Wednesday, 11 October 2017

European Christians Were Allowed to Marry At Puberty During the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, getting married was easy for Christians living in western Europe...Marriage was the only acceptable place for sex and as a result Christians were allowed to marry from puberty onwards, generally seen at the time as age 12 for women and 14 for men. Parental consent was not required. When this law finally changed in England in the 18th century, the old rules still applied in Scotland [Emma Mason]


Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Explaining Hand Shaking and Hugging to Hatun Tash

Dear Hatun Tash, this issue has been explained previously when Daniel and/or Lizzie were asking about Muslims not shaking the hands of the opposite gender. Please do read up and watch the video on that post and you’ll learn this is also a teaching in Orthodox Judiasm called Shomer Negiah.



I must say I’m disappointed in your colleagues as I’d imagine they would have seen my post on this topic, they should ahave shared it with you so you would not fall into the same error. Perhaps they did not see it. Who knows, you can ask them. And you can share this post with them too.

A few thoughts:

1. You can’t equate somebody not hugging you or touching you for religious reasons as them not loving you. Likewise, you can’t associate the act of you willing to hug them or shake their hands as you loving them more than they love you.

2. If you follow through your thought patter you’d say orthodox Jews don’t love Christians, Muslims and anybody else who is not in their circle of family. Would you be willing to say that in public, I hope not. I would advise you not to as it would be deemed anti-Semitic.

3. The act of hugging or shaking hands in other societies (non Jewish and non Muslim) is probably linked to social propriety and custom. These customs and norms change with time. For instance, I think, without expending time to look it up, a lady in Victorian England would not hug a non family member as it would be considered inappropriate. Likewise for other preceding time periods in the UK which

4. CS Lewis talks about the rule of propriety with regards to women's dress sense. I *think* this would apply equally to a woman’s behaviour (as well as a man’s) with respect to members of the opposite sex. I think he *could* have argued for Christian women to wear hijab in Muslim societies where being hijab-less would be seen as immodest (e.g. Saudi Arabia). This is what he writes: The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed...thus while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians the rule of propriety changes.
A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally ‘modest’, proper, or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste).

5. Having a more liberal outlook on life where one’s life is governed by less restrictions doe snot mean one’s world view is better. If that was the case then secularism of the hyper-individualist kind would be the truth. In fact, Theists who believe in a personal God Who has Spoken through Revelation would argue it is logical for God to lay down restrictions and prohibitions on behaviour.

Jay Smith Are You Proud of Your Pfander Ministries Students?

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Is Genesis 22 a Messianic Prophecy?

Advice For Muslims On Dealing With Christian Anti-Muslim Sentiment...

Friday, 6 October 2017

A Reality for Christians on Quran and Bible Preservation

The claim that there are numerous Qurans is a result of a foundational misunderstanding on the Muslim view of the Quran and its preservation. Muslims know what constitutes the Quran as the Readings of the Quran with a Tawatur tradition are all accepted Readings (and thus considered the Quran). Any one of these Readings is sufficient and is considered to be the Quran. The problem here is, many critics don’t understand this point and think Muslims have a load of different Qurans. The take home point here is that the Muslims know for certainty the contents of each Reading of the Quran and these are considered to be the Quran while the Christians have long admitted defeat on this front vis-a-vis the Bible.

Christians actually have variants whilst Muslims have Multiple Readings. Muslims are meant to have multiple Readings of the Quran as per the way the Quran was Revealed. Christians are not meant to have variants. Because they have variants they need Textual Criticism (to speculate which MS reading is the original) and continuous archeology (to continually look for new MSS to help them find new variants or to find evidence which helps them speculate the strength and veracity of various readings already in the NT MS tradition). In addition, the Bible is a text still in flux, in that any verse could be relegated to a the status of a later addition (i.e. forgery) upon a new manuscript find – the historical precedent was set quite spectacularly for this in the 19th Century with Dr Von Tischendorf’s find (or theft :)) of Codex Sinaiticus (relegating the PA and the ending of Mark to the status of later additions). In fact the Christians have given up the keys to the Bible to the academy now.

Qur'an Seminar 2017: Learn about Quranic Preservation

Facts About Birmingham Quranic Manuscript Discovery - Louay Fatoohi
Western Scholars Affirm Quran Textual Integrity
 
Shk Haitham Al Haddad The Qu'ran A Concise History and the Compilation of the Quran
 
Why did the Third Caliph Uthman Burn the Copies of Quran?
 
 
 

Advice For Muslims On Dealing With Christian Anti-Muslim Sentiment...

Part of an email advising somebody who was being run down by evangelical Christians attacking Islam:

These people actively look for people who are all jittery when it comes to their emotional polemics against the Faith. They can sense who lacks confidence and self-esteem especially in person (body language) and even on the net with the way somebody is interacting.

There’s a lot of psychology behind evangelical Christian missionaries who try to rob Muslims of faith in the Revelation of Allah. They actively look for people who struggle with English because they think they are easier targets for various reasons (i.e. the Christian can conflate the West with Christianity and thus misappropriate secular Western achievement to Christianity, it’s easier for them to dominate and manipulate a conversation if the other person has a weaker command of the language and we both know that there is an undercurrent in the West which portrays people not educated in Western institutes as lesser thinkers), their ideal is those with inferiority complexes – inferiority complexes when it comes to the West and folks who have elements of self hate within them. A great way to deal with these missionaries is to go head on and use the premises in their arguments against them.

For instance, they will talk about the Prophet being involved in war and put it alongside the Jesus of the Gospel (A Jesus who was never the head of a state nor of a group large enough to wrestle control of the region away from the oppressive Romans so it’s the fallacy of false comparisons although if that’s what they want to do, be their guest and compare Prophet Muhammad with Trinitarian Jesus!).

The premise here is somebody using violence and warfare cannot be from God. Point at the Prophets in the OT – Moses – who used violence and warfare (e.g vs the Midianites in Numbers). But go further, talk about the Trinity idea teaching Jesus is the 2nd person of the Trinity thus Trinitarians essentially believe Jesus ordered the killing of women and children (1 Samuel 15:3).

Likewise, for the issue of polygamy, tell them Jesus did not forbid it according to Biblical Trinitarians and appears to allow it (Exodus 21:10) and he even says he GAVE David his wives according to Trinitarians (2 Samuel 12:8). In this instance you can also point to one of the sparks for their breakaway church movement, Martin Luther. Luther is on record saying nothing in Christian scripture forbids polygamy. [It will be a really Westernised Christian who brings the issue of polygamy up and he/she may find this very difficult and thus jump at the One Flesh verse (Gen 2:24) – they believe MOSES wrote such yet he had more than one wife so clearly the author’s understanding of the one flesh verse could not have been a proscription of polygyny].

Let’s talk about female slaves, they will bring this up. They may have even been taught to say Muslims are allowed to rape female slaves. Of course this is a prurient lie as part of their propaganda of demonisation (but the Christian you’re speaking to may not know this, so be gentle). To respond,say, “OK clearly you believe in the rights and well treatment of slaves, especially female slaves, I respect that as that is what we as Muslims are taught. But before I show you our teachings I want to share what Trinitarians believe Jesus allowed with respect to slaves, this may sound shocking so do look it up and think about it when you have some time later on, he allowed the severe beating of female slaves as long as they got up after a couple of days (Ex 21:20-21). Female slaves were taken as captives of war and married in the OT. There are some secularists, and perhaps liberal Christians, who say this was rape in the Bible but for me I don’t believe God allows rape as we are taught in the Quran (Quran 4:36) to treat slaves well and the Prophetic teaching (Sahih Muslim) is that one cannot even slap a slave – clearly rape would transgress those teachings thus cannot be allowed.”

Notice, what we’ve done my dear, we’ve started planting seeds and educating the Christian friend.

Don’t say any of this aggressively to them, say it how an educator would. You’re the teacher here. You’ve got to be the guide here. This Christian is in severe spiritual danger and his reckless elders may have effectively nudged him on to the precipice of leaving Biblical Christianity and the Abrahamic tradition.

Remember, if they come to you, your demeanour is key, you MUST be confident. Don’t be all jittery, they will sense it and that’s what they want to see. Speak with clarity and purpose. Be smart and informed, if you’re not, they will pick up on it and they will not be influenced as much by you, in fact they will take it as a cue to start influencing you! Be sophisticated and focussed, don’t bang on about America bombing Iraq like some emotional wreck – that’s not the time or place. The number of Muslims I see rattling on about Iraq, British and American imperialism in these discussions is staggering, to be honest it’s neither helpful nor relevant. It can come across as cringe-worthy and embarrassing. The Christian did not come to you as a representative of America, in many cases the Christian is not even American and is against Trump, Bush etc.. It’s a theological discussion, not political. There’s a time and place for remonstrating against the bombings of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan etc. and the contentious issue of Palestine...this discussion is not that time or place.

Take on the role of the educator in the dialogue. The evangelical missionaries have been set up to try and rob you of your faith using secular arguments – their leaders saw how the secularists decimated Christendom in Western Europe and now they have borrowed that polemical style from them because it was effective against their own faith! The only reason why it was effective was because the Christians had been conditioned to think of Western civilisation and Western laws as the pinnacle thus the Church ended up allowing divorce (their teachings do not allow divorce except in the case of adultery), staying silent on sex before marriage and even inviting Bill and Bob, and Jill and Jean, to come into their churches to get “married”. They did all this to appease their congregations who became Westerners at heart rather than true Bible believers.

They’ve lost confidence in their Book. Don’t allow them to try and do the same to you with respect to Islam.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: These evangelical Christians have been conned, they’ve been conned by “Christian” folks who have given them a load of polemics against Islam which, if applied consistently, would mean the Christian would reject Christianity and Biblical teachings. These Christian missionaries, once they wake up and start thinking about what they’re saying, are in danger of leaving the Abrahamic tradition because their Christian leaders was set them up to stumble. The evangelical Christian NEEDS you in this instance. You can be a light for them and a light for their nations. But you’ve got to be smart, sophisticated, educated, confident and concerned. YOU can do it.

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Jay Smith Are You Proud of Your Pfander Ministries Students?


In this video we see Hatun Tash, formerly of Pfander Ministries, and now of DCCI Ministries, along with her friend Daniel Zelalem, mock the Quran and call a KKK handbook the Quran. They (Daniel in this case) also liken an ex-Christian, who converted to Islam, to a “dog” and liken his faith to “vomit” whilst calling him a fool. Hatun Tash invades a Muslim man’s personal boundaries and hugs him despite him not giving her permission and not wanting contact with a female who is not a family member - all in an effort to cause drama.
 
Orthodox Jewish and many Muslim men and women do not touch a person of the opposite gender if they are not family members. The Jews call this Shomer Negiah. To listen to a great explanation of this practice by a Jewish lady and a couple of Muslim scholars please see here.

Hatun Tash’s unwanted touching would be seen as offensive and disturbing. You just don’t touch people without their permission. You can’t go around making people so uncomfortable, regardless of whether you think it’s harmless fun. Respect people’s boundaries.  I would encourage Hatun to apologise.
Insulting somebody’s holy book and deliberately identifying it with a KKK manual is offensive and childish. Clearly that stunt was designed for mockery; I would call for both Daniel and Hatun to sincere apology.

Play in full screen. This video is also uploaded  here

The man calling the young Muslim gentleman a "fool" and likening him to a dog and his faith to vomit is something Daniel (and Hatun, seen as she was laughing) should apologise. The wider problem here is that this type of abuse of Muslims is not isolated, it appears to be a common theme amongst many Christians (online mainly). As we learnt, Hatun’s teacher calls Muslims “sewage”.
Perhaps Hatun and Lizzie Schofield believe insulting non-Christians is biblical as Jesus was harsh in the NT at times. If I understand correctly, Mr Shamoun, takes the view his insults are not in contravention with Christian behaviour.
Sam Shamoun calls people “sewage”  He uses such de-humanising terms for people he feels threatened by regularly – he’s been doing it for years. Is this something you believe is endorsed by Christianity? IIRC Sam Shamoun justifies his hard-line stance by claiming Jesus was harsh with certain people in the NT. I suspect he believes Jesus agrees with his abuse and it is biblical behaviour. You can verify whether this is the case or not.
In our last email exchange which a Christian radio/TV show presenter as CC’d in he called me all of the following:
A “vile dog”, “slime” “Muhammadan dog” “swine”, “vile rabid dog”. Sam wants to “muzzle” my “rabid mouth”
I’ve forwarded these abusive emails to my friend, reverend Samuel Green.
In this case, although I do encourage a public apology, I won’t ask for it myself as it may be that Lizzie, Daniel and Hatun believe their comments were acceptable or somewhat acceptable according to their Church tradition.
Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21 - Sam Shamoun

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 
 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21 - Sam Shamoun



Now I understand this anti-Islam apologist, Sam Shamoun, has been denounced as having a double-mind by Pulpit and Pen and James White refuses to recommend him whilst considering him as somebody who "has lost it" BUT his views, if consistently applied, seem to indicate he believes Jesus singled out virgins in Numbers 31 to be raped.


Sam Shamoun: Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21

This video is also uploaded here

Numbers 31:

4 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle. 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 21:

10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
A Difficulty On the Christian Idea of Salvation and Forgiveness

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!

African Children and the Harm of White Jesus Imagery - Umar Johnson

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Difficulty On the Christian Idea of Salvation and Forgiveness


Asghar Bukhari writes on his FB about his experience with a Nigerian Christian:

I met a Nigerian Christian today. Well somehow [the] conversation turns to Jews backing israel. He starts telling me the Bible says God supports Jews against their enemies.

So i say, hang about. Didnt they kill your God?

He replies yes but that was Prophesy. God ordained it. And if God hadn't died he wouldn't be saved.

So i say, 'So God told them to kill Him? So you think they did God a favour by killing Him?

He actually said "Yes its Good they killed God"

He had no problem with Jews taking and cleansing the Palestinians because 'Jesus gave it to the Jews

African Christians are some of the most brainwashed people on earth. I mean how can you believe in a religion that nuts.



My thoughts


I have actually thought about this before, I don't believe this Nigerian Christian has drifted away from Biblical Christianity in what he said with what he said about Jews killing God.Christians do effectively believe God wanted the Jews and Romans to kill him - it was a prerequisite for salvation. Thus, in some way without these murderers this “gift of salvation” Christians believe in could not happen.

I've always thought why aren't those who are said to kill Jesus not considered saints as they are responsible for the salvation of billions indirectly according to Christianity? How can they be considered to be in Hell when every Christian is indebted to them indirectly for their salvation?

There is the ethical question here, why is God’s forgiveness and gift of salvation in need of Jewish and Roman murderers? If you truly believe a blood sacrifice is really needed and God really needs to die for sins then why believe God provokes people to murder Him as this means salvation and God’s forgiveness is dependent on murderers in some way, shape or form?

In Islam, God can forgive people without having to be killed by murderers. Which concept of God is better, the Christian one or the Islamic one, be honest?

There are some tough questions here, think about them and ask your pastors.




Note: A Christian friend, Denis Giron, did share this from the Catholic tradition: Catholic history has a tradition that the Roman soldier who stabbed Christ with the spear was a man named Longinus, who later converted to Christianity. He was (and in some pockets still is) revered as a saint. Admittedly, he was revered based on the belief that he converted..


Synoptic Gospels and the Idea of a Pre-Existant Jesus?



 
Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?



Saturday, 30 September 2017

Notes Part 1: Cambridge Companion to Jesus Edited by Markus Bockmuehl – Cambridge University Press – 2001

Cambridge Companion to Jesus Edited by Markus Bockmuehl – Cambridge University Press – 2001

“Jesus was an Asian and an infant refugee in Africa” - Bockmuehl


Craig A Evans

Archeological evidence shows people of Galilee were scrupulous in their observance of purity laws. Examples: Non Jewish pottery was limited to non Jewish sectors whilst non Jewish sectors contained Jewish pottery. Also virtually no pig bones were found dating to before AD 70 (after a sizeable growth in the non Jewish population)

Revolts that took place after Herod’s death (4 BCE), after the removal of Archelaus and the Roman census (6CE) and the riot in Jerusalem that instigated the great revolt (66-70) all pointed to deep-seated Jewish resentment of pagan presence in Israel (inc. Galilee).

Dating Jesus' birth

“Conventional to date the birth of Jesus to 4 BC or a bit earlier.This date is based n the Matthean evangelist, whose narrative suggests that Jesus was born shortly before the death of Herod the Great (cf. Matt 2.1,19). However, the evangelist’s association of Jesus ‘ birth with the final days f the reign of Herod may reflect a Moses-Jesus typology. Just as Pharaoh tried to destroy the promised saviour of the Hebrew slaves, so the wicked Herod – infamous for the execution of family members, including his elder so Alexander only days before the king himself would die – tried to destroy the saviour of Israel (Matt 2.1-18; cf. Exod 2.1-10). It has been suggested that Jesus may have been born near the end of the reign of Herod Archelaus (Luke 1.5), at the time of the controversial census ‘when Quirinius was governor of Syria’ (Luke 2.1-2). Given the accuracy of the Lucan evangelist in other matters pertaining to chronology and figures in office, this alternative suggestion should not be dismissed too hastily” 13-14 Evans

Matthean rephrases (lies?) about Jesus’ parentage and occupation.

“During his ministry, Jesus returns to Nazareth, where some of the residents wonder: ‘Is not this the carpenter [ho tekton], the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ (Mark 6.3). To be referred to as the ‘son of Mary’ raises questions about Jesus’ paternity . It hardly comes as a surprise then that Matthew rephrases the insultijng question.: ‘Is not this the carpenter’s son [ho tou tektonos huios]?’ (Matt 13.55). Jesus is here identified as the son of Joseph the carpenter. Not only is the stigma of his doubtful birth removed, Jesus has been distanced from his lowly occupation.” 14 Evans

Jesus family did not endorse his ministry?

“There are signification indications tat Jesus’ family did not endorse his ministry. The open hostility between Jesus and his family is barely masked in the Marcan account (Mark 3.20-35;cf.6.1-6; John 7.5), which the Matthean and Lucan evangelists take pains to mitigate” 14 Evans

[How can he believe they thought Jesus was God? Same with Mark! – Evans believes in all probability the resurrection claims (1 Cor 15.7) altered his family’s opinion]

Could Jesus read?

Deductive reading arguing Jesus could read, “according to Philo and Josephus, approximate contemporaries of Jesus, Jewish parents taught their children Torah and how to read it” 17

Perhaps they were only talking about affluent families? Evans sides with the opinion Jesus could read.

Some of the members of the North American Jesus Seminar do not think Jesus could read (Funk 1998:274). The Seminar also tends to think that quotations of and allusions to Scripture are the work of the early church, not of Jesus. 15

Disciple of John?

“The admission in the gospels that Jesus was baptised by John is one of the most certain data of the tradition (Mark 1.9-11; Matt 3.13-17; Luke 3.21-22; John 1.29-34). It suggests that Jesus was for a time a disciple of John” 21

Peter J Tomson

The phrase not worthy to bow down and unite his sandal is thought to be the kind of task a Jewish disciple did for his teacher.

Secretive about being the Messiah (Mark 9.2-8)

Jesus began his own career accepting the rite of repentance and forgiveness at the hands of John, which later devout Christians found hard to believe (cf. Matt 3.14; John 1.29-36; the Gospel of the Nazarenes as quoted by Jerome, Against Pelagius 3.2) 30

Jesus’ interpretation of the law was notably stricter than that of the Pharisees on the prohibition of divorce.

Predictions of the destruction [of the Temple - mine] were not unique in Jesus’ time, as we know from Josephus; and of course there is the ancient precedent of Jeremiah (Jer 7.14). 37

Pharisees believed in resurrection, Sadducess did not.

Marianne Meye Thompson

“For some scholars who pursue historical reconstructions of Jesus, the goal of this quest is to strip away the creedal accretions and affirmations of faith that have shaped the gospels and subsequent Christian belief in order to discover the ‘genuine’ historical figure of Jesus beneath layers of confession” 41

Adolf Von Harnack, a German scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesasserted that ‘The Gospel , as Jesus proclaimed it, has to do with the Father only and not with the Son’ (Harnack 1957:144). 41

Geza Vermes speaks of Jesus as a ‘lover and worshipper of his Father in heaven’ , whose transformation into an object of worship ‘would have filled this Galilean Hasid with stupefaction, anger and deepest grief’ (Vermes 1983:13) 41

Jesus distinguished between blasphemy of the Son of Man and blasphemy of the Spirit indicating he believed himself and his mission answerable to and driven by the Spirit of God (Matt 12.31-32) ref 44

“Jesus refuses to manipulate God or to ask for demonstrable proofs of God’s protection” when asked to thrown himself off the Temple. He refused signs to those who asked to see them as proofs that God had sent him (Mark 8.11-12; 11.27-33) ref 45

Going beyond creeds

Robert Funk, the founder of the Jesus Seminar, contends that because Christianity is not the religion of Jesus, but the religion about him, if falls upon those who truly seek to follow Jesus to find him behind the creeds and gospels (Funk 1996: 304). 53

Earliest Christian preaching as recorded in Paul’s letters and Peter’s speeches in Acts are proclamations about Jesus rather than simply continuing the proclamation of Jesus. This shift is due to the church’s belief that Jesus had been raised and exalted by God to the right hand of the Father.

Graham Stanton

Miracles were not accepted without question in antiquity. Graeco-Roman writers were often reluctant to ascribe ‘miraculous’ events to the gods, and offered alternative explanations. Some writers were openly sceptical about miracles (e.g. Epicurus, Lucretius, Lucian). So it is a mistake to write off miracles of Jesus as the result of naivety and gullibility of people in the ancient world. In his own lifetime follower and foe accepted that Jesus had unusual healing powers. Ref 66

Some suggest many of the illnesses and disabilities had psychosomatic roots.

Joel B Green

When it came to the act of crucifixion, the Romans were slaves to no standard technique 90


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!


Paul of Tarsus cursed all Trinitarians in Galatians 1 as Paul of Tarsus never knew about the Trinity doctrine and never preached or believed in this doctrine. Thus for Paul of Tarsus, the Trinitarians preach a different Gospel to him, meaning they are cursed according to Galatians 1.



Even if folks like Sam Shamoun and David Wood  decide to give up the Trinity doctrine they will still be considered to be cursed by Paul of Tarsus as they are suspected of rejecting Penal Substitution. Here's what Brandon Hines writes about Michael Gungor in this regard:

By denying Penal Substitution, Gungor is rejecting the true Gospel and embracing another gospel, which is no gospel at all. What does the Bible say we are to do with those who bring another Gospel? Galatians 1:8 (ESV) tells us, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” [Brandon Hines]

For the Muslim, Paul of Tarsus has no authority whatsoever. Muslim don't care who he cursed. Can Christians say the same?


How Jay Smith, Nabeel Qureshi, Sam Shamoun and David Wood Contribute to the Apostasy of Christians

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

Is Limited Atonement Doctrine Taught Clearer than the Trinity Doctrine in the New Testament?

For Christians who say Allah is a Deceiver- a Message from James White


 
 
 

The Link Between Anti-Semitism and Islam

John L Esposito: Gallup data revealed a link between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, that contempt for Jews makes a person "about 32 times as likely to report the same level of prejudice toward Muslims"

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?
 
 

Armenian Genocide Was A Secularist Genocide Not an Islamic Genocide - Karen Armstrong


During the First World War, in order to create a purely Turkic state, the Young Turks ordered the deportation and ‘resettlement’ of Armenian Christians from the empire on the pretext that they were conniving with the enemy. This led to the first genocide of the twentieth century, committed not by religious fanatics but by avowed secularists. Over a million Armenians were slaughtered: men and youths were killed where they stood while women, children and the elderly were driven into the desert where they were raped, shot, starved, poisoned, suffocated or burned to death [Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood]

African Children and the Harm of White Jesus Imagery - Umar Johnson

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

Hinduism and Polygamy

Muslim Rule in India: No Evidence of Forced Mass Coversions of Hindus

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...
 
Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

African Children and the Harm of White Jesus Imagery - Umar Johnson


Umar johnson Associating White Jesus with White People
Also uploaded here

“ The brain is an associating organism...If you force feed an African child that Christ is white, because the brain associates, as that child begins to grow the brain will associate white Christ with white people. And so if white Jesus is [considered] God then white people must also be the gods of humanity. So guess what? The power in that painting [of white Jesus] is transferred to the people who resemble that painting. So it is difficult to pray to a white Jesus and not in some way feel inferior to white people” – Umar Johnson

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians


Geza Vermes speaks of Jesus as a ‘lover and worshipper of his Father in heaven’ , whose transformation into an object of worship ‘would have filled this Galilean Hasid with stupefaction, anger and deepest grief’ (Vermes 1983:13) [Cambridge Companion to Jesus Edited by Markus Bockmuehl – Cambridge University Press – 2001]


 Is Limited Atonement Doctrine Taught Clearer than the Trinity Doctrine in the New Testament?

Does Jesus use Violence and Force According to Trinitarian Christianity?

Analysing Richard Lucas' Heretical Understanding of Trinity

Synoptic Gospels and the Idea of a Pre-Existent Jesus?

Paula Fredriksen: Paul was NOT a Trinitarian

Wayne Grudem Shoe-horning Partial Trinitarianism into the Old Testament

Edgar G Foster: Trinity Came After the Council of Nicea

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

Why Islam
 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Hinduism and Polygamy

“Polygamous marriages were not uncommon in Hindu society. Ancient texts speak of both polygyny (multiple wives) and polyandry (multiple husbands). In the Ramayana epic, king Dasaratha fathers four children through his three wives. In the Mahabharata epic, princess Draupadi married the five sons of king Pandu, and bore their children. Certain Himalayan tribes still practice polyandry today.” [Introducing Hinduism, Hilary P. Rodrigues, p 96]



 
 

Muslim Rule in India: No Evidence of Forced Mass Coversions of Hindus

The Ummayad Islamic Caliphate, whose capital was Damascus, had expanded to establish a kingdom in the lower Indus River valley as early as 711 CE. These were Arabic-speaking Muslims, many of whom also traded along India’s Malabar Coast. However, /islam’s major push into the subcontinent began with the Turkish ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, who had his Afgha armies move into Northwest India. By the time of his assassination in 1206, he had established a Turko-Afghan state bordering on Delhi. His successor, Qutb u’d-din Aibak, conquered Delhi, making it his capital, and became the first in a series of Delhi Sultans, Turko-Afghan rulers whose empire eventually stretched from the Punjab to Bengal.

It may be misleading to characterize the region of this empire as under “Muslim” or “Islamic” rule, because the ruling styles of the Hindu and Muslim kingdoms of these states were fairly similar. Furthermore, it conveys the sense that obligatory mass conversions to Islam had occurred, which current historical analyses reject. From studies in regions where Islamic populations grew, such as Western Punjab and Bengal, conversion was often driven by desires for upward mobility through intermarriage, and by teachings of charismatic religious leaders. Historians also reject a prevailing popular view of systematic wholesale destruction of non-Muslim holy places, such as Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples. While some such were definitely sacked for their wealth, and many religious centers were destroyed by zealous Muslim rulers, such as Firuz Tughluq (14th century CE), Islam and non-Islamic spiritual and philosophical life generally coexisted and interacted peacefully. [Introducing Hinduism, Hilary P. Rodrigues, Routledge, 2nd Edition p28]

Russell Brand Exposes Muslim Terrorism Percentage

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Yes, Muslims Used Taqiya FAO Christian Islamophobes

Yes Muslim did do Taqiya! Let the Islamophobes know some Muslims pretended to be Christians to save themselves from persecution in Spain. From Karen Armstrong's Fields of Blood



Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood, Religion and the History of Violence. The Bodley Head, 2014

Truth about Taqiyyah (Takiya, Taqiyya)

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Was David Wood Using Nabeel Qureshi's Death for Hatred?

We had to rebuke David for a video which he made using Nabeel Qureshi's last recorded words to attack the Prophet Muhammad, I hope serious-minded Christians will rebuke David too.



In David Wood's video he cited a hadith of Prophet Muhammad cursing people who take the graves of Prophets as places of worship. He misrepresented this. This is obviously out of concern for keeping Monotheism intact. This shows the value the Prophet had for pure Monotheism. He used some of his last words to remind people of the importance of pure Abrahamic Monotheism and help them keep away from shirk (a departure from pure Abrahamic Monotheism) - making places of worship over the graves of Prophets could be seen as leading to shirk.

The Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) curse on the Jews and Christians was not his last words (just some of his last words), it was not done out of hatred or rancour for them (and it was not directed at all of them), but instead he was relating to those around him his utter rejection of people worshiping prophet's graves. (i.e. indirectly telling them not to worship his grave.)

The Jews (and Christians!) are taught about pure Monotheism and its importance in the Bible. First Commandment that all Jews accept: Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me".

The Prophet, amongst his last words, also reminded people to be spiritual and never forget the prayer: “The prayer, the prayer! And fear Allaah with regard to those whom your right hands possess.”
As for the Prophet's grave, here is a link to what the scholars say on this - it is clearly not a curse against Muslims who pray in that mosque!:
https://islamqa.info/en/65944

David also mentioned Jesus and his purported last words. Firstly, as Christian scholars admit that the Gospel authors are not reliable and the Gospel of John puts words into Jesus' mouth that he never actually said it's highly dubious for David Wood to talk like he knew what Jesus' last words. See this video of a Christian scholar admitting this about John's Gospel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0zkTTNGJLQ

David also makes out he believes in a Jesus who is all about peace and love. Actually, Trinitarian Christians believe Jesus allowed the severe beating of female slaves as long as they got up in a couple of days and they believe he used and will use violence, David Wood's Hypocrisy on Jesus' Violence According to the Bible: http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/david-woods-hypocrisy-on-jesus-violence.html

For the David Wood refutation section see here for over 70 rebukes, refutations and responses to him (scroll down and go to older posts to see the earlier ones):
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/David%20Wood

Despicable David Wood Rebuked For Using Nabeel Qureshi's Death for Hatred

This video has also been uploaded here and here



David Wood may think he was just going toe-to-toe with trolls who were winding him up about Nabeel Qureshi with insensitive comments but he just played right in to their hands. Trolls exist on the internet. Don't play their game of hate and mockery.

James White Questions David Wood's Wisdom

Does Surah Al Fateha Curse Jews and Christians? Christian Missionary Claim Refuted!

Synoptic Gospels and the Idea of a Pre-Existant Jesus?


 
Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

Why Islam



Thursday, 14 September 2017

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...



Image may contain: 1 person, standing and text
 

When Christian Islamophobes call Muslims "Rag-Heads" in reality not only are they insulting the majority of all the Jews and Prophets in the Bible (including Jesus), but also they are insulting Yahweh Himself. Since it was Yahweh that ordered the Jews to wear Turbans while performing their religious duties in the Tabernacle. (i.e. meaning that this is the dress Yahweh preferred.) Exodus 28:36-38New International Version (NIV):

36 “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. 37 Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. 38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord.

This interesting post and picture was posted on the Simply Seerah FB page.

[Original source of the picture is here]


Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

This was a one one-line response by Reverend Samuel Green to one of Tovia Singer’s arguments against the idea Genesis 22 is a foreshadowing or prophecy of the Messiah being crucified.

Rev. Green partially quotes point 3 (he only cites the first sentence) and responds:

This is a straw man argument. They do not have to exegete the Old Testament.

Samuel stripped away the rest of the point which I will reproduce here:

If early Christians believed Genesis 22 was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ crucifixion why did Paul not mention this? This notion did not occur to any writer in the Bible. This notion is a fabrication which comes from the author of a forgery called the Epistle of Barnabas (non canonical book). This book almost made it into the canon. It was also advanced by a Catholic church father, Justin, in the 2nd century. The key point is why is this idea not in the NT? Why didn’t one of the authors not put this into the Bible? Aren’t these protestants who believe in sola scriptura? There seems to be an evolution of thought as time progressed.

The point the rabbi is making here, how can Sola Scriptura Christians conclude Genesis 22 is a foreshadowing or prophecy of the church crucifixion and atonement narrative? It’s a great point! Does Revered Green have any scriptural reference indicating he should believe this? If so, where is it? He does not have such. He’s clearly getting this idea from church tradition, Tovia Singer points out this idea came from a non canonical “forgery” (Epistle of Barnabas) and it was also advanced by the Church Father Justin ( I assume Justin Martyr, a non Trinitarian!). Are these authorities Reverend Green and other Trinitarian Christians should be relying on to get interpretations of the Bible from?

And the point of New Testament authors not mentioning Genesis 22 and using it in their writings is huge. Something Reverend Green should contemplate on. Philips Jenkins captures the zeal the evangelists had for drawing parallels between the Old Testament and the life of Jesus:

All evangelists, for instance, borrow from the Old Testament passages to shape their accounts of the crucifixion. Few stories in the Gospel accounts of Jesus lack an Old Testament parallel or precedent, and the resemblances are all the more apparent when we read the older text in the Greek translation that the evangelists would have known.

The rabbi’s argument is that one would expect at least one of the evangelists to raise Genesis 22 if they truly believed it was a foreshadowing of a crucified Messiah

Think about it in the light of some of the prophecies in Matthew’s Gospel:

...Matthew claims the Messiah was going to be called a Nazarene:

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. (Matt 2:21-23)

Like other prophecies quoted by Mathew, there is a serious problem with this prophecy: it does not occur anywhere in the Old Testament!

I had been suggested that the use of “prophets” instead of “prophet” in the passage above is Matthew’s way of indicating that he is giving “a paraphrase of the sense of more than one passage rather than a quotation of a specific verse” (Miller, 2003; 115; also Davies & Allison, 1988:275). There is no evidence that this is the case, as 2:23 is the only prophecy that Matthew attributes to the unidentified “prophets”. Of the remaining 12 alleged prophecies that Mathew quotes , 6 are attributed to Prophet Isaiah, 2 to Jeremiah, and 4 to an unidentified “prophet”. It is unclear which “prophets” Matthew meant, but there is no evidence that the use of this plural term indicates that Matthew paraphrased more than one Old Testament passage. [ See: The Mystery of the Messiah, Louay Fatoohi, Loc 2080]

Matthew links Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to a prophecy:

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” [Matt 21:1-11]

The Prophet that Matthew mentions in Zechariah:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. [Zech 9:9]

The Hebrew text for this Old Testament prophecy talks about one animal which is described twice, but its Greek translation uses “and”, meaning two animals instead. Matthew relied on the Greek translation of the Old Testament so he made Jesus ride on two animals. He had to change the earlier part of the story to make Jesus order his two disciples to bring a donkey and a colt. The fact that Jesus could not have ridden on two animals at the same time did not bother Matthew!

Significantly, the versions of this story in the other three Gospels, which are not influenced by the Zechariah prophecy, are different. According to Mark (11:2,7) and Luke (19:30, 35), Jesus wanted and rode a colt. John (12:14), on the other hand, states that Jesus found and rode a donkey. This is yet another example of how Matthew fine-tuned his Gospel to fulfil Old Testament prophecies.
It is also significant to note that, unlike Matthew, none of the other three Evangelists link Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a colt to the prophecy in Zechariah, or indeed to any other supposedly Messianic passage.

...Matthew’s fascination with linking events in Jesus’ life to alleged Old Testament prophecies aims o show that Jesus was the fulfilment of those prophecies. This link, the Evangelist thought, would strengthen the believers’ faith and convince the Jews that Jesus is the awaited Messiah and would make them follow him. Matthew was so keen on pursuing his endeavour that he often distorted and misused Old Testament passages. He changed them and took them out of context to make them fit his purpose. He even made them up! [See: The Mystery of the Messiah, Louay Fatoohi, Loc 2114]

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Notes and Thoughts on Carl Ernst's "How to Read the Quran"


How to Read the Quran –Carl W Ernst – Edinburgh University Press – 2012
Image result for carl ernst quran

Carl Ernst theorises based on a literary approach underpinned by a non supernatural foundation so it’s important to note this if you come across anything he says which goes against the traditional Islamic narrative. Ernst uses  a chronological, literary and historical approach – which is a post orientalist and cosmopolitan approach. Literary investigation includes structural composition and principal themes of suras.
He’s not doing devotional reading nor is he reading the Quran in the way a Muslim would thus he will say things which are not in line with Islamic thought. Be wary of this.

However he does make some points which may be of interest for Muslim apologetics, some of which I will share here.

Unfair treatment of Islam and the Quran by hostile readers (this would include Islamophobes and Christian missionaries)

“Hostile readers of the Quran use a literary approach that is the equivalent of a blunt instrument. They make no attempt to understand the text as a whole; instead, they take individual verses out of context, give them the most extreme interpretation possible and implicitly claim that over 1 billion Muslims around the world robotically adhere to these extremist views without exception. This is, in effect, a conspiracy theory that has virally multiplied in significant sectors of modern Euro-American society. It is irrational, it is paranoid, and it is out of touch with the realities of the lives of most Muslims around the world today. It ignores the existence of multiple traditions of interpreting the Quran in very different fashions. Unfortunately, a small minority of extremists, who quote the Quran in support of terrorist violence, have been magnified by the media into a spectre that is now haunting Europe (and the United States) more intensely than Marxism ever did. In part because of these contemporary anxieties, it is difficult for most Europeans and Americans to read the Quran” 2

“Muslims are all too familiar with condescending Christian missionaries who propose to tell them what the Quran should actually mean” 210

“Most European intellectuals, even at the time of the Enlightenment, took it for granted that Mohammad was an impostor and the Quran a fabrication and a derivative work. There was theological prejudice and negativity in earlier studies of the Quran. “

Reliability and Revisionist Theories

“In comparison with the Bible, the Quran exhibits much greater textual stability, and variant readings found in different manuscripts are largely trivial in pronunciation or vocabulary.  A number of theories have been advanced in recent years by European writers, questioning the traditional account of its composition. Some have proposed that the Quran was actually assembled as long as two centuries after the time of Prophet Muhammad. This hypothetical argument has not gained much traction, because of a lack of supporting evidence. Other more bizarre theories have been advanced, claiming that the Quran is really based on Christian text, or that it is not written in Arabic at all, but in a form of Syrian that is badly understood. Scholars of biblical studies (and readers of The Da Vinci Code) are certainly familiar with breathless exposes that claim to overturn all of the history of Christianity. This kind of radical revisionism probably gets more of a hearing when it concerns Islam, in part because most people are less familiar with the subject, but also because of fantasy expectations about debunking the Quran, otherwise it is hard to understand why such eccentric publications would be featured on the front page of the New York Times”. 4

“The Quran is the source of enormous anxiety in Europe and America, for both religious conservatives, who are alarmed about a competitive postbiblical revelation...” 1

“In practice today, a single reading (that of Hafs via Asim) is predominant, because of the widespread acceptance of the 1924 printing of the Quran by the Egyptian government using that standard, though other readings are occasionally available in print or audio recordings. In general, it is widely assumed that the text of the Quran has remained remarkably stable and that it has been more or less free from scribal insertions of the kind that crept into the manuscripts of the New Testament.”29
Arabic language
“When one turns to the nature of the assembled Quranic text , the first point to be addressed is the character of the Arabic language and the script in which it is couched. Arabic is considered a West Semitic language, and it belongs to the family of languages with alphabetic scripts (such as Hebrew, Aramaic and Ethiopic), which all ultimately descend from ancient Phoenician. Old written forms of the Arabic language are found in rock inscriptions throughout the Arabian Peninsula, which employ several different scripts ultimately derived from South Arabia. Arabic speakers also used the Nabatean script from the second century BCE, notably in the city of Petra (in modern Jordan), and that became the basis for the distinctive Arabic script that emerged in Syria and northwest Arabia in the sixth century CE, sometimes in multilingual inscriptions that included Greek or Syriac.” 26-26
Some notable revolutionary approaches and the media
“But the most revolutionary approach to the Quran in recent scholarship came in the work of John Wansbrough, a literary specialist, who argued that the text of the Quran could not have been compiledin the present from, as the traditional account has it, shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. He proposed that the oral sayings on which the Quran is based were in circulation for as much as a couple of centuries before they were assembled as a book. The codification of the Quran, in his view, was part of a larger historical process in which an originally Jewish-Christian religious movement outside of Arabia eventually turned into an Arab-Islamic polity, which then retrospectively created a fictional account of its origins n Arabia. Wansbrough’s  revisionist work was an extremely learned and complicated argument, and unsupported by direct external historical evidence. Parallel revisionist studies also emeerged  at the same time in the area of early Islamic history, in which Patricia Crone and Michael Cook argued that Muslim sources were completely unreliable and that therefore one can only reconstruct the early history of Islam through foreign sources. A couple of even more radical studies then appeared, which maintained that the text of the Quran was originally a Christian work later revised along Islamic lines (G. Lulling) or that it was originally written in Syriac and then completely misunderstood as an Arabic text (Christopher Luxenberg, a pseudonym). Both of these authors took the bold (and highly questionable) step of making significant alterations in the Arabic text of the Quran in order to make it fit their arguments. In literary terms, these later efforts overstate their case, by calling for the rejection of over a millennium of textual history and proposing completely new explanations previously unsuspected by anyone else. From a quite different perspective, John Burton also challenged the traditional account of the Quran, arguing that it was fully completed during the life of the Prophet. It is remarkable that all these revisionist theories of the origins and history of the Quran share a strong confidence in overturning centuries of the Islamic tradition yet offer dramatically different conclusions that clearly are in conflict among themselves.”  30-31
“A Wall Street Journal reporter published a lurid front-page account, strongly hinting that all the German scholars had been Nazis and suggesting that scholarly study of the Quran would provide shocking challenges to the Muslim faith in the authenticity og the Quran. In response Michael Marx, director of Corpus Coranicum Research Centre, wrote a scathing reply, poking fun at the newspaper article. Marx argued that this article was an example of the modern tendency to believe in vast conspiracy theories like that in The Da Vinci Code, imagining fanciful scenarios of romantic historical research (a la Indiana Jones) that would  call into question the entire history of a major religion, and which have certainly produced entire industries of publishing, film, and tourism. More seriously, Marx challenged the notion that all the German scholars were Nazis and also questioned the tendency of journalists to focus only on revisionist theories of the origins of Islam.”  30
Use of “We” in the Quran for Allah
“Some scholars have even suggested that the use of “We” implies a plurality of speakers, that is, the angels alongside God, but on closer inspection this proves to be a weak argument loosely based on biblical analogies. The Quran does not provide any example of angelic participation in the creation. Instead of overlaying such a simplistic theological interpretation onto the text, a literary approach will take seriously the different contexts and forms of expression of its different voices and personas found throughout the Quran. The shift from “I” to “We” for the principal speaker is very characteristic of the Quranic discourse, and the use of the plural is widely accepted as an example of the “plural of majesty” or the” royal we”, where the plural is used for respect.” 49-50
Tafsir
Tawil: more esoteric interpretation
“The commentary  al-Tabari (d. 923) is a milestone in the detailed explanation of the Quran in terms of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Another important early interpreter is al-Thalabi (d. 1035), whose (still unpublished) commentary has drawn recent attention as a masterful achievement of intellectual synthesis. Other major commentaries were produced by theologians such as al-Razi (d. 1210), from a Sunni perspective, and al Tabarsi (d. 1153), from a Shi’i point of view.”  64
Why Saudi Arabia is not keen on Archeological investigation
A highly conservative religious establishment sees no reason why the traces of Judaism and Christianity should be celebrated in the homeland of Islam, and its views digging up and displaying pagan idols as even more repugnant. 84
On this topic see my notes on Ziauddin Sardar’s Book Mecca: http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/notes-and-select-quotes-from-book-mecca.html
Stylistic based claims that the Quran has undergone stages of revision are mere speculation
“Obviously the notion that the Quran has gone through stages of revision raises questions about how, and whose authority, later additions could be made to the text. Admittedly, this observation is speculative, since it is based entirely on internal stylistic evidence rather than on any external proof; there are no manuscripts  that contain any earlier versions of these Quranic texts.” 97
Sleepers of Ephesus
“As usual , the Quran does not provide a fully detailed version of the story , assuming instead that listeners are familiar with it..” 123
[This is interesting as the Quran does not go into much detail about other people and events in the Quran, I would assume Carl Ernst believes the immediate audience or some of the people amongst the immediate audience of the Quranic Revelation were familiar with these topics – such as the virgin birth, Jesus’ life and miracles, the life events of Abraham and Moses]
Surah 116-117
“The interrogation of Jesus by God forms a dramatic parallel with the interrogations of Jesus by his opponents in the New Testament, where he is asked to declare whether he is “the Christ. The son of God” (Mathew 26:63) or “the king of the Jews” (John 18:33). In this case, Jesus firmly denies making any claim of divinity for himself or his mother Mary. While this charge does not precisely state Christian theological positions, since Mary is not technically considered divine, it does represent the logical consequences for monotheism of calling her “Mother of God” as was common in the Eastern Church. Moreover Jesus also refuses to claim to have any divine knowledge, saying, “You know what is in me, but I do not know what is in You” (5:116). He presents his teaching as the pure monotheism commanded by God, to which he is witness for humanity (5:117).” 198
Ernst is looking at this from a Protestant viewpoint rather than looking at it from the viewpoint of all known Christian understandings and practices with regards to Mary. There were people who worshipped Mary and in the minds of some Protestants Mary is worshipped/prayed to by Catholics as highlighted by the quote from James White and Taylor Marshall's citation of an ancient prayer found written on papyrus manuscript (p470), this manuscript is dated is dated to 250 CE.

 Brewer's dictionary on Mariamites:

Worshippers of Mary, the mother of Jesus. They said the Trinity consisted of God the Father, God the Son, and Mary the mother of God.
 
Why it’s difficult for non Muslims to read the Quran:
-Media inflated claims
-Nearly complete lack of acquaintance with the text itself
-Cultural barriers
“Given the blank slate of sheer unfamiliarity with the Quran among Americans and Europeans, it is perhaps inevitable that certain cultural habits have become obstacles to an understanding of it. In the mood of anxiety and fear of the post-9/11 era, it is perhaps understandable that one of these habits would be the temptation to find quick answers in this ancient text, to provide simple solutions to an urgent modern political problem. Unfortunately, nervous haste all too readily leads to serious problems or misrepresentation, as isolated phrases are made to stand in for a whole text, a single text is made o stand for an entire religion, and extremist individuals magnified by the media are taken to be representative of hundreds of millions of people in dozens of different countries. These are not trivial mistakes; weighty and unfortunate consequences flow from any distorted prejudice that substitutes real knowledge.” 4

Tidbits
Mid 1800s a newer approach emerged – chronological readings.
Printing did not take place on a large scale until the mid nineteenth century.
According to a tradition preserved by the Egyptian scholar al-Suyuti (d. 1505), no less a person than Ali had in his possession a copy of the Quran with the suras in some kind of chronological order. 73
Relying on appeals to authority is hardly a solution given the multiple authorities available today
Fairminded and reasonable approaches help understand the religious well springs of others