Thursday, 18 November 2010

Which Bible? By Dr Jerald Dirks

Biblical Insight From Dr Jerad Dirks

Muslims believe in the ORIGINAL Scriptures but the ORIGNIAL scriptures (in their entirety) have been lost, hence the need for the Quran (God’s final Revelation to mankind)

NOTES from Dr Jerald Dirks’ lecture (plus additions from Dennis Bratcher, ChristianAnswers, Bruce Metzger, BibleResearcher)

We are not speaking about translations (ie KJV, NRSV etc). Christianity has never agreed upon what constitutes the Bible.

Are Christians agreed on what constitutes the Old Testament? No!

OT Protestant Bible is 39 books whilst the Roman Catholics add a number of books to this as well as additions to the book of Daniel and the book of Esther. Greek Orthodox add EVEN MORE than the Roman Catholics; they have a 151st Psalm rather than ending with 150. They have additions to the book of Jeremiah and add 3rd and 4th Maccabees amongst others.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a canon of 46 books in their Old Testament. Thus Christianity has NEVER agreed upon what makes up the OT

Have Christians agreed upon what constitutes the New Testament?

No, never!

Protestant and Roman Catholics agree upon 27 books but the Coptic Orthodox have 29 books (adding 1st and 2nd Clement) in their New Testament! The Nestorian Church omits 5 books (including Revelation) which are found in the Catholic and Protestant 27 book NT. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has 35 books in their New Testament (including the Shepherd of Hermes).

Did Moses author the first 5 Books of the Old Testament? (plus history of the Old Testament compilation)

We know Moses did not write all of it though this is the traditional belief of the Christians. It is a cut and paste compilation from earlier source material:

J – 950 BCE
E- 750 BCE
D- 600s BCE
P- 400-500 BCE

And they were finally put together around the year 400.

Moses (p) lived is thought to have lived within the 1600-1200 BCE range. Amazingly that is at least 250 years before the first source (J) material of the Old Testament.

The letters JEDP are a designation used by scholars to identify the component parts or sources that they understand were used to compile the first five books of the Old Testament. There have been various opinions as to whether these sources were written or oral traditions, and whether each source represents an independent strand or a stage in the development of an older source. [Dennis Bratcher: JEDP: Sources in the Pentateuch]

The Torah

Most modern Biblical scholars believe the Torah (as we have it today) to be a cut and paste compilation in Babylon. The law (Torah) was actually believed to be lost in Palestine and Ezra brought the law back to Palestine from Babylonian (around year 400 BCE).

Three parts to the OT

1. Torah (first 5 books of the OT)
2. Prophets (Nabiyim),
3. The Writings (Kethubim), Christians call this the Hagiographa (the holy writings)

The Roman Catholic Church, in order to construct their OT went to the Septuagint – thus automatically accepted EVERYTHING that was in there.

Protestants used the Hebrew text rather than the Greek Septuagint and thus ended up with a shorter OT (as the Jews at the time of writing the Septuagint had not decided what constitutes the OT)

In many cases we don’t know who authored parts of the OT (e.g. Deuteronomy, 1Kings, 2Kings). We DON’T know who authored all the books of the Old Testament. Can the OT be considered reliable based on this information? No!

New Testament Reliability and Authorship

None of the disciples wrote the Gospel accounts, sadly, many Christian wrongly believe this despite being untrue.

Gospel of Matthew – (80-85 CE) we don’t know who wrote it and it is a compilation of earlier material (proto-Mark and the theoretical Sayings Gospel (Q) and M?). First mention of Matthew writing a Gospel comes around 120 CE despite the Matthew we have being in Greek rather than Hebrew and a non-sayings Gospel

Hebrews was NOT written by Paul despite legend associating it with him.

A problem with the Bible is that it is difficult to ascertain what Jesus said and we did not; the same applies to his actions. There are NO chains of transmission either which further compounds the issue of unreliability as it is second, third hand, fourth hand information.

Does the New Testament contain forgeries (unauthorised insertions)?

The last part of the Gospel Mark (Mark 16:9-20)

Earlier manuscripts show chapter 16 to end at verse 8 but in later manuscripts there is a whole chunk (12 verses) which is added after this. We KNOW this is a later (unauthorised) insertion!

Mark 16:9-20 has been called a later addition to the Gospel of Mark by most New Testament scholars in the past century. The main reason for doubting the authenticity of the ending is that it does not appear in some of the oldest existing witnesses, and it is reported to be absent from many others in ancient times by early writers of the Church. Moreover, the ending has some stylistic features which also suggest that it came from another hand. The Gospel is obviously incomplete without these verses, and so most scholars believe that the final leaf of the original manuscript was lost, and that the ending which appears in English versions today (verses 9-20) was supplied during the second century. [ BibleResearcher]

Even the internal evidence militates against this addition:

The internal evidence for the shorter ending (2) is decidedly against its being genuine. Besides containing a high percentage of non-Markan words, its rhetorical tone differs totally from the simple style of Mark's Gospel. [Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 122-126.]

More info:

The story of the adulteress in John (John 1:53 – 8:11)

It does NOT exist in the earliest manuscripts we have; (the ENTIRE section does not exist). Further explanation: Biblical scholars are nearly all agreed that the Story of the Adulteress (also known as the Pericope Adulterae or the Pericope de Adultera) usually printed in Bibles as John 7:53-8:11 is a later addition to the Gospel. []

American Standard Version (1901). Marginal note: "Most of the ancient authorities omit John vii. 53--viii. 11. Those which contain it vary much from each other."

If the story of the adulteress was an ancient story about Jesus, why did it not immediately become part of the accepted Gospels? Riesenfeld has given the most plausible explanation of the delay in the acceptance of this story. The ease with which Jesus forgave the adulteress was hard to reconcile with the stern penitential discipline in vogue in the early Church. It was only when a more liberal penitential practice was firmly established that this story received wide acceptance. (Riesenfeld traces its liturgical acceptance to the fifth century as a reading for the feast of St. Pelagia.) [Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John (i-xii), in the Anchor Bible series (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1966), pages 335-6.]

This clearly shows there was a CULTURE of scribal addition which imputes tangible suspicion upon the whole of the New Testament.

More info on this scribal addition:

Dr Jerald Dirks has presented sufficient material to do away with the doctrinal view of Biblical inerrancy.

Christians; become familiar with your own scripture. Study carefully.

"'How can you say, "We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? (NIV Jeremiah 8:8)

God willing your studies will lead you to Islam

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV, John 8:32)

Are they then unaware that Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim? (77) Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess. (78) Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby. (79) [Pikthal translation of the Holy Quran, 2:77-79]


Yahya Snow said...

Here are Dr Jerald Dirks' bio details (from The Deen Show)

Dr Jerald Dirks is our guest on today's show, Dr. Dirks received his Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) from Harvard College in 1971, his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1974, his Master of Arts (clinical child psychology) from the University of Denver in 1976, his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in clinical psychology from the University of Denver in 1978, and his sessions program certificate in Islamic studies from Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in 1998.

In 1969, he obtained his License to Preach from the United Methodist Church and was ordained into the Christian ministry (deaconate) by the United Methodist Church in 1972.

He converted to Islam in 1993 and completed the 'Umrah and Hajj in 1999.

His vocational history includes over five years teaching in American colleges and universities and over 20 years spent in the private practice of psychotherapy. In addition, he has taught at the middle school level at two different private Islamic schools and has served as the psychoeducational consultant at one private Islamic school.

Dr. Dirks is the author or co-author of over 60 published articles in the behavioral sciences (primarily in psychosomatic medicine), over 140 published articles on the Arabian horse and its history, and over 220 published articles or formal presentations on Islam, comparative religion, and private Islamic education in America.

He has lectured widely on Islam at American universities (Tabor College, University of Kansas, University of Denver, Oklahoma State University, Missouri State University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgetown University), in American mosques (in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia), and at regional and national conventions of the major Islamic organizations (ISNA, ICNA, and MAS).

In addition, he has been interviewed about Islam by newspapers in California, Colorado, Missouri, and Saudi Arabia and by television stations in Kansas, New York, Texas, Utah, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. He is the author of four books that explore the commonalities and differences among the three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism): The Cross and the Crescent, now in its second printing; Abraham, The Friend of God; Understanding Islam--A Guide for the Judaeo-Christian Reader; and The Abrahamic Faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

His fifth book, Muslims in American History--A Forgotten Legacy was published in 2006 and celebrates the centuries-old history of Muslims in America. His sixth book, Letters to My Elders in Islam, was published in 2008. Dr. Dirks has also proofread and/or edited several books for other authors.

The Topic: Amazing Facts About the Bible

For more information visit the official Deen Show

I invite all to Islam.

Anonymous said...

You can directly get in contact with him via the email address on his site ( His email:

YFC777 said...


You said "God willing your studies will lead you to Islam" .. are you a 100% sure the Quran you have today has been preserved word by word without any omissions what so ever ??

So different Christian sects have included or excluded some books in the Bible. That is a Christian issue which we need to discuss among ourselves.

Christians believe that REVELATION, an interesting word, isn't transcription (recitation) but rather the gift of experiencing the divine, which may at some point be written down under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, BUT when it is, it is God's Word written down in man's words!

Revelation, from the Latin prefix re meaning to do again and the root velare meaning to veil, doesn't mean to unveil but rather to unveil and veil again. Thus the Bible is a glimpse of God, but not a clear vision of Him until we meet Him incarnate in the Son, the image of the invisible God.

Anonymous said...

Why Do the Gospel Accounts Differ?

1.Different sources were available to them

2.They wrote for different audiences and responded to differing community needs

3.They had their own unique personalities and viewpoints

Church Traditions, Legends, and Symbols

As the Christian church grew and evolved over the centuries, legends and symbols came to be associated with the gospel writers, and they all were made Roman Catholic saints. Note that these are legends, not facts:

•St. Matthew. Wrote his gospel in Judea. Later preached in Ethiopia, where he died. In Christian art he is portrayed holding a cherub (he depicts Jesus’ human ancestry), a purse or bag of money (indicating his early profession as tax collector for the Roman government), or a book or a pen (indicating his literary gifts), or standing next to a winged man (Christ).

•St. Mark. Became the patron saint of Venice (supposedly he was shipwrecked and had a vision that a great city would someday be built there; 400 years later, mainland Italians fleeing Attila the Hun settled among the islands and lagoons of NW Italy and founded the city of Venice). Preached for 12 years in Libya; later founded the church at Alexandria, where he was martyred. Centuries later his body was brought from Alexandria to Venice by sailors; St. Mark’s cathedral was built over his burial place. Venetians adopted his symbol, a winged lion [5]

•St. Luke. Continued preaching alone after his companion Paul’s death. Crucified in Greece (according to the Greeks he died peacefully there.) Known as “the beloved physician.” According to legend, he was a skilled painter and won many converts by showing them his portraits of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. His symbol is the winged ox because he emphasized the priesthood of Christ in his gospel (the ox was a symbol of sacrifice).

•St. John. According to tradition, after Jesus’ crucifixion he lived with Jesus’ mother Mary until her death. Supposedly founded the seven churches in Asia Minor referred to in Revelation. Moved to Ephesus where the Emperor Domitian, twice tried to kill him (with a cup of poisoned wine and by being thrown into a kettle of boiling oil), but John escaped unharmed. Exiled to the island of Patmos. Died a natural death in Ephesus at the age of 100. His symbols are the eagle (loftiness, inspiration) and a book.

Anonymous said...

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord...

Excellent post brother Yahya. Not only do the Christians dispute about the Old Testament they also dispute about the New Testament.

The books of 2 Peter, James, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation are not accepted by many Christians who hold to the Peshitta. (depending upon if it's Eastern or Western).

As you mentioned Mark 16:9-20, John 8:1-11, this is not even begging to do justice to the many times something is added or taken away or there is dispute among the witnesses.

The KJV ONLY Evangelical Christians are not impressed with what they see as Anti-Christ leanings among the Christians who chuck out huge portions of what was once classed cannon.

The problem with the Christians atleast as far as the New Testament is concerned is very real.

They have no internal mechanism to let them know what is scripture and what is not.

The issue of Sola Scriptura vs Prima Scriptura is still something 'those in the know' among the reformed tradition kick around....


thegrandverbalizer19 said...

So let us take a look at what the Holy Spirit did for Martin Luther shall we?

Let's look at what John 16:13 did for the Luther.

"I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it... My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it." ((Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522)

As for Protestantism, the Anglicans and Calvinists always kept the entire New Testament But for over a century the followers of Luther excluded Hebrews, James, Jude, and Apocalypse (Reid, George J. Transcribed by Ernie Stefanik Canon of the New Testament. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)....

So if this is what the father's of the reformation felt and they questioned the New Testament canon, or some of it's contents why do Christian evangelist get so huffy and puffy when we as Muslims pause when we look at the New Testament text?

Especially since what constitutes scripture is in a state of flux among Christians themselves (this is something surely for any truth seeker to ponder over)...

Anonymous said...

Oh get out of here with this stuff. Tiny issues Yahya gets his hands on and blows them up out of proportion. One can do this all day for the Quran. Read Roger Beckwith on the OT.

So..Ya Muhammad? Is Muhammad my intercessor? My foot hurts.

Eh but I wonder who actually got surah 33.6 correct :) not to mention all those other variants and omissions and contradictions from what seemingly was Gods word for word, Word.

1MoreMuslim said...

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
1 King 18

YFC777 said...


By quoting 1 Kings 18 "At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”

1MoreMuslim: Are you saying Elijah was taunting the God of Israel ?

1MoreMuslim said...

Read the Context, Elijah was mocking them because they worshiped a God who was busy, traveling and fell asleep. IF God can do all these things ( Jesus) Elijah wouldn't mock their God.

Yahya Snow said...


Thanks for sharing your information.


@anonynmous (the one trying to pass these off as "tiny issues")

Please read the comments by TGV19 and listen to the lecture by Dr Jerald Dirks.

Ponder upon this...I'm pretty sure others will not pass this off as a "tiny issue"


Anonymous said...

This liberal redactory criticism of psychologist Jerald Dirks has already been demolished months ago by James White

YFC777 said...


You took the bait and now I'm going to expose you for your deceptiveness. In 1 King chapter 18, Elijah is being sarcastic about Baal's prophets and not telling people about God's attributes. In chapter 18:22 he tells them to cut a bull and place it on an alter but not set it on fire. He then asks Baal's prophets to call to Baal to accept the offering. Baals prophets call on his name from morning to noon and that's the context when he moked them and said "Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened"

Yahya always appeals to sincere Christians not to support Sam and David. I wonder what he has to say about 1MoreMuslim's tactics.

1MoreMuslim said...


Everybody can read the passage and understand what Elijah wanted to convey to his rivals. Yes he was sarcastic, sarcastic about what? Elijah was implicitly giving a lesson of theology ( for those who understand). If God's Elijah can travel, fall asleep and be busy, than what is left to be sarcastic about?
I am not using any tactics, Elijah was clearly teaching what God is not about, a check list to know if your God is false. Jesus is the only God whose attributes are mocked by his own prophets. If Elijah worshiped the God-man Jesus, a God who sleeps, travels and gets busy, would he be sarcastic about Baal being asleep or busy?
God doesn't have human characteristics. PERIOD.

Elijah was sarcastic about Baal's attributes. Open your eyes.

YFC777 said...

1MoreMuslim said "Yes he was sarcastic, sarcastic about what? Elijah was implicitly giving a lesson of theology"

He is mocking them because Baal was unable to perform the sign that was agreed between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. He isn't describing what God can and cannot do in this passage. I will concede my point if you give me one Christian or Jewish source that says 1 Kings Chapter 18 is about "Elijah was clearly teaching what God is not about"

1MoreMuslim said...


Forget about it.

1MoreMuslim said...


Just to let you know, your fellow KeithTruth considers 1 king 18 as a mockery of Baal not his prophets:

Anonymous said...


read the passages right after the one you quote:

"And they cried out and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them"

HUH!? sounds like ashura to me! all these Baal practices and traditions are now Allah's.

Anonymous said...


it is both a mockery of Baal and by extention his prophets, cuz you see, Baal aint real and Elijah knew that.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord...

I notice that no one really wanted to interact with my comments...

Christians who used to run from debates now want debates...(public) let's see what we can blow by the audience in the next 20-30 minute presentation (because it's more about oratory skills than substance)...

but let's run to the hills when it comes to written exchanges that require one to think deeply about the issues...


Anonymous said...


From now on i will tryto interact with your comments.