It gets interesting when you switch it on - you switch the lamp on by following the thought pattern outlined above.

James, if you do decide to turn on that lamp you will also come to the question; how can you be sure there is no manuscript discovery around the corner which will wrench whole chunks from the NT just like what happened to John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20 in the 18th century? You have no guaranty. Thus you will see that your NT is not reliable as the precedent has been set - another discovery (similar to Codex Sinaiticus) would mean you would have to pronounce other parts to be forgeries. Another discovery cannot be discounted. It's happened before to such an extent that the Bible-believing Christians prior to the 19th century are now considered to have believed in NT forgeries!

James when you sincerely turn that lamp on you will realise it to be faith shattering.

I invite you and your followers, after switching the lamp on, to Islam - the direction the light leads to.

If you are a James White supporter PLEASE think. Really. It's insufficient for him to basically pronounce the forgeries we all know about and not even ponder upon the SIGNIFICANCE of such forgeries. This is a huge problem within Christian apologetics today. The absolute unwillingness to go beyond the mere text book apologetics.

I understand why James considers the mere pronouncement of these forgeries as a big deal as there is a closed-ear approach within certain sectors of the Christian community when it comes to textual criticism. Today I came across a Christian who began to abuse me and claim I was presenting nonsense (in a crude fashion) at the mention of the last 12 verses of Mark being forgeries. Thus there are still Christians out there who don't even have the lamp never mind being at the point of contemplating on nudging that  'on' switch.

For the record, here's Prof Bart Ehrman confirming those verses in Mark being additions:

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Learn about Islam

Jesus taught people to do the Will of God (according to Mark 3:35) in order to become his brothers, mothers or sisters. A Muslim means one who submits to the Will of God. Do you want to become a brother of Jesus? If yes, become a Muslim. Now is the time.

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Anonymous said...

It is evident that you haven't benefited from James' discussion of these matters.

The reason passages like John 8 or Mark 16 are not believed to be part of the original is because of a close study of the ancient manuscripts in comparison with later ones. In other words, the same early manuscripts that lead us to believe the passages above were glossed in also lead us to believe that the rest has been there all along. You simply can't pretend the manuscripts are EVIDENCE that prove these verses were not in the originals and at the same time pretend they are not ancient EVIDENCE for what was in the originals.

Please, a little bit of consistency is in order. Try it some time.

Yahya Snow said...

Hi Anonymous

I think you may have misread or misunderstood the point the post is getting at.

The point I'm making is that before the 1800's the conservative Christians would have said exactly the same thing as you when questioned on why they don't believe there are no forgeries in the the New Testament:

'You simply can't pretend the manuscripts are EVIDENCE that prove these verses were not in the originals and at the same time pretend they are not ancient EVIDENCE for what was in the originals'

However, they would have also said the same thing about Mark 16 and John 7-8. They would have claimed there's manuscript evidence to show these are parts of the NT.

Yet what happens? A new manuscript discovery and all of a sudden those passages that they believed in are denounced as forgeries. Remember this was only 200 years ago. These people claimed to have the Holy Spirit guiding them in scripture yet they believed chunks of NT text were inspired by God while Christians of today denounce them as suspected forgeries.

Surely that is quite profound. It gets deeper still. Think about it, if that could happen to them then why can't it not happen again tomorrow? Why can't there be a new MS discovery which leads to Christians stating such and such passage/verse is a forgery because it's not found in the earliest manuscript? Why not? There's no reason why it can't happen.

This is what White and many others are not pondering upon. If it could happen to the James White's of the 1800s then why can't it happen to the White's of the 2000s?

I understand these could be sensitive and emotive issues for many readers. I simply ask for people to think about these issues.