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Is the Bible God's Word?

Is the Bible God's Word?

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Published by Saaib Ahmed
A comprehensive written debate between Alan Maricle and Saaib Ahmed.
A comprehensive written debate between Alan Maricle and Saaib Ahmed.

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Published by: Saaib Ahmed on Sep 14, 2013
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MUSLIM CHRISTIAN DEBATES

Is The Bible God’s Word?
Alan Maricle vs Saaib Ahmed
By Saaib Ahmed 9/15/2013

The debate between Alan Maricle and Saaib Ahmed is a comprehensive one. The papers exchanged by both are here in the form of a booklet.

Is The Bible God’s Word? Debate between Saaib Ahmed and Alan Maricle Debate Introduction.
Is The Bible God’s Word?

The structure is a little unusual, but it is a result of extensive negotiation.

01. Alan Maricle’s Opening Statement 02. Saaib Ahmed's Opening/Rebuttal 03. Alan Maricle’s Rebuttal 04. Saaib Ahmed's Rebuttal 05. Alan Maricle’s Rebuttal 06. Alan Maricle’s Question 07. Saaib Ahmed’s Answer 08. Saaib Ahmed’s Question 09. Alan Maricle’s Answer 10. Alan Maricle’s Question 11. Saaib Ahmed’s Answer 12. Saaib Ahmed’s Question 13. Alan Maricle’s Answer 14. Alan Maricle’s Closing Statement 15. Saaib Ahmed’s Closing Statement

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Is The Bible God’s Word?

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Is the Bible God’s Word?
Alan Maricle’s Opening Statement.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:20-21), “who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:6). As the affirmer of the resolution, I will present a positive case, and then I will attempt to head off some of Saaib's arguments at the pass. Then, in my first rebuttal, we will take stock of whether he has avoided the pitfalls about which I warned him. If God has spoken, this affects literally everything. It all matters. If God has not spoken clearly, sufficiently, and in a way understandable to people, then let us eat, drink, and be merry, for neither today nor tomorrow do we know anything about so much; I'd argue we have no basis for ANY objective epistemology or metaphysics. God and His Word need no defense. This debate is a privilege, blessing for the believer, an opportunity to sharpen our own love for and acquaintance with God Himself and to share the blessings of the truth with others. An Argument from God's Self-Affirming Authority God's Word is self-affirming and true by definition because God is God and there is no higher standard of authority. There is only one God and He answers to no one. There is no one beside or above Him. Hebrews 6:13 - "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself..." Contrast that and other biblical occurrences (such as Genesis 22:16, Isaiah 62:8, and Jeremiah 22:5 and 44:26) with Allah's swearing by the Qur'an (Surah 36:2, 38:1, 43:2, 44:2, 50:1), by the wind (Surah 51:1), by the heaven (S 51:7), and by the mountain (S 52:1), to name a few. Who knows more or sees farther than God or can stop Him? Nobody; God is the final arbiter, judge, and lawgiver. What He says, goes. We are obligated to live and abide by God's revelation. Inasmuch as reliable eyewitness testimony is solid evidence in court, so an infallible, all-seeing, all-knowing, always-truthful eyewitness to an event is to be considered foremost in credibility. Further, God is the very basis for and necessary precondition of knowledge, reason, and intelligibility. Thus, without God, as I have argued elsewhere, we cannot know anything. To demand evidence for one's precondition for reason and intelligibility is to ask for evidence of the very ground underneath one's feet. If it were not there, we could not even ask the question.

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An Argument from Fulfilled Prophecy Predictive prophecies abound in the Bible, and are part of God's testing of false gods, such as in Isaiah 41:21-24. A few examples of already-fulfilled prophecies are found in Daniel 9:25-26, Micah 5:2, Psalm 22 and 34:20, and Zechariah 12:10. By no means have all the prophecies in the Bible yet been fulfilled, but many have been, and quite specifically. God knows the future and reveals it so that we may know He is the Lord of all.

An Argument from Jesus The Lord Jesus quoted incessantly from the Old Testament Scriptures throughout His ministry, even when facing diabolical temptation (Matthew 4:4), and usually precedes His quotations with a reverential formula indicating the divine nature of the words He's quoting. Such statements as Matt 5:17-18, Matt 23:23, or "…have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM…?'" (Matt 22:31, emph. mine) indicate Jesus' regard for and opinion of the Scripture. As Saaib holds to the prophethood of Jesus and the Qur'an teaches that, at minimum, He was righteous (Surah 3:46, 6:86, 19:19), Saaib must give us a really good reason to overcome Jesus' opinion of the Bible. But, the Evidence? The say-so of the highest authority and truth in the universe, the affirmation of the unchanging and always-truthful God of the universe – there is no higher standard of knowledge or evidence. Compared with that, what good will mentioning archaeological findings of a man dated from the 1st century who was also crucified, or noting that the Evangelist Luke showed remarkably accurate understanding and familiarity of the socio-political geography of his time, etc. do? If the omniscient God has spoken and it seems incorrect to us, mere creatures of terribly limited knowledge, vision, foresight, wisdom, understanding, powers of observation, and instrumentation, are we not in the wrong, every time? Who will be so arrogant as to question God, to put the judge of the universe in the dock as though to judge Him? Will He not rebuke us with explosive power, as in Job 38:1-7 and Job 40:7-14? And can we have any other response than Job's in Job 42:2-6? How To Prove Me Wrong The matter before us is about ultimate authorities. God is my ultimate authority, and He has communicated in the Bible. Saaib, as a Muslim, believes that his ultimate authority is God's revelation in the Qur'an and authentic ahadith. Either of us can evaluate the other's worldview based on our own worldview, but what would that tell anyone, but that the one thinks his worldview is incompatible with the other's and he thinks his is correct? Further, Saaib is not an atheist, or a Hindu, or a Mormon. He is a Muslim, and Islam is, as our Muslim friends so delight in telling us, a detailed and full worldview system. Therefore, Saaib needs to deny the resolution as a Muslim and remain consistent with his worldview. Would not
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arguing against my position as if he were atheist/agnostic/Pastafarian/Rastafarian serve as tacit concession that his own Islamic worldview is not sufficient for the task before him? Thus, he has two options:

Option 1 – The Internal Critique Saaib may take on, for the sake of argument, the Christian worldview with all its included presuppositions and beliefs, and from there attempt to demonstrate one or more fatal inconsistencies. This may include attempted demonstrations of contradictions between biblical teachings/passages. Saaib must be careful not to import any external beliefs when taking this route, engage my position (Reformed Baptist-ism, if you will) and not another, and demonstrate adequate and competent exegesis.

Option 2 – The External Critique from Islam Saaib may simply let us know that Islam judges the Bible as not-the-Word-of-God, and thus leave it at that. To do so, he will need to inoculate his position against foundational and crippling internal critiques that others might offer, show that Islam is indeed internally consistent, and thus give us a reason to examine Islam very fully, as a standalone consistent worldview. In this particular case, Saaib will need to give us a reason to think that Islam itself does not teach that the Bible is indeed the Word of God, If it could be shown that the Qur'an, for example, teaches that the Bible came from God, Saaib's case will collapse. Here is why. The Qur'an says the Bible is God's revelation and indeed appeals to it to confirm its own message, thus proposing that it agrees with the Bible. The Bible's teaching differs, however, from the Qur'an's teaching in many fundamental ways. Muslims often propose that the Qur'an was saying that it agreed with the Bible as it existed at the time of Mohammed's ministry and that the Bible was corrupted since then. The problem with this attempted solution is that we know exactly what the Bible said at the time of Mohammed, and indeed well before that, so this solution is untenable. (The presence of textual variants, while not to be ignored, does not impact the doctrinal presentation of the Bible. The vast majority of all variants in the New Testament, for example, are the presence of absence of “movable nu”s, which are so insignificant as to be untranslatable into any other language.) Since we know what the Bible said at the time of Mohammed, Saaib must show us why the following Qur'anic passages do not lead his position into fatal inconsistency: Surah 2:86 ...We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit... Surah 2:89 And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them...

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Surah 2:91 ...humiliating is the punishment of those who reject Faith. When it is said to them, “Believe in what Allah Hath sent down,” they say, “We believe in what was sent down to us:”yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: “Why then have ye slain the prophets of Allah in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?” Surah 3:84 Say: ‘We believe in...what has been revealed to us...in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord:'” Surah 4:136 O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Surah 5:45 If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers. And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If Saaib challenges the equation of “Injil/Injeel” with the New Testament and/or the “Taurat” as the Old Testament or at least the Torah/Pentateuch, he must give us a reason why, from Islamic sources, and not merely his own or someone else's ad hoc imagination, we should think that these refer to something else, and he must tell us what those things are. Saaib must also solve the problem of Allah's swearing by things inferior to himself, as mentioned above. How is this “Allah” supposed to be taken seriously? The Qur'an also incorrectly asserts in Surah 7:157 that the Bible mentions Mohammed. It does not. If Allah is all-knowing, why couldn't he read the Bible to know what it actually says? Pitfalls to Avoid -- Complaints that I have produced no evidence. God's Word is itself of the highest evidentiary value and authority. -- Imputation of positions to me that I don’t hold, such as tritheism, or that “a man became God”, or that “God had sex with Mary”, or that I worship the Bible. -- Irrelevancies such as whether celebrating Christmas on 25 December is of pagan origin, or that we should believe the Qur’an is from God because Mohammed was illiterate. -- Citing prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled as evidence of the failure of biblical prophecy. Nobody is claiming that ALL prophecies ever given have already been fulfilled; some remain still in the future. Saaib would need to perform proper exegesis to show why we should expect that prophecy should have already been fulfilled.

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-- Trying to convince us that the Qur'an is the Word of God without resolving the aforementioned reliance on the Bible for confirmation of its message, by appeal to such things as the scientific accuracy of the Qur'an. -- Citing instances of Qur'anic scientific accuracy without dealing with the well-known instances of Qur'anic scientific bungling, such as the sun's setting “in a pool of murky water” far to the west, the origin of human embryos as clots of blood, the origin of human semen between the backbone and the ribs, and the classification of meteors as missiles Allah uses to shoot evil jinn. -- Trying to prove lack of clarity in the Bible by appeal to the various sects/denominations in Christianity, as if Sufi, Sunni, Shia, and Druze don't also read the same Qur'an.

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Is the Bible God’s Word?
Saaib Ahmed’s Opening Statement.
Time for another debate! Many of you might be knowing that I have debated the same topic for more than five times, why a need for another debate. Actually each time I debated on this topic I used offensive approach, but this time I will be using a defensive one. I would love to see someone doing a good job. Vinod, James, Abel and Bappi left the debate in the middle and Antonio Santana never touched the topic. It is an amazing situation whosoever you debate, you get one answer "SAME AGE OLD ARGUMENTS" but no one bothers to answer those arguments. I was expecting some change this time but Alan Maricle also used the same sentence in one of his comments on facebook. When a Christian tells me "bible" is the word of God, believe me I feel like laughing. Not that he cracked a joke but the reason is that they themselves know that it is not. To start with, we have a unique way in which the book is revealed, the truth is that I am still to understand how the scripture was revealed. Muhammad (saw) was clear with what he was saying. “These are God's words” and “these are mine” and “God's words come into my knowledge through Archangel Gabriel and I pass them onto you”. This is how Muhammad (saw) would have explained the situation, but what about the Bible authors. They where tickled by Holy Spirit. They wrote out of their own but Holy Spirit was tickling them to write so and so. Now whose words are they, are they the author's or God's? Luke 3:23 presents an amazing situation. "And Jesus himself was about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli," The problem I have with this verse is the phrase in the brackets. Holy Spirit went out of his way to inspire "Luke" to give a father to Jesus who didn't have any father (as is believed). And the translators added “AS WAS SUPPOSED” to tell us Holy Spirit was going out of his way. There are cases in Quran where we need to add such phrases and the simple explanation is that the Quran is like a dictation very unlike Bible. May be this also is an AGE OLD ARGUMENT but who cares. When we finish with this we are presented with other problem. How does it help us to say that the Bible is the inerrant word of God if in fact we don't have the words that God inerrantly inspired, but only the words copied by the scribes—sometimes correctly but sometimes (many times!) incorrectly? What good is it to say that the autographs (i.e., the originals) were inspired? We don't have the originals! We have only error ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. (Bart Ehrman - Misquoting Jesus) Alan Maricle has made an "amazing opening statement". "God's word is self affirming", true but when we have them but when we don't have them we can't say "God's" word. God swearing by his creation and God swearing by himself, I don't know what it proves but one thing is for sure if God in bible swore by his creation we Muslims would have to tackle another argument where Christians would say "see how much does God love his creation". Anyways this love is only important when it is shown by biblical god. Does he really show love? No, the truth is that the Old Testament violence is more than what you can find in any book and those Palestinians are there to be killed. Smashing Babies is his favorite (Alan Maricle will tell you the references and
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the context). Killing entire towns is his second favorite. The Bible presents us with a Horrible God which full of hate who will never swear by his creation, believe me he doesn't love his creation as much Allah (swt) does that Allah (swt) swears by his creation. "....the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!"......" Amazing command which the "loving" biblical God gives! (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT) Alan was actually trying to prove to us that the God of Bible and God of Quran are not the same. Anyways there isn't any need for this debate then, the reason is that the Biblical God commands Alan to do something else. Read Deuteronomy 13:13-19. "Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him."" So if we follow the "word of god" we are left with 2.2 billion people on earth. Anyways who needs people, let them die. But we do need donkeys in rural areas. Ahem, donkey is so special that it was "Lord God's" personal drive. But not so special when we read 1 Samuel 15:3 which reads, “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” Forget about the cattle, forget the sheep, forget the camels too but I want to know what the poor donkey has done. This is when you already have applied Deut 13:13-19. Where are the animal right activists? Believe me such a God will be sued if presented before a Qazi in a Shariah court. These donkeys are more than special creatures, not because Jesus chose a donkey to travel into Jerusalem when his mission was drawing towards its end but because Holy Ghost inspired all the Gospel writers to write it down in their Gospels. “…and they sat him thereon.” (The Donkey) (Matt. 21:7) “…and he sat upon him.” (The Donkey) (Mark 11:7) “…and they set Jesus thereon.” (The Donkey) (Luke. 19:35) “…Jesus…sat thereon:” (The Donkey) (John 12:14) Could God Almighty have been the author of this incongruous situation – going out of His Way to see that all the Gospel writers did not miss their recording of His “son’s” donkey-ride into the Holy City – and yet “inspiring” them to black out the news about His “son’s” heavenly flight on the wings of angels?

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An Argument from Fulfilled Prophecy: What has prophecy to do with the topic? For each fulfilled prophecy in the Bible I can bring two unfulfilled prophecies and believe me there are tons of them. If prophecy is the test then Nostadamus' book should be the best book to be called the word of God. As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond." Yet in just a few verses (Genesis 4:16-17) Cain will settle down, marry, have a son, and build a city. This is not the activity one would expect from a fugitive and a vagabond. (Genisis 4:12). (These verses also tell us that "Cain knew his wife". That is good. But where the hell did he get his wife from). Jeremiah 36:30 says no one will be able to sit on David's throne after Jehoiakim but 2 Kings 21:6 it tells us Johiachin sat on the throne. Unfulfilled prophecy! Ezekiel 26 tells us that Nebuchadrezzar will destroy Tyrus. But history tells us that Alexander destroyed Tyrus. Isaiah 7:14 according to Christians refers to Jesus, but Jesus was never called Immaneul thus forcing an unfulfilled prophecy. We often see the Old Testament prophecies getting fulfilled in the Gospels. John Dominic Crossan, a scholar, gives us a simple answer. He says that the Gospels are not history memorized but prophecy historicized, i.e. the NT writers took OT texts and wrote a historical setting whereby they made it seem that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. This can be illustrated by a simple fact. The LXX which the gospel writers tried to historicize reads in Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." At first glance, to the untrained eye, this seems like a miracle of a verse. It is allegedly clearly stating that God will have a son who will also be God. Thus it is for that very reason that Christendom flocks to this verse to prove the validity of their beliefs. But what does the Hebrew Old Testament actually say? Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah), Chapter 9, Verse 6: "That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this." So where is Isaiah 9:6 of the Greek Septuagint located in the Hebrew Old Testament? Isaiah 9:5, one verse down. It is said that in the Book of Isaiah (Yeshayahu), Chapter 9, Verse 5: For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace." Look at the vast difference. The Christian Greek Septuagint says that God will have a son who will be called, "wonderful counselor", "mighty God", "everlasting Father" and "prince of peace".

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The Hebrew Masoretic Text says that a child will be born whom God, the wonderful counselor, might God, everlasting Father will call the son, a prince of peace. An Argument from Jesus: Argument of Jesus doesn't hold any weight because we don't know what Jesus said. We don't have eye witness accounts. When he confirms the Old Testament it is simply a case of historicizing what never happened. My learned opponent needs to prove to us that the New Testament is inspired then only can we use it to prove the inspiration of the Old Testament. Alan is just working on a false assumption that the NT is inspired and therefore when it copies from Old Testament it proves that the OT is also inspired. Anyways I would also like to know what exactly was Jesus copying from, The LXX or The Masoretic Text. Quran on Bible: Whenever a Muslim tries to debate a Christian the Christian will always appeal to Quran to help his case. What we are discussing is Bible not Quran or Islam. Therefore what Quran says about the Bible doesn't matter to us. But what exactly does the Quran then say. The Qur’an says: “But woe to them who fake the Scriptures and say: "This is from God," so that they might earn some profit thereby; and woe to them for what they fake, and woe to them for what they earn from it!” - Ahmed Ali’s Translation Surah 2, Ayah 79. We confirm that this refers to Ahlul Kitab from Tafsir ibn Kathir: “Az-Zuhri said that `Ubadydullah bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "O Muslims! How could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah (Qur'an) that He revealed to His Prophet is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it fresh and young Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and wrote another book with their own hands. They then said, `This book is from Allah,' so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn't the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you.'' This Hadith was also collected by Al-Bukhari.” Though I need not clarify the Islamic position on the topic but I feel like seeing someone win an argument that is why I will like to comment on the biggest paragraph which "Alan Maricle" wrote. He keeps on begging the Quran in his "Option 2 – The External Critique from Islam ". So, Is the Bible in our hands the same as what Muhammad's contemporaries where having. I don't know which one was it, The Protestant Bible or the Catholic. Bible just refers to a set of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of Bible, as the individual books (Biblical Canon), their contents and their order vary among denominations. Main stream Judaism divided the Tanakh into 24 Books while
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the Samaritans accept only five. 19 are thrown out. Ba boom. These 24 books are divided into 39 books by the Christian Old Testament, and complete Christian Bibles range from 66 Books of the Protestant canon to 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. I request my fellow Christians to tell us what actually did Muhammad confirm. Perhaps, "Alan Maricle" thinks that it is his scripture, i.e., the Protestant Bible which Muhammad allegedly confirmed. The Protestant Bible has a rather colourful history. This Bible came into being during the Reformation, nearly 900 years after the advent of Islam. One wonders how the Qur'an or the hadith literature can endorse a Bible that came some 900 years after them. Sounds silly... well it is! The truth is that no one had defined the limits of the Bible until the (Catholic) Council of Trent, 1546. So, even 900 years after the advent of Islam, the Christians were bickering about which books should go into the canon. Eldon J. Epp (a scholar) raises an important point - which manuscript is canonical? "Finally, to raise the question to its highest level and broadest range, what can "canonical" mean when each of our 5,300 Greek New Testament manuscripts and perhaps 9,000 versional manuscripts, as well as every one now lost, was considered authoritative - and therefore canonical - in worship and instruction in one or more of the thousands upon thousands of individual churches when no two manuscripts are exactly alike? A corollary heightens the force of the question: If no two manuscripts are alike, then no two collections of Gospels or Epistles are alike, and no two canons – no two "New Testaments" – are alike; therefore, are all canonical, or some, or only one? And if some or one, which?" So, What Did The Bible Look Like In Arabia During The Advent Of Islam? No one can answer this question, and the fact remains that no one has ever. The non-Islamic sources suggest the presence of the Syriac Church (and its various sectarian off-shoots such as Jacobite, Nestorian, Monophysite Churches, etc.) in certain areas of Arabia and that the Church service used to be in Syriac. The Syriac Churches used the Diatessaron, the four-in-one Gospel, introduced by Tatian, and was read in the Syriac. As for the Islamic sources, some interesting snap-shots of the contents of the Christian Bible are also seen in Ibn Hisham's Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah. He mentions some of the beliefs of the Christians who talked to Prophet Muhammad (saw): "[Those who talked to Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, were Abu Haritha Ibn `Alqama, Al-`Aqib `Abdul-Masih and Al-Ayham al-Sa`id.] They were Christians according to the faith of the king with differences between them; they say: He is Allah, and say: He is Son of Allah, and say: He is the third of three[i.e., part of Trinity] and these are the claims of Christianity. [They use as evidence for their claim that He is Allah the argument that] he used to raise the dead, cure the sick, create from clay bird-like structure then breathe into it to make it a [living] bird. All this was by the leave of Allah, the Praiseworthy the Exalted {to appoint him as a sign for men} (Maryam:21). They also argue for saying that he is Son of Allah by saying he had no known father and spoke in infancy which is something never done by any human being.They use as evidence for their claim that He is the third of three [i.e., part of Trinity] the argument that Allah says: We did, We commanded, We created and We judged [i.e., by using the plural for Himself], and whereas if He was one, He would say: I did, I judged, I commanded and I created; but it is He, Jesus and

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Maryam. The Qur'an was revealed addressing all these arguments." (Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah, 1998, Volume II, Dar al-Hadith: Cairo (Egypt), pp. 181-182.) The miracles of Jesus speaking in infancy and giving life to birds made out of clay are usually dismissed by the missionaries as "apocryphal" but these were perfectly acceptable to Christians in Arabia during the advent of Islam. This only provides us a snap-shot of the kind of "scripture" the Christians were using during the advent of Islam. Moreover, the disagreement of Jews and Christians among themselves about their own scriptures was well-known during the advent of Islam and that also gave an impetus for `Uthman to collect the Qur'an. Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman came to `Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to `Uthman, "O Chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur'an) as Jews and the Christians did before." So what about Surah 2:86 where Allah (swt) says that he gave Moses The Book. Yes he gave Moses the book and we Muslims accept it as an article of fact but we don't have those books. Was Deut. 34:5-10 also revealed to Moses, "So Moses . . . DIED . . . And he (God Almighty) BURIED HIM (Moses) ... he was 120 years old when he DIED ... And there arose not a prophet SINCE in Israel like unto Moses …" The internal evidence of the first five books of the Bible clearly proves that neither God nor Moses could have been the author. Actually it is a third person narrative. No wonder we find statements like ‘’God said unto Moses’’ and ‘’Moses said unto God’’ not less than 700 times in the bible. Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, but the books are in fact anonymous and look back on Moses as a figure from the distant past. The existence of the Torah, Pentateuch, is not historically known before King Josiah, the son of Amon. The script of the Pentateuch which was found by a priest called Hilkiah 18 years after Josiah`s ascension to throne is not believable solely on the grounds that it was found by a priest Apart from this obvious fact, this book had again disappeared before the invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchdnezzar Not only the Pentateuch, but also all the books of the Old Testament were destroyed in this historical calamity. History does not evince any evidence of the existence of these books after this invasion. According to the Christians the Pentateuch might have been rewritten by the Prophet Ezra. This book along with its copies were again destroyed and burnt by Antiochus at the time of his invasion of Jerusalem. What about Surah 2:89, which confirms the previous scriptures? Yes, only because it confirms the previous scriptures do we Muslims believe that there were scriptures revealed to other prophets. It is not that what you have presented to us is what Quran confirms. Same is the case with Surah 2:91, Surah 3:84, Surah 4:136, Surah 5:45. "The Qur'an also incorrectly asserts in Surah 7:157 that the Bible mentions Mohammed." No the Quran is correct. This was confirmed by Rabbi Ben Abrahamson, that Muhammad {saw} can indeed be found in their scriptures:

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“An exploration of the Jewish prophecies and expectations concerning the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as "Ish Hammudot", the man greatly valued, beloved, referred to in the book of Daniel. According to some Islamic, as well as Jewish tradition, the original meeting of "Maseeh" and "Madhi" was the meeting of the Jewish Exilarch Salmaan Farsi with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The close relationship between the descendant of King David and the Prophet (pbuh) or his replacement (Caliph) was a prototype of events that would only reach their consummation at the end of days.” - Rabbi Ben Abrahamson, “The Weeks of Daniel and the Jewish Mahdi”.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s First Rebuttal
Saaib's opening statement/rebuttal was a bit of a mishmash. I have tried to weave the incoherent pieces together to create a cohesive position to rebut. Bart Ehrman, mercenary It seems that the main thrust of his argument is contained in: true but when we have them but when we don't have them we can't say "God's" word. I presume he meant to say "true when we have them", and this amounts to nothing more than the tired old canard championed by Bart Ehrman, to whom Saaib directly alludes approvingly. The problems with Saaib's appeal to Ehrman's argument are numerous, but most importantly, if Ehrman had the courage to apply his same methodology and presuppositions to the Qur'an, Ehrman would come to the same conclusion about the Qur'an, that it misquotes Mohammed. How do we know this? First, a brief excursus on the problem Ehrman poses. No original manuscript (hereafter, MSS) of the New Testament (hereafter, NT) is yet found. We have many copies of MSS and copies of copies of MSS and copies of copies of copies of...etc. These copies differ from each other; no two are identical. Ehrman then applies his presupposition to this situation. Ehrman's argument is as follows: P1) No original NT MSS is extant. P2) The extant MSS copies of the NT differ from each other. P3) I presuppose without argument that differences in copies mean that God could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation He intended to communicate was in fact preserved, because that's what I believe and I don't examine my beliefs deeply. C) Therefore, differences in copies mean that God could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation He intended to communicate was in fact preserved. Hopefully, everyone can see the problem - one premise is identical to the conclusion, and that's Ehrman's problem, yet he weasels out of debating people such as Dr James R White on that very presupposition. (Yes, he debated White, but weaseled out of debating that question.) Substantiating that presupposition is absolutely crucial to his argument, but he won't defend it. He merely disingenuously states it as "this is only what I think" and moves on, but then treats it as a fact. I challenge anyone, most importantly Saaib, to listen to an Ehrman lecture or debate (I've listened to many, and attended one in person) and identify the argument he uses to defend that presupposition. So far I've not even heard him try.

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What if we apply the same reasoning to the Qur'an? P1) No original Qur'an MSS is extant. P2) The extant MSS copies of the Qur'an differ from each other. (Saaib will probably deny this, but that merely means he is ignorant.) P3) I presuppose that differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved. C) Therefore, differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved. See how easy that is, and how lazy? Or what if we make P1 and P2 relate to the chain of narration of the Qur'an, and then simply presuppose that no reliable chains of narration can exist. Sure, sure, Saaib can assert that human memory could accomplish such a task, and maybe it could, but if we get to act like Ehrman and presuppose (without argument) that: -God is not in charge, and/or -God didn't care enough to make the process simple, clean, and straightforward (ie, God didn't provide the companions of the prophets in the Qur'an's case, or the prophets and apostles in the Bible's case, with photocopiers and digital voice recorders with redundant backups), and/or -it is implausible that chains of narration could preserve a long text like the Qur'an with 100% accuracy over the course of many years, therefore that didn't happen, then we can simply conclude à la Ehrman that the Qur'an misquotes Mohammed. Sorry, we don't know what Mohammed said. If Allah wanted us to know what he said, why didn't he preserve the MSS so that we could? Or what if we make P1 and P2 relate to Uthman and the burning of all Qur'anic MSS that he did not approve? How does Saaib know for sure that Uthman didn't burn the most faithful MSS copies of the Qur'an? He doesn't. He has to trust his god. As Ehrman said at minute 7:10 of the first cross-examination during his debate with James White: The New Testament, we have much earlier attestation than for any other book from antiquity. What you can't do is then say "well, then you can't trust any book from antiquity". OK... yes, right, that's right. Ehrman is confused. Either his view leads to a complete and opaque agnosticism about history, which would include impenetrable darkness about the reliability of the Qur'an and ahadith, or we should reject this poor presupposition and look for one that is consistent with itself, one that allows us to study history reasonably and carefully.
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Saaib needs to be consistent and allow me the basic courtesy of trusting God to be able to make His Word known to His people. Otherwise, we would know nothing about Him. Ironically, Ehrman's argument also destroys Saaib's position in another way. Since the Qur'an teaches that the people of the Book are to judge the Qur'an by the Injeel and the Taurat, and since the Qur'an claims that it is a confirmation of those, and since none of us can know, even with our vast numbers of MSS discoveries from vastly varied geographical areas, what the Injeel said (per Ehrman), that means Mohammed couldn't know what the Injeel said, nor could the people of the Book at Mohammed's time. So Allah's command becomes meaningless and literally impossible to follow. Yet it's a central piece of Allah's argument with respect to persuading people of the Book to follow Islam. If the fact that the majority of the MSS are "centuries removed" from the original writers, what does that tell us about the Qur'an, which is actually in a worse position in that respect? Saaib fell into a pitfall about which I warned him - he didn't analyse the situation but just gave an argument from authority. The vast majority of textual variants are non-meaningful, misspellings, and transpositions of words, lines, etc. Saaib has not taken into account the fact that less than 1% of all textual variants are non-meaningful and viable. Uncritically citing agnostics criticising theistic doctrine or materials is a dangerous occupation. More inconsistency Saaib says: Muhammad (saw) was clear with what he was saying. These are God's words and these are mine and God's words come into my knowledge through Archangel Gabriel and I pass them onto you. This is not an argument, but rather simply an assertion. The Bible claims the same thing numerous times. 2 Peter 1:19So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. Not "tickled by". Is Saaib taking this debate seriously? The Greek word for "moved" in v20 refers to a boat's sail, caught full by the wind. The sail retains its identity and yet is flexed and moved by the wind.

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The Qur'an can't get its story straight But woe to them who fake the Scriptures and say: "This is from God," so that they might earn some profit thereby; and woe to them for what they fake, and woe to them for what they earn from it! Q2:79 A common objection. Why didn't Saaib include the context? 76Behold! when they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe": But when they meet each other in private, they say: "Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?"- Do ye not understand (their aim)? 77Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal? 78And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture. How does Saaib know that this refers to Christians who were committed to preserving and faithfully copying the NT? How does Saaib know to believe the Qur'an when it says that Scriptures were "faked" but not when it tells him to check the Qur'an by what has already been revealed? Remember, this faking would have had to occur before the Qur'an was written. Q18:27 - And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. Q6:115 - The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. The Qur'an is contradictory when it deals with the Bible. Whatever else may come of this debate, we can know for certain that we must reject the Qur'an as the word of God. A little more on Bible history If one small local church in the 4th century had only a couple of MSS, then what other Word of God did they know? Today, we are not in that situation at all; we have MSS from all over the place, a wide variety of time periods and languages, and can check each against all the others. The people of God had no real means of "officially" defining the Canon of the NT for centuries, and yet for the most part they came to the proper conclusion, independent of each other. Besides, we trust God to bring His people to an understanding of His Word's extent just as Saaib probably trusts Allah to aid in proper narration chains and correctly identity the number of Surat. NonChristians adding books to the Old Testament (which is what happened at the non-Christian Council of Trent) has nothing to do with my position.

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Other tidbits -Luke 3:23's "(as was supposed)" is an English translation of what is in the Greek - ὡς ἐνομίζετο (hōs nomizō). The parenthetical is included to clarify in English. -The fact that Allah swears by his creation in the Qur'an shows that Allah considers his word less important and authoritative than Yahweh considers His own word. How can the Qur'an have been existent from eternity past when Allah's oaths appeal to things that were created at a point in time, which didn't exist at times when the Qur'an did? -Saaib judges Yahweh morally faulty for some of His activities. Saaib needs to let us know on what authority he throws God into court. -Saaib falls into the warned-about pitfall of citing unfulfilled prophecy without giving, as stated, "proper exegesis to show why we should expect that prophecy should have already been fulfilled." -Saaib says "history tells us". Does Saaib think we should trust "history" (whatever that means), or the Word of God? The rest are minor matters I might mention later.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's Second Statement
"Alan Maricle", has published his "rebuttal". I was wondering what will he respond to, as what I had presented were facts, facts and facts. Denying the facts could have been a choice. Oh my God!!! This is exactly what he exactly did. (See his last paragraph, "history tells us") What exactly did Alan Maricle do to evade a possible humiliation? Alan Maricle dedicated more than 1000 words (1085?) to refute what I never said. He started refuting Bart Erhman and wrote an essay on it. What I made was an entirely different argument, and to make it factual I quoted a scholar. I argued that we have copies which are separated from their sources by centuries, that for me means we don't know what exactly the words of God were. It is like I say 1+1=2, prove me wrong and you reply 3+3 is not equal to 5 therefore you are proven wrong. Thus my first argument still stands valid. I have fallen in a pit fall (according to "Alan Maricle") by talking about textual variants but he didn't bother to bring me out of it, so I still remain there. Anyways what exactly was I talking about, "There is no common version of Bible, as the individual books (Biblical Canon), their contents and their order vary among denominations. Main stream Judaism divided the Tanakh into 24 Books while the Samaritans accept only five. 19 are thrown out." The argument was on "canons" not what the content is. He started talking about content throwing all of us in the pit and covering the pit with his breath taking English. My second (?) argument still stands. Then "Alan Maricle" quotes us from "Peter" which happens to be the sixth last book of the New Testament. Do the verses prove anything, no absolutely not? "Peter" was written by some "xyz" who was not speaking on behalf of others. The authors of different Books of Bible are different. How do you know who is "xyz" talking about. Do the Gospels claim to be the word of God and how exactly where they "tickled" to write the words? We are still to get an answer for this. The Quran talks about the Jews and the Christians corrupting their scripture at 2:79. Alan Maricle wants to know why exactly didn't I quote the context and he also wants to know how I concluded that it refers to Ahlul Kitab. (I had already written it in my first paper). Anyways you have quoted the context Mr. "Alan Maricle" but I want my readers to read them after they read verse 75. 75. Do you covet [the hope, O believers], that they would believe for you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah after they had understood it while they were knowing? So you have the context and it proves nothing and I know that it refers to Christians and Jews because “Az-Zuhri said that `Ubadydullah bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "O Muslims! How could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah
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(Qur'an) that He revealed to His Prophet is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it fresh and young Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and wrote another book with their own hands. They then said, `This book is from Allah,' so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn't the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you.'' This Hadith was also collected by Al-Bukhari.” So unless Mr. "Alan Maricle", can explicitly and demonstrably display where exactly, I misquoted or incorrectly applied this ayah of the Qur’an, I suggest that he brushes up on his trade of deceit. More proof that Islamic position on Bible is that it was faked and corrupted. Ibn Abi Daud writes in his book, Al-Masahif, quoting Yazid ibn Muawiyah Nakhai who passed on the following (interesting) comment from Huzayfa: “Those before you (people of the book) differed just like this. By God, I will go riding to the leader of the believers, Uthman, the third caliph.” Huzayfa was a military officer posted in Armenia and Azerbaijan, and had just come back from doing battle. But when he reached Madina, and witnessed the scene in the Prophet’s mosque, instead of going straight home, he went directly to the third caliph and addressed him thus: “O Leader of the believers! Take care of the people, before they fall victim to the differences regarding the book of God just as the Jews and the Christians did.” Stop begging Islam, it won’t help Mr. Alan Maricle. Yes, even Quran 18:27 won’t help. Not even 6:115. The Qur’an claims that no one can change the Word of God. (Surah 6:115/116; 10:64; 18:27/28; 48:23; 50:28-29). Now, in as much as I am sure he can read, this really made me change my mind. We have something which we (the educated people) call contextual analysis or literary analysis. Meaning, we do not appeal to the fallacy of reading between the lines, nor do we isolate any verses for our own prejudices. To answer this rather absurd claim, all we must do is lay forth three premises: 1. The Qur’an says the Kalamullah cannot be altered. 2. The Qur'an says that the scripture the Ahlul Kitab have is corrupted. 3. The Qur’an says that Allah’s word was not changed. So how do we reconcile these three premises? Simple! The Qur’an says quite clearly that Allah’s word cannot be changed, it then goes on to say that the scripture of the Ahlul Kitab was fraudulent, therefore implying that the words of Allah and the scripture of Ahlul Kitab are two different things. This is confirmed in the first ayah which I quoted, of Qur’an Surah 2, Ayah 79. As in lieu of the Ayah "Alan Maricle" quoted, it means that Ahlul Kitab wrote words and claimed it to be from God! Simple! Under the heading "Other Tidbits" Alan Maricle again denies the facts again keeping me in the same pit which I had fallen into (according to him). God is more reliable than History. (True) But that is what we are debating. "Is the Bible God's word?"
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Anyways the question remains, "WHAT HAD THE POOR DONKEY DONE?"

Let me summarize:

Argument 1: The problem of what exactly did God reveal. Me: What did god actually reveal and how. Alan Maricle: No answers Verdict: Busted.

Argument 2: Scripture is self-affirming. Alan Maricle: Scripture is self-affirming. Me: Not really. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Refuted.

Argument 3: God's actions that can never be explained. Me: Mass murder, killing of donkeys etc. Alan Maricle: God does whatever he wishes. Status: Busted.

Argument 4: What has the poor donkey done? Me: What has the poor donkey done that he should be hanged till death. Replies: God can’t be produced in court. Status: Busted

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Argument 5: Unfulfilled prophecies. Alan Maricle: Bible has many fulfilled prophecies. Me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Nostadamus’ book should be the best book to be called the word of God. Prophecy related to Cain. Unfulfilled. Prophecy related to David. Unfulfilled. Prophecy related to Tyrus. Unfulfilled. Forced unfulfilled prophecy of Jesus.

Alan Maricle: No answers for 1, 2, 3, 5. 4: Deny the fact. Me: Lol. Status: Busted

Argument 6: Isaiah prophecy about Jesus. Me: On one end, the Christian Greek Old Testament places divinity on a child, while the Hebrew Old Testament places divinity on God. Alan Maricle: Keep mum. Status: Busted.

Argument 7: "An argument from Jesus". Alan Maricle: Jesus confirms the OT. Me: Only if we know what Jesus confirmed was OT. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Busted.

Argument 8: Quran on Bible. Alan Maricle: Quran affirms that Bible is the word of God. Me: Quran affirms that Bible is a forged scripture an some parts are corrupted. Alan Maricle: Skips a few points and replies to a few. Me: Remove any further doubts. Status: Pending.

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Argument 9: Versions of Bible and What exactly did Muhammad confirm. Me: Different versions of the Bible, Muhamamd confirmed none. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Busted.

Argument 10: Bible in Muhammad's time. Me: Bible is Muhammad's time was different and very unlike today's. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Busted

Argument 11: Quran confirms previous scriptures. Alan Maricle: Surah 2:86, Surah 5:45 confirm the Bible. 2:89, Surah 2:91, Surah 3:84, Surah 4:136, Surah

Me: No buddy, not really. They don't confirm LXX or Pope Damuscus Canon. Only because it confirms the previous scriptures do we Muslims believe that there were scriptures revealed to other prophets. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Busted.

Argument 12: Old Testament existence in history. Me: Old Testament not known historically. Gets destroyed twice. Alan Maricle: No answers. Status: Busted.

Argument 13: Muhammad in The Bible. (Off the topic) Alan Maricle: Muhammad not found in Bible. Me: Found indeed. Alan Maricle: No replies. Status: Busted.

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Argument 14: No one can change God's words. Alan Maricle: Quran says no one can change God's words. Me: Yes exactly. Status: Busted. I didn't talk about Bart Erhman's methodology and Quran's authenticity because it is not part of the debate. What we are debating is Bible not Quran. So we can't conclude Quran is not the word of God unless we debate the issue.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s Second Rebuttal
Saaib begins his rebuttal by disaffirming much reliance on Bart Ehrman's work on textual criticism, and then continues in the same paragraph to affirm that's precisely what he meant to say. Saaib may be a bit confused by Ehrman's contentions. Saaib says: I argued that we have copies which are separated from their sources by centuries, that for me means we don't know what exactly the words of God were But what is the argument, if not Ehrman's? Saaib hasn't made any other argument really, so his denial makes little sense. Saaib did not respond to the points I made about how Ehrman's argument, if true, destroys the foundations of any trust in the Qur'an as well as the Bible. What is Saaib's answer to Ehrman? Saaib says: The argument was on "canons" not what the content is. A discussion of canon is precisely that - discussion about content. Saaib needs to let us know why the fact that certain different religious groups accept different canons of Scripture leads necessarily to a conclusion that we don't know what the Bible should be. After all, there are those who in the past accepted different versions of the Qur'an. Uthman destroyed the copies made by dissenters. So, since no ubiquitous biblical purge exists in Christian history, that's a black mark against the Bible's reliability? Doesn't that, rather, strengthen the Christian position, since we have wide competition and yet still have soberly-considered and scholarly reasons to accept the canon we do accept? No one person, not even one large organisation, has ever had even close-to-exclusive control over the biblical MSS. This independent dispersion of information into the world allows cross-examination of MSS one of another and precludes the possibility of collusion for altering all MSS copies. I quoted 2 Peter to refute Saaib's tendentious characterisation of "tickled by Holy Spirit". I'm sorry he forgot what he originally said, but Saaib should remember that this is not merely Peter, but God Himself, speaking. Saaib thinks that S2:75 refutes my point, but it does not. It says "while a **party of them** used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah".

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Yes, exactly, I'm happy to concede that A PARTY distorted the Torah. Where's the specific identification of this group? Why does aya 76 set this group apart from "the men of Faith"? If a Bukhari hadith explains that this does refer to Christians/Jews, how are we to understand the way the context teaches otherwise? And what of the other ayat I quoted in which Allah says that none can alter his words? Saaib attempts to say that the words of Allah and the scripture of Ahlul Kitab are two different things, but that's not what the Qur'an says. I cited numerous ayat in my opening statement in which the Qur'anic teaching is that the People of the Book were to check the Qur'an in light of the Taurat and Injeel, that the Qur'an is a confirmation thereof. How can Saaib resolve this contradiction? His later point about the Qur'an's not confirming LXX or the "Pope Damascus Canon" is quite obscure; I don't see the relevance. Finally on this point, note the deep and profound faith that one must have to accept the Islamic position here. Saaib appeals to something that "Az-Zuhri said that `Ubadydullah bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said". And this is better and more reliable than the thousands of biblical MSS to which we have access? I do not understand Saaib's "argument" regarding the donkey. However, he seems to think that my argument that God does not answer to human criticism is "busted". He did not say how so. He neither provides sound exegetical reasons to expect not-yet-fulfilled prophecies to be already fulfilled, nor correctly understands those that I explained, nor overturns my contention that we must trust God over "history", but merely asserts my position is wrong. Saaib provides no alternative for what Jesus might have thought He was quoting when He quoted from and alluded to the OT. In his 1st statement, Saaib quoted some guy asserting Mohammed is found in the Bible. However, naked assertions from obscure Internet personalities are not necessarily sound arguments. Where is Saaib's exegetical argument? It's unclear how my argument that no one can change God's words is "busted". Now, a few items to clean up from his first rebuttal: -Apparently if Saaib were God, he wouldn't have inspired all 4 Evangelists to mention the donkey on which Jesus rode, but he doesn't tell us why or why that matters. -Cain got his wife from others of Adam and Eve's children - Genesis 5:4. -Saaib gives us no evidence that Cain stayed in the city he built after building it.

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-Jeremiah 36:30 refers to God's promise to end Jehoiakim's royal line. Jehoiachin sat on the throne three months and Jehoiakim's brother took his place after Jehoiachin was captured. -I and many others call Jesus "Immanuel". Seems like the prophecy was fulfilled just fine. -God could easily inspire Moses to write about his own death before it happened. God sees the future as easily as the past and present. Or the passage could have been written by later prophets. Why would we think God could not do that? -The Torah’s existence is not known historically before King Josiah if you beg the question by preemptively rejecting the veracity of the OT. Yet the OT makes numerous references to OT Israelites consulting the Law, knowing the Law, etc. -Saaib claims the Torah was burned by Antiochus but doesn't give any evidence.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s 1st Cross-Examination Question
Saaib, in your opening statement, you made the following statement: We have only error ridden copies (of the Bible), and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. What parts of the Bible that we possess today (remember, I'm a Reformed Baptist; don't talk about Rome or other religions), if any, were originally sent down by God and from God, and how do you know?

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's first cross-examination answer
There couldn't have been a better question than this one. Before I answer I want make it clear that my answer won't be for a "Reformed Baptist" but for Christians as a whole. The reason: "...It is difficult to answer, “What is a Reformed Baptist church?”. In the first place, it is difficult to answer because the terms Reformed and Baptists are often seen to be at odds with one another. Secondly, there exists an ever-widening gulf between churches that call themselves Reformed Baptists...." Jim Savastio, PastorReformed Baptist Church of Louisville

What parts of the Bible that we have today were revealed by God? From historical point of view none of its part is from God. As far as Islam is concerned, there are varying opinions. One is that it is a corrupted revealed scripture while the other opinion is that it is not a revealed scripture at all. I personally hold on to the second opinion.

How exactly do I know that this is the case? What did God reveal? The names of the four known scriptures are 'the Tawraat', 'the Zabur', 'the Injeel' and 'the Quran'. 'The Torah' was revealed to Prophet Moses (Peace be upon him) not that it was written by him. The Zabur was revealed to Prophet David (Peace be upon him), not that it was written by him. 'The Injeel' which Allah revealed to Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon him), not that it was written by him. What do we have? We have five books of Moses which are supposed to have been written by Moses. We have the Psalms which are again supposed to have been written by David while parts of it are from other authors. We have the NT which is, in no way, written by Jesus. The Biblical books and the Islamic position: The Five Books which are supposed to have been written by (not revealed to) Moses is not the Tawraat (which the Quran talks about) nor were they written by Moses nor were they revealed to Moses.

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As for Psalms which are supposed to have been written by (not revealed to) David is not the Zabur (which the Quran talks about) nor were they written by David nor were they revealed to David. NT according to Christians themselves has no book attributed to Jesus. The Evidence: Books of Moses: The script of Pentateuch was lost which was was found by a priest called Hilkiah. This is not to be believed solely on the grounds that it was found by a priest. Apart from this fact, it again disappeared before invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchdbezzar. Some Christians have it that it was rewritten by Ezra (which proves that it is Pentateuch of Ezra, not Moses), this book was burnt along with its copies by Antiochus. We do not find a single place in the Pentateuch which can indicate that the author of this book is Moses or that it was revealed to him. In fact the thirst person has been used for Moses at every place. Moreover, how could Moses have written his own Obituary. Dr. Alexander Gides says in his introduction to the New Bible (Quoted in Volume 10 of Penny Encyclopedia, also produced in Khulasa Saiful-Muslimeen): "....I have come to know three things beyond any doubt....... 1. The present Pentateuch is not the book of Mosses........" Psalms: We do not find any documentary evidence to show a particular man to be its writer. The period of collection of Psalms is also debated (not known actually). Are the Psalms prophetic? Not known. Infact, ancient Christians themselves believed Psalms to have been a work of many hands (with some exceptions though). Writers like Origen believe that Psalms were written by David. Writers like Hilary, Athnasius, Jerome and Eusebius have refuted this view: "....undoubtedly the former statement is altogether wrong....." Psalms have a colorful history. One group has it that more than 30 Pslams are from unknown authors (Hilary, Anthasius). Some say that some of the Pslams are from Moses (Eusebius). Jerome has attributed Psalm 88 to Heman and Psalm 89 to Ethan (and none of them is David). Cornet tells us that not more 45 Pslams can be attributed to David. Horne tells us that Psalms have been written by not less than 11 people. Collins' R.S.V. 1971. Pages 12-17 confirms the above facts in the following words: "....PSALMS: AUTHOR. Principally David, though there are other writers....." NT: Nothing needed to be said about the books which NT contains because what we need is the Gospel which Jesus preached not what we have (i.e The Biographical accounts, The Acts of Apostles, Pauline Epistles etc.)

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What about the truth in the Bible? There are many verses in the Bible that can be attributed to God but one think that is to be remembered is that they weren't revealed to the particular author who wrote them. The author just put them in his writings. The Bible is actually a written account of Oral Traditions, some of which were right (and can be attributed to God) and some of which were wrong (which can't be attributed to God). As for us Muslims, whatever goes against Quran (and the authentic Hadith) is not from God, and whatever is confirmed by it could have been the word of God.

Bible as a Historic Document: Bible can't even be taken into consideration as a Historical document as to check what the earliest followers of the scripture believed. The reason is the corruption of the scripture. We have only error ridden copies (of the Bible), and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. We don't have a possible way of knowing the originals (as a historian, as a theologian Quran can help us).

The problem within Christianity (and Judaism): What exactly is your scripture. Example: the majority of Psalms frequently different in the Masoretic and Septuagint traditions, or missing in one while present in the other.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's 1st Cross-Examination Question
What exactly is the word of God? If I hold a copy of Quran in my hand, I will have no problem in saying that this Arabic Text, in here, is 100 % the unaltered, pure Word of God (notice my words). No matter whose translation it is, I will be able to do it. Thus I will be able to present to you a document which according to me is 100% the unaltered, pure word of God. No matter you agree with me or not, but I will be able to do it. Can you do the same. Can you tell us that so and so Greek, or Hebrew, or Aramaic, or English is 100 % the unaltered, pure word of God. Can you please tell us exactly that this copy of the text is 100% the unaltered, pure word of God. While doing so, do give us a reason for the same. At the same time you should also be consistent with mainstream Christianity.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s First Cross-Examination Answer
Either Saaib doesn't really understand or is ignorant of what Ehrman says, he is being disingenuous, or we're having communication problems, but I don't understand his denial, from his first rebuttal: He started refuting Bart Erhman and wrote an essay on it. What I made was an entirely different argument Yet here he seems to circle right back to Ehrman's objections, which my first rebuttal wrecked, and Saaib has offered no counterargument. If I hold a copy of the NASB in my hand, I will have no problem in saying that this English text, in here, is 100% the unaltered, pure Word of God. As for which language, the Word of God is meant to communicate to “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and there exists a stream of MSS testimony in those languages. It was translated into Greek in the LXX in the 1st century BC and a separate but overlapping stream of MSS evidence exists for it. The NT was written in Greek, and textual streams are in place for Greek and then translations later made into all sorts of languages like Latin, Coptic, Syriac, etc. All of these MSS were taken into account when the NASB was translated into English. All of these MSS were collated, compared and contrasted, and combined to form the standard text we have today. In Greek, that’s the NA27. The NA27 might be hard to find in Pakistan, where Islam's dominance means free thought and exchange of ideas is suppressed, but it's readily available in the USA. Saaib again demonstrates here his ignorance of textual criticism of the Bible and the history of biblical MSS. Sure, he can cite this or that person, a couple of whom are well-known and several of whom are random people. Sure, he can make arguments from authority without providing those authorities' substantiating argumentation. How does any of this help his case, though? Thus, Saaib, I will be able to present to you a document which according to me is 100% the unaltered, pure Word of God. No matter whether you agree with me, I will be able to do it. This turnabout should illustrate the double standards inherent in Saaib’s position. For his own part, he makes naked assertions that the biblical authors didn’t in fact write the books they purportedly wrote. Not that historical, traditional sourcing is inerrant or infallible, but should there not be some argument given to rebut that understanding? Simply arguing that it’s implausible that Moses wrote his own obituary because that would require supernatural

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intervention doesn’t help anyone, least of all Saaib. Why? Saaib is a theist, as I explained earlier. God can do that if He wants. Don't argue like an atheist. How could a mere man remember so much? He was inspired by God, as explained earlier. How could a man’s writing style differ during different parts of his life? The same way yours does when you write a letter to your mother when you’re 11 years old and when you write a theological debate entry when you’re 60. So what else do these men have? We have yet to see any argument, just authorities. As for how I know that the Bible is the Word of God, I presented several arguments in my opening statement. Saaib is running out of time to address them substantively. He has not done so; he has merely waved his hands and said “no, that’s not right” or in some cases offered incompetent arguments which he did not rescue from the defeaters I offered, even though he had the opportunity in his second statement. Due to his ignorance of textual criticism, Saaib may have gotten lost on the idea of “a copy”, as he says in his question. Nobody is claiming that any one extant MSS copy is the Word of God. The quality and preferability of a given MSS copy depends on various factors, including its age. Older, ie, closer to the original writing is better, all other things being equal. However, all other things are never equal. What textual stream it comes from matters. Whether it contains unique or rare readings matters. Etc. Textual criticism is complicated and I don’t pretend to be anything close to an expert, but I do know enough to know that Saaib is offering to us a line of double standards and poor thinking. I’ve already done this, but in the hopes of getting through to Saaib, let me reiterate. How does Saaib know that he has 100% the unaltered, pure Word of God? I know he thinks he does, but let’s discuss some points of doubt. How does he know that: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Mohammed correctly repeated what he heard from Jibril? Mohammed's companions correctly heard him? These companions correctly remembered what they heard over the course of decades? Those that listened to the companions correctly remembered? These guys correctly wrote it all down? Important part of the written documentation wasn't lost at some point? Satan didn't influence one or more of those who wrote down what he remembered to write down some false things? (Indeed, Mohammed himself recited revelation from Satan and later recanted it.) 8) Uthman didn't have any evil ulterior motives when collecting all the Qur'anic MSS? 9) Uthman didn't burn the wrong MSS?

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There are all these places where any critic who took on naturalistic presuppositions could "destroy" the idea of Qur'anic reliability. The point is that Saaib has to trust God to preserve what he wanted to say, and I'd like to ask him, when he is arguing against the debate resolution, to stay consistent and allow me to trust God where we cannot speak from direct observation and evidence, about deep history.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s Second Cross-Examination Question
In between when Islam alleges that Allah revealed the Qur'an to Mohammed and the Qur'an's alleged collection and collation into one allegedly unified text by Caliph Uthman, some years, perhaps even decades, passed, during which the Qur'an was allegedly being preserved in the memories of those who'd heard Mohammed recite it to them, those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed, those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed, and those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed, etc. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) How do you know that not one single error entered into the remembrance of what would later become the written text of the Qur'an during this in-between time?

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's Second Cross-Examination Answer
The question is completely off the topic. Thus I take liberty to make some comments on Alan Maricle's answer to my earlier Question. Alan Maricle writes: "....If I hold a copy of the NASB in my hand, I will have no problem in saying that this English text, in here, is 100% the unaltered, pure Word of God....." 1. None of the God's revelations were made in English. 2. "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" is copyrighted to Lockman Foundation. 3. "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" came into being in year 1971. 4. "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" was edited in 1972. 5. "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" has some modified versions (published: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977). 6. "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" was finally updated in 1995. Google "NASB" and see the colorful history of the Bible (in their own words). Oopz, God's word has been renamed as "New American Standard Bible". The name speaks by itself. Moving ahead Alan Maricle said: "....The quality and preferability of a given MSS copy depends on various factors, including its age. Older, i.e. closer to the original writing is better, all other things being equal......" Thus he contradicts his earlier statement: ".......You said: "The closer the manuscript is to the source authentic is the manuscript". Not necessarily. You're showing your ignorance about textual criticism. No wonder you're failing to understand and making such basic errors....." In his reply, "Alan Maricle", confidently, put forward 9 questions. He wants to know how am I confident that:

Q 1) Mohammed correctly repeated what he heard from Jibril? A: Because he had to recite it back to Jibril. Muhammad (saw) recited the entire Quran in presence of Jibril every year. This was done twice in the last year of his life.

Q 2) Mohammed’s companions correctly heard him? A: Because they had to recite it back to Muhammad (SAW). Moreover Muhammad (SAW) used to make them read what they had written. Note that there were not less than 42 scribes and remember that Quran used to be recited not less than 6 times a day in the Mosque (in Namaz).
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Every year Quran was and is being repeated in public in the month of Ramadhan in Taraweeh. This was (is) done in front of hundreds (millions today).

Q 3) These companions correctly remembered what they heard over the course of decades? A: Memory was backed with writing. Note: There were thousands of companions who had it embedded inside their hearts, if one erred there were thousands to correct him. Read answer to Q 2 again, that will add to it.

Q 4) Those that listened to the companions correctly remembered? A: The companions of the prophet made written copies of Quran. Thus those who listened to the companions had a written book to correct them. Note: Every copy of Quran was accompanied with a reciter. Even the pronunciation was thus preserved.

Q 5) These guys correctly wrote it all down? A: It was already written down. And moreover whatever was in writing was cross-cheked with other copies, very unlike New Testament.

Q 6) Important parts of the written documentation wasn’t lost at some point? A: Because no one had ever found such case. The reason being, writing was accompanied with memorizing and memorization had support of written mushafs.

Q 7) Satan didn’t influence one or more of those who wrote down what he remembered to write down some false things? (Indeed, Mohammed himself recited revelation from Satan and later recanted it.) A: He didn't have only one to influence. He had to influence thousands, alas he wasn't even able to influence even one not even Muhammad (saw). I could have answered that God wouldn't allow it but that would make Alan Maricle say that same is the case with Bible. True, but I never talked about Satan influencing the corruption of Bible.

By bringing Satan into the discussion Alan Maricle makes a theological argument not a Historical argument. A theological argument will have a theological response. That’s why for Satan to influence it can be argued that there is God to protect. Note that Alan later accuses Saaib of begging God, but that was only when he begged Satan.

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Q 8) Uthman didn’t have any evil ulterior motives when collecting all the Qur’anic MSS? A: One, Quran was compiled under Abu Bakr not Uthman. Two, Uthman was only one out of the eight who made the second compilation. Note: When Uthman's commission finished the compilation, they compared it with the earlier compilation done under Abu Bakr and both the Mushaf's were exactly the same. The probability of such a miracle is equal to 1/No of words in the Quran (Factorial) which is equal to zero. Thus proving that the Quran was perfectly preserved.

Q 9) Uthman didn’t burn the wrong MSS? ("right" MSS) A: Uthmanic commission made 8 copies of Quran burning all other copies without checking them. Thus the question doesn't arise. Thus Alan Maricle's present question already stands answered. But some more things need to be cleared. Quran in the present form was present in Muhammad's (SAW) time. The companions of the prophet put it in one Mushaf. It was not done by those who had not directly heard it from the prophet. This written Mushaf helped Quran to remain preserved in the memories of those who'd heard Mohammed recite it to them, those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed, those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed, and those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard those who'd heard Mohammed. It is evident that not even a single error crept inside the text. The compilation made under Abu Bakr was exactly the same as that which was done under Uthman and I have already told you the probablity of such an occarance is zero. Read the answers to the 9 questions and you will see some more reasons that errors didn't creep in. Reverend Bosworth Smith had to recognize this great reality. He said: “… we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation, and in the chaos of its contents, but on the substantial authenticity of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt.” (Mohammed and Mohammedanism, Darf Publishers, London 1986 pp. 14-15) Other jaundiced Orientalists also accepted this great reality. Adrian Brockett in his "The Value of Hafs and Warsh Transmissions For The Textual History of The Qur'ân": ''.....The transmission of the Qur'ân after the death of Muhammad was essentially static, rather than organic. There was a single text, and nothing significant, not even allegedly abrogated material, could be taken out nor could anything be put in. This is applied even to the early Caliphs....."

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Sir William Muir, echoed that the Bible hasn't remained pure. In fact he says no other scripture other that Quran has remained as pure as Quran. "....Yet but ONE KORAN has always been current amongst them.... There is probably in the world no other work which has remained twelve centuries (fourteen centuries now*) with so pure a text.....'' This fulfills Allah's (SWT) promise: ‘’Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).’’ I have exceeded the word limit by 110 words, the reason is that I had to copy Alan Maricle's 9 Question. I could have redirected my audience to his page but that would have been cumbersome.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's Second Cross-Examination Question
You made the following statement: ".....If I hold a copy of the NASB in my hand, I will have no problem in saying that this English text, in here, is 100% the unaltered, pure Word of God......" We know that NASB is a product of 1900s. Does that mean that Christians have been using corrupted scriptures for almost 1800 years. If NASB is based on NA27 then I would say NASB is a product of 1500s, doesn't that mean Christians had been using corrupted scriptures for almost 1500 years. How are you so much sure that NASB is the "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" when there is every possibility that it can be revised again (in fact it will be). NASB is based on Alexandrian Text (Correct me), whose manuscripts date from 200c (Pauline Epistles). These Pauline epistles present us with a problem, there isn’t enough space (we have 7 missing leaves) to accommodate 1 Timothy (estimated 8.25 pages), 2 Timothy (6 pages) and Titus (3.5 pages). The next manuscript we have is of Gospel of John, Papyrus 66 which lacks the pericope which, sorry to say, is present in NASB. Comment on this interpolation present in your "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God". Moreover this "100% the unaltered, pure Word of God" has a preface in which we read the "Fourfold Aim" that "They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized." Keeping this in mind, how can you say that the work is an unbiased one when they themselves say something else?

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s Second Cross-Examination Answer
Despite its popularity and prevalence in Islamic apologetics circles, Muslim critics of the Bible should really learn the ins and outs of textual criticism of the Bible before they speak with such confidence combined with ignorance. Because of his ignorance, this debate has been more of a seminar on biblical textual criticism and history than a debate. It would also help Saaib if he'd done his due diligence and ensured that his presentations and arguments used consistent premises that wouldn't, if consistently applied, result in the destruction of his own position. Here again we see him relying on naturalistic premises and arguments when he is in fact a theist who has to place a great deal of trust in his god to preserve that god's revelation to mankind. This is how it should be. We should and must place our trust in God; naturalism and paganism are irrational and impossible alternatives. And since by definition an omniscient, omnipotent God who never lies is a higher authority and a better source of truth than human historical recordings, which are certainly fallible and by necessity vastly incomplete, we have to figure out which God is the right one to follow. This is what Saaib has not yet grasped and thus has not engaged in his arguments. Saaib finds it difficult to accept that the NASB is 100% the unaltered Word of God. A few clarifications: 1) I mentioned the NASB because it's my favorite, it takes few translational liberties (ie, it is a formally-equivalent translation), and it is based on the latest (more or less) MSS information. 2) There are of course textual variants whose original referents are mysterious and may very well never be known. I already mentioned this in my opening statement. Most are movable "nu"s and other untranslatable particles of Greek grammar. 3) None of these variants affect any doctrinal teaching of the Bible. 4) What does "100% unaltered" even mean? Does Saaib think today's written Qur'an is compiled in the exact order in which each Surah was revealed? It's a statement appealing to an imaginary ideal. 5) Requiring "100% unaltered" is an unreasonable standard, and one that the Qur'an can't meet. Just look at the way Saaib answered my 9 challenges in his last answer. Appeals to faith, every time. How does he know these things? When questioning the credibility of a man on one issue (whether "Mohammed correctly repeated what he heard from Jibril"), don't appeal to other statements he has made that have no other confirmatory evidence as confirmatory evidence of the first statement! That's merely begging the question. Strictly speaking, "corruption" means that textual variants exist within the extant corpus of NT MSS, but it does not necessarily mean that this corruption is irreversible or that the authentic original reading is undiscoverable. Quite the contrary, and that's what textual criticism is all about. Broadly speaking, even if all 5000+ extant NT MSS agreed with each other, but one of them had a movable "nu" in a different spot, "corruption" would exist. The question is not
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whether corruption exists in ancient documents. The question is to what extent, and whether the resources are present to overcome it. With thousands and thousands of MSS to cross-reference, I'm afraid that Saaib's objection comes up empty. Saaib needs to give us a good reason to think that 1) God couldn't or wouldn't have used the process of copying that we see in the NT MSS history to preserve His Word, 2) there is good reason to think that some doctrines are placed in doubt and that these are serious, and 3) that he has a better alternative. Think about it - the Apostle Paul writes a letter to a church. He sends it. It arrives and the church decides to send it out to all the churches they know. They copy it 15 times and send out those 15 copies. Those 15 churches want to send it to the 15 churches they know. Each makes 15 copies and sends it out. Etc. The copying causes the amount of MSS to grow exponentially, and the copies are dispersed all over the world. Thus nobody ever has centralised and final control over the text (unlike Islam) and contrary to what Saaib ignorantly asserted, it was possible back then to cross-reference copies of a given document, and it's possible (and common practice) now. A few other tidbits: -The NASB puts the pericope of the adulteress in brackets and leaves a footnote referencing the fact that many earlier MSS do not contain it. That's called full disclosure, and it's impossible on Islam, given the Uthmanic purging of Qur'anic MSS. Of course it's an interpolation; the question is, was it in the original and removed, or was it added? More probably it was added later, for several reasons. Whether it belongs or not, it affects no doctrine. I personally do not hold it to be authentic. -A few extant NT MSS are earlier than 200 years after Christ. -Saaib asserted that the "Pauline epistles present...a problem" but didn't say why or what problem. -I would never claim that the NASB translators were unbiased. I think it's easily demonstrated that they were fair. -Saaib falsely claims I contradicted myself in my last cross-examination answer. He needs to read more carefully. "Not necessarily" and "all other things being equal. However, all other things are never equal" should have informed his thinking at that point. -Memory was backed with writing." Exactly. Same with the NT. Be consistent. -Saaib says "The companions of the prophet made written copies of Quran. Thus those who listened to the companions had a written book to correct them." Exactly. Same with the NT and Jesus and the apostles. Be consistent. -Saaib's answer to challenge #6 is bizarre. That's the point: if something is lost, it's not found. This merely demonstrates that Saaib must trust his god completely at this point. Whether he'll admit it is another question.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Alan Maricle’s Closing Statement
I'd like to thank Saaib again for participating in this debate, and the readers for reading. Please remember that our closing statements are to be posted more or less simultaneously, so no rebuttal to each others' closers will be possible. Let's begin by revisiting: Saaib's opening statement His poor understanding of biblical history began to become clear therein: This Bible came into being during the Reformation, nearly 900 years after the advent of Islam. One wonders how the Qur'an or the hadith literature can endorse a Bible that came some 900 years after them... The truth is that no one had defined the limits of the Bible until the (Catholic) Council of Trent, 1546. Having read this statement the sixth time or so as I'm writing my final statement, I'm struck anew by its foolishness. The various books of the NT existed from the time that the human author received the Holy Spirit's inspiration and put pen to paper. Then, as I've mentioned, the books were copied and distributed widely, only to be copied again and widely distributed again, etc. God subtly and gradually brought His people in all parts of the world to a consensus that was reached without a centralised authority structure mandating that the Canon of the New Testament be set in stone. I've already refuted Saaib's allusion to the Council of Trent, but also, Trent's Canon of Scripture disagrees only with the Protestant Old Testament. Even Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy hold to the same NT Canon. Saaib's statement even misunderstands the implications of the Qur'anic texts I quoted. If nobody knew the limits of the Bible until well after the Qur'an's writing, why would the author of the Qur'an to refer People of the Book to the Injeel or the Taurat? What is the meaning of the very appellation "People ofthe Book" if they didn't know what the Book was? How could the author of the Qur'an or ahadith know that corruption existed in the Bible's text if the limits were not known? If nobody knew whether the book of Isaiah was Scripture, why did they even pay attention to it any more than they paid attention to the textual history of their cookbook or a teenage novel? Saaib shows no sign of having thought this objection through, and yet it is perhaps one of his two main objections to the resolution.

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Later, he said: as the individual books (Biblical Canon), their contents and their order vary among denominations. Which books did he have in mind? Sure their order varies occasionally, I guess. But the individual books' contents vary? If he means that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics accept a longer version of Daniel and Jeremiah, I suppose that's true, but there are numerous reasons to reject those longer versions, and weak reasons to accept them. Saaib's limited English may have prevented him from properly distinguishing between the words "denomination" and "religion", but in no way do I accept that Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy are different denominations. They are different churches, heterodox and heretical. They have no part with me and I none with them. Saaib needed to argue against my position, and find a Romanist later if he wants to debate about Rome. Saaib goes on to say: What Did The Bible Look Like In Arabia During The Advent Of Islam? No one can answer this question, and the fact remains that no one has ever. This is completely untrue, however. Hundreds of MSS copies predate the rise of Islam. Three extremely important and extremely complete codices predate it by 300 years - Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus. As for the Islamic sources, some interesting snap-shots of the contents of the Christian Bible are also seen in Ibn Hisham's Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah. Wait, didn't Saaib just finish telling us that no one knows the contents of the Bible at Mohammed's time? How can he contradict himself just a few sentences later, unless his objection is actually untenable? The miracles of Jesus speaking in infancy and giving life to birds made out of clay are usually dismissed by the missionaries as "apocryphal" but these were perfectly acceptable to Christians in Arabia during the advent of Islam. In reality, these are quotations from Gnostic works, not Christian at all. It may be true that some Christians ignorantly/naively accepted these works as canonical at that time, but it is demonstrably not true that all did. Why weren't any of these works included in the great codices I just mentioned? Why did early church writers such as Irenæus (2nd century AD) write long works such as Adversus Hæreses, which was written at least in large part to combat Gnosticism? Would anyone familiar with the NT's savage rebuttals of Gnosticism found in Colossians, 1 John, and the Corinthian epistles also go ahead and accept Gnostic works as seamlessly compatible with them?

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It is ironic, I pause to note, that the majority of events from Jesus' life that the Qur'an mentions are derived from Gnostic works, and then it goes the exact opposite way of the clear teaching of all four Gospels regarding Christ's crucifixion, getting it totally backwards. It would be difficult to get any less accurate than the Qur'an gets it. Finally, he cited "Rabbi Ben Abrahamson" in some article that I was never able to track down, making a vague allusion to how Mohammed is indeed prophesied in the book of Daniel. Saaib gave no argument, however, and so I don't know how that is supposed to help him. Mere appeals to authority seem to be Saaib's specialty, but in formal debate, arguments need to be substantiated. My first rebuttal -I refuted Ehrman, whom Saaib quoted approvingly to bolster his other main argument. Saaib responded by denying he was relying on Ehrman, only to repeat Ehrman's argument later. -I turned the tables, indicating that the Muslim needs an argument to overturn Ehrman's contentions, given that the textual history of the Qur'an includes MSS copies that are not in 100% agreement, despite Uthman's purge. Saaib did not address this. -I turned the tables in another way: Since the Qur'an teaches that the people of the Book are to judge the Qur'an by the Injeel and the Taurat, and since the Qur'an claims that it is a confirmation of those, and since none of us can know, even with our vast numbers of MSS discoveries from vastly varied geographical areas, what the Injeel said (per Ehrman), that means Mohammed couldn't know what the Injeel said, nor could the people of the Book at Mohammed's time. So Allah's command becomes meaningless and literally impossible to follow. Yet it's a central piece of Allah's argument with respect to persuading people of the Book to follow Islam. Saaib never addressed this. -I asked: If the fact that the majority of the MSS are "centuries removed" from the original writers, what does that tell us about the Qur'an, which is actually in a worse position in that respect? Saaib never answered. -Saaib insisted on the grossly unfair characterisation of the Holy Spirit's inspiration of the biblical writers as "tickled by Holy Spirit". Is this the action of a man who wants to know the truth and is willing to test the best his opponent's position has to offer? -The fact that Allah swears by his creation in the Qur'an shows that Allah considers his word less important and authoritative than Yahweh considers His own word. How can the Qur'an have been existent from eternity past when Allah's oaths appeal to things that were created at a point in time, which didn't exist at times when the Qur'an did? Saaib never answered. -Saaib judges Yahweh morally faulty for some of His activities. Though requested to, Saaib
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never let us know on what authority he throws God into court. Rather, he simply mocks the idea with a wave of the hand and a "Busted". -Saaib fell into the warned-about pitfall of citing unfulfilled prophecy without giving, as stated, "proper exegesis to show why we should expect that prophecy should have already been fulfilled." I reminded him he needed to do so but he never did. -Saaib said "history tells us". Does Saaib think we should trust "history" (whatever that means), or the Word of God? I don't know, for though I asked, he didn't answer. Saaib's second statement -He merely brushed aside my argument from the Qur'anic affirmation of the truth and divine origin of the Bible, without an argument as to why. -He attempts to argue that the Injeel and Taurat that the Qur'an affirms are totally different documents than what we know today. 1) But we do know what each of them was in Mohammed's time. 2) If this is true, these books were lost to history. They are gone. Allah did not preserve his communication with mankind. If Allah is willing to let his previous revelations go thus, what makes Saaib think that Allah is faithful to preserve the Qur'an? Just because Allah said so? He said the same about the Injeel and Taurat, and look what supposedly happened. 3) Where is Saaib's evidence? Did nobody keep any record of these books such that we don't even have one single extant MSS copy today? -He repeated his claim that Old Testament not known historically. Gets destroyed twice. Refutations of this can be found above. -He made several other bizarre and/or irrelevant arguments, as mentioned in my second rebuttal. His answer to my first cross-examination question I asked: What parts of the Bible that we possess today (remember, I'm a Reformed Baptist; don't talk about Rome or other religions), if any, were originally sent down by God and from God, and how do you know? He began by casting doubt on the concept of a Reformed Baptist. If he'd bothered to do any research other than quoting some pastor in Louisville I've never heard of, he'd know that it actually is very easy to distinguish Reformed Baptists. They hold to confessions of faith. I'm pretty partial to the London Baptist Confessions of Faith of 1646 and 1689. He began to answer the question by simply assuming his idiosyncratic view of history is true, that Moses didn't write the Taurat, that David didn't write any of the Psalms, etc. His main
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justification for his denial of Mosaic authorship was: how could Moses have written his own Obituary. Here is where Saaib argued like an atheist, about which I warned him earlier. Does he think that all Qur'anic revelation came through Mohammed's natural abilities, or does he think that many of them were obtained through supernatural revelation? Why couldn't God simply have Moses write prophetically about his death before it happened? What's so hard about that? Saaib turned the whole thing into a bit of a laugher when he said: The script of Pentateuch was lost which was was found by a priest called Hilkiah. How does he know that? Because that's what the text of the OT says! But I thought that he just told us that From historical point of view none of its part is from God. So Saaib walked right into a trap there. Ouch. Did Saaib give us a reason to think that it's untrue simply that the books of the OT, as they were inspired and written down, became part of Israel's deposit of faith and revelation, that the Torah was lost for a time because some copies were hidden in the wall of the temple whereas faithless Israel had otherwise forgotten about or destroyed many of its other copies? Until Hilkiah found the copy in the wall later? How could Saaib possibly know this? He went on: this book was burnt along with its copies by Antiochus. How does he know that all the copies were burnt? He didn't say. the thir(d) person has been used for Moses at every place. This author knows that it is possible to write consistently in the third person. the majority of Psalms frequently different in the Masoretic and Septuagint traditions, or missing in one while present in the other. That is simply untrue. The majority are numbered differently, sure, because the LXX divides one of them up into two, and that occurs fairly early on in the book. So what? As for his implication that a large chunk are "missing"... I'd need to see some evidence.

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Finally, he said: As for us Muslims, whatever goes against Quran (and the authentic Hadith) is not from God, and whatever is confirmed by it could have been the word of God. Oops. As we've seen above, the Qur'an actually does confirm that the OT and NT are from God, so Saaib's position is completely incoherent. Our final two interactions Saaib fixated on what he thought was a good point but what was actually yet another demonstration of his gross ignorance pertaining to textual criticism and how MSS are collated, compared and contrasted, and combined to form the standard text we use today to translate directly out of into the destination language, whether it be English, French, Urdu, Swahili, or Bambara. Since he never dealt with the point I made in my opening statement, that: The presence of textual variants, while not to be ignored, does not impact the doctrinal presentation of the Bible. The vast majority of all variants in the New Testament, for example, are the presence o(r) absence of "movable nu"s, which are so insignificant as to be untranslatable into any other language; he did not understand what I meant when I claimed that the NASB (among numerous other solid translations) is 100% the Word of God. I also pointed out that his use of the term "unaltered" needs extremely serious qualification, which I do not believe he is knowledgeable enough to make. Finally on this point, notice that I was honest with you, the reader, and Saaib wasn't. My doubts about the proper transmission of the Qur'an and the point of my second cross-exam question were to provoke Saaib into revealing his faith commitments. Look at his answers. How does Saaib know: 1) Mohammed repeated it back to Jibril? 2) His companions recited it back to Mohammed? 3-5) Their memory was backed with writing? 6) No case of lost written documentation occurred? etc? One word: Faith. I have been and will be honest that my appeal is rooted in God, in faith that He preserves His Word. Saaib also has faith, but won't admit it. Further, Saaib's position's trustworthiness goes back to one single person - Mohammed. Mine goes back to the hundreds of people who heard Jesus and spoke and wrote about what they saw, heard, and touched. Following Islam will lead nobody to eternal life. Islam says: "Live for God. Do not sin. Do good deeds. Allah might honor the balance of your good deeds unless he unilaterally decides to turn your heart from good to evil and damn you."

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Yet the Injeel teaches: Galatians 3:19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made...21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Romans 5:6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. You can never do enough to be right with God. One sin will suffice to condemn you as a lawbreaker, as imperfect and unworthy to live forever in the presence of the holy, holy, holy God of the universe. Haven't you sinned even today? Always prayed when you were supposed to? Never lied? Never lusted after a woman, money, cars, toys? Always been 100% content with what God has given you? Come clean - you have broken God's law. You need a Savior. The Injeel, which, as we've seen, you have no reason to distrust and every reason to believe came straight from God, tells us of that perfect Savior, Who can save and cleanse lawbreakers like you and me. God Himself exercised His power, took on flesh, and suffered for you and me. 1 Peter 2:24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

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The Bible Is the Word of God Debate
Saaib's Closing Statement
I am supposed to write the conclusion of the debate in 3000 words. The conclusion I draw from the debate is that Bible is not the word of God and it isn't even reliable as a historical document. Enough reasons have given to support the conclusion. The reasons which "Alan Maricle" had given us in his opening statement have been dealt with comprehensively. An Argument from God's Self-Affirming Authority isn't enough to satisfy a seeker of truth. An Argument from Fulfilled Prophecy makes Nostadamus' book the best book to be called the word of God. An Argument from Jesus is not valid because we don't have his arguments nor do we know what he exactly said. The External Critique from Islam shows us that the earliest followers of Islam (i.e Muhammad (saw) and his companions) never considered Bible to be the word of God. This is how I sum up Alan Maricle's opening statement. The question of the Donkey remains unanswered. "What has the poor donkey done?" The only answer we have from "Alan Maricle" is that we can't produce God in court, in other words there are no justifications for such actions. We are yet to know how exactly the Bible writers "tickled" to write what they wrote. We have also seen that it does not help us to say that the Bible is the inerrant word of God because we don't have the words that God inerrantly inspired. What we have are the words copied by the scribes—sometimes correctly but sometimes (many times!) incorrectly. It doesn't help us to say that the autographs (i.e., the originals) were inspired. We don't have the originals! We have only error ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. To be frank enough I have nothing to say now as I feel the debate speaks by itself. No more comments need to be made. But I have 3000 words which I would like to utilize. In his first rebuttal, "Alan Maricle" discussed Bart Erhman a lot, as if he was debating Erhman not me. I didn't make any comments on it because it was off the topic but now I would like make a few comments on it. I had quoted Erhman from his book "Misquoting Jesus": How does it help us to say that the Bible is the inerrant word of God if in fact we don't have the words that God inerrantly inspired but only the words copied by the scribes—sometimes correctly but sometimes (many times!) incorrectly? What good is it to say that the autographs (i.e., the originals) were inspired? We don't have the originals! We have only error ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. Alan Maricle commented on this saying: "....if Ehrman had the courage to apply his same methodology and presuppositions to the Qur'an, Ehrman would come to the same conclusion about the Qur'an, that it misquotes Mohammed....." He tells us how exactly he could have reached such a conclusion:
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"P1) No original NT MSS is extant.P2) The extant MSS copies of the NT differ from each other.P3) I presuppose without argument that differences in copies mean that God could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation He intended to communicate was in fact preserved, because that's what I believe and I don't examine my beliefs deeply.C) Therefore, differences in copies mean that God could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation He intended to communicate was in fact preserved." Then "Alan Maricle" went on to say: What if we apply the same reasoning to the Qur'an? "P1) No original Qur'an MSS is extant.P2) The extant MSS copies of the Qur'an differ from each other. (Saaib will probably deny this, but that merely means he is ignorant.)P3) I presuppose that differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved.C) Therefore, differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved." He went on to say: "....it is implausible that chains of narration could preserve a long text like the Qur'an with 100% accuracy over the course of many years, therefore that didn't happen.... " He continues further: "......How does Saaib know for sure that Uthman didn't burn the most faithful MSS copies of the Qur'an? He doesn't. He has to trust his god....." And he also went on to say: "...If the fact that the majority of the MSS are "centuries removed" from the original writers, what does that tell us about the Qur'an, which is actually in a worse position in that respect?...." Now let us see what actually happens if Bart Erhman's methodology is applied to Quran. We also need to check whether it is applicable to Quran on not. P1) No original Qur'an MSS is extant. Muhammad (saw) was not the writer of Quran thus there can never be an original manuscript. The very question of original manuscript starts from Uthman who made copies of Quran and sent them to foreign lands. The Quran in Muhammad's time wasn't compiled in one book. It was only under the Abu Bakr that such a thing happened. Finally under Uthman we had a second compilation which was found exactly the same as the first one.

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“I compared the Mushaf with those manuscripts; they did not differ in anything.”(Mushkil al-Athar, Hadith 2645) What has been written under Muhammad (saw) is collected and written down into a book. Uthman makes an independent compilation and this compilation is exactly same as earlier compilation. What does this mean? This means the text had no changes whatsoever. Further, the same committee made 8 copies of the Quran. Where are these copies today? There are at least two copies which are supposed to be one of these. Though there have been debates on this, but the thing that needs to be kept in mind is that there are manuscripts as early as this. I won’t debate on the issue of authenticity of the manuscripts. Are they really Uthmanic copies or later copies? I won’t comment on this. Let us take a +- 100 years time. Notice that I will do the same for the Bible also while the case is different for that. So what do find in these manuscripts? How much text of Quran can be confirmed within the first century. Would you believe it that it is more than 90%. Yes, more than 90% of the Quranic text can be confirmed within 100 years. What about the Bible? (Note: The sequence I am giving is my own research, it can be debated upon. e.g A manuscript is dated as 1 Ce to 100 CE and other manuscript is dated as 40 CE to 70 CE, which one shoule be considered earlier one????) We have nothing from the first century. The earliest manuscript we have is Rylands Library Papyrus P52 (unless Alan Maricle can correct me). How much of the text does it give us? Ahem!!!!! It includes John 18:31-33 and John 18:37-38. I want "Alan Maricle" to work out the percentage. What we have next is Papyrus 32, it contains only Titus 1:11-15; 2:3-8. Alan Maricle will work out the percentage. Next we have P 64, it includes Matthew 26:7-8, 10, 14-15, 22-23, 31-33, Alan Maricle will calculate the percentage. (Note: We are already in second century. 100 % of Quranic Text can be confirmed withing first half of second century). Next we have is P 66, it includes John 1:1-6:11; 6:35-14:26, 29-30; 15:2-26; 16:2-4, 6-7; 16:10-20:20, 22-23; 20:25-21:9, 12, 17. The manuscript does not include the pericope of the adulteress (7:53 - 8:11), making it the earliest witness not to include this spurious passage. Alan Maricle should comment on this. On and on and on. We have four more manuscripts which can be attributed to second century, but these also include one or two verses only. Thus within 200 years of writing we can confirm a poultry (Note: Saaib meant paltry) 1-2 %. It is not until 4th century that we can confirm the New Testament text. But when we try to do it we come across variant readings in the texts to the level that no two manuscripts are same. Most of these differences make less or no impact on doctrine but some do make. There is a clear cut corruption of text and there is no way of knowing the original. Quran was supported by memorization also while NT didn't have this privilege. P2) The extant MSS copies of the Qur'an differ from each other. The first thing to be noticed is that there has been no authentic description on manuscript differences. The only sources which claim that such differences exist include Arthur Jeffery and John Gilchrist. If we agree to their findings, how many differences do we have? They are negligible and if taken into consideration they make no impacts on doctrines. This might have come as shock to many muslim readers that our manuscripts differ. No brothers, the claims are
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made with respect to two manuscripts (Samarkand/Topkapi manuscripts) only all other are in perfect harmony with each other. What about these differences? How are they present there? They are not unintentional changes or errors. Neither can they be attributed to carelessness. We confirm from Abu Ubaid's Fadail that all of these readings were authentic. He tells us on page 333 of Fadail (and same is repeated in ad-Dani's al-Muqni' page 118-9) that Zaid bin Thabit, in case of finding more than one reading to be authentic and of equal status, retained them in different copies (Note: Quran was revealed in seven aharuf). The inclusion of both side by side would only have brought confusion; alternatively, placing one of them in the margin would imply less authenticity. By placing them in different copies he accommodated them on equal terms. What do we conclude from this discussion. We see that only a few Christian Missionaries have claimed that manuscript differences exist. In her book The Rise of The North Arabic Script & Its Kur'ânic Development, Nabia Abbott presents some Qur'ân parchments and manuscripts dating from 1st, 2nd and 3rd century AH as well later ones. It is interesting to note that she did not mention any textual differences except for a scribal error in one of the manuscripts. When we look at the number of those differences, they are negligible. When we see the nature of these differences we find no change in meaning. When we see the cause of these differences we find that they are intentional. When we see the impact of variant reading on the textual integrity of Quran, it is zero. (Note: Writing was accompanied with Memorization, this means even if there are genuine differences in the manuscripts we need not worry).

What about the manuscripts differences of Bible? There are more differences in the manuscripts than there are words in the entire New Testament. Entire sets of verses are missing from some manuscripts. Some manuscripts have altogether different readings of the text. There are not less than five different endings to Mark's gospel. Note that these are not differences in words used. But these are differences in the length of text. Some manuscripts stop at a particular place, while others include a shorter ending, others include a longer ending, while others include both. Entire verse of 1 John 5:7 is a later insertion into the text. The famous passage about Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (Pericope) from verses 7:53-8:11 of the Gospel of John is among those which make Jesus “THE PRINCE OF PEACE”. The pericope is not found in its canonical place in any of the earliest surviving Greek Gospel manuscripts; neither in the two 3rd century papyrus witnesses to John - P66 and P75; nor in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. The first surviving Greek manuscript to contain the periscope is the Latin/Greek diglot Codex Bezae of the late 4th or Early 5th century. I am not talking about the variant readings, i am talking about verses which are altogether missing. To end this section I quote Eldon J. Epp: Finally, to raise the question to its highest level and broadest range, what can "canonical" mean when each of our 5,300 Greek New Testament manuscripts and perhaps 9,000 versional manuscripts, as well as every one now lost, was considered authoritative - and therefore canonical - in worship and instruction in one or more of the thousands upon thousands of individual churches when no two manuscripts are exactly alike? A corollary heightens the force of the question: If no two manuscripts are alike, then no two collections of Gospels or Epistles are alike, and no two canons – no two "New Testaments" – are alike; therefore, are all canonical, or some, or only one? And if some or one, which?

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So how many manuscript differences (textual variants) do we have finally (from small to large)? You need not count, many scholars have done it already. John Mill, a fellow of Queens College, Oxford devoted thirty years of his life to study one hundred Greek manuscripts only to discover 30,000 differences. As for now, we have 5700 Greek manuscripts cataloged. That's 57 times what Mill examined. With this abundance of evidence, what can we say about the total number of variants known today? Scholars differ significantly in their estimates - some say there are 200,000 variants known, some say 300,000, some say 400,000 or more! (Bart Erhman) One can see how a scribe might inadvertently leave a word when copying a text (an accidental change), but it is hard to see how the last 12 verses of Mark could have been added by a slip of pen. From this discussion we can conclude that "P3" (I presuppose that differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved) and "C" (Therefore, differences in copies mean that Allah could NOT have superintended the process of copying such that the essential revelation he intended to communicate was in fact preserved) do not hold any water and need not be discussed. Thus if Ehrman had the courage to apply his same methodology and presuppositions to the Qur'an, he would have come up with different conclusions about the Qur'an. The conclusion which Sir William Muir had drawn: "....Yet but ONE KORAN has always been current amongst them.... There is probably in the world no other work which has remained twelve centuries (fourteen centuries now*) with so pure a text.....'' This is the same conclusion which Reverend Bosworth Smith had drawn: “… we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation, and in the chaos of its contents, but on the substantial authenticity of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt.” They are supported by Adrian Brockett who in his "The Value of Hafs and Warsh Transmissions For The Textual History of The Qur'ân" has the following to say: ''.....The transmission of the Qur'ân after the death of Muhammad was essentially static, rather than organic. There was a single text, and nothing significant, not even allegedly abrogated material, could be taken out nor could anything be put in. This is applied even to the early Caliphs....." As for Alan Maricle's argument that chains of narrations could not have been able to preserve such a long text the only thing one needs to do is to go to a mosque to find out a list of people who have memorized the complete Quran even in the present world. There are thousands, if not millions, in the current world who have memorized the Quran completely. It has been a custom in Islamic societies to rehearse whole of the Quran in the Namaz every year during Taraweeh in the month of Ramadhan. Even today this happens and Alan Maricle is not sure about the people who were masters in memorization. Pity the prejudice. Moreover memories were backed by

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written texts. To add to it, there were thousands of companions, if one erred there were thousands to correct him. As for how do I know that Uthaman didn't burn the faith ful copies of Quran, I have already answered in earlier parts. Uthmanic commission made 8 copies of Quran burning all other copies without checking them. Thus the question doesn't arise. Alan Maricle claimed that the manuscripts of Quran are centuries removed from originals, this only shows lack of knowledge. More than 90% of Quranic text can be confirmed from manuscripts within the first century of Hijrah (which means within 70 years of actual writing) (I restricted mysellf to NT and Quran only, had I included OT Alan Maricle would have much more to worry about) The final conclusion: Bible is not the word of God, it is not even a reliable historic document. The documents we have are corrupted and we have no way of knowing the original text because we have only error ridden copies centuries removed from the text. To solve the problem we have a book unique in its origin, a book perfectly preserved. Even today if all of the Bible's of the world are thrown into seas and oceans and same is done with all the copies of Quran (for that matter any other text on earth), the only scripture that will survive is the Quran. As it remains preserved in the hearts of millions of believers. With the end of this healthy debate, I don't expect a Christian to shun Bible and accept Quran. But the seeker of truth can himself search for truth. I thank "Alan Maricle" for debating me on this topic. Thus giving me a chance to present my case. The best thing about the debate was that it started in good spirit and it has ended with good spirits. We learn a lot from such debates and there should be such debates regularly. Personally, this will be my last debate for a while. I will remain busy for three or four months during which I won’t be in a position to debate. Thank you all for being a good audience for this debate. Jazakallah for reading.

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