Monday, January 21, 2019

The Trinity in the Old Testament (Part 3): The Divine Messenger of Yahweh

In previous blog posts (part 1, part 2), I began a series exploring the expression of God's Triune nature in the Old Testament, an oft-neglected subject among Christians today. In this article, I will discuss the divine messenger of Yahweh, who shows up numerous times in the Old Testament.

Before we dive into the relevant Biblical texts, however, let me say a word about the translation of the Hebrew phrase malak Yahweh, often translated as the "angel of the Lord" in our English Bibles. The truth is that the word malak does not necessarily refer to angelic creatures such as Gabriel or Michael, but can refer to anyone who is a messenger. Even human messengers are identified by the word malak. Indeed, the name of the last prophet prior to Jesus, Malachi, literally means "my messenger". Below is a table, excerpted from a doctoral dissertation by Gunther H. Juncker entitled "Jesus and the Angel of the Lord: An Old Testament Paradigm for New Testament Christology," in which he lists cases where the word malak is used of human, angelic, or divine messengers (as well as instances where the identification is uncertain).


As can be seen, the phrase malak Yahweh can be correctly translated as "messenger of the Lord", and does not by itself tell us whether the messenger is human, angelic or divine. This must be discerned from the surrounding context. However, since the word "angel" is how the term is translated in our English Bibles, I will from henceforth be using the expression "the angel of the Lord" or "the angel of Yahweh" throughout this article. It is my contention that when this expression is used with the definite article in the Hebrew Bible, it always refers to a divine person who, as I will show, turns out to be the awaited Messiah Himself.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Trinity in the Old Testament (Part 2): The Deity of Israel's Messiah

In a previous article, I began a series exploring the nature of God in the Old Testament, and the continuity of the Jewish Scriptures with God's revelation in the New Testament. We looked at several texts that communicate a plurality of divine persons within the being of God. In this article, I want to consider the deity of Israel's Messiah. Numerous texts could be brought to bear on establishing the deity of the Messiah from the Hebrew Bible, and justice cannot possibly be done to all of them here. However, I will consider a few examples. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Islam Critiqued: Recommended YouTube Channel


Image result for islam critiqued



I would like to highly recommended the YouTube Channel 'Islam Critiqued'. Colin, the owner of this channel, has produced a series of educational videos on Islam including  topics related to biblical theology and sharing the Gospel with Muslims. The topics Colin presents on are well researched and he engages these topics with Muslims as can be seen in the comment sections under his YouTube videos. Check out Colin's channel and pass the word around to others who may be interested. To access the Islam Critiqued channel please click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Trinity in the Old Testament (Part 1): Divine Plurality

It is often assumed that the doctrine of the Trinity – the idea that there is one being of God that is comprised of three eternal and co-equal divine persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is something that is revealed only in the incarnation of the Son, between the penning of the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament, then, serves as the written record of the revelation of the Trinity, in the incarnation of the Son in the person of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentacost. While it is certainly true that the expression of the Trinity reaches its climax in the New Testament, few Christians are aware that one can find evidence of divine plurality – and even of there being three divine persons – throughout the Old Testament as well. The purpose of this article series is to highlight the continuity of the Old and New Testaments with respect to the nature of God.

Before we delve into the evidence, however, why is this an important subject for Christians to consider? I believe that it is important for a few reasons. Firstly, the gospel is fundamentally Trinitarian. God’s plan of salvation is a plan that was initiated by the Father, accomplished by the Son, and is applied by the Holy Spirit. The gospel can therefore not be divorced from the Triune nature of God. Secondly, various pseudochristian sects (e.g. Biblical unitarians, Jehovah’s witnesses, etc), as well as Muslims and orthodox Jews, deny the Trinity and we need to know how to defend this doctrine against attacks – including against the allegation that the Trinity is inconsistent with the Old Testament.

A further reason to consider this subject is that the study reveals what I call “intricate harmonies” in the Bible, which provide evidence for the divine inspiration of Scripture. What are intricate harmonies? When different parts of Scripture (which are often scattered across different authors, genres, and centuries) interlock with one another to be subtly consistent on a matter that is highly surprising, this provides evidence for the divine inspiration of Scripture. Indeed, the very concept of there being multiple divine persons in one divine being seems very unlike the sort of thing that humans would invent – let alone its subtle consistency across different authors, genres and centuries. However, we need to make sure that, at the end, nothing is being shoehorned or forced. If it even begins to feel that way (to a thoughtful listener), that will be a big turn-off to this style of argument. As with many of the categories of evidence for Christianity, this phenomenon is best explained by giving examples, and so it is to this that I now turn my attention. I hope that in doing so, over the course of several blog posts, the strength and power of the cumulative argument from intricate harmonies becomes clear.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Defending Christmas



As we are in the Christmas season, many people will object to the observance of Christmas as a 'pagan' holiday even among Christians. Many Muslims accuse Christians of observing paganism if they celebrate Christmas. Is this true? The observance of Christmas is a grey area for Christians, it is neutral. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is neither commanded, or prohibited in the Bible. It is up to each Christian to observe it or not (see Romans 14:5-6). In Islam however, 4 of the 5 Pillars of Islam (salat / praying 5 times a day; observing Ramadan; zakat / almsgiving; and the hajj / pilgrimage) are all pagan in origin, practiced and observed by the pagan Arabs long before Muhammad, including circumambulating around the Kaba and kissing and caressing the black stone at the corner of the Kaba. Worshiping stones was a standard pagan practice. These Pillars are commanded in the Qur'an as coming from Allah and therefore divine, although scholars have long acknowledged that these 4 Pillars in Islam are pagan, so that Islam is essentially paganized monotheism.

Check out Season 4 on the Third Degree videos where I and my good friend Pastor Sule deal with the most common asked questions about Christmas. A Merry Christmas to all our visitors and readers on the Answering Muslims blog.

Saturday, December 15, 2018



For those of you in the Enola, Pennsylvania area, I will be speaking at the Enola First Church of God from January 4-6, 2019 on various topics including Islam. This is a free event, but a love offering will be taken. Pass the word around!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Is the God of the Bible the same as the god of the Qur'an?



On Saturday November 17 I engaged in a dialogue / debate with Imam Farhan Iqbal at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in Maple, Ontario, Canada. The subject was "Is the God the Bible the same as the god of the Qur'an?' This is the Q & A portion which also includes the final concluding remarks from myself and Imam Farhan Iqbal. I am hoping to post the opening statements which includes the power points soon. The recording was a bit of a disappointment as parts of it was a bit garbled and there was an echo in the background. To regular visitors to this blog, the Ahmaddiya Muslims are the group that Nabeel Qureshi was part of before he came to faith in Christ.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

TRINITY OR TAWHEED?

Adnan Rashid and Samuel Green. Twynholm Baptist Church, London. October 26, 2018

SALVATION IN CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM

Adnan Rashid and Samuel Green. Kingston University London. Organized by the Topical Talk Society. October 24, 2018.

In this debate I used a new diagram to explain salvation in Islam. I think it worked well because it brings together all the different components we have know about and as a result allows us to actually compare what Islam and Christianity believe about salvation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Are the New Testament Gospels Based On Eyewitness Testimony? Jonathan McLatchie vs. Yusuf Ismail



Last month, I participated in a public moderated debate with Muslim apologist Yusuf Ismail, a criminal defence attorney from South Africa. The debate took place in Durban, South Africa, and was hosted by the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI). I have now uploaded the full recording (see embedded video above). Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Answering the Nation of Islam and the Black Hebrews






In this video series, my friend Pastor Sule Prince and I deal with the Nation of Islam and the Black Hebrews. The Nation of Islam makes the claim that they are the true Muslims, but with one interesting caveat, God is black, as are all the prophets, including Jesus Christ. The white race on the other hand are "white devils" created in a freak accident by a black scientist named 'Yakub'. Watch and learn.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Deity of Christ and Bart Ehrman

The Deity of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It is taught throughout Scripture. It has been attacked by heretics throughout history including Islam, and is denied today by many liberal scholars who also deny the supernatural, and the concept of miracles, including God's existence. When Christians cite the claims of Jesus that He claimed to be God particularly in the gospel of John, our Muslim friends try to find alternate interpretations to disprove clear texts such as John 1:1; 8:58-59 (cf. Exodus 3:13-14); 10:30; 14:9; and John 20:28. 
Dr. Bart Ehrman in a recent tweet addresses the question of whether or not Jesus called Himself God. You will notice that Ehrman interprets the passages in John cited above in the same way that Christians have interpreted these passages about the deity of Christ, that these are claims that Jesus makes about His identification as God. Ehrman believes that this is crystal clear in John as he says, "For John, Jesus is obviously God". Note as well, that Ehrman acknowledges just as Christians have always maintained, John does not say Jesus is God the Father, which is the heresy of modalism. Ehrman curiously wonders why the other gospel writers do not state the deity of Christ as clearly. They do, but not in the same way John does. Since Muslims are fond of quoting Bart Ehrman in their attacks on the New Testament, perhaps they will be consistent here, and pay attention to Ehrman's treatment of the gospel of John. Ehrman's tweet is available below. I have highlighted the significant parts in bold letters.
______________________________________________________________

What Do You Think?
Box 10.5  Did Jesus Call Himself God?
It is an interesting to ask: “What did Jesus say about himself?”  More specifically, you might ask: “Did Jesus ever call himself God?”   As it turns out, it depends on which Gospel you read.
In the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus never says he is God.  He does talk about himself as the Son of Man; he says he must be killed and raised from the dead; and he admits he is the messiah.  But the vast bulk of his teaching in these Gospels is not about himself at all.  It is about God, the coming Kingdom of God, and the way to live in preparation for it.
Not in John.  
In John Jesus teaches almost entirely about himself:  who he is, his relation to the Father, how he has come into the world from heaven above to convey the truth that can bring eternal life.   And he makes some remarkable claims about himself.  These claims are found in John and nowhere else.
For example, to the Jews who do not believe in him, Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).   Abraham lived 1800 years earlier, and Jesus is claiming to have existed before that Even more than that, he claims for himself the name of God, “I am” (see Exodus 3:13-14).  His Jewish opponents know exactly what he is saying.  They pick up stones to execute him for blasphemy.   Two chapters later, he does it again, claiming “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).   Once again they break out the stones.  Later, to his disciples, he says “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
These teachings of Jesus that he is a divine correlate with what John says elsewhere, as we have seen in the Prologue “The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1)  And in the ending, when Thomas confesses that Jesus is “My Lord and my God” (20:28)
For John, Jesus is obviously God, and he says he is (not God the Father but … equal with God?).  Why do you suppose these sayings are not in the earlier Gospels?   If Matthew, Mark, and Luke knew that Jesus had said such things, wouldn’t they want to tell their readers?   It’s worth thinking about.

Sharia in Europe: Human Rights Court Adopts Islamic Blasphemy Laws

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently ruled that freedom of speech must be balanced with "protecting the religious feelings" of others. Hence, Europeans are no longer allowed to call Muhammad offensive names like "pedophile," even though he had sex with a prepubescent nine-year-old girl named Aisha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bart Ehrman Defends the Trinity Against a Muslim


Many Muslims assume that the Christian belief in the Trinity rests solely on 1 John 5:7 as it reads in the King James Version, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Christians have long understood and accepted that this verse was spurious and not part of the original text of 1 John. This is openly admitted by all New Testament scholars. In my debates I am often asked by Muslims about why I believe in the Trinity if 1 John 5:7 is spurious or not original. My answer has always been, that first and foremost, the Trinity does not rest on 1 John 5:7 nor does it rest on any one verse in the Bible. It is based on the totality of the witness of Scripture. Christian do not just believe in sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), they also believe in tota Scriptura (all of Scripture), the testimony of all the Scriptures.

In this video interview a Muslim expects Dr. Bart Ehrman to deny the Trinity mainly because of the questionable text of 1 John 5:7. You will notice Dr. Ehrman gives the same response I have always given. What is surprising, is Dr. Ehrman goes on to defend the doctrine of the Trinity! Please pray that Dr. Ehramn will find salvation in Christ alone.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

LONDON DEBATES

Adnan Rashid & Samuel Green
Trinity or Tawheed? (Fri Oct 26)
Was Christ Crucified? (Sat Oct 27)
Twynholm Baptist Church 7pm
https://www.twynholm.org/

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Virgin Birth of Christ Course Coming Soon!



The Virgin Birth of Jesus has been believed by Christians for 2000 years. Muslims also believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus as it is taught in the Qur'an (chapters 3 and 19), and have used this area of agreement to argue that the Islamic Jesus is the same Jesus Christians believe in. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no doubt that Muhammad learned and knew of the Virgin Birth from Christians he came into contact with. One major problem is that many of the sources he had access to were all historically worthless as they were apocryphal documents written in the second century A.D. and later. This doctrine of the Christian faith is a fundamental one which has been attacked by liberal critics and others. So important was this doctrine that it appeared in the Christian creeds like the Apostles' Creed and the Nicean Creed. As Christmas is around the corner, this timing of this course is ideal.

I will be teaching a 4 week course (4 Sundays) on this doctrine and how as Christian believers we can be equipped and respond to the critics. The course begins November 18 and runs until December 16. Those living outside of Toronto, Canada can take the class on-line via Zoom. The course fee for those joining online is $50 (Canadian dollars). Registration information is available above. On-line registration will we available soon and I will post the link on this site.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Is Muhammad mentioned in Song of Solomon 5:16?


If there was ever a text that has been so brutally contorted beyond the limits it is Song of Solomon 5:16.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Tara is Free


More specifically, Unsheathed – the Story of Muhammad is now free and available at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eMpqxfdT32YgJjCFqFwfsq-Se3UOuH-l?usp=sharing.  Please download it, post it anywhere and everywhere, and share it with anyone who might be interested.

If you refer to it, please reference it appropriately, providing the link above.

Please don’t charge more than your costs to redistribute it.

I’m not in this for the money.   I don’t object to it generating some income, but a free publication will be accessible to a much wider audience and encourage and inform the conversation that we need to have about the origins of Islam.  It will also allow copies to find their way to people in countries that don’t like this sort of publication, without their having to put themselves in danger by downloading it.

The book will continue to be available on Amazon for those who like paper and Kindle versions, and the Amazon site is the best place to leave a review if you’d like to write one.  The audio version is currently available through Castbox or Soundcloud, on your computer or on your favourite device via their free apps.