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Ishmael In The Bible

Ishmael In The Bible

A Muslim told me that he believes there is a conspiracy in the Bible to suppress the name Ishmael in favor of Isaac.

Did you know that, in fact, Abraham also had other sons?  The Bible even names them!  Why should the Bible tell us even more more names if only to suppress them if there was a conspiracy to promote Isaac?  The fact is the Bible says it as it is. Good or bad.

Isaac had two sons.  Jacob and Esau.  Jacob rises to prominence while Esau’s name fades away. Is there also a conspiracy to suppress Esau too?

We know Abraham loved Ishmael. The Bible says it.  But he was not the chosen one.

Here is the point. In the Bible, it is all about the line of the Messiah.

In the larger scheme of the Bible, Ishmael and Esau were inconsequential in the line of the Messiah. They existed, they were someone’s son and brother but were not chosen to be in the line of Messiah.
Isaac or Ishmael? The Messiah can only come through one of them. Jacob or Esau? The Messiah can only come through one of them. That’s how God intended
it.

Did you know Isaac actually preferred Esau, the older son, over Jacob? But that doesn’t matter. It’s God’s plan that matters. He chose Isaac.

God isn’t called the God of Abraham and Lot and Ishmael and Isaac and Esau and Jacob (though He is). He is called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, signifying the specific, direct Messianic line.

Jacob had 12 sons. The Messiah can only come through one of them. There is no plot to suppress anyone else. Everyone had a role but the Messiah came through the line of Judah son of Jacob, as did King David. That is why titles for Messiah include “Lion of Judah” and “Son of David”.

The OT does not just tell us the story of Israel but more importantly, anticipates the coming Messiah. That is why names and genealogies are so important in the Bible. History and prophecies of the OT, everything points to the Messiah.

Jesus said this precisely in Luke 24.
“He (Jesus) said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (v.44)
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (v.27)

There are hundreds of prophecies…e.g.
700 years before Messiah was born, Isaiah prophesied He would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
500 years before Messiah was born, Micah prophesied He would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
1000 years before Messiah was born, David prophesied the kind of death he would suffer. (Psalms 22)

And Jesus FULFILLED them all.
The OT, over 1500 years in the making, anticipates the coming Messiah. In fact, that is how the OT ends in Malachi, with God saying: “I will come to you.”

400 years later, the NT opens with Matthew reciting some genealogy. Boring…??

But wait a minute. Do you realize what Matthew is actually saying.
He was essentially saying, “L I S T E N….THIS.IS.IT! THE ONE WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR IS FINALLY HERE!”

Do you see it? Do you understand why we believe there can be no other “new” message or “messenger” to a people a thousand miles away especially through someone who is not even in the line of Messiah. Messiah is the final and ultimate one. There is no room for anyone else. It is all completed and fulfilled.

Do you see that in the big picture, Ishmael is inconsequential.

By the way, the NT ends the same way the OT ends. In anticipation of His coming. Again.
“Yes, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:20)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Genesis 16:12
Muslims say that the Bible insults Ishmael here by calling him a “wild donkey”. That is inaccurate.

To a 21st century mind, it might sound like an insult.  However, I do not think there is such an intention here if you understand the context correctly.
The Bible is simply attributing characteristics of the animal to him.  Positive traits, as well as negative.

One of Jacob’s son, Issachar, is called “a strong donkey” by Jacob. (Gen 49:14)
Was Jacob insulting his son? Are the descendants of Issachar accusing the Bible of insulting them? No.

Here “strong donkey” emphasizes the strength of his descendants, it also indicates that like a donkey, a beast of burden, they will be forced to work for others. So you see, positive as well as negative traits.

In the same chapter, Issachar’s brother, Benjamin is called “a ravenous wolf”. An insult?
The image of a wolf reveals that the descendants of Benjamin will be aggressive warriors. This prophecy came to pass as shown by verses like 1 Chronicles 8:40

Naphtali is likened to a doe. Dan is likened to a snake. Joseph like a lion’s cub. (Read it all in Genesis 49).

The Bible is not calling them animals or that they look like or smell like animals but conveying both the positive and negative attributes.

So in Genesis 16:12, Ishmael is likened to a “wild donkey”.  What does it mean?
It is saying Ishmael and his descendants will become strongly independent. Not servile toward others. That’s positive.
But there’s also a negative. He will live a life of hostility toward others because of his character.
Do you see that in his descendants today?

 

 

 

Variants In Scriptures

Variants In Scriptures

Muslims have been taught from young that the Bible is corrupt while the Quran has been perfectly preserved.

As evidence that the Bible cannot be from God, they like to point out verses like the variant ending of Mark or the passage in John 8.

The truth is, there are very few variant readings, only about twenty, all in the NT. These are all well-known, not hidden, and have been well-researched and documented and do not prove the muslim case. None of them affects the teaching of the Bible as a whole or its overall authenticity.

“We do not believe a book has to be perfectly intact to be the authentic Word of God but rather that, if it [the message] has been protected and handed down in its original form with only a few copyist errors, negligence variant readings and one or two uncertain passages, its overall integrity cannot be challenged.” None of the variants remotely contradict anything taught in the Bible.

In other words, these variants do not prove that the Bible, as a whole, has been so dramatically changed that it no longer contains what was originally written.

On the other hand, Islam teaches that every word and every letter of the quran has been perfectly preserved. This means, EVEN IF THERE IS ONE SINGLE
VARIANT, the Quran falls and Islam collapses.

Here is where Christians and Muslims differ. While Christians are aware of the variants in their book, Muslims are unaware of the variants in theirs.

Why?

Historians such as Ibn Abi Dawud who compiled a record of Quranic variants which he titled “Kitab al-Masahif (Book of the Manuscripts)”, and Muhammad
Abu Jafar at-Tabari, author of the monumental work on the Qur’an titled “Jami al-Bayan fii Tafsir al-Qur’an” (A Comprehensive Compilation for a Commentary of the Qur’an), preserved a record of all the known variants between the various texts.

At-Tabari’s extensive records, show that there were literally hundreds of variant readings between the early manuscripts. Arthur Jeffery, who compiled a catalogue of the different readings mainly from Ibn Abi Dawud’s and at-Tabari’s works, listed them over no less than 362 PAGES of variants in his book “Materials for the History of the Text of the Qur’an”. His book also contains the whole text of Ibn Abi Dawud’s “Kitab al-Masahif”.

They make the number of Biblical variants seem negligible in comparison and, once again, it has to be remembered that the Bible is centuries older than the Qur’an, five times its length, and was compiled by numerous authors over a two-thousand year period. The variants of the Bible fill half a page. The variants of the quran fills 362 pages!

The few variants of the Bible are easily accounted for and of such little importance that they in no way affect the integrity of the book as a whole. The scriptures, in their entirety, have been preserved for us virtually unaltered. On the other hand, consider the Qur’an where every manuscript transcribed by Muhammad’s own companions, like Ibn Masud and Ubayy bin Ka’b was burnt and destroyed.

The Bible has only been burnt by its enemies in history.  But in Islamic history, Uthman, the 3rd caliph burnt every other manuscript of the Qur’an other than the one he conveniently had at hand. This was long after Muhammad had died and after the lifetime of the first two caliphs of of the religion.

Codices that had been widely recognised as authoritative texts in the various provinces were burnt in favour of a manuscript that Hafsah had simply kept under her bed!

One of the teachers whom Muhammad commanded the Muslims to learn quran from was Salim.
In fact, he was the first to collect the Qur’an into a mushaf  (a manuscript or written codex) — As Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii `Ulum al-Qur’an, Vol.1 p.135).
sadly, he died in the Battle of Yamama, leaving behind his precious manuscripts. Where is this first mushaf of the Quran?
Gone up in smoke, thanks to Uthman.

The quran’s original textual integrity is far more questionable than that of the Bible – even though the Bible is five times the length of the Qur’an and was compiled over a much longer period many centuries earlier.

In conclusion, the major reason why Muslims do not believe in the Bible’s integrity is that they have no choice but to do so if they are to sustain their confidence in the Quran.

How many of you Muslims are honest to want to see the evidence of the variants of the quran?

Let none of you say “I have acquired the whole of the Qur’an”. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur’an has disappeared? Rather let him say “I have acquired what has survived.” (As-Suyuti, Al Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur’an).

Abu Musa al-Ashari, a close companion of Muhammad and one of the earliest authorities of the Qur’an, is recorded as teaching the Qur’an-reciters (qurra) in Basra: “We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it….” (Sahih Muslim, Vol.2, p.501)

– adapted from John Gilchrist-

“Many (of the passages) of the Qur’an that were sent down were known by those who died on the day of Yamama … but they were not known (by those who) survived them, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur’an, nor were they found with even one (person) after them.” — Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p.23

Where Are The Uncorrupted Books During Muhammad’s Time?

Where Are The Uncorrupted Books During Muhammad’s Time?

 Muslims, can you help me understand this?

You say that the Torah, Psalms (Zabur) and Gospel (Injeel) that we have now is corrupted.

You acknowledge that the Torah, Psalms and Gospel during the time of Muhammad in the 7th century AD was the uncorrupted, orginal ones.

Let’s consider the facts. Please read very carefully keeping in mind that the Books were unchanged during Muhammad’s time.

1. The Torah that Muhammad referred to in 600 AD as “the light and revelation” is the Torah that had existed from the time of Moses (Musa) in 1400 BC. This means for 2000 years, the Torah was preserved and uncorrupted from Moses to the time of Muhammad. For 2000 years, this Torah was taught and read and preached and memorised. Many thousands of copies were made and distributed in different translations in Europe, Asia and Africa.

2. The Psalms (Zabur) that Muhammad referred to in 600 AD as “the light and revelation” is the Psalms that had existed from the time of David (Daud) in 1000 BC. This means for 1600 years, the Psalms was preserved and uncorrupted from David right up to the time of Muhammad. For 1600 years, this Psalms was taught and read and preached and sung. Many thousands of copies made and distributed in different translations in Europe, Asia and Africa.

3. The Gospel (Injeel) that Muhammad referred to in 600 AD as “the light and revelation” is the Gospel that had existed from 60 – 90 AD. This means for more than 500 years, the Gospel was preserved and uncorrupted until the time of Muhammad. For 500 years, this Gospel was taught and read and preached, for which martyrs died for. Many thousands of copies made and distributed in different translations in Europe, Asia, Africa.

Now….

If the Torah, Psalms and Gospel were corrupted BEFORE the time of Muhammad, that means during the time of Muhammad, there were TWO versions of the Torah, Psalms and Gospel!

Is this what the Quran teaches? NO.
The Quran praises the earlier revelation, tells Christians and Jews to judge by their books. Allah even directs his apostle to ask the People of The Book if he had any doubts. (10:94). This proves that the books in the posession of the Jews and Christians at the time were honored and highly regarded.

BUT….

If the Torah, Psalms and Gospel were corrupted AFTER the time of Muhammad, it would be VERY VERY EASY to spot the corruption.

How?

Just by comparing the corrupted version with the many thousands of clean copies faithfully preserved and taught for thousands of years!

If someone decided to corrupt the Torah, Psalms and Gospel after the time of Muhammad, how is he going to do it?

Does he begin by making the alterations on new copies of the Torah, Psalms and Gospel?

Is he going to collect all the thousands of existing copies all over the world? And do what? To make the same alterations in tthousands of old copies that had existed for 2000 years? Is he going to make the exact same changes In multiple languages that the book had been translated into?

Remember, these original books were in the hands of many ~ Jews, Christians, Muslims. Even Hindus and Buddhists and atheists could own these books.

Did the Jews, Christians and Muslims co-operate to hand over their holy books so that someone could corrupt their scriptures? Wasn’t there even a single honest, truthful, God-fearing Jew or Christian or Muslim who sounded the alarm on what was happening?

If you were living then, wouldn’t you have protected your holy Torah, Psalms and Gospel? Of course you would.

Yet, until today for 1400 years no one has ever brought or shown a different Torah, a different Psalms and a different Gospel from what we have today.

But what we have are THOUSANDS of copies of Torah and Psalms and Gospel. For example: We have over 20,000 manuscripts for the Gospel alone, including fragments from as early as the 2nd century AD! They are virtually the same as what we have today.

Please just bring one authentic manuscript that shows a different Torah, a different Psalms and a different Gospel from what we have today.

P.S. The Gospel of Barnabas has been proven to be a 15th century forgery filled with errors. I said authentic.

Where Are The Books?

Where Are The Books?

Muslim: Your own Bible refers to Muhammad in many verses.

Christian: Don’t you muslims believe that the Bible has been corrupted?

Muslim: Yes, the Bible has been corrupted.

Christian: Then how can you claim that Muhammad is found in a corrupted book? Dont you think that Allah would have preserved it to ensure his prophet’s name is in it?

Muslim: Not everything in the Bible is corrupted. Only some things.

Christian: OK. Are you saying Allah failed to preserve his words?

Muslim: It is not Allah’s fault. It is man’s problem.

Christian: Yes. Like I said. Allah failed to preserve his words against his own weak creation.

Muslim: No! Some things are corrupted, some are not.

Christian: How can you know what is corrupted and what is not?

Muslim: The Quran tells us. That is why the Quran was sent to us as the final revelation because the earlier books were corrupted.

Christian: So you muslims believe that the Bible was corrupted before the Quran was sent?

Muslim: Yes.

Christian: Then why does the Quran praise the earlier revelations if it was corrupted? Why does Allah tell Christians to judge by their book if it is corrupted? Why did allah honor them by calling them “People of The Book” if their Book was corrupted?

Muslim: Actually the Quran is talking about the Torah, Zabur and Injeel. Not the Bible.

Christian: Then why are you looking for Muhammad’s name in the Bible??

Muslim:

Christian: Where is the Torah, Zabur and Injeel?

Muslim: Those books are lost.

Christian: Does Allah say in the Quran say that these books were lost?

Muslim: LOL.. Of course not! It was not lost yet at the time of the Quran.

Christian: So these books still existed during the time of Muhammad. And it was lost only AFTER the Quran was revealed?

Muslim: Yes.

Christian: But you just said earlier that the Quran was sent because the earlier Books were corrupted. Now you say they were not corrupted.

Muslim: The bible contains corrupted copy of the torah, zabur and injeel.

Christian: The entire Bible was already completed hundreds of years before the Quran and spread to the known world. If the Torah, Zabur and Injeel of the Bible were corrupted and different from the “actual” existing Torah, Zabur and Injeel, which you said was only lost AFTER the Quran, anyone can compare the books and see that they are different. The whole world will know. This would have been huge. The whole of Christianity would have ended. Yet, there is no historical record of such a scandal. When the Quran came in the 7th century, it made no mention of this scenario of duplicate books. Rather it says, the Quran came to confirm (not replace) the books.

Muslim: Paul corrupted the books.

Christian: That’s nonsense. Paul lived more than 500 years before Muhammad. When allah revealed the quran, Did allah tell Muhammad about what Paul had done to allah’s books? Did he promise to punish Paul in hell just like he promised to punish Abu Lahab? Paul’s actions were far more serious than Abu Lahab!

Christian: Do you actually believe that an ordinary human being could have destroyed God’s words? Is God so weak and not able to preserve His words?

Christian: Do you realize that you are saying that the “corrupted book” of an ordinary human being has survived for more than 2000 years but Allah’s books are lost?

Can I Follow What Allah Said in Sura 5:47?

Can I Follow What Allah Said in Sura 5:47?

Muslims, are we supposed to believe what Allah says in the Quran or not? Do you believe the Quran?

I ask because of this ayah:

Surah 5:47
“Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers.”

Allah says we Christians are supposed to judge by the Gospel. Am I allowed to obey this verse?

But muslims claim that the Gospel has been lost to corruption.

So why did Allah tell us to judge by a Gospel that you say has been lost?

How can I obey Sura 5:47?

Did Allah not know it had been lost or that it was going to be lost?

How can you know something that Allah didn’t speak about when he wrote the Quran?
If you say the Gospel was lost later, then you are still insulting Allah’s words in 5:47 by claiming that the words your God spoke is obsolete and invalid today. His word has lost it’s relevance.

Things get just as bad because of this ayah as well:

Surah 5:68

“Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk.”

Are Christians allowed to follow Sura 5:68?

So according to Muslims, we Jews and Christians cannot find guidance as prescribed by 5:68 because the Torah and the Gospel is lost.

But that’s not what Allah says here.  You are defying His words. He says we are to find guidance in the Torah and Gospel. So are we supposed to believe the Quran or not?

Is Sura 5:68 also obsolete and invalid? How much more of the Quran have you muslims declared obsolete and invalid when Allah never said any such thing.

Muslims believe Allah wrote the Book in eternity, but He could not preserve it.  How much more of insults will Allah take from the Muslims?

“The same Bible Muhammad would have seen (if he ever did) is in both (1) The Vatican (Codex Vaticanus) and (2) British Museum (Codex Sinaticus). It is all there, including Jesus dying on the cross as atonement for our sins. And, His resurrection, and ascension into heaven – in front of many witnesses. The New Testament is preserved in almost perfect condition in these two Greek texts which both predate Muhammad and Islam by over 200 years. The Christian Bible predates Muhammad and Islam by more than 575 years. The Jewish Torah predates Muhammad and Islam by 1,000 – 3,000 years. Muhammad said for Muslims to read the Bible for “Guidance and Light.” For Islam to say they are corrupted, then is to call Muhammad a liar for recommending it.” – Steve Perez

Has The Bible Been Changed?

Has The Bible Been Changed?

  Muslims think the Bible has been changed.

“How could there be any alteration in the Book whose words’ sharpness has reached a great level of circulation in the East and in the West? … For no change can occur in a book that is well circulated among men. Every wise man can see that the alteration of the Bible was impossible for it was well circulated among men of different faith and backgrounds.”     Al-Razi (865 – 925 AD)

So are you wise or foolish?

When Muslims point to differences in Biblical text, they are usually looking at different translations.

First of all, Christians already know about this. Scholars have studied it for decades. It’s a field of study called “Textual Criticism”.

We know there are “variations” and it is a minor issue that does not change God’s message in the Bible. Variations do not prove that the Bible is not authentic. Scholars agree that today’s Bible presents the same message as in the manuscripts found in the 2nd & 3rd century AD, hundreds of years before Muhammad was born. (The Quran affirms the People of the Book and their scripture in the 7th century AD; by 5th century, the Bible was already distributed worldwide).

The issue that really troubles you Muslims is that you are really comparing the Quran and the Bible. Since you believe the Quran is unchanged, so when you see this issue of variation in a translation of the Bible, you think this is evidence that the Bible is changed. Don’t force your concept of scripture on to the Bible. We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Translations are made by men and men are not perfect.

Quran too has many translations too. And there are many variations and differences and even different meanings in the Yusof Ali version of the Quran, compared to Pickthall’s version, compared to Sahih International’s version, compared to Arberry’s version…etc?

Do you see what I mean? Does it mean these are fake Qurans that have been changed? Or are they just different translations?

Through careful scholarly studies of literally thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts, we can be sure that our Bible is proven reliable and authentic. Quran has not gone though such a thorough research. Firstly because of lack of manuscripts. Many manuscripts that had variations had been burnt by Uthman. We can’t even compare your different manuscripts and their variations because Uthman got rid of all the damning evidence!

Secondly, while thousands of Bible manuscripts have been available for any scholar, whether Christian, Muslim or Atheist, to research and study for decades, the few known Quranic manuscripts discovered is kept under tight security and rarely allowed to be studied. Why? Is it because the Quran manuscripts like Topkapi & Samarkand differs from today’s Quran?

One of the most famous Quranic manuscripts is the Sanaa manuscript of Yemen. But it contains only 43 surahs! What happened to the other 71 surahs? Does it mean they were added later?

A German scholar and Quran authority, Gerd Puin, had been commissioned by Yemen to do the study and he has reported that there are numerous variations, and even changes of text, as in erased and a different text re-written on top of it, called palimpsests. Very serious consequences for the authenticity of the Quran that all Muslims believed to be preserved.

Am I making this up? Look it up for yourself. Search for Sanna manuscript or Gerd Puin.

The Bible has gone though even more rigorous research decades ago and came out clean. The worst you can point to are these variations in translations which as I said are minor issues.

If you think these are problems with the Bible, you have bigger problems with the quran. Scholars can attest to this. Look up Dr. Mustafa (now Dr. Mark Gabriel) – former Muslim Imam and Ex-Professor in Al Azhar University, Cairo and Dr. Muhammed Rahoumy (now Dr. Samuel Paul) – former Dean in Al Azhar Islamic University.

Can Scriptures Be Corrupted?

Can Scriptures Be Corrupted?

Christian: Why did Allah send the Quran?

Muslim: Allah SWT sent new revelation because the earlier books were corrupted and changed.

Christian: Then why did Allah say in the Qquran that the Christians should judge by their books (Sura 5:47) if it was no longer dependable at the time of the Quran. Also Torah, Zabur & Injeel are mentioned over 40 times in the Quran. But not a single time out of these 40 times does the Quran say that Torah, Zabur and Injeel are corrupted. If they were corrupted, dont you think Allah would have made it very clear every time he mentioned those books by name?

Muslim: The earlier books, Torah, Zabur, Injeel were not yet corrupted when the Quran was sent. Only later on they were changed by you people.

Christian: Wait. You just said that the Quran was sent because of corruption of earlier scriptures. Now you say they were not yet corrupted? So if they were not yet corrupted, then why did Allah send the Quran?

Muslim: Well, Allah SWT has all knowledge and knew that the books would be corrupted by evil men, so He sent the Quran in advance. He knows best

Christian: Since Allah knew that his own words would be corrupted, did he have the power to protect his words? Why didn’t he thwart the plans of men? And are you saying that the words of the men who ‘corrupted” the bible has been preserved for thousands of years till today but Allah’s own words are gone?

Muslim:

Christian: Hello? Are you still there?

 


Can Scriptures be corrupted?

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8)

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (Psalms 119:89)

But the word of the LORD remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 2:15)

For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)

Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. (Matthew 24:35)

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)

Again, can God’s Word be corrupted? No. Yahweh has kept His Word.

The promises He has given us shows that the Word of God cannot be corrupted by human hands.

Anyone who claims the scriptures are corrupted believes in a weak, powerless god who was unable to keep and preserve His own word to mankind.

This is a god who could not even keep his own promise that his Word would be eternal; this is a god that is weaker than human beings who managed to outsmart him and and cause him to lose his words. Do you believe in a god who has no record of his words from the time of creation up to the 7th century AD?

If you still claim that the scriptures are corrupted, you are saying that god failed to preserve his words but the corrupted words of weak human beings have survived and have been preserved for thousands of years.

Word Of God or words of God?

Word Of God or words of God?

Muslims sometimes get confused about what Christians mean when they say the Bible is the Word Of God.

They read the Bible and see that besides the words of God, there is also the words of men in it. And so how can it be called the Word Of God?

The confusion is a failure of differentiating between “words of God” and “Word Of God”.

The written “Word Of God” is a TITLE for the Bible and this “Word Of God” CONTAINS the record of the words of God in the context of background, history, instructions, stories, proverbs, parables, prophecies, eye-witness accounts, etc.
So the Bible has the words of God and also the words of men and women, kings and beggars, good men and evil men.

These were written by prophets like Moses and Daniel, and eye-witnesses like John and Peter, who were led and inspired by God to write His message for mankind. Meaning they didnt use their own imaginations to simply make things up as they willed.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16

“Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21
The Word Of God is a not a narration by God like the Quran. Quran was spoken to one man by a mysterious being in a cave with no witnesses claiming it is the words of Allah over a period of 23 years.

So the Word Of God simply means the message of God to men.

The Bible was written by 40 men over a period of 1500 years and contain The Torah, Psalms, Writings of The Prophet, Gospels and the writings of the followers of Jesus.

Cherry-Picking From John

Cherry-Picking From John

One of the errors of Muslims is taking single verses from the Bible and interpreting it in a way that was not intended by the writer.
Deedat did that. So does Zakir Naik, Shabeer Ali, et al.

If I gave you a 21 page book to read, won’t you start from page 1? Or would you turn to page 17 and pick out the third sentence on the page, and think you have understood the entire content of the book?

The Gospel of John seems to be a favorite target to for Muslims cherry-picking exercise.

What you need to understand is the Gospel of John is one entire document, meant to be read and understood as a whole. It has 21 chapters and is a unity. You dont pick out a verse from Chapter 5 and another from Chapter 17 and build your own narrative.

To understand any verse in John (or any other book), you need to understand what the author was saying and what he was conveying to his listeners in it’s entirety. That’s the only way you will understand any verse in the book correctly. This is called proper biblical interpretation.

So what was the message John was bringing across in this gospel? Towards the end, he writes a clear summary for us: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

That was John’s intended purpose! It’s so clear.

So if you read this gospel (or any verse that you pull out) and come to any other conclusions different from the author’s stated purpose, then sorry, YOU HAVE MISSED THE MESSAGE!

From John 1:1, John sets out to achieve this purpose by introducing Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word….the Word was God…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”. John was speaking about the pre-existence and divinity of Jesus.
So if you think you find a verse in John that YOU interpret as denying His divinity, then you are wrong! No two ways about it.

You dont get to interpret his writing your way or tell the author what he meant to write. He wrote it. Not you. You can only understand and interpret the text as to the stated purpose of the writer..

What Is The Bible – Part 1

What Is The Bible – Part 1

Today let’s learn what the Bible is.

Most Muslims have a wrong concept of what the Bible is. They think it is like the Quran.

The Bible is NOT God’s recitations to man or to an angel. God did not transmit the Bible word-for-word. Muslims think that every verse in the Bible was spoken by God. That is a wrong understanding.

When we say the Bible is the “Word of God”, it does not mean, all the words in it were UTTERED by God.

“Word of God” means, it is God’s true record of words spoken or written by people. Yes, there are words spoken by God in there, and there are also words spoken by good men and wicked men, kings and beggars, truths and lies, the words of angels and even the words of satan are contained in the Bible.

Now, some of you muslims might be shocked reading this. You will point your finger and laugh and question how can we say lies and the words of satan are in the Bible!

As I said, the Bible is a RECORD of all these words. This does not mean that the record of what a wicked man says in the Bible is true. The Word Of God confirms it is true that the wicked men did say it but what he said may not be true. Do you understand?

Here is an example:

In Psalms 14:1, we find this statement. “There is no God.” WHAT??!!!???

Is the Bible teaching atheism here? If you pull this verse out of context, that is the wrong impression you might get. But you need to always read the Bible in context.

Who is speaking these words? Is it God? No. David records that these words were spoken by a “fool” . The meaning in Hebrew is a “foolish, senseless and morally deficient man.”

Can you trust the words of a foolish, senseless and morally deficient man?

The Bible records that this fool said these words. The Word Of God is 100% true that he said it. But what he said is 100% false. Do you get it? Why are the words of a such a fool in the Bible? So that we can learn from it and don’t stoop to becoming “a fool” ourselves by claiming ‘there is no god.’

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Many of the misconceptions you have of the Bible can easily be resolved this way, if you simply understand who is speaking, to whom, and why.

If God is speaking, we can be assured that His words are 100% true. If an inspired prophet is speaking, we can also expect his words to be true. If a man is speaking, his words may or may not be true, depending on the context. If the Bible records the words of a false prophet or an evil man or satan, we can expect that it is a deception.

For example, in the Gospels, there is a record of Satan quoting from Deuteronomy and Psalms. The verses he quotes are true, written by Moses and David. But satan was misusing the true words of scripture and taking it out of context to DECEIVE.

When you take a scripture verse out of context, you are doing exactly what satan did and still does.